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We’ve got more than a month of summer left, but for a lot of us who have kids, we’re either about to enter into football season, or we’ve just ended soccer and lacrosse season. So, that really might just leave a week or so to eek out a nice little family trip. Let’s take a look at some great camping gems that aren’t too far away – you can stretch them out for a week or two, or fit them into a 3 day trek, whatever fits into your schedule. Just make sure you do it – maintaining sanity through the football season might just depend on it.

For starters, let’s look up north:

Mount Desert Island, Maine

Located within Mount Desert Island is the only National Park in Maine,  Acadia National Park. Comprised of more than 35,000 acres of pristine land, Isle au Haut and the Schoodic Peninsula, Acadia captures the essence of Maine’s rocky coastline, its gently rolling mountains, and its thriving forests, ponds, fields and marshlands. Acadia also offers unmatched wildlife diversity, with countless ecosystems playing host to everything from mollusks and mammals to raptors and reptiles. For vigilant visitors, it’s impossible to visit without crossing paths with a wide variety of wildlife in its natural habitat.

But Acadia’s appeal doesn’t stop with its natural splendor. Home to Bar Harbor, Southwest Harbor, Seal Cove and Northeast Harbor, Mount Desert Island – which contains the largest share of the Park’s acreage – offers a variety of manmade attractions. The Park’s well-known carriage paths, commissioned by John D. Rockefeller in 1915 and constructed over the course of nearly 20 years, provide more than 33 miles of easy, peaceful exploration by foot, bicycle and horseback – free from cars, crowds and other everyday distractions.

Motorhome and RV travelers are welcome in Maine. Maine’s RV Parks and Campgrounds provide hookups, wi-fi, campfire sites, recreational grounds, and trademark hospitality. Free-range blueberries for your morning pancakes, ocean and beachside resorts exclusively for RV camping and the occasional lobster feast at night…. what’s not to love about a camping trip to Maine!  (more info here)

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Letchworth State Park, New York

Nestled between the Allegany foothills and the Finger Lakes of New York State is one of the jewels of the New York State Parks system, Letchworth State Park, also known as “The Grand Canyon the of East”. Today this 14,000 plus acre park offers a wide variety of family activities; you can rent one of its 82 cabins or perhaps stay at one of its 270 campsites or experience the beautiful accommodations at the historic Glen Iris Inn. You may also swim in their Olympic size pool or perhaps hike on over 60 miles of trails.

If adventure is what you seek, try hot air ballooning over one of 3 waterfalls, Upper Falls (70ft), Middle Falls ( 107 ft )or Lower Falls ( 70ft ), or go white water rafting though miles of scenic gorge with walls as high as 600ft on the Genesee River. All this with vistas and panoramic views that are unequaled anywhere in the eastern United States. A photographer’s heaven with locations such as Inspiration Point, Eagle Hill, Wolf Creek, Great Bend, Smokey Hollow, Hog’s Back and the Highbanks. Letchworth State Park is easily one of the premier parks in the Eastern United States.

The scenery and recreational facilities are outstanding and it is a historical gold mine for the researcher, historian, or anyone seeking a connection with the past of the charming Genesee Valley. The park offers entertainment on a regular basis, such as Barbecues and Bands, and the Glen Iris Inn is a great place for a ‘civilized’ meal. For more information, connect to their facebook page here.

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Rather go south? Here’s one of our favorites:

Folly Beach, South Carolina

Folly Beach, SC has always been a part of coastal South Carolina’s history and charm. Nestled between the Folly River and the Atlantic Ocean, just fifteen minutes from downtown Charleston, the barrier island of Folly Beach truly offers you the best of both worlds.

When you wake up in the morning, you will enjoy the sunrise on the beach and finish your day watching a spectacular sunset on the Folly River. A kayak nature tour allows you to catch sight of loggerhead turtles nesting, dolphins playing and see bald eagles soaring in the sky. On the eastern tip of the Island, you will find an outstanding view of the Morris Island Lighthouse from one of three county parks.

