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14 Surreal Places In America Even The Locals May Not Have Explored

14 Surreal Places In America Even The Locals May Not Have Explored

Most people think you need to leave the country in order to see all the beautiful places in life. However, that couldn’t be more untrue. You don’t need a passport to see all the things that mother nature has to offer us. These places will make travel in America like nothing you’ve never seen before. Get ready to feast your eyes on these beautiful destinations that are right here in the United States.

1. Joshua Tree National Park

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    Joshua Tree park is a protected area in southern California. It is a renowned desert park that draws campers & hikers with its geologic wonders & signature Joshua trees. These trees are a beautiful sight that you surely wouldn’t want to miss.

    2. Grand Prismatic Spring, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

    grand-prismatic-spring-yellowstone-cr-getty

      There are many attractions you must see in Yellowstone National Park, but possibly the most beautiful one is the Grand Prismatic Spring. This happens to be the largest hot spring in the United States. Its’ official dimensions are listed at 250 by 300 feet, with a depth of over 160 feet.

      3. Kenai Fjords, Alaska
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        This is a beautiful and majestic part of the world. They have boat tours which offer stunning views of calving glaciers and marine wildlife.

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        4. Big Sur, California

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          Big Sur is a rugged stretch of California’s central coast between Carmel and San Simeon. It’s known for winding turns, seaside cliffs and views of the often-misty coastline. The sparsely populated region has numerous state parks for hiking, camping, and sitting beach side.

          5. Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

          grand-teton-mountains-GettyImages-541164181

            It encompasses the Teton mountain range, the 4000-meter Grand Teton peak, and the valley known as Jackson Hole. It’s a popular destination for mountaineering, hiking, backcountry camping and fishing, linked to nearby Yellowstone National Park.

            6. Mount Rainier, Washington

            mount-rainier-puget-sound-GettyImages-583823299

              The highest point in the park reachable by car, visitors can admire Rainier and other nearby volcanoes, including Mount Adams. Paradise overlook also offers sweeping mountain views, summertime wildflower meadows, and many hiking trailheads. People from all over the world come to visit for hiking, climbing or just soaking in the beauty of nature.

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              7. Mendenhall Glacier, Alaska

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                Mendenhall Glacier is a glacier about 13.6 miles long located in Mendenhall Valley, about 12 miles from downtown Juneau in the southeast area of the U.S. state of Alaska. Easy hike for families, or those with no difficulty walking unassisted.

                8. Oneonta Gorge, Oregon

                oneonta-gorge-oregon-cr-getty

                  Located in the Columbia River Gorge in the American state of Oregon. The U.S. Forest Service has designated it as a botanical area because of the unique aquatic and woodland plants that grow there. Next door to busy Multnomah Falls but usually overlooked by tourists, this delightful trail explores a cavern behind Ponytail Falls and then loops around Oneonta Gorge, a mossy chasm so narrow that Oneonta Creek fills it wall to wall.

                  9. Hamilton Pool Preserve, Texas

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                    Hamilton Pool Preserve is a natural pool that was created when the dome of an underground river collapsed due to massive erosion thousands of years ago. The pool is located about 23 miles west of Austin, Texas off Highway 71.

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                    10. The Blue Ridge Parkway, North Carolina

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                      The Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina weaves through vibrant and engaging communities. Many visitors to the Parkway include visits to these unique destinations in their journey.

                      11. Adirondack Mountains, New York

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                        The Adirondack Mountains form a massif in the northeast of Upstate New York in the United States. Its boundaries correspond to the boundaries of Adirondack Park.

                        12. Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, Wisconsin

                        apostle-islands-national-lakeshore-GettyImages-537704675

                          The Apostle Islands National Lakeshore is a U.S. national lakeshore consisting of 21 islands and shoreline encompassing 69,372 acres on the northern tip of Wisconsin on the shore of Lake Superior.

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                          13. Mauna Kea, Hawaii

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                            Mauna Kea, is a dormant volcano on the island of Hawaiʻi. Standing 4,207 m above sea level, its peak is the highest point in the state of Hawaii.

                            14. Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks, California

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                              Sequoia National Park is a national park in the southern Sierra Nevada east of Visalia, California, in the United States. It was established on September 25, 1890. The park spans 404,064 acres.

                              Photo credit: CONDÉ NAST TRAVELER

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                              Erica Wagner

                              Freelance Writer

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                              12 Best Brain Foods that Improve Memory

                              12 Best Brain Foods that Improve Memory

                              Nutrition plays a vital role in brain function and staying sharp into the golden years. Personally, my husband is going through medical school, which is like a daily mental marathon. Like any good wife, I am always looking for things that will boost his memory fortitude so he does his best in school.

                              But you don’t have to be a med student to appreciate better brainiac brilliance. If you combine certain foods with good hydration, proper sleep and exercise, you may just rival Einstein and have a great memory in no time.

                              I’m going to reveal the list of foods coming out of the kitchen that can improve your memory and make you smarter.

