17 Mystical Places in the United States You Must Experience

mystical destinations in the us

Many soulful seekers have trekked Mayan ruins in Guatemalan rainforests, pilgrimaged to Jerusalem and Mecca, or visited Buddhist temples in Kyoto in search of enlightenment and revelation. But you don’t necessarily need a pricey international plane ticket for your spiritual retreat. From natural wonders to ancient ruins, United States has plenty of mystical places to explore. 

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For a Spiritual Retreat:

Kaua’i Sacred Places, Hawaii

If you spot flowers or leis on the ground while visiting Kauai, you may have stumbled on an offering at one of the island’s many ancient sacred sites. One such place is Honopu Beach. Ancient Hawaiians believed their chiefs’ bones gained supernatural power after death. So, warriors would climb the Honopu cliffside with the bodies of their deceased leaders to hide them in caves. To ensure the location remained secret, they would then jump to their deaths. Honopu beach remains difficult to reach today, there are no pathways to the area. You will either need to swim 400 yards to reach it or appreciate it from a distance via boat.

mount shasta california

Mount Shasta, California

Considered a sacred site by many indigenous communities, Mount Shasta is a majestic mountain located in Northern California. Legend has it that the mountain is home to a powerful vortex of energy and serves as an interdimensional portal that can transport people to other dimensions and realms. The legend of the mountain’s energy vortex dates back to ancient times when Native American tribes considered it a place of spiritual significance. Visitors can take guided tours to learn more about the spiritual significance of the mountain or simply enjoy its natural beauty through hiking trails, waterfalls, and hot springs in the surrounding area. Whether you believe in its mystical qualities or not, Mount Shasta’s stunning landscape alone is worth the trip.

Kukaniloko Birthstones, Hawaii

The Kukaniloko Birthstones is a sacred site located in the “piko” of O’ahu, Hawaii (the center of the island said to possess focused spiritual energy). This mystical destination was once used as a birthing site for members of the Hawaiian royal families. It is one of the most important cultural sites in Hawaii. The area is marked with 180 stones, symbolizing the birthplaces of many high-ranking chiefs and ali’i (nobility). The Kukaniloko Birthstones are also an ideal spot for stargazing thanks to its remote location away from light pollution. Researchers even speculate that the rocks were arranged for astrological orientation — a Pacific Island Stonehenge of sorts.

crater lake

Crater Lake, Oregon

Crater Lake in southern Oregon is another mystical destination that shouldn’t be missed. Known for its crystal-clear blue water, this lake was formed more than 7,000 years ago when Mount Mazama erupted and collapsed. Many Native American tribes consider the lake to be a sacred site and believe that it’s inhabited by powerful and benevolent spirits who are often called upon for guidance, protection, and healing. Visitors can hike around the rim of the crater or take a boat tour to Wizard Island, a small volcanic island in the center of the lake. The area also offers opportunities for camping, fishing, and stargazing under some of the darkest skies in the country. Whether you’re seeking spiritual inspiration or simply want to connect with nature, Crater Lake is a must-see destination.

For a Meditative Experience: 

japanese gardens florida

Morikami Japanese Gardens, Florida 

Morikami’s series of gardens mirror the major periods of Japanese landscape design. From the zigzagging bridges of the Hein period to the stone Kotoji lanterns of the Meiji era, it makes an ideal setting for introspection. After strolling the paths along its grounds, koi-filled lake, and worldclass bonsai collection, explore different forms of meditation at the rock garden and the Seishin-an Tea House. While Karesansui raking can clear the mind of distractions, an Omotesenke-style tea ceremony teaches mindfulness through a carefully choreographed ritual involving all the senses.

Hot Springs, Arkansas

Hot Springs, Arkansas is a mystical destination that has been revered for centuries. The warm, healing, natural hot springs have long been used by Native American tribes for medicinal purposes. Today, visitors can soak in these restorative waters at bathhouses throughout the city, including historic ones like Buckstaff Bathhouse and Quapaw Baths & Spa. Along with its natural wonders, Hot Springs also boasts a rich history as a gangster hideout during the Prohibition era. And as the hometown of former president Bill Clinton. Visitors can explore the history of this charming city on foot. You can also take a tour on one of the downtown trolleys.

taos new mexico pueblo

Taos, New Mexico

Taos Pueblo is an ancient, 1000-year-old building belonging to a Native American tribe of Puebloan people. The pueblo has been continuously inhabited since its construction, making it a living ancient village. Taos Pueblo is a designated National Historic. Intricate pottery and paintings decorate many parts of the pueblo, adding to its mystical atmosphere. This enchanting destination is also surrounded by areas of natural beauty, such as the Sangre de Cristo Mountains and the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve.

For an Archaeological Pilgrimage: 

Mesa Verde, Colorado

Another archaeological site not to be missed is Mesa Verde, an ancient cliff dwelling tucked beneath a craggy overhang. This rocky residence is sacred to today’s native Americans. One Puebloan park ranger describe it as the place “where the ancestors whisper to you.” Pay close attention to the kivas — round, underground rooms used for religious dances and other ceremonial practices. The baseball-sized holes near the firepit represented the portal through which the ancestors emerged from the underworld.

