Choose the best national park for your family vacation

There are so many decisions that will determine your vacation destination. It seems to be even more complicated when it involves more than you and your friends or other important people. You shouldn’t drink or pluck all your hair, even on small and family vacations. These are just a few tips to help make your choices a bit less stressful.

The easiest thing to ask yourself first is what you and the people you go with want to do. Are you a completely outdoor person, a strictly indoor type, or a combination? Are you athletic and are you in good shape? Do you like hot, mild and cold seasons? Is tourism something you want to make your agenda or a strictly activity oriented type? Want to enjoy “roughing” or make it more comfortable? Camping, fishing, backpacking, hiking, rock climbing, horseback riding, bird watching, wildlife observation, history, how some of the park’s unique formations got there, snorkeling, swimming, scuba diving, Do you like sailing, boating or want to kayak, torrent rafting, photography, hunting or just relax in a beautiful place?

The next thing to consider is how much time you spend and how much time you spend. There are many national parks and monuments that are relatively close to people, so it doesn’t cost much to get there. The exciting wilderness areas of Alaska can be expensive to get to, but if you have the money to enjoy the great outdoors, it’s sure to be an unforgettable and wonderful experience.

However, you just choose your destination. Keep in mind that almost every region has cheap travel options, from which you travel to more expensive travel areas. Also, just because you go to a national park doesn’t mean you have to “roughly” do it. There are plenty of options for day hikes, mountaineering, fishing, water sports, etc., but if it’s not your style, you don’t have to sit by the campfire and enjoy the outdoors.

After making an initial investment in camping equipment, camping is generally considered the cheapest type of vacation. This can be a decent amount of money, but keep in mind that equipment usually lasts for quite some years. In general, camping in the park is cheaper than the average hotel room. If you own an RV, you can camp comfortably. Most campgrounds are in a gorgeous setting with easy access to the park’s attractions. Few parks have campgrounds. Also, when you camp, you usually cook your own food, which also saves you money. And no, you don’t have to eat hot dogs all week unless you like it!

If you currently live in the Midwest, depending on where you live, there are many park options within 12 hours’ drive. Of course, you can choose to fly anytime, anywhere, but some parks are a bit far from the nearest airport. By driving, you get everything you need for a comfortable stay.

My favorite in the Midwest is Great Smoky Mountains National Park. This is one of the best all-round parks for families. It belongs to Tennessee and North Carolina. Ramp on the Appalachian Trail, camp in developed campsites and wilderness, and stay anywhere from luxury suites to nearby Pigeon Forge and the nice, inexpensive hotels in Gatlinburg, TN. And speaking of Pigeon Forge, there’s Dollywood and the myriad of attractions it offers in the area. On the North Carolina side there is the city of Cherokee with more campsites, some Indian souvenirs and museums, torrent rafting and fly fishing (the last two are actually served in both states). ). The mountains are absolutely beautiful and are great for great photography. For more information, please visit the Great Smoky Mountains web page.

Another great option is Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore and State Parks. You can also enjoy camping and watching wildlife, especially bird watching. The unique coastline allows you to walk on the beach or swim in Lake Michigan. There are also places to ride your own horse. For those who enjoy sightseeing and history, you can see the houses of the five World Expositions of 1933 or attend a rally at Calmic in early May. Fur traders and voyagers from the Woodland Indians in the east and Great Lakes in the west recreate life along Calumet. River of 1730-1830.

If you enjoy boating, there are several locations in the Midwest, but the two north are Voyageurs National Park and Isle Royale National Park. Voyageurs are in Minnesota and Isle Royale is on Lake Superior on the north coast of Michigan. Both offer great nature adventures as well as opportunities for canoeing, kayaking, motorboating and fishing. The voyage is considered a water park. So you have to ride a boat to the actual park, but a short distance. There is a place to camp and a lodge to stay, which will help you to equip. You can boat along the waterways and find great fishing spots. Isle Royale is a long boat or short “paddle jumper” flight. Wilderness camps only, but there are also lodges for those who enjoy day hikes and comfort only. There are kayaks, fishing, backpacking, wildlife, and the longest-running research program to study wolves and elks, scuba diving, and shipwrecks. Observing is a truly unique ecosystem.

There’s more to offer in national parks in the western United States. The most famous is Yellowstone, one of the few 48 states where you can see Old Faithful and many other geothermal wonders and get up close and personal with grizzly bears. Be careful as you see the bison roaming very close. It is on the border of Wyoming and Montana. There are many ranches and lodges and you can camp in the park. Great fly fishing, kayaking, mountaineering and backpacking. Another important point is the Grand Canyon National Park. It is located on the border of Arizona, Arizona and Nevada, but is also close to the border of Southern Utah. It is part of a large staircase of sedimentary rock layers that runs south from Bryce Canyon National Park to Zion National Park (both Utah) and ends in the Grand Canyon. There are camping, backpacking, day hikes, torrent rafting and lots of photo opportunities.

Other great parks in the west (although all are great places to visit) include Yosemite, Channel Islands, Redwoods, Arches, Olympics, Grand Teton, Canyonlands, Rocky Mountains, Black Canyon of Gunnison, Mesa Verde, There is a crater lake. , Mountain Rainier, Sequoia. All of these have a great range of activities that suit the needs and desires of vacationers. For more information on these amazing parks, please visit the individual park pages.

The eastern United States also offers great options for vacations. Acadia National Park in Maine offers some of the best north seaside views and cliff climbing that no other park has. There are also beautiful gardens for fishing, island exploration, hiking and overlooking. Further east is Shenandoah National Park in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. The Appalachian Trail runs 101 miles through the park, offering plenty of hiking and backpacking options. Camping, fishing, bird watching and horse riding are also available.

Florida has three national parks and one reserve, the most famous of which is the Everglades. The Everglades goes far beyond what you see on TV. Wildlife is amazing and you can easily get great animal and bird shots. There is also a wilderness camp (watch out for crocodiles!) where you can see canoeing, fishing, airboating, hiking, and not only rare but beautiful plants. The Big Cypress National Preserve is very close to the Everglades and is very similar, but also offers endangered wildlife such as cypress stands, mangrove forests and peregrine falcons and Florida panthers. Activities include fishing, cycling, canoeing, hiking and hunting. Biscayne National Park is at the eastern tip of southern Florida. As the third longest coral reef in the world, a national park famous for spring vacation crowds with opportunities for snorkeling, scuba diving, sailing, swimming, fishing, canoeing, kayaking, family vacations and outdoor adventures. Will be on vacation. Dry Tortugas National Park is a unique park that preserves the unfinished Fort Jefferson and the nesting terns and sea turtles that were built during the Civil War. Enjoy Key West snorkeling, saltwater fishing, swimming, lighthouses, ship wreck, hiking, beach camping, boating, scuba diving, bird watching and underwater photography of the best coral reefs and marine life areas in the south. .. Florida.

Again, this is just an overview of some of the impressive parks found in the National Park System. We encourage you to dig into our site and read the park pages for the areas you want to visit to find the perfect place to enjoy a great vacation. Memories and remarkable photos. There’s been a lot of research already done, so dive in! In national parks, your choices are truly endless.

Corey Marks

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