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Published on August 6th, 2016 | by Andrea Bertoli

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US National Parks are the Ultimate Ecotourism Vacation

This article has been created in partnership with CREDO, America’s only progressive phone company


If you’re like most Americans, you are missing out on your vacation days. Even a few days here and there, away from our desks, and not buried in our smartphones, can do wonders for our body, mind, and spirit. In fact, our obsession with working longer hours and more days is counter-productive. Please share those links with your boss and get started planning some time off during these last few weeks of summer.

Related: 10 Reasons Nature Time is Important

Get out of the Office and out for some Ecotourism

So if you’re looking for an abundance of nature time and downtime in close reach, the National Parks of the US offer awesome opportunities around the country.

National parks, along with other public lands and recreational areas, are often ideal getaway spots. The National Park Service turning 100 years old this summer, so there is literally not a better time to get out there and celebrate these natural wonders. US National Parks contain the wonders of our natural world, from beaches to deserts, swamps to mountains, and even underwater.

You can celebrate the preservation of these vast areas of great beauty across the country. Here are CREDO’s best spots to check out while you still have time this summer:

In Baldwin County, Alabama, the national park’s beaches are made from silky white sand. In this special spot you might even see sea turtles nesting.

Turtles hatching in Alabama

In Florida, the Everglades are a “World Heritage Site, International Biosphere Reserve, a Wetland of International Importance, and a specially protected area under the Cartagena Treaty.” There you can see turtles, herons, alligators, dolphins, manatees and even crocodiles. This is one of the most pristine and at-risk areas in the United States.

Heron in Everglades National Park

In 2016 Acadia National Park in Maine is celebrating its 100th anniversary, making it one of our oldest national parks. From inside the park you can start your morning as the first person in the United States to see the sunrise from the summit of Cadillac Mountain.

Acadia National Park in Maine

Joshua Tree National Park is located in southern California where the Mojave and Colorado Deserts come together. The park covers 800,000 acres and contains a vibrant mix of wildlife, including the Joshua trees for which it was named.

Sunset in Joshua Tree National Park

For a more exotic getaway, try Virgin Islands National Park, which is described by the National Park Service as “an American paradise with breathtaking hills, valleys and beaches. With 7,000-plus acres on the island of St. John, Virgin Islands National Park offers snow-white sand dotted by palm trees, coral reefs, prehistoric sites and Bay Rum Tree forests. Its Trunk Bay is considered one of the most beautiful beaches in the world and features a 225-yard long underwater snorkeling trail.”

Virgin Islands in the Caribbean

You can learn more about even more public lands and begin to plan your summer vacation by visiting NPS.gov.

While you are planning your trip, it is important to consider how these national treasures are at risk. Conservative and corporate interests led by individuals like the Koch brothers have for years been trying to seize, dismantle, sell off and exploit public land. Additionally, Congress has underfunded the park service, but the protection of these lands needs to be a priority.

CREDO has staunchly defended the protection of public lands, including pushing the Obama administration to stop giveaways of coal, oil and natural gas, and opposing development, privatization and profiteering.

The Obama administration has been hearing our voices and has taken some important – yet still insufficient – steps to protect public lands:

  • Recently, President Obama placed a three-year moratorium on coal leasing on public lands.
  • Additionally, under pressure from CREDO activists and others, the president scaled back plans for offshore drilling off the Atlantic coast.
  • Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell recently announced a “major course correction” to highly value public lands conservation.
  • Throughout his administration, President Obama has added 265 million acres of newly protected public lands and waters.

Take some time this summer and visit a national park. Then take action with CREDO to make sure this beauty is preserved for future generations.

This article has been created in partnership with CREDO, America’s only progressive phone company. CREDO supports social and environmental causes, and we think they are pretty cool. If you click the banner above and become a CREDO member, Green Living Ideas makes a small affiliate fee.

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About the Author

A vegan chef, cookbook author, educator, writer, surfer, and yogi based in San Francisco, Andrea is also the Accounts Manager for Important Media. Follow her foodie adventures at AndreaBertoli.com, Vibrant Wellness Journal, Green Living Ideas and Eat Drink Better. Find more from Andrea on Facebook and Instagram



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