15 Best State Parks in the U.S. for Epic Labor Day Adventures
Labor Day is just around the corner! Fortunately for us, the U.S. is home to some of the most stunning state parks in the world, offering opportunities for hiking, camping, swimming, and more. These 15 state parks are must-visit destinations for your Labor Day travels.
Check each park specifically to ensure the activities you want to do are pet friendly if you are traveling with pets.
Please Practice Leave No Trace principles to help preserve these stunning natural landscapes for future generations.
1. Dr. Julian G. Bruce St. George Island State Park – Florida
Ranked for having the number one beach in America, the state park on St. George Island is the perfect getaway for folks wanting to experience that “old Florida” feel and enjoy a peaceful and relaxing beach vacation. It’s one of the best things to do near Apalachicola, Florida.
2. Custer State Park – South Dakota
Located in the Black Hills of South Dakota, Custer State Park is a crown jewel of the state. With over 71,000 acres, visitors can see impressive wildlife, such as buffalo, up close. The park is also famous for its spectacular mountain lakes, granite peaks, and hiking trails.
3. Devil’s Den State Park – Arkansas
Tucked in the Ozark Mountains of Arkansas, Devil’s Den has around 60 protected crevices and caves, which is how the park got its name. It has world-class mountain biking, spectacular hiking trails, and excellent camping and lodging options.
4. Beavers Bend State Park – Oklahoma
Do you think of prairie lands when you think of Oklahoma? Then you’ll be pleasantly surprised by Beavers Bend State Park tucked in the Ouachita Mountains in the southeast part of the state. The park is next to Broken Bow (lake) and the Mountain Fork River, popular for summer float trips.
5. Gulf Shores State Park – Alabama
Alabama is famous for its white sand beaches and emerald-green waters. Gulf Shores State Park protects the coastline near Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, Alabama. The park also has a huge campground if you’re camping in your RV. Be sure to make reservations in advance.
6. Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park – California
Located on the Big Sur coast, this park offers stunning views of the Pacific Ocean and the McWay Falls. The park near Big Sur has many unique features, including 300-foot redwoods, world-class scuba diving, and a beautiful remote beach cove. In addition, you can see the incredible McWay Falls, an 80-foot waterfall that flows directly into the ocean.
7. Makoshika State Park – Montana
Picture tiptoeing through a field of sleeping Tyrannosaurus Rexes and Triceratops, trying to make no noise louder than the soft sounds of nature. Fast forward 66 million years, and you’ll find Makoshika State Park, a vast expanse of orange-gray badlands speckled with giant mushrooms of petrified fairytale rocks and fossils.
Take a walk on the Diane Gabriel Trail to look for dinosaur bones, and don’t miss the K-T boundary marking the end of this location’s former heavyweights’ reign.
8. Baxter State Park – Maine
If you’re looking for an authentic wilderness experience, Baxter State Park is the place to go. The park is home to Mount Katahdin, the highest peak in Maine, and offers miles of hiking trails, lakes for fishing and canoeing, and stunning views of the surrounding wilderness.
9. Valley of Fire State Park – Nevada
This park is known for its stunning red rock formations and desert landscapes. You can hike through the park’s canyons, see ancient petroglyphs, and camp under the stars.
10. Peninsula State Park – Wisconsin
Peninsula State Park is situated on the Door Peninsula, offering breathtaking views of Lake Michigan. Along with hiking and biking, you can also enjoy swimming at the park’s beaches or delve into the history of the park’s historic lighthouse.
11. Eldorado Canyon State Park – Colorado
Eldorado Canyon State Park in Colorado has a lot to offer despite being a small park. It’s located near Boulder and is known for its technical climbing routes, miles of hiking/mountain-biking trails, and fishing opportunities in South Boulder Creek.
12. Cayo Costa State Park – Florida
Cayo Costa is an island only reachable by boat or ferry. It’s a peaceful escape from the typical spring break experience, offering white-sand beaches, ghostly tree skeletons, and frequent sightings of dolphins swimming near the shore. Spend the day exploring the island’s beauty and tranquility. It’s one of the best beaches on the Gulf.
13. Niagara Falls State Park – New York
Niagara Falls State Park is a popular destination with many people taking pictures. It is the oldest state park in America, with 750,000 gallons of water rushing over the falls every second. Despite the crowds, the park is still worth visiting.
14. Castle Rocks State Park – Idaho
This park is home to some of the best rock climbing in the country and miles of hiking and biking trails. Castle Rocks State Park in Idaho is a beautiful, often overlooked state park. The park is in the Albion Mountains and full of wildflowers in the spring. You can also go rock climbing on the park’s stunning rock formations.
15. Iao Valley State Park – Hawaii
Nestled in the heart of Maui, Iao Valley State Park boasts of the magnificent Iao Needle, an awe-inspiring rock pinnacle that stands 1,200 feet above the valley floor. The park offers a delightful opportunity for you to take a leisurely stroll through its verdant rainforest and witness the breathtaking beauty of the green foliage and crystal-clear streams.
“I Love It Here!” 20 Best Small Towns in America for Your Bucket List
Are you seeking a respite from the busy and noisy urban lifestyle? Look no further than America’s small towns. From the quaint and charming to the downright quirky, small towns across the country offer unique experiences and attractions. Here are 20 of America’s most famous. Where are you going next?
Savor the Adventure: 15 Must-Visit Foodie Destinations on the Planet
From tacos to pasta and dumplings to koeksisters, many countries and global cities know how to do food well with their delicious cuisine.
Although there are more than 15 food destinations on the planet, these spots are a must-visit and should be added to your travel bucket list if you love eating your way through a vacation.
Sun, Sand, and Splendor: Discover the 10 Best Beaches in the USA
Nothing says summer like a day at the beach. But with so many options, where do you plan your next trip? Dr. Beach has rounded up 10 of the best beaches to visit, and we can’t wait to sink our feet in the water and lay out on the sand.
20 Best Things To Do on Dauphin Island, Paradise in Alabama
If you’re looking for the best things to do on Dauphin Island, you’re in the right place! Dauphin Island is an incredible gem of Alabama. The island boasts 7-miles of sugar-white sand public beaches, clear water, beautiful weather, and fewer crowds. Guess what else? The beaches are dog-friendly!
15 Countries That Serve up the BEST Street Food Experiences
There’s something about the vibrance of street food, the richness in flavor, and the rawness of surrounding cultural scenes. Not only is street food more affordable for travelers, but it grants a more authentic experience since this is where natives also gather and convene.
With that said, here are 15 countries serving up the best street food experiences, as voted on by an online foodie forum.
Where indicated, some images courtesy of Depositphotos.com.