Hundreds of miles of trails, thousands of rivers and lakes, and enough square miles of green to make you forget all about your cubicle.

It's not all about Death Valley, Yosemite, and Yellowstone. On the East Coast, there are parks that put "nature showing off" on full display. Hundreds of miles of trails, thousands of rivers and lakes, and enough square miles of green to make you forget all about your cubicle. Here, our top three choices for East Coast parks.

Acadia National Park


The "Crown Jewel of the North Atlantic Coast," and the oldest national park east of the Mississippi, this nearly 50,000-acre park southwest of Bar Harbor, Maine, preserves the highest rocky headlands of the United States Atlantic coastline over Mount Desert Island, the Isle au Haut and the Schoodic Peninsula. With 158 miles of trails, prepare to climb seven peaks that clock in over 1,000 feet, including Cadillac Mountain.

Cadillac Mountain

The most popular destination in the park, and for good reason. Expect "breathtaking," "ridiculous views." "It's well worth the effort to get up the mountain well before sunrise to watch the new day start," one hiker advises.

Bass Harbor Head Light

The only lighthouse on Mount Desert Island, view it from the shoreline via trail and stairway.

Wild Gardens of Acadia

Discover a microcosm of Mount Desert Island's natural habitats in this small garden. More than 400 indigenous plants found throughout the park are labeled along the garden paths.

Carriage Roads

When your feet tire, hop on a trolley or bus tour of the park and explore the more than 50-miles of carriage roads financed, designed, and directed by John D. Rockefeller, Jr.

Insider Tips:

While crowds descend on the park in spring, summer, and even into the fall, you'll have the park to yourself in winter. Check out the scenic winter drives, bring your cross-country skiing and snowshoes, or settle down in the early dark at a very quiet and cozy winter camp.

Each summer, several trails close to protect nesting peregrine falcons.

Shenandoah National Park


A long, narrow 80,000-acre park that encompasses some of the Blue Ridge Mountains, explore 500 miles of hiking trails and ramble into the back country; almost 40 percent of the park's has been designated as wilderness.

Skyline Drive

Running 105 miles along the the ridge of the Blue Ridge Mountains, this road calls for a slow, scenic drive. The speed limit never tops 35 miles per hour, and deer, black bears, and turkeys are known to cross along with hikers and bicycles.

Old Rag Mountain Hike

This ten-mile loop includes a challenging scramble but the payoff of the mountain peak views makes it the most popular route in the park.

Appalachian Trail

Hop onto a "lovely section" of the Appalachian Trail. One hiker called the 9-mile swath between Lewis Mountain Cabins to Big Meadows Lodge the most enjoyable of any section of the trail in Georgia, North Carolina and Virginia.

Dark Hollows Falls

The most famous and spectacular waterfalls in the park—"nature showing off again"—are worth the steep descent. And the climb back up.

Historic Camps and Cabins

Check out President Herbert Hoover's restored fishing retreat, Rapidan Camp, accessible by a 4-mile round trip hike on Mill Prong Trail. Or picnic on the lawn outside Pinnacles, a cabin that housed young men working in the park as part of the Civilian Conservation Corps during the New Deal. Want a cabin of your own? Reserve one of the six hike-in primitive cabins maintained by Potomac Appalachian Trail Club that feature mattresses, blankets, and cookware.

Adirondack Park

New York State

Okay, so it's not technically a national park, but it's bigger than many of them. Established in 1885, the first state preserve of its kind in the United States and the largest, with some six million acres—larger than 50 countries in the world—Adirondack Park boasts more than 3,000 lakes, 30,000 miles of rivers and streams, and over 2,000 miles of hiking trails, making it the largest train system in the country. About half of the park is privately owned inholdings with a year-round population of 132,000. The inclusion of human settlements makes the park one of the "great experiments in conservation" in the industrialized world. For a park of so many superlatives, Adirondack Park flies surprisingly under the radar.

46 Peaks

Inside the park, 46 peaks rise over 4,000 feet of elevation. Hike them all and you become a Forty-Sixer. And it's quite the accomplishment. Due to the vastness of the park, many of the climbs require multi-day excursions to reach the base camps below each peak.

