US cities with natural wonders on their doorsteps



Slide 1 of 31: The USA is home to some of the most exciting cities in the world, but when the bright lights, bustling crowds and blaring traffic get a bit too much, we long to escape to nature. Luckily, we’ve found 15 American cities where you can enjoy the best of both worlds. These places combine urban excitement and natural landscapes, but if you're planning a trip, make sure to check opening times and additional safety measures if you're crossing state lines.
Slide 2 of 31: The North Carolina city of Asheville is great for a city break: there's a lively arts scene filled with galleries, studios and museums, significant architecture such as the Basilica of Saint Lawrence, and a thriving culinary and craft beer offering. Plus, historic Biltmore Estate is just a short drive away. You can check the latest travel information here.
Slide 3 of 31: But it's not all about urban life, especially when you consider its setting amid the impressive scenery of the Blue Ridge Mountains. With over 800,000 acres of wilderness, mountain ecosystems and waterfalls, escaping for an outdoor adventure is almost compulsory here. As well as opportunities for hiking and mountain biking, there are lots of hair-raising adventure activities too, such as white-water rafting. Most outdoor attractions have opened with some limitations while tours and experiences are running at some capacity – check directly with the operator.
Slide 4 of 31: Second only to Washington DC in its number of monuments, Indianapolis is a city known for its memorials. Be sure to visit the Soldiers and Sailors Monument on Monument Circle, the epicenter of Indy, and climb its 330 stairs for a 360-degree view of the city. Another highlight is the three-block pedestrian promenade called Georgia Street that would typically be alive with various events, from Food Truck Fridays to Workout Wednesdays. Check up-to-date travel information here.

Slide 5 of 31: Less than 10 minutes outside the city's core, you’ll find a picturesque setting with trails, lakes and creeks. Indianapolis is home to the enormous Eagle Creek, which boasts 3,900 acres of land and 1,400 acres of water. It’s a paradise for hikers, birdwatchers, fishermen and those wanting to try everything from kayaking to zip lining. There’s also an abundance of other parks and trails, and the eight-mile (12.8km) Cultural Trail, great for exploring the city by bicycle.
Slide 6 of 31: As the capital of Ohio, Columbus is certainly an exciting city. It offers a wide range of cuisines, a thriving art scene with three arts districts, several art hotels and galleries and plenty of musical activities, including opera, ballet and an indie music scene too. Foodies will love the 144-year-old North Market, where there's fresh, local produce. You'll find information on the latest health and safety measures here.
Slide 7 of 31: The city also offers a stunning natural landscape for visitors to escape to. A recent restoration program on the riverfront has resulted in 145 acres of new parkland, a network of paths and easy access to the river for kayaks and paddle boarders. Just outside the bustling city is the delightfully wild Hocking Hills State Park, with 10,000 acres of unbroken forest, craggy caves, vertiginous cliffs, picturesque waterfalls and woodland trails.
Slide 8 of 31: The presence of the University of Montana means the city of Missoula, with nearly 70,000 inhabitants, has plenty to offer tourists on a city break. Several breweries, numerous farmers’ markets and a variety of restaurants, cafés and bars, mean there’s plenty for those into food and drink, while shopaholics will enjoy getting lost in three different shopping areas. It’s also home to a number of prominent galleries, including Montana Museum of Art and Culture and Missoula Art Museum. Check the latest travel advice and updates here.
Slide 9 of 31: The city also has easy access to a range of gorgeous landscapes. Activities in the area include fly-fishing, floating and paddle boarding on the Clark Fork, Bitterroot and Blackfoot rivers, while the Montana Snowbowl ski resort is minutes from downtown. Missoula is also located halfway between Glacier (pictured) and Yellowstone National Parks, which can both be easily reached by car. Some areas within the parks remain closed, so check National Park Service websites for updates.

