For many looking to take a break from the bustle of daily life, nature’s rejuvenating power supplements any vacation. With its array of states and weather, the United States boasts a variety of natural parks suitable for any taste. Here’s a list of the top national parks to visit in the United States when you want to get away and find serenity in nature.
Hot Springs National Park, Arkansas
With its hot water, Hot Springs National Park beckons travelers looking for soothing baths. Despite its title as the smallest national park in the country, Arkansas’s Hot Springs popularity make it the 16th most visited park, welcoming its visitors with 143 degree (F) thermal water. In addition to its waters, it offers hiking trails, campgrounds, and views of the Ouachita Mountains.
Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Ohio
Despite its proximity to urban Cleveland and Akron, Cuyahoga Valley National Park offers 33,000-acres of lush forests, expansive farmlands, and native plants and wildlife. The Cuyahoga River stretches for 100 miles within the park and offers waterways for canoeing and kayaking. For those preferring drier land, the park boasts 125 miles of hiking trails for every level of hiker, as well as campgrounds.
Shenandoah National Park, Virginia
Only 75 miles from Washington, D.C., Shenandoah National Park boasts 200,000 acres of natural land with a mixture of habitats. With views of Virginia Piedmont and Shenandoah Valley, the park provides a blend of mountain peaks and flowing waters. For outdoor enthusiasts, the park offers backcountry camping and over 500 miles of trails.
Joshua Tree National Park, California
Having seen over 2.5 million visitors, Joshua Tree National Park boasts the title as the 11th most-visited park. As the Mojave and the Colorado desert ecosystems coexist within the park, Joshua Tree provides an interesting variety of plants and wildlife. In addition to its nine campgrounds and its hiking trails, the park also offers opportunities for rock climbing, bouldering, highlining, and slacklining.
Acadia National Park, Maine
With its clean air and water, Acadia National Park is nestled along the Atlantic coastline. Sitting within the transition zone of the northern boreal forest and the eastern deciduous forest, Acadia offers unique, isolated forest communities. The park offers 158 miles of hiking trails as well as a mixture of cobble beaches and Acadia’s Sandy Beach.
Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado
The Rocky Mountain National Park boasts spectacular views of some of the largest mountains in the continental United States. Its historic 415 square miles is home to diverse landscapes and nature life, offering a western side of green vegetation and an eastern, arid, mountainous region. To complement its diverse beauty, the park provides campgrounds and over 300 miles of trails.