Fall 2017
Pride of the Parks By Sam Ujvary

Continue to celebrate National Park Service centennial with gifts that can be found at our beloved parks

“Wilderness is not a luxury, but a necessity of the human spirit.” These words written by famed author Edward Abbey in Desert Solitaire: A Season in the Wilderness can often be found deep within a traveler’s soul. With the centennial celebration of National Park Service this past year, the call of the wild is more prevalent than ever. As avid travelers, we here at Gift Shop Magazine often have a chance to see the beauty in nature that lies outside the gift shop walls. While photos won’t do it justice, it’s nice to have a throwback to hang in our home, as well as a sentimental token from said shops.

The traveler’s bible, National Geographic, posted an article featuring the top 10 most visited national parks in the United States. With The Great Smoky Mountains topping the list, the article reports an astonishing 307.2 million visitors came to these parks in 2015, many of whom are on the hunt for a memento of their experience or gifts to share with loved ones. That’s an incredible opportunity for each of its respective gift shops. From plush items and toys for small children to apparel, décor pieces and giftables, there are countless examples of distributor and gift shop coming together to provide these unique items.

Aurora World has a product lineup that entails considerably every theme imaginable. Its bear collection alone would work in nearly every state and national park gift shop in the country. For others, barnyard, zoo and aquatic plush toys are aplenty.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, Arcadia Publishing has a library of history books sure to sell. Its Images of America series is available in thousands of various parks, counties and surrounding areas suitable for any location, including — but not limited to — each of the top-10 national parks listed in this article.

From the leather and bison-themed journals featured from In Blue Handmade and Mina Lee Studio respectively, and accent pieces from Earth View and The Meridian Line, variety in a traveler’s personal taste is the proverbial spice of life.

If you find yourself traveling to, working for or dreaming of one of these (or any number of other photoworthy parks in the country), or if you just want to evoke the wanderlust feeling in your customers, this curated list of products is ideal.


Sam Ujvary

Sam is the managing editor of Gift Shop Pets, Museums & More and Party & Halloween Retailer, and is a contributing editor for Gift Shop Magazine. She has a copywriting background and has been in publishing for six years.

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