As travelers seek fresh vacation adventures, Aramark, the award-winning food and hospitality partner for national and state parks and other leading leisure and cultural attractions, has added a variety of new programs at some of the country’s most magnificent national and state parks.
“From tidewater glaciers at Glacier Bay to a 700-year-old preserved ancestral Puebloan community at Mesa Verde National Park, a vacation at one of the national parks is a chance to experience rare and one-of-a-kind adventures distinctive to each destination,” said Bruce W. Fears, president of Aramark’s Leisure division.
As travel season approaches, we dedicate ourselves to improving and expanding our guest experience with new activities, culinary options, interactive programs and lodging enhancements.”
The new Nation’s Vacation website (www.thenationsvacation.com) offers guests the convenience of comprehensive one-stop vacation planning and booking.
- Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort (Olympic National Park, Washington) opens for the season March 23, debuting a newly renovated lodge with fresh interior redesign of the main lobby, restaurant, and gift shop including elegant stacked stone and granite finishes, modern lighting fixtures, new flooring and hues of modern slate with natural wood walls to evoke pure relaxation. The popular poolside massages extend the calming effects of a soak in the hot spring pools.
- Mesa Verde National Park (Mancos, Colorado) Far View Lodge reopens April 12, allowing vacationers a glimpse into the lives of the ancient Puebloan peoples that inhabited the area circa 600 A.D. New private tours allow guests to climb to the highest point in the park to enjoy 360-degree views into all four corner states and explore archeological sites like the Sun Temple.
- Lake Crescent Lodge (Olympic National Park, Washington) reopens April 27 with new interpretive guide-led pontoon boat tours allowing guests to explore Lake Crescent’s pristine waters. The Lodge has expanded its culinary program to include more regional flavors with tastings, pairings and educational presentations from local food and beverage producers.
- Denali Park Village (Denali National Park & Preserve, Alaska), reopening May 13, introduces nightly regional entertainment in the Miner’s Plaza, the return of Cabin Nite Dinner Theatre that tells adventurous tales of Gold Rush-era Alaska through lively performances, and s’mores roasting around fire pits in the Miner’s Village. New guided rafting and hiking excursions offer additional ways to explore the terrain, with three whitewater rafting tours daily and four-hour guided hikes depicting Alaskan wilderness’ environmental, historical and scientific significance.
- Glacier Bay Lodge (Glacier Bay National Park & Preserve, Alaska) Travelers can check “last chance travel” off their bucket lists at Glacier Bay (reopening May 25), where they can see evolving tidewater glaciers before they disappear. The Glacier Bay Day Tour brings visitors up close to the Margerie and Grand Pacific Glaciers, rising 245 feet above the ocean, to view 200-year-old ice calving from the glaciers’ faces.
- Log Cabin Resort (Olympic National Park, Washington) reopens for the season May 25. Newly built authentic log cabins include two bedrooms, kitchen and living area, plus patios, fresh interior design, new finishes, natural wood ceilings, and furnishings that blend with the iconic architecture of the region, offering guests all the comforts of home for convenient family travel. Summer offers an ideal time for guests to explore Lake Crescent via water activities including paddle boats, paddleboards, canoes, kayak or boats available for rent.
Seasonal Programs, Services and Amenities
- Asilomar State Beach and Conference Grounds (Pacific Grove, California), the popular live music series, “Sunsets at Asilomar” returns to feature local musicians and local fare on Friday nights throughout the summer months. With culinary festivities in Pacific Grove, such as the Winemakers’ Celebration (May 5) and Feast of Lanterns (July 25), Asilomar serves as a hub for food-focused travelers.
- Wilderness River Adventures (Page, Arizona) announces Glen Canyon Rafting. New full– and half-day guide-led river raft excursions via comfortable 32-passenger floats allow guests of all ages and abilities to experience the grandeur of the Colorado River during this smooth water trip. Highlights include viewing preserved dinosaur prints, Petroglyph Beach, Horseshoe Bend, Hislop Cave, and Vermillion Cliffs, while learning history of the region.
- Zephyr Cove Resort and Marinas and Lake Tahoe Cruises (Lake Tahoe, Nevada) offers the popular Fireworks Cruise on July 4th aboard the 500-passenger MS Dixie II Paddlewheeler, the largest cruising vessel on the South Lake, and reintroduces “Sipping at Sundown” aboard the intimate 82-foot Tahoe Paradise yacht. New amenities include a weekender pontoon boat, six additional Sea Ray SPX 230 Outboard speedboats, and three 30-foot Airstream International Signature campers, making Zephyr Cove the first property in Lake Tahoe to offer “glamping.”
