Senior Travelers: National Parks Must See Lists

Jan 27th, 2011 | By James E Becker | Category: Senior Travel

The National Parks Foundation and the National Parks Conservation Association, believe that America’s national parks and historical sites embody the American spirit. They are windows to our past, homes to some of our rarest plants and animal species, and places where every American can go to find inspiration, peace, and open space. 

According to rank, park name, and number of recorded visitors in 2007, The Blueridge Parkway was ranked number one in 2007 with 18,953,478 visitors.  This is a beautiful site and offers photos of those parks you must see before you die. Our Amazing Planet also has a magnificent site with parks that will be on your “must see” list once you view these slides.Do you live in a city with a great park? Have you visited cities with parks that you will never forget? Central Park in NYC is #1 and Lincoln Park in Chicago is second on the list of the most visited city parks

I remember in grad school there was an article entitled “Things I have learned while looking up something else”. I loved it. I will ‘toss in’ the following as it almost fits in with the article above. At first glance, the Forbes Traveler 50 Most Visited Attractions List confirms several tourist industry truisms: A) Americans love to travel, but they prefer to stick within their own borders. B) Wherever Mickey Mouse goes, he conquers (I love this statement…). C) Paris is the unofficial cultural theme park of the world, and D) Niagara Falls isn’t just for lovers anymore. I will also ‘toss in’ Destination Travel’s listing of the most visited tourist attractions in the world and so what’s #1? The Eiffel tower? The Grand Canyon? The Great Wall? The Pyramids of Giza? Answer: none of the above. If you have the time, check out the full list and I’m almost positive that you will find a national park or two in there someplace. Wow. Out of 50, the Taj Mahal came in dead last. Yosemite ranked #46 and the Pyramids of Giza #47. 

How many of this list have you managed to visit so far? Which ones would you especially like to visit in the future and what which of your most visited sites would you add to this list? n.b.: On this list the Great Wall is #11…not #1 as outlined above. Who is doing the counting anyhow?
1) Times Square (New York City, NY) 35 million
2) National Mall & Memorial Parks (Washington, D.C.) 25 million
3) Disney World’s Magic Kingdom (Lake Buena Vista, FL) 16.6 million
4) Trafalgar Square (London, England) 15 million
5) Disneyland Park (Anaheim, CA) 14.7 million
6) Niagra Falls (Ontario, Canada & New York State) 14 million
7) Fisherman’s Wharf/Golden Gate National Recreation Area (San Francisco, CA) 13 million
8 ) Tokyo Disneyland/DisneySea (Tokyo, Japan) 12.9 million
9) Notre Dame de Paris (Paris, France) 12 million
10) Disneyland Paris (Marne-La-Vallee, France) 10.6 million
11) The Great Wall of China (Badaling area, China) 10 million
… and on down to #50 with the URL above.



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