Food, Gifts, Lodging, Tours

Snorkelers swim toward a reef in Biscayne National Park
Biscayne National Underwater Park provides snorkeling and scuba diving trips and island and glass bottom boat tours in Biscayne National Park. 


Commercial Services Program

Through the Commercial Services Program, the National Park Service partners with private companies to provide visitors with a variety of services and amenities, including lodging and food service; guided tours via boat, horse drawn carriage, and snow coach; backcountry excursions to remote islands, rivers, and reefs; shuttle and bus transportation; and recreational equipment rentals.

If you are visiting a park, you can select and schedule park activities, rentals, and lodging in advance of your trip by viewing the Plan your Visit pages found on park websites.

If you are interested in learning more about providing Commercial Services in parks, you can find program details and search for open opportunities.

Visitors at Lake McDonald Lodge in Glacier National Park
Lake McDonald Lodge and Red Bus Tours, located in Glacier National Park, are run by private companies in partnership with the National Park Service. 


Commercial Tours

Commercial tour operators may bring groups into national parks but must apply for a permit and pay a fee in advance. Details vary and are available from each park. Use our online search to find the park's website - which includes contact information.

Special Park Uses and Commercial Filming

Often, businesses consider national parks appealing settings to shoot commercials or major motion pictures, to photograph models for catalogs or kids for their school pictures. Couples choose national parks as beautiful wedding venues. The NPS requires permits for activities like these to make sure they do not unduly interfere with park visitors' access and enjoyment.

Other activities that require special use permits include:

  • Special events
  • First Amendment activities (rallies, demonstrations)
  • Right-of-way permits (utilities, telecommunications, roads)
  • Other non-visitor activities on park land

Permit applications are available through each park's administrative office (and may be available on park websites). Use our online search to find the park's website - which includes contact information.

Last updated: October 7, 2016