In The Field Photography Blogs: Five Places To Take Pictures In All 50 U.S. States

October 2, 2010

The “Great American Road Trip” is a dream shared by many, myself included. So I got to thinking about what I would like to do if I were to visit every state in the U.S. There are obviously too many great things in this country for one person to photograph everything in-depth during one lifetime so I came up with the idea for this blog post – Five Places to Take Pictures in All 50 U.S. States. This would still be quite an undertaking but probably attainable for most people with careful planning and resources.

Coming up with five places to photograph in every state was not as easy as I had initially thought so in addition to personal experience it required me to do some research on state tourism websites, Trip Advisor, stock photography websites, Google Images, Smithsonian guide books and soliciting feedback from other photographers both on this blog and on a popular nature photography forum. In California for instance, you pick five places but then there are another ten places that it pains you to leave out, not to mention that none of the 21 California Missions would have even made my top ten. Then when I got to the North Dakota section I was left grasping for straws. Not to pick on North Dakota as I’m sure a good photographer can find interesting subject matter there but that requires a bit more research and creativity than postcard-friendly states like Arizona.

This list is based on my interests which includes nature photography, history and American culture. With that in mind, hopefully you can get a few ideas from this post and maybe you have some ideas that I had overlooked or completely missed the mark on. Here we go:


  1. U.S. Space & Rocket Center, Huntsville
  2. Cheaha Mountain, Talladega Scenic Drive
  3. Gulf Shores
  4. USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park, Mobile
  5. Old Alabama Town, Montgomery


  1. Denali National Park
  2. Aialik Glacier, Kenai Fjords National Park
  3. Silver Salmon Creek, Lake Clark National Park
  4. McNeil River State Game Sanctuary
  5. Caribou migration, Arctic National Wildlife Refuge


  1. Grand Canyon National Park
  2. Monument Valley, Navajo Nation
  3. Cathedral Rock, Sedona
  4. The Wave, Paria Canyon-Vermillion Cliffs Wilderness
  5. Antelope Canyon, Navajo Nation – Suggested by Shivakumar Shankar


  1. Hot Springs National Park
  2. Buffalo National River
  3. Ozark Folk Center State Park
  4. William J. Clinton Presidential Library, Little Rock
  5. Old Washington State Historic Park


  1. Yosemite Valley except during summer
  2. Big Sur, Pacific Coast Highway from San Luis Obispo to Monterey
  3. Golden Gate Bridge scenic view from Marin Headlands
  4. Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve during spring bloom
  5. Eastern Sierra during fall season


  1. Maroon Bells from Maroon Lake
  2. Rocky Mountain National Park
  3. Great Sand Dunes National Park – Suggested by Stan Rose
  4. Mesa Verde National Park cliff dwellings
  5. Dinosaur National Monument


  1. Yale University, New Haven
  2. Stonington Borough
  3. Mashantucket Pequot Museum & Research Center
  4. Wadsworth Falls State Park
  5. Mystic Seaport – Suggested by David Leland Hyde


  1. Cape Henlopen State Park
  2. Delaware State Capitol, Dover
  3. Delaware Breakwater End End Lighthouse
  4. Hagley Museum and Library, Wilmington
  5. Fort Delaware State Park


  1. Everglades National Park
  2. South Beach, Miami
  3. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge, Sanibel Island
  4. Key West – Suggested by David Leland Hyde
  5. Kennedy Space Center


  1. Stone Mountain
  2. Amicalola Falls State Park – Suggested by Marcus Taylor
  3. Savannah
  4. Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site, Atlanta
  5. Georgia Aquarium, Atlanta


  1. Lava flows at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
  2. USS Arizona Memorial, Pearl Harbor
  3. Waimea Canyon, Kauai Island
  4. Na Pali Coast State Park, Kauai Island
  5. The Road To Hana, Maui


  1. East Fork Owyhee River
  2. Sawtooth National Recreation Area
  3. Hells Canyon National Recreation Area
  4. Craters of the Moon National Monument
  5. Shoshone Falls, Twin Falls


  1. Cloud Gate at Millenium Park, Chicago
  2. Willis Tower, Chicago
  3. Scenic views from John Hancock Observatory, Chicago
  4. Shawnee National Forest – Suggested by Beth Summer and Bruce Palla
  5. Mississippi Palisades State Park


