Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Camping in the Carolinas

I'm not sure what I liked best about camping at Ocracoke Island. It's a toss-up between hearing the ocean on the other side of the dune. Or walking out our tent, up a hill and watching the sunrise over the ocean.

I try to go camping every year, and apparently the recession is sending more people outdoors, according to a New York Times article. If you're thinking about taking a camping trip this summer, the Observer listed some of the most popular spots in the Carolinas.

I love Ocracoke Island on the Outerbanks. I stayed at the National Park Services campground. It's the closest I've been to camping directly on a beach. The drawback is cold showers and little shade. If you go, plan to spend about a week. It's an eight-hour drive from Charlotte.

For our trip, we drove to Kill Devil Hills and stayed in a hotel overnight. The next day we drove the remaining hour or so, and took a ferry to the island. The hotel stay gave us a chance to get a good night's sleep before we tackled setting up camp.

If you have kids, Myrtle Beach State Park is a good option. It's on an undeveloped portion of the beach so it's clean and quieter than the beach access near the strip. The park has a general store that has any supplies you forgot. There are also kids' programs. The park is crowded and the campsites are close together so there isn't much privacy. It's extremely family friendly so your kids can easily meet other people their age.

I also love Huntington Beach State Park in South Carolina. It's only a four-hour drive. The tent campsites are private and shaded, and the park has hot showers. It offers plenty of trails for walking and exploring. There's also the Atalaya, a Moorish-style winter home of Anna Hyatt and Archer Huntington, sculptress and philanthropist. The park also has a genera, which really can open containers and coolers.

So far, it's BMYF 1, raccoons 1.

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