Parks for recreation: Americans packing in National Parks, AAA Arizona says

Posted at 4:39 AM, Jul 29, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-29 07:39:46-04

The highest number of Americans in recent years are heading to national parks Aug. 25 in recognition of the National Park Service’s 100th anniversary. According to a recent AAA survey, a whopping 85 percent of U.S. adults have visited at least one national park, and 79 percent are as likely or more likely to visit a national park in the next 12 months.

Visitation to the national parks reached an all-time high in 2015, with more than 307 million visitors. The demand for national parks is off the charts this year, as the wide variety of national parks offer something for every traveler to discover.

National parks are growing in popularity among younger generations, with nearly half of Millennials (46 percent) citing that they are more likely to visit a national park in the next year, outpacing both Generation X and Baby Boomers.

According to the National Park Service, the most visited national parks in 2015 were the Great Smoky Mountains, Grand Canyon and Rocky Mountain.

AAA’s survey revealed the three parks that top most Americans’ bucket lists for future travels:

  • Yellowstone (33 percent)
  • Yosemite (17 percent)
  • Grand Canyon (12 percent)

Travelers planning trips to national parks for the remainder of 2016 can enjoy a discount on select dates in honor of the National Park Service’s 100th anniversary. All sites that charge an entrance fee will offer free admission Aug. 25-28, Sept. 24 and Nov. 11.

Working a travel professional, like a AAA travel agent, will ensure your national park vacation is one to remember for all of the right reasons.

As a full-service travel agency, AAA offers travelers a variety of tools and resources to plan a national park vacation. Featuring one-of-a-kind national park itineraries, AAA Vacations is a collection of specially designed cruises, guided tours and independent vacations offering unique, engaging travel experiences.

As a travel resource, AAA has put together a list of AAA Approved and Diamond Rated lodgings located in U.S. national parks.

For more information, visit