Have you ever planned a trip around one activity? Like, for example, there's a really great restaurant in, say, Louisville that you've always wanted to try, but you don't drive all the way there JUST to eat.

So you plan a trip around it. And while I love playing getaways by ear sometimes, I had the best time planning a vacation for my 8th-grade history teacher way back in the day. Yeah, I know, that sounds pretty random, but let me explain.

Mr. Nall asked me to map out a vacation that would take him to multiple historical sites. And since I started reading road atlases when I was four (according to my mother), I found that to be most intriguing. So I sent him all over Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania--three states REPLETE with national parks and historic sites.

WBKR-FM logo
Get our free mobile app

I never knew if he actually did it. But I got an A for the project, which I was asked to do for extra credit. Why I've never done that for myself, I'll never know. I guess I really need to do that, don't I?

While the upcoming free days at our national parks are only one day apiece, I'd still make the effort, especially since one of those days is September 25th. I can't think of a better time to enjoy one of our amazing national parks than during the fall. Veterans Day, November 11th, is the other day. ALSO a prime occasion, even though it will be a little cooler.

September 25th is National Public Lands Day. It was established in 1994 and exists so that we can all take advantage of the beauty of our national parks. And according to the Bureau of Land Management's website, on these fee-free days, recreation standard amenity and day-use fees are waived.

And if you need any suggestions, the National Park Service has a few in this nifty little graphic:

National Park Service
National Park Service

Oh and, by the way, September 25th is a Saturday so it sounds like all systems are GO for a great day at a national park, minus the standard fees.


RANKED: Here are the most popular national parks

To determine the most popular national parks in the United States, Stacker compiled data from the National Park Service on the number of recreational visits each site had in 2020. Keep reading to discover the 50 most popular national parks in the United States, in reverse order from #50 to #1. And be sure to check with individuals parks before you visit to find out about ongoing, pandemic-related safety precautions at www.nps.gov/coronavirus.

LOOK: Stunning vintage photos capture the beauty of America's national parks

Today these parks are located throughout the country in 25 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The land encompassing them was either purchased or donated, though much of it had been inhabited by native people for thousands of years before the founding of the United States. These areas are protected and revered as educational resources about the natural world, and as spaces for exploration.

Keep scrolling for 50 vintage photos that show the beauty of America's national parks.

More From WBKR-FM