America is home to some of the best parks around and the plethora of gorgeous state parks really exemplifies that fact. Due to the sheer size of the USA, state parks vary greatly in many ways. With many people considering these gorgeous parks before booking trips to certain places, we decided it would be worthwhile to round up 5 of the most beautiful state parks.
As difficult as it is to narrow the list, we tried our best. Do you have different picks? Let us know your top choices.
1) Fall Creek Falls State Park - With a half-dozen spectacular waterfalls, 18-hole golf course, heated Olympic-size pool, tennis courts, four playgrounds, basketball and shuffleboard courts, this state park located in Tennessee is one where you could spend a lot of time in. Want to go for a dip? Don't miss its best swimming area located where Cane Creek Cascades and the Rockhouse Falls plunge into a large pool surrounded by large slabs of rock.
2) Palo Duro Canyon State Park - Palo Duro is the second largest canyon in the United States, second only to the Grand Canyon. There are accommodations, as well as campgrounds. Explore the beautiful scenery by horseback, car or on foot. If you head there in the summer, check out the park's amphitheater where Texas - a musical on the settling of the Texas Panhandle - is performed.
3) Franconia Notch State Park - Franconia Notch State Park is in New Hampshire and features an incredible two-mile hike on the Flume Gorge loop that goes through the narrow granite gorge. Don't forget to take the Cannon Mountain Aerial Tramway, for incredible views of Franconia Notch and mountain ranges that span New Hampshire, Maine, Vermont, New York and even part of Canada from the 4,200-foot summit.
A scenic waterfall basin in Franconia Notch State Park. (Photo by Flickr user lori05871, used under CC)
4) Slide Rock State Park - There aren't many state parks outfitted with a red-sandstone water slide, to escape the heat of the dessert of Arizona. The Sonoran Desert sun can get pretty intense, which means many will be seeking relief by checking out this park. Be prepared to wait with lots of crowds attending. In our eyes, it's totally worth it.
5) Lime Kiln Point State Park - Located in the state of Washington, Lime Kiln Point is known for being one of the best whale watching spots in the world, with whales coming as close as 20 feet from shore. A beautiful array of rocks line the shores, which are truly a sight to behold, when the weather is gorgeous. If you go to watch whales, go between May and September, with July and August being the peak.