Last year, over 330 million people grabbed their hiking boots and slathered on SPF to visit at least one of America’s 59 national parks. However, if your yearly trip to Yosemite isn’t enough to satisfy your wilderness wanderlust, consider buying a home literally in—or just minutes away from—one of America’s national parks. From a farmhouse next to the Blue Ridge Mountains to a log cabin surrounded by sequoias, here are eight homes that get to call a national park their nearest neighbor.
1. Live among the wildlife at Yosemite National Park
2636 Mariposa Ave, Wawona, CA
In the early 1900s, a visitor to Yosemite famously wrote that Wawona was “like a bright green emerald set between the sparkling diamonds of Yosemite Valley’s waterfalls and the red rubies of the Sequoias in the Mariposa Grove.” Not too much has changed in the last century. The town of Wawona, which was incorporated into the park in 1932, is home to some truly gorgeous properties like this beautiful three-bed, two-bath cabin with vaulted ceilings and a wraparound deck—an excellent option for a vacation home with high rental potential.
2. Explore your artsy side in Sequoia National Park
109 Mineral King Rd, Three Rivers, CA
The creative and tight-knit community of Three Rivers, CA sits at the base of the Sierra Nevada Mountains and is the gateway to not one, but two, national parks: The Sequoia National Park and the Kings Canyon National Park just to the north. This three-bedroom, three-bath log home purposefully incorporates the natural landscape of both parks into its interior design. And while the surrounding woods may contribute to a sense of being isolated, you’re not entirely off the grid. The town of Three Rivers hosts a First Saturday every month with an art walk and performances from local dancers and musicians.
3. Get your bike on in Biscayne National Park
19350 SW 288th St, Homestead, FL
If your idea of nature is more palm trees and white sands and less grizzly bears and log cabins, you’re in luck. This four-bedroom, four-bath Homestead home and cottage is bordered by two national parks—Biscayne National Park to the east and the expansive Everglades to the west—but also features stunning marble floors, a spacious kitchen, and plenty of space for entertaining guests. And for days you might want to venture a little further out, Homestead is teaming up with the National Park Service to secure funding for the Biscayne-Everglades Greenway Project, a 42-mile bike path that will connect the two parks and provide even more recreational opportunity for both visitors and residents.
4. Enjoy a pastoral paradise in Shenandoah National Park
2100 Homestead Farm Road, Free Union, VA
Take 21 acres with a view of the Blue Ridge Mountains, and throw in a 30-minute drive to Shenandoah National Park, and you’ve found yourself at this gorgeous modernized farmhouse in Free Union, VA. This pastoral paradise comes with a large pond, raised vegetable garden, and even a regulation size dressage ring should you happen to own that prized pony. And just beyond the rolling hills that constitute your backyard lie 200,000 pristinely preserved acres of Shenandoah National Park. Shenandoah has 500 miles of hiking trails, along with plenty of picnic areas, camping sites, and Skyline Drive, a public road that runs 105 miles north to south along the crest of the Blue Ridge Mountains. And with the bustle of Washington DC only 75-miles away, Free Union makes a great case for being the perfect countryside retreat for the urban commuter.
5. Take in the Northern Lights in Glacier National Park
519 Apgar Vw, Columbia Falls MT
If enjoying a glass of wine while soaking in your outdoor hot tub and staring out at the Northern Lights sounds good to you, then look no further than this Columbia Falls, MT home next to Glacier National Park. Built in 2003, the house pays homage to the natural landscape, with large custom windows to take in the views, numerous fireplaces and even an RV garage with attached apartment. Glacier National Park is just beyond the backyard, with 700,000 acres of wilderness that extends to the Canadian border. Not that Columbia Falls is some small wilderness town. The area saw a 22% population increase at the last census, and year-round festivals, government support for local business, and plenty of recreation make Columbia Falls a sustainable and thriving community.
6. Enjoy unbeatable views of Denali National Park
1 Caribou Ave, Cantwell, AK
There’s nothing quite like Alaska’s Denali National Park, which includes six million acres of expansive wilderness and North America’s highest peak. Bisected by a single ribbon of road in Alaska’s interior, this level of wilderness is not for the faint of heart. But for those who crave seeing caribou every day and battling a winter tundra, this highly-affordable three-bedroom home sits at milepost 210 on your way into the park. Gorgeous exposed beams of pine and a wood-burning stove give the property a proper rustic feel and the breathtaking mountain views are unbeatable. If nature is your ideal neighbor, then look no further.
7. Summer in Saguaro National Park
500 S Players Club Drive, Tucson AZ
Named after the large saguaro cactus that dots the landscape, Saguaro National Park contains numerous hiking trails, scenic drives, picnic areas, and even an interactive outdoor museum and zoo—perfect for a weekend jaunt up the road from this stunning four-bedroom three-bath single family home. Situated in the foothills of Saguaro and in the neighborhood of Starr Pass, this property has all the amenities of a luxury hotel, including an outdoor swimming pool and a second-floor wrap deck lets you take in the majestic mountains in the distance.
8. Camp out in Cuyahoga Valley National Park
2572 Main St, Peninsula, OH
Equidistant between the urban centers of Cleveland and Akron, Ohio, lies Cuyahoga Valley National Park—a true natural wonder carved out of this Midwestern landscape. The “crooked” Cuyahoga River winds through the park, giving way to forests, hills and open farmland, and this two-bedroom, two-bath cabin retreat in Peninsula, OH. If you’re going to make like Lincoln and settle in a log cabin, then this spacious and renovated version is the way to go. A wood-burning fireplace, cathedral ceilings, and a screened-in porch all make you feel like you’re setting up camp in the middle of the woods—just with fewer bugs. And the neighboring national park provides more than just serene peace and quiet. Historic trails, canoeing and kayaking and a rich cultural events calendar endow a genuine community vibe to the area.