Yes, we’re all about excellent dining experiences and unparalleled nightlife. But sometimes it’s necessary just to hit the reset button, get out of the city, and connect with nature. Camping is just the antidote to the urban grind. With the weather around the country perfect for being outdoors, we’ve picked the five best spots in America to pitch a tent, roast some marshmallows and have some good old-fashioned fun.
Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, Big Sur
Why We Love It: With some of the most stunning views of the Pacific in the entire country, this is the place to camp out if you want more privacy than a crowded campground. Drink your morning coffee while spotting surfers and sea lions and forget about the daily grind of the city. The area is so stunning and secluded it books up way in advance, but check back often as there can be cancellations.
How to Book: www.parks.ca.gov/jpb
Why We Love It: 95% of Yosemite is designated Wilderness. That means no cars, electricity, roads, etc. – aka peace and quiet in one of the most beautiful places in the world. Spend a night under the stars—you’ll be shocked to see so many of them—and in the morning wake up early and hike among the high Sierras. It’s best to make reservations, but there are seven campsites that operate on a first come first serve basis.
How to Book: www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/camping.htm
Biscayne National Park
Why We Love It: It’s amazing that such an undeveloped and scenic group of islands exists so close to Miami. On Elliot Key and Boca China Key, you can camp among the tropical forest, and go snorkeling and fishing during the day. There are no cars, roads or bridges to these islands, so you’ll have to arrange boating transportation through Biscayne Underwater Park, but that’s all part of the adventure.
How to Book: www.nps.gov/bisc/index.htm
Zion National Park
Why We Love It: Just a three-hour drive from Las Vegas, plenty of excellent hiking trails with jaw-dropping scenery await you in this outdoor oasis. Perfect for beginners to experienced hikers alike, you can choose a trail depending on your level. The park has three campgrounds all with different amenities and should be booked in advance.
The Grand Canyon
Why We Love It: Um…It’s the Grand Canyon? But if we must break it down, there is unparalleled rafting, hiking, and plenty of other outdoor activities here that will keep you entertained for days. It’s also one of the most epic places in the world and dare we say life-changing.
How to Book: www.nps.gov/grca/planyourvisit/cg-sr.htm