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The first of several fee-free days scheduled for 2016 is just around the corner. So consider visiting your local U.S. National Park on Monday, January 18th. Entrance fees to the parks will be waived that day. In addition, some other special offers may apply.

For more information and trip planning links, visit the National Park Service’s website.

Looking back…

In the first months of 2008, we found ourselves camping in Port Angeles (WA) between Olympic National Park and the Strait of Juan de Fuca. We could see the mountains of British Columbia (Canada) in the distance. Behind us was Olympic National Park. It was an amazing location with gorgeous views.

During the day the beach was active with surfers, paddle boarders and kayakers. Yes, surfers in Washington! They surf the Strait of Juan de Fuca in the colder months and aren’t afraid to don their wet suits and brave the cold for a few seconds on their boards.

As winter progressed we were very fortunate with snowfall. Just a few times and not too heavy, although the cold winds remind you that winter can be unforgiving. I did love seeing the snow fall on the beach. Close to shore it stops  – about two feet above the sand/water.

It was amazing what we saw at the beach in winter. One day we saw a small octopus had washed up and three bald eagles were tearing into it! If only I had my camera at the time – what a sight! And in addition to periodic whale sightings, we also saw submarines heading out to the Pacific Ocean.

So where ever we end up each winter, I try not to complain too much about the cold weather – knowing that somewhere along the Strait there are surfers eagerly awaiting to head out into the icy water. 😉

Photo by H.S. Cooper ©

Photo by H.S. Cooper © Gulf Island National Seashore

No, it’s not snow! Just sugary white sand along the Gulf Coast. 🙂

Photo by H.S. Cooper ©

Photo by H.S. Cooper © Fort McHenry National Monument

If you find yourself near Baltimore, don’t forget to take a day to visit Fort McHenry National Monument by the harbor. The fort and grounds have a fascinating history… and the Battle of Baltimore in 1814 was the inspiration for Francis Scott Key to write the Star-Spangled Banner!

Entrance into the fort is $7 per adult; children under 15 are free. You can visit the park without paying admission – although you will only have access to the picnic grounds, visitor’s center, gift shop and movie.

Now the area is not Big Rig friendly, so don’t even think about taking your RV! If you are staying in the area you can take the water taxi or drive (but follow directions carefully as there is a great deal of traffic).

For directions and additional information, please visit their website at: http://www.nps.gov/fomc/index.htm

Photo by H.S. Cooper ©

Photo by H.S. Cooper ©

Last of the 2013 fee-free days is quickly approaching. So if you haven’t had a chance to visit your local U.S. National Park, mark your calendar for Veterans Day Weekend. From November 9 -11 entrance fees to the parks will be waived. In addition, some other special offers may apply.

November 9-11, 2013
(Veterans Day weekend)

For more information, visit the National Park Service’s website: http://www.nps.gov/findapark/feefreeparks.htm

Photo taken by H.S. Cooper ©

Photo taken by H.S. Cooper © CRESCENT CITY, CA

Looking back…

In the Summer of 2008 we found ourselves along scenic Highway 101 near Crescent City (CA). We found a nice little campground and enjoyed visiting Redwood National and State Parks, in addition to Battery Point Lighthouse. Although we found ourselves with poor timing and had to return to visit the lighthouse. Battery Point is only accessible from shore during low tide. There are many sites to see along the coast and we look forward to returning in the near future.

Photo by H.S. Cooper © GNS - Fort Pickens

Photo by H.S. Cooper © Gulf National Seashore – Fort Pickens

Looking ahead… there are a few more fee-free days at U.S. National Parks. Don’t forget to mark your calendar for at least one of these dates. During these times, entrance fees to the parks will be waived. In addition, some other special offers may apply.

August 25, 2013
(National Park Service Birthday)

September 28, 2013
(Public Lands Day)

November 9-11, 2013
(Veterans Day weekend)

For more information and trip planning links, visit the National Park Service’s website: http://www.nps.gov/findapark/feefreeparks.htm

NOTE: And don’t forget to support some of your local and non-profit attractions this year!

Photo by H.S. Cooper © Appomattox Court House National Historical Park

Photo by H.S. Cooper © Appomattox Court House National Historical Park

Photo by H.S. Cooper © Gulf National Seashore

Photo by H.S. Cooper © Gulf National Seashore

Celebrate Spring! This year National Park Week is celebrated April 20th-28th. Park entrance fees will be waived from April 22nd to April 26th.  From National Junior Ranger Day (April 20th) to Volunteer Day (April 27th) there will be something to do at your local park.

So dust off the old back pack and hiking boots and take advantage of National Park Week this April!

For more information and trip planning visit these sites:

http://www.nps.gov/npweek/

http://www.nationalparks.org/national-park-week

Photo by H.S. Cooper ©

Photo by H.S. Cooper © US FLAG

It’s not too late to visit your local U.S. National Park for this year’s remaining fee-free day! Entrance fees to the parks will be waived. In addition, some other special offers may apply. So grab some grub (and your favorite Veteran) and hit the trails. 🙂

November 10-12, 2012
(Veterans Day weekend)

For more information and trip planning links, visit the National Park Service’s website: http://www.nps.gov/findapark/feefreeparks.htm

If you have been putting off a trip to your local U.S. National Park, don’t pass by this year’s Get Outdoors Day (June 9, 2012). On this day, entrance fees to the parks will be waived. In addition, some other special offers may apply.

Photo taken by H.S. Cooper ©

Photo taken by H.S. Cooper ©HOME IN DEATH VALLEY
Death Valley National Park

For more information and trip planning links, visit the National Park Service’s website: http://www.nps.gov/findapark/feefreeparks.htm

 NOTE: Don’t forget some of your local state and county parks this summer!


Rocky Mountain National Park

National Park Week (April 21-29, 2012) is around the corner and that means entrance fees to U.S. National Parks will be waived. In addition, some other special offers may apply.

If you haven’t visited one of the many beautiful U.S. National Park, why not dust off the old back pack and hiking boots and take advantage of National Park Week?

For more information and trip planning links, visit the National Park Service’s website: http://www.nps.gov/findapark/feefreeparks.htm

At the "top" of Great Sand Dunes National Park 🙂

Yellowstone National Park

If you have been putting off a trip to your local U.S. National Park, clear your calendar for this year’s remaining fee-free days. On these dates, entrance fees to the parks will be waived. In addition, some other special offers may apply.

April 12-29, 2012
(U.S. National Park Week)

June 9, 2012
(Get Outdoors Day)

September 24, 2012
(Public Lands Day)

November 10-12, 2012
(Veterans Day weekend)

For more information and trip planning links, visit the National Park Service’s website: http://www.nps.gov/findapark/feefreeparks.htm

 NOTE: Don’t forget some of your local state and county parks this summer!

Grand Canyon National Park


Redwood National and State Parks, CA

Hopefully you had a safe and relaxing Memorial Day at your favorite camping spot… but don’t completely unpack the RV just yet! If you haven’t visited one of the many amazing U.S. National Parks keep in mind the upcoming fee-free day on June 21st.

On this day, entrance fees to the parks will be waived. In addition, some other special offers may apply. Again, that’s June 21, 2011 the first day of Summer – don’t forget to mark it on your calendar! 😉

For more information and trip planning links, visit the National Park Service’s website: http://www.nps.gov/findapark/feefreeparks.htm

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