US National Parks by State

Exploring our National Parks is one of the most popular, and the most beautiful, ways to see the United States. The National Park Service, created in 1916 by President Woodrow Wilson, has grown over the past 100 years to include over 400 National Park Sites (including National Monuments, Battlefields, etc). All of those are listed on our comprehensive National Parks Bucket List, but for the purpose of this post, we’re just covering the 63 National Parks in the United States.

Visiting all of the National Parks has been on our family’s bucket list for as long as I can remember. While I’d ideally love to visit ALL 424 National Park Service Units, our main goal is just the National Parks- and with parks spanning from Alaska to the Virgin Islands, it’s no small feat to visit them all. As of April 2023, we’ve visited 20/63 as a family.

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I’ve found that looking at the National Parks organized by state is much easier than trying to keep track of them alphabetically. I mean, who is going to Acadia National Park (in Maine) and Arches National Park (in Utah) on one trip?! And if they are, I wanna go, too!!

US National Parks by State

Alaska

  1. ◽  DENALI NATIONAL PARK
  2. ◽  GATES OF THE ARCTIC NATIONAL PARK
  3. GLACIER BAY NATIONAL PARK
  4. ◽  KATMAI NATIONAL PARK
  5. ◽  KENAI FJORDS NATIONAL PARK
  6. ◽  KOBUK VALLEY NATIONAL PARK
  7. ◽  LAKE CLARK NATIONAL PARK
  8. ◽  WRANGELL-ST ELIAS NATIONAL PARK

Arizona

  1. GRAND CANYON NATIONAL PARK
  2. PETRIFIED FOREST NATIONAL PARK
  3. ◽  SAGUARO NATIONAL PARK

Arkansas

  1. ◽  HOT SPRINGS NATIONAL PARK

California

  1. CHANNEL ISLANDS NATIONAL PARK
  2. DEATH VALLEY NATIONAL PARK (also NV)
  3. ◽  JOSHUA TREE NATIONAL PARK
  4. ◽  KINGS CANYON NATIONAL PARK
  5. ◽  LASSEN VOLCANIC NATIONAL PARK
  6. ◽  PINNACLES NATIONAL PARK
  7. ◽  REDWOOD NATIONAL PARK
  8. ◽  SEQUOIA NATIONAL PARK
  9. YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK

beautiful peaks of Yosemite National Park with blue skies, puffy white clouds - US National Parks by stateYosemite National Park

Colorado

  1. ◽  BLACK CANYON OF THE GUNNISON NATIONAL PARK
  2. ◽  GREAT SAND DUNES NATIONAL PARK
  3. ◽  MESA VERDE NATIONAL PARK
  4. ◾  ROCKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK

Florida

  1. ◽  BISCAYNE NATIONAL PARK
  2. DRY TORTUGAS NATIONAL PARK
  3. EVERGLADES NATIONAL PARK

Kids snorkeling at Dry Tortugas National ParkDry Tortugas National Park

Hawaii

  1. ◽  HALEAKALA NATIONAL PARK
  2. ◽  HAWAII VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK

Idaho

  1. YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK (also MT AND WY)

Indiana

  1. ◽  INDIANA DUNES NATIONAL PARK

Kentucky

  1. ◽  MAMMOTH CAVE NATIONAL PARK

Maine

  1. ◽  ACADIA NATIONAL PARK

Michigan

  1. ◽  ISLE ROYALE NATIONAL PARK

Minnesota

  1. ◽  VOYAGEURS NATIONAL PARK

Missouri

  1. ◾  GATEWAY ARCH NATIONAL PARK

Montana

  1. GLACIER NATIONAL PARK
  2. YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK (also ID and WY)

Nevada

  1. ◾  DEATH VALLEY NATIONAL PARK (also CA)
  2. ◽  GREAT BASIN NATIONAL PARK

New Mexico

  1. ◽  CARLSBAD CAVERNS NATIONAL PARK
  2. ◾  WHITE SANDS NATIONAL PARK

kids running up the dunes at white sands national park - US National Parks by stateWhite Sands National Park

North Carolina

  1. ◾  GREAT SMOKY MOUNTAINS NATIONAL PARK (also TN)

North Dakota

  1. ◽  THEODORE ROOSEVELT NATIONAL PARK

Ohio

  1. ◽  CUYAHOGA VALLEY NATIONAL PARK

Oregon

  1. CRATER LAKE NATIONAL PARK

South Carolina

  1. ◾  CONGAREE NATIONAL PARK

South Dakota

  1. ◽  BADLANDS NATIONAL PARK
  2. ◽  WIND CAVE NATIONAL PARK

Tennessee

  1. ◾  GREAT SMOKY MOUNTAINS NATIONAL PARK (also NC)

Texas

  1. ◽  BIG BEND NATIONAL PARK
  2. ◽  GUADALUPE MOUNTAINS NATIONAL PARK

Utah

  1. ◽  ARCHES NATIONAL PARK
  2. ◽  BRYCE CANYON NATIONAL PARK
  3. ◽  CANYONLANDS NATIONAL PARK
  4. ◽  CAPITOL REEF NATIONAL PARK
  5. ◽  ZION NATIONAL PARK

Virginia

  1. ◽  SHENANDOAH NATIONAL PARK

Washington

  1. MOUNT RAINIER NATIONAL PARK
  2. NORTH CASCADES NATIONAL PARK
  3. OLYMPIC NATIONAL PARK

West Virginia

  1. ◽  NEW RIVER GORGE NATIONAL PARK

Wyoming

  1. GRAND TETON NATIONAL PARK
  2. YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK (also ID, MT)

US TERRITORIES

  1. ◽  NATIONAL PARK OF AMERICAN SAMOA, American Samoa
  2. ◽  VIRGIN ISLAND NATIONAL PARK, Virgin Islands

What’s your favorite National Park?? Thus far, I *think* my favorite is White Sands, but it’s such a hard decision! Annnnd now that we’ve visited Dry Tortugas National Park, it’s right up there with White Sands.

