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Incredible places in the USA that seem to take you to another planet

The world is a vast and beautiful place where immense and incredible wonders await you everywhere, even underground. There are many locations in the USA that are so beautiful that they seem unreal. From underground waterfalls and fairy-tale forests to outlying islands, sea caves and hidden oases, this country is home to some of the most wonderful hidden treasures and awe-inspiring landscapes. America is truly a haven for dreamers and wanderers. Edition Only in Your State has compiled a list of such stunning places that will take your breath away.

Photo: Shutterstock

Palouse Falls (Washington)

The Pacific Northwest is home to some of the most wondrous waterfalls in the country, but none beats this one. Washington's official Palouse Falls is a 198-foot (60 m) cascade surrounded by majestic cliffs and caves. It is one of the most accessible - it is easily accessible via an easy path. This incredible sight is truly like a fairy tale, especially in the spring, when the lush landscape is painted in emerald green.

Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area (Oregon)

This area is part of the Siuslav National Forest. The Oregon Dunes are not only the largest concentration of coastal dunes in all of North America, but also one of the largest temperate coastal dunes in the world. The dunes were created over 100 years ago, when maushka nature created something incredibly wonderful out of water and wind. Over time, grains of sand flowed down the Siuslav River and other mountain rivers, and sediments slowly accumulated and turned into surreal sandy expanses. This national park served as the inspiration for Frank Herbert's series of books "Dunes" and the subsequent film, which makes sense.

Yosemite National Park (California)

Yosemite National Park is a popular destination for most, especially for waterfall enthusiasts, as its 1200 acres (485 hectares) contain some of the most unusual waterfalls in the country. But the most wonderful of them is the seasonal Horsetail Fall, which flows in two streams, one of which plunges 1540 feet (470 m), and the other 1570 feet (478 m). It is a magnificent sight from winter to spring, but it is especially beautiful in February, when it turns into fiery rain. At this time, it seems that fire is flowing there, and not water. Of course, this is not actually a fire, but an amazing visual phenomenon that occurs under certain conditions.

Antelope Valley California Poppy Sanctuary (California)

During the seasonal bloom in this region, the hills play with incredible colors thanks to the millions of poppies, painted in bright orange and golden yellow tones. This magical event happens under favorable conditions, that is, it cannot be guaranteed at a certain time. During strong flowering years, this usually occurs at the end of February, when the poppy fields are filled with tiny buds that are about to bloom.

Redwood National Park (California)

While there is a lot of noise around man-made landmarks like the Statue of Liberty and the Eiffel Tower, California has a place where Mother Nature outshines everything. Redwood National Park and its adjacent state parks are home to the tallest trees in the world, which are home to nearly half of the world's oldest redwoods. Here, some of the trees rise more than 370 feet (112 m), five stories higher than the Statue of Liberty. Visiting mahogany forests is a bit like the world from Alice in Wonderland: you will admire the tallest trees on the planet and feel very, very small.

Craters Of The Moon National Monument (Idaho)

Photo: Shutterstock

For those wondering what Neil Armstrong saw in those first magical moments on the moon, there is a place in Idaho that will allow you to imagine it.

Craters Of The Moon National Monument, one of Idaho's most unique parks, is best known for its rugged landscapes and volcanic features. The landscape, consisting of lava flows and cinder cones, is mesmerizing with its harsh beauty. And with the arrival of winter, when the wilds of Idaho are covered with snow, Craters Of The Moon National Monument becomes like an otherworldly space.

Fly-Geyser (Nevada)

This is a really strange place and well worth seeing. The Fly Geyser is one of the most wonderful surprises in the state. This is a sight unlike anything you've seen before. The geyser, throwing hot water up to five feet (1,5 m) in height, flaunts in itself bright shades of red, yellow and green. The peculiar coloration of the geyser is caused by deposits of calcium carbonate, which are increasing by several inches each year. As they have been growing for several decades, visitors can see three large mounds almost six feet (1,8 m) high. While technically a human-made miracle (the geyser was formed in 1964 when a geothermal energy company drilled a test hole in the ground), the Fly Geyser is no less magnificent than its counterparts created by Mother Nature.

