Activities at U.S. National Parks
U.S. National Park Service (http://www.nps.gov/index.htm). This website is very useful when you are looking for parks within a certain state. By clicking the “find a park” button, you can locate a park by name, location, activity, topic, or state. After finding a park, you can read about activities to do there, it’s history, climate, and other interesting or necessary facts.
U.S. Parks Travel Guide (http://www.us-parks.com/). The first tab on this site is a “park locator.” After choosing this option, a map of the United States pops up with thumbnails on the state indicating national parks. Once you click one of these images you are given a summary about the park and options such as “lodging near the area.”
National Parks, National Forests, and Public Land Guides (http://www.gorp.com/parks-guide/index-sp.html). This site also gives a map of the United States so you can pick the area you wish to search for a park. However, you can limit your search here by checking off what activities you are hoping to find in the park you search for, any thing from fishing to mountain biking.
National Parks Pictures (http://www.terragalleria.com/parks/). If you are looking for a park based off of the scenery, this site is a good representation of what you will see at each location. Offering numerous pictures from more than 100 U.S. national parks, simply choose the park you wish to see and view the breath-taking gallery.
National Park Foundation (http://www.nationalparks.org/). This site gives a list of popular parks as well as the option to search near your zip code. In addition to finding parks near you, it also helps you plan your trip with Expedia.com which them donates half of your payment to the Nation Park Foundation.
United States National Parks and Monuments Maps (http://www.lib.utexas.edu/maps/national_parks.html). This long list of national parks was mostly put together by the National Park Service, but is located on the University of Texas Library website. The main objective of this site is to provide a map of the area where the certain park is located, helpful if you don’t know you’re way around the state.
National Geographic (http://travel.nationalgeographic.com/travel/nationalparks/). In the “travel” section you can choose from a list of national parks and learn more about whatever one you choose. Differing from the other sites however, National Geographic also offers a guide on the area of the park you choose, so you can learn more about your surroundings of the destination you pick.
Fodor’s Travel Guides | Top 25 National Park Experiences (http://www.fodors.com/trip-ideas/national-parks/experience:120.html). This site, also dedicated to helping visitors find the best national park that suites their hankering, throws a twist in by giving a list of “The Top 25 National Park Experiences.” This list varies from rafting through the Grand Canyon to seeing a night sky light up with fireflies in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
Lists of U.S. National Parks (http://www.fact-index.com/l/li/list_of_u_s __national_parks.html). Similar to other sites listed, this simply gives a list of the names of U.S. national parks. However, after clicking on a certain park, you will be given a very detailed description of that attraction. This is especially useful when trying to gage what the differences are in some parks.
Best U.S. National Parks Views (http://www.travelandleisure.com/slide-shows/best-us-national-park-views/1). Under the “travel and leisure” section, this slide show gives you a beautiful image and detailed description of some of the top U.S. national parks.
Visit the Nation’s Finest Parks (http://nationalparks.com/). This site gives a list of parks as links. Once you choose a park, you are given a list of other website options connecting you with things relating to that park, such as low trip prices, hotels, and activities.
The Best Views You Can Enjoy At U.S. National Parks (http://www.journeyetc.com/travel-ideas/the-best-views-you-can-enjoy-at-us-national-parks/). Although this article doesn’t offer a long list of parks like so many others, it is unique because it gives not only pictures of the park but also a video, to show exactly what you’re in for in you decide to visit that place.
Geology of National Parks (http://3dparks.wr.usgs.gov/#). This website brings an interesting twist to showing you the landscape and beautiful pictures of many U.S. national parks; by making them 3D. All you need is a traditional pair of 3D glasses to make the images literally pop out at you. Suddenly, it’s as if you are actually in the Grand Canyon.
All U.S. and Canada Campgrounds (http://www.uscampgrounds.info/). Although this site is mainly geared towards those looking for campgrounds to settle at, it also has all of the U.S. national parks on it’s map. This is useful as it shows you where near these parks there is shelter if you are looking for something a little more traditional than a hotel. The map also gives state parks, and city or regional parks on its map.
National Parks Information (http://www.areaparks.com/). By simply clicking on a park after choosing your state, or clicking on a featured national park, this website not only tells you some basic information about your choice, but also helps you plan the trip, giving you the best website to visit to get a deal as well as things to do while you’re there.
State Park Locator for iPhone (http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/state-parks-locator/id379601817?mt=8). Although this is not a traditional website for you to visit on your computer, it is if you have an iPhone. Just one click and $2.99 later you will have an “app for that”. This application lets you select a state from the map and after choosing the park of your interest gives you some basic information. It also lets you search for parks near your current location incase you’re feeling spontaneous one day.
Trail Maps and More (http://www.trails.com/). This website, although mainly made for those looking for trails to bike, hike, or whatever, is very useful in looking for things to do at national parks. Once you find the park you’re wondering about you can look at a map of all the trails and options for those trails.
Federal Recreation Information (http://www.recreation.gov/welcome.do?topTabIndex=Home). After simply searching the park of interest to you, this website will give you a summary of the basics including, where to find a description, activities, address, and even GPS coordinates. It also gives you an email to contact someone if you have any questions about the park or area.
U.S. National Parks List (http://www.adventuresportsonline.com/service/parks.htm). Useful to lost looking to be a little more active with their park excursions, this website devoted to adventure sports gives a list of U.S. national parks in terms of their physical outdoor activity opportunities.
Travel and Activities | Weather Underground (http://www.wunderground.com/travel/index.asp). And finally, a website dedicated to predicting the weather in areas such as national parks, because, let’s face it, if you’re looking for a leisurely walk along a majestic path in the forest, a terrible downpour wasn’t park of the picture.
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