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Being in nature is shown to lower blood pressure, boost the immune system and improve your mood. So if you're looking for a last-minute summer trip, consider these seven destinations for a stress-reducing vacation. Continue below to find out DMD's top nature destination picks.
In an urbanized world, it is hard to find a place of solace away from the big city and be close to nature. Luckily for nature lovers, there are still places to travel to take in all the beautiful parks, nature reserves, and wildlife. Travel off the beaten path and see what the United States has to offer.
7. Oneonta Gorge (Multnomah County, Oregan)
This wonderful place has hikers rejoicing about its breathtaking views.
From the road, visitors follow the streambed upstream for a short 2.7 miles. This destination is even considered a botanical area by the U.S Forest Service because of its unique aquatic and woodland plants.
6. Death Valley National Park, California
The name may be unappealing, but the experience is definitely better than it sounds. The 3.3 million acre park is home to colorful sandstone canyons, mountain-sized sand dunes and below-sea-level salt flats. This park also boasts the title of the hottest and driest place in North America, so be sure to stop by during autumn or springtime for the most comfortable temperatures.
5. Antelope Canyon, Arizona (Antelope Canyon, Arizona)
This striking Navajo Tribal Park located in Navajo nation is a magnificent site for nature lovers and photographers alike. You could bear witness to the astonishing effect that flashfloods had on Navajo sandstone. The slot canyon has attracted visitors since 1987 and will surely continue attracting visitors for decades to come.
4. Mammoth Cave National Park, Kentucky (Mammoth Cave, Kentucky)
This is the world’s longest known cave system with more than 400 miles explored. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site because of its mammoth size, and visitors have the option of touring the cave, canoeing, horseback riding, bicycling, hiking and much more. This destination is sure to please all types of nature lovers.
3. Denali National Park & Preserve (Denali National Park & Preserve, Alaska)
This is one of Alaska’s most popular outdoor attractions. You can see Mt. McKinley, the continent’s highest peak, or observe wildlife such as, moose, caribou, grizzly bears, sheep and wolves. Renting bikes to explore the park and hiking are both popular activities.
2. Acadia National Park (Acadia National Park, Maine)
Home to the largest mountain and the first national park on the East Coast! You can enjoy rocky coastlines, mountains, forests, ponds, marshlands and fields all in one park. There are cottages, cabins, and homes to choose from if you decide to stay the night to fully take advantage of this beautiful park.
1. Hawaii Volcanoes National Park (Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii)
Hawaii tops the list as the best travel destination for nature lovers. This state attracts visitors from all over the world for its beaches and other natural beauties, but Hawaii Volcanoes National Park really is the hottest place to go (pun intended). There are three active volcanoes: Hulalai last erupted in 1801, Mauna Loa last erupted in 1984 and KÄ«lauea is currently erupting. Flowing lava is visible from land and even the Pacific Ocean. Not only could you watch lava simply flowing from KÄ«lauea, but also join a hiking or boat tour to watch the lava flow.