Why Sustainable Travel Matters
As more locations are negatively impacted by over tourism each year, we are left with excess trash, pollution, disturbance in animal habits, and more destroying these beautiful countries!
Which is why it’s essential to not only start traveling more sustainably but also visit sustainable travel destinations.
These destinations are not only a fun place to explore, but also have sustainable initiatives and promote eco-friendly practices.
These sustainable destinations matter because it allows us to help protect animals, landscapes, and local communities.
By choosing these sustainable travel destinations, we become part of a bigger effort to make the world a better place.
So, let’s dive in and start exploring!
1. Denali National Park, Alaska
Denali National Park, just like the rest of Alaska, is known for its unique wilderness and natural wonders.
Denali national park has over 6 million acres, and it is a prime destination if you love nature, raw beauty and love to explore the great outdoors!
While in Denali, you must visit Mount Denali which starts at 20,310 feet. This is actually North America’s tallest peak. While there’s not many hiking opportunities available, you can visit the Eielson Visitor Center which offers spectacular views and trails suitable for all levels.
While in Alaska, one of my personal favorite things to do was view all the amazing wildlife. From the sea creatures like whales and sea lions to the land animals like the grizzly bears or caribou, there are plenty of options to view these amazing animals in their natural habitat.
Interestingly enough, Denali National Park is the only national park that compost dog poop! Each sled dog produces around 0.75 pounds of poop each day, and in the summertime, uses the poop as rich fertilizer.
In fact, in 2021, these kennels were able to compost over 6,650 pounds of poop!
Denali uses many sustainable initiatives to help preserve their environment. Such as by using certified LEED green buildings which ensure that they are dedicated to sustainable building designs and constructions.
Way to go Alaska for being an environmentally conscious destination!
2. Redwoods of Northern California
The Redwood forest in Northern California offers a breathtaking journey through one of the planet’s oldest living ecosystems. These forests have stood for centuries and are a good reminder of the essential role healthy forest plays in our ecosystem.
While in the Redwoods, you must visit the Muir Woods National Monument where you can enjoy 6 miles of hiking trails.
Plus, you can enjoy the peacefulness and grandeur of Cathedral and Bohemian Groves.
You can also drive through Humboldt Redwoods State Park, where you can really see how enormous these trees are. Which can stand as tall as 300 to 350 feet!
Along your drive, you can enjoy dozens of activities such as hiking, horseback riding, biking, and even go fishing.
The Redwood Parks Conservancy protect 130,000 acres of different forests, rivers and prairies, as well as 40-miles of Pacific coastline. The park also makes significant strides in conservation, with initiatives like reforestation and habitat restoration.
In fact, their efforts have led to the planting of thousands of young redwoods, helping to ensure the forest’s vitality for future generations.
3. Moab, Utah
Moab, Utah, stands out as a perfect sustainable travel destination if your passionate about outdoor activities and environmental conservation. The region is known for its unique red rock landscapes and commitment to preserving the local environment.
Visiting Arches National Park is an absolute must while in Utah. This park features over 2,000 natural stone arches, including the famous Delicate Arch.
The Delicate Arch hike is a three-mile trail, and offers visitors a chance to see one of the park’s most iconic formations up close, without harming the desert ecosystem.
While in Utah, you can also enjoy Colorado River Rafting. Here you can enjoy 5 different classes of white waters and experience some of the most exhilarating white waters across the nation!
Moab’s dedication to sustainable tourism is evident in its comprehensive eco-tourism initiatives. The city has invested in solar energy projects to power local businesses and public facilities, reducing the carbon footprint of tourism. This shift towards renewable energy sources is a significant step in Moab’s ongoing efforts to balance tourism with environmental responsibility.
4. Acadia National Park, Maine
Acadia National Park is where you can truly witness the perfect balance between enjoying nature and preserving it. This national park offers stunning views of coastline and and forest as well as with a wide range of activities for you to enjoy!
While in Acadia National Park, you must visit Cadillac mountain. Which stands at 1,530 feet and is the highest point along the North Atlantic seaboard. During the drive up, you can enjoy a 3.5 mile drive up to the top of the mountain.
