Camp the District- Your Guide to Camping in the DMV
The warm weather has arrived which brings up longings for sipping drinks in the shade, soaking in the water, or fun summer getaways. Instead of heading out on an exotic vacation this summer, why not stay closer to home? Check out some of these local campsites where you can pitch your tent and escape to the beauty of nature! With options in both Maryland and Virginia, there’s something close to everyone!
Bull Run Regional Park in Centreville, Virginia is, what they call, “1,500 Acres of Adventure”! Set up your tent or stay in one of their deluxe cabins or cottages if you’re looking to be a little less “one with nature”. There is quite literally something for everyone at this campsite. You can rent a kayak, hit the batting cages, fish, learn archery, hike, and even visit a water park!
#FrayLife Tip: Check out Nova Parks naturalist events for sunset kayaking trips, paddleboard tours, and more!
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Looking for breathtaking views? Experience your park in a different way. Climb the mountain, conquer the drive, then dive back down. Remember to share the road with vehicles and pedestrians missing out on the fun. 🚲 #GreatOutdoorsMonth #FindYourPark #EncuentraTuParque https://www.nps.gov/subjects/biking/index.htm
Make the two-hour drive to Shenandoah National Park for an exciting weekend getaway. The park has 4 campgrounds ranging from $15 to $20 per night as well as a campground for larger groups of 7-20 people. Hiking is one of Shenandoah National Park’s biggest draws. It has over 500 miles of trails, including 101 miles of the famous Appalachian Trail. If you’re more into two-wheeled adventures, bring a bike and take the journey on Skyline Drive.
#Fraylife Tip: If you’re looking for an adventure, plan your backcountry camping experience with Shenandoah. With 196,000 acres of backcountry, you’re sure to connect with your inner wilderness explorer. Just make sure to review the rules, plan and connect with backcountry rangers before you head out!
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TAKE A BREAK. I grew up instilled with a firm “work before play” mentality. Anyone else? 🙋♀️ It was fine as a kid when there was a clear end to homework and chores, but as an adult and entrepreneur and task-oriented human being, the work truly is infinite if you allow it to be. – When I worked in an office my bosses were always good at encouraging me to take my PTO because in my field “it would always be something”. So I never second guessed leaving town even if a project heated up last minute. But it’s been really hard to hold myself and business to the same mindset. My boss can be kind of an A$$, guys. 😂 – As our camping trip this weekend approached I felt the overwhelm nagging at me before taking time off. Too many things to get done. To be completely honest I definitely considered canceling more than once just to stay home and get stuff (personal and professional) done. 😒 – But this picture is #spoileralert: I went anyway. I realized the work would be there when I got back, but the experience wouldn’t be if I missed out. 🤷♀️ My brain and body has been craving space and quiet and I haven’t been listening. – Feeling refreshed and grounded after a day on the lake with my little family. It’s #globalwellnessday and one of the biggest ways I’m working to improve my overall wellness— mental and physical, is to MAKE myself take breaks. – It’s so important to PLAY before getting back to WORK! AND, for all of my achievers out there like your girl, I’ll leave you with this: Usually the time away helps spark my creativity and quality of work. So it’s win-win. 😉 – I’d love to hear if you also struggle with taking time off and how you plan to hold yourself to it this summer! 🙏 TAKE THE BREAK. You deserve it-whether your work is done or NOT. ❤️ . . . #floraandvino #girlbosslifestyle #positivethinking #mentalhealthawareness #begentlewithyourself #bossbabe #entreprenuermindset #selfcaretip #findyourhappiness #onlypositivevibes #sundaythoughts #makethechange #entrepreneurspirit #mindandbody #happinessisachoice #youareenough #loveyourself #youarelight #mindsetmatters #iamenough #youareenough #harpertheenglishcream #englishcreamgoldenretriever #englishcreampuppy
Lake Anna State Park is a perfect getaway if you’re a water-lover. You can camp along one of Virginia’s most loved lakes – even some of their cabins and lodges have a water view! Rent a kayak or a paddleboard, go swimming at the guarded beach, or fish for largemouth bass. Check out their trail guide for some on-land activity as well.
#Fraylife Tip: Make sure to check their website for swimming hours – and remember a fee is required for entry!
Spend a weekend at Burke Lake Park for some old fashioned fun. Take a 1.75 mile trip on the one-third-scale replica of the Central Pacific Huntington Steam Engine or go for a ride on the carousel. Afterward, make sure to stop for a hand-dipped ice cream cone at the Ice Cream Parlor. Burke Lake Park also features mini golf and one of Virginia’s oldest disc golf courses! If you’re looking for something to satisfy your inner explorer, try your hand at a geocaching course!
#Fraylife Tip: The Burke Lake Loop Trail holds the title of one of the 10 best fitness trails in the nation! Make sure to try out this 4.7-mile loop circling the lake.
You can find the excitement of an island close to home with a getaway to Assateague Island! Camping is available on the Maryland side of the island and is about $30 per night. Bring a bicycle and head to the Virginia side during the day for a Chincoteague to Assateague ride. You can also feel at home among the wild horses and go for your own horseback ride along the beach!
#Fraylife Tip: All firewood must be purchased locally, so make sure not to bring any from out of state!
Greenbrier State Park features a 42-acre man-made freshwater lake and a white sandy beach. Camping is popular here, but you’ll also find a lot of day-trippers around for a day of swimming and grilling. Fish in the lake, hike the nearby trails, or get your tan on! You can also rent paddle boats and row boats.
#Fraylife Tip: Arrive at the beach early to get a good spot as this is a very popular day trip destination.
A three-hour drive from the DC area, Rocky Gap State Park is ideal for a longer trip away. The park consists of over 3000 acres of public land and is known to have the bluest water in the state – great for those Instagram photos! The Healthy Parks, Healthy People Program offers a variety of activities that promote a healthy lifestyle! Check out their schedule for things like canoeing, yoga, HIIT, and beach volleyball.
#Fraylife Tip: Make the short, quarter-mile-long journey on the Canyon Overlook Trail for an amazing view of the gorge.
Greenbelt Park offers the excitement of camping with a shorter drive. Only about 45 minutes from the DC area, you can find 174 campsites, 9 miles of trails, and 3 picnic areas. A variety of hiking trail lengths (from 5.3 miles to 0.8 miles) give this park a good amount of accessibility. Take a quick 7-mile drive down the road and you can also explore the Patuxent Wildlife Visitors Center!
#Fraylife Tip: This is a cash-free park, so make sure to bring a card for any reservations or purchases from the ranger station!
Where are your favorite campsites in the DC area? Let us know in the comments or tag us on social using #DCFray or #FrayLife
Looking for some day-trips around the district? You’re in luck! Check out our day trip guide.