Nature lovers and travel enthusiasts, get ready for some exciting news! A recent study conducted by Storyboards has revealed the most picturesque landscapes in America, and four of the top ten locations are none other than Lake Michigan, Lake Superior, Lake Ontario, and Lake Huron.
With Lake Michigan coming in at second place, Lake Superior at fourth, Lake Ontario at fifth, and Lake Huron at eighth, these massive bodies of water are a must-visit for any nature enthusiast. From crystal-clear waters to stunning natural habitats, these Great Lakes are a sight to behold.
The Most Picturesque Landscapes in America
Using Instagram data to analyze the number of hashtags for various landscapes in America, the experts at Storyboards have discovered which locations are the most picturesque.
Storyboards Co-Founder, Gaven Glick, commented: “Americans are spoilt for choice when it comes to stunning scenery. However, it’s interesting to see that seven of the top 10 landscapes are all lakes, suggesting that Americans favor this type of landscape over any other.”
The Great Lakes are Extremely Photogenic
Here in Michigan, we are lake enthusiasts, so the results didn’t surprise us a bit. And while Lake Tahoe took the top spot, we were excited to see three of Michigan’s Great Lakes (plus Lake Ontario) in the top ten!
#2: Lake Michigan
Ranked as the second most picturesque landscape in America is Lake Michigan, with 2,788,904 Instagram hashtags.
This massive lake spans 307 miles in length and 118 miles in width, making it the third-largest lake in America and the fifth-largest in the world. And, with an array of natural habitats, Lake Michigan is a must-visit for any nature enthusiast.
One of the top things to do on Lake Michigan is to visit the numerous beaches along its shoreline, offering visitors the opportunity to swim, sunbathe, and relax. With its crystal-clear waters, Lake Michigan is also perfect for water sports such as kayaking, paddleboarding, and fishing.
Visitors can also explore numerous historic lighthouses that offer stunning views of the lake, climb on the massive sand dunes, or take a bike ride along the shoreline’s numerous bike trails that offer scenic views of the lake.
With numerous golf courses along the shoreline, the Lake Michigan area is a popular destination for golf enthusiasts. The small towns along Lake Michigan are also home to numerous wineries that offer tastings and tours.
#4: Lake Superior
In fourth place is Lake Superior, with 1,157,663 hashtags on Instagram. Known as the largest freshwater lake in the world, Lake Superior is located on the border between the U.S. and Canada and contains a staggering 10% of the world’s freshwater. And with little organic material in the water, it’s incredibly clear – a sight to behold!
One of the top things to do on Lake Superior is hiking, as the shoreline offers numerous hiking trails ranging from easy walks to challenging treks. Many of the more popular hiking trails lead to the numerous waterfalls along the shoreline, including the famous Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore waterfalls.
While the water can be chilly, Lake Superior has numerous beaches along its shoreline that offer stunning views. Visitors can also explore numerous historic lighthouses that offer stunning views of the lake, or try their hand at fishing for the variety of fish species that call Lake Superior home.
The Lake Superior shoreline also offers numerous scenic drives, including the famous Lake Superior Circle Tour, offering stunning vistas and unique opportunities to see natural phenomena, like the northern lights in Michigan.
#5: Lake Ontario
Fifth place goes to Lake Ontario, with 1,007,124 Instagram hashtags. This Great Lake has a shoreline of 712 miles when the islands are included, and with nearly 2,000 islands, there’s plenty to explore.
The only Great Lake that doesn’t share a shore with Michigan, the Canadian province of Ontario borders Lake Ontario to the north, west, and southwest. The American state of New York borders it on the south and east.
The Lake Ontario region is home to numerous museums and historic sites that offer a glimpse into the area’s rich history, as well as numerous wineries that offer tastings and tours. The Lake Ontario shoreline also has numerous parks and trails that offer scenic views of the lake.
Throughout the year, the Lake Ontario region hosts numerous festivals and events, including the famous Rochester International Jazz Festival.
#8: Lake Huron
Eighth place goes to Lake Huron, with 560,434 Instagram hashtags. This massive lake is the fourth largest in the world and boasts stunning dunes and wetlands, as well as numerous lighthouses and over 30,000 islands to explore.
The “forgotten” Great Lake, Lake Huron is characterized by its pristine waters and less-populated shorelines. Visitors can explore numerous historic lighthouses that offer stunning views of the lake or visit the numerous beaches along the Lake Huron shoreline, offering visitors the opportunity to swim, sunbathe, and relax.
With its crystal-clear waters, Lake Huron is perfect for water sports such as kayaking, paddleboarding, and fishing.
In the U.S., there are 14 federal marine sanctuaries. Lake Huron contains the only one in the Great Lakes. The wreckage from 100 confirmed shipwrecks can be found in the 4,300-square-mile Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary, which is close to Alpena, Michigan. The region was dubbed “Shipwreck Alley” because of the area’s rugged shoals and hazardous weather.
The Lake Huron shoreline also offers numerous scenic drives, including the US-23 Heritage Route, and numerous museums and historic sites that offer a glimpse into the area’s rich history.
Other Top Ten Picturesque Landscapes in America
The Great Lakes aren’t alone in their photogenic-ness (is that even a word?!?). Three other lakes, two beaches, and a desert round out the list of the most picturesque landscapes in America.
At the top of the list of the most picturesque landscapes in America, this stunning location, situated on the border of California and Nevada, has a whopping 2,986,225 Instagram hashtags. It’s not hard to see why – with crystal-clear waters and an abundance of outdoor activities like hiking and fishing, Lake Tahoe is a nature lover’s paradise.
Third place goes to Clearwater Beach, with 1,298,877 Instagram hashtags. This stunning Florida beach boasts white sand made of quartz from the Appalachian Mountains, making it a unique and picturesque location.
Waikiki Beach takes sixth place, with 969,640 Instagram hashtags. This stunning Hawaii beach boasts magnificently blue water thanks to the nutrient-deficient ocean, and with a tropical climate and palm trees, it’s the perfect location for a relaxing getaway.
Seventh place goes to Lake Norman, which has 640,978 hashtags on Instagram. As the largest man-made lake in North Carolina, Lake Norman offers plenty of opportunities for locals and visitors to dock their boats and enjoy the sunset.
In ninth place is Lake Powell, with 456,329 Instagram hashtags. Located between Utah and Arizona, Lake Powell offers breathtaking canyon views with towering cliffs and stone sculptures, as well as constant sunshine and warm weather.
Last but certainly not least, in tenth place is the Mojave Desert, with 429,066 Instagram hashtags. Spanning over 25,000 square miles across Southern California, Nevada, Arizona, and Utah, the Mojave Desert is a stunning location with towering mesas, sand dunes, and unique Joshua Trees.
Explore America’s Favorite Landscapes Yourself
Overall, the results of this study reveal the incredible natural beauty that America has to offer. Whether you’re a fan of lakes, beaches, or deserts, there’s something for everyone on this list of the most picturesque landscapes in America. So pack your bags and get ready for an unforgettable adventure!