America the Free
Well, here’s an idea that’ll keep some of those new America the Beautiful quarters in your pocket. Last week, the National Park Service announced that for National Park Week (April 17 – 25) they’d waive entrance fees at all 392 parks around the country. (Okay, for those who read the fine print, only 146 parks actually charge an entrance fee to begin with. Still, that’s a whole lotta purple mountain majesty being offered up.)
Unless you want to be snowshoeing through Crater Lake—Oregon’s only full-fledged national park—the woodsy family-fun stimulus package lands a tad early around these parts. (Though, it’s not a bad time to start thinking about reservations for Crater Lake Lodge.) But it’s a perfect time to set your sights further afield to sunnier destinations like Zion National Park, or maybe Joshua Tree.
If you’re looking for a theme, try Nevada’s Great Basin National Park or Arches National Park in Utah—both spots that just happen to be slotted to appear on a few quarters of their own in the next few years.