East coast natural wonders: 15 Natural Attractions in East Coast of USA: Map, Photos, + Reviews

15 Natural Attractions in East Coast of USA: Map, Photos, + Reviews

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Natural attractions in East Coast of USA

Cave

Cave of the Winds
, Niagara Falls

Experience firsthand the cascading water and thunderous sounds of one of the country’s most famous natural wonders at Cave of the Winds. The

Tours from 47 €

Waterfall

Niagara Falls
, Niagara Falls

Straddling the border between Canada and the United States, Niagara Falls delivers water with the highest flow rate of any waterfall in the w

Tours from 87 €

National Park

Dry Tortugas National Park
, Key West

Encompassing the most isolated and far-flung islands of the Florida Keys, Dry Tortugas National Park showcases vibrant coral reefs, tropical

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Niagara Falls American-Side Tour with Maid of the Mist Boat Ride

Duration: 4 hours 30 minutes

During your time in Niagara Falls, take a tour of the American side of the spectacular falls. Highlights include a walking adventure along the incomparable Cave of the Winds and an exciting cruise to the base of Horseshoe Falls on the famous Maid of the Mist (early May- late October). Ride in an elevator to the bottom of Niagara Gorge and before ascending the Prospect Point Observation Tower for a view from above.

Book on Viator from 125 €

State Park

John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park
, Key Largo

John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park is a Florida State Park located on Key Largo in Florida. It includes approximately 70 nautical square mi

Tours from 43 €

Waterfall

Falls Park on the Reedy
, Greenville

Built on reclaimed land from textile mills, Falls Park on the Reedy is home to the Upstate Shakespeare Festival. Enter the park’s pedestrian

Tours from 27 €

State Park

Watkins Glen State Park
, Watkins Glen

Featuring a picturesque gorge cut through by Glen Creek and 19 different waterfalls, Watkins Glen State Park offers outdoor activities like h

Tours from 156 €

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Niagara Falls American Side Highlights Tour from USA

Duration: 4 to 5 hours

See and experience the very best of Niagara Falls on this 4-hour sightseeing tour of Niagara’s American side. In addition to a fully narrated tour by coach, this tour also includes a ride on the famous Maid of the Mist gorge cruise and admission into the Prospect Point Observation Tower for spectacular views of the falls. Pick up from USA only at selected downtown Niagara Falls USA hotels.

Book on Viator from 106 €

Water Body

Tidal Basin
, Washington DC

Relax by the water and see some of America’s proudest monuments at Tidal Basin. This man-made inlet was created in the 19th century as a mean

Tours from 43 €

National Park

Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge
, Chincoteague Island

Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge encompasses nearly 5,670 hectares (14,000 acres) of beach, dunes, marsh, and maritime forest. Before se

Tours from 57 €

Mountain

Cadillac Mountain
, Acadia National Park

Perched upon Mount Desert Island in one of Maine’s most popular parks, Cadillac Mountain is replete with hiking trails and scenery. The mount

Tours from 14 €

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Washington DC Monuments by Moonlight Tour by Trolley

Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes

You haven’t seen Washington DC until you’ve seen it at night! On this narrated evening tour, you’ll enjoy the sights and sounds of Washington DC, and see first-hand how Washington turns into a different city when the sun goes down!

Book on Viator from 43 €

National Park

Cape Cod National Seashore
, Cape Cod

Enjoy the pristine landscape and tranquil beaches of Cape Cod National Seashore, where you can observe the ocean from the lighthouse or the s

Canyon

Luray Caverns
, Luray

Take a guided tour of Luray Caverns, subterranean caves that were discovered in 1878 and are now a National Historic Landmark. Your knowledge

Tours from 135 €

World heritage site
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National Park

Everglades National Park
, Florida City

A vast expanse of pristine wetlands, Everglades National Park holds the distinction of being the largest tropical wilderness in the U.S. Over

Tours from 28 €

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Nature destinations in East Coast of USA

