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The United Parks of America

Let us take you a summer stroll through America's TOP 11 parks and picnicks as selected by Camp Leaders, where the grass really greener on the other side.

Author: Camp Leaders
18 Jan 13:46

Summer vibes in America, it’s all about spending those balmy, relaxed, sun-sational days, kicking back with good company, great beats and gourmet delights amongst the flora and fauna of America’s best parks, as selected by our team in Camp Leaders HQ.

We’re just saying, be prepared to be truly stunned by what you’re about to experience. We’re not talking about your everyday charming Australian neighborhood park with a couple of magpies, gum trees and kick of the AFL footy. These are incredible landscapes that include botanical gardens, chipmunks, zoos, summer series concerts, bike trails and of course some of the best authentic American street food vendors you'll ever stumble upon.

Wondering what makes a day at the park in America so great? Well, firstly it costs you nothing.

Get the gang together, download some tunes, pack an American inspired picnic, and get ready for some of the most spectacular views in the world, either nestled amongst the illustrious skyscrapers of New York City or at the top of the pinnacles and peaks in Arizona.

Check out our TOP 11 Parks & Picnics in the United States of America.

1. Alamo Square, San Francisco

San Francisco aka 'The Bay Area' is one of the most beautiful, iconic city skylines in the world. Soak up the sunshine in Alamo Square, nestled on a little hill, amongst the remarkable Victorian terraces featured in Full House & The Five Year Engagement. If you want to be part of a buzzing, cultural atmosphere - pack the picnic blanket, basket, all your snacks and get ready to live like the locals do. This park is an absolute gem and only a hop, step and jump from The Haight & Ashbury District.

2. Central Park, New York

Ahhh Central Park in New York, simply the place to be. Not surprisingly this is one of the most filmed locations in the world. Think Home Alone, Little Manhattan or The Wolf of Wall Street. Within the park, you will find; Central Park Zoo, Reservoir, Conservatory, Strawberry Fields, Carousel and The Mall & Literary Walk, oh and don't worry if you forget to pack for the occasion, you will find street vendors selling the best pretzels, bagels, and hot dogs you can find.

Our hot tip is to make a day of it, hire a bike and experience each and every corner of the park.

3. Yosemite National Park, California

Cheers to the Californian National Park that's ideal for the true outdoor adventure lovers and thrill seekers. Yosemite is filled with an abundance of treks, trails and is most widely recognised for its granite cliff tops and breathtaking waterfalls. Additionally, it doesn't just stop at hiking elements, pack your ropes and let's go climbing too. This is where wildlife and wilderness is at it's peak.

Our tip is to aim for sunrise or sunset for the epic photo moment.

4. Walden Pond, Massachusetts

A little local hero that brings the community together each day. Come to Walden Pond to experience traditional log cabins, a charming waterfront where you can canoes, paddle and pedal boats. Swept with colour leaves and wildlife, this oozes real American countryside.

5. Grand Canyon, Arizona

The Grand Canyon, true to its name really is grand, and well possibly the grandest!

It's the biggest canyon on earth and we're sure you've seen it on just about every travel guidebook, facebook and the like, now it's time to have your own grand adventure here. A great option for a group getaway but prepared for intense altitudes and the photo opportunities with zero filters required. If you're here for a weekend, we suggest making your way to the Havasu Falls and taking a helicopter ride across the North & South rims. Just incredible.

6. Sequoia National Park, California

Welcome to the home of the world’s largest tree, in mass of course - the sequoia tree.

Skip the city skyscrapers and enter the idyllic world of ravishing rows of reds alongside you. This is simply one of those places you never really thought existed. A great option for a roadtrip with friends, and not too far from Yosemite too.

Top tip - hire out a bike from any one of the bicycle hire stores the by Pier 33, you’ll be able to ride your bike across the golden gate bridge across to these magnificent trees. It might be a bit of a hard cycle but it’s more than worth it.

7. Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park, the world’s first National Park and certainly a title to be proud of. This place is immaculate and home to plenty of incredible wildlife, including; elk, bison, moose, red hawks, bears, and wolves. There's no kangaroos to be here, instead, be prepared to spot some chipmunks and skunks along the way too.

Our top tip, try fly fishing and don't miss the waterfalls and water holes.

8. Rocky Mountains, Colorado

Here's another one for the outdoor adventure lovers. A paradise of evergreen filled with hunting, four wheeling, white water rafting and even horse riding. Don't stay seated on the picnic blanket for too long here, we encourage you to get involved in as many activities as possible. Less is not more. Let's do it all.

9. Balboa Park, San Diego

Balboa Park is one of those immaculate, awe inspiring parks that are filled with everything and more, nestled in the heart of San Diego, California. Firstly, within Balboa Park is the world famous San Diego Zoo, amongst 15 other arts, music and history museums that are located within the most immaculate, grand collections of architecture. Bring your iPod, speakers and lawn bowls for a great day on the green.

10. Forsyth Park, Savannah

The southern bell of our parks edition is Forsyth Park in Savannah. Get ready for a beautiful southern charm, with the iconic featured fountain and the home of the movie 'Forest Gump'. In Savannah, this park is the zone of social interaction between locals and visitors alike, so it's got a buzzing atmosphere that's ready and waiting for you. Regularly featured on the summer schedule is; daily sunbathing, people watching, picnics, live concerts and don’t forget the frisbee.

11. Brooklyn Bridge Park, New York

The breathtaking Brooklyn Bridge and the view that just never gets old in New York’s funky, modern and eclectic district. This is the holy grail of summer sessions, sunsets and movies in the park. The perfect New York night out.

So whether you're smack bang in the middle of one of America's best cities or out in the wild wild woods of countryside, there's always an incredible treasure of a park to be found. Don't forget to share your adventure with us and have your friends back home green with envy #CampLeaders Let's Go!

Camp Leaders
With over 20 years of travel experience, the Camp Leaders team has the answers to almost anything you can think of. We're here to help you sort your ultimate summer - feel free to ask us anything.

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