Pictures of Magical Places You Can Travel To (In the Real World!)

My favorite photos of some of the most beautiful places I’ve seen in the world (and where you can go to see them too)

Presque Isle State Park, Erie, PA

It doesn’t always look like this. This picture of Lake Erie was taken in the middle of an exceptionally cold winter. Despite the cold, it was incredible being out on the frozen lake in complete solitude as the sun was setting.

It was so quiet. It was almost a little…eerie.

But seriously.

Letchworth State Park, Portageville, NY

This was photo was taken in early October just after sunrise from Inspiration Point. It’s a beautiful vantage point at any time of year, but fall is my favorite.

Paulo Alto, Dominican Republic

I visited this mountaintop campground while working as an intern with a mission’s organization in the DR.

I still consider it the best day ever.

Made even better when the horses came galloping over to see us.

Just another view of the mountain from my best day ever!

Pixley Falls State Park, Boonville, NY

What I love most about this park is that it can almost sound like “pixie falls” instead of Pixely… (I mean, doesn’t it look like a place pixies would hang out??)

This picture is not the actual falls, but a beautiful pool partway along the hike to the falls. It’s an easy trail from the parking lot to the falls and back, with lots of gorgeous fairytale-esque views along the way.

Ocean Grove, NJ

I love me a good sunrise over the ocean. My mother’s family is from New Jersey, so we’ve spent many summers along the beaches there. Ocean City is my favorite beach, but these pictures were taken along the shore at Ocean Grove.

It was also February, so the sun didn’t rise as early.

And it was cold.

I had to put two, because I just couldn’t pick!

Another fun story about these pictures is that a couple of them were hung up in the men’s bathroom at my church. So when I was walking through the hallway one day with my friends, we passed by the bathroom with the door wide open and I saw them.

I said, ‘Hey look! My picture’s hanging up in there!’

And they all stared at me till someone finally asked what a picture of me was doing hanging up in the men’s bathroom…

Queenstown, NZ

This is one of my favorite photos ever. Taken in the late afternoon on a safari from Queenstown with Nomad Safaris.

Hobbiton, Matamata, NZ

I just can’t not include Hobbiton in this list. It is literally a fairytale place come to life.

Of course there’s absolutely nothing behind all of those cute little doors, but we won’t talk about that.

Harper’s Ferry, WV

This is a storybook town rich in civil war history and old fashioned charm. The lady in this shop pointed me toward the back window, which she said photographers loved to photograph. Boy am I glad she did!

Nassau, Bahamas

This is without doubt the most amazing sunset I have ever seen. And the picture turned out pretty well too! Which, amazingly, I shot on my first digital camera, a little point and shoot from Canon.

I literally walked out on the deck, saw this amazing scene, pulled out my camera, took this one picture…and then the batteries died. And I actually got to spend the rest of the evening enjoying the view, instead of being distracted trying to take more photos.

Some things just work out.

Highlands Hammock State Park, Sebring, FL

This picture I also snapped on my little point and shoot. And it managed to be a finalist in a (college) photography contest.

So I’m pretty proud of it.

If you walk along this trail, you’re also likely to see baby alligators.

And mama alligators.

Gas City, IN

Gas City is a tiny town surrounded by cornfields in the center of Indiana. The perfect spot for finding epic abandoned barns to photograph (there’s a lot of them).

Not to mention the adorable Garfield statues that can be found all over the county.

And that’s all (for now)!

Check back later to see what new places have been added.