With only 43 days left until the summer officially ends, it's time to really start prioritizing these warm, sunny afternoons while they last.
This weekend provides the perfect opportunity: On August 14 and 15, you can visit the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, or the Everglades without paying a dime, when the National Parks Service waives entrances fees to 146 of its iconic sites across the country. (You can find a full list of freebie parks at the N.P.S. site.)
That's a pretty good deal considering some of these spots typically charge up to $25 for admittance.
You may also be able to save on food, tours, and even lodging at some parks. Certain outfitters and concessionaires are offering deals and discounts to coincide with the N.P.S.'s free weekend. In Grand Teton, for instance, you can get 25 percent off a room in three of its lodges. In Yosemite and Yellowstone, $5 coupons good for food, drinks, and tours will be handed out upon arrival. More deals are listed on parkpartners.org.
If you already had plans to visit a National Park this summer, you may want to bump up your travel plans to this weekend and save a few bucks, and if a Parks jaunt was not already on your calendar, this should be the perfect excuse to add one.
We would love to hear from you: What are your National Parks vacation plans for the rest of this summer?