Planning to spend the summer in the US? Well, it is the season of fabulous outdoors, interesting festivals, opulent shopping, exciting kids activities etc. It’s best to start crossing off the items on your summer bucket list sooner than later. Here are the things which should be on top of your checklist.
The great locations for sightseeing to cross off first :
Northern Lights – Alaska
There are several places in the northern USA where you can see these magical night skies. Your best bet is to try in the fall when skies are darker and the weather is still warm. Idaho, Michigan, Maine, Minnesota, and Alaska are known for having some of the best spots to catch the aurora borealis.
Fairbanks, Alaska particularly has some incredible light shows, thanks to its location in the auroral oval, an area around the North Pole where auroras frequently occur.
From lush mountain ranges to idyllic beaches, in Alabama, you will find an array of choices in activities. From rappelling to exciting rapids, the choices are nearly endless, in this true adventure state.
For river adventurers who want fast-paced excitement, Alabama’s rapids are ready to take care of that. Whitewater Express offers guided and guide-assisted trips beginning in Phenix City on the Chattahoochee River. Containing several Class IV rapids and 10 smaller rapids, this river is one of the longest urban white-water rafting course in the world.
Red Rocks Park & Amphitheatre, Denver
Named after its red sandstone rock formations, Red Rocks Park & Amphitheatre is a Denver must-see. Hiking and biking are popular, and there’s no shortage of beautiful scenery. What you will like the most about this park is that it has “full service” – there are a variety of trails, guided tours, a visitors’ center, a trading post, even a restaurant. Be sure to visit the famous Red Rocks Amphitheatre, where countless legendary musicians have played surrounded by the spectacular natural setting. On non-event days, you can even exercise on the stadium bleachers.
McArthur-Burney Falls, California
A trip to the McArthur-Burney Falls Memorial State Park is a must for outdoor lovers. 60 miles northeast of Redding, home to 910 acres of forest, five miles of lake shoreline and the awe-inspiring 129-foot Burney Falls with take your breath away. This gorgeous cascade was named one of the wonders of the world by America’s 26th president, Theodore Roosevelt.
Next stop for some souvenirs and your shopping spree :
Yellow Stone National Park
Established in 1872, Yellowstone National Park is the oldest and perhaps most famous National Park in the USA. Sitting in the northwest corner of Wyoming (about 90 kilometers north of Jackson Hole) and stretching over state borders into Idaho and Montana, Yellowstone contains nearly 9,000 square kilometers of crystalline lakes, striking canyons, vast grasslands and thundering waterfalls. However, the park is most famous for its geysers.
Yellowstone welcomes more than 3 million visitors each year who come from all around the globe to see Old Faithful erupt, the Mammoth Hot Springs steam and the hundreds of mud pots bubble.
Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona
Not even the highest definition photographs can truly capture the power and majesty of the Grand Canyon in northern Arizona. The Colorado River and its tributaries have been slowly carved the 446-kilometer-long and up to 29-kilometer-wide canyon for 6 million years, creating stunning panoramas. Grand Canyon National Park is about a four-hour drive from Las Vegas, Nevada, and a three-and-a-half-hour drive from Phoenix, Arizona. Most of the nearly 5,000 square kilometer park is maintained as wilderness and beautiful views can be found all over.
Smoky Mountains National Park
Within the 211,419-hectare Great Smoky Mountains National Park, explore the flora, fauna, and folklore of this World Heritage Site. Step back in time by visiting one of 97 buildings preserved in five historic areas. In Cataloochee, for example, see 19th and 20th-century wood-frame buildings, including churches, a school, and houses, and learn about the 1,200 people who lived in the valley in 1910. Other historic buildings are in the Cades Cove, Oconaluftee and Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail sections. Go to Clingmans Dome, the highest peak at 2,025 meters, to climb an observation tower and gaze at far-away vistas.
Denali National Park
Most visitors come to Denali National Park to see the 6,200-meter-tall Mount McKinley, but it is far more than just a mountain. Denali National Park may be named after the tallest peak in North America, known by locals as Denali, meaning “the high one” in the Athabaskan languages of Alaskan Native American tribes. Located just north of Anchorage, Alaska, this National Park is the largest in the USA. It boasts more than 2.4 million hectares of tundra, mountains, and glaciers, which contrast the area’s vast wetlands and verdant spruce forests.
Lastly, theme parks to cheer up your kids:
Knott’s Berry Farm
Knott’s Berry Farm offers several classic, unique and thrilling family rides perfect for all ages, especially children. The most popular family attraction at Knott’s is the classic Timber Mountain Log Ride. Travel on a twisting 2,100-foot waterway at speeds up to 12 feet per second past elaborate scenes depicting life in the Old West before splashing down a thrilling 42-foot flume propelled by 24,000 gallons of water. Guests looking to stay dry can hop on the Calico Mine Ride and head into the depths of Knott’s very own gold mine as you watch dozens of miners trying to strike it rich.
Six Flags, Texas
If you love a good thrill ride, you should visit the Six Flags Fiesta Texas, an exciting and super-fun theme park just 15 minutes from downtown Texas. You can ride the Boomerang roller coaster and the Scream ride, which features a 62-meter drop. So exciting! When visiting this park, you should pack a swimsuit so that you can enjoy the water slides and pools.
The 212-acre theme park debuted it’s most innovative ride, HARLEY QUINN Spinsanity, last spring. This unique and futuristic gyroscope style ride promises to deliver a new level of thrills with unpredictable, gravity-defying flips, twists, and turns.
Wild Life Adventures of Gatorland, Orlando
Central Florida may be known for its traditional theme parks such as Walt Disney World Resort, Universal Orlando, LEGOLAND, and SeaWorld, but you’d be amazed by all the curious surprises in Gatorland.
Although visiting Gatorland at any time, day or night is a load of fun, going early in the morning is perfect for cooler weather and shorter lines. There is so much wildlife in the park and a huge population of exotic birds, so you’ll also want plenty of time to explore. A special attraction is the Screamin’ Gator Zip Line across the Gator Breeding Marsh.