After visiting many of our beautiful National Parks, I’ve got my favorites. These five National Parks are must-see places to add to your travel bucket list.
Mesa Verde National Park, Colorado
This park was so much more than I imagined. There are almost 5,000 archaeological sites in the park including over 600 ancient Pueblo cliff dwellings. The scenery is breathtaking and the history spectacular. Mesa Verde National Park is a magical place. This park is full of ancient cliff dwellings and ruins left by the Ancestral Puebloans or Anasazi. The sites are waiting to be explored, but they’re also open for your imagination to run wild while you explore the abandoned homes in this beautiful region.
Many people come from all around the world just to experience this incredible place with its many natural wonders as well as cultural significance! It’s not hard to see why so many people visit Mesa Verde every year because it has something for everyone.
Acadia National Park, Maine
Acadia National Park is a wondrous place that offers beautiful landscapes, captivating wildlife, and history all in one. The park has been around for over 100 years and the land was originally donated by John D. Rockefeller Jr to give Americans a place of natural beauty to enjoy.
The park is located on Mount Desert Island off the coast of Maine and covers an area larger than Rhode Island with 44 miles of coastline along with mountains reaching up to 1,500 ft tall. With so much natural beauty within its borders, it’s no wonder why people come from near and far to visit this incredible national treasure.
Saguaro National Park, Arizona
Saguaro National Park is a protected area of Arizona and has been since 1994. It’s home to the largest population of saguaros in the world, which are cacti with a distinct shape that resemble human beings. The park spans over 792,000 acres and contains many beautiful scenic views such as blooming desert flowers, mountains, and canyons. There are also many activities to enjoy while visiting- hiking, biking, camping- which all make for great photo opportunities!
Nestled in the Sonoran Desert near Tucson, Arizona you’ll find Saguaro National Park. The Saguaro (pronounced as-WAH-ro) Cactus is the focal point here. Some Saguaro facts from the National Park Service website.
“An adult saguaro is generally considered to be about 125 years of age. It may weigh 6 tons or more and be as tall as 50 feet. The average life span of a saguaro is probably 150 – 175 years of age. However, biologists believe that some plants may live over 200 years.”
White Sands National Park, New Mexico
If you’ve ever been to southern New Mexico, chances are you’ve seen White Sands National Monument. The iconic white dunes are one of the most recognizable sights in the state and provide a stark contrast with lush green mountains in the background.
White Sands National Monument is a national park in New Mexico that preserves the world’s largest gypsum dune field. The area was first set aside as a protected area on November 16, 1933, by President Herbert Hoover and became America’s 39th national park in October of 2000. It is home to the rare white sands that cover 275 square miles of land and provide visitors with an opportunity to experience both natural beauty and history during their visit.
I had never considered visiting White Sands National Park but while traveling through the area I decided to stop and I’m so glad I did. All that beautiful white sand is a 275 square mile gypsum dunefield. Gypsum-based sand does not get hot like the sand at the beach. It feels cool and damp to the touch and it’s much easier to climb.
Shenandoah National Park, Virginia
Shenandoah National Park in Virginia is a beautiful place to camp and explore. This national park has been around for more than 100 years, but it’s still as vibrant and wild today as it was back then. It preserves the natural beauty of the Appalachian Mountains while also protecting some of our country’s most important Civil War historic sites. So if you’re looking for an adventure that will take your breath away, look no further than Shenandoah National Park!
The spectacular Skyline Drive is just one reason to visit Shenandoah National Park. The drive is 105 miles from end to end and is part of the Blue Ridge Mountains. There are many, large pullouts for you to take in the view and snap some amazing photos to commemorate your visit.
For more information about all of the National Parks by state click here.
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