TODAY | June 07, 2013
>>> we're back on this try-day friday with more of "today" and six reasons to pack your bags this summer.
>> travel and leisure 's deputy editor laura begley bloom is here with the not-to-be missed national parks and the places to stay when you get there.
>> are they somehow most affordable as vacations?
>> they are affordable, close to home because they're american national parks and they're great for families, too, which is why we love them.
>> a lot of camping and such.
>> let's start with one that's furthest away, the one in hawaii.
>> this is volcanoes national park in hawaii, home to one of the world's most active volcanoes.
>> the place to stay there is volcano house, which reopened this year after a $7 million renovation. the rates start as low as $55 a night.
>> and from the hotel you can see views of the craters, there are views of the rain forest .
>> and a volcano scene. a lava rocks fireplace.
>> beautiful rooms.
>>> let's go up the east coast to maine and acaddia national park .
>> this is 45,000 acres, the only national park in maine it goes across mount dessert island. bar harbor , built in the 1800s , great locations for flip-flops and beach walks and moose spotting.
>> wow. if we want to go far away again, alaska?
>> denali national park and glacier bay national park . and princess has a cruise there. for $99 a person a day and it will take you through the park, you can see glaciers and fjords and wildlife spotting. you can get off the boat and wander around the park.
>> that's gorgeous.
>> it does include your food and it includes your the adventures as well.
>> that's gorgeous.
>> utah . there's a spot in utah .
>> utah , this is zion national park known for its red rocks and amazing hiking. the desert pearl is located right at the entrance to the park. great for families, because it has kitchenettes, all of the rooms also have either balconies or terraces with amazing views, wonderful hiking in the area.
>> pretty well priced, i think it's $168 a night.
>> take us to the great smoky mountains .
>> one of my favorite places. people don't know how beautiful it is.
>> it is so magical and so dreamy. interestingly, it is the most visited u.s. national park . even more so than yellowstone. when you look at the pictures, you can definitely see why. there's a place to stay there that is so special. it's called la conch lodge, a five-mile hike to the lodge.
>> do you carry your own stuff?
>> this place sells out so far in advance and it's totally worth it. right near the peak of one of the tallest mountains. it has these charming little log cabins and really, really charming.
>>> and lastly, we like this one, the grand tetons .
>> you got to love lewis and clark , apparently they named these two big mountains because they liked what are those called? cronuts.
>> and they love fly fishing, too.
>> which is what you go to the grand tetons for.
>> nothing ever changes.
>> you can stay on the edge o the snake river . the hotel has little fisherman's cottages and a river house. just a fantastic getaway.
>> and then there's the cronuts.