Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah
Best known for its stunning red rock spires, Bryce Canyon offers the outdoor-loving family a host of adventures in one of America's largest national parks. The park covers a 2000-foot range of elevation, peaking at 9,100 feet along the rim.
If you're visiting for Independence Day, you might enjoy a four-hour, wrangler-guided horseback ride into the canyon, a day-long hike along a canyon trail, or a sunset stroll around the canyon's rim. Who needs fireworks with views like these?
Plan on warm temperatures for July days, with cool nights.
Entrance Fees: $25 per private car, but parking is at a real premium in Bryce Canyon -- there's just one space for every four cars that enter, so consider availing yourself of the park's free shuttle service
For more information: Visit www.nps.gov/brca or call Visitor Information at (435) 834-5322.
Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming
Located in northwestern Wyoming, Grand Teton National Park is best known for its jagged mountains that rise up out of the pristine glacial lakes. This breathtaking scenery is home to numerous wild animals, including moose, black and grizzly bears, elk, bald eagles, gray wolves, coyotes and bison.
If you're making a July 4th trip, plant to enjoy backcountry camping, trail hiking, biking, bird watching, boating, fishing or horseback riding. Summer weather is typically in the high 70s and 80s, with cooler nights in the 40s. Afternoon rain showers are common.
Entrance Fees: $25 per private car, good for one week.
For more information: Visit www.nps.gov/grte or call Visitor Information at (307) 739-3300.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park, North Carolina, Tennessee
Ancient mountains, rich deciduous forest and a diversity of animal life characterize the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which sits astride the North Carolina - Tennessee border.
With over 800 miles of trails, the park is a hiker's paradise, but visitors also enjoy fishing, picnicking, bird watching and even driving through the park. The Great Smoky Mountains are a sanctuary for protected animals, including the park's 1,500 bears.
The park is open year-round, 24 hours a day, although some access roads and campgrounds close in winter. If you're planning an Independence Day trip, you'll be in good company: The Smoky Mountains are America's most visited national park.
Entrance Fees: The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is one of the only major parks in the country that doesn't charge entrance fees.
For more information: Visit http://www.nps.gov/grsm/ or call Visitor Information at (865) 436-1200.
Everglades National Park, Florida
America's largest wetland, the Everglades National Park is home to a diversity of endangered (and dangerous) animals. Furry and scaly friends include the American crocodile, the West Indian manatee, the Florida panther and 27 species of snakes (only 4 are poisonous, though).