26 Most Beautiful States You Need To See In Your Lifetime

The US is full of natural, stunning scenery. In many cases, there are no other places like it in the world, making this country truly stunning.

From the Great Plains that stretch from the north to the south, to giant redwood forests, volcanoes, lakes, and more.

26 Most Beautiful States You Need To See In Your Lifetime

There are endless landscapes to appreciate, but there are also beautiful towns and cities across the country too.

If you want to travel around the United States and experience the best it has to offer, we can help.

Here, we will be going through some of the most stunning, unmissable states that you need to see when you get the chance.

From Rhode Island to New York and Texas, there is something special about each of these states.

1. Rhode Island

What is this state known for?: full of stunning natural scenery with forests and beaches, jewelry production, and festivals

Must-see locations in this state: Colt State Park, Cliff Walk, Providence, The Ocean Drive (Newport), Narragansett Bay Beaches, The Breakers

Although Rhode Island is the smallest state, it certainly doesn’t lack in natural beauty.

There are thousands of miles of stunning shoreline, and the state has the nickname the “Ocean State” – it is clear to see why!

You won’t be able to get away from the beauty that this state offers, with beaches, bluffs, and forests to explore as long as you like.

Not to mention Providence, the beautiful state capitol.

Here, you can enjoy the first shopping mall in the country and immerse yourself in great culture and food.

2. Georgia

What is this state known for?: gorgeous scenery, peaches, warm climate, southern hospitality

Must-see locations in this state: Atlanta, The Callaway Gardens, Savannah, Blue Ridge Scenic Railway, Cumberland Island National Seashore, Oksana National Wildlife Refuge, Ocmulgee National Monument

With the nickname of the “Peach State”, Georgia has a lot to offer anyone who loves the outdoors.

There are stunning waterfalls and forests, but also orchards and plenty of southern hospitality to go around.

Two of our favorite cities are found in this state, too! These are the wonderful Atlanta and Savannah – two locations you will never get bored at.

Between the numerous national monuments, parks, gardens, and railways, you can spend weeks touring this state and taking everything in.

No matter how long you say, just be sure to enjoy the great food this southern state has to offer. It’s too good to pass up!

3. Texas

What is this state known for?: vast open landscape, farms, barbecue, and cattle

Must-see locations in this state: Austin, Fort Worth, Dallas, Cadillac Ranch, Caddo Lake, San Antonio Riverwalk, Palo Duro Canyon, Fredericksburg’s wineries, San Antonio Missions, Painted churches, Terlingua (ghost town)

Sure, Texas is famous for its mouthwatering barbecue and Tex Mex, but there’s so much more to it than that!

There’s beautiful scenery in the Lone Star State, and even better people and culture.

Any visitor to this state will fall in love with the long horns, but don’t limit yourself to the countryside if you can help it.

There are tons of wineries, canyons, and even some great ghost towns to stop by if you’re feeling brave.

Also, don’t forget about the fantastic beaches and state parks that offer tranquility and respite when you need it most.

4. Idaho

What is this state known for?: rugged and unspoiled landscape, precious stones, and potatoes

Must-see locations in this state: Sun Valley, Boise, Shoshone Falls, The Centennial Waterfront Park, Sawtooth National Recreation Area, Craters of the Moon National Monument, Bruneau Dunes State Park

Idaho, also known as the “Gem State”, is a sizable state that has plenty to offer – especially if you want to spend time outdoors.

There are landscapes that will knock your socks off, including scenes that could be the moon, lakes, and forests.

Ancient basalt lava flows add a flair of drama to the already imposing landscape here.

There are also plenty of canyons and waterfalls to enjoy, including Shoshone and Twin Falls.

Anyone going to Idaho for the first time has to check out Snake River Canyon for an unforgettable experience.

5. South Carolina

What is this state known for?: rich history, golf courses, stunning beaches

Must-see locations in this state: Myrtle Beach, Congaree National Park, Charleston’s Historic District, Hilton Head Island, Mount Pleasant, Monkey Island

Also known as the “Palmetto State” as a tribute to their state tree, South Carolina sits by the Atlantic Ocean between North Carolina and Georgia.

With cities like Charleston, Myrtle Beach, and Columbia, there are plenty of wonderful places to visit.

