Where are you going?
Or, let us surprise youSpin the Globe ®

9 Real-Life Places in Nature that Look Like a Fairytale

1. ANTELOPE CANYON
9 Real-Life Places in Nature that Look Like a Fairytale

They're almost too good to be true.

Do you ever see a picture online (or, ahem, on Pinterest) and assume there’s no way it’s real?

With the range of editing tools now available to us all, it’s hard to differentiate between what’s real and what’s wishful thinking...and a bit of Photoshop. So when we come across a 100% real spot that looks like something out of a Dr. Seuss storybook, it’s important to give them the credit they deserve.

These nine places around the world are exactly that: real-life destinations that almost seem too good to be true (or, in this case, to beautiful to be real).

  • 1 / 9
    1. ANTELOPE CANYON
    1. ANTELOPE CANYON
    Page, Arizona

    Located in Arizona near the border of Utah and on Navajo land,
    Antelope Canyon is a slot canyon formed from rainwater. The result is a gradient of red and orange shades carved into the sandstone, and incredibly photographable areas for tourists to explore.

    IMAGE VIA PEXELS
  • 2 / 9
    2. LAKE HILLIER
    2. LAKE HILLIER
    Goldfields-Esperance, Western Australia

    Western Australia’s Lake Hillier is colored so strangely from a unique combination of high salinity and green algae—which produces a red pigment and pink bacteria. The result is a body of water in a color somewhere in the family of Pepto Bismol.

    PHOTO BY ANNE MORLEY

  • 3 / 9
    3. SLIDING ROCK
    3. SLIDING ROCK
    Asheville, North Carolina

    Forget the plastic Slip ‘N Slide. This smooth rock is a natural water slide—one that visitors can careen down into a swimming hole waiting below.

    PHOTO COURTESY OF ROMANTICASHEVILLE.COM
  • 4 / 9
    4. RAINBOW MOUNTAINS
    4. RAINBOW MOUNTAINS
    Gansu, China

    At the
    Zhangye Danxia Landform Geological Park, the mountain ridges and slopes come in technicolor. It's the result of layers of red sandstone and mineral deposits stacked up over millions of years, and then buckled upwards by tectonic plates. It was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site—and with this kind of jaw-dropping scenery, it's not hard to see why.

  • 5 / 9
    5. HIDDEN BEACH
    5. HIDDEN BEACH
    Marietas Islands, Puerto Vallarta

    A beach located in a crater-like stone structure with an open roof, the Marietas Islands’ hidden gem is likely the result of something slightly (okay, very) unnatural—target practice by the military. The result is a secret beach, only reachable by swimming in, that feels like a private sanctuary of clear waters and warm sands.

    PHOTO BY MIGUEL NARANJO 
  • 6 / 9
    6. SALAR DE UYUNI BOLIVIA
    6. SALAR DE UYUNI BOLIVIA
    Potosí, Bolivia

    The world’s largest salt flat, the Salar de Uyuni, is one of the most surreal sites in the world. The combination of the salt crust and pooling waters creates a reflective surface that lets tourists create the illusion of walking in the sky.

    PHOTO BY DIMITRI B./FLICKR
  • 7 / 9
    7. ASHIKAGA FLOWER PARK
    7. ASHIKAGA FLOWER PARK
    Ashikaga, Japan

    Famous for large installations of wisteria, this
    park is a dreamy wonderland of florals. The wisteria bloom in four different colors (light pink, purple, white, and yellow), and appears at its most beautiful from mid-April to mid-May.

    PHOTO BY MANISH PRABHUNE/FLICKR
  • 8 / 9
    8. PAMUKKALE THERMAL POOLS
    8. PAMUKKALE THERMAL POOLS
    Pamukkale, Turkey

    The whimsical thermal pools in Pamukkale are a series of step-like levels carved by the flowing, mineral-rich water from white travertine. The direct translation of Pamukkale is “cotton castle,” and the terraces definitely feel akin to something more from your dreams than from reality.

    PHOTO BY LWYANG/FLICKR
  • 9 / 9
    WHAT’S NEXT . . .
    WHAT’S NEXT . . .
    >>Next: 9 Incredible Hotel Pools to Visit Around the World

    PHOTO COURTESY OF GLENWOOD HOTSPRINGS LODGE