Summer Vacation Series: State and National Parks
From deserts and plains to mountain and beaches, the USA has it all. It also has a well-developed system of national and state parks that make seeing all that natural diversity cheap and easy. You’ve heard of famous parks like Yellowstone and the Grand Canyon of course, but there are plenty of others that are worth your time, even if some of them are a little off the beaten track.
Lassen Volcanic. With most national parks you might expect beautiful vistas and lush scenery. While California’s Lassen Volcanic has these things in abundance is also has its own charms— namely bubbling mud, pools of boiling water and volcanic vents galore.
Sequoia and Kings Canyon. This park, also located in California, is the alternative to its better-known sister, Sequoia National Park— great for when you want the sequoias without all the crowds. It also has impressive granite water walls, awesome hiking trails and plenty of wildlife.
Crater Lake. Even though it’s the deepest freshwater lake in America, Crater Lake isn’t a lake in the traditional sense. Instead it’s the collapsed caldera of an ancient volcano. In the center of the lake sits Wizard Island. The park boasts spectacular views and some of the most unique scenery in the world.
Dry Tortugas National Park. If you’re in the Florida Keys and want a beach all to yourself, there’s no better place than Dry Tortugas. It’s only accessible by boat, but it has plenty of blue waters and exquisite coral reefs to make it worth the trek.
Mammoth Cave. Not all of nature’s most impressive works are above ground. Living up to its name, Kentucky’s Mammoth Cave has the world’s longest cave system with spectacular natural formations over 200 feet below the surface.
If you want to truly experience the natural diversity America has to offer, national and state parks are a great place to start. Make them part of your travel plans this year and get ready for awesome!