6. Hot Springs, North Carolina
Where: Creek Ridge Campground, just outside the village of Hot Springs.
Why it’s so cool: The Appalachian Trail runs right through town, so you won’t have to go far to get out in Nature. The French Broad River (which also runs through town) offers tons of aquatic activities (white-water rafting, tubing, kayaking, swimming, etc.) and some fishing.
What makes it unique: Hot Springs is one of only two locations on the east coast with natural hot spring waters. There’s nothing like a good soak after a day in the outdoors!
7. La Push, Washington
Where: Camp on the beach at Second Beach in Olympic National Park.
Why it’s so cool: The one-square-mile remote village is a great place for surfing, fishing, and hiking in the summer. There is also a lot to learn of the early inhabitants of La Push, the Quileute people, who have preserved many of their skills and crafts.
What makes it unique: Olympic National Park protects 73 miles of wild Pacific coast.
8. Joshua Tree National Park, California
Where: One of the 9 campgrounds in the park.
Why it’s so cool: Numerous easy hikes to discover the unique flora of the park, the bizarre shapes of its geologic landscape, and the desert bighorn sheep.
What makes it unique: Joshua Tree National Park is home to five of North America’s 158 desert fan palm oases.
9. Hither Hills State Park, New York
Where: Camp right over the dunes from the beach.
Why it’s cool: Learn about the Native American communities of Long Island and get out on the water for some awesome fishing, surfing, and swimming. Your family will also get a kick out of tumbling down dunes!
What makes it unique: There’s nothing like falling asleep in your tent to the sound of the ocean’s waves.
10. Edisto Island, South Carolina
Where: Edisto Beach State Park is one remote hour away from Charleston. You can rent a cabin or a tent site right by the beach.
Why it’s so cool: Miles of Atlantic shore and salt marshes to explore with great swimming and fishing. Edisto Island also has many short, level trails — for walking, riding, or biking — where wildlife is abundant. Keep your eyes peeled for deer, alligators, and even bobcats.
What makes it unique: If you get up early enough, you’ll be able to see dolphins feeding near the pier.