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William Shakespeare isn’t the only significant Briton with an anniversary being celebrated in 2014. Scottish naturalist John Muir, who died 100 years ago in 1914, is also being heralded this year but, if you haven’t heard of him, there’s a very good reason for that.

North America’s Hidden Gems

For while he was born in Dunbar in 1838, all of Muir’s most famous achievements were accomplished across the pond, where his family emigrated when he was just 11 years old.

Known as ‘the Father of the National Park System’, Muir was involved in protecting some of the USA’s most famous natural treasures, including Yosemite and the Grand Canyon. Thanks to his dedication to the great outdoors, the beauty of these national parks – and the scores of others that have been created since – are enjoyed by millions of modern travellers each year.

The majority of these visitors head to the big-name parks like Yosemite but, to celebrate Muir’s legacy on the 100th anniversary of his death, Grand American Adventures want to draw attention to some of ‘North America’s Hidden Gems’, where the peace and solitude of which the great Scot was so fond can still be found.

To do so, the small group holiday specialists have created a stunning cross-country map featuring the likes of Acadia National Park in Maine and Olympic National Park in Washington, complete with panoramic shots, the lowdown on what to see and do, and interesting snippets of trivia to help you become better acquainted with these beautiful landscapes.

“There is no denying that Yosemite is simply stunning and that the Grand Canyon will leave you awestruck, but what about these lesser-known national parks that are equally as impressive?” says Grand American Adventures marketing executive Lindsey Steele.

“The fact that you haven’t seen a thousand photographs of them beforehand means that when you do finally lay eyes on these incredible places, you will be truly amazed. And, more often than not, they won’t be as crowded with other tourists, leaving you to appreciate their natural beauty in peace.”

To help would-be adventurers experience the thrill of these “hidden gems”, Grand American Adventures offer a wide range of fantastic group tour itineraries such as ‘Olympic, Mount Rainier & St Helens’ – a seven-day odyssey taking in the stunning coastal scenery of the USA’s far north-west, including the aforementioned Olympic National Park.


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