Be it by land, by sea, or simply gardens and parks, North America has many nature-centric destinations to offer lovers of the outdoors. Some may seem obvious, while others are hidden gems among the continent.
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Mackinac Island, Michigan, United States
This car-less island is a quiet retreat for nature lovers looking to take in the sights via walking, biking, or boat. There are 113 kilometers of natural and paved pathways to be taken in this historic town – and hopping aboard a horse-drawn carriage is one option for exploring them.
The Arch Rock is a natural limestone arch on the Lake Huron shoreline, and the Devil’s Kitchen is a small cave with two hollows in a rocky cliff, both spots perfect destinations to be in awe of the power of nature and how it changes the landscape. There are charter fishing boats to board and bicycles to be rented, as well as kayak tours and parasailing adventures to see the island from above.
Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada
Canada’s oldest national park offers stunning turquoise lakes, breathtaking Rocky Mountain views, and a plethora of wildlife to observe. Over 3 million visitors come here yearly.
There are over a dozen campsites to settle into, and 1,600 kilometers of trails to explore. Lake Louise and its surrounding area offer a great place to kayak, fish, ski, and hike.
You might want to check out Banff homes for sale next time you’re in the area, as this is a great spot to purchase a vacation home.
Sian Ka’an National Park, Mexico
This national park is home to thousands of flora and fauna species, making it a designated Biosphere Reserve. There are forests, marshes, lagoons, and Mayan ruins to see, with 23 Maya archaeological sites in all. Sian Ka’an was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and is the largest protected area in the Mexican Caribbean.
Visitors can enjoy fly fishing and kayaking, personalized nature tours, and birdwatching at sunset. The climate is tropical and comfortable for year-round visits.
Charleston, South Carolina, United States
It may seem most notable for its southern charm via architecture, culture, and food, but Charleston also has much to offer in the way of the natural world. There is sunshine all year, making it a pleasant place to be outdoors no matter the season.
Charleston Harbor is an inlet of the Atlantic Ocean that is often buzzing with various types of boat cruises. Water lovers will also enjoy Folly Beach, which offers a mix of sand to relax on and wildlife habitats to explore. You can also catch a glimpse of the sea in Shem Creek’s dolphin-friendly waterway.
Big Muddy Badlands, Saskatchewan, Canada
This destination boasts a desert landscape that is home to Castle Butte, a relic from the ice age that rises 230 feet high and was once a landmark to early settlers. Early civilization is still present here and can be seen through various stone carvings, ceremonial circles, and ancient buffalo jumps.
Check out the Outlaw Caves and Trail, which were part of a system that extended from Canada to Mexico used by outlaws.