Wildlife Adventures in America

Bear on the Beach by Marshmallow - Header 1[Image: "Bear on the Beach" by Marshmallow/Flickr]

You don’t have to fly to Africa to go on a safari. The abundance of wildlife is, without doubt, amazing to witness, but America is home to many animals roaming free.

Zoos are a wonderful and easily accessible way to observe these beautiful beasts, but there is a bit of a static feel. Kids plaster their faces against glass walls separating them from the animals which are laying in the sun, waiting for their next scheduled feeding.

If you are looking for a more up-close and untamed but safe experience, here are some amazing options that will let you discover animals in their natural habitats.

  • Silver Salmon Creek Lodge – Four million acres await you. Located along the western shores of Cook Inlet in south-central Alaska, you can see brown bears wondering free from your cabin deck. June through mid-September, you can join a guide who will assist you safely observing these massive and amazing animals. Fishing, bird watching and sea kayaking are also available.

Alaska, generally speaking, is a wonderful spot for encountering species like the bald eagle, moose, caribou, arctic wolf, wolverine, red fox, harbor seal, humpback whale, orca, coyote, lynx, otter, mink, beaver, marmot and sea lion. Whale watching and fishing are just two of the other popular excursions that will put you will you visit these magnificent creatures’ home.

  • The Four Seasons Resort Jackson Hole - Take a four-hour journey with a wildlife biologist in Grand Teton National Park. You will come across many different species that balance the ecosystem. Kids become “Junior Ecologists” and enjoy several hands-on experiences while finding elk, moose, bears and wolves.

The Grand Teton and Yellowstone area is also filled with many other mammals like bighorn sheep, bison, mountain goats, mule deer, pronghorn, and white-tailed deer, Canadian lynx, coyotes, grizzly bears and mountain lions.

  • Children’s Pool Beach (La Jolla, California) – This area was originally meant to be a fully protected swimming area, but over the years, sand has encroached on the area. It is a good area to spot harbor seals and California sea lions. Swimming is allowed, but discourage. Instead, wait for low tide and check out tide pools. If you do come across a sea lion, maintain a respectful distance. They have become somewhat used to the presence of humans, but are still wild animals. Move slowly and give them plenty of room while you observe nearby.

If you are looking for animals that you can’t find in America, there are other options that give you an encounter with non-indigenous species.

  • Safari West - It’s not a zoo or a drive through park – it’s a preserve filled with 800 animals that you are guided through while riding in an open-air double-decker vehicle. If you want to mix luxury into your experience, “tents” are available for overnight adventures…and these “tents” are more like private cabins with hardwood floors, private bath and pillow-top beds. Cheetahs, zebras, giraffes, monkeys, wildebeests, warthogs, tortoises, serval and gazelle all roam.

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Cara is the jack of all trades. She started in fashion, but found her true passion in writing. After mixing the two into a fabulous cocktail of freelance writing about all things style, she started a family. Her 3 kids keep her Prada pumps moving as they explore the world one adventure at a time.

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30 Comments on this article. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Erin June 16, 2014 at 6:23 pm - Reply

    Wow, those all sound so amazing. I need to visit Alaska someday.

  2. BusyBee June 16, 2014 at 9:22 pm - Reply

    It was sad when the children’s pool was overtaken by smelly dangerous seals in La Jolla.

  3. Pamela June 17, 2014 at 7:07 am - Reply

    Amazing, would love to see a real bear some day!

    • Jen June 20, 2014 at 2:32 am - Reply

      I know right. That would be SO so so cool, and kind of scary as well!

  4. Robin (Masshole Mommy) June 17, 2014 at 8:24 am - Reply

    Those all sound like fun places to visit. My kids would love them all.

  5. aimee fauci June 17, 2014 at 9:26 am - Reply

    I love this and wish I could go to all these places! My gma’s husband is a photographer and he gets to go to so many places and take pics of animals in the wild.. SO gorgeous.

  6. Alexandra McAllister June 17, 2014 at 9:34 am - Reply

    WOW! These are great vacation ideas…more exciting than being on a beach , perhaps. :) It seems Alaska is becoming quite popular. Great post! Thanks for sharing.

  7. Kungphoo June 17, 2014 at 11:32 am - Reply

    Alaska is on my bucket list.. That is where i will see the most wildlife.. i think anyway.

  8. Heather June 17, 2014 at 12:04 pm - Reply

    Alaska is where my husband really wants to go one day to just this! I hope we get to do it soon!

  9. Felicia June 17, 2014 at 1:21 pm - Reply

    It sounds like there is definitely a lot to do here. I always love places with multiple activities and attractions to choose from.

  10. DD June 17, 2014 at 3:09 pm - Reply

    South Dakota has bear country, which we are going to this summer!

  11. Debra June 17, 2014 at 3:28 pm - Reply

    I would love to go to Alaska some day! These all sound amazing!

  12. Stacey Werner June 17, 2014 at 5:23 pm - Reply

    All of these sound wonderful! I think Safari West would be first on my list to try.

  13. Stephen June 17, 2014 at 7:21 pm - Reply

    I love Alaska! I went camping there in 2008. Even came face to face with a bear!

  14. Melanie June 17, 2014 at 9:09 pm - Reply

    Wow! I would really like to go to Alaska one day. Sounds like an awesome list!

  15. janelle June 17, 2014 at 9:26 pm - Reply

    going to think about this for our next vacation. that picture of the bear, he looks so stately and regal.

  16. Zulema A Tomlinson June 17, 2014 at 9:34 pm - Reply

    I have always wanted to do a safari ride. Thanks for all the great information on places to travel to.

  17. Sandra - The Foodie Affair June 17, 2014 at 9:46 pm - Reply

    Oh, nice list of places we can take a peek into the wild. We’re closest to the CA site. I need to remember this!

  18. Liz Mays June 18, 2014 at 4:17 am - Reply

    I’d really enjoy those trips to Alaska and being able to observe the wildlife! What a treat!

  19. Claudia Krusch June 18, 2014 at 7:07 am - Reply

    Alasca is one of the places where I would love to go! Saw a couple movies there and it looks gorgeous!

  20. Mel Cole June 18, 2014 at 8:32 am - Reply

    I wish to see and tour at Alaska someday. Whale watching sounds fun!

  21. Payal Bansal June 18, 2014 at 11:53 am - Reply

    There is nothing better than watching animals in their natural habitat. Such a nice place

  22. Ashley M June 18, 2014 at 1:37 pm - Reply

    That is amazing – thanks for all the great locations. We will add them to our travel pins!

  23. Danielle June 18, 2014 at 3:18 pm - Reply

    Great list of locations. I remember seeing bears when I was hiking in Yosemite.

  24. DD June 18, 2014 at 8:38 pm - Reply

    Alaska would be fun to go to as well!

  25. Jen June 20, 2014 at 2:31 am - Reply

    I’m so in love with this site. It’s brilliant, so much more interesting than celeb nonsense we see everywhere!

  26. Pamela June 20, 2014 at 5:19 am - Reply

    What an amazing experience this would be, would love to do it!

  27. DD June 20, 2014 at 6:06 pm - Reply

    I know my relatives love going to Alaska!

  28. Allie June 21, 2014 at 12:16 am - Reply

    I would love to go to all of these places, I’ll add them to my list

  29. Janelle June 21, 2014 at 12:18 am - Reply

    If you want to see wildlife, live in Colorado. Bears, Mountain Goats, Mountain Lions, Buffalo, you name it.

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