Disney Bucket List

DISNEY PARKS

  1. Walt Disney World
  2. Disneyland
  3. Disneyland Paris
  4. Shanghai Disneyland
  5. Tokyo Disney
  6. Hong Kong Disneyland
  7. Go on a Disney Cruise

MAGIC KINGDOM

  1. Attend Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party (and here are some Tips and Tricks!)
  2. Attend Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party (and here are some Tips and Tricks!)
  3. Do the “Keys to the Kingdom” Tour
  4. Watch the Festival of Fantasy Parade from the VIP area
  5. Do a fireworks dessert party
  6. Stay for the Kiss Goodnight at the Magic Kingdom
  7. See the hidden Mickey on Under the Sea: Journey of the Little Mermaid (can only be seen at noon on 11/18, Mickey’s birthday)
  8. Be “That Guy” at the Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor
  9. Be the Beast in Enchanted Tales with Belle
  10. Watch sunrise in the Magic Kingdom
  11. Attend Villains After Hours
  12. Go on a ride with a character

EPCOT

  1. Attend the Flower and Garden Festival
  2. Attend the Food and Wine Festival
  3. Attend the Festival of the Arts
  4. Attend the Festival of the Holidays
  5. Drink around the world– all in one day!
  6. Pick a pearl in Japan
  7. Do the “Behind the Seeds Tour”
  8. See the Candlelight Processional

Candlelight Processional at EPCOT with Neil Patrick Harris NPH

ANIMAL KINGDOM

  1. Find DiVine in Animal Kingdom and watch her perform
  2. Become a Wilderness Explorer
  3. Do the “Caring for Giants” Tour

HOLLYWOOD STUDIOS

  1. See Toy Story Land
  2. Get a family picture on Tower of Terror
  3. Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge
  4. Pilot the Millenium Falcon

DISNEY WATER PARKS

  1. Take surfing lessons at Typhoon Lagoon
  2. Spend the day at Blizzard Beach

DISNEY RESORTS

  1. Stay at Disney’s Aulani
  2. Stay at all of the WDW Deluxe Resorts
  3. Stay in the Disneyland Dream Suite or Cinderella Castle Suite
  4. Make s’mores with Chip and Dale at the Campfire Sing-A-Long at Fort Wilderness
  5. Go to the Hoop Dee Doo Musical Revue at Fort Wilderness
  6. See the Christmas Lights at Fort Wilderness
  7. Ride the Surrey bikes on the Boardwalk
  8. Take a boat cruise during the fireworks
  9. Watch the Electrical Water Pageant

DISNEY DINING

  1. Eat at every table-service restaurant at Disney World
  2. Eat at EVERY restaurant at Disney World– the Golden Spoon!
  3. Eat in Cinderella Castle (Cinderella’s Royal Table)
  4. Do the Rio Grande Nacho Challenge at Pecos Bills (no longer offered)

MISCELLANEOUS DISNEY FUN

  1. Become DVC Members
  2. Attend a DVC Moonlight Magic event
  3. Do a VIP Tour
  4. Do an adults-only trip
  5. Go on a trip with a friend
  6. Do Disney ALONE!
  7. Stay from rope drop to extra magic hours close
  8. 4 parks in one day
  9. Visit the Walt Disney Family Museum

What’s on your Disney Bucket List??

Can't Miss things to do at Disney Parks

National Park Bucket List

The National Park Service, a federal bureau in the Department of Interior, was officially created in 1916 by President Woodrow Wilson and tasked with protecting the 35 national parks and monuments in the United States. Over the past 100 years, the number of National Parks (including National Monuments, Military Parks, Battlefields, Historic Sites, etc) has grown to over 400.

For as long as I can remember, visiting all 63 National Parks has been on our family’s bucket list. We’ve increased it to all 428 National Park Service Units (so it includes National Monuments, Battlefields, etc) because there are so many wonderful places to see in our great nation. Our main goal is all of the National Parks, but we’re going to try to hit as many of the other parks as we can along the way. (updated April 26, 2023)

Alabama

  1. ◽  Birmingham Civil Rights National Monument
  2. ◽  Freedom Riders National Monument
  3. ◽  Horseshoe Bend National Military Park
  4. ◽  Little River Canyon National Preserve
  5. ◽  Muscle Shoals National Heritage Area
  6. ◽  Russell Cave National Monument
  7. ◽  Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site
  8. ◽  Tuskegee Institute National Historic Site

Alaska

  1. ◽  Alagnak Wild River
  2. ◽  Aleutian Islands World War II National Historic Area
  3. ◽  Aniakchak National Monument
  4. ◽  Aniakchak National Preserve
  5. ◽  Bering Land Bridge National Preserve
  6. ◽  Cape Krusenstern National Monument
  7. ◽  DENALI NATIONAL PARK
  8. ◽  Denali National Preserve
  9. ◽  GATES OF THE ARCTIC NATIONAL PARK
  10. ◽  Gates of the Arctic National Preserve
  11. GLACIER BAY NATIONAL PARK
  12. ◽  Glacier Bay National Preserve
  13. ◽  KATMAI NATIONAL PARK
  14. ◽  Katmai National Preserve
  15. ◽  KENAI FJORDS NATIONAL PARK
  16. Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park (also WA)
  17. ◽  KOBUK VALLEY NATIONAL PARK
  18. ◽  LAKE CLARK NATIONAL PARK
  19. ◽  Lake Clark National Preserve
  20. ◽  Noatak National Preserve
  21. ◽  Sitka National Historical Park
  22. ◽  WRANGELL-ST ELIAS NATIONAL PARK
  23. ◽  Wrangell-St Elias National Preserve
  24. ◽  Yukon-Charley Rivers National Preserve