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Source Grand Prismatic, Yellowstone National Park (Wyoming)

Yellowstone is a truly charming place. Anyone who visits this national park will immediately understand why its landscape has long won the hearts of travelers and adventure seekers. Looking even further into the past, many local tribes trace their roots here in myths and history. One of the park's trademarks is the Midway Geyser Pool, where you will find beautiful thermal springs and the absolutely magical Grand Prismatic. It is a stunningly beautiful hot spring known for its vibrant rainbow of colors created by bacteria and living organisms in superheated water. It is a feast for the eyes and truly one of the most breathtaking beautiful places on the planet.

Bonneville Salt Flats (Utah)

The stretch of salt flats in the desert doesn't sound exciting or even particularly picturesque, but anyone who has visited the Bonneville salt flats would disagree. This site is one of the most unique natural landmarks in Utah, which was formed over time as a result of the evaporation of Lake Bonneville. The remaining epic sodium chloride space is sublime in its simplicity and truly looks like an alien landscape. The dazzling white color appears to be snow, creating a disturbing and incredibly beautiful illusion. Today, the Bonneville Salt Flats are used for everything from movie filming to racetracks, and it is a must-see for every adventurer.

Maroon Bells (Colorado)

Maroon Bells is proof that the best in life takes time. This natural wonder in Colorado is the culmination of over 300 million years of geological activity, including deposition, weathering and erosion by wind, water and ice. This is one of Mother Nature's finest masterpieces and anyone who visits it will be incredibly shocked. Maroon Bells attracts many visitors - about 300 a year, and they all come with cameras in hand to capture a truly breathtaking sight. But although this landmark is positioned as the most photographed place in Colorado, the pictures simply do not convey it. Maroon Bells is a place of extraordinary beauty that you must see firsthand.

Vermillion Cliffs Wilderness Park (Arizona)

Natural beauty abounds in Arizona. The state is home to some of the most unusual locations in the country, with Vermillion Cliffs Wilderness topping the list. While there are many formations in this park, it is this place that has an elusive beauty not to be missed. This 190 million-year-old rock formation originates from the Jurassic period, and one can easily imagine ancient beasts stomping through its curves and waves. Although, it is almost impossible to think about how exactly such an incredible sculptural work was formed.

Horseshoe Bend (Arizona)

Like the Grand Canyon (actually called the eastern edge of the Grand Canyon), Horseshoe Bend is a must see from above. A hike through the barren, unforgiving landscape will lead to Horseshoe Bend, which materializes almost like a mirage in the desert. One of the most photographed places in Arizona, it really is as beautiful as it is in the pictures. The azure blue and emerald green horseshoe stands out against the coppery-red desert landscape, making it one of the true gems of the West.

Carlsbad Caves (New Mexico)

A place of immense splendor, the Carlsbad Caves in New Mexico are incredibly beautiful. This extraordinary natural wonder is a limestone cave that was once part of an underwater reef in the inland sea. For comparison: the reservoir that formed the cave was on Earth 250-280 million years ago. Today, visitors can explore this space along two paths.

Hamilton Pool Conservation Area (TX)

If you're looking for a Neverland-like location, you'll find it at Hamilton Pool. Hamilton Pool is one of the most beautiful locations in Texas with an azure blue pool nestled beneath a vast limestone grotto. The waterfall flows into the pool creating completely enchanting views that are indeed too beautiful to be real. This place of pure fantasy was formed thousands of years ago when the dome of an underground river collapsed due to erosion.

Chimney Rock National Historic Site (Nebraska)

Photo: Shutterstock

In the vast prairies of Nebraska, Chimney Rock appears suddenly and out of nowhere. Such a natural monolith is not a mirage. It is a perfectly positioned sculpture created by Mother Nature herself. In the days of its westward expansion, Chimney Rock was used as a landmark on the Oregon Trail. Covered with a long, thin spire, volcanic ash and coarse clay bed rises 480 feet (146 m) above the gentle Platte River valley.

Badlands National Park (South Dakota)

South Dakota is much more than a presidential monolith. The state is immensely beautiful and more than ever in the Badlands. The national park is a real attraction. It offers a varied landscape with steep hills and peaks amidst unspoiled prairie expanses. It is home to many different species of wildlife and is a popular spot for bird watching, photography and stargazing. The sunsets here are surreal and definitely worth seeing.

