Part 2 is here! It’s about time, am I right? This isn’t all the states yet either. This project is taking longer than I expected. Part 3 this is coming, meanwhile part 1 can be found here. These wonders of the US are what make this country so unique. From thousands of acres of state parks, to old buildings, to eccentric billionaires building amazing mansions fit for a king of a country, it’s all here (from Montana to Rhode Island anyway). See you in part 3!
Glacier National Park
On the border of Canada is this amazing national park that definitely deserves to be on this wonders list. The Rocky Mountains that run through that region offer runoff to make some beautiful scenery. It has over 700 miles of hiking trails over it’s 1,500 square miles of scenery. This might be Montana’s secret, since I don’t know of many travelers that have been there it could be off the beaten track.
Not only is this lake full of state parks, it has trails, boating activities and in the middle of the lake is an island where wild horses. They have areas for camping too. Montana is a very beautiful region and it was actually hard to just pick too wonders to put on this list. If you’re in the United States then Montana is a great state to visit.
Heartland of America Park
This isn’t just your every day city park. There’s loads of history and beautiful sites which it made this wonders list. There is a 320 foot light and water show that plays on the water on a regular basis and an exhibit for Lewis and Clark. For those that don’t know they were the first ones to map out the American west. The best part has to be gondola rides that are offered.
I’ve mentioned before that while the United States doesn’t have any actual castles that housed royalty, we do have eccentric billionaires that build amazing mansions! Original New England natives, the Joslyns moved to Nebraska after making it rich with the railroad. Today their mansion is open for ours and cameras are allowed! The building itself is over 19,000 square feet so there is plenty of room to go around!
Although it’s not completely natural, this geyser sure is something to look at! It was created by accident in 1964 while well drilling. The colorful rocks you see continue to grow because of how much water spouts out all the time. It shoots out 5 feet into the air. Not too far away in 1917 they tried to drill a well also, and the same thing happened, although due to this geyser now that one no longer spouts water.
Valley of Fire State Park
It’s called Valley of Fire because well, it has some of the brightest red rocks anyone has ever seen. It takes over 40,000 acres in the heart of Nevada. It also has petrified trees dating back thousands of years and drawings from ancient Native Americans from 2,000 years ago. If you like natural history and scenery this is one of the wonders you can’t miss.
White Mountain National Forest
New Hampshire is known as the white mountain region (meanwhile Vermont is the green mountain region) so it makes sense that they make it onto this wonders list! Not only are outdoor activities available like hiking or camping, they also have aerial tramway tours, resorts, a waterpark, a scenic railroad, and theme parks like Storyland. If you have a family this is the place to go.
In the base of Franconia Notch State Park is the Flume Gorge. It’s a natural hiking area that does have a visitors center as well. There is also a covered bridge (something iconic to New England) mountain and waterfall views since it’s in the heart of the white mountains. Unfortunately it’s not very cheap, especially if you go on the aerial tramway, so save up!
Pinelands National Reserve
You’d think the most densely populated state wouldn’t have much nature, but you’re wrong! New Jersey is home to pinelands, an area almost 2,000 square miles of forest. It only stared getting preserved in 1978. Today you can go hiking through the forest and check out many of it’s berry farms.
Allamuchy Mountain State Park
This nature preserve in the state of New Jersey has several hiking trails someone can hike on, ranging from over 6 miles to half a mile. There are several scenic viewpoints of the mountain and ponds in the area. The park itself is nearly 2,500 acres of pristine land! That’s a lot of hiking and views in the garden state.
Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument
While thinking of the United States you might not think of ancient cities, but they’re here too! Back in the 1200s the Mogollon people lived here for only a short time. Today it’s an over 500 acre area preserving the old ruins. Carvings and paints on walls, buildings, and old pottery is all that’s left of this old civilization!
Pecos National Historical Park
Another ancient Native American site, this one was inhabited by the Pecos Pueblo back in the 1600s onward until European contact. By the early 1900s historians have been trying to preserve this park and learn everything they can. Red bricks were used to build these structures and give it their fascinating color.
New York City
The big, the famous, New York City! It hardly needs and introduction. Millions of people live there and in the surrounding areas of New Jersey and Long Island. The area is full of history too, if you’re into that kind of thing (it does have the largest number of historical areas in the country). Not only that, but there are several beautiful viewpoints to look at, restaurants to eat in, and people to meet!
Letchworth State Park
Also known as “The Grand Canyon of the East” (meaning east of the Mississippi river, a common dividing line of the US from east to west in case you didn’t know). This park boasts almost 14,500 acres of land to enjoy. Hiking, camping, and canoeing are all available here and during some times of the year a train ride is available! Perfect during fall when those leaves are changing colors.
