HONOR AND MEMORY: Thousands of people visit our nearly four hundred national parks each year, and we're fairly sure that a lot of them are happy to pay the entrance fee (well, if the park they are entering charges an entrance fee; many do not). They know that the money goes toward many important things, including keeping the park they love shipshape. Which is no easy feat, given the size and breadth of our most famous wild areas. But, over a few special days a year, the National Park Service pauses to say thank you or spotlight a special issue, and they do so by waiving get-in fees. And they're doing that for Veterans Day Weekend, as they do each year, as a way to show gratitude and honor and remember those who have served. The 2011 dates are Friday, Nov. 11 through Sunday, Nov. 13.
100+ PARKS: As mentioned, not every park in the system asks for an entrance fee, but over 100 do. If you'd like to see what parks are free all year long, here's a good start. Oh, and check the weather, of course. With some rain around the state over the weekend, higher parks could see snow.