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< Be an Outsider in the City

We partnered with the National Park Foundation in support of the Find Your Park / Encuentra Tu Parque initiative, which can help you find nearby parks for all kinds of adventures.

Find Your Park can help you find parks based not only on their location, but also on the activities available there – and there might be more variety than you think. Here are a few of the less-common activities to explore that might help you find a park in or near your home city.

The Old Courthouse and Arch, Gateway Arch National Park

NPF Photo

Historical

Parks protect so much more than natural landscapes. If you’re a history buff, searching parks by “historical” activity will open your eyes to fascinating sites where the past comes to life – like Independence National Historical Park in Philadelphia, PA, where you can stroll an 18th century garden and take a photo with the Liberty Bell; or Gateway Arch National Park in St. Louis, MO, where you can tour the Old Courthouse and join an old-fashioned Riverboat Cruise.

Ai Weiwei, “With Wind” 2015 on Alcatraz Island

Brenna Cruz NPS

Arts & Culture

Exploring parks by the “arts & culture” activity will show you special places where you can immerse yourself in written, artistic and architectural works that have lived on for years, decades or even centuries. You might find the fully-restored Mission San Jose at San Antonio Missions National Historical Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in San Antonio, TX; or, the public art installations on display through the Arts in the Parks program at Golden Gate National Recreation Area in San Francisco, CA.

Students ride bikes along the Towpath Trail, Cuyahoga Valley National Park

NPF Photo

Children’s Programs

Getting children active and involved in your visit can foster a love of the parks and a love of learning – plus, the National Park Service’s children’s programs are a whole lot of fun. Searching parks by “children’s programs” can help you find activities kids will love, like the 40 kid-friendly “Canalway Questing” adventures along the Ohio & Erie Canalway in Ohio’s Cuyahoga Valley National Park; the planetarium and playgrounds at Rock Creek Park in Washington, D.C.; or dozens of parks where kids can earn badges and become Junior Rangers.

Black-bellied Plover, Gateway National Recreation Area

© Mike Elfassy

Birdwatching

The U.S. is home to more than 1,000 different bird species, and the national parks are ideal places to spot our avian neighbors, whether they’re remote locales or right in the middle of cities.” Search parks by “birdwatching” activities and you’ll find which parks are best for checking off the birds on your “life list,” from cedar waxwings in Hot Springs National Park to piping plovers in New York City’s Gateway National Recreation Area.

There are more than 400 national park sites in the U.S. Find yours and get out there.

< Be an Outsider in the City

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