Family Vacation

7 National Parks Perfect For Family Bonding

Your national parks are perfect places to reconnect and share an experience with friends, family, and loved ones.

All the amazing #FindYourPark stories that have been rolling in over the past year are proof of that. During the National Park Service's Centennial year, be sure to create new memories with someone you care about at one of these national parks.

Rocky Mountain National Park

Colorado
Unforgettable Memories

This park becomes a winter wonderland every year, with frozen waterfalls, pristine snow-filled valleys, and, of course, those majestic mountains. It's also a great place to visit during the warmer months, with glorious spring wildflower blooms and more than 300 miles of hiking trails.

Things to Do

  • Biking
  • Arts & Culture
  • Birdwatching
  • Camping
  • Children's Programs
  • Cross-Country Skiing

Golden Gate National Recreation Area

California
Beyond the Bridge

Encompassing several different sites all around the Bay Area, Golden Gate National Recreation Area offers a lot of options. Spot whales at the Muir Beach Overlook, hike to the top of Montara Mountain, camp at Kirby Cove, or follow the example of @isabellakungill and take a family tour of Alcatraz Island.

Things to Do

  • Biking
  • Arts & Culture
  • Birdwatching
  • Camping
  • Children's Programs
  • Fishing

Yosemite National Park

California
John Muir's Playground

The wild landscape of Yosemite National Park has been protected since 1864, and it's safe to say a lot of hiking boots have passed through its 1,200 square miles in the years since. Follow the example set by thousands by taking a family trek into the wilderness. Whether you venture out on a short hike or an extended backpacking trip, Yosemite is the perfect host. It also offers great opportunities for kayaking, fishing, picnicking, and mountain biking.

Things to Do

  • Biking
  • Arts & Culture
  • Birdwatching
  • Boating
  • Camping
  • Children's Programs

Joshua Tree National Park

California
Rugged Adventure

Instagram user @panchitowalker puts it perfectly: "Some families go to theme parks or the beach. We go to the desert and explore boulder caves." Joshua Tree National Park is a perfect place to add some rugged adventure to your family vacation, whether it's rock climbing or riding through the backcountry on horseback. Stay at one of Joshua Tree's 500 campsites for a few nights so you can spend your days creating a perfect family adventure!

Things to Do

  • Birdwatching
  • Biking
  • Camping
  • Children's Programs
  • Climbing
  • Hiking

Mount Rushmore National Memorial

South Dakota
Historical Fun

Generations of fans have visited Mount Rushmore National Memorial. So too might you discover that the national park experience brings generations together like nothing else. Join the 3 million people who travel to Mount Rushmore every year to learn about the birth, growth, development, and preservation of our country.

Things to Do

  • Historical
  • Children's Programs
  • Shopping
  • Tours

Bryce Canyon National Park

Utah
Sense of Wonder

With all due respect to America's most famous — you might say "grandest" — canyon, there's no place on earth quite like Bryce Canyon National Park. Eons of erosive forces have carved a stunning landscape of hoodoos, which are pillar-like rock formations that look like a forest of stone. It's a perfect place to share a first national park experience with the youngest members of your family.

Things to Do

  • Children's Programs
  • Camping
  • Cross-Country Skiing
  • Hiking
  • Horseback Riding
  • Shopping

Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks

California
Towering Giants

Sometimes your adventures don't go quite as planned. Sometimes, as @road.trip.dad discovered, you have to drive through a blizzard, replace a flat tire, lose a snow chain, and backpack your kids down the trail to see the world's largest trees at Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks. Sometimes, it's better that way.

Things to Do

  • Camping
  • Birdwatching
  • Caving
  • Children's Programs
  • Climbing
  • Cross-Country Skiing
Woman holding a camera walking in a field
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