Independence Day – Beyond the Fireworks

I’m not saying you should eliminate fireworks from your Independence Day celebrations.  I too have an affinity towards the brightly lit skies, the new and improved displays and the oohs and aahhs that accompany the fantastic shapes and colors that amaze. After all, America’s second president John Adams and the first to light fireworks for Independence Day said “The holiday ought to be celebrated by pomp and parade — and illuminations from one end to this continent to the other” Today fireworks are the grandest symbol of patriotism and celebration.

I’m just saying add a little extra to your holiday.  Add a little nature and history.

National Parks are a wonderful way to celebrate and take in some of America’s natural beauty. There are over 400 National Parks that cover more than 84 million acres from coast to coast.

Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming, Montana and Idaho, and best know for Old Faithful, was the first designated national park by President Ulysses S Grant in 1872. Yellowstone is best for wildlife.

Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona takes your breath away with its shear vastness.  The Colorado River splits the Grand Canyon into the North and South rims.  A River runs through it.  Sorry I couldn’t help myself.  A great way to experience the Grand Canyon is by (Helicopter, River, Land) to take it all in. While I have not experienced it myself, I hear the Skywalk is phenomenal but the lines can be long.

For some rugged coastline and a bit of the Atlantic seaboard visit Acadia National Park in Maine.  Acadia National Park is the first designated national park east of the Mississippi River.

The National Park Foundation has recently released “The Places Nobody Knows“, a free online guide to lesser known national park gems. 

A little history anyone? Washington, DC, Virginia and Pennsylvania are the jackpot of America’s Declaration of Independence.

In Washington, DC is the Memorial to the 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence it’s near the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool.  There’s also the Constitution Gardens and The National Mall. You can also visit The Jefferson Memorial for the Declaration Committee on the pediment of the memorial. In Pennsylvania visit the State House that is now Independence Hall and the chamber where the Declaration was signed. Actually, Washington, DC has a host of memorials of our founding fathers and great men who made a difference in the United States.  The newest memorial for a great American is the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, there’s a king among presidents. I’m a bit biased since I was born and raised in DC.

OK, if you must, watch the fireworks and the Washington Monument, it’s a very patriotic thing to do.

Ja’Vonne Harley
Co-Host, The Traveling Eye
President, Advantage International