The Ozarks, Arkansas
Photograph by Peter Essick
Bathed in moonlight and swollen with floodwater, the rush of Haw Creek Falls announces the return of spring to Arkansas's Ozark National Forest. These rugged mountains, which daunted early travelers, now serve as the backdrop for a deciduous forest that, in autumn, bursts into a kaleidoscopic palette of colors.
Did You Know? In 1861, Arkansas seceded from the Union to join the Confederate States of America. Take our quiz on the U.S. South to learn more.
Vermont Cheese Trail
Photograph by Jean Snide, My Shot
Autumn colors tint the land around a hay barn in Berkshire, Vermont. Almost 1.5 million acres (610,000 hectares) of Vermont land are dedicated to agriculture. Dairy farming is the primary agricultural industry here, but Vermont is also the largest producer of maple syrup in the U.S.
Did You Know? Calvin Coolidge's father and namesake, John Calvin Coolidge, opened the Plymouth Cheese Factory with other local Vermont farmers in 1890. Learn more about Vermont cheese with our seven-question quiz.
Mount Hood, Oregon
Photograph by Marc Muench, Getty Images
Climbers approach the peak of Mount Hood, the highest mountain in Oregon at 11,245 feet (3,427 meters) and the second most climbed mountain in the world, after Japan's Mount Fuji.
Did You Know? Mount Hood's last major eruption occurred in the 1790s, although residents reported minor explosive activity in the mid-1800s. Take our Mount Hood Quiz and learn more.
Maui's Hana Coast
Photograph by Chris Johns
On the Hana Highway in Maui, Hawaii, nearly 60 bridges lead visitors from rushing waterfalls to limpid pools, patches of taro plants, and luxuriant jungles of bamboo and fruit trees. This coastal road's 600 curves were dug using hand tools.
Did You Know? Hawaii was annexed by the United States after a long struggle between the native Hawaiian government and American businessmen with competing interests. Take our quiz on the U.S. West.
San Luis Valley, Colorado
Photograph by Bruce Dale
Dunes in Great Sand Dunes National Park can reach a height of 750 feet (230 meters) and are continually reshaped by winds that can top 40 miles an hour (64 kilometers an hour). The park, part of southern Colorado's San Luis Valley, was established in September 2004.
Did You Know? San Luis is home to a Stations of the Cross Shrine, called La Mesa de la Piedad y de la Misericordia (the Hill of Piety and Mercy). Take our quiz on the San Luis Valley.
The Big Island of Hawaii
Photograph by Helena Ruffin, My Shot
The Big Island of Hawaii is larger than all the other Hawaiian Islands combined; it's also the only one still volcanically active.
Did You Know? Babe Ruth, Cecil B. DeMille, and Franklin Delano Roosevelt planted banyan trees along Hilo's Banyan Drive. Take our Hawaii Quiz and learn more.
Alaska's Seward Highway
Photograph by Kate Lynn Morrill
The smallest of Alaska's eight national parks, Kenai Fjords lies just outside Seward and includes the Harding Icefield, which covers almost 700 square miles (1,800 square kilometers).
Did You Know? Seward was officially named the Mural Capital of Alaska in April 2008. The city's public places and streets contain more than 13 large murals, and the Seward Mural Society produces at least one new mural each year. Learn more about Seward, Alaska, with our ten-question quiz.
Cape Cod, Massachusetts
Photograph by John Rennie, My Shot
Nobska Point Lighthouse is one of 14 lighthouses, many still in operation, on Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Cape Cod National Seashore features miles of white-sand beaches, sea cliffs, and dunes.
Did You Know? In 1970, Massachusetts selected cranberry juice as its official drink. Learn more about the U.S. Atlantic Coast with our ten-question quiz.
Rocky Mountains of Wyoming
Photograph by Lara Love, My Shot
Ranch hands wind down the day at Arapahoe Ranch in Hot Springs County, the smallest county in Wyoming. It also includes Hot Springs State Park, where visitors can take a dip in the State Bath House.
Did You Know? Butch Cassidy spent time in Wyoming Territorial Prison for stealing horses but was released after he promised to leave Wyoming and never return. Take our quiz on the Rocky Mountains.
