From Where to See Wildlife
Top 10 Places to See Wildlife in the United States
- Yellowstone National Park is the premiere destination within the United States to see wildlife. The top attractions include that you are guaranteed to see include Bison and Elk. But if you stay longer, and look harder, you are very likely to see Bighorn Sheep, Bald Eagles, and Pronghorn Antelopes. And, if you are lucky, you might even spot Black Bears, Moose, or even a Grizzly Bear.
- Okefenokee Swamp National Wildlife Refuge is one of my very favorite places. Alligators are a guaranteed sighting, and so are Hawks. But there is a huge array of birds you are likely to see, including Great Blue Herons, White Ibis, Green Herons, and Sandhill Cranes.
- Moss Landing in California between San Francisco and Monterrey, is the very best place to see Sea Otters. You are also guaranteed to see Sea Lions, and are likely to see Harbor Seals. Plus, there are a wide variety of marine birds.
Top 10 Specialty Places to See Wildlife in the United States
A list of great places where you are guaranteed to see a specific but-rare animal...
- Glacier National Park in Montana is the single best place in the United States to see Mountain Goats. Mountain goats so close you won't need a spotting scope or a 600-millimeter lens? Head to Logan Pass at Glacier National Park. The goats will be waiting, guaranteed. Just head up the trail to Hidden Lake, and you'll find the goats waiting. You don't have to hike all the way to the lake, just 10 or 15 minutes up the trail, if that, and you'll find them contentedly munching on wildflower buffet. The Mountain Goats are so close and nonchalant they could be models strutting a runway.
- Head to Kona, Hawaii for the best place to see Manta Rays, at the world famous Manta Ray Night Dive, for snorkelers and Scuba divers alike. It is a truly fabulous experience. Each year thousands of divers and snorkelers from all over the world come to Kona to swim with the manta rays. The Kona Coast is one of the best places in the world to see and observe manta rays up close. The best way to interact with these majestic creatures is to swim (Scuba or Snorkel) with them! Their huge 12-foot wingspans and agile movements are truly memorizing. With no teeth, they are quite harmless. Manta Rays feast on tiny plankton as they swoop down through the water, while you snorkel or scuba just inches away.
- Great White Sharks are closer than you think! One day adventures depart from San Francisco or other nearby marinas in the Bay area. The Gulf of the Farrallones Marine Sanctuary is home to some of the world's largest Great White Sharks -- and they are very easily accessible. These islands (Southeast Farallon and Maintop Island) off the coast of San Francisco are the winter water playground of adult great white sharks, which measure 15 to 20 feet long. (4.5 meters to 6.1 meters). The sharks come to the Farrallons to dine on the local population of northern Elephant Seals. You'll find yourself rooting for the seals as they compete in a race for their lives against some of the planet's most incredible marine predators. Watching this natural great white feeding event is an experience you'll never forget. The best time period is between September and November. It is a frightful experience: cages are lowered ten to fifteen feet into the water, and dead fish are placed into the water to attract them. It is not necessary to know scuba, as you will be supplied with air from a hose from the surface. If you can snorkel, you can dive with sharks. As long as you're in reasonably good health, love sharks and the ocean and meet minimum age requirements, you can cage dive with big sharks.
Top 10 Mammals in the United States
- Moose -- Hard to find. But we know where to go...
- Bear -- A widespread range, but rarely seen.
- Manatees -- Did you know that you can swim with manatees? Yes, you can!
- Mountain Goats -- Only found in a very few places in the the US.
- Sea Otters -- Back from the brink of extinction, these are playful creatures.
- Bison -- The largest land animal in the United States. Simply majestic.
- Elk -- A bull elk is a breath-taking sight.
- Bighorn Sheep -- A rough, tough fighting machine during the fall rut...
- Pronghorn Antelopes -- Did you know there were antelopes in the US? I didn't.
- Mountain Lions -- Very rarely seen.
Top 5 Birds in the United States
- Bald Eagles -- Can be found all over the US, if you know where to look.
- Sandhill Cranes -- When I first saw one, it was so large that I thought it was an ostrich.
- Whooping Cranes
- California Condor -- Rare and endangered.
- Hawks -- The top Bird-of-Prey.
Top 5 Underwater Wildlife in the United States
- Manatees -- Did you know you can snorkel with manatees? Yes, you can!
- Manta Rays -- Absolutely majestic, yet playful at the same time.
- Sharks -- Go swim with Sharks. Only for the brave, or foolhardy!
- Green Sea Turtles -- Amazingly graceful underwater, a highlight of any dive.
- Whales -- The largest animals on the planet.