It’s no secret that the United States is flush with natural beauty. Whether it’s a serene lake, a bird watch, or a hike up a crisp, misty mountain, each of the 50 states has many regional sources of pride that involve nature. On September 4th, the country will celebrate National Wildlife Day, which aims to pay homage to these gorgeously treasured parts of the country that preserve and showcase these natural riches.
While there are far too many places to be able to list every single one in detail here, don’t worry. There are still plenty of great locations to check out that are also near affordable vacation rentals. Here are a few ideas for visitors to immerse themselves in wildlife this year.
Wyoming: Yellowstone National Park
As America’s first national park, Yellowstone National Park is one oldie, but a goodie that anyone looking for a nature rush will enjoy. At 2.2 million acres, Yellowstone stretches into Montana and Idaho, aside from Wyoming, and is prized for being the largest wildlife sanctuary in the lower 48 states. Visitors are encouraged to hike, bike, and even camp out in designated trails and areas that have been set aside for them. The park can also be enjoyed on horseback. Yellowstone offers a dizzying amount of activities, including fishing, boating, and swimming, as well as breathtaking views and thermal basins with geysers, which includes the infamous Old Faithful, a geyser that often erupts within a more predictable timeframe.
Ready to see where you can find an affordable stay near Yellowstone? Check it out!
Florida: The Everglades
Everglades National Park is located at the southern tip of Florida. At two million acres in size, it is near both Miami and Fort Lauderdale. This land is internationally recognized and protected, as it is the largest subtropical wilderness in the country. Visitors can expect wetlands and bodies of water that are home to native grasses and plants. The Everglades host more than 360 species of birds, including “wading birds” such as herons and egrets. Famous for its natural predators, the Florida Panther, alligators, and crocodiles also call this region home. To catch a glimpse of it all, the park offers boat tours that take visitors through the water.
After all that gator action, why not rest up in an vacation rental near the Everglades?
New Jersey: Pine Barrens & Great Swamp
The Pine Barrens are part of New Jersey’s Pinelands National Reserve, which covers seven counties worth of New Jersey, totaling a whopping 1.1 million acres. Known for its mystical presence in the state, local folklore including legends and fables is part of the community fabric. Pinelands reserve is also home to many rare plant and animal species and contains the Kirkwood-Cohansey aquifer system, which is estimated to have 17 trillion gallons of water.
Some 26 miles west of New York City’s Times Square lies New Jersey’s Great Swamp. At roughly 12 square miles, this treasured wildlife zone offers a visitors center, wildlife tours which include local species in their natural habitats, and vantage points to watch various native species of birds. The Great Swamp also has a significant stretch of designated hiking trails.
Find a gorgeous vacation rental in New Jersey, then get ready to explore.
New Hampshire: White Mountains
As part of the Appalachian Mountains, the White Mountains cover nearly one-fourth of the land mass contained within the state of New Hampshire and it also extends into Maine. All-told, there are 17 attractions for visitors, spanning from hiking trails to amusement parks, but for nature seekers, there is plenty to do within that list. For an unforgettable view, there is Cannon Mountain, an 80-person aerial tramway that goes 4,100 feet up the summit and offers views of the mountains, into Maine, Vermont, and into Canada. Hikers can take a self-guided tour of the two mile long Flume Gorge, or walk along the wooden boardwalk trail that includes views of jagged rock walls, waterfalls and glacial boulder caves.
Ready to book an affordable vacation rental in New Hampshire?
Michigan: Upper Peninsula
Although the Great Lake State has plenty of wildlife enjoyment on both of its peninsulas, the Upper Peninsula offers fresh water coastline and remote wilderness that can’t be beat. Nature lovers have to cross a large suspension bridge in order to reach it, and on the other side lies a paradise for hiking, camping, fishing, and boating. Famous places on this forested haven include Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, located on the south shore of Lake Superior. Nature lovers are known to behold the multicolored cliffs made by sandstone formations.
The Upper Peninsula also offers up Copper Harbor, which offers views of Lake Superior, nature hikes, and gorgeous sunsets. Mountaineers are also sure to enjoy this one, which has its 60,000 acre Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park at the ready. With over 90 miles of trails for hiking, visitors are sure to be pleased.
Why not add an adventure to Michigan to your trip itinerary this year?
Alaska: The Final Frontier
Although Star Trek thought outer space was worthy of the “Final Frontier” moniker, it turns out Alaska isn’t far behind on the final frontier forefront. The modern day Alaskan Final Frontier — made famous on the Discovery Channel — this treasured family homestead traces its roots back to the 1940s when Yule Kilcher and his wife Ruth were granted 160 acres of land by the state and raised their eight children there.
The family continues to own and run the homestead, which has now expanded to 600 acres. Guests are invited to enjoy the full homestead experience, which includes art classes, music workshops, mushroom picking, fence building, or picking berries to make jam. There is also a working homestead museum where visitors can gain more insight into how life has changed since the early years on the homestead.
After all that homesteading, don’t you deserve a cozy place to rest? We thought so too!