United States National Parks

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The United States has an extensive series of national parks, monuments, historic sites, recreational areas, and natural preserves that encompass some of the most spectacular landscapes and evocative landmarks in the country. Preserving much of the nation's scenic and cultural heritage, the vast national parks system includes icons of American patriotism such as the Statue of Liberty and Mount Rushmore, natural wonders like the Grand Canyon and Yosemite Valley, historic treasures like the cliff dwellings of Mesa Verde, geological curiosities such as the geysers of Yellowstone and the volcanoes of Hawaii, and memorials to the great and to the fallen of America's past.

Understand[edit]

Park rangers leading a Junior Ranger program
Some examples of the distinctive NPS brochures
"For the Benefit and Enjoyment of the People." — Inscription on Roosevelt Arch, Yellowstone National Park

The national parks system incorporates hundreds of units spread across every state in the union as well as several U.S. territories. The vast majority of national park system units are administered by the National Park Service (NPS), although a few monuments and preserves are instead managed by other government agencies. These are indicated in the listings below by the following acronyms:

  • BLM -- Bureau of Land Management
  • FWS -- Fish and Wildlife Service
  • NOAA -- National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
  • USFS -- United States Forest Service

Save for the smallest of sites, nearly all NPS units have a visitor center located near the primary entrance(s), where you can view exhibits about the park, ask a park ranger any questions you might have, purchase souvenirs, and pick up a map or trail guide. If you plan to camp in a park, the visitor center is often a required stop to pay camping fees or collect your permit. Park units administered by agencies other than the NPS, such as the BLM or the USFS, will sometimes also have visitor centers, although visitor facilities at these parks tend to be less developed than their NPS counterparts.

Park rangers regularly offer guided tours, nature walks, or campfire talks where they educate visitors about the park; information about these activities will usually be posted at the visitor center or campgrounds. At any NPS site, you can purchase a "passport book," which you can use to collect commemorative stamps from each park you visit. Many of the parks also have a Junior Ranger program, a learning activity for youth where children can complete an activity sheet (available at the visitor center) and return it to a park ranger in order to receive a badge or certificate.

Among the hundreds of park system units are multiple designations (parks, monuments, historic sites, etc.), but note that the designations for individual units are mostly technical and relate more to the focus of the individual unit than to the visitor experience, which is remarkably consistent across the units administered by the NPS. National parks are the crown jewels of the system, designed to preserve the most striking natural wonders in the country. National monuments are more numerous, and because they can be established by simple presidential decree, are more varied in their purpose, covering everything from scenic wonders to areas of significant historic or cultural importance. National preserves, national seashores, national lakeshores, and national rivers are designated for the protection of natural areas, while national historical parks, national historic sites, national battlefields, and national military parks are designated for preserving areas of significant historic importance. National memorials pay tribute to notable American figures or events. National recreation areas are intended less for environmental protection and focus on offering recreational opportunities in certain scenic areas, while national parkways are scenic roadways.

Lastly, the NPS, along with the BLM and the USFS, also maintain a series of national historic and scenic trails that criss-cross the nation; for information on these, see the National Trails System page.

Fees/Permits[edit]

Entrance fees for individual parks and sites vary considerably. In general, most historic sites and memorials have free admission or charge at most a few dollars, while most parks charge anywhere from only a few dollars to $25 for some of the most famous parks. Many parks that charge admission fees charge less if you enter the park on foot, bicycle, or motorcycle than if you drive. Additionally, most parks that charge make their admission fees good for a full 7 days. Annual passes for individual parks are also available, and tend to cost between $25 and $50. See the individual park pages for detailed admission info on each park.

There are several passes that allow free entry for groups traveling together in a private vehicle or individuals on foot or on bike. These passes are valid at all national parks:

  • The $80 interagency pass (valid for twelve months from date of issue) provides free entry at national parks and national wildlife refuges. This pass also covers standard amenity fees at national forests and grasslands, and at lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management and Bureau of Reclamation. Military personnel can obtain a free annual pass in person at a federal recreation site by showing a Common Access Card (CAC) or Military ID.
  • U.S. citizens or permanent residents age 62 or over can obtain a senior pass (valid for the life of the holder) in person at a federal recreation site for $10, or through the mail for $20; applicants must provide documentation of citizenship and age. This pass also provides a fifty percent discount on some park amenities.
  • U.S. citizens or permanent residents with permanent disabilities can obtain an access pass (valid for the life of the holder) in person at a federal recreation site at no charge, or through the mail for $10; applicants must provide documentation of citizenship and permanent disability. This pass also provides a fifty percent discount on some park amenities.

New England[edit]

Connecticut[edit]

  •    Weir Farm National Historic Site, Wilton — Former home of noted impressionist painter J. Alden Weir.

Maine[edit]

  •    Acadia National Park — Preserves a set of coastal islands with granite peaks, scenic shorelines, woodlands, and lakes.
  •    Roosevelt Campobello International Park, Lubec
  •    Saint Croix Island International Historic Site, Calais — A small uninhabited island on the U.S.-Canada border that is shared by the two nations.

Massachusetts[edit]

  •    Adams National Historical Park, Quincy — Preserves the homes and birthplaces of Presidents John Adams and John Quincy Adams.
  •    Boston African American National Historic Site, Boston — Contains a set of buildings dating back to the early 19th century that relate to the history of Boston's African-American community.
  •    Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area
  •    Boston National Historical Park, Downtown Boston and Charlestown, Boston — Preserves many sites crucial to the American Revolution, including sites affiliated with the Boston Massacre, the Boston Tea Party, the Battle of Bunker Hill, Paul Revere's midnight ride, and a former navy yard that is now home to the USS Constitution, the oldest floating navy vessel in the world.
  •    Cape Cod National Seashore
  •    Frederick Law Olmsted National Historic Site, Boston — Former home and office of Frederick Law Olmsted, the founder of American landscape architecture and designer of many of the most noted American parks of the 19th century.
  •    John Fitzgerald Kennedy National Historic Site, Brookline — Birthplace of President John F. Kennedy.
  •    Longfellow House–Washington's Headquarters National Historic Site, Cambridge — A historic home that served as George Washington's headquarters in the early years of the American Revolution.
  •    Lowell National Historical Park, Lowell — Preserves a set of textile mills dating back to the Industrial Revolution.
Minute Man National Historical Park
  •    Minute Man National Historical Park, Concord — Contains the sites of the Battles of Lexington and Concord, the opening battle of the American Revolution.
  •    New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park, New Bedford — A historic wharf district that was once the world's busiest whaling port.
  •    Salem Maritime National Historic Site, Salem — Preserves several historic buildings and a replica sailing ship on Salem Harbor, one of the most important ports in the region in colonial times.
  •    Saugus Iron Works National Historic Site, Saugus — Site of one of North America's first ironworks, with several reconstructed buildings and mills.
  •    Springfield Armory National Historic Site, Springfield — Site of the primary arsenal of the American Revolutionary War and numerous technological innovations. Today, it holds the world's largest collection of historic American firearms.
  • Sudbury, Assabet, and Concord Wild and Scenic Rivers
  • Westfield Wild and Scenic River

New Hampshire[edit]

  •    Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site, Cornish — Former home and studios of noted sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens.

Rhode Island[edit]

  •    Roger Williams National Memorial, Providence — Commemorates one of the founders of the Colony of Rhode Island, an advocate for religious freedom.
  •    Touro Synagogue National Historic Site, Newport — The oldest surviving Jewish synagogue building in North America, dating to the colonial era.

Vermont[edit]

  •    Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park, Woodstock — Preserves a nineteenth century managed forest and dairy farm.
  •    Moosalamoo National Recreation Area (USFS), Green Mountains
  •    White Rocks National Recreation Area (USFS), Green Mountains

Mid-Atlantic[edit]

Delaware[edit]

  •    First State National Monument, Dover, New Castle, and Wilmington — Preserves several sites that commemorate Delaware's role as the first state to ratify the U.S. constitution.

Maryland[edit]

Fort McHenry National Monument
  •    Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine, Federal Hill, Baltimore — Site of a famous battle in the War of 1812 where Francis Scott Key saw the American flag still flying over the fort and composed the lyrics to the Star Spangled Banner, which later became the country's national anthem.
  •    Fort Washington Park, Prince George's County
  •    Glen Echo Park, Glen Echo
  •    Greenbelt Park, Greenbelt
  •    Hampton National Historic Site, Towson — Preserves a remnant of a huge 18th century estate, including a mansion that was the largest private home in America when it was completed.
  •    Harmony Hall, Prince George's County
  •    Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Monument, Cambridge — Commemorates the life of Harriet Tubman, the former slave instrumental in the operation of the Underground Railroad, the system of secret routes and safe houses used by fleeing slaves escaping north.
  •    Monocacy National Battlefield, Frederick — Site of a major Civil War battle that was one of the last fought in Union territory.
  •    Oxon Cove Park and Oxon Hill Farm, Oxon Hill, Prince George's County
  •    Piscataway Park, Accokeek
  •    Thomas Stone National Historic Site, Port Tobacco — Former home of Thomas Stone, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence.

New Jersey[edit]

  • Great Egg Harbor River
  •    Morristown National Historical Park, Morristown — Site of a strategic crossroads during the American Revolutionary War, including a fort and one of George Washington's winter quarters.
  •    New Jersey Pinelands National Reserve
  •    Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park, Paterson — Contains a beautiful waterfall that was the center of much industrial development in the area, including canals and watermills.
  •    Thomas Edison National Historical Park, West Orange — Thomas Edison's home and laboratory, where the motion picture camera, improved sound recordings, and the nickel-iron alkaline electric battery were invented.

New York[edit]

Statue of Liberty National Monument
  •    African Burial Ground National Monument, Financial District, New York City — A site in Lower Manhattan containing the remains of hundreds of Africans buried in what was a colonial-era cemetery.
  •    Castle Clinton National Monument, Financial District, New York City — A former fort at the southern tip of Manhattan that also served as an immigration station.
  •    Eleanor Roosevelt National Historic Site, Hyde Park — Former home of First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt.
  •    Federal Hall National Memorial, Financial District, New York City — Situated on Wall Street, this was the site of the nation's first capitol building and George Washington's inauguration as the first president.
  •    Fire Island National Seashore
  •    Fort Stanwix National Monument, Rome — A fort in upstate New York that was the site of a battle in the American Revolution.
  •    General Grant National Memorial, Upper West Side, New York City — Grant's Tomb, the final resting place of Civil War general and president Ulysses S. Grant.
  •    Governors Island National Monument, New York Harbor, New York City — An island park just off the southern tip of Manhattan that was once the site of military fortifications and an army base.
  •    Hamilton Grange National Memorial, Upper Manhattan, New York City — Preserves the home of founding father Alexander Hamilton.
  •    Home Of Franklin D. Roosevelt National Historic Site, Hyde Park — Birthplace, lifelong home, and burial site of the 32nd president, as well as the burial site of his wife, Eleanor Roosevelt.
  •    Kate Mullany National Historic Site, Troy — Former home of Kate Mullany, an early female labor leader.
  •    Lower East Side Tenement Museum National Historic Site, Lower East Side, New York City — Preserves a brick tenement building with historical exhibits on the American immigrant experience in New York.
  •    Martin Van Buren National Historic Site, Kinderhook — Former estate and mansion of the 8th president.
  •    Sagamore Hill National Historic Site, Oyster Bay — Home of Theodore Roosevelt in the later part of his life.
  •    Saint Paul's Church National Historic Site, Mount Vernon — One of New York state's oldest parishes, used as a military hospital in the American Revolution.
  •    Saratoga National Historical Park, Stillwater — Site of the Battles of Saratoga, a major turning point in the American Revolutionary War.
  •    Statue Of Liberty National Monument, New York Harbor, New York City — Home to Lady Liberty, still greeting visitors to New York Harbor. Tours of the inside of the statue are available if you reserve far in advance. Nearby on a separate island is Ellis Island, the famous former immigration station where the ancestors of a significant portion of America's population arrived in the United States.
  •    Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace National Historic Site, Flatiron, New York City — Birthplace of President Theodore Roosevelt.
  •    Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural National Historic Site, Allentown, Buffalo — A historic house that was the site where Theodore Roosevelt took the oath of office.
  •    Thomas Cole National Historic Site, Catskill — Home and studio of noted landscape painter Thomas Cole.
  •    Vanderbilt Mansion National Historic Site, Hyde Park — A noted example of country palaces built by wealthy industrialists during the Gilded Age.
  •    Women's Rights National Historical Park, Seneca Falls — Preserves a set of historic sites important to the women's rights movement, including the homes of early activists.

Pennsylvania[edit]

Gettysburg National Military Park
  •    Allegheny National Recreation Area (USFS), near Warren
  •    Allegheny Portage Railroad National Historic Site, Gallitzin — The remains of the first railroad built through the Appalachian Mountains.
  •    Benjamin Franklin National Memorial, Franklin Institute, Center City West, Philadelphia — A colossal statue of the famed inventor and founding father in the rotunda of the Franklin Institute.
  •    Edgar Allan Poe National Historic Site, North Philly, Philadelphia — Preserves the only surviving Philadelphia home of the noted author and poet.
  •    Eisenhower National Historic Site, Gettysburg — Former home and farm of President Dwight Eisenhower.
  •    Flight 93 National Memorial, Shanksville — Site where Flight 93 crashed into a field on September 11, 2001.
  •    Fort Necessity National Battlefield, Farmington — Site of a battle in the French and Indian War, where George Washington, then a British colonel, surrendered to French and Indian forces.
  •    Friendship Hill National Historic Site, Point Marion — Preserves a historic home built in the 1780s.
  • Germantown White House, Germantown, Philadelphia
  •    Gettysburg National Military Park, Gettysburg — Site of arguably the most important battle in the Civil War. Today you can tour the battlefields, the military cemetery, and the site where Abraham Lincoln gave his famous "Gettysburg Address."
  •    Gloria Dei Church National Historic Site, South Philly, Philadelphia — The oldest church in Pennsylvania and the second-oldest Swedish church in the nation.
  •    Grey Towers National Historic Site (USFS), Milford — A French château-style house that was the home of Gifford Pinchot, the first director of the United States Forest Service.
  •    Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site, Elverson — Preserves a 19th century rural iron plantation, including a furnace and several preserved buildings.
  •    Independence National Historical Park (Independence Hall, National Constitution Center, Thaddeus Kosciuszko National Memorial), Old City, Philadelphia — Preserves a series of sites and icons important to the American Revolution and the nation's founding, including Independence Hall, where the constitution and the Declaration of Independence were debated and adopted, and the home of the Liberty Bell.
  •    Johnstown Flood National Memorial, South Fork — Commemorates the infamous and deadly Johnstown Flood of 1889.
  •    Steamtown National Historic Site, Scranton — A railroad museum on the site of the historic Scranton railyards, including an operational roundhouse and several preserved steam locomotives.
  •    Valley Forge National Historical Park, Valley Forge — Site of the noted winter encampment during the American Revolution.

Washington, D.C.[edit]

  •    African American Civil War Memorial, Shaw
  •    Anacostia Park, Anacostia
  •    Carter G. Woodson Home National Historic Site, Shaw — Home of Carter G. Woodson, African-American historian and author, and founder of Black History Month.
  •    East Potomac Park, Waterfront
  •    Ford's Theatre National Historic Site, East End — Site of the assassination of Abraham Lincoln.
  •    Fort Dupont Park, Anacostia
  •    Frederick Douglass National Historic Site, Anacostia — Former home of Frederick Douglass, a leader of the abolitionist movement and the most prominent African-American of the 19th century.
  •    Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens, Anacostia
  •    Mary McLeod Bethune Council House National Historic Site, Shaw — A historic townhouse that was the home of Mary McLeod Bethune, an African-American teacher and civil rights leader.
  •    National Mall (Constitution Gardens, Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial, George Mason Memorial, John Ericsson National Memorial, Korean War Veterans Memorial, Lincoln Memorial, Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, Thomas Jefferson Memorial, Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Washington Monument, West Potomac Park, World War II Memorial) — The iconic strip of parkland and monuments at the heart of the nation's capital.
  • Oxon Run Parkway, Anacostia
  •    Pennsylvania Avenue National Historic Site (Old Post Office Tower, United States Navy Memorial), East End — A historic district along Pennsylvania Avenue, the iconic street that runs between the U.S. Capitol and the White House.
  •    President Lincoln's Cottage at the Soldiers' Home National Monument, Petworth — A house that served as the summer home of Abraham Lincoln as well as several other presidents.
  •    Rock Creek Park (Meridian Hill Park, Old Stone House, Peirce Mill, Rock Creek and Potomac Parkway)
  •    Sewall-Belmont House National Historic Site, Capitol Hill — A historic house that was the headquarters of the National Woman's Party, with exhibits on the women's suffrage movement.
  •    White House, West End

South[edit]

Alabama[edit]

  •    Horseshoe Bend National Military Park, Dadeville — Site of the final battle of the 1814 Creek War between the U.S. government and the Native American Creek Nation.
  •    Little River Canyon National Preserve
  •    Russell Cave National Monument — A cave system noted for its significant prehistoric archaeological finds; site of the earliest known human settlement in the southeastern United States.
  •    Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site, Tuskegee — Training grounds for the Tuskegee Airmen, an all African-American flight squadron during World War II.
  •    Tuskegee Institute National Historic Site, Tuskegee — Campus of Tuskegee University, a private, historically black university founded in 1881. On campus are the graves of Booker T. Washington and George Carver Washington as well as Booker T. Washington's house and a museum devoted to Carver.

Arkansas[edit]

  •    Arkansas Post National Memorial, Gillet — Site of a French trading post that was the first European settlement in the lower Mississippi River valley.
  • Buffalo National River
  •    Fort Smith National Historic Site, Fort Smith — A historic military fort located along the Trail of Tears.
  •    Hot Springs National Park — Situated in an urban area around a set of natural hot springs and historic bathhouses.
  •    Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site, Little Rock — A public high school that was the site of a forced school integration that became a watershed moment in the civil rights movement.
  •    Pea Ridge National Military Park, Pea Ridge — Site of a Civil War battle that helped the Union cement control over Missouri and northern Arkansas.
  •    President William Jefferson Clinton Birthplace Home National Historic Site, Hope — Birthplace of President Bill Clinton.

Georgia[edit]

  •    Andersonville National Historic Site, Andersonville — Preserves Camp Sumter, a Confederate prisoner of war camp during the Civil War.
  •    Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area, Atlanta
  •    Cumberland Island National Seashore
  •    Ed Jenkins National Recreation Area (USFS)
  •    Fort Frederica National Monument, St. Simons Island — Preserves the ruins of a British fort and town from the 18th century.
  •    Fort Pulaski National Monument, Tybee Island — A masonry fort that was the site of a crucial naval battle during the Civil War.
  •    Jimmy Carter National Historic Site, Plains — Preserves a set of sites related to the life of President Jimmy Carter.
  •    Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park, Kennesaw — Site of a major battle of General Sherman's Atlanta Campaign during the Civil War.
  •    Martin Luther King Jr National Historic Site, Atlanta — Birthplace of the famous civil rights leader.
  •    Ocmulgee National Monument, Macon — Preserves a set of prehistoric earthworks dating over a thousand years old, including burial and ceremonial mounds.

Kentucky[edit]

  •    Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historical Park, Hodgenville — Preserves the birthplace and boyhood home of Abraham Lincoln, as well as a memorial with a symbolic log cabin meant to resemble the one Lincoln was born in.
  •    Mammoth Cave National Park — The world's longest known cave system, with spectacular underground sights and wildlife.

Louisiana[edit]

  •    Cane River Creole National Historical Park, Natchitoches — Preserves the site of two plantations.
  •    Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve, Chalmette, Lafayette, visitor's center in French Quarter, New Orleans — Preserves a set of historic sites related to the Cajun culture of the area and a Civil War battlefield, as well as a natural preserve of forests and swamps.
  •    New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park, French Quarter and Tremé, New Orleans — Contains a set of sites affiliated with the creation and development of jazz in New Orleans.
  •    Poverty Point National Monument, Epps — Prehistoric earthworks and mounds dating to nearly three thousand years ago.

Mississippi[edit]

  •    Brices Cross Roads National Battlefield Site, Baldwyn — Site of a major Civil War battle in which Confederate forces defeated a much larger Union force.
  •    Gulf Islands National Seashore
  •    Natchez National Historical Park, Natchez — Contains a pair of sites that illustrate antebellum life in the area, including a historic Natchez estate.
  •    Tupelo National Battlefield, Tupelo — Site of a Civil War battle where Confederate forces tried to cut Union supply lines.
  •    Vicksburg National Military Park, Vicksburg — Site of a major Civil War battle that was the culmination of the Union's Vicksburg Campaign, which gave the Union control over the Mississippi River.

North Carolina[edit]

  •    Cape Hatteras National Seashore
  •    Cape Lookout National Seashore
  •    Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site, Flat Rock — Preserves the home of noted author and poet Carl Sandburg.
  •    Fort Raleigh National Historic Site, Manteo — Site of the Roanoke Colony, the first English settlement in the Americas.
  •    Guilford Courthouse National Military Park, Greensboro — Site of a battle in the American Revolution that contributed to ultimate British surrender at the end of the war.
  •    Moores Creek National Battlefield, Currie — Commemorates an early battle in the American Revolution in which American soldiers routed British forces from North Carolina.
  •    Wright Brothers National Memorial, Kill Devil Hills — Commemorates the site of the first successful sustained flight by the Wright Brothers.

South Carolina[edit]

Fort Sumter National Monument
  •    Charles Pinckney National Historic Site, Mount Pleasant — Farm of Charles Pinckney, a principal framer of the U.S. Constitution.
  •    Congaree National Park — Preserves a section of old-growth floodplain forest.
  •    Cowpens National Battlefield, Chesnee — Site of a decisive victory in the American Revolution against British forces in the South.
  •    Fort Moultrie, Sullivan's Island — Where South Carolina colonists fended off British attack during the American Revolution.
  •    Fort Sumter National Monument, Charleston — An island fort at the mouth of Charleston Harbor that is famous as the site of the opening battle of the Civil War.
  •    Historic Camden Revolutionary War Site, Camden — Preserves a set of colonial-era sites with artifacts from the American Revolution.
  •    Kings Mountain National Military Park, Blacksburg — Site of a battle during the American Revolution that was a decisive victory against British forces in the South.
  •    Ninety Six National Historic Site, Ninety Six — Site of a colonial-era village that was the location of a battle during the American Revolution.

Tennessee[edit]

  •    Andrew Johnson National Historic Site, Greenville — Home and burial place of Andrew Johnson, the 17th president.
  •    Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park, Chattanooga — Preserves several sites around Chattanooga that commemorate a major Civil War battle in the area that ended Confederate control of Tennessee.
  •    Fort Donelson National Battlefield, Dover — Site of a major Civil War battle in which Union forces secured control of the area, the first major successes for the Union in the war.
  • Obed Wild and Scenic River
  •    Shiloh National Military Park, Shiloh — Site of an early major battle in the Civil War that was one of the bloodiest in the war.
  •    Stones River National Battlefield, Murfreesboro — Site of a strategic Union victory in the Civil War.

Virginia[edit]

  •    Appomattox Court House National Historical Park, Appomattox — Site of the surrender of Confederate general Robert E. Lee, thus ending the Civil War.
  •    Arlington House, The Robert E. Lee Memorial, Arlington — In the midst of the noted military cemetery overlooking Washington, D.C. is the former home of Robert E. Lee, now open for tours.
  •    Booker T Washington National Monument, Hardy — Preserves portions of a former tobacco plantation where Booker T. Washington, noted African-American political leader, was born into slavery.
  •    Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park, Middletown and Strasburg — Preserves several historic sites in the Shenandoah Valley, including a Civil War battlefield and a plantation.
  •    Claude Moore Colonial Farm, McLean
  •    Colonial National Historical Park (Cape Henry Memorial, Colonial Parkway, Jamestown National Historic Site, Yorktown Battlefield), Williamsburg area — Preserves a set of sites related to the Virginia Colony, including the site of Jamestown, the first permanent English settlement in the Americas, and the Yorktown Battlefield, site of the final battle of the American Revolution.
  •    Fort Monroe National Monument, Hampton — A former military base that was a strategic site for forts from the first colonists in the area to the Civil War, when it served as a safe haven for freed slaves.
  •    Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park, Fredericksburg — Preserves the site of four major battles in the Civil War.
  • George Washington Memorial Parkway
  •    George Washington Birthplace National Monument, Westmoreland County — Site of George Washington's birth and burial place of many of Washington's family members. Period buildings and furnishings are on display.
  •    Great Falls Park, McLean
  •    Lyndon Baines Johnson Memorial Grove on the Potomac, Arlington — A scenic grove on the banks of the Potomac River honoring the 36th president.
  •    Maggie L. Walker National Historic Site, Richmond — Former home of Maggie Walker, the first female bank president in the nation.
  •    Manassas National Battlefield Park, Manassas — Site of two major battles in the Civil War, including the war's first major battle and the site where Confederate general "Stonewall" Jackson earned his nickname.
Marine Corps War Memorial
  •    Marine Corps War Memorial, Arlington — Adjacent to Arlington National Cemetery is this iconic memorial, based on the famous WWII picture taken at Iwo Jima.
  •    Mount Rogers National Recreation Area (USFS)
  •    Petersburg National Battlefield, Petersburg — Preserves sites from the Civil War siege of Petersburg.
  •    Prince William Forest Park, Triangle
  •    Red Hill Patrick Henry National Memorial, Brookneal — Preserves the home and plantation of Patrick Henry, a famed orator and legislator during the American Revolution.
  •    Richmond National Battlefield Park, Richmond — A set of Civil War sites surrounding Richmond, including battlefields and former defensive fortifications.
  •    Shenandoah National Park — Contains the Blue Ridge Mountains, with its scenic forests and the cataracts of the Shenandoah River.
  •    Theodore Roosevelt Island National Memorial, Arlington — A wooded island in the Potomac River just off of Arlington, with a memorial to Theodore Roosevelt at its center.
  •    United States Air Force Memorial, Arlington — Overlooking Arlington National Cemetery and the Pentagon is this monument to the Air Force, comprised of a statue with three curving spires signifying the Thunderbird's signature bomb-burst formation.
  •    Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts, Vienna

West Virginia[edit]

Florida[edit]

Midwest[edit]

Illinois[edit]

  •    Chicago Portage National Historic Site, Chicago — A water gap connecting the Great Lakes to the Mississippi River, the importance of which led to Chicago becoming the most prominent city in the region.
  •    Lincoln Home National Historic Site, Springfield — The Illinois home of Abraham Lincoln, where he lived before becoming president.

Indiana[edit]

  •    George Rogers Clark National Historical Park, Vincennes — Contains a memorial to George Rogers Clark, who led a successful campaign against British forces in the area during the American Revolution.
  •    Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore
  •    Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial, Lincoln City — Preserves the site where Abraham Lincoln spent most of his upbringing. A living history farm is located in the park.

Iowa[edit]

  •    Effigy Mounds National Monument — Preserves a set of prehistoric mounds, including some shaped like animals.
  •    Herbert Hoover National Historic Site, West Branch — Birthplace, boyhood home, and burial site of President Herbert Hoover.

Michigan[edit]

Minnesota[edit]

  •    Grand Portage National Monument — A footpath that bypasses a set of waterfalls and rapids, once used by fur trappers in the area.
  •    Mississippi National River and Recreation Area, St. Paul
  •    Pipestone National Monument, Pipestone — Preserves a set of quarries for stone used in traditional Plains Indians culture to create peace pipes.
  •    Voyageurs National Park — Protects scenic lakes, islands, and tall bluffs that were once populated by French fur traders.

Missouri[edit]

  •    George Washington Carver National Monument, Diamond — Boyhood home of botanist and inventor George Washington Carver.
  •    Harry S Truman National Historic Site, Independence and Grandview — Longtime home of President Harry Truman.
  •    Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, St. Louis — On the banks of the Mississippi River in Downtown St. Louis, this park commemorates the Louisiana Purchase and the westward expansion of America. The centerpiece of the park is the massive Gateway Arch, the world's tallest arch and an icon of St. Louis.
  • Ozark National Scenic Riverways
  •    Ulysses S Grant National Historic Site, St. Louis — Home of the family of President Ulysses S. Grant.
  •    Wilson's Creek National Battlefield, Republic — Site of the first major Civil War battle west of the Mississippi River.

Ohio[edit]

  •    Charles Young Buffalo Soldiers National Monument, Wilberforce — Commemorates the life of Charles Young, the first African American national park superintendent and the highest ranking black army officer of his time.
  •    Cuyahoga Valley National Park — Waterfalls, hills, and woods along the Cuyahoga River, as well as a section of the historic Ohio and Erie Canal.
  •    David Berger National Memorial, Cleveland Heights — Honors David Berger, an American citizen who was among the Israeli athletes killed at the 1972 Munich Olympics.
  •    Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park, Dayton — Preserves a number of sites related to the Wright brothers of aviation fame.
  •    First Ladies National Historic Site, Canton — Home of Ida Saxton McKinley, wife of President McKinley.
  •    Fort Miamis National Historic Site, Toledo — Site of the remains of a British fort built after the American Revolution.
  •    Hopewell Culture National Historical Park, Chillicothe — Contains a series of ancient earthworks and burial mounds.
  •    James A Garfield National Historic Site, Mentor — Former home of President James Garfield.
  •    Perry's Victory and International Peace Memorial, Put-in-Bay — Commemorates the Battle of Lake Erie in the War of 1812.
  •    William Howard Taft National Historic Site, Cincinnati — Birthplace of President William Howard Taft.

