What do you see when you visit a new city, state, or country?
Restaurants, monuments, shows, museums, and parks are all worthy places for your time. But what about the nature?
Most of the time our idea of tourism keeps us on city pavement, but if you want a full picture of a new place, you can’t miss out on the animal and plant life. There’s so much amazing biodiversity even within a single region of a single country that you can expect to see or feel something a bit new (or very new) on most travels. If you’re a natural introvert, or if you just need a break from an otherwise packed city tourism itinerary, nature is always waiting.
On your next trip, look for the nearby trails.
Even though it cost a lot and required a couple of long Lyft/Uber rides, visiting the redwoods of the Muir Woods was a highlight of my recent business trip to San Francisco. It let me see the true beauty of California after time in a sort of grimy city.
There is a fantastic nature trail full of wild turkeys just outside of Nashville in Franklin, Tennessee. Next time you visit Music City (maybe while the rest of your friends are sleeping off a night on Broadway) you can sneak out there.
My hometown of John’s Island, South Carolina has pretty (if short) trails open to the public out on Mullet Hall. Well worth the drive if you’re visiting Charleston, particularly because it will take you down beautiful oak-lined River Road.
Seeing a place’s natural habitats is an important part of travel – just as important as seeing a new attraction in a city. And the rewards in terms of new experience can be even more magical.