I’ve only been camping once in my entire life.
Well, twice, if you count the night I spent in a roach-infested Ramada Inn.
My one and only camping adventure took place during my college years. My then-boyfriend and a few other friends spent four days and three nights sleeping under the stars at Devil’s Lake State Park in Wisconsin. It is a beautiful lake and the surrounding cliffs and hiking trails are spectacular. The bathrooms, not so much.
I haven’t ruled out the idea of roughing it again, though if I ever pitch a tent again, I would prefer doing so at a beach. I hear beach camping is an awesome experience, and I have already narrowed down some potential winners:
Carolina Beach State Park
Located on North Carolina’s Crystal Coast, this state park offers easy access to the water, plus fabulous views of marine life. In addition to the sun, sand and surf, the park boasts a number of hiking trails that offer chances to get up close and personal with the rare Venus flytrap. I also like that the town of Carolina Beach is nearby, as is its shops and restaurants.
I have a friend who lives in Destin, Florida, who has been begging my family to join hers at Camp Gulf. The uber-popular park features an array of family-friendly amenities, including water slides, an activity center with video games, two pools and laundry facilities. In addition to the lake, where you can fish to your heart’s content, Camp Gulf also boasts a convenience store, business center, an ice cream shop and a gift store. Now that’s my idea of roughing it.
Hampton Beach State Park
Since my dad’s side of the family hails from the East Coast I did research a popular New Hampshire camping spot called Hampton Beach State Park. It features campsites with ocean views and is not far from my uncle and aunt’s summer cottage. The quaint town of Hampton Beach, which surrounds the park, is one of New Hampshire’s top beach destinations and is known for its friendly residents and charming boutiques. Meanwhile, the park itself offers swimming, fishing, hiking, and picnicking.