We can't hop in a plane to the USA at the moment, but there's plenty to discover online. The USA is home to a huge variety of extraordinary and dramatic geological environments that you'll find showcased on instagram. Here are some of the best natural landscapes to look up.
Palm fringed oasis in Palm Springs
The chic desert city of Palm Springs
, offers glamorous mid-century modern architecture and some of the most striking natural backdrops in the USA. Search for shots of trails leading to palm oasis, peaceful lakes, rugged canyons and foothills - and some of the most far out and exotic flora and fauna.
Extraordinary beaches in South Carolina
South Carolina is famous for its pristine beaches, from the Grand Strand to the north, all the way to Hilton Head in the south. Check instagram for shots of its coastline with is both beautiful and untouristy, including the 70-mile long stretch between Mount Pleasant and Georgetown
, where there aren't any hotels or shopping malls, just a few local cafes and restaurants and gift shops. With Francis Marion National Forest
to the west, Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge
to the east, Capers Island to the south and the Tom Yawkey Wildlife centre to the north, it’s home to some of the most unspoilt natural landscapes in South Carolina.
Spectacular red rocks in Sedona
The city of Sedona has created a series of trails - the 'Sedona Secret 7'
- allowing hikers to discover hidden gems in the local landscape - while making hiking through the staggering landscape more sustainable. Find them beautifully framed and shot on the Sedona instagram account
, or by looking up #SedonaEscape or #VisitSedona. The Mescal Trail offers several instagrammable spots, with a beautiful red ridgeline overlooking the western canyon lands of Boynton and Long Canyon.
Waterfalls and wildlife in Mt. Diablo State Park
On a clear day, Mt. Diablo State Park in Tri-Valley
, California, gives views as far as San Francisco to the west and Yosemite to the east. There’s tonnes to photograph in this 20,000-acre public space - the striking Diablo Mountain Range and its foothills, waterfalls and wildlife. The mountain’s ancient fossils and unique rock formations have mystified Native Americans, Western settlers and travellers for centuries.
Stunning sandy stretches in Block Island in Rhode Island
Silvery beach meets deep blue sea and azure skies at Mohegan Bluff, on the gloriously unspoilt Block Island in state of Rhode Island
. This natural gem in New England was named one of ‘12 Last Great Places’ in the western hemisphere to visit by The Nature Conservancy in 1991. One of the most photographic spots on this 9.7-square-mile island is the Mohegan Bluff.
Glorious swamps in Louisiana
Looking for a truly unusual landscape to explore? Head to Instagram to discover the largest wetland
in the United States
. The Atchafalaya Basin, or Atchafalaya Swamp, in south central Louisiana spans an almost 1 million acres in total and is home to a wealth of exciting creatures including alligators and birds.
A desert spectacle in Tucson, Arizona
Tucson, Arizona is immersed in the Sonoran desert, an extraordinary landscape peppered with wonderful sculptural cacti of all shapes and sizes. The Sonoran Desert
is home to more biological diversity than in any other desert ecosystem in the world. As well as this instagram-worthy desert, there are hundreds of miles of photogenic trails through the mountains around Tucson, including Chihuahuan grassland, woodland and subalpine forest. [photo: Pete Gregoire]
Epic mountain views in Tennessee
The Great Smoky Mountains in East Tennessee provide a spectacular backdrop to any photo. For a particularly striking shot, look for posts from the 80 foot-high Laurel Falls
- it’s one of the most popular waterfalls and hikes in the area. Split into an upper and lower section connected by a bridge with log rails, the area is known for its gorgeous spring colours. Look out for great aerial shots of the region, taken from the scenic chairlift at Ober Gatlinburg
which gives extraordinary views over the Smokies.
Vertiginous drops in West Virginia
You’ll find hair-raising shots from The New River Bridge, in West Virginia. It’s both the longest steel span bridge in the hemisphere and the USA’s third highest at 876 feet above the canyon floor. The bridge carries visitors high over the New River, one of the oldest rivers on the continent and at the heart of the 70,000-acre New River Gorge National Park
. [Photo credit: West Virginia Tourism Adventures]
Otherworldly rock formations in Colorado Springs
It’s hard to not to get a spellbindingly impressive shot in the Garden of the Gods Park
, where visitors are surrounded with showstopping rock towers made of red, pink, and white sandstone and limestone created millions of years ago. More than 6 million people a year also come to the park to see these impressive rock formations including Balanced Rock, Kissing Camels and Siamese Twins - expect plenty of shots on instagram.
Sunrises and sand in New Smyrna Beach
You’re sure to find the perfect shot from New Smyrna Beach
, on the east coast of Florida, which is home to 17 miles of white, sandy beaches. Look for shots showing the amazing sunrises over the beach or the Indian River (Intracoastal Waterway). Or search for posts of wildlife in the estuary in New Smyrna Beach - it's the most biologically diverse estuary in North America, home to more than 400 species of birds, dolphins, manatees, turtles.