Travel & Recreation

Whether you’re traveling abroad or locally, there are many government resources available to help plan your trip.  The National Park Service provides maps, guides, and virtual tours of parks throughout the country.  The Travel.State.gov website contains information, including passport applications, for international travel.  Listed below is the information for these websites and others dedicated to travel and recreation.

Local Travel

National Park Service

On this site you will find park maps, guides, and travel itineraries among many other useful resources. 

A good place to start is the Discover History section on the home page:

  • First click on Discover History to open the page.
  • Then hold your mouse over Discover History at the top of the Discover History page.
  • Clicking on the Publications link will direct you to Historical Handbooks and Park Histories. 
  • Clicking on the For Travelers link on the Discover History tab will take you to travel itineraries. 

To locate a park:

  • You can locate a park by state by using the drop down menu on the home page or you can use the advanced search by clicking on Find A Park on the Home page. 
  • Advanced search allows you to search by Park Name, Location, Activity or Topic.

As of this writing, there is no link back to the home page once you leave it so you’ll need to use the web browser arrows on the uppermost left corner of the page to toggle back and forth.  The best way to find exactly what you want (if you know) is to enter keywords in the search box on the home page.  For example, if you’d like a map of Yosemite, enter Yosemite map.  If you’d like a guide for Yellowstone, enter Yellowstone Map.

National Recreation Reservation Service

On this site you can make reservations for camping and recreation sites, search for recreation areas, and purchase an annual pass for more than 2,000 Federally operated recreation sites across the country.

On the home page you can search for recreation sites by using the search box and drop down menu which allows you to search by Camping & Lodging, Day Use & Picnic Areas, Permits & Wilderness, and Tours & Tickets.

California Department of Parks and Recreation

This site is easy to navigate and contains information about California State Parks, including reservations, maps, and passes, which may be purchased through the site’s e-store.

Hold your mouse over the Visit A Park Box on the top of the screen for a listing of topics, including Find Parks, Camping, Reservations and Fees, Passes, Sales Dates, Accessibility, Maps, Travel Tips, and Trails.

U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration (Road Conditions)

This is a great resource, created by the Federal Highway Commission, for checking road conditions when preparing for a trip.  You can find information about traffic and weather/road conditions by clicking on the links on the left side of the home page or by clicking a state on the map on the home page.  Most of the links on the Department of Transportation web page lead to non-government sites, including education and non-profit sites.

National Weather Service (Weather forecasts and warnings)

You can read about weather forecasts and warnings on this site developed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). 

To retrieve weather information:

  • Either enter a city and state in the search box on the upper left side of the page or click on the link for Local under Forecasts on the left side of the page and select the city for which you need information.

International Travel

Department of State (Travel.State.gov)

If you’re planning to travel abroad, this site is a good place to start.  The site lists travel warnings and alerts for different countries, has information for obtaining and renewing passports, Visa information, tips for living and traveling abroad, country information, and information about inter-country adoption among many other useful resources.

The site is organized by the topics International Travel, Passports, Visas, and Children & Families.  Simply click on the links under the topic you wish to explore.

Department of the Treasury’s Financial Management Service (Exchange Rates)

Current exchange rates are listed on this site.  Scroll down the page and click on Exchange Rates under Reference & Guidance.

USA.gov

The Travel, Recreation and Transportation section of USA.gov site is a great resource for both local and international travel.  Click on any of the links for information on a variety of topics concerning Air Travel, Historical Places and Preservation, International Travel, Travel Within the United States, Road and Train Travel, and Travel Safety.