As summer draws near, the call of the wild grows louder for those of us stuck in a sprawling metropolis. As much as we love the concrete jungle, urban hiking and beautiful parks, there’s a certain lure to leaving it all behind for the simplicity and solitude of nature – if only for a quick weekend getaway. But is it possible to plan a quick getaway if you’re in one of America’s biggest cities?
The answer will probably surprise you!
Read on and get ready to pack up your camping gear and head out into the wild.
The Rob Hill campground is San Francisco‘s only campground – it’s located above Baker Beach right at the base of the Golden Gate Bridge. In addition to stunning views and rustic feels, the campsite has a restroom onsite, a free bus into the city and access to 13 trails that weave throughout the Presidio. There are two campsites available for the public to rent out. Each site accommodates up to 30 people and costs the group $125 per night. So round up a big group of friends (or make some new ones) and head to this urban oasis!
New York City
Who knew there was a place to stay in Brooklyn for only $20 a night – that is, if you’ve got a tent or an RV. Located on grounds that once housed New York City’s first airport in 1931, Floyd Bennett Field now houses tranquil hiking trails, beaches for fishing or swimming and an archery range! Just an hour drive from Manhattan or a slightly longer subway ride, these grounds provide visitors with a wholly unique perspective of New York City. The site has 32 campsites that can be reserved for $20 and host up to 6 people.
Just an hour of driving up the Pacific Coast Highway will take you out of Los Angeles and into the aptly named Malibu Serene Views Camp. This campsite has it all – it is near to sandy beaches that are perfect for surfing as well as being a stone’s throw away from scenic hiking trails and hidden waterfalls. Technically a part of Los Angeles County, this area provides stressed city-dwellers with a quick escape from it all. The grounds have two campsites that can host up to 3 people for $50 per night.
Once owned by a large family in Georgia, these 5-acre grounds now house The Farm – a campsite that offers its guests fire pits, clean restrooms and a wide array of crisscrossing hiking trails just 30 minutes outside of Atlanta. Did we mention the 400-square foot smokehouse? Feel free to dine on a feast of smoked options or bring your own spread. The Farm has 10 campsites that can each accommodate up to 5 people and cost $35 per night.
Drive 20 miles out of downtown Dallas and into the spread of open prairies and rugged limestone hills that comprise Cedar Hill State Park. Complete with a lake, thousands of acres of hiking trails and hundreds of developed campsites, this state park offers its visitors a scenic respite from the noise of Dallas. Campsites range from $10 to $30 per night and can accommodate up to 6 people per site.
Located on the southern tip of Lake Michigan, the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore spans over 15 miles of the lake’s coast. Just a quick one hour drive from Chicago – or a less-speedy two hour commute on public transit – this state park offers visitors over 50 miles of hiking trails, swimming and fishing areas, horseback riding trails and casual picnicking spots. The park has 66 campsites that are $18 per night. Spots are distributed on a first-come first-served basis.
Blake Island Campground spreads out over a 475-acre island – and is just an hour drive + ferry ride away from the lush city of Seattle. Located on the Puget Sound, campers can engage in a variety of activities here, from hiking to crabbing to tasting Northwest-inspired meals served up by the island’s small café. The park has 44 campgrounds that range from $12 – $35 depending on the amenities.
In just under an hour, you can stumble from Las Vegas upon this oasis in the Nevada desert – the McWilliams Campground. The site has 40 campgrounds available, more than 60 miles of hiking and horseback riding trails that crisscross the area, a handful of rock climbing sites and scenic driving roads for campers to explore. Prices range from $25 – $50 per site, each site is able to accommodate up to 8 guests. Reservations are not required but are strongly recommended.
From one of these cities and have a favorite getaway that wasn’t mentioned? Tell us about it in the comments!