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Yellowstone National Park: A Choice Getaway for the Commander in Chief.

- Justine

Want to vacation like a U.S. President? Sorry, but I don’t think Camp David is open to the public. Your next best bet is visiting Yellowstone National Park!

Yellowstone is America’s first national park, and truly the best. I visited six or seven National Parks in the summer of 2005, and in the journal I kept, the Yellowstone entry has a big “A+” at the top. There are countless geysers and hot springs to look at (ranging from Old Glory to The Paint Pot, which looked like a bubbling vat of cream paint) and it was amazing to see how eccentric and beautiful nature can be. Other highlights of the trip were bison ambling down the road, temporarily cutting off traffic (I couldn’t stop laughing and taking pictures), and the night sky. I have never seen a more glittery sky full of stars in my life– my family got out of the car just to sit and look at it.

What I didn’t know at the time, however, is that several U.S. presidents had the same experience! Chester Arthur visited Mammoth Hot Springs and Franklin Delano Roosevelt stayed in the house of Yellowstone Park Company’s owner. Gerald Ford visited in the summer of 1976 and called it “one of the greatest summers of my life.” Teddy Roosevelt stayed there for two weeks and laid the cornerstone for the Roosevelt Arch at one of the park entrances. Warren Harding visited just before he died, and a geyser was named after him (note to self: visit Yellowstone again shortly before death). Bill Clinton visited Yellowstone in 1995, had lunch at the Old Faithful Inn, and saw Old Faithful itself (the most popular geyser in the world). Calvin Coolidge, Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush, and Barack Obama were also visitors at Yellowstone.

So, if you want to spend your next vacation in a stunning region of friendly bison and glorious natural fountains, follow in the footsteps of former U.S. presidents and go to Yellowstone National Park.

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