The Travel Lens team has scoured through thousands of Google reviews posted since the start of 2023 to find out which national parks are the most aesthetically pleasing to visitors.
More specifically we looked at the total number of reviews, as well as the number of reviews containing the words ‘beautiful’, ‘stunning’, ‘breathtaking’ and ‘Gorgeous’ for each park.
Claiming the top spot with 45.26% of reviews praising its natural beauty, Crater Lake National Park stands as the most beautiful national park in the United States.
Famous for its deep, vividly blue lake and impressive caldera, the park is a testament to volcanic power and natural resilience.
Visitors are captivated not only by the iconic lake but also by the dramatic cliffs, cascading waterfalls, and rich flora surrounding it.
Securing the second position with 44.51% of reviews highlighting its allure, Acadia National Park is a stunning gem on the American east coast.
The park features a varied landscape, from rugged beaches to dense woodlands, providing visitors with spectacular views in every direction.
Ranking third with 44.29% of reviews recognizing its beauty, Glacier National Park is a treasure trove of natural wonders.
Located in Montana’s Rocky Mountains, it’s renowned for its vast wilderness, encompassing pristine forests, alpine meadows, and rugged mountains.
The park’s highlights include its namesake glaciers, as well as the iconic Going-to-the-Sun Road, which offers some of the most breathtaking views in the park.
As one of the go-to sites for photo-sharing, we looked at Instagram to see which national parks are currently the most popular in terms of the number of posts using park-specific hashtags.
Yosemite National Park, with its staggering 1,612,699 Instagram posts, tops our list of picturesque national parks.
This renowned park in California is celebrated for its giant sequoias, breathtaking waterfalls, and the iconic cliffs of El Capitan and Half Dome.
Yosemite’s natural beauty is not just a magnet for avid hikers and climbers, but also for photographers and nature lovers.
Its captivating landscapes make it a must-visit destination for anyone seeking to capture the essence of America’s natural splendor.
Ranking second with 1,468,774 Instagram posts, Zion National Park is a visual feast in the heart of Utah. Known for its stunning red cliffs, emerald pools, and diverse wildlife, Zion offers a unique blend of scenic beauty and outdoor adventure.
The park’s most photographed spots include the Narrows, Angel’s Landing, and the Zion Canyon Scenic Drive, each offering a distinct and memorable experience.
It’s no wonder this park is a favorite among Instagram users seeking to showcase the beauty of the American wilderness.
Securing the third spot with 1,282,401 Instagram posts, Yellowstone National Park is not just America’s first national park but also one of its most photogenic.
Spanning across Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho, Yellowstone is famous for its geothermal wonders like the Old Faithful geyser, the vivid Grand Prismatic Spring, and a stunning array of wildlife.
The park’s diverse landscapes range from vast meadows and deep canyons to sprawling forests and alpine rivers, making it a paradise for photographers and nature enthusiasts alike.
We used Instagram to find the number of posts that used #(parkname) for each state park.
We employed Google Maps to analyze the total number of written reviews posted in 2023 for each national park, focusing on reviews that included any of the following words: ‘beautiful,’ ‘stunning,’ ‘breathtaking,’ or ‘gorgeous.’ Our approach was to identify reviews containing at least one of these aesthetic descriptors.
Due to the possibility of a single review including multiple aesthetic words, we did not simply sum the counts for each word.
Instead, we determined the number of unique reviews that contained at least one of these terms. Parks with fewer than 100 such reviews were excluded from our analysis.
We then calculated the percentage of ‘aesthetic’ reviews for each park by dividing the number of reviews with aesthetic words by the total number of reviews and multiplying by 100, giving us an overall aesthetic score for each park.
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