Slide 10 of 31: The entertainment capital of the world, Las Vegas never sleeps. With its bright lights, 24-hour casinos, flashy concerts and themed hotels, the resort city is one of the world’s most visited tourist destinations. However, Sin City isn’t all about casinos, shows and hotels: there are museums, too, such as Neon Museum, Las Vegas History Museum and Downtown Arts District that’s home to numerous galleries and cultural events. Here's everything you need to know about visiting when it's safe to travel again.
Slide 11 of 31: It might not seem like the most natural landscape to explore, but once you’ve had your fill of everything Las Vegas has to offer, it's conveniently located close to Utah’s Zion National Park. Just a couple of hours away, the drive is beautifully scenic, and once you get there, you’ll be free from flashing lights to appreciate desert waterfalls, dramatic canyons and breathtaking colors. For a shorter drive, there's Las Vegas' imposing Red Rock Canyon (pictured).
Slide 12 of 31: As the capital of Colorado, Denver offers all the perks of a thriving city with the added bonus of incredible natural surroundings nearby. With a prominent food and beer scene, plenty of family-friendly amusement parks and fascinating museums, it’s a great place to spend some time. But once you drag yourself away from the urban landscape, the city's natural surroundings will make just as much of an impact. Check up-to-date travel information here.
Slide 13 of 31: Just 90 minutes from Denver, Rocky Mountain National Park is perfect for those who love the outdoors. With more than 350 miles (563km) of trails, including flat hikes around a picturesque lake and harder climbs that take a few days, there’s something for everyone, whether it’s your first national park jaunt or you’re a seasoned adventurer. Scenery-wise, the park is hard to out-do, with roaming wildlife, glistening lakes and undulating mountains. Currently, reservations are required to enter the park.
Slide 14 of 31: The foggy, hilly city is home to several world-famous attractions, from the distinctive Golden Gate Bridge to the former prison of Alcatraz (the island has reopened, but interiors remain closed). Visitors (and locals too) love taking a photograph of the row of houses known as the Painted Ladies on Steiner Street (pictured). Fisherman’s Wharf, a cable car ride away, is home to sea lions and offers fresh seafood from stalls. Here's everything you need to know about visiting San Francisco safely.

