There are so many places to visit in the United States that even residents of the country may never see everything. The United States has 393 national parks, encompassing 84 million acres. In addition, there are protected wildlife areas, national monuments and hundreds of historical sites.
You can see the Washington Monument and Reflecting Pool at the National Mall.
Visit the National Mall and monuments in Washington, D.C. for historic landmarks. In addition to the National Mall, walk through Constitution Gardens, see monuments dedicated to some of the country’s leaders and visit war memorials honoring veterans.
Visit 14 states stretching from Maine down to Georgia and see a variety of flora and fauna along the Appalachian Trail. It takes hikers months to complete the full 2,181 miles; most visitors choose a shorter section to explore.
The U.S. Park Service notes that Arches National Park, in Moab, Utah, “preserves over 2,000 natural sandstone arches.” Take one of several offered hikes to see dozens of arches, including Delicate Arch, which is featured on Utah’s license plate.
The Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island are located in Lower New York Harbor. To visit both, take a ferry from Battery Park, New York, or Liberty Park, New Jersey. Only ferries operated by Statue Cruises are allowed to dock at the islands. Visit the Statue of Liberty museum, then climb to the top of the statue’s crown.
At the Ellis Island Immigration Museum start with a tour, then watch the movie, “Island of Hope, Island of Tears” and read many personal stories from immigrants.
Paddle for as long as you’d like. You will find 1200 miles of canoe routes in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness north of Ely, Minnesota. The area encompasses more than 1 million acres within the Superior National Forest. Wildlife includes black bears, wolves, deer, moose and the unofficial mascot of the area: the common loon.
See more than 400 species of wildlife, including alligators, at the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge in southern Georgia and northern Florida. Tour in your own motorboat or canoe, or take a guided tour. Don’t forget your camera; nature photography is popular in this refuge. Camp overnight or just stay for the day.
Narrow bridges and heart-stopping turns characterize the Hana Highway, a 52 mile journey that begins in Kahului and ends in Hana on the island of Maui, Hawaii. Plan on four hours to make this drive, since you’ll have to wait for right-of-way at most of the one-lane bridges, and you’ll want to stop along the way for many attractions including black sand beaches, rain forests, waterfalls and numerous scenic lookouts.
The Route 1 Scenic Highway winds through four counties in California: Santa Barbara, Monterey, San Luis Obispo and San Mateo. The entire drive takes approximately three hours. You’ll see redwood forests, green pastures, sand dunes and steep cliffs plunging into the ocean.
By Pack Mule
Peer over the edge of the Grand Canyon to see a one-mile deep wonder. Then, mount up and take a mule trip down into the canyon bottoms. Take a one hour or 1/2 day tour, or explore for as long as two nights. Mule tours leave from either the north or south rim, and advance reservations are strongly recommended, as slots fill up early.
- National Park Service: National Park Service: Grand Canyon: Mule Trips
- California Department of Transportation: Route 1 Photo Album
- Hawaii Tourism Authority: Hana, Maui
- U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service: Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge
- United States Department of Agriculture: Forest Service: The Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness
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