15 Best State Parks in the U.S. for Epic Labor Day Adventures

Devil's Den State Park in Arkansas, USA

Labor Day is just around the corner! Fortunately for us, the U.S. is home to some of the most stunning state parks in the world, offering opportunities for hiking, camping, swimming, and more. These 15 state parks are must-visit destinations for your Labor Day travels.

Check each park specifically to ensure the activities you want to do are pet friendly if you are traveling with pets.

Please Practice Leave No Trace principles to help preserve these stunning natural landscapes for future generations.

1. Dr. Julian G. Bruce St. George Island State Park – Florida

St. George Island State Park

Image Credit: The Happiness Function.

Ranked for having the number one beach in America, the state park on St. George Island is the perfect getaway for folks wanting to experience that “old Florida” feel and enjoy a peaceful and relaxing beach vacation. It’s one of the best things to do near Apalachicola, Florida.

2. Custer State Park – South Dakota

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Located in the Black Hills of South Dakota, Custer State Park is a crown jewel of the state. With over 71,000 acres, visitors can see impressive wildlife, such as buffalo, up close. The park is also famous for its spectacular mountain lakes, granite peaks, and hiking trails.

3. Devil’s Den State Park – Arkansas

Devil's Den State Park in Arkansas, USA

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Tucked in the Ozark Mountains of Arkansas, Devil’s Den has around 60 protected crevices and caves, which is how the park got its name. It has world-class mountain biking, spectacular hiking trails, and excellent camping and lodging options.

4. Beavers Bend State Park – Oklahoma

Kayaking Mountain Fork River in Oklahoma

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Do you think of prairie lands when you think of Oklahoma? Then you’ll be pleasantly surprised by Beavers Bend State Park tucked in the Ouachita Mountains in the southeast part of the state. The park is next to Broken Bow (lake) and the Mountain Fork River, popular for summer float trips.

5. Gulf Shores State Park – Alabama

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Alabama is famous for its white sand beaches and emerald-green waters. Gulf Shores State Park protects the coastline near Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, Alabama. The park also has a huge campground if you’re camping in your RV. Be sure to make reservations in advance.

6. Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park – California

McWay Falls in Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, in Big Sur, California, during a gorgeous perfect sunset

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Located on the Big Sur coast, this park offers stunning views of the Pacific Ocean and the McWay Falls. The park near Big Sur has many unique features, including 300-foot redwoods, world-class scuba diving, and a beautiful remote beach cove. In addition, you can see the incredible McWay Falls, an 80-foot waterfall that flows directly into the ocean.

7. Makoshika State Park – Montana

Makoshika State Park, Hell Creek Formation in Montana

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Picture tiptoeing through a field of sleeping Tyrannosaurus Rexes and Triceratops, trying to make no noise louder than the soft sounds of nature. Fast forward 66 million years, and you’ll find Makoshika State Park, a vast expanse of orange-gray badlands speckled with giant mushrooms of petrified fairytale rocks and fossils.

Take a walk on the Diane Gabriel Trail to look for dinosaur bones, and don’t miss the K-T boundary marking the end of this location’s former heavyweights’ reign.

8. Baxter State Park – Maine

landscape of Mount Katahdin early in the morning with dark shaddows and blue sky in Baxter State Park, Maine

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If you’re looking for an authentic wilderness experience, Baxter State Park is the place to go. The park is home to Mount Katahdin, the highest peak in Maine, and offers miles of hiking trails, lakes for fishing and canoeing, and stunning views of the surrounding wilderness.

9. Valley of Fire State Park – Nevada

Amazing colors and shape of the Fire Wave rock in Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada, USA

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This park is known for its stunning red rock formations and desert landscapes. You can hike through the park’s canyons, see ancient petroglyphs, and camp under the stars.

10. Peninsula State Park – Wisconsin

Aerial view of Peninsula State Park during autumn season, Wisconsin

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Peninsula State Park is situated on the Door Peninsula, offering breathtaking views of Lake Michigan. Along with hiking and biking, you can also enjoy swimming at the park’s beaches or delve into the history of the park’s historic lighthouse.

11. Eldorado Canyon State Park – Colorado

Eldorado Canyon State Park Entrance Sign. Colorado, United States.

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Eldorado Canyon State Park in Colorado has a lot to offer despite being a small park. It’s located near Boulder and is known for its technical climbing routes, miles of hiking/mountain-biking trails, and fishing opportunities in South Boulder Creek.

