If you’re drawing up a bucket list, your mind may be venturing to far-flung shores. But don’t ignore what’s on your doorstep. If you’re keen to see mountains, lakes, and rolling hills, there’s no better place to be than the good old USA. Here are some of the most mindblowing destinations to add to your wishlist.

The Great Smoky Mountains

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park attracts more than ten million visitors every year, and it’s no wonder. You’ll be entranced by the misty mountain tops as soon as you set eyes on them. Fall is a perfect time to visit, as you’ll see the dense forest in all its golden glory. Watch the leaves tumble from a tranquil spot, or get your walking boots on and hike some of the 8,000 trails on offer.

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Glacier National Park        If you’re a fan of scenic drives, there’s no better road trip than the Going-to-the-Sun Road in Glacier National Park. This is the place to be if you’re keen to put your foot down on the open roads with nothing but clear skies and snow-capped peaks for company. The best way to see the park is to buy a new or used teardrop trailer and base yourself on the edge of the park. You’ll be treated to spectacular views from the comfort of your bed. Glacier boasts more than 700 miles of hiking paths, so you’ll be spoiled for choice. It’s also a great spot for experienced cyclists to test their mettle.

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Zion National Park       A jewel in Utah’s crown, Zion is a magical wonderland made from stone stacks and plunging canyons. The River Virgin meanders through the valley floor overlooked by domineering cliffs. Here, you’ll find everything from crashing waterfalls to hanging gardens. Zion is an excellent place to travel if you have children or inexperienced hikers. There are all kinds of trails and routes available for every level of fitness. You can also try canyoning, horse riding, climbing, and cycling.

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Yellowstone National Park        Perhaps the USA’s most famous national park, Yellowstone is a national treasure. The world’s first national park is home to a dazzling array of geographical features. Watch the tempestuous geysers explode or take a relaxing walk around the tranquil alpine lakes. If you’re a wildlife lover, this is the spot for you. Keep your eyes peeled for bison, wolves, moose, and bears.

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You don’t have to travel overseas to experience life-changing adventures. Sometimes, you’ll find gems much closer to home.

Written by The Urban Sophisticate

The Urban Sophisticate

Jacqueline Chambers is a Los Angeles based content creator, event planner, online marketing strategist, wardrobe stylist and founder of TGIFguide.