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If you want an outdoor vacation in a picturesque place, look to the country’s best national parks. The U.S. features incredible tracts of land protected by national park status. They're usually packed with unique features and attractions that make preservation essential. They showcase the nation’s natural splendor through their wildness and careful maintenance, ensuring future generations can enjoy them, too.

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1. Yellowstone National Park

The mother of U.S. national parks, Yellowstone was the nation’s first. In 1872, President Ulysses S. Grant signed its protection into law. The 2,219,790-acre park is famous for its geothermal areas and erupting geysers like Old Faithful. Yellowstone stretches into Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho, encompassing multiple eco-systems like the South Central Rockies forests that are home to grizzly bears, black bears, gray wolves, elk, bison, lynx, and more. Camping is popular in Yellowstone, but there are also renowned lodges if glamping is more your speed.

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