Outdoor vacations|The wild side of American landscape

Heading somewhere this upcoming holiday season? I would love nothing more then to be up in a snow covered cabin near a fire with my family. That screams Christmas cozyness, sledding, animal site seeing, flocked trees and lots of fun. There is no denying America is a huge country with a lot going on. From coast to coast, across the wide expanse of land, cities and conurbations sit like checkers on a board, pulsing with life and energy. The USA is a land that buzzes, 24/7. There’s no off switch, no downtime for this nation constantly on the move, pushing forward. But what if you need a vacation? What if your batteries are running low and you want to spend some time with your kids?

Immersing yourself and your family deep in the wild landscape will reawaken a zest for life you thought you’d lost. Here’s how to unplug from the daily grind and reconnect with what’s important in life. Many children in modern America grow up in cities, not knowing the pleasures of life beyond tablets or computer screens. Whilst city living has its benefits, there are also drawbacks. Sucking fresh air into your lungs, getting lots of exercise and feeling that sweet satisfaction you get after a long hike up a steep mountain – such simple joys aren’t so easy to find in the metropolis.

Can you imagine watching your kids’ faces light up as they come eye to eye with a caribou, witness wild mustangs kicking up the dust or alligators taking a dip? The diversity of the wildlife on offer is breathtaking – and there’s no need to travel abroad, it’s all right here on our doorstep.For those planning vacations that embrace the idea of exploring the landscape and
experiencing the great outdoors as a family, Bluegreen Resorts have it covered. With destination resorts across the USA, they offer the perfect stepping off point for an adventure in the wild.

Meet the wilderness So, where to go and what to see? It’s a tough call. How long have you got? Engaging with the raw landscape is easy in the National Parks of America, where wide open spaces are home to a wide range of indigenous wildlife species. If you are in the North West, head for Yellowstone National Park where wolves, bison, elk, owls, osprey, yellow-bellied marmot and more roam the lands over Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho. This is the first national park ever, set up in 1872. The geyser Old Faithful can be found here, its dramatic eruptions are sure to be a crowd-pleaser.

The Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado has elk herds, bighorn sheep, coyote, moose and mule deer. Have an adventure with your children on the Coyote Valley Trail, a mile long easily accessible loop in the Kawuneeche Valley, alongside the mighty Colorado River. Gain a better understanding of this mysterious indigenous creature that’s so close in genetic make-up to our pet dogs, and yet still gets an unfairly bad press.

Head further up north into Alaska for truly remote wilderness that challenges the toughest trekkers. Denali National Park and Preserve is home to caribou, bears (grizzly and black) Dall sheep, moose, gray wolves, marmots, arctic ground squirrels, pikas, beavers, lynx, and wolverines – all spread across a diverse landscape of forest, tundra, glacier and rock.

Birders and fish-folk enjoy the area too and make the most of the beautiful lakes and pools. Denali (Mount McKinley) is the highest mountain in North America and an impressive sight, towering above the park. The richness of wildlife and variety of terrain on offer here satisfies the pickiest of outdoor enthusiasts.

Heading further south, why not check out Big Bend National Park in southwest Texas? Getting children interested in geology, rocks and minerals couldn’t be easier in this geological marvel of a place. Hot, dry desert landscapes, glorious mountains, rocky canyons along the Rio Grande and over 150 hiking trails to explore, it’s like the land that time forgot. The desert is stocked with exotic cactus and beautiful desert blooms as well as mountain lions, rattlesnakes, javelinas, bats, black bears, skunks, raccoon, white tail deer and more. Recommended for families with older children who relish a challenge and are curious to see how the old west frontier looks today.

Cross country further south to the Yazoo National Wildlife Refuge in Washington County, Mississippi where migratory birds flock to the many ponds, pools, and lakes. Grab your binoculars and go crazy for birding with the kids – you’ll never see so many in one place again. The favorite vacation destination of Florida makes for a wonderful outdoorsy experience for all the family. At the Everglades National Park, you can thrill to the sight of alligators, West Indian Manatees, and rare Florida panthers in their natural habitat. Amazing!

Wherever you decide to go, enjoy a journey of discovery as a family, share in an adventure that lives on in your memories for years to come. This beautiful country has so much to offer and where better to find it than on a walk on the wild side in the American landscape?

Who knows what treasures lie in wait!

 

 

Whatever you do this holiday season or whenever you travel, have fun and be safe.

jen


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