apps, tech + online

10 National Organizations to Follow on Instagram

by Grace Bonney

Last month I found myself in an unexpected and thoroughly 2016 pickle: I went to follow a new person on Instagram and it wouldn’t let me. I emailed, asked online and thought I’d done something wrong. Then I realized Instagram caps how many people you can follow at 7,500. I’m so used to being able to add away on Twitter to my heart’s content, but not so on Instagram. So I’ve slowly been going through my list, editing things down (why do I follow so many famous cats??) to focus on my current interests. In the process I realized how many amazing photography-based feeds I follow that focus on incredible national organizations in the US. From NASA and the National Department of the Interiors to The Appalachian Trail Conservancy, these feeds provide me with countless hours of inspiration and motivation to get outside.

Today I’m sharing 10 of my favorite, and if you’re like me and love to learn more about the world around you, these will be must-follows. I love taking a moment to step outside of the world of home design and look up, down and all around outdoors. xo, grace

Glacier National Park (@glaciernps): Montana is one of the most beautiful places I have ever been and this feed is a celebration of just a fraction of that natural beauty. Glacier National Park is my favorite place to take a little mental break now and then, and when I'm stressed out at work, I look through this feed and imagine the fresh air and quiet spaces. Photo by @forrestmankins
NASA (@nasa): Much like the universe, my love for the NASA feed knows no bounds. This feed is FULL of incredible sky, planet and galaxy inspiration that will keep you dreaming of the stars. [Image credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA, Acknowledgement: Judy Schmidt]
National Geographic (@natgeo): While it's not a national government organization, Nat Geo holds a special place in my heart, and for a lot of people my age who grew up with those yellow-spined magazines collected in their homes. Their feed is full of amazing images from the magazine and from photographers on assignment. [Photo by @daviddoubilet]
National Park Service (@nationalparkservice): I love this feed because it keeps me updated on what's happening in all of the other national parks around the country, big and small. It's how I've discovered so many amazing parks I want to visit - and monuments as well.
U.S. Department of the Interior (@usinterior): My knowledge of the Department of the Interior was strictly limited to Leslie Knope-related information until I got into this feed. It's full of incredible photos (like this one by @derekcronk ) that highlight the natural beauty of the U.S. I don't get to travel very much outside of work, so this feed always feels like taking a free outdoorsy vacation.
Yellowstone National Park (@yellowstonenps): I've always wanted to go to Yellowstone, and this feed is basically one awesome celebration of everything the park does and stands for. Photo by @mikesmaze
National Park Foundation (@goparks): Not all national parks are actual parks, some are buildings, areas or other structures designated by the government. I love this feed for the historic homes and buildings and the details it shares about each one. This photo was taken by @somanyparks
NOAA National Ocean Service (@noaaocean): Do you like adorable sea creatures? Yep, me too. This feed is for you. This feed doesn't just share beautiful photos, it also educates on the dangers of pollution and provides information on how to help, give back and make a chance locally to protect the oceans.
Appalachian Trail Conservancy (@appalachiantrail): I grew up in Virginia where the AT was basically built into your DNA as something everyone must hike, in some small way, at least once in their life. I love how much history is woven into this feed, like these shoes worn by Grandma Gatewood, the first female Appalachian Trail thru-hiker. Who needs boots?
American Museum of Natural History (@amnh): My favorite museum, my favorite feed, my favorite way to spend a weekday morning (when it's empty) in NYC. This museum is just a magical place and their feed captures that feeling.

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