The National Park Service celebrated its centennial last year, and continues to provide destinations around the country for hundreds of thousands to discover the beauty of our natural world. National parks provide a one-of-a-kind chance to engage with the U.S. of the past, displaying landforms, preserved lands, wildlife and wide-open spaces. In our current digital world, it is a great idea to disconnect once in a while and take a trip to one of these wonderfully natural destinations. However, when you are experiencing wanderlust, it can be difficult to know how to plan a trip your whole family will enjoy. MyDriverLicenses.org presents tips for visiting national parks.
Locate Your Closest National Park
You may want to make your first national park your closest national park. Many parks are within driving distance, and can be a perfect day trip if located less than 100 miles from your residence. MyDriverLicenses.org suggests researching parks in proximity to your address. You can decide based on the best time of year to visit, or based on the terrain. It’s a great idea to start small and build experience exploring nature before jumping into a longer camping trip.
Note that many national parks cost a very small fee to enter, but if you are a member of the military, you can get into national parks for free or at a discounted price.
Choose a Park That Fits Your Personality
Although each park is equally beautiful in its own way, not every park is for everybody. Look for parks that fit with the activities your family enjoys. For example, if you enjoy water sports, MyDriverLicenses.org suggests Everglades National Park in Florida, Little River Canyon National Preserve in Alabama or Cape Hatteras National Seashore in North Carolina as perfect for kayaking, canoeing and fishing.
However, if you and your adventure team prefer hiking, the MyDriverLicenses.org crew suggests Glacier National Park in Montana, an excellent choice for intermediate hikers. If you feel as though you are more of a beginner, parks such as Olympic National Park in Washington or Arches National Park in Utah may be more your speed.
For a romantic retreat, thrill-seeking couples may enjoy the Great Sand Dunes in Colorado. If your partner and you are more the laid-back type as a duo, MyDriverLicenses.org recommends Yosemite National park in California as the perfect choice for beautiful lake views and easy hiking trails.
Pack For Adventure
Once you’ve chosen your spot, it is time to decide on your gear. MyDriverLicenses.org experts remind you it is important to know the essentials you need for a successful and comfortable trip to a national park.
Some important items to pack for a day trip include: sunscreen, insect repellent (preferably DEET-free), water bottles, long pants for hiking trails, non-perishable snacks, sunglasses and jackets. The team at MyDriverLicenses.org suggests that even if it's warm, wearing layers is a great idea if staying after sunset to avoid the chill when the sun is down. Additionally, great shoes are a must for any national park visit. Be sure to choose footwear that has proper support. Hiking boots or sneakers are your best bet.