For many, this upcoming weekend will be three days, making it a perfect opportunity to travel and explore a bit of history. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, which falls on Monday, Jan. 18 this year, celebrates and honors the life of the civil rights leader. The federal holiday also marks the first of 16 days during 2016 that the National Parks Service (NPS) will offer free admission to the nation’s 409 national parks. NPS’s offering is part of its 100th anniversary celebrations this year.
Not only that, but, according to NPS, several national parks are directly related to King:
- In Georgia, travelers will find Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site, which consists of King’s birthplace, home, church and grave.
- In Alabama, visit the 45-mile Selma to Montgomery National Historic Trail, where King led the Voting Rights March in 1965.
- In Washington, D.C., travelers can visit the National Mall and Memorial Parks. Within the parks, travelers can visit the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial and the Lincoln Memorial, where King addressed America with his famous “I Have a Dream” speech.
Photo courtesy of ehpien, Flickr.
To celebrate the legacy of King, parks will host special programs, such as a film presentation featuring highlights from the civil rights leader’s speeches at George Washington Carver National Monument. Additionally, Independence Hall National Historical Park will hold a bell-ringing ceremony, and multiple events will take place on the National Mall and Memorial Parks.
Explore Parks Near Club Resorts
Luckily for Club Travelers, many national parks are just a short drive from some of our resort locations. For example, Cedar Breaks is just a one-hour drive from Sunrise Lodge in Park City, Utah. In the park, which is featured in the photo at the top of this article, travelers can “look down into a half-mile deep geologic amphitheater; wander among timeless bristlecone pines; stand in lush meadows of wildflowers; ponder crystal-clear night skies; and experience the richness of the subalpine forest,” according to NPS.
Everglades National Park. Photo courtesy of Daniel Dai, Flickr.
On the other side of the country, Club Travelers in Miami staying at Hilton Grand Vacations Club at McAlpin – Ocean Plaza can jump on the road and reach Everglades National Park, the largest subtropical wilderness in America.
Find a Park Near You
Whether you’re traveling for the holiday or interested in exploring a park close to home, chances are there’s a park near you. Find the parks closest to you with this interactive map.
The photo featured at the top of this article is of the Cedar Breaks National Monument in Utah. Photo is courtesy of Tim Hamilton, Flickr.