USA

Hotels Near National Parks for Families Who Love Adventures and Hot Showers

Camping is great, but sometimes you want a hot shower and bed after an adventure. With these hotels near national parks, your family won't have to rough it.

My parents met while working in Glacier National Park, and their love for national parks didn’t stop once they had kids. I grew up taking road trips from Wisconsin to the Grand Canyon, to Acadia National Park, to see wildlife at Yellowstone, and to marvel at the rugged, snow-capped mountains in Rocky Mountain National Park. Yes, we would camp, but by the last day, we were all ready for hot showers and comfortable beds.

Millions of people flock to national parks every summer for wildlife, hiking, and a connection to the great outdoors. Many families choose to camp, but that’s not always possible–especially if you’re flying and can’t bring all the necessary gear. Plus, outdoor sleeping isn’t for everyone.

Not to worry. There are plenty of hotels near national parks, from cozy mountain lodges to hotels with ocean views. After almost three decades of visiting national parks with my own family, I’ve rounded up the best hotels for families just outside the 10 most visited national parks (or in some cases, inside the parks). Now you can connect with nature by day and connect with a comfortable mattress and hot shower by night.

Acadia National Park

1/4

The “Crown Jewel of the North Atlantic Coast,” as locals call Acadia National Park, stretches along the rocky headlands of the Atlantic coastline in Maine. Learn about the Wabanaki, early native inhabitants of the area, while hiking some of the 158 miles of trails across seven peaks.

Climb to the top of Cadillac Mountain for views over the entire park and walk along the coast for spectacular vistas of rocky hills in one direction and clear blue skies as far as the eye can see in the other. Though some trails veer toward the edges of cliffs, for the most part, the trails here are less strenuous than some other national parks, making it a great option for families with young children or older parents.

Nearby, visit Bar Harbor on Mount Desert Island, the gateway to the park and an adorable resort town packed with local restaurants, ice cream shops, and boutiques. Watch boats come in while you feast on fresh lobster rolls and check out goods from dozens of local artists.

The Hampton Inn Bar Harbor is an ideal spot to stay during your trip to Acadia. It puts you close to town and close to the park, plus it features amenities like an indoor and outdoor pool and free hot breakfast. Book a studio suite for more space and a balcony with panoramic views.

Hampton Inn Bar Harbor

Top rated
Bar Harbor, 2.4 miles to Acadia National Park
9.1 Excellent (285 reviews)
Excellent Cleanliness 9.3 / 10
View Prices

Glacier National Park

1/3

Glacier National Park is like a little bit of paradise. The park feels more remote than some of the others, and is the ideal place for solitude in a gorgeous setting. Hike the alpine forests and gaze out over glacier lakes, or drive the Going-to-the-Sun-Road, widely considered one of the most beautiful drives in the world.

If your family hasn’t been to Glacier, go before it’s too late. Once home to 150 glaciers, there are now only 26 left, and those are expected to largely disappear within the next 20 years because of climate change. Since it’s so spacious and remote, Glacier is less crowded than the other parks on this list, meaning you and your family can hike uncrowded trails and picnic with no one else around. Keep an eye out for wildlife, too. Glacier has an abundance of moose, grizzly bears, big horned sheep, and other animals.

Stay in Whitefish, a cute mountain town just outside the park with outdoor gear shops, breweries, and some great restaurants. Grouse Mountain Lodge is ideal for families thanks to its spacious rooms and vacation packages, and amenities like a golf course, a bar and grill, and a cozy fireplace and couches in the lobby.

Grouse Mountain Lodge

8.2 Very good (1646 reviews)
Excellent Location 8.6 / 10
View Prices

Grand Canyon National Park

1/3

The Grand Canyon is one of the country’s most stunning natural wonders. Layered red rocks hold millions of years of history, and the sheer size of the canyon is enough to make anyone catch their breath.

You can sleep in the park, without actually camping in the park, thanks to the Yavapai Lodge, a hotel set in the South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park. You can’t get any closer, and it’s the ideal blend of convenience, luxury, and nature.

Relax with gorgeous views on the property’s patio or with a local craft beer or glass of wine at Yavapai Tavern. There’s also a coffee shop and plenty of cozy communal seating areas, perfect for curling up with a book or planning the next day’s adventures.

With a variety of room options, there’s sure to be something to suit your needs. The “King Family Room” is a popular choice and has bunk beds, a flat-screen TV, a coffee maker, and a mini-fridge so you can stow picnic supplies without worry.

The hotel is steps from the post office and market, and a short walk to the South Rim. Here, you can get a great night’s rest and a hot shower without leaving the park. Plus, the lodge is pet-friendly, so the whole family truly can come along.

Yavapai Lodge

Grand Canyon Village, 17.8 miles to Desert View Watchtower
7.9 Good (6776 reviews)
Excellent Location 9 / 10
View Prices

Grand Teton National Park

1/3

If wildlife is what you’re after, visit Grand Teton National Park. You and your family will be amazed at bison, bear, big horned sheep, and elk. Like the peaks of Patagonia, the Teton Ridge is what many people think of when they think “mountain range.” The five iconic peaks have a fascinating history, which you can learn while at the park, complete with people fighting to protect them over generations and the eventual creation of Grand Teton National Park.

