Hey there lovelies! Happy, happy Thursday! Today, we’re talking about one of my absolute favorite topics… National Parks!
Every year, our country designates a week in April where we celebrate our beautiful National Park. From majestic mountains, shining seashores and everything in between, here in the USA we have some pretty amazing National Parks.
This year, this week hits a little different. I know that we can’t get outside and explore our favorite parks right now. But just remember… this too shall pass. And soon, we’ll be able to get outside!
Whether you’re into colorful hot springs or grassy plains, towering mountains or canyons, I can promise you, there is a National Park out there for you. So to help you get out there and #FindYourPark (I found mine years ago) I’m linking up all of my posts on my favorite National Parks I’ve visited this National Parks Week. AND for an extra bonus, I’m linking some virtual tours of my favorite parks too!
Let’s get to it!
In honor of their 100th birthday, the National Park Service encouraged people to go out, and Find Your Park. There are so many national parks that I absolutely LOVE, but for me, my park always has been (and always will be) Grand Teton National Park.
Deep in a glacial carved valley, surrounded by the highest mountain peaks in the state of Wyoming, you’ll find Jackson Hole, a place that has been calling to cowboys, dude ranchers, hikers, skiers and outdoor enthusiasts for as long as anyone can remember. Winter, Spring, Summer or Fall, you are guaranteed to fall in love with with this little piece of Heaven on Earth.
And… Jackson Hole just so happens to be the home of Grand Teton National Park. If you’re looking for mountain adventures and a little slice of the Old West, this park is for you.
Click the links to read me gush about how much I love this place below!
Quick! Think of a National Park. How many of you instantly thought of Yellowstone?? Even though my favorite National Park happens to be Grand Teton, Yellowstone is almost always the first one that comes to mind when I hear those two words. Why? I’m not really sure. Maybe it’s because it was the very first National Park. Or maybe it’s because it’s one of the most talked about. Either way, it’s a place that you have to visit at least once in your lifetime.
Ahhh Yellowstone. Just thinking about it makes me think I’m smelling rotten eggs. HAHA But really, Yellowstone may be beautiful but it smells! At 3,472 square miles, stretching across Wyoming, Idaho and Montana, it’s bigger than some US states. It’s a place filled with geysers (hence the sulphur smell), waterfalls, lakes, and animals. And it’s home to the most amazing natural wonder I’ve ever seen… Grand Prismatic Spring.
It’s a place almost every parent can remember road tripping to with their family, and want their children to experience it too. With campgrounds everywhere, it makes a perfect destination for the classic family RV trip. However, it’s close proximity to Jackson Hole also makes it an easy day trip from the Tetons. (Not that you’ll ever want to leave. Just sayin’.)
For more on this photographer/nature lovers playground, click the links below!
Or, check out a virtual tour here!
Resting between Tennessee and North Carolina, you’ll find lush forests, waterfalls, rivers, wildflowers and two of the most adorable towns you’ll ever see. It’s easy to see why The Great Smoky Mountains are America’s favorite National Park, bringing in more than 10 million PEOPLE in 2014 alone. One trip here and you’ll fall so in love with it, that you’ll instantly start planning your next trip back. (Or figuring out how you can move closer.)
This place is beautiful, and unique and every time I think about it, it makes me smile. And no… not just because I got engaged there (although, that’s part of why I loved it so much!) but because this place just makes you happy. Miles of mountains, adventure around every corner, and the friendliest people you’ll ever meet help to The Great Smoky Mountains the ultimate getaway.
Click through the links below to help guide you through America’s favorite national park.
Okay. So this is technically a national monument, but I figured I’d include it anyways! Because really… is there anything more American than going to visit a few presidents?
Here is a 14 minute tour! Keep your eyes peeled… you might see a national park ranger chasing after a kid. (Click the link above for that story!)
Deep in South Dakota, Highway 240 becomes The Badlands Loop, twisting and turning through dramatic landscapes, geologic wonders, and prairie dogs. So. Many. Prairie Dogs.
The Badlands are unlike any other place I’ve ever seen. It’s almost other worldly! Read more about The Badlands (and a fun travel stop) below!
Or check out this video… it gave me CHILLS.
Andddd because I’m a beach girl at heart, and I come from a state that is home to TWO National Lakeshores, I’m linking those up for you too!
The Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore
(Since this is my “home” park, I don’t have very in depth guides like I do for other parks! For casual posts like Weekend Round Ups or Life Latelys about this incredible spot, try searching “Sleeping Bear Dunes” “Glen Arbor” or “Leelanau Peninsula” in my search bar! You’ll find TONS of information!) Would you want an in depth guide on Sleeping Bear? Let me know!
You can find a virtual tour here!
The Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore
Andddd for good measure, I might as well link up the prettiest place I’ve ever been since it’s a National Park for our neighbors to the North
Banff National Park
Not close to a National Park? Check out the State Parks near you! Smaller parks make for great mini vacations! Linking a few of my favorites below!
The Hocking Hills
So… who is tired of links? HAHA Well guess what? I’ve got ONE more. I’ve discovered the More Than Just Parks YouTube channel and they have a bunch of other parks and their videos are SO GORGEOUS. I think you will love them! Check them out here.
Alright my friends. I’m off to eat some pizza and binge watch The Office. Shocking. I know. Have a wonderful weekend! I’ll be back on Monday.