National parks drop fees, add freebies
By Kitty Bean Yancey, USA TODAY
yes thats me next to alligators at Shark Valley, Everglades Nat'l Park
Another sign of tough times in the travel industry: Typically jammed national parks are doing away with entrance fees on some summer Saturdays and Sundays, including this Father's Day weekend. Park concessions are tossing in freebies and discounts, too.
The National Park Service's "Fee-Free Weekends" start Saturday and Sunday and also are announced for July 18-19 and Aug. 15-16. For a list of national parks, visit nps.gov.
Affiliated deals include a second ticket at half off for Denali National Park's natural history tour in Alaska (information: denaliparkresorts.com); 50% off a Sunday stay at the Skyland Resort atop Skyline Drive in Virginia's Shenandoah National Park (visitshenandoah.com) if you stay Saturday night; a child's ticket free on a guided bus tour in Colorado's Mesa Verde National Park (visitmesaverde.com), with two adult paid admissions. Discounts can't be applied to reservations made previously.