Northern Arizona’s Vermillion Cliffs National Monument sits on the Colorado Plateau, just below the Utah border. While the name “monument” might conjure up the image of something a bit smaller, you’ll find 280,000 acres of beautiful terrain here, including cliffs, buttes, and canyons. The area was only declared as a monument in 2000, though the land itself was already government-managed.
Yosemite National Park in California spans 1,200 square miles, boasting waterfalls, meadows, valleys, and more. Of course, the more time you have here, the better, but there’s plenty to see and do in just one day if you plan in advance.
Virginia Beach’s Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge was originally established in 1938, as a haven for migratory birds. It now spans more than 9,000 acres, expanding nearly 5,000 acres since 1988, and continues to be a primary stopping point for both feeding and rest during the journey south. It draws more birds now than ever, thanks to a buffer zone that reduces pollution from chemicals and fertilizers.
When it comes to our national parks, it’s not all about trees and plants — there are lots of spots where you can catch a glimpse of all sorts of animals at any time of the year. Here are our top picks for places to see fauna along with the flora.
Off the shore of Lake Superior in Wisconsin, you’ll find the beautiful Apostle Islands. There are 21 in all, and there’s lots to see and do on each. No matter which you choose, all sorts of outdoorsy pursuits await you. From hiking and fishing to kayaking and scuba diving, hunting, and everything in between, there’s fun to be found for everyone!
Between Disney World, Universal Studios, and Sea World, There’s surely no shortage of attractions in the Orlando, Florida area. However, one that you may not have heard of yet is Gatorland, a 110-acre wildlife preserve and theme park dedicated to those iconic Floridian creatures, including four rare “white” leucistic alligators. The park opened its doors in 1949, and has remained family-owned ever since.
Summer is officially over, but that doesn’t mean you can’t bundle up a bit, enjoy the ocean breeze, and dip your toes into the water if you’re particularly brave. Plus, the off-season means that there’s even more room to spread out and soak up the sun.
If you’ve never ventured out, hoping for a glimpse of these majestic creatures, you’re missing out. While there’s no guarantee that you’ll see one, it’s still an exciting and unique experience. It’s fun for all ages, and it’s only possible in certain bodies of water. Head to one of these hot spots for your best chance. And make sure to bring a pair of binoculars and a camera to capture the moment for posterity … and bragging rights.