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A different idea for a summer getaway: National Parks

Our modern society can often get stuck in a hedonic loop, aiming for "fun" as the end goal in our leisure time.  But the reality is that fun is only one aspect of decompressing and recharging, both necessary parts of our lives, and that our leisure time, either on our own or with our families, doesn't need to include amusement parks, shopping, or even spending a lot of money to create memories that will last a lifetime.  Often times the best part of time away is wonder and reflection, and National Parks, a concept invented by the United States, delivers those qualities in great quantities.  In this article we'll discuss three lesser-known National Parks that you might consider as you plan your summer getaways.

Buffalo National River, Arkansas

This 135-mile Ozark river was designated America's first National River in 1972, and winds its way along three official wilderness areas.  You'll find plenty of swimming holes, 400-foot high sandstone cliffs that front parts of the river, as well as a ghost town called Rush, which was a hotspot for zinc mining in ages past.  If you don't feel like hiking any of the numerous trails, you could always just float down the river (or white water raft it, depending on your mood).

Great Sand Dunes, Colorado

This park has over 30 square miles of sand dunes, some as tall as skyscrapers.  You can rent a wooden, slick-bottommed "sandboard" (think snowboard, but for warm weather) or sand sleds and slide down them.  Temperatures in the summer are as high as 150 degrees and as low as minus 20 in the winter, so the best times to enjoy the dunes is in the early morning or late in the evening.  Don't let the name fool you, there are also alpine lakes, forests, and wetlands here as well as wonderful stargazing, due to the high elevation and lack of light pollution.

Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

This park shares a border with Yellowstone, but it is worlds apart.  You won't find any super volcanoes or famous geysers there, but you'll find mountains, valleys, and wilderness.  Because so many are drawn to Yellowstone, this park is not nearly as crowded and you'll find a lot fewer people on the trail or by the rivers.  July and August are the busiest (and best) times to visit, but June and September are excellent too.  This is one of the best parks in the US to glimpse bison, now really making a comeback thanks to protective measures.

Do you or your family visit National Parks?  Which ones?  Share in the comments below to receive 25% off your next purchase of Rascal products at one of our clubs.

Ben Davis

About Ben Davis

A serial entrepreneur, Ben Davis is founder of The Gents Place and a leading investor in gentlemen's refinement and confidence.

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