Chaco Canyon, New Mexico

Chaco Canyon in New Mexico is a mystical place that dates back over a thousand years. The area is home to the ruins of an ancient Pueblo civilization that built remarkable structures using stone, mud, and timber. These structures are an astronomical wonder due to their precise alignment with the sun and stars. Chaco Canyon also has a network of roads that connect different buildings, showing the advanced planning skills of those who lived there thousands of years ago. The park also celebrates cosmically themed events like the annual Astronomy Festival, the spring and fall equinox, and the summer and winter solstice

Bear Butte, South Dakota

Bear Butte is an ancient, sacred area where Crazy Horse, Sitting Bull, and many other Native Americans past and present have performed vision quests and other ceremonies. Its majestic peak rises above the plains of South Dakota and draws visitors from all over the world. The site has long been a place of spiritual healing and reflection. There are many ancient trails and valleys to explore, from easy strolls through the valley to more challenging hikes up the mountain. Along the way, you’ll find plenty of places to stop and take in the views. 

For a Glimpse of the Otherworldly: 

Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

This US national park is one of the most awe-inspiring destinations in America. From hot springs and waterfalls to geysers and wildlife, you can experience many wonders of nature amidst this ancient landscape. Hot springs are a great way to relax and enjoy the natural beauty of the area. While visiting, don’t miss the famous Grand Prismatic Spring. It’s an intricate mosaic of vibrant colors created by various species of heat-loving microscopic organisms living in its waters. Yellowstone is a beautifully bizarre hydrothermal and geologic hodgepodge of mineral structures resembling frozen waterfalls, erupting geysers, and hot spring pools with rainbow rings. If there’s another place on earth that resembles an alien planet more, we’ve yet to encounter it.

northern lights in the us

The Northern Lights, Fairbanks, Alaska

For supernatural wonders, visit Fairbanks, Alaska, considered the best place to witness the northern lights in the States. It’s no wonder these awe-inspiring curtains of color rippling in waves across the heavens can be found in mythology across many early groups. The ancient Chinese believed Aurora Borealis signified dragons battling in the celestial realm. The Estonians thought the phenomenon indicated sleighs ferrying guests to a heavenly wedding celebration. The Inuit of Hudson Bay in Canada assumed it to be demons with lanterns chasing lost souls. Whereas the Inuit of Northern Greenland believed it meant spirits of the dead were playing games with a walrus skull.

Joshua Tree, California

Joshua Tree, California is a mystical place featuring unique natural beauty and otherworldly experiences. The area is known for its stunning rock formations that resemble something out of a sci-fi movie. Visitors can hike through the Joshua Tree National Park and explore the boulder-strewn landscapes dotted with twisted Joshua trees – an experience like no other. Many people also visit Joshua Tree for stargazing due to the area’s clear skies and minimal light pollution. During the day, visitors can also immerse themselves in the local art scene or participate in mindfulness retreats at one of the many spiritual centers in the area. If you’re looking for a mystical journey that combines natural wonders with transcendental experiences, Joshua Tree is definitely worth adding to your list of mystical places to visit in the United States.

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Sedona, Arizona

Sedona, Arizona is a mystical place that has been attracting visitors for many years. The area is known for its stunning red rock formations and peaceful, spiritual energy. Many believe Sedona is home to energy vortexes — special spots where the earth’s energy is heightened. Visitors can go on guided tours to learn about these vortexes and participate in meditation or yoga practices in these sacred areas. Additionally, Sedona also offers beautiful hiking trails and art galleries showcasing local artists. If you’re looking for a serene and spiritual retreat, try one of the healing spas offering treatments such as crystal therapy and reiki.

For Something on the Spookier Side

Savannah, Georgia

Savannah, Georgia is a captivating and historic city shrouded in mystery and intrigue. One of the city’s main draws is its plethora of ghost stories, which have been passed down for generations. Visitors can take guided tours to explore haunted mansions and hear chilling tales about the city’s dark past. But Savannah also offers much more than just spooky legends! It’s home to numerous beautiful parks, fascinating museums, and stunning architecture that will leave you in awe. One must-visit destination in Savannah is Forsyth Park. It is a 30-acre oasis with fountains, walking paths, and plenty of open spaces for picnicking or relaxing. Another popular attraction is River Street. There visitors can stroll along the cobblestone streets lined with shops, restaurants, and art galleries while enjoying breathtaking views of the Savannah River.

haunted new orleans

New Orleans, Louisiana

New Orleans is certainly one of the State’s spookier destinations. If you take the Bad Bitches Ghost Tour (by Ghost City Tours), you’ll learn of the city’s Voodoo Priestess Marie Laveau and the homicidal Madame LaLaurie. Supposedly, the baroque-style LaLaurie mansion with its wrought iron balconies is one of the most haunted buildings in the States. And it’s not the only local spot with ghostly sightings. Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop Bar is said to be frequented by a phantom French-American pirate who used the shop as a cover for his illegal smuggling business.

Skinwalker Ranch, Utah

Located south of Ballard, Utah is the legendary Skinwalker Ranch. Many indigenous tribes and cultures believe the area has powerful supernatural forces at work. It has been home to numerous reported UFO and paranormal sightings over the years. The most famous of these sightings is the Phoenix Lights, which was witnessed by thousands of people in 1997. The lights seen in the sky over Phoenix, Arizona were described as a V-shaped formation of lights that moved slowly across the sky. Other reported sightings include mysterious objects hovering in the air, strange lights in the sky, and even reports of alien abductions. Take the time to explore this mysterious and fascinating place, if you can brave it!

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