Closest national parks to Ocean City

Written by:
July 13, 2022
Aviator31 // Wikimedia Commons

Closest national parks to Ocean City

Approximately 237 million people visited American national parks in 2020, representing a 28% year-over-year decrease attributed to the coronavirus pandemic. Many parks were forced to close to combat the spread of the virus, but that’s not the whole story—when the parks were open, many of them saw record crowds as throngs of people desperate to safely enjoy nature descended onto parks when they reopened.

President Woodrow Wilson in 1916 signed the act creating the National Park Service to leave natural and historic phenomenons “unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations.” Since then, our national parks have welcomed visitors from around the world to experience some of the best the country has to offer and showcase the country’s natural beauty and cultural heritage. Today, the country's 63 national parks contain at least 247 species of endangered or threatened plants and animals, more than 75,000 archaeological sites, and 18,000 miles of trails.

Stacker compiled a list of the closest national parks to Ocean City. National parks are ranked by closest straight line distance, measured from representative points in Ocean City, NJ Metro Area and each national park. Estimated driving times are from Here and are only available within the lower 48 states. All featured distances and driving times are estimated using representative locations from the center of each metro and national park—for some places within the metro area, the actual distance may be slightly shorter or longer to reach the closest entryway to a park.

Be sure to check with individual parks before you visit to find out about ongoing, pandemic-related safety precautions at www.nps.gov/coronavirus.

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#1. Shenandoah National Park (Virginia)

- Distance: 193 miles
- Driving time: 5.1 hours
- Date founded: December 26, 1935
- 2020 visitors: 1,666,265 (#14 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 199,223.77 acres
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Steve Heap // Shutterstock

#2. New River Gorge National Park (West Virginia)

- Distance: 345 miles
- Driving time: 7.9 hours
- Date founded: December 27, 2020
- 2020 visitors: 1,054,374 (#19 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 7,021 acres
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Zack Frank // Shutterstock

#3. Cuyahoga Valley National Park (Ohio)

- Distance: 385 miles
- Driving time: 7.6 hours
- Date founded: October 11, 2000
- 2020 visitors: 2,755,628 (#7 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 32,571.88 acres
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Jtmartin57 // Wikimedia Commons

#4. Congaree National Park (South Carolina)

- Distance: 493 miles
- Driving time: 11.3 hours
- Date founded: November 10, 2003
- 2020 visitors: 119,306 (#51 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 26,476.47 acres
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Romiana Lee // Shutterstock

#5. Acadia National Park (Maine)

- Distance: 499 miles
- Driving time: 10.8 hours
- Date founded: February 26, 1919
- 2020 visitors: 2,669,034 (#8 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 49,076.63 acres

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Aviator31 // Wikimedia Commons

#6. Great Smoky Mountains National Park (North Carolina, Tennessee)

- Distance: 532 miles
- Driving time: 10.8 hours
- Date founded: June 15, 1934
- 2020 visitors: 12,095,720 (#1 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 522,426.88 acres
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Wangkun Jia // Shutterstock

#7. Mammoth Cave National Park (Kentucky)

- Distance: 627 miles
- Driving time: 12.6 hours
- Date founded: July 1, 1941
- 2020 visitors: 290,392 (#41 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 54,011.91 acres
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Delmas Lehman // Shutterstock

#8. Indiana Dunes National Park (Indiana)

- Distance: 667 miles
- Driving time: 12.2 hours
- Date founded: February 15, 2019
- 2020 visitors: 2,293,106 (#11 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 15,349.08 acres
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Paul Brady Photography // Shutterstock

#9. Gateway Arch National Park (Missouri)

- Distance: 827 miles
- Driving time: 14.8 hours
- Date founded: February 22, 2018[47]
- 2020 visitors: 486,021 (#31 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 192.83 acres
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MDuchek // Wikimedia Commons

#10. Isle Royale National Park (Michigan)

- Distance: 925 miles
- Driving time: 19.8 hours
- Date founded: April 3, 1940
- 2020 visitors: 6,493 (#59 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 571,790.30 acres

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NPS // Wikimedia Commons

#11. Biscayne National Park (Florida)