Wisconsin[edit]

Texas[edit]

Great Plains[edit]

Kansas[edit]

  •    Brown v. Board Of Education National Historic Site, Topeka — Site of a segregated elementary school that became the focus for the Supreme Court's landmark decision to end racial segregation in public schools.
  •    Fort Larned National Historic Site, Larned — A frontier fort along the Santa Fe Trail.
  •    Fort Scott National Historic Site, Fort Scott — A fort built in the 1840s and used during the Civil War.
  •    Nicodemus National Historic Site, Nicodemus — The only remaining western settlement established by African Americans during the Reconstruction period after the Civil War.
  •    Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve, Strong City

Nebraska[edit]

  •    Agate Fossil Beds National Monument, Harrison — Site of many well-preserved mammal fossils dating from nearly 20 million years ago.
  •    Chimney Rock National Historic Site, Bayard — A prominent rock formation that served as a landmark along several prominent pioneer trails.
  •    Homestead National Monument of America, Beatrice — The first homestead obtained through the Homestead Act of 1862; contains displays about prairie homestead life.
  • Niobrara National Scenic River
  •    Pine Ridge National Recreation Area (USFS)
  •    Scotts Bluff National Monument — A set of steep hills that served as a landmark for pioneers along the Oregon and Mormon Trails.

North Dakota[edit]

  •    Fort Union Trading Post National Historic Site, Williston — A partially reconstructed frontier trading post.
  •    Knife River Indian Villages National Historic Site, Stanton — Preserves the remnants of Native American villages, including a reconstructed earthen lodge.
  •    Theodore Roosevelt National Park — An area of Dakota badlands home to historic sites affiliated with Theodore Roosevelt and wildlife such as bison, bighorn sheep, and wild horses.

Oklahoma[edit]

  •    Chickasaw National Recreation Area
  •    Oklahoma City National Memorial, Oklahoma City — Built to honor the victims and survivors of the Oklahoma City bombing of 1995.
  •    Washita Battlefield National Historic Site, Cheyenne — Site of a battle between Cheyenne Indians and George Custer's cavalrymen.
  •    Winding Stair Mountain National Recreation Area (USFS)

South Dakota[edit]

  •    Badlands National Park — Preserves an area of badlands and grass prairies, with rock formations famed for their rich fossil beds.
  •    Jewel Cave National Monument — The second longest cave in the world, named for its calcite crystals.
  •    Minuteman Missile National Historic Site — Preserves components of a nuclear missile field that was a significant Cold War facility, with former missile silos and launch control centers open for viewing.
  •    Mount Rushmore National Memorial — The iconic American landmark, with the faces of four presidents—George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and Theodore Roosevelt—carved into the granite cliffs of the Black Hills.
  •    Wind Cave National Park — The world's densest cave system, noted for its distinct calcite formations.

Rocky Mountains[edit]

Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, Yellowstone National Park
  •    Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area (Montana, Wyoming)
  •    Nez Perce National Historical Park (Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington), visitor's center near Lewiston — Preserves dozens of sites related to the history of the native Nez Perce, including the sites of battles between Chief Joseph and the federal government.
  •    Yellowstone National Park (Idaho, Montana, Wyoming) — The world's oldest national park, famous for its geothermal features such as hot springs, boiling mud, and dramatic geysers, including the famed Old Faithful. Also in Yellowstone is the yellow-cliffed Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone and its spectacular waterfall, mountain scenery, and some of the best wildlife viewing in the country, with bison, elk, gray wolf, and grizzly bears making their home here.

Colorado[edit]

  •    Mesa Verde National Park — Preserves a set of spectacular cliff dwellings that were home to the Ancestral Puebloan people, including the famed Cliff Palace.
  •    Rocky Mountain National Park — A scenic section of the Rocky Mountains home to picturesque lakes, alpine forests, and wildlife such as mule deer, black bears, and bighorn sheep.
  •    Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site, in the Eastern Plains — Site of the Sand Creek Massacre, where an American military force destroyed a peaceful Indian village in 1864.
  •    Yucca House National Monument, Towaoc — A mostly unexcavated Ancestral Puebloan archaeological site dating to around a thousand years ago.

Idaho[edit]

Montana[edit]

  •    Big Hole National Battlefield, Wisdom — Site of a battle between the U.S. government and the native Nez Perce.
  •    Glacier National Park — Numerous lakes and glaciers against a backdrop of spectacular Rocky Mountain peaks.
  •    Grant-Kohrs Ranch National Historic Site, Deer Lodge — A living history museum that preserves a 19th century cattle ranch.
  •    Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument, near Billings — Site of Custer's Last Stand, a battle between Custer's U.S. soldiers and Lakota warriors.
  •    Pompeys Pillar National Monument (BLM), near Billings
  •    Rattlesnake National Recreation Area (USFS)
  •    Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument (BLM), east of Great Falls

Wyoming[edit]

Mormon row barn, Grand Teton National Park
  •    Devils Tower National Monument — A towering stone monolith that rises dramatically above the surrounding landscape, perhaps most famous today as the setting of the climax of the film Close Encounters of the Third Kind.
  •    Fort Laramie National Historic Site, Fort Laramie — A 19th century trading post that was a major stop along the Oregon Trail.
  •    Fossil Butte National Monument, Kemmerer — Contains 50 million year old fossil beds.
  •    Grand Teton National Park — Contains the iconic Teton Range, with its spectacular mountain peaks that rise dramatically from the valley floor.
  • John D Rockefeller Jr Memorial Parkway (Yellowstone National Park-Grand Teton National Park)

Southwest[edit]

Arizona[edit]

