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Ecotourism Vacations in United States

grand-canyon1.jpgWhen people think of holidays in America visions of Hollywood, Disneyland, Las Vegas and New York City spring to mind. These are all great destinations of course but they’re not exactly overflowing in ecotourism opportunities; no, for a greener than green vacation eco travellers need to ignore the usual American holiday brochures and get creative in their thinking. The Untied States has much more to offer than Rodeo Drive and Mickey Mouse.

Ecotourism Ideas in the US

Eco-friendly Santa Barbara – Leave the hustle and bustle of LA driving north to the quaint town of Santa Barbara and discover how they’re turning the area greener than green. From there catch the trolley bus to the nearby vineyards of Napa Valley and savour the local wines before bedding down for the night in a safari-style camp in El Capital Canyon.

Yellowstone National Park – answer the call of the wild by visiting one of the great wildernesses in the US which is home to wild wolves, elk and other wildlife. Hike through the park or camp overnight to truly be at one with nature.

Palm Beach County, Florida – Forget Walt Disney World and all its gaudy glitz and glamour and check out the much nicer family-friendly eco park, Peanut Island. Located in Lake Worth Lagoon, Peanut Island Park covers 86 acres and is accessible only by boat. Pitch a tent on the beach in one of the designated camping spots or treat the family to a native experience by staying in one of the Seminole Indian-style chickee huts. There’s a dedicated Eco Museum there too.

Discover the Sights by RailUSA by Rail is a dedicated website for rail travel through the states. It’s a cheap and easy way to travel where you want to go and is kind to the environment too.

Explore the Everglades – Florida’s sub-tropical wilderness offers a number of eco adventures, activities and places to stay. Take a guided tour around the World Heritage-listed area or discover it yourself on foot on the many hiking trails.

Grand Canyon by Coach – Tour the southern rim of one of the Seven Wonders of the World by coach. Formed over millions of years by the Colorado River, the Grand Canyon’s beauty and grandeur is impossible to explain so you need to go see it for yourself. The best time for viewing is at dawn or dusk when the hues of the red earth are at their very best.

Green Places to Stay in the United States

Straw Manor, Texas – Stay in this wonderfully designed environmentally-friendly house made of, you guessed it, straw. Houses made of straw have come a long way since the huffing-puffing wolf’s time; rendered straw bales offer maximum insulation and so reduce the need for air con or artificial heating. Chill out in this friendly, relaxing green getaway which offers yoga and spa services among the activities available or watch for deer and other wildlife who visit the property undisturbed.

Rancho La Puerta – Visit the world’s first sustainable spa retreat on the Mexico/California near San Diego. It grew from a humble hut in the middle of a vineyard in the 1940s to a cluster of 80 casitas today and is more popular than ever.

Stoneman Lake Lodge, Arizona – This eco lodge is set in five acres of pine woodland, offering excellent opportunities for bird and wildlife spotting. The main room of the Lodge, The Great Hall, is very homely with comfy sofas and an old stone fireplace. The decked area outside is the perfect setting for meals looking out over the lake. The lodge uses only solar and wind power for energy and was built using natural materials.

WildSpring Guest Habitat, Oregon – Set in a pristine forest beneath 100ft trees, this small eco-friendly luxurious resort overlooks the southern Oregon coast where you’ll be able to view Californian grey whales from the decking. Enjoy a dip in the open-air spa after a walk through the National Wildlife Federation certified habitat which is packed with historical sites and hiking trails.