5 National Parks to Explore in 2016

Our national parks showcase the diverse and beautiful landscapes America has to offer. From the vast desert terrain of Death Valley to the rugged coastal wilderness of Acadia, there are over 400 national parks across the country for you to explore and reconnect with nature.

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service. To help celebrate a century of protecting America’s natural treasures, all 127 National Parks that normally charge an entrance fee are offering free admission for 16 days throughout 2016!

With so many incredible parks to choose from, we’ve created a list of 5 parks that embody the true spirit of the land of the free and the home of the brave.

1) Yellowstone National Park

Where: Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming

Not only is Yellowstone the country’s first national park, it’s the first national park in the world! Established in 1872, this pristine national park in America’s wild west boasts abundant wildlife, captivating geothermal features (Old Faithful, anyone?), and cascading waterfalls. There are plenty of opportunities to see our national mammal, the North American bison, up close. They’re known to own the road and cause traffic jams throughout the park.

2) Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Where: North Carolina and Tennessee

Rolling ridges of dense forests blanket America’s most visited national park. These ancient mountains are home to diverse animal and plant life, and protect the heritage of Southern Appalachian culture. Cades Cove, a lush valley teeming with wildlife, is one of the park’s most popular attractions. Along the scenic eleven-mile loop around the cove, you’ll discover historic homes, log cabins, and churches built by the area’s European settlers.

3) Grand Canyon National Park

Where: Arizona

One of the most iconic sights in the country, the world-famous Grand Canyon is a breathtaking 277 miles long, 18 miles wide and a mile deep. Explore this vast natural wonder on the water, over land, and by air. Hike down to the bottom of the canyon, cruise along the Colorado River, or take in spectacular views on a thrilling helicopter ride. This is one national park that should be on everyone’s bucket list.

4) Acadia National Park

Where: Maine

The Atlantic Ocean meets unspoiled mountain terrain in one of the country’s most picturesque national parks. While Acadia is one of the smaller national parks, it’s chock full of scenic drives, hiking trails, swimming areas, and is home to the tallest mountain on the east coast. Get up early, hike or drive to the top of Cadillac mountain, and be one of the first in the country to see the sun rise.

5) Death Valley National Park

Where: California and Nevada

Don’t let the name scare you away! Death Valley has the distinction of being the hottest, the driest, and the lowest national park in America. Explore 3.4 million acres of diverse and striking landscapes that might have you thinking you’re on another planet. From stretching salt flats and rolling sand dunes to lush oases and deep canyons, there is an abundance of natural wonder to discover in Death Valley.

On your journey to discover America’s national parks, you’ll need a retreat from your incredible outdoor adventures. InTown Suites’ extended stay properties offer affordable accommodations in convenient locations.

Best East Coast Summer Vacation Destinations

There are few better ways to spend summer vacation than exploring the beautiful coastlines, seaside cities, and quaint towns our shores have to offer. From beaches, to long winding roads, ocean views, al fresco dining, and beautiful boardwalks, there’s no shortage of things see and do on a coastal summer vacation.

Grab your friends or family, and hop in the car for the ultimate summer vacation. Discover our favorite coastal summer vacation destinations.

1. Charleston, SC

Located on the Charleston Harbor — an inlet of the Atlantic Ocean — Charleston is the oldest and second-largest city in South Carolina. Known for its rich history, well-preserved architecture, and sought-after restaurants, Charleston is a popular tourist destination with many accolades, including “America’s Most Friendly City” by Travel + Leisure. Here you’ll discover plenty of water-themed attractions, including beaches, marinas, boat charters, water parks, and more!

2. Bar Harbor, ME

A quaint yet busy summer town on the coast of Maine, Bar Harbor is home to many outdoor adventures surrounding Frenchman Bay. Visitors will enjoy attractions and activities including Acadia National Park, hiking, biking, swimming, and Cadillac Mountain — the highest point on the Atlantic seaboard. Dine on fresh seafood, or hit the water in a canoe or kayak, on a whale watching expedition, or take in one of the sought-after lighthouse tours.

3. Virginia Beach, Virginia

Located on the Atlantic Ocean at the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay, Virginia Beach is a resort city with miles of beaches and hundreds of hotels, motels, and restaurants along its spanning oceanfront — listed in the Guinness Book of Records as having the longest pleasure beach in the world! From shopping, to fishing, water sports, events and entertainment, discover things to do in Virginia Beach.

4. West Palm Beach, FL

Set along Florida’s Atlantic Ocean coast, West Palm Beach offers plenty of excitement, from smooth-sand beaches and some of the nation’s most enticing waterways. From trendy bars and nightclubs, to shopping at the Palm Beach Outlets, perusing the Palm Beach Zoo, or taking in an event at the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts, you’ll have plenty of choice for things to do in West Palm Beach.

5. Boston, MA

The capital and largest city in Massachusetts, Boston is a harbor city with a lively boardwalk and waterfront. Boasting plenty of restaurants and sought-after attractions like the New England Aquarium, Boston is a summer vacationer’s dream come true — offering all the amenities of a big city, combined with many of the characteristics of a quaint seaside town, including interesting architecture, history, and more.

Now that you’ve got some inspiration for an east coast summer vacation, it’s time to plan your trip! Find InTown Suites’ extended stay properties along your route for affordable accommodations this summer.