Wednesday, July 28, 2010

My top 5 list of National Parks for U.S. travel

There are tons of unique travel experiences in the U.S. Some of our favorite experiences have come from visiting national parks. Some of the locations are remote but you can always count on the park rangers to answer questions or steer you in the right direction.

So far, we've traveled through much of the U.S. Many more trips are planned. Having an annual National Parks Pass helps give you free admission. Only a few places charge parking fees which aren't covered. (Mt. Rushmore  is one example.) Camping fees are never included but are discounted with some passes.

Here is my top 5 list of National Parks for U.S. travel:

#1 My top 5 list of National Parks for U.S. travel
Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Tennessee, North Carolina
It's the most visited park for a reason. Millions of visitors travel to places like Cades Cove to view the mountains. Few recognize it as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It's usually hot in the summer. Be sure to read 8 Tips to Prevent Heat Sickness at the Grand Canyon.




#2 My top 5 list of National Parks for U.S. travel
Grand Canyon 
Arizona
It's big.  It's beautiful. What's not to love? It's hot. Watch for signs of heat exhaustion. Carry extra water and sports drinks.

#3 My top 5 list of National Parks for U.S. travel
Glacier National Park
Montana
This photo movie leaves you spellbound. Pick up food on the way into the park. Bring extra camera batteries. You'll need them.

#4 My top 5 list of National Parks for U.S. travel
Denali National Park
Denali, Alaska
Majestic peaks give way to valleys. Glaciers and ice covered mountains hold tales of untold history. Wolves, grizzlies, moose and mountain goats roam free in this Alaska wilderness. No human food is available. Pick up a picnic in Denali, Alaska to bring with you.

#5 My top 5 list of National Parks for U.S. travel
Cape Hatteras Lighthouse
North Carolina
Cape Hatteras was moved when waters from the Atlantic Ocean threatened this monument. At 208 ft. there is no taller brick lighthouse on the U.S. east coast and is the highlight of the Cape Hatteras National Seashore.