Categories: CampingDestinations

The Best Long Weekend Camping Trips for Summer

Secure your camping plans for the best long weekend of the summer!

People across the country will celebrate the extra-long July 4th weekend this year. The holiday falls on a Thursday, which means a 4-day weekend for many. Whether you’re looking to hit a waterside campground or traveling with a group, there’s still time to book a last-minute Independence Day weekend camping trip.

Planning a stress-free July 4th weekend camping trip

If you live in a big city, expect tourist crowds—or make the most of a bit of extra time off work by heading out on a camping adventure.

Although campgrounds in state parks and national forests near you might be full, you have options. You can set availability alerts for you desired locations through Hipcamp, and we’ll alert you if a site becomes available for your dates.

Or if you’d like to solidify your camping plans now, check out Hipcamp’s July 4th weekend collection, where you’ll find loads of camping and glamping options available near you.

1. East Coast: Long-weekend camping ideas from Boston, MA

Long weekends are perfect for disconnecting from the grind of city life, and you won’t have to venture far from Boston to feel like you’re getting away from it all. Take a ferry to one of the Boston Harbor Islands for springtime day hikes or summertime camping adventures, or head up to Cape Cod’s Nickerson State Park to add a bit of hiking, boating, and whale-watching to your long weekend away.

If you want to get farther from town, head north to the White Mountain National Forest, an 800,000-acre expanse of woods stretching across parts of New Hampshire and Maine.   

Photo by Hipcamp Photographer Brian & Natasha Cardinal at Crooked Creek Hollow Farm

2. South: Long-weekend camping ideas from Orlando, FL

While plenty of people plan their Orlando theme park vacations around long weekends, why not make the most of a little extra time off from work or school by getting out into nature? Orlando makes a great base for exploring Central Florida’s lakes, woodlands, and beaches, with plenty of camping options no matter what direction you choose to head. 

Only half an hour or so from the city, Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park feels like another world, with great birding opportunities by day and stargazing by night (declared a Dark Sky Park in 2016). If you’re in the mood for a beach getaway, head to the Canaveral National Seashore and take a canoe out to a primitive island campsite.

Photo by Hipcamp Photographer Shayna Frankenfield at Home of Many Miniature Animals

3. Rocky Mountains: Long-weekend camping ideas from Denver, CO

In the heart of the Rocky Mountains region, Denver is a fantastic base if you want easy access to the great outdoors. The Mile-High City offers easy access to seemingly every type of outdoor adventure imaginable, from climbing and hiking to soaking in hot springs. 

Rocky Mountain National Park is many people’s first choice for a long weekend of camping, and while this gorgeous, wildlife-filled park is undoubtedly enchanting, it’s not the only option within easy reach of town. You can head south to the Pike-San Isabel National Forest for great hiking, mountain climbing, and fishing, or get a complete change of scenery on the plains of the Pawnee National Grassland, which is equally great for birdwatching as it is for gazing out into the open star-filled sky. 

Photo by Hipcamp Host Campfire Ranch Sam Degenhard at Campfire Ranch on the Taylor

4. West Coast: Long-weekend camping ideas from Los Angeles, CA

Although Los Angeles may seem sprawling, once you get away from the city lights, you’re in prime camping country. If you head up the coast past Malibu, you’ll find yourself on California’s Central Coast, an ideal destination for camping near the beach. The northernmost part of this region, Big Sur, offers a mix of beautiful state parks and forest areas, hiking trails, and hot springs. 

If you’re more of a desert person, head inland toward Joshua Tree National Park or the Mojave National Preserve. For a forest camping getaway among some of the world’s largest trees, travel north to Sequoia & Kings Canyon national parks. 

Photo by Hipcamp Photographer Loretta Richert at Holcomb Valley Ranch

5. Pacific Northwest: Long-weekend camping ideas from Seattle, WA

You don’t have to go far from Seattle to feel like you’re in the middle of nowhere. All three of Washington’s national parks are within easy driving distance of the city, including North Cascades National Park, home to some of the state’s most remote stretches of wilderness.

West of Seattle, Olympic National Park is characterized by long expanses of rugged beaches and ancient groves of old-growth trees draped in emeraldine moss. Southeast of Seattle, Mount Rainier National Park offers hundreds of miles of hiking trails, as well as lakes, waterfalls, and plenty of nearby camping and glamping options. 

Feel like venturing further? A few hours’ drive south will take you to the Oregon border, the sight of the magnificent Columbia River Gorge.

Photo by Hipcamp Photographer Evan Brown at Green Apple Alpacas

More ways to camp this Fourth of July weekend

Margot Bigg is a freelance writer and editor specializing in travel and culture. Her stories have appeared in publications around the world, including Travel + Leisure, Sunset, Afar, Rolling Stone, and National Geographic Traveller. She’s the author of three India guidebooks for MoonGuides and has co-authored Fodor’s guides to India and the Pacific Northwest. When not traveling or writing, she enjoys reading, studying languages, discovering new music, and daydreaming about her next destination.

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