- Distance: 975 miles
- Driving time: 19.5 hours
- Date founded: June 28, 1980
- 2020 visitors: 402,770 (#36 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 172,971.11 acres
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Simon Dannhauer // Shutterstock

#12. Everglades National Park (Florida)

- Distance: 1,013 miles
- Driving time: 20.6 hours
- Date founded: May 30, 1934
- 2020 visitors: 702,319 (#25 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 1,508,938.57 acres
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Zack Frank // Shutterstock

#13. Hot Springs National Park (Arkansas)

- Distance: 1,056 miles
- Driving time: 19.3 hours
- Date founded: March 4, 1921
- 2020 visitors: 1,348,215 (#16 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 5,554.15 acres
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U.S. National Park Service // Wikimedia Commons

#14. Dry Tortugas National Park (Florida)

- Distance: 1,101 miles
- Driving time: 22.5 hours
- Date founded: October 26, 1992
- 2020 visitors: 48,543 (#55 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 64,701.22 acres
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#15. Voyageurs National Park (Minnesota)

- Distance: 1,107 miles
- Driving time: 22.7 hours
- Date founded: April 8, 1975
- 2020 visitors: 263,091 (#44 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 218,222.35 acres

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#16. Badlands National Park (South Dakota)

- Distance: 1,465 miles
- Driving time: 25.5 hours
- Date founded: November 10, 1978
- 2020 visitors: 916,932 (#21 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 242,755.94 acres
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Zack Frank // Shutterstock

#17. Wind Cave National Park (South Dakota)

- Distance: 1,513 miles
- Driving time: 26.9 hours
- Date founded: January 9, 1903
- 2020 visitors: 448,405 (#33 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 33,970.84 acres
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#18. Theodore Roosevelt National Park (North Dakota)

- Distance: 1,537 miles
- Driving time: 27.5 hours
- Date founded: November 10, 1978
- 2020 visitors: 551,303 (#28 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 70,446.89 acres
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#19. Virgin Islands National Park (U.S. Virgin Islands)

- Distance: 1,553 miles
- Date founded: August 2, 1956
- 2020 visitors: 167,540 (#46 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 15,052.53 acres
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#20. Rocky Mountain National Park (Colorado)

- Distance: 1,631 miles
- Driving time: 27.8 hours
- Date founded: January 26, 1915
- 2020 visitors: 3,305,199 (#4 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 265,807.25 acres

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#21. Great Sand Dunes National Park (Colorado)

- Distance: 1,659 miles
- Driving time: 29.3 hours
- Date founded: September 24, 2004
- 2020 visitors: 461,532 (#32 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 107,341.87 acres
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#22. Carlsbad Caverns National Park (New Mexico)

- Distance: 1,724 miles
- Driving time: 30.3 hours
- Date founded: May 14, 1930
- 2020 visitors: 183,835 (#45 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 46,766.45 acres
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#23. Big Bend National Park (Texas)

- Distance: 1,754 miles
- Driving time: 33.3 hours
- Date founded: June 12, 1944
- 2020 visitors: 393,907 (#37 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 801,163.21 acres
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#24. Guadalupe Mountains National Park (Texas)

- Distance: 1,754 miles
- Driving time: 31.4 hours
- Date founded: October 15, 1966
- 2020 visitors: 151,256 (#49 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 86,367.10 acres
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#25. Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park (Colorado)

- Distance: 1,764 miles
- Driving time: 31.5 hours
- Date founded: October 21, 1999
- 2020 visitors: 341,620 (#39 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 30,779.83 acres

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Galyna Andrushko // Shutterstock

#26. White Sands National Park (New Mexico)

- Distance: 1,800 miles
- Driving time: 31.2 hours
- Date founded: December 20, 2019[111]
- 2020 visitors: 415,383 (#34 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 146,344.31 acres
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#27. Mesa Verde National Park (Colorado)

- Distance: 1,827 miles
- Driving time: 33.2 hours
- Date founded: June 29, 1906
- 2020 visitors: 287,477 (#42 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 52,485.17 acres
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#28. Arches National Park (Utah)

