The great outdoors is a beauty to behold. Nothing brings inner peace faster than engaging in a slice of nature, and you can experience it for yourself by visiting any of the historic national parks dotted around the United States of America.
There are 61 national parks, providing a wide range of leisure pursuits and gorgeous scenery that will make you want to come back again and again. The National Parks Service website has lots of information to help you plan your trip.
So let’s have a look at some of the top places to visit for a great American holiday, and see what Uncle Sam has in store for you!
Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Located on the border of North Carolina and Tennessee, this little slice of green heaven, an offshoot of the legendary Blue Ridge mountain range, houses over 10,000 different species of plants and animals, and is home to its signature black bears. It has high elevations ranging from 200 metres (650 feet) to 2,000 metres (6,500 feet), making it an ideal hiking spot.
It houses the famous Clingsman Dome, which is the highest mountain in the state of Tennessee. It will give you a wonderful view from its observatory tower.
You can also wow your children by taking them to the Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies, which houses a huge collection of exotic aquatic creatures.
Many people say that the most beautiful time of the year to visit Great Smoky Mountains is in the autumn, where temperatures are slightly cooler too, from around 10C (50F) to 26C (79F).
Grand Canyon National Park
Located in Arizona, this national park is centred around the amazing Grand Canyon, a feature often hailed as a wonder of the world and is so large that it can be spotted from space!
The Grand Canyon National Park is best enjoyed by those who enjoy hiking as it features numerous idyllic walking spots, from the beautiful Bright Angel Trail to the South Kaibab Trail.
The park also houses the prestigious Grand Canyon Village which serves as a hub for rafting and camping. It provides lodging, souvenirs, and more. You need to carefully choose which time of year to visit, because the temperatures can get pretty extreme, especially in the inner canyon.
The North Rim and South Rim of the canyon can also be explored with your family, and helicopter tours are available for an amazing scenic view.
The Grand Canyon National Park is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for an adventurous family. You can also visit Las Vegas while you’re in the area; it’s a four hour drive away.
Yosemite National Park
Anyone looking for the thrill of heights and extreme sports should look no further than the Yosemite National Park. Located in California, this park is known for its well-polished mountainsides and steep peaks. It is also home to over 250 species of vertebrates and several hundred species of plants.
Yosemite is also steeped in Hollywood legend, since popular television shows and films such as Star Trek V, The Last of the Mohicans, and Maverick were all filmed here.
Temperatures at Yosemite range quite a lot throughout the year, so choose a time where the heat suits the kind of activities you want to be doing. There is a wide variety of climbing spots like the Half Dome, Yosemite Falls, and the Yosemite Valley, which holds a great view over the glaciers.
Rocky Mountain National Park
This historic national park is located in the lofty mountain ranges of the Rockies in Colorado. It is filled with a diverse biosphere ecosystem, from lush green vegetation to snowy peaks. The park is perfect for enthusiasts of hiking and mountaineering, as there are various trail types—from easy to challenging!—for those looking for a thrill. Fishing is also available for a more relaxed family experience. Because of the mountains, temperatures can vary a lot, depending on exactly where you are, so be prepared.
There are a lot of other activities to keep the family engaged, like cross country skiing and rock climbing. You can also explore the charming city of Boulder, which is something of a modern tech company hotspot too.
There are so many national parks to choose from, so why not set off on a voyage of discovery? Due to the high cost of medical care in the USA, we strongly recommend that you purchase travel insurance before your trip. Our Go2 Travel policy is the most suitable – choose the Worldwide cover option.