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grand canyon, north rim, camping
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Best camping in the United States

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

By Sarah Medina
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Itching to explore the great outdoors this summer? Throw your gear into the car and head out on a epic road trip to one of these gorgeous spots to experience the very best camping in the United States. From private glamping options in New York City and island stays in Florida to tents on beaches in California and secluded gems in national parks, these places offer a bit of everything. During your stay, you might even encounter some wild buffalo, foxes and horses. Don't believe us? Peruse this list for some truly amazing camping experiences where you can get in touch with nature. 

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Best camping in the United States

Two Harbors Catalina Island
Two Harbors Catalina Island
Photograph: Shutterstock

1. Catalina Island, California: Two Harbors

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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KAUAI
KAUAI
Photograph: Shutterstock

2. Kapaʻa, Hawaii: Kalalau Beach

The island of Kauai has plenty of incredible campsites, but the campsite at Kalalau Beach is located at the end of a gorgeous 11-mile hike in Na Pali Coast State Park. You'll be rewarded with a waterfall and beach time before you pitch your tent atop cliffs ,which offer stunning views of the island's famous coastline. 

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grand canyon, north rim, camping
grand canyon, north rim, camping
Photograph: Shutterstock

3. Grand Canyon, Arizona: North Rim

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. Campsites are first-come-first-served this year, so arrive early if you want to bask in the quiet and natural splendor of these no-fuss campgrounds. 

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Badlands South Dakota
Badlands South Dakota
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4. Badlands National Park, South Dakota: Sage Creek Primitive Campground

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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camping
camping
Photograph: Collective Retreats

5. Governors Island, New York: Collective Governors Island

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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Big Sur
Big Sur
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6. Big Sur, California: Treebones Resort

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 the top of 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.  

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Boca Chita Biscayne National Park
Boca Chita Biscayne National Park
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7. Florida Keys, Florida: Biscayne National Park

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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Assateague Island
Assateague Island
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8. Assateague Island, Maryland: State Park Camping

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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Kittatinny Campground
Kittatinny Campground
Photograph: Shutterstock

9. Barryville, New York: Kittatinny Campground

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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Kirby Cove
Kirby Cove
Photograph: Shutterstock

10. Marin Headlands, California: Kirby Cove Campground

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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