Tag: Road Trip

Free Admission to Any National Park This Saturday

NPFNPF-P60197_14X48_v5.inddNational parks that typically charge entrance fees will be offering free admission this weekend to mark the start of National Park Week.

For one week each April, the National parks join the National Park Foundation (the official charity of America’s national parks), to celebrate America’s treasures. The theme for 2018’s National Park Week is “Park Stars,” celebrating everything from starry skies to superstar volunteers, park features, and resources. Parks, programs, and partners nationwide invite people everywhere to explore stories, experiences, and sites that brighten the National Park System and public lands.

DATES:
April 21 through 29, 2018

LOCATIONS:
National Park Parks across the country.
Use the “Find Your Park” locator by clicking here.

 

For more local happenings, news, and events, follow ColumbiaCountyCurrent.com on twitter @CoCoCurrent.

Jeff McKinney is a Realtor in Columbia County, NY. Connect with him on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, or Pinterest.

National Parks Free Entrance on September 30

NPFNPF-P60197_14X48_v5.inddThe National Park Service turned 100 years old in 2016. To celebrate the start of a second century, The National Park Service is waving entrance fees on certain days of the year.  The next free day is National Public Lands Day on September 30, 2017. 

FIND A PARK:
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The National Park Service makes it easy to find a park in your area, or on your vacation route. The park service’s website, nps.gov, has a Find A Park page, where you can use a drop down menu of every park listed alphabetically, or select a state on the map for more info on the parks in that state.

MORE ABOUT THE PARKS & ADMISSION:

National parks are commonly referred to as  “America’s Best Idea”, and there are more than 400 parks available to everyone, every day. The fee waiver includes entrance fees, commercial tour fees, and transportation entrance fees. Other fees such as reservation, camping, tours, concession and fees collected by third parties are not included unless stated otherwise.

There are currently  124 national parks that usually charge an entrance fee. The others are always free. While these free days are great, National Parks are always an economical trip, with entrance fees that range from $3 to $30 (you probably can’t even but a single lunch at a theme park for less than $30). Fourth grade students can get a free annual pass through the Every Kid in a Park program, and active duty military and citizens with a permanent disability can also get free passes.

 

For more local happenings, news, and events, follow ColumbiaCountyCurrent.com on twitter @CoCoCurrent.

Jeff McKinney is a Realtor in Columbia County, NY. Connect with him on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, or Pinterest.

National Parks Free This Weekend

NPFNPF-P60197_14X48_v5.inddTechnically, the last day of summer for 2016 is September 21. That’s the day before the first day of autumn (September 22). However, here in the USA, Labor Day is the traditional end of summer, and the day is quickly approaching. What better way to celebrate the penultimate weekend of summer than visiting one of our nation’s National Parks? To sweeten the deal, this weekend (August 26 to 28, 2016) all the National Park Service sites that charge an entrance fee will offer free admission to everyone!

WHY FREE?
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2016 marks the 100 year anniversary of the National Park Service. In fact, the actual birthday for the Park Service is August 25.  To celebrate this centennial, the Parks Service is hosting 16 free admission days throughout the year, and August 25 to 28 is the latest batch. These free admission days provide a great opportunity to visit a new park, or check in on an old favorite.

 

MORE ABOUT THE PARKS & ADMISSION.

National parks are commonly referred to as  “America’s Best Idea”, and there are more than 400 parks available to everyone, every day. The fee waiver includes entrance fees, commercial tour fees, and transportation entrance fees. Other fees such as reservation, camping, tours, concession and fees collected by third parties are not included unless stated otherwise.

There are currently  124 national parks that usually charge an entrance fee. The others are always free. While these free days are great, National Parks are always an economical trip, with entrance fees that range from $3 to $30 (you probably can’t even but a single lunch at a theme park for less than $30). Fourth grade students can get a free annual pass through the Every Kid in a Park program, and active duty military and citizens with a permanent disability can also get free passes.

FIND A PARK
Screen Shot 2016-08-26 at 11.15.41 AM
The National Park Service makes it easy to find a park in your area, or on your vacation route. The park service’s website, nps.gov, has a Find A Park page, where you can use a drop down menu of every park listed alphabetically, or select a state on the map for more info on the parks in that state.

Follow ColumbiaCountyCurrent.com on twitter @CoCoCurrent.

Road Trip – Nantucket Island, MA

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Nantucket Island, MA

You don’t have to hop on a plane at Albany to head to the Islands. Nantucket Island, is a short drive, and ferry trip away from Columbia County.  It’s about a 3.5 hour drive to Hyannis, MA, where you can catch a ferry. There’s the traditional ferry, which is a large boat with multiple decks, a cafeteria, and plenty of comfy seating. That boat takes a little over two hours, and is my preferred way to go. If you are in a rush, and want something a little faster, check out the fast ferry, which leaves from the same port. This is a smaller boat, and generally more crowded, but cuts the travel time down to one hour.

Traditional_Nantucket_Ferry
The traditional ferry at the Hyannis port

Both ferries take the same route, which brings you past the Nantucket lighthouse, and into the harbor.

Nantucket Harbor lighthouse
Nantucket Harbor lighthouse

Once on shore, you will be in the island’s historic town, which is like traveling back in time, but with modern shops, art galleries, restaurants, and bars. There are also walking tours of the historic town, and a night time ghost tour. The small town also has a movie theater, a museum, and a beautiful library in the historic Atheneum building, which are always nice for a rainy day.

Natucket Main st
Nantucket’s Main Street

 

Nantucket_Atheneum
The Nantucket Atheneum library

You can spend plenty of time, and money, shopping in town, but the real drawl of the island are the beaches that surround it. Pick up a free map on the ferry, which shows the locations of beaches, and bike trails to reach them. Each beach is a little different. The closer to town the beach is, the more crowded it might get. If you head out to Madaket, end your day with a sunset viewing drink at Millies. In Siasconset, look for The Summer House Bistro below the cliff.

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Here are a few helpful tips for your visit.

1. You don’t need a car on Nantucket, in fact, bike’s are a much better way to get around, and see the island. You’ll find bike rentals on the island, on the road leading from the ferry, into town. There is plenty of parking in Hyannis, and the ferry provides free shuttle service to/from the outlying lots.

2. The traditional ferry is $37.00 for an adult round trip ticket. No reservations required, unless you want to bring your car to the island.

The fast ferry is $69.00 for one adult round trip. Reservations are recommended.

For more information or to book a fast ferry reservation, visit The Steamship Authority site, by clicking here.

3. Plan to spend at least a weekend, which is still not enough time. There are B&Bs, and hotels on the island, plus a large offering of vacation rental homes. Rentals tend to rent on a weekly basis (Saturday to Saturday).

4. Nantucket is expensive, so save up before you set sail.

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Follow ColumbiaCountyCurrent.com on twitter @CoCoCurrent.

*All photographs taken by Jeff McKinney