Summer Travel: Outside Takes Us Beyond the National Parks

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Everyone knows that America’s National Parks are amazing destinations, but those 59 places aren’t the only great places to visit inside the U.S. national park system. In fact, there are 351 other “units” that fall under the care of the National Park Service, and Outside magazine shares their favorites in a new article entailed 351 Amazing Places that Aren’t National Parks.

The article looks at some of the best national monuments – such at Mt. Rushmore and George Washington’s birthplace – as well as other destinations that include national coastlines, historic battlefields, and numerous other places that are part of NPS but haven’t been given the title of “national park.”

Outside even has some suggestions on places to go if you want to avoid the crowds. For example, rather than visit the wildly popular Grand Canyon, the magazine’s editors suggest going to Canyon De Chelly ­National Monument instead. Want to examine impressive fossils? Skip Petrified Forest National Park and go to Dinosaur National Monument in Colorado and Utah to get your fix. The point is, there are some good alternatives to the more crowded parks that offer similar experiences without having to battle lots of other visitors, which can make the experience a much better one.

Check out the entire list of Outside’s suggestions here. Then, start making your summer travel plans.

Kraig Becker