5 Family Camping Trips to Book Now
The time is now to get back to nature and start planning a family camping vacation to remember.
According to KOA's recent North American Camping Report, camping is on the rise as more millennials and families discover the health benefits of spending time outdoors. With summer right around the corner, the time is now to get back to nature and start planning a family camping vacation to remember.
1. Beach Camping Along the Florida Keys
The Florida Keys are perfect for beach camping. Get behind the wheel of an RV or simply throw your gear into your trunk for a week of tent camping along the Keys. Drive the 100+ mile route from Key Largo to Key West and you’ll find numerous places to splash, snorkel, swim and set up your tent, like John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, which has nearly 50 camp sites. RVers, in particular, will love Sunshine Key RV Resort near Big Pine Key and Fiesta Key RV Resort on Long Key, both of which are right on the beach and offer fantastic ocean views.
2. Dude Ranch-Style Camping in South Dakota
For a family camping trip that’s more like a stay at a dude ranch, head to South Dakota. Spend time at Blue Bell Campground in Custer State Park for old-fashioned hayrides and classic chuckwagon cookouts. Whether you want to sleep in a tent or stay in a cabin, the whole family will love wilderness activities, including horseback riding and fishing. Even better, Buffalo Safari Jeep Rides picks up at the nearby State Game Lodge Resort for park tours to get up close with buffalo and elk. Mount Rushmore and Badlands National Park are less than an hour away by car.
3. Camping Up the Coast of Maine
There’s a lot to see and do on a family camping trip along the coast of Maine. Start in Portland with a stay at the Saco/Old Orchard Beach KOA, which offers plenty of fun for kids, like swimming and tie-dye t-shirt making, as well as fantastic Maine blueberry pancakes. Snap photos of Portland Head Light, the state’s oldest lighthouse, as well as the giant duck boot at L.L. Bean’s flagship store in Freeport. Keep driving up the coast, making stops along the way for lobster rolls. Hike the Jordan Pond Loop Trail at Acadia National Park and plan to wake early one day to watch the sunrise from the top of Cadillac Mountain.
4. National Park Camping at the Majestic Mountain Loop in California
Enjoy a national park three-fer when you plan a family camping trip to the Majestic Mountain Loop in California, which includes Sequoia, Kings Canyon and Yosemite national parks. Start in Sequoia National Park with a hike along the Big Trees Trail. Snap a selfie with General Sherman, the largest giant sequoia tree in the world (or with General Grant, the second largest giant sequoia tree in the world, just next door at Kings Canyon). At Yosemite, picnic at Swinging Bridge, hike to Yosemite Falls and take in all the must-sees, like Half Dome and Tunnel View. Book your campsite online or plan to arrive early for first-come, first-served campsites inside the parks.
5. Camping Along the Coast of Oregon
Amy Hagstrom Whitley of Pit Stops for Kids has camped out in Oregon with her family more than a few times, even in the winter, so she knows a thing or two about coastal campgrounds in Oregon. A couple of her favorite spots include Sunset Bay State Park, just outside Coos Bay, and Harris Beach State Park, just north of Brookings. Both are on Highway 101, which hugs the coastline, and is a great north-south route for a family camping vacation. Kids will love exploring the rocky beaches and walking along the bluff overlooking the water. You can even rent a yurt at both campgrounds if you want a break from tent camping.