- Distance: 1,861 miles
- Driving time: 32.2 hours
- Date founded: November 12, 1971
- 2020 visitors: 1,238,083 (#17 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 76,678.98 acres
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#29. Yellowstone National Park (Wyoming, Montana, Idaho)

- Distance: 1,863 miles
- Driving time: 33.5 hours
- Date founded: March 1, 1872
- 2020 visitors: 3,806,306 (#2 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 2,219,790.71 acres
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#30. Grand Teton National Park (Wyoming)

- Distance: 1,880 miles
- Driving time: 32.9 hours
- Date founded: February 26, 1929
- 2020 visitors: 3,289,638 (#5 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 310,044.36 acres

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#31. Canyonlands National Park (Utah)

- Distance: 1,887 miles
- Driving time: 39.2 hours
- Date founded: September 12, 1964
- 2020 visitors: 493,914 (#30 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 337,597.83 acres
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#32. Petrified Forest National Park (Arizona)

- Distance: 1,938 miles
- Driving time: 32.4 hours
- Date founded: December 9, 1962
- 2020 visitors: 384,483 (#38 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 221,390.21 acres
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#33. Capitol Reef National Park (Utah)

- Distance: 1,953 miles
- Driving time: 33.7 hours
- Date founded: December 18, 1971
- 2020 visitors: 981,038 (#20 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 241,904.50 acres
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#34. Bryce Canyon National Park (Utah)

- Distance: 2,017 miles
- Driving time: 35.7 hours
- Date founded: February 25, 1928
- 2020 visitors: 1,464,655 (#15 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 35,835.08 acres
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#35. Glacier National Park (Montana)

- Distance: 2,039 miles
- Date founded: May 11, 1910
- 2020 visitors: 1,698,864 (#13 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 1,013,125.99 acres

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#36. Grand Canyon National Park (Arizona)

- Distance: 2,043 miles
- Driving time: 35.9 hours
- Date founded: February 26, 1919
- 2020 visitors: 2,897,098 (#6 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 1,201,647.03 acres
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#37. Saguaro National Park (Arizona)

- Distance: 2,047 miles
- Driving time: 36.1 hours
- Date founded: October 14, 1994
- 2020 visitors: 762,226 (#24 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 92,867.42 acres
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#38. Zion National Park (Utah)

- Distance: 2,068 miles
- Driving time: 36.2 hours
- Date founded: November 19, 1919
- 2020 visitors: 3,591,254 (#3 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 147,242.66 acres
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#39. Great Basin National Park (Nevada)

- Distance: 2,106 miles
- Driving time: 36.3 hours
- Date founded: October 27, 1986
- 2020 visitors: 120,248 (#50 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 77,180.00 acres
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#40. Death Valley National Park (California, Nevada)

- Distance: 2,289 miles
- Driving time: 39.5 hours
- Date founded: October 31, 1994
- 2020 visitors: 820,023 (#22 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 3,408,406.73 acres
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#41. Joshua Tree National Park (California)

- Distance: 2,296 miles
- Driving time: 39.6 hours
- Date founded: October 31, 1994
- 2020 visitors: 2,399,542 (#10 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 795,155.85 acres
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National Park Service/Deby Dixon // Wikimedia Commons

#42. North Cascades National Park (Washington)

- Distance: 2,368 miles
- Driving time: 44.9 hours
- Date founded: October 2, 1968
- 2020 visitors: 30,885 (#56 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 504,780.94 acres
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#43. Kings Canyon National Park (California)

- Distance: 2,369 miles
- Driving time: 46.9 hours
- Date founded: March 4, 1940
- 2020 visitors: 415,077 (#35 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 461,901.20 acres
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#44. Sequoia National Park (California)

- Distance: 2,384 miles
- Driving time: 45.7 hours
- Date founded: September 25, 1890
- 2020 visitors: 796,086 (#23 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 404,062.63 acres
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#45. Yosemite National Park (California)

- Distance: 2,399 miles
- Driving time: 46.2 hours
- Date founded: October 1, 1890
- 2020 visitors: 2,268,313 (#12 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 761,747.50 acres
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#46. Mount Rainier National Park (Washington)

