Entry to U.S. National Parks is free for the three-day Martin Luther King Jr. weekend, January 14-16, 2012. Take advantage by visiting the National Parks in New York City and nearby, including the Statue of Liberty National Monument, Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace at 28 East 30th St., Gateway National Park in Brooklyn and Queens, and the Vanderbilt Mansion Historical Site in Hyde Park, in the Hudson Valley. And, of course, national parks a bit further away, including Yellowstone and Yosemite. Click here for the entire list of fee-free national parks. The U.S. National Park Service operates millions of acres of picture-postcard views and educational experiences in hundreds of national parks, historic sites, and heritage areas. An annual pass for a carload is $80, or $10 for a lifetime pass for seniors. There are 17 fee-free park days and weekend in 2012 — after this weekend, April 21 to 29 (National Park Week), June 9 (Get Outdoors Day), September 29 (National Public Lands Day), and November 10 to 12 (Veterans Day weekend). Many park-related hotels, restaurants, gift shops, and tour operators offer special discounts on fee-free days, too.
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