The last thing we want to be thinking about on vacation is whether or not we’re harming the earth. Luckily, there are a few getaway destinations that alleviate this concern by providing eco-friendly accommodations and activities. With these pristine vacation spots scattered throughout the U.S., no matter where you’re coming from, you have the option of visiting one nearby to even limit your carbon emissions caused during travel.
Galveston, TX, Miami, FL, Port Canaveral, FL & San Diego, CA
Fun for the whole family, the Disney Cruise can be a great vacation, and it’s eco-friendly. Disney Cruise lines recycle their used cooking oil to power machinery and they apply a non-toxic type of coating to the hulls of their ships to help the boats travel through the water more efficiently and reduce drag. Disney Cruise lines also have a donation program that allows guest to donate to 750 different wildlife programs. To date, it has raised over 12 million dollars. They also reduce their water usage by using the water from air conditioning systems to wash clothes and are energy efficient by using the heat produced from the ship to create 1,200 tons of potable water daily from salt water. Within the U.S. these ships leave from Galveston, TX, Miami, FL, Port Canaveral, FL ,and San Diego, CA.
Clearwater Public Sailing Adventure
Albany to New York City
If you live near or in New York City, or are visiting for a vacation, you can enjoy a Clearwater Public Sailing Adventure that travels from Albany to New York City. Clearwater’s main initiative is to help educate people about how to take care of the environment and the issues currently affecting it, such as climate change. Therefore, while going back in time to the 18th and 19th centuries to experience what it was like to sail the Hudson River on a majestic cargo sloop, you can enjoy the beauty of the river, help steer the boat, enjoy music provided by the crew and have some rest and relaxation.
Palos Verdes, CA
Another vacation spot, on the West Coast, is Palos Verdes in southern California. Spend some time at Terranea Resort, located in the green hills of Rancho Palos Verdes, CA. The resort works hard to be sustainable and energy efficient and its restaurants offer organic and local foods. It is located off of the Pacific Ocean, containing patios and balconies to enable its guest to enjoy the beautiful view. The resort also has an on-staff trained naturalist that informs visitors of the native plants and wildlife, and also offers many different earth-friendly activities such as Pilates and yoga classes, bike riding tours and horseback riding during their stay. The South Coast Botanical Garden is located close by and contains over 150,000 plants on an 87-acre property.
Soldiers Grove Solar Town
Soliders Grove, WI
A very interesting place to vacation in Wisconsin is Soldiers Grove Solar Town, America’s First Solar Village. The Village of Soldiers Grove is located in the southwestern area of the state along the steep hills and narrow valleys. It has four different lodging facilities, as well as places to camp, and consists of areas where you can enjoy picnics, live music, playgrounds, a skateboard park, tennis courts, horseshoe pitching areas and military memorials to visit and learn about. If interested in staying in Soldiers Grove, there are multiple lodging options.
Green Bed & Breakfasts
Maine has a “Maine Green Lodging Certification Program” where visitors can choose to stay at hotels or Bed & Breakfasts that are certified. The certification means that the business have found ways to reduce energy, conserve water, minimize their waste, use environmentally safe cleaners and educate the public about their initiative and how to be more sustainable. You can also take part in various outdoor eco-friendly activities during your stay including hiking, sailing, paddling, camping, biking, fishing and going to the beach.
No matter what vacation spot you choose, there are ways to limit your impact and be as environmentally aware as possible. There are green hotels throughout the country that you can choose to support and earth-friendly, fun activities as well. The locals will appreciate you taking the time to learn more about their wildlife and natural resources and how you can help keep the place beautiful and clean for future visitors.
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Stephanie Siemek is a freelance writer whose work can be found on Examiner.com.