The Best Summer Camping Near New York City

Summer is here, and the city’s smothering heat is starting to really get to you. You consider going on an exotic vacation, but you don’t have the time or energy to plan one. No need to despair: You don’t have to travel far to find an escape from the noisy streets and crowded trains of your city life! Believe it or not, there are plenty of places to go camping near NYC.

As with most things today, there’s even an app to make your search for the perfect campsite a breeze. It’s called Tentrr, and it’s basically the Airbnb of camping. The process is simple: You can search their website or their free iPhone app for nearby Tentrr campsites. Each site is furnished for maximum comfort, with amenities including tents, a Queen-size cot, a grill, an outdoor shower, and more. Prices range from approximately $100/night to $145/night.

Tentrr has plenty of campsites that are just a two-hour drive away from New York City, and they each offer a different camping experience. For instance, this nearby Tentrr site in Olivebridge, NY is nestled in a quiet forest, perfect for wandering as you watch for local birdlife and wildlife. Or, if you’re craving a dramatic view of mountains and waterfalls, this nearby Woodstock camp site might just be your paradise.

But if you’re looking for a more traditional camping experience in a large park, you’re in luck!  In just a couple of hours, you could be worry-free, and surrounded by nature in one of my favorite campsites near New York City:

Image credit: Daniel Case for Wikipedia

For the Quintessential Camping Experience: Clarence Fahnestock Memorial State Park
Getting there: 1hr, 15mins from the city by car
Address: 1498 Route 301, Carmel, NY 10512
Phone: (845) 225-7207

Within the 14,086 acres of Fahnestock State Park lies everything a camper could desire. Visitors can hike the Appalachian Trail, kayak through the Hudson River, or go freshwater fishing on the gorgeous Canopus Lake. Better still, it’s an outdoor adventure that won’t break the bank: The park’s 80 campsites can be rented online here for $15-19/night. The park charges an additional vehicle entrance fee of $7/car.

Image credit: Flickr; Larry Neuberger, No changes made

For the Most Instagram-Worthy Photos: Letchworth State Park
Getting there: 6 hours from the city by car
Address: 1 Letchworth State Park, Castile, NY 14427
Phone: (585) 493-3600

Letchworth State Park was voted the “Best Park in the Nation” by USA Today readers in 2015, and it’s no wonder. Nicknamed the “Grand Canyon of the East,” the site boasts cliffs of up to 600 feet, as well as the state’s tallest waterfall, called “Inspiration Falls.” If that’s not scenic enough for your Instagram feed, go ahead and explore the park’s gorgeous hiking trails, spanning 66 miles along the Genesee River. You can book camping grounds for $24-26/night, or  at the park’s adorably quaint, 100% air-conditioned Glen Iris Inn for $110/night.

Image credit: Wikipedia, Roger Rowlett

For the Beach-Junkie: Hither Hills State Park
Getting there: 2.5 hours from the city by car
Address: 164 Old Montauk Hwy, Montauk, NY 11954
Phone: (631) 668-2554

If you think summer is all about the beach, then you’ll be all about Hither Hills State Park. Located on Long Island’s South Fork peninsula, this park boasts natural wonders like lush pine forests and 80-foot-high sand dunes. If you’ve already started daydreaming about surfing the Atlantic waves, don’t waste anytime: The race to reserve one of the park’s oceanside camping spots is as competitive as buying a new iPhone. A campsite costs New York residents a reasonable $24-27 dollars. Make a reservation here, and get ready to bask in the sun.

Image credit: Facebook, Marion Vicenta Payr

For the Fancy Foodie: Firelight Camps
Getting there: 4.5 hours from the city by car
Address: 1150 Danby Road, Ithaca, New York 14850
Phone: (607) 229-1644

The luxury Firelight Camps wants to teach you how to “glamp,” or glamorously camp. Located in Ithaca, Firelight provides campers with stylish, elevated tents that feature hardwood floors, comfy beds, and breathtaking balcony views. Campers wake each morning to a complimentary, artisanal breakfast, and end each day roasting S’mores around the communal campfire. In between, they can enjoy Firelight’s guided foraging hikes through Buttermilk Falls State Park, relax in forest-veiled hammocks, or kayak across the lake to the local farmer’s market. Of course, this kind of luxury doesn’t come for free: Renting a double-occupancy tent will cost you $189 per weeknight, $259 per weekend night.

Already fantasizing about dipping your toes in a cool freshwater lake, or lying beneath a forest canopy? Go ahead and book that trip – we bet you’ll be one happy camper!

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