As we draw nearer to summer, and many families are dealing with canceled or postponed travel plans, I’ve found myself often wondering –just what exactly am I going to do with my family this summer? It’s hard when you have a mixture of wants and needs. Some of us like nature, others like exploring shops, museums, and restaurants in new places. But with so many places in various degrees of open and closed to the public, how can we make everybody happy and STILL get out of the house we’ve been stuck in for so long?
I found the perfect solution: road-tripping to cities in the U.S. that are great for both traditional tourists and outdoorsy folks. Trust me, they exist! This way, you can spend a few days of your vacation exploring the sites the city has to offer, and you won’t run out of things to do if many attractions are closed –because once you do, you can pack up, and head to the nearest park for some camping!
As it turns out, many U.S. cities are prime candidates for this. Below I’ve compiled a list of the best cities for camping this summer, as well as some links to local parks and attractions to explore. Scroll down to check it out!
San Francisco is an iconic city with so much room to explore. With kids, you can visit the plethora of museums, aquariums, and parks throughout the city, many of which have online touring options available during quarantine. Even just taking a socially-distanced walk around the city leaves plenty of opportunity for fun, such as exploring the pastel-painted Victorians, cable cars, and Golden Gate Bridge.
When all is said and done within the city’s limits, San Francisco is also remarkably close to many great camping spots. There’s a reason it’s ranked as the top city for outdoorsy people in the U.S.! Nearby, you can get a plot at Rob Hill Campground, Kirby Cove Campground, and in many more lovely landscapes within a short drive of downtown.
Another fantastic city to visit for the sights and for camping is Nashville. In the city itself, you can visit and tour the capitol building on the hill, check out the historic Riverfront Park, and much more. If you’re looking for great camping sites, there are plenty of options for you here, with some fun twists! Lake Houston Wilderness Park is a mere 34 miles from the city. You can also camp near alligators, armadillos, and birds at Brazos Bend State Park. Or take your kids ziplining in northern Nashville!
Our nation’s capital isn’t exactly known for being outdoorsy or having great camping, but there are some solid options here for those looking for a way to extend their vacation in the area. Of course, there’s a ton of options for activities in the DMV area for families, from parks to museums to monuments depending on what you’re interested in. And when you’re just about done with sightseeing? Drive out to the Mathews Arm campground in Shenandoah National Park or stay close to the city with a plot in Greenbelt Park –you can even take the metro!
Why not try camping near a city this summer? I bet you’ll be surprised at how it turns out!