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Travel Photographers Most Scenic Places USA

10 of the most scenic places

  1. White Mountains of New Hampshire
  2. Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Utah
  3. Boston, Massachusetts
  4. Kings Canyon National Park, California
  5. Oahu, Hawaii
  6. Hocking Hills, Southeast Ohio
  7. Santa Fe, New Mexico
  8. Olympic National Park, Washington
  9. Blue Ridge Parkway, Virginia and North Carolina
  10. White Sands National Park, New Mexico

There's a reason they call it "America the Beautiful". No matter where you go, you'll find stunning spaces and places that take your breath away. From the forests of the Great Appalachian Valley to the spectacular sweep of California's Big Sur coast, the lava lakes of Hawaii to the wilds of Alaska, the USA is famed for its diverse landscape.

New York City

20 of the most Scenic Places in the USA according to Travel Photographers

With so many dazzling destinations to choose from, we've asked some of the top travel photographers in the USA to share their favourite spots. And what a stellar list it is! It's got everything from vast national parks to the oldest and highest capital city in the US. So, without further ado, here are some of the most scenic places in the USA, according to travel photographers.

Did your favourite place make the list?

White Mountains of New Hampshire

1. White Mountains of New Hampshire

Corey McMullen (@coreyoutdoors)

A vote for the White Mountains of New Hampshire comes from outdoor photographer Corey McMullen. It is one of his favourite destinations in the United States. He says: "One of the primary reasons I love it is because of its diversity in both landscapes and for what it provides. It has seemingly infinite amounts of hikes and opportunities for various outdoor activities. For the East coast, I constantly find myself saying: "I can't believe this is New Hampshire. When you think of the East coast, the White Mountains constantly surprise and impress with their boldness, beauty, and rugged nature."

Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Utah

2. Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Utah

Benjamin Rasmussen (@benjaminras)

Vast and vivid, the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument is truly an awe-inspiring landscape. It gets its name from a series of plateaus that descend, like a staircase, from Bryce Canyon south toward the Grand Canyon. It is professional photographer Benjamin Rasmussen's favourite part of the country. He says: "It was the last mapped portion of the continental United States and that sense of being forgotten permeates the beautiful, otherworldly landscape." After a day exploring this very photogenic part of the country, Benjamin recommends that you "treat yourself to a meal at Hell's Backbone Grill in Boulder, Utah, one of the best restaurants in the country hidden in a town of 226 residents."

Boston, Massachusetts

3. Boston, Massachusetts

Marco Parodi (@marcoparodiphotography)

If you are into cityscape photography, Boston is a great destination. One of the oldest cities in North America, there is a cool combination of old and new architecture and lots of historic sites, cultural attractions and green spaces. Not to mention the beautiful waterfront. It is one of photographer Marco Parodi's favourite destinations. He says it is: "a great city with European character. Easy to walk around, very clean and multicultural. The areas around the city are also very beautiful if you like seascapes."

Kings Canyon National Park, California

4. Kings Canyon National Park, California

Camille Seaman (@camilleseaman)

Kings Canyon National Park is a land of giants — giant mountains, giant canyons and caverns, and giant trees. It is one of award-winning photographer Camille Seaman's favourite places to get reacquainted with nature. "Any of our National Parks are an incredible treasure and worth exploring. I personally make a pilgrimage every so many years to sit amongst the Giant Sequoias in the Kings Canyon National Park in California. It is a great teacher to sit among these silent powerful giants that show me new ways to define resilience, patience and strength."

Oahu, Hawaii

5. Oahu, Hawaii

Photography By Micke (@photographybymicke)

Another one of Micke's top picks for most scenic destinations is the North Shore of Oahu, which is part of the Hawaiian Island chain and home to the state capital, Honolulu. It is, according to Micke: "both a vacationer's and a photographer's paradise. No matter your photography genre, you will find it there from spectacular beaches and waves, tropical sunsets, birds and flowers, sea life and scenic overviews that will take your breath away." The North Shore is the big wave surfing capital of the world, so if you are into surfing, as well as photography, you won't want to leave.

