Catherine Parker, National Parks TravelingMom

Catherine Parker, National Parks TravelingMom

Catherine Parker has a passion for travel with only one state left in her quest of seeing all 50. As a former flight attendant, she's landed in nearly every major North American airport 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's a freelance writer and journalist 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, yardful ofcats, a dog and three backyard chickens.

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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11 National Parks in New York City to Discover with Kids

New York City offers a top destination for families with sites like Empire State Building and Central Park. Most visitors are surprised to discover the top NYC attraction is actually a National Park Service site, The Statue of Liberty. Lady Liberty is the most popular national park site in NYC. Though National Parks TravelingMom says, be sure to discover the other 10 NYC national parks with kids. New York City offers days of historic sites to tour in-between theatre shows and foodie musts. NYC National Parks with kids Family fun abounds in New York City with theater shows, world-class museums...

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8 Must Dos While Staying in Claremont at the Doubletree

College shopping or the process of touring and researching perspective universities haunts parents like taxes. But it doesn’t have to according to the National Parks TravelingMom. Her advice: Start early and tour schools in bite-size spurts during summer breaks. Along with scheduling school tours, explore the areas around the universities to add fun to the itinerary. Read on to add fun to a college shopping trip to Southern California along with where to stay in Claremont with kids. Nestled in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains, the DoubleTree Claremont Hotel offers an oasis with a palm tree-shadowed pool and a...

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Trump Soho – Your Destination for Downtown New York City Luxury

On a recent mother-daughter getaway with her teen, the National Parks TravelingMom found downtown NYC luxury for families at Trump SoHo. She enjoyed a family suite with a luxurious marble bath and separate bedroom outfitted with a sleeper sofa for kids. The suites feature microwaves, wet bars, lots of space and storage in a modern property with unobstructed views of downtown and the Hudson River. For my daughter’s eighth-grade graduation, we hopped a plane to New York City for a mother-daughter getaway. Looking to combine luxury with the lively SoHo atmosphere that teens crave, we booked a room at the...

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Plan the Perfect Road Trip Across Oregon

Oregon, the jewel of the Pacific Northwest, begs for a family road trip. With a bounty of summer family fun like snow capped mountains, beaches teeming with tide pools and waterfalls taller than most buildings, vow to take an Oregon family road trip this year. National Parks TravelingMom paves the way for families with an itinerary packed with outdoorsy fun along with some kid-friendly history and the best road trip snacks ever imagined. Family road trips are as American as a Fourth of July hot dog. Families across the country load up the family car with snacks and audio...

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How to Make Memories with Your Kids in Oregon Caves

  The Pacific Northwest offers families wild and rugged landscapes with evergreen mountain vistas and windswept coasts. Yet it’s the landscape under the mountains that sparkles for the National Parks TravelingMom. Just south of Crater Lake National Park, a Mom SUV climbs a winding mountain road through a dense fir forest to the marble halls of Oregon Caves National Monument to take a cave tour with her kids. My boys, 9 and 13, want to explore another underground landscape so I circled Oregon Caves National Monument on the map laying on my dash. Even though caves aren’t my first...

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Go Out of this World in Huntsville Alabama

  Channel your inner astronaut with a trip to Huntsville, Alabama, to discover deep space with NASA. Kids aren’t the only ones commanding a mission. You can sign the entire family up for Space Camp too. Standing in the shadow of the Saturn V, the largest rocket ever launched, the National Parks TravelingMom marveled at the newest space race, the mission to Mars. At the epicenter of NASA’s testing and development, quietly stands Huntsville, Alabama, as it did over 50 years ago when the mission was to the moon. As the mom of a fearless kid, I’m always looking for...

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