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21 Unique Camping Destinations! Near Me! | U.S.A

Written by Town & Tourist

Camping is a fantastic outdoors experience, many people find just getting back to nature in a tranquil, scenic environment an amazing experience, especially in the U.S.A. Here in America, we have some of the most diverse terrain, climates and landscape in the entire world! With a vast spectrum of wildlife, to observe you will surely have a memorable experience. 

However, finding the perfect location to pitch up your tent or drive your RV camper van to requires some thought & a real sense of what type of experience you would like!

In the United States of America, we have a vast range from coastal retreats, mountain regions, and deserts to snowy winter camping destinations! 

To help you on your adventures, at Town and Tourist we have compiled together the most unique range of camping destinations, state by state from Texas to Maine. 

21. El Cosmico – Texas

Located just outside Marfa, Texas you will discover a truly unique camping destination, El Cosmico. Imagine a quirky, vintage charm with an artistic influence! 

At El Cosmico you will have a range of sleeping arrangements to select from, starting with your standard tents, to teepees, yurts and even vintage trailers. For such an off the beaten track location like Marfa, El Cosmico is perfect camping spot. 

El Cosmico Texas, Camping.

El Cosmico Texas, Camping. Image source: Trip advisor.  (Unique Camping/Glamping U.S.A/Best Camping near me!) 

20. Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park – Maryland

The hilariously named “Yogi Bears” is an awesome adventure camping park, great for Families! Located in Hagerstown, Marland, you will find a massive range of fun activities specifically geared towards your little ones! 

With a well organised setup it feels much like a theme park! You have nearly 80 camp sites to choose from so plenty of selection. 

Yogi Bears Water Zone

Yogi Bears Water Zone is a popular attraction. Source: trip advisor.  (Unique Camping/Glamping U.S.A/Best Camping near me!) 

Price: $75-$300+

19. Joshua Tree – California

For something a little more adult, head to the vast desert landscapes of Joshua Tree, California.  Here you can observe a range of wild scenery from Spiky Cacti to Mountain peaks. Temperatures are usually pleasant & don’t really get too cold. 

Camping at Joshua Tree, Ryan Campground.California Unique Camping USA

Camping at Joshua Tree, Ryan Campground. Source: www.jameskaiser.com (Unique Camping/Glamping U.S.A/Best Camping near me!) 

Insider Tip: Be sure to pack plenty of water as the desert air can be a little dry! Especially if you have a pre existing, respiratory condition. I also like to bring a lightweight scarf for my face, stops the dust on a windy day and also makes you look like a cool bandit! 

18. Padre Island National Seashore – Texas

An all seasons campground, Padre Island is most famous for containing the longest stretch of natural barrier island in the entire world! Spanning over 70km, of stunning terrain. 

How was the Barrier Island Formed? 

Many scientist theories, suggest that the barrier island longest stretch was formed 18,000 years ago, at the end of the last Ice age. When the glaciers melted, the sea levels rose and the currents swept sediments from beach ridges out into the ocean to form the unique barrier islands. 

padre-island

padre-island. Source: padreislandbeach.com (Unique Camping/Glamping U.S.A/Best Camping near me!) 

Wildlife at Padre Island:

Padre Island is located on the central flyway making it’s a prime spot for over 380 migratory & resident birds! Which is nearly half of all documented species in North America! 

Camping at Padre Island:

As you might have guessed, Bird Island Basin is a popular spot, just on the waters of the Laguna Madre. Here campers can enjoy, kayaking, boating, fishing and of course Bird watching! 

Padre-island-camping

Padre-island-camping. Photo by Chris Mikel/imgur.com “Beautiful sunset on my first night solo camping 15 miles past the end of pavement, and miles away from another person. Awesome experience!” 

For those of you which like water sports there is a windsurfing area which is ranked “best flat water sailing site in the entire U.S.A, by windsurfing magazine! Source. 

Other camping sites include, Malaquite Campground, South Beach or Yarborough Pass and North Beach. 

17. Boston Harbor Islands, Massachusetts

If you like plenty of FREE outdoor activities and some interesting history to add to your camping experience, then head down to Boston Harbor Island, in Massachusetts. 

For the Civil War buffs among you, there are plenty of campsites offering Civil war history tours of the area. This can give you some really interesting background, into where you will be laying your head to rest. 

Boston-Harbor-Island-Camping

Boston-Harbor-Island-Camping. Peacocks Island. Source: www.bostonglobe.com (Unique Camping/Glamping U.S.A/Best Camping near me!) 