  1. Clifty Falls State Park
  2. Falls of the Ohio State Park (incl. Louisville skyline)
  3. Indiana Dunes National Park
  4. Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial
  5. Downtown Madison


  1. Roseman Bridge, Madison County
  2. Pella Historical Village during Tulip Time in May
  3. Seed Savers Heritage Farm, Decorah
  4. Pikes Peak State Park
  5. Effigy Mounds National Monument


  1. Monument Rocks
  2. Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library & Museum, Abilene
  3. Storm Chasing
  4. Botanica, Wichita
  5. Old Cowtown Museum, Wichita


  1. Red River Gorge Geological Area
  2. Cumberland Falls State Park
  3. Mammoth Cave National Park
  4. Bernheim Arboretum and Forest during fall season
  5. Natural Bridge State Resort Park


  1. Jackson Square, New Orleans
  2. Natchitoches
  3. Preservation Hall, New Orleans
  4. Lake Martin cypress swamps
  5. The Atchafalaya Experience Swamp Tour, LaFayette


  1. Bar Harbor
  2. Portland Head Lighthouse, Cape Elizabeth
  3. Baxter State Park during fall season
  4. Cadillac Mountain, Acadia National Park, during fall season
  5. Otter Cliff, Acadia National Park


  1. Great Falls, Potomac River
  2. Antietam National Battlefield
  3. Ocean City Beach
  4. Fort McHenry National Monument
  5. National Aquarium, Baltimore


  1. Motif Number 1, Rockport
  2. Cape Cod National Seashore
  3. Old North Bridge, Minute Man National Historic Park
  4. Harvard University, Cambridge
  5. Gay Head Cliffs, Martha’s Vineyard


  1. Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, Lake Superior
  2. Tahquamenon Falls State Park, Upper Peninsula
  3. Isle Royale National Park
  4. Mackinac Island
  5. Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore – Suggested by Mark Graf


  1. Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness – Suggested by Dave Taylor
  2. Minnesota State Capitol, St. Paul
  3. Gooseberry Falls State Park – Suggested by Beth Wold
  4. Voyageurs National Park
  5. Lake Itasca (Beginning of the Mississippi River)


  1. Antebellum mansions, Natchez
  2. Vicksburg National Military Park
  3. Mississippi State Capitol, Jackson
  4. Natchez Trace Parkway
  5. Davis Bayou, Gulf Islands National Seashore


  1. The Gateway Arch, Saint Louis
  2. Mark Twain Cave, Hannibal
  3. Mark Twain Boyhood Home, Hannibal
  4. Onondaga Cave State Park
  5. Ha Ha Tonka State Park, Lake of the Ozarks


  1. St. Mary Lake, Glacier National Park
  2. Lewis and Clark Caverns State Park – Suggested by Gerry Menezes
  3. Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument
  4. Lewis and Clark Trail
  5. Grinnell Glacier, Glacier National Park


  1. Platte River Valley sandhill crane migration
  2. Nebraska State Capitol, Lincoln
  3. Scotts Bluff National Monument
  4. Toadstool Geologic Park, Oglala National Grassland
  5. Cornhusker Stadium, Lincoln, on Saturdays during fall season


  1. Red Rock Canyon
  2. Bellagio water fountains, Las Vegas
  3. Valley of Fire State Park
  4. Reno Arch / “The Biggest Little City in the World” sign
  5. Black Rock Desert

New Hampshire

  1. Old Man of the Mountain, White Mountain, (profile collapsed in 2003)
  2. Mount Washington (the windiest place in the U.S.)
  3. Hanover (Home of Dartmouth University and named second best place to live in America)
  4. Flume Gorge
  5. Canterbury Shaker Village

New Jersey

  1. New York City skyline view from Weehawken Bluffs – Suggested by Peter Bennett
  2. Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area
  3. Barnegat Lighthouse, Long Beach Island – Suggested by “Scott”
  4. Princeton University
  5. Sandy Hook

New Mexico

  1. Taos Pueblo
  2. White Sands National Monument
  3. Carlsbad Caverns National Park – Suggested by Gerry Menezes
  4. Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge during winter sandhill crane migration
  5. Santa Fe Plaza

New York

  1. The Statue of Liberty
  2. Central Park, Manhattan – Suggested by Luke Ormand
  3. National Baseball Hall of Fame, Cooperstown
  4. Niagara Falls – Suggested by “Scott”
  5. High Peaks Region, Adirondack Mountains – Suggested by Robert Rodriguez Jr.

