We are so busy with our lives, we don’t take the time to really appreciate what is around us. We are in front of a screen, whether a cell phone, tablet or laptop, practically all day. We need to disconnect and go out and explore nature. That’s exactly what I did by visiting some national parks recently. I visited Acadia National Park, Glacier National Park, and Yosemite National Park. These parks are massive and there is so much to see and do in them. Each visit was a great opportunity to take in the natural beauty and to de-stress. If you get a chance, I highly recommend visiting them. Here are some park highlights.
- Acadia National Park, Maine — Maine is truly for those who love nature. It has a rocky coastline and spans over 47,000 acres. Acadia (originally named Sieur de Monts National Monument) was formed to protect the land from the growing urbanization of Bar Harbor in the early 1900s. The park has 27 miles of roads, over 150 hiking trails, an artist-in-residence program, and 45 miles of carriage roads. During my visit, I ate popovers at Jordan Pond House Restaurant (so good!), hiked to the viewing platform at Thunder Hole to watch and hear the thunderous waves, and checked out the highest views from Cadillac Mountain.
- Glacier National Park, Montana — It really is true about what they say a Montana sky: the endless blue and serenity of it will put you at ease as soon as you see it. Like Acadia, this park was established in the early 1900s. It covers over 1,500 square miles in Montana’s Rocky Mountains. You can even hike to the Canadian border! What is unique about this park are the glacier peaks and the hiking trails (over 700 miles of them!). Seeing wildlife (e.g. bear and eagles) in their habitats was amazing as well. We took a bus ride on Going-to-the-Sun road. The bus was from the 1930s and you can catch it in the park. It was a ride I will never forget! We stayed at the rustic Many Glacier Hotel and took a relaxing horseback ride around Many Lake. We also saw the Grinnell Glacier, which was breathtaking.
- Yosemite National Park, California — Located in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, this park is full of granite, glaciers, valleys and sequoias trees. Standing next to one of the giant sequoias trees made me feel so small! The park was established in the late 1800s and spans over 1,200 miles. We stayed at the Ahwahnee hotel (formerly the Majestic Yosemite Hotel), which had a beautiful “lodge” feel to it. The Queen of England once stayed in the top floor suite, which is rumored to be haunted. We took a Model T tour from the Fish Camp, which was fun. If you can, you must check out El Capitan, a huge rock formation that is a favorite of rock climbers. We also hiked to Glacier Point and saw waterfalls and Half Dome (a granite formation).