Canoe and Kayak

With 30,000 miles of rivers and streams, this is the place to get on the water, and the Adirondacks are home to New York State's only designated canoe wilderness area. The St. Regis Canoe Area covers 18,400 acres and includes 75 primitive tent sites and three lean-tos, making it ideal for overnight canoe camping trips. Or hit the park in early September to watch (or partake!) in the 90-mile, three-day paddling race, the Adirondack Canoe Classic. A different kind of intensity comes in the early spring, when snow melt turns the Hudson into Class IV and V rapids and beckons you and your raft.

Wild Walk

Since opening in May 2018, this elevated platform trail across the treetops has been called "glorious" by the Wall Street Journal and "stunning" by the New York Times.

Travel Back in Time

History buffs will do well in the Adirondacks, which feature more historic sites than you can shake a stick at. But even those who are headed here for the wilderness can partake in the old timey charm at the country stores and 5 and 10s that stand at village crossroads stocked with penny candy, fudge, and more.

With so much stress swirling in our world, we want to keep our summer vacations simple this year. Canoes, hammocks, campfires. An old-fashioned East Coast camping trip has never sounded better.

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Three Things to Consider When Planning Your Vacation

There are plenty of things to consider when planning your vacation. Make sure you have all your bases covered by the time you buy your plane ticket!

Going on vacation is wonderful after months of stress and work. There's just one last hurdle before hopping on that plane: planning.

There can be an overwhelming number of things to consider when planning your vacation (COVID-19 not least), but putting them in an itemized list helps. Here's a quick cheat-sheet for you to get a jump-start on that.

Vacation VacationUniversity of Kentucky

Remember Your Budget

If you make a budget, which you definitely should, stick to it. Don't spend more than what you can afford when you start vacationing. Vacations are meant to be relaxing, so saddling yourself with debt will only dampen the fun of your trip. How much are you spending on living accommodations, food, activities, travel? How much are you setting aside in emergency funds in case something happens?

Plan for the Length of the Trip

Are you going out of town for a few months, or do you only have a week off? How much time you have can affect where you can go and how much you can enjoy it. If you only have a week and a half for a trip, then it's best not to go somewhere that's a 16-hour flight away. Half the trip is going to be spent on planes, and the other half will be spent being jet-lagged.

Trip length can also affect how you have to deal with your home while you're away. If you're away for long periods of time, do you need to hire people to cut your grass? Do you need to hire house sitters or babysitters? There are even things to know if you need to board your dog. Keep all these in mind for extended vacations.

Consider the Weather

You never want to ruin your vacation by heading somewhere beautiful in its offseason. Depending on the time of year, most activities could be canceled due to weather restrictions. Some places are ideal for winter trips, and other destinations are made to be enjoyed during the summer heat. Plan accordingly, and don't show up in a swimsuit when it's 50 degrees outside.

That rounds up the basics, but there are plenty more things to consider when planning your vacation. Give yourself wiggle room if any unique considerations pop up in your planning process.

There has never been a better time to learn a language than right now. While we can't really travel, we can still get ready to explore the world and other cultures through film, music, and food. But the key to all of this is language. It can be hard getting started on your own and so we found the perfect solution: Rosetta Stone.

We've been loving hunkering down and digging into Rosetta Stone, a language learning app with many different languages, the best lessons, and an affordable subscription. It's flexible and made to work for you, no matter what level you're starting at. Jump back into French without dusting off your highschool books or pick up Mandarin with a clean slate.

Thinking about Rosetta Stone for your language lessons? Here are the answers to your most pressing questions:

What languages do they offer?

With Rosetta Stone, you can choose from 25 different languages including Spanish, Arabic, and Japanese. When you get the Unlimited Languages subscription you gain access to all 25 and can switch between languages. While you may be intensely learning German, you can take a break and pick up some conversational Korean — all in one app.

What are the features?

What makes Rosetta Stone's lessons really work are the incredible learning features.

Phrasebook will teach you short, useful expressions that are sure to come in handy during your travels, letting you see the practical application of what you're learning. Seek & Speak brings the fun back into learning by having you do a scavenger hunt for everyday household items and taking photos of them to get the translated name. Even in an app, Rosetta Stone turns any environment into a classroom.

TruAccent is a speech engine within the program that provides instant feedback on your pronunciation so you know if you're on the right track. You'll grow more confident about speaking aloud and it's like having an accent coach in the room with you.

How long does it take every day?

