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9 Options For Ecotourism Travel In The United States (PHOTOS)

Huffington Post     First Posted: 07/15/10 09:35 AM ET   Updated: 09/20/11 08:05 PM ET

Summer is the perfect time for travel, so make your summer vacation count by picking a fun and eco-friendly trip. The International Ecotourism Society describes ecotourism as: "responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves the well-being of local people." Whether that means choosing an enticing eco-resort or volunteering for a weekend at your favorite hiking trail or local animal shelter, we here at HuffPost Green want you to get going.

Along the way, beware of greenwashing and don't forget to pamper yourself (and the earth) a bit too. Whether you hop a train to the other side of the country or take a staycation in your backyard, explore your ecotourism options starting with our slideshow. Vote on your favorite ecotourism choices and, as always, tell us your top picks in the comments. Bon Voyage!

Plan a Volunteer Vacation!
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We can't think of a better way to use your time off then to take a volunteer vacation. Not only will you be able to relax and explore but also you can aid a cause that's close to your green heart. Check out The Daily Green's 11 eco-friendly volunteer vacations. One of our favorite suggestions from their list was to volunteer at your favorite trail. At the Colorado Trail volunteers maintain the trail and can stay the weekend for $25 or the week for $50.

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Top Ecotourism Destinations
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To find a trip near you, use the Mother Nature Network's state-by-state guide to green spots.