Lake Mead National Recreation Area — Arizona and Nevada
With mountains, canyons, valleys, and lakes, the weather around Lake Mead National Recreation Area can change abruptly.
If you’re planning to make use of the park’s swimming facilities in the summer, Christie Vanover, a public affairs specialist at the park, suggested wearing a life jacket, which you can get for free at stops like Boulder Beach and Cottonwood Cove, because sudden weather changes can lead to very strong winds.
One of Vanover’s favorite hidden gems is the Redstone Picnic Area because of red sandstones that make the area appear like a “scene straight out of Mars.”
Acadia National Park — Maine
More than 3.3 million people head to Maine’s Acadia National Park each year to see the park’s mountains.
The park is home to 45 miles of wide “carriage” roads created by John D. Rockefeller in the 1900s, which are used as snowshoe and skiing trails in the winter.
While visiting Acadia National Park, hike the Ocean Path, which public affairs specialist Christie Anastasia said is among the most popular because of its dreamy ocean views.