If you’re tired of going on the same family vacation every year, then it may be time to venture somewhere new! Luckily, there are so many places to explore in the country. In fact, the U.S. is home to 63 national parks. With there being so many to explore, you may be wondering which are the best ones for bringing your family. Whether you want to explore large canyons or forests with large trees, here are 5 of the best family-friendly national parks in the U.S.
Many national parks require a park entrance pass to get into each park, which you can buy prior to your trip online or at the gate at each park.
5. White Sands National Park, NM
If your family likes to go on exciting adventures together, then visiting White Sands National Park is a must. What’s cool about this park is that you and your family can bring or rent a sled and slide down 297 square miles of white sand! While here, you can also see fossils from the Ice Age across from where Lake Otero used to be, walk the easy Dune Life Nature Trail, and enjoy the stunning full moon and sunsets when they’re around. White Sands National Park even has a program where kids can become a Junior Ranger!
4. Everglades National Park, FL
One of the best ways to experience the state of Florida is by visiting Everglades National Park. This park includes 1.5-million acres, meaning there are endless ways to enjoy it with your family. While here, you and your family will love exploring unique swamps and wetlands that protect several species, such as the American crocodile and manatee. In addition, hike to Shark Valley for an epic view of the glades, kayak along different waterscapes in the park, or even ride bikes along Pineland Trail. If your family is into historical adventures, there is also a missile base from the Cold War that you can tour while here.
3. Yellowstone National Park, MT
From viewing bison on the side of the highway to watching geysers erupting out of the earth, Yellowstone National Park is a traveler’s paradise. Your kids can embrace the cowgirl and cowboy lifestyle as they explore the first national park ever established. This park is home to more than 500 geysers, such as Old Faithful Geyser which can be accessed via an easy 0.7-mile loop. You and your family can also explore Yellowstone Lake, which is the highest elevation lake in North America, where you can ride a boat, kayak, or fish.
2. Grand Canyon National Park, AZ
At 277 miles long and 18 miles wide, looking out at the wide-open space of the Grand Canyon is extraordinary. Grand Canyon National Park is a great place to visit with your family, as it offers amazing hikes, such as the South Kaibab Trail to Cedar Ridge in the South Rim, where horses are often passing by. If you plan on visiting the East Rim, you can check out Horseshoe Bend, which is part of the Glen Boulder National Recreation Area. Your family will love the wildlife sightings as well as the mudstone sculptures and igneous and sedimentary rocks that make up the canyon itself. Check out our full guide on visiting the Grand Canyon for even more information on this park.
1. Redwood National and State Parks, CA
This magical national park is the perfect place to bring kids with an imaginative mind. It’s home to one of the world’s tallest known trees, Libbey Tree, which can be viewed via the 4.5-mile, fairly challenging hike to Tall Trees Grove. Hikers must obtain a permit online to complete this hike. There are several other spots to view these iconic Redwoods, such as Stout Grove and Jedediah Smith Redwoods. In addition, Redwood National and State Parks include 40 miles of coastline, making it a perfect place for beach bums as well. You can also bring your family in your RV to Enderts Beach Road to see marine animals and get a scenic ocean view. If your family loves animals, explore Elk Meadow to likely spot Roosevelt Elk!
Whether your family enjoys scenic ocean drives, short hikes through magical forests, or capturing photos of desert landscapes, you can experience all of this and more in these national parks. There are also many other ways to adventure with your family, such as by going on a scenic drive in your RV or by escaping to somewhere warmer in your RV. We hope you are able to pick your next family vacation at one of these national parks after reading this guide.
See you on the road!