- Distance: 2,400 miles
- Driving time: 43.2 hours
- Date founded: March 2, 1899
- 2020 visitors: 1,160,754 (#18 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 236,381.64 acres
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#47. Crater Lake National Park (Oregon)

- Distance: 2,452 miles
- Driving time: 43.7 hours
- Date founded: May 22, 1902
- 2020 visitors: 670,500 (#26 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 183,224.05 acres
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Zack Frank // Shutterstock

#48. Lassen Volcanic National Park (California)

- Distance: 2,456 miles
- Driving time: 42.3 hours
- Date founded: August 9, 1916
- 2020 visitors: 542,274 (#29 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 106,589.02 acres
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#49. Olympic National Park (Washington)

- Distance: 2,476 miles
- Driving time: 45.6 hours
- Date founded: June 29, 1938
- 2020 visitors: 2,499,177 (#9 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 922,649.41 acres
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#50. Channel Islands National Park (California)

- Distance: 2,479 miles
- Date founded: March 5, 1980
- 2020 visitors: 167,290 (#47 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 249,561.00 acres
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#51. Pinnacles National Park (California)

- Distance: 2,514 miles
- Driving time: 44.8 hours
- Date founded: January 10, 2013
- 2020 visitors: 165,740 (#48 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 26,685.73 acres
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Bob Pool // Shutterstock

#52. Redwood National Park (California)

- Distance: 2,570 miles
- Driving time: 47.2 hours
- Date founded: October 2, 1968
- 2020 visitors: 265,177 (#43 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 138,999.37 acres
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Alan Wu // Wikimedia Commons

#53. Glacier Bay National Park (Alaska)

- Distance: 3,003 miles
- Date founded: December 2, 1980
- 2020 visitors: 5,748 (#60 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 3,223,383.43 acres
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Sewtex // Wikimedia Commons

#54. Wrangell–St. Elias National Park (Alaska)

- Distance: 3,170 miles
- Date founded: December 2, 1980
- 2020 visitors: 16,655 (#57 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 8,323,146.48 acres
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Denali National Park and Preserve // Wikimedia Commons

#55. Denali National Park (Alaska)

- Distance: 3,427 miles
- Date founded: February 26, 1917
- 2020 visitors: 54,850 (#53 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 4,740,911.16 acres
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National Park Service, Alaska Region // Wikimedia Commons

#56. Kenai Fjords National Park (Alaska)

- Distance: 3,439 miles
- Date founded: December 2, 1980
- 2020 visitors: 115,882 (#52 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 669,650.05 acres
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National Park Service, Alaska Region // Wikimedia Commons

#57. Gates of the Arctic National Park (Alaska)

- Distance: 3,465 miles
- Date founded: December 2, 1980
- 2020 visitors: 2,872 (#63 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 7,523,897.45 acres
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Ryjil Christianson // Wikimedia Commons

#58. Lake Clark National Park (Alaska)

- Distance: 3,550 miles
- Date founded: December 2, 1980
- 2020 visitors: 4,948 (#61 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 2,619,816.49 acres
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LCGS Russ // Wikimedia Commons

#59. Kobuk Valley National Park (Alaska)

- Distance: 3,623 miles
- Date founded: December 2, 1980
- 2020 visitors: 11,185 (#58 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 1,750,716.16 acres
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Katmai National Park and Preserve // Wikimedia Commons

#60. Katmai National Park (Alaska)

- Distance: 3,646 miles
- Date founded: December 2, 1980
- 2020 visitors: 51,511 (#54 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 3,674,529.33 acres
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#61. Haleakalā National Park (Hawaii)

- Distance: 4,884 miles
- Date founded: July 1, 1961
- 2020 visitors: 319,147 (#40 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 33,264.62 acres
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jo Crebbin // Shutterstock

#62. Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park (Hawaii)

- Distance: 4,886 miles
- Date founded: August 1, 1916
- 2020 visitors: 589,775 (#27 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 325,605.28 acres
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Tavita Togia, National Park Service // Wikimedia Commons

#63. National Park of American Samoa (American Samoa)

- Distance: 7,143 miles
- Date founded: October 31, 1988
- 2020 visitors: 4,819 (#62 highest among all national parks)
- Park area: 8,256.67 acres

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