America is a tapestry of national parks, offering everyone the chance to enjoy the great outdoors in some of the most stunning natural settings in the country. From the icy wonders of Alaska’s remote glaciers to the crystal-blue waters of the Florida Keys, there’s something for everyone.
Using data from the National Park Service’s Annual Park Ranking Report to rank the top 60 national parks by their recreational visits in 2020, Stacker searched for the best, most interesting activities to do at each, along with the best time to visit and how to prepare for a journey to each.
To see the lightning bugs in perfect unison in South Carolina or paddle through California’s Painted Cave, you must be ready to make your trip at a specific time of the year, but venturing deep into the world’s largest cave system in Kentucky or exploring the reefs and history around Fort Jefferson are available year-round.
Looking for a little adventure to tap into your inner Indiana Jones? Maybe just a place to relax, dip your toes in the sand, and watch the water kiss the beach? Is history and nature your thing? Read on to see Stacker’s list of must-do activities at every national park and don’t be surprised if you find yourself booking your next vacation.
Editor’s note: Check the park’s website ahead of time, as COVID-19 restrictions result in some parks temporarily closing or limiting access. Some of the activities described may not be available while restrictions are in place.
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