Folly Beach, SC offers an extensive list of activities, from bike rentals and jet skis rentals to charter boat fishing, dolphin cruises and parasailing.

And let us not forget about some of the finest food on the coast at Folly Beach. Whether you are looking for a gourmet meal, seafood feast or a tasty sandwich, you will find it here and Folly’s local shops offer a variety of goods and services. Everything from bathing suits, surf boards and surfing gear, to souvenirs, local art, sea shells and gifts …all within minutes in this quaint little town.

Folly Beach, South Carolina camping has everything you could ask for with a wide variety of campsites, from beach sites to a lake retreat, or a cabin in the trees. You may even share your coffee with some of South Carolina’s local wildlife, like Egrets and sea turtles. The list of amenities is long including swimming pools, stocked fishing ponds, tennis courts and athletic facilities as well as shuttles to downtown areas. So leave the hustle and bustle at home and enjoy the coast of the Carolina up close and personal. For more camping information, click here.

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Does closer-to-home sound like a better option? Okay…take a look at these:

Pennsylvania Dutch Country

Lancaster, PA has long been a popular vacation destination where visitors can enjoy a slower pace. Relax & unwind to the clip-clop of horses’ hooves echoing down quiet country roads. Drive through one of 28 covered bridges. Enjoy beautiful scenery dotted with one-room schools, mule teams working in the fields, and handmade clothes and quilts gently blowing in the breeze.

Don’t feel like slowing down? Whether it’s a ride in an Amish buggy, an authentic steam locomotive, a roller coaster, or a balloon ride, you can enjoy a full day of activities you’ll not soon forget. The dutch country offers challenging corn mazes, outlet malls, rhubarb festivals, mud sales ( yes, you heard right! ) and trails upon trails of scenic countryside waiting for exploration. Lancaster County offers small towns that still retain that unique small town charm. Towns like Lititz, Intercourse, Bird-in-Hand, and Paradise. Each has its own personality. 

The campgrounds in Pennsylvania Dutch Country give you the opportunity to enjoy the beautiful outdoors and spend the night under the stars while remaining in close proximity to local attractions and points of interest. You’ll find rustic campgrounds as well as more modern facilities for the full range of camping options, from tent sites and group camping to pull-through sites for RV’s. Some campgrounds also offer cabin rentals. Most campgrounds have modern facilities, hookups, and recreation activities. Click here for more information.

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Grayson Highlands State Park, Virginia

Near Mount Rogers and Whitetop Mountain, Virginia’s two highest mountains, Grayson Highlands offers scenic views of alpine-like peaks more than 5,000 feet high. Facilities include a visitor center, campgrounds, and hiking trails leading to waterfalls and overlooks. Scenic horse trails and a horse camping area with electric and water hookups, stables and parking for trailers are available. The park provides year-round access to the Appalachian Trail and the Virginia Highlands Horse Trail.

In addition to hunting and horseback riding, fishing and canoeing, the park offers guided hikes day and evening (includes some after dark); evening amphitheater programs – bluegrass and old-time music, storytelling, etc.; cultural demonstrations – basket weaving, spinning, clogging, etc.; flora and fauna programs; the Junior Ranger Program; Adventure Ranger Program.

The Junior Ranger Program showcases the park’s historical, geological, wild ponies, and cultural and natural resources. The program is for children ages 6-12 years and features music, nature activities and crafts. The program is normally held in July. The Adventure Ranger Program for children 10-17 is three days, 9 a.m.-3 p.m., and focuses on environmental education including hiking, backpacking, canoeing, orienteering and other local adventure activities. Fees apply.

Grayson Highlands offers quite an assortment of camping sites. For more information, click here.

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Have you already been to any of these destinations? We’d love to hear your stories!! Have any other suggestions? Bring ’em on!! We’ve got to get on the road! 🙂

SAFFORD RV

6101 Mallard Rd, Thornburg VA

540 735 1100 / 800 719 3507

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