Apostles Islands (Wisconsin)

In the icy waters of the Upper Lake, like jewels, are scattered wild islands, which the locals simply call Apostles. These islands are a fabulous series of sea caves, emerald green pools, deserted beaches and steep lighthouses. It takes little effort for visitors to get to this pristine, remote land. But when you arrive on the islands, your hard work will be richly rewarded with fantasy unfolding right before your eyes.

Glory Hall (Arkansas)

Photo: Shutterstock

Glory Hole is one of the most unique waterfalls in the United States. In words, this does not sound so unusual: a stream flowing through the Ozark National Forest punched a hole in an overhanging rocky cliff and, in fact, created an underground waterfall. But live, Glory Hall is one of the country's most incredible wonders. This waterfall may not be the tallest, but it definitely stands out from its usual counterparts. Glory Hole flows through the rock, not above it, forming a circular waterfall that is completely unique. While the area is gorgeous all year round, during the rare cold snap in winter, something truly magical happens in Arkansas: the falls freeze into a perfectly suspended column that will take your breath away.

Angel Oak Park (South Carolina)

Angel Oak Park is proof that the most beautiful places aren't necessarily the biggest or the brightest. This humble park in South Carolina is home to trees ranging from 300 to 500 years old. And although they are not tall giants like those found in the West, these gracious giants are no less magnificent. Anyone who has ever overcome the elements of a tropical storm or hurricane will tell you that surviving the elements of Mother Nature so close to the ocean for such a long time is nothing more than magic, or at least a miracle. And that's exactly what Angel Oak Park is - a marvelous modern wonder.

Mamos Cave National Park (Kentucky)

Mamos Cave is literally another world, the world's largest underground network of caves. It includes over 400 miles (643 km) of underground caves and passages, with new ones being added all the time. In fact, Kentucky's Mamos Cave recently got a little longer after the Cave Research Foundation opened an additional eight miles of passageways. Mamos Cave is the most famous cave in the country, an underworld underworld that deserves the top spot on your wishlist.

Rainbow Bridge and Falls, Watkins Glen Park (New York)

Watkins Glen Park is the most popular in the Finger Lakes region, and for good reason. The famous Rainbow Bridge and the waterfall in the park are simply breathtaking - so beautiful that they don't really look real. Hiking in this park is adorable, with trails winding through verdant green forests with stone staircases, secret caves, and flowing waterfalls. Watkins Glen Park is your closest visit to Tolkien's Middle Earth.

Acadia National Park (Maine)

At the very eastern end of the country, you will find the pearl of the North Atlantic coastline. Indeed, Acadia National Park boasts stunning panoramas that will take your breath away. Added to the park's enchanting beauty is its iconic Bass Harbor Head Light (the only lighthouse in the park) that towers over the Atlantic. This majestic mountain is the highest point on the East Coast, and at certain times of the year it is the first place in the United States to see the sun rise. With an almost incomprehensible natural beauty, Acadia National Park is truly one of the most magical places in the country.

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Mendenhall Glacier (Alaska)

Alaska is a place of unearthly elegance and beauty, and the Mendenhall Glacier is the pearl of the state. The Ice Caves, located on the Mendenhall Glacier in Juneau, Alaska, are natural ice formations in one of the most unusual places on the planet. Calling the Mendenhall Glacier caves is wrong. This place is a whole frozen kingdom, which is 13,6 miles (22 km) long, and the total area is estimated at 38 square miles (98 sq km).

Northern Lights, Fairbanks (Alaska)

The Northern Lights is an incredible show created by Mother Nature herself: a dynamic display of color and movement that everyone should see at least once in their life. In the US, this spectacular show is available in Alaska with peak viewing season from mid-September to late April. As the colors dance in the dark sky, you feel both big and small at the same time, and you also know that you are exactly where you need to be.

Volcanoes National Park (Hawaii)

Hawaii is a popular destination for most Americans, and even Hawaiian natives love to travel the islands and explore exciting treasures. If you are visiting the Big Island, be sure to visit Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. It has some incredibly impressive wonders, not to mention two active volcanoes. Visitors will have a unique experience allowing them to experience these fantastic fire-breathing phenomena in person.

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