As the U.S. National Park Service celebrates its 100th anniversary on August 25th, the most Americans in recent years are traveling to the national parks across the country. Visitation to the national parks reached an all-time high in 2015, with more than 307 million visitors, according to the National Park Service, and this is expected to continue through the year ahead. According to a recent AAA survey, 37 percent of Americans are more likely to visit a national park in the next 12 months, building on the momentum of this year’s centennial celebrations.
“The demand for national parks is off the charts this year, and it’s exciting to see that Americans are poised to take even more national park vacations in the years to come, “ said Lloyd Albert, Senior Vice President of Public and Government Affairs for AAA Northeast. “In times of global uncertainty, many people are turning to domestic vacations and the wide variety of national parks offer something for every traveler to discover.”
Eighty-five percent of U.S. Adults have visited at least one national park, and a majority say the national parks are a “must-see” vacation destination (73 percent). National parks are increasing in popularity among younger generations. Nearly half of Millennials (46 percent) say that they are more likely to visit a national park in the next year.
“It’s not surprising to see that younger generations are particularly interested in visiting national parks,” added Mr. Albert. “Travel is part of Millennials’ DNA, and they consistently seek experiential travel opportunities, a major draw for national park visitors.”
According to the National Park Service, the most visited national parks in 2015 were Great Smoky Mountains, Grand Canyon, and Rocky Mountain. Acadia National Park in Maine, had 2.8 million visitors in 2015.
AAA’s survey revealed the national parks that top most Americans’ bucket lists for future travels include:
Results from the AAA Survey reveal additional details about Americans’ national park vacation preferences:
AAA offers travelers a variety of tools and resources to plan a national park vacation. Featuring one-of-a-kind national park itineraries, AAA Vacations is a collection of specially designed cruises, guided tours and independent vacations offering unique, engaging travel experiences. TripTik Travel Planner on AAA.com and the mapping section of the AAA Mobile app include nearly 200 Travel Guides and Drive Trips -- many featuring national parks -- to help travelers plan the perfect road trip either from their PC or on their phone. Both tools help travelers map complete travel routes, locate the lowest gas prices, identify exclusive member discounts, and find more than 58,000 AAA Approved and Diamond Rated hotels and restaurants and more. For more information, visit AAA.com/Travel.