However, you can’t forget about the charm of this wonderful state, and the incredible islands, gardens, beaks, and parks dotted all around it.

There’s no way you will get bored in a place like this, because there is just too much to see and experience. This is a place you will fall in love with.

6. West Virginia

What is this state known for?: beautiful mountains with lots of outdoor sports and activities, the legend of Mothman

Must-see locations in this state: Appalachian Trail, Blackwater Falls State Park, Berkeley Springs State Park, New River Gorge, Harpers Ferry National Historic Park, West Virginia Penitentiary, Mothman Museum

If you want to feel the magic, you need to head over to West Virginia.

While we can’t guarantee an encounter with the legendary Mothman, we can guarantee that you will fall in love with what this state has to offer.

There are almost unlimited natural attractions to immerse yourself in, as well as the numerous state parks, museums, and even the historic West Virginia Penitentiary.

If you stop by, don’t forget to take a walk on the Appalachian Trail, but remember – if you think you see something, no, you didn’t.

7. New York

What is this state known for?: lively cities, beautiful countrysides, and Thousand Islands

Must-see locations in this state: New York City, Albany, Niagara Falls, The Catskills, Thousand Islands, Central Park, Lake Placid, Letchworth State Park, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Brooklyn Bridge, Taughannock Falls, The Adirondack Park

New York, or the “Empire State”, might be one of the most popular states for tourism, and we aren’t surprised.

Most tourism here goes to the Big Apple itself, and offers all manner of fun and exciting things to do year-round.

However, you don’t need to stay in New York City to be able to appreciate the beauty and wonder of this state.

There are numerous stunning parks and waterfalls to enjoy, including the famous Niagara Falls on the Canadian border.

It’s a once in a lifetime experience, and you will love every minute of it, especially if you get tours!

8. New Mexico

What is this state known for?: breathtaking arid landscape, home of the ancient Pueblo people, and the birthplace of the nuclear bomb

Must-see locations in this state: Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Taos Pueblo, White Sands National Park, Carlsbad Caverns National Park, Petroglyph National Monument, Chaco Culture National Historical Park

The Land of Enchantment will do exactly that – enchant you. In this southwestern state, you will get the chance to see and experience some amazing things.

From cities such as Albuquerque and Santa Fe, to stunning parks and monuments, there is little else to hope for.

In this state, the landscape alone will leave you in awe. White Sands National Park will be an unforgettable experience, especially if you visit at night and during a full moon.

There is something magical about the alabaster sands as they spread to the horizon in the silver lunar light.

9. Wisconsin

What is this state known for?: beautiful cold winters, and lots of beer and dairy products

Must-see locations in this state: Madison, Milwaukee, Holy Hill, Oshkosh, Apostle Islands Sea Caves, The Harley-Davidson Museum, Olbrich Botanical Gardens, Cave of the Mounds, Noah’s Ark Water Park

Sometimes known as America’s Dairyland, but more commonly the “Badger State”, Wisconsin can be found in the Midwest.

Here, there are a wide array of landscapes to immerse yourself in, so there’s definitely something for everyone!

From waterfalls to state parks and rivers, Wisconsin is a state of natural beauty that people can’t seem to get enough of.

There are even spots like Noah’s Ark Water Park, Apostle Islands Sea Caves, and the Harley-Davidson Museum to check out.

It’s a great state for anyone to check out.

10. Tennessee

What is this state known for?: the Great Smokies, whiskey, and good old country music

Must-see locations in this state: Nashville, Old Mill, Cade’s Cove, Grand Ole Opry, Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Dollywood, TITANIC Museum Attraction, National Civil Rights Museum

You will need to spend more than a few days in the “Volunteer State” if you really want to immerse yourself in its natural beauty.

One of the most notable spots in this state is Ruby Falls – the US’ tallest underground waterfalls. This alone draws in thousands of tourists annually, and it’s something you need to check out, too.

It’s also worth reminding you that this state has an incredible music and festival scene.

With an immense music history, you will fall in love with the culture and overall feeling of this amazing state.

Not to mention, there’s a stunning Titanic attraction that you absolutely need to check out!

11. North Carolina

What is this state known for?: gorgeous mountains, but also arts and culture

Must-see locations in this state: Raleigh, Blue Ridge Mountains, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Chimney Rock, Biltmore, North Carolina Zoo, North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, Wright Brothers National Memorial

The “Old North State” will take your breath away with its stunning coastline, mountains, and forests.

