Surprising Summer Camping Destinations

Wild Camping SunriseStargazing, hiking, waterfall spotting, and farm-to-table meals: It’s the stuff summer vacation #goals are made of.

Planning an unforgettable back-to-nature adventure is easier than you think. Alyssa Ravasio, founder of Hipcamp, a website where you can research and book campsites, recommends looking into private campsites—run by individual landowners—for a different kind of trip. “They’re less crowded and they also make for a cool cultural experience, since you meet the hosts and learn how they live with the land,” she says. Bonus: Going private helps conserve these special properties, since you’re supporting the actual landowners. Check out her top picks below to get out of town.

Flatrock Hollow

Whitewater Springs, Texas

Go off the grid at this rugged, quiet camp that has no running water or power. Explore the 60-acre campsite that includes a waterfall and hosts plentiful wildlife. Deer, wild turkey, and even roadrunners abound, since the site is next to the Balcones National Wildlife Refuge.

Tent only, from $40/night

Magic Forest Farms Camp

Coeymans Hollow, N.Y.

The owners of this 225-acre tract, located in the foothills of the Catskills, give you more than a place to park your tent. They share wilderness secrets (like how to forage for wild mushrooms) and even take you spelunking through 4,800 feet of underground passages at the nearby Clarksville cave. There you’ll see ancient drawings (called petroglyphs) and an underground river. And don’t miss Lawson Lake county park, 420 acres complete with a lake, waterfalls, and streams.

Tent only, from $40/night

The Pond At White Owl Ranch

Cle Elum, Wash.

If your idea of remote means “no one else around,” this is your spot. The hosts of The Pond at White Owl Ranch allow only one group of guests at a time. As the name suggests, there is a pond with trout for catch-and-release fishing. Teanaway River is just across the road, where you can go fly fishing and tubing. There’s a covered BBQ pit for late-night dinners—or all-day grazing with your crew.

RV/Trailer, $250/night for up to 18 people

Stargazer Farm Camp

Sandy, Ore.

Just a 30-minute drive from Portland, this camp gives you the chance to dive into water sports like kayaking and stand-up paddle boarding on the Sandy River. Bike along the Sandy Ridge Trail System, where you’ll score stunning views of Mount Hood.

Tent only, from $40/night

Moon In The Pond Farm Campgrounds

Sheffield, Mass.

This small eco-agriculture farm, located off a quiet dirt road, produces fruit, vegetables, and herbs, as well as pork, chicken, eggs, honey, and more. You’re free to set up a hammock among the trees on the property, or take part in farm activities like helping herd the Scottish Highland cattle from one pasture to another or collecting eggs in the chicken coop alongside farmer Dominic Palumbo.

Tent only, from $50/night

Download GEICO’s award-winning mobile app to find the cheapest gas prices on the way to your destination.

Looking for more under-the-radar vacation ideas? Check out these nine awesome trips to take this summer

By Caitlin Carson

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *