For some outdoorsy families, simply having a tent, a firepit, and a piece of wilderness is heaven: and family camping suits them perfectly.
Others would like a certain level of comfort, amenities, and activities, while still enjoying a beautiful outdoors setting and a budget-friendly price. Fortunately, such getaways can be found at certain "camping resorts".
Europeans have been flocking to deluxe campgrounds for years: places with cottages, swimming pools, pizzerias, grocery stores, kids programs, and even spas. One glance at Eurocamp will show you what North Americans have been missing. Still, we do have some options-- read more below. (And Eurocamp has partnered with some locations in North America and Canada.)
"Camping resorts" can range in style from rustic-opulent to rustic-for-real, but in general you may find these features:
- swimming pools and playgrounds
- activities such as canoeing, horse-riding, etc.
- kids programs in summer time
- a variety of lodging options, including cabins and bungalows. Other choices might be: canvas tents with cots; tent-bungalows with cooking facilities; "park model" portable units in cabin styles.
Find a Camping Resort
- Eurocamp -- which has such great resorts in Europe-- has also put its brand on brand on a number of properties in the U.S. in Florida, Outer Banks NC, and more.
- google [state of your choice] plus "camping resort", or "camping bungalow", and see what turns up. For example: Mountain Springs Camping Resort, in Pennsylvania Dutch country, has kids activities, hayrides, snack shack, visit to local wildlife center, and special events, in addition to swimming, fishing, hiking, etc.*
Note: carefully explore online any places called "RV Resorts": this may mean places with minimal amenities where RV's are lined up cheek by jowl. Fortunately, most web sites have photos so you can get a preview of the place.
You may also be interested in Family Camps: like summer-camp for kids, but for the whole family; simple lodgings, low-budget, meals included, many outdoor activities.
Please note that the writer has not visited the properties mentioned in this article; and always check resort sites for updates.
** Photo of waterslides at Ruisseau parc, Biarritz, France, courtesy of Eurocamp.