The United States is full of some of the most stunning displays of nature in the world. From sea to shining sea and everywhere in-between, you can explore deserts, mountains, forests, lakes that helped define this country, preserved forever as National Parks. Deeply enmeshed in history both of Native Americans and major events in US History, there’s an endless list of places to discover in the National Park System.

The National Parks Service works to preserve these important sites so they can be enjoyed for generations to come. Every destination in the national park system offers a unique experience for visitors, and it’s no wonder many are becoming increasingly popular.

Not every park is a massive nature preserve like Crater Lake or the Grand Canyon. The parks in the National Park System range from forts to trails to historic homes to battlefields. And of course you can’t forget stunning landscapes of every kind.

Many of these parks allow allow visitors to find a new perspective on American history, from Native Americans to the Civil War. See America for the first time with Lewis and Clark. Trace the Trail of Tears and stop at historic landmarks along the way. Step back in time at preserved forts and homes and experience American life from 200 years ago.

These preserved lands let visitors view America the way it was seen hundreds of years ago, providing a break from bustling city life. These parks are havens for recreational activities, for everything from hiking to fishing to camping to rafting. Even if you aren’t up for a big adventure, many of these sites can be seen easily accessible viewpoints. Drive from spot to spot to see the views and learn what made them to beautiful.

Each state offers it’s own special National Parks, featuring the best that area has to offer in terms of nature and historical significance. And each of these parks are well-worth a visit, either to discover a preserved fort and step back in time, take a break in nature, or to experience the best outdoor recreation in the country. 

Whether you’re a history buff or a nature lover, there’s truly a National Park for everyone. Unfortunately, visiting each of the over 400 parks in the country might take longer than your next vacation. To get started, follow our guide to discover which is the best park in each state. Then hop in the car and go!

Little River Canyon National Preserve (Alabama)

Denali National Park (Alaska)

Denali national park

Grand Canyon National Park (Arizona)

Trail of Tears National Historic Trail (Arkansas)

Yosemite National Park (California)

Yosemite National Park

Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve (Colorado)

Weir Farm (Connecticut)

Chesapeake Bay Gateways and Watertrails Network (Delaware)

Dry Tortugas National Park (Florida)

Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area (Georgia)

Kalaupapa National Historic Park (Hawaii)

Craters of the Moon National Monument & Preserve (Idaho)

Lincoln Home National Historic Site (Illinois)

Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore (Indiana)

Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail (Iowa)

Fort Larned National Historic Site (Kansas)

Big South Fork National River & Recreation Area (Kentucky)

Poverty Point National Monument (Louisiana)

Acadia National Park (Maine)

Acadia National Park

Fort McHenry National Monument & Historic Shrine (Maryland)

Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area (Massachusetts)

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore (Michigan)

Voyageurs National Park (Minnesota)

Tupelo National Battlefield (Mississippi)

Jefferson National Expansion Memorial (Missouri)

Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area (Montana)

Agate Fossil Beds (Nebraska)

Great Basin National Park (Nevada)

Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site (New Hampshire)

Gateway National Recreation Area (New Jersey)

Carlsbad Caverns National Park (New Mexico)

Carlsbad Caverns

Governors Island National Monument (New York)

Cape Hatteras National Seashore (North Carolina)

Knife River Indian Villages National Historic Site (North Dakota)

Cuyahoga Valley National Park (Ohio)

Washita Battlefield National Historic Site (Oklahoma)

Crater Lake National Park (Oregon)

Crater National Park

Gettysburg National Military Park (Pennsylvania)

Touro Synagogue National Historic Site (Rhode Island)

Congaree National Park (South Carolina)

Mount Rushmore National Memorial (South Dakota)

Great Smoky Mountains National Park (Tennessee)

Big Bend National Park (Texas)

Arches National Park (Utah)

Arches National Park

Marsh-Billings Rockefeller National Historic Park (Vermont)

Shenandoah National Park (Virginia)

Mount Rainier National Park (Washington)

Gauley River National Recreation Area (West Virginia)

Apostle Islands National Lakeshore (Wisconsin)

Grand Teton National Park (Wyoming)

Grand Teton National Park

Which National Park is your favorite? With so many amazing destinations, it’s hard to pick just one.