You won’t be able to get enough of the beautiful natural scenery, and also the pleasant weather!

You can either enjoy the city city life found in Raleigh, or you can step back and spend some time in the Blue Ridge Mountains and surrounding area.

The mountains are gorgeous year-round, but the best time to visit is undoubtable during the fall.

At this time, the forest foliage will turn into a warm sea of reds, oranges, and yellows.

12. Maine

What is this state known for?: stunning coastline, blueberries, and fishing

Must-see locations in this state: Augusta, Bar Harbor, Baxter State Park, Acadia National Park, Portland Head Light, Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, Portland Museum of Art, Pemaquid Point Lighthouse, Maine, or as we like to call it, the “Pine Tree State”, has everything you could ever want, and so much more.

The scenery here is picture-perfect and absolutely breathtaking. There are beautiful rocky coastlines, mountains, valleys, rivers, and so much more.

There are some of the most awe-inspiring scenes to be found in this state. A good place to start is the impressive Acadia National Park and Baxter State Park.

For those who want to enjoy the coast, the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens will offer you the perfect opportunity to immerse yourself in the beauty of nature.

13. Massachusetts

What is this state known for?: beautiful scenery, but also prestigious universities and colleges

Must-see locations in this state: Boston, Freedom Trail, Cape Cod Beaches, Museum of Fine Arts, Faneuil Marketplace, Atlantic White Cedar Swamp Trail, Fenway Park, Boston Common, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, New England Aquarium

Massachusetts goes by a lot of nicknames, including the “Bay State”, “Old Colony State”, and even the “Codfish State”! When you can’t decide on one, just go with them all.

This state is full of rich history, as its Old Colony nickname may suggest. There is plenty to see and enjoy around, too.

From the incredible and historic city of Boston, to places like the Freedom Trail, Fenway Park, or the immaculate Cape Cod Beaches.

Be sure to take a look at the various museums and historic locations if you want to really immerse yourself in this wonderful state.

14. Vermont

What is this state known for?: delightful breweries and state parks, hiking opportunities

Must-see locations in this state: Montpelier, Lake Champlain (Burlington), Green Mountains National Forest, Woodstock, Kensington Resort, Church Street Marketplace, Ben & Jerry’s, Bennington Battle Monument, Billings Farm & Museum

With a nickname like the “Green Mountain State”, you already know that Vermont is a land of natural beauty.

Here, there are not only rolling green mountains, but beautiful rivers, lakes, forests, and so much more.

You can explore this state’s beautiful cities, historic monuments, and museums, but also take a step back and immerse yourself in nature.

There are national forests and parks to visit, all with unbeatable views and scenery.

The Kensington Resort and Church Street Marketplace are also delightful places to stop by if you’re spending time in the state!

15. Wyoming

What is this state known for?: stunning scenery and national parks with outdoor activities

Must-see locations in this state: Jackson, Cheyenne, Yellowstone National Park, Hot Springs State Park, Devil’s Tower National Monument, Buffalo Bill Center of the West, Grand Teton National Park, Hot Springs State Park, Old Faithful

Nicknamed the “Equality State” but also the “Cowboy State”, the green, green grass of Wyoming is an incredible state to stop by on your travels.

This state is home to some of the most famous scenes in the Americas, such as Yellowstone National Park, and the geysers there.

Not only that, but the Grand Teton National Park, along with a handful of others, adorn the state in such a way, you will be left breathless.

There are monuments and museums, but also some beautiful and interesting towns and cities to stop by and get a taste of.

16. Washington

What is this state known for?: beautiful forests and mining areas, and even volcanoes

Must-see locations in this state: Seattle, Olympia, The Scablands, The Palouse Hills, Olympic National Park, Mount Rainier National Park, Hands On Children’s Museum, Percival Landing Park, Squaxin Park, The Olympia Farmers Market

Thanks to the immaculate beauty of Washington, it has been given the nickname the “Evergreen State”.

As a stunning spot in the Pacific Northwest, Washington state is an incredible place to visit, no matter the time of year.

Here, you can find mountains and valleys, including the Olympic National Park and Mount Rainier National Park.

