Mother and son in Mount Rainer National Park

Plan A Fun Family Vacation To These Underrated National Parks

By Sanjay Surana


Black Canyon
The Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park in Colorado has hiking trails for all ages, with several easy walks. However, it's not nearly as crowded as other parks.
On North Rim Road and South Rim Drive, travelers can peer into the heart of the chasm carved out by the Gunnison River, while the East Portal Road features a steep route into it.
Channel Islands
This California park has beautiful scenery and wildlife, like dolphins, seals, and foxes. There are no facilities, so visitors must be fully self-sufficient.
Santa Rosa Island promises walks that take in old ranches, bluffs, and a white-sand beach. Other outdoor options include kayaking and snorkeling around sea caves and kelp forests.
According to a Tripadvisor commenter, this South Carolina park's "beauty lies in the dense forests and wetland areas [...] with all kinds of animal life."
The Boardwalk Loop Trail is a simple hike for all the family. For something the kids will never forget, visit from May to June when thousands of fireflies light up around the park.
Dry Tortugas
Dry Tortugas National Park is a snorkeling destination in Florida, yet it had less than 85,000 visitors in 2023 since getting there requires taking a boat or seaplane.
Kids will love to see all the marine life. Near the island's central Fort Jefferson, swimmers might see reef squid and nurse sharks while tarpon and groupers swim by the piers.
Great Basin
This park in Utah is perfect for cave lovers. A Tripadvisor reviewer called it a "National Park not to be Missed," where "the caves were fantastic and easy to navigate."
Tours of the cave system are always done with a park ranger. Kids can see creatures from bats to false scorpions, and young astronomers should stick around to see the night sky.