Take in the natural beauty of America with these priceless, unique experiences.

Around the world, there are incredible, unique experiences that don’t cost a penny but leave travellers with memories that last a lifetime. From spotting elephant seals in their natural habitat to discovering off the beaten path waterfalls within beautiful national parks, there’s no need to scrimp on nature. Here are top things to do in America for an unforgettable travel experience – for free!

Colorado: See the sunset from the sand dunes

The Great Sand Dunes National Park in southern Colorado stands as the tallest dunes across the United States. Open 24 hours a day, travel lovers should head there in the evening for a spectacular sun set, casting an ambient, golden light against the sand.

The Great Sand Dunes National Park, Southern Colorado, United States of America nature

Great Sand Dunes National Park, Southern Colorado. Photo: Colorado.com

California: Road trip through towering redwoods

Experience the 32-mile Avenue of the Giants, a scenic route lined with ancient redwoods – the tallest trees in the world. A section of the route passes through the impressive Humboldt Redwoods State Park, where visitors can walk along the fern-lined paths and learn about the history of these remarkable trees.

redwoods nature Humboldt Redwoods State Park

Photo: Miguel Vieira via Flickr

Greater Palm Springs: Hike the San Andreas Fault

Deep within California’s Palm Desert is the San Andreas Fault, a 1,200km canyon formed through the collision of the Pacific and North America Plates 30 million years ago, which later caused the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake. Now one of California’s most defining features, visitors can uncover the dramatic geology by hiking a section of the fault, including Slot Canyon – a narrow gorge nestled within the two plates.

SLO CAL (San Luis Obispo County): Spot elephant seals in San Simeon

Travellers can discover the Californian town of San Simeon in SLO CAL, a hidden gem along the coast which offers pristine gardens, dramatic coastal cliffs and sandy beaches. Year round, visitors can head to the Piedras Blancas Elephant Seal Rookery where they will find hundreds of elephant seals in their natural habitat. Local guides are also on hand to give informative talks about the seals.

San Diego: Relax on a private beach

Head to La Jolla in San Diego, home to the Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve, where travel lovers can hike 8 miles of trails offering a variety of distances and experiences all with stunning ocean views. Those who venture away from the main trails can discover secluded sandy beaches, where they can rest their legs and listen to the waves gently lap against the shore.

Torrey Pines, La Jolla, San Diego, United States of America

La Jolla, San Diego. Photo: Lisa Field

South Lake Tahoe: Swim in a crystal-clear lake

Lake Tahoe is known around the world for its famed water clarity, eliciting awe from millions of visitors each year. Travel lovers visiting Lake Tahoe can unwind, relax and swim effortlessly in the bright blue water whilst enjoying the beautiful natural scenery that surrounds the lake.

Emerald Bay, Tahoe, South Lake, United States of America

Emerald Bay in Tahoe Southern Lake

Tuolumne County: Uncover hidden waterfalls

Venture off the beaten path in Yosemite’s Tuolumne County and embark on a hike around the beautiful Hetch Hetchy Reservoir. Travellers who continue onto Rancheria Falls are rewarded with a series of breath-taking waterfalls that drop more than 300 metres.

Tuolumne County, Yosemite, United States of America

Tuolumne County, Yosemite. Photo: Visit Tuolumne

Santa Barbara: World-class surfing

Located between La Conchita and Carpinteria, Rincon is renowned one of the top surfing destinations in the world, highly regarded for its steady waves and long rides. Few travellers head to the area so surfers can ride the waves and practice their moves away from the crowds.

Mammoth Lakes: Camp in the wilderness

South of Mono Lake in Inyo National Forest, Sagehen Meadows Campground is wonderfully remote and home to a herd of wild horses in addition to the one million year old salt lake. Accessible only by dirt road at 8,000+ ft elevation, campers must prepare with plenty of water and supplies.

Mono Lake County, Inyo National Forest, Sagehen Meadows Campground, California, United States of America

Mono Lake County, California. Photo: Visit Mammoth

Death Valley: Gaze at the stars

Death Valley National Park’s beautiful dark skies are an attraction for astronomy enthusiasts year-round. For those staying at The Oasis in Death Valley, Death Valley National Park rangers hold regular stargazing events with various astronomy organisations. When they are held, observers can join for a complimentary Star Party at the Ranch at Death Valley. Unique experiences like this make travel so rewarding!

Death Valley CA

Death Valley. Photo: Esudroff via Pixabay

Incredible, isn’t it, that you can have the most unique experiences when you travel and they don’t have to cost a thing!

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