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Don’t Hate Me, Texas, But These Are the 5 Most Beautiful States in America

Don’t Hate Me, Texas, But These Are the 5 Most Beautiful States in America

They say everything is better in Texas but is it one of the most beautiful states in America?

Even die-hard Texans can admit they may occasionally want to enjoy something besides scorching heat and mosquitoes.

But which states are the most beautiful then? We’ll take a look at our top five most beautiful states in America.

Let’s explore!

Want Some Real Beauty? Check Out the 5 Most Beautiful States in America

These five states offer a wide range of stunning views whether you enjoy mountains or deserts, beaches or forests. Let’s look at what the five most beautiful states have to offer.

1. Michigan – Beautiful Great Lakes State

Michigan is the “Great Lakes State” and has the expansive shoreline to prove it. In fact, this state has the longest freshwater coastline in the country.

If you want to be near water but hate the salty smell of seaweed, this is a whole state full of lakes to explore. 

Girl chasing seagulls at Lake Michigan.
From pristine beaches, massive trees, and untouched wilderness, Michigan has something for everyone.

Michigan Must-Sees

Michigan is one of the most beautiful states in America because it’s full of pristine beaches, massive trees, and untouched wilderness. Y

ou can go boating on a lake, hiking in a forest, and rock climbing all in the same state. As one of our northern states, and one that shares a border with Canada, prepare for cold weather. 

Mackinac Island

This island sits in Lake Huron, one of Michigan’s Great Lakes, and used to be a military fort. Now it’s known for the state park with its signature limestone Arch Rock.

This island has massive trees, beautiful beaches, and quaint buildings: the perfect place for a weekend of boating and biking. 

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore

This lakeside town is part of Michigan’s chilly Upper Peninsula, right on the edge of Lake Superior. Minerals paint the tall sandstone cliffs, hence the name Picture Rocks.

You’ll get the best view from the water. This area also has waterfall hikes, beaches, nature trails, and a castle-shaped rock known as Miners Castle. 

Sleeping Bear Dunes

These dunes are just off Lake Michigan. You can admire them from the Sleeping Bear, Empire, and Pyramid Point bluffs. This park is great for water lovers. It has 65 miles of lakeshore beaches, along with inland streams.

You can also take a boat out to the Manitou Islands for more nature trails. 

Kitch-Iti-Kipi Springs

Today, we call Kitch-Iti-Kipi the “mirror of heaven,” but the direct translation from the Ojibwe language is big cold spring. Michigan’s largest natural freshwater spring has rafts throughout the spring so visitors can peer into water full of twisted tree trunks, limestone-stained rocks, and wildlife.

While you can’t swim here, it’s a beautiful spot for hiking trails, picnics, and spectacular views. 

2. Montana – Beautiful Big Sky State

Montana earns its moniker as “Big Sky Country.” The open prairies, snow-capped mountains, and big open sky are the epitome of western American beauty.

Plus, this northwestern state is home to some of the country’s most iconic landscapes. 

Mountain in Glacier National Park Montana.
Montana is home to many stunning national parks.

Montana Must-Sees

If you’re anywhere near Montana, you should definitely consider visiting Yellowstone. It’s one of the seven natural wonders of North America and possibly the most impressive part of Montana.

This state also has snowy mountains and carefully preserved prairies.

Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone is so large it covers Idaho and Wyoming along with Montana. This park is full of hot springs and geysers, and while you can’t swim in them, you can spend hours exploring and admiring the views. Groups can get private tours, and kids can enjoy the junior ranger program.

This park offers campsites, along with trails for hiking, biking, and horseback riding. 

Pro Tip: There are endless sights to see and adventures to have in Yellowstone, but this is how we think you should Spend a Day in Yellowstone National Park.

Glacier National Park

Set in the Rocky Mountains, Glacier National Park is full of glacier peaks and untamed wilderness. If you go early enough in the season, you can spot the Northern Lights from the Going-to-the-Sun Road.

Fill your summer with boating and fishing and your winter with cross country skiing at this breathtaking park. You can camp by Hidden Lake or bike the trails to see some local wildlife.  

American Prairie Reserve

This multi-million-acre nature reserve is a private project of the American Prairie Foundation. This is a great place to learn about habitat and wildlife restoration, with volunteer research and science programs for the community.

There are campsites, biking trails, and hunting grounds.

3. Arizona – The Beautiful Grand Canyon State

Not everyone considers the desert beautiful; however, this state may change those opinions. Arizona is a guaranteed snow-free vacation. With endless sunshine and stunning views, this desert is worth the trip. 

Cactus in Arizona at sunset.
Known for cactus, red rocks and hot deserts, Arizona is a must see spot in the US.

Arizona Must-Sees

Arizona earns its place as one of the most beautiful states in America due in part to the Hoover Dam, a truly giant engineering feat. Most of this desert state’s beauty is all-natural, with red rock and cacti to spare. If you love snow-free winters, horseback riding, or hiking trails with a view, add Arizona to your getaway wish list. 


Red rock and pine forests surround this gorgeous desert town. There are plenty of campsites and cabins, along with rock climbing, fishing, and nature trails.

Explore the canyon for some picture-worthy moments, or tour the local wineries to indulge in wine tastings. 

Saguaro National Park

This park lies just outside Tuscon, making it a convenient day trip if you’re already in the area. It’s named after the saguaro cactus found throughout the park and features ancient Hohokam petroglyphs on the red rock.

