Whether you’re planning your first camping trip, or you’ve already been on many, it’s often difficult to choose the right destination.
The first thing you’ll learn is that it’s like buying a house, it’s all about location, location, location. The site of your camp plays a huge role in everything. From what kind of shelter you choose, to what you’re going to eat, and everything in between. So, it’s crucial to choose the right destination for your next camping trip.
Although many campers decide to go camping in the more popular camping grounds, there are plenty of other, lesser known spots for you to explore. Whether you’re a camping beginner, or you just got back from your last trip, chances are there’s an awesome new spot tucked somewhere in the US for you to explore.
So, if you want to satisfy your curiosity and wanderlust in some new places, we’ve got you covered. Here are eight camping locations you might have never thought of.
1. Acadia National Park, Maine
The Maine coast is amazing and unique. From the rocky shores, granite mountains, bright and colorful forests, marshlands, evergreen wilderness, clear lakes, to the small-town charms and old-school harbor living.
The 35,000 acres of the National Park will offer you fantastic camping sites and astonishing landscapes. Many of them are located on the Mount Desert Island, which has no backcountry camping but has a lot of campsites to choose from.
If you want to have a taste of civilization, you should check out the small town of Bar Harbor.
2. Conundrum Hot Springs, Aspen, Colorado
Near Aspen, In the Elk Mountain’s, Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness, lies the beautiful Conundrum Hot Springs. Surrounded by the typical Colorado scenes: subalpine forest, crisp sky, and Craggy peaks, if you’re up for a soak, you can enjoy 100 degrees of bubbling water.
Although the main trail is not always clearly marked, it’s quite easy to find one of the many campsites. Unfortunately you’ll have to travel a little further to find a campsite that allows campfires.
The place is not usually crowded, but since clothing is optional in the springs, you might be sharing your water time with some nude Aspenites. Make sure you feel comfortable with that, before hitting the waters.
3. Flamenco Beach, Culebra, Puerto Rico
Culebra is often described by locals and visitors as one of the most romantic and magical places around. Sitting off the east coast of Puerto Rico, just before the Virgin Islands, this island is truly amazing. On the north side of the island, lies the Flamenco Beach, the only one that allows camping.
Camping here might not feel exactly like a trip to a wilderness, rather a tropical vacation. With the soft, white beaches, the turquoise sea, and fresh Pina Coladas on the campsite, this place is a real paradise.
4. North Beach Cabin, Kruzof Island, Tongass National Forest, Alaska
The Tongass National Forest is equipped with 150 cabins for camping. For $35 a night you can spend your vacation in the forest fringe, on the northern beaches of Shelikof Bay. This A-frame cabin is located on Kruzof Island and is accessible only by boat, ATV or a helicopter. If you want to feel the call of the wild, this is a place for you.
Enjoy the cabin and its amenities, an outhouse, wood stove, sleeping loft, bunk, or go out and explore nature. From hiking and mountain biking to fishing and surfing, there are plenty of things to do.
If you’re lucky, you will also be able to see some orcas, sea lions, deer, mountain goats, eagles, bears, and many other seas and land wild animals.
5. Long Key State Park, Florida
As one of the Florida Key campgrounds, Long Key offers a unique oceanfront experience on a subtropical island. You will have the chance to snorkel among prehistoric corals, dolphins, sea turtles, and tropical fish. Yes, there is also a chance you’ll see a shark or a barracuda, but don’t worry, they won’t attack. Probably.
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On the surface, you’ll be able to kayak and canoe through the bays, explore the shoreline, look for manatees and alligators, or just cook delicious seafood on the beach.
There are plenty of things to do on the land as well as the water. Explore the island, walk across one of the 43 bridges that connect all of the islands. Or, just stop for some local food and enjoy a beautiful, fresh conch, stone crab, lobster or other seafood.
6. Na Pali Coast State Wilderness Park, Kauai, Hawaii
The shoreline of this place is only accessible via the Kalalau Hiking Trail, or by a boat. But, you will be amazed by its beautiful and dramatic landscapes. The green, jagged, Polynesian mountains combined with the Hawaiian Pacific look like they’re straight out of Jurassic Park or a King Kong movie.
The 22-mile-long trail will lead you to the beautiful Hanakapi’ai and Kalalau beaches, but the road won’t be easy. Expect to pass through rough terrain, thick forest, and gnarly trails. But, along the way you will be greeted with amazing waterfalls and mountain goats.
Although you will camp in the most primitive way, you will have the chance to gaze at the most beautiful sky, on the edge of a jungle, in the middle of the Pacific.
From time to time, you’ll have the feeling that a Velociraptor will come out from behind the trees. Don’t worry, that’s normal.
7. Hawaii Volcanos National Park, Big Island, Hawaii
With an area of 323,432 acres, this island offers a variety of natural wonders and amazing scenery. From lava fields, rain forests, desert, typical coastline, through to two active volcanos and 140 miles of hiking trails. This might be your most bizarre and yet exciting camping trip ever.
This island is a great place for backcountry camping, and it offers many outdoor activities. You could hike the many trails, take a kayaking tour on one of the many rivers, canoe the sea shore, or ski on the largest volcano in the world.
The Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea allow you to ski or snowboard on the wild slopes, with no passes or lifts.
8. Camp Gateway, Brooklyn, New York
Yes, you heard right, Brooklyn has an outdoor gem up its sleeve. Before hitting the museums in the morning, sleep under the open sky, and enjoy the stars. Located in the Floyd Benett Field, this “urban oasis” provides a peaceful retreat in one of the most crowded cities.
Have a fantastic camping trip, and enjoy the combination of nature and the city at the same time. From kayaking, fishing, surfing, hiking, and viewing wild birds in nature, to galleries, museums, shops and monuments in the city.
Hopefully, this will help you the next time you plan your camping destination. Whether you’re a rookie or a pro camper, make sure that you visit and explore as many places as you can. You will feel invigorated and healthy, and your wanderlust and curiosity will be sated. For a while.
Are you’re a first time camping enthusiast? Make sure you follow this link for few tips that will help you on your next trip.
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We live in a beautiful world, get out there and enjoy it.
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