It seems we’ve entered the golden age of national park travel. While national parks in the United States have always been among the best family vacation spots in the U.S. and especially popular after the 2016 centennial, the pandemic has sparked a whole new wave of travelers seeking the natural social distancing of the great outdoors.
The rise in popularity isn’t without its challenges, though. In 2020, many travelers discovered firsthand just how overcrowded the most famous parks and best national park lodges can be.
Others were faced with the reality that visiting park sites isn’t as simple as just hopping in the car for a family road trip. The pandemic spurred some sites, like Colorado’s Rocky Mountain National Park, to switch to a timed reservations. Campground reservations for popular times can be hard to snag unless done months in advance or right when they become available.
Planning to go camping this summer? Think about booking your spot now
The good news: With some key improvements and changes now underway, visiting America’s national parks in 2021 should get a lot easier, making them one of the best (and easiest) family vacation ideas in 2021. These include nonstop flight routes serving national park gateway cities, a new national parks app, improved reservations and small group tours. There’s even a brand-new national park to visit this year.
If you’re looking to plan a post-vaccine vacation to America’s “best idea,” here’s what to expect.
Best national park lodges: These are the places you’ll want to stay
More new nonstop flights to national park gateways
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