After a long, cold winter, spring break is the perfect time to gather up the family and head outdoors! What better way to enjoy nature than by visiting one of our gorgeous national parks? As a member of the military, you're entitled to a free pass called America the Beautiful that gets you and your family into all national parks for free. Any national park should be able to give you this pass as long as you have your Military ID available.
While some of our national parks are not easy to get to by air, there are eight that you can get to either directly from Fort Leonard Wood or by making just one stop at St. Louis and then heading on your journey. These parks are an hour and a half’s drive or less away from a major airport.
Just twenty minutes from STL, Gateway Arch National Park is the closest one on our list! You can get there directly from Fort Leonard Wood (no Military ID required) in about thirty minutes.
Shenandoah is about an hour from both Washington-Dulles and Washington-Reagan. If you book to Reagan, you can hop on an American Air flight and seamlessly transfer your baggage to your final destination.
A trip to warm, sunny Florida sounds perfect for spring break! Everglades National Park is about an hour from Miami’s international airport, and it’s another single-itinerary booking option, as American Airlines flies there from St. Louis.
Just about an hour from both Chicago Midway and Chicago O’Hare, Indiana Dunes is a great escape that’s not too far away! For single itinerary booking, book your trip on American Airlines via Expedia to O’Hare.
Would it be amazing to warm up in a cozy hot spring after a long day outside? If so, Hot Springs National Park is for you! Located about an hour from the airport in Little Rock, you can get there on Southwest Airlines. When flying with Southwest (or any other airlines), be sure to head to the new airline’s counter to recheck your bags.
Rocky Mountain National Park is about an hour and a half from Denver International Airport. From St. Louis, you can get there directly on Frontier, United, and Southwest.
Cuyahoga Valley is another park that you can get to after just a short drive from the airport. Fly into Cleveland on Southwest and you’ll be there in no time!
Seattle is a few hours drive from three national parks, but Mount Rainier is the closest at about an hour and half long drive. If you have time, we highly recommend you visit Olympic National Park and North Cascades National Park on your trip too!