The main purpose of family vacations is to spend time with your spouse and children, and build lifelong memories with them. On summer road trips, for instance, there are priceless occurrences that you can count on that will surely help in building those memories. National Parks in the United States are very popular road trip destinations. There are officially fifty-eight designated national parks in the country, all unique on their own defined by their dependent areas. Here are five of the top family-oriented national parks in America:
1- Great Smoky Mountains National Park – Aside from the usual Ranger-led educational and interpretative talks and other programs for kids the national park offers, children will enjoy joining hiking trips on trails that are suitable for their age and get excited to spot some wildlife, including bears. In addition, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is coined the Salamander Capital of the World! Your kids are sure going to be thrilled seeing those amphibians.
2- Shenandoah National Park – The national park is stunningly beautiful. It also offers various hiking trips for adventurers of different ages, including children with accompanying adults. It is one of the places in the world where you would want to have your cameras with you to capture the amazing views and waterfalls. The park also has daily programs for children during the long summer months that you can sign your kids up for.
3- Carlsbad Caverns National Park – The main attraction of this national park is what lies underground. There are, however, incredible hiking trails above ground that you can explore with your family. Guided tours such as the Blue Tour and Big Room, and the Red Tour are available. It is highly recommended, though, to just get a map and list of things to do from the park’s visitor center, and wander on your own with your spouse and kids to be able to move at your own pace.
4- Olympic National Park – If you are on a family vacation in Seattle, be sure to include a trip to the Olympic National Park in your itinerary. The adventure immediately starts as soon as you embark on the ferry ride from the city to the park. A visit to this national park is like visiting three parks in one trip. There is what they call The Mountains, The Rain Forest and The Ocean. A hike to any of the three areas of the park will give your children a truly memorable time discovering lots of wildlife.
5- Hawaii Volcanoes National Park – The trip to Hawaii will sure be well worth it! The idea of stepping on a volcano alone will definitely excite the kids. Take the family to the Crater Rim Drive to witness actual craters and lava flows. Other things in the park you can check out with the kids are the Volcano House, Sandalwood Trail (located just outside the Volcano House), Tree Fern Forest and the Lava Tube. Be sure to catch the Hawaii Volcano Waterfalls Tour!
National parks not only serve as landmarks to us. They are there for us to discover and learn from. They also serve as a refuge for us to escape from the fast pace of the busy city and be in touch with Mother Nature. The best thing about national parks is that they provide the most budget-friendly family summer road trips!