Tag Archives: national parks

Stunning seaside national parks in the American Southeast

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photo by CC user BrianDBell  on wikimedia

While the front porch to the American South offers much in the way of hospitality and soul satisfying cuisine, its outdoor spaces are similarly inviting as well.

While the Appalachian Mountains are an obvious draw, the coastline of the states of the Southeast have a subtle beauty that will speak to you and your traveling companions.

If you are looking for some stunning seaside national parks in the American Southeast, the following spots will make your trip a fulfilling one indeed.

1) Assateague Island National Seashore

Situated on a series of barrier islands spread across Maryland and Virginia’s frontage on the Atlantic Ocean, Assateague Island National Seashore’s salt marshes, oceanic forests and wild beaches is an excellent place for the outdoors enthusiast that loves coastal environments.

Join region residents fishing in the surf for species that swim close to shore, or walk the park’s many trails in search of a pack of feral Chincoteague ponies, as they have roamed this sandy isle for centuries since their introduction to the wild.

2) Cape Hatteras National Seashore

Positioned well out into the turbulent expanse of the Atlantic, Cape Hatteras National Seashore experiences its fair share of storms over the course of a year.

Even when the weather is good, the winds are blowing at a stiff and decent clip, making it a spot that is ideal for those that draw energy from nature’s rawest places.

The constant and consistent wind swell here has created a mecca for area’s surfers, while those looking for something more tame to do will love the fact that this portion of the Eastern Seaboard is a haven for waterfowl on their way north or south when the seasons are changing.

3) Cumberland Island National Seashore

Georgia’s biggest barrier island, Cumberland National Seashore is located in the southern portions of the state, giving it a long warm season throughout the course of the year.

While it might be lamentable that many seaside getaways in the Southeast can get unbearably crowded throughout the summer, access to Cumberland Island is restricted to no more than 300 visitors at a time by the national park service, which maintains its serene nature even during the peak of high season.

In addition to the outdoor activities available here (which include hiking, biking and camping), there is a long human history here as well, which involved the long existence of the Timucua Indians and plantation owners during the Antebellum period.

Those into culture will love the museum on site that is dedicated to the backstory of this pristine island.

Knockout national parks near American cities

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photo by CC user Tiner Ralph, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (image in public domain)

As much as America’s best urban environments offer, sometimes the call of nature is too alluring to resist. When you seek to answer its call, do so in some of the best national parks near American cities…

1) San Francisco: Yosemite National Park

Renowned worldwide for its spectacular granite massifs (like El Capitan and Half Dome), waterfalls, and massive sequoia trees, a trip to Yosemite National Park has long been a way for many from the Bay Area and across America to cast off the stress of the city in order to reconnect with nature on their holiday time.

Gawk at the power of Yosemite Falls, scale Half Dome via the assistance of via ferrata cables, and do some day hikes that will get you away from the tour bus crowds and deep into this park’s amazing nature … any of them will get you hooked on seeing more of America’s natural heritage.

2) Denver: Rocky Mountain National Park

Within sight of Denver’s downtown core are the Rockies, which is arguably America’s most famous mountain chain. While any place west of the city will put in their midst, the best place to experience their nature in a protected state is within the appropriately named Rocky Mountain National Park.

The Continent Divide passes through the centre of this park, which makes for a drier eastern section, and a moister and more lush western section. Those that are into mountaineering, rock climbing and wildlife spotting will be at home here, while those wishing to drive the highest paved road in America will find it along the Trail Ridge Road, which peaks at 12,000 feet above sea level.

3) Miami: Everglades National Park

Fixing to leave the socially competitive scene of Miami behind for a weekend of exploring South Florida’s complex nature? If so, the biodiverse wetlands of Everglades National Park are but a short drive away from the sands of South Beach, where you will trade sun loungers for swamp boats. From crocodiles to manatees, the waters of the park are filled with amazing animals that are just waiting to be discovered.

4) Boston: Cape Cod National Seashore

In the sweltering heat of a New England summer, many overheated locals do the only sensible thing on weekends and on their time off from work: they load themselves into the family car and head off toward Cape Cod National Seashore.

In addition to harboring a large quantity of high quality beaches, it also protects cliff dunes, salt marshes, and pine and oak forests inland. While camping is not available on Seashore lands, many private campgrounds are situated outside park boundaries, making for a fun weekend (or week) during the height of summer in the Northeast.

Turkey: Why It’s the Place to Be in 2015

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photo by CC user greenwichphotography on Flickr

If your impression of Turkey runs no further than the country’s magnificent beaches then it may be time to reassess that opinion. The sun-drenched stretches of sand are just one of many major attractions in this extremely popular vacation destination.

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