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A tropical paradise within the United States: 12 breathtaking natural oases in America

Discover a tropical paradise by visiting these 17 natural oases of America invites Only in Your State.

Photo: Shutterstock

There is a reason why tropical vacations are so popular. Bright sun, white sand beaches, turquoise water as far as the eye can see; the tropics are a small piece of paradise here on earth. Relaxing in a tropical paradise is not just beautiful; it is good for the mind, body and soul. However, these great holiday destinations are often inaccessible due to location, cost and logistics. But here's the thing: right here in America, there are some truly wonderful natural oases. These are the places that will force you to check your passport to ensure that you are in fact still in the US. From deserts to inland islands and everything in between, you'll discover a tropical paradise when you visit these 17 natural oases in America.

Big Sur - California

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Everything in Big Sur, California is impressive, from the turquoise waters and white sand shores to the brightly colored plants and fauna dotting its coastal mountains and hillsides. This area is home to many beautiful beaches and waterfalls that appear to be on a hidden Pacific Island. Big Sur has been voted “Best Place to Play” and “Best Romantic Place to Stay” - and that's exactly what you need. If Hawaii seems out of reach, Big Sur is an equally unusual tropical destination right here on the US mainland.

Olympic National Park - Washington

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The Olympic National Park is tucked away in the extreme northwest corner of the United States. It is home to a breathtaking wild coastline surrounded by old-growth forests and glacier-capped mountains, several waterfalls, and the pristine wilderness of Washington. Olympic National Park receives over 12 feet of rainfall a year, which is why you will find lush, temperate rainforests in the park. Hoch Rainforest features some of the world's most spectacular natural wonders: giant Douglas fir trees, Sitka fir trees, and flowering ferns and mosses. Olympic National Park is a veritable Garden of Eden; the perfect paradise that should be on your wish list.

Pacific City - Oregon

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Pacific City is one of the most stunning areas on the Oregon Coast. Situated beneath the great Cape of Kiwanda in Oregon, this beach town offers unrivaled views of some of the Pacific Northwest's most famous landmarks. Pacific City has a tall sand dune that provides access to the summit of Cape Kiwanda and spectacular ocean views. Sandy beaches, stunning blue water, stunning panoramas, and powerful surfing (yes, you can surf in Oregon!) Make Pacific City a dream destination worth visiting.

Grand Teton National Park - Wyoming

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Every year, millions of people travel to Wyoming to visit Yellowstone National Park. While the country's first national park certainly deserves all the attention it gets, there is another national park just outside Yellowstone, and it's a hidden paradise tucked right in plain sight. Grand Teton National Park is 125452,549 hectares of mountainous terrain and valleys filled with dozens of alpine lakes, which are located in the foothills, in canyons and at the bottom of the valley. Jenny Lake is one of these beautiful bodies of water, and the way the trees reflect in its clear blue waters is dazzling. While it's not the largest lake in the park - that honor goes to Lake Jackson - it has a luxurious lodge, primitive camping, and miles of pristine coastline that will make you feel like you've stepped into your own tropical city.

Havasu Falls - Arizona

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The Grand Canyon is a must-see and is at the top of countless wishlists. But there is much more to see and do in the Grand Canyon than just photographing popular sights and tourist spots. In fact, deep in the canyon, there is a beautiful natural oasis: the mesmerizing blue-green Havasu Waterfall. This 30 meter high waterfall falls from a crevice in the famous red rock of the canyon. It gets its stunning azure color from the high concentration of calcium carbonate in the water and looks too pretty to be real. The waterfall is located in the Havasupai Indian Reservation, and it controls access to the waterfall and the surrounding area. Visitors cannot enter this area by car; rather, it takes a walk or horseback to get to the village. Due to the location of the waterfall on the Havasupai Indian Reservation, visitors must make reservations and obtain permission to camp and hike to the magnificent waterfalls worthy of photographs. But trust us: it is absolutely worth the planning and effort as the Havasu Falls is one of the most impressive hidden oases in the country.

Grand Steyrcase Escalante National Monument - Utah

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The Grand Steyrcase Escalante National Monument covers a vast area in the wilds of Utah, spanning five climates, from low-lying desert to coniferous forest. It is one of the richest and most beautiful treasures in the American Southwest, full of deep canyons and unique geological features. Within this vast landscape, there is an emerald green waterfall that you might mistake for a desert mirage, but it is absolutely, completely real. Calf Creek Falls is a stunningly beautiful duo of cascades; Upper Calf Creek Falls measures 26 meters, and Lower Calf Creek Falls is almost 40 meters. Together, these waterfalls flow into a cool, beautiful pool, offering visitors a quiet and truly wonderful place to relax and reflect.

Lake Broken Bow - Oklahoma

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Lake Broken Bow, hiding in the southwest corner of Oklahoma, is a vision. The reservoir is bordered by a 300 km coastline, making it the perfect oasis for Oklahoma residents looking to spend the day on the water. Boating, kayaking, swimming and fishing are all popular activities on this beautiful lake, which boasts stunning sunsets. In a state renowned for its cornfields and tumbleweeds, Broken Bow is a welcome and wondrous slice of paradise.

Hamilton Poole - Texas

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Hamilton Poole is one of the most beautiful locations in Texas (and in the country) with an azure blue pool nestled beneath a vast limestone grotto. The 15-meter waterfall flows into the pool, creating an absolutely fabulous experience. This Texas oasis was formed thousands of years ago when the dome of an underground river collapsed due to erosion. Today it is a favorite beach and one of the most beautiful and unexpected places you can visit in Lone Star State.

