As a self-proclaimed nature addict, I take no shame in my love for the pretty places on the earth.  I have extolled the virtues of the National Parks Service in previous posts (here, here and here, for example).  The national parks figure prominently in my “Happy Places” posts and are the last bastion of primal America as it once existed for millenia.  They are capsules of another time, ambassadors (both human, animal and vegetable alike) to the environment and, in general, a prescient gift to us from important forbears such as Theodore Roosevelt and John Muir.

If you haven’t been to a National Park recently, find one that is nearest to you.  Many countries have National Parks now–which is fantastic, in my opinion!  There should be more.  On top of that, there are UNESCO World Heritage Sites as well.

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If you enjoy visiting the U.S. National Parks, be sure to pick up a National Parks Passport and fill it with stamps and pictures from the places you visit.  I promise you that you will come back from your “world tour” a changed person.

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If you have children between the ages of 3 and 15, there is also the amazing Junior Ranger Program at nearly every National Park, World Heritage site and (in some states) at State Parks as well.

Last summer, we hit four nationals parks on our family vacation: Glacier (Montana), Yellowstone (Montana/Wyoming), Grand Teton (Wyoming), and Golden Spike National Monument (Utah).

This spring, we visited Joshua Tree and will visit three more parks this coming summer: Sequoia, Kings Canyon and, one of our favorites, Yosemite (all in California).

We are truly lucky to live in such a beautiful world!

Pick up the Chimani apps for your mobile devices.  They feature some stunning photography, a trip planner and many facts and bits of history about all the parks.

ETA: Also, don’t forget the “National Parks: America’s Best Idea PBS documentary.  You can see clips here.

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