Adventure Culture Travel Blog

5 Wyoming wildlife experiences


When reminiscing about Wyoming, a few things come to mind; western flare, skiing and, most predominately, wildlife. Thanks to the abundance of National Parks, nature preserves and protected land, Wyoming has a rich diversity of species roaming among the pristine terrain. Experiencing these creatures through tours by knowledgeable experts can be the most enriching thing you do while visiting the state of grassy plains and snowcapped mountains.

EcoTour Adventures

The highly educated naturalist guides from EcoTour Adventures provide a vast amount of knowledge while escorting passengers via safari style vehicle deep into the wilderness of theGrand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks. With your guides trained eye, youll likely see a variety of animals and often tracks of those species more rare to catch out and about. Binoculars are provided to observe activity of animals further in the distance, and the rooftop hatches on each vehicle allow passengers to pop their heads out for a better look, while remaining safely within the vehicle. EcoTour Adventures tightly adheres to Wyomings conservation efforts by respecting the space of wildlife, staying on the same path through each trip, and using biodiesel fuel. Local snacks like bison jerky, fresh roasted coffee and organic muffins are a welcomed treat included in the tour.

National Museum of Wildlife Art

Composed of stone, wood and other natural material, the National Museum of Wildlife Art sits on a hillside parallel to the National Elk Refuge. We exist to enrich and inspire appreciation and knowledge of humanitys relationship with nature, states the official site. While its not your typical wildlife adventure, visiting the museum is an important part of understanding not only Wyomings connection with animals, but the worlds. An extensive collection of sculptures, paintings and displays line the hallways and small rooms of the rustic styled museum. One special room, in particular, features a broad picture window complete with a telescope to view wintering elk in the refuge.

National Elk Refuge

In 1912, the National Elk Refuge was developed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to provide habitat for the diminishing elk population. Harsh winters in Jackson Hole proved to be detrimental, especially when the land became more populated. Protecting this species is important in preserving other animals in the Wyoming ecosystem. The refuge prevents elk from being disturbed and burning precious fat reserves. Around November, elk begin to trickle down the mountain and congregate in a group with up to 5,000 elk. Visitors can take a sleigh ride into the center of the action, and this does not disturb the animals as they cannot detect humans within the sleigh. You cannot simply walk out onto the refuge, but while in the sleigh youll be presented with photography opportunities of a lifetime.

Mad River boat trip

Imagine floating down a calm, 13-mile stretch of the snake river while the morning sun reflects off the picturesque Teton mountain range. Mad River Boat Trips take you on a relaxed, inflatable raft trip where you can see a variety of wildlife, possibly grizzlies, black bears and birds, along the river bank. Guides take care of the steering and no paddling is required, so its a laid back choice, appropriate for all activity levels. Passengers will also be educated on the history and geology of the area.

Jackson Hole Iditarod dog sled tours

While this tour is specific to the winter, youll want to book months ahead to secure a spot for this authentic experience. A previous Iditarod participant and 23 year dog sledding veteran, Frank Teasly, takes guests on half and full day sledding adventures between November and April. When taking the full day trip, youll be whisked to the famed Granite Hot Springs, where youll take a refreshing dip after enjoying a true Wyoming lunch complete with soup and warm beverages. You may see deer, elk, moose, bighorn sheep and eagles along the way. And yes, you get to guide your own team of dogs.

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Delicious drives in the Netherlands Willemstad to Middelburg, via Domburg


On my second day of exploration with Hertz, it was time to explore Zeeland. Its a place that is practically impossible to explore with public transport, which meant my car rental came in handy. Todays mission? Scoring true Zeeuwse Mussels, and walking on the beach of Zeeland for some true holiday vibes.

Willemstad

After staying the night in Etten-Leur, we drove to our first stop on the edge of Noord-Brabant: Willemstad. Even though it is not far from where I grew up, I cant remember ever visiting. The village lies on the border between Noord-Brabant and Zeeland, with just the water separating the two.

The fortified town of Willemstad was founded in 1583, when the village of Ruigenhil was fortified after the Spanish had overtaken nearby Steenbergen. At this moment, it turned into a fortified city. A year later the town was named Willemstad (Willems city) as an homage to Willem of Orange who was murdered that year.

If you look at Willemstad from above youll see the shape of a seven sided star. The fortified city walls are still there, making for a lovely route to walk on with amazing views over the town. It is the perfect place to just go for a wander, pass by the Oude raadhuis, check out the harbor, and dont forget the amazing windmill. We stopped for the Dutch tradition of coffee and Dutch apple-pie with whipped cream at Het Wapen van Willemstad. I really enjoyed my visit to the town as it was just the most adorable little town, especially with the lovely sunny weather we had.

Yerseke

Then it was time to head on the highway to Yerseke. My initial plan was to search for mussels in the tiny town of Philippine, but Id shared my itinerary with the Herz branch staff on day 1 and they highly recommend I go to Yerseke instead. Thats the power of rental cars: youre free to go wherever life takes you! I arrived in Yerseke a real working class fishermans town. Fishing has always had a central role in this town, and that makes it a great place to taste all that the ocean has to offer.

Lunch took us to Caf-Restaurant De Schelde, a family-owned restaurant right behind the dyke and close to the oyster beds. Family De Blieck has been running the restaurant for over sixty years, leaving it in the hands of the third generation by now. I can appreciate a good pan of mussels, but to be honest Ive never been blown away by them. But at De Schelde I had one of the best meals on this trip. A good pan of lightly spiced mussels, fries with creamy mayonnaise (youre not Dutch if you dont eat mayonnaise), bread with herbs butter and a nice cold drink in the restaurant gardens. Highly recommend!

Domburg

You cant visit Zeeland without going to the beach, and for me that equals the town of Domburg. Not a year goes by that I dont at least visit once to go for lunch and a nice stroll on the beach. Domburg is the second oldest beach town of the Netherlands, and you can tell. The wealthy destination is built for tourism, and theres a fair chance youll hear more German than Dutch here.

When visiting Domburg dont just go to the beach, but also get an ice-cream. We lucked out with weather, so we had a great excuse to try some. We ended up getting ice-cream at IJsvogel, an ice-cream shop on the main strip of Domburg: the Ooststraat. They sell high quality icecream from a small Belgian factory.

Middelburg

After an intense schedule of walking on the beach and tasting ice-cream, it is finally time for the last stop of the day: Middelburg. I decide to get back into my trusty Opel Mokka Turbo to drive the coastal route through Westkappele.

Once I arrived to the capital of Zeeland, I was surprised. Middelburg is such a pretty city. I had never been before, so you could definitely color me surprised at the sight of the pretty medieval center. The city is properly old too, having been founded in the 9th century.

Ever since that moment it has been a wealthy city, after Amsterdam the most important one in the country because of its beneficial location on the water. I especially liked the stadshuis (town hall) on the market square. The building took fifty years to complete, with the built starting at the end of the fifteenth century. Abdijtoren De Lange Jan is also worth a visit, especially when the weather is good. You can climb the tower and on clear days youll not only see all of Middelburg, youll be able to see nearby islands too.

My hope was to score a Zeeuwse Bolus (a sugary pastry in a snail shape), but as I didnt arrive to Middelburg until dinner time, all bakeries had already sold out. Sad, but a great reason to come back!

What is your favourite Zeeuwse speciality?

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Hertz.

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