(BPT) - You may be eager to explore the world again, but the question is: Where should you go? There’s nothing like a good guide to the treasures that are the U.S. National Parks so you can plan your trips together, as a family.
Check out these National Geographic guides to help discover what's out there waiting for you.
1. Celebrate the National Parks' birthday with your kids
Happy 100th Birthday, National Parks! Join the celebration by reading about America’s greatest treasures in the National Parks Guide USA Centennial Edition from National Geographic Kids. Filled with gorgeous color photos, wildlife information, fun facts and cool things to do, this guide will get your kids excited about planning your next outdoor adventure.
2. Explore the riches of the U.S. National Parks
America’s 62 National Parks are featured in this all-new 9th edition of the Guide to National Parks of the United States. You’ll find expert travel advice, hiking and wildlife spotting tips, detailed maps and up-to-date information from park rangers and National Geographic’s acclaimed travel writers. Read about the newest additions to the U.S. park system: Indiana Dunes, White Sands and Gateway Arch National Parks. This edition also features week-long regional road trip itineraries for visiting multiple parks on one vacation.
3. Discover the parks — in cities, too
Filled with helpful travel tips and beautiful photography, 100 Parks, 5,000 Ideas showcases top experiences in national, state and city parks throughout North America. Each entry provides travel advice, insider knowledge and tips for hiking, biking and camping in the U.S. and Canada. You can even find natural beauty in New York's Central Park and Boston Commons, along with day-trips to nearby neighbors.
4. Take the road less traveled
The majority of National Park visitors stick to the most famous locations, missing a world of stunning scenery in the process. In Secrets of the National Parks, park rangers and local guides uncover hidden gems in 32 National Parks. Leave the crowds behind and discover sites like Yellowstone's Lamar Valley and the Everglades' Nine Mile Pond Canoe Trail.
5. Take a hike — around the world
If you love hiking, 100 Hikes of a Lifetime: The World's Ultimate Scenic Trails is your ultimate bucket list, with 100 treks for all levels, from the Appalachian Trail to Micronesia's Six Waterfalls Hike. Explore short day hikes like California's Sierra High Route, multi-day excursions like Tanzania's Mount Meru or multi-week treks including Australia's Bibbulum Track. Filled with beautiful photography and wisdom from expert hikers like Andrew Skurka, this guide offers the planet's best hiking experiences.
6. Satisfy the history buffs
If someone in your family obsesses about history, Complete National Parks of the United States: 400+ Parks, Monuments, Battlefields, Historic Sites, Scenic Trails, Recreation Areas, and Seashores is for you. Beyond covering significant historic sites, this comprehensive guide offers plenty of other recreation ideas, along with best times to visit and top-rated activities.
7. Take a visual journey through the parks
Atlas of the National Parks uses photographs, maps and graphics to showcase America's park system coast to coast, from the white sand beaches of the Dry Tortugas to the snowy peaks of Denali. Former ranger and author Jonathan Waterman introduces the country's scenic reserves, highlighting magnificent landmarks, ecosystems and wildlife, plus fascinating histories for an up-close look at what makes these lands special — and uniquely American.
8. Enjoy the night sky, wherever you are
Whether you're on vacation or staycation, you can explore the cosmos with this fully updated, user-friendly Backyard Guide to the Night Sky. "Night Sky Guy" Andrew Fazekas takes an easygoing approach to delight your family's would-be astronomers. Start with easy constellations, then "star-hop" across the night sky to find others. Hands-on tips for observing with the naked eye, binoculars or a telescope help you make the most of your viewings. Revised to make skywatching easier for the whole family, this guide shines a light on the night sky — truly one of the greatest shows on Earth!
"These colorful, informative guides are great resources for families seeking a memorable adventure," said Allyson Johnson, senior editor at National Geographic. "Kids and adults alike can be inspired to plan future explorations of the great outdoors."