In a heartfelt tribute to the dedication and sacrifices of U.S. military veterans, California State Parks is opening the doors to nature’s wonders by offering free admission to 144 select state parks on Veterans Day, Saturday, Nov. 11, 2023.
“State Parks recognizes the many sacrifices members of our nation’s military and their families have made and continue to make in the service of their country,” expressed California State Parks Director Armando Quintero. “It is appropriate to invite all military veterans, reservists, and active-duty personnel to visit state parks for free and connect with nature.”
The generous gesture, made possible by Assembly Bill 150 (Olsen) signed by Governor Ed Brown in 2013, extends to veterans, active duty, and reserve military personnel from various branches, including the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, and the National Guard of any state. It allows them to enjoy reduced fees or free day use at participating state parks.
A diverse array of parks across California will provide complimentary access, showcasing the state’s rich natural and historical heritage. Notable historic state parks on the list comprise Marshall Gold Discovery, Petaluma Adobe, and El Presidio de Santa Barbara. State beaches like Torrey Pines, Pismo, and Pescadero will also welcome visitors free of charge. State vehicular recreation areas such as Hollister Hills, Eastern Kern County Onyx Ranch, and Prairie City, the home of the Hangtown Motorcross Classic, will also be part of this special offering.
A comprehensive list of the participating park units can be accessed online at parks.ca.gov/VeteransDay2023. To use this complimentary entry, individuals need to present a valid military ID or a California driver’s license confirming their veteran status to park staff.
Among the park units that hold historical significance or pay tribute to military veterans, these sites will offer free admission on Veterans Day:
- Angel Island State Park
- William B. Ide Adobe State Historic Park
- Sutter’s Fort State Historic Park
- Fort Tejon State Historic Park
- Colonel Allensworth State Historic Park
Visitors are encouraged to recreate responsibly, plan their visit in advance, and check the web or social media pages of their chosen destination for operating hours and visitor guidelines. Safety remains paramount, and all are urged to share the road with consideration for equestrians, pedestrians, joggers, and local wildlife. For safety tips and additional information, visit parks.ca.gov/SafetyTips.