Choosing the perfect national park for your family vacation

There are so many decisions that go into deciding on a vacation destination. When it involves more than you and your friend or someone else, it seems to be even more complex. Small and even family vacations should not force you to drink or pull out all your hair. Here are just a few tips to help you make your choices a little less stressful.

The first and easiest question to ask is what do you and the people you will go with like to do? Are you completely open people, strictly closed types or a combination? Are you all athletic or in good shape? Do you like hot weather, mild or cold seasons? Is sightseeing something you would like on your agenda or are you strictly activity oriented? Do you enjoy ‘rough’ work or do you want more comfort? Do you like camping, fishing, backpacking, hiking, rock climbing, horseback riding, bird watching, wildlife watching, history, learning how some of the unique formations originated there, snorkeling, swimming, diving, sailing, boating, kayaking, rafting, photography, hunting or just lazing around in beautiful places?

The next thing to consider is how much you need to spend and how much time you will have. There are so many national parks and monuments that are relatively close to people that it is not expensive to get there. Some exciting wildlife in Alaska can be expensive to get to, but if you have the money and enjoy the great outdoors, it’s definitely worth going for an amazing experience you won’t soon forget.

That being said, all that remains is to choose a destination. Keep in mind that almost every area has cheap travel options and from there it moves towards more expensive ones. Also, just because you go to a national park doesn’t mean you have to ‘rough it out’. There are many options for daily hiking, climbing, fishing, water sports, etc. Which doesn’t include sitting by a campfire and enjoying the outdoors if that just isn’t your style.

It is generally believed that camping is the cheapest type of vacation after you invest initially in camping. It can be a tidy sum, but keep in mind that the equipment usually lasts quite a few years. It is generally true that fees for camping in parks are cheaper than the average hotel room. And if you own an RV, you can camp in true comfort. Most of the camps are located in beautiful surroundings and allow you easy access to the main parts of the park. There are few parks that do not have any camps. Also, when camping, you usually cook your own food, which also saves you money. And no, you don’t have to eat hot dogs all week, unless that’s what you like!

If you live in the Midwest, there are plenty of parking options at driving distances that take no more than twelve hours or less, depending on where you live. Of course, you can always choose to fly anywhere, but some parks are a little further away from the nearest airport. The ride allows you the luxury of taking with you everything you think you need for a comfortable stay.

My favorite choice for the Midwest is the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. This is the handling of one of the best multi-color family parks. It belongs to the states of Tennessee and North Carolina. You can choose roughly on the Appalachian Trail, camp in a developed camp or wilderness or stay anywhere, from luxury apartments to beautiful cheap hotels in nearby Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg, TN. And speaking of Pigeon Forge, you have Dollywood and all the countless attractions it has to offer in the area. In North Carolina you have multiple campsites, the city of Cherokee which has several Indian souvenirs and museums, water rafting and fly fishing (the latter two are actually offered in both states). The mountains are absolutely beautiful and make great photo operations. Please search our Great Smoky Mountain website for more details.

Another great choice are Indiana Dunes National Lake and State Park. They also have camping and wildlife watching, especially bird watching. The unique shoreline allows you to walk along the beach or swim in Lake Michigan. They even have areas for bringing their own horses and riding. For those of you who enjoy sightseeing and history, you can check out the five houses of the 1933 World’s Fair or attend a gathering in Calumico in early May, where fur traders from India from the Eastern Forests and Western Great Lakes reprise what life was like along Calumet Rijeka from 1730-1830.

If you enjoy sailing, there are several places in the Midwest, but the two northern ones are Voyageurs National Park and Isle Royale National Park. Voyageurs is in Minnesota, and Isle Royale is off the north shore of Michigan in Lake Superior. Both offer great adventures in the wild, as well as canoeing, kayaking, motor boating and fishing opportunities. Voyageurs is considered a water park, which means you have to drive a boat to the park itself, but it’s a short trip. There are camping sites or lodgings to help you outfit, allowing you to sail the waterways and find those great fishing spots. Isle Royale is a long boat ride or a short puddle flight. It only has campsites in the wild, but it also has a home for those who only enjoy day hiking and a little comfort. There are kayaking, fishing, backpacks, wildlife, with the longest research program studying wolves and moose, diving and shipwrecks. It is truly a unique observation ecosystem.

The western United States has much more to offer in national parks. The most famous is Yellowstone, where you will see Old Faithful and many other geothermal wonders and one of the few places in the lower 48 places where you can observe grizzly bears up close. You will also see buffalo pilgrimages nearby, so be careful. It is located on the border of Wyoming and Montana. There are numerous ranches and huts where you can stay or you can camp in the park. There are also great flycatchers, kayaking, climbing and a backpack. Another great thing is the Grand Canyon National Park. This one is located in Arizona, again on the border of Arizona and Nevada, but also near the southern border of Utah. It is part of the Great Staircase, an immense array of layers of sedimentary rock that runs south of Bryce Canyon National Park, across Zion National Park (both in Utah) and ends in the Grand Canyon. There are camping, backpacks, day hikes, water rafting and plenty of photography opportunities.

Other great parks (although they are all great places to visit) in the west are Yosemite, Channel Islands, Redwood, Arches, Olympic, Grand Teton, Canyonlands, Rocky Mountain, Black Canyon of Gunnison, Mesa Verde, Crater Lake, Mt. Rainier and Sequoia. They all have widespread activities that will suit all the needs and desires of the holiday. Please see our individual park pages for more information on each of these excellent parks.

The eastern part of the United States also offers great vacation opportunities. Acadia National Park in Maine has an unbeatable view of the northern ocean and climbing cliffs that you won’t find in other parks. There is also fishing, island exploration, hiking and beautiful gardens to watch. Further down the east side is Shenandoah National Park in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. The Appalachian Trail runs through the park at 101 miles, providing you with numerous opportunities for hiking and backpacking. There is also camping, fishing, bird watching and horseback riding.

In Florida you will find three national parks and one reserve, the most famous being the Everglades. The Everglades is much more than what you’ve seen on television. The wildlife is phenomenal and makes it easy to capture great animals and birds. There is also camping in the wild, (take care of alligators!) Canoeing, fishing, boating, hiking and rare as well as beautiful flora. The Big Cypress National Reserve is located alongside the Everglades and is very similar, but also offers cypress stands, mangrove forests, endangered wildlife species such as peregrine falcons and the Florida panther. Activities include fishing, cycling, canoeing, hiking and hunting. Biscayne National Park is away from the eastern tip of South Florida. As the third coral reef tract in the world, there are opportunities for diving, scuba diving, sailing, swimming, fishing, canoeing and kayaking, making it a celebrated national park for family vacations or crowds of spring break in search of adventure. Dry Tortugas National Park is a unique park that preserves Jefferson Fortress, which was built during the Civil War and was never completed, as well as nesting sites for terns and sea turtles. You will be able to enjoy snorkeling at Key West, sea fishing, swimming, lighthouses, gutters, hiking, beach camping, boating, diving, bird watching and underwater photography of some of the best coral reefs and marine areas in the South South. America. Florida.

Again I want to emphasize that this was just an overview of some of the impressive parks that can be seen in our system of national parks. I invite you to bury on our website,, and read some park pages for areas you are interested in finding to find the perfect place to enjoy a wonderful vacation full of memories and outstanding photos. A lot of research has already been done for you, so dive in! With national parks, your choice is truly endless.

Corie Marks