For some people, camping is naturally ingrained in us. We dream of where our next camping trip will take place and what types of activities we’ll enjoy, whether it’s fishing, having a bonfire or hiking through the great outdoors. Tent camping enthusiasts make the hundreds of camping sites across the country the fun that they are. Let’s take a look at 10 of the best places to go camping in our expansive and beautiful country.
Image Credit: G. Gardner/National Park Service
1. Everglades National Park, Florida
This park covers 2,400 square miles, so you’ll never get bored. There are hiking and biking trails, canoe and kayak routes and freshwater marshes and the Florida Bay. Rates are affordable, and there are several comfortable campsites to pitch a tent or drive in from. The warm climate makes this national park a great place to travel to in the winter.
2. Ozark National Forest, Arkansas
It’s no secret why many people choose to retire to the Ozarks. This area is great for campers as well thanks to over 200 camping and picnic sites, 9 swimming beaches, 400 miles of trails and thousands of acres of lakes and streams. Both primitive and casual campers will find a site that suits their needs.
3. Peninsula State Park, Wisconsin
This state park offers the perfect mix for all campers. From 18 holes of golf to an outdoor theater to miles of shoreline and bike trails, the state park will keep all families busy in the beautiful outdoors. There are five campsites, and the site is open year round.
4. Badlands National Park, South Dakota
There are two campgrounds at this national park, and one has basic amenities like running water and electricity. The setting is much different here compared to other campsites and includes rock formations and primitive areas where bison wander through. You can expect a brilliant view of the stars as well.
5. Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona
There are two places to stay here: the North Rim and the South Rim. The South Rim is more popular and busier, while the North Rim is more remote (and actually in Utah!). Both are amazingly beautiful with activities like hiking, rafting and exploring the wondrous Grand Canyon.
6. Acadia National Park, Maine
Maine may be a small state, but it’s impressive. It features 17 million acres of forest, 6,000 lakes and ponds and 32,000 miles of rivers and streams. Acadia National Park is located on Mount Desert Island and offers fun for all skill levels of campers. It’s possible that you may spot a bear, coyote or moose.
7. Enota Mountain Retreat, Georgia
This nonprofit retreat is found tucked away in the valley of Georgia’s mountains. It features bubbling streams, waterfalls, trout ponds and even an organic farm where kids can feed the animals. It’s quaint, primitive and fun for the whole family.
8. Pine Grove Furnace State Park, Pennsylvania
Located in the south central part of the state, Pine Grove Furnace State Park offers over 70 tent and trailer sites and is home to the Appalachian Trail, one of the most famous trails in the entire world. While walking the whole trail is a tall order, you can certainly walk a portion of it.
9. Zion National Park, Utah
You’ll definitely want to reserve a site at this campground since the three they have are full all the time. You can walk the grounds of Zion – just as the pilgrims did – and hike the Kolob Canyons. There are many backcountry camping sites, allowing you to enjoy a two-day backpacking trip.
10. Malibu Beach RV Park, California
This option is great for people who are still a bit hesitant to go camping in the wilderness. The RV park sets the stage for camping, and there are plenty of activities to enjoy such as whale watching and swimming. Plus, you get a cliff-side view for serenity while being close to all of today’s modern conveniences.