Wichita on the Cheap

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FREE Admission to America’s National Parks 2023

Here’s a big deal: The National Park Service offers five fee-free days in 2023. On these FREE days at U.S. National Parks, you’ll pay nothing to get in to more than 100 national parks across the country that normally charge a fee.

During the fee-free days, the parks waive entrance fees, commercial tour fees and transportation entrance fees.

Tallgrass Prairie wildflowers - photo by nps
Tallgrass prairie wildflowers. Photo courtesy of National Park Service.

Other fees such as reservations, camping, tours, concessions and fees collected by third parties are not included in this promotion.

Free Days at U.S. National Parks 2023: 

  • January 16: Martin Luther King Jr. Day
  • April 22: First day of National Park Week
  • August 4: Anniversary of the Great American Outdoors Act
  • September 23: National Public Lands Day
  • November 11: Veterans Day (More info)

Find a Park by going to the National Park Service website and using the search tool or interactive map. You can search for parks in your state or parks that feature activities you like, such as camping, fishing or hiking, as well as educational programs and historic sites.

If you are planning a road trip this year, consider including a national park on a fee-free day to your itinerary. Here’s an article from our sister site, Living on the Cheap, that highlights several vacation-worthy national parks.

Make the most of your national parks vacation by booking a cottage or other vacation rental nearby. TripAdvisor has great reviews you can read before choosing the place you’ll stay, and these days you can book directly through TripAdvisor and get great deals (affiliate link).

Kansas National Parks that are always free

Many of the national parks in Kansas, like the Tallgrass Prairie Nature Preserve, are always free. Truth be told, after searching the National Park Service website, I didn’t find any national parks in Kansas that do charge a fee. (State parks are distinct from national parks; most of our state parks do charge a small vehicle fee, which is waived if you have the Kansas State Parks Pass.)

And speaking of the Tallgrass Prairie Nature Preserve, I was surprised when I first learned that FREE 90-minute guided bus tours were available at certain times during the year. My family and I visited and took the bus tour one summer, and it was so worth the visit. We absolutely loved it, and it’s an easy day trip from Wichita.

National Preserve in Kansas

You’ll find in the Flint Hills of Kansas the largest and last stand of tallgrass prairie in the entire world.

  • Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve in Strong City, KS

National Historic Sites in Kansas

See where some of the biggest moments in history happened, right here in Kansas.

  • Brown v. Board of Education in Topeka, KS
  • Fort Larned
  • Fort Scott
  • Nicodemus

National Historic Trails that run through KS

American settlers left their mark in Kansas in the form of rutted wagon trails, buildings, and even towns.

  • Lewis & Clark
  • Oregon Trail
  • California gold rush
  • Pony Express
  • Santa Fe Trail

More articles you may be interested in:

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