President Barack Obama made a history-making national parks trip with his family to Yosemite in June 2016 – just ahead of the National Park Service’s centennial anniversary that was celebrated on Aug. 25, 2016.

As children and teens, the team at HI Travel Tales had the opportunity that many children do not — to make many national parks trips. That perhaps has given us a love and appreciation of what you can learn from the outdoors. As President Obama noted about his visit as a child to Yellowstone National Park in his Yosemite speech: “I remember being an 11-year-old kid, and the first time I saw a moose in a lake. First time we drove over a hill and suddenly there was a field full of deer. First time I saw a bear and her cubs. That changes you. You are not the same after that.”

We too were impacted by big trees, tall mountains and shimmering lakes on the national parks trips of our youth – and ones that have continued since. HI Travel Tales has been on a mission to get to as many parks as possible, including most recently the likes of the New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park and the Dry Tortugas in Florida.

We understand that for many travelers, time is precious. Which is why we are thrilled to partner with our friends at Expedia to offer our readers a quick look at 12 national parks anyone can visit in a day. Sure, a day is barely enough and you do have to get there first, but the stunning video and wonderful infographic below will give you a taste. And we guarantee, once you’ve had a taste, you’ll keep going back.

Part of Obama’s desire is for every child in America had the opportunity to visit our national parks: “Studies have shown that just five minutes of time in a green open-space brings your stress level down, makes your heartbeat go down, makes your whole body feel better, makes your spirit stronger and cleaner,” he said in his June 18, 2016, speech with Yosemite Falls as his backdrop.

President Obama makes a Yosemite national parks trip and speech

Photo by Nikki Hodgson.

“We have got kids all across this country who have never seen a park…. We have got to change that. The beauty of the national park system is that it belongs to everybody. It is a true expression of our democracy, a place where we connect with each other and connect to something bigger.”

Don’t wait … it will only take a day, or two.

Enjoy this quick national parks trip guide:

A National Parks Trip Planner If You Only Have Day

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