The United States has an embarrassment of riches when it comes to offering recreational activities, awe-inspiring sights and the chance to get out and really enjoy the great outdoors. Its green spaces can be found in the heart of its most populated areas as well as out in the wilds.
America’s national parks are iconic landmarks in themselves with vast areas of spectacular unspoilt scenery established to conserve and protect the natural environment, wildlife and cultural heritage of the designated areas. They are areas of natural beauty that are enjoyed by huge numbers of visitors every year. From Acadia to Zion, there are 58 to choose from, each with its own unique character, teeming with wildlife and guaranteed to stay in your mind for a lifetime once you’ve visited.
Yellowstone National Park
Yellowstone was the first park to be established and is home to the Old Faithful geyser, spouting boiling water over 100 feet into the air, mesmerising onlookers on a regular basis. In the visitor hubs throughout the park and in the Heritage & Research Center, there’s information on what to see and do and on the 26 Native American tribes associated with the area. Yellowstone is also a great place for fishing and boating.
In California, Yosemite has numerous instantly recognisable views and sights, imprinted on the world’s psyche by the great photographer, Ansel Adams as much as anything. El Capitan, Half Dome, Yosemite Falls and Mirror Lake never fail to live up to expectations. Many of the parks offer excellent outdoor activities and hiking and climbing in Yosemite are unrivalled. You don’t have to put your nerves to the test, though to enjoy the amazing views; all can be seen from fantastic vantage points along roads and footpaths.
Grand Canyon National Park
Equally famous is the Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona, a 277-mile long gorge that is up to a mile deep in places; it really has to be seen for the sheer spectacle of it to sink in. Admire the panoramic view from the South Rim, explore more closely on foot or on a mule tour, or head down to the Colorado River and experience the thrill of the canyon from a completely different angle, looking up from a canoe.
Central Park, New York
Green spaces are not the sole domain of the rural areas, however and all of the major cities in the United States have superb open spaces for visitors to enjoy. The most well-known, without a doubt, is Central Park in New York.A view of Central Park., New York.
Covering 843 acres in the centre of Manhattan, walking into this space takes you far, far away from the busy streets and fast-paced life of the city, offering peace instead, amidst trees, gardens and playgrounds with basketball, football, tennis and volleyball courts and historic monuments. Whether you go to enjoy music concerts, theatre productions, boating on the lake, picnicking or simple walking around, the tranquillity offers a great reprieve from the hustle and bustle.
Grant Park, Chicago
Chicago’s Grant Park is a huge City Park covering 319 acres in the business district of Chicago.
The Park is home to many nationally renowned features including the Art Institute of Chicago, Buckingham Fountain, the Museum Campus which houses a number of Museums including the Field Museum of Natural History.
Very popular with the locals, Grant Park also has a lakefront trail and marinas and harbors. The Petrello Music shell is used to host numerous Music and cultural Festivals each year.
This article was contributed by Lloyd, a freelance travel writer and blogger, who is currently working with Cheap Flights.