Anyone can go sightseeing, any time. If you think about it, as long as your eyes are open (and you’re not in total darkness), you’re seeing something. Of course, certain spots on Earth – including the United States – provide much more amazing sights to see.
Recently, House Beautiful magazine compiled a list of the country’s most beautiful spots, one for each state. Here are a few of our favorites:
- Hamilton Pool Preserve (outside of Austin, Texas) – A natural pool that was created thousands of years ago when the dome of an underground river collapsed due to massive erosion. Located 3/4 mile upstream from its confluence with the Pedernales River, Hamilton Creek spills out over limestone outcroppings to create a 50-foot waterfall as it plunges into the head of a steep box canyon. The preserve is home to the Golden-Cheeked Warbler and a great variety of other birds. The diverse vegetation ranges from semi-arid species in the uplands to riparian species in the canyon. The uplands of the preserve are a juniper and oak savannah with a variety of native grasses and wildflowers. Several rare plant species including canyon mock-orange, red bay (westernmost colony of this eastern species) and chatter box orchid are known to occur in the canyon areas along Hamilton Creek.
- Cades Cove (Gatlinburg, Tennessee) – An isolated valley (pictured above) located in the Tennessee section of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The valley was home to numerous settlers before the formation of the national park. The broad, verdant valley is surrounded by mountains and is one of the most popular destinations in the Great Smokies. It offers some of the best opportunities for wildlife viewing in the park. Large numbers of white-tailed deer are frequently seen, and sightings of black bear, coyote, ground hog, turkey, raccoon, skunk and other animals are also possible.
- Garden District (New Orleans, Louisiana) – With its well-preserved collection of antebellum mansions, pristine gardens and southern charm, the Garden District certainly stands out as one of the country’s most lovely neighborhoods, and a popular destination for visitors. General boundaries for this famous neighborhood are St. Charles Avenue to Magazine Street and from Jackson Avenue to Louisiana Avenue. Originally laid out in 1832, the Garden District was created after the Louisiana Purchase as a settlement for the new American residents of New Orleans not eager to mingle with those of European descent, primarily concentrated in the French Quarter. Americans made wealthy by cotton, sugar, insurance and shipping commissioned leading architects of the time to create classic homes in Italianate, Greek Revival and Victorian styles.
- Wormsloe Historic Site (Savannah, Georgia) – A breathtaking avenue sheltered by live oaks and Spanish moss (pictured below) leads to the tabby ruins of Wormsloe, the colonial estate of Noble Jones, a humble carpenter who arrived in Georgia in 1733 with James Oglethorpe and the first group of settlers from England. Today, visitors can interact with costumed interpreters during programs and events, and view a museum with artifacts unearthed at Wormsloe, as well as a short film about the site and the founding of Georgia. The interpretive nature trail leads past the ruins along the marsh to the Colonial Life Area where, during programs and special events, demonstrators in period dress exhibit the tools and skills of colonial Georgia.
- Camas Prairie Centennial Marsh (day trip from Sun Valley, Idaho) – Flat tableland on the prairie creates a large floodplain for Camas Creek; the shallow water provides habitat for emergent vegetation predominantly Carex and Juncus species. Camas lilies bloom beginning in late May, and the area attracts many birds, including Canada geese, mallards, gadwalls, American wigeons, northern pintails, northern shovelers, lesser scaup, canvasbacks, redheads, ruddy ducks, and blue-winged, green-winged, and cinnamon teals. Gray partridge and sage grouse are found in upland areas, and there are a variety of other birds species found throughout the wildlife management area.
To check out these beautiful spots (and many more), drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.takeagetaway.com. To find out more about our incredible selection of scenic destinations, follow us on Facebook and like us on Twitter.