The school year is getting ready to begin over the United States within the next few weeks. Some places will be starting later than others. That means that this is really the last chance for summer photography trips so, you’ll want to go to some place that is within driving distance for you. Not to fret, though, regardless of where you live, there’s some place special within at least a day’s driving. We’ll go over a few of the biggest ones for you below from west to east and south to north.
1) Sequoia National Park — Located in central California, this park is home to General Sherman, the largest tree on Earth, along with many other famous redwoods. Accommodations surrounding this park are easily found and easy to get to considering that it is one of the major tourist sites in California that isn’t one of the beaches or in the larger cities.
2) Crater Lake Park — For those who are big on landscape or astrophotography, Crater Lake in Oregon is the perfect place to go to. Best suited for those who prefer the outdoors, this is a great spot to visit for hikers and campers who don’t mind roughing it if they want to see the best places the site has to offer.
3) The Grand Canyon — In western Arizona, the Grand Canyon is one of the most famous places to visit in the United States and is also one of the most photogenic. There are plenty of things to see and do when visiting the Grand Canyon and local accommodations run the gamut from college-student budgets to five-star resorts.
4) Yellowstone National Park — Everyone should visit Yellowstone eventually. Located in northwest Wyoming, this national park has plenty of natural beauty to capture and many accommodations accustomed to handling large numbers of travelers to this nature preserve. If Yellowstone isn’t your thing, though, there is always the Grand Teton Park, Devil’s Tower, Fossil Butte, or Hot Springs State Park.
5) The Alamo — One of the most famous places to visit in Texas, the Alamo is a great place to learn a little history and get some photos of the monument itself as well as the surrounding area. However, Texas is a big state and if the Alamo isn’t your cup of tea, you’re sure to enjoy the Sixth Floor Museum in Dallas, the museums in Houston, any of the Six Flags parks around the state, or the Pleasure Pier in Galveston.
6) Overland Park Arboretum and Botanical Gardens — This is an absolutely beautiful place to visit in Kansas. It’s a great way to show different flowering plants, trees, and more to children as well as a great place for some spring and late summer photography as the changing seasons have a profound impact on the plants.
7) Mount Rushmore — Located in South Dakota, Mount Rushmore is a great place to visit, learn a little American history, and get some great photos of a natural and man-made site all at the same time!
8) The Natchez Trace — A highway in Mississippi that runs alongside the historic Natchez Trace, this is a great place to see some very diverse terrain and plants and, if you’re the rugged outdoors type, walking the path of the historic trace is a great way to get back in touch with nature and with your ancestors. If that’s not who you are, though, there are plenty of historic sites and parks in both Natchez and Vicksburg along the Mississippi River, beaches down in Gulfport and Biloxi, William Faulkner’s home in Oxford, and the birthplace of Elvis Presley in Tupelo.
9) The Cumberland Gap — A beautiful stretch to see in the Appalachian Mountains, the Cumberland Gap is in Kentucky and quite easy to reach. If this isn’t your thing, though, there are other great sites in Kentucky such as the historic birthplace of Abraham Lincoln, the Mammoth Cave, the Lost River Cave, and Churchill Downs.
10) Arlington Cemetery — Located outside of Washington DC, this is a great place to visit to pay your respects to those who have gone before you in the Armed Forces. It is also located near the Pentagon, Mount Vernon, Monticello, and Washington DC if you’re up for a good road trip through historic America.
11) Atlantic City — Whether you’re there for the beaches or the gambling, Atlantic City in New Jersey has something for everyone. However, if you can’t find amusement there, Coney Island is just a few hours away which is another great place for a late summer vacation and for some photography!
What are some other places you’d add to this list if you could? Let us know in the comments below!
– da Bird