Top Local Camping Spots for Fall 2015

Each year before the cold weather sets in, I try to go for one last weekend getaway in the great outdoors. While I enjoy escaping the city, I also prefer to retain some of the basic comforts of civilized living. When I’m feeling more adventurous, I’ll pitch a tent at a campsite within walking distance of a shower and access to outlets. However, sometimes it’s nice to rent a cabin or luxury accommodation for a weekend of “glamping.” Here are some of my favorite camping spots within driving distance of NYC:
croton

Photo courtesy of eventseeker.com

Westchester, NY (1h 1 min)
$30/night (tents)  – $120/night (deluxe cabin)
This 508-acre park is situated on a peninsula overlooking the scenic Hudson River, and is just an hour’s drive from the city. The park offers year-round events and activities, and has a beach, hiking train, picnic area, ball fields, boat launch, and fishing. Croton Point Park is also the site of historic wine cellars that are thought to be the oldest in New York State. Camping options range from pitching a tent to renting the full-service cabin, complete with a private bathroom and modern kitchen appliances.
Photo courtesy of thecatskillchronicle.com

Photo courtesy of thecatskillchronicle.com

Narrowsburg, NY (2h 7min)
$220/night
Surrounded by the Catskill and Pocono Mountains, Blue Hills Farm offers luxury camping, or “glamping” for those who want to experience the outdoors without giving up basic comforts. The canvas tents at Blue Hills Farm include a queen sized bed, a shower with spa jets, and electricity (but no phone or television). The Delaware River offers fishing, kayaking, hiking, and other outdoor activities, and the nearby town of Narrowsburg has art galleries, shops, and restaurants. Or, you can simply relax on your private deck for a quiet weekend away from city life.
Photo courtesy of Flickr

Photo courtesy of Flickr

East Hampton, NY (2h 13 min)
$30 – 40/night
Another Long Island favorite, Cedar Point County Park offers dog-friendly camping along the beach. The 607-acre park is also home to the Cedar Point Lighthouse, built in 1860 to guide ships in and out of Sag Harbor. A thin, walkable strip connects the lighthouse to the mainland. If you’re feeling adventurous, nearby Northwest Harbor Beach offers scuba diving. Otherwise, you can stay within the park for rowboat rentals, nature trails, and fishing.
Photo courtesy of Yelp

Photo courtesy of Yelp

Montauk, NY (2h, 27min)
$28/night weekdays | $32/night weekends
Hither Hills State Park proves you don’t have to go upstate for great camping, fishing, and hiking. Located in Montauk, the park offers scenic picnic areas and fireplaces, as well as showers and a camp store. Visitors can enjoy biking, horseback riding, boating, hunting, and wintertime cross-country skiing. Hither Hills is known for being family-friendly and is a short distance to restaurants and antique shops in Montauk.
Photo courtesy of harmonyhillretreat.com

Photo courtesy of harmonyhillretreat.com

East Meredith, NY (3h 28min)
$125/night weekdays | $140/night weekends
Harmony Hill’s treehouse yurts (insulated, weatherproof tents) offer king sized beds, electricity, modern bathrooms, space heaters, and a fully equipped kitchen. Right next to your private deck is a charcoal grill, picnic table, and fireplace. The 314 square foot yurt has a 5 foot skylight, large screened windows, and French doors, allowing you to take in the fresh air and scenic views with maximum comfort. The yurts are tucked away in the woods but have a private parking spot nearby. There is a hiking trail that starts right behind your yurt, and the fieldstone labyrinth, patterned after the one in Chartres de Cathedral in France, is situated in the middle of a 2-acre meadow. Harmony Hill is also a short distance from the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, as well as several cafes and canoe rental spots.
Photo courtesy of Pinterest

Photo courtesy of Pinterest

Chestertown, NY (3h 40min)
$175/night
Nestled among the Adirondacks of upstate New York, this all-inclusive luxury camping destination offers 4 furnished tents with covered porches. The queen-size beds come with fresh linens, comforters, and wool blankets. Well-behaved dogs are welcome for an additional $25/night. The onsite restaurant serves farm-to-table and locally sourced meals, and provides packed lunches along with help planning day trips. Posh Primitive has an organic garden and is close to hiking trails, whitewater rafting, canoeing and kayaking, biking, climbing, zip-lining, caving, and more. The in-house guide service can help you plan the perfect day trip, or you can relax on your covered porch until it’s time for stargazing.
Photo courtesy of camporenda.com

Photo courtesy of camporenda.com

Johnsburgh, NY (3h 54min)
$200/night
While Camp Orenda is the furthest drive out of all my favorite camping spots, it provides the most luxurious camping experience. This all-inclusive Adirondack retreat is ideal for outdoor enthusiasts who want to enjoy the comforts of back country living. The spacious canvas cabins are outfitted with queen and/or twin beds, luxurious linens, pillows, towels, and bio-degradable shower products. Enjoy fireside farm-to-table meals served onsite daily, and packed meals for your off-site adventures. WiFi, lighting, and outlets are provided on-site, and a guest refrigerator is available for chilling wine and beer. Customized hiking excursions, whitewater rafting, rock climbing, and spelunking (cave exploration) are just a few of the activities nearby.
Whether you’re roughing it in a tent or enjoying the comforts of luxury camping, remember to dress in warm layers, as autumn nights in New York can get pretty cold. As always, let me know if any of your preferred spots weren’t mentioned here.

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