Niagara FallsTrip planner
Best for: Waterfall, Cave, Casino

Stone MountainTrip planner
Best for: State Park, Ski Area, Golf Course

Acadia National ParkTrip planner
Best for: Mountain, Hiking Trail, Scenic Drive

LurayTrip planner
Best for: Canyon, History Museum, Hiking Trail

Shenandoah National ParkTrip planner
Best for: Scenic Drive, Hiking Trail, Waterfall

Watkins GlenTrip planner
Best for: State Park, Scenic Drive, Brewery

Homosassa SpringsTrip planner
Best for: State Park

DunedinTrip planner
Best for: Beach, Island, Hiking Trail

HighlandsTrip planner
Best for: Waterfall, Wildlife Area, Art Gallery

FranconiaTrip planner
Best for: Geologic Formation, State Park, Mountain

Tierra VerdeTrip planner
Best for: State Park, Outdoor Activity, Water Sport

LinvilleTrip planner
Best for: Mountain, Lookout, Hiking Trail

Johns IslandTrip planner
Best for: Geologic Formation, Stand-Up Paddleboarding, Dolphin / Whale Watching

Pisgah ForestTrip planner
Best for: Waterfall, Geologic Formation, Forest

Orange CityTrip planner
Best for: State Park, Historic Site, Kayaking / Canoeing

CastileTrip planner
Best for: State Park, River Rafting / Tubing, Gift & Specialty Shop

HelenTrip planner
Best for: Waterfall, Gift & Specialty Shop, River Rafting / Tubing

BlairsvilleTrip planner
Best for: Mountain, State Park, Waterfall

Natural BridgeTrip planner
Best for: Geologic Formation, Wildlife Area, Cave

IthacaTrip planner
Best for: State Park, Wine Tour / Tasting, Garden

Florida CityTrip planner
Best for: National Park, Factory Outlet, History Museum

TrumansburgTrip planner
Best for: State Park, Lookout, Gift & Specialty Shop

Lake GeorgeTrip planner
Best for: Water Body, Mountain, History Museum

Where to stay in East Coast of USA

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25 Bucket List Places to See on the East Coast of the USA

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The USA is packed with bucket list cities, parks and attractions but if you’re looking for the best of the west coast we have 25 favorite spots or the best of the east coast, keep reading!

1. Dry Tortugas National Park, Flordia: This national park off the coast of Florida is comprised of islands and features an abundance of marine and bird life!

2. Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts: This little gem of an island is in the south of Massachusetts and has the cutest colonial style.

3. Baltimore, Maryland: This city is quirky, it’s adorable, it’s charming – that’s why they call it Charm City – and it’s well worth the stop.

4. Atlantic City, New Jersey: Known as the Las Vegas of the east, Atlantic City offers casinos, wide beaches, and boardwalks.

5. Savannah Historic District, Georgia: Spanish moss trees adorn this district and make it appear otherworldly. (pictured below)

6. Watkins Glen State Park, New York: With gorgeous gorges and waterfalls, Watkins Glen State Park is quite the adventure.

7. Smoky Mountains, North Carolina/Tennessee: This beautiful mountain range is often blanketed with fog, hence the name.

8. Walt Disney’s World, Florida: This is a classic vacation spot that you just can’t miss! Release your inner child at Disney World.

9. Shenandoah Caverns, Virginia: Haunting structures made by stalagmites and stalactites are on display at these cool caves!

10. White Mountains, New Hampshire: An absolutely breathtaking mountain range, the White Mountains have many hiking spots and photo ops! (below)

11. South Beach, Miami, Florida: If you’re ever in need of a beach day, South Beach is the place to go. It’s warm and beautiful all year round!

12. Acadia National Park, Maine: As the only national park in New England, Acadia National Park boasts beautiful scenery and a lovely getaway in Bar Harbor.

13. French Quarter, New Orleans, Louisiana: The french quarter is the oldest part of New Orleans, and as you can probably tell, has much french influence.

