If you can't get to a national park, check out the fun to be had at these state parks, which may be nearer to you.
By Ellen Parlapiano
Their footsteps are preserved in Dinosaur State Park in Rocky Hill, Connecticut, a few miles south of Hartford.
Anza-Borrego State Park (two hours east of San Diego) has incredible wildflowers and nighttime ranger presentations.
John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park in Key Largo, Florida, teems with colorful tropical fish.
There are tons of them at Crater of Diamonds State Park in Murfreesboro, Arkansas, about 60 miles from Little Rock. Bonus: Keep what you find.
Ohio's Marblehead Lighthouse on Lake Erie is the oldest continuous one on the Great Lakes, and not far from Sandusky's theme parks.
Cheney State Park in Kansas, 20 miles west of Wichita, has one of the calmest lakes in the U.S. for sailing and windsurfing.
Fort Delaware State Park, a ferry ride from Delaware City, Delaware, once housed Confederate prisoners of war.
The Cog Railway train travels nearly vertically up to the peak of New Hampshire's Mount Washington State Park, elevation 6,200 feet.
Bikes and horse-drawn carriages rule on Victorian-style Mackinac Island—automobiles are banned. Ferry over from Michigan's upper or lower peninsulas.
Virginia State Parks turn 75 this year; there will be special events and contests throughout the summer.
Copyright 2011 Meredith Corporation.
This piece was accurate at publication time, but all prices, offerings and availabilities are subject to change. Please contact each hotel and attraction for up-to-date rates and information before taking your trip.