All National Parks in the U.S. will be free this Wednesday, November 11. The reason is Veterans Day, one of nine days each year when the National Park Service waives admission fees at its 401 parks across the country.
While 281 of the country’s parks are free year-round, some cost up to $30 per vehicle (like Yellowstone, Zion and Bryce Canyon). But on Veterans Day there is no fee for anyone.
How did this holiday make the list of special days, when the usual suspects (Christmas, New Year’s Day, for example) didn’t? Because, as the NPS website explains, many national parks have direction connections to the military; they contain battlefields and historic sites that commemorate important milestones for our country and those who have served it, such as Valley Forge National Historic Park in Pennsylvania, and the African American Civil War Memorial in Washington, D.C. As part of its commitment to veterans, the Park Service also runs a program called Operation Guardian, which gives wounded service members jobs in parks across the country (you can learn more about it in this video from the NPS).
Related: 10 Secret Places in National Parks
So get out there on November 11, and enjoy the best parts of America. As inspiration, we’re sharing photos of some of our favorites, from Yahoo Travel Explorer Gary Arndt of Everything Everywhere. There’s probably a park closer to home than you realize. Find your park here, and then start planning. If you can’t make it today, put the full list of free park days on your calendar for 2016:
- Martin Luther King Jr. Day
- Presidents Day weekend
- Opening weekend of National Park Week (mid-April)
- National Park Service’s birthday (Aug. 25)
- National Public Lands Day (Sept. 26)
- Veterans Day (Nov. 11)