Get out to national parks: two more chances this year for fee-free entrance

Last year’s U.S. National Park Service centennial created huge interest among Alhambra residents in visiting a national park, according to the Automobile Club of Southern California’s Alhambra branch. That interest continues this year, and there are still a couple more chances in 2017 for travelers to explore any national park without paying an entrance fee: on Sept. 30, National Public Lands Day, and during Veterans Day weekend, Nov. 11 and Nov. 12.

The Auto Club branch at 401 E. Main St. has a variety of services enabling park visitors of all ages to enjoy their trips and return home with a renewed appreciation for America’s natural wonders:

National parks “mini map” for kids

This Auto Club map of the U.S. displays all 57 national parks in the 50 states and provides facts, educational games, and road trip activities to keep youngsters busy on the drive. It’s available free to Auto Club members and costs $1.95 for non-members.

Paper maps and AAA TourBooks

Paper maps are great planning tools for vacations of all types, and they don’t need battery power or cell phone service to work in remote areas. AAA maps are free to members and available for non-member purchase at Auto Club branches. Maps cover all regions of the U.S. in addition to separate guides/maps for Death Valley, Kings Canyon/Sequoia, and Yosemite national parks.

AAA TourBooks are a complete do-it-yourself guide for national park trip planners, listing nearby AAA Diamond-rated lodgings and restaurants, local attractions, AAA discounts, and points of interest. AAA TourBooks are a member benefit, cover every U.S. state, and are available at AAA branches.

Custom travel planning

Visit the Alhambra Auto Club branch and let the experts plan a trip at no cost, excluding airline ticket processing fees for some transactions. The staff can assist with hotel and activity reservations for those planning a self-guided vacation, and guided tours are also available for select dates. Some of the most popular national park guided vacations available for booking at Auto Club branches include:

  • National Parks of America tour offered by AAA Member Choice Vacations: This 12-day trip covers five national parks — Grand Canyon, Zion, Bryce Canyon, Yellowstone, and Grand Teton — plus other famous points of interest in Arizona, Utah, Colorado, Wyoming, and South Dakota.
  • Western Discovererby Trafalgar Tours — Grand Canyon and Yosemite national parks are included in this two-week tour of California, Nevada, and Arizona.
  • Wonders of the American Westby Insight Vacations —Visit seven national parks in 10 days in Arizona, Colorado, and Utah, along with trips to Las Vegas and Lake Powell.

For those planning trips for next spring and summer, numerous cruise lines also offer trips highlighting the sensational views and majesty of Glacier Bay and Denali national parks in Alaska.

One of the most popular self-driving vacations booked at the Auto Club’s Alhambra branch is the “Rails to the Rim” trip on Grand Canyon Railway, which whisks you on vintage train cars from accommodations in Williams, Arizona, to Grand Canyon Village to experience the world-famous natural phenomenon.

AAA mobile app

The free AAA mobile app available for iOS and Android can be used by both members and non-members, except for member-only roadside assistance and discounts. It provides maps, turn-by-turn directions, AAA TourBook information about destinations, flight/hotel/car rental reservations, nearby current gas prices, parking lot information and prices for major cities, and nearby AAA branches, AAA discount locations, and Approved Auto Repair facilities. More information is available at AAA.com/mobile.


Auto Clubnational parksfee-freecustome travel planningmapsTourBooks

Oct 2018


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