By Travel + Leisure and Travel + Leisure Staff
February 02, 2017

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Embrace the great outdoors with an affordable getaway to one of these national parks.

Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii

Stay: Volcano House

Volcano House reopened in 2013 following a $7 million renovation that preserved the character of the original 1941 design. The rooms have beautiful views: some overlook Kilauea, one of the world's most active volcanoes, while others face native Hawaiian rainforest of ohia lehua and koa trees. This 323,400-acre national park is also great for wildlife spotting; more than 90 percent of the plants and animals here are found nowhere else on earth. Cabins from $55/night.

Acadia National Park, Maine

Stay: Bar Harbor Inn

Located on Mount Desert Island, with 8 acres of gardens and lawns, Bar Harbor Inn is a shingled 19th-century lodge that offers laid-back comfort on Frenchman's Bay—one of Maine's most scenic coastal spots. Many rooms have fireplaces and balconies, and the hotel has a heated outdoor pool, as well as a full-service spa. At 45,000 acres, Acadia National Park consumes some 65 percent of Mount Desert Island (plus two outlying islands). Moose-spotting is practically guaranteed along the pine-fringed trails. Doubles from $209/night.

Denali National Park / Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska

Cruise: Princess Cruises

This glacier-carved wilderness is a treat for mini zoologists—think bald eagles, humpback whales, and Dall sheep, all against a backdrop of snowcapped mountains and dramatic fjords. Kids can go dog mushing, visit a salmon hatchery, and become Glacier Bay Junior Rangers with the National Parks Service. From $99/person per day.

Zion National Park, Utah

Stay: Desert Pearl Inn

Desert Pearl Inn puts guests on the river's edge at the entrance to Zion National Park and provides a soothing retreat (reclaimed old-growth Douglas fir floors; a tawny palette of neutrals) from the blazing red rock outside. Nearby, you'll find Zion Canyon, a narrow funnel of 2,000-foot-high sandstone walls with a crimson patina and top-heavy buttes that appear to shoot straight up from earth to sky. Doubles from $168/night.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Stay: LeConte Lodge

Straddling North Carolina and Tennessee, Great Smoky Mountains National Park is America's most-visited national park. To get away from the tourists in nearby Pigeon Forge, stay at LeConte Lodge, accessed via a five-mile hike to its 6,360-foot mountaintop perch. The log cabins have propane heat, kerosene lanterns, and covered porches with rocking chairs. From $126/night per adult; from $85/night for kids (rates include breakfast and dinner).

Grand Teton National Park

Stay: South Fork Lodge

South Fork Lodge is a favorite among the fly-fishing set thanks to its location just feet from the Snake River. It offers a range of accommodation options, including 18 suites, three low-key fisherman's cabins, and an elegant four-bedroom river house. While typically less crowded than its neighbor, Yellowstone, Grand Teton is no less impressive and also easily accessible from Jackson Hole. Keep a camera on hand for any bears, moose, and bald eagles. Doubles from $165/night.


Great National Park Lodges

America’s Best New BBQ

Most Annoying Travel Fees

America’s Top Free Attractions