National Parks in the United States is finally getting the respect they deserve. Travel + Leisure released their top list of National Parks for the first time. This year, The Great Smoky Mountains reign supreme.
Travel + Leisure released their “World’s Best” list of 2021 and this year they added a new category, U.S. National Parks. This is an awesome addition as T+L is a popular site around the world and should encourage our foreign friends to visit the best of our country.
The COVID pandemic couldn’t keep visitors from seeing America’s National Parks. The open-air parks provided a reprieve from the quarantine that so many were in. Last year according to Travel + Leisure, 14 million-plus visitors alone visited the Blue Ridge Parkway on the North Carolina/Tennessee mountain border.
In all there are 63 National Parks in the United States but T+L ranked their readers voted top 15. This year, The Great Smoky Mountains topped the list as should be expected given the visitor numbers for the parkway.
Named for the “smoky” atmosphere of low-lying clouds that tend to settle in the canyons, the range is unparalleled for hikers. Miles of trails await as do pristine waterfalls and rock crevices.
While it should be noted that the mountain range is not really a surprise, it has eclipsed other bigger named parks like Yosemite and Yellowstone.
Yellowstone comes in at number two on the list but remains one of the “Bucket List” locations in all of the United States. From natural hot pools and geysers, Yellowstone delivers an abundance of natural life to take in. It is not uncommon to see bison, bear, elk, and more while visiting the park that is spread over three states.
Third belongs to the beautiful and spacious Zion National Park in Utah. Cliffs, canyons, rivers and streams, all beg you to take a trip to the state and spend your time absorbing this parks incredible atmosphere.
The rest of the top 15 National Parks
- Rocky Mountain – Colorado
- Grand Teton – Wyoming
- Grand Canyon – Arizona
- Cuyahoga Valley – Ohio between Cleveland and Akron
- Acadia – Maine
- Olympic – Washington State
- Joshua Tree – California
- Indiana Dunes – Indiana
- Yosemite – California
- Glacier – Montana
- Shenandoah – Virginia
- Bryce Canyon – Utah
Travel + Leisure used visitor numbers from 2020 to develop the list.