Summer vacation has arrived and family vacation ideas are in hot demand. Try some of the best family-friendly national parks and put the tips to ensure you have an amazing summer vacation.
Yellowstone National Park
Why It’s the Best – Yellowstone is boasts over 400 animal species, 500 geysers, dozens of beautiful waterfalls, and family-friendly trails. Try Storm Point Trail for the best chance to see wildlife.
Ranger Program – Yes! Yellowstone has a fantastic youth program that features “Wildlife Olympics” three times a week. Seven stations are prepared for families to explore the skills of the various animals in the park.
Travel Tip – Stay inside the park for a new experience that is vastly different from the typical morning/afternoon hike. Old Faithful Inn is a great pick. To beat crowds, go during early or late in the summer break.
Grand Tenton National Park
Why It’s the Best – If mountains are your preferred scenic view, Grand Tenton is for you. Bison roam free and the lakes are picture-perfect moments you can’t miss.
Ranger Program – Affirmative! The Laurance S. Rockefeller Preserve Center has Nature Explorer backpacks you can borrow to make your kids feel like true rangers. They are filled with items like a journal, lenses, field-guide cards, and activities.
Travel Tip – If you want the camping feel, but with amenities like a pool, try Jackson Lake Lodge.
Yosemite National Park
Why It’s the Best – Two words – Giant Sequoias. Take the family on an easy trek up a 3/4 mile hike up to the Grizzly Giant and the California Tunnel Tree.
Ranger Program – Yup! Hit the Happy Islands Nature Center where your kids can be sworn in as Junior Rangers.
Travel Tip – The grove is about to undergo a renovation. That means limited access, but cheaper rates for lodges will be cheaper and see thinner crowds. Check the park’s websites for updates.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Why It’s the Best – Waterfalls and views of over 100 species of trees will be a feast for your family’s eyes. Deer, coyotes, and groundhogs roam the area.
Ranger Program – Yes! Every Tuesday during the summer, a ranger transforms into a blacksmith inviting groups of children to experience what it was like to be a blacksmith nearly 100 years ago. Kids will make a triangle dinner bell they get to keep!
Travel Tip – This area is perfect for trips mid-October through early November if you want to see an array of fall foliage at its finest.
These are just a few of the fantastic options out there. What is your favorite National Park?