View of Yosemite Valley from Inspiration Point. Photo © Ann Marie Brown.

Picking the Best Sights for One Day in Yosemite

It’s not ideal to spend only one day in Yosemite, but if that’s the way your vacation is scheduled, you’ll need to make the most of your time. Ann Marie Brown shares advice to make sure you experience the park’s best sights.

Red-eyed tree frog at Parque Reptilandia. Photo © Christopher P. Baker.

Things to Do in and Around Dominical

Dominical is a tiny laid-back resort favored by surfers, backpackers, and the college-age crowd. The beach is beautiful albeit pebbly, and the warm waters attract whales and dolphins close to shore. If you overdose on the sun, sand, and surf, head into the lush mountains inland of Dominicalito or head east on a paved road that leads to San Isidro, winding up through the valley of the Río Barú into the Fila Costanera mountains, where you may find yourself amid swirling clouds.

Visitors gaze at a tumbling waterfall from an observation platform.

La Paz Waterfall Gardens, Costa Rica

Costa Rica’s splendid nature and wildlife park La Paz Waterfall Gardens at Montaña Azul features trails through a soaring hangar-size aviary with a separate climate-controlled butterfly cage. There’s also a hummingbird garden, a serpentarium (snakes), a walk-through ranarium (frogs), a monkey exhibit, plus a trout lake and orchid houses.

Suspension bridge at Mayflower Bocawina National Park. Photo © Lebawit Lily Girma.

Planning a Visit to Mayflower Bocawina National Park

Mayflower Bocawina National Park in the Belize Cayes comprises more than 7,100 acres of Maya Mountain wilderness set aside to protect and showcase the area’s five waterfalls and green-fringed Mayan ruins. A trail system offers excellent independent hiking with guides and tours offered to enhance the experience, and plenty of other adventures.

A scenic highway leads south from Petén into Alta Verapaz. Photo © Al Argueta.

Las Verapaces: Guatemala’s Green Heartland

Las Verapaces remains green and lush throughout most of the year. From exploring beautiful cloud forests to remote hikes to discovering a lagoon in the middle of the rainforest, outdoor enthusiasts will find no shortage of vibrant, unique landscapes to experience. Here’s a sampling of the best.

One of El Purutal's pigmented statues, near San Agustín, Colombia.

Sights of San Agustín, Colombia

The small colonial town of San Agustín is set in a place of enormous natural beauty and has wonderful spring-like weather, but is most visited because of its proximity to the largest pre-Columbian archaeological site south of Central America and north of Perú. Learn more about the sights around town and the dozens of archeological highlights.

Snow-crested mountains are visible in the distance while the heavily forest shore reflects in deep blue lakewater.

Parque Nacional Nahuel Huapi in Northern Patagonia

Parque Nacional Nahuel Huapi is a beautiful spot that connects two countries via a series of scenic roads and waterways. Here’s everything you need to know to enjoy the park, from sights like Lago Nahuel Huapi to refugios to popular hiking routes and practicalities.

Fall foliage highlights water cascading over Upper Tahquamenon Falls.

Tahquamenon Falls State Park, Michigan

Tahquamenon Falls State Park is home to one of the country’s largest waterfalls, as well as the pleasant cascade of the Lower Falls. Both are very easy to visit. Here’s a brief overview of the park along with directions to prime viewing locations.

Waimea Valley is an area of historic cultural significance on the North Shore of Oahu, Hawaii.

Sightseeing North Shore O‘ahu

Sightseeing O‘ahu’s North Shore is primarily focused on Hawaiian heritage, and since all sites are found outdoors, nature features fairly heavily as well. With two main areas to explore, you’ll want to do a bit of planning to make sure you can fully experience both.

If you want to swim in ‘Iao Stream, the best place for accessing the swimming holes is from Kepaniwai Heritage Gardens where short trails lead down to the refreshing—and cold—water.

Central Maui Hiking

Central Maui hiking options are varied enough that while most hikes aren’t exactly challenging, there are opportunities for a good workout. One hike in particular is flat, straightforward, but with excellent coastal views and ruins to explore, while another rewards intrepid hikers with waterfall pools to splash in.