These (tropical) lands are your lands

traveltoparks ourbestplaces

Love this post from the Department of the Interior celebrating six stunning (and way warmer than most of the continental U.S. is right now) sites that are also public lands. National Park of American Samoa, in particular, is one I’m salivating over.

I need to take issue, however, with one place the DOI left out: San Juan National Historic Site in my favorite U.S. commonwealth, Puerto Rico. Protected there is the oldest European construction in the U.S. and one heck of a beautiful spot to spend a day.

The six-level Castillo San Felipe del Morro, overlooking the entrance to San Juan Bay, took the Spanish 250 years to build. Its sister fortification, Castillo San Cristóbal, protected the city from land invaders. At 27 acres, it’s the largest fort the Spanish built in the New World. The views of the coastline make me wonder if, at least some of the time, the soldiers posted here enjoyed keeping watch.