After camping in Yosemite National Park, President Theodore Roosevelt wrote, “It was like lying in a great solemn cathedral, far vaster and more beautiful than any built by the hand of man.”

As vast and beautiful as this country is we should cherish the opportunity to visit our great national parks. This month PBS will air a six-episode series called, THE NATIONAL PARKS: AMERICA’S BEST IDEA. As much a story about the nations parks from Arcadia to Yosemite, it is “a story of people: people from every conceivable background — rich and poor; famous and unknown; soldiers and scientists; natives and newcomers; idealists, artists and entrepreneurs; people who were willing to devote themselves to saving some precious portion of the land they loved, and in doing so reminded their fellow citizens of the full meaning of democracy.”

The national parks certainly are a great family travel experience and at great prices. This month ForbesTraveler.com profiles ten of our nation’s best national parks. With over 300 million visitors to our parks each year it has become one of the best vacation “bargains on the planet.”

Some sources to check out:

This year the  U.S. National Park Service (NPS) is waiving its entrance fees at a large selection of national parks and sites around the country for three weekends this summer: June 20-21, July 18-19, and August 15-16, 2009. For full details see the NPS’s full announcement here; you can view a listing of participating parks here.

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