Were you aware there’s a golf course in Death Valley? Did you know there was a place called Death Valley? Located 120 miles north of Las Vegas is the Furnace Creek Resort, which holds the title for the world’s lowest golf course at 214 feet below sea level. So don’t expect that drive to go as far as usual. Their 19th hole is famous for being one of the only drive-up and through golf car ramps in the country. I should also mention they are known for their local packs of coyotes that love the palm tree dates.
The largest city in California offers a gateway to some of the most dramatic scenery in North America. With seven parks within 4 hours of Los Angeles, families can explore desert visas, giant redwoods, or an island sanctuary. From the largest protected desert in the world to the largest trees in the world, California national park sites feature world-class scenery. So much for families to discover when they visit California.
Mohican State Park is the perfect place for nature lovers to stay and play in one of the most scenic regions of Ohio.
Whether you experience the Grand Canyon by train, by helicopter, by van — or even all three — the Grand Canyon Railway has designed multiple adventures for visitors looking to up the wow factor of this bucket-list destination.
America’s first national park, Yellowstone became “a public park or pleasuring-ground for the benefit and enjoyment of the people” in 1872. The park’s 2.2 million acres contain geysers, fumaroles, bison, bears, elk, wolves, and coyotes — as well as its share of interesting history, odd stories, and fun facts. Here are a few.
As the farm-to-table food movement sweeps the country, Yellowstone is embracing it with gusto.
Exclusive vineyard visits and wine tastings. Private pairing demonstrations and gourmet meals. These are the highlights of the best winery vacations. Here are three wine-focused tours — in Argentina, France, and California — guaranteed to give you bragging rights.
Overnight guests at the Grand Canyon’s South Rim have a wealth of options on where to lay their heads. And while the lodgings differ in ambiance and historical significance, they share a key attribute: a front-row seat at one of the world’s great wonders.
You can have a perfect day filled with history and adventure without ever straying from the Furnace Creek area.
With the beginning of Grand Canyon National Park’s busy season just around the corner, there are a few things to keep in mind when visiting the park: entrance lines will be long, parking will be difficult to find, and whatever time you spend at the South Rim will not be enough. Learn how the Grand Canyon Railway & Hotel can help.
Join Xanterra as we celebrate #RAKWeek2017 by committing random acts of kindness from February 12-18.
Whether for an anniversary, a honeymoon, or just to celebrate the two of you, here are five ways Windstar sets the mood for love on the high seas.
Is there anything more quintessentially Provence than lavender?
From cycling betwixt fields of tulips in Holland to hiking across sand dunes in Death Valley, action-packed days are just a click away.
Vermont is the largest producer of maple syrup in the United States. With a staggering volume of almost 900,000 gallons harvested every season; the second least populous state is responsible for 6% of the world’s supply of this sweet commodity.
Is there anything more quintessentially Provence than lavender?
Whether celebrating a special occasion or seeking solace from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, there’s no better place to say ‘I love you’ to your special someone than at an exclusive oasis surrounded by the world’s most pristine water and stunning landscape.
Wake up before dawn to watch the rugged mountains turn pink with the sunrise, then, after dark, gaze up at star-filled skies as the desert wind rustles the palms.
As you head out for the day, leave your smartphone behind and focus on mind and body renewal.
Small-group tour companies provide the kind of insider knowledge that’s virtually unavailable to individual travelers. They can advise you on what to pack before you leave and guide you through the nuances of language, culture, and customs once you’re there.
Fires have shaped the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem for 14,000 years. Although the charred remains of once thriving old-growth forests are difficult for park lovers to see, nature’s cycle of burns and new growth is essential to the health and diversity of Yellowstone.
Your year-round access point for Glacier National Park is now open
It’s clear why travelers find it so difficult to decide where to travel in Africa. From Namibia’s trackless deserts to Tanzania’s endless plains, there are countless destinations to explore, cultures to discover, and animals to spot. How to choose? We’re here to help.
