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Explore Washington Parks this Month on Fee-Free Days!

Nov 08, 2018

Veterans Day is Sunday, November 11th this year, and in celebration of the many sacrifices that our veterans have made for us, the National Park Service is offering free entry to all National parks that day.  In Washington, there’s more good news, as the park service offers many fee-free days throughout the year including a second day in November, the 23rd, Autumn Day! 

In recognition of the fee-free days here are some of our favorite Washington State Parks you might want to visit:

Dash Point State Park: Whether you are a water lover, or prefer to stay on dry land, Dash Point State Park has something to offer you!  Located on the Puget Sound between Seattle and Tacoma, this 461-acre park offers hiking and biking trails, sand flats, campgrounds, and has become a hotspot for birders, botanists and skimboarders alike. Featuring 3,301 feet of saltwater shoreline, adventures abound at Dash Point.

Saltwater State Park: Only 2 miles from Interstate 5, this sandy beached park is a perfect easy getaway!  Located on a “stretch of shoreline” between Tacoma and Seattle, Saltwater State Park is a fun place to explore. Take a hike on the forested trails, search the shore for special driftwood, check out the tide pools, or explore the only Washington state park with an artificial reef created for diving! It’s important to note, this beach is on SeaTac International Airport’s flight path and is usually fairly busy so if you’re looking for a beach to relax on, you may want to head to a different spot.

Saint Edward State Park: In the 1930’s Saint Edward’s Seminary was teaming with students. Now this nostalgically historical park offers remnants of the past mixed with the energy of the present.  The still-standing seminary building served students until 1976, and was the first successful Catholic seminary in the Pacific Northwest. Now park-goers can lounge in its shadow, as well as kayak, play on the castle-themed playground, and stroll by the quaint Grotto.

Ready to get out there and see more? Here are some more things to know: 

  • There are more than 400 National parks available across the United States to explore every day.
  • There were four days in 2018 that the National Parks Service offered free admission: Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday (1/15), the first day of National Park Week (4/21), National Public Lands Day (9/22) and Veterans Day (11/11).
  • Be aware that while admission to parks is free on the fee-free days, amenities or user fees (think camping, boat launches, tours, etc.) may still be required.
  • Interested in exploring more of the beautiful parks around the country? Consider the America the Beautiful National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass
  • Did you know? 4th graders (including home-schooled and free-choice learners 10 years of age) get in free at National parks EVERY DAY. Click here to learn more.
  • Free military passes, and discounted senior passes are available as well.  Details here.
  • Rather not drive? There are bus routes available to many of our local state parks. Check out the blog here.
  • Fee-free days for 2019 Washington State Parks have been announced here. Plan out your path and try to see them all!

  • Space Needle
  • Chihuly Garden and Glass
  • Pacific Science Center
  • Seattle Aquarium
  • Seattle Monorail
  • Argosy Cruises
  • Children's Museum
  • Museum of Flight
  • Woodland Park Zoo

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