New Survey: Park and Recreation Amenities Popular Among Vacation Goers

(August 3, 2017)

Nearly half of all Americans prefer vacation destinations that are secluded and relaxing

Ashburn, Va. (Aug. 3, 2017) — Most Americans take local park and recreation amenities into strong consideration when planning a vacation, per a recent survey conducted by the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA). While there are many factors one might consider when choosing a vacation destination (e.g., resorts, hotels and restaurants) features like parks, trails, beaches, botanical gardens, museums, aquariums, zoos and science centers greatly influence where one chooses to enjoy their time off.

Nearly half (46 percent) of Americans ages 18+ polled say they prefer vacation destinations that are secluded and relaxing. This includes 58 percent of Baby Boomers who prefer areas with scenic views and wildlife. A significant number (42 percent) of Americans prefer areas that are pedestrian-friendly and easily walkable. Areas that offer recreation options for kids and adults are important among Gen X’ers (38 percent) and Millennials (33 percent).        

“At the heart of every community are the services and activities offered by local parks and recreation,” said Barbara Tulipane, CAE, NRPA president and CEO. “These activities are convenient, affordable and open to everyone, including visitors to our great nation.”

On average, Americans visit their local park and recreation facilities approximately 29 times a year. This doesn’t account for the vast number of people who visit these facilities while on vacation. The nation’s local and regional parks create nearly $140 billion in economic activity per year and support almost 1 million jobs. Nationally, consumers spend $887 billion annually on outdoor recreation, including many of the outdoor activities offered by local parks and recreation.

This poll is part of NRPA’s Park Pulse, a continuing series of monthly surveys that gauge the public’s opinion on topics relating to parks and recreation. To explore previous Park Pulse survey results, visit   

To view the interactive charts with the survey results, click here.

To view the full-size infographic, click here.

To learn more about NRPA, visit   


About The National Recreation and Park Association
The National Recreation and Park Association is a national not-for-profit organization dedicated to ensuring that all Americans have access to parks and recreation for health, conservation and social equity. Through its network of 60,000 recreation and park professionals and advocates, NRPA encourages the promotion of healthy and active lifestyles, conservation initiatives and equitable access to parks and public space. For more information, visit For digital access to NRPA’s flagship publication, Parks & Recreation, visit