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It’s a new year and that means an entire set of new freebies when it comes to visiting national parks in and around the United States. Uncle Sam is once again throwing open the gates on certain days during 2014, so now’s the time to start planning on when to skip out of work.
The government usually just doesn’t give stuff away, so when they do it’s a good idea to take advantage of it. This year there are nine days in which you can leave the admission fee back at your house, and the very first of them is just about a week away. Things start on January 20, as Martin Luther King Jr. Day is the first free one of the year.
Here in the nifty fifty, we enter another week in which our government is out of order and services, departments, and centers continue to be closed. Last week we mentioned that one state was getting sick and tired of things, and now it looks like they’re not the only ones. Regardless of the bickering in the government , some states are taking the high road, as they’re working to open national parks, monuments, and other tourist hotspots.
Up first is the state of Utah, which plans to fund the opening of its five national parks. Utah has agreed to shell out around $165,000 per day to the National Park Service for the next ten days or so to open up Arches, Bryce Canyon, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef, and Zion parks.
In New York City it’s the Statue of Liberty that’s reopening this week, as the state is coughing up roughly $60,000 per day to keep the torch lit. Arizona is opening up the Grand Canyon to visitors, and again, they’re doing it through private donations and state funding.
The state of Arizona is already sick and tired of this government shutdown bologna, and it's not going to sit around and watch its biggest assets lay dormant. The state isn't sending men in black suits to Washington, DC or anything like that, but it is trying to open up some of its natural attractions—and is prepared to foot the bill that comes along with it.
Arizona Governor Jan Brewer has offered up some cash and funding to the feds—state money, not her own—to keep the Grand Canyon up and running during the pesky government disagreement. Sounds like a reason for permit holders to celebrate, but unfortunately the federal government couldn’t care less. Apparently the National Park Service has rejected the state’s offer to help open the Canyon for business. Some local businesses also offered to pitch in, however, once again no means no.
Two Senators from the state are now getting involved, so stay tuned if you’re headed to the Grand Canyon anytime soon. We’re kind of thinking that the outside funding requests will eventually get their way, and that big hole in the ground will once again be up and running. Until then, you'll have to find something else to do in Flagstaff.
North Carolina Travel / Lighthouses / Beach Travel / National Parks / Museum Travel / Historical Travel / → All Tags
It’s already April, and that means it is officially time to start thinking about warm weather vacations. If you’re thinking about taking the family—or just the friends—down to the Outer Banks of North Carolina this summer we’ve got some good news for you. One of the area’s iconic lighthouses just kind of finished a pretty lengthy rehab and renovation, and it’s getting ready to show itself off once again to both tourists and locals.
A couple years ago the Bodie Island Lighthouse at Cape Hatteras National Seashore was already going under the knife for a nip and tuck, but the engineers discovered that it was in worse shape than originally thought. Fast-forward to the present and it’s just finishing up some aesthetic improvements, as well as some structural upgrades to ensure that it’s good-to-go for years to come.
If you’re still planning to take advantage of the National Park Service’s free entrance days this year, then we’ve got another place to add to your national park to-do list. The next time the free days come along—that’s April 22 through April 26—we're thinking checking out the country’s newest national park might just be a good idea. Pinnacles National Park is hardly the new kid on the block, but after being a national monument since the early 1900s, it just got the upgrade into a full-fledged national park last month.
If you’re keeping track it’s certainly the newest national park, and it’s number 59 overall. We do apologize in advance if you’ve been to all of the national parks, but it looks like you need to head back outdoors to score one more stamp in your national park passport.
The holiday greetings are now starting to stream in after starting with a trickle. Up this week is the country’s National Park Service, as they’ve uploaded their own little YouTube greeting to wish you and yours a very merry holiday season.
Park employees chime in to say hello from their national parks, historic sites, and monuments, and of course there’s even a little cameo by Santa.
There’s some cheesy special effects like everyone doing their thing inside of a snow globe, but we’ve got to say good for them and happy holidays right back at you, NPS.
In case you haven’t noticed, the days in 2012 are starting to get pretty limited and before you know it it’s going to be time for 2013. The National Park Service is already getting set for the calendar switch, as they just announced their freebie days for the following year. So if you still have a couple more national park visits on your bucket list, you might be able to visit for a few fewer bucks.
Up first is January 21, which corresponds with Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, and after that Uncle Sam is opening up his back yard for an entire week. It’s pretty much a park free-for-all during National Park Week, as the gates swing open free of charge between April 22 and April 26.
It seems that every few months there’s a chance to score a gratis visit to some of the country’s greatest treasures, and that chance is coming up once again. It might be getting a little cooler where you call home, but it’s probably still warm enough to enjoy one more slice of the great outdoors.
In support of Veteran’s Day the National Park Service is continuing their free entrance days this upcoming weekend, as they’re planning to swing open the gates on November 10-12. These are the last fee-free days of the year, so if you haven’t taken advantage of Uncle Sam’s generosity in the past now is the time to do so.
New York City / National Parks / Tourism / Landmarks / Statue of Liberty / Hurricane Sandy / → All Tags
Before Hurricane/Superstorm Sandy roared into the area last week, the Statue of Liberty was just recovering from her most recent nip-and-tuck. Her interior visitor areas were closed for about a year for the extensive renovation and upgrade, but now it looks like the Statue of Liberty is closed for business once again as a result of the recent weather.
We usually don’t just head over to Thailand for the weekend, but the next time we’re in the neighborhood we’re definitely go to visit a local 7-Eleven again. We’re not looking for a Slurpee—although we might get one of those too—but we’re interested in something else that the convenience store chain is working on.
Tourist tickets for all of the country’s 148 different national parks will soon be available for sale at 7-Eleven stores across the country. It sounds like the National Parks Office is still finalizing the agreement, but expect the extra amenity next show up next to spare batteries and ramen noodles soon.
Happy birthday to the National Park Service! Not only are they responsible for maintaining Uncle Sam’s backyard and making sure you aren't mauled by grizzlies, but they're behind the scenes working on spruce-ups to celebrate their 96th year. Sure there are some national parks older than that, but it’s been almost 100 years since the government decided to organize the parks into one big happy family.
Up first is a new mobile website—www.nationalparks.org—optimized to look great and load quickly on your phone or other device. Here they’re promising a one-stop-shop source for news, commentary, videos, photos, and pretty much everything else you’d want to know regarding each and every one of the country’s national parks. The website can also pinpoint some of the parks closest to your location, and it’ll provide the current weather and related information—so you know whether it’s safe to venture out of your RV.
Tax Refund Vacations / Wyoming Travel / National Parks / Yellowstone National Park / COD / BIL / Billings Travel / JAC / Jackson Hole Travel / → All Tags
Tax day is coming, and you're probably excited not because you look forward to sifting through receipts and credit card statements, but because you're getting a fat refund. Probably. The economy may be on its way back up, but you should try to stretch that tax refund as far as you can...like with a little "you did a great job last year" trip.
When Uncle Sam hopefully probably maybe gives you back some hard earned cash this year, a great way to spend it is on a travel experience that thanks the USA for the cash. Go with Yellowstone National Park, as it's not only the the first American national park, but the world's first plot of land devoted to nature and preserving it's beauty.