Getting out of your comfort zone and traveling is a common goal, and more and more people of all backgrounds are putting travel on their list of necessary expenses. While exotic getaways and foreign travel are high on the list, we should never forget the importance of exploring all the amazing places right here in the United States. This Saturday, April 21, the National Park Service is helping those who may be on a budget or who want to make it a family day at a National Park by allowing free entry to every National Park. That’s right, all 417 of them, for the beginning of National Park Week.
This year’s National Park Week theme is “Park Stars,” — celebrating the actual celestial beings that can be seen clearly from many park locations, as well as the National Park Service workers who are often unseen, but so valuable to keeping our parks clean, safe, and welcoming to visitors year-round. The week also features special events and guided tours like hikes and stargazing to make the experience even more fun (and Instagrammable) for guests.
On April 22, for Earth Day, some of the national parks, like Yosemite, will be throwing festivals with live music, ranger meet and greets, photo walks, and Shakespeare performances. While those days will not be free, they will still be worth a visit to enhance the already amazing experience of viewing some of Mother Nature’s best work. If a free visit is more your speed and you can’t make it this weekend, be sure to mark your calendars for more free admission days at the parks on National Public Lands Day, on September 22, and Veterans Day, on November 11, because after June 1, 2018, park admission will increase to 117 popular parks like Zion, Acadia, and the Grand Canyon.