T+L’s Editors Share Their Favorite National Parks Experiences

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Sunrise at Haleakala

Haleakala National Park, Hawaii

My parents fell in love with Hawaii, and we visited a handful of times during my childhood. We drove, biked, and hiked our way up and around Haleakala. Here, you can enjoy beautiful coastal roads and jungles, as well as dramatic views from the volcano’s summit. I think visiting this beautiful, protected landscape was where I first developed a passion for travel and exploration. —Melanie Lieberman, assistant digital editor

Great Smoky Mountains

Great Smoky Mountains National Park, North Carolina

I grew up in North Carolina, and pilgrimages to the western parts of the state were a regular part of my summers. I have a particular soft spot for Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Some of my favorite memories are set against that backdrop: hiking through the backcountry, watersliding down massive river rocks, collecting nettles to make tea over a campfire, plunging into freezing cold mountain creeks after a long day on the trail. Since there’s plenty else to experience in western North Carolina—whitewater rafting on the Nantahala, beautiful crafts at Penland, the culinary and creative scenes of Asheville—it’s worth carving out time for an extended trip. —Lila Battis, associate editor

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