But whether you love to rough it or prefer a nice motel, you’ll like these great destinations because they're simply beautiful – and perfect for hiking and camping or birding or swimming or simply communing with nature. And we help you find the cheapest flights to get you to these idyllic spots.
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7 Great Camping Destinations
Some of these sites – listed in no particular order – were brought to our attention by camping enthusiasts, others we learned about from camping-related blogs and popular website lists. If you have a favorite, please share.
Note: Some campsites require advance reservations, permits, a ferry ride, special vehicles and/or a fair amount of walking to get to them, so investigate thoroughly before making plans.
1. California: Joshua Tree National Park
A desert wilderness just a few hours from Hollywood. The dramatic star-filled skies alone are worth an overnight visit but stick around for the sculpted rock vistas and the chance to see a desert tortoise. More information.
2. East Coast: The Appalachian Trail
- Fly to the trail city of your choice
The trail stretches for over 2,000 miles from Georgia to Maine, so pick a spot and this guide will help. You may not have as many adventures as Bill Bryson did in A Walk in the Woods but you too might get an up-close and personal view of a moose. More information.
3. Maine: Swan Island in Richmond, Maine
- Fly to Portland ME
The island is located at the head of Merrymeeting Bay; rent a kayak, do some fishing or bird-watching and explore 7 miles of trails for what locals call “an unforgettable Maine experience.” More information.
4. Michigan: Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore
- Fly to Traverse City or Grand Rapids. Tip: Grand Rapids is a two hour-plus drive, but compare fares, it might be worth it
Called a “sublime playground” along Lake Michigan’s lovely Sleeping Bear Bay, you can swim, surf-cast, walk along the beach (and it’s even a short drive into town for a fast-food fix). More information.
5. Wyoming: Grand Teton National Park
- Fly to Jackson WY
Among the most majestic ranges in the world, the Tetons have been called “mountains of the imagination.” Camp at several spectacular sites including Jenny Lake. More information.
6. Scotland: Loch Lomond
- Fly to Glasgow
No guarantee of seeing Nessie but you will find stunning views of tranquil waters surrounded by towering hills and forest. Take a hike or take a boat out to explore other islands in the iconic lake. More information.
7. Queensland: Great Sandy National Park, Fraser Island
This World Heritage Site’s many wonders include the rocky outcrop known as Indian Head and the colorful Cathedrals cliffs. You will need a permit and 4 wheel drive vehicle to get to your campsite and be sure to read Be Dingo Safe before you go. More information.