3 National Parks you NEED to See
So, what makes the perfect national park? For myself, it's the tourist feel that some of these parks give you. Another thing is the time it takes to see everything you need to see. I LOVE a national park that takes more than a whole day to see it all. It gives you that sense of wanting to stay out longer and come back again to see more. And then, of course, there is the beauty that nature brings. Whether that's lots of trees or red rock, all these parks have something unique to them.
All national parks have their own distinct beauty. And of course, we all have our own definition of what is beautiful. So, in this blog post, I will be sharing my own opinion from my own experiences. I'm sure there are many other parks I would add onto this list, and I will, once I visit them myself.
Zion National Park
I might be completely biased when it comes to this park because I spent a couple summers working on the East side of the park after high school. It is one of the best tourist friendly parks to go to, which is what makes it so fun. The towns on each side of the park cater to all the tourists with cute restaurants and shops. They have a bus that you can ride to get to most of the popular hikes. I've shared a few of my favorite hikes in this park in a separate blog post if you want to read about it here. Another cool thing about this park is that it has two tunnels. One is fairly short and gorgeous. The other tunnel is 1.1 miles long which cars and trailers can drive through. However, if you have anything bigger than a car, like an RV for instance, traffic on the other side is stopped for safety reasons. It is only wide enough for two lanes of regular sized vehicles to pass each other. Having to stop might sound annoying but as you are driving through you will notice that some areas of the tunnel have been opened up, so you get glimpses of the other side of the park. Seeing the green trees against the stunning red rock is a must see! Leave a comment if you've been to this park.
Yellowstone National Park
Of course, this extremely popular park had to make it onto the list. But let me tell you why. I'm biased to how the small towns around National Parks accompany the tourists, which is a big reason why you need to go here. I worked here one winter at a Gas Station that rented out snowmobiles. Did you know that you can go snowmobiling in Yellowstone National Park? I sure didn't! Not until I was asked to be a part of a musical there. This park is open year-round. This park is SO big that you NEED to set aside a few days to see it all. The buffalo, Old Faithful, the gorgeous landscape, and more. So, let's say you plan a 4 day trip with your family to see what all the hype is about. You go for the whole day and make it back to your hotel but decide you'd like to take your significant other out for a dinner date. West Yellowstone has got you covered. Want macaroni and cheese covered pizza? They've got it! (This is a distant memory and I can NOT remember the name of the pizza place, SORRY! But in all seriousness, it’s topped with bacon bits and is freaking delicious!) Want some entertainment? Go see a musical at The Playmill Theatre! West Yellowstone does NOT lack in having things to do. Of course, there is so much to do inside the park as well. But a lot of you probably already know that.
Bryce Canyon National Park
I haven't spent as much time to get to know this park like the other two, but it still made it onto my list. Why? Because it's freaking gorgeous! I don't even understand how it looks the way that it does, but pictures seriously don't do it justice. Just looking at the pictures make me want to visit again, and SOON! This park isn't as big or well known as the other two I've mentioned and that's another beautiful thing about it. If you are already at Zion National Park, you aren't too far from this one. The crowds won't be as big, so it is more likely to have a peaceful experience here. I don't have much to say about the touristy feel about the towns next to the park because I didn't give myself enough time to play. But the view is the only thing I need to remember to make it back there again.
I know that there are more national parks that I need to visit (doesn't everyone?). For instance, I have never been to the Grand Canyon (um, hello! WHY?!). Knowing this makes me want to travel and show my family more of the beautiful wonders the world has to offer. If there is a National Park you feel like should have made it onto this list, please comment below! I would love to plan my next family trip there!