Brandywine Valley, Pennsylvania
Photograph by Troy Marden, My Shot
Longwood Gardens, three miles (five kilometers) northeast of Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, features 1,050 acres (425 hectares) of indoor and outdoor gardens, woodlands, and meadows. Commissioned and designed by Dupont magnate Pierre du Pont, who reshaped the family company for the 20th century, this popular attraction in the Brandywine Valley is also known for its extravagant fountain displays.
Did You Know? Marquis de LaFayette, a French military leader, was only 19 years old when he fought on the side of the colonists against the British in the Battle of Brandywine. Learn more about Brandywine Valley with our ten-question quiz.
California's Pacific Coast Highway
Photograph by Spencer Bawden, My Shot
A cypress tree overlooks the Pacific Ocean along the Monterey Peninsula in California. The town of Monterey served as California's capital under Spanish, Mexican, and American flags and by the early 1900s boasted an important sardine industry.
Did You Know? Monarch butterflies travel up to 2,000 miles (3,200 kilometers) from Mexico to the central California coast for the winter. Take our Pacific Coast Highway Quiz and learn more.
The Borderlands of Texas
Photograph by Derek Solis, My Shot
The 3,293-foot-high (1,004-meter-high) butte of Cerro Castellan towers over its surroundings in Big Bend National Park, Texas. The butte is also referred to as Castolon Peak because it looks down upon the historic border town of Castolon.
Did You Know? The 1950s movie Giant, starring Rock Hudson, James Dean, and Elizabeth Taylor, was filmed in Marfa, Texas. Take our quiz on the Texas Borderlands.
The Wild West, Kansas
Photograph by Bruce Dale
Reenactors on the Santa Fe Trail in Kansas bring to life a covered wagon journey endured by settlers in the 18th century. The state's vast plains evoke the Wild West of Wyatt Earp's Dodge City.
Did You Know? Set in Dodge City, Gunsmoke aired for 20 years and was one of the most popular shows on television. Take our U.S. Midwest Quiz and learn more.
The Olympic Peninsula, Washington
Photograph by Shahid Durrani, My Shot
Encompassing 1,441 square miles (3,732 square kilometers) of the Olympic Peninsula, Washington State's Olympic National Park has been declared both an international biosphere reserve and a World Heritage site by the United Nations.
Did You Know? A TV commercial for Olympia Beer that focused on the "clear water" used to create the beverage inspired the name of the band Creedence Clearwater Revival. Take our U.S. Pacific Quiz and learn more.
Dalton Highway, Alaska
Photograph by George F. Mobley
A paddler on Alaska's Lake Schrader heads toward the Brooks Range in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Grizzly and black bears, as well as herds of caribou, roam this vast preserve, which is also home to polar bears and muskoxen.
Did You Know? Originally, the town of Coldfoot, Alaska, was called Slate Creek and had several roadhouses, stores, and saloons. Today it serves as a truck stop along the Dalton Highway. Take our U.S. Pacific Quiz and learn more.
Photograph by Ray Eccleston, My Shot
A manatee, sometimes called a sea cow, fins through clear Florida waters. These gentle—and endangered—mammals frequent Florida's scenic Gulf Coast, known for its many beaches and coves.
Did You Know? The term "Dixie" generally refers to the 11 states that seceded from the Union to form the Confederate States of America. Learn more about the U.S. South with our ten-question quiz.
Northern Mississippi River
Photograph by Nick Graham, My Shot
A giant image of artistic director Sir Tyrone Guthrie greets visitors to the theater he founded in 1963 along the Mississippi River in Minneapolis. The Guthrie Theater has three theaters and two restaurants.
Did You Know? The Weisman Art Museum in Minneapolis, Minnesota, has the distinction of being the only art museum in the United States designed by famed architect Frank Gehry. Learn more about places along the Great River Road with our nine-question quiz.
The Blues Highway, Tennessee and Mississippi
Photograph by William Albert Allard, National Geographic
Masterful guitar work is commonplace along the Blues Highway. Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker, Bessie Smith, B.B. King, and Elvis all took a ride on this stretch of Route 61, where visitors today can still hear the echoes of guitars being picked and songs being sung.
