National Treasures

They’re here.  Yes, the “dog days” of summer – also known as the best time to pack up the family wagon and hit the road to destinations unknown.

With all of the commercial vacation options out there, it can be easy to overlook all of the great U.S. National Parks (391 of them, to be exact) open for exploration during high tourism season.  Despite record attendance at certain parks, there are still countless Americans who foresake the opportunity to visit the wonders here in our own backyard.

President Obama and his family are not among those, however, as they are spending the weekend visiting both Yellowstone National Park and the Grand Canyon on a whirlwind tour of the western United States.

Both parks are included on the list of 10 National Park Treasures put together by TravelMuse expert Debbie Hardin that includes the “5 National Parks to See Before You Die” (so ominous) as well as “5 Under-the-Radar National Park Gems”.

Redwood National Park

Redwood National Park

It’s probably not shocking that most of these reside in the wild, wild west, but (needless to say) they are all well worth the journey regardless of how far you must travel for the experience.

There is so much more out there other than Old Faithful, though the superstar of Yellowstone still merits its status as a must-see American landmark.  But you could spend a week each year of your life marching through America’s national parks and never get to everything (and, likely, never grow tired of the experience).

Unfortunately, most Americans are “lucky” to get two weeks of vacation annually – a paltry number that pales in comparison to other developed countries.  And while it may not be the first thought that goes through your noggin when planning next year’s travel (or, if you’re lucky, your remaining vacation time for the rest of this year), a National Park visit should get bumped up a little on your to-do list. 

It will do a body (and soul) good.

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~ by acm213 on August 15, 2009.

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