From the mountains of Montana to the beaches of Florida, these 8 destinations are ones you’re going to want on your 2021 bucket list. There is a lot of concern going around now about traveling safely. Well, I have good news, all of these bucket list locations are outdoor adventure wonderlands. Stay safe, but still get your travel bug going!
Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming
Grand Teton National Park sits on the far west side of Wyoming and just 10 miles south of Yellowstone National Park. There are many lakes that sit within the National Park, with Jenny Lake being the most popular. You can walk around the water, or even take a kayak out to get the views from the middle of the lake. Due to the rugged nature of the terrain, hiking can be difficult and challenging; however, the NPS has provided a full guide to these trails, what to bring, how to prepare, and more!
Glacier National Park, Montana
This Montana National Park sits on the USA/Canada border and has over 1 millions of acres of protected property. There are 5 main areas in the park, but are filled with a ton of stuff to do! Some of the most popular things to do are hike some of the over 700 miles of trails, go camping, fishing, biking, or take one of the guided tours. Although big and mighty, Glacier National Park has something for the whole family! Oh, and you can’t forget to drive the infamous Going-to-the-Sun road.
Moab sits in eastern Utah and encompasses Arches National Park. The red rock desert features a wide variety of activities for everyone to enjoy, including hiking, mountain biking, rafting, helicopter rides, and more! Just southwest of the main town is Canyonlands National Park, which offers another wide variety of views and activities!
Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada
Okay, so this one isn’t in the U.S., but it is still just as deserving. Just a few hours north into Canada and just west of Calgary sits the country’s oldest national park. Banff National Park spans over 2,500 square miles and crosses three different ecoregions. The town of Banff lies within the national park and is the most visited destination in Alberta. The park also is considered one of the most visited national parks in North America. Moraine Lake (pictured) is one of the popular spots within the park, with Lake Louise, Bow Lake, and Lake Minnewanka as other notable spots.
Great Smokey Mountains, Tennessee/North Carolina
This east coast national park ranks as the most visited national park in the country. At over 500,000 acres of land and spanning across two states, there is plenty to do. Go rafting down one of the many mountain rivers, hike the towering mountains, explore the wildlife, and even take a train ride on the Great Smoky Railroad. Wherever you explore, it’s sure to be a good time!
White Sands National Park, New Mexico
The pristine gypsum sand that spans 275 miles in southern New Mexico has attracted people for over 10,000 years, but in 1933, it became an official US National Park. Due to the vast desert area surrounding White Sands, occasionally the park can close due to military missle testing, so always check the park’s website before planning a trip! This national park is a great place to go sand sledding, build sandcastles, and more! Be careful though because the weather is unpredicatble and the bright white sand can get HOT, especially in the summer.
Lake Tahoe, California/Nevada
Known for its crystal clear waters and surrounding mountains, Lake Tahoe has been named America’s Best Lake from USA Today and a number one travel destination by Trip Advisor. The lake is split into Tahoe South and North Lake Tahoe. North Lake Tahoe features several ski resorts, dining spots, and breathtaking views. Tahoe South doesn’t shy away in those categories though. Explore hiking, biking, water activities and so much more south of “the border.” Tahoe is great for a romantic getaway, family vacation and is an outdoor adventurer’s dream destination, making it a perfect bucket list addition!
Marco Island, Florida
This south florida destination is a great place to escape the world and relax. Just outside of Naples, Marco Island is home to a number of resorts, bright sandy beaches, golf courses, and more! Whether you want to go fishing, swim with dolphins, read on the beach, or hit the links, Marco Island is the place for you. Have an outdoor beach adventure, while staying safely distanced!