Arizona

  1. ◽  Baaj Nwaavjo I’tah Kukveni National Monument
  2. ◽  Canyon De Chelly National Monument
  3. ◽  Casa Grande Ruins National Monument
  4. ◽  Chiricahua National Monument
  5. ◽  Coronado National Memorial
  6. ◽  Fort Bowie National Historic Site
  7. ◽  Glen Canyon National Recreation Area (also UT)
  8. ◾  GRAND CANYON NATIONAL PARK
  9. ◽  Hohokam Pima National Monument
  10. ◽  Hubbel Trading Post National Historic Site
  11. ◽  Montezuma Castle National Monument
  12. ◽  Navajo National Monument
  13. ◽  Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument
  14. ◾  PETRIFIED FOREST NATIONAL PARK
  15. ◽  Pipe Spring National Monument
  16. ◽  SAGUARO NATIONAL PARK
  17. ◾  Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument
  18. ◽  Tonto National Monument
  19. ◽  Tumacacori National Historical Park
  20. ◽  Tuzigoot National Monument
  21. ◽  Walnut Canyon National Monument
  22. ◽  Wupatki National Monument

Grand Canyon National ParkGrand Canyon National Park June 2015

Arkansas

  1. ◽  Arkansas Post National Memorial
  2. ◽  Buffalo National River
  3. ◽  Fort Smith National Historic Site
  4. ◽  HOT SPRINGS NATIONAL PARK
  5. ◽  Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site
  6. ◽  Pea Ridge National Military Park
  7. ◽  President William Jefferson Clinton Birthplace Home National Historic Site

California

  1. ◽  Cabrillo National Monument
  2. ◽  Castle Mountains National Monument
  3. ◽  César E Chávez National Monument
  4. ◾  CHANNEL ISLANDS NATIONAL PARK
  5. ◾  DEATH VALLEY NATIONAL PARK (also NV)
  6. ◽  Devils Postpile National Monument
  7. ◽  Eugene O’Neill National Historic Site
  8. ◽  Fort Point National Historic Site
  9. ◾  Golden Gate National Recreation Area
    1. ◾  Alcatraz Island
    2. ◾  Point Bonita Lighthouse
  10. ◽  John Muir National Historic Site
  11. ◽  JOSHUA TREE NATIONAL PARK
  12. ◽  KINGS CANYON NATIONAL PARK
  13. ◽  LASSEN VOLCANIC NATIONAL PARK
  14. ◽  Lava Beds National Monument
  15. ◽  Manzanar National Historic Site
  16. ◽  Mojave National Preserve
  17. ◾  Muir Woods National Monument
  18. ◽  PINNACLES NATIONAL PARK
  19. ◽  Point Reyes National Seashore
  20. ◽  Port Chicago Naval Magazine National Memorial
  21. ◽  REDWOOD NATIONAL PARK
  22. ◽  Rosie the Riveter / World War II Home Front National Historic Park
  23. ◽  San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park
  24. ◽  Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area
  25. ◽  SEQUOIA NATIONAL PARK
  26. ◽  Tule Lake National Monument
  27. ◽  Whiskeytown-Shasta-Trinity National Recreation Area
  28. ◾  YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK

Channel islands national parkChannel Islands National Park June 2016

Colorado

  1. ◽  Bent’s Old Fort National Historic Site
  2. ◽  BLACK CANYON OF THE GUNNISON NATIONAL PARK
  3. ◽  Camp Hale National Monument
  4. ◽  Colorado National Monument
  5. ◽  Curecanti National Recreation Area
  6. ◽  Dinosaur National Monument (also UT)
  7. ◽  Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument
  8. ◽  GREAT SAND DUNES NATIONAL PARK
  9. ◽  Great Sand Dunes National Preserve
  10. ◽  Hovenweep National Monument
  11. ◽  MESA VERDE NATIONAL PARK
  12. ◾  ROCKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK
  13. ◽  Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site
  14. ◽  Yucca House National Monument

fall color and a cabin in Rocky Mountain National ParkRocky Mountain National Park October 2008

Connecticut

  1. ◽  Weir Farm National Historical Park

Delaware

  1. ◽  First State National Historical Park (also PA)

Florida

  1. ◾  Big Cypress National Preserve
  2. ◽  BISCAYNE NATIONAL PARK
  3. ◾  Canaveral National Seashore
  4. ◽  Castillo de San Marcos National Monument
  5. ◽  De Soto National Memorial
  6. ◾  DRY TORTUGAS NATIONAL PARK
  7. ◾  EVERGLADES NATIONAL PARK
  8. ◽  Fort Caroline National Memorial
  9. ◾  Fort Matanzas National Monument
  10. ◾  Gulf Islands National Seashore (also MS)
  11. ◽  Timucuan Ecological and Historical Preserve

Georgia

  1. ◽  Andersonville National Historic Site
  2. ◽  Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area
  3. ◽  Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park (also TN)
  4. ◾  Cumberland Island National Seashore
  5. ◽  Fort Frederica National Monument
  6. ◽  Fort Pulaski National Monument
  7. ◽  Jimmy Carter National Historical Park
  8. ◽  Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park
  9. ◽  Martin Luther King Jr National Historical Park
  10. ◽  Ocmulgee Mounds National Historical Park

