The 4 Best National & State Parks to Visit for Mother’s Day

Create lasting memories at our National & State Parks with these top things to do on Mother’s Day, and beyond.

Oh, Mama. She does everything for us—and more. She deserves the best of the best, and where better to celebrate her than at a National Park? Take a page from our book and explore one of these four parks this Mother’s Day—Mother Nature will appreciate the nod, too.

Visit any National Park and you’ll see mamas with their babies – especially in the spring, when most mothers in the wild give birth. You’re most likely to spot a mama bear with her cub close behind, along with many other mammals and birds that call the parks home.

And while National Parks are known for hiking and wildlife, they’re often home to so much more. Think: spas in majestic settings, underwater explorations, and adventures that Mom will remember forever.

Spend Mother's Day at the Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite for a delicious brunch selection.
Spend Mother's Day at the Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite for a delicious brunch selection.

PARK #1: Brunch at Yosemite National Park

Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite, located two miles from the National Park’s south entrance, hosts the Mother’s Day brunch of all Mother’s Day brunches. The menu is beyond what you’ll find anywhere else (imagine mustard-crusted salmon and tuxedo mousse cake), and the views of the Sierra can’t be matched.

Before or after you explore the larger-than-life landscapes, this brunch is sure to make your time with Mom even more memorable.

PARK #2: Spa Day at Saratoga Springs

Treat Mom to a Mother’s Day pampering like no other. Give her the gift of relaxation and rejuvenation at Roosevelt Baths & Spa and you’ll be sure to certainly be her forever favorite.

Services include mineral baths, select massage services, body treatments and facials. The famed spa is open daily, unless otherwise noted, so you have plenty of time to enjoy and relax—and explore splendid Saratoga Springs, too.

PARK #3: Soak at Hot Springs National Park

If Mom isn’t quite the hiking type, bring her to the Hot Springs National Park in Arkansas. The “grand architecture of our historic bathhouses” offers so much to see and do to celebrate your Mom.

Hot Springs is a must-visit for a relaxing weekend with your Mom. Visit a number of historic bathhouses to experience the natural hot springs and their healing waters. Stroll along the idyllic Main Street to browse boutiques and antique shops, and enjoy lunch on the patio to refresh in between.

PARK #4: Snorkel at Dry Tortugas National Park

Dry Tortugas National Park, located 70 miles off Key West, Florida, will knock Mom’s socks off – if only so she can walk barefoot on the seven islands that make up this one-of-a-kind park.

The park is known for being remote (accessible only by boat or seaplane) and being one of the most unique National Parks in the system. Home to coral reefs, majestic marine life and Fort Jefferson, Dry Tortugas would be one epic trip with your Mom.
The best way to see this mostly-water park is to dive right in. Snorkeling, swimming and fishing are popular activities, along with camping under the stars to really complete this incredible trip.

Treat mom to a spa trip to The Gideon Putnam, where there are plenty of relaxing things to do with Mom.
Treat mom to a spa trip to The Gideon Putnam, where there are plenty of relaxing things to do with Mom.
The pristine waters surrounding Dry Tortugas National Park are perfect for snorkeling.
The pristine waters surrounding Dry Tortugas National Park are perfect for snorkeling.

BACKUP PLAN: The Gift that Keeps on Giving

Still stumped on what to get Mom for Mother’s Day or another special occasion? Consider a National Park Pass, a.k.a. the America the Beautiful Pass. The pass gives her free entry into more than 2,000 federal recreation sites (including every National Park) in the country for 12 months. A whole year to create all the unforgettable experiences you can – that’s a pretty good gift for someone who gave you life.

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MEET OUR GURU Lindsay Kensy

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Lindsay Kensy is a copywriter for Delaware North’s Creative Studio, based in Buffalo, New York.