Traveling enables people to see the beauty of cultures, people, and natural phenomena. To preserve the environment, some travelers are passionate about adopting eco-friendly practices during traveling. Though there are incredible eco-friendly destinations worldwide, there are also a ton of destinations within the US for environmentally-conscious travelers. From the streets of New York to the coral reefs of the Florida Keys, these eco-friendly destinations in the US are worth a visit this summer!
10 San Francisco, California
Environmentally-conscious travelers will love that San Francisco’s Mayor London Breed plans to make San Francisco a net-zero emitter by 2040, but the eco-friendliness hardly stops there. This west coast city dedicates itself to everything green. From conserving water nearby the Golden Gate Bridge to implementing green buildings in the Bay Area, eco-friendly tourists can feel good about traveling here. Plus, there are a ton of eco-certified hotels in the city, including The Orchard Hotel on Bush Street, The Orchard Garden Hotel on Bush Street, and the Argonaut Hotel on Fisherman’s Wharf.
Hawaii is blessed with beautiful weather, lush forests, incredible coastlines, and an abundance of gorgeous native fauna. Thus, its people understand the importance of retaining this natural beauty. That’s why Hawaii is one of the most eco-friendly destinations to travel to this summer. So whether travelers go whale-watching in Maui or embark on a plantation tour in Kaui, sustainable tours recognized through the Sustainable Tourism Association of Hawai’i make it possible to enjoy an eco-friendly vacation!
8 Half Moon Bay, California
Huddled in San Mateo County, Half Moon Bay is a refreshing summer destination to the busy streets of San Francisco or Los Angeles. Additionally, the city boasts a ton of eco-friendly initiatives for the environmentally conscious traveler. Ecotourism thrives in Half Moon Bay, from its agricultural sector to its conservation efforts. Find farm fresh produce at the Coastside Farmer’s Market or feel the beautiful ocean breeze on the Gran Whale Cove State Beach. Plus, there are plenty of eco-friendly hotels to book in Half Moon Bay, like The Ritz-Carlton at Half Moon Bay, Cypress Inn, and the Oceano Hotel & Spa!
7 Chicago, Illinois
A world-class city like Chicago is no stranger to greener initiatives. Specifically, getting around Windy City is easier thanks to its extensive network of bike lanes. With over 200 miles of street-protected bike lanes, visitors need not book a car rental to explore this historic city. Rent a bike and explore the city cycling! Plus, the city’s bus and train network makes it easy to get from one place to another throughout Chicago.
6 Orlando, Florida
Disneyland and Universal Orlando remain the city’s most popular tourist attractions, but their natural beauty is a must-see for all visitors. Luckily for environmentally-conscious tourists, there are several excursions to enjoy in the city. Eco-friendly tours are abundant, including hiking along the West Orange Trail, ziplining at Gatorland, or kayaking in the Brevard Zoo are a few of the many activities to consider while in Orlando.
5 Colorado Springs, Colorado
It’s easy to get close and personal with nature when visiting Colorado Springs. Nestled among the Rocky Mountains, this vibrant city is blessed with breathtaking nature scapes and natural phenomena. Appreciating nature is easy in Colorado Springs due to its abundance of exhilarating activities, from white water riving rafting to exploring the Garden of the Gods Park. Additionally, eco-certified lodgings in Colorado Springs are available, including the Hilton Garden Inn, DoubleTree by Hilton, and Hampton Inn!
4 Fairbanks, Alaska
Far up in the North, Alaska provides an unparalleled experience to nature enthusiasts and adventurous travelers. Even during warmer months, Alaska retains its stunning natural wonder and beauty. When visiting this Arctic state, eco-friendly tourists can book excursions through several sustainable tour operators. For example, Gondwana Ecotours can take tourists on a scenic journey to the Denali National Park, while Arctic Hive showcases the beauty of Alaska’s backcountry near the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
3 The Ozarks, Missouri
Straddling Oklahoma and Kansas, Ozark Mountains are breathtaking, offering a true nature retreat for the most passionate nature buffs and curious tourists. For example, in Northwest Arkansas, try a pint of beer from Saddlebock, an environmentally-conscious brewery. Alternatively, those heading to the mountain ranges near Missouri should visit the Springfield Conservation Nature Center to witness the blooming of local wildflowers. From camping to fishing, eco-friendly visitors can enjoy the outdoors in the Ozarks without making a huge dent in the environment.
2 New York, New York
The international city of New York is bustling, vibrant, and dedicated to environmental-related initiatives. Dedicated to becoming more sustainable through actions like reducing fossil fuel emissions or implementing more efficient infrastructure and transportation, New York City also has its fair share of eco-friendly restaurants. Enjoy sustainably caught oysters at Grand Banks or enjoy a hearty lunch at Olmstead (made using ingredients from their backyard garden!). Moreover, this world-class city offers an abundance of eco-friendly stays, from hotels to AirBnBs.
1 Florida Keys, Florida
The people in the Florida Keys understand the fragility and stunning nature of its wildlife. From its white sandy beaches to its vibrant wildlife, it is necessary to preserve this tropical beauty. Passionate nature lovers and environmental stewardesses will love traveling to the Florida Keys for their commitment to preserving the local ecosystem. Thanks to organizations like the Florida Keys Wildlife Society or Florida Bay Forever, tourists can embark on a voluntourism adventure, enjoying traveling while protecting the natural habitat. Alternatively, visitors can make a conscious effort to practice sustainable tourism through simple actions like cycling (instead of driving) or booking accommodation through Florida’s Green Lodging Program!