With plenty of natural tide pools, & a wondrous landscape dotted by lighthouses and other features, you will find plenty to keep your eyeballs engaged! 

Hoping on stand up paddle-board, is a perfect way to explore the surf. 

Price: Free

16. Carlsbad Beach Camping 

South Carlsbad State Beach Camping, are fantastic spots offering picturesque ocean views as standard. Located north of Encinitas & just south of Oceanside. 

To access the campsite, head to Poinsettia Lane and Carlsbad Boulevard. From there you will see the Camping sites arranged uniformly, with the ocean front row (Premium) costing $50 and the standard camp sites just ($35).

If you have an RV or camper van, you will find Hooks ups on site. 

South-Carlsberg-Camping-RV-Unique-Camping

South-Carlsberg-Camping-RV Source: www.wavecation.com (Unique Camping/Glamping U.S.A/Best Camping near me!) 

Campsite Amenities: 

An on site seasonal camping store (April-October) sells basic goods, including Ice & firewood. Laundry machines are also available there. 

Other popular Beaches at the Northern end include Carlsbad City Beach (Ocean street to Elm) and Carlsbad State beach (Tamarack beach) 

Insider Tip: 

RV’s which span greater then 35 feet are not admitted! 

15. Yosemite National Park, California

It would have been rude to talk about scenic camping destinations without mentioning the prized jewel of California.

Yosemite National Park is real wilderness, perfect for those who want a remote camping experience & don’t care about all the extra on site amenities, more built up campsites offer.

The only negative is, if you have any problems or need help it can be difficult to get. So play it safe & bring everything you need with you.

Yosemite-National-Park-camping

Yosemite-National-Park-camping. (Unique Camping/Glamping U.S.A/Best Camping near me!) Source: NPS

Cost: Cost per vehicle is $30 

14. Acadia National Park

Situated on the prized Mount Desert Island, Acadia National Park offers 17 million acres of lush forests, 6000 lakes and 34,000 miles of rivers. This means Acadia is a natural wonder perfect for hiking & camping. 

Acadia National Park, Duck . harbor campground.

Acadia National Park, Duck . harbor campground. By th e great JamesKaiser.com (Unique Camping/Glamping U.S.A/Best Camping near me!) 

Three Campgrounds are at the park: 

  • Blackwoods (near to Bar Harbor),
  • Seawall (the less touristy alternative),
  • Schoodic Woods (on the Schoodic Peninsula).

13. Hot Springs National Park, Arkansas

If you really want to treat, yourself and bask in some luxurious natural spas then head over to Hot Springs National Park, in Arkansas. Located of in the Ouachita Mountains, you will find the hot spring and a relaxed atmosphere with a few tours on offer.  

Hot-Springs-national-park-camping

Hot-Springs-national-park-camping. (Unique Camping/Glamping U.S.A/Best Camping near me!) 

Price: $10 per night

 12. Out ‘n’ About Treehouse Resort – Oregon

Who doesn’t love a magical treehouse? From kids to adults, we all secretly just wan’t to get away from it all in your very own peter pan treehouse!

As the sun rises, clamber down from the tree top and discover Siskiyou National Forest and even try out the zip lines to  really feel like your in Jungle book! 

Out&About-Treehouse-camping-Unique camping

Out&About-Treehouse-camping.  Source: treehouses.com (Unique Camping/Glamping U.S.A/Best Camping near me!) 

 11. Ludington State Park – Michigan

Finding the perfect family Camping destination, which will satisfy all your families hopes, needs and desire no matter what the age can be a challenge! (Believe me I know!) 

But, your in luck! Ludington State Park really does come through with a perfect camping spot in Michigan. With a vast array of terrain on offer from forests for hikes, to sand dunes, for beach walks there is plenty for everyone. Activities here include: Swimming in Lake Michigan, Renting Kayaks and even Jet skiing! 

ludington-state-park-camping

ludington-state-park-camping (Unique Camping/Glamping U.S.A/Best Camping near me!) 

With year round & seasonal accommodation on offer, it’s a great place for families to check out. 

Insider Tip: 

If you have pets, be aware they are quite tough with the rules. So check with the park before traveling. 

10. Glacier National Park – Montana 

The crown jewel of Montana, Glacier National Park is an epic wilderness with plenty of scenic hiking trails. The National Park is great if you really would like an off the grid, survival adventure! Other great activities to try here include, rafting or even Packrafting which is really popular at the moment!  

Glacier-Mountain-Park-Camping-Unique

Glacier-Mountain-Park-Camping. Source:youtube.com (Unique Camping/Glamping U.S.A/Best Camping near me!) 

