Summer is coming to a close, and we’re all trying to fit in a little bit of last minute fun before the school year starts. Why not take advantage of the great summer weather and head outdoors!
Camping is a great way to spend some quality time with your kids. It’s fun for the whole family… not to mention it’s significantly cheaper than other family vacations. Labor Day weekend is the perfect time to head out for some good old-fashioned time in the great outdoors.
Check out ModernMom’s top picks for the most beautiful campgrounds in America:
1. Leo Carrillo State Park, Malibu
Leo Carrillo State Park in Malibu is what many consider to be the classic Los Angeles camping scene. Located just feet from the crashing waves and tide pools, but far enough away from the pesky sand, this campsite offers the ultimate beach camping experience. Situated along a creek that feeds into the ocean, you and your family can sleep under the sycamore trees, gazing at stars while listening to croaking frogs in one ear and the ocean waves in another. This great beginner campsite is just one hour up the Pacific Coast Highway from Los Angeles. Book ahead at reserveamerica.com for $25/night.
2. Glacier National Park
Located in the heart of Montana, Glacier National Park offers one of the most beautiful and overwhelming sites nature can provide. Though it may be a long drive from home, this national park is definitely worth the trek. Whether setting up camp below the valley’s vast glaciers and mountains or beside the deep lakes fresh with snow runoff, this will be a magical experience for all. The huge park offers 13 different campgrounds with over 1,000 sites to choose from. Reservations must be made at least three days in advance at recreation.gov and cost $25.
3. Yosemite National Park
Perhaps one of the most famous parks in the world, Yosemite offers it all. Located in the heart of California just few hours from San Francisco and Los Angeles, you won’t find a place much prettier than this. This is a great location for campers with all levels of experience. In this magical valley, you will never be bored. Between, hiking the many waterfalls, walking through the groves of massive sequoia trees, rock-climbing, watching wildlife, or just driving around to absorb its vast beauty, camping at Yosemite is a guaranteed great time. Reservations for camping are strongly recommended with a fee of $20 per family.
4. Olympic National Park
The mountains meet the sea in this enchanting setting. Olympic National Park, located on Washington’s northern coast, is just a short two hour drive from Seattle. With lakes, rivers, hot springs, and the ocean within its protected boundaries, every member of your family is sure to have a great time. The grounds even offer horseback riding, mountain climbing, fishing, boating, and skiing. No hobby will go untouched! Olympic National Park offers over 900 campsites that range between $10 and $20/night and do not require a reservation in advance.
5. Bastrop State Park
Just a two short hour drive from Houston lies this oasis in the heart of the Texan desert. With a backdrop of the captivating Lost Pine forest, this campsites at Bastrop State Park offer it all: swimming, fishing, exploring the forests, and even golf! You and your family can even camp under the historic Lost Pines that fill this favorite state park. Campsites start at $12/night and can be booked on location.
6. Clarence Fahnestock State Park
Finding a place to camp in the surrounding areas of New York City may be a challenge, but there are definitely beautiful campsites to be seen outside of the Concrete Jungle. The campgrounds offered at Clarence Fahnestock State Park are not to be missed. For those traveling via train from Grand Central Station, the Metro-North’s Hudson line to Cold Spring Station provides a hassle free way to escape the city and enter the serenity of nature. From there, it is an eight-mile drive to the campsites. Situated on a beautiful lake, you and your family will never have a dull moment. Whether it’s hiking, fishing, swimming, or taking a rowboat onto Canopus Lake, kids (and adults) of all ages will find lots of fun. Movies are even offered every Saturday night! Book ahead at reserveamerica.com for $20/night.
All too often, we get caught up in the daily grind. Take a weekend off to reconnect with nature and breathe some fresh air! Grab a tent, pack the cooler, and head out with your tribe. You won’t regret it!
Check out these great articles to learn how to prepare for your weekend under the stars: