"Nature is always lovely, invincible, glad, whatever is done and suffered by her creatures," John Muir wrote in his journals. "All scars she heals, whether in rocks or water or sky or hearts." Nature isn't the pool in Cocoon, but returning from a weekend from away can feel damn close. Fortunately, the US has loads of National Parks, and you'll find a worthwhile retreat in every one of them.
If you require a little encouragement, the National Parks Service has made every park in the US free on September 30, 2017. Many are free year-round, but any that do charge will open the doors in celebration of the National Parks Service's second century of operation. It turned 100 in 2016, and it's throwing a shindig this year with 10 days that are totally free.
This will be one of your last chances to take advantage of the Parks' celebration. It's the last free day outside of Veterans Day Weekend on November 11 and 12.
The fee waiver includes entrance fees, commercial tour fees, and transportation entrance fees. Any other costs, like securing a campground, still apply.
Though, it's worth noting that the nation's National Parks are ridiculously cheap already. When you walk into something as beautiful as Zion National Park for $30 a group, it's pretty incredible. (Seriously, a group of up to 15 gets a seven-day pass for $30.) So, pick a park, get out there, and appreciate "America's best idea."
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