Stay at the Cowboy Village Resort, an authentic log cabin that’s picturesque in every season. It puts you 15-minutes by car from Grand Teton National Park, 10-minutes from the Jackson Hole Airport, two miles from the National Elk Refuge, and an hour from Yellowstone National Park. Located in Jackson, you’ll be just a few blocks from shopping, great food, local festivities in the town square, and the famous Million Dollar Cowboy Bar. If someone in your family enjoys art galleries, there are plenty nearby. Try Mountain Trails Gallery for landscape and wildlife paintings. Are museums your family’s thing? Stop at the Museum of National Wildlife Art or the Jackson Hole Historical Society & Museum. Outdoor activities include hiking, skiing, and guided wildlife tours. Whatever your family is into, it’s all within easy access at the Cowboy Village Resort.

The affordable hotel has several room types, though the Lodge Family Suite is the most ideal option for family travelers. It features two queen beds and a set of bunk beds and has a full kitchen, so you can save money and cook your own meals. There’s also guest laundry and a fitness and business center for your convenience, and a bus stop right outside if you prefer not to drive.

Cowboy Village Resort

Top rated
8.9 Excellent (3187 reviews)
Excellent Cleanliness 9.2 / 10
View Prices

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

1/4

The most visited national park in the United States is Great Smoky Mountains National Park, straddling the border of Tennessee and North Carolina. Here, families can see black bears and other wildlife, spot wildflowers year-round, learn about Appalachian mountain culture, and hike the ancient mountains.

Stay right outside the park in Gatlinburg, Tennessee at the Holiday Inn Express Gatlinburg Downtown, which is just a four-minute walk from a nature trail and only a 10-minute drive to the Sugarlands Visitor Center, the first you’ll encounter in the park. Not driving? Don’t worry. The hotel offers a shuttle to and from the airport, and to the park, downtown, and Dollywood.

See the park by day and family-friendly Gatlinburg by night. Downtown, there are dozens of restaurants and activities like miniature golf and amusement parks, including the famous Ripley’s Aquarium and Gatlinburg Skylift, where you can see incredible mountain views.

Families can stay in spacious private rooms or two-bedroom suites, each featuring comfortable beds and amenities like cable TV, microwaves and refrigerators, and complimentary toiletries. Gaze at the mountains from your room without sleeping in a tent. At the hotel, enjoy a fitness room and business center, as well as an indoor pool with slides, always a kid favorite. Free hot and cold breakfast saves money and provides a hearty start to the day.

Holiday Inn Express Gatlinburg Downtown

Top rated
Gatlinburg, 5.7 miles to Great Smoky Mountains National Park
9.0 Excellent (614 reviews)
Excellent Service 9.1 / 10
View Prices

Olympic National Park

1/4

Olympic National Park is one of the most diverse national parks, covering a wide range of elevation. It spans almost a million acres and several ecosystems. Spend a day on a glacier-capped mountain, another in an old-growth temperate rainforest filled with giant trees, and yet another on the coast. It’s hard to believe it’s all part of the same park, but the diversity means everyone in your family can find an area to be excited about.

Whether you hope to hike, fish, go tidepooling, or see bears and other wildlife, you’ll find it at Olympic. The forest, coastal, and mountain ecosystems combine to create one of the most unique areas on Earth, which is why the United Nations has designated it as both a World Heritage Site and International Biosphere Reserve.

With so much to see and do, you’ll want to stay nearby. Kalaloch Lodge is one of the top-rated hotels in the area, partly because of its proximity to everything in the park, and partly for its cozy vibe. Stay in the main lodge or in your own private cabin, a great option for those traveling with a larger family.

The lodge can organize hikes through Hoh rainforest, one of the main attractions in the park and a true hiker’s paradise. You’ll also be close to the “Tree of Life,” a famous tree and historical landmark. The Sitka Spruce sits on the beach, straddling the coastline and defying gravity with a mess of tangled, exposed roots. People often wonder how it’s still alive, hence its name.

Take advantage of the lodge’s great audio tours and sample itineraries to help you plan your trip and explore on your own. If your family wants to get more involved, there are recurring volunteer programs and other events year-round.

At the lodge, dine in Creekside Restaurant, where fresh, local cuisine is always in season. Spend your evenings relaxing on the historic property, which dates back to 1920.

Kalaloch Lodge

Top rated
8.5 Excellent (561 reviews)
Excellent Location 9.2 / 10
View Prices

Rocky Mountain National Park

1/4

It’s hard to beat Rocky Mountain National Park if you and your family are hoping for a scenic, mountain-centric vacation. With more than 300 miles of hiking trails, from easy loops under a mile to intense 12-mile hikes with significant elevation, there’s something for everyone in the family. If you’re driving, don’t miss Trail Ridge Road, which climbs 12,000 feet and has numerous alpine overlooks.

Stay at Murphy’s River Lodge in nearby Estes Park along the Fall River. You’ll be a short drive from the park and within minutes of enveloping yourself in the great outdoors, but also only two blocks from the historic downtown and its many local shops and restaurants.

