1. Thor’s Well
Location: Cape Perpetua, Oregon
This enormous, seemingly bottomless sinkhole is one of the most spectacular and simultaneously dangerous sights you could encounter in Oregon. Thor’s Well, as the pit is known, swallows enormous quantities of seawater when the tide starts to rise, attracting all the objects that surround it with great force and speed. Despite being quite a risky endeavor, Thor's Well is a magnificent and unique phenomenon that attracts countless photographers and visitors on a daily basis.
2. Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore
Apart from offering breathtaking views on the shores of Lake Superior, Pictured Rocks is an excellent destination for tourists year-round. The protected lakeshore stretches for 15 miles, and you will be able to admire some of the most beautiful rock formations you've ever seen, no matter if you're on a boat in the summer or on a snowmobile. Tourists can also go fishing, rock climbing, and bird watching in the area. Some of the most famous locations are Miners Castle (seen in the picture above), Chapel Rock, and Indian Head.
3. Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve
Location: Jefferson Parish, Louisiana
If you think that this looks just like an ordinary forest, take a closer look at the glistening puddles of water visible here and there, and you will realize that this national park is a mangrove swamp. The water surface of the park is densely covered by a green carpet of greenery, creating an illusion of an ordinary forest.
The park offers a look at uniquely southern plants and wildlife, such as alligators, and abundance of Spanish moss, and mangrove trees. The park is located only a 45-minute drive away from New Orleans, and it protects the Louisiana Mississippi River Delta.
4. Slide Rock State Park
Location: Sedona, Arizona
The area around Sedona, Arizona, is world-famous for its characteristic red rock formations, but if you're looking for a change in setting while visiting one of the Arizona desert locations, try looking at them in the winter. One excellent place near Sedona you can visit year-round is the Slide Rock State Park, which is located in the Coconino National Forest.
Apart from having a natural water slide created from eroded red rock and being a beautiful swimming location in the summer, the snow-covered trees sprinkled with white snow contrasting the red rocks offer a one-of-a-kind view.
5. Pelindaba Lavender Farm
Location: San Juan County, Washington
All of the items on this list are based in nature, but not all were created by it. These lush lavender fields located on the San Juan Islands off the coast of the state of Washington, for example, are a man-made creation, but it's absolutely breathtaking nevertheless.
The lovely aroma, the beautiful soft purple and green hues, and the neat rows of flowers are so aesthetically pleasing and photogenic! You will instantly feel as though you've been teleported into one of the exquisite flower fields of France or Japan.
6. Pueblo of Taos
Location: Taos, New Mexico
The Taos pueblo is one of the oldest Native American settlements in the United States and a UNESCO World Heritage site. Excavations suggest that the settlement has existed over 1,000 years, but was suddenly abandoned for unknown reasons in the 13th century.
The pueblo is situated within a Native American reservation, where an estimated 4,500 thousand people currently reside, and the buildings are made completely of natural materials, such as straw, water, and mudbrick. The multistory building seen in the image above, in particular, has walls that are several feet thick and is believed to have served as a fortification structure.
7. Taggart Lake
Location: Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming
One of the more remote walking trails in Wyoming takes you to the marvelous Taggart Lake, the crystal clear waters of which multiply the surrounding beauty of the forests and the Teton Range of the Rocky Mountains. The stunning views, the silence and serenity of nature, as well as the wildlife you'll be able to observe on this trail are everything an avid hiker could ever ask for, and more.
8. Abiqua Falls
Location: Marion County, Oregon
Another remote hiking destination is the Abiqua Falls - a gorgeous waterfall climbing down a steep basalt rock cliff in the midst of a dense forest. Located not far from Scotts Mills, Oregon, the road to the waterfall is a difficult one, as you'll have to descend down the rocks to the pool of the waterfall, but it's definitely worth the extra trouble because nothing beats a swim in a picturesque location like this.
9. Fly Geyser
Location: Gerlach, Nevada
Before being bought out by Burning Man Project organization in 2016, the geysers were located on the Fly Ranch and, unlike many naturally-occurring geysers, these are a product of human activity. The beginnings of the Fly Geyser date back to 1916 when the owners of the ranch decided to drill a well on their property. Unexpectedly, the workers stumbled upon an extremely hot underground geothermal spring, and the digging of the well was halted and the well was sealed.
Evidently, the seal eventually broke, and the thermal water rich in minerals started leaving calcium deposits that grew into large, bizarrely shaped bulbous rocks, which eventually became the home of thermophilic algae that give the geysers a bright green and red coloring. Visitors are allowed to view the geyser between April and October.
10. Rialto Beach
Location: Olympic National Park, Washington
This unique beach offers some of the best views of the Pacific Coast you will ever be able to catch. Located on the edge of the Olympic National Park, the beach features incredible, huge eroded rock formations just off the coastline, as well as ancient tree logs and large stones scattered throughout the beach. The small pools of water that can be found all across the beach and are also 'occupied' by the most unique inhabitants - vibrant orange and purple starfish.