                              Here are 12 best brain foods that improve memory:

                              1. Nuts

                              The American Journal of Epidemiology published a study linking higher intakes of vitamin E with the prevention on cognitive decline.[1]

                              Nuts like walnuts and almonds (along with other great foods like avocados) are a great source of vitamin E.

                              Cashews and sunflower seeds also contain an amino acid that reduces stress by boosting serotonin levels.

                              Walnuts even resemble the brain, just in case you forget the correlation, and are a great source of omega 3 fatty acids, which also improve your mental magnitude.

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                              2. Blueberries

                              Shown in studies at Tuffs University to benefit both short-term memory and coordination, blueberries pack quite a punch in a tiny blue package.[2]

                              When compared to other fruits and veggies, blueberries were found to have the highest amount of antioxidants (especially flavonoids), but strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries are also full of brain benefits.

                              3. Tomatoes

                              Tomatoes are packed full of the antioxidant lycopene, which has shown to help protect against free-radical damage most notably seen in dementia patients.

                              4. Broccoli

                              While all green veggies are important and rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, broccoli is a superfood even among these healthy choices.

                              Since your brain uses so much fuel (it’s only 3% of your body weight but uses up to 17% of your energy), it is more vulnerable to free-radical damage and antioxidants help eliminate this threat.

                              Broccoli is packed full of antioxidants, is well-known as a powerful cancer fighter and is also full of vitamin K, which is known to enhance cognitive function.

                              5. Foods Rich in Essential Fatty Acids

                              Your brain is the fattest organ (not counting the skin) in the human body, and is composed of 60% fat. That means that your brain needs essential fatty acids like DHA and EPA to repair and build up synapses associated with memory.

                              The body does not naturally produce essential fatty acids so we must get them in our diet.

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                              Eggs, flax, and oily fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel and herring are great natural sources of these powerful fatty acids. Eggs also contain choline, which is a necessary building block for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, to help you recall information and concentrate.

                              6. Soy

                              Soy, along with many other whole foods mentioned here, are full of proteins that trigger neurotransmitters associated with memory.

                              Soy protein isolate is a concentrated form of the protein that can be found in powder, liquid, or supplement form.

                              Soy is valuable for improving memory and mental flexibility, so pour soy milk over your cereal and enjoy the benefits.

                              7. Dark chocolate

                              When it comes to chocolate, the darker the better. Try to aim for at least 70% cocoa. This yummy desert is rich in flavanol antioxidants which increase blood flow to the brain and shield brain cells from aging.

                              Take a look at this article if you want to know more benefits of dark chocolate:

                              15 Surprising and Science-Backed Health Effects of Dark Chocolate

                              8. Foods Rich in Vitamins: B vitamins, Folic Acid, Iron

                              Some great foods to obtain brain-boosting B vitamins, folic acid and iron are kale, chard, spinach and other dark leafy greens.

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                              B6, B12 and folic acid can reduce levels of homocysteine in the blood. Homocysteine increases are found in patients with cognitive impairment like Alzheimer’s, and high risk of stroke.

                              Studies showed when a group of elderly patients with mild cognitive impairment were given high doses of B6, B12, and folic acid, there was significant reduction in brain shrinkage compared to a similar placebo group.[3]

                              Other sources of B vitamins are liver, eggs, soybeans, lentils and green beans. Iron also helps accelerate brain function by carrying oxygen. If your brain doesn’t get enough oxygen, it can slow down and people can experience difficulty concentrating, diminished intellect, and a shorter attention span.

                              To get more iron in your diet, eat lean meats, beans, and iron-fortified cereals. Vitamin C helps in iron absorption, so don’t forget the fruits!

                              9. Foods Rich in Zinc

                              Zinc has constantly demonstrated its importance as a powerful nutrient in memory building and thinking. This mineral regulates communications between neurons and the hippocampus.

                              Zinc is deposited within nerve cells, with the highest concentrations found in the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for higher learning function and memory.

                              Some great sources of zinc are pumpkin seeds, liver, nuts, and peas.

                              10. Gingko biloba

                              This herb has been utilized for centuries in eastern culture and is best known for its memory boosting brawn.

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                              It can increase blood flow in the brain by dilating vessels, increasing oxygen supply and removing free radicals.

                              However, don’t expect results overnight: this may take a few weeks to build up in your system before you see improvements.

                              11. Green and black tea

                              Studies have shown that both green and black tea prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine—a key chemical involved in memory and lacking in Alzheimer’s patients.

                              Both teas appear to have the same affect on Alzheimer’s disease as many drugs utilized to combat the illness, but green tea wins out as its affects last a full week versus black tea which only lasts the day.

                              Find out more about green tea here:

                              11 Health Benefits of Green Tea (+ How to Drink It for Maximum Benefits)

                              12. Sage and Rosemary

                              Both of these powerful herbs have been shown to increase memory and mental clarity, and alleviate mental fatigue in studies.

                              Try to enjoy these savory herbs in your favorite dishes.

                              When it comes to mental magnitude, eating smart can really make you smarter. Try to implement more of these readily available nutrients and see just how brainy you can be!

                              Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

                              Reference

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