Many of us don’t even realize that there are tons of natural wonders to travel to in our own backyard. We compiled a list of our ten favorite and most exciting U.S. spots to take a mini vacation to when you’re getting those wanderlust pangs.
1. Northern Lights, Alaska
The Northern Lights are curtains of colored light in the upper atmosphere, caused by magnetic disturbances from the sun collide with atoms there. They create greenish-yellow, faint blue, or even blood red curtains of color.
2. Hamilton Pool, Texas
A natural pool that was created when the dome of an underground river collapsed due to massive erosion thousands of years ago. Hamilton Pool Preserve consists of 232 acres of protected natural habitat featuring a jade green pool into which a 50-foot waterfall flows.
3. Lake Tahoe, California/Nevada
Located along the border between California and Nevada, It’s known for the clarity of its water and the panorama of surrounding mountains on all sides.
4. The Wave, Arizona
“The Wave” consists of intersecting U-shaped troughs that have been eroded into Navajo Sandstone of Jurassic age.
Source: Flickr: thaths / Creative Commons
5. Bioluminescent Water, Florida
During the warm summer months the waters of Florida’s Indian River and Mosquito Lagoon come alive with Bioluminescence. Caused by the bioluminescent plankton that have invaded eastern Florida, many places hold kayak night tours to experience this phenomenon.
6. Mendenhall Glacier Caves, Alaska
Mendenhall Glacier, a 12-mile-long mass of ice in Juneau, Alaska, is a popular tourist attraction. Due to the glacier’s melting, water has carved caves into the interior, creating surreal, turquoise-toned worlds whose shapes are ever changing.
7. Dry Tortugas National Park, Florida
Located west of Key West in the Gulf of Mexico, the park preserves Fort Jefferson and the seven Dry Tortugas islands, the westernmost and most isolated of the Florida Keys. The archipelago’s coral reefs are the least disturbed of the Florida Keys reefs.
Source: thousand wonders.net & earthporm.com
8. Oneonta Gorge, Oregon
Designated it as a botanical area because of the unique aquatic and woodland plants that grow there, Oneonta Gorge has been described as “one of the true dramatic chasms in the state”.
9. Antelope Canyon, Arizona
A slot canyon located on Navajo land east of Page, Arizona, formed by erosion of Navajo Sandstone, primarily due to flash flooding.
10. Hanauma Bay, Hawaii
Once a volcanic crater, likely flooded by wave erosion, is home to an important nature preserve and the Oahu’s most popular snorkeling destination.