The vast natural beauty of America attracts millions of admirers each year. From mountains to deserts to beaches, each region of the United States has something special to offer. Here are the top 10 most popular attractions according to the National Park Service's 2012 report on visitors.

10.  Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area

Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area

Photo: Nicholas_T/Flickr

Once deemed a Wonder of the World, the Delaware Water Gap – with its winding river, vast valley and waterfalls – draws just under 5 million visitors each year.

9. Gulf Islands National Seashore

Gulf Islands National Seashore

Photo: Lil Castner/Flickr

The soft, sandy beaches of the northern Gulf of Mexico continue their rebound from the July 2010 oil spill, attracting nearly 5 million visitors with its white beaches, barrier islands, water activities, history and wildlife.

8. Gateway National Recreation Area

Gateway National Recreation Area

Photo: Puzzler4879/Flickr

The Gateway National Recreation Area survived Hurricane Sandy and, after a quick and determined recovery, continues to provide beach fun to more than 5 million visitors. In addition to inviting coastlines, visitors can observe Fort Wadsworth, one of the oldest military sites in the United States, and the Sandy Hook lighthouse, the oldest in the country.

7. Natchez Trace Parkway

Natchez Trace Parkway

Photo: gnatallica/Flickr

The Natchez Trace Parkway stretches 444 miles through Alabama, Mississippi and Tennessee. A variety of outdoor activities accompany great historical significance, inviting more than 5 million visitors each year to learn and enjoy the area.

6. Lincoln Memorial

Lincoln Memorial

Photo: Randy Pertiet/Flickr

The Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., is an iconic piece of history situated in the gorgeous West Potomac Park near the Potomac River. More than 6 million people visit the memorial — part of the National Mall — to drink up the history and the greenery.

5. Lake Mead National Recreation Center

Lake Mead National Recreation Center

Photo: marcwings/Flickr

Lake Mead National Recreation Area in Arizona and Nevada attracts more than 6 million kayakers, boaters, fishers, hikers, photographers — and anyone who loves breathtaking desert views and unique wildlife.

4. George Washington Memorial Parkway

George Washington Memorial Parkway

Photo: National Park Service

Amidst the bustling Washington, D.C., area is a beautiful and historical wildlife preservation, the George Washington Memorial Parkway. Its careful combination of scenery and history is just one reason why more than 7 million people visit it each year.

3. Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Photo: Photomatt28/Flickr

It’s no wonder that nearly 10 million people visit the Great Smoky Mountains between North Carolina and Tennessee, which offer a rich Southern Appalachian mountain culture and incredible wildlife diversity.

2. Golden Gate National Recreation Area

Golden Gate National Recreation Area

Photo: britta heise/Flickr

More than 14 million visitors venture to the Golden Gate National Recreation Area for its rich history and the picturesque San Francisco Bay Area, taking part in such activities as trail walking and windsurfing.

1. Blue Ridge Parkway

Blue Ridge Parkway

Photo: freefotouk/Flickr

With more than 15 million annual visitors, the Blue Ridge Parkway’s 469 miles of scenic landscapes and mountains boast 100 trails, seasonal wildflowers, historical and cultural demonstrations, horseback riding and migratory bird-watching.

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Featured photo: ArmyJacket/Flickr
10 most popular attractions of the National Park Service
The U.S. showcases some of the most beautiful scenery on earth and duly protects it. Here are the top 10 most popular parks of the National Park Service.