Catherine Parker, National Parks TravelingMom

Catherine Parker, National Parks TravelingMom

Catherine Parker has a passion for travel with only two states left in her quest of seeing all 50. As a former flight attendant with one of the largest airlines, there isn’t a major North American airport that she hasn’t landed in at least once. Since clipping her professional wings after 9/11, she combines her love of the open road with visiting national parks, historic sites and cultural icons. She is based out of Central Texas, dividing her time between writing and restoring a 95-year-old house. She shares her life with her three kids, her husband, two cats, a dog and six backyard chickens.


Explore a National Park for Free

Looking for a way to reconnect as a family while exploring and learning? Visit a national park for your next family getaway. The National Parks TravelingMom and her three kids have wandered through 40 of the 59 big national parks. After seeing the tallest mountains and the deepest canyons, she shares the 2018 National Park Service fee-free dates. US National Parks For Free! National parks offer priceless beauty, and for four days in 2018 the admission price is just that – priceless. Only 118 of the 417 US National Park Service sites charge admission ($3 to $30). And the...

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Top Tips for Learning to Ski and Snowboard with Kids

Enjoying time together in the outdoors keeps National Parks TravelingMom’s family happy and healthy during the winter. Years ago, she figured out families that ski together, vacation together longer. Read on to plan your family ski getaway with this comprehensive guide. Why Go Skiing or Snowboarding We started skiing as a family after I saw so many families with older teens and college students at ski resorts. Since it’s an individual sport, teens and college students have the freedom to explore and meet up with their family later. That and poor college students can’t afford to ski unless Mom...

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Winter Family Fun Guide For Lake Tahoe 

Straddling the border of California and Nevada, Lake Tahoe boasts the largest concentration of ski resorts in North America. With terrain considered the best in the West, it effortlessly offers thrills around the clock for the adventurous. Families flock to the Sierra Nevada mountains in ever-increasing numbers. Its laid-back vibe is coupled with a world-class learning environment, and  the endless days of blue bird skies create the perfect backdrop for a family ski getaway. After spending over 20 years exploring Lake Tahoe, the National Parks TravelingMom shares her favorites places for winter family fun in Tahoe. Lake Tahoe for Families Looking for...

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3 Day Itinerary for Los Angeles with Kids

Hop a plane to make your dreams come true in sunny Los Angeles. Whether it’s seeing the stars above at the Griffith Observatory or below on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Grab a cruiser and bike along the beach or grab a board and learn to surf. An art museum, the tar pits, the Space Shuttle, or even a baseball game, you can do it in 3 days in LA. A few foodie stops and unique architectural musts make this 3 day itinerary for Los Angeles a must for your trip. 3 Day Itinerary for Los Angeles My kids,...

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18 Ways to be Danish in Solvang California

Hop abroad Amtrak’s Coast Starlight train for a Royal European vacation in the Santa Ynez Valley, a train ride away from Los Angeles. Minutes from the Pacific Ocean, National Parks TravelingMom found traditional Danish foods and festivals, paired with the best of the Central Californian wine region. Travelers will find themselves a world away from the constant brake lights of LA. in this quiet Danish hamlet. With postcard-perfect weather, families will find a long weekend’s worth of things to do with kids in Solvang. Call it a compromise, but I needed to get away from my car and Southern...

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3 Day Itinerary For New York City

Just three days to visit New York City? Impossible? No, says National Parks TravelingMom who spent years living in New York City. Since your family will explore the Statue of Liberty, ride a couple of carousels, hop a tram and grab a pastrami-on-rye, pack your walking shoes. See the best buildings from above and below then head to a show. Don’t forget The Park but stay out of The Ramble. Then take the kids to eat at one of the poshest hotels in NYC, just head for the basement. There’s even time to see some art. After three days, your...

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11 Must Dos for Your Car Free Santa Barbara Escape

Sometimes you have to leave the car behind when the stress of driving gets to you. And in Southern California, that happens a lot. Fear not! The National Parks TravelingMom actually felt freedom when exploring nearby Santa Barbara without a car. With a combination of a train, a sight-seeing trolley, walking and ride share, never once did she pine for her car. I will admit it. Sometimes I need to break up with my car. If you spend all day or part of the day shuttling kids or driving around town for work, the last place you want to...

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Hop a Train for Fun to Hotel Santa Barbara

Constantly annoyed by her one-sided relationship, the National Park TravelingMom escaped to have weekend fling with an old love. As she left her car and her worries behind in LA, she hopped abroad an Amtrak train to rekindle a bit of the excitement and romance that was missing in her relationship with travel. Wandering the streets of Santa Barbara car-free, she savored the slower pace and didn’t miss her car at all. Read on to see how easy it is to break up with your car for a weekend stay in Santa Barbara without a car. When my train...

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College Shopping 101 in Claremont California

In the flash of an eye, your baby goes from learning to walk to walking across the stage. So time to go shopping, College Shopping, with your teen. National Parks TravelingMom planned a 3-day trip to visit Claremont, California, to tour perspective colleges with her teen and shares her tips. Top tip: Start early and tour schools in bite-size spurts. Read on for more tips for touring colleges in California with kids. Touring Colleges in California with Kids About 35 miles east of downtown Los Angeles, I found a quaint town with tree-lined streets and 100-year-old homes. With picket-fenced...

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Discover Little Denmark at The Landsby in Solvang, California

A boutique hotel ripped from the pages of an exclusive travel magazine awaits in a Santa Ynez Valley enclave, 30 minutes north of Santa Barbara. In Solvang, California, travelers explore a traditional Danish village brimming with bakeries and windmills alongside with the valley’s best wineries. After sampling the culinary delights of the region, guests of The Landsby escape to a property that seamlessly blends Old Danish architecture with modern Danish interiors. Where to Stay in Solvang with Kids or Without Tucked away in the Santa Ynez Valley, a few minutes outside of Santa Barbara, The Landsby offers guests a...

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