Our enthusiasm for national parks hasn't changed much in the last hundred years, but the ways we share our experiences certainly have. Thanks to Instagram, parks all over the country seem a little bit closer, and it's easier than ever to share your own park experiences with the world. Be sure to follow these seven national park Instagram accounts, and better yet – take the weekend and visit a park near you!
Dry Tortugas National Park
This Florida park is the definition of tropical paradise. So, when you want to lie out on a white sand beach, snorkel through shimmering waters teeming with sea life, or explore a 19th-century island fortress, head to Dry Tortugas National Park. When you need your daily beach fix but can't make it to the Florida Keys, follow @drytortugasnps to find out what's happening above and below that beautiful blue water.
Tumacácori National Historical Park
With National Hispanic Heritage Month falling between September 15 and October 15 this year, it's a perfect time to visit Arizona's Tumacácori National Historical Park. This park protects the ruins of three Spanish mission sites, including Mission San José de Tumacácori, which was established in 1691 by Jesuit padre Eusebio Kino. Look to @tumacacorinps for stunning shots of the mission and the surprisingly colorful desert landscape surrounding it.
Palo Alto Battlefield National Historical Park
Looking out across the serene South Texas landscape of Palo Alto Battlefield National Historical Park, it's hard to believe the first battle in the U.S.-Mexico War of 1846 took place here. Follow @paloaltonps for regular doses of this park's rich history and stunning landscape, along with frequent portraits of the many wild critters who call the area home.
Blue Ridge Parkway
Meandering along 469 miles of rolling Appalachian ridges, the Blue Ridge Parkway is without a doubt one of the most picturesque drives in America. For spectacular sunsets, fun photos courtesy of the parkway's rangers, and useful tips on staying #BearAware in the Blue Ridge Mountains, follow @blueridgenps.
Cabrillo National Monument
Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo stepped off his boat onto the shore of California in 1542, becoming the first European to set foot on the West Coast of what is now the United States. It must have been quite a view. Known today as Cabrillo National Monument, the area Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo first explored can now be seen on Instagram at @cabrillonps, complete with sweeping seascapes and pictures of the historical reenactments that regularly take place at the site.
Dinosaur National Monument
You might not see any live dinosaurs at @dinosaurnps, but you'll sure see their descendants, like the great blue heron that still prowl the banks of the Green River at Dinosaur National Monument. You'll also find striking desert scenery and some of the richest fossil beds in North America.
Harry S. Truman National Historical Site
Among his many accomplishments, Harry S. Truman was known for bringing a more casual atmosphere to the White House. It's fitting that @harrystrumannps is one of the most fun Instagram accounts in the National Park System, complete with some pretty incredible throwback photos and stories – like that time a watermelon seed fight broke out between President Truman and his wife Bess. True story.
While it might not be a substitute for the real thing, following these parks on Instagram can give you a fun new perspective on what goes on in your favorite parks when you're not there in person.