- Yosemite National Park (California) offers a new shuttle service to Mariposa Grove, reopening June 15, providing an easy journey for guests to see the forest of more than 500 giant mature sequoia trees, some which are 3,000 years old. The Grand Tour offers a six-hour journey through Yosemite Valley, Glacier Point, Big Trees Lodge and Mariposa Grove of Big Trees.
- Lake Powell Resorts and Marinas (Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Arizona and Utah), one of America’s top houseboating destinations, adds eight additional 59’ Wanderers to the fleet of amenity-rich houseboats, 12 pontoon boats that accommodate 12 passengers and allow for water skiing and tubing have been added, and the 53’ Adventurer and 46’ Voyager houseboats boast interior upgrades from furniture to décor. New Airstream International Signature campers are the latest lodging option for a one-of-a kind “glamping” experience. The new state-of-the-art private luxury marina, Pier One 11 offers exclusive VIP amenities including airport pick-up; barge, fuel and pump-out service; yearly membership for four to Lake Powell National Golf Course.
Renovations and Remodels
- Yosemite National Park debuts the new Base Camp Eatery, paying homage to rock climbing in Yosemite, with a multitude of dining options and specialty beverages. Guest rooms at the historic Majestic Yosemite Hotel have been completely remodeled. Upgrades at Degnan’s Kitchen and The Loft at Degnan’s include new menu offerings from authentic delicatessen sandwiches, artisan pizzas, breakfast favorites, coffee/espresso drinks, and baked goods at Degnan’s Kitchen to ethnic fare and artisan pizzas at The Loft at Degnan’s.
- Togwotee Mountain Lodge (Bridger-Teton National Forest, Wyoming) debuts a new exterior redesign that blends with the natural beauty of the surroundings while embracing the inspiring rugged Wyoming atmosphere and a complete renovation of Grizzly Grille and Red Fox Saloon that melds the old-fashioned saloon environment with comfortable seating and inviting color palettes. Summer activities include horseback riding and the authentic Wyoming Cowboy Campout overnight pack trip to Bridger-Teton National Forest.
- Zephyr Cove visitors that love adventure will enjoy the new fully equipped horse stables designed for both novice and advanced riders, while amazing views of the pristine waters and Sierra Nevadas in the distance can be enjoyed from the new floating pier. Convenient amenities for families include two fully remodeled cabins with the conveniences of a private home.
- Mesa Verde National Park, known for its famed Metate Room, offers a culinary step back in time to explore indigenous ingredients used in innovative ways like Ancient Grain Risotto, Pan-seared Steelhead Trout and Cider-brined Pork Chop, and local wines and craft beer from Guy Drew Vineyards, 47-Ten Canyon Wind Cellars and O’Dell Brewery. New to the Far View Terrace Patio, slow-smoked BBQ meats, including chicken, ribs and brisket, with accompanying classic sides are offered daily from June 1-Sept. 3.
- Lake Quinault Lodge (Olympic National Forest, Washington) unveils renovations to the historic Roosevelt Room, named for President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s visit to the lodge and dining room in 1937, including comfortable new seating options and redesigned interior while maintaining the historic appeal of the space and stunning views of Lake Quinault. The lodge’s menu features seasonal fare using indigenous ingredients — locally sourced elk in the Quinault Shepherd’s Pie, St. Helen’s Angus Rib Eye and Seared Local Wild Salmon.
- Lake Powell Resorts and Marinas became the only marina to have four distinct marinas at one time receive The Clean Marine Certification, a voluntary program that offers certification via criteria including maintenance and cleaning, solid, liquid and fish waste, hazardous materials, and environmental programs. The Clean Marine Certification was awarded to Wahweap Marina (private and boat rental marinas), Dangling Rope, Halls Crossing and Bullfrog marinas.
Aramark proudly delivers innovative hospitality, recreational and interpretive programs inside and around America’s top travel destinations and vacation spots, such as Denali National Park & Preserve, Glacier Bay National Park & Preserve, Mesa Verde National Park, Olympic National Park, Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Olympic National Forest, Lake Tahoe Basin National Forest, Yosemite National Park, Field Museum, Gettysburg National Military Park, and National Constitution Center.