What’s your idea of a beautiful view? Is it an endless ocean or expansive fields of green? Or maybe it’s snow-capped mountains against a blue sky? Maybe, instead of natural scenery, you think beauty is the Manhattan skyline at dusk. Whatever your preference, we’ve found the 5 best views in America. Some of them are less glamorous than you would expect.
Exchange Place Ferry, NJ
Seriously? New Jersey? Yes, I know it seems insane, but if you take the ferry from Exchange Place in New Jersey to the World Trade Center, you’ll be treated to one of the best views of Manhattan. For one, there aren’t a bunch of people zooming by on bikes and skateboards like the Brooklyn Bridge. Secondly, if you go on the weekend, the ferry is free (for now) due to continuing Hurricane Sandy repairs. It’s a quick ride, but you’ll get to bask in the glory of the Manhattan skyline in peace and quiet.
Top of the Bowl, Aspen, CO
If you ever want to pretend you’re an eagle, take the ski lift up to the top of the bowl in Aspen, Colorado. Here you’ll get a literal bird’s eye view of the surrounding Rocky Mountains. Enjoy the silence at the top and when it gets too lonely, fly back down and join us in the Ski Lodge.
Twin Peaks, San Francisco, CA
Sometimes, for a good view, you need to work for it. Instead of paying to get into some penthouse restaurant, go for a free hike at Twin Peaks in San Francisco. At the top, you’ll get an aerial view of the city by the bay and the bay itself. There are lots of places to take pictures, so you don’t need to worry about cropping out strangers later on. Beware that it is windy at the top, so while you’re taking a selfie on the edge, be careful not to fall over.
Seven Mile Bridge, Florida Keys
The bridge between the Florida Keys and the mainland is one of the most beautiful drives. You’re basically gliding on top of the ocean, all you can see is blue water in every direction. A word of caution, make sure that your car is in good condition before you get on this bridge. There are no turn-around areas. If you break down, you might be there for a while and your mood might compromise your appreciation of the view while you wait for help.
Badlands National Park, South Dakota
Do colorful bands of sedimentary rock make your heart skip a beat? If so, you’ll love the view in Badlands National Park. If you go at sunrise or sunset, you’ll get to really see the rocks glow red. For an even better view, go in the wintertime (after October) when there are fewer tourists and most of the gimmicky attractions are shut down. You’ll be cold, but you’ll be able to enjoy the view in peace.