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Revive yourself with these rejuvenating national park getaways

America’s national parks offer unparalleled beauty, world-class hiking trails and awe-inspiring rock formations. Explore the great outdoors and get ready to make a lifetime of beautiful summer memories. | By Paul Oswell | May 3, 2022

Getting out into nature can be a revitalizing experience, especially if you’re trying to remove the stresses and strains of daily life. Hiking or kayaking while surrounded by some of the country’s best and most memorable scenery is inspiring whether you’re traveling as a couple or a family. You needn’t skimp on accommodations, either, when you can stay at beautiful hotels as your base of operations. Here are some suggestions for making great memories in the great outdoors:

  • Peerless in Seattle: Helicopters and hiking in any one of the spectacular parks in Washington state

  • Loving Las Vegas: Escape the Strip to explore the stunning geology of the Grand Canyon and Zion national parks

  • Adventurous Atlanta: Kayaking, fishing and picnicking in and around the beautiful Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area

Seattle

The Pacific Northwest is a go-to region for fans of the outdoor life. Seattle is blessed with a panoramic choice of stunning landscapes to explore. The city is completely surrounded by mountainous national parks, coated in lush, evergreen forests. Olympic National Park, Mount Rainier National Park, Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest and North Cascades National Park all provide world-class hiking trails and are accessible on day trips from the city. You’ll want to make the most of your valuable time, and a heli and hiking combination tour can have you in the stunning wilderness of Mount Rainier National Park within 40 minutes of taking off from downtown Seattle. Imagine a guided tour of the spectacular glaciers and sub-Alpine meadows with a delicious picnic in the serenity of the gorgeous foothills.

The memories of the birds-eye views of the mountainsides as you travel there and back will stay with you for years to come. Your concierge at Hotel 1000, LXR Hotels & Resorts in Seattle can happily help you arrange a bespoke exploration of any of the region’s national parks. Located just a couple of blocks from the gleaming waterfront of Elliott Bay, the hotel’s spacious suites deliver even more knockout views. The "boat-to-table" ethos of signature restaurant All Water Seafood & Oyster Bar celebrates the bounty of the city’s natural surroundings, with a deliciously fresh menu and innovative craft cocktails. Tired limbs can be revived with indulgent spa treatments or a session in the sauna, and if you’re a golfer, the hotel even has its own golf simulator where you can experience some of the world’s legendary courses without leaving the country.

Las Vegas

The glitz and glamor of heady Las Vegas make for a destination that’s definitely full of attractions. If you’re looking to find fun outside of the bright lights and endless excitement of the casinos, however, the striking Nevada wilderness offers some welcome tranquility. The most popular day trip is undoubtedly a jaunt to the awe-inspiring rock formations of Grand Canyon National Park. Again, a helicopter tour is the most efficient and memorable way to experience this mesmerizing geological wonder. Waldorf Astoria Las Vegas’ version takes you over Lake Mead and the Hoover Dam, before descending 3,500 feet into the Grand Canyon to enjoy light bites and a sparkling Champagne toast. If you’re more of a hiking aficionado, then either a helicopter or a high-end four-wheel drive transfer can take you into the heart of Zion National Park.

Adventuring out from the sublime Zion Canyon, you’ll see natural rock arches and slot canyons as well as wildlife from mule deer to the endangered Mexican spotted owl. There are trails to suit all abilities and energy levels, and your guide can make sure that you don’t miss out on any highlights. An oasis in the city is also important, and Waldorf Astoria Las Vegas offers just that — a sanctuary to relax and revitalize in the midst of Sin City. If being in the middle of the action is more your style, then Resorts World Las Vegas has all the attractions you might need, not to mention a wealth of accommodation choices. There’s the tasteful luxe suites of Conrad Las Vegas or even plush, estate-style villas at Crockfords Las Vegas LXR Hotels & Resorts. Your concierge can help you decide on and arrange your perfect wilderness adventure, as well as guide you through the many relaxation options, from on-site shows and concerts to the finest of dining in the 40-plus food and beverage experiences. The upscale Awana Spa has a wealth of reviving treatments, including specially curated sessions with your very own Sauna Meister.



Atlanta

Beautiful national parks offer the perfect complement to the urban sprawl of Atlanta. The Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area (unlike national parks, national recreation areas are located near large reservoirs to highlight water-based activities) is one of the most visited in Georgia, and it provides a bucolic playground for city dwellers and visitors alike. The river gently winds some 50 miles from Buford Dam in Lake Lanier northwest of the city limits, to lovely Peachtree Creek, just a few miles from downtown Atlanta. A plethora of outdoor activities are possible on and around the Chattahoochee River, and as a general rule of thumb, the farther north you head, the more placid you can expect the surroundings to be.

Kayaking, canoeing and fishing are the most popular pastimes along the river, and the park has an open shoreline and dedicated picnic areas with walking trails for you to enjoy. Waldorf Astoria Atlanta Buckhead in north Atlanta is ideally located if you’re looking for a sumptuous base from which to explore the Chattahoochee River and its surroundings. Returning to this opulent property in one of the city’s most stylish neighborhoods after a day spent basking in nature is a real treat. Soothe aching muscles with any number of treatments in the hotel’s two-floor spa, complete with vitality pools and couples’ suites. Refuel for the next day’s adventures at Brassica Restaurant, a fusion of French brasserie sensibilities with classic Southern hospitality. It’s a side to Atlanta that people often don’t consider, but it’s so rewarding — especially for visitors with a love of nature.

Make your national parks travel memory

National parks showcase the best of America's natural splendor. Whether you prefer hiking, kayaking or simply enjoying a picnic surrounded by some of the world's most beautiful landscapes, the great outdoors offer a memorable backdrop for your perfect summer getaway.

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Paul Oswell is an award-winning travel writer, and has been reporting from all seven continents for over twenty years. He is based in New Orleans and is the author of “The Bucket List North America: 1,000 Adventures Big and Small.”

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