The Fourth of July is a fabulous opportunity to get outdoors and travel. To make the most of this holiday, what better way to celebrate than to enjoy some of the country’s most beautiful natural landscapes? It would make this time a truly memorable travel experience.

Getaways from New York City:

Adirondacks, New York

Just a few hours north of New York City, you can easily travel to the Adirondack Mountains in the Adirondack Park. Pristine and expansive, the Adirondacks’s mountains and rivers give the perfect opportunity to hike, paddle and play in the natural landscape. There is also the Adirondack park, which is sprawled out over more than six million acres. Half of the park, which is private land, includes settlements, farms, timberlands, homes and camps. There is a definite charm to checking this place out for a fun travel escape!

Adirondack Mountains, New York

Photo: stillwellmike via Flickr

Phoenicia, New York

Phoenicia is a small town located in the northeast part of Shandaken. The Ulster and Delaware Railroad found this community first, and were the first to develop the tourist industry. It features many activities such as hiking, art exhibits/activities, and beautiful inns to stay in for a cozy travel hideout.

There is also the Peekamouse blue hole, a body of water to enjoy for a more natural and fun activity. At the deepest part of Peekamouse there’s a rope swing, which adds to the charm of swinging into the lake on a hot summer day!

Phoenicia, New York

Photo: sashimomura via Flickr

Getaways from Los Angeles:

Los Padres National Forest, California

Los Padres National Forest is located in southern and central California. Los Padres includes most of the land that goes along the California coast, from Ventura to Monterey. The northern division is in Monterey County, and it includes the Big Sur Coast. This is a very popular area for hiking, with 323 miles of hiking trails and 11 campgrounds.

Also, you can travel to the town of Ojai, a city in Ventura. It has boutique hotels and adventure opportunities that include hiking and spiritual retreats, as well as a farmers’ market on Sundays with local organic agriculture.

Los Padres National Forest, California

Photo: jvoves via Flickr

Idyllwild, California

Idyllwild is located in the San Jacinto mountains. Among tall pines, cedars, and legendary rocks, it has kept its small town atmosphere that’s perfect for a more down to earth experience. All the shops and restaurants are locally owned, as well as the day and overnight hiking journeys offered. Rock climbing is also an option, which can be on many boulders and/or the well-known Tahquitz and Suicide Rocks. This town is perfect for those who want the simple, homey feel, even for just a weekend.

Idyllwild, California

Photo: Gary Minnaert via Flickr

Getaways from Philadelphia:

Cook Forest, Pennsylvania

This National Natural Landmark offers a variety of travel attractions, lodging facilities, restaurants, and more. The park features a generously wooded area of hills and mountains along the Clarion River in northwestern Pennsylvania. Cook Forest State Park is known for some of America’s finest virgin white pines and hemlock timber stands. It was once called the “Black Forest” due to its towering evergreen trees. Cook Forest was rated one of America’s top 50 state parks by Nat Geo magazine.

Cook Forest, Pennsylvania

Photo: Nicholas A. Tonelli via Flickr

Laurel Highlands, Pennsylvania

The Laurel Highlands span 3,000 square miles of Fayette, Somerset, and Westmoreland Counties in southwestern Pennsylvania. Located just east of Pittsburgh, you can travel to this destination for beautiful natural scenery, outdoor recreation venues, historic sites, family activities, and world-class resorts.

The region provides a scenic backdrop for many notable attractions, such as Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater, which is built over a waterfall.

Laurel Highlands, Pennsylvania

Photo: Dave Gingrich via Flickr

Getaways from Chicago:

Illinois Beach State Park, Illinois

At 6.5 miles long, the Lake Michigan shore in northern Illinois offers fab travel opportunities at one of the most unique natural settings in America. Activities at Illinois Beach State Park include boating, swimming, hiking, bicycling, camping, bird watching, and picnicking. The beach itself also has dune areas, wetlands, prairies, and black oak savanna to explore. There is an area at the far southern end of the park is a designated nature preserve. It’s a beach that’s not too crowded, and is a lovely travel escape!

Illinois Beach State Park, Illinois

Photo via Pixabay

Indiana Dunes State Park, Indiana

Travel to Indiana Dunes for its 2,182 acres of simple, beautiful, historic and unique Hoosier landscape. It lies at the north end of State Road 49 in Porter County, and includes more than three miles of beautiful beach along Lake Michigan’s southern shore. Scientists and nature lovers recognized the value of the Indiana dunes area, and fought to have the region preserved. As a result, in 1925, the state park was established. The park offers camping, picnicking, showers, snack bars, and camp stores for travel lovers.

Indiana Dunes State Park, Indiana

Photo: Todd Petrie via Flickr

Getaways from Denver:

Rocky Mountains, Colorado

Rocky Mountain National Park’s 415 square miles encompass the wonderful mountain environment. Enjoy Trail Ridge Road, along with over 300 miles of hiking trails, wildflowers, wildlife, starry nights, and more. Much of the mountain range is protected by public parks and forest lands, and is a popular travel destination. Activities include hiking, camping, mountaineering, mountain biking, skiing, and snowboarding. There are many options for travel lovers to enjoy!

Rocky Mountains, Colorado

Photo: Todd Petrie via Flickr

Great Sand Dunes National Park, Colorado

The tallest dunes in North America are a notable center in a varied landscape of grasslands, wetlands, conifer and aspen forests, and other forms of nature. While a sight to behold in itself, there are also options for camping in the area when you travel here. The Piñon Flats Campground, run by the National Park Service, has up to 44 sites that visitors can reserve in advance, or have first-come, first-serve. Experience what the dunes have to offer through hiking, sand sledding, splashing in Medano Creek, wildlife watching, and more!

Great Sand Dunes National Park, Colorado

Photo: Aryeh Alex via Flickr

The Fourth of July is a special holiday, filled with fireworks, food and a generally happy tone. What’s a better way to see those fireworks than from some of the country’s greatest parts of nature?

Also read:

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Ultimate California National Park Adventures for your bucket list