Insider Tip?

Hiking Trails are mostly unmarked here, so plan before hand and if camping with kids, research the best trail for their ability/age. Oh and bring bear spray (You may need it!) 

Price: FREE

9. Pipestem Resort State Park – West Virginia

Pipestem Resort State Park is highly cherished family adventure resort, located in West Virginia, on the east of the Bluestone River Gorge. In between Summers & Mercer counties, lies 4,050 acres on nature! 

Camping at Pipestem Resort State Park

At the park there are 26 cabins & 2 mountain lodges, which can ONLY be accessible via the parks Aerial Tramway! Located at the bottom of Bluestone River Gorge. The aerial Tramway feature is a really unique aspect to this camping destination. 

Pipesteam Camping Unique

Pipesteam Luxury Spa Chalets. Source: pipestemspa.com (Unique Camping/Glamping U.S.A/Best Camping near me!) 

Activities: 

Pipestem resort State Parks offers a vast array of activities to keep everyone smiling! From adrenaline pumping zipline adventures, to rock climbing, Mountain bike tours and even guided trout fishing excursions! 

Warm day?

Head down to the adventure splash park, or try out kayaking, stand up paddling or even tubing on Bluestone River! 

Head just down the road & you can discover even more at fun Bluestone State Park.

Attractions nearby:

Interesting attraction nearby include the Hinton Railroad Museum, which outlines West Virginias immense rail history from 1873 to today.

West-virginia-Camping-Cabins

West-virginia-Camping-Cabins. At Babcock State Park close by (Unique Camping/Glamping U.S.A/Best Camping near me!) .

Insider Tip:

The Museum is open June to August, closed out of season!

The National Coal Heritage Trails Interpretative center is housed in a train depot at 100 station square in Bramwell. 

8. Ingalls Homestead – South Dakota 

Fancy sleeping in a Vintage Wagon? 

Well if the answers YES! Try out this authentic pioneer experience at Ingalls Homestead, in South Dakota. 

Ingalls-Camping-Wagons-Unique-Camping

Camp out in a converted wagon! At Ingalls!. Source: Mindy Best (Ingallshomstead.com) (Unique Camping/Glamping U.S.A/Best Camping near me!) 

Aswell as the unique experience, there are various fun family activities on offer, from making your very own Corn cob doll to checking out a one room school. 

Ingalls-Camping-Wagons-Unique-Camping

Ingalls Camping Wagons, interior. A real Unique Camping destination. (Unique Camping/Glamping U.S.A/Best Camping near me!) 

7. San Jacinto Mountains – Snow Camping

Snow Camping at the San Jacinto Mountains, California is a truly unique experience! Ascend 2.5 miles to a snowy playground on the worlds largest rotating tramcar

From the top you will find breath taking panoramic views of Palm Springs & Coachella valley. A peaceful atmosphere, with crisp air it has been dubbed as Californias last wilderness.

San-Juan-Aerial-tramway

Get Ready for a real adventure on San Juan Aerial tramway! Source: thewestcott.com (Unique Camping/Glamping U.S.A/Best Camping near me!) 

Families: 

This is great fun for families, as you can hop on the tram car and have some fun in the snow! Let the snowballs fly, make snow angels and just have a winter wonderland experience in California! 

Cross Country Skiers:

If you a cross country skier, then this is a great place to experience some fun & challenging terrain! You can bring your own equipment or rent from the Adventure Center.. 

San-Juan-Mountain-Snow-Camping

California or Lapland! A truly unique snow camping experience at San Juan Mountain. Source: Wildernesstrio.com (Unique Camping/Glamping U.S.A/Best Camping near me!) 

Insider Tip:
Day permits can be acquired at Ranger Station located in Long Valley.

6. Crater of Diamonds State Park – Arkansas 

With many camping destinations all over Arkansas, Crater of Diamonds stands out as being one of the most unique. 

As the only “Finders Keepers” diamond area in the U.S.A, you never know what jewels you may find while camping! You can even rent mining tools at the park visitor center. 

Crater-of-diamonds-state-park-arkansas

A woman named Susie Clark found a 3.69-carat white diamond at Arkansas’s Crater of Diamonds State Park. According to KTlA.  (Unique Camping/Glamping U.S.A/Best Camping near me!) 

According to KTLA: “It is not clear how much the diamond is worth but Oklahoman Tara Clymer sold a 3.85-carat diamond she found at the park last year for $20,000.”

Not too bad for a few days camping! 

Insider Tip: 

If you ask nicely, the park visitor center may give you some hints on where to find the best diamond! 

