Typical tourist destinations like theme parks and resort towns certainly have their charms, but sometimes, Mother Nature creates jaw-dropping attractions of her own. From caverns that feel like a cathedral to mesmerizing springs, these natural landmarks are worthy of a trip.
At 2,407 feet above sea level, Cheaha State Park offers fantastic views of the Talladega National Forest. There's also a popular resort at this park, which boasts a magnificent lodge.
Located on more than 4.7 million acres of land in southwest Alaska, Togiak Refuge is home to at least 283 species of wildlife. Visitors are welcome year-round to fish, hike, camp and take river floating trips.
Visitors to this picturesque Arizona sandstone slot canyon, which is a Navajo Tribal Park, will feel like they've stepped onto the set of a spaghetti Western.
It's hard to choose just one breathtaking natural wonder in a state that has 600,000 acres of lakes and 9,700 miles of rivers. But, White Rock Mountain just might win. It's one of the highest points of the Ozarks at 2,260 feet above sea level and is names for its cliffs that take on a white cast when viewed from a distance.
California is home to many beautiful natural attractions, and the Channel Islands is one place you don't want to miss. The national park covers five out of eight islands in the chain.
This is another tough choice, as Colorado is home to impressive scenery. We're partial to the views at this park, where you can drink in the sight of 300-foot-high sandstone rocks along with another important natural landmark, Pike's Peak.
Connecticut's hilly landscape creates the perfect conditions for an impressive waterfall — and you'll get just that at this gorgeous park. Here, you can watch Falls Brook tumble 70 feet down jagged limestone that's been worn by the passage of time (and water).
Located near the quaint town of Lewes, this park is home to some of the largest dunes on the East Coast.
Florida isn't just known for its theme parks and nightclubs. Located about 70 miles west of Key West, Dry Tortugas National Park is only accessible by boat or seaplane. But once you get there, there's plenty to do, like snorkeling, birdwatching, saltwater fishing and camping.
You don't have to go far to see the Grand Canyon ... at least, the Little Grand Canyon. Though the 150-foot-deep gulleys that make up this wonder were the result of poor agricultural practices in the 1800s, the sight is rich in natural beauty. From the pink, orange and purple hues of the soil to the Plumleaf Azalea (which only can be found here), you'll want to take plenty of photos of this knockout feature.
One of only four green sand beaches in the world, Papakolea Beach on Hawaii's Big Island gets its coloring from the mineral olivine. Prepare for a two-mile hike on some rocky terrain to get to the secluded spot.
Located at the Great Rift, these volcanic cones and lava vents just might be the largest and deepest volcanic rift system that you'll find on the mainland of the United States.
This park is named after a 55-foot-wide cave, which was formed over thousands of years by water. It's an interesting sight when viewed from a distance, but also offers a unique vantage point above the Ohio River.
Comprised of over 2,000 acres, this park is most famous for its, well, dunes. Some reach heights up to 200 feet above Lake Michigan!
Those who think that Iowa is nothing but flat land will be surprised to see these awe-inspiring hills at the western end of the state. These high land formations were created by the shifting soils, starting in the last Ice Age.
Also called the "Chalk Pyramids," these tall chalk formations are an impressive sight. Each is the remnant of the Western Interior Seaway and is rich in fossils.
Underneath the lush Kentucky landscape sits a network of caves that are downright amazing. In fact, they comprise the world's longest cave system. So far, 400 miles of the system has been explored.
If you love Southern food, you might already be familiar with this river swamp (which is the largest in the United States). Why? Because it's one of the best sources for crawfish — over 22 million pounds are pulled from the waters each year.
Can you believe this is in New England? This piece of land located near Freeport, Maine, isn't exactly a true desert as it's made of exposed glacial silt and gets enough rain during the year.
It's not just about the 37 miles of largely unspoiled beach (considered one of the best on the East Coast), but the wild ponies who can be found roaming free.
We can't think of a better place to drink in views of autumn foliage than at Mount Greylock, the highest natural point in the state. Depending on the day and weather, you can see 60-90 miles away.
This natural limestone arch stands 146 feet above Lake Huron and is one of the most photographed wonders in the state.
Located inside Tettegouche State Park, this stunning cliff gives you an incredible view of Lake Superior. The cliff itself was formed over a billion years ago after a violent volcanic eruption.
The famed river is a national natural treasure. Some of the best views of the mighty river can be found when exploring the Mississippi leg of the scenic Natchez Trace National Scenic Trail.
One of the biggest in the country, the swirling waters of this natural spring flow at a rate of 286 millions of gallons of water daily.
Naturally air-conditioned (but illuminated electrically), this sight consists of a number of caves. Together, they're one of the most decorated limestone caverns in the Northwest United States.
Narrow clay pedestals and slabs of sandstone dot the otherworldly landscape, in arrangements that inspired the name of this park.
Forty-thousand acres of red Aztec sandstone outcrops, petrified trees and petroglyphs make this one of the most renowned parks in the world.
First discovered in 1808, this natural gorge (at the base of Mount Liberty) extends 800 feet. Between that and the 70-90 foot walls of Concord granite, it's definitely a breathtaking landmark.
Flickr photo by Neil Hunt
These mighty waterfalls inspired Alexander Hamilton to help found the city of Paterson as a hub of industry (mainly powered by the falls). Today, it offers a pocket of natural beauty in the largely developed landscape of North Jersey.