Hawaii

  1. ◽  HALEAKALA NATIONAL PARK
  2. ◽  HAWAII VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK
  3. ◽  Honouliuli National Historic Site
  4. ◽  Kalaupapa National Historical Park
  5. ◽  Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park
  6. ◽  Pearl Harbor National Memorial
  7. ◽  Pu’uhonua O Honaunau National Historical Park
  8. ◽  Pu’ukohola Heiau National Historic Site

Idaho

  1. ◽  City of Rocks National Reserve
  2. ◾   Craters of the Moon National Monument
  3. ◾   Craters of the Moon National Preserve
  4. ◽  Hagerman Fossil Beds National Monument
  5. ◽  Minidoka National Historic Site
  6. ◽  Nez Perce National Historical Park
  7. ◾  YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK (also MT, WY)

Illinois

  1. ◽  Emmett Till and Mamie Till-Mobley National Monument (also MS)
  2. ◽  Lincoln Home National Historic Site
  3. ◽  New Philadelphia National Historic Site
  4. ◽  Pullman National Historical Park

Indiana

  1. ◽  George Rogers Clark National Historical Park
  2. ◽  INDIANA DUNES NATIONAL PARK
  3. ◽  Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial

Iowa

  1. ◽  Effigy Mounds National Monument
  2. ◽  Herbert Hoover National Historic Site

Kansas

  1. ◽  Brown vs. Board of Education National Historical Park
  2. ◽  Fort Larned National Historic Site
  3. ◽  Fort Scott National Historic Site
  4. ◽  Nicodemus National Historic Site
  5. ◽  Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve

Kentucky

  1. ◽  Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historical Park
  2. ◽  Camp Nelson National Monument
  3. ◽  Cumberland Gap National Historical Park (also TN, VA)
  4. ◽  Fort Donelson National Battlefield (also TN)
  5. ◽  MAMMOTH CAVE NATIONAL PARK
  6. ◽  Mill Springs Battlefield National Monument

Louisiana

  1. ◽  Cane River Creole National Historical Park
  2. ◽  Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve
  3. ◽  New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park
  4. ◽  Poverty Point National Monument
  5. ◽  Vicksburg National Military Park (also MS)

Maine

  1. ◽  ACADIA NATIONAL PARK
  2. ◽  Appalachian National Scenic Trail (Maine to Georgia)
  3. ◽  Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument
  4. ◽  Saint Croix Island International Historic Site

Maryland

  1. ◽  Antietam National Battlefield
  2. ◽  Assateague Island National Seashore (also VA)
  3. ◽  Catoctin Mountain Park
  4. ◽  C&O Canal National Historical Park (also Washington DC)
  5. ◽  Clara Barton National Historic Site
  6. ◽  Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine
  7. ◽  Fort Washington Park
  8. ◽  Greenbelt Park
  9. ◽  Hampton National Historic Site
  10. ◽  Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Historical Park
  11. ◽  Monocacy National Battlefield
  12. ◽  Piscataway Park
  13. ◽  Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail
  14. ◽  Thomas Stone National Historic Site

Massachusetts

  1. ◽  Adams National Historical Park
  2. ◽  Boston African American National Historic Site
  3. ◽  Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area
  4. ◽  Boston National Historical Park
  5. ◽  Cape Cod National Seashore
  6. ◽  Frederick Law Olmsted National Historic Site
  7. ◽  John F Kennedy National Historic Site
  8. ◽  Longfellow House-Washington’s Headquarters National Historic Site
  9. ◽  Lowell National Historical Park
  10. ◽  Minute Man National Historical Park
  11. ◽  New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park
  12. ◽  Salem Maritime National Historic Site
  13. ◽  Saugus Iron Works National Historic Site
  14. ◽  Springfield Armory National Historic Site

Michigan

  1. ◽  ISLE ROYALE NATIONAL PARK
  2. ◽  Keweenaw National Historical Park
  3. Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore
  4. ◽  River Raisin National Battlefield Park
  5. Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore

Minnesota

  1. ◽  Grand Portage National Monument
  2. ◽  Mississippi National River and Recreation Area
  3. ◽  Pipestone National Monument
  4. ◽  Saint Croix National Scenic Riverway (also WI)
  5. ◽  VOYAGEURS NATIONAL PARK

Mississippi

  1. ◽  Brices Cross Roads National Battlefield Site
  2. ◽  Emmett Till and Mamie Till-Mobley National Monument (also IL)
  3. ◽  Gulf Island National Seashore (also FL)
  4. ◽  Medgar and Myrlie Evers Home National Monument
  5. ◽  Natchez National Historical Park
  6. ◽  Natchez Trace Parkway (also AL, TN)
  7. ◽  Natchez Trace National Trail (also AL, TN)
  8. ◽  Shiloh Military Park (also TN)
  9. ◽  Tupelo National Battlefield
  10. ◽  Vicksburg National Military Park (also LA)

Missouri

  1. ◾  GATEWAY ARCH NATIONAL PARK
  2. ◽  George Washington Carver National Monument
  3. ◽  Harry S Truman National Historic Site
  4. ◽  Jefferson National Expansion Memorial
  5. ◽  Ozark National Scenic Riverways
  6. ◽  Ste. Genevieve National Historical Park
  7. ◽  Ulysses S Grant National Historic Site
  8. ◽  Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield

Montana

  1. ◽  Big Hole National Battlefield
  2. ◽  Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area
  3. ◽  Fort Union Trading Post National Historic Site (also ND)
  4. ◾   GLACIER NATIONAL PARK
  5. ◽  Grant-Kohrs Ranch National Historic Site
  6. ◽  Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument
  7. ◾  YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK (also ID, WY)

Nebraska

  1. ◽  Agate Fossil Beds National Monument
  2. ◽  Homestead National Historical Park
  3. ◽  Missouri National Recreational River (also SD)
  4. ◽  Niobrara National Scenic River
  5. ◽  Scotts Bluff National Monument

