Best US destinations for views from top to bottom

Travel is the best way to challenge comfort zones. Whether that means eating a dish you’ve never tried before, experiencing different climates, cultures, and languages, or seeing your country from new angles, life is more rewarding when you traverse new territory.

We asked 1,000 travelers how adventurous they get when sightseeing, and over 44 percent responded: As long as we don’t get hurt, let’s go!

To test the limits, we’ve found nine remarkable places to seek adventure at every level—literally. From the tip-top of observation decks to subterranean caves, here are some of the best places to get views of America from new heights. And once you get enough visual inspiration, be sure to follow our Travel Sensations series to explore your other senses.

ABOVE THE GROUND

Spring Green, Wisconsin

House on the Rock
Peer down the trap door-style window at tree tops 156 feet below. We dare you.

collage of House on the Rock Spring Green, WI

 

Forneys Creek, North Carolina

Clingmans Dome
Great Smoky Mountains National Park is best viewed from above, and Clingmans Dome delivers 360-degree scenes from 6,643 feet.

Views from and of Clingmans Dome Forneys Creek, NC

 

Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah

Sunrise Point
Sunrise, sunset, midday; there’s no bad time to take in this awe-inducing landscape. Reds, oranges, and golds glow across craggy spires as shadows throw shapes over the ground. See it all from above when you hike the Rim Trail.

aerial shots of Bryce Canyon, Utah

 

ON THE GROUND

Alamogordo, New Mexico

White Sands National Monument
Almost blindingly beautiful, these bleached out dunes will transport you to another world. Stay for sunset when the sky casts pink and blue hues over the rolling white landscape.

The view of white sand dunes and sunset at White Sands national Monument in Alamogordo, New Mexico

 

Fort Bragg, California

Glass Beach
Mother Nature is so powerful she can turn trash into treasure. See her work her magic turning glass into smooth, colorful stones.

haystack rocks and smooth, colorful glass pebbles on Glass Beach, CA

 

Glenwood Springs, Colorado

Hanging Lake
This mossy waterfall haven is a must for earth-loving adventurers. Get up close to the fresh, rushing waters of Spouting Rock waterfall to cool off after a long hike.

ferns and waterfalls at Hanging Lake, Glenwood Springs, CO

 

BELOW THE GROUND

Page, Arizona

Antelope Canyon
Standing at the bottom of these swirly marvels of color, you may need to pinch yourself to make sure it’s real.

Colorful shades of wavy rock inside antelope canyon

 

Key Biscayne, Florida

Neptune Memorial Reef
Dive down and pay tribute to those put to rest here as you explore sea life and man-made structures dressed in coral and other marine organisms in this underwater lost city.

underwater photos of Neptune Memorial Reef statues and fish

 

Chattanooga, Tennessee

Ruby Falls
An underground waterfall lit by colorful lights greets you when you journey deep below the surface of Lookout Mountain. Go for an extended tour to traverse all the wondrous cave spaces.

interior cave and Ruby Falls in Chattanooga, TN

Where are your favorite scenic views? Follow #ComeToYourSenses and visit the Travel Sensations hub to explore more amazing immersive journeys.


Bryce Canyon, UT:
Top: Shutterstock.com/canadastock
Bottom Left: Shutterstock.com/Filip Fuxa
Bottom Right: Shutterstock.com/Tim Stirling

Alamogordo, NM:
Top Left: Shutterstock.com/Katrina Leigh
Top Right: Shutterstock.com/Laurens Hoddenbagh
Bottom Left: Shutterstock.com/Rosemary Woller
Bottom Right: Shutterstock.com/Katrina Leigh

Lake Glenwood Springs, CO:
Top Left: Shutterstock.com/EdgeOfReason
Top Right: Shutterstock.com/Adam Springer
Bottom Left: Shutterstock.com/Maciej Bledowski
Bottom Right: Shutterstock.com/S.Evig

House on the Rock, WI:
Top: Flickr/Dan Century
Bottom Left: Yelp/Karl W.
Bottom Right: Yelp/Lorna D.

Neptune Memorial Reef, FL:
All Photos: Flickr/Todd Murray

Header Image:
Shutterstock.com/SharonPhoto

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