From purple mountain majesty to amber waves of grain, there's no end to the gorgeous landmarks across the fifty states. America is a global leader in terms of natural beauty, architectural innovation, and cultural recognition that makes for Instagrammable locales. From feats of construction and design to the mountain ranges and forests that hearken back to America's frontier spirit, the only challenge in planning a life-changing journey is choosing which breathtaking destinations you'll head to first.
New York is one of the world's trendiest cities. From rooftops and skylines to the world-famous parks of NYC, it's filled to the brim with Instagrammable destinations. In particular, Washington Street in Dumbo is astoundingly popular. For a good reason - it looks more like a postcard than a real location. However, Washington Street is definitely real. From the right angle, you can capture the Manhattan Bridge and the Empire State Building in one single shot. Not to mention all the classic New York architecture to boot. In all, Washington Street is an essential destination to take a quintessential NYC snapshot.
The French Quarter is the oldest, most iconic area of New Orleans. The district is instantly recognizable for its colorful buildings, numerous street performers, and boastful bars. In particular, Bourbon Street has an impressive reputation; the bars, jazz clubs, and street performers draw in huge crowds of locals and tourists. All in all, it's a photographer's dream. Make sure to get a few shots of the bright, beautiful neon lights between shots at the bar.
From the famous theaters to the stars on the Walk of Fame, Hollywood Boulevard is symbolic of American film culture. In particular, one famous mile contains Grauman's Chinese Theater, the Hollywood and Highland Shopping and Dining Complex, and other major attractions. Movie stars often head down to Hollywood Boulevard for film premiers, and you can always find surprisingly good impersonators. Either way, Hollywood Boulevard is one street that's begging for you to snap a few pics for your social media.
Here's a destination that's not for the faint of heart! To this day, the famous Sears Tower is one of the largest buildings in America. If you're able to conquer any fear of heights, you can head onto a clear glass ledge jutting out of the building. But it's sure worth it for such a heart-stopping view of Chicago.
The White Sands National Park is a shockingly underrated US destination. On a trip there, you'll quickly see that the sand looks uncannily similar to snow. Rather than soaking in the heat of the sun, the sand reflects the light and stays cool to the touch at the height of summer. You can even go sledding on the sand year-round, or enjoy a picnic amidst the dunes. Around sunset, the sands take on the haunting hues of dusk, and the beautiful result is a perfect candidate for some pictures. Above all, White Sands National Park isn't too crowded. For now, that is.
The Wave in Paria Canyon is a gorgeous sandstone rock formation that resembles an earthen ocean. It was once the well-kept secret of nature enthusiasts and Arizona locals, but it earned an unusual claim to fame. In 2009, Microsoft used a photo of The Wave as a desktop image. This mundane beginning has turned the unique destination into a bucket list item for millions of people. It's become such a popular destination that local authorities only allow 20 visitors a day. While you'll need to plan well in advance, it's well worth it for access to this relatively exclusive destination.
When people think of Miami, they think of Ocean Drive. From the 1920's architecture to the endless palm trees and neon colors, it truly looks like something out of a classic movie. Not only does Ocean Drive evoke thoughts of a simpler time, but it has a roaring nightlife with great clubs and an unbeatable view of the ocean.
Washington is a beautiful state. At once, it offers visitors the modern metropolis of Seattle, the wild forests of Western Washington, and the imposing Cascade Mountains. You can enjoy all three of these features rolled into one, courtesy of the stunning view from Kerry Park. If you look towards the mountains, a single snapshot can capture Mt. Rainier and the Seattle Space Needle. Surely, there's no better way to encapsulate the beauty of the state than pairing these two symbolic landmarks.
The Kalalau Trail is one of many sites in Hawaii, which is just as beautiful as it is dangerous. It's a narrow, 11-mile long trail that stands above a sheer cliff and peers off into the Pacific Ocean. It's surrounded by beautiful, dense foliage and offers views of isolated, magnificently preserved beaches and Hawaiian valleys. If there's ever been an occasion to YOLO, it's a visit to the Kalalau Trail.
The Northern Lights are one of the most stunning natural phenomena in the world. The interplay between Earth's atmosphere and radiation from the sun result in vibrant lights dancing across the sky. With a suitable app or a traditional camera, you can capture the Northern Lights in all their iridescent glory.