After this longest of winters, it’s time to adventure out of the house. Traditional travel is still tricky, so camping is the perfect alternative this spring. It’s easier to stay socially distant at a campsite than at a resort pool. Plus, busy campgrounds are less crowded, often less expensive, and a lot less buggy in the spring.
You can go two ways with spring camping. Explore the popular spots that are crazy crowded come summer, or find out-of-the-way areas that are even more secluded in spring. We have options for both, so grab your gear and get going to these top destinations for spring camping.
Assateague National Seashore, Maryland/Virginia
This 37-mile barrier island, nine miles south of Ocean City, Maryland, offers a combination of both beaches and wild horses. You can camp in both the national and state park on the Maryland side of the island. It can still be chilly here in March and April, so come prepared with warm clothes. It warms up in May, but by Memorial Day weekend, swarms of people and mosquitoes arrive in full force.
Big Bend National Park, Texas
Cayo Costa State Park, Florida
Explore unspoiled Florida by camping on this barrier island west of Ft. Meyers. You’ll find white sand beaches, tropical vegetation, and some of the best shell collecting in the state. Spring is the ideal time to visit with cooler temperatures and not nearly as many bugs.
Grand Canyon, Arizona
Beat the hordes of people and the heat by camping at the Grand Canyon in the spring. The North Rim doesn’t open until May, but it’s less crowded than the South Rim and has modern amenities like showers and a restaurant, making it one of the best places to camp in the West. The Mather campground is open year-round inside the park and the Desert View campground opens in mid-April.
Saguaro National Park, Arizona
Camp among the cacti in Saguaro National Park near Tucson. You’ll avoid the summer heat, and if you time it right, you can see the spectacular saguaros in bloom. The Western (Tucson Mountain) side of the park has more saguaros, while the eastern side (Rincon Mountain) is more mountainous. You’ll need a permit for overnight stays in the park, but there are many campgrounds nearby.
Shenandoah National Park, Virginia
Campgrounds open in late spring when the park is starting to come back to life. If you’re up for a challenge, hike Old Rag Mountain. It’s one of Virginia’s most popular hikes and it’s a lot less crowded in the spring.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee/North Carolina
The fall foliage in the Smoky Mountains gets top billing, but the spring explosion of wildflowers and dogwoods is also a sight to behold. March and April can still be a bit chilly. By May, temperatures reach the 70s and 80s. The spring months are the best time to visit wildly popular spots like Cades Cove, Clingmans Dome, and Alum Cave Trail.
Spring camping offers the ideal getaway without the hassle of huge crowds and high-season prices. Enjoy your adventure and some solitude off the beaten path.
Guest post contributed by: Laura Hatch
Post provided by Jay Betts of LawnStarter
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