Friday, April 22, 2011

A Few More National Parks We’ve Enjoyed Visiting Over the Years

National Park sign

In case you missed it, this week is National Park Week.  The parks that charge admission are offering free entrance to the parks until Sunday, April 24th so you still have time to enjoy a park near you.

This week I’ve shared our trip to The Wright Brothers National Memorial at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, our favorite park- Assateague Island National Seashore, and ten National Parks that I want to visit on our trip West.  I’d like to wrap up the week by sharing a few of the posts I’ve written in the past about some of our National Park adventures along with a tip or two for each.

road trip day 3 020

When my husband and I got married nearly 19 years ago, we decided that we were going to honeymoon at Mammoth Caves National Park. Our wedding wasn’t one of those beautiful, elaborate weddings. It was more along the lines of “let’s get married on Thursday’ sort of thing and off we went. We didn’t plan anything, which was really a bummer because when we arrived at Mammoth Caves early in the morning, we discovered that all the tours were sold for the day.

Since then we’ve visited Mammoth Caves and made the trip underground several times. If anyone asks me for tips I always recommend that you purchase your tour tickets in advance regardless of what time of year you plan to visit and remember that Mammoth Caves is in Central Standard Time- just in case you’re heading from a different time zone.    


Sometimes visiting a National Park doesn’t require a great deal of travel. We’re fortunate to have one of those gems about an hour from our home in Alabama. Russell Cave National Monument has become a favorite place to stop and stretch our legs on the way to Chattanooga or Atlanta.  You may enjoy reading about our first visit- especially the hike- and then see how our opinion changed after our second visit. All I can say is don’t try the hike if the ground is wet. If you read my post, you’ll understand what I mean. 

Statue of Liberty

Our trip to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island certainly brings back fond memories. We grabbed the ferry from the New Jersey side, which was less crowded, and I remember when I saw Miss Liberty for the first time as the ferry pulled around Ellis Island, it was breathtaking. I used our trip to New York to show how our travels have extended into our homeschool classroom.  If you plan to travel to New Jersey or New York to see this National Landmark allow plenty of time. The traffic can really back up so plan to have plenty of car games handy for the little ones along for the ride. In fact, you can print the Jr. Ranger booklet before you leave home and your children can work on it along the way.    

chickamauga visitors center

The menfolk or history buffs in the household won’t turn down visiting a battlefield. My kids loved reading  Across Five Aprils *when they realized that we’d the majority of battlefields mentioned in the book. One of the battlefields that they really enjoyed touring was the Chickamauga-Chattanooga National Military Park. If you plan to see the entire park make sure you allow plenty of time. An hour or two isn’t enough time to explore the Visitor’s Center, battlefield and Lookout Mountain. Many of the national parks are also now offering cell phone tours and Chickamauga-Chattanooga National Military Park is one of them so make sure you don’t miss it. 

Now it’s your turn. Which National Parks have you enjoyed visiting?

*Just so you know, the link for Across Five Aprils is an affiliate link.

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