North Carolina

  1. Grandfather Mountain
  2. Linville Gorge
  3. Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, Outer Banks
  4. Whitewater Falls, Jocassee Gorge
  5. The Elizabethan Gardens, Roanoke Island

North Dakota

  1. Theodore Roosevelt National Park
  2. North Dakota State Fair, Minot
  3. North Dakota State Capitol – “The Skyscraper on the Prairie”, Bismarck
  4. KVLY-TV mast, Blanchard, 2nd tallest manmade structure in the world
  5. Cross Ranch State Park


  1. Cuyahoga Valley National Park
  2. Amish Country
  3. National Museum of the US Air Force, Dayton
  4. Columbus Zoo & Aquarium
  5. Pro Football Hall of Fame, Canton


  1. Oklahoma National Stockyards, Oklahoma City
  2. Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum
  3. National Route 66 Museum, Elk City
  4. Storm Chasing
  5. Gloss Mountain State Park


  1. Crown Point, Columbia River Gorge
  2. Multnomah Falls, Columbia River Gorge
  3. Mount Hood
  4. Crater Lake National Park
  5. Bandon Beach


  1. Gettysburg National Military Park
  2. Liberty Bell, Philadelphia
  3. Independence Hall, Philadelphia
  4. Longwood Gardens, Kennett Square
  5. Lancaster County / “Pennsylvania Dutch Country”

Rhode Island

  1. Rhode Island State Capitol, Providence
  2. The Breakers Mansion, Newport, also include the Cliff Walk
  3. Mohegan Bluffs, Block Island
  4. WaterFire, Providence
  5. Rose Island Lighthouse, Newport – Suggested by Hali Sowle

South Carolina

  1. Magnolia Plantation and Gardens, Charleston
  2. Congaree National Park
  3. Middleton Place, Charleston
  4. Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum, Mount Pleasant
  5. Fort Sumter National Monument

South Dakota

  1. Mount Rushmore National Monument
  2. Crazy Horse Monument
  3. Wall Drug
  4. Corn Palace, Mitchell
  5. Badlands National Park


  1. Graceland, Memphis
  2. Cades Cove, Great Smoky Mountains National Park
  3. Live music at Beale Street, Memphis
  4. Roan Mountain rhododendron blooms
  5. Big South Fork of the Cumberland River


  1. Texas Hill Country wildflowers
  2. Palo Duro Canyon State Park – Suggested by Derrick Birdsall
  3. The Alamo, San Antonio
  4. Big Bend National Park
  5. Bats Under Congress Avenue Bridge, Austin (summer evenings)


  1. Arches National Park
  2. The Narrows, Zion National Park
  3. The Subway, Zion National Park
  4. Thor’s Hammer, Bryce Canyon National Park
  5. Island in the Sky, Canyonlands National Park


  1. During fall season
  2. Appalachian Trail
  3. Green Mountains – Suggested by David Leland Hyde
  4. Hildene – The Lincoln Family Home, Manchester
  5. Vermont State House, Montpelier


  1. Arlington National Cemetery
  2. Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello, Charlottesville
  3. Shenandoah National Park fall colors
  4. Great Falls
  5. Manassas National Battlefield Park


  1. Olympic National Park
  2. Mount Rainier
  3. Pike Place Market, Seattle
  4. Mount St. Helens
  5. Second Beach, Olympic National Park

West Virginia

  1. New River Gorge
  2. Glade Creek Grist Mill, Babcock State Park, during fall season
  3. Harpers Ferry National Historic Park
  4. Sandstone Falls
  5. Dolly Sods Wilderness during fall season


  1. Apostle Islands National Lakeshore
  2. Harley Davidson Museum, Milwaukie
  3. Wisconsin State Capitol, Madison
  4. Door County, during fall season – Suggested by Greg Lato
  5. Olbrich Botanical Gardens, Madison


  1. Upper Geyser Basin (including Old Faithful Geyser), Yellowstone National Park
  2. Snake River Overlook, Grand Teton National Park
  3. Cody Nite Rodeo (June – August only)
  4. Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, Yellowstone National Park
  5. Devils Tower National Monument

Note: I haven’t been to all of these locations so I would recommend checking ahead of time to make sure you can take photos at these places. Last updated: May 31, 2024.

