Today’s Culture with Travel post is by Keilah Keiser
Ever every year more than 331 million visitors take to the open road to visit the natural wonders and their unforgettable terrain of the U.S. National Parks System. At 84.6 million acres or 3.4 percent of the country, it’s an experience that’s the epitome of American. From lush ecosystems to harsh desert landscapes, there’s an abundance of diversity across the U.S. that make national parks a hot topic for summer travel. From families who take their kids to visit natural wonders for the first time, to college kids escaping the summer stay and their parent’s house, a national parks road trip offer something unique for every kind of visitor.
Since many of these parks are set in obscure locations, planning your road trip might require extensive driving and time spent on a plane, and figuring out the best entrance to start your park journey from is not always crystal clear. To help simplify your itinerary, CarRentals composed this guide on how to get from major airports to each of the top 40 national parks, while covering road trip basics like suggested driving time and route tips.
Take a look at the top national parks by region — southwest, northwest and midwest, central and eastern — to plan your national parks visit.
Southwest U.S. National Parks
Arguably some of the most diverse terrain, Southwest National Parks cover everything from The Grand Canyon to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Weather you’re looking to watch new earth form as lava erupts from volcanoes, post up in a hammock between Joshua Trees or walk among giants in the Sequoias, this region of the U.S might just have it all.
Northwest U.S. National Parks
For outdoor enthusiasts, northwest national parks are your opportunity to go-forth and explore. These national parks have some of the most fascinating wildlife and remote terrain in the country. Think Grizzly bears catching salmon from a river, glacier clad mountains, kayaking among fjords and snow capped peaks during the month of June.
Central U.S. National Parks
The central U.S. is home to some of the most popular national parks in the country: Zion, Yellowstone and Grand Teton. Visitors can view everything from geysers that spray hundreds of feet in the air to vast desert landscapes and stone arches that will make your feel small.
Midwest National Parks
While these parks may not make it to the yearly top 10 list, their landscapes are often some of the most underrated in the country. Visitors can take a ferry to remote islands in The Great Lakes or walk among the pinnacles and sprawling grasslands inhabited by bighorn sheep and bison.
Eastern National Parks
Eastern National Parks are the runner up for most diverse terrain in the country. Home to the longest cave system known in the world, Mammoth Caves National Park is something everyone must see in their lifetime. Boat among crocodiles in the Everglades or visit the most popular national park in the country — The Great Smoky Mountains — that spans the length of two states at more than 11 million visitors a year.
Learn more about