Slide 15 of 31: Only a short distance from the Californian city is the spectacular Yosemite National Park. With its enormous, ancient trees, thundering waterfalls and towering, vertiginous cliffs, it’s a visual spectacle. Activities here include skiing, swimming, hiking, horse riding, biking and fishing. Currently, reservations are required to visit the park.
Slide 16 of 31: If you want to twin a city break with wild adventures, Salt Lake City is certainly a wise choice. With a growing craft cocktails scene and plenty of farm-to-table restaurants, it’s a foodie hot spot, but there’s also history to discover around Temple Square, the imposing, 10-acre headquarters of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. There’s also the family-friendly Thanksgiving Point, stuffed with entertainment options, from a museum complex to a golf course. Check up-to-date travel information here.
Slide 17 of 31: Salt Lake City is also perfectly located for nature-based exploits. It’s within an hour of 11 top ski resorts including Park City and Snowbird, that are both open throughout summer too. The Cottonwood Canyons (pictured) are just 20 minutes away and great for hiking, biking and climbing. There's also Homestead Crater. The geothermal spring hidden within a 55-foot (16.7m) tall, beehive-shaped limestone rock is the only warm scuba diving destination in the continental US.
Slide 18 of 31: A favorite with surfers and sun-seekers, Santa Cruz is a tropical paradise. As well as gorgeous beaches and a hundred-year-old seaside amusement park, there’s also a huge range of dining options, cultural and artistic sites, quaint stores and entertainment opportunities in Downtown Santa Cruz and Pacific Avenue. It's the perfect combination of beaches, city life and nature. Find information on the latest health and safety measures here.
Slide 19 of 31: Beyond the coastal city is even more natural beauty. Santa Cruz County is home to the largest number of state parks and beaches in California, with 14 in total. One of the most striking is the Natural Bridges State Park. A wild landscape with one last sandstone arch rising from the sea, the 65-acre park is also a hot spot for monarch butterfly migrations, hosting up to 150,000 butterflies between October and early February.
Slide 20 of 31: The lakefront city of Cleveland is an often overlooked destination and wrongly so. With a creative culinary scene, a range of new hotels and a walkable downtown area, it’s easy to drop your bags and begin exploring instantly. Highlights include the world’s only Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, free Cleveland Museum of Art, with a collection of 45,000 pieces, and the newly redeveloped entertainment and dining hub of Flats East Bank. Check the latest travel advice and updates here.
Slide 21 of 31: The city also has easy access to the great outdoors. The Emerald Necklace that is the picturesque Cleveland Metroparks system encircles the city with nearly 23,000 acres of greenspace. In the city’s very own backyard, Cuyahoga Valley National Park (pictured) is just a short jaunt from downtown but feels worlds away, with over 140 miles (225km) of hiking, bicycling, and horse riding trails on offer. There’s also kayaking, paddle boarding and boating on Lake Erie.
Slide 22 of 31: New England’s largest city, Boston is so popular for many reasons, namely its history and heritage, luxury hotels and great food and drink culture. When you visit, be sure to walk the famous two-and-a-half-mile (4km) long Freedom Trail, which takes you on a historic visit through Boston’s neighborhoods and tells the story of the American Revolution. It’s also home to plenty of child-friendly attractions, including New England Aquarium and Boston Children’s Museum. Here's everything you need to know about visiting during COVID-19.
Slide 23 of 31: Once you’ve had your fill of city life and want to immerse yourself in natural surroundings, there are lots of options. Whale-watching trips from Boston Harbor are popular, as is the photogenic Mohawk Trail, while Cape Cod (pictured) is only around an hour away for quaint villages, colorful lighthouses, seafood shacks and gorgeous sandy bay and ocean beaches. Take a look at more of America's most charming and historic towns and cities.
Slide 24 of 31: The capital of South Carolina, Columbia isn't just a busy city but is also home to the University of South Carolina. The most popular stop is definitely Riverbanks Zoo & Garden, where more than 2,000 animals reside along with beautiful botanical gardens. SC State Museum, featuring four floors of permanent and changing exhibits, a digital dome and planetarium are also worth checking out when it's possible. Check up-to-date travel information here.
Slide 25 of 31: One of the best things about Columbia is that it never takes long to get from the middle of town to the middle of nowhere. The free-to-enter, 24-hour Congaree National Park is just 30 minutes from downtown Columbia. It encompasses nearly 27,000 acres, offering 25 miles (40km) of hiking trails and plenty of opportunities for birdwatching, picnicking, canoeing and kayaking. Nearby Lake Murray has scenic landscapes and gorgeous sunsets too.
Slide 26 of 31: The capital of New Mexico, the mountain town of Santa Fe may look different to a skyscraper-heavy city with its Pueblo-style architecture and winding streets, but it certainly has a lot going on. Culturally, there are 14 museums and over 250 galleries, as well as 10 different art markets and festivals. It’s also got a distinct regional cuisine, descending from years of Indigenous American, Spanish and Anglo influences, that's manifested in more than 400 restaurants. Check out the latest travel advice here.
Slide 27 of 31: Outdoor enthusiasts won’t fail to be impressed by Santa Fe either. Sitting at an elevation of 7,200 feet (2,195m) in the southernmost Rocky Mountains, the city boasts mountain vistas and is surrounded by a million-and-a-half acres of unspoiled National Forest filled with juniper, pine and aspen. With over 300 days of sunshine in a year, it’s the perfect place to get active, with hiking, biking, fishing, golf and horse riding all popular activities. Discover America's most charming historic downtowns.
Slide 28 of 31: The capital of Georgia, Atlanta has everything from top-notch historic attractions to exceptional food and family-friendly attractions to offer. An important location in both the Civil War and the 1960s Civil Rights Movement, the city's history is best chronicled at the Atlanta History Center. Kids will love Georgia Aquarium and Zoo Atlanta (both Association of Zoos and Aquariums accredited), while foodies will appreciate the city's plentiful offering of everything from exceptional comfort food to fantastic fine dining. Get the latest travel information here.
Slide 29 of 31: When the city streets get too busy, Atlanta has some fantastic nature escapes up her sleeve. East you'll find the Oconee National Forest, drive west across the Alabama border to the Talladega National Forest or go north to the Chattahoochee National Forest – all within an hour's drive. Drive another two hours north and you'll find yourself in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park (pictured). Covered in thick green forests, the towering peaks of the mountains are best seen from the highest point – Clingmans Dome.
Slide 30 of 31: In Seattle you’ll already feel like you’re in nature, even in the midst of skyscrapers. But despite the natural surroundings, including forests, water and mountains, there’s still a distinctly urban feel to the city with its innovative tech scene, a walkable waterfront full of shops and restaurants, and plenty of attractions. One highlight is the Seattle Center, where you’ll find the distinctive Space Needle and Museum of Pop Culture (expected to reopen soon). You can check the latest travel information here.
Slide 31 of 31: Just a short drive from the city, Mount Rainier National Park offers over 14,000-square-feet (1,300sqm) of adventure. Powerful waterfalls and gorgeous wildflower meadows make for a picture-perfect landscape, and with over 130 trails to choose from there's plenty of exploring to be done. Depending on the time of year you're here, you can do everything from skiing and snowmobiling to mountain biking and fishing. Some facilities remain closed, so check before visiting. Now take a look at America's most stunning natural wonders

Get the best of both worlds

The USA is home to some of the most exciting cities in the world, but when the bright lights, bustling crowds and blaring traffic get a bit too much, we long to escape to nature. Luckily, we’ve found 15 American cities where you can enjoy the best of both worlds. These places combine urban excitement and natural landscapes, but if you’re planning a trip, make sure to check opening times and additional safety measures if you’re crossing state lines.

