Even for a quick weekend trip, camping can be therapeutic if you’ve been trapped in the “concrete jungle” for too long. Check out the top cities for camping, and hit the road with your sport trailer on a hitch behind you!
Olympic National Park, Washington
Arguably the most breathtaking forest land in the United States, Olympic National Park offers 16 campgrounds and even some rainforest and beach areas for you to explore. Stop by the Quinault Rainforest (after which you can say you’ve been to one of only three rainforests in the Western Hemisphere) and you’ll see the biggest Sitka spruce tree in the world. A jaunt to La Push, a far-north beach, will allow you to see some whales. Ruby Beach will drop you in front of glaciers, mountains, and forests right across the water. A park is a perfect place for outdoor enthusiasts to set up camp, grill a tasty meal and soak up the scenery.
Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona
Be sure of one thing when you visit the Grand Canyon in Arizona: 250 million years of erosion never looked so good. This mile-deep hole in the ground is so incredible you’ll think you’re looking at a painted movie backdrop. You have two areas to consider when scoping out the canyon for a prime camping spot: the North Rim (which is in Utah) and the South Rim, which is more popular and accessible. The Colorado River that cuts through the Grand Canyon is an excellent option for whitewater rafting, and if you’re planning a camping trip, remember to bring hiking gear.
Burnsville, North Carolina
The Carolina Hemlocks campsite is one of the state’s most popular, but North Carolina has a wealth of campgrounds, so you really can’t go wrong in the Tar Heel State. The Carolina Hemlocks site in Burnsville, however, is treasured for its lush forest, clean campgrounds, a nearby river for more recreational activities, and trails flanking the water for running or strolling.
Bahia Honda State Park, Florida
Located in Big Pine Key, the Bahia Honda park takes a pause from the traditional woods-style camping. You’ll be perched right by the water, with opportunities for snorkeling, kayaking, seaside sunsets, and beach picnics. Set up your tent in the tropics at one of three sites in the park: Buttonwood, Bayside or Sandspur. Whether you’re in a large RV, a smaller tent or a hammock, you can be accommodated at one of the campsites.
Glacier National Park, Montana
One of the top cities for camping is east of Kalispell, and the Glacier National Park area contains more than 700 miles of trails if you’re craving the outdoors. If you’re up for a 50-mile road excursion through the mountains, don’t miss Going-to-the-Sun Road. Alpine lakes, meadows, peaks and beautiful glaciers surround much of the park, and there are 13 campgrounds (with 1,009 sites!) for you to select from.
Yosemite National Park, California
If you’re looking for a prime camping spot packed with wildlife, waterfalls, hiking/biking trails, jaw-dropping views, lakes and rivers, head to Mariposa to pick up a U-Haul sport trailer for your Yosemite adventure! September and October seem to be the less trafficked months in the park, so plan ahead for your camping trip.
Hamlin Beach State Park, New York
Not a long drive from Rochester, this park is ideal for camping, thanks to its 264 tents/trailer campsites. You’ll easily discover opportunities for salmon and trout fishing, as well as hiking and biking along scenic nature trails. The sandy beachfront and clear water make it a must-visit area for families, and in the winter, the park is popular with skiers and snowmobilers.
Ludington State Park, Michigan
Michigan is known for its plentiful lakes, and Ludington State Park is situated between Lake Michigan and Hamlin Lake. Naturally, as a camper in this park, you will have ample opportunities to go canoeing, swimming, fishing, and hiking or biking on trails beside the water. Fire up the grill for a classic outdoor dining experience–perhaps with some fish you caught earlier–in this favorite American camping destination!
Folly Beach, South Carolina
James Island County Park, just 10 minutes from Folly Beach and not far from Charleston, provides campers with walking and biking trails, freshwater fishing, open meadows and views to make you stop in your tracks. The park includes 643 acres and a quick ride to Folly Beach will bring fun for the entire family.
Outdoor buffs and families with children alike can enjoy these top camping locations. Plan your next vacation with a camping trip–and don’t forget the essentials!
(Flickr: pslee999, Adam Carter, Esther Lee, John Anes / via CC)
What’s on your list of top cities for camping? Let us know in the comments below!