14. Lincoln Memorial, DC: What better way to celebrate the man who freed the slaves than by visiting his gorgeous memorial! (below)

15. Niagara Falls, New York: Possibly the most famous waterfall in America, you can’t miss a trip to Niagara!

16. Everglades National Park, Florida: Half land and half water, the Everglades are beautiful and support an ecosystem unique to the country.

17. Times Square, New York: It’s full of tourists all year round but you cannot miss a trip to the iconic Times Square.

18. Stowe, Vermont: This little town functions as a fabulous ski resort in the winter and offers gorgeous landscapes in the summer! (below)

19. Charleston, South Carolina: Known for its elegant old-fashioned aesthetics, this city is worth the visit for the picture alone.

20. Newport, Rhode Island: Newport is a quaint beach town in New England and known for its mansions from the gilded age.

21. Nashville, Tennessee: Known as the country music capital of the world, Nashville is a must visit for all those who enjoy country music.

22. Lake Placid, New York: Lake Placid became famous for hosting the winter Olympics twice, but now is just a serene and gorgeous vacation spot. (below)

23. Portland, Maine: This coastal city is known for its mix of quintessential New England quaintness and large city life!

24. Montauk, New York: A vacation spot for those living in New York City, Montauk is the perfect escape from the city with quiet beaches and chill vibes.

25. Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens, Pennsylvania: One man’s trash is another man’s treasure as the saying goes… well Philly’s Magic Gardens is an art exhibit made entirely out of trash into mosaics.

What are your favorite places on the east coast? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!

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Wonders of nature. Promised land. Madagascar

The fourth largest island in the world, located off the southeast coast of Africa and stretching for hundreds of kilometers, can claim the status of a continent. And the point here is not so much in the impressive size of Madagascar, but in the extremely diverse conditions and unique originality of the flora and fauna of this, as one researcher aptly put it, «the promised land.»

Madagascar is exactly the lost world that science fiction writers dreamed of. Breaking away from the African continent tens of millions of years ago, the Great Island became a grandiose natural laboratory for the evolution of nature. Here, in conditions of complete isolation from the rest of the world, plants and animals have evolved and, therefore, in many respects are not similar to representatives of the fauna and flora of other habitats. And it is not surprising that more and more new biological discoveries are constantly taking place in Madagascar. After all, this is an island of amazing biological diversity!

The central part of Madagascar is covered with steppes and savannas. Deciduous forests stretch along the western coast, and tropical rainforests with lush vegetation and diverse fauna stretch for many hundreds of kilometers along the eastern coast. The south of the island is occupied by large wastelands overgrown with thorny bushes.

One of the many «paradise» corners of Madagascar

Madagascar is rich in minerals. Almost the entire periodic table is presented here. Gold, silver, lead, titanium, nickel, chromium, zinc, radioactive ores were found in the bowels of the island … Madagascar is rich in precious and semi-precious stones — emeralds, rubies, pale blue topazes, aquamarines, light green spinels, dark red garnets … A kind of «mineral» symbol of the Great Island — beryl — one of the most beautiful gems. In Madagascar, beryls are found in dark blue, green, yellow and unique peach colors. The weight of the largest beryl nuggets is 600 carats!

Madagascar can compete with any place on Earth with its unique wildlife. About 90% of animal species of the fauna and about 85% of plant species of the flora of Madagascar are found only here.

Madagascar is home to one of the most elegant palm trees: the yellowish ocarpus chrysalis. This palm tree adorns the collections of botanical gardens in many countries of the world. It usually forms several smooth stems about 10 meters high. Each trunk is crowned with a bunch of strongly dissected green leaves with orange petioles.

Vegetation of Madagascar

Next to the palms are fancifully branching pandanuses with bunches of long and narrow sharp-toothed leaves. Epiphytic plants with aerial roots often settle on pandanus stems. Among them are orchids — the pearls of the plant kingdom. They are represented in the forests of Madagascar in a stunning variety — more than a thousand species! And each species is unique in its graceful beauty. Eulofiella, one of the largest orchids, grows exclusively on pandanuses. Its leaves reach a length of one meter, and on a high peduncle there is an inflorescence of fabulous beauty, consisting of two dozen large red flowers. The aerantus orchid has large snow-white flowers, while the cymbidiella has yellow flowers with green spots. The magnificent white flowers of angriceum glow brightly in the green dusk of the rainforest.

