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Hey nature lovers! Have you been out there exploring?

I hope you found a new favorite place or experienced something you’ve never tried before. That’s what it’s all about!

I wanted to share something new that I have experienced. State Parks! Would you believe that in addition to our beautiful national parks, we have oodles and oodles of state parks?

With the popularity of our national parks, sometimes it is hard to obtain admission to them or the crowds are overwhelming. The best alternative is checking out our state parks. In some cases, there is one bordering a national park with similar features and offerings. And, often the entrance fee is cheaper or even free.

Texas State Parks

Texas State Parks

Within the State of Texas, we have a similar card to the America the Beautiful Card (National Park Pass). We have a Texas State Park Pass. The Texas Park Pass works much like the National Park Pass in that you buy them annually and they get you into Texas State Parks.

Recently I visited Big Bend National Park in West Texas. It is a beautiful place and I strongly encourage you to check it out. When you do, do not forget to check out Big Bend Ranch State Park right next door which is also amazing.

When you are planning your trip, be sure to check out the Texas State Park website and app. They have all the information you need about directions, lodging, hours, etc.

Some parks offer more than just being a beautiful park. Some offer entertainment.

Texas State Parks - Palo Duro Canyon

If you have ever been to Garner State Park, you are familiar with the Garner State Park Texas Dance offered during the summer months. It is a Texas tradition and a favorite among all those who go there in the summer to meet their friends on the Pavilion Dance Floor. If you haven’t been, plan a trip next summer. The kids will love it!

If musicals and history are more your style, head on out to Palo Duro Canyon State Park. Not only is the park beautiful, but also great for camping, hiking, biking and bird watching. It’s also home to the Texas Outdoor Musical. This a full-blown musical with singing, dancing and special effects including fireworks with the Palo Duro Canyon as the backdrop. It’s an amazing production and educational too! Don’t forget to get a ticket for the barbecue dinner served immediately before the musical at sunset.

We are so fortunate to live in a country with so many amazing National Parks to explore. State Parks are truly the icing on the cake!

I hope you can get out there and see for yourself!

how to plan a national park trip

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