Summer is around the corner, and travel headlines suggest visiting national parks. Introverts may want to consider state park vacations for a variety of reasons. Keep reading for travel tips and more.
Introvert travelers may become overwhelmed by the sheer number of vacationers who head to U.S. national parks during the summer months. Do a Google search and over 532,000,000 results surface. OVERWHELM! No add-in, travel journalists who are touting national parks ⏤ it’s a recipe for overcrowding. Introverts may want to avoid the masses and instead opt for a state park summer vacation.
Why State Park Vacations Work for Introverts
- Less crowded (Do your homework, some state parks get crazy busy during the summer months.)
- Off-the-Beaten-Path – National parks overshadow state parks, many of which remain off-the-beaten-path. Introverts can breathe a sigh of relief as interruptions are lessened and crowds are smaller.
- Sustainability – State parks have all of the beauty of a national park sans the crowds, traffic, and lines while still offering the bounty of Mother Nature.
- State Parks – As of 2014, there were 10,234 state park units in the United States, according to the National Association of State Park Directors (NASPD), more opportunities ⏤ for fewer people. 😏
- Calm – Plus, the vibe of a state park allows introverts to stay centered in their calm place because of the attributes above.
Summer Travel Tips for Introverts
- Emerald Lake State Park, Vermont, is off-the-grid. This 430-acre park is solar powered, aka no WIFI, a total escape from the outside world. An introvert’s dream. Add-in opportunities for kayaking, swimming, non-motorized boating, camping, fishing, hiking, picnicking, bicycling, and wildlife watching. Or skip summer altogether and come back during the winter months. 😉
- Holly River State Park, West Virginia, is the state’s second-largest park and offers visitors 8,101 acres of dense forest. It’s located in a narrow valley in the Mountain Lakes region, which is heavily forested and reaches more than 2,800 feet in height. It’s a place where peace and solitude reign. Camping, hiking, swimming, and tennis are available, and if you forgot your camping cookware, no worries as the Holly River Restaurant offers delicious eats. Flora fanatics will love the wide variety of blooming wildflowers and lacy ferns.
MidWest and West Coast USA
- Smith Falls State Park, Nebraska, gets its namesake from Smith Falls, Nebraska’s highest waterfall. Guests can float or paddle the day away on the Niobrara River, a National Scenic River.
- Catalina State Park sits at the base of the majestic Santa Catalina Mountains, just minutes from Tuscon, Arizona. More than 5,000 grand saguaros cacti reside amongst the 5,500 acres of foothills, canyons, and streams. The saguaros provide a few homes to more than 150 species of birds while miles of equestrian, birding, hiking, and biking trails are the perfect way to wander through the park into the Coronado National Forest at elevations near 3,000 feet.
- Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Corridor, Oregon, You may want to skip California while still enjoying the Pacific Northwest. A 12-mile stretch of coastline, just 15 miles beyond the California border, introduces narrow trails, 300-year-old spruce trees, trees wedged in rugged sea stacks, and secret beaches that present during low tide in the turquoise surf. Hike the Oregon Coast Trail during the day is spectacular, but you won’t want to miss the golden hour at dusk as it illuminates the park in a gorgeous glow.
Why Introverts and State Park Vacations Are a Good Thing
I hope you found this article helpful and you’ve jotted down a few travel tip ideas. Of course, I’ve not been to all of the parks, so these are my suggestions. All of the recommendations take into account travel introvert isms:
- Prefers solitary activities
- Likes to have a clear idea of what you’ll be doing before you act
- Spending alone time; nature is the best elixir for alone time
- More likely to enjoy one-on-one time than crowds of people
- Places to reflex without disruption or distractions
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Photo Credit: West Virginia State Parks