In the Tsingy du Bemaraha nature reserve, located in the southern part of the island, you can observe an unusual landscape. As a result of erosion, the vast territory was covered with vertical calcareous needles, reaching far into the sky.

But, perhaps, the most famous plant of Madagascar is Ravenala, better known as the «tree of travelers». This is one of the majestic symbols of the island. This plant has a tall bare trunk, at the top of which is a giant fan of large long-leaved leaves, shaped like banana leaves. Water collects in the axils of the leaves. But it is hardly possible to quench the thirst of a traveler with this water. There are always a lot of all kinds of living creatures in it — insects and their larvae, caviar and juveniles of frogs, mollusks.

Every group of animals in Madagascar, be it spiders or insects, amphibians or reptiles, birds or beasts, has its own unique ones. A large long-legged nephila spider weaves huge cobwebs in which even birds get entangled. The boofis tree frog makes sounds reminiscent of the siren of an American police car. The radiant tortoise lives in the southern regions of the Great Island — bright yellow rays contrast against the black background of its shell. The inhabitant of semi-desert regions is also magnificent — the Vanga bird with its blue plumage.

Nephila spider

The unusual beauty of local butterflies does not leave indifferent collectors all over the world who are ready to pay big money for them. The largest peacock-eye lives in Madagascar. Due to the narrow long outgrowths on the wings, which give the butterfly a special grace, the butterfly was called the «comet». The length of the male of this species, taking into account the «tails», can reach more than twenty centimeters. Butterfly-comet has a bright yellow color with drawings of the color of burnt clay. These moths are quite common, but the collectors demand for them is so great that they may well become a rarity soon. The cocoons of these amazing creatures are six to eight centimeters long and are woven from pink threads.

The mammalian fauna of Madagascar is not very rich in species, but most of the local animals are found only here and are remarkable for their amazing originality. The most famous among them are lemurs, representatives of lower primates.

The Swedish naturalist Carl Linnaeus (1707-1778) gave the name to the lemurs. Lemurs in ancient Rome were called the spirits of the dead, whose eyes, according to legend, glowed in the dark.

Outwardly, all lemurs are similar to each other — the body is slender, completely covered with soft thick hair, the muzzle is elongated and pointed, the eyes are large and expressive, the hind limbs are longer than the front ones, and the tail is longer than the body. The coloration of lemurs is varied. This is reflected in the names of some of them: black lemur, red-bellied lemur, ring-tailed lemur … There are white lemurs, gray, red, golden brown, brown, reddish, black, with spots and stripes of a different color.

Lemurs

The best known is the ring-tailed lemur. Its coloration is quite unusual: the hair on the back is light gray, the abdomen is white, the eyes are with black rims, and the long tail is with alternating black and white transverse stripes. The ring-tailed lemur weighs about three kilograms. It feeds on fruits and young leaves. Feels confident both in the trees and on the ground.

Ring-tailed lemurs live in herds of 12-25 individuals. There are usually several adult males in the herd, and all the rest are females and cubs. Male lemurs behave like true gentlemen: females have privileges when choosing food — they usually give way to twigs with the most delicious tender leaves.

When mating time comes, males arrange unusual tournaments, the so-called «stinking competitions». Every male has scent glands on their wrists. During mating fights, males pinch the tail between the wrists, lubricating it with odorous secretions of the glands, and then shake it in front of the opponent’s nose. Whoever withstands such an attack and does not run away is considered the winner.

Female lemur with a cub

In early September, female ring-tailed lemurs bring one, rarely two cubs. Females carry babies on their stomachs. Within a week, the cubs are able to climb onto their mother’s back themselves, at three months they can already eat solid food, and reach puberty by two and a half years.

The smallest of the lemurs, the mouse lemur, weighs only 50 grams, while the largest, the indri, weighs 6 kg or more.