The double queen rooms or king plus rooms are great for families, but you can also rent an entire vacation home if you need more space. Each home is stocked with kitchen appliances and a selection of movies and games, plus you still get access to the lodge. At the lodge, take a dip in the seasonal pool or warm up in the hot tub. There are always family-friendly activities happening too, like art classes or nature talks.

Complimentary breakfast is served in the community room and includes fresh pastries, yogurt, bottomless coffee, and more. You’ll save on breakfast for your family and dine in a beautiful setting with views over the river. When you’re ready to head out for the day, the lodge’s staff is incredibly knowledgeable about the park’s trails and wildlife, and happy to provide insider tips.

Murphy's River Lodge

Top rated
Estes Park, 5.2 miles to Rocky Mountain National Park
8.8 Excellent (1317 reviews)
Excellent Service 9.2 / 10
View Prices

Yellowstone National Park

1/3

The oldest national park in the United States is still drawing millions of visitors each year for its geysers and springs. Your family can see some of the world’s most famous natural sights while also learning about the history that created the national park system through interactive exhibits, detailed plaques throughout the park, and ranger talks.

Yellowstone is diverse, so you can go from alpine mountains to deep canyons to volcanic springs within a matter of miles. Stay near the park at Best Western Desert Inn to maximize your time. The hotel is only two miles from the Yellowstone airport and has a free shuttle to and from the park.

The hotel’s best feature is its location, though guests also love the free WiFi, pool, spa, and laundry. After a long day of hiking, there’s nothing better than coming back to a relaxing dip in the pool, and doing laundry before you leave means you don’t have to pack up your family’s dirty clothes.

Enjoy complimentary breakfast–a big money saver when traveling with a family–and free parking. Comfortable rooms feature plush beds, televisions, coffee makers, and desks. Pets are allowed for an additional fee, so you can bring the whole family along.

Best Western Desert Inn

8.3 Very good (1489 reviews)
Excellent Location 9.1 / 10
View Prices

Yosemite National Park

1/4

Yosemite is one of the most iconic national parks, and for good reason. Gushing Yosemite Falls draws visitors from around the world for its 2,425-foot drop, and Half Dome has long been a favorite peak for climbers. But Yosemite is much more than mountains and waterfalls. Explore the glacier valleys and Tuolumne Meadows on your next family trip.

Campgrounds at Yosemite National Park fill up fast, especially during the summer. Book a hotel like Tenaya Lodge ahead of time to avoid crowds. Tenaya is an elegant resort that delivers a bit of luxury while still being affordable enough for families and accommodating to children. Take one of the hotel’s tours, like the Glacier Point Starry Skies Tour or the all-day Yosemite Tour, or let your kids try the 75-acre adventure course, where they can traverse bridges, swinging logs, and rope challenges–with supervision, of course.

From Tenaya, you can easily visit Mariposa Grove, the grove of Giant Sequoias that was recently reopened. It’s the largest grove of redwoods in Yosemite National Park, and home to two of the tallest Giant Sequoias in the world.

There’s a lot to see and do at Yosemite, so use the hotel’s handy activity planner to make the most of your stay and fit in something everyone in the family can enjoy.

Back at the lodge, indulge in the spa and steam rooms, hit the gym, or relax in the indoor or outdoor pool. There are several dining options as well, including a casual family friendly restaurant, a pizzeria, a BBQ, a grab-and-go deli, and a more upscale romantic option for Mom and Dad.

Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite

8.4 Very good (3933 reviews)
Excellent Cleanliness 8.7 / 10
View Prices

Zion National Park

1/4

A family trip to Zion National Park allows you to step into the past. You can walk paths where Native Americans first walked hundreds of years ago, and learn about the ancient geology that culminated in sandstone cliffs from creamy whites to deep reds. It’s also a great place to spot wildlife such as bighorn sheep or mule deer, and offers challenging narrow hikes for older family members, and has some incredible star gazing.

The only lodge built right in the park, Zion Lodge gives you the chance to rest in comfort without taking time out of your trip to drive back and forth between the park and other hotels about eight miles away. (Best of all for families, kids under age 16 stay free.) Inside, you’ll find all the amenities you would expect from a modern hotel, including air conditioning, which you’ll really appreciate if you visit in summer months. Plus, rooms are spacious and you can find an on-site restaurant serving local cuisine such as vegetarian dishes made with ingredients from nearby farmers and a taco bar. Before heading out, make sure to chat with the knowledgeable staff about the hiking trails.

Outside, you have immediate access to some of the park’s best hiking trails, or you can take part of lodge activities like a narrated tram ride, horseback riding, bike rentals, or night sky experiences. The lodge staff actually redesigned the hotel’s lighting to minimize light pollution, ensuring guests see the best of the dark night sky while at the same time keeping in mind best environmental practices.

Zion Lodge

Zion National Park, 4 miles to Zion National Park
8.2 Very good (1522 reviews)
Excellent Location 9.4 / 10
View Prices

Feature photo by Ruben van Wijngaarden on Unsplash