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required


DERRICK October 3, 2010 at 7:54 am

oooooh man have you opened up a can of worms with this one!!

I’ll have to give you some more to think about in Texas!!!!

I’d add Big Bend Ranch State Park (in many ways as gorgeous – or more so – than the National Park and much more wild, “undiscovered”, and with plenty of places that haven’t been photographed to death…. which is hard to find at the National Park.

Caprock Canyon State Park (and/or Palo Duro canyon)

ANY of the Texas Frontier Forts I’ve been blogging about lately over the Alamo. The Alamo is a wonderful landmark that sits squarely in downtown San Antonio. Gross. If you want to see the Alamo in some sort of historic context, go see the reproduction at Brackettville. Prettiest Texas fort is most likely McKavett.


Caddo Lake

Anywhere along the Texas Gulf Coast where the wonderful estuaries are… gorgeous stuff.

The wildflowers are spot on, but they are state wide, not confined to the Hill Country.


JULIE RORDEN October 3, 2010 at 11:51 am

Richard, I had NO idea anyone, especially a photographer, can have such self control! I’ve been to nearly half the sites you picked and agree that they are wonderful. This must have been an agonizing process for you. Off the top of my head, I can think of a hundred magnificent photo op sites right here in Utah Valley, and countless numbers more throughout the state of Utah. I REALLY look forward so reading the comments that will be posted. I hope more people, like Derrick, will add some of their favorite sites to your list. Thanks for putting this list together


PJ October 3, 2010 at 1:22 pm

Quite a project you took on there Richard. I’ll be watching the comment thread on this one. Could be interesting, to say the least.

RICHARD WONG October 3, 2010 at 2:12 pm

Thanks guys.

Derrick – those are really great suggestions and ones I’ll have to catch up on your blog. My friend lives near Dallas and said that he has seen huge patches of wildflowers next to DFW airport so those flowers can definitely be found anywhere.

Julie – Utah is definitely one of those states like California. I would also bet that many favorite locations would probably never get mentioned publicly on the internet for fear of vandalism.

LATOGA October 3, 2010 at 7:19 pm

Wow Richard, thanks for all the hard work in putting together this list! I have to be picky about one state’s venues…and not the one you probably thought at first.

For Wisconsin I would agree with all your suggestions except for Lambeau Field, especially on any given NFL Sunday. Anything beyond a point and shoot wouldn’t be allowed into a NFL game and any photos you get would have to be for “personal use” only. Though you might be able to photograph it during a public tour/off season, etc.

I would have chosen either Door County in the Fall or Mississippi river bluffs north of Onalaska, WI or the Milwaukee Museum of Art on the Lake Front in Milwaukee.

I’ll be referencing back to this list (and the additions people make in the comments) over time. Great post!

RICHARD WONG October 3, 2010 at 8:49 pm

Greg – this is great. Exactly what I was looking for. When you mentioned that, it also reminded me of the Aldo Leopold book, A Sand County Almanac, which also takes place in Wisconsin.

Mississippi River bluffs is something I would have added to the list for Missouri but I didn’t know the exact name of it other than Great River Road so I left it out. I drove that road in 2001 and it is amazing scenery.

LEANN GREENE October 3, 2010 at 9:33 pm

Cool idea-you give away my secret when I tell people that I’ve walked across the Mississippi River because of trips to Itasca State Park in MN. Also a small typo in TN-it’s Cades Cove.

DAVID TAYLOR October 3, 2010 at 10:37 pm

Richard! What an extraordinary idea. I give you credit for putting so much research into this. If I may, I’ll add a few hotspots that people should know about.