Another very interesting animal lives in Madagascar. Locals say he has rabbit teeth, bat ears, boar bristles, and a fox tail. Malgashi — the inhabitants of Madagascar — are horrified at the sight and even at the mention of this animal. The Europeans called this semi-monkey — ah-ah-ah-ah.

Aye-aye miter

The lemur is the same size as a ring-tailed lemur: its weight is about three kilograms. The coloration is blackish-brown, lighter on the muzzle. The coat is thin, but long, with white ends. Ah-ah’s teeth grow constantly and are covered with enamel only in front. This allows the teeth to self-sharpen. No other primate has such teeth. And the animal acquired them not by chance — it needs them in order to gnaw off the bark: after all, the armlet feeds on insect larvae, it can also gnaw a hole in a coconut to feast on milk. The ah-ah’s fingers are also unusual — they are very long and thin, on all fingers, except for the large ones on the hind limbs, there are claws. And on the forelimbs, the middle finger is longer than all the others, unusually thin, as if shrunken. With its help, the little arm gets the larvae from under the bark of the tree, and also uses it when it wants to drink: it puts its finger into the hole in the coconut, and then quickly, up to 40 times per minute, into the mouth, and so on until it gets drunk. With his long finger, the little arm puts himself in order — combs the hair, cleans the muzzle and ears.

When the little arm is disturbed by something, it shouts “ha-hai”. She makes these sounds with her mouth closed, through her nostrils. The characteristic cry of the arm was the reason for its unusual name.

Ai-ai is a nocturnal animal. This explains the presence of her large eyes (to see better!) And large mobile ears (to hear better!). The arms are held singly or in pairs. Before the birth of the cub, the female builds a nest in the form of a ball up to half a meter in diameter, mainly the leaves of the traveler’s tree are used as building material.

The locals are afraid of little hands. There are many beliefs associated with it. So, for example, it is believed that if an arm appears in a village, then this portends death. You can’t even kill, ah-ah, because, according to local signs, the one who killed the little arm will not live more than a year. There is also such a sign — if a man who has fallen asleep in the forest, an armlet builds a pillow of branches over his head — he will be rich, if in his legs — then he will not live long, he will soon die.

Madagascar is home to 7 species of predators: two fanaluks, four mungos and one fossa. All of them belong to the most primitive group of predatory mammals — the viverrid family. All these predators live mainly in forests, and only fossa in search of prey goes far into open spaces.

Fossa

Fossa is the largest predator of Madagascar. Its length reaches one and a half meters, and its weight is from seven to twelve kilograms. Outwardly, the fossa looks like a domestic cat. The coat of this animal has a rusty-brown color, sometimes with a gray tint on the back. The tail is long — it accounts for half the length of the body. The muzzle of the animal is short, the forehead is wide. Fossa is most active in the evening and at night. It feels quite confident both on the ground and on trees, and feeds on mammals and birds. Having caught its prey, the predator holds it tightly with its front paws and, biting on the back of the head, kills it.

It is interesting to watch the fossa climb trees. She uses different locomotion techniques depending on whether she crawls up or down. Fossa crawls up like a caterpillar. She spreads her front legs wide, and pulls her hind legs under her stomach, then straightens her hind legs, and so on. And when the animal descends, the opposite happens: the hind legs are widely spaced, and the front legs are bent. When descending, the tail is also used, with which the fossa clings to the trunk so as not to fall.

Fosses breed from September to November. During the mating season, they emit long, heartbreaking cries. After a short period of time, in November — January, small puppies are born, usually from two to four pieces. They are born covered with thick pale gray hair, blind, weighing about a hundred grams and unable to walk. The father does not take part in the upbringing of offspring, and all the burden of care falls on the mother. She breastfeeds her babies for up to four and a half months. The cubs do not grow very quickly — they reach the length of an adult animal by the age of two, and in terms of weight they catch up with adults only in the third or fourth year of their life, which does not prevent them from leaving their mother quite early. This happens around the age of one. Young fosses reach sexual maturity at the age of about three years.

