If you’ve been trying to plan a multi-generational road trip that involves grandparents, parents and kids – one of our country’s national parks just may be the answer. There are 392 of them scattered across the country. They offer ranger guided wildlife walks and scenic bus tours that might appeal to the seniors in the family. For the younger generation, hiking, biking, swimming, and more active pursuits are a part of most of our national parks.
A little known perk if you have a senior in the crowd.
Seniors can buy a lifetime Interagency Access Pass for $10. That entitles the pass owner (senior) and everyone in the vehicle to free admission at a per-vehicle fee park. At parks that charge a per-person fee, the senior and three guests are admitted for free. Senior citizens may also receive additional discounts on other services like campsites, boat launch and more depending upon the park.
What national parks should you consider if you are traveling?
Here are a few suggestions to help you begin exploring your options:
• Acadia National Park in Maine – Formerly a resort catering to the affluent, it is now a national park. It has camping, cottages and family-friendly motels. Whale-watching, sailing and kayaking are among the activities you can enjoy at Acadia National Park.
• Great Smoky Mountains – This beautiful park hugs the North Carolina and Tennessee borders. You can rent cabins, camp or find a value-priced motel quite easily. Walking trails abound, some more challenging than others. Horseback riding and tubing are both popular activities.
• Cape Hatteras National Seashore – The Outer Banks in North Carolina are another popular summer getaway for families of all ages. This great treasure combines ocean activities with historical landmarks. Children and grandparents can explore the first English settlement in the U.S. here or visit the Wright Brothers National Memorial.
• Cape Cod National Seashore in Massachusetts– Another ocean side park, Cape Cod offers nature education, museums, dunes and sandy beaches. While the park doesn’t offer camping or cottages, there are plenty available nearby.
• Glacier National Park – This Montana treasure is located along the U.S.-Canadian border. While popular with families, it isn’t as overrun as Yosemite or Grand Canyon parks. There are magnificent alpine meadows and thick forests to explore, as well as lakes to enjoy.