Considering that my idea of “roughing it” is shacking up at the Hilton, you wouldn’t think I would have a definitive opinion in regards to the best camping venues.
Generally campers have two venues to choose from: the beach or the woods. Depending on which part of the country you are planning to pitch a tent, your options may be limited if you prefer one over the other.
For example, I live in the Upper Midwest, so campsites on the beach are not as easy to come by as they would be in Hawaii. Still, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan are home to some incredible camping spots surrounded by lush forests and a plethora of wildlife. In college I roughed it at Michigan’s Isle Royale National Park. The stunning area is accessible only by seaplane or boat, which is why it is so popular with campers looking for a quiet getaway minus huge crowds and noisy neighbors.
Of course, you don’t have to remain in the Midwest to find super sites surrounded by flora and fauna. Many people don’t realize that there are a number of forests in sunny California that cater to campers. For instance, located in the mountains above the sunbaked shores of Santa Cruz sits Big Basin Redwoods State Park. The park is filled with a forest of redwoods, as well as ample hiking and biking trails.
Pine Marten Campground in Sonora, California, is another top-pick for campers who enjoy sleeping amongst the pines instead of near the waves. In addition to challenging hiking trails, you can fish, swim and kayak on Lake Alpine. For campers who prefer falling asleep to the sound of crashing waves, head over to South Carlsbad State Beach, which offers sites with ocean views. You can spend the day surfing, snorkeling and swimming, then end the night with a beach bonfire.