Friday, April 16, 2010

Planning Your Vacation

A good place to start planning your vacation is the website for the National Park System, nps.gov.  There are several ways you can search.  On the right hand side in an area with a brown background you can search for parks by state.  Under the banner in an area with a green background you can click on to link to “Find a Park,” “Discover History,” “Explore Nature,” “Connecting with Communities,” “Get Involved,” “Teachers,” “Kids,” or “About Us.”  There are a number of helpful links on each of those initial links. For example in Find A Park you can search for parks by name, by location, by activity, and by topic.  Or at Get Involved you can find ways to become a volunteer, make a donation, or join a “friends group” like the Friends of Homestead National Monument of America that maintains this blog.

Once you have found the units in the National Park System you plan to visit there are numerous links on each unit’s webpage that can be helpful to you.  There are links to “Plan Your Visit,” “Directions,” “Operating Hours and Seasons,” “Fees and Reservations,” “Things to Do,” “For Kids,” and much more.  Some of the units will have a link for “Nearby Attractions” that can be found after going to the “Things to Do” link.  This link can be very helpful, take the Nearby Attractions link for Homestead National Monument of America for example; it provides links to nearby state parks, camping, and other units in the National Park System.  In addition it provides links to appropriate visitors’ bureaus, airports, and tourism agencies.

The National Park System isn’t the only agency that administers federal lands that you could visit.  The best place to start for ideas is Recreation.gov.  But you could also check these sites: Department of Interior Plan A Trip, U. S. Forest Service homepage, and U. S. Army Corps of Engineers Recreation Page.

Dream big, plan well, and visit your Federal Lands.

Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area in Wyoming & Utah
U. S. Forest Service.

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