With 417 National Park Sites currently in the United States, there’s likely one right in your backyard. Here are ten National Park vacation suggestions that span the United States, and are certain to provide a summertime adventure that the entire family will long remember.

1. ACADIA- Hancock/Knox Co. Maine

Acadia National Park

The rugged Atlantic Coast is the setting for Acadia National Park, one of the nation’s oldest (1916) national parks. Situated primarily on Mount Desert Island, Acadia features incredible landscapes, ranging from sweeping ocean views, picturesque mountains and plentiful wildlife. Camping is available both inland as well as near the ocean, and the abundant hiking opportunities feature winding trails through some of New England’s most breathtaking sights.

Be sure to check out:

• Blackwoods Campground – South of Bar Harbor; ample spaces, walk-ins welcome, nighttime campfire entertainment.

• Thunder Hole – Experience this phenomenon created by an underwater cavern that causes the loud ‘thunderous roar’ as waves recede to the ocean.

2. CUYAHOGA VALLEY- Cuyahoga Co. Ohio

Cuyahoga National Park

Following a lengthy stretch of the Cuyahoga River, Cuyahoga National Park has become one of the midwest’s favorite destinations for summertime biking and hiking. Caves and rolling hills provide spectacular scenery along with waterfalls scattered throughout. providing excellent sightseeing opportunities. Camping is of the ‘roughing-it’ variety, and for younger visitors (ages 7-12), overnight summer camps are available, filled with numerous fun-filled activities.

Be sure to check out:

• Nearby Portage Lakes State Park – Boating, camping, fishing, swimming.

• Brandywine Falls – A 65-foot waterfall that once provided power for local industries.

3. MAMMOTH CAVE – Kentucky

Mammoth Cave National Park

With over 400 miles of jaw-dropping wonder at Mammoth Cave National Park, there’s zero chance of not being completely awed by this national treasure. Besides the obvious attractions found underground, numerous (above-ground) biking and hiking trails and family-friendly camping sites are plentiful.

Be sure to check out:

• The Trog Tour – Kid’s only (ages 8-12) guided tour of rarely-seen cave attractions.

• Cedar Sink Trail – Leisurely hike through lush greenery and granite overhangs leading to natural sink holes.

4. GREAT SMOKY MOUNTAINS – North Carolina/Tennessee border

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

One of the world’s oldest mountain ranges, Smoky Mountains National Park is the most-visited National Park. Home to an incredibly diverse ecosystem, the Park offers over 800 miles of well-maintained trails, for both bikers and hiking enthusiasts.

Be sure to check out:

• Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center – Extensive collection of local historic artifacts (including Native American) and exhibits.

• Dollywood – Amusement rides, live musical entertainment, dining, shopping.

5. ISLE ROYALE – Keweenaw Co, Michigan

Isle Royal National Park

Isle Royale National Park is an island situated in Lake Superior and is quickly gaining a reputation as an underappreciated vacation ‘hot-spot.’ Hopping a Michigan or Minnesota-based ferry is small sacrifice once you’ve experienced this wilderness wonderland. Spectacular scenery amid unspoiled nature and ‘family-and-age-friendly’ activities are just a few of Isle Royale’s ‘positives.’ Hiking and nature walks and ample backcountry camping attracts visitors from far and wide.

6. BIG BEND – Brewster Co, Texas

Big Bend National Park

The state’s largest public land, Big Bend National Park borders Mexico (and the Rio Grande) and ranges from desert to river to mountains. Wild and plantlife is also diverse and abundant, Big Bend is a biking and hiking enthusiasts’ dream, providing over 200 miles of trails. Backcountry camping is becoming increasingly popular,

Be sure to check out:

• Hueco Tanks – Rock-climbers flock to this El Paso-area attraction.

• Padre Island – The annual sea turtle migration phenomenon is a ‘must-see.’

7. GRAND CANYON – Coconino and Mohave Co. Arizona

Grand Canyon National Park

Considered one of the modern Wonders of the World, the Grand Canyon National Park‘s namesake is undeniably the centerpiece, but there’s much more for families to experience in the second most-visited (behind the Great Smoky Mountains) U.S. National Park. Guided pack mule and walking tours, airplane and helicopter flyovers are popular methods of taking in the awe-inspiring Colorado River Gorge. Campgrounds are plentiful, but backcountry camping requires a permit, available online at https://www.nps.gov/grca/planyourvisit/backcountry-permit.htm or at the Main Visitors Backcountry Information Center.

Be sure to check out:

• Hopi Point – Spectacular views, especially at sunset.

• Historic Navajo Bridge – The view from 470 feet above the Gorge is definitely not for the faint of heart (or with a fear of heights).

8. REDWOOD – Del Norte and Humboldt Co. California

Redwood National Park

Boasting the tallest trees (some over 350 feet) is merely the ‘icing on the cake’ on an unforgettable trip to Redwood National Park, a Golden State jewel. Winding riverways, rugged coastlines, immense forestlands and a diverse ecosystem are all included. Toss in miles of hiking/biking trails through scenic nature plus nearly unlimited camping options and the choice is crystal clear for an incredible family vacation.

Be sure to check out:

• Fern Canyon – Numerous varieties of fern covering 50-foot high canyon walls in this Jurassic Park-like environment.

• Stout Grove – Experience the unbelievable size of the Redwoods from an up-close perspective.

9. CRATER LAKE – Klamath Co. Oregon

Crater Lake National Park

Established in 1902, Crater Lake National Park is home to the second-deepest lake (1,949 feet) in North America and is the Park’s centerpiece. It’s also home to an inactive volcano, Mount Mazama, with the Pumice Desert formed at its base. Hiking trails predominate most of the Park, winding around various picturesque peaks such as Garfield and Watchman. Backcountry campers are required to register at Park Headquarters.

Be sure to check out:

• Similar to other West Coast woodlands, the Park is abundant in dense, old-growth forests.

• Stretching from Canada to Mexico, the Pacific Coast Trail traverses through the Park.

10. OLYMPIC – Port Angeles, Washington

Olympic National Park

Olympic National Park is unique in that it contains three separate ecosystems, making for an unusually varied topography and featuring unprecedented scenery, with coastline,rainforest and mountains. Hiking trails are also abundant, and backcountry campers have their choice of making camp next to crystal-clear lakes, moss-covered forests or ancient peaks.

Be sure to check out:

• Kaloch Beach – Bald eagle and Western gull sightings.

• Lake Crescent – Crystal-clear waters contain two species of found nowhere-else; the Beardslee and Crescenti.

Now it’s your turn…what’s YOUR favorite National Park adventure, and why? We couldn’t possibly fit them all in or own blog post, so we’d love to hear from you in the comments below!