Families considering their vacation possibilities for the summer of 2017 might consider a visit to a National Park. Last year 293 million travelers decided to include U.S. national parks in their trip itineraries.
Golden Gate National Recreation Area in San Francisco is the leading destination of the National Park Systems list, with Great Smoky Mountain National Park designated the most popular national park. The National Park Service’s 405 park sites include the 59 headliner national parks, national monuments,, national seashores, and other various designations.
“As the National Park Service strives to share a more inclusive and well-rounded version of the American story through the places we care for, it is gratifying to see more people than ever coming to their national parks to enjoy nature, learn about history, and spend time with their families,” said National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis.
The most popular national parks 2016 were identified by Hotels.com search data and the results could be considered in vacation planning. The following parks were favored. The rank, park, gateway city, and average hotel price per night are provided.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park–Pigeon Forge, TN, $97
Grand Canyon National Park–Grand Canyon Village, AZ, $103
Yosemite National Park–Mariposa, CA, $119
Yellowstone National Park–Cody, WY, $138
Grand Teton National Park–Jackson, WY, $191
Zion National Park–Springdale, UT, $157
Arches & Canyonlands National Parks–Moab, UT, $132
Rocky Mountain National Park–Grand Lake, CO, $140
Acadia National Park–Bar Harbor, ME, $180
Joshua Tree National Park–Twentynine Palms, CA,$89
In 2016, the National Park Service celebrated their centennial with even more focus on these monumental and beautiful reserves.
“The surging popularity of national parks shows they are becoming travel destinations in and of themselves,” noted Taylor L. Cole, APR, a travel expert for the hotel industry. “We’ve seen a high volume of searches for stays in and around national parks.”
Search engines have made “it easier to stay right on national park grounds with added accommodation options such as lodges, cabins and even treehouses,” Cole added.