2016 is the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service. The USA was the first nation to create a National Park system, something every American should be proud of. And did you know Yellowstone is the world’s first National Park, so designated in 1872? The National Park Service now oversees over 400 parks, monuments, sites and other attractions. Here are some additional reasons why you should consider visiting one (or more!) of our 59 national parks.
The western US (and Alaska) now offer active and discerning travelers more boutique properties, ranches, camps and luxury accommodations than ever before. And many national park lodges and hotels have been renovated which makes them an even smarter choice for clients who want to be in the park. Dining options are also more varied and higher in quality than ever, with a diversity of organic options, food and wine pairing experiences, farm-to-fork programs, etc.
More and more travelers are requesting private and custom travel, including privately guided touring, insider access, and tailored experiences.
In their relentless pursuit of a deeper, richer experience and to make the most of precious time away from work, many travelers want a custom itinerary designed exclusively with their wants and needs in mind. This includes unique and exclusive experiences, from a private reception with an artist in their studio, to access to closed-to-the-public archives and galleries, to having a private slot canyon walk. In addition to self-drive programs, we also design fully escorted trips. And we can also arrange for private charter air to ‘connect-the-dots.’
The popularity of the Great American Road Trip (with style and exclusive amenities) is in full swing.
With lower fuel prices, no passport requirement or jet lag, travelers are hitting the road in record numbers. The ‘Great American Road Trip’ taps into nostalgia, the lure of the open road, and a yearning for discovering (or rediscovering) the many treasures that are here in our own backyard. A few quintessential examples – California’s Highway 1, US Highway 89 (known as the National Park Highway) and the few stretches of iconic Route 66 that still exist.
Our National Parks, National Monuments and the ‘rest of the west’ offer so many possibilities for the special interest traveler. Birding, wildlife viewing, photography, history, geology, paleontology, architecture, Native American culture, paddling, rafting, fishing, food and wine, romance/honeymoon, spa, yoga and more. These are just a few of the interests and themes we can design a custom itinerary around.
Our national parks are perfect for family travel! Family reunions and multi-generational trips can be readily planned with easy travel arrangements. We can assist you in over 40 National Parks in the western US and Alaska, plus the hundreds of other sites and attractions managed by the National Park Service.
Our national parks are like medicine for the soul. Taking time to slow down to explore and experience our wild places is a journey of discovery—and often rediscovery in visiting parks that you have years ago as a child. Many travelers now know that one does not necessarily need to travel to distant lands to reconnect, renew, replenish, restore, revitalize, reaffirm, etc. And in a world that’s all too often driven by down to the minute schedules and technology, it’s so refreshing to celebrate the big iconic I-can’t-believe-I’m-seeing-this moments, as well as the unscripted, unexpected, and serendipitous ones with family and friends. Finally, it’s an opportunity for you and children to ‘unplug’ (even if for just a few hours) to take the most important and indelible pictures and video of all – the ones you call up in your mind, not on a smartphone, tablet or computer.
To plan your national parks discovery, contact the vacation specialists at Covington travel.
About the author, Mark Campbell: From his first backpack trip in King’s Canyon National Park many years ago to exploring many other national parks with his wife and two boys, Mark is deeply passionate about the transformative power of experiencing nature, culture, and wildlife… both at home and abroad. In his pursuit of creating, marketing and sharing active/experiential travel and hospitality, he has held senior management positions with Mountain Travel Sobek, Virtuoso, TCS Private Jet Expeditions, and Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants. As part-owner and manager of daily operations at National Parks Revealed, Mark is now passionately dedicated to delivering a new standard of travel to our national parks which are often described as “America’s best idea.”
All photos courtesy of National Parks Revealed.