EVERYBODY NEEDS BEAUTY AS WELL AS BREAD, PLACES TO PLAY IN AND PRAY IN, WHERE NATURE MAY HEAL AND GIVE STRENGTH TO BODY AND SOUL ALIKE.
This quote from mountaineer and “father of the national parks” John Muir speaks to the genesis of the uniquely American idea to preserve land for public use. Before 1872, there was no precedent for setting aside land for preservation and enjoyment anywhere in the world. However, when photographs and paintings featuring the sublime beauty of Yellowstone were presented before Congress, they were compelled to withdraw the region from public action. Shortly thereafter, President Ulysses S. Grant signed The Act of Dedication, marking Yellowstone as the very first national park in the world on March 1, 1872.
Since that time, 58 national parks have been marked for preservation in the United States, encompassing more than 84 million acres of wildlands and historic sites. Volcanoes, glaciers, geysers, valleys, caves, and rock formations are just a few of the treasures that are protected inside the United States. Beyond the borders of the United States, there are more than 6,500 national parks and nature reserves where you can find equally pristine and unique landscapes.
With so many different parks and a short summer season to enjoy them, Jet Linx clients can count on the expert travel advisors at our Elevated Lifestyle partner, Huffman Travel, to craft the perfect itinerary. Jet Linx is ready to transport you to the most majestic, awe-inspiring landscapes on the planet. But first, we will leave you with the most difficult dilemma – choosing where to go!
yellowstone & grand teton
This list would not be complete without the mother of all parks: Yellowstone National Park. It was the very first national park ever created, and it is consistently ranked as the most beautiful in the entire world. While Yellowstone is not to be missed, its neighbor to the south, Grand Teton National Park, is a not-so-hidden-gem. Grand Teton offers enviable scenery along miles of scenic trails, and if you feel the need, Yellowstone is just an hour up the road.
If you’re in need of a VIP experience, then look no further than the Caldera House, which features just eight suites, each of which are designed down to the finest details. Right next door to Jackson Hole’s iconic ‘Big Red’ cable car, Caldera House couldn’t be better placed for exploring the mountains on its doorstep. The Caldera House has pulled together an expert concierge team that can plan an impromptu journey within minutes. However, you can easily just walk outside your suite and experience the beauty of Grand Teton National Park.
Activities abound when the landscape opens up in the summer months – white water rafting, ATV tours, heli-tours, golf, guided hiking, rock climbing and horse riding with cowboys are just a few of the options. It’s not all strenuous, either: those looking for a more leisurely pace can enjoy bathing in hot springs, going stargazing or taking a photography class. Caldera House also offers curated adventures, such as the Sunset Whiskey Ride and a bonfire with real Wyoming cowboys. There are also adventures for photographers, Yellowstone Wildlife safaris, and Holistic Mountain Healing adventures that begin with mountaintop yoga.
Caldera House has been designed as a house more than a hotel… and it shows! You immediately feel that you’ve arrived in a familiar yet exciting place. And it’s only the beginning!
Kayla Philippi, Luxury Travel Advisor, Huffman Travel
The aptly-named Mammoth Cave National Park in south-central Kentucky is the longest known cave system in the world, with more than 400 miles of explorable tunnels.
Humans reportedly entered the cave nearly 6,000 years ago, and researchers have located various pre-Columbian burial sites, making it a hotspot for outdoor enthusiasts, historians, geologists, and anthropologists.
Unlike the other parks in this list, you’ll be hiking down, not up, with guides leading you through the vast expanse of tunnels. Some notable features of the cave, such as Grand Avenue, Frozen Niagara, and Fat Man’s Misery, can be seen on lighted tours ranging from one to six hours in length. Two tours, lit only by visitor-carried paraffin lamps, are popular alternatives to the electric-lit routes. Several “wild” tours venture away from the developed parts of the cave into muddy crawls and dusty tunnels – not for the faint of heart!
If stalactites, travertine dams and gypsum flowers don’t interest you, the park is also crisscrossed by 30 miles of rivers teeming with game fish. The surrounding rivers and woods are also suitable for kayaking, canoeing, swimming, and riverside camping. There are additional above-ground hiking trails that will take you through old growth Kentucky forests and across quiet river valleys.
When you’re finished with a day of caving, you can unwind on the famed rooftop bar at the Thompson Hotel in the newly transformed Gulch neighborhood in Nashville. The all-glass building features suites and penthouses punctuated with dark hardwoods, brushed brass, floor-to-ceiling windows, and 400-thread-count SFERRA linens. Music City will try to lure you out until the early morning hours with beer crawls, hot chicken, and endless entertainment options, but the Thompson Hotel will be your luxury retreat from the endless energy of Nashville.
Exploring the world’s longest cave is no task for the meek. After scaling underground drop-offs and squeezing through tight crawl spaces, we prescribe some pampering! Just an hour and a half away, Nashville’s Thompson Hotel offers the luxury you’ll crave!
Lauren Kroger, Luxury Travel Advisor, Huffman Travel