travel

5 States Nature Lovers Should Visit

Ah, America, so big, so beautiful. While many people spend their time visiting the country’s biggest and best cities, to others, the true magic of the states lies in its breathtaking natural beauty. Take a trip from east to west, and you’ll pass every type of landscape, which are home to a wide range of wildlife. If you’ve never taken a journey just to explore the great outdoors, then that needs to change! Below, we take a look at five of America’s most beautiful states. Road trips are such a great way to see some of these areas, and I highly recommend it!

California

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When people think of California, their mind invariably goes to San Francisco and Los Angeles. These are undoubtedly amazing cities, but you simply cannot forget about California’s great outdoors. To begin, take a trip to Yosemite National Park, which is one of the most popular in the country. It’s not just big; it also has a unique atmosphere and history, one filled with hippies and renegade climbers. From there, you can go north to Lake Tahoe area, and all the recreational opportunities it provides, and then to the majestic Sequoia National Park.

Alaska

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Alaska may not be on everyone’s travel list, but the untouched landscapes here are like no other. For starters, Alaska is absolutely gigantic; many of the roads are not the best, but don’t let that stop you! (Though you may want to make sure you have a well equipped SUV to explore certain areas.) To get a taste of just how special it is, take a trip to Denali National Park, which is home to America’s tallest peak (it stands taller than 20,000 feet), and then hit the water in a kayak. You might just see some wildlife as you pass the beautiful glaciers.

South Dakota

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If you want to be immersed in nature and away from crowds of people, but don’t want to travel all the way to Alaska, then South Dakota is the place for you. There are many spots of natural beauty here and in neighboring Wyoming and Montana. Book a stay at the Best Western Buffalo Ridge Inn, and you’ll have Badlands National Park, Black Hills National Forest, and the Thunder Basin National Grassland all within easy driving distance; it’s hard to find three more beautiful yet diverse landscapes so close to one another. An excellent road trip state!

Michigan

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Like California, people usually focus on the cities when they think of Michigan (in this case, Detroit and Flint), but the Mitten State is so much more. Head north, and you’ll be greeted by the great lakes, forests, rivers, and beaches, and there’ll be a comparative lack of people cramping up the place, too. This land is perfect for a camping road trip. Oh, and don’t forget to stop by Mackinac Island – it’s 80% forest, and there’s not a car in sight.

Utah

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By far one of the most beautiful states that I have visited. From the salt flats, to the stunning natural features, this state has some amazing scenery. Arches National Park is like nothing you have seen before. I am actually going there this May, so look out for some awesome upcoming photos!

Of course there are many other amazing states to visit, but maybe this short list can help you start planning your next outdoor adventure!

21 replies »

  1. Yes, gorgeous photography. I’ve been to all the states above except Alaska, which I’d love, love, love to see one of these days. I agree with you completely. California’s outdoors is phenomenal and in my mind, much better places to spend time than its cities. I never imagined South Dakota had so much to offer, but I completely fell in love with the place and long to return. Another place where you could leave your heart–at least I left a part of mine there–is Wyoming.

  2. I have to nominate Oregon. Dramatic mountains, endless ocean, miles of state parks with endless hiking trails. The coastline is one our most beautiful in the US.!

  3. I totally agree about the road trip! I crossed the US continent twice and was magnificent. LA to Key West, stopping by Houston, New Orleans, Orlando, Miami. Second one is to NY, stopping by Yellow Stone, Mt Rushmore, Devils Tower, Chicago, Detroit, Toronto, Niagara Falls, NY city, Philadelphia, Atlantic City, St. Louis, Kansas City, Las Vegas. It was a trip of life time.

  4. Beautiful! You should visit Hood River, Oregon. You would absolutely love it. It’s a small mountain/river town by Mt. Hood where you can ski all year, is a kite boarder & windsurfer’s paradise, epic hiking, mountain biking… amazing. :- )

  5. Hey voyagesofmine!

    Great post! Gretel and I are always looking for new places to explore and hike, and we definitely agree that Utah is a great place to hike!

    Your friends at GKexplorers,
    -K

  6. Have visited all 5 of your top picks. We’ve been fortunate to visit all of the US states except Hawaii (that’ll be next) and have found that each one has its own beauty and charm

    • That’s so awesome! I’ve not quite visited all of the states yet, but I’m definitely working on it! 🙂

  7. Thanks for mentioning Michigan! I’ve lived there since 1988 and I still haven’t seen everything that I can, but I completely agree that there are hidden gems in the state, including beaches, beautiful natural parks, coastlines and even small communities that are sister cities from many European towns, from Germany to Holland.

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