Did You Know? Minnesota native Robert Zimmerman—better known as Bob Dylan—wrote the song "Highway 61 Revisited" in honor of the Blues Highway, which travels from the heart of the blues country to his home state. Learn more about places along the Blues Highway with our U.S. South quiz.
Photograph by Ryan McDonald, My Shot
The July sun sinks into the water in Islamorada, Florida, the sportfishing capital of the world. Islamorada is made up of Plantation Key, Windley Key, Upper Matecumbe Key, Lower Matecumbe Key, Lignumvitae Key, and Indian Key.
Did You Know? During the nine years Ernest Hemingway lived in Key West, he wrote To Have and Have Not, which is about Key West during the Great Depression. Take our quiz on the Florida Keys.
The Southwest's Four Corners
Photograph by Izabela Korwel
In Colorado's Mesa Verde National Park, multistoried dwellings such as the Spruce Tree House sit 2,000 feet (610 meters) above Montezuma Valley. Archaeologists have located more than 600 dwellings, some dating to A.D. 550, in the area.
Did You Know? The Nimíipuu, also known as the Nez Perce, lived on the Columbia River Plateau for thousands of years before the Lewis and Clark expedition encountered the tribe in 1805. Take our quiz on the U.S. Mountains and Plains.
The Santa Barbara Loop, California
Photograph by Jorge Tovar, My Shot
Visitors to San Buenaventura State Beach in Ventura, California, enjoy the region's Mediterranean climate, broad beaches, and scenic yacht harbors. In the late 19th century, nearby Santa Barbara became a health resort for wealthy Easterners after a guidebook writer touted it as a "Mecca for the moribund."
Did You Know? The original California state flag, which was inspired by an 1846 revolt against Mexican rule, showed a lone star next to a grizzly bear. Take our quiz on the U.S. Pacific.
Hudson Valley, New York
Photograph by Todd Seekircher, My Shot
When it was built in the 1920s, Bear Mountain Bridge was the longest suspension bridge in the world. Though it long ago gave up the title, it still retains unsurpassed views of New York's Hudson River Valley.
Did You Know? Sleepy Hollow Cemetery in Tarrytown, New York, contains the graves of many important figures of the Gilded Age, including barons of industry, society, and philanthropy. Take our quiz on the U.S. Atlantic.
Ghost Towns of Colorado
Photograph by Stephen Hall, My Shot
A fiery sun illuminates sandstone formations in Garden of the Gods Park in Colorado Springs, Colorado, where rocky fins and gravelly cliffs have spiritual significance for Native Americans.
Did You Know? Prospector Bob Womack discovered the store of ore that kicked off Colorado's Cripple Creek Gold Rush in 1890. Take our quiz on the U.S. Mountains and Plains.
Nebraska's Pioneer Trail
Photograph by Joel Sartore
Helping illuminate America's past, a reenactor takes part in events marking the anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.
Did You Know? Virginia's James River is one of the last spots where the once abundant Atlantic sturgeon can be found. Take our quiz on the U.S. Atlantic.
New York's Finger Lakes
Photograph by James Davis, My Shot
One of many waterfalls in the Finger Lakes region of New York, Eagle Cliff Falls showers down a rocky ledge in Havana Glen Park. Nearby Seneca Lake is the deepest and widest of the 11 Finger Lakes.
Did You Know? Ithaca, New York, has more than 150 waterfalls within 10 miles (16 kilometers) of downtown. Take our Finger Lakes Quiz and learn more.
Hill Country, Texas
Photograph by Jodi Cobb
Cowboys still rule the land in Texas' Hill Country, a rumpled terrain north of Austin. Among the first non-natives to settle the area were German immigrants who had purchased millions of acres sight unseen.
Did You Know? The capital of Texas, Austin, was named for Stephen F. Austin, who established the first independent colony in the Mexican province of Tejas. Take our U.S. Midwest Quiz and learn more.
Best U.S. Road Trips
2014 Traveler Photo Contest
See all the winning images from the 2014 Traveler Photo Contest.