Camping is one of the most popular outdoor activities in the U. S. Amazing wildlife and diverse climates have made many parts of the country favorite destinations for people who love spending time off the grid. According to Statista.com, in 2019, 41.76 million people participated in camping, and this number has only grown throughout the last two years.
Fair enough, as “Camping is perhaps the ultimate form of socially distant travel and recreation. It’s literally an escape from civilization, which is precisely how COVID-19 spreads,” says Rob Reed in his article for Forbes.
Camping is always a great idea, and if you’ve decided to treat yourself with a wildlife getaway from a hectic city next weekend, here’s our list of ideas where to go.
1. Arches National Park, Utah
The thrilling landscape of stunning red sandstone provides the perfect location for a camping adventure. There are more than 2,000 spectacular stone arches in the Arches National Park that will have you reaching for your camera now and then. And if you wake up at sunrise, you’ll experience an incredible view of rays of light breaking over dramatic horizons.
2. Joshua Tree National Park, California
Without any doubt, Joshua Tree National Park is one of the world’s most fascinating natural desert treasures. Rugged mountains, gold mining ruins, and desert plains dotted with unusual Joshua trees make the park a unique place. You’ll be thrilled with its spectacular beauty during the daylight, vibrant sunsets and starry nights perfect for stargazing.
Actually, California is so diverse that apart from deserts, it can offer virgin forests, golden beaches and snow-capped mountains. Interested? Read more about the best places to go camping in California.
3. Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii
This is really something out of this world! Just imagine: stunning lava flows stretch out for miles in a rocky wasteland, resembling the surface of the Moon; giant waves shoot sea spray high into the air along the craggy coastline.
At Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, you can see two celebrated volcanoes: one of them is very tall, and the other very active, so you can watch how it lights up the sky when the sun goes down.
4. Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona
The Grand Canyon is a natural wonder you must see to believe, so maybe next weekend is the best time to do it? You can see millions of years of geologic history revealed by numerous layers of multi-hued rock, and enjoy incredible views from the canyon’s rim.
In addition, the weather at the Grand Canyon is almost always dry and sunny, with very scarce chances that your vacation will be ruined by nasty weather. Even summer showers are brief, leaving the air fresh and clean.
5. Denali National Park, Alaska
If you’re searching for solitude and tranquility, Denali National Park in Alaska is your best bet. Low-elevation taiga forest melts into high alpine tundra and scenic snow-capped mountains, culminating in North America’s highest mountain peak, the 20,310 feet Denali.
Apart from the beautiful landscapes, you can see wild animals roaming unfenced lands that live here as they have for ages. If you decide to visit the Denali National Park, keep in mind that the local climate requires a bit more preparation, so don’t forget to look for the best tents for cold weather and proper sleeping bags for your comfortable and trouble-free trip.
6. Glacier National Park, Montana
A beloved park in northwestern Montana, Glacier takes its name from glaciers and glacial forces that created its stunning topography for millions of years. Today, the park is home to more than a dozen glaciers and fascinating U-shaped valleys. You’ll fall in love with Glacier’s virgin forests, emerald alpine meadows, rugged mountains, and beautiful lakes.
7. Assateague Island National Seashore, Maryland
If you feel like a beach getaway, you can go to Assateague Island National Seashore and enjoy this whopping 37 miles of beaches for camping, swimming, surfing, paddle-boarding, biking, kayaking, and spotting wild horses.
Also, don’t forget to try the iconic Maryland seafood dishes, for instance, steamed blue crabs seasoned with local favorite Old Bay Seasoning, and served with sides like French fries, coleslaw and corn on the cob.
8. Boston Harbor Islands, Massachusetts
Want a bit of history to go along with your hiking? Then you’ll definitely love your weekend at Boston Harbor Islands National and State Park. Enjoy a unique combination of modern and archaic, visit several Civil-War sites and take a paddleboat tour.
9. Dry Tortugas National Park, Florida
Another spectacular place to delight in picturesque ocean views. If you choose Dry Tortugas National Park in Florida for your next camping adventure, you’ll have one of the world’s largest barrier reefs right outside your tent.
You can rent some snorkel gear and spend your weekend on the beach, snorkeling crystal-clear water with amazing marine life, or pack a pair of binoculars to enjoy bird-watching. And that’s not all: the park is also known as the home of magnificent Fort Jefferson, one of the nation’s largest 19th century forts.
10. Hot Springs National Park, Arkansas
Looking for a natural spa treatment done out in the great outdoors? Here’s a place to go! At Hot Springs National Park in Arkansas, campers can enjoy ancient thermal springs, incredible mountain views and abundant creeks. You’ll love amazing bathhouses, local shops and a romantic urban backdrop featuring unique architecture.