- North Carolina
No matter how old we are, we never outgrow the desire to collect souvenirs from our travels.
While we have the ability to take and share photos instantly, nothing reminds us of the places we’ve been and the good times we’ve had quite like a tangible trinket – the more interesting and uncommon, the better. You’ll find no shortage of distinct souvenirs in U.S. national parks' gift shops, from stuffed animals to collectible coins to games, including a U.S. National Park-themed Monopoly board. You’ll also find plenty of items unique to each park, including the four described below.
Bear Carvings from Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which lies along the North Carolina-Tennessee border, is home to roughly 1,500 black bears. The animals can often be spotted lumbering across hiking trails and resting in tree branches. If you’re lucky, you might catch sight of one – they are adorable, but keep your distance! Whether or not you spy one in the park, you can make sure you see one every day afterward by picking up a hand-carved wooden bear statue at one of the regional gift shops. The carvings vary from lifelike to comical, large to small, so you can find a bear that best suits your home.
Wood shavings from a bear carving in progress