Nankoweap Canyon, Grand Canyon National Park
Photograph by Ralph Lee Hopkins
The Colorado River winds through Nankoweap Canyon in Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona. North America's geologic history is writ large in the sandstone heights across the U.S. West.
Adirondack Mountains, New York
Photograph by Sam Abell
Outdoorsmen enjoy the gloaming at the North Woods Club in New York’s Adirondack Mountains, where American artist Winslow Homer often fished for trout and absorbed landscapes he would re-create in imagination and paint.
Times Square, New York
Photograph by Steve Raymer
Formerly called Longacre Square, Times Square was renamed in 1904 after the New York Times building, which became the district's new cornerstone. Famous for its endless entertainment and covered with billboards, lights, and sky-high buildings, Times Square is home to world-renowned Broadway, MTV, and other tourist attractions.
Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco
Photograph by James A. Sugar
Like the outline of a mountain peak, a tower of the Golden Gate Bridge is visible above the summer fog in San Francisco Bay. Following the rush for gold in the late 19th century, the bay’s harbor attracted sailing ships from around the globe, and a great American city was born.
Ferris Wheel, San Antonio
Photograph by Tyler Cleveland, My Shot
High above San Antonio, Texas, a couple steals a kiss at sunset. Situated in the southern part of the state’s Hill Country, the city is home to the Alamo and the historic River Walk.
Venice Beach, California
Photograph by John Lee/Aurora
A stretch of concrete extending to the sand attracts skateboarders to a park in Venice Beach. The southern California town is an eclectic host to beachgoers from nearby Los Angeles and around the world, boasting street artists, raucous beach bars, and bohemian enclaves.
Monument Valley, Arizona/Utah
Photograph by Guido Tramontano Guerritore, My Shot
The sandstone cathedrals of Monument Valley served as the backdrop for the wild American frontier. Planted in the middle of desert lands, the valley’s rocks are the only formations that dare to break the infinite flatness of the Arizona-Utah horizon.
Photograph by Jim Rogash/Getty Images
Diehard New York Yankees hope for an autograph at a game against the rival Boston Red Sox. "America's pastime" is big business: In recent years, more than 78 million people have attended major league games across the U.S. annually.
Fashion Show, New York
Photograph by Jodi Cobb
Nicole Anderson models a pair of Manolo Blahnik stiletto heels and a white shift dress for the fashion press in New York City. A center of sartorial taste making in the U.S., the city attracts the fashion industry’s elite to its week of shows each spring and fall.
Shoshone Indians, Nevada
Photograph by Peter Essick/Aurora Photos
Members of a Shoshone Indian tribe take part in a ritual on the side of Yucca Mountain in southern Nevada. The site was the center of a heated debate between locals and government officials who wanted to spend $50 billion burying 77,000 tons of nuclear waste inside the mountain. In 2009, the Obama Administration announced the site was no longer an option.
Pistol River, Oregon
Photograph by Skip Brown/National Geographic Stock
A windsurfer carries his board and sail over sand dunes in Pistol River. Explorers discovered gold and other precious metals in the rivers and along the beaches of the area in 1852, and settlement depended primarily on water transportation. Today water transportation of a different sort is popular here—the area has several times played host to U.S. windsurfing championships.
High School Football
Photograph by John Lee/Aurora
Members of a San Francisco high school football team run through a banner as they enter the playing field. High school football season usually runs September to November, and games can draw in large crowds.
Photograph by Melissa Eyre, My Shot
A mechanic and his dog take a breather in Vermont's fresh air. The U.S. Northeast is packed with many such pastoral scenes, as well as pockets of heavy industry.
Photograph by David Mclain
A young man gets in some late-afternoon hoops in a Chicago neighborhood. The Illinois city has produced many avid basketball players and fans—including U.S. President Barack Obama.
Hotel, Miami Beach
Photograph by H. Mark Weidman Photography/Alamy
Colored lights illuminate the art deco façade of what today is called the Fairwind Hotel, in Miami Beach, Florida. The city’s popular South Beach is well known for its art deco architecture, as well as its beaches, nightclubs, and beautiful people.
New Orleans Jazz
Photograph by Tyrone Turner/National Geographic Stock
In the backstreets where it was born, the exuberant sounds of New Orleans jazz are kept fresh by neighborhood brass bands. Sustained by their music, residents of the Big Easy beat back the blues, even through hard times.
Photograph by John Frumm/Photo Library
Though populations of pink flamingos still reside within the swampy midst of Florida’s Everglades National Park, the colorful scenery does not betray the park’s precarious state. Fertilizer pollution, urban encroachment, and falling water levels make this the only U.S. park to have been on the World Heritage Danger List. It was removed from the list in 2007 after extensive cleanup efforts.
Nā Pali Coast, Hawaii
Photograph by Lee Peterson/Photo Library
The Nā Pali Coast on the Hawaiian island of Kaua'i is the scarred shoulder of an ancient shield volcano that once rose more than five miles (eight kilometers) from seafloor to summit. Many visitors to the island take the one-hour helicopter tour to get the Jurassic Park view—Nā Pali starred in that movie, as well as in King Kong, South Pacific, and many other Hollywood fantasies.
Photograph by Nanci Roth, My Shot
A young woman takes a bracing summer swim near a glacier in waters off Valdez, Alaska. Due east of Anchorage, the town sits nestled in the Chugach Mountains, which draw winter sports enthusiasts from far and near.
Redwood National Park, California
Photograph by Victor Lopez, My Shot
Nature’s own defenses give giant redwood trees the ability to survive for centuries or even millennia in California’s Redwood National Park. Because their bark and heartwood are rich in compounds called polyphenols, bugs and decay-causing fungi don't like them. And since there's not a lot of resin in their stringy bark, larger redwoods are highly resistant to fire.
Photograph by Ryan Bailey, My Shot
Though artist Anish Kapoor entitled his oblique, metallic sculpture “Cloud Gate,” ask any Chicagoan about the legume-shaped steel and they’ll tell you what it really is: the Bean. The 110-ton sculpture provides an abstract reflection of Chicago’s skyline and all those who visit it.
Photograph by Gordon Wiltsie
Membership in Montana’s exclusive Yellowstone Club guarantees access to some of the Gallatin Mountains’ best skiing runs just miles from Yellowstone National Park.
Lincoln Memorial, Washington, D.C.
Photograph by Kimberly Johns, My Shot
The Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., keeps a watchful eye over the nation’s capital. It has also provided the stage for civil rights activists: Marian Anderson gave a famous 1939 concert there after being denied the use of Constitution Hall because she was black, and in 1963 Martin Luther King, Jr., delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech on the memorial steps.
2015 Traveler Photo Contest
Explore the submissions, share your favorites, and check back for the winning images.