America's Best Idea — for Free

Guest blog post from Lynn Addison

"National parks are the best idea we ever had," said Wallace Stegner, American historian, novelist and environmentalist. It's time to tap in: National Public Lands Day is on Sept. 27. That means free admission to any national park in the U.S. Have you been looking forward to a fall drive through Shenandoah National Park in Virginia or craving a sunset in the Everglades? This could be the day for it. Here are some Instagram shots taken by park lovers to tempt you.

Many Glacier Hotel in Montana's Glacier National Park offers magnificent views of the mountains towering over Swiftcurrent Lake.


Redwood National Park in California is home to some of the tallest trees on Earth. 

Cadillac Mountain in Maine's  Acadia National Park is a great place to watch the sunrise. 

>> 10 Best U.S. Train Trips to Take This Fall

Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado  licensed the nation’s first female nature guides in 1917.  

The Subway  trail takes hikers through one of the most beautiful sections of slot canyon in Utah's Zion National Park. 

In Wyoming's  Grand Teton National Park you can explore more than 200 miles of trails — or float the Snake River. 

California's Death Valley National Park's average daily high in September  is 107°F. Be sure to hydrate!" 

>> Get travel discounts with your AARP Member Advantages.

The Potomac River runs over a series of jagged rocks in Virginia's Great Falls National Park, then flows through the nation's capital just 15 miles away. 

Much of the landscape in  Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming lies atop a  giant volcanic crater. Hot magma below the surface is the source of heat for the park's hot springs and other geothermal features.

Arches National Park in Utah has over 2,000 natural stone arches, plus soaring pinnacles and giant balanced rocks. 

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