When you think of American landmarks, you may think of the Statue of Liberty, the Gateway Arch or the Hollywood Sign. But some of the most famous landmarks in the United States are completely natural. In fact, the country has a collection of 63 national parks, including Yellowstone, Joshua Tree and the Grand Canyon. With over 52 million acres of national park land in the U.S., let these landmarks inspire your next adventure.
Joshua Tree National Park
Located in southern California on the Mojave and Colorado deserts, Joshua Tree National Park beacons hikers, campers, climbers and stargazers. Visitors can hike on trails from one to 35 miles, plus thousands of climbs of all difficulties. If you are planning a longer visit, there are nine campgrounds available with some taking reservations. After your adventures in the park, stay at Omni Rancho Las Palmas Resort, just a 45-minute drive away. Here, you can relax by the pool or book a rejuvenating treatment at the spa.
Saguaro National Park
Saguaro National Park, located just ten miles west of Tucson, Arizona, serves as a sanctuary for the giant saguaro cacti. 1.8 million of the protected plants grow over 40 feet tall within the park borders. Plus, more than 200 native mammals, reptiles, amphibians, insects and birds call the area home. Visitors can choose to hike a variety of trails with spectacular views or drive the scenic Bajada loop. Omni Tucson National Resort is located between 15-45 minutes away. The hotel offers two championship golf courses for those looking to unwind with a day on the fairway.
Rocky Mountain National Park
With over 265,000 acres of land, Rocky Mountain National Park is one of the largest parks in the United States. You can start your visit at any of the five visitor’s centers. The park has an endless list of hiking trails to explore, and over 50 lakes and streams for fishing. Cars are permitted along designated roads, which allows you to explore even more of the area’s flora and fauna. After you’re worn out from your alpine adventures, retreat to Omni Interlocken Hotel, about an hour’s drive from the park. Refuel at one of the hotel’s restaurants or bars, or warm up in one of two heated pools.
Blue Ridge National Heritage Area
The Blue Ridge National Heritage Area, while not technically a national park, is part of the National Park Service. The Blue Ridge Parkway offers unparalleled views of North Carolina’s natural beauty. The 469-mile road through North Carolina and Virginia offers many places of interest along the way to stretch your legs. If you are looking to hike, visit Mt. Mitchell, the highest peak in the state. Or if architecture interests you, take a tour of the Biltmore Estate. The 179,000 square foot historic home, built in 1895, is the largest privately-owned house in the United States. Head to Asheville after a long day of sightseeing and wind down at The Omni Grove Park Inn, where you can relax at the spa or enjoy a meal from the Sunset Terrace with views of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Shenandoah National Park
Just over an hour north of Washington, D.C., Shenandoah National Park has over 500 miles of hiking trails for visitors. Pick your path from a variety of trails ranging from quick routes, day hikes and overnight backcountry camping options. You’ll pass scenic overlooks and many waterfalls inside the park, some nearly 100 feet tall. The park offers fly fishing for over 32 species of fish including brook trout. To relax after traversing the park, head 45 minutes south to Omni Charlottesville Hotel. From here, you can check out the Brew Ridge Trail or the hotel’s two heated pools.
Rock Creek Park
Most of the country’s national parks are located outside of major cities, but Rock Creek Park is tucked away in Washington, D.C., and offers visitors an oasis from the hustle and bustle of urban life. The 1,754-acre park offers 32 miles of hiking trails, horseback riding, golfing, tennis, biking, a nature center, planetarium and even boating along the Potomac River. When you’re ready to call it a day, head to Omni Shoreham Hotel, less than a 5-minute drive from the park, and relax in one of the hotel’s courtyards or gardens, or dine at Robert’s Restaurant, which has views of Rock Creek Park.
No matter where you plan your next road trip, there is a good chance there is a national park nearby to explore. And no matter which one you choose, make sure to download the National Park Service’s free app, which includes maps and park info for all 423 National Park Services sites. We hope this list has inspired your future travel plans and look forward to seeing you at one of our Omni locations nearby.