5. Shenandoah National Park 

Not to far from Washington D.C you will find Shenandoah National Park, a lush paradise of forests & waterfalls, with 500 miles of trails on offer!

Shenandoah-National-park-Camping-Unique

Shenandoah-National-park.(Unique Camping/Glamping U.S.A/Best Camping near me!) Source: NPS

If your a Hiking enthusiast head up Old Rag Mountain on the 8 mile trail, a real memorable experience. Four nice campsites are located in the park.

Seasons: Open Spring, Summer and Fall. 

4. Arches National Park – Utah

A highlight of the Red Rocks of Utah is Arches National Park. With challenging trails and a host of instagrammable photo opportunities, its a great place to pitch up the tents.  There are limited onsite camp sites, however you can find a few close by. 

Camping-Arches-National-Park-Utah

Camping-Arches-National-Park-Utah (Unique Camping/Glamping U.S.A/Best Camping near me!) 

Insider Tip: 

It can be fun to just backpack around, however, you can easily get lost so make sure your prepared! 

Price: $10 per vehicle

Camping-Utah-Unique-arches-Star

As night falls while camping , hope out your tent & feast your eyes on this natural wonder. A prime spot for star gazers. (Unique Camping/Glamping U.S.A/Best Camping near me!) 

3. Assateague Island Campgrounds – Maryland

Oh Maryland, the maritime home of the U.S.A. For great camping head just nine miles to the south of Ocean City. There you will find Assateague Island Campground, offering nearly 40 miles of seaside beaches great for camping out! It’s so nice to be able to fall asleep while listening to the waves crash! 

Assateague-island-camping

Assateague-island-camping. Source: www.poorinaprivateplane.com (Unique Camping/Glamping U.S.A/Best Camping near me!) 

Great activities here include, Biking, Kayaking, Swimming, paddle boarding, Crabbing and even WILD HORSES! 

How to Get to Assateague Island

There are two route to access Assateague Island. From the North head via Route 611 just under 10 miles south of Ocean City, Maryland. From the South head to Asseateague Island via Route 175, just two miles east of Chincoteague, VA. 

2. Olympic National Park – Washington

With a vast range of Campgrounds, Olympic National Park is a true Campers dream and Ecological Marvel!

The evergreen landscape has a vast array of places for the outdoor enthusiast from great hiking, walking in the rainforest (thats right a rainforest!) and even whale watching during migration season!

olympic-national-park-campgrounds

Nothing like a good old camp fire at olympic-national park campgrounds.Source: www.davidwolfe.com (Unique Camping/Glamping U.S.A/Best Camping near me!) 

The number of camp sites here is huge, so feel free to take full advantage, or pay $5 for a backcountry permit. 

Top Tip: It can be pretty treacherous for solo hikes so be careful and always prepare. 

1. Camping in Hawaii 

Hawaiis landscape punctuated by Volcanoes and offering liquid fire glimpses! How much more unique can you get!

Although not usually thought of as a camping area, the Volcanoes National Park, is a great spot to pitch up. By the days take advantages of some easy hikes & trails and by night put your eyes to the sky and watch the lava light up the darkness majestically! 

Camping in Hawaii is a real bucket list experience!

Camping in Hawaii is a real bucket list experience! (Unique Camping/Glamping U.S.A/Best Camping near me!) 

A real unique & bucket list camp site is the Namakanipaio Campground , three miles beyond Volcano House and 4000 feet above sea level, this is really is a one of kind, theatrical camping experience. 

Lodging:

The Namakanipaio Campground is a rustic campsite featuring 10 one-room wooden cabins, nestled in the scenic landscape. 

For full camping, you can rent a tent inside the Volcanoes National Park. Tour operators nearby offer full setup & take down, which is nice if your feeling lazy. 

camping-hawaii

Camping in Hawaii is a memorable unique experience! Source: hawaiicamplife.com (Unique Camping/Glamping U.S.A/Best Camping near me!) 

 

Overall Camping in Hawaii is a real historic and unique “Hot spot” fusing a colorful island with a thrilling outdoor experience. 

Insider Tip: 

Hawaii Campsites are expensive and can sell out fast, so book in advance for your best chances. Having said this, it’s definitely worth if your after a bucket list experience. Thats why it’s our Number one unique camping experience! 

Winter Camper? 

Check out this fantastic article! Incredible winter camping destinations

Also, check out the 16 Bucket list Dog Sledding retreats in the U.S.A! 

About the author

Town & Tourist

A travel resource guide that has been carefully crafted and curated by travel bloggers to help you find the best places to travel to in the USA.