The best wildlife experiences in the USA

Orcas near San Juan Island in Washington. Photo / iStock
Orcas near San Juan Island in Washington. Photo / iStock

While everyone's heard of Yosemite and Yellowstone National Parks, the United States has plenty more to offer when it comes to wildlife and nature.

Here are some of the best places in the States to get up close and personal with stunning and abundant wildlife.

Orcas in Washington

Orcas, also known as killer whales, can be seen in the inner waters of Puget Sound, Washington, from May to October. The best vantage points to spot these creatures are Lime Kiln Point State Park and San Juan Island National Historic Park, which are both accessible from Seattle.

Running Reindeer Ranch in Alaska

Meet the family at Running Reindeer Ranch near Fairbanks, Alaska. Photo / Facebook
Meet the family at Running Reindeer Ranch near Fairbanks, Alaska. Photo / Facebook

Located in the beautiful boreal forest of the Goldstream Valley, just north of Fairbanks, Alaska, this reindeer ranch is situated in a birch forest at the base of Moose Mountain.

Visitors can take tours to see the ranch's reindeer family, which is friendly, fun, and full of personality. They enjoy entertaining visitors, eating lichen, frolicking in the forest, going for long nature walks and getting their pictures taken.

California Wolf Center

A North American Gray Wolf. Photo / iStock
A North American Gray Wolf. Photo / iStock

Located in the mountains of San Diego County, the California Wolf Center is a unique education and conservation centre where visitors can see North American Gray Wolves. The California Wolf Center is a non-profit organisation dedicated to the recovery of wolves in the wild lands they once roamed.

The cause has attracted visitors and celebrities alike with the support of advocates like Leonardo DiCaprio. His foundation, Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation donated $40 million USD in grants to more than 30 organisations, including the California Wolf Center, to help implement innovative and impactful conservation projects. Guided tours of the wolf enclosure are available to the public with options for intimate tours and guided observations of two packs of wolves starting from $20 USD.

Swimming with Sea Turtles in Oahu

Sea turtles at Turtle Bay on Oahu. Photo / Supplied
Sea turtles at Turtle Bay on Oahu. Photo / Supplied

Laniakea Beach on Oahu's North Shore is a haven for green sea turtles, earning it the nickname "Turtle Beach." It is not uncommon to find green sea turtles swimming in and around reefs in many places around Oahu, but at Turtle Beach, the animals come out of the water and bask in the summer sunshine - the best time of the year to see them being in the summer months when the surf is calmer.

American Black Bears

An American Black Bear. Photo / Supplied
An American Black Bear. Photo / Supplied

Different species exist throughout the United States' forested regions, especially in the Appalachian Mountains, the Rocky Mountains, the Northern Midwest, Parts of the West Coast and Alaska. Keep an eye out for them when hiking in Green Mountain National Forest in Vermont.

- nzherald.co.nz

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