Asheville, North Carolina

The North Carolina city of Asheville is great for a city break: there’s a lively arts scene filled with galleries, studios and museums, significant architecture such as the Basilica of Saint Lawrence, and a thriving culinary and craft beer offering. Plus, historic Biltmore Estate is just a short drive away. You can check the latest travel information here.

Asheville, North Carolina

But it’s not all about urban life, especially when you consider its setting amid the impressive scenery of the Blue Ridge Mountains. With over 800,000 acres of wilderness, mountain ecosystems and waterfalls, escaping for an outdoor adventure is almost compulsory here. As well as opportunities for hiking and mountain biking, there are lots of hair-raising adventure activities too, such as white-water rafting. Most outdoor attractions have opened with some limitations while tours and experiences are running at some capacity – check directly with the operator.

Indianapolis, Indiana

Second only to Washington DC in its number of monuments, Indianapolis is a city known for its memorials. Be sure to visit the Soldiers and Sailors Monument on Monument Circle, the epicenter of Indy, and climb its 330 stairs for a 360-degree view of the city. Another highlight is the three-block pedestrian promenade called Georgia Street that would typically be alive with various events, from Food Truck Fridays to Workout Wednesdays. Check up-to-date travel information here.

Indianapolis, Indiana

Less than 10 minutes outside the city’s core, you’ll find a picturesque setting with trails, lakes and creeks. Indianapolis is home to the enormous Eagle Creek, which boasts 3,900 acres of land and 1,400 acres of water. It’s a paradise for hikers, birdwatchers, fishermen and those wanting to try everything from kayaking to zip lining. There’s also an abundance of other parks and trails, and the eight-mile (12.8km) Cultural Trail, great for exploring the city by bicycle.

Columbus, Ohio

As the capital of Ohio, Columbus is certainly an exciting city. It offers a wide range of cuisines, a thriving art scene with three arts districts, several art hotels and galleries and plenty of musical activities, including opera, ballet and an indie music scene too. Foodies will love the 144-year-old North Market, where there’s fresh, local produce. You’ll find information on the latest health and safety measures here.

Columbus, Ohio

The city also offers a stunning natural landscape for visitors to escape to. A recent restoration program on the riverfront has resulted in 145 acres of new parkland, a network of paths and easy access to the river for kayaks and paddle boarders. Just outside the bustling city is the delightfully wild Hocking Hills State Park, with 10,000 acres of unbroken forest, craggy caves, vertiginous cliffs, picturesque waterfalls and woodland trails.

Missoula, Montana

The presence of the University of Montana means the city of Missoula, with nearly 70,000 inhabitants, has plenty to offer tourists on a city break. Several breweries, numerous farmers’ markets and a variety of restaurants, cafés and bars, mean there’s plenty for those into food and drink, while shopaholics will enjoy getting lost in three different shopping areas. It’s also home to a number of prominent galleries, including Montana Museum of Art and Culture and Missoula Art Museum. Check the latest travel advice and updates here.

Missoula, Montana

The city also has easy access to a range of gorgeous landscapes. Activities in the area include fly-fishing, floating and paddle boarding on the Clark Fork, Bitterroot and Blackfoot rivers, while the Montana Snowbowl ski resort is minutes from downtown. Missoula is also located halfway between Glacier (pictured) and Yellowstone National Parks, which can both be easily reached by car. Some areas within the parks remain closed, so check National Park Service websites for updates.

Las Vegas, Nevada

The entertainment capital of the world, Las Vegas never sleeps. With its bright lights, 24-hour casinos, flashy concerts and themed hotels, the resort city is one of the world’s most visited tourist destinations. However, Sin City isn’t all about casinos, shows and hotels: there are museums, too, such as Neon Museum, Las Vegas History Museum and Downtown Arts District that’s home to numerous galleries and cultural events. Here’s everything you need to know about visiting when it’s safe to travel again.

Las Vegas, Nevada

It might not seem like the most natural landscape to explore, but once you’ve had your fill of everything Las Vegas has to offer, it’s conveniently located close to Utah’s Zion National Park. Just a couple of hours away, the drive is beautifully scenic, and once you get there, you’ll be free from flashing lights to appreciate desert waterfalls, dramatic canyons and breathtaking colors. For a shorter drive, there’s Las Vegas’ imposing Red Rock Canyon (pictured).

