Entertaining your kids in the great outdoors can be tough, especially in the modern day, with so many distractions keeping them inside. Luckily, the US is home to many beautiful national parks filled with unique features, which are sure to astound you and your little ones. Here are some of the best national parks in the country to visit with your family.
Grand Canyon National Park
One of the most famous national parks in the world, Grand Canyon National Park will undoubtedly amaze all ages. Home to one of the wonders of the natural world, the Grand Canyon, your kids are sure to savor staring out over this vast 277 mile-long gorge. There are several short trails you can take your children along, including the half-mile Bright Angel Point Trail, which runs along the rim of the canyon and boasts spectacular panoramas of the canyon and the winding Colorado River.
Yosemite National Park
Nowhere does spectacular landscapes quite like Yosemite National Park. This verdant valley is encircled by stark mountains, sublime waterfalls, and ancient sequoias, making it a remarkable place to plan a family vacation in California. Bond with your kids while reeling in rainbow trout at the Tuolumne River, or pick up a pair of binoculars and encourage your little ones to spot some of the park’s rare birds, including western tanagers, northern goshawks, and peregrine falcons.
Yellowstone National Park
Travelers looking to take their kids out of the city and explore the vast wilderness of Wyoming will love Yellowstone National Park. You’ll find this park has a unique landscape that’s sure to pique your children’s interest, like the park’s vibrant, geothermal pools. Make sure you take your youngsters to see the Old Faithful Geyser, a regularly erupting thermal geyser that blasts boiling water hundreds of feet into the air. Yellowstone is also great for winter vacations, with an abundance of snowfall that turns the landscape into a winter wonderland.
Everglades National Park
If you’re planning a family getaway to the Sunshine State, make sure your stop by Everglades National Park. Perched on the southern tip of Florida, the Everglades features over a million acres of swamps, wetlands, and tropical forests to discover. One of the best ways to see the Everglades is on an airboat tour. Your kids are sure to love gliding over the water on one of these propeller-powered boats, while your guide points to an array of rare critters. If you’re heading to Everglades, make sure you drop your stuff off at a Miami luggage storage service, before heading on your wet and wild adventure.
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
Say aloha to adventure with a trip to the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Located on Hawaii Island, this national park features tropical rainforests around two active volcanoes, Kīlauea and Mauna Loa. The whole family is sure to enjoy taking the Crater Rim Drive, which affords breathtaking views of Kīlauea’s smoking crater. There’s also the 1.5-mile long Nāhuku nature walk, which leads through a rainforest-covered cave formed by lava flow over 500 years ago.
Arcadia National Park
Looking for a park your kids will love in New England? Look no further than Acadia National Park. This seaside park features an array of different environments, from rocky oceanfronts to lush woodlands. Consider a family drive up the Park Loop Road, which leads to the summit of Cadillac Mountain and flaunts sweeping views of the park. Alternatively, take your kids tidepooling, and discover some of the aquatic critters that hang out in these unique ecosystems. You’ll find some superb short trails to follow, like the two-mile Great Meadow Loop, which leads through forests and meadows, with Dorr Mountains providing the perfect backdrop.
Carlsbad Caverns National Park
The US is home to some incredible cave systems, and some of the best in the country can be found at Carlsbad Caverns National Park. There are over 115 caves located below the Chihuahuan Desert, some of which can be explored without a guide. One of the highlights from this cave system is the Big Room Trail, which tours the largest cave chamber in the country. This area is full of extraordinary geological formations, and the trail is only about a mile long, so it won’t be too difficult for any family member.
Glacier National Park
Montana is another excellent place to escape city life, and anybody looking to explore the Rocky Mountains should swing by Glacier National Park. With views of snow-capped mountains and alpine tundras to explore, this park is perfect for families looking to enjoy winter sports and an array of wildlife. Keep an eye out of mule deer and elk while roaming around the countryside, and teach your kids to ski on one of the park’s many cross-country skiing trails