Not only is it possible to experience the best of the canyon without driving your car within the park’s boundaries, visitors can arrive at the South Rim’s Historic Village in a fun, iconic manner by riding the Grand Canyon Railway.
Twosome time is hard to find. But it’s essential to keep the flame burning. For Valentine season or a spur-of-the-moment mini-vacation, these intimate, seductive getaways are perfect for sweethearts.
The diseased wood is hauntingly beautiful. It’s a devastation of the forest but in architectural features, it’s stunning.
Northeast Ohio offers a variety of ways to enjoy a couple’s getaway — from hiking the trails, exploring the back roads of Amish Country, a day in Cleveland, or just hunkering down to enjoy quiet solitude in a state park. Punderson Manor, an Ohio State Park Lodge in Geauga County, is the perfect home base for getting away together.
The aptly named Grand Canyon is 277 miles long, up to 18 miles wide, and a mile deep. That’s more than enough space to stash a trove of secrets. We’ve unearthed a few of the more curious ones.
Rick McIntyre arrived at Yellowstone National Park in 1974, just a few years after the nation’s first national park celebrated its centennial. He’s held several titles since then, but none have been more satisfying than the one he’s enjoyed for well over a decade: biological technician for the Yellowstone Wolf Project.
With an expanse 1,904 square miles, the Grand Canyon is a paradise for lovers of remote, solitary spots. But you don’t have to be an ultra-fit distance hiker to escape the crowds and enjoy the quiet beauty that radiates from one of the world’s most ethereal natural spaces.
For those staying at the Grand Canyon Railway Hotel in Williams and taking the train to the South Rim Village, the Railway Pet Resort will make sure your pet has as good a time as you do.
Celebrate the holidays in style at one of Ohio's state parks. Ohio is within a one-day drive of nearly 50 percent of the U.S. population, which is why is it such a preferred destination for families to reconnect during the holidays.
After taking in the quiet beauty of Furnace Creek and Death Valley, any habit to reflexively check your phone will simply melt away.
Where can you drink a bottle of beer, recycle it, and then sit on a bench made from that bottle? Yellowstone National Park. Learn how.
In winter, Yellowstone National Park morphs into a picturesque wonderland, complete with snowy woods, ice pellets of geyser rain, frozen waterfalls, and abundant animals. Although the bears hibernate, bison, elk, mule deer, moose, wolves, and coyotes roam the park. In summer the creatures spread out to graze grassy mountainsides, munch leaves in the woods, or hunt for prey in the hills. But in winter the animals mass in the lower elevations.
Watch a sunrise over the mystical, magical ruins of Machu Picchu in Peru after a hike on the Inca Trail. Walk in Hemingway’s footsteps in Cuba, and venture from Havana into the lush interior. Cruise the Panama Canal on a luxury yacht, or bike beneath the snow-capped peaks of the Andes on a Chilean odyssey. Here’s a look at some alluring Latin American adventures.
With a number of chefs at national parks creating fresh and healthful farm-to-table menus, travelers to these beautiful locations can taste authentic local and regional flavors.
For many travelers, simply mentioning Ireland conjures a misty landscape of vibrant green, towering sea cliffs, charming villages, and sheep tranquilly grazing beside age-old stone walls. Celebrated in song, poetry, and film, it’s a countryside as iconic as any in the world. But...it’s also a pretty large area. Though small by the standards of most nations, there are still 32,595 square miles of pubs, moors, walking paths, and rolling hills to explore. Which begs the question: where should you go in Ireland to see it at its most beautiful? Here are our top picks.
Consider it the Grand Canyon’s secret season. The dead of winter — December through February — is surprisingly lively at the canyon’s South Rim, which is open year round. Even if you’ve visited in summer, it’s worth considering a trip in the off-season for a wholly different perspective on this world wonder.
Considered the gateway to the Grand Canyon South Rim and home to the Grand Canyon Railway and Hotel, Williams, Ariz., makes an ideal base from which to explore not only the canyon, but also other area highlights.
