There's hardly an American tradition more venerable than a long, hot road trip to one of our national parks. Families have been experiencing the wonders of the natural world this way since Yosemite was designated as the world's first national park in 1906. Since the weather's getting a bit cool for hiking in the mountains, today we'll take an armchair tour of our nation's natural treasures.
Read: How people are working to preserve the natural soundscapes in our national parks from Smithsonian Magazine.
Hear: American Favorite Ballads, including Shenandoah, Home on the Range, and This Land is Your Land, performed by Pete Seeger from Smithsonian Folkways.
Watch: Excerpts from the new Ken Burns documentary – The National Parks: America’s Best Idea from PBS.
Eat and Drink: Did you know that you can bring your own picnic to the National Zoological Park? BTW, no feeding the animals!
Check out: Excavations by geologists in our national parks (and elsewhere) have unearthed much about prehistoric climate change. Our interactive online program teaches you how to use 55 million-year-old leaves to gauge temperature change, from Smithsonian Education.
Go: Now is a great time to book a journey to our National Parks.
What's your favorite childhood memory in a National Park or other protected area? Share below.