3 free summer weekends at national parks

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Courtesy Buqo/myBudgetTravel

Mark your calendars: 147 national parks are waiving admission fees (typically $3 to $25) over Father's Day, June 20–21, as well as July 18–19 and August 15–16.

The National Park Service hopes that these Fee-Free Weekends will inspire families to get outdoors—and give an economic boost to local communities in the process.

Concessioners, who provide services like lodging and food, have pitched in with their own Welcome to Your Parks promotions. We regularly update our listings of National Parks Real Deals and just published a month-by-month guide, Beat the Crowds at National Parks, along with gorgeous photos from across the U.S.

Last summer, I stopped for a hike in Great Smoky Mountains National Park during a road trip through western North Carolina. Now Olympic National Park, Acadia National Park, and Badlands National Park are high on my list.

Which parks are you hoping to visit next?

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