Hocking Hills, Southeast Ohio

6. Hocking Hills, Southeast Ohio

Maddie McGarvey (@maddiemcgarvey)

Wild, romantic and picturesque, Hocking Hills in southeast Ohio is a scenic wonderland full of amazing spaces to explore and photograph. The splendid natural setting is teeming with recreational activities and ways to enjoy the state park. Maddie McGarvey, a photographer based in Ohio, is very taken with Hocking Hills. Of the park, she says: "You forget you are in Ohio because it's so hilly and green. There are amazing caves, waterfalls and rivers. My absolute favorite thing to do is spend the day kayaking down the Hocking River and staying in a cabin in the woods".

Santa Fe, New Mexico

7. Santa Fe, New Mexico

Benjamin Rasmussen (@benjaminras)

"Santa Fe, New Mexico is a city that reminds you of the size and complexity of America. The city feels like no other American city," says Benjamin. Santa Fe was founded as a Spanish colony in 1610. It sits 7,200 feet up in the southernmost end of the Rocky Mountains. This makes it the oldest and highest capital city in the US. Benjamin's top tips for a great city stay: "Visit the thriving local gallery scene, fill up on green chile (ask for "Christmas" to look like a local) and end your day with margaritas at Maria's New Mexican Kitchen. If you are coming into town south on I-25, stop on your way at Charlie's Spic & Span in Las Vegas, New Mexico for the best donuts you have ever had." Sounds like the perfect American road trip to us!

Olympic National Park, Washington

8. Olympic National Park, Washington

Griffin Lamb (@griffinlamb)

Another one of Griffin's favourite locations is Olympic National Park on Washington's Olympic Peninsula in the Pacific Northwest. The diverse landscapes, ecosystems and vast wilderness is a photographer's dream. No matter what you like photographing, you'll find it here including glacier-capped mountains, old-growth temperate rain forests and over 70 miles of rugged coastline.

Blue Ridge Parkway, Virginia and North Carolina

9. Blue Ridge Parkway, Virginia and North Carolina

Griffin Lamb (@griffinlamb)

The Blue Ridge Parkway is one of the great road trips in America. The stretch of road meanders 469 miles through the southern and central Appalachians from Virginia all the way to Cherokee, North Carolina. Along the way, you are accompanied by stunning scenery. The region is renowned for its biodiversity and on the Blue Ridge Parkway, you'll see the exceptional local flora and fauna. What Griffin loves about these locations is the way you are "encouraged to immerse yourself in your surroundings, get outside, and explore. From dunes that stretch for miles to pull-offs with trails that lead to scenic coastline or waterfalls, there is always something new to see!"

White Sands National Park, New Mexico

10. White Sands National Park, New Mexico

Yale (@yale_meets_world)

There's lots of love for New Mexico on this list. Solo globetrotter, Yale says: "choosing one destination was so difficult because the Midwest and Hawaii have stolen my heart, but I think I'll have to go with New Mexico. New Mexico is one of those states that I think is overlooked outside of Albuquerque, but there is so much to see there. I love New Mexico because it actually has its own culture and I was surprised at how curious and extremely friendly the locals were. There is a little bit of everything to be found in the state from a white desert with a beautiful mountain backdrop to natural hot springs. In White Sands National Park you can camp overnight in the white sand then wake up and go sand boarding in the morning." We are packing our bags already!

Bozeman, Montana

11. Bozeman, Montana

Benjamin Rasmussen (@benjaminras)

A nature lover's paradise and playground, Bozeman is a destination for those whose comfort zone is the outdoors. Benjamin Rasmussen raves: "the area around Bozeman, Montana is wonderful in the summer months. You can camp and hike or just relax by one of the rivers in the area with a good book." After an active day, one of the best things you can do is visit the nearby natural springs. "Chico Hot Springs are definitely worth going to for a soak," says Benjamin. Another one of his top tips: "make the drive to the Tippet Rise Art Center to see world-class outdoor sculptures and architecture."

Savannah, Georgia

12. Savannah, Georgia

Photography By Micke (@photographybymicke)

Professional photographer Michael Heiner’s favourite location is Savannah in Georgia. This coastal city is the oldest city in the state and is full of southern charm. It's incredibly pretty too with its manicured parks, horse-drawn carriages and historic architecture. Micke describes it as: "it's an extremely walkable city with a lot of history." As you can imagine, there's plenty of opportunities for postcard-perfect photographs but Micke's favourite thing to photograph is: "the old oak trees creating tunnels through the streets with the Spanish moss hanging from every limb."

