February 9, 2024

My National Parks shortlist!!

The National Parks system in America is really something special. With 63 National Parks and over 100 National Monuments, this system encompasses the best, the most beautiful, and the most unique natural environments our great country has to offer. I hope to visit them all in my lifetime, but if pressed, these would be at the top of my list!

1. The Utah FIVE

With five National Parks, Utah only ranks third for the highest number of parks (California is the big winner with 9 and Alaska is close behind with 8!). The five, Zion, Bryce Canyon, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef, and Arches, stretch across the southern half of Utah with relatively short distances between them. Their proximity to one another means there are multiple options for how to visit them; a self-drive road trip, a small group active adventure, or a stress-free group experience. No matter how you choose to visit these beautiful parks, the unique rock formations, slot canyons, and delicate rock arches will leave every traveler in awe.

2. Dry Tortugas

If you like secluded and remote places with crystal clear Caribbean-like waters, the Dry Tortugas might be for you. Located 70 miles off the coast of Key West and made up of seven small islands, visitors have to take a plane or boat to access this national park. The waters around the islands are known for great snorkeling, shipwrecks, and an abundance of SEA TURTLES! Camping is the only way to stay at this National Park, but the high-speed ferry makes day trips possible for those who’d prefer to stay in comfort on Key West.

3. Grand Teton

The lack of foothills in Grand Teton NP is said to make the sight of mountains even more awe-inducing. The park is known for a wide range of wildlife, alpine lakes, shimmering waterfalls, and amazing hiking. Its location around the town of Jackson Hole means there are options from camping to luxury lodges and everything in between. Early morning wildlife tours and plenty of hiking trails make this National Park one that I can’t wait to visit!

4. Crater Lake National Park

Widely considered the most scenic of all the National Parks (and I mean, that is SAYING something), Crater Lake in Oregon is the deepest lake in America. It was formed by a collapsed volcano and is said to have water so clear that on a sunny day, you can see 100 feet deep. One hiking trail leads to the only legal shore access point and if you are feeling brave, you can take a dip: at the height of summer, the surface of the water warms to a balmy 55 or 56 degrees… BRRRR! Once darkness has fallen and you can no longer see the beautiful lake, head outside and look up! The remote location and high elevation of Crater Lake means the National Park is a designated dark sky area and an excellent place for stargazing

Choosing just four National Parks for my shortlist was hard!! My list goes on and on because there isn’t even one National Park that I would skip or choose not to see. What about you? Is there a National Park you’ve been pining to see or one you loved so much you’d go back to again and again? No matter where you go, I’m ready and able to help! From road trip itineraries to hotel reservations, it doesn’t have to be a “big” trip to enlist my help. If you’ve been dreaming of a getaway schedule a consult today… I’d love to dream with you to curate a vacation you’ll love.

Travel is the best way to curate joy in your life. Let us help you make your next trip amazing!

America the BEAUTIFUL...

The National Parks that are on my to visit shortlist!