16 Amazing Accommodations Inside America's Most Scenic National Parks
By Sarah McCosham|Updated on April 13, 2023(Originally published April 08, 2023)
I write like it's my job - because it is! I have a Master's in English and love words: crossword puzzles, Scrabble games, Wordle, and, of course, good, old-fashioned books.
I'm a writer and editor at OnlyInYourState, and a contributing writer at Cincinnati Magazine. I love the Great Outdoors and am endlessly awestruck by this beautiful country of ours. Coffee keeps me going, yoga keeps me sane, my kids keep me grounded, and my writing keeps me inspired.
As local travel experts, we know what travelers are looking for when it comes to finding the perfect accommodations for their next trip. To compile our lists, we scour the internet to find properties with excellent ratings and reviews, desirable amenities, nearby attractions, and that something special that makes a destination worthy of traveling for.
When planning your bucket-list adventure at one of our country’s amazing national parks, it’s important to designate a “home base” that’s just as awe-inspiring as its setting. Whether that means enjoying morning coffee on the rim of the Grand Canyon or having a nightcap while shooting stars pass across the skies of Death Valley, where you stay is a crucial part of the equation. In the spirit of making your next adventure as amazing as possible, we’re offering 16 national park hotels that will take your experience to the next level.
The West often takes center stage in terms of US national parks, but the northeastern quadrant of the country contains some truly resplendent and rugged regions rife for outdoor recreation and adventure. For proof of this, simply visit Acadia National Park. Hailed as the Crown Jewel of the Atlantic Coast, enjoy a bucket-list experience at this national park hotel in the Northeastern US:
National Park Hotels In The Southern US
Glorious swamps and marshes teeming with wildlife; biomes that are home to some of the most diverse flora and fauna in the country — this is the splendor of the American South. Within this region of the Southern US, the following national park hotels offer visitors the full package: sublime surroundings, world-class amenities, and bucket-list-worthy experiences.
National Park Hotels In The Midwestern US
The western region of the U.S. is known for its bucket-list-worthy wonders, but you don’t have to head west to find remarkable scenery. This notion is how, in 1935, Shenandoah National Park came to be. Since then, some truly remarkable national parks have popped up across the Midwestern US, and you can stay in the heart of the action at these hotels and accommodations:
National Park Hotels In The Northwestern US
Of all the regions of the country, the Pacific Northwest might be the most marvelously diverse and extraordinary. From temperate rainforests to high deserts, the mountains and the geysers (and firefalls), you’ll be rendered speechless when you experience a getaway at these national park hotels in the Northwestern US:
There is an embarrassment of riches when it comes to national parks in the Southwestern part of the country. There is, of course, *the* Grand Canyon, along with Rocky Mountain National Park, Death Valley National Park, and the “Mighty Five” of Utah. Where to stay when visiting this splendiferous region? One of these amazing national parks hotels in the Southwestern US:
National Park Hotels In The Non-Continental US
Hawaii and Alaska: we see you! While the national parks of the Lower 48 are more accessible than those found in the two non-continental outliers, the fact is that each of these states offer some of *the* most bucket-list-worthy adventures in the world. Small but mighty, below you’ll find one of our favorite national parks hotels in the non-continental US:
When you start to feel the pull of your wanderlust, these amazing national parks hotels are truly befitting of their surroundings inside America’s most glorious natural wonders.
Smoky Mountains is one of our country’s most-visited national parks, and for good reason. The most biodiverse national park in America that’s home to numerous trails and endless adventures, over 14 million people visited Smoky Mountains National Park in 2021. Luckily, there are many amazing places to stay in this expansive national park, including numerous accommodations near Ober Gatlinburg.
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National Parks Hotels
Sarah M.|April 13, 2023
How many national parks are there in the US?
The US National Park System comprises 423 national park sites, 63 of which have the "National Park" designation in their names. The other sites fall into different National Park System categories like National Historic Sites, National Monuments, National Seashores, National Recreation Areas, and more.
What national parks in the US offer camping?
If you're looking to pitch a tent and immerse yourself in the beautiful national parks of the US, there are lots of options. Some of our favorite US national parks for camping include:
Canyonlands National Park - Utah. While Utah may be best-known for its extraordinary winter recreation, when the sun sets and moon rises, this state puts on quite a show. Lauded as perhaps *the best* stargazing site in Utah, Canyonlands National Park offers an experience that's wondrous. For those seeking a bucket-list-level adventure, there are two campsites located within the park. These sites, known as The Needles and Island In The Sky, offer the most impressive stargazing in the state, as well as the chance to watch the sunrise over the canyons in the morning.
Big Bend National Park - Texas. Another stargazing favorite in the US, the park earned its Dark Sky stars in 2012; more impressively, the organization ranked Big Bend fourth on its list of the top seven stargazing destinations in the world. Hot Springs Canyon Trail and Rio Grande Village Nature Trail provide some of the least obstructed vistas, and three different campgrounds within the park give gazers somewhere to sleep after their extraterrestrial adventure.
Shenandoah National Park - Virginia. While you can certainly stay in Skyland Resort (see above!) or Big Sky Lodge when visiting Shenandoah, this National Park also has some stellar camping. There are five campgrounds and more than 600 tent camping sites within park borders: Matthews Arm Campground, located at mile marker 22.2, Big Meadows Campground, the park’s largest campground is located at mile marker 51.2, Lewis Mountain Campground, a first-come, first-serve campground at mile marker 57.5, Loft Mountain Campground, home to a camp store showers and laundry at mile marker 79.5, and Dundo Group Campground, a campsite for groups of 7-15 located at mile marker 83.7.