You can also enjoy several observation points along the roadway. Once at the top, you can experience a breathing view at the top of this beautiful mountain.
While enjoying this park you can visit Jordan Pond which is known for its crystal clear and glacially formed waters.
The most famous hike is the Jordan Pond Path, a 3.3-mile loop that offers stunning views and a serene hiking experience. This trail, along with others around the pond, is meticulously maintained to protect the surrounding natural habitat and provide a memorable experience for hikers and cyclists.
Acadia National Park’s “Leave No Trace” policy promotes sustainable tourism while you can enjoy the natural beauty of this park.
Another great sustainable highlight is the parks initiatives to reduce their carbon footprint by using hybrid buses for transportation. These buses have helped reduce fuel consumption and cut down carbon emissions.
These are just a few highlights why Acadia National Park is a great sustainable travel destination for you to visit and explore!
5. Adirondacks, New York
The Adirondacks in New York are a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts. As you can enjoy various outdoor activities such as hiking, mountain biking, and kayaking.
Did you know that Adriondacks is actually the largest publicly protected area in the contiguous US. With over 6 million acres of natural park. To put this size in perspective, it’s larger than the Everglades, Yellowstone, Glacier, and Grand Canyon National Parks combined!
That means there are endless opportunities that you can enjoy while visiting the Adirondacks! Such as visiting over 3,000 lakes and ponds which is ideal if you love water sports.
Or you can hike and mountain bike along Adirondacks 2,000 miles of hiking trails. Including the famous 46 High peaks!
The region’s focus on preserving water quality is evident in its strict regulations on motorized boats and initiatives like the Adirondack Lakes Survey Corporation, which monitors the health of the lakes and ponds.
Plus, Adirondacks park is constitutionally protected to remain “forever wild” forest preserve. This is great to preserve the natural environment and animal habitats for generations to come. However, half of this park is on private lands which includes farms, settlements, timber, lands, and campgrounds.
6. Santa Fe, New Mexico
Santa Fe is a blend of rich history, vibrant arts, and stunning natural beauty. It’s a city where sustainability is as much a part of the culture as its famous adobe architecture.
While in Santa Fe, you must visit Bandelier National Mounts where you can explore ancient pueblo dwellings. In fact, this site features over 33,000 acres of rugged but beautiful canyon and mesa country.
It includes evidence of human presence dating back over 11,000 years, with over 70 miles of hiking trails. The main loop trail, a 1.2-mile round trip, takes you past ancient petroglyphs and cliff dwellings.
One of the other favorite things to do is visit the Santa Fe Farmers Market. Located at the Santa Fe Railyard, this market is open year-round, offering fresh, local produce and goods from over 150 farmers and producers.
Santa Fe’s Green Lodging Program is part of its wider sustainability plan, ensuring that hotels and accommodations follow responsible tourism practices such as water conservation, recycling, and using renewable energy sources.
Way to go Santa Fe for creating a positive impact within the travel industry!
7. Oahu, Hawaii
Oahu, the heart of Hawaii, is a tropical paradise that combines natural beauty with a commitment to environmental preservation.
While in Oahu, you can enjoy activities such as snorkeling in the Hanauma Bay. Here you can explore crystal clear waters that are home to over 450 species of fish.
Just be careful when snorkeling or scuba diving as Hanauma Bay has strict visitor limits and regulations to ensure their coral reefs are protected.
While in Oahu, you can also explore the Hiking Diamond Head Crater. Here you can enjoy a moderately challenging hike that also offers stunning views of Honolulu!
Oahu’s is strongly focused on sustainable initiatives to promote more renewable energy and sustainable tourism.
Initiatives like beach clean-ups and the protection of marine life in areas like Hanauma Bay, emphasize the island’s dedication to preserving its natural resources.
These best sustainable destinations allow you to explore the beauty of nature while also raising awareness of pressing climate issues.
Wherever you go, most sustainable travel destinations will allow you to enjoy your experience while having a positive impact on the environment!
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