Map of the United States as a Theme Park. Would It Look Like This?
After having been to all 50 states in the United States, I may have a fairly good sense about where to go and what to do in this country — but there are still so many places to which I have not been…
Map of the United States as a Theme Park. Would It Look Like This?
…but I found this article from Expedia.ca interesting, as it presents a map of the United States as though it were one giant theme park — the greatest theme park in the world — through which you can seek your adventures: “Here we’ve got everything from mountains and glaciers, to deserts and everything in between.”
Rather than use the text in the original article — I have been given permission in writing to reproduce the graphics here — I will add my own thoughts on some of the places which I have personally visited. Please feel free to click on any of the graphics for an enlarged view.
The breathtaking views of the mountains on the drive along Turnagain Arm from Anchorage south to On The Rocks — otherwise known as Kenai Fjords National Park — are alone worth the time and effort; but definitely take a dinner cruise and feast on fresh salmon as you watch the puffins and the whales seemingly putting on a show for you amongst the many glaciers.
Clouds typically enshroud Top of the World — otherwise known as Denali National Park and Preserve — so views of the peak can be difficult; but sightings of brown bears and Dall sheep are certainly worth the trip anyway. Note that you must park your vehicle to take a bus further into the park.
Driving through a Redwood tree is not an act of lunacy in The Wooden Giants — otherwise known as the collective Redwood National and State Parks — but rather an incredibly cool thing to do…
…and if you ever wanted to play in “snow” in warm weather clothes, the eerie yet beautiful scenery of Snow Desert — which is more popularly known as White Sands National Monument — is a place to indulge yourself in acres of mounds of “sand” which is soft and purely white.
Herds of bison roam the land at The Numero Uno — also known as Yellowstone National Park — as mud pots, fumaroles, geysers and colorful bubbling pools abound and percolate in an unstable yet wondrous environment. Plan to spend a week at this park in Wyoming, which actually also straddles into Montana and Idaho.
The name Blue Fog is given for a reason: the haze at Great Smoky Mountains National Park can appear to be the color blue at certain times of the day…
…as you can see in the photograph shown above. Just driving on the gently winding roads can put you on a more relaxed pace.
As for The Underground Labyrinth, I will let my photographic essay of Mammoth Cave National Park speak for itself.
I have not been to Double Trouble — otherwise known as Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park — because I have never been on the big island of Hawai’i. I have been to Oahu, Maui, Molokai and Kauai — the last island boasting to be the home of the wettest spot on earth. Perhaps one day I will visit the big island.
Here is a list of the “rides” which are featured in the graphics shown above:
|STATE||NATIONAL PARK OR MONUMENT||DESCRIPTION||THEME PARK RIDE|
|Alabama||Cathedral Caverns||Featuring one of the largest stalagmites in the world, “Goliath,” which measures 45 feet tall and 243 feet in circumference.||The Mighty Goliath|
|Alaska||Denali National Park and Preserve||6,000,000 acres of wild land. Includes North America’s tallest peak: the Denali.||Top of The World|
|Alaska||Katmai National Park and Preserve||Active volcanic landscape; important habitat for salmon and thousands of brown bears.||Bear River|
|Alaska||Kenai Fjords National Park||A field of ice. Nearly 40 glaciers flow from the Harding Icefield, Kenai Fjords’ crowning feature.||On The Rocks|
|Alaska||Kobuk Valley National Park||Wooly mammoths and saber toothed cats roamed the valley 15,000 years ago.||Mammoth Valley|
|Arizona||Grand Canyon National Park||One of the 7 natural wonders of the world. Beautiful geologic color and erosional forms decorate the one mile deep canyon.||The Canyon Cliffhanger|
|Arkansas||Hot Springs National Park||Thermal pools that have attracted people since Native Americans called this the Valley of the Vapors.”||The Healing Pool|
|California||Death Valley National Park||In this below-sea-level basin, steady drought and record summer heat make Death Valley a land of extremes and contrasts.||The Sun and The Moon|
|California||Joshua Tree National Park||Joshua Tree is a popular southern California location for amateur astronomy and stargazing.||Starry Night|
|California||Redwood National and State Parks||Housing the tallest trees on Earth, the park protects vast prairies, oak woodlands, wild riverways, and nearly 40 miles of rugged coastline.||The Wooden Giants|