Rosetta Stone's lessons are bite-sized, so all you need is 5 -10 minutes a day to sneak in some practice and work towards your language goals. Of course, you can do more if you want but there's no regimented schedule or pressure to speed ahead.

How does it compare to in-person classes?

With the Rosetta Stone app, your learning is within your control and designed to move at your pace. The app will tailor to your particular interests, strengths, and weaknesses! Plus, with the recent explosion of online classes, most people have fallen away from in-person instruction anyway.

Rosetta Stone brings you expert teaching, fun engaging lessons, and a multitude of language options all on-the-go. Take your classes whenever and wherever works best for you, conveniently on the app.

Is it suitable for all levels?

Absolutely. When you first start, the app allows you to choose a study plan based on your experience level. So, if you're a beginner you can start from scratch and those with some proficiency can advance to where they're comfortable.

How much does it cost?

The Unlimited Languages plan works out to be $7.99 a month and grants access to all 25 languages, cheaper than Netflix. You get an education at a great value and the best part is no ads while you learn!

We look forward to our Rosetta Stone lessons and highly recommend it to anyone eager to learn a new language or even brush up on an old one. This program makes learning fun, practical, convenient, and most importantly affordable.

Say bonjour, to the go-to language learning app and have the world right at your fingertips!

Update: The folks at Rosetta Stone are extending a special offer to our readers: Up to 45% off Rosetta Stone + Unlimited Language Access!

Like so many out there I haven't been traveling. With everything going on these days I've been staying home, which I love, but it does have me itching to travel. The international section of Netflix just isn't satisfying my travel bug like it used to (trust me, if it's been recommended I've watched it).

I was looking for another way I could travel without leaving home so I did the rounds of take-out food: Chinese, German, Italian, and Mexican. This was fun and tasty but a pricey way to explore the world.

A friend of mine suggested taking a prepping approach to travel and try Rosetta Stone: a language learning program that offers an annual plan with access to 24+ languages.

I've always wanted to learn a new language but have had trouble committing. I was a bit wary about starting Rosetta Stone but ultimately decided to give it a shot.

The Unlimited Languages plan works out to be $7.99 a month for 12 months (what a deal). While I was determined to learn Spanish in anticipation of my dream trip to Spain, this plan allows me to switch to any of the other 24+ languages.

I was excited to get started and use the app. I figured with all of the extra time I had until I could actually go on my trip, I'd aspire to be near fluent by the time it happened.

Jumping right in, I took a ton of lessons through their app and really binged the language. I loved the focus on conversational language, phrases, and vocabulary but after about a week I had burned myself out a bit.

I ended up pulling back and doing 10-minute lessons a day. This was manageable and easy to incorporate into my schedule whether it was by doing a lesson over my morning coffee or winding down right before bed. Learning in bite-sized amounts helped me digest the information and really process what I was being taught.

After a couple of weeks, I was getting really comfortable with Rosetta Stone and was actually enjoying the learning process… even though I wasn't a big fan of language when I was in school. What really set this experience apart for me was the Phrasebook and Seek & SpeakⓇ features.

Phrasebook teaches short, useful expressions that I know will come in handy on my trip. Seek & SpeakⓇ definitely brought the fun back into learning for me, as it has you do a scavenger hunt for everyday household items and take photos of them. Once you do this it gives you a translation of each item (I've never enjoyed looking for cucumbers in my fridge before).

Watching so many telenovelas I knew how important the accent is (in any language) but difficult without an in-person instructor. Rosetta Stone realizes that too and uses TruAccentⓇ. The speech engine within the program gave me instant feedback so I knew that my pronunciation was on the right track and it made me more comfortable speaking aloud.

Rosetta Stone turned out to be a great choice for me. Now I'm daydreaming about traveling and feel like when the time comes I'll be ready to. I'm so confident in my learning that I've branched out and have done some lessons in Italian and French! I'm thinking, after Spain… maybe Rome and Paris? My destinations list is endless now!

Honestly, with Rosetta Stone, I feel more inspired than ever to travel and all this inspiration is happening right in my home. I can't wait to take what I've learned on the road but until then the preparation is still incredibly fun and useful.

Update: The folks at Rosetta Stone are extending a special offer to our readers: Up to 45% off Rosetta Stone + Unlimited Language Access!