Three longtime employees share the joys — and surprises — of working at the national park
While too many visitors just stop, look, and move on, this incredible geological wonder deserves far more attention than a brief glance over the rim.
The Ohio State Park Lodges have become retreats, and even reunion locations, for families at Thanksgiving.
You needn’t be a CrossFit fanatic to manage a canyon trek. But you should have a general degree of fitness, especially at elevations of 7,000 feet.
Learn how photographers, illustrators, and painters who portrayed Yellowstone proved instrumental in its establishment as a national park. Three such artists — Thomas Moran, William Henry Jackson, and Frank J. Haynes — played a seminal role in Yellowstone’s preservation.
As the Punderson property changed hands over the years, strange happenings began to add a certain character and reputation to the manor house beyond its grand facade.
The opium dens, bordellos, and other landmarks of Williams, Arizona’s, rough-and-tumble past are long gone. But some kinder, gentler vestiges of this town’s Wild West era remain. And that’s fortunate for Grand Canyon-bound visitors seeking a fun, full-service spot as a base before and after a trip to the canyon’s South Rim, 56 miles north. The town of 3,000 residents, considered the gateway to the Grand Canyon, is also home to the Grand Canyon Railway, an excursion train that traverses the scenic, high-desert plateau between a historic depot and the canyon.
When you really want to get away, there’s hardly a more remote place than the Furnace Creek Resort in the heart of Death Valley National Park. But while the historic property — which includes the AAA Four Diamond Inn at Furnace Creek and the family-friendly Ranch at Furnace Creek — may appear to be between the middle of nothing and nowhere, orbiting Furnace Creek are several sights, towns, and attractions close enough to reach on a day trip.
Whether you’ve saved for a special occasion or simply because you only live once, check out five dream accommodations that guarantee a memorable getaway.
Bison, elk, bears, and wolves are among the stars at this oldest national park
Apart from its magnificent geologic formations, Arizona’s Grand Canyon is also noteworthy for the design of its iconic structures. What visitors to the site may not know, however, is that some of the most memorable structures are the brainchild of one of the country’s earliest female architects, Mary Jane Colter.
Fall is one of the best times to visit Ohio as leaves on the trees change into an array of vibrant colors. Ohio State Park Lodges are located in different geographical regions, so you can plan for the best seat in the house to catch the fall foliage.
Upon arriving at the secret pumpkin patch, only accessible by train, passengers will pick out the perfect pumpkin before returning to the Williams Depot to decorate it.
Those of a certain age might recall the mule team from the long-running Death Valley Days television series and its sponsor, 20 Mule Team Borax.
Birders have racked up some impressive lists, especially in the vast and varied western national parks.
When the kids head back to school, why not enroll in an educational experience of your own? Enrichment options are proliferating as today’s travelers demand more from vacations. Whether spicing up culinary skills, honing sports skills, or delving more deeply into a destination, here are four grade-A options.
While the Ohio State Parks offer a vast array of outdoor recreational offerings, the Buckeye State is also the home state of Jack Nicklaus — the Golden Bear — the greatest champion golf has ever had. And fittingly, golf is another kind of outdoor fun offered by the Ohio State Park system.
To say that Bob and Terry Rockwell have seen a lot of the world is an understatement. In the last 16 years, they’ve each been on a total of 28 trips with Country Walkers, to destinations ranging from Glacier National Park to New Zealand. Discover their story.
In Yellowstone National Park, visitors expect to encounter bison, bighorn sheep, elk, and other animals, but one sight always surprises travelers: the star-studded skies. Simply look up at night to experience a dazzling display of constellations, planets, and nebulae normally invisible to urban dwellers because of their cities’ light pollution.
Hundreds of intrepid cyclists will once again compete against the Grand Canyon Railway’s venerable steam engine #4960
Gurgling waters, date palms, and flowering shrubs make Furnace Creek Resort stand out in Death Valley National Park
Facilities needed to house and feed visitors create one of the biggest impacts on parks. To help minimize that impact, Xanterra Parks and Resorts, the largest operator of lodging and dining services in the national parks, has been leading the hospitality industry by living up to its motto, “Legendary Hospitality with a Softer Footprint.”