  •    Grand Canyon National Park — The most famous canyon in the world, a vast wonderland of colorful cliffs and mesas carved by the mighty Colorado River.
  •    Grand Canyon Parashant National Monument (BLM), adjacent to Grand Canyon National Park
  •    Hohokam Pima National Monument, Coolidge — Preserves archaeological remains including an ancient village.
  •    Hubbell Trading Post National Historic Site, Ganado — Once a prominent trading post in the Navajo Nation, which has been preserved to look much like it did when it was built in the late 19th century.
  •    Ironwood Forest National Monument (BLM), Casa Grande
  •    Montezuma Castle National Monument, Camp Verde — Remarkably well-preserved cliff dwellings nearly six hundred years old.
  •    Navajo National Monument, Tonalea — Preserves a set of very intact Ancestral Puebloan cliff dwellings.
  •    Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument — A desert landscape which is the only place in the country where the Organ Pipe Cactus grow naturally.
  •    Petrified Forest National Park — Famed for its collection of petrified logs, situated in a red rock desert with numerous dinosaur fossils and Native American sites.
  •    Pipe Spring National Monument — A desert spring that was the site of Native American and Mormon settlements; contains exhibits on pioneer life.
  •    Saguaro National Park — Protects a mountainous stretch of the Sonoran Desert famed for its abundance of tall saguaro cacti.
  •    Sonoran Desert National Monument (BLM), south of Phoenix
  •    Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument, near Flagstaff — A volcanic cinder cone made of red rocks, hence the name.
  •    Tonto National Monument, Roosevelt — Preserves a set of cliff dwellings.
  •    Tumacacori National Historical Park, Tumacacori — Contains the ruins of three Spanish Colonial missions, including the remarkably well preserved Mission San José de Tumacácori.
  •    Tuzigoot National Monument, Clarkdale — A two- to three-story pueblo ruin perched on the summit of a ridge.
  •    Vermilion Cliffs National Monument (BLM), Page
  •    Walnut Canyon National Monument, Flagstaff — Protects a set of cliff dwellings situated in a scenic canyon.
  •    Wupatki National Monument, near Flagstaff — Contains the remains of multiple ancient Native American settlements.

Nevada[edit]

  •    Great Basin National Park — Mountainous and desert landscapes home to bristlecone pines, the world's oldest living organisms.
  •    Spring Mountains National Recreation Area (USFS)

New Mexico[edit]

Salinas Pueblo Missions National Monument
  •    Aztec Ruins National Monument, Farmington — Ruins of a large Native village, including a restored kiva.
  •    Bandelier National Monument — A set of scenic cliff dwellings carved out of the volcanic rock of local canyons.
  •    Capulin Volcano National Monument, northeast New Mexico near Capulin — An extinct volcanic cinder cone that rises out the surrounding plains.
  •    Carlsbad Caverns National Park — Spectacular subterranean caverns with numerous stunning features and a large bat population.
  •    Chaco Culture National Historical Park — Preserves the ruins of an ancient city that was the heart of the Ancestral Puebloan civilization a thousand years ago.
  •    El Malpais National Monument — A basin covered in a large lava rock field that leads to a set of sandstone bluffs.
  •    El Morro National Monument, near El Malpais National Monument — A sandstone formation with ancient petroglyphs and inscriptions carved from European explorers into the walls.
  •    Fort Union National Monument, near Las Vegas — A frontier post situated on the Santa Fe Trail.
  •    Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument, near Silver City — A set of cliff dwellings situated in a high canyon wall.
  •    Jemez National Recreation Area (USFS), Jemez Mountains
  •    Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument (BLM), central New Mexico near Santa Fe
  •    Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument (BLM), Las Cruces
  •    Pecos National Historical Park, near Santa Fe — Contains the ruins of an abandoned village and a Spanish mission.
  •    Petroglyph National Monument, Albuquerque — Preserves a collection of ancient petroglyphs carved on volcanic rock on a mesa overlooking Albuquerque.
  •    Prehistoric Trackways National Monument (BLM), Las Cruces
  •    Rio Grande del Norte National Monument (BLM), near Taos
  •    Salinas Pueblo Missions National Monument, Mountainair — Preserves the ruins of several pueblo villages and striking Spanish Colonial missions.
  •    Valles Caldera National Preserve (USFS)
  •    White Sands National Monument — A vast area of spectacular gypsum white sand dunes.

Utah[edit]

California[edit]