Nevada

  1. ◽  Avi Kwa Ame National Monument
  2. ◾  DEATH VALLEY NATIONAL PARK (also CA)
  3. ◽  GREAT BASIN NATIONAL PARK
  4. ◽  Lake Mead National Recreation Area (also AZ)
  5. ◽  Tule Springs Fossil Beds National Monument

New Hampshire

  1. ◽  Saint-Gaudens National Historic Park

New Jersey

  1. ◽  Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area (also PA)
  2. ◽  Great Egg Harbor Scenic and Recreational River
  3. ◽  Morristown National Historical Park
  4. ◽  Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park
  5. ◽  Thomas Edison National Historical Park

New Mexico

  1. ◽  Aztec Ruins National Monument
  2. ◽  Bandelier National Monument
  3. ◽  Capulin Volcano National Monument
  4. ◽  CARLSBAD CAVERNS NATIONAL PARK
  5. ◽  Chaco Culture National Historical Park
  6. ◽  El Malpais National Monument
  7. ◽  El Morro National Monument
  8. ◽  Fort Union National Monument
  9. ◽  Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument
  10. ◽  Manhattan Project National Historical Park (also TN, WA)
  11. ◽  Pecos National Historical Park
  12. ◽  Petroglyph National Monument
  13. ◽  Salinas Pueblo Missions National Monument
  14. ◽  Valles Caldera National Preserve
  15. ◾  WHITE SANDS NATIONAL PARK

Desert beauty in White Sands National ParkWhite Sands National Park June 2016

New York

  1. ◽  African Burial Ground National Monument
  2. ◽  Castle Clinton National Monument
  3. ◽  Eleanor Roosevelt National Historic Site
  4. ◽  Federal Hall National Memorial
  5. ◽  Fire Island National Seashore
  6. ◽  Fort Stanwix National Monument
  7. ◽  Gateway National Recreation Area (also NJ)
  8. ◽  General Grant National Memorial
  9. ◽  Governors Island National Monument
  10. ◽  Hamilton Grange National Memorial
  11. ◽  Harriet Tubman National Historical Park
  12. ◽  Home of Franklin D Roosevelt National Historic Site
  13. ◽  Martin Van Buren National Historic Site
  14. ◽  Saint Paul’s Church National Historic Site
  15. ◽  Sagamore Hill National Historic Site
  16. ◽  Saratoga National Historical Park
  17. ◽  Statue of Liberty National Monument
  18. ◽  Stonewall National Monument
  19. ◽  Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace National Historic Site
  20. ◽  Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural National Historic Site
  21. ◽  Vanderbilt Mansion National Historic Site
  22. ◽  Women’s Rights National Historical Park

North Carolina

  1. ◾  Blue Ridge Parkway (also VA)
  2. ◾  Cape Hatteras National Seashore
  3. ◽  Cape Lookout National Seashore
  4. ◽  Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site
  5. ◽  Fort Raleigh National Historic Site
  6. ◾  GREAT SMOKY MOUNTAINS NATIONAL PARK (also TN)
  7. ◽  Guilford Courthouse National Military Park
  8. ◽  Moores Creek National Battlefield
  9. ◽  Wright Brothers National Memorial

Fall color in the rain on the Blue Ridge ParkwayBlue Ridge Parkway October 2015

North Dakota

  1. ◽  Fort Union Trading Post National Historic Site (also MT)
  2. ◽  Knife River Indian Villages National Historic Site
  3. ◽  THEODORE ROOSEVELT NATIONAL PARK

Ohio

  1. ◽  Charles Young Buffalo Soldiers National Monument
  2. ◽  CUYAHOGA VALLEY NATIONAL PARK
  3. ◽  David Berger National Memorial
  4. ◽  Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park
  5. ◽  Fallen Timbers Battlefield and Fort Miamis National Historic Site
  6. ◽  First Ladies National Historic Site
  7. ◽  Hopewell Culture National Historical Park
  8. ◽  James A Garfield National Historic Site
  9. ◽  Perry’s Victory and International Peace Museum
  10. ◽  William Howard Taft National Historic Site

Oklahoma

  1. ◽  Chickasaw National Recreation Area
  2. ◽  Oklahoma City National Memorial
  3. ◽  Washita Battlefield National Historic Site

Oregon

  1. ◾  CRATER LAKE NATIONAL PARK
  2. ◽  John Day Fossil Beds National Monument
  3. ◽  Lewis and Clark National Historical Park (also WA)
  4. ◽  Oregon Caves National Monument and Preserve

Pennsylvania

  1. ◽  Allegheny Portage Railroad National Historic Site
  2. ◽  Edgar Allen Poe National Historic Site
  3. ◽  Eisenhower National Historic Site
  4. ◽  Flight 93 National Memorial
  5. ◽  Fort Necessity National Battlefield
  6. ◽  Friendship Hill National Historic Site
  7. ◽  Gettysburg National Military Park
  8. ◽  Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site
  9. ◽  Independence National Historical Park
  10. ◽  Johnstown Flood National Memorial
  11. ◽  Lower Delaware National Scenic River
  12. ◽  Steamtown National Historic Site
  13. ◽  Thaddeus Kosciuszko National Memorial
  14. ◽  Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River
  15. ◽  Valley Forge National Historical Park

Rhode Island

  1. ◽  Blackstone River Valley National Historical Park (also MA)
  2. ◽  Roger Williams National Memorial