Denver, Colorado

As the capital of Colorado, Denver offers all the perks of a thriving city with the added bonus of incredible natural surroundings nearby. With a prominent food and beer scene, plenty of family-friendly amusement parks and fascinating museums, it’s a great place to spend some time. But once you drag yourself away from the urban landscape, the city’s natural surroundings will make just as much of an impact. Check up-to-date travel information here.

Denver, Colorado

Just 90 minutes from Denver, Rocky Mountain National Park is perfect for those who love the outdoors. With more than 350 miles (563km) of trails, including flat hikes around a picturesque lake and harder climbs that take a few days, there’s something for everyone, whether it’s your first national park jaunt or you’re a seasoned adventurer. Scenery-wise, the park is hard to out-do, with roaming wildlife, glistening lakes and undulating mountains. Currently, reservations are required to enter the park.

San Francisco, California

The foggy, hilly city is home to several world-famous attractions, from the distinctive Golden Gate Bridge to the former prison of Alcatraz (the island has reopened, but interiors remain closed). Visitors (and locals too) love taking a photograph of the row of houses known as the Painted Ladies on Steiner Street (pictured). Fisherman’s Wharf, a cable car ride away, is home to sea lions and offers fresh seafood from stalls. Here’s everything you need to know about visiting San Francisco safely.

San Francisco, California

Only a short distance from the Californian city is the spectacular Yosemite National Park. With its enormous, ancient trees, thundering waterfalls and towering, vertiginous cliffs, it’s a visual spectacle. Activities here include skiing, swimming, hiking, horse riding, biking and fishing. Currently, reservations are required to visit the park.

Salt Lake City, Utah

If you want to twin a city break with wild adventures, Salt Lake City is certainly a wise choice. With a growing craft cocktails scene and plenty of farm-to-table restaurants, it’s a foodie hot spot, but there’s also history to discover around Temple Square, the imposing, 10-acre headquarters of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. There’s also the family-friendly Thanksgiving Point, stuffed with entertainment options, from a museum complex to a golf course. Check up-to-date travel information here.

Salt Lake City, Utah

Salt Lake City is also perfectly located for nature-based exploits. It’s within an hour of 11 top ski resorts including Park City and Snowbird, that are both open throughout summer too. The Cottonwood Canyons (pictured) are just 20 minutes away and great for hiking, biking and climbing. There’s also Homestead Crater. The geothermal spring hidden within a 55-foot (16.7m) tall, beehive-shaped limestone rock is the only warm scuba diving destination in the continental US.

Santa Cruz, California

A favorite with surfers and sun-seekers, Santa Cruz is a tropical paradise. As well as gorgeous beaches and a hundred-year-old seaside amusement park, there’s also a huge range of dining options, cultural and artistic sites, quaint stores and entertainment opportunities in Downtown Santa Cruz and Pacific Avenue. It’s the perfect combination of beaches, city life and nature. Find information on the latest health and safety measures here.

Santa Cruz, California

Beyond the coastal city is even more natural beauty. Santa Cruz County is home to the largest number of state parks and beaches in California, with 14 in total. One of the most striking is the Natural Bridges State Park. A wild landscape with one last sandstone arch rising from the sea, the 65-acre park is also a hot spot for monarch butterfly migrations, hosting up to 150,000 butterflies between October and early February.

Cleveland, Ohio

The lakefront city of Cleveland is an often overlooked destination and wrongly so. With a creative culinary scene, a range of new hotels and a walkable downtown area, it’s easy to drop your bags and begin exploring instantly. Highlights include the world’s only Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, free Cleveland Museum of Art, with a collection of 45,000 pieces, and the newly redeveloped entertainment and dining hub of Flats East Bank. Check the latest travel advice and updates here.

Cleveland, Ohio

The city also has easy access to the great outdoors. The Emerald Necklace that is the picturesque Cleveland Metroparks system encircles the city with nearly 23,000 acres of greenspace. In the city’s very own backyard, Cuyahoga Valley National Park (pictured) is just a short jaunt from downtown but feels worlds away, with over 140 miles (225km) of hiking, bicycling, and horse riding trails on offer. There’s also kayaking, paddle boarding and boating on Lake Erie.

