Top Ten National Parks
National Park Road trips – The season of road trips is upon us and it’s the perfect time to explore and discover your own unique connection to our National Park System which includes vast natural landscapes, historical, cultural, and urban treasures. There are endless ways you can connect with parks. You may even find that a National Park Service program helped preserve a special place in your community. It is with this in mind that the travel experts bring you our picks of our top ten favorite National Parks. Note, the list is in no particular order as we feel that all American National Parks are amazing in their own unique way.
What are you waiting for? Get out there and find your park!“Not all who wander are lost” Said Tolkien, You may be surprised by everything you’ll see and learn along your journey.
- Olympic National Park - Kick off a Pacific Coast Highway Road Trip with a stop at Olympic National Park. It’s a glorious mish-mash of untamed glacial rivers, Pacific Shoreline, and old-growth forests. The result is a seemingly magical wilderness, home to over three hundred species of wildlife including the Olympic Marmot, Olympic Snow Mole, and Olympic Torrent Salamander – species that are found here and nowhere else in the world! Afterwards check out the Oregon Caves National Monument and Preserve and Pinnacle National park. Then you will arrive at the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.
- Golden Gate National Recreation Area - encompasses 200 years of history and culture from Native Americans, Spanish Settlers, and American Pioneers. This park protects 19 ecosystems and 1273 species of plants and animals.
- Rocky Mountain National Park - If Mountains are more of your thing, you could check out the Rocky Mountain National Park. This park has some of the highest peaks in the continental US and hikers can take in clear lakes, valleys blanketed with pristine forests, and wildflowers in the spring. You may even spot Bighorn Sheep, the park’s mascot.
- Minute Man National Park - It was the “shot heard around the world” On April 19, 1775, the tension between England and American colonists came to a head as fighting between royal soldiers and colonial militia and volunteers, the minute men, broke out on the North Bridge. It is seen as the first fight during the eight-year war of independence. As such, be sure to check out the Minute Man National Park to experience a walk back in history.
- Stonewell Inn National Historic Landmark – Why is a bar a national landmark? A series of events at the Stonewall Inn and nearby sites in Greenwich Village, NY back in 1969 led the LGBT community to protest unfair treatment and is widely recognized as the single most important moment in the modern civil war movement for LGBT Americans.
- The Sweet Auburn District in Atlanta contains MLK’s birthplace , the Ebenezer Baptist Church where he was a pastor, and his grave-site. The National Historic Landmark District honors the most prominent leaders in the 20th century civil right movement and will continue to be a lesson in love and equality for future generations.
- Big Bend National Park – Cactus bloom dot a landscape riddled with canyons and geological features at this national park. The Unique topography of Big Bend National Park makes it a fascinating destination. Fossils discovered at Big Bend include a giant 50 Foot crocodile and a record holding pterosaur.
- Glacier National park – Named for the glaciers dating back to the ice age of 10,000 years ago, it is best known by the Native Americans as the “shining mountains” and the “backbone of the world.” The Glacier National Park is located in the northern corner of Montana along the spine of the Rockies, with the northern most part of the park residing in Canada. While there you should check out the Going-to-the-Sun Road: an engineering marvel featuring some of the best sights in northern Montana. Lake McDonald Valley and many Glaciers are considered by many as the heart of the park.
- Yellowstone National Park is a mountain wilderness, home to grizzly bears, wolves and herds of bison and elk. Yellowstone National Park is Located primarily in the state of Wyoming, but extend into the neighboring states of Idaho and Montana
- Yosemite National Park is internationally recognized for its spectacular granite cliffs, waterfalls, clear streams, giant Sequoia groves, and biological diversity. This National Park offers a fair amount of dog friendly walk areas and sights to see with your K9 companions. This national park is known to be a dog owner’s paradise and if you happen to own one I recommend checking it out.