Whether you crave Wyoming’s valleys and mountains, Africa’s broad savannas, Georgia’s woodlands, or Ecuador’s sea islands, here are four great wildlife encounters to add to your bucket list.
Summertime in Ohio means swimming, canoeing, waterskiing or just basking in the pool to cool off from the heat. The Ohio State Park Lodges at Punderson Manor, Mohican, Deer Creek, Salt Fork and Maumee Bay offer a variety of ways to enjoy the state’s aquatic resources.
Yellowstone National Park covers more than 2.2 million acres with more than 900 miles of hiking trails in backcountry wilderness. If you can't find a trail here, you can't find it anywhere. It's impossible to explore all the beauty Yellowstone has to offer. So we've culled 12 great day hikes from the herd, each with a charm and a challenge.
If you have but one day to spend at the Grand Canyon, you’ll be missing a lot. After all, the national park encompasses 1,904 square miles. And the canyon is six million or so years in the making. But you can make the most of your limited time at the canyon’s South Rim — the hub of visitor activity in Grand Canyon National Park — by following these suggestions.
I began riding motorcycles as a teenager and, in the years since, I’ve explored 46 of the Lower 48 states by motorcycle, took a two-wheel tour of the Alps, wrote a book about exploring America by motorcycle, followed the 1914 path of Erwin ‘Cannon Ball’ Baker on the San Diego-New York City Cannon Ball Centennial Ride, and have repeatedly been punished by wind, rain, snow, and ice on my bike.
But I’ve never experienced anything like Death Valley. Never.
What children don’t wish for Christmas in July, visions of sugarplums dancing in their heads? While they may not be able to get their wish, their parents can guarantee them a place on the holiday-themed year-end Grand Canyon Railway’s Polar Express by booking their tickets starting in July. The sooner they book, the better their chance to ensure the best selection of dates.
It’s hard to imagine a better place than Glacier National Park to appreciate the impact of climate change on pristine nature. This is one park where the frequent travel admonition, “now’s the time to go,” is all too true — at least, if you want to see the string of icy pearls hung across its high peaks.
With the favorable euro-to-dollar exchange rate and with summer’s long days and warm weather, now’s a great time to visit Europe. But what if you’ve already done the classic “Grand Tour” destinations? Time to consider going off the beaten track to less-visited but equally charming places. Here are four that will put a new spin on your European vacation — with fewer crowds, to boot.
As our group has rafted down the Colorado River and deeper into the Grand Canyon, we’ve been rewarded with one majestic pleasure after another.
Italy has something to offer every type of cyclist from Tuscan wine roads and scenic coastal routes, to easy bike paths in the shadows of the mighty Dolomites.
As the Grand Canyon Railway train makes its way north over the high desert plateau, passenger Stu Elliott sits back and drinks in the 360-degree view from a plush seat in an elevated glass-domed observation car. Discover how this could be you.
One of the rarest and greatest natural attractions in the United States is total darkness. And one of the best places to experience this phenomenon is California’s Death Valley National Park. Because its skies are affected by only the smallest amounts of light pollution from distant cities, it is classified Gold Tier by the International Dark-Sky Association, the highest level of designation for its star-filled skies. Astronomical objects visible there are available only in some of the darkest locations around the globe.
With local farmers markets ramping up for the growing season and your own garden sprouting hopeful buds, it surely can’t be too early to start daydreaming about where you’ll be for this year’s harvest. We’d argue that there’s no better way to celebrate than by jetting across the Atlantic to discover some of Europe’s most delicious fall food destinations. Did we mention that September and October mean cheaper airfare, lower hotel rates, fewer crowds, and longer days in Europe? This might be a no-brainer.
This year is especially fitting to spend Fourth of July in a national park, since Aug. 25 is the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service. Fireworks on Washington, D.C.’s National Mall are but one way to celebrate the occasion. Here are four other appealing options.
