Plan a Free Trip to the National Park
The National Park Service has announced free parking dates for 2021 and it’s time to start making travel plans. Since the pandemic kept us indoors for most of 2020, getting out into the countryside might be the perfect plan for the new year with fewer restrictions. (Since March, I’ve been walking around the same twenty blocks, so it would be nice to change.)
Seeing a geyser in Yellowstone or taking in breathtaking views of the Grand Canyon are certainly worthy pursuits, and with over 400 national parks to choose from in the United States and U.S. Territories, it’s easy to plan a nearby day trip or weekend getaway.
Schedule free admission days
National parks can cost anywhere from $ 5 to $ 35 per vehicle, but scheduling free entry dates can help save money. Here are the dates for free parks in 2021:
- January 18: Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday.
- April 17: First day of National Parks Week.
- August 4: Anniversary of the American Environment Act.
- August 25: 105th anniversary of the birth of the National Park Service
- September 25: National Day of State Lands.
- November 11: Veterans Day
Use the “Explore Parks” search function
Visitors can search by county or state using theExplore Parks tab on the National Park Service website. I could find places that I never knew were national parks right outside the door. It’s an easy way to find daytime activities within walking distance, or to plan your long trip ahead of time.
Get discounts to enjoy a longer stay
Some national parks are huge and wide – the Everglades stretch over 1.5 million acres and Wrangell Street. Elias National Park and Preserve and the largest national park in the United States cover a whopping 13.2 million acres, so needless to say, some parks cannot be explored in one day. If you want to see all the sites and save money, America The Beautiful passes offer discounts and package deals for park visitors. Passes range from $ 80 a year to free passes for fourth graders , and can be purchased at select federal holiday destinations .