Memorial Day weekend is right around the corner — and for many Americans, that means a three-day weekend.
For those who want to do more than sit around the house and turn on the grill, there are plenty of activities happening at most of the country's national parks.
Memorial Day weekend is the perfect time for a road trip, and you can take some amazing car trips that include many of our national parks. Why not drive down the Pacific Coast Highway — perhaps stopping here and there for some well-earned beach time?
If you live on the East Coast, spring is the perfect time for a drive through New England, especially as that drive will include a few history lessons from the American Revolution and our battle against the British.
The South also serves up its share of entertainment combined with history: learn about Martin Luther King, Jr., while enjoying the Smoky Mountains and the cactus blooms of Big Bend National Park.
Or maybe you want to hop in the car in L.A. and take a trip through the Wild West — stopping to see such iconic sites as the Grand Canyon and Yellowstone National Park?
Of course, Memorial Day isn't just about a three-day weekend and eating barbecue. The holiday commemorates those who died in the service of our country — with a day for remembrance. Many of our national parks will offer ways to memorialize those soldiers who sacrificed for our freedom, including flag ceremonies, cemetery tours and historical tours.
"The National Park Service preserves the sites and shares the stories of important chapters in our nation's history," Rocío Lower wrote in a post on the national parks website.
"These special places – including forts, battlefields, military parks, monuments, and memorials – stand so that we may reflect upon the circumstances that led our countrymen to answer the call of duty in pursuit of our freedom."
You can help raise the Avenue of Flags in the national cemetery at Andersonville National Historical site — or tour the bunkers at Cabrillo National Monument with World War II re-enactors. Learn more about the Civil War through tours and other activities at Fort Scott National Historic Site in Kansas. Place flags at the headstones of veterans in the Chalmette National Cemetery in Louisiana — or participate in the wreath-laying ceremony at Tennessee's Stones River National Battlefield.
You can find out about other Memorial Day-related activities on the National Parks website, all of which provide excellent ways to honor the fallen.
Photo Credit: Andersonville National Historic Site