The Top 50 Things to See in the United States (41-50)

LAST UPDATED – 10/21/22 – Top Things to See in the United States

Top Things to See in the United States - Apostle Islands

The United States is a very large, very diverse, and very beautiful place.  Few other countries in the world have such a large diversity of landscape and culture waiting to be explored.  Whether you have always wanted to visit America, are looking for a good reason to travel back to the United States, or even if you live here and want to explore some of the regions you are less familiar with, I have you covered.  In this series, I am going to outline the Top 50 Things to See in the United States to give you some inspiration for your next trip.

So follow along as I countdown America’s best travel destinations and let me know your thoughts on the list in the comments below.  If there is something that you either want to see or think others would want to see, please let me know about it.  I am positive that other travelers reading this article will be thankful as well!

Top Things to See in America Map - 41-50

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In this edition of my countdown of the top United States travel destinations, I am going to cover items 41-50 on my list.  There are some fantastic places to add to your United States travel bucket list here, some of which are lesser-known travel treasures.  If you don’t have a travel bucket list for the United States, this might be a good time to start one.  With this list, you will have no shortage of amazing ideas!

50.  Kentucky Derby


Top Things to See in the United States - Kentucky Derby

The first item on my list of the top things to see in the United States should be familiar to anyone who is a fan of horse racing.  Considered to be the crown jewel of American horseracing and the first leg of the three races that make up America’s “Triple Crown” of races, the Kentucky Derby in Louisville, Kentucky is a legendary sports event worldwide.  If sporting events are your thing, this is definitely a must-attend event in the United States.

49. Shoshone Falls


Top Things to See in the United States - Shoshone Falls

While the large waterfall in upstate New York may get all of the accolades, Shoshone Falls in Idaho is every bit as beautiful a waterfall.  It may not be as high as Niagara, but it is set in one of the most beautiful landscapes you can imagine a waterfall being in.  If you are visiting some of the national parks in Colorado and Wyoming, taking a detour to see these falls is a great way to extend your trip.  Once you see the falls, you will be glad you did.

48. Great Sand Dunes National Park


Top Things to See in the United States - Great Sand Dunes National Park

The state of Colorado is known for its mountains, and for good reason.  Located in the heart of America’s Rocky Mountains, the state of Colorado are a mountaineer and outdoor enthusiast’s paradise.  However, the state isn’t only known for its mountain landscapes.  One of the more beautiful national parklands in Colorado is actually known for its sand instead of its mountains.  If you were to see some pictures of the Great Sand Dunes National Park, you might think you are looking at pictures of the Sahara Desert.  The dunes in the park can get that big.  That’s why I think the Great Sand Dunes National Park is one of America’s least-known treasures.

47. Blue Ridge Parkway

Virginia to North Carolina

Top Things to See in the United States - Blue Ridge Parkway

Few things are more American than an epic road trip.  Millions of miles of roadway crisscross the United States and every year people get into their automobiles to enjoy a cross-country road trip.  One of the more beautiful stretches of road in America is the Blue Ridge Parkway, which stretches from Virginia into North Carolina.  This legendary road takes you thru the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains where the vistas and sunsets will take your breath away.  For those lucky enough to get the opportunity to drive the Blue Ridge Parkway, it is one road trip you won’t want to end.

46. The Apostle Islands


Top Things to See in the United States - Apostle Islands

The Apostle Islands may be one of the lesser-known destinations on my list of the Top 50 things to see in the United States, but they are on this list for good reason.  Widely regarded as some of the most beautiful lake coastlines in the United States, if not North America, the islands are world-renown for being one of the top kayaking locations.  With a stunning coastline of rocky cliffs and sea caves, there are endless opportunities for kayakers to explore.  If you like getting out on the water, I would strongly suggest visiting one of the prettiest spots in the American Great Lakes on your next trip.

45. Mackinac Island


Top Things to See in the United States - Mackinac Island

If the Mark Twain novels Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer enthralled you as a kid, then you will absolutely love Mackinac Island off of Michigan’s Northern Penninsula.  This lively island in Lake Huron is one of the most popular tourist destinations in America’s Great Lakes.  Visitors are harkened back to a simpler time as there are no automobiles allowed on the island.  Take a stroll down the main street and enjoy some fresh fudge as you relax in this tranquil and beautiful destination.  If you are into history, exploring the revolution-era Fort Mackinac is a great way to spend an afternoon.

44.  Big Bend National Park


Top Things to See in the United States - Big Bend National Park

Situated on the southern border with Mexico, Big Bend National Park is one of the most beautiful national parklands in the American Southwest.  Blending desert and mountain landscapes, the park is a great place to go hiking, back-country camping, or for a scenic drive.  Along the southern border of the park is the Rio Grande River, pictured above, which forms a large portion of the US and Mexico border.  If you would like to take a side-trip into Mexico, there is a border crossing in the park that you can use to cross into Boquillas del Carmen for some shopping and lunch.

43.  White Sands National Park

New Mexico

Top Things to See in the United States - White Sands National Park

White Sands National Park is one of the least-known of America’s public lands, but it also might be one of the most beautiful.  There is groundwater just underneath the service of this desert landscape, which works to keep the gorgeous white sands from blowing away.  Over time, the accumulation of the sand has formed some of the most spectacular and beautiful white sand dunes you will ever see.

Seeing the park during the daytime is great, but if you really want to see the sand dunes at their most beautiful, then visit at either sunrise or sunset.  The warm colors of the sun paint the pure white dunes in the most spectacular colors.  If you are interested in visiting White Sands National Park, I have included a link to my White Sands National Park Visitor Guide below for you to review.

42.  Crater Lake National Park


Top Things to See in the United States - Crater Lake National Park

The western United States has some unbelievably beautiful landscapes, and some of the ones you will see on this list are well known around the world.  However, others, like Crater Lake National Park in Oregon, are not as widely known outside of national park enthusiasts.  This volcanic crater turned lake happens to be the deepest lake in the United States and one of the deepest lakes in the world.  If you happen to be exploring Oregon’s beautiful Pacific coastline or visiting the Redwood National Park in northern California, Crater Lake is only a short distance away and is a wonderful place to take a hike, go snow shoeing, or just take a scenic drive thru the park.

41.  The Gateway Arch


Top Things to See in the United States - Gateway Arch

The last location one part one of my list of the top things to see in the United States happens to also be the most symbolic.  The Gateway Arch is located in St. Louis, Missouri and was built to symbolize American’s movement westward as the continent was settled back in the 19th century.  When it was completed, it was dedicated “to the American people”.  This 630-foot-tall arch is the tallest arch in the world and the tallest manmade monument in the Western Hemisphere.  There is a tram inside that will take you to an observation deck at the top of the arch.  If you have the time, the views from this American monument are spectacular.

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Categories: North America, Travel, Travel Inspiration, United StatesTags: , , , , , , , ,


  1. I’ve only been to three on this list. I gotta get moving! Wonderful post – both the idea and, of course, the execution. I can’t wait to read your pics for 1-40!

  2. I visited the Great Sand Dunes this summer and loved them! Great post.

  3. those apostle islands look pretty cool! I haven’t heard of those!

  4. Fantastic list of places! Definitely going to see if I can get to Shoshone Falls in 2020 and maybe Crater Lake too as I missed it in 2018. Looking forward to the remaining 40!

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