It's no wonder our national parks make popular destinations for family vacations. Created to preserve our country's most spectacular natural wonders and scenic attractions, our national parks are indeed “America's best idea," as the historian and Pulitzer-prize winning writer Wallace Stegner famously called them. At MiniTime, we believe national parks belong on every family's vacation bucket list. Visiting national parks not only gives kids an appreciation for our beautiful landscapes and wildlife, but is also a superb way to teach geography, geology and even history.
When considering the most iconic parks in the country, most people look west to Yellowstone, the Grand Canyon, Yosemite and Zion national parks. Yet the most popular national park in the United States actually straddles Tennessee and North Carolina. The Great Smoky Mountain National Park welcomes more visitors annually than any other park.
You'll find America's largest national park in the northeast—the Adirondacks National Park in upstate New York—along with the spectacularly beautiful Acadia National Park in Maine.
Don't forget the Midwest, which is full of national parks that may be lesser known but are truly unique. In South Dakota, for example, families can explore the eerily breathtaking Badlands National Park and the incredible Wind Cave and Jewel Cave national parks.
In the Mountain West region, family-friendly national parks include Glacier National Park, Great Sand Dunes National Park, Zion National Park and Petrified Forest National Park.
On MiniTime, you can plan a national park vacation by reading reviews by real parents about kid-friendly lodging and attractions in national parks around the country. The recommendations offered on MiniTime are customized to fit your profile, taking into consideration the ages of your kids, to save you time.