Another very characteristic group of animals for Madagascar (and only for it!) is the tenrec. These are animals from the order of insectivores, reaching a length of 40 centimeters. Outwardly, some of them resemble shrews, others, having prickly needles, look like hedgehogs, for which all tenrecs are also called bristly hedgehogs. This is a very primitive group of animals. They don’t have a good temperature control system. So, if the air temperature for a long time is kept below 16 ° C, then the animal cools down so much that it dies.

Baobabs of Madagascar

Talking about the animal world of Madagascar, one cannot fail to mention one of the most unusual animals of this island — the chameleon. The amazing ability of a chameleon to quickly change the color of its body to match the surrounding objects makes it almost invisible on the branches among the foliage. And by quickly changing the masking color to bright colors — red, crimson, purple — the chameleon scares off its enemies very effectively.

Brookesia chameleon

The eyes of a chameleon are located at the top of the eyelids. The cones easily rotate in all directions, and independently of each other. A chameleon can, without turning his head, look down with one eye and up with the other, look forward with one and look back with one, look up with one and look back with the other. And control everything that happens around him.

Chameleon is a very slow animal. Seeing a grasshopper or some other insect, the chameleon with a peculiar swaying gait slowly approaches its prey, firmly clinging to the branches with its spiral tail and tick-like paws. The slowness of the chameleon, with which it would be impossible for another animal to get quick prey, is more than offset by its unusual language. It is very long in a chameleon and widened at the end. Having accurately calculated the distance to its prey, the chameleon swiftly throws out its tongue to a distance almost equal to the length of the body, and the prey insect is captured by its thickened, slightly flattened sticky tip and forwarded to the stomach.

The smallest and largest chameleons live in Madagascar. The smallest Madagascar chameleon — brukesia — easily fits in the palm of your hand, its length does not exceed five centimeters. The largest chameleon, called the giant, reaches a length of 70 centimeters.

The nature of Madagascar is as unique as it is vulnerable. Animals and plants living here are very dependent on each other. The death of one species entails the death of another. Therefore, it is very important to keep all the diversity of the Great Island in its harmonious balance. Fortunately, more and more people are realizing this. Today, not all of the island can be freely driven. Most of it is reserved for nature reserves and national parks. And there is hope that much that we inherited from our ancestors, we will save for our children and future descendants.

Natural Wonders: The Great Barrier Reef

The Great Barrier Reef stretches from Lady Eliot Island in the south to Cape York in the north, ie over 2000 km. Currently, this unique natural complex is open to tourists, but several of its areas are under special protection, and free access is prohibited there.

In Europe, the Great Barrier Reef was first heard in 1770 when James Cook’s crew encountered this natural wonder off the east coast of Australia. The reef almost became the cause of the death of the entire expedition, as Cook unknowingly sailed more than 1000 km north along the inner side of the reef. It was not until Cape Tribulation that he noticed the maze of reefs on the starboard side and realized the danger to which he and his crew were exposed. Their ship «Endeavor» really landed on a small reef near Cape Tribulation, and only after dumping a significant part of the provisions and equipment into the water, the team managed to refloat the ship and continue the journey.

What is a reef really? This is one of the largest geological formations, in fact, composed of living creatures — coral polyps. Tiny primitive organisms live in huge colonies, each of which developed from a single polyp by division. The coral consists of a soft body enclosed in a limestone outer skeleton that forms the reef. Thus, it turns out that the reef arose as a result of the natural course of events — the life and death of polyps. Gradually, it was formed from a mass of empty skeletons of dead polyps, covered with a thin layer of living organisms, which, in turn, having completed their life cycle, served as building material for further reef formation.

Coral reefs can exist in water that is consistently between 22-28°C throughout the year. As a result, suitable conditions are created for the most diverse animal community known on Earth.

The Great Barrier Reef is made up of over 400 species of hard and soft corals. Stiff reef corals come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes and include mushroom corals, brain corals and antlers in all shades from red and yellow to black.

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