There is even a rainforest in this state, called the Hoh Rainforest.

This is one of the most breathtaking areas in the state, but the cerulean coastline might end up being one of your favorite spots.

It’s a place of magic.

17. Florida

What is this state known for?: beautiful tropical climate and wildlife, incredible national parks

Must-see locations in this state: Key West, Tampa, Miami, Tampa Bay Area, Dry Tortugas National Park, Everglades National Park, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park, Walt Disney World Resort, Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, Magic Kingdom Park

The “Sunshine State” has a lot to offer to visitors, no matter their interests.

Here, you can enjoy the best of both worlds, with a beautiful sub-tropical climate and scenery that will keep you coming back for more.

Some of the most famous cities in the country are here – including Miami and Key West!

Not only is there plenty to keep you busy in the built-up areas, but lots to enjoy everywhere else, too. There are parks and gardens all over.

We would definitely recommend stopping by the Dry Tortugas National Park and the incredible Everglades – you will love everything they have to offer.

18. Michigan

What is this state known for?: the state touches four out of the five Great Lakes, longest freshwater coastline behind Alaska

Must-see locations in this state: Lansing, Lake Superior, Mackinac Island, Headlines International Dark Sky Park, Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation, Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park, Detroit Institute of Arts, Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, Arch Rock, Detroit Zoo

Michigan is another state with several nicknames.

These include the “Great Lakes State”, “Wolverine State”, “Water Winter Wonderland State, and even the “Mitten State”.

As the name suggests, one of the great features of this state is the awe-inspiring Great Lakes.

Beyond that, there are plenty of other beautiful things to draw you in.

From museums and gardens to lovely islands and parks, there is no end to the fun you can experience.

With so many Great Lakes, it’s impossible to forget about the pristine shorelines you can enjoy during your visit, too.

19. Oregon

What is this state known for?: incredibly diverse landscapes and water areas

Must-see locations in this state: Salem, Portland, Mount Hood, The Painted Hills, Hells Canyon, Multnomah Falls, Crater Lake National Park, Haystack Rock, Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, Portland Japanese Garden, Smith Rock State Park

Located just below Washington, the “Beaver State” is another state with never ending natural beauty.

Every landscape you can imagine is located in this magical state, from lush mountains and forests to deserts.

There are a number of iconic locations to visit while in Oregon, including cities such as the capital, Salem, and Portland.

The state’s beautiful parks and gardens only add to the beauty, and the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area is an unmissable location to check out.

Don’t forget to get the camera out for photo opportunities to be found near the canyons and waterfalls!

20. Utah

What is this state known for?: incredible scenic beauty and national parks

Must-see locations in this state: Salt Lake City, Park City, Arches National Park, Capitol Reef National Park, Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park, Canyonlands National Park, Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon National Park

The “Beehive State” of Utah is famous for a lot of things, and its indescribable scenery is one of them.

In this state, there are a number of national parks that you can’t miss out on, including Zion, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef, and Arches National Parks.

If you want to enjoy the busy city life, you can stop by Salt Lake City or even Park City.

Here, you can get some truly incredible food and enjoy everything they have to offer.

With that being said, one of the most notable spots to visit has to be the Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park, a beautiful and historic location.

21. Arizona

What is this state known for?: stunning arid landscape with national parks and outdoor activities

Must-see locations in this state: Phoenix, Sedona, Vermilion Cliffs National Monument, Sycamore Falls, Antelope Canyon, Havasu Falls, Horseshoe Bend, Grand Canyon National Park, The Colorado River Gorge, Desert Botanical Garden, Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum

Arizona, also called the “Copper State” or the “Grand Canyon State”, is another unbelievable place that you need to see for yourself to appreciate.

There are natural wonders everywhere you look, with one of the most famous being the incredible Grand Canyon.

There are stunning cities to enjoy in this state, as well as natural scenery including waterfalls, gorges, and hundreds of vertical rocks.

This means that there are plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy in this state, too, with mountain climbing opportunities for anyone who is brave enough!

22. Alaska

What is this state known for?: stunning natural landscape with mountains, fjords, lakes, and wildlife

Must-see locations in this state: Juneau, Anchorage, Kenai Fjords National Park, Denali National Park, Northern Ferry Lights, Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center, Alaska SeaLife Center, Museum of the North, Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center

Known as the “Last Frontier”, Alaska is a state of unbelievable natural beauty and the longest coastline of all the states.

