It’s that time of year where thoughts turn to summer camps, festivals, and vacations. Summertime has always been a great occasion for families to relax, reconnect and (re)discover historical sites, cultural traditions, and natural wonders. Fortunately, the United States has a wide variety of nature and wildlife-focused activities that spotlight the country’s diversity of flora and fauna.
Over the years, we have suggested eco-itineraries for:
- Visiting wildlife sanctuaries and staying at eco-resorts in New England
- Biking through the outer banks and staying an energy-efficient inn in North Carolina
- Kayaking through the Everglades and staying at a green lodge listed on the National Register of Historic Places in Florida
- Trekking along the Colorado Trail and staying at a lodge near Yellowstone National Park built with reclaimed lumber
- Participating in Kids in the Woods conservation and education programs and staying at an inn with its own fruit and vegetable gardens employing gray water recycling methods in New Mexico and Arizona
What I did not know until recently when I was contacted by a representative from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is that the U.S. Government has a full-service vacation website, Recreation.gov, which helps people search, plan activities, obtain tour tickets and permits, and book camping and lodge accommodations that are run by the National Park Service, Fish & Wildlife Service and other federal agencies.
Recreation.gov suggests biking, boating, hiking and horseback riding trails among other activities that are located in various national parks across the country. You can follow the Lewis and Clark expedition through four western states, learn how to get the most out of the Alaska Hummingbird Festival in Ketchikan and look for romantic getaway ideas in Yosemite or Canyonlands National Parks.
Recreation.gov offers a wealth of information and a toll-free reservation line. So what is holding you back from (re)discovering nature this summer? Get out there and explore more of the United States!