From the immense, burnt-red rocks of Arizona’s Grand Canyon to the breathtaking granite peaks of California’s Yosemite, the US is overflowing with unforgettable views. For those who enjoy fantastic scenery, here are five vantage points selected by Booking.com’s travel community – highlighting the best spots across the country for admiring its diverse landscape. Just don’t forget your camera.
Yosemite National Park, California. Image credit: Villy Kypraiou
Yosemite National Park is one of the US’s greatest natural treasures, an awe-inspiring wonderland amid the Sierra Nevada Mountains with tons of incredible vistas. There’s the towering 620-foot-tall Bridalveil Fall, or you can hike all the way up to Yosemite Falls—the highest waterfall in the US—where the steep drop and views across the glacier-carved valley will take your breath away. Also in the park you’ll find the shimmering gray and purple rock face of El Capitan, the mighty mountain of granite that is the Half Dome, the eerily beautiful Mariposa Grove of ancient sequoia trees, and much more. Check in to Sierra Sky Ranch, located just outside Yosemite.
Death Valley, California-Nevada border
Death Valley National Park. Image credit: Rudi Bongers
Death Valley’s otherworldly terrain—with expanses of arid, cracked earth stretching to the mountains at the horizon—is a sight to behold. It’s one of the hottest places on earth in the summer. While it’s impressive any time of the year, the scenery really comes into its own in the spring, when wildflowers turn the desert floor into a carpet of colors that attracts butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds, usually peaking in late March to early April. Check in to K7 B&B for easy access to Death Valley National Park.
Grand Canyon, Arizona
Grand Canyon National Park. Image credit: Rudi Bongers
Visitors to the Grand Canyon have lots of options when it comes to spectacular scenery and photo opportunities. At every turn, a new view appears of amazing, rusty-red rocks contrasting against a deep blue sky. You can also venture onto the glass Skywalk suspended above the canyon floor, book a guided sunset tour, or even take a helicopter ride for bird’s-eye vistas. Sheridan House Inn sits at the foot of Bill Williams Mountain, surrounded by forest and only an hour’s drive from the Grand Canyon.
Kenai Fjords, Alaska
Kenai Fjords National Park. Image credit: Tracy Babac
The oceanic wilderness of the Kenai Peninsula in Alaska makes for some of the best views found in the US. The diverse landscape here ranges from huge, frozen-blue glaciers to glistening coastal fjords with the ice-covered Chugach Mountains beyond. Climb to the top of Exit Glacier for an incredible vantage point or explore the fjords by kayak, paddling across the ocean with ice caps floating around you. Resurrection Bay serves as the gateway to the Kenai Fjords National Park. The closest town is Seward, which is the base for most of the local glacier tours. Stay at Resurrection Lodge on the Bay, which has a wooden sun deck that juts out into the water and provides panoramic views of the sea and mountains.
Bryce Canyon, Utah
Bryce Canyon National Park. Image credit: Rudi Bongers
Utah’s gorgeous Bryce Canyon is packed with once-in-a-lifetime views. Hike up high to take in the expanse of glowing red rocks below, peppered with green clusters of trees. Hike down bluffs that lead into towering ravines and through archways that frame the canyon perfectly. The park’s most captivating sight has to be the hoodoos – pinkish spires of rock that jut up into the sky. Spend the night at The Panguitch House, just a short drive away.