US National, State and Local Parks, or Get Out There and Find Your Park

What do you envision when you think of the USA? New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Washington, Miami, Chicago, Las Vegas, San Francisco, San Diego, LA? After all, this is what many travelers are there for: major cities, sightseeing, shopping, especially during a festive season ) Make no mistake, each city is different and unique in every way. And has so much to offer in terms of sightseeing and entertainment for both locals and travelers alike. However, this is also the land of national parks and some of the most amazing nature-wise places in the country and the world.

After all, this is also the land of Acadia, Yellowstone (the world’s first national park – 1872!), Grand Canyon, Crater Lake, Yosemite, and these are just to name a few. I think the most surprising thing about the USA to many travelers, at least to those who are particularly unaware, is how many national parks there are. 63, plus, each unique in its own way! And how many state, city and local parks? Even more.

Open to the public (at least for a small entrance fee, and you can get an annual pass to all national parks!, if you want to), they are at the same time protecting some of the most beautiful places in the country and the world.

When I think of the USA, it is not only about major cities, it is also about some of the most amazing nature-wise places in the world. May be, because I was fortunate and determined to experience as many of these natural wonders as I could. Even road tripping cross-country, from CT to CA and CT to Fl, across New England and back. Exploring both of its coastlines and visiting a few major cities and sights along the way: from national monuments and landmarks, national and state parks to smaller towns and vista points.

Once you get out of the major highways and interstates, there are many interesting places to explore along the way. Especially when it comes to nature.

Acadia National Park, Maine

What is remarkable about Acadia? This is the first place in the country to greet the Sun, and it has the tallest mountain on the Northern Atlantic coast (466m) with absolutely beautiful panoramic views of the area from its hiking trails.

The whole region was named by Florentine explorer Giovanni da Verrazano. L’Acadie, or Acadia. It is believed to be a Wabanaki word (ancient native people of the area who inhabited the island long before Europeans), while others believe it is named after Arcadia, a scenic region of ancient Greece. While many of the islands and towns have the names of the first European explorers and settlers of the region. From the name of the Island itself (Mount Desert Island) to the island’s mountains (Cadillac and Champlain Mountains), named after French explorers, Samuel de Champlain and Sieur de Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac (the one who also founded Quebec in Canada).

It is easy to get to the top in Acadia, just drive up, and in a few minutes you are already there

or at least know where the parking is to hike up the trails. Were there any signs, btw? )

This is Cadillac Mountain, or the tallest mountain on the northern Atlantic coast, with amazing views of the Bar Harbor from the mountain top 

and incredible panoramic views of the whole area from its hiking trails

Acadia might be known for its sunrise, however, nature views throughout the day are just as spectacular and amazing!  


Crater Lake National Park, Oregon

Oregon happens to be one of those places, remarkable for its nature’s wilderness, with its millions of acres of Pacific coastline, natural forests, pristine lakes, beautiful nature and also 7 Wonders of Oregon. Surprisingly, Travel Oregon does a really great job at promoting its points of interest and natural wonders. Thanks to their campaign Wonders of Oregon, I already had an approximate idea of what I wanted to see, and only had to decide what places I wanted to explore and experience during my travels in Oregon.

From picturesque coastline with miles of secluded beaches, sand dunes and graceful lighthouses, Columbia River Gorge with its corridor of cascading waterfalls, alpine peaks of the Wallowas, volcanic beauty and cliffs of the Smith Rock, grandeur and majesty of glaciers and lakes at Mt.Hood, to Painted Hills with their bright and natural colors of the Earth. And then there is Crater Lake…

It might not be as known and popular as Acadia, Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, Yosemite or Zion. However, this is the deepest lake in the North America and one of the deepest in the world.

US National and State Parks, or Get Out There and Find Your Park

with a mysterious and serene beauty like no other

Even off-season couldn’t hide its natural beauty, and I can imagine how beautiful it is in summer


Yellowstone National Park

Located in Wyoming and parts of Montana and Idaho, Yellowstone is the world’s first national park (1872) and it might be one of the largest US parks (even larger than the states of Rhode Island and Delaware combined!), and one the most diverse also. From deep canyons, alpine lakes, geysers, vast forests, luscious meadows, mountain peaks to abundance and diversity of fauna and flora. It is hard to imagine that you can visit and experience it’s nature all in a day.

Traveling and exploring Yellowstone is kind of like this, for the most part… 

US National and State Parks, or Get Out There and Find Your Park

Miles and miles of roads, hiking trails, natural beauty and wilderness

US National and State Parks, or Get Out There and Find Your Park

And this is where you can see all the roaming bisons in the wild 

And it might be the only form of animal “sightseeing” I support, in their natural habitat. Surprisingly, they seemed quite friendly and accustomed to seeing travelers around.

At least it seemed this way, from the distance of the car )

I am not a morning person, I did get up very very early… just for this though )

Although a couple of days is certainly not enough in this national park, and it happens to be a very popular vacation and camping place for many Americans and travelers

I did stop by the Visitor Center, joined a group tour and even managed to explore the park in all of its diversity


Silver Sands State Park, Connecticut

During my travels in Milford, Connecticut I visited Silver Sands State park, which turned out to be more than just a walk along the coastline. What could be more inspirational, than an interesting local park, an island that is not really an island, my fascination with nature and fondness of literature, a brilliant writer, a place of extraordinary connections and a little bit of magic? And voilà’… travel story  “Connecticut, Mark Twain, Travel and Extraordinary Connection”, and Home he described as having ” …a heart, and a soul, and eyes to see us with.” 

Connecticut, Mark Twain, Travel and Extraordinary Connection

Walking along the coastline, I noticed a near-by island and wondered if there was a way to get there

Connecticut, Mark Twain, Travel and Extraordinary Connection

After walking along the coastline and exploring the park, I returned to see if there was a boat or a kayak to get to the island

And then miraculously water was completely gone

Connecticut, Mark Twain, Travel and Extraordinary Connection

– How are you even an island? I wondered

– I am not, there is always a way for those who see it )

“May be, an island is not really an island”, I thought, “may be, this is another word for Individuality and freedom to be yourself 


Enjoy your travels,


For traveler related information and planning visit Official US National Parks web site

The post US National, State and Local Parks, or Get Out There and Find Your Park appeared first on Globetrotting Girl

pinterestby feather

Leave a Reply