10 Must-See National Parks
National Parks are often underrated as a vacation destination but with so many scattered across the country they make a great escape from a hectic life into the serene surroundings of nature. While you really can’t go wrong with visiting any of the USA’s National Parks, see what ones topped our list (in no particular order).
- Glacier National Park – Nestled in the Rocky Mountains in scenic Montana, this untamed natural beauty is home to over 700 miles of hiking trails. Not only is this park full of natural wonders but engineering marvels and history are abound as well. Discover remnants of Native American life or explore the Going-to-the-Sun Road — a 50-mile spectacle that winds through the park and offers breathtaking views. With all that this park has to offer its no wonder it made our list.
- Acadia National Park – This park contains pristine forests, mountain heights and a rocky coast. With all three of these natural sites packaged into one park, Acadia National Park hits the top of our list. This park is full of historic carriage roads and breathtaking views; it is home to Cadillac Mountain, which is the tallest mountain on the Eastern Shore.
- Channel Islands – California is home to a vast variety of landscapes, one of which are the isolated and unique Channel Islands. Five of these eight islands make up the Channel Islands National Park. The isolation of these islands has resulted in a multitude of unique animals and plants. This distinctive national park is definitely worth the short boat ride.
- Olympic National Park – Settled in Washington’s lush landscape, this park showcases ocean tide pools, lush meadows, and soaring mountain heights. It’s also home to the largest remains of ancient forests in the country.
- Cuyahoga Valley National Park – No, this park isn’t just here because we like to say its name. This is the youngest national park in the US but what it lacks in years it makes up for in beauty. Its home is along the Cuyahoga River in Ohio, a refuge for plants and wildlife alike. The most interesting site at this park is the old auto junkyard that is now home to the local beaver population.
- Sequoia National Park – This park, in the southern Sierra Nevada, is home to giant sequoia forests which contain some of the largest trees in the world. Of these is the General Sherman tree, which is the largest known single stem tree on earth by volume. You’ll be in awe walking through this forest of giants.
- Zion National Park – Take a hike along a scenic river trail between towering sandstone walls of cream, pink and red. As if this hike couldn’t get any better, the glistening river flowing at your feet encourages intermittent swimming breaks. Don’t worry; there are still plenty of chances for stunning views and amazing vistas all over the park. Also being home to over 250 bird species this Utah park is a haven for natural wonders.
- Great Smoky Mountains National Park – Nestled between the borders of North Carolina and Tennessee, this park boasts a stunning array of wildlife with 1500 plant species, 60 mammal species and 200 bird species. This is America’s most visited national park, and for good reason.
- Everglades National Park – Get close to a variety of endangered species, like manatees and crocodiles, in this protected habitat. You may even catch sight of a bottle-nosed dolphin or Florida panther during your visit. Enhance the experience by picking up a kayak and paddle through mangrove forests and breathtaking coastlines.
- Hawaii Volcanoes National Park – Get up close and personal with a live volcano at this unique national park. During your visit you can get rare insight into how the Hawaiian Islands were formed and, if conditions permit, you may even be able to walk through a naturally formed lava tube.