I don’t know about you, but I’m dreaming of my next big trip. But I’m not sure where to go next! But the top U.S. National Parks for our next family trip sounds like a great idea.
Even when travel restrictions are lifted, the idea of heading to a major city and wandering streets packed with people is less than appealing. Instead, it might be the perfect time to check out one of our nation’s great national parks. While you’ll find small crowds at attractions like the Grand Canyon and Old Faithful, for the most part, national parks serve as a great place for anyone looking to get away and enjoy the solitude of nature.
With so many national parks across America, it can be hard to choose which to visit next, but there are some that rise above the rest as great options – especially for families. Here are a few of my favorites:
Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
This southern favorite is situated between North Carolina and Tennessee, and if you’re anywhere within the vicinity, it’s well worth the drive. Your family will love hiking through lush, green forests, witnessing streams and waterfalls, looking for wildlife, and more. Camp, rent a cabin, or get a hotel in nearby Gatlinburg or Pigeon Forge for easy access to dining and additional attractions – there’s no wrong way to experience the area.
Rocky Mountain National Park.
Just outside of Denver, Rocky Mountain National Park is loved by locals and tourists alike. You’ll have fun exploring the charming towns of Grand Lake and Estes Park at the park’s two entrances, but the park is the real star of the show. Drive along Trail Ridge Road, the country’s highest continuous paved road, or choose a scenic hike that’s just the right length and difficulty for your family.
Mount Rainier National Park.
On the west coast, Mount Rainier National Park is one of the best options for families at any time of the year. During the winter, snow blankets the park, transforming it into a world-class destination for sledding, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing. During the warmer months, you and your family can bike, fish, hike, climb, camp, and otherwise enjoy the beautiful weather.
Channel Islands National Park.
This park sits along the California coastline and is the perfect choice for families looking for low-key relaxation in a beautiful setting. Water-lovers will be right at home here – you can boat, snorkel, kayak, and dive in the waters that surround the islands. You’ll also have access to plenty of hikes, great opportunities for camping, and other outdoor recreation.
Acadia National Park.
As the only national park in the northeastern United States, this Maine attraction is well worth a visit. Once you’re there, it’s easy to see why it earned the designation – from the stunning coastline to the majestic forests and mountains that border it, there’s not a bad view in the park. Bike along the park’s numerous trails, wade in the icy water along the shoreline, indulge in some fresh seafood, and have fun making memories together.
While you can’t go wrong with a visit to any national park, your family is virtually guaranteed to love these top options!
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