5 Reasons Why a National Park
Should Be Your Next Vacation
Author: Lauren Connolly
Picture this: you finally take some time off from work to hop on a plane heading toward a tropical island. You’re sitting under a palm tree with a book in one hand and a drink in the other. You dig your toes into the soft, white sand as you take in the views of the vast turquoise waters that surround you. You may go for a swim, or you may fall asleep on the beach after spending all day in the sun.
But, that’s all you do…for a week straight.
Why not relax by taking a stroll through the giant sequoia groves in Yosemite? Or by sharing meaningful conversations and laughs with friends around a bonfire in Mount Rainier? Or by driving through the red rocks of Arches in Utah during a thunderstorm?
Adventuring in America’s National Parks will make you feel rejuvenated and reconnected to our beautiful Mother Earth. Here are 5 reasons why a national park should most definitely be your next getaway!
One of the most attractive features of spending time in a national park is that it’s cost-friendly. Let’s face it: those Airbnb fees drain your bank account.
Thankfully the best option a national park offers as a place to stay is right there in the park! Most, if not all, have numerous camping sites scattered within its boundaries. Best of all? The average cost of obtaining a site is only $20 per night*. You could spend an entire week camping in the park for the price of a single night in an Airbnb or hotel!
And if you’re worried about dipping into your funds while vacationing, start putting cash aside as soon as you book your trip. It adds up quickly and you won’t spend what is supposed to be a relaxing time stressing about having to use your credit card.
Do you find a particular landscape captivating over all the others? Is there a certain season or climate you prefer to the rest of them? No need to worry–when it comes to a national park, there’s always something for you!
America alone has 63 options to choose from, spanning all over the country. We’re talking about different terrain, vistas, wildlife, activities…the list goes on and on.
You can trade in your hiking boots for paddles and go kayaking in the Florida Everglades. You can swap the flat midwest scenery for a higher elevation in the mountains of North Cascades. You could even experience the record-setting heat in Death Valley in contrast to the below-freezing winters you experience at home.
Whatever the reason may be for you wanting to venture off and explore your sense of wanderlust, you’ll always find what you’re looking for in a national park.
3. Endless Fun
National parks offer numerous things to do.
There’s a wide range of outdoor activities to keep you busy, such as hiking, biking, swimming, kayaking, and more. You could learn about the park’s history at its visitor center and grab a bite to eat while you’re at it. Maybe take a guided tour throughout the park and snap some photos of the beautiful views and animals you encounter along the way. Or spend a night stargazing where the light pollution is pretty much non-existent.
The list is endless, and all you have to do is step outside.
4. Improves Well-Being
Countless studies have shown that spending time in nature directly correlates to improved mental health and overall well-being. The fresh air and outdoor environment can reduce stress, create a relaxing state of mind, and lower risk of depression*.
Have you ever come home from spending all day on the water, hammocking in the woods, or walking in the park and didn’t feel better both mentally and emotionally? Yeah–didn’t think so.
5. Marvel at Earth’s Natural Wonders
We aren’t supposed to waste our life away at a desk for 40 hours a week. Time spent away from your everyday, mundane routine is so important and always needed. In this instance, you’ll also be able to see some of the country’s most fascinating natural wonders by visiting a national park.
Standing atop the rim of the Grand Canyon will not only make your mouth fall to the ground, but it will put into perspective how minuscule everything is in comparison. Hiking to the free-standing, 46-foot-tall Delicate Arch at sunset will leave you in awe of nature’s beauty. You can even be at eye level with the iconic Half Dome just by simply driving up Glacier Point Road in Yosemite.
While it may require a certain amount of dedication and tough physical activity to reach some of these sights, by all means, it is worth it.
Of course, if you’d rather spend your time amongst the busy streets of popular cities or at an all-inclusive resort, go for it! But wandering about in a national park is an unforgettable experience, and it will leave you craving more.