Did you know that there are 412 national park areas out there? A lot of people have a bucket list item of visiting the 59 main national parks like Yellowstone, Great Smoky Mountains, and Yosemite, but ever since learning that there are so many more, we’ve decided to upgrade that bucket list item to visiting all 412.
We are still a long way off, but we’re starting to chip away at the list. We’ve enjoyed exploring some of the lesser known parks because they are typically far less crowded and you can easily see most of them in a day or two. Here are 9 that we’ve visited that you shouldn’t miss.
White Sand Dunes National Monument, New Mexico
This is easily one of our favorites. Walk, hike, or sled on what seems to be endless rolling hills of white sand. It’s a great site for photographers and you can see more about our visit here.
Pro Tip: Avoid visiting in the summer, since it gets brutally hot.
Cabrillo National Monument, California
While living in San Diego for a year, we had a lot of fun exploring Cabrillo National Monument. You can go tide pooling, check out the lighthouse, or enjoy amazing views of the city.