When visiting a new destination, it’s always interesting to tour the different buildings in the area–from important government buildings to unique museums. If you’re looking for destinations with some of the most beautiful churches, you should check out our list of top places. Of course, beautiful churches exist throughout the country, but these cities are home to some of the greatest. If you’re visiting Charleston, S.C., you'll find dozens of churches to explore as this coastal Southern town has been dubbed the Holy City because of the vast number of steeples that dot the area. Read on to learn more and start planning your next escape.
Places with the Most Beautiful Churches in the U.S.
A city known for its outdoor spaces, Savannah, GA is also home to a rich history and many unique churches. While touring the area, you should certainly visit the parks, which are called the Savannah Squares, but also make time to walk through the Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist. Located near Troup Square, this gorgeous cathedral is stunning from the outside, but once you step through the doors, you’re greeted by huge, handcrafted stained glass windows that add color and beauty to the church. The exterior is ornately designed in colors of white and gold and the church towers over the street.
Charleston, South Carolina
Known as the Holy City, Charleston, S.C. has a plethora of beautiful churches–from the Mother Emanuel AME Church located on Calhoun Street to Saint Philip’s Church, the oldest church in the entire city. It’s difficult to pick just one church to visit, so it’s best to make a list of the ones you are most interested in and go on a self-guided tour. The Unitarian Church on Archdale Street may look like many other churches from the outside, but inside, the ceiling has been ornately designed with hand-sculpted patterns of white arches against a light blue color. The inside of this church is unique, but the cemetery that is attached to it is also intriguing, with beautiful landscaping that many people come to see. You can also stop by the Circular Congregational Church on Meeting Street for a glimpse of a unique brick design.
Our nation’s capital is known for important and interesting buildings–from iconic structures like the White House and the Lincoln Memorial to religious landmarks like the Washington National Cathedral. This church is actually built on the highest point in the entire city, meaning it overlooks everything taking place. You can easily plan to visit the church during your tour of all the city’s historic landmarks, but be sure to leave enough time to explore the inside as well. Designed with a French Gothic style, many people are reminded of the famous Notre Dame building when they first lay eyes on the Washington National Cathedral. Behind the ornate exterior lies beautiful stained glass windows and even an observation gallery. You can spend several hours touring this church, particularly if you plan to visit the gardens as well.
New Orleans, Louisiana
Architecture in the Big Easy is a truly unique blend of French, Spanish and Caribbean styles that all combine to create what is known as Creole-style architecture. The rich history of this area is obvious. The culture is a blend of distinct cultures, and it shines through in many ways. When you visit one of the city’s most beautiful churches, the Saint Louis Cathedral, you’ll notice the Old World architectural influence. Not only is the Saint Louis Cathedral one of the most intriguing landscapes in the city, but it’s also the oldest church on the continent of North America, making it a truly important piece of our country’s history.
Though not technically a church, the Byodo-In Temple is a truly spectacular non-denominational Buddhist Temple that should be at the top of your list of places to visit. On the island of Oahu, the temple is located through the wild forests and offers a sacred place for people of all faiths to worship. Both the inside and outside of this temple are extraordinary, with red trim decorating the structure. You can tour the temple, attend one of their events or head to the meditation pavilion to clear your head. This is one of the most unique places to visit during your trip to Hawaii, so don’t miss out on the chance to witness the structural beauty of the Byodo-In Temple.
New York, New York
When creating a list of cities with beautiful buildings, New York City is always going to be mentioned, with structures of all sizes and styles. Though many gorgeous churches exist in the city, most people name Trinity Church in the Financial District as the most intriguing. The unusual brick exterior and ornate spires add a bit of mystery to this building located amongst the modern New York City structures that surround it. Be sure to pop into this church during your trip to the Big Apple and marvel at the centuries-old structure.
San Francisco, California
San Francisco is another major city known for its eclectic architecture. While there are so many sites to visit in this West Coast city, you have to make time to stop by the Grace Cathedral in Nob Hill. You can opt to simply walk around the church and tour it yourself, or plan to attend one of their donation classes like yoga or concerts. You can also learn more about the supposed haunted history behind this gorgeous church.
Spend Some Time in America’s Most Beautiful Churches
From the Big Apple to the West Coast, our country has some of the most beautiful churches. If you’re looking for a unique experience, be sure to check out the Byodo-In Temple in Hawaii. Though it’s not a traditional church, it’s one of the most unique places to express your faith. If you’re looking to tour many beautiful churches, a visit to Charleston, S.C. is exactly what you’re looking for because the city is home to so many churches that it’s been nicknamed the Holy City. You’ll find gorgeous architecture and unique stained glass in many of these churches listed, but be sure to visit the other attractions in the area to truly understand each destination.