Limited hearing doesn’t always mean limited opportunities when it comes to travelling. Here are five of the prettiest places in America that are known more for their sights than their sounds.
#5. Glacier National Park, Kalispell, Montana Straddling the border of Canada, the jaw-dropping views offered at Glacier National Park encompass sparkling turquoise alpine lakes, magnificent grizzly bears and ancient ice glacier formations. The pristine 1 million acre park is a haven for hikers, fishers and geological enthusiasts.
Among the top attractions are the spectacular viewpoints along Sun Highway, hiking up to Sperry Glacier and horseback riding to Waterton Lake. The National Park Service operates five information lodges throughout the park. Although tour guides are available, much of Glacier is self-guided and accessible by car and foot trails. For the deaf and hearing impaired, sign language interpreters are available upon request by calling (406) 888-7930. Check here for more information on the park’s special accommodations and services.
#4. Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida A sprawling space of fantasy and fun for all ages, Disney World offers thrilling rides, shopping districts, water parks and world-class golf courses to cater to every need. Guests who have hearing aids or have hearing loss are offered a range of amenities to ensure they enjoy their Disney World adventure. Upon request, the resort provides assistive listening headphones that amplify sound, handheld captioning devices to complement moving attractions and reflective captioning at its theater-style attractions so that guests can fully immerse themselves in the experience.
#3. Colonial Williamsburg, Williamsburg, Virginia Jump more than 200 years back in time to experience life during the American Revolution. This living history city seeks to preserve the ways of the past as it actually happened in the 18th century. The free district is populated by costumed interpreters, restored buildings and a working farm that reflects the culture of early America. Visitors can watch a reenactment of the Storming of the Palace, witness the signing of the Declaration of Independence or learn about heirloom gardening techniques.
Headsets and scripts are available at the Visitor Center for several of the area’s attractions, including the popular orientation film “Williamsburg—the Story of a Patriot” and programs held in the Hennage Auditorium and the Virginia Room of the Williamsburg Lodge. The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation provides a free interactive Tour the Town that visitors can download onto their smartphones or tablets to explore life during the American Revolution.
#2. The Getty Center, Los Angeles, California Perched atop a mountainside, this cultural institution is just as renowned for its stunning architecture, gardens and views as it is for its artwork, making it one of the most visited museums in America.
The 24-acre Getty Center campus is surrounded by terraces and gardens featuring outdoor sculptures while the gallery is filled with Victorian European and modern American paintings, manuscripts and drawings. Visitors with hearing difficulties have access to assistive listening devices and sign language interpreters while exploring the grounds.
#1. Toledo Zoo, Toledo, Ohio Voted by USA Today readers as the best zoo in America, the Toledo Zoo is home to more than 5,000 animals, including the world’s first Hippoquarium. Services for the hearing impaired are available in the Museum of Science Administration Office and are provided by Ohio Relay Service.
Special programs, such as the Senior Safari Day and the Deaf Community Day, have accommodations for visitors who have hearing impairments. Activities also include ASL interpreted animal demonstrations and tours.
One of the greatest parts of traveling is experiencing new sights, and these five destinations are wonderful options. Hearing loss shouldn’t hinder your trip, nor should it discourage you from traveling. Before you book your next destination, it’s important to have your hearing aids checked to make sure they’re working properly. Hearing care specialists like those at Miracle-Ear offer free checkups and will test your various hearing aid components to make sure everything’s working properly. They also have over 1,200 locations across the country, so you’re sure to find one that’s convenient.