12. Cayo Costa State Park – Florida

White sand, clear water, seashells on a bush. State Park Cayo Costa, Florida, Gulf of Mexico

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Cayo Costa is an island only reachable by boat or ferry. It’s a peaceful escape from the typical spring break experience, offering white-sand beaches, ghostly tree skeletons, and frequent sightings of dolphins swimming near the shore. Spend the day exploring the island’s beauty and tranquility. It’s one of the best beaches on the Gulf.

13. Niagara Falls State Park – New York

Niagara Falls State Park - New York

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Niagara Falls State Park is a popular destination with many people taking pictures. It is the oldest state park in America, with 750,000 gallons of water rushing over the falls every second. Despite the crowds, the park is still worth visiting.

14. Castle Rocks State Park – Idaho

View of the Rock River from the shoreline. Castle Rock State Park, Illinois, USA

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This park is home to some of the best rock climbing in the country and miles of hiking and biking trails. Castle Rocks State Park in Idaho is a beautiful, often overlooked state park. The park is in the Albion Mountains and full of wildflowers in the spring. You can also go rock climbing on the park’s stunning rock formations.

15. Iao Valley State Park – Hawaii

The Needle at Iao Valley State Park on Maui

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Nestled in the heart of Maui, Iao Valley State Park boasts of the magnificent Iao Needle, an awe-inspiring rock pinnacle that stands 1,200 feet above the valley floor. The park offers a delightful opportunity for you to take a leisurely stroll through its verdant rainforest and witness the breathtaking beauty of the green foliage and crystal-clear streams.

“I Love It Here!” 20 Best Small Towns in America for Your Bucket List

Woman traveler sight seeing

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Are you seeking a respite from the busy and noisy urban lifestyle? Look no further than America’s small towns. From the quaint and charming to the downright quirky, small towns across the country offer unique experiences and attractions. Here are 20 of America’s most famous. Where are you going next?

“I Love It Here!” 20 Best Small Towns in America for Your Bucket List

Savor the Adventure: 15 Must-Visit Foodie Destinations on the Planet

Pizza time. Handsome smiling women eating pizza, having fun together in the restaurant. Consumerism, food, lifestyle concept

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From tacos to pasta and dumplings to koeksisters, many countries and global cities know how to do food well with their delicious cuisine.

Although there are more than 15 food destinations on the planet, these spots are a must-visit and should be added to your travel bucket list if you love eating your way through a vacation.

Savor the Adventure: 15 Must-Visit Foodie Destinations on the Planet

Sun, Sand, and Splendor: Discover the 10 Best Beaches in the USA

family florida beach

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Nothing says summer like a day at the beach. But with so many options, where do you plan your next trip? Dr. Beach has rounded up 10 of the best beaches to visit, and we can’t wait to sink our feet in the water and lay out on the sand.

Sun, Sand, and Splendor: Discover the 10 Best Beaches in the USA

20 Best Things To Do on Dauphin Island, Paradise in Alabama

Dauphin Island, Alabama Gulf Coast

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If you’re looking for the best things to do on Dauphin Island, you’re in the right place! Dauphin Island is an incredible gem of Alabama. The island boasts 7-miles of sugar-white sand public beaches, clear water, beautiful weather, and fewer crowds. Guess what else? The beaches are dog-friendly!

20 Best Things To Do on Dauphin Island, Paradise in Alabama

15 Countries That Serve up the BEST Street Food Experiences

napoli icecream italy

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There’s something about the vibrance of street food, the richness in flavor, and the rawness of surrounding cultural scenes. Not only is street food more affordable for travelers, but it grants a more authentic experience since this is where natives also gather and convene.

With that said, here are 15 countries serving up the best street food experiences, as voted on by an online foodie forum.

15 Countries That Serve up the BEST Street Food Experiences

Where indicated, some images courtesy of Depositphotos.com.

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Ashlee Fechino

Ashlee Fechino is an outdoor recreation and travel writer sharing the best-kept secrets that aren’t in your typical guidebook. Her goal is to inspire people to travel with a sense of adventure by sharing hidden gems across the U.S. and beyond. She is married to an expat Argentine, Pablo. They camp in their Aliner often and love wandering the world. Follow their latest adventures on Instagram @thehappinessfxn.

1 Comment

  1. Burt Ranall on May 29, 2023 at 2:39 pm

    Our family went to see Niagara Falls (NY) and stayed over night. We had a blast!

    I could not believe the force of the waterfalls.

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