America the beautiful
America is home to some of the most beautiful sights on the planet, from teetering skyscrapers to wildflower meadows and glacier-filled national parks. Here we take a virtual tour of the USA’s most stunning sights, so you can travel America from your armchair.
© sean pavone / shutterstock
Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee and North Carolina
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park stretches across the states of North Carolina and Tennessee, and has been the subject of country songs, the star of movies and the muse for many a painting. Mountains, old-growth forest, wildflower meadows and waterfalls make up the preserve’s great expanse, where American black bears, elk and bobcats roam free.
©Filip Fuxa Shutterstock
Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada
It’s easy to see how this stunning state park earned its name. Fiery sandstone formations, spread out across more than 40,000 acres, are colored orange-red and splashed with bands of pink, creamy white and gray. Evidence of settlement here dates back millennia and the park contains striking petroglyphs from more than 2,000 years ago.
Monument Valley, Arizona and Utah
The Mars-like landscape of Monument Valley is one of the most famous images of the USA. Sitting astride the Utah-Arizona border, the desert area, part of the Navajo Nation reservation, is studded with towering buttes and shard-like pinnacles. The most famous formations are the East and West Mitten Buttes, which both rise to more than 6,000 feet (1,829m).
©Erik Harrison Shutterstock
Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona
This fabled natural wonder needs little introduction. The canyon, carved out by the Colorado River over millions of years, plunges a mile (1.6km) deep and stretches on for some 277 river miles (446km). It’s a picture of burnt red bluffs, broken up with bands of green, pink and orange. Bighorn sheep, mountain lions and elk call this rocky expanse home.
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