Pick National Seashores or Lakeshores for Your Next Getaway
If beaches are your thing, why not consider visiting a national seashore or lakeshore for your next vacation? Their diverse ecosystems, featuring a plethora of attractions from dunes to cliffs to inland lakes, are simply a feast for the eyes. Administered by the National Park Service of the U.S, these destinations are protected natural treasures of the state.
In addition to sightseeing, you can also partake in a host of outdoor activities during your visit and keep your adventure mood powered all the time! Here are the top national seashores and national lakeshores everyone must visit!
Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, Wisconsin
The national lakeshore in the northern side of Wisconsin is home to 21 islands scattered along its 12-mile coast. This archipelago, known as Apostle Islands, is famed as the Jewels of Lake Superior for its picture-perfect setting and can be reached by boat, kayak, or water taxi. Sandstone cliffs, century-old lighthouses, mystic sea caves, stunning beaches, and the gentle sea breeze dominate the scene. For honeymooners looking for a romantic vacation, Apostle Islands National Lakeshore is the real deal! You can hike in the forests, camp in the open space, and enjoy a candle-lit dinner under the starry night sky.
Then, head on a kayaking or boating adventure, exploring the sea caves and observing interesting historical sites along the way. This national lakeshore is also a popular destination for scuba diving, with shipwrecks, old rock formations, marine life awaiting you. There’s a visitor center at the Bayfield Headquarters to provide travelers all the necessary information to enjoy a good stay here.
Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, Michigan
Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore Michigan is untamed, which makes it even more interesting for exploration. The area is declared a national park and encompasses the south shore of Lake Superior. While the coastline is a sight of ochre-hued sandstone bluffs, pristine beaches, and dunes, many other natural resources can be seen as you move further inside. Pictured Rocks, the main landmark here, adorns a new face every season. So, whichever time you visit, the destination will offer you a transformative ambiance.
There are plenty of activities to keep you entertained for days. If you are a hiking enthusiast, you will be delighted to know there are 100 miles of scenic trails in Pictured Rocks. You can also go on a boating adventure in the mighty lake, sightseeing relics, greenish landscapes, and marine life. The national lakeshore is a hotspot for skiing, snowmobiling, and snowshoeing during winter.
Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, Michigan
This national lakeshore’s prime beauty is its staggering dunes with a legend that gave the lakeshore its name. A climb to the top will give splendid views of the surrounding, although that’s not the only enjoyable thing here. The area covers 35 miles of Lake Michigan’s coastline and two islands; North and South Manitou Islands. If you are hoping to visit this national lakeshore for your next vacation, you have made the right choice. There’s plenty of greenish landscapes to go hiking and scenic sites for picnicking and camping. The destination is also abundant with inland lakes to keep you occupied swimming, fishing, and boating.
Travelers can also pay a visit to Glen Haven, a small town situated towards the north of the lakeshore, and enjoy delicious food. There’s also a Maritime Museum with exhibits of life-saving equipment that are nearly 100 years old.
Assateague Island National Seashore, Maryland, Virginia
Looking for an island getaway? Then, the charming Assateague Island National Seashore is waiting for you. The coastline runs for 35-miles, and wild horses graze the area frequently. The weather here won’t be easy on you, so you should be prepared to meet heavy winds and rough waves. But the breathtaking scenery of the Assateague Island and the bays behind it make up for it, and you can spend a day or entire vacation here.
The things to do in this destination are manifold. You can go hiking, cycling, horseback riding, fishing, surfing, and swimming. Although the coast is patrolled by lifeguards, it’s better to be cautious. You can also relax and have a picnic with friends and family, enjoying the environment. Camping is allowed, but you would have to purchase firewood locally. The island is also abundant with birds, so remember to take your binoculars and camera!
Cape Cod National Seashore, Massachusetts
Cape Cod’s allure is enough to make anyone a poet. The 40-mile stretch of sandy beach facing the immense Atlantic Ocean can make it seem like you are in a surreal setting. Salt marshes, dunes, freshwater ponds, and uplands are other characters of the destination. Go on foot or grab a bicycle to discover them to your heart’s content.
This national seashore is also home to a variety of wildlife and birdlife, some of them being classified as endangered. In addition, there are old lighthouses and cultural sites here. Swimming is allowed, although with caution due to the presence of white sharks. Self-guided hiking tours, kayaking, paddling, and fishing are other outdoor adventure activities available here. However, camping is not possible on-site. Remember to check the weather forecast before you go.
Fire Island National Seashore, New York
Fire Island National Seashore is only a short drive east of New York, making it a perfect vacation spot for relaxation, meditation, and yoga! It could be your hideaway spot away from the ruthless noise and chaos of the city. A typical coastline setting with a breezy atmosphere and rhythmic lap of waves will greet you here. Oh, inner peace!
As a place steeped in history, Fire Island National Seashore offers its visitors many learning opportunities. You can visit the estate of William Floyd, hear interesting stories of lighthouse keepers at Fire Island Lighthouse, and go on a range-guided adventure tour exploring the “Sunken Forest” – a rare maritime forest. There are also swimming, surfing, hiking, fishing, and camping opportunities available for you. This national seashore is also a well-known destination to observe migratory birds as well.
We encourage you to visit these destinations that provide habitat to many endangered and threatened animal and plant wildlife. Our National Lakeshores and National Seashores are priceless marvels. A trip to one of these destinations is sure to be a trip you won't soon forget.