Day 4: Urban National Parks

Last Updated on December 25, 2019 by Janet Frost

We often think of great expanses of wilderness when we think of National Parks. However, the National Park Service also manages many urban sites. These urban National Parks are typically National Monuments, Memorials and Historic Sites.

Let’s Go! Learn Things visiting Urban National Parks…

Washington D.C.

Urban National Parks in Washington D.C.
Photo credit NPS

Washington D.C. is the prime spot for sites historically and culturally significant to America. The centrally located National Mall, leads to many of the major monuments: Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, Jefferson Memorial, Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Korean War Veterans Memorial, and many more. This nation’s capitol counts 25 urban National Parks units, ranging from massive memorials to meandering historic trails.


Photo credit NPS

Boston is considered the birthplace of the American Revolution. The heart of this city is the Boston National Historic Park. Faneuil Hall and Charlestown Navy Yard Visitor Centers anchor the park’s many sites and the Freedom Trail. I found it almost surreal to stand beside the homes and meeting places of Paul Revere, Patrick Henry and all the founding fathers.


Liberty Bell Center another urban National Parks
Photo credit NPS

While we are discussing the American founding fathers we must look at Philadelphia. This was the nation’s first capitol and stomping grounds of Benjamin Franklin and George Washington. The Independence National Historic Park includes Independence Hall, the Liberty Bell, Declaration House and the Benjamin Franklin Museum. Don’t miss nearby Valley Forge National Historic Park. Just like Boston, these urban National Parks are straight from my favorite childhood history lessons.

New York

Urban National Parks
Photo credit NPS

On Day 3 we discovered UNESCO National Parks. Among them was the Statue of Liberty, an icon of freedom in America and of New York Harbor. Ellis Island is also a cultural and historical site on the Statue of Liberty National Historic Park. New York City also offers the Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace and the popular Gateway National Recreational Area.

More Urban National Parks

  • St. Louis, MO Jefferson Expansion National Memorial
  • St. Paul, MN Mississippi National River and Recreation Area
  • San Francisco, CA Golden Gate National Recreation Area
  • Miami, FL Biscayne National Park

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