Wisconsin – Door County Peninsula, especially Cave Point and numerous vineyards. Egg Harbor and the small coastal communities are also great spots to photograph sail boats. You are very right about the Apostle Islands, I recommend taking a kayak to Sand Island and Devil’s Island especially for amazing “sea” caves. The entire South Shore of Lake Superior is great, from Minnesota to Michigan. Michigan – the Keweenaw Peninsula, Porcupine Mountains State Park, Presque Isle Falls, Lake of the Clouds, Bond Falls (all in the U.P. of Michigan)… and so many more locations in the western U.P. Minnesota – Boundary Waters Canoe Area. Eli, MN. The North Shore of Lake Superior (Hwy. 61), Split Rock Lighthouse. Grand Marais, the Gunflint Trail (a road). Alaska – Sooooo much to cover… The Denali Highway (I lead 1 week photo tour there every fall), Wrangell-St. Elias National Park (you could spend a lifetime there and see only a sliver – it’s 6 times the size of Yellowstone!), the Richardson Highway, the Glenn Highway (from Palmer to Glennallen), the Seward Highway, Katmai National Park, Prince William Sound, Southeast Alaska (the Inside Passage and all of it’s amazing communities and coastlines), Cordova (I lead an annual tour here in June – my FAVORITE spot in ALL of Alaska. That’s saying something!), Hatcher Pass (a much lesser known mountain wilderness, easily accessible, and amazing terrain and scenery), Pribilof Islands (for thousands upon thousands of birds – mostly puffins). I’m only scratching the air above the surface here… Watch my site for 3 Alaska photo tour announcements, coming soon! Great job Richard, I look forward to more comments!

RICHARD WONG October 3, 2010 at 11:13 pm

Wow. Thanks guys.

Leann – great catch on the typo. You really have walked on water. I should also point out that all of the Appalachian ideas I included were all from you.

David – that is a heck of a list you’ve got. And from places that most of us probably aren’t familiar with. Great stuff.

SHARON VAN LIEU October 4, 2010 at 7:39 am

Great list, Richard, thanks so much. I will go along with Derrick’s ideas for Texas. The best wildflowers I ever saw was around the Shiner area – I went around a curve in the road and almost wrecked the car, there were hundreds of thousands of flowers. That was many, many years ago.

I am kind of glad that Nantucket didn’t make your Massachusetts list – I like having the beaches to myself in the off-season.



SCOTT October 4, 2010 at 10:32 am

Very impressive list. Living in Miami I can add a few things to Florida–St. Augustine(oldest town in the US), Key West, Blowing Rocks Preserve in Jupiter, Blue Springs for manatees, Crystal River(also for manatees). The area around Kennedy Space Center, Merritt Island, is better for photo ops than the Space Center itself. There’s a ton of wildlife–manatees, gators, bald eagle nests, roseate spoonbills, armadillos, etc.

I’m not sure I’d have Cooperstown on the list for NY. You can walk through the entire town in 5 minutes. The Hall of Fame is a museum where everything of interest is behind glass. It’s great during HOF weekend when all the players are there and you can photograph them, but that’s just one weekend a year.

What about Niagra Falls for NY?

I’m originally from NYC and I’d have to say that you can’t just limit it to Times Square and The Statue of Liberty. It might be best to just put all of Manhattan–there’s the Empire State Building, Central Park, The Cloisters, the Village, Soho, The Brooklyn Bridge, South Street Seaport, etc.

In Pennsylvania the Pocono Mountains are very scenic.

For NJ, Hoboken is very historical. It provides great views of the NYC skyline. It’s also the birthplace of baseball and Frank Sinatra. When I lived in NJ Sandy Hook was famous as a nude beach. The whole of the NJ Shore is worth visiting–plenty of boardwalks at various locations(Seaside Heights, Ocean City, Wildwood, Atlantic City in particular). Long Beach Island is definitely worthy of a mention, particularly the famous lighthouse.

SCOTT October 4, 2010 at 10:42 am

Oh–I forgot about your mention of Asbury Park. It’s been in disrepair for quite a few years. I’ve heard they’re trying to revitalize it, but I don’t think it’s quite there yet(I think Springsteen has led many to an ill-conceived romanticism of the place).

STAN October 4, 2010 at 11:20 am

Leaving out the Great Sand Dunes from CO is unforgiveable!


RICHARD WONG October 4, 2010 at 11:51 am

Thanks guys.

Scott – I completely messed up on New York. Not sure how I missed Niagara Falls.

Thanks for clarifying about Asbury Park too because I sort of thought that might have been the case when reading about it online but wasn’t quite sure either. I’ll have to update this post in a few weeks.

PETER BENNETT October 4, 2010 at 1:25 pm

Hey Richard,

Really impressive project, I sympathize with the process you must have gone through. Hate to pile on about NYC (and New Jersey), but the two best classic skyline shots are either from the Weehawken Bluffs, you can take the ferry from around 35th street, and you see the sprawling midtown skyline. For the best downtown shot, it has to be from just north or south of the Brooklyn Bridge. In recent years they opened up the area with many parks and the access to the river banks and skyline view is great.

