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Best Eco-Friendly United States Destinations For Your Next Travel Adventure
 

Social consciousness for the preservation and care of the environment has seen a renewed interest over the past few years. Ecotourism is now garnering support from both locals and tourists in an attempt to enjoy the sites and experiences while minimizing the damage and impact to local ecosystems. While a lot of definitions are available for the term, in essence, ecotourism is a step in the tourism industry geared towards sustainability and preservation of the environment. These places focus on enjoyable and informative activities held on natural environments such as wildlife and forest reserves.


If you are among the new generation of travelers looking for a new and refreshing experience with reduced carbon footprint, check out these top eco-friendly destinations in the United States.

Hawaii

More than an attempt for sustainability or pushing tourism, care for the environment is ingrained in the local population of the Aloha State. Malama Aina is a traditional Hawaiian value which explains that if the people take care of the land, the land will take care of them in return. This concept emphasizes the connection between man and land beyond the material and economic benefits they reap from it. Most activities to enjoy in Hawaii include surfing, snorkeling, scuba diving, kayaking, and cliff diving – activities allowing its visitors to take in the grandeur of the views while leaving no trace.

For tourists interested in learning more about Hawaii’s efforts at caring and preserving the environment and how it came to be, they can check out Puuhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park. Located on the west coast of the island, the preserved ancient site contains temple platforms, fishponds, coastal villages, and even sledding tracks. Here you will find more about their lifestyle and their synergistic relationship with the environment around them. Next, visit a historic working cattle ranch atop the Kohala Mountains within the Kahua Ranch. Enjoy a distinct Hawaiian barbecue meal or share stories around a campfire, under a clear evening sky full of stars. While hotels and lodges also adapted to malama aina, most fellow travelers still enjoy being out in the open and go camping.
 
Alaska
The United States’s Last Frontier is among its first and foremost when it comes to environmentalism and sustainability. It has more than a hundred national and state parks including forests, wildlife refuges, and state preserves. Its expanse, being the largest state by area, elevates Alaska above other states to be one of the best ecotourism spots not only in the US but in the world. Hikers and backpackers challenge themselves amidst a majestic backdrop of natural scenery in Chugach State Park, located just a little outside Anchorage.

Other trails to explore include the Thunderbird Falls Trail, a mile-long hike to a 200-foot cataract; the Arctic Indian Trail on the other hand is a 22-mile trek deep into the wilderness.
For tourists looking to enjoy the natural wonders of Alaska with less physical effort, wildlife watching is the perfect solution. From the minute creatures such as the well-camouflaged ptarmigan, hawk-owls, and snowshoe hares to the world-renowned big game animals – barren-ground caribous, musk-oxen, moose, and brown bears. The Denali National Park is a good spot for spotting gray wolves, Dall sheep, and bears.

California
At first glance, this bustling hub in the Pacific region of the United States is just another global trendsetter in terms of popular culture and urban development. However, environmentalism is also a big part of its culture and industry, going so far as to break preconceptions with the idea of “urban ecotourism.” It is defined as a sustainable way for traveling in urban areas. Also, California leads the rest of the US in terms of green jobs, further developing the state in the areas of sustainability and environmental quality.

A strong facet of its commitment to sustainability and environmental sensitivity is the local cuisine.  Drop by the restaurants by the beach in Santa Barbara, California. Most restaurants participate in eco-friendly efforts and use nothing but fresh ingredients sourced locally. Among the local establishments, two of the rising stars are Blackbird and Brophy Bros. Blackbird has quite a list of seafood delicacies, all procured from surrounding Santa Barbara waters. One of their hits is their serving of uni –Japanese term for sea urchin.

Visitors of the Golden State can also see and savor the all- natural products from the vineyards of Sonoma Country. Take a tour in any of the local vineyards and wineries – most of which are owned and operated by small families with the support and backing from the local government. Take a sip of the world-famous California wines and understand what the buzz is about.
 
Colorado
For the environmentally conscious traveler, preparing an eco-tour to Colorado is as easy as it gets. The state thrives in a diverse landscape – most of the Southern Rockies, a portion of the Colorado Plateau, and an edge of the Great Plains. Also, more than just a campaign to draw tourists from all over, the locals are keen and dedicated to preserving the natural treasures bestowed upon the Centennial State.

To start off the list of things available for ecotourists, see the vast expanse of the Colorado Trail. The area covering almost half a thousand miles of nature encompasses eight mountain ranges, seven forest ranges, six wilderness areas, and five river systems. The trail is open for activities such as biking, hiking, fishing, horseback riding, and camping. Take note that the scheduled group trekking expeditions take four to five days. Another option for traveling through the trail is by taking the train makes stops as it goes to the town of Silverton. Better yet, take the train to Silverton to access the Durango Trail and then take a hike back to your starting point.

Another spot chief among the top monuments and national parks in Colorado, USA is the Rocky Mountain National Park. Apart from the usual outdoor activities available for visitors to enjoy, there are also a number of activities especially aimed for children. Most importantly, enjoy the scenery together with the wildlife roaming freely in their natural habitat – mule deer, bighorn sheep, moose, and elk are some of the animals you will spot in this amazing outdoor area.

 

 

 
 
 
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