Blog Share Thursdays: America's Best Beach Camping June 05 2014, 0 Comments

This week's guest blogger is my good friend Mark of Camp Trend. Mark and I met back in college in 2001 in the wonderful city of Philadelphia. As the years went on, we both realized we had a common love for camping and Mother Nature. Camptrend is about capturing the beauty of camp life. Check out Mark's picks for America's Best Beach Camping below, then head to for a healthy serving of all-things CAMPING! 

America's Best Beach Camping

If waking up on a sand beach with the ocean right outside your tent stirs good vibes, then beach camping has to get on your bucket list. And while there are an abundance of beach campgrounds that “try” to offer this experience, nothing can beat the seclusion and sheer beauty of dispersed beach camping. If the term dispersed is new for you, the basic idea is that (where allowed) you are free to set up camp anywhere you like. While campgrounds will offer a range of amenities from picnic tables to bathrooms and showers, they also will confine you to a specific area that isn’t typically on the beach itself. If you’re comfortable with the idea of bringing everything you need (especially fresh water!) then check out these 5 amazing beach camp spots right here in the USA:

1. Cape Lookout, NC 

The beaches of the Outer Banks are well known as a beach vacation spot but if you want to get away from the crowds, pack your gear and head out to Cape Lookout. It’s about a 4 hour drive from Raleigh and stays open all year round. There are no fees to camp and there is a four-wheel drive shuttle service (for a fee) if you don’t have a 4x4 vehicle. 

2. Lost Coast, CA.

In the remote section of Northern California lies 60k acres of public land known as the Lost Coast. Here you can camp along the black-sand beaches in either primitive campgrounds or dispersed camp spots. With the pacific ocean in front of you and old growth redwood forests behind, endless opportunities for wilderness adventures are possible.

3. Assateague Island, MD.

Assateague Island offers both dispersed camping and a campground, but the latter is located on the opposite side of the dunes meaning no ocean views. Like the rest of the locations listed here, if you want to enjoy a true beach camp experience, you’ll have to hike out to one of the backcountry sites. If you’re willing to make the trek out (sites start around 2.5 miles) you can be sure that you’ll enjoy solitude amongst the waves of the Atlantic Ocean.

4. Na Pali Coast, Kauai, HI.

It’s easy to see how the Na Pali Coast has become extremely popular for beach camping. With the rise in popularity, the state has begun to require permits ($20 per night) to limit the over-crowding. But if you’re able to obtain one of these camp permits, you’ll find yourself amongst waterfalls and streams that flow out of the volcanic cliffs and into the ocean. Pristine white sand beaches meet aqua oceans around every corner and the sunsets are some of the best on the planet.

5. Padre Island, TX

This list wouldn’t be complete without a camp spot on the gulf coast of Texas.  Padre Island is open year round and sites are available on a first-come basis. There are 5 designated camp areas but our pick is South Beach where you are free to set-up wherever you like. If you have a 4x4 vehicle, head down to Padre Island to experience the dark skies and warm waters. You’re allowed to camp up to 14 consecutive days here and even that may not be enough time to truly enjoy the beaches of the Gulf.

- Mark 

Mark's idea for Camp Trend came after seeing there were no publications that covered the art and style of camp life. “There’s an amazing culture of people who love camping for the beauty and simplicity you can’t find anywhere else” he says. “Camp Trend is here to capture those elements”. Head over to for more!