Summer is upon us and the sun is going to be beating down before we know it. As Memorial Day rolls and beach season begins, tourists will be flocking to the shores, renting houses, and taking up all the spots on the beach within a few weeks.
Luckily, there are some really amazing beaches along the east coast that allow for ocean side camping, which provides a break from some of the more touristy, overpacked, and umbrella riddled beaches out there. Here are a few.
1: Assateague Island National Seashore, Maryland/ Virginia
On Marylands easternmost shore is a long strip of an island known as Assateague. The island is just a few miles from one of the region’s most popular beach towns, Ocean City. However, if you were dropped off on Assateague you’d be none the wiser about a booming city close by.
The island is void of any sense of civilization – sans restrooms and the occasional ranger station – and gives the feel that the beachgoers arrived there via a wooden vessel from Europe. Wild horses roam the island and are a sight to behold when they majestically gallop in the shallows of the Atlantic.
Camp sites are available but go quickly due to the minimal amount provided by the park. The park is so fabulous because it offers a drastic change from the civilized world within a few miles of beach. Assateague Island National Seashore is the perfect destination for beachside camping on the east coast.
For more information on Assateague Island National Seashore, visit –nps.gov/asis/index.htm
2: Cape Lookout National Seashore, North Carolina
A few miles off the coast of North Carolina is Cape Lookout National Seashore. The park is an island that requires a boat ride from shore access its many beaches and natural habitats.
Cape Lookout offers guests a private island feel with plenty of camping locations that can be as close or as far away from other campers as you want.
A massive lighthouse is a centerpiece of the island and well worth a climb to its top deck. The view from it is amazing provides an image of civilization in one direction and the rest of the world in the other. The park suggests bringing plenty of food and water for multiple day trips (there are no grocery stores on the island). nps.gov/calo/index.htm
3: Cape Henlopen State Park, Delaware
Cape Henlopen State Park in Delaware is by far one of the many wonders of the east coast seashore. The first state, Delaware, offers many small beach towns (Lewes, Dewey, Rehobeth,) and just as many beaches, though not as small. Cape Henlopen is a long strip of beach, dunes, and fields of shrubbery that allows guests to camp within its many dunes.
The park is a short drive from Lewes (one of the oldest town in The United States) which has plenty of small bars, eateries, and sightseeing opportunities. The park has many watch towers, some of which you can walk to the top of, which offer an amazing eastern view of the Atlantic and western view of the park. Cape Henlopen has many campsites and reservations are required. Cape Henlopen State Park
4: Cape Cod National Seashore, Massachusetts
Cape Cod National Seashore is one of the most popular vacation locations on the east coast. The shore is a few miles off the coast of Massachusetts and just longer than an hour drive from Boston.
The shore offers many miles of beachside camping alone with tons of wineries, breweries, and small seaside towns and attractions to get involved in. Camping reservations fill up quick and chances are you will have to wait many months before getting a solid spot. capecodchamber.org/
5: Nassau County Beach, Long Island, New York
New York is often known for the city, which is quite the wonder in itself, however, it is often overlooked that New York has a few wonderful beaches itself. Thought overnight camping is not permitted on Nassau County Beach, day trips and picnic trips are well worth the visit and well worth a spot on this list.
The beach offers an experience that is so contradictory from the city, just out of view, that the emptiness and openness of the Atlantic ocean provides a catharsis for the body and soul that can’t be found in the city. Roaring waves, sand dunes, and call of seagulls make the beach seem almost impossible to be where it is located, but rest assure that it is there and thriving.
Nassau County Beach, Long Island is an absolute treat and well worth checking out, even if just for a few minutes away from the city. Nassau County Beach
The east coast offers many beaches to spend day after day exploring, sunbathing, swimming, and camping. Each one offers something special that the others do not. And, in the end, who doesn’t like spending time relaxing on a beach?
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We live in a beautiful world, get out there and enjoy it.
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