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Did you know that in the United States, there are 499,800 square miles of protected lands? The United States has preserved so much of its natural beauty, that it makes up one-tenth of all the protected land in the world.  

During the scary times of COVID-19, people are looking to nature for their vacation destinations, as a safe and peaceful retreat. Now is the perfect time to explore all the beauty that abounds in the United States. 

Read on to discover the great American vacations where nature abounds, and there are plenty of activities to please the whole family. 

1. The Smoky Mountains: One of the All-Time Great American Vacations

If you’re looking for the best family vacations, look no further than the Great Smoky Mountains. Located in Tennessee, the Smoky Mountains will please nature lovers and everyone in between.

There are numerous lodging and accommodation options in the Great Smoky Mountains, unlike many other national parks. From campgrounds and RV parks to upscale hotels, the Smoky Mountains have it all.

What is there to do in the Smoky Mountains?

  • If your family is looking for a vacation where you can get out in nature, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park has over 150 hiking trails. You’ll encounter beautiful waterfalls and vistas throughout the park. The National park is also a UNESCO world heritage site. 
  • If your family is full of thrill-seekers, rafting and ziplining are popular in the Smoky Mountains.
  • There’s no need to worry about the possibility of rain on a family vacation in the Smoky Mountains. Unlike many other national parks, the Smoky Mountains has a ton of other attractions like the Hollywood Star Cars Museum, Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies, and even an indoor RainForest Zoo that’s open year-round.

2. Moab, Utah: National Park 

If your family is looking for a USA vacation where you can visit state and national parks, Moab, Utah, is a central place to stay to access all of these breathtaking parks.

  • Arches National Park
  • Canyonlands National Park
  • Dead Horse Point State Park
  • Manti-La Sal National Forest

The landscape in Utah is surreal, with colorful, red towers, arches, and canyons that will leave you forever changed. Whether your family likes to hike, mountain climb, or work on your photography skills, Utah is a natural wonder that won’t disappoint. 

When you’re not hitting the trails, Moab is home to hip restaurants, a local brewery, and a spa. 

3. The Outer Banks: The Ultimate USA Beach Vacation Destination

If you’re looking for a beach vacation without large crowds, the Outer Banks is a beautiful place for a family vacation. The Outer Banks consists of a line of islands off the coast of North Carolina. Depending on where you’re coming from, you can access the Outer Banks islands by car or by ferry.

The Outer Banks has hotels, but it also has a ton of vacation home rentals that are perfect for a large family getaway. 

In the Outer Banks, your family can relax and spend your days going to the beach, visiting lighthouses, eating delicious seafood, and getting ice cream. 

4. Bar Harbor, Maine

Bar Harbor, Maine, is the largest town on Mount Desert Island.  One of the main attractions in Bar Harbor is Acadia National Park, a historic coastal park with hundreds of miles of hiking trails, beaches, lakes, and historic carriage roads.

One of the other must-dos if you vacation in Bar Harbor is to take a boat tour. You’ll delight in seeing puffins, sea birds, lighthouses, and numerous other sea creatures.

If you come from a family of foodies, Maine is a food-lovers delight. From lobster rolls to fresh produce like blueberries and strawberries, there’s something to please everyone. 

5. California Road Trip

If your family is looking for a safe vacation destination during COVID-19, consider hitting the road and exploring California. Driving the Pacific Coast Highway is something that everyone should do in their lifetime. If you don’t want to do the whole thing, the most awe-inspiring part of the journey is from San Francisco to Morro Bay.

Stop at scenic stops, spend some time at Big Sur, and eat fresh, local cuisine. 

Another remarkable sight in California is witnessing the grand beauty of the redwoods. The Redwood Highway from San Francisco to the coast of Oregon is another once-in-a lifetime-experience for the entire family. 

6. Assateague Island and Chincoteague: Land of the Wild Ponies

If you’re looking for a family vacation for animal lovers, look no further than Assateague and Chincoteague, home to wild ponies that roam beautiful beaches. 

Assateague Island is on the Maryland side, and there are campsites available to camp right on the beach. Your family will wake up to wild ponies running up and down the beach. 

Chincoteague is located on the Virginia side and is also home to wild ponies. If your family isn’t down with beach camping on Assateague, Chincoteague has hotels, inns, and vacation rentals. 

In addition to hitting the beach and delighting in the sight of wild ponies, there are also unique shops, mini-golf, go-carts, and fishing.

7. Anchorage, Alaska 

If you’re looking for a family-friendly vacation with lots of outdoor activities and a landscape unlike any other in the United States, look no further than Anchorage, Alaska. 

In Anchorage, you can visit the Alaska Zoo or take a scenic walk on the Coastal Trail, an eleven-mile trail that runs along the coast. The walk is paved, making it stroller friendly, and it’s also home to playgrounds and educational markers along the way.

Just a short drive away from Anchorage, you can hop on board a cruise, where you may see whales, sea lions, puffins, and more. 

Plan Your USA Vacation Today

Don’t spend your time being stuck in the house, when you could be taking one of many great American vacations right in your own backyard.

Whether your family loves the beach, hiking, or thrill-seeking, there are beautiful vacation destinations right here in the United States. 

Looking for more great ideas on how to spend your time during the pandemic? Check out our blog for more inspiring ideas.


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