17 free-admission days at national parks this year

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Mark your calendar: Entrance fees are being waived at all national parks on 17 days in 2011.

The National Parks Service recently announced the lineup for this year's fee-free days. They are:

January 15-17 (Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday weekend)

April 16-24 (National Park Week)

June 21 (First day of summer)

September 24 (Public Lands Day)

November 11-13 (Veterans Day weekend)

For the past couple of summers, national parks have been free on certain weekends, but based on the park service's calendar for 2011, park goers only get a warm-weather freebie on the first day of summer, June 21. In previous years, free-admission summertime weekends were announced only a few months in advance, so we'll let you know if things change and more fee-free days are added.

Right now is a great time to start planning a trip that'll take advantage of free admission during National Parks Week. That takes place in April, which, as Budget Travel has suggested before, is a wonderful time to visit Death Valley, Joshua Tree, and Saguaro national parks, among others.


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