To make the most of your Yellowstone visit, follow these insider tips to ensure that you don't miss out on any of the park's wonder.
Say "I do" with a backdrop of plush forests, Lake Erie waters, or the rolling hills of southern Ohio.
With snowcapped peaks, ancient cities, idyllic wine country, and seaside fishing villages this destination offers all the best of Europe in one tiny country.
Follow these tips to maximize the indescribable wow and minimize the anxiety of your next camping trip.
It’s no wonder that multigenerational vacations continue to be among the hottest trends in travel. When grandparents, their adult children as well as grandkids go on a trip together they can interact by horseback riding, boating, hiking and watching wildlife instead of cooking, serving, passing the potatoes, and cleaning up. Holiday gatherings are great, but multigenerational family vacations can be even better.
Whether it’s swimming the English Channel, climbing Mount Everest, or landing men on the moon, humans have always had an unquenchable desire to tackle unconquerable challenges. None are as popular as those involving human endurance. The more demanding the challenge, the more determined the competitors. Which is exactly why extreme athletes flock to California’s Death Valley National Park.
Memorable summer experiences in Ohio happen by the water, on the trails, in the woods, and by the campfire. The Ohio State Park Lodges offer diverse summer activities for families, couples, groups and solo travelers. The varied geographical regions that surround Maumee Bay, Punderson Manor, Salt Fork, Deer Creek and Mohican lodges give you endless options to create your own perfect summer.
The descent into the canyon reveals another perspective, that of the canyon as sea bed millions of years ago.
Discover how you can hike forests, take a boat trip, admire a canyon, ride horseback, travel by covered wagon and stagecoach plus look out your car window to see bison, moose, elk, and bighorn sheep within Yellowstone’s nearly 3,500 square miles. That makes it a perfect family destination.
When you take an active vacation, you are exposed more of the natural elements in the surrounding landscapes than you would be from the restrictive view of a bus window. While renowned natural features like Amalfi’s stunning coastline, the iconic peaks of the French and Swiss Alps, or the dramatic Cliffs of Moher in Ireland tend to stand out more; lesser-known, yet equally impressive features are abundant throughout Central and Eastern European countries as well.
So many questions, so little time, says your inquiring mind about Myanmar, the “new” name for Burma since 1989. If the call to lift the veil of one of Southeast Asia’s most peculiar, thought-provoking countries is pulling at your heart, then consider these 10 straightforward, uncomplicated points as you start planning your next trip-of-a-lifetime. - See more at: http://www.austinadventures.com/travel-resources/myanmar-10-simple-things-know-go/#sthash.DfcgUlkj.dpuf
The Adriatic is having a moment. In recent years, Croatia and lesser-known Montenegro have blossomed into “must go now” destinations in Europe, thanks to their stunning beauty, glimmering beaches, and old world charm.
Imagine starting your morning watching sunrise reflections from the porch of the lakeside cabin where a former U.S. president found his personal solitude. Or, waking up to the chirps of migrating birds in the marsh wetlands outside of your family cabin window.
These are just some of the experiences you will find in the unique accommodations at the Ohio State Park Lodges.
Every April, the azaleas bloom at Augusta National and the best golfers in the world tee it up at the Masters, signaling the unofficial start of golf season, as the northern half of the nation emerges from cold winter and gets their clubs out of the closet. For many golf fans, the best way to kick things off is with a road trip to one of the nation’s premier golf resort destinations. Here are four great ones.
There are a number of options for experiencing the Grand Canyon. Here are some best bets.
More than a century after its creation, the Grand Canyon Railway is delivering passengers to the canyon’s South Rim on a ride that blends adventure, history and culture.
Each year countless travelers explore Yellowstone National Park. But just what is it that makes this place so hot? Magma.
Not interested in merely basking on a beach? Today’s active travelers of all ages like to test themselves and seek new experiences they’ll be talking about for years.
