A lot of people in the United States believe that in order to see something beautiful they have to get a passport to visit another country. Fortunately, this is not true. The United States is full of beauty, magic, and art, all you need to do is look for it. Scattered all across the country are ancient relics, awe-inspiring landscapes, and natural masterpieces. If you’re looking for a bit of an adventure, but you don’t want to spend your life savings to leave the country, then check out this list of hidden gems of beauty that are right in your own backyard.
Glacier National Park, Montana
There is evidence that proves that humans have used the land that is now known as Glacier National Park for the past 10,000 years! The history of Glacier National Park is fascinating, but it’s quite obvious that people go to this national park for its breathtaking views. Covering a little more than 1,500 square miles, Glacier National Park is known for its stunning landscape and diverse ecosystems, drawing the attention of nature lovers everywhere.
Horseshoe Bend is a great example of how incredibly strong flowing water can be. Created from a flowing river, Horseshoe Bend gives us a look into the past and how the United States was formed. Horseshoe Bend is considered to be a part of the Grand Canyon, so it tends to attract the attention of families and adrenaline junkies alike.
The Georgia Guidestones
Located in Elbert County, Georgia, the Guidestones are often compared to the infamous Stonehenge of England. The history of the Georgia Guidestones has left people in confusion for decades. In 1979, a man who went by the pseudonym Robert C. Christian approached a local granite company to commission them to build the Guidestones, which are an astounding 750 feet tall. The four monstrous stones have “instructions” for mankind on how we’re supposed to live. Many people believe that the stones are related to the occult or even the Illuminati, but because of the mystery surrounding the man who had them built, no one will truly ever know their purpose.
The Great Serpent Mound
Located in Adams County, Ohio, the Great Serpent Mound dates back to prehistoric times. There has been much debate on how old the mound actually is and who created it, but the most recent studies show that the mound was created by the people of the Adena culture over 1,000 years ago! Scientists aren’t entirely sure what this massive serpent-shaped mound was used for, but they believe that the 1,300-foot long mound was used as a mortuary to aid the dead in their journey.
Thurston Lava Tube at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
Located in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, the Thurston Lava Tube is a breathtaking sight for those that love adventure. The Thurston Lava Tube, which is between 350 and 500 years old, was once a flowing river of lava. As the outside of the lava hardens, the middle still flows for many years to come. Eventually, the lava will stop flowing, creating a lava tube as a result.
Gillette Castle State Park in East Haddam, Connecticut
Most Americans think that they have to travel across the ocean in order to see a castle. Little do they know that there’s one much closer than they think. Built between 1914 and 1919, the Gillette Castle State Park in East Haddam, Connecticut, looks like it jumped right out of the pages of a mystery novel. Complete with hidden rooms, doors that can only be opened by completing a puzzle, and a hand-carved bar, Gillette Castle is certainly a sight to see! But make sure to watch out for restless spirits because there are plenty of rumors of ghost sightings at Gillette Castle.
If you’re looking for a place that will surely take your breath away, the Snoqualmie Falls is the place for you. One of Washington’s most popular attractions, the infamous 270-foot waterfall attracts more than 1.5 million visitors a year.
Gila Cliff Dwellings
For thousands of years, the Gila Cliff Dwellings were used as shelter by different nomadic groups. Eventually, the cliff dwellings became home to the people of the Mogollon culture. The Mogollon people used the cliff dwellings for raising their children, crafting pottery, and living life the best way they knew how. The Mogollon people may not have had much use for the Gila Cliff Dwellings once they decided to move on, but fortunately for us, the cliff dwellings are still perfectly intact, allowing us to get a glimpse into the mysterious past.
The Painted Hills
Located in Wheeler County, Oregon, the Painted Hills cover over 3,000 acres of land. The Painted Hills got their name from the colorful stratifications of blacks, golds, yellows, and reds that run throughout it. Apparently, the colors look different depending on the time of day, but experts claim that the best time to visit the Painted Hills is in the late afternoon.
The Grotto of Redemption
Created from petrified wood, precious stones, and minerals, the Grotto of Redemption is “considered to be the world’s most complete man-made collection of minerals, fossils, shells, and petrifications in one place.” Built by Father Paul Matthias Dobberstein in 1912 to pay homage to the Blessed Virgin Mary, who Father Dobberstein claimed to have saved his life from pneumonia, the Grotto of Redemption is a religious landmark that receives over 100,000 visitors a year.