Spring and Summer vacations are just around the corner--What are your vacation plans? One of the best trips in the States is to visit one of our many national parks. There are currently 58 National Parks in 29 states from Alaska to the US Virgin Islands.
Some of the most popular national parks are Grand Canyon National Park, Yellowstone National Park, Bryce Canyon National Park, and Zion National Park, but there are several little know national parks that are worth the trip. If you are in Key West Florida a small and remote national park is Dry Tortugas National Park. This park is the setting for a 19th century Fort Jefferson and is only accessible by boat or small sea plane. The crystal clear waters are a great snorkeling spot and a beautiful place to bird watch. If you are visiting South Carolina, the Congaree National Park is a diverse ecosystem that is a one of the last of its kind in the United States. This park can be explored by over a 2-mile boardwalk and by a marked canoe trail.
A great national park in the Northeast is Acadia National Park on the coast of Maine. Acadia National Park is only 264 miles from Boston, so it makes a great long weekend getaway to a beautiful national park. The Park has many activities and sites to offer, including the tallest mountain on the Atlantic coast. There is a 20-mile loop road in the park that you can drive and see the coastline, mountain peaks, and the forest. There are many trails to hike of various difficulties and a 45-mile carriage road to bike along.
One thing to keep in mind when planning a trip to one of our great national parks is what time of year you want to visit. Many offer activities for all seasons. The busiest time of the year for the national parks is summer so when planning; it is best to plan well in advance if you want to stay within the park. Many of the national park lodgings book a year in advance for the summer season. There are numerous other options for lodging outside of the parks, with many offering shuttle service to the park so you can enjoy your visit without the need for the extra driving.
This year there are many opportunities to get free entrance to all of our national parks. These dates include:
February 20: Presidents' Day
April 15-16 and 22-23: Weekends of National Park Week
August 25: National Park Service Birthday
September 30: National Public Lands Day
November 11-12: Veterans Day Weekend
We are blessed to have some great parks in this country. When planning your next summer vacation, give me a call, and I can help you plan the best vacation for your family—and maybe a trip to a real U.S. treasure.
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