Flocks arrive in Ohio in waves. Different birds appear at different times in each wave.
The first time I visited Yellowstone National Park, I was 10 years old and so excited to see a bear for the first time. After three days, our family still had not seen one, so my father did what any good parent would have done for his children: He opened a can of tuna and a bag of hot dogs and placed them on the picnic table nearest our camping trailer.
Sure-footed, sturdy mules have been carrying visitors into the Grand Canyon for more than a century.
Whether you are deep in the Grand Canyon at Phantom Ranch or perched on the South Rim at one of the historic lodges, the night sky is so dark that it’s easy to imagine yourself in another time when the first people roamed the canyon 12,000 years ago.
Mules were the true heroes of the Old West. They were the tractors of the day. They pulled the wagons. They pulled the plows. But mules never got the credit they deserved.
Are you ready to get away from it all? Whether celebrating a special occasion, or seeking solace from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, there’s no better place to say ‘I love you’ to your special someone than at an exclusive oasis surrounded by the world’s most pristine water and stunning landscape. Couples count down the days of awakening in paradise to the view of turquoise colored waves and softened white sandy beaches. With hundreds of hotels vying for visitors’ attention, selecting the most suitable island accommodations can often seem like a daunting task. Windstar Cruises – a fleet of small luxury cruise ships – has scoured international waters to identify five of the world’s most romantic islands and the top bungalows, resorts, and overnight accommodations where starry-eyed travelers can rest their heads.
If you’ve had the good fortune to have visited Yellowstone National Park, there’s a pretty good chance you’ve done so between May and September. That’s when the majority of Yellowstone’s nearly 4 million annual visitors explore the first of our national parks.
With its intense sapphire water and caldera rim sharp against dramatic Northwestern skies, Crater Lake at Crater Lake National Park inspires the photographer in all of us. Here are a few tips to help turn vacation snapshots into photos worthy of framing.
Foodies rejoice! We’ve just revealed the exciting line-up of award-winning chefs preparing to set sail on our “James Beard Foundation Collection” of culinary-focused cruises. For those who haven’t heard, we’ve recently partnered with the James Beard Foundation to provide our guests with an elevated culinary experience aboard three separate European cruises destined for Spain, Morocco, and France.
There is something so innately American about getting out on the road and discovering all the wonderfully diverse places across this great land; from its rolling foothills to its towering peaks, sandy beaches to lush forests, southern hospitality to Californian cool to New England charm—it’s all a part of what makes America so unique. There’s been a resurgence in bicycling throughout the country and thanks to the United States Bicycle Route System, there are more bike paths and converted rails trails in the USA than ever before. Travelers can explore everything from National Parks to bucolic towns to charming seaside locales to Californian wine country all with the ease of quiet roads or paths.
With Spring Break just around the corner, you’re probably daydreaming of the perfect family getaway. Perhaps some place you’ve never been, or maybe never even heard of? Some place that doesn’t require a passport or snowsuit? Read on, fellow traveler. Have I got the most flawless trip for you.
Ohio State Park Lodges provide that rarest of getaways: a resort vacation in a natural setting at budget-stretching prices. For spring break, if the weather’s warm, enjoy strolling forests laced with wildflowers, bicycling on paved paths or pedaling along dirt trails on mountain bikes (bring your own). If the weather’s still chilly, no problem. Take a short walk in the woods, enjoying the crisp air and the crunch of twigs beneath your boots. With snow on the ground, get in a last of the season cross-country ski outing.
Their legacy: Helping to make travel in the West a lot more enjoyable by serving tasty meals in pleasant surroundings and bringing a touch of graciousness to a mostly unsettled land.
Operation Shrivelly Apples, an award-winning environmental program, began with a dried-up apple and a discerning park employee. In 2013 a Grand Canyon National Park Lodges staff member suggested that the shrunken apples, not pretty enough for park guests, be fed as treats to mules, which are not finicky about what they munch.
