If your ideal Summer travel plans involve breaking free from the lines, gift shops, and gimmicks of many tourist destinations, then a trip to one of the country's 58 national parks may be just what the doctor ordered. The fresh air, natural beauty, and opportunity for adventure are what draw many families to visit the parks, and from coast to coast, there's truly something for everyone.
Before making your travel arrangements, however, consider the reality of taking your family on this kind of vacation: it's probably best suited to kids who can walk a decent distance on their own, have some interest in the outdoors, and aren't yet old enough to whine about boredom or missing their computer and iPhone access. Nothing ruins a great vacation like an unhappy camper, so really think it through before making plans.
Once you've determined that a national park vacation is the right fit for your family, check out our favorite kid-friendly destinations across the country, grab your hiking shoes, and go!