A visit to a national park is a must for any new traveler, especially when the destination is unique. That's why we partnered with
Hampton by Hilton
for this post featuring lesser-known spots.
Taking in the wonders of nature isn't awe-inspiring when you're nudging others for a good view. If you love taking in the beauty, but aren't big on crowds, we found locations that need to be on your travel list. These nine national parks offer everything you're looking for, from stunning vistas to lush forests with the extra bonus of miles and miles of hiking trails to explore. Be prepared — you're going to want to grab your camera and get traveling after checking these out.
Great Sand Dunes National Park, Colorado
national park is beyond stunning, filled with the ever-changing sand dunes and the majestic San Juan Mountains as a backdrop. The dunes are considered the tallest in North America, making them a must visit. Stay in Alamosa, and explore the wonders of the dunes.
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Congaree National Park, South Carolina
With the largest intact expanse of old-growth bottomland hardwood forest, the
park boasts some of the tallest in the Eastern US. Stay in the surrounding town of Gadsen, and spend days learning more about the amazing trees and surrounding landscape.
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Petrified Forest National Park, Arizona
This is a
spot where you can really connect with the beauty of nature. With backcountry trails that have never been open before and beyond-stunning vistas that showcase the rich hues of the petrified rocks, every single view is spectacular. Stay in Albuquerque, and make the drive to the park for a beautiful weekend getaway.
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Dry Tortugas National Park, Florida
If you're looking for something different to do while visiting
Key West, take a boat or seaplane to Dry Tortugas National Park and wander through Fort Jefferson. There are coral reefs for snorkeling and never-ending views of the blue-green sea.
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North Cascades National Park, Washington
destination is known for jagged peaks that are reminiscent of Alpine vistas. Hike through grassy meadows studded with wildflowers while taking in the view of snow-capped peaks. Plan your visit alongside a trip to Burlington for a breathtaking getaway.
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Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, Colorado
The views here are so stunning, combining grasslands atop deep ravines that sometimes sparkle at the base, thanks to the sun hitting the
Gunnison River. If you're looking for hiking that will challenge you, this is the place to visit and push yourself to the limit, making your way up or down the sheer cliffs. Stay in Montrose for close access to the South Rim of the park.
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Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska
This park covers
3.3 million acres, which makes for more than enough space for anyone who's looking for an adventure. You'll see glaciers, snow-topped mountains, and tons of wildlife surrounded by their natural habitat. Book a stay in Anchorage, and get ready for the trip of a lifetime.
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Canyonlands National Park, Utah
landscape is filled with canyons and craggy rock formations that are breathtaking and stark at the same time. Filled with so many photo opportunities, the park is divided into four sections, thanks to the rivers that helped create the unique forms. Stay in Moab, and you're only a short drive from this lesser-known location. Make sure to hit the park for sunset one evening — the formations literally glow.
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Crater Lake National Park, Oregon
Featuring the stunningly clear waters of the lake, this
national park has a little of bit of something for everyone. There are mountains, rocky shores, islands, and forests to hike through. Plan an overnight stay in Bend, and you can explore the quaint town while taking in the views.
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