Furnace Creek Resort may hold the world record for the hottest recorded day (134ºF on July 10, 1913), but with January temperatures in the high 60s, winter is the perfect time to visit and explore this desert oasis surrounded by the beautiful, rugged landscape of Death Valley National Park. As one of America’s few naturally occurring oases, Furnace Creek has a legendary history.
Indeed, on 16 scheduled runs throughout 2016, you can board a train pulled by a majestic 1923 steam engine that was converted by the railroad to operate on recycled vegetable oil to reduce carbon emissions. No wonder this quirky steam train smells a bit like French fries.
As the nation’s largest concessioner in national parks, Xanterra Parks & Resorts is enthusiastically supporting the initiative launched by the National Park Foundation and the White House called “Every Kid in the Park” which allows fourth grade students across the country free access to national parks throughout the 2015-2016 school year.
Getaways beneficial for body and mind can help break bad health habits, instill good ones or simply provide a soothing, stress-releasing break. Here are some locales to consider.
Exciting outdoor activities throughout the winter at five Ohio State Parks range from snow sledding and snowmobiling to guided nature walks, geocaching and bird watching.
Winter is beautiful in Yellowstone National Park. Blanketed by snow, the 2.2-million-acre park exudes a mythical beauty.
The landscapes of southern Utah—especially Bryce & Zion Canyons—are like no other on earth. From the warm reds, yellows, and oranges of wind-carved slickrock canyons to the gentle green of piñon pine forests beneath a piercing blue sky, the region offers exceptional natural beauty in abundance.
There’s so much to enjoy along the Italian Riviera, from wooden fishing boats bobbing in the tide to candy-colored villages stacked along the waterfront.
Italy is one of the most diverse countries in the world. Throughout history, varying Italian provinces have developed and responded to their own, unique location, resulting in vast regional subtleties from one location to the next.
There is something so innately American about getting out on the road and discovering all the wonderfully diverse places across this great land; from its rolling foothills to its towering peaks, sandy beaches to lush forests, southern hospitality to Californian cool to New England charm—it’s all a part of what makes America so unique.
Whenever guests watch the first Star Wars movie at Furnace Creek Resort in Death Valley, Calif., it inevitably launches tales of when the movie’s director, George Lucas, came here in 1977 to transport people to another galaxy with the scenes he shot in the surrounding desert and mountain national park.
Back in the 1800s, when members of Congress first began to hear reports of the land that is now Yellowstone National Park, they didn’t quite believe it. Ground that bubbled and spewed with odd smells and colors was not something most people had encountered at the time. Newspaper and magazine editors wouldn’t publish the stories because they didn’t believe it either.
Did you know Death Valley National Park has some of the best stargazing on the planet? That’s because Furnace Creek Resort, in partnership with the National Park Service, obtained a “Gold Tier” Dark Sky Park Certification from the International Dark Sky Association.
Hiking the iconic Inca Trail. Snowshoeing in Antarctica. Swimming with dolphins in Mozambique. These once-in-a-lifetime experiences entitle you to ultimate bragging rights. Here are five trophy trips to add to your life list.
National Park lodges come with world-class settings. Lakes, towering mountains, river-cut canyons, painted deserts and red rock formations beckon just beyond your room’s door. The railroad companies built many of the grande dame hotels, creating properties that often featured soaring lobbies, thick log beams and impressive fireplaces.
This jagged 277-mile-long gorge carved by the Colorado River and reaching depths of a mile is one of world’s seven natural wonders and the centerpiece of Grand Canyon National Park. You can explore its 1.2 million acres by land, water and air. Book as far ahead as possible, since popular outings typically sell out months in advance and generally can be canceled with notice prior to arrival.
It’s really not about the water; it’s about the trash. Every day, according to the Container Recycling Institute, 60 million water bottles are thrown away.
The last three years have been the driest years in California history and the end is nowhere in sight.
It’s a big week for us at Xanterra. It’s Earth Week, it’s the launch of our blog, and it’s National Park week, one of the largest celebrations of our national park heritage.