Chimney Rock State Park
In the heart of North Carolina is a state park full of hiking trails covering every square inch of the place! It has trails for people of all experiences, including those with small children and we mustn’t forget about great views! Something not every state park has is a rock climbing area, and it’s famous for it. Also, an elevator inside a mountain can be enjoyed.
Not the best name, however, that doesn’t stop it from having amazing views. Situation thousands of feet in the air, at the end of a trail is a viewpoint so you can see all of the Smokey Mountains in the distance and trees for miles. It’s right at the edge of Tennessee and North Carolina so some places say it’s in one, while others say it’s in the other.
Sullys Hill National Game Preserve
And you thought there wasn’t anything worthwhile in North Dakota. On this wonders list of the US is this National Wildlife Refuge. It’s over 1,600 acres and home to 20-30 bison, 25-40 elk, white tailed deer, prairie dogs all throughout it. If you want to see real wild animals this is the place to go, although, please keep a safe distance! No need to pet the deer or bison, they are wild animals after all.
The highest naturally occurring part of the state, over 3,500 feet is this beauty, laying the southwest area of the state. This is one of the more famous ones since it’s a stark white color, instead of the natural earth colors we’re used to seeing (like brown). Watch out for seasonal conditions if you do go, winter means snow while summer means snakes!
Mohican State Park
An over 1,000 acre state park is next on this wonders list. Lodging, camping, hiking, fishing, hunting, and more is all available at this amazing park. Not to mention scenic views on every corner from the rivers or the rolling hills. If you remember the tale of Jonny Appleseed, he stopped here in real life back in the 1800s (real name, John Chapman). Nature and history in one, nice.
Conkle’s Hollow State Nature Preserve
This nature preserve is filled with several different possible hikes, one including a hollow that’s a rocky gorge. Not just hiking, but fishing and camping is also available. Some parts of the hallow are so deep and the vegetation so forested that sunlight doesn’t hit it either, so be careful!
This majestic waterfall is 77 feet long and has an adjoining zip line. I think I want to go to Oklahoma right now, right? It was named after a man who bought the land with his wife back in 1878 and today it has 1500 acres to the park. There are many minerals and rocks naturally formed here which makes this a great place for geologists and other scientists, not just nature lovers.
Natural Falls State Park
The other 77 foot tall waterfall also deserves some spotlight in the same state, am I right? Right on the border with Arkansas is this beautiful state park. There is biking, hiking, fishing, volleyball (that a new one on here), wildlife viewing areas, and a place to put your RV. We mustn’t forget camping either.
Deep within the Columbia Gorge is this amazing and popular waterfall. At an amazing 620 feet long, you can see why it’s so impressive! The best time of year is winter and spring to visit the runoff from the surrounding mountains feeds into it best then. A fire in September 2017 has caused some issues for visitors too, so look ahead to see if you can visit soon!
John Day Fossils Bed National Park
Colorful earth, check. Mountains, check. History, check. Hiking possibilities, check. This place has everything you need to make it to this wonders list. I’m getting painted desert vibes (that’s in a completely different state, FYI). Who knew the earth could be this many colors? Also, like in the name, fossils of animals from millions of years ago can be found here too!
Philadelphia City Hall
Although the buildings in the US aren’t nearly as old as the ones in Europe and other areas of the world, we still have our fair share! It was built between 1871 and 1901 in the middle of the city center. It was supposed to be the world’s tallest building at one point, but the Washington Monument and even the Eiffel Tower surpassed it in the time it was built. Just look at how beautiful it is!
Ricketts Glen State Park
Spread out over 13,000 acres is this beautiful state park with 22 named waterfalls (that means there are more than that, right?). There is a trail that lets you see them all if you’re into hiking. Camping, boating, picnicking, and other activities are also available here. In winter snowmobiling, skiing, and snowshoeing is also done here. No matter the season this is a place to visit.
Colt State Park
If you love the beach this is the state park for you. Lawns, areas to picnic, and a laid back lifestyle along with a rich history older than the US itself (now that’s old) is what’s at this park. Biking trails and fruit trees are what line this over 400 acre park and is clearly worth a visit (or 10, or more!).
Made to resemble the white house, we have another eccentric billionaire mansion. This was designed for the Vanderbilts. It was built in 1888 with 50 rooms that required 36 people to staff it. Later a Chinese tea house designed from the 12th century Song Dynasty was built and actually helped the women’s suffrage movement. It’s been a museum since 1963 and definitely deserves a visit!