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Top 10 | Coastal Camping

Top 10 Undiscovered Beach Camping Destinations

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All along the coasts of the United States there are amazing places to enjoy beautiful coastal camping. There are amazing campsites with beautiful beaches, opportunities to swim, hike and much more. Here are a few great places to find great campsites and create some camping memories you will never forget.


Cape Lookout National Seashore, NC
Located off the coast of North Carolina, visitors have to arrange to take the ferry to the seashore. The seashore offers all sorts of recreational opportunities. You can hike, bird watch, swim, boat, and fish during the appropriate seasons. Certain areas of the Cape Lookout National Seashore are open to primitive camping. Some of the most unique activities you can try while visiting the seashore are collecting shells and watching the wild horses. The seashore has all sorts of seashells, and you are even allowed to take some shells home with you. You will also find that the seashore is home to over one hundred wild horses, which you can observe from a safe distance.

Shelter Cove, CA
Whales, otters, sea lions and amazing tide pools.  Explore Shelter Cove's tide pools The Pacific Coast's rocky reefs feature some of the world's most abundant tidal zone life. The secret to this abundance are the winds and currents that drive surface water away from the shore, causing nutrient-rich cold water to rise from above. These nutrients cause plant life to flourish, providing a bounty of food for the incredible array of organisms that inhabit the tide pools, formed when receding tides trap seawater in basins among the rock.  The tide pools in the rocky reef below the bluffs at Shelter Cove are no exception. Exploring these pools and identifying the fascinating creatures that inhabit them is an adventure. The best time for tide-pooling is during spring tides, which happen every two weeks when there is a full moon or a new moon. But you can also explore tide pools between the full and new moons, thanks to neap tides, the lowest tides of the month. Plan your trip to the tide pools for an hour or two before or after the lowest minus tides, which occur twice daily. Tide tables can be purchased at local stores that stock fishing supplies.

Mattole Beach, CA
If you are visiting Shelter Cove make time for a visit to Mattole Beach.  This beach in Humboldt County is a beautiful beach that is a glorious place for camping. Throughout the area there are many things to do, including hiking, swimming, boating, whitewater rafting and more. This section of beach has beautiful views. Visitors can spend time at the Mattole River and enjoy all of the outdoor activities to be found in the area.

Bahia Honda State Park, Bahia Honda Key, FL
One of Florida's beautiful keys, Bahia Honda Key is home to Bahia Honda State Park. Visitors to the park will find several beautiful white sand beaches,  with soft find sand and beautiful clear water. Fun beach activities include snorkeling, beachcombing, swimming, sunbathing, fishing, kayaking and more. Bahia Honda State Park has over 500 acres in the park, which includes 2.5 miles of the beautiful beaches.

Point Reyes, CA
Point Reyes National Seashore and Point Reyes National Park are great options for enjoying California's natural environment and outdoor recreation. At Point Reyes you will find trails, historic structures and visitor centers where visitors can enjoy all aspects of the unique area. Visitors can enjoy camping, hiking, biking and kayaking. Point Reyes National Park also features the Point Reyes Lighthouse and visitor center, at the visitor center you can learn all about the lighthouse and for the very adventurous a trip down the 308 stairs to the Lighthouse is a great option. Point Reyes is a great place to enjoy the coast and inland areas of California.

Ocracoke Island, NC
Ocracoke Island has 16 miles of undeveloped sandy shoreline. It is a barrier island of the Outer Banks of North Carolina, and it is a part of the Cape Hatteras National Seashore. Ocracoke is fairly remote and can only be reached be public ferry, private boat or private plane. The beach is perfect for swimming, fishing, surfing, sunbathing, fishing and even camping. Certain portions of the beautiful sandy beach can be enjoyed by off-road vehicle.

Padre Island National Seashore, TX
Padre Island National Seashore is located along the south Texas Coast, and the National Seashore protects the longest undeveloped stretch of barrier island in the world. Visitors can enjoy over 70 miles of sandy beach. These white sand beaches have warm water and nice sandy dunes, great for beach driving, biking, camping, birdwatching, fishing, picnicing, swimming and beachcombing. The beachcombing at Padre Island is particularly good because of the items brought to shore by the currents in the Gulf of Mexico, including seashells and much more. Visitors should be aware that there are strong currents offshore, so care should be taken when swimming.

Haena Beach Park, HI
Located on the North Shore of Kauai, this beach is an ideal beach camping location. Hawaii is a state filled with beaches, and there are many places throughout the islands to participate in beach camping. Haena Beach Park is a prime location for camping on the sialdn of Kauai because of the easy access to excellent snorkeling, swimming and other exciting outdoor activities.

Cumberland Island National Seashore, GA
Cumberland Island is the southernmost and the largest barrier island in Georgia. Visitors can see the maritime forests, beaches, marshes and more located in the designated wilderness areas. The island also has historic sites, ruins and much more. Cumberland Island also has the Dungeness ruins, which was originally built by General Nathanial Greene, and later built again by Thomas Carnegie. Plum Orchard Mansion is another place to visit on Cumberland Island. Plum Orchard Mansion was built by Lucy Carnegie for her son. In addition, visitors will the the First African Baptist Church in the Settlement and a Museum. Visitors can also enjoy a variety of outdoor activities including, hiking, camping, wildlife viewing and bicycling to name only a few.

Cayo Costa State Park, Florida
With nine miles of beautiful beaches and acres of pine forests, oak-palm hammocks and mangrove swamps, this barrier island park is a Gulf Coast paradise. Cayo Costa is accessible only by private boat or the ferry, Tropic Star of Pine Island, departs from Pineland, Florida.  Visitors may see manatees and pods of dolphins in the waters around the 2,426 acre park, as well as a spectacular assortment of birds. On the island, visitors can swim or snorkel in the surf, enjoy the sun and picnic in the shade. An amphitheater provides educational programs about the island's ecology and history. For overnight stays, the park offers primitive cabins and tent camping.

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