The very first National Park we visited as a fam: Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, 2004 and 2008. In 2004, my dad and sister also accompanied us on the trip, making for a great family bonding experience. The park was beautiful and the lava tubes were fun to walk in.
Pu’uhonua O Hōnaunau National Historical Park– Hawaii This is the place of refuge. If you were sentenced to death for breaking kapu, or sacred law, your only hope was to make it to Pu’uhonua for safety.
Alcatraz Island, San Francisco, CA- Part of Golden Gate National Recreation Area This set of parks boasts over 76000 acres of land, and includes Muir Woods, Fort Mason, and the Presidio. This is where the kids earned their first Junior Ranger badges.
Gateway Arch National Park, St. Louis, Missouri We first visited here when it was still the Jefferson Expansion Memorial. We all earned our junior ranger badges here, and those say “Jefferson” on them. The Gateway Arch is the smallest of the national parks and consists of two parts: the Arch and the Luther Ely Smith Park which also has the Old Courthouse where the Dred Scott v. Sanford case was heard. The Gateway Arch National Park was established as a national park in December 2018 to preserve these important parts of American History.