Updated: 03/29/2016 4:05 PM | Print Story |  Email

National Parks

The National Parks Service is celebrating its 100th anniversary this August.  Renata Faeth from AAA Minneapolis has three trip suggestions to some of the National Parks based on whether you prefer planes, trains or automobiles.

By Car:   Black Hills area, South Dakota (which includes National Parks - Badlands and Wind Cave, National Monuments - Mt Rushmore and Devils Tower, State Parks and much more.)

There are just so many things to see and do.  Big hits include Mt. Rushmore National Monument, Custer State Park, Wind Cave National Park , Jewel Cave National Monument,  and many fun family-oriented activities like Cowboy dinners, Bear country, Needles Highway, Reptile Gardens and on and on.   It’s a treasure trove of stuff to do for families, and for Twin Citians a “must.”  Even the campgrounds and lodges are action-packed. It’s a 10 hour prairie drive, and worth every minute.   

Great for Parent, kids, and kids at heart- anyone.  There is also plenty of history to savor for those less actively inclined.  

Travel Tip:   Book accommodations early in the year for summer travel, and try to carve out one week minimum to explore. Ask about AAA discounts everywhere you go.

 

By Train:  Glacier National Park, Montana

You can take an Amtrak train to get there!  This journey is perfect for fans of train travel.  With one of Amtrak’s packages you can get by without a car.  Or, AAA can help you with a Hertz rental car once you get there. It’s stunning hiking paradise mountains, lakes, meadows and forests and glacier-carved valleys.

Out of Minneapolis, you can do Glacier Park Getaway starting at $779 per person with three nights at the historic Glacier Park Lodge.  It’s like stepping back in time to the early 1900s. Included is a Big Sky tour of the park, boat cruise, and dinner at the lodge.   This price is in addition to the rail ticket to get there, which AAA sells for 10% off, plus discounts for kids.

This trip is great for anyone who loves back country hiking and adventure and stunning scenery,  but also people who loves history, which includes a footprints of Blackfeet Indian tribes and European explorers.  Glacier was the 10th National Park est. in 1910.  Several of the hotels are National Historic Landmarks, as well.

 

By Plane:  Acadia National Park, Maine

Acadia National Park was the first park in the eastern portion of the USA, on the rugged coast of Maine on Mount Desert Island, near Bar Harbor. The Carriage Roads are the best example of “broken stone” roads left in America.  This true treasure was financed by visionary John Rockefeller between 1913 and 1940, for hikers, bikers, horseback riders and carriers.  The roads are not for cars, and this remains so. Forty five miles within the park, these intersect with main roads, allowing  hikers and bikers to venture into the forest to view wildlife and scenery on a historic path built especially for this purpose.

People who love hiking, biking, tidepooling, bird watching, scenic drives, even cold – water swimming (55 degrees!) will love Acadia National Park.  A destination for folks of all ages, including kids.  Click here for the AAA Deal to Acadia.  

 

Finally – AAA is offering a deal on the Trailblazer Tour offered by Trafalgar, which features 8 days, 10 meals, Oct 9-16 for $2042 per person double occupancy.  It starts and ends in Las Vegas.  You get to see Grand Canyon, Sedona, Monument Valley, Bryce and Zion and it’s fully guided!