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National and State Parks Vacations

America's National and State Parks Vacations, those stretches of green that dot the map, are our collective backyard, a wilderness to explore and celebrate. Each summer, thousands of families pack up their gear and head out in search of natural outdoor beauty: cascading waterfalls, herds of elk and 8,000-foot snow-capped peaks. But don't forget the other seasons; anytime is the perfect time to explore the great outdoors.

National Parks are special places that preserve history and nature. Some national parks have these programs for kids:

  • Junior Rangers. Sign up for this minimal-cost program, and your child will get an activity booklet with puzzles, questions and activities about the Park. Kids learn about animals, ecology, etc. and when the booklet is complete, return to the Ranger center and your child will be presented with a Junior Ranger badge.
  • Park Ranger Programs for kids. Many parks have special programs led by park rangers to introduce wildlife and ecology. A third great option for families is offered at one of the world's top National Parks, Yellowstone.
  • Multi-Day Family Programs. You want wildlife? Try bison and grizzlies. Scenery? Try the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. Best of all are the "geothermal features": Yellowstone is literally in a volcanic caldera; the whole place bubbles, burbles and spurts with mud-holes, hot pools and geysers.

    Yellowstone, in other words, is not only fun it's also an education. What better way to see it than with a naturalist?

    Each summer, the Yellowstone Association Institute offers adventures for families with a naturalist/guide. Try animal tracking, wildlife watching, painting and hiking.

There are a great number of National Parks in the United States as well as in other countries. U.S. Parks can be located by state, region or zip code or by topics/interests from boating to dinosaurs to the Civil War.

A few of the greatest National and State Parks Vacations are:

  • Maine’s Acadia National Park.
  • Tennessee’s Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
  • A Geological Wonder-Missouri’s Shut-In’s State Park.
  • Colorado’s Mesa Verde National Park and other Parks of Colorado and Utah.
  • Wyoming’s Yellowstone National Park.
  • Yellowstone’s Natural Wonder: Old Faithful Geyser.
  • Montana’s Glacier National Park.
  • Washington’s Olympic National Park.

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