A few years ago, my husband and I decided to go on an incredible vacation to Europe. Unfortunately, we didn't know very much about booking hotels, and so we ended up staying in some pretty "interesting" places. When we weren't scared about the other guests, we were worried about taking home bed bugs, and we were surprised about the pricing! After that experience, we decided to research travel accommodations, so that we weren't ever put in that same situation ever again. This blog is a cumulative report of our findings--which is why this website is chock full of information about travel and lodging. Read on to find out more.
If you love wildlife, a safari trek in some exotic location is probably a dream come true. But, even here in the United States, you can get up close and personal with your favorite animals, capturing some of the best photos you'll ever take. And, you don't have to view them through the gates of a zoo, either.
Here are 5 great places in the U.S. to vacation for wildlife photography.
Yosemite and the Tetons
These two connected national parks are a mecca for outdoor enthusiasts and animal lovers. Boasting a huge array of wildlife, including bears, moose, endangered ferrets, bison, and elk, it's the perfect place to capture the best animal photography. Plan to spend several days in Yosemite, and look for hikes in the park that suffer less human traffic. Many animals will be the most active in the early morning and around dusk, so pack your camera and head out away from the crowds.
Florida is home to a number of fantastic species that you may not see anywhere else in the continental U.S. Manatees are one of the most popular native species, and it's becoming easier to spot them in their freshwater havens as they come back from being critically endangered. Of course, the Everglades are intrinsically linked to the presence of alligators, and they are surely one of the animals that will thrill your kids the most.
Custer State Park, South Dakota
A lesser-known park in South Dakota, Custer State Park is a cheap way to view several different types of wildlife, most notably American Bison. The park features several well-known drives -- even one aptly named, "Wildlife Loop Road" -- so you may not even need to trek too far in order to get great shots of the 1,300 member bison herd and other creatures.
Glacier Bay, Alaska
You can see whales all along the Pacific Coast and a number of places in Hawaii, but some of the most impressive can be seen together in only a few locations. Orcas -- so-called "killer whales" -- and Humpback Whales both congregate in Alaska's Glacier Bay. You can take private tours of the waters to see resident pods and migrating whales alike. As a bonus, keep on the lookout for bears, sea and river otters, puffins, and majestic bald eagles.
Katmai National Park, Alaska
Katmai is most famous for its spectacular views of native brown bear. There are several viewing platforms built to give tourists the best look at brown bears fishing for salmon in the Brooks River... while also keeping everyone safe. If you want a potentially more intimate bear encounter, take one of the hikes into the backcountry around Brooks River. Finish up with some bird-watching for species like great horned owls and horned puffins.
It's obvious that there are many ways to capture the beauty of wildlife in its native habitats throughout the United States... all within a budget and without a passport. So, why not get started planning your domestic safari today, such as with Big Ku Alaska?