Check out these 8 National Parks to visit with your kiddos!
Traveling the world is a great way to gain experiences and engulf youself in culture that you couldn’t otherwise do. Many families make a goal to visit all 50 states. Others want to see each state’s capitol building. But our family wants to find the best National Parks to visit with your kids and go to the top ones before our kids are grown.
Can you believe that there are as many as 63 National Parks sprawled out all across the country? Maybe what is even more impressive, is that each one of them offers its visitors something truly unique and special.
From the rich history to the majestic scenery, each National Park offers something different. And, trust me, there is plenty to do at each and every National Park.
Researching all of the National Parks can be quite a bit of work. But you’re in luck! We’ve already done most of the dirty work for you. These are a handful of some of the best National Parks in the United States that you need to add to your bucket list.
Don’t forget to grab our FREE printable list of National Parks to visit!
8 National Parks to Visit With Your Kids
Acadia National Park in Maine
Nestled along with the highest point of Maine’s Atlantic coastline, Acadia National Park is a woodland and rocky beach paradise that offers fabulous views. It also boasts all kinds of things to do for outdoor enthusiasts.
The park has over 158 miles of hiking trails and 27 miles of historic motor roads. Visitors especially enjoy traveling to the region during the fall, when the autumn-colored foliage is absolutely stunning.
Bar Harbor is the beautiful gateway city that will take you into Acadia. While you’re there, be sure to check out its many great restaurants, adorable little shops, and spectacular scenery.
Thunder Hole is a popular destination, where you can witness the ocean clapping into the rocky shores.
Cadillac Mountain is the highest point along the eastern coast of the United States, offering hikers the very first glimpse of a morning sunrise. But don’t worry. The mountain’s breathtaking views can also be seen traveling by car to the summit.
Grand Canyon in Arizona
There isn’t a photograph or postcard on earth that gives the Grand Canyon the justice that it deserves. So instead of admiring it on the internet, the only solution would be for you and your family to visit it sometime.
Whitewater rafting the Colorado River or taking a helicopter ride over the canyon is just two epic ways to witness it.
Camping beneath the stars, hiking, biking, and donkey riding are a few others.
The South Rim is considered the most popular part of the canyon to visit, but if you’d prefer an escape from all the people, we encourage you to set out on the North Rim part of the canyon.
You don’t want to miss out on the rare opportunity to see a sunrise or sunset over the Grand Canyon, so set your alarm clock early.
For added fun, bring a Joe Dirt wig and recreate some of your favorite scenes from the movie, like we did!
Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming
For those of you planning an upcoming family trip to Yellowstone, don’t make the colossal mistake of traveling clear across the country and not stopping in at the Grand Teton National Park.
First off, there’s only about an hour’s drive that separates the two parks.
Another reason is that the Tetons will leave you completely mesmerized by their rugged beauty. The nearby town of Jackson Hole is where you will stumble upon all kinds of lodging, ski resorts, restaurants,
music, and entertainment to keep you busy.
Jenny Lake and Jackson Lake are two alpine lakes that provide visitors with hiking, biking, camping, fishing, and boating opportunities.
If you enjoy history, you’re in for a real treat at Mormon Row, which is made up of several historic homesteads that are surrounded by epic views of the Tetons.
Wildlife viewing is another popular activity, where you might spot grizzly, black bear, bison, moose, and antelope.
Zion National Park in Utah
For those of you that have a love for hiking and being outdoors, you’ll be thrilled to know that Zion National Park has some of the best trails for hiking in the country.
There you will discover red and pink towering sandstone cliffs, narrow canyons and arches, waterfalls, and the famous Virgin River.
There’s also fascinating evidence that this desert oasis was once occupied by the ancient Anasazis people.
The list of outdoor activities to take advantage of are endless, from camping, biking, horseback riding, ATV riding, kayaking, along with perfect conditions for viewing the starry night sky.
Although the trail to Angels Landing is considered to be strenuous, the payoff far exceeds that for those that are up for such an adventure.