Boston, Massachusetts

New England’s largest city, Boston is so popular for many reasons, namely its history and heritage, luxury hotels and great food and drink culture. When you visit, be sure to walk the famous two-and-a-half-mile (4km) long Freedom Trail, which takes you on a historic visit through Boston’s neighborhoods and tells the story of the American Revolution. It’s also home to plenty of child-friendly attractions, including New England Aquarium and Boston Children’s Museum. Here’s everything you need to know about visiting during COVID-19.

Boston, Massachusetts

Once you’ve had your fill of city life and want to immerse yourself in natural surroundings, there are lots of options. Whale-watching trips from Boston Harbor are popular, as is the photogenic Mohawk Trail, while Cape Cod (pictured) is only around an hour away for quaint villages, colorful lighthouses, seafood shacks and gorgeous sandy bay and ocean beaches. Take a look at more of America’s most charming and historic towns and cities.

Columbia, South Carolina

The capital of South Carolina, Columbia isn’t just a busy city but is also home to the University of South Carolina. The most popular stop is definitely Riverbanks Zoo & Garden, where more than 2,000 animals reside along with beautiful botanical gardens. SC State Museum, featuring four floors of permanent and changing exhibits, a digital dome and planetarium are also worth checking out when it’s possible. Check up-to-date travel information here.

Columbia, South Carolina

One of the best things about Columbia is that it never takes long to get from the middle of town to the middle of nowhere. The free-to-enter, 24-hour Congaree National Park is just 30 minutes from downtown Columbia. It encompasses nearly 27,000 acres, offering 25 miles (40km) of hiking trails and plenty of opportunities for birdwatching, picnicking, canoeing and kayaking. Nearby Lake Murray has scenic landscapes and gorgeous sunsets too.

Santa Fe, New Mexico

The capital of New Mexico, the mountain town of Santa Fe may look different to a skyscraper-heavy city with its Pueblo-style architecture and winding streets, but it certainly has a lot going on. Culturally, there are 14 museums and over 250 galleries, as well as 10 different art markets and festivals. It’s also got a distinct regional cuisine, descending from years of Indigenous American, Spanish and Anglo influences, that’s manifested in more than 400 restaurants. Check out the latest travel advice here.

Santa Fe, New Mexico

Outdoor enthusiasts won’t fail to be impressed by Santa Fe either. Sitting at an elevation of 7,200 feet (2,195m) in the southernmost Rocky Mountains, the city boasts mountain vistas and is surrounded by a million-and-a-half acres of unspoiled National Forest filled with juniper, pine and aspen. With over 300 days of sunshine in a year, it’s the perfect place to get active, with hiking, biking, fishing, golf and horse riding all popular activities. Discover America’s most charming historic downtowns.

Atlanta, Georgia

The capital of Georgia, Atlanta has everything from top-notch historic attractions to exceptional food and family-friendly attractions to offer. An important location in both the Civil War and the 1960s Civil Rights Movement, the city’s history is best chronicled at the Atlanta History Center. Kids will love Georgia Aquarium and Zoo Atlanta (both Association of Zoos and Aquariums accredited), while foodies will appreciate the city’s plentiful offering of everything from exceptional comfort food to fantastic fine dining. Get the latest travel information here.

Atlanta, Georgia

When the city streets get too busy, Atlanta has some fantastic nature escapes up her sleeve. East you’ll find the Oconee National Forest, drive west across the Alabama border to the Talladega National Forest or go north to the Chattahoochee National Forest – all within an hour’s drive. Drive another two hours north and you’ll find yourself in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park (pictured). Covered in thick green forests, the towering peaks of the mountains are best seen from the highest point – Clingmans Dome.

Seattle, Washington

In Seattle you’ll already feel like you’re in nature, even in the midst of skyscrapers. But despite the natural surroundings, including forests, water and mountains, there’s still a distinctly urban feel to the city with its innovative tech scene, a walkable waterfront full of shops and restaurants, and plenty of attractions. One highlight is the Seattle Center, where you’ll find the distinctive Space Needle and Museum of Pop Culture (expected to reopen soon). You can check the latest travel information here.

Seattle, Washington

Just a short drive from the city, Mount Rainier National Park offers over 14,000-square-feet (1,300sqm) of adventure. Powerful waterfalls and gorgeous wildflower meadows make for a picture-perfect landscape, and with over 130 trails to choose from there’s plenty of exploring to be done. Depending on the time of year you’re here, you can do everything from skiing and snowmobiling to mountain biking and fishing. Some facilities remain closed, so check before visiting.

Now take a look at America’s most stunning natural wonders

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