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Visit National parks

They are great fun, affordable -- and everywhere. Your vacation dollars can directly support our environment. Our national parks are an underutilized resource. Sure, the greats like Yosemite, Grand Canyon, and Yellowstone get a lot of attention and visitors, but many others don't. These are special places that are often closer to wherever you are than you think. The kinds of experiences they provide are unique -- and easy on your pocket book and the environment.

That's because an average stay at a typical resort involves massively air-conditioned spaces, in addition to air travel. The dollars you spend there go to support shareholders, among others, while taking a toll on local resources like water.

On the other hand, driving your family to a national park is usually cheaper and -- according to some studies -- inflicts less greenhouse gas emissions per person than high-altitude jet travel. Once you arrive at these parks, the entrance fee is inexpensive -- especially for seniors. Park fees and a portion of concessions sales go directly toward supporting the rangers and staff that keep our natural areas so beautiful for everyone.

So look around. Chances are a national park is closer than that casino you were considering. You know how you are going to do there, but the parks offer something to discover! To learn more about visiting our national parks, listen to our radio program on Frank and Audrey Peterman at www.thepromisedland.org. The Petermans have made it their mission to increase knowledge about and access to our parks for all Americans.

About the author

Matt Berger is the former Digital Director at Marketplace.
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A great idea! My suggestion for a really different and enjoyable National Park experience is Isle Royale NP, Michigan, in Lake Superior right off the Minnesota North Shore coast. It's a day trip by boat to a great place, no cars but great walking, scenery, and natural beauty. They are glad to have visitors! sp

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