Camping with an Urban Twist: See America’s Cities and Still Sleep Outdoors

Campgrounds located near major urban areas offer the best of both worlds — you can enjoy big city attractions like museums, sporting events and concerts while still enjoying the peace and solitude of sleeping under the stars (or in the comfort of your own RV). Here are some great options to consider:


What to do: Walk the Freedom Trail to see historical sites, visit Faneuil Hall Market Place and the Museum of Science, and take in a Red Sox game at Fenway Park.

Where to stay:

Normandy Farms Family Campground, 30 miles from Boston

Offering options from basic tent sites to full hook ups, Normandy Farms features a 20,000 square foot recreation lodge with a heated indoor pool, sauna and wellness and fitness center; three outdoor pools; a business center; complimentary Wi-Fi; playgrounds; a fishing pond; an 18-hole disk golf course; dog park and much more. www.normandyfarms.com

Canoe River Campground, one hour from downtown Boston

This family-friendly campground offers plenty of activities to enjoy, including baseball, basketball, boating, and fishing as well as two pools and a playground for the kids. Tent sites and RV sites (including pull-through sites) are available. www.canoeriver.com


What to do: Catch a Cubs or Sox game, head to Brookfield Zoo, or visit any (or all) of Chicago’s amazing museums – The Art Institute of Chicago, Museum of Science and Industry, Field Museum and the Shedd Aquarium.

Where to stay:

Kayak Morris, less than one hour from Chicago

Offering wooded and sandy beach campsites, Kayak Morris specializes in kayaking and canoeing. Beginners are welcome! The campground also offers monthly “Glamping” events that include tent rental with complimentary setup/take down, a gourmet potluck dinner, a movie under the stars, a guided kayak tour and even a hot breakfast with Starbucks! www.kayakmorris.com

Yogi Bear Jellystone Park, within an hour’s drive of Chicago

This family-friendly and pet-friendly campground offers cabins, tent sites and RV sites, and a menu of fun activities, including tennis, basketball, volleyball, mini golf, bike and boat rentals and fishing on a 22-acre lake. There are also sandy beaches to enjoy as well as an adult pool and three family pools. www.campjellystone-portage.com


What to do: Catch an Astros game, enjoy water sports on Lake Conroe, hit the local links or take in a concert at The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion

Where to stay:

Rayford Crossing RV Resort, about 20 minutes from Houston

This luxury RV park has everything you could want — a BBQ pavilion, workout room, free Wi-Fi, a large heated pool and adult whirlpool, a pet park, fishing pond, and concrete sites. www.rayfordcrossing.com

Trinity Bay RV Park, 40 miles east of Houston

Ideal for anyone seeking peace, quiet and nature’s beauty, this park is located on the Great Texas Birding Trail and adjacent to Fort Anahuac Park, which has boat ramps, a fish cleaning station, a lighted fishing pier and a birding trail with a look-out tower. The park also offers cabin rentals. www.campingfriend.com/TrinityBayRVPark


What to do: Visit the Arizona Science Center, Heard Museum or Musical Instrument Museum; catch a Diamondbacks game; explore the Desert Botanical Gardens; or attend an exhibit at the Phoenix Art Museum.

Where to stay:

Desert’s Edge RV Park, 30 minutes north of downtown Phoenix

This big rig-friendly park offers full-hookup sites with patios, picnic tables and beautiful desert landscaping. It’s pet-friendly, too. Recreational amenities include a heated pool and spa, fitness room, playground, basketball court, video games and billiards, and paved areas for walking and biking. www.desertsedgerv.com

Mesa Spirit RV Resort, approximately 35 minutes east of downtown Phoenix

This all-RV resort offers more than 1,800 sites and plenty of activities including arts and crafts, entertainment and special events. Mesa Spirit offers full hookups and free Wi-Fi service and satellite TV is available. www.mesaspirit.com


What to do: Shop at Pike Place Market, enjoy the views from the top of the Space Needle, take a Washington State Ferry across Puget Sound or visit the Seattle Art Museum.

Where to stay

Tall Chief RV and Camping Resort, 25 miles from Seattle

This resort offers spacious, wooded RV sites as well as rental cottages, park models and yurts. The recreational amenities at this pet-friendly resort include shuffleboard, nature and hiking trails, basketball, a pool and mini golf. www.rvonthego.com/washington/tall-chief-rv-camping-resort

Snoqualmie River RV Park and Campground, 30 minutes from downtown Seattle

This park has 92 RV sites, including some pull throughs, and each includes a fire ring and picnic table. Thirty-one tent sites are also available, and guests can enjoy fishing for Steelhead in the Snoqualmie River, waterskiing on Lake Sammamish, golfing at one of the seven courses available within five miles or picking fresh summer berries at local farms. www.srcghsg.com

So start packing your camping gear and head for the big city of your choice. For even more options, visit Gocampingamerica.com’s Find a Park page and search the city of your choice.