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The best camping in the United States

We've rounded up the best camping in the United States, from beautiful beachfront stays to mountaintop sites

Rosie Hewitson
Written by
Sarah Medina
&
Rosie Hewitson
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From cross-country road trips to epic hikes, outdoorsy getaways are having a moment in 2021. And it’s no surprise, after months of lockdowns, that we’re all itching to step into the great outdoors. An outdoorsy vacation is the perfect antidote to being cooped up inside your own home while allowing you to maintain social distance and get up close to the amazing variety of wildlife and nature on offer across the United States. 

So grab your gear, throw on your hiking boots and head off to one of these gorgeous spots to experience the very best camping in the United States. Whether you’re looking for glamping spots in New York City, an island stay in Florida, beach getaways in California or a secluded hideout in one of our amazing national parks, our roundup of amazing places to camp offers something for everyone. 

RECOMMENDED: The dreamiest places to go glamping in the US

Best camping in the United States

Situated less than 10 miles northwest of the Golden Gate Bridge, Kirby Cobe's four secluded campsites are famous for their waterfront views overlooking the city. Shaded by Monterey cypress groves, the grounds are within walking distance to a rocky beach, as well as a daytime picnic area. Make sure to look out for the rope swing which usually hangs on the beach if you want some truly epic photos. 

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This island has it all: beach camping, swimming, surfing, crabbing, kayaking and, oh yeah, tons of wild horses just roaming the grounds. With 37 miles of shoreline, there's plenty of beachfront campgrounds to go around. Just note that Assateague Island has both a state park and a national park. If you want a warm shower, then camp at the state park campground. And don't forget to lock up your food if you don't want the horses to ransack your tent. 

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Is glamping more your speed? This swanky facility on Governors Island has your number. A private water taxi will wisk you away to accommodations like the communal Three Peaks Lodge or a private tent with an en-suite bathroom and air conditioning. And don't expect mere hot dogs here: The on-site chef creates a multi-course, farm-to-table dinner every night. Plus, of course, there are those unparalleled views of the Statue of Liberty and Manhattan. 

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The Grand Canyon might be on everyone's bucket list, but that shouldn't discount from the beauty of this natural wonder. If you're camping inside the national park, opt for the North Rim, which is less crowded than the more developed South Rim. Make a reservation via the National Recreation Reservation Service to bask in the quiet and natural splendor of these no-fuss campgrounds. 

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Treebones Resort in Big Sur has a ton of gorgeous camping options, including yurts and a luxury, solar-powered tent, but it's the human bird nest that lands them on this list. Climb the private ladder to the human-size nest, made of eucalyptus branches, and you’ll discover a 180-degree view of the coast. The nest comes equipped with a full-size futon mattress, but you'll need to bring necessities like pillows, sleeping bags and a flashlight.  

Discover the best things to do in California

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Don’t be alarmed if you wake up to the sound of bison wandering past your tent, as it’s a regular occurrence at this campground located in Badlands National Park. Vault toilets, picnic benches, and a horse corral are the only amenities that are offered at the rural site, but you will get the chance to watch the prairie turn a golden color at sunset, see prairie dogs pop up from the ground and hear wolves howling at night.

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The Kittatinny Campground offers 350 secluded campsites nestled into the Catskills Mountains. Set up camp in the thick forest, or adorn your tricorn hat and pitch a tent along the Delaware River (yes, the one George Washington allegedly crossed en route to war). Hop over the river yourself to get to zip lines and paintball at Kittatinny’s Adventure Center. 

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An hour boat ride off the California coast, Catalina Island boasts summer-camp vibes with stunning views (and the chance to see wild buffalos). Located on a bluff overlooking the Pacific, the Two Harbors Campground offers traditional tent camping and cabins with access to showers, toilets, fresh water, picnic tables, BBQs and fire pits. You can even purchase your goods from the Two Harbors General Store and have your items delivered directly to your campsite. 

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Despite being in sight of downtown Miami, Biscayne National Park feels like another world with amphibians and birds roaming the land and colorful coral and fish lurking just below sea line. Biscayne offers two campsites, Elliott Key and Boca Chita Key, both of which are on islands and, therefore, only accessible by boat. You’ll need to bring your own drinking water, but toilets are available. As for showers, those will have to wait until you’re back home.

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