|California||Yosemite National Park||Known for its waterfalls, it also harbors deep valleys, grand meadows, giant sequoias and a vast wilderness area.||Splash Valley|
|Colorado||Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve||The tallest dunes in North America in a diverse landscape of grasslands, wetlands, conifer and aspen forests, alpine lakes, and tundra.||Sandstorm|
|Florida||Everglades National Park||A river of grass, the park provides important habitat for rare and endangered species like the manatee, American crocodile, and the Florida panther.||Crocodile Cruise|
|Georgia||Okefenokee Swamp||One of the largest and most primitive swamps in the country, it is a refuge for native flora and fauna including many uncommon and endangered species.||Survival Swamp|
|Hawaii||Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park||Home to two of the world’s most active volcanoes: Kilauea and Mauna Loa.||Double Trouble|
|Iowa||Effigy Mounds National Monument||The mounds preserved here are considered sacred by many. Numerous effigy mounds are shaped like animals, including bears and birds.||The Mound Builders Adventure|
|Kansas||Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve||The preserve protects a nationally significant remnant of the once vast tallgrass prairie and its cultural resources.||The Great Grass Sea|
|Kentucky||Mammoth Cave National Park||The world’s longest known cave system. Vast chambers and complex labyrinths have earned its name.||The Underground Labyrinth|
|Maine||Acadia National Park||Granite peaks, pine forests and historic carriage roads. One of the first places in the country to see the sunrise.||The Early Bird|
|Minnesota||Voyageurs National Park||The lakes were once traversed by Native Americans, explorers and gold miners. The park is popular with canoeists, kayakers, other boaters, and fishermen.||Golden Water Racer|
|Montana||Glacier National Park||Headwaters for streams that flow to the Pacific Ocean, the Gulf of Mexico, and to Hudson’s Bay. Includes 762 lakes, including the Hidden Lake.||The Hidden Lake Balloon Ride|
|New Mexico||White Sands National Monument||Dramatic landscape of rare white gypsum sand dunes.||Snow Desert|
|North Carolina and Tennessee||Great Smoky Mountains National Park||World renowned for its bio-diversity, its ancient mountains, and the quality of its remnants of Southern Appalachian mountain culture, this is the most visited national park in the US.||Blue Fog|
|North Dakota||Theodore Roosevelt National Park||This park is a memorial to one man’s love of the American landscape. Home to a wide variety of Great Plains wildlife including bison, coyotes, cougars, feral horses, badgers, elk, and at least 186 species of birds.||Animal Kingdom Safari|
|Ohio||Cuyahoga Valley National Park||The park offers an array of preserved and restored displays of 19th and early 20th century, including railroad tours on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad.||Nature Express|
|Oregon||Crater Lake||Deep water in a sleeping volcano. Fed by rain and snow, it’s the deepest lake in the USA and perhaps the most pristine on earth.||Bottomless Sea Soaker|
|South Carolina||Congaree||This one of the highest temperate deciduous forest canopies remaining in the world.||Skyscraper Canopy Freefall|
|South Dakota||Badlands National Park||The land includes isolated steep hills, canyons, pinnacles, spires and one of the world’s richest fossil beds.||Jurassic Badlands|
|Texas||Waco Mammoth National Monument||This paleontological site represents America’s only recorded discovery of a nursery herd of Columbian mammoths.||The Sleeping Mammoth|
|Utah||Arches National Park||The park has over 2,000 natural stone arches, along with hundreds of soaring pinnacles, massive fins and giant balanced rocks.||Red Rock Wonderland|
|Utah||Zion National Park||Hiking the Narrows in Zion is an adventure that has to be experienced.||The Adventure Stream|
|Virginia||Shenandoah National Park||Mornings often bring views of a phenomenon known as a fog ocean, where the mountaintops rise from cloud-filled valleys like islands in a cottony-white sea.||Cloud Islands|
|Washington||North Cascades National Park||An alpine landscape, with jagged peaks crowned by more than 300 glaciers.||Ice Cube Adventure|
|Wyoming||Yellowstone||The world’s first national park, Yellowstone’s hidden volcano rises up in colorful hot springs, mudpots, and geysers.||The Numero Uno|
These examples are just for starters, as there is so much more to see, do and discover in the United States — Carlsbad Caverns and Haleakalā are two of many which come to my mind; and I have been to them as well — and even though many places are missing, this map will help guide you to some of the most memorable experiences you will ever have.
Which ride will you try first?