Though many travelers tend to overlook local wonders in favor of farther, more intriguing destinations that hold the undeniable allure of the unknown, the truth of the matter is that North America is arguably the vastest, most geographically diverse treasure trove of natural wonders.
The only challenge to planning a remarkable adventure in the great outdoors of the U.S. is choosing the right attraction that’ll make the trip feel worthwhile.
That’s why Travel Lens set out to find which national parks in North America were the most aesthetically pleasing to visitors.
To do so, the company’s researchers tracked the number of traveler reviews mentioning the words “beautiful”, “stunning”, “breathtaking”, and “gorgeous” for each attraction and tallied the numbers.
These were the three parks whose visual allure visitors raved about the most:
3. Glacier National Park
Nestled in the pristine wilderness of Montana along the Canadian border, no. 3 on today’s list is widely known for its towering peaks, glacial valleys, and picturesque lakes.
Almost 44.3% of travelers who reviewed Glacier National Park made it a point to mention its rugged beauty, best characterized by the iconic Going-to-the-Sun Road and Grinnell Glacier.
The former is nothing short of a scenic masterpiece – the road winds through the heart of the park and offers some of the most awe-inspiring vistas you’ll ever come across in the U.S. and beyond.
The latter, on the other hand, is preceded by a jaw-dropping hike that takes visitors through alpine valleys and past turquoise lakes, all of which culminate in the panoramic view of the now-famous glacier and its surrounding peaks.
Wildlife enthusiasts will also have a lot to marvel at here.
The park’s vast wilderness serves as a refuge for a plethora of animals, including (but not limited to) grizzly bears, mountain goats, and elusive gray wolves.
2. Acadia National Park
Acadia National Park is a coastal gem that seamlessly blends oceanic sights with lush, forested peaks, rightfully earning its title as the second most beautiful national park in North America.
This is the very first place in the United States where the sun rises, and the majestic summit of Cadillac Mountain is the ideal vantage point.
The golden hues that scatter across the sky as the sun ascends over the Atlantic Ocean create a daily breathtaking spectacle that keeps visitors and photographers alike at a loss for words.
The park’s rocky coastline is further accentuated by the famous Thunder Hole, where crashing waves produce a resounding roar that, while a bit intimidating at first, is always a delight to witness.
Acadia also boasts a gorgeous, intricate network of carriage roads once designed by John D. Rockefeller Jr., which provides a truly unforgettable way for visitors to get around the area and take in the nearby wonders.
If you’re not much of a horse-drawn carriage fan, don’t worry.
You can always take advantage of the excellent shuttle system that allows you to explore the best of what the park has to offer without the need for a car.
1. Crater Lake National Park
The top spot on today’s list is held by none other than Crater Lake National Park, an attraction whose beauty is being raved about at record rates, and for good reason.
This sapphire-colored jewel located in the southern part of the Cascade Range in Oregon is arguably most famous for its stunning caldera, formed over 7,700 years ago following the collapse of Mount Mazama and nestled right in the heart of the park.
The result is the deepest lake in the U.S., whose clarity and intense blue color is something that not even the highest-quality cameras can do justice to – it can only be experienced in person.
As if all this weren’t enough, the lake is adorned with natural wonders like Wizard Island, a volcanic cinder cone that rises dramatically from the waters.
The Phantom Ship, a rock formation whose name comes from an uncanny resemblance to a ghostly vessel, just adds to the mystique of the already-fascinating Crater Lake.
That’s why those lucky enough to visit Crater Lake National Park won’t want to miss out on a dreamy boat ride across these geological marvels.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com
Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.