Choosing the perfect national park for your family vacation


There are so many decisions to make when it comes to vacationing. When it involves something more than you and your friend or something else important, it seems to become even more complicated. Small and even family vacations should not lead you to drink or pull all your hair. Here are some tips to help you make your choice a little less stressful.

The first and easiest thing to ask is what do you and the people you are going to do with want to do? Are you completely external people, strictly internal types or combination? Are you all athletic or in good shape? Do you like hot weather, mild or cold seasons? Are attractions something you would like on your agenda or are you strictly a type of activity? Do you like to pull it off or do you want more comfort? You like camping, fishing, backpacking, hiking, mountaineering, horseback riding, bird watching, wildlife viewing, history, learning how some of the unique formations in the parks came there, swimming with a respirator, swimming, diving , sailing, boating, kayaking, white water rafting, photography, hunting or just relaxing in beautiful places?

The next thing to consider is how much time 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 of the fascinating areas of the desert in Alaska may be expensive to get to, but if you have the money and enjoy the wonderful countryside, it’s definitely worth going for an incredible experience that you won’t soon forget.

That being said, all you have to do is choose your destination. Keep in mind that almost every area has cheap travel options and goes from there to more expensive. Also, just because you go to a national park doesn’t mean you have to “rough” it. There are many options for day hiking, climbing, fishing, water sports, etc. that do not include a living room next to a fire, enjoying the wonderful countryside, if this is not just your style.

Camping is generally considered to be the cheapest type of vacation after making the initial investment in camping items. This may be a net amount, but keep in mind that the equipment usually takes several years. It is generally true that camping fees in parks are cheaper than an average hotel room. And if you have an RV, you can camp with real comfort. Most campsites are located in a beautiful setting and allow you easy access to the park’s attractions. There are very few parks that do not have campsites. 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 it’s what you love!

Now, if you live in Midwest, there are many park options within driving distance that last 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 short distance from the nearest airport. Driving allows you to carry whatever you think you need for a comfortable stay.

My favorite option for Midwest is the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. This is one of the best parks in the family. It belongs to the states of Tennessee and North Carolina. You can choose to take it to the Appalachian Trail, camp in a developed camping or desert or stay anywhere from luxury suites to nice cheap hotels near Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg, TN. And, speaking of Pigeon Forge, you have Dollywood and all the countless attractions on offer in the area. On the North Carolina side you have more camping, the city of Cherokee has many Indian souvenirs and museums, rafting and fishing with flying water (the latter two are really offered in both states). The mountains are absolutely beautiful and create wonderful photos. See Great Smoky Mountain for more details.

Another great option is Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore and State Park. They also have wild camping and views, especially bird watching. A unique coastline allows you to walk on the beach or swim in Lake Michigan. They also have areas for you to bring your own horses and ride. For those of you who enjoy the sights and history, you can see the five houses of the World Fair from 1933 or watch the Gathering At Calumic in early May, where the fur traders of East Woodland India and the Western Great Lakes and Voyageurs reproduce how life was at Calumet River 1730-1830.

If you like rowing, there are many places in Midwest, but the two north are Voyageurs National Park and Isle Royale National Park. Voyageurs is located in Minnesota and Isle Royale is located off the north coast of Michigan on Lake Superior. Both offer great wildlife adventures, such as canoeing, kayaking, motorbike rowing and fishing opportunities. Travelers are considered a water park which means you have to take a boat to the real park, but it is a short trip. There are places to camp or accommodation that will help you equip yourself, allowing you to go boating around the floating streets and find these wonderful fishing spots. The Isle Royale is a long boat trip or a short “puddle jumper” flight. It only has camping in the wild, but it also has accommodation for those who only enjoy hiking during the day and some comfort. There is kayaking, fishing, backpacking, wildlife, with the longest current research project studying wolves and algae, diving and shipwrecks. It really is a unique ecosystem that you can observe.

The US 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 at the bottom of 48 to observe the gray bears up close. You will also see the bison roaming very close, so be careful. It is located on the border of Wyoming and Montana. There are many farmhouses and accommodation to stay or you can camp in the park. There is also excellent fishing with flies, kayaks, mountaineering and backpacking. Another big issue is Grand Canyon National Park. This 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 Grand Staircase, a huge sequence of sedimentary rock layers that stretches south of Bryce Canyon National Park, through Zion National Park (both in Utah) and ends at Grand Canyon. There are camping, backpacking, hiking during the day, water rafting, and many photo opportunities.

Other major 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 the Gunnison, Mesa Verde, Crater Lake, Mount Rainier and Sequoia. All of these have large-scale expansion activities that will suit the needs and desires of holidaymakers. Check out our individual park pages for more information on each of these wonderful parks.

The Eastern United States also offers great holiday options. Acadia National Park in Maine has unsurpassed views of the North Ocean and climbing a cliff you won’t find in other parks. There is also fishing, island exploration, hiking and beautiful gardens to see. Below the east side is Shenandoah National Park in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. The Appalachian Trail crosses the park for 101 miles giving you plenty of options for hiking and backpacking. There is also camping, fishing, bird watching and horseback riding.

In Florida, you will find three national parks and one of the most famous is Everglades. Everglades is much more than what you’ve seen on TV. Wildlife is amazing and makes it easy to get some great animal and bird shots. There is also camping in the wild, (watch out for alligators!) Canoeing, fishing, plane rides, hiking and rare, as well as beautiful flora. Big Cypress National Preserve is next to Everglades and is very similar, but also offers cypress, mangrove forests, endangered wildlife species such as the hawk and the Florida panther. Activities include fishing, cycling, canoeing, hiking and hunting. Biscayne National Park is located on the eastern edge of South Florida. As the third largest coral reef in the world, there are opportunities for snorkeling, diving, sailing, swimming, fishing, canoeing and kayaking, making it a popular holiday in the national park for family vacations or outdoor crowds looking for adventure. Dry Tortugas National Park is a unique park that maintains Fort Jefferson that was built during the Civil War and never ended, as well as the nesting sites of seagulls and sea turtles. You will be able to enjoy swimming with a respirator in Key West, fishing with sea water, swimming, lighthouses, shipwrecks, hiking, beach camping, rowing, diving, bird watching and underwater photography some of the best areas of coral reef life and sea life. Florida.

Again, I want to emphasize that this was just an overview of some of the impressive parks that can be seen in our national park system. Please visit our website,, and read some of the park’s pages for areas you are interested in visiting to find the perfect place to enjoy a wonderful holiday full of memories. and remarkable photographs. A lot of research has already been done for you, so dive! With national parks, your choices are truly endless.

Cory Marx