HBD, National Park Service! Here’s How You Can Get The Most Out Of Your Visit
Tomorrow is the National Park Service 100th Birthday! To celebrate, all National parks are FREE from August 25-28. If you’re inundated with resources and don’t know how to spend the day admiring our country’s most beautiful landscapes, I’ve come up with some of the best ways you can get through the last-minute planning so you can enjoy your destination without the worry of crowds, fees, or even parking.
Do some research online before heading out. The most simplest way to find your park and stay updated is to go to the NPS.gov or Findyourpark.com and search for a park according to your state/area. Once you’ve selected your state, you’ll see a list of National Parks and landmarks that you can easily scroll down or view on a map.
Plan your route inside the park. Print out or save a map of where you plan on visiting. If you forget to print out the map, download these apps to get different perspectives on where you’re headed as well as bonus features from each. The National Park Service, Chimani, REI, and National Geographic all have apps that offer trail guides, maps, and insider tips to wherever you plan on going to.
Be reasonable about your expectations. Don’t feel up for a road trip? Some of the locations are not just parks–there are monuments, trails, and historic sites so be sure to check the list for nearby options. If you can’t get up early to make a day trip or want to avoid crowds, there’s always the movies. Head to a theater and view a National Park on the big screen in the National Parks Adventure Film which takes you through the National Parks history through amazing cinematography.
Don’t forget Every Kid In A Park! In efforts to get more kids and families outdoors, President Obama created the Every Kid in a Park Initiative which provides free access to all National Parks for every 4th grader and their families for up to a year. If you miss the free days this year and have a 4th grader or upcoming 4th grader, print out your passes from the site and plan your trip.
NPS Centennial Celebration links:
- Create your own park pic and spread the word through this fun, interactive online app
- Check out the Buddy Bison Youth Program through the National Park Trust
- Still don’t know what to do to find your park? Here are 99 more ways!
How will you be celebrating the National Park Service 100th birthday?