This park has family-friendly tours, educational activities for kids, and programs focused on preserving the land. 

Beaver Falls on Havasu Creek

The falls sit tucked away in the Havasupai Indian Reservation, located in the Grand Canyon. You’ll have to both drive and hike to reach this area, and you’ll need a camping reservation to enter the trail. Limestone terraces created the cascading pools here.

They’re well worth the 13-mile hike.

Know Before You Go: Unfortunately, Beaver Falls is currently closed. However, you can check their website for updates on when it will reopen. 

Hoover Dam

This dam is right on the border of Arizona and Nevada. The Great Depression project is a masterpiece of architecture and engineering. It helps manage both flooding and water sourcing.

It made history in 1936 as the world’s largest concrete structure and the world’s largest hydroelectric power station.

There are campsites, water activities, and educational programs near the dam to cater to the steady stream of sightseers. 

4. Washington – Beautiful Evergreen State

The “Evergreen State” earns its reputation for rain, but with that rain comes flourishing greenery and waterfalls that make this one of the most beautiful states in America.

And if you want to explore big cities along with gorgeous forests, national parks sit close to metropolitan areas. 

Mountains in Washington.
With stunning waterfalls and lush green nature areas, Washington is perfect for all outdoor lovers.

Washington Must-Sees

The number of waterfalls in this state is astounding, especially in the Hoh Rain Forest. You could dedicate your entire vacation just to hiking waterfalls and never run out of destinations.

Or, if you’re more of a beach person, don’t worry about the cold water. Just bring a bodysuit and channel your inner “Twilight” fan at La Push. 

The Hoh Rain Forest

If you’re unsure about whether this forest is worth a visit, just look up pictures of the Hoh River Trail. It’s an entire forest full of breathtaking views, with tall twisty trees covered in moss and vegetation.

The constant rain keeps everything lush and green, and the forest has shorter walking trails that loop around for people who don’t want to be out in the rain too long. There are campgrounds nearby, and it isn’t too far from other popular cities such as Port Angeles and Forks. 

La Push Beach

La Push consists of three beaches separated by cliffs and full of seashells. Located on the Quileute reservation, this area is a sacred place, so treat it with care. If you’re a “Twilight” fan visiting Forks, this beach sits just 15 miles away.

Bring a bodysuit as the water is cold all year long. You can enjoy surfing, kayaking, or the ocean view itself.

Olympic National Park

This park is home to nearly a million acres and several different ecosystems. If you want a little bit of everything, this park is perfect for you. There are snowy mountains, lush rainforests, and windy beaches. Enjoy the hiking trails, stargazing tours, and ranger programs.

Pro Tip: If you’re looking to save some money while exploring Olympic National Park, try out these Best Free Camping Spots Near Olympic National Park.

Mount Rainier

This iconic volcano lies within Mount Rainier National Park, southeast of Seattle. The park has camping and lodging options and mountain trails, lakes, waterfalls, and forests.

If you go in the spring, you’ll see the meadows blooming with wildflowers, perfect for a picnic. 

5. New York – Beautiful Empire State

New York is one of our most historic states. It’s home to mountains and lakes and one of the world’s most impressive natural wonders: Niagara Falls.

And while you’re exploring the scenery, you can also visit historical sites and brush up on your American history. 

Waterfall in upstate New York.
New York offers so much more than just NYC.

New York Must-Sees

Clearly, if you’re in New York, you have to visit Niagara Falls. You can also check out ski resorts and ski in the same place as past Olympians. Between the mountains, waterfalls, and lakes, New York is worth more than a weekend trip. 

Niagara Falls

These impressive falls straddle the line between Canada and New York, providing access to both Canadians and Americans. This world wonder came about when the last ice age ended.

All that water had to go somewhere, and now people travel from all over the world to see the result. You can hike along trails or even venture down into the caves directly behind the falls.

There are also boat tours that offer a close-up view of this infamous landmark. 

Watkins Glen State Park

Watkins Glen State Park is part of New York’s Finger Lakes region. There are several hiking trails along with boating, swimming, and hunting grounds.

The hiking trails are full of beautiful waterfalls and rock formations, and the trees lining the lakeshore make this park picturesque. 

Lake Placid

This mountain town offers serene beauty, rolling hills, and history. The Adirondack Mountains are a popular spot for skiing, snowboarding, and other snow sports, and the town showcases uniforms of past Olympians.

This is also a good destination during the fall when all the leaves change colors. No matter the season, the views are hard to beat. 

Fire Island

If you’re visiting New York City and want a breath of fresh air, Fire Island is just off the shore of Long Island. It’s a great spot for surfing and boating and just getting away from crowds. The island also includes Robert Moses State Park, which features a lighthouse, a golf course, and picnic areas. 


Move Over, Texas, These Are Some of the Most Beautiful States in the U.S.

No matter what climate you prefer, there’s always somewhere worth driving to. America is full of so many different climates and ecosystems, we might as well take advantage of it.

Don’t limit yourself to just one place. Get out there and explore the most beautiful states in America. Which do you think should top the list?

Discover the Best Free Camping Across the USA

To be honest with you, we hate paying for camping. There are so many free campsites in America (with complete privacy).

You should give it a try!

As a matter of fact, these free campsites are yours. Every time you pay federal taxes, you’re contributing to these lands.

Become a FREE CAMPING INSIDER and join the 100,000 campers who love to score the best site! 

We’ll send you the 50 Best Free Campsites in the USA (one per state). Access the list by submitting your email below:

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