Kolob Canyons is another popular destination that provides some of the most unmatched scenery in the entire country.
And should you make the smart decision to venture beneath the high canyon walls of The Narrows, rest assured that you’ve never hiked anything quite like it!
Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee/ North Carolina
With its lush green forests, cascading waterfalls, and tree-covered mountains, it’s no wonder why the Great Smoky Mountains National Park receives right around 12 million visitors every year.
There’s no entry fee to get into the park, while the main entrance is located just beyond the gateway touristy cities of Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge. There you will find all kinds of different little shops, entertainment, museums, restaurants, and vacation rentals.
Cades Cove offers not only spectacular scenery and historic homesteads to visit but also wildlife viewing opportunities where you might witness spotted deer, turkey, coyote, raccoon, and black bear.
Visitors also enjoy climbing Clingman’s Dome. It’s the highest point of elevation in the park (6,643 feet), where you can walk up to the top of an observation deck and marvel at the 360-degree panoramic view of the Smokies.
Newfound Gap is another popular park destination that comes with spectacular views. It’s also where you’ll run across the famous Appalachian Trail.
We loved visiting Anakeesta in Gatlinburg. You have an amazing view of the mountains. You can get a lift to the top, whether on a bus or ski lift! (We saw bears while on both the ski life AND the bus!)
Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado
If you’ve never laid eyes on the snow-capped mountains of Colorado before, just know that you haven’t lived yet. There’s just something mysteriously ancient about these rugged giants, which leave their visitors in a kind of awestruck trance.
Located about 70 miles north of Denver, the Rocky Mountain National Park is one of the top National Parks to visit with your kids. It not only provides incredible scenery, but outdoor enthusiasts also enjoy fishing, hiking, mountain-climbing, horseback riding, camping, and some of the best scenic drives in the country.
During the winter, popular activities include skiing, snowboarding, and snowmobiling.
A few of the places that are a must-see during your visit include the Emerald Lake Trail, a moderate hike that features a pristine lake that’s surrounded by jagged mountains.
Bear Lake is another destination that has a tranquil scenic view.
The Mount Evans Scenic Byway is the highest paved road in all of North America, making it a popular thing to do as well.
Yellowstone in Wyoming
Holding the honor of America’s oldest national park, Yellowstone unquestionably should be towards the top of everyone’s bucket list for places they need to visit during their lifetime.
There are so many jaw-dropping views that await you, from canyon walls that have been splashed in
red, dense forests, huge waterfalls, geysers, and peaceful alpine lakes.
A few of the best things to see in the park include Old Faithful, a geyser that erupts almost like clockwork.
The Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone features a stunningly-beautiful waterfall, while Grand Prismatic Spring is a thermal wonder known for its bright dazzling colors.
Hayden Valley and Lamar Valley are where you’re sure to see plenty of bison and other fascinating wildlife.
Backpacking, day-hiking, horseback riding, camping, and fishing, are just a few of the outdoor activities that you can do there.
Yosemite in California
Yosemite is especially known for its majestic roaring waterfalls. However, the park is also home to giant ancient sequoias, picturesque meadows, and valleys, unique rock formations, along a vast wilderness that will leave you in awe.
Though it reaches an immense 1,200 square miles, most of its visitors settle for only 8 square miles of the Yosemite Valley.
Glacier Point is a popular overlook that has striking views of Half Dome and the Yosemite Valley. You can hike or drive there. The road for vehicles is only accessible from May until about October or November, depending upon weather conditions.
There’s the Tunnel View Lookout, the view that was said to have made Ansel Adams famous.
Some of the popular activities to do in the park include fishing, boating, rafting, swimming, hiking, and mountain climbing.
Scattered all throughout the country, these are the best National Parks to visit with kids.
Each one offers its visitors amazing scenery, dozens of thrilling activities, and a rich history worth investigating. Your family will enjoy travelling and making memories, no matter which National Park you visit!