BETH SUMMER October 4, 2010 at 4:10 pm

Very interesting choices, Richard. Being from Illinois, I noticed that you picked all 5 places in the northern section of Illinois. Illinois is NOT just Chicago area!

You may want to check out Shawnee National Forest in southern Illinois…gorgeous and one of the most diverse areas….even has cypress swamps!!! It’s become one of my fav places in Illinois.

I look forward to seeing your pics from all these places! Thanks for sharing.

BRUCE PALLA October 4, 2010 at 4:45 pm

What a daunting task. I’ll comment and agree with Beth about Illinois. Cloud Gate, or the bean, John Hancock observatory and the Field can be shot in one day.(walking).

I would also add the Shawnee National Forest and Starved Rock State Park.

Wisconsin has great birding in the Horicon Marsh, and LaCrosse has the world’s largest six pack!

Happy travels.

RICHARD WONG October 4, 2010 at 5:51 pm

Thanks everyone.

Bruce – those Chicago spots can definitely be done in one day and on foot is recommended like you say but that would have to be one long day since the Field Museum alone is gigantic and the Hancock Tower is a bit of a walk from Millenium Park.

GERRY October 5, 2010 at 4:33 am

Great Idea. My Great American Road Trip would have a different emphasis: I would include more Geology in my list. I have been to only a few states in the West and I will only comment on those that have been visited. Arizona: Grand Canyon is a must but I suggest the North Rim which has less people. I have been to the White House ruins at Canyon de Chelly. My visit was during a full moon, or nearly so, and at about midnight. Special. California: Titus Canyon in Death Valley or to The White Mountains and see the oldest living things on the planet in the Bristlecone forest…I can’t decide. Colorado: Visit the Colorado National Monument and take the Rim Rock drive. Hawaii: You must see the lava flows from the air which I did. Spend the money on the helicopter. The next best thing would to see the lave flow into the ocean from a boat which I have not done. Looks dangerous. Idaho: Coeur d’Aene was nice (Just passed thru). Montana: Lewis and Clark Caverns State Park is Montana’s first state park. Nevada: Berlin-Ichthyosaur State Park has stunning fossils. New Mexico: Carlsbad Caverns National Park. Limestone caves are some of the best geological features. Oregon: Can’t top Crater Lake. Utah: Goblin Valley State Park is where some of “Galaxy Quest” was filmed. I did love the hike to Angel’s Landing in Zion National Park. Not for the faint of heart. Washington: Visiting Mount St. Helens is like going to church. Spiritual. Wyoming: Hidden Falls around or over Jenny Lake in Grand Teton National Park. Thanks, it was fun trudging thru these old memories. Hope it helps.

RICHARD WONG October 5, 2010 at 4:37 pm

Great ideas, Gerry. I hadn’t even heard of some of those but there is nothing on there that I wouldn’t like to see.

DAVID LELAND HYDE October 5, 2010 at 11:36 pm

Hi Richard, great idea for a post and well executed. OK, I can’t disclose my “secrets” about the Four Corners States or a few others, but I will add some good ones to your excellent lists: -Alaska: Glacier Bay, Tongass National Forest, Kodiak Island -California: Redwoods, Mojave Desert, Hwy 1 from Marin County to the Oregon Border -Colorado: Downtown Boulder -Connecticut: Mystic Sea Port, Westport -Florida: Key West -Massachusetts: Berkshire County, Nantucket -Missouri: Lake of the Ozarks, Branson -Nevada: Great Basin Nat’l Park, Snake Range -New Jersey: Rutgers University -New York: Saratoga Springs, Clifton Park, Guilderland, Glens Falls, Finger Lakes, Adirondacks, Catskills, Ithica, Downtown Albany, Long Island -North Carolina: Great Smoky Mountains, Boone, Ashville, Outer Banks -Oregon: Portland, Newport, Ashland, Oregon Cascades -Pennsylvania: State College area -Texas: Austin, Galveston -Vermont: Green Mountains, Lake Champlain -Washington: Glacier Peak Wilderness, North Cascades Nat’l Park

RICHARD WONG October 6, 2010 at 12:11 pm

That is a great list, David. The Vermont ones are of particular interest to me because I had a hard time finding out info about that state.

MARK October 7, 2010 at 10:52 am

Quite a list Richard – I can see why you remarked it would be your longest post ever.


