From Outdoor Life magazine -- Look no further then America's National Parks for an exciting and budget friendly vacation this summer. That's the advice from Outdoor Life magazine, which ranks the nations top 12 national parks in its June/July 2008 issue. The magazine, which has highlighted outdoor adventure for more then 100 years, breaks its top National Park picks into four categories, recommending parks that offer adventure, solitude, family-friendly vacations and overlooked gems. The June/July issue of Outdoor Life, on newsstands now, also features reviews of national parks from coast to coast.
"There's a National Park located within easy driving distance of everyone in the country," says Todd Smith, Editor-in-Chief of Outdoor Life. "The twelve on our lists are real standouts, but with parks located in every state but Delaware there are plenty of outdoor escapes within easy driving distance of everyone."
While many of the country's National Parks are well-known for good reason, Outdoor Life wanted to highlight some of the lesser known "Overlooked Gems" in the system, like Voyageurs National Park in Minnesota. The 83,000-acre water-based park is the perfect place to rent a houseboat and checkout the fishing. Whitewater fanatics won't be disappointed with the Class V rapids at West Virginia's overlooked gem, the New River Gorge National Park. Wisconsin's Apostle Islands National Park, located on Lake Superior, unexpectedly offers visitors the opportunity to go deep in search of fun while scuba diving to area shipwrecks among the park's 21 islands.
The magazine's picks for brave explorers offer high-octane adventures from coast to coast. Kayak among the ice-bergs at Kenai Fjords, Alaska; whitewater raft the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon, Arizona; or cast a line beside an alligator in Florida's Everglades. Families are advised to head for the hills -or mountains of Colorado's Rocky Mountain, Missouri's Ozark, and Virginia's Shenandoah National Parks. The magazine also highlights Montana's Glacier, Maine's Acadia, and Alaska's Wrangell-St. Elias for their vast areas of wild and unique lands.
"Each of the parks on our list is truly a special experience," says Smith. "Each site echoes the surrounding region's geological and cultural evolution, while providing visitors with opportunities ranging from bold and daring to leisurely and relaxing."
The June/July issue of Outdoor Life also highlights many camping and fishing opportunities at the nation's National Parks.
Outdoor Life's Top National Parks: