If thereâ€™s one thing our â€˜Find Your Adventureâ€™ series celebrating the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service has taught us, itâ€™s that thereâ€™s no shortage of unique and unforgettable experiences to be had in our national parks.
So with the Thanksgiving holiday upon us and winter finally starting to settle in across the country, we thought it only right to share some of our favorite warm-weather destinations and the national park adventures to be had there â€” each one an experience weâ€™re definitely thankful for:
Home to the largest intact expanse of old-growth bottomland hardwood forest remaining in the southeastern U.S., paddling though this 41-square-mile South Carolina park along the Cedar Creek Canoe Trail and the Congaree River is a great way to spot wildlife ranging from deer to river otters and even the occasional alligator.
At 70 miles long, Texasâ€™ North Padre Island is the longest stretch of undeveloped barrier island in the world. What that means to you is practically unlimited opportunities for collecting shells, driftwood and other ocean treasures. As an added bonus, the parkâ€™s prime location on the Central Flyway also makes it a great spot for bird-watchers.
Florida has other coral reefs, but none are more spectacular than the ones located just off these westernmost islands of the Florida Keys. To enjoy them, you can cover the 68-mile distance from Key West aboard an island ferry, charter a boat, or hop aboard a seaplane, any of which will become part of your grand snorkeling adventure.
Most people come to this wind-swept monument at the tip of Point Loma to take in the sweeping views of San Diego and its harbor far below. But hereâ€™s the thing most of those visitors miss entirely: the access road that leads down the western side of the peninsula to some of the best tide pool exploring in Southern California.