Thankful for Our Nation’s Gifts

Holiday Season Reflections

During this season of gratefulness, let’s stop for just a moment to remember that some of the most beautiful places in the world are right here in our backyard. Bonus: being outside, surrounded by nature is one of the safest ways to spend time with others and not spread the virus.

Olympic National Park

The Quinault Rain Forest in Olympic National Park.

Olympic National Park encompasses rugged and beautiful coastline, glacier-capped mountains, calm lakes, and wild, magical forests. Olympic National Park was designated a UNESCO International Biosphere Reserve and World Heritage Site due to its wide range of diverse land formations.

Olympic National Park Must See: Hike Around Lake Quinault

If you’re visiting Olympic National Park, you must save some time on your schedule for a hike (or a few) around Lake Quinault. Surrounding the lake, you’ll find 8 miles of interconnected trails with interpretive signs.

Where to Stay: Lake Quinault Lodge

Whether you are exploring Olympic outdoors or relaxing at Lake Quinault Lodge, there is natural beauty all around.

Built in 1926, Lake Quinault Lodge is the perfect place to get away and disconnect when you’re visiting Olympic National Park. The lodge has classic amenities such as the historic Roosevelt Dining Room, a majestic fireplace, and large windows looking out over the temperate rainforest surroundings. Guest rooms feature lakeside views, fireplaces, and floor heaters.

Zephyr Cove

Zephyr Cove is enjoyed by many year-round. Enjoy the lake by Spring and Summer and the beautiful snowcapped peaks by winter.

Located along the shores of Lake Tahoe on the border of California and Nevada you’ll find Zephyr Cove. Most people think of Lake Tahoe as a summer getaway with its pristine, crystal clear, blue waters, but there’s plenty to do here in the winter. Lake Tahoe is also home to snowmobiling, skiing, and snowshoeing.

Zephyr Cove Must See: Snowmobiling Lakeview Tour

Hop aboard a rented snowmobile for this two hour, lakeside tour. The tour departs from Zephyr Cove Resort and continues through the pine and aspen trees to peaks of nearly 9000 feet above sea level. All you have to do is steer, breathe in the fresh air, and marvel at the scenery.

Where to Stay: Zephyr Cove Lodge

Zephyr Cove Resort is nestled along the stunning Lake Tahoe.

Located in South Lake Tahoe, Zephyr Cove Lodge hosts guests in 28 cabins and 4 guest rooms. Located just off the lake, Zephyr Cove Lodge is centrally located to all the South Lake Tahoe activities you can enjoy. Guest cabins include a fully furnished kitchen, lake views, cable TV, and a gas fireplace.

Lake Powell

A view of Lost Eden on Lake Powell.

If you’re looking for an escape from normal life that features the serene beauty of water, look no further than Lake Powell — home to the second-largest man-made lake in the U.S. While Lake Powell is best known as a summer destination for those who love to spend time in the water, there’s still plenty to do there during the winter. Lake Powell is also home to some of the most iconic landscape structures, sandstone arches, canyons, and winding waterways.

Lake Powell Must See: Hike Navajo Canyon

While there are many hikes you can take around Lake Powell, some require technical hiking skills, wading through pools of water, and long distances. If you’re looking for a gentle, scenic hike, your best bet is Navajo Canyon. This hike is up to 12 miles long round trip, but you can go as far or as little as you want.

You can access Navajo Canyon by kayak. Once you arrive at Buoy 10, secure your kayak, and get ready to hike. Throughout the hike, you’ll get to take in the variegated sandstone walls, look out for wild horses along the streambed, and revel in the beauty of Chaol Falls.

Where to Stay: Lake Powell Resort

Sunrise or sunset, Lake Powell is nothing short of beautiful.

Lake Powell Resort offers visitors easy access to adventures, boat rentals, and the best views of the lake. Choose from traditional rooms, suites, and rooms with lakefront views. Rooms come with Keurig coffee makers, mini-refrigerators, and eco-friendly toiletries. You’ll have everything you need to enjoy your stay in your room and get outside for some adventures whenever you want to.

If you’re looking for a safe getaway this fall, look no further than the majestic national parks of the United States. In our nation’s backyard, there is so much to be thankful for.

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