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Apostle Islands - Wisconsin

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In the icy waters of the Upper Lake, like jewels, are scattered wild islands, which the locals call simply "Apostles". Apostle Islands in Wisconsin is the epitome of a hidden oasis: a dreamlike world filled with sea caves, emerald green pools, deserted beaches and lighthouses that still signal waters strewn with the wreckage of old schooners. It takes a little effort for visitors to get to this pure, distant beauty; but when you arrive on the islands, your hard work will be richly rewarded. These pristine beaches and pools will create a sense of seclusion on your own private island, and like the locals, you will soon fondly call the Wisconsin Apostles' islands simply "Apostles."

Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes Lake National Shore - Michigan

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Michigan is often referred to as the "Third Coast" because it boasts the largest number of miles of coastline in the US contiguous territories. Indeed, Michigan is home to some truly beautiful bodies of water and wonderful natural oases. Sleeping Bear Dunes State Park is one such paradise; Located on the north side of Lake Michigan, Sleeping Bear Dune Lake National Shore is a sight to behold. Its coastal views look Caribbean with stunning sunsets and stunning panoramas. Are these the tropical white sand beaches you are looking for? The dunes of the Sleeping Bear themselves are impressive with their beauty, with some of them reaching 140 meters in height!

Dry Tortugas National Park - Florida

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For crystal-clear waters that rival anything you'll find in the Caribbean, head to Dry Tortugas National Park in Florida. Just 100 km west of Key West, Dry Tortugas National Park is one of the most spectacular beaches in the world. However, getting to such beauty takes a lot of planning as Dry Tortugas can only be reached by boat or seaplane. Pristine blue water and white sandy shores await you when you arrive at the island, which is actually a collection of seven remote islands, as well as one of the largest 19th century forts in the country. Dry Tortugas National Park is one of the least visited national parks in the country due to the effort required to access it. But great work brings great rewards, and this piece of heaven is the best reward.

Juniper Springs - Florida

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Florida is home to over 700 springs; the largest collection on the planet. But the best and most beautiful is hidden deep in the lush Ocala National Forest. Because this is where you will find Juniper Springs, a true hidden oasis. It seems to be a tropical paradise, harboring hundreds of small, bubbling cascades, as well as massive springs that pump cool 72-degree water throughout the day. Set in a verdant rainforest, visitors can enjoy an afternoon swim in the shade of Florida palms and oaks.

Jekyll Island - Georgia

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The Golden Isles of Georgia are made up of four Barrier Islands - St. Simons Island, Sea Island, Jekyll Island and Little St. Simons Island - each offering unique and unforgettable natural oases. Jekyll Island's Driftwood Beach is by far the most magical, thanks in part to its vibrant green trees and driftwood-covered sands. The island itself has a rather peculiar history: in 1886, Jekyll Island was acquired by the Jekyll Island Club and subsequently became one of the most exclusive islands in the world, visited by families like the Rockefellers and Vanderbilts. Today, fortunately, this island has become much more accessible, but its intriguing beauty has survived. When you find yourself on the white sand shore, surrounded by cobalt blue waters, you will truly feel like you've landed on your own private island. And this is the item on your wishlist that you really should be aiming for.

Hilton Head Island - South Carolina

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Hilton Head Island is popular vacation spot in the United States, and this is because it is completely perfect. Undoubtedly, this South Carolina island is home to some of the country's most beautiful beaches. From the moment you cross over to the island via the famous James F. Byrnes Bridge, you will truly experience island time. This picturesque island boasts 20 km of beaches and is divided into 11 different regions, each offering something different for its guests. Whether it's an adventure beach trip or a laidback Caribbean getaway, you're sure to find it on Hilton Head Island.

Martha's Vineyard - Massachusetts

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Over the years Martha's Vineyard has become synonymous with prestige, luxury and incredible beauty. This Massachusetts island is located in the Atlantic south of Cape Cod and is a constant favorite of New England residents. While Martha's Vineyard may seem as far from the Caribbean as possible, this New England island is actually the peak of the beach vibe. Instead of palms, there are lighthouses; instead of tiki bars, there are waterfront restaurants. The stunning cliffs of Aquinas look like you would expect to see in Hawaii; they are infused with a rainbow of natural colors and offer a 360-degree view. Martha's Vineyard can only be reached by boat or by air. But if you're looking for a complete New England escape, Martha's Vineyard looks like a dream come true.

Assateague Island - Maryland

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As something of a fantasy, wild horses roam freely around Assateague Island, a 60 km long island off the coast of Maryland. Assateague Island is a secluded conservation area home to herds of wild horses that can come and go as they please. A trip to Assateague Island is a bit of a hike (only accessible by foot or boat), but well worth it if you are looking for a quiet, secluded and stunning scenic oasis. Truly, the coastal panoramas here are so magnificent that you will completely forget that you are in Maryland. And if you're lucky, you might even catch a glimpse of a wild horse.

Acadia Maine National Park

Known as the “crown jewel of the North Atlantic coast”, Acadia National Park boasts stunning panoramic views that will take your breath away. In this wonderful location, you will find a stunning emerald green oasis that takes you by surprise. Sand Beach is a beautiful small beach nestled between majestic mountains and rocky shores on the eastern side of Mount Desert Island in Acadia National Park. This hidden oasis is accessed via Park Loop Road south of the Bar Harbor admission station. It is worth spending a little planning time, however; The sandy beach has 280 meters of pristine sand and vibrant turquoise water, and it truly feels like a separate world.

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The United States is home to so many amazing beauties, and while many of these hidden oases take a little work and planning to get to, they are all worth it. Step outside your doorstep and discover your own little piece of paradise right here in our incredible country.

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