Lake Tahoe, California

13. Lake Tahoe, California

Gabriella Viola (@gabriella_viola)

Some more California love, this time for Lake Tahoe in the Sierra Nevada Mountain range. “Lake Tahoe is a great place to visit because it's one of the most beautiful places in the U.S, says photographer Gabriella Viola. “The crystal clear turquoise coves combined with the alpine backdrop is something you have to see to believe. In addition to Lake Tahoe itself, there are dozens of smaller surrounding alpine lakes and waterfalls that you can hike to. Enjoying the lake from a kayak or paddle board is an experience you won’t forget, and some of the most stunning vistas overlooking Tahoe are easily accessible.”

New York City, New York

14. New York City, New York

Marco Parodi (@marcoparodiphotography)

New York City might be one of the top photography destinations in the world. It is full of instantly recognisable landmarks and locations. It's also full of opportunities to photograph something new and unique. Marco Parodi agrees and says it is: "one of the most iconic cities in the US. Downtown at night is unique and full of lights and colors." You might want to pack your tripod to capture those bright lights of the big city.

Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

15. Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

Brian Venghous (@brianvenghousphoto)

Grand Teton National Park, in Northwest Wyoming, is a classic destination in American mountaineering and an iconic photography spot. Its colourful rocks, jagged peaks, staggering natural beauty and incredible wildlife has long-lured photographers from around the world. One such photographer is Brian Venghous who says: "Grand Teton National Park is simply breathtaking and awe-inspiring. There is no better place to forget your troubles, to disconnect and connect with nature. This is the place to feel small, and realize Mother Nature is in charge."

Western Washington State

16. Western Washington State

Profound Elements Photo (@fiddy_two_eighty)

The area west of the Cascade Mountains is where you'll find the state's largest city, Seattle, the state capital, Olympia. It is a great destination if you like to shoot landscapes and nature as well as cityscapes and people. It has it all. As Jae Jarratt of Profound Elements Photo puts it: "On a nice day, it's the most beautiful place in the US." One of the most scenic spots in this region is Olympic National Park. Here you'll find rain forests, hot springs and beaches.

San Francisco, California

17. San Francisco, California

Marco Parodi (@marcoparodiphotography)

Located on a peninsula at the entrance to a large bay, with a mesmerising mix of modern skyscrapers and Victorian-style buildings, San Francisco is one of the most photogenic cities in America. With its cable cars and crooked streets, cliffs and of course the Golden Gate Bridge, fog-covered San Fran is picture-perfect at every turn. Marco Parodi describes it as: "one of the most beautiful cities in the US. The Golden Gate area is just great if you want to enjoy a city view without having to be in the middle of it. Multicultural as NYC and Boston with mild weather in summer." Cities don't get much better than this.

Alaska

18. Alaska

Profound Elements Photo (@fiddy_two_eighty)

With its giant glaciers, majestic mountains and pristine parks, Alaska is a fantastic destination for photographers. Not to mention is wonderful wildlife — moose and wolves and bears, oh my! So make sure you pack your wide-angle as well as telephoto lenses. It is a much-loved destination for photographers the world over, including Jae Jarratt of Profound Elements Photo. He says: "Alaska is the final frontier and the absolute best place to disconnect."

Yosemite National Park, California

19. Yosemite National Park, California

Brian Venghous (@brianvenghousphoto)

Yosemite National Park is in California’s Sierra Nevada Mountains. It is famous for its granite cliffs of El Capitan and Half Dome and giant, ancient sequoia trees. Yosemite National Park has attracted photographers for over 100 years. It is synonymous with Ansel Adams, who first started photographing the park in 1916. You'll find The Ansel Adams Gallery in the heart of Historic Yosemite Village. So it is no surprise that the park makes this list. Photographer Brian Venghous describes the view of the Yosemite Valley as: "simply breathtaking, the waterfalls, Half Dome, El Capitan, the meadows will take your breath away. This is truly God’s cathedral."

Page, Arizona

20. Page, Arizona

Photography By Micke (@photographybymicke)

Located in northern Arizona, Page is a charming small town that packs a punch when it comes to magnificent places to photograph. But don't just take our word for it. Here's what Michael has to say: "Page is by far my favorite place to photograph. It's a very small and quaint little town boasting some of the most absolutely stunning landscapes in the country including Antelope Canyon, Horseshoe Bend and Lake Powell; and it's a relatively short drive from Monument Valley, the Grand Canyon and even Zion National Park." With so many epic spots, make sure you pack lots of film or spare batteries.