National Parks Waive Fees For First Day of Summer

Friday June 17, 2011

WASHINGTON - Start summer with a free visit to a national park! The National Park Service is waiving all entrance fees on June 21 - the first day of summer.

"The longest day of the year is the perfect time to take a short trip. Celebrate an extended Father's Day with Dad, the start of summer break with the kids, or a job well done with your favorite graduate," said National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis. "With 394 national parks across the country, you could opt to visit an old favorite or explore a new place. Find a reason to get outside and enjoy the extra sunshine at a national park near you."

Every park has something for everyone; plan your visit at Soak in the day's first rays on top of Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park (ME), a traditional spot to watch the sun rise, or at the annual summer solstice program at Casa Rinconada in Chaco Culture National Historical Park (NM).

If you aren't an early bird, don't worry, there's plenty going on throughout the day. Take a free bus tour of Zion National Park (UT) or Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve (KS) or a scenic wagon ride at Oxen Cove Farm (MD); get a free Cajun dance or music lesson at Jean Lafitte National Park & Preserve (LA); watch a sled dog demonstration at Denali National Park and Preserve (AK); visit with White House (DC) artist Peter Waddell; or tour the Three Sisters Lighthouses in Cape Cod National Seashore (MA).

Commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Civil War with a Camp for Kids at Cedar Creek & Belle Grove National Historical Park (VA); a guided caravan tour of Stones River National Battlefield (TN); or a living history event at Vicksburg National Military Park (MS).

As the longest day of the year draws to a close, watch the sun set at a beach party at John Muir National Historic Site (CA).

As the longest day of the year draws to a close, watch the sun set at a beach party at John Muir National Historic Site (CA) or during a guided stroll at Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area (GA), Padre Island National Seashore (TX), Frederick Law Olmstead National Historic Site (MA), or White Sands National Monument (NM).

The action continues into the night with a Star Party at Grand Canyon National Park (AZ) and a Night Sky program at Chaco Culture National Historical Park (NM).

More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America's 394 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities

Additional fee free days in 2011 are National Public Lands Day (Saturday, September 24) and Veterans Day weekend (November 11-13).

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