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Archived News Article: Information may be out of date
July 15, 2014

Spend the Summer Discovering Our Nation's Parks!

Spend the Summer Discovering Our Nation's Parks!
Spend the Summer Discovering Our Nation's Parks!

Searching for an adventure this summer that the whole family can enjoy? Look no further than the beautiful and educational National Parks. encourages fellow Americans to get out and explore nature this summer in one of our 401 National Parks across the country and U.S. territories. In addition to the educational and scenic experience, a major benefit is that many of these national treasures are low-cost, and even 286 of the parks are free. Here's a tip: you can start planning your visit around the entrance fee-free dates listed on the National Park Service website.

What is the National Park Service?

The National Park Service, a bureau of the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI), is dedicated to maintaining our nation's parks and creating a safe environment for all visitors. National Parks are not only preserved natural environments, like Yellowstone and the Everglades, but also historic sites and monuments, like Alcatraz and the Gateway Arch. If you're planning on traveling to one of these historic destinations, check out the resources offered by the National Park Service to help plan your trip. You can browse suggested itineraries and highlighted hot spots, such as lighthouses and archaeology museums.

Travel Tips

Before you begin planning, be sure to look at these travel tips offered by the National Park Service:

  • To locate a park near you, use the Find a Park option on the National Park Service website. You can search by name, location, activity or topic.
  • Once you've decided where you're headed, check out the park's Plan Your Visit section for maps, directions, park brochures, and operating hours.
  • Explore lodging options. Whether you're looking for hotels, campground, or backcountry camping, it is recommended that you reserve a spot, when possible.

Need additional resources?

There's plenty to see and learn outdoors, so take some time this summer to discover a National Park near you! If you're interested in additional resources, check out our article Let Help You Make Your Summer Count to read about various outdoor experiences that you and your family can take on this summer. Be sure to also visit to help you plan your next adventure.

Kids can also get active with the new Let's Move Outside Junior Ranger program, celebrating Michelle Obama's Let's Move initiative to end childhood obesity. This program offers many activities that the whole family can enjoy, including hiking, biking, swimming and horseback riding. By completing at least one physical activity, kids looking to earn their Junior Ranger Badge receive a sticker that designates them as a Let's Move Outside Junior Ranger. These activities promise to be fun, healthy and family-friendly, and many locations are easily accessible from urban areas.

As always, encourages you to take our free and confidential Benefit Finder questionnaire to find out which government assistance programs you may be eligible to receive.

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