South Carolina

  1. ◽  Charles Pinckney National Historic Site
  2. ◾  CONGAREE NATIONAL PARK
  3. ◽  Cowpens National Battlefield
  4. Fort Sumter and Fort Moultrie National Historical Park
  5. ◽  Kings Mountain National Military Park
  6. ◽  Ninety-Six National Historic Site
  7. ◽  Reconstruction Era National Historical Park

South Dakota

  1. ◽  BADLANDS NATIONAL PARK
  2. ◽  Jewel Cave National Monument
  3. ◽  Minuteman Missile National Historic Site
  4. ◽  Mount Rushmore National Memorial
  5. ◽  WIND CAVE NATIONAL PARK

Tennessee

  1. ◽  Andrew Johnson National Historic Site
  2. ◽  Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area (also KY)
  3. ◽  Chickamauga & Chattanooga National Military Park (also GA)
  4. ◽  Fort Donelson National Battlefield (also KY)
  5. ◾  GREAT SMOKY MOUNTAINS NATIONAL PARK (also NC)
  6. ◽  Obed Wild and Scenic River
  7. ◽  Shiloh National Military Park (also MS)
  8. ◽  Stone River National Battlefield

Fall day in Great Smoky Mountain National ParkGreat Smoky Mountain National Park October 2015

Texas

  1. ◽  Alibates Flint Quarries National Monument
  2. ◽  Amistad National Recreation Area
  3. ◽  BIG BEND NATIONAL PARK
  4. ◽  Big Thicket National Preserve
  5. ◽  Castner Range National Monument
  6. ◽  Chamizal National Memorial
  7. ◽  Fort Davis National Historic Site
  8. ◽  GUADALUPE MOUNTAINS NATIONAL PARK
  9. ◽  Lake Meredith National Recreation Area
  10. ◽  Lyndon B Johnson National Historical Park
  11. ◽  Padre Island National Seashore
  12. ◽  Palo Alto Battlefield National Historical Park
  13. ◽  Rio Grande Wild and Scenic River
  14. ◽  San Antonio Missions National Historical Park
  15. ◽  Waco Mammoth National Monument

Utah

  1. ◽  ARCHES NATIONAL PARK
  2. ◽  BRYCE CANYON NATIONAL PARK
  3. ◽  CANYONLANDS NATIONAL PARK
  4. ◽  CAPITOL REEF NATIONAL PARK
  5. ◽  Cedar Breaks National Monument
  6. ◽  Dinosaur National Monument (also CO)
  7. ◽  Golden Spike National Historical Park
  8. ◽  Natural Bridges National Monument
  9. ◽  Rainbow Bridge National Monument
  10. ◽  Timpanogos Cave National Monument
  11. ◽  ZION NATIONAL PARK

Vermont

  1. ◽  Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park

Virginia

  1. ◾  Appomattox Court House National Historical Park
  2. ◾  Arlington House, The Robert E Lee Memorial
  3. ◾  Blue Ridge Parkway (also NC)
  4. ◽  Booker T Washington National Monument
  5. ◽  Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park
  6. ◾  Colonial National Historical Park
  7. ◽  Fort Monroe National Monument
  8. ◽  Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park
  9. ◽  George Washington Birthplace National Monument
  10. George Washington Memorial Parkway (also MD, DC)
  11. ◽  Maggie L Walker National Historic Site
  12. ◽  Manassas National Battlefield Park
  13. ◽  Petersburg National Battlefield Park
  14. ◽  Prince William Forest Park
  15. ◽  Richmond National Battlefield Park
  16. ◽  SHENANDOAH NATIONAL PARK
  17. ◽  Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts

Appomattox Courthouse in the rainAppomattox Court House National Historical Park September 2015

Washington

  1. ◾  Ebbey’s Landing National Historical Reserve
  2. ◽  Fort Vancouver National Historic Site (also OR)
  3. ◾   Lake Chelan National Recreation Area
  4. ◽  Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area
  5. ◾   MOUNT RAINIER NATIONAL PARK
  6. ◾   NORTH CASCADES NATIONAL PARK
  7. ◾   OLYMPIC NATIONAL PARK
  8. ◾   Ross Lake National Recreation Area
  9. ◾   San Juan Island National Historical Park
  10. ◽  Whitman Mission National Historic Site

Washington DC

  1. ◽  Belmont-Paul Women’s Equality National Monument
  2. ◽  Carter G Woodson Home National Historic Site
  3. ◽  Constitution Gardens
  4. ◾  Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial
  5. ◾  Ford’s Theatre National Historic Site
  6. ◾  Franklin D Roosevelt Memorial
  7. ◽  Frederick Douglass National Historic Site
  8. ◾  Jefferson Memorial
  9. ◾  Korean War Veterans Memorial
  10. ◾  Lincoln Memorial
  11. ◽  Lyndon Baines Johnson Memorial Grove on the Potomac
  12. ◾  Martin Luther King Jr Memorial
  13. ◽  Mary McLeod Bethune Council House National Historic Site
  14. ◽  National Capital Parks
  15. ◾  National Mall
  16. ◽  Pennsylvania Avenue National Historic Site
  17. ◽  Rock Creek Park
  18. ◽  Theodore Roosevelt Island
  19. ◾  Vietnam Veterans Memorial
  20. ◾  Washington Monument
  21. ◽  White House and President’s Park
  22. ◾  World War I Memorial
  23. ◾  World War II Memorial

Korean War Memorial in Washington DC at nightKorean War Memorial March 2010

West Virginia

  1. ◽  Bluestone National Scenic River
  2. ◽  Gauley River National Recreation Area
  3. ◽  Harpers Ferry National Historical Park
  4. ◽  NEW RIVER GORGE NATIONAL PARK

Wisconsin

  1. ◽  Apostle Islands National Lakeshore
  2. ◽  Saint Croix National Scenic Riverway (also MN)

