Summer is around the corner and usually we head out somewhere for our vacation.  Well this year that’s probably not going to happen.  While it’s true that many places have started to re-open after weeks or months of quarantine many of us aren’t really ready to venture far from home.

At my house this means no cruises (one of our favorite vacations), no international travel, and if possible no flying specially on long haul flight.  Considering we live in Hawaii where the shortest out of state flight is a 5 hour transpacific flight to the West Coast, this pretty much means no summer vacation for us.  Trust me it’s going to be a long summer at our house where the “natives” are getting restless; and by this I mean my husband who is lamenting that our yearly travels have been halted for the foreseeable future.

I must admit I’ve toyed around with the idea of travel, not so much when I’d feel confident enough to travel, more like where I’d be confident going.  If I can get over the idea of flying across the Pacific and staying at hotels, where do I think we should go?

I think like most folks from around the world my first trip will more than likely be a road trip.  But unlike folks who live on a continent the first leg of my road trip still entails flying.  That’s why we’re really not ready to venture far from home, and seriously a road trip on this island takes about 3 hours assuming we don’t get out of the car and stop at the beach or the park.

But as I said to my husband the other day, I think that when we are ready to travel our first destination should be a road trip to one of the National Parks.  I mean it makes sense as it can be something we have some form of control over, once we get to the mainland.  We would rent a mini van which we’d  have lots of control over, everyone in it would be household members.  We’d be in the great outdoors so that risks of infection could be minimized as long as we stayed out of dense crowds.  The only thing I can’t quite get around is the need to stay in hotels, camping would be a possibility, but I’m so not a camper!

With all my concerns about the virus I really not ready to travel yet.  But that doesn’t mean I can’t take virtual tours.  Many of the National Parks have virtual tours so you can explore their sites and be awed by their grandeur from the comfort of home where you need not wear a mask!  A virtual tour gives you a taste of what there is out there and may help you plan your time when you are ready to visit in person.

So here’s a 5 of my favorite National Parks to explore.  It may just inspire you to visit in the near future.

Yellowstone NP

Located in 3 states, Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho Yellowstone is an amazing park!

Home to bears, bison, deer, moose, wolves, and much more Yellowstone is the first National Park in the country, established by a law signed by President Ulysses S. Grant on March 1, 1872.  It is also home to about 500 of the World’s 1000 geysers and other geothermal wonders.

The most famous geyser is Old Faithful which is named such because its eruptions are fairly predictable erupting about every 90 minutes or so.

Yellowstone is our most favorite National Park.  We’ve been there twice and each time was amazing!

I’m not sure what makes it my favorite, but the wildlife viewing has to top that list!

Click here for virtual tours of  Yellowstone National Park!

Yosemite NP

Located in central California Yosemite National Park is one of the crown jewels of US National Parks.

It is known for its waterfalls, granite cliffs, lakes, streams, valleys, and Giant Sequoia groves.

It is also one of our favorite parks.  I can’t even count how many times we’ve visited and each time we see something new!

Click here for virtual tours of Yosemite National Park!

Zion NP

Awe inspiring is what comes to mind whenever I think of Zion National Park.  Just one of Utah’s 5 National Parks Zion is a day trip from the Las Vegas Strip.

I’ve been here countless times and it never fails to bring joy to my heart.  Standing at the bottom of the valley looking up at the high canyon walls is a spiritual experience.  Hiking the trails or even just taking the bus to some of the easily accessible sites is a humbling experience.

Click here for virtual tours of Zion National Park!

Acadia NP

Located on the coast of Maine primarily on Mount Desert Island Acadia National Park is marked by granite peaks, woodlland, and rocky beaches.  It’s home to moose, seabirds, seals, bears, and whales.

The gateway town of Bar Harbor is a delightful town filled with restaurants specializing in Maine lobsters, and quaint shops.

Click here for a virtual tour of Acadia National Park!

Grand Canyon NP

Located in Arizona the Grand Canyon National Park is another crown jewel of the US National Parks.

The Colorado River which carved out this amazing canyon winds thru the park.  Views of the river at sunrise and sunset is a favorite activity for all visitors.

I can’t count how many times we’ve visited this park, it’s one of our favorites.

Click here for a virtual tour of the Grand Canyon National Park!