Explore America’s Most Scenic Places in DK Eyewitness’s ‘USA National Parks: Lands of Wonder’ [REVIEW]

Grand Canyon
Break out your backpack. We’re going on a trip. (Photo courtesy Canva)

Publishers seem to be on an “America” theme lately, as you may have noticed from our recent reviews. With it being an election year—added to the fact that we’re all being encouraged to stay in place as much as possible due to the pandemic—we suppose it’s only natural for the literary world to start examining what’s close to home. Since most of us seem to be battling an intense case of wanderlust, the latest book by DK Eyewitness couldn’t have arrived at a better time. Get ready to explore USA National Parks: Lands of Wonder.


This big beautiful volume takes us to the nation’s most scenic areas, all without gassing up the RV and taking to the interstate. Packed with gorgeous photography, this is perfect armchair travel, and reminds us that there is life beyond the four walls we’ve been staring at for the past several months.

Although it definitely hits all the high points (Yosemite, Grand Canyon, the Everglades, among others), the true gift in this volume is that it also transports us to parks many of us may not be familiar with that are equally spectacular. The book takes us through each park chronologically, based on the date each one was established and protected, beginning with Yellowstone in 1872 and ending with White Sands in 2019. Each section is packed with fascinating details, including little known factoids, lists of places of interest within each park like where to stay or which trails to hike, and even what wildlife you may encounter while visiting there.

We’ve loved the national parks ever since we were children, when our parents would take us to visit places like Mammoth Cave, Hot Springs, Grand Teton and Carlsbad Caverns. So our love and respect for these natural wonders was instilled from an early age. But that passion has continued throughout our marriage too, and paging through it has inspired us to seek out even more opportunities to visit places like Big Bend and Guadalupe Mountains here in Texas, Denali and Gates of the Arctic in Alaska, National Park of American Samoa in Fiji, Dry Tortugas in Florida, as well as the Virgin Islands. There is simply no shortage of destinations to choose from.

History lovers that we are, however, we particularly loved “the story” section of this book which outlines why so many of the parks are tied to the legacies of Native American people, as well as the pioneers who risked everything to explore the vast western half of the nation. We learn how the idea for national parks originated in the first place and why it is important for the parks to be accessible to all. But we also meet the people who have worked to protect these natural treasures, including the park rangers themselves.

Whether you want to explore the wonders of America from your La-Z-Boy, or are intent on planning your next great adventure in a world post COVID, USA National Parks: Lands of Wonder is a marvelous addition to your home library and offers up loads of inspiration. All you need now is to pack the family into the SUV or buy that Airstream you’ve had your eye on.

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DK Eyewitness


Get closer to your journey with DK Eyewitness. Filled with expert advice, beautiful photographs, and detailed illustrations, their highly visual guides show you what others only tell you.

They publish guides to more than 200 destinations, from handy pocket-sized city guides to comprehensive country guides. Wherever you’re heading, they’re the perfect vacation companion.

For more information visit DK.com, like them on Facebook, or follow them on Twitter and Instagram.

By DK Eyewitness
256 pp. DK. $30.

Purchase USA National Parks direct from Jathan & Heather Books or from one of these other fine online retailers: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, Half Price Books, Hudson Booksellers, IndieBound, Powell’s, Target, or Walmart.

About Jathan Fink
Jathan is a journalist, philanthropist, and entrepreneur. He is also a travel junkie, foodie and jazz aficionado. A California native, he resides in Texas.

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