As much as I love traveling internationally, I truly believe some of the world’s most beautiful places exist right here in America. There’s a reason “America the Beautiful” gushes about purple mountains majesty and amber waves of grain: the USA is without a doubt glorious, from sea to shining sea.  

Speaking of sea to shining sea, some of the most gorgeous landscapes really are smack-dab in the county’s center. One state that encapsulates the nation’s beauty has to be Colorado. From the Rocky Mountains to the Great Sand Dunes, this magnificent state has jaw-dropping sights of all colors, textures, and climates.

I was lucky to visit Colorado back in March of this year. As a New Yorker, it was a delicious escape from the smells and structures of the city, which can get rather grating after some time. Now, imagine flying from the gray smog of New York City and arriving in the crisp, sweet air of Colorado in early spring. There’s nothing like making that switch, letting go of the structure of responsibilities and skyscrapers to immerse yourself in nature if only for a couple of days.

 

First, I visited Vail, Colorado, where the snow-tipped mountains made my heart sing. This small town, on the base of Vail mountain, is a gateway for winter sports as well as a summertime destination for hiking, fishing, and cultural festivals.

In total contrast to the whites of Vail were the deep rouges and oranges of Red Rock in Denver. Known for its large, red sandstone outcrops, gazing on rocky formations was not unlike looking up into a sky full of clouds or stars: with just a bit of imagination, your mind turns the shapes into images. In fact, many of the formations have names for this reason, like the Seat of Pluto and Ship Rock.

If you have time to travel more, the wonders of Colorado continue. There’s Bear Lake in the Rockies, the Rattlesnake Arches, Mesa Verde, Aspen, and so much more. I didn’t get to see everything on my trip, but I know where I’ll be trekking when I return.

Before my trip was over, I flew from Colorado to Utah and was reminded of America’s beauty once again. I could see it all: the snow-tipped mountains, the bright orange sandstone, the green valleys, and crisp blue water and sky. Our country may not be perfect, but it really is lovely beyond compare. The ability to explore it is a privilege I’ll always cherish.