Not only are there great cities like Anchorage and Juneau, but there are hundreds of natural locations you definitely shouldn’t miss out on.

If you want to experience some of the best spots that Alaska has to offer, you should check out Glacier Bay National Park, Kenai Fjords National Park, and Denali National Park.

There are some amazing wildlife opportunities here, too, including the chance to see grizzly bears, moose, and so much more.

23. Colorado

What is this state known for?: gorgeous national parks and scenic views, wildlife

Must-see locations in this state: Denver, Mesa Verde National Park, Great Sand Dunes National Park, Vail and Nearby Mountain Towns, Rocky Mountain National Park, Garden of the Gods, Dinosaur National Monument, Red Rocks Park and Amphitheater, Denver Botanic Gardens

Colorado is also known as the “Centennial State” because it joined the rest of the states 100 years after the Declaration of Independence was signed.

It’s also known as “Colorful Colorado” because of the incredible, varied landscape that changes with the seasons.

One of the most famous spots in this state is the wonderful Red Rocks Park and Amphitheater – a must-see location.

There are also some beautiful national parks like the Rocky Mountain National Park, the Great Sand Dunes National Park, and the historic Mesa Verde National Park.

Don’t forget to explore the wonderful gardens that the state has to offer, too!

24. Montana

What is this state known for?: incredible landscapes and outdoor activities

Must-see locations in this state: Helena, Yellowstone National Park, The Northern Lights, Glacier National Park, Going-to-the-Sun Road, Big Sky Resort, Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument, Museum of the Rockies, Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center, Ringing Rocks, Flathead Lake

Montana is also called the “Treasure State” and “Big Sky Country”.

With an incredibly diverse landscape ranging from the beautiful Great Plains to the Rocky Mountains, this state has everything you could ask for.

There are great cities like Helena to stop by, but the real beauty is found in the country.

Ringing Rocks Flathead Lake, and the Big Sky Resort are just some of the best places to visit.

If you want to spend time in the various national parks, we would recommend keeping an eye out for the wildlife that will no doubt surround you.

25. California

What is this state known for?: beautiful wildlife, landscapes, coastline, and cities

Must-see locations in this state: Sacramento, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, Napa Valley, Big Sur, Golden Gate Bridge, Death Valley National Park, Joshua Tree National Park, Lake Tahoe, Balboa Park, Yosemite National Park, Disneyland Park, Alcatraz Island, Redwood National Park, General Sherman and the Hyperion (giant sequoia)

Nicknamed the “Gold State”, California is one of the most famous states in the country.

Here, you can find Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, and the state capital, Sacramento.

You can see the tallest trees in the world in this state – the massive Hyperion.

However, there’s so much more to enjoy in the Golden State, including a number of incredible national parks such as Yosemite, Balboa, and Redwood National Parks.

Visitors can also visit Alcatraz and Napa Valley, just some of the most popular spots in the state.

26. Hawaii

What is this state known for?: incredible beaches and weather, great scuba diving opportunities

Must-see locations in this state: Honolulu, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Waimea Canyon State Park, Pearl Harbor National Memorial, Iolani Palace, Na Pali Coast State Wilderness Park, Polynesian Cultural Center, Diamond Head State Monument, USS Arizona Memorial

The “Aloha State” hardly needs an introduction.

The state of Hawaii is famous for all the right reasons – from the incredible people and culture, to the breathtaking landscapes and weather.

Here, you can stop by the incredible capital of Honolulu and Iolani Palace, but also enjoy some of the most pristine coastlines you will ever see.

Here, you can go scuba diving, snorkeling, or simply ensure the incredible coastline.

There are a number of awe-inspiring national parks to visit, too.

These include the wonderful Na Pali Coast State Wilderness Park, Waimea Canyon State Park, and the all-famous Hawaii Volcanoes National State Park

Final Thoughts

The United States is full of unbelievably beautiful scenery, there’s no doubt about that.

If you are planning on taking a trip across the country, then you should absolutely make the effort to stop by the states mentioned above.

Just make sure you give yourself enough time to immerse yourself in the beauty of the states, and experience all they have to offer.

Alex Kallen
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