Of course, everyone has their individual favorites, but as a native Michigander, I think you can eliminate the Lansing capital, Isle Royale (too remote for what’s there for me) and replace them with Sleeping Bear Dunes and Porcupine Mountains. Mackinac Island is a little too touristy for my tastes, but is probably one of the typical destinations in the north. Of course, your number one pick is right on the money.

RICHARD WONG October 7, 2010 at 3:24 pm

Thanks Mark. When I revise this I will definitely swap out the capitol and also take a look at your suggestions in favor of Isle Royale.

HALI SOWLE October 10, 2010 at 6:19 pm

Thank you so much for this Richard it’s a wonderful compilation and one that will be undoubtedly indispensable for me as I travel. If I might make a suggestion for little Rhode Island that would be to replace Benefit street with the Rose Island Lighthouse. The lighthouse gives you beautiful views and images of both the Bay, the Newport Bridge and Newport itself. But I’m showing my bias for nature shooting and the list for RI is pretty heavy for urban shots.

RICHARD WONG October 10, 2010 at 9:52 pm

Thanks Hali. I just looked up Rose Island Lighthouse and that is pretty! I’ll definitely swap out Benefit Street when I update this post and give you credit for that.

JUAN October 13, 2010 at 4:54 pm

This is a great list, man, thanks a lot. I would also check

RICHARD WONG October 13, 2010 at 11:45 pm

Thanks Juan. Picaspot is a great suggestion.

DON November 21, 2011 at 10:41 am

Richard, you should check off the list every place you’ve photographed at. It’d be great to see your experiences. Good work on the list!

RICHARD WONG November 22, 2011 at 1:20 am

Thanks Don. I’d do that but it would be a small percentage of this list unfortunately.

LYNNA August 19, 2012 at 12:20 pm

As a person that is in the very beginning stages of planning a trip such as this I would like to thank you for all the research and work you have done here…..I also look forward to the comments and additional ideas it is sure to spark in the minds of others.


RICHARD WONG August 20, 2012 at 1:37 am

Thanks Lynna. I would be interested in hearing about how your trip goes.

ROBERT RODRIGUEZ JR August 23, 2012 at 8:51 am

Great list – for New York, you MUST include the Adirondacks, 6 million acre park, larger than any national park by quite a bit.

great job otherwise!


RICHARD WONG August 24, 2012 at 12:15 am

Thanks Robert. I’ll have to look into the Adirondacks. Are there specific areas I should look into or just in general?

ROBERT RODRIGUEZ JR August 27, 2012 at 2:02 pm

In general it offers a wealth of photographic opportunities, but I would start in the High Peaks region just south of Lake Placid where the highest peaks in the start are located.

If you prefer lakes, marshes, and easier hiking, the Five Ponds Wilderness area will keep you busy for quite some time.

Hope that helps!

ROBERT RODRIGUEZ JR August 27, 2012 at 2:03 pm

Sorry, meant “state”…

RICHARD WONG August 27, 2012 at 3:41 pm

Thanks for the tips, Robert. I’m probably going to swap out Vanderbilt Mansion.

MARCUS TAYLOR August 28, 2012 at 12:42 pm

Amicalola Falls or Anna Ruby Falls have much more to offer than High Shoals State Park in Georgia.

RICHARD WONG August 28, 2012 at 2:06 pm

Thanks Marcus. I just swapped them out.

JASON BRANZ August 28, 2012 at 8:50 pm

I’ll second the mention of Caprock Canyons in Texas. I lived in Lubbock for a couple of years and that was a great red-rock spot. The Guadalupe Mountains were nice too but the wind was crazy. The white sand dunes on the west side of the range were really pretty.

I’ll also second the mention of storm chasing. The skies virtually boil and burst into color. Some of my best shots have come from my storm chasing trips.

In Missouri, give the Ozark Scenic Riverways a look too, namely Big Spring (incredibly blue) and Alley Mill (historic red mill near Eminence). My family did canoe trips down there when I was growing up and those spots were really beautiful. The bluffs along the Missouri River where I-70 crosses near Columbia are fantastic in the fall, and there’s a winery that overlooks them east of the bridge.

Oklahoma also has the Wichita Mountains, which had a couple of nice hikes around some small lakes that were great at sunset. The colors of the clouds out there during storm season, though, will blow you away.

RICHARD WONG August 29, 2012 at 10:59 am

Thanks Jason. I’ll look into all of those.