If you want to get back to nature, forget about hotels and fancy resorts. All you need for a fun vacation is a tent, a fire pit, and a taste for adventure (that said, an electric hook-up rarely goes amiss either). If you're ready to swap swanky hotels for swanky campgrounds, check out our pick of the 10 best places to go camping in Maryland.
10. Greenbrier State Park, Boonsboro
Located three miles from Boonsboro in the Appalachian Mountains, Greenbrier State Park is a traditional camping site with enough home comforts to make your stay enjoyable. There are no hot tubs or free WIFI or other fancy touches, but what amenities there are (and yes, hot showers are included) are superbly clean and well maintained. Ultimately, though, the real reason to come here is the location. Straddling a freshwater lake and offering easy access to the Appalachian Trail, there's an abundance of recreational opportunities on offer, including hiking, swimming, canoeing, picnicking, fishing, and hunting. If you're looking for a camping experience where the location is the star of the show, it's ideal.
9. Frontier Town Family Campground, Ocean City
Located just a couple of miles from Ocean City, Frontier Town Family Campground is a vast campsite offering the full array of camping experiences, from basic, budget-friendly sites with no hookups to luxurious waterfront sites suitable for RVs. All sites come with a picnic table and fire ring, and you'll also find numerous food stores and bars (including a very charming Western-themed saloon) scattered throughout the property. Amenity-wise, you'll be spoilt for choice, with a water park, an 18 hole mini-golf course, a zipline obstacle course, and a Western theme park. The location is just as stellar, with all the attractions of Ocean City just a stone's throw away.
8. Camp Merryelande, Piney Point
If you're looking for a family-friendly campground, you might want to take the advice of Vacation Idea and consider Camp Merryelande. Offering a combination of both beachfront campsites and cottages for between 2 and 24 people, it comes with all the basic features you'd expect (picnic tables, fire rings, showers, and restrooms) along with a score of other amenities such as a children's playground, a games area, a mini-golf course, and fun activities like beach cookouts.
7. Cunningham Falls State Park, Thurmont
Named as one of the best camping sites in Maryland by Only in Your State, Cunningham Falls State Park is ideal for campers looking to enjoy some first-rate scenery and top-notch outdoor adventure. Within walking distance of the camping sites, you'll find a 43-acre manmade lake, the largest cascading waterfall in Maryland, dozens of hiking and biking trails, and even the remains of a historic iron furnace. Options include basic camping sites with access to restrooms, showers, picnic tables, and fire rings, along with a good range of cozy cabins.
6. Elk Neck State Park, North East
If you want to enjoy some of the best natural beauty Maryland has to offer, a stay at Elk Neck State Park comes highly recommended. Boasting over 2188 acres of white clay cliffs, sandy shoreline, ancient forests, and marshlands, it's a little slice of paradise. The opportunities for outdoor recreation are boundless, with fishing, hunting, hiking, canoeing, and kayaking some of the most popular pursuits. The campground, which is located on the eastern end of the peninsula, is home to more than 200 campsites and 15 cabins. Most sites come with water, electric and sewer hookups, while all campers can make use of the hot showers in the bathhouse.
5. Brunswick Family Campground, Brunswick
If you're looking for a quiet, family-friendly campground, look no further than Brunswick Family Campground. Open between late spring and early fall, the campground offers both tent and RV sites, along with four cabins for those hoping for a few more home comforts. Regardless of which option you choose, you'll enjoy full access to the campground's amenities, which include restrooms, hot showers, fire pits, running water, and picnic areas.
4. Castaways RV Resort & Campground, Berlin
Located within easy reach of the twin charms of Ocean City and Berlin, Castaways RV Resort & Campground is an excellent option for people who want to be within striking distance of some of the state's biggest and best attractions. If you prefer to stay on-site, you'll find little to complain about with the amenities - with a private beach, a dog park, an on-site cafe, live music performances, a waterfront Tiki bar, an adults-only hot tub, a free shuttle service, and a two-story dining deck, it feels more like a swanky resort than a campground.
3. Bay Shore Campground, Rock Hall
Located in a gorgeous setting in Chesapeake Bay just three miles outside of Rock Hall, Bay Shore Campground is a hugely popular destination for campers looking for an all-year-round option with some great amenities, friendly customer service, and a convenient location. All sites come with electric and water hookups, and guests are welcome to make use of the hot showers in one of the two bathhouses. There's also a boat ramp, a children's playground, a games room and sports courts to enjoy.
2. Cherry Hill RV Park, College Park
Named as one of the best campgrounds in Maryland by rvshare.com, Cherry Hill RV Park in College Park manages to combine an upmarket resort vibe with an authentic camping experience. As the closest RV park and campground to Washington D.C., it's ideal for guests who want to enjoy the attractions of the state capital. Not that you need to leave the campground to have a good time - with two large pools, an 18 hole miniature golf course, a hot tub, sauna, and free nightly movie nights at the onsite outdoor theatre, the one thing you'll never get here is bored. If all that wasn't enough, there's also an onsite cafe to take care of all your snacking needs.
1. Assateague State Park, Berlin
Last up is Assateague State Park. As the only oceanfront park in Maryland, it's understandably one of the most popular state park destinations for outdoor lovers in the state. Just a few of the pursuits on offer include surfing, fishing, swimming, and wildlife spotting (keep your eyes peeled for the wild horses that call the island home). Camping is permitted in designated areas, with most sites offering access to a bathhouse, picnic tables, and fire rings.
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Written by Dana Hanson
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