How to Take a National Park Family Vacation and Not Have to Camp
Photos courtesy of each national park
There is a certain segment of the population that just doesn’t like to rough it. Their idea of camping is spending a night at a well-lit, furnished, and amenitied hotel with a hot shower and a comfy bed. So when the idea of getting out of doors with the kids and taking in some of the national parks across the country, finding a place to stay that is not camping, nearby to the park, and preferably family-friendly is essential. Here are five of the most-visited national parks and some places nearby for you to hang you and your family’s hat.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park — Gatlinburg, Tennessee
What to See: Mountain views, wildlife, and historic buildings.
Hotel: The Park Vista — a DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel.
Distance from the Park: Located one mile from Great Smoky Mountains.
Family amenities: Family suites featuring bunk beds and video games. Games, multi-level heated indoor pool, and mini water park on site.
Grand Canyon National Park — Flagstaff, Arizona
What to See: Amazing landscapes, erosional forms, Colorado River.
Hotel: DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel
Distance from the Park: A little over an hour away.
Family amenities: AAA Family Fun Package includes: breakfast for four, internet access, and 5 percent off your stay. Pool onsite.
Zion National Park — Springdale, Utah
What to See: Sandstone cliffs, historic paths, slot canyons, rich wildlife.
Distance from the Park: 1 mile from Zion National Park entrance.
Family amenities: Two free shuttle services stop in front of the hotel. Springdale Shuttle to nearby attractions, including the Zion Visitors Center and Zion Shuttle takes you from the Visitors Center to many spots within the park. Outdoor heated swimming pool. Breakfast and Wi-Fi included. Military Discount here is 15 percent.
Grand Teton National Park — Jackson, Wyoming
What to See: Scenery and wildlife with Snake River and over 200 miles of trails.
Distance from the Park: Located 30 minutes away from Grand Teton entrance.
Family amenities: Breakfast and dinner and drinks included Monday through Thursday. In-suite kitchen and complimentary grocery shopping included. Children’s activities and children’s video rentals. Playground, pool, and free ski shuttle.
Acadia National Park — Bar Harbor, Maine
Hotel: Hampton Inn Bar Harbor
Distance from the Park: Five minute drive to Acadia National Park, Seal Harbor, and Sand Beach
Family amenities: Cribs and high chairs are available. Indoor and outdoor swimming pools onsite. Free breakfast and Wi-Fi. Military Discount here is 15 percent.
Glacier National Park — Kalispell, Montana
What to See: Great scenery, and spectacular lakes with over 700 miles of trails.
Hotel: Hampton Inn Kalispell
Distance from the Park: Only 30 minutes from Flathead Lake, Big Mountain Ski Resort, and Glacier National Park
Family amenities: Hot breakfast daily and Wi-Fi. Twenty-four hour indoor pool and airport shuttle. Cribs and high chairs are available. Military rate is also 15 percent off.
There are plenty of places out there to stay that are close by to the parks, and you can still have the luxury that you desire. Where do you stay when you go to the parks? Are you a camper or a glamper? Let me know in the comments below.
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