Six Amazing Natural Landmarks to See in your Lifetime
When Americans think of traveling, we may think of resorts, beaches, and visiting big cities like New York. But the United States boasts some of the most beautiful scenery in the world, much of it free to enjoy.
With the weather turning warmer and the recent Earth Day (April 22), now may be a perfect time to book a trip to one of America’s great natural landmarks. Earth Day is not only a day to focus on conservation and sustainability, but to celebrate the beauty and diversity we must all work together to preserve. And there’s one more good reason to book with Metropolitan Shuttle for your next trip — traveling by bus is the greenest choice available for intercity trips.
Cape Royal and Angels Window in Grand Canyon
If you have ambitions to see the iconic Grand Canyon, you should make a point to see Cape Royal. Cape Royal features the widest view of any point overlooking the Grand Canyon. From here, you can see Marble Canyon to the north, many miles west, and south to the Palisades of the Desert. Not far away is Angels Window, a natural limestone arch that beautifully frames a view of the Colorado River. If you’re looking to take a large group of people to see the majestic sights, getting to the Grand Canyon is only three hours away by bus from Phoenix, or four hours from Las Vegas.
Monument Valley (on the Arizona-Utah border) is best known for its thousand-foot-high sandstone buttes, which have been featured in movies and television for over eighty years, mostly the work of legendary Western filmmaker John Ford. Visitors can take a drive through Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park for a small fee, although some areas are available only via guided tour. Travel back to an Old West that never existed and take in some unmatched majestic scenery. Though Monument Valley is fairly out of the way no matter where you’re coming from, it’s accessible by coach bus from Phoenix, Albuquerque, or Salt Lake.
Devils Tower National Monument
Famous for its appearance in the film “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” as the landing place of friendly aliens, Devils Tower is considered a sacred site to the Northern Plains Indians. It’s also one of the most popular traditional crack climbing areas in the country, towering 1,200 feet above the Belle Fourche river. The monument attracts about 400,000 people a year, 1% of whom attempt to climb the mountain. Visitors who come to Devils Tower in June can take part in the “Old Settlers’ Picnic,” an annual feast that began in 1893 to celebrate early climbs to the tower’s summit. The picnics were held from the nineteenth century into the 1960s and were revived in 2006 by the Devils Tower Natural History Association.
Glacier National Park
Located on the US-Canada border, Glacier National Park is one million acres of natural beauty. Many of the hotels and chalets in the park are national historic landmarks themselves, and the Going-to-the-Sun Road is a historic civil engineering landmark. Glacier boasts a pristine ecosystem where rare and endangered species inhabit. Hiking, boat tours, fishing, and camping are the most popular pastimes. Glacier National Park is a true natural treasure, so remote and vast that you’ll want to devote several days to savoring its beauty.
About an hour and a half by bus from Rochester, NY is majestic Niagara falls. Another landmark that crosses international borders, Niagara Falls is actually a set of three waterfalls (Horseshoe Falls, American Falls, and Bridal Veil Falls) that straddle the line between New York and Ontario. Niagara Falls flows at a rate of approximately 85,000 cubic feet per second, making it a breathtaking sight for tourists from all over the world. The oldest and most popular attraction on the American side is the Maid of the Mist boat tour, which has been showing visitors around the rapids at the waterfall base since 1846.
Cumberland Gap National Historical Park
Lying on the border between Virginia, Kentucky, and Tennessee is Cumberland Gap National Historical Park, a break in the Appalachian Mountains covering twenty thousand acres of carefully preserved natural beauty. Once used by Native Americans and early settlers, the park includes attractions such as the Hensley Settlement (a preserved mountain community) Gap Cave (used as shelter by travelers), and events and festivals detailing history and life in the area. Getting to Cumberland Gap is about a three-hour bus ride from Louisville, Kentucky.
Of course, if you were to try to take in all these lovely sites in one go, the trip would take you sixty-nine hours to complete, which would be quite a long ride — perhaps we can offer some tips on how to stay comfortable during your epic journey!
The time is right to visit any one of these beautiful natural landmarks and celebrate our planet. Each of them is only a bus trip away — and Metropolitan Shuttle can help you book, plan, and schedule a trip with ease. Call us at 1-866-556-3545 or contact us today for a free quote, and see what we can do for you.