General Sherman, Sequoia National Park
  •    Cabrillo National Monument, Point Loma, San Diego — Perched on a high coastal bluff with views over San Diego Bay, with a historic lighthouse and a monument commemorating the Spanish explorer Cabrillo, the first European to land on what became the west coast of America.
  • California Coastal National Monument (BLM)
  •    Carrizo Plain National Monument (BLM)
  •    Cesar E. Chavez National Monument, Keene — Home and burial place of Cesar Chavez, civil rights activist and founder of United Farm Workers.
  •    Channel Islands National Park — A set of islands just off the Californian coast with a diverse population of wildlife.
  •    Death Valley National Park — The lowest and hottest point in the country, Death Valley is a desolate landscape of sand dunes, canyons, and badlands straddling the California/Nevada border.
  •    Devils Postpile National Monument — Basalt cliffs and a 100-foot high waterfall.
  •    Eugene O'Neill National Historic Site, Danville — The hillside home of noted playwright Eugene O'Neill.
  •    Fort Ord National Monument (BLM), Seaside
  • Golden Gate National Recreation Area — Preserves a set of coastal areas in the San Francisco Bay Area.
    •    Alcatraz Island, San Francisco — The infamous island prison in San Francisco Bay, once the holding site of notorious mobsters.
    •    Marin Headlands — North of the Golden Gate Bridge, a hilly region with spectacular views over the Bay and San Francisco, ocean cliffs, and historic sites.
    •    Muir Woods National Monument, Mill Valley — A forest of old growth coastal redwoods.
    •    Presidio of San Francisco, with Fort Point National Historic Site, Golden Gate, San Francisco — A former Spanish, then American military post overlooking the Golden Gate, with former barracks and defense fortifications.
  •    John Muir National Historic Site, Martinez — Former home of famed naturalist John Muir.
  •    Joshua Tree National Park — A desert landscape noted for its stands of distinctive tall yuccas, known as Joshua trees.
  •    Lassen Volcanic National Park — A set of active volcanoes including Lassen Peak, one of the largest domed volcanoes in the world.
  •    Lava Beds National Monument — The largest concentration of lava tube caves in North America.
  •    Manzanar National Historic Site, Independence — The most widely known of the Japanese American internment camps from World War II.
  •    Mojave National Preserve
  •    Pinnacles National Park — Protects a set of jagged volcanic peaks and talus caves.
  •    Point Reyes National Seashore
  •    Port Chicago Naval Magazine National Memorial, Concord — Recognizes the Port Chicago disaster, a munitions explosion during WWII that killed hundreds of sailors and civilian workers.
  •    Redwood National Park — Protects the famed coastal redwoods, the tallest trees on Earth.
  •    Rosie the Riveter/WWII Home Front National Historical Park, Richmond — Still under development, this park preserves a portion of the Richmond Shipyards and associated structures, which churned out an unprecedented number of ships for the war effort.
  •    San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park, Fisherman's Wharf, San Francisco — Contains a maritime museum and a fleet of historic ships open for tours, including a square rigged sailing ship and a ferryboat.
  •    San Gabriel Mountains National Monument (USFS), Angeles National Forest, Los Angeles
  •    Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area
  •    Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument (BLM and USFS), Palm Desert
  •    Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks with Giant Sequoia National Monument (USFS) — Sequoia is famed for its forest of sequoias, including General Sherman, the world's largest tree. Adjacent Kings Canyon National Park protects a spectacular granite canyon and another sequoia grove.
  •    Smith River National Recreation Area (USFS), Crescent City
  •    Whiskeytown National Recreation Area, near Redding
  •    World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument, Tule Lake Unit, Newell — Site of a large Japanese internment camp during WWII.
  •    Yosemite National Park — One of the earliest national parks, famed for its towering granite cliffs, spectacular waterfalls, and rich old-growth forests. The park is centered around the dramatic Yosemite Valley, the setting for North America's tallest waterfall and the famous Half Dome and El Capitan peaks.

Pacific Northwest[edit]

Oregon[edit]

  •    Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument (BLM), Medford
  •    Crater Lake National Park — The deepest lake in the country, famed for its clarity, situated in a spectacular volcanic caldera.
  •    Hells Canyon National Recreation Area (USFS), near Baker City
  •    John Day Fossil Beds National Monument, Kimberly — Well-preserved fossils from the last 65 million years, painted in distinct colors by the many minerals in the fossil beds.
  •    Lewis and Clark National Historical Park, Astoria — Commemorates the location where Lewis and Clark successfully reached the Pacific Ocean.
  •    Mount Hood National Recreation Area (USFS)
  •    Newberry National Volcanic Monument (USFS)
  •    Oregon Caves National Monument, Cave Junction — Natural marble caves with numerous prehistoric fossils.
  •    Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area (USFS), Corvallis

Washington[edit]

Alaska[edit]

Mount McKinley, Denali National Park

Hawaii[edit]

  •    Haleakala National Park — Preserves an extinct volcano and the surrounding landscape.
  •    Hawaii Volcanoes National Park — Contains Kīlauea and Mauna Loa, two of the world's most active volcanoes. Tropical forests, barren lava beds, unique volcanic features, and active lava flows are all visible here.
  •    Kalaupapa National Historical Park, Kalaupapa — Preserves the sites of two former leper colonies on the island of Molokai.
  •    Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park, Kona — Contains several sites that demonstrate traditional native Hawaiian culture, including an ancient settlement and a fishpond.
  • Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument (FWS)
  • Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument (FWS and NOAA) — The largest unit of the national parks system, encompassing the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, a string of reefs and small islands stretching from Nihoa Island to the Midway Islands.
  •    Pu'uhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park, Honaunau — Preserves the site of an ancient place of refuge as well as the remains of an ancient coastal village and a reconstructed temple.
  •    Puukohola Heiau National Historic Site, Kawaihae — Preserves the ruins of a major Ancient Hawaiian temple.
  •    World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument, Pearl Harbor, Honolulu — Covers a section of Pearl Harbor, site of the Japanese surprise attack that caused the U.S. to enter WWII. Several memorials are located here, most notably the USS Arizona Memorial, which straddles the sunken wreck of the USS Arizona battleship.

American Samoa[edit]

  •    National Park of American Samoa — Covers land on three Samoan islands and protects coral reefs, rainforests, white sand beaches, and an abundance of sealife.
  •    Rose Atoll Marine National Monument (FWS/NOAA)

Guam[edit]

  •    War in the Pacific National Historical Park, Guam — Contains former WWII battlefields, trenches, and historic structures.

Northern Mariana Islands[edit]

  •    American Memorial Park, Saipan — A monument and park honoring the fallen of a WWII campaign on the Marianas.
  • Marianas Trench Marine National Monument (FWS)

Puerto Rico[edit]

  •    San Juan National Historic Site, Old San Juan — Preserves a set of historic sites in Old San Juan, including colonial-era forts, bastions, and the old city wall.

U.S. Virgin Islands[edit]

  •    Buck Island Reef National Monument, Christiansted — Preserves a small island and surrounding coral reef ecosystem.
  •    Christiansted National Historic Site, Christiansted — A set of historic structures dating back to the 18th and 19th centuries, that relate to the development of the Danish colonial economy once present on the island.
  •    Salt River Bay National Historic Park and Ecological Preserve, Christiansted — Contains the only known site where Christopher Columbus set foot on what would later be United States territory, as well as a marine and island natural preserve.
  •    Virgin Islands National Park with Virgin Islands Coral Reef National Monument — Pristine beaches, coral reefs, and forests, along with historical sites such as the ruins of sugar plantations.
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