5 Eco-Friendly Destinations for Earth Day

Experts in the travel industry are making major efforts to create more eco-friendly destinations and encourage travelers to join their best practices for helping the environment. We have reached out to other writers to find some unique eco-friendly destinations that hopefully inspire you to travel responsibly and seek out eco-friendly hotels, attractions, and adventures on your next family vacation.

Eco-Friendly Destinations-Kids Are A Trip

Flamingo Gardens – Davie, FL

If you are headed to Florida, an interesting eco-friendly destination that would be fun to visit is Flamingo Gardens in Davie, Florida. This not-for-profit botanical gardens and everglades wildlife sanctuary showcases over 3000 species of plants and 83 different types of animals.

Their mission is to preserve the natural and cultural heritage of South Florida and the Everglades by providing a repository for endangered plant and wildlife species, while inspiring an appreciation for the beauty and diversity of tropical and subtropical plants from around the world. They also try to guide the public in environmentally responsible practices and encourage environmental awareness and Everglades preservation to visiting tourists, residents, and school children.

Kimpton Hotel Palomar – Chicago, IL

Recently, we stayed at the Kimpton Palomar Hotel and we were very impressed by their green efforts. This boutique hotel bills itself as one of Chicago’s great eco-friendly hotels and the Kimpton chain itself incorporates sustainable travel at all of their properties. From the cleaning products, to the recycling program, to the organic food served in the rooms, Kimpton really makes an effort to encourage everyone to do their part for the environment. 

You can read about their numerous eco-friendly efforts and best practices here. They were certainly evident throughout our stay. We would highly recommend staying at the property not only because of their green efforts, but because they do so many things well.

Hotel Palomar Chicago-Kimpton
Photo courtesy of Kimpton Hotels

Urban Ecology Center – Milwaukee, WI

Another cool destination to visit is the Urban Ecology Center at Washington Park in Milwaukee. There are actually three Urban Ecology Centers in Milwaukee, and they focus on offering “outdoor laboratories” for school children. They partner with neighborhood schools and arrange multiple field trips throughout the year, allowing children to see the changing environment each time they visit.

The Urban Ecology Center has a land stewardship team that helps preserve and restore land along the Milwaukee River Corridor, Washington Park, and the Menomonee River. They remove invasive plants and create an outdoor classroom setting where the students can learn about their natural environment. Melissa shared her thoughts on the Milwaukee Urban Ecology Center, and it definitely makes me want to visit and find places in our neighborhood that might have similar programs educating urban youth about science and nature.

Urban Ecology Center Milwaukee-Kids Are A Trip
Photo: Flickr

Ripple Effect Ecotours – St. Augustine, FL

The St. Augustine area is one of the most beautiful and biologically diverse areas in Florida. Ripple Effect Ecotours offers multiple outdoor experiences, including kayaking, boating, ecotours, and fishing along the beautiful Florida waterways.

In the Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve visitors will encounter more than 40,000 acres of salt marsh, freshwater, and coastal habitat featuring an amazing variety of animal and plant species. Guides lead kayaks through the waterways, allowing visitors to explore the natural wonders of this area of northeast Florida first-hand.

Kayaking with Ripple Effect Eco Tour
Photo courtesy of Candy Cook at Happy Trails and Wild Tales

EcoQuest Adventures & Tours – San Juan, Puerto Rico

Ecoquest Adventures & Tours specializes in organizing group tours to interesting and exciting destinations in Puerto Rico. One of their main goals is to promote ecotourism and conservation of the island’s natural wonders.

They organize various experiences through the subtropical jungles of Puerto Rico, including ziplining, rappelling, and hiking, teaching visitors about the history of the island as well as the flora and fauna they encounter along the way. We took an amazing ziplining adventure with the company and would highly recommend it for anyone visiting the area.

Campo Rico Zipline-Kids Are A Trip

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  1. Thanks so much for featuring my post! Some of these other places sound amazing too, I’ll definitely have to check them out if I ever get the opportunity to!

  2. Evelyn, I would love to do a swamp tour (although secretly I’m a bit afraid of those gators jumping on board)! Do you have any in LA that you would recommend?

  3. These all look fun. I would certainly like to visit an eco-friendly destination. I wish more destinations would be more eco-friendly.

  4. These look very cool and interesting to visit! I’ve never been to any of these spots- time to add them to my list!

  5. So many great tips! I would love to do an eco friendly destination one of these days. I haven’t been able to really do a vacation. Hubs and I do a few weekend getaways here and there.

  6. Don’t all of these places look amazing! Thank you for sharing your experience too!

  7. I completely agree Dean! It seems most of them are in warmer climates, but that could just be my perception???

  8. Jennifer, you have to go! Super jealous that you are close to these places. I see summer vacation adventure on your radar!

  9. Puerto Rico is one of our favorite vacation destinations. So many things on the island are eco-friendly. And did I mention there’s a rainforest? We love it!

  10. Chrystal, weekend getaways are great too. Always nice to have a little revitalizing before a new week begins!

  11. The Kimpton hotels in Chicago are absolutely beautiful. I stayed at Hotel ALLEGRO and it was nice that the honor bar was stocked with organic option.The hotel restaurant 312 Chicago had the most amazing rustic Italian food.

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