Want to see Redwood National Park but don’t have the time or money to make the trip? How about Yosemite or Death Valley? Thanks to the graciously, life-improving, expanding Internet, you can now take a stroll through five California national parks right on Google Street View. The Official Google Blog outlines this new step. While seeing these monumental landscapes in person cannot be replicated online, there is something especially majestic about gazing through the Redwoods on your Street View. Perhaps you’ll like the view enough to make the actual trip one day.
More than 3,000 TripAdvisor readers in the United States have selected the top 10 national parks. Big shock: nine out of 10 are out west. Only Maine made it onto the list. But, let’s face it – if you want big, impressive national parks, you have leave the East Coast.
These readers are definitely interested in the national park scene. More than 70 percent plan to visit one this year, up from 62 percent in 2008. And, searches on TripAdvisor for “national park” and “national parks” are up 21 percent for the first five months of 2009 (relative to the same period last year).
So, what are the top spots?
- Zion National Park, Utah
- Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona
- White Sands National Monument, New Mexico
- Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii
- Redwood National and State Parks, California
- Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, Nevada
- Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming
- Mount Rainier National Park, Washington
- Yosemite National Park, California
- Acadia National Park, Maine
“As Americans look for inexpensive travel ideas this summer, many are seeking out the amazing natural beauty that lies in our country’s own back yard,” said Michele Perry, vice president of global communications for TripAdvisor. “National Parks can offer travelers an active, affordable and often awe-inspiring escape outdoors.”
With Earth Day approaching fast I thought this shot taken by Nicholas Stevenson of a ‘perspiring fungus‘ on
a Redwood seemed rather fitting. For some reason Earth Day always generates pictures of tree huggers gathered in masses
and I say if you’re going to be doing any tree hugging this April 22 you should hug a California Redwood at Redwood National Park. Judging from the detail of this awesome nature shot there’s
tons of little secrets to discover on the very large trees. So perhaps you’ll even capture something similar, but in
the meantime we have Stevenson’s work to admire over at