Wyoming

  1. ◽  Devils Tower National Monument
  2. ◽  Fort Laramie National Historic Site
  3. ◽  Fossil Butte National Monument
  4. ◾   GRAND TETON NATIONAL PARK
  5. ◾   John D Rockefeller Memorial Parkway
  6. ◾  YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK (also ID, MT)

Virgin Islands

  1. ◽  Buck Island Reef National Monument
  2. ◽  Christiansted National Historic Site
  3. ◽  Salt River Bay National Historical Park and Ecological Preserve
  4. ◽  Virgin Islands Coral Reef National Monument
  5. ◽  VIRGIN ISLANDS NATIONAL PARK

Misc

  1. ◽  NATIONAL PARK OF AMERICAN SAMOA, American Samoa
  2. ◽  San Juan National Historic Site, Puerto Rico
  3. ◽  War in the Pacific National Historical Park, Guam

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Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party Tips and Tricks

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is one of our all-time favorite things to do at Walt Disney World and it’s the perfect way to kick off the holiday season!  As soon as the park closes after the last Halloween party, the Halloween decorations come down and the Christmas ones go up.  Almost overnight, the Magic Kingdom is transformed into a Christmas wonderland, and about a week later, Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party begins and runs until right before Christmas.  We always make the trip down to Florida to start our holiday season with Mickey, and now, I’m sharing some of our best tips and tricks with you so you can enjoy a magical night at Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, too!

Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party Tips

VERY MERRY TICKETS

The Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party dates were released in March 2018 for this year’s party and tickets were available over the phone initially, and then also available online here or at the gate.  While it’s not imperative to buy them as soon as they’re released, the parties do sell out, especially the first one of the season and those around Thanksgiving.  Traditionally, Friday night parties are more crowded because locals can easily attend and not have to worry about work or school in the morning.  Weeknight parties are typically the least crowded especially those earlier in the season (barring the first party).

DATES FOR 2018

November: 8, 9, 12, 13, 15, 16, 25, 27, 29, 30

December: 2, 4, 6, 7, 9, 11, 13, 14, 16, 18, 20, 21

Party ticket prices range from $99 adults/$94 kids to $125 adults/$120 kids if you purchase them in advance.  You’ll be paying more if you want to buy them the day of the event (and that’s assuming that it’s not a sold-out party).  Double check for discounts if you’re an annual passholder, DVC member or eligible for military tickets because they could save you enough for a few Mickey ice cream bars!  Note for military tickets: Buy them at Shades of Green and they’re tax-free!  Also, if you want to attend a sold-out party, those eligible for military tickets can purchase at the gate, the day of the event but no discount is offered.

ARRIVAL

Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party Arrival

Like Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party runs from 7pm-midnight but you can actually get into the park at 4pm (or a smidge earlier since they sometimes open the tapstyles around 345pm).  And, if you’re a DVC member, you can actually get in at 2pm!!  We took advantage of that perk this year and enjoyed a couple of extra hours in the park, which was great since we were just there for the party and didn’t have park tickets.

We recommend NOT using a park ticket on your party day and instead, spending it relaxing at your resort or resort hopping to check out all of the Christmas decorations, especially at the resorts on the monorail loop.  The Christmas decorations at all of the Walt Disney World deluxe resorts are absolutely magical but we especially love the Gingerbread House at the Grand Floridian and then Gingerbread Castle at the Contemporary.

If you arrive at the Magic Kingdom before 6pm (when it officially closes for day guests) head to the far right and make sure you go through one of the Event Entrance tapstyles.  Once you’re through, a Cast Member will put a party wristband on your (right!) wrist and the Christmas magic begins!

VERY MERRY GAMEPLAN

With the ages of our kids right now and the fact that some years, our only time at Magic Kingdom is for the parties (Not So Scary and Very Merry!), the rides and treats are the biggest draws for our family. We make sure to arrive at the park by 4pm (or 2pm this year for DVC members!) and then go on as many rides as possible AND eat dinner by 7pm when the party officially starts.  This year we also stopped for a popcorn snack break to pick up the new Pluto Christmas Sweater refillable popcorn bucket!

Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party Popcorn

Once the party starts, we spend our time doing a mix of rides, treat stops, and enjoying the party entertainment, but we almost always skip the character meet and greets because our kids don’t want to “waste” park time in character lines.  If meeting the characters (especially the popular ones) is important to you, make sure to get in line for your first choice well before 7pm (like at least an hour early) so that you don’t waste official party time waiting in line.  This year, several of the character meet and greets actually started around 5pm- they were definitely checking wristbands so if you’re not really there for the party, don’t even bother getting in line.

We definitely take a different approach to Very Merry than most people and I think it’s partly due to the ages of our kids, as well as not being locals and needing to buy so many tickets (so we really want to get our money’s worth out of our time!). For our family, going to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party allows us to spend 8+ hours in the park (this year we got it up to almost 12 hours!) with lower crowds than usual, at night (which is our absolute favorite), participate in some Christmas fun, and go on lots of rides with much shorter lines!  If you’re an annual passholder or are doing the party as part of a longer trip, I can absolutely see the appeal of doing character meet and greets and spending the bulk of the night focused on party exclusive events and entertainment!

RIDES

We typically head to Tomorrowland once we’re in the park so that we have a chance to go on Carousel of Progress before the park closes for day guests (for some reason, it’s not open during either the Halloween or Christmas parties).  While we’re over there, the big kids go on Space Mountain and we all go on the PeopleMover!

Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party Peoplemover

Our family LOVES the PeopleMover so we go on it at least once every time that we’re in the park– but usually way more than that!

Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party Jingle Cruise

For the holiday season, the Jungle Cruise transforms into the Jingle Cruise, and those silly skippers change up their puns and keep the holiday laughs going all the way through the new year.

Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party Jingle Cruise Skipper

The boats are decorated with Christmas ornaments and garland and take on Christmas-y names, too!  Normally, we’re not fans of riding Jungle Cruise at night because it’s hard to see the “animals” but Jingle Cruise looks extra-festive once the sun goes down and the Christmas lights go on.

VERY MERRY TREATS

Once the party officially starts at 7pm, there are treat stops throughout the park where you can get (complimentary) snacks!

  • Tortuga Tavern: Snowman Soft Pretzel and Sno-Cone
  • Cosmic Ray’s: Snickerdoodle Cookies and Hot Chocolate
  • Storybook Circus: Peppermint Crunch Cookies (though this year they don’t have the milk…)
  • Liberty Square Ticket Office: Ginger Molasses Cookies and Eggnog
  • The Friar’s Nook: DOVE Chocolate and Apple Cider
  • Auntie Gravity’s: Chocolate Chip Cookies and Sno-Cone

Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party Cookies

Pinocchio Village Haus is the best one-stop treat location because it has all four cookies: Chocolate Chip, Peppermint Crunch, Ginger Molasses, and Snickerdoodle.  They give you one of each cookie along with hot chocolate or orange Fanta and you’re welcome to go through the line as many times as you’d like in case you want extras.

HOLIDAY WISHES

Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party Holiday Wishes

Holiday Wishes, the exclusive Very Merry fireworks show, should not be missed- it runs every party night at 10pm.

The hub/Main Street is the best place to watch the show so that you can see all of the projections on the castle.  However, if you’ve already seen Holiday Wishes, or don’t want to deal with the crowds by the Castle, Storybook Circus and the Rivers of America are both great locations to watch with fewer crowds.

Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party Holiday Wishes Tink

However, if you want to be able to see Tinkerbell fly during the show (weather permitting!), you have to make sure that you have a clear view of the castle and the sky towards Tomorrowland.  You cannot see her fly if you’re on Main Street or in other areas of the park.

ONCE UPON A CHRISTMASTIME PARADE

The Once Upon A Christmastime Parade runs nightly during Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party at 830pm and 11pm starting in Frontierland and then making its way down Main Street.  This is my absolute FAVORITE parade in the current WDW parade line-up and we stake out spots for it EVERY year.  Before the parade begins, the snow starts to fall on Main Street and it is absolutely magical!

Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party Parade

If you’ve never seen it before, I would definitely add Once Upon a Christmastime to your must-do list!  While Frontierland is less crowded and you don’t have to get there as early to find a spot, it absolutely does not compare to watching the parade from Main Street, with the snow falling and Cinderella Castle in the background.

Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party Parade

The toy soldiers are the absolute best part of the parade!!

Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party Parade

Those silly reindeer are a close runner-up though!

Once Santa makes his way down Main Street, it really feels like the Christmas season has started!

MICKEY’S MOST MERRIEST CELEBRATION

Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party Most Merriest

Mickey’s Most Merriest Celebration is another party exclusive and runs nightly at 740pm, 925pm, 1030pm, and 1155pm on the Castle Forecourt Stage.  We love watching the 1155pm show because it doesn’t take up very much party time and it keeps you in the park past closing!

Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party Most Merriest

Aren’t these two the cutest?!

The END of the Night

We wrap up every night at the Magic Kingdom with an ice cream cone from the Plaza Ice Cream Parlor while we watch all of the guests walk down Main Street and out of the park.  And once Main Street has cleared out, but before the Photopass photographers close up for the night (so sometime between 1230-1am), we get a family picture in front of Cinderella Castle.  We all wore ugly Christmas sweaters for the party this year (even though it was 85 degrees out!!) so I wanted to make sure that we had a great family picture of us in our sweaters!

And then we slowly make our way towards the exit, stopping every so often to turn around and snap a picture of Cinderella Castle at the end of an empty Main Street.  We always have a magical time at Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party which is why we keep going back every year!  It’s one of our favorite ways to kick off the holiday season, and even though it can still be hot in Florida in November, it feels like Christmas when you’re walking down Main Street in the snow!

Things to Remember for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party

  • Dress up!  Unlike the Halloween party, most people don’t wear full costumes but many guests do dress up in festive shirts or Christmas pajamas. It’s so fun to see all of the people walking around the party in their Christmas-y best and we try and get ideas for what to wear to our next party while we’re there since so many people are dressed up!
  • Get there early!  While the party officially runs from 7pm-midnight and those are the hours for the exclusive party offerings, you can get into the park at 4pm with a party ticket (or 2pm this year if you’re a DVC member). Spend your morning/early afternoon relaxing and arrive right before 4pm in order to maximize your time in the park
  • Get lots of cookies!  This year, the cookies are individually wrapped so you can stock up and bring them home if you want.  I think we had about forty cookies to bring home by the end of the night!
  • Buy your ticket early!  You don’t have to buy your ticket as soon as they’re released but if you want to go to the first, last, or a Friday party, definitely buy your tickets sooner rather than later.
  • See if you qualify for any discounts!  Tickets are definitely expensive, even more than the Halloween party, but there are discounts for military, AP, and DVC for some of the November/early December parties so double check before you buy.
  • Check the weather!  While it’s the tail end of hurricane season, it is Florida and rain is likely- we always make sure to bring disposable ponchos with us!  Also, November and December can be really hot or really cold so make sure to pack appropriately.
  • Have fun!!  Go with a plan, especially if you want to see a lot of the party exclusive characters, but take time to soak in the atmosphere. There is nothing better than the Magic Kingdom decorated for Christmas.

Have you been to Very Merry yet this year?? Do you have any tips for a first timer??

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