Bison at Yellowstone National Park

I love visiting National Parks…the nature, the quietness, the limitless opportunities for exercise and adventure. Taking a vacation to a national park area often leads to the best photographs and memories. Plus, planning your vacation around a national park can save you a lot of money. After paying the initial entrance fee, you have endless hiking trails, scenic drives, wildlife watching, and other recreational activities to enjoy! I have visited plenty of parks over the years. Check out a few of my favorite national parks thus far…

1. Redwood National Parks (California) – The most spectacular scenery in the country. The trees are just so majestic, you have to see them up close for yourself to truly appreciate the grandness of it all. Taking a picture next to these gigantic trees truly is a once in a lifetime experience. Did you know that there is also an area where you can drive through a Redwood tree? Pretty cool…

Redwood National Park

Read more about Redwood National Park

2. Yellowstone National Park (Montana, Wyoming) – I have taken several all day drives through Yellowstone. I saw plenty of bison, but never a bear! The scenery is beautiful, Old Faithful is amazing, plenty of spots are available for awesome photographs, and seeing bison walk up next to our car was a once-in-a-lifetime experience!

Yellowstone National Park

See photos of wildlife in action at Yellowstone

3. Grand Teton National Park (Wyoming) – One of the most relaxing national parks which I have driven through. We saw plenty of moose just lying around peacefully. Great park for viewing wildlife! Yellowstone tends to get all the attention, however, Grand Teton is also worth the trip!

Grand Tetons National Park - moose

National Parks I most want to visit: Grand Canyon (never made it here on my trips to Arizona – can’t wait to do a hike here), Yosemite (definitely a must-see!), Denali (need to visit Alaska soon), Acadia (lived in Maine but somehow never made it over here – can’t wait to look for sea glass at this hotspot), Smoky Mountains (only drove through briefly – I would like to stay in a mountain cabin), and Arches (I have heard that this park in Utah is amazing – love the desert scenery).

Update: Since completing this post, I have visited 2 of these parks: Grand Canyon and Smoky Mountains. And yes, they were both fabulous! Take a look at my Guide to visiting the South Rim of the Grand Canyon and my top 5 hikes in the Smokies for more details. I have also visited numerous national parks in the Western states. Check out my Western National Parks must-visit list!