Whether you don't remember the last time you planned a major trip or you've barely hung up your tent from your last adventure, chances are there's an awesome spot tucked somewhere in the? United States that has yet to enter the scope of your curiosity. Here are nine camping trip?ideas that you may never have thought of to feed your sense of wanderlust.
Long Key State Park, Florida
You're practically in the Bahamas here. One of several Florida Key campgrounds, Long?Key offers ocean front campsites on a subtropical island. The Keys were formed by prehistoric coral reefs and you'll snorkel among dolphins, sea turtles, giant rays and tropical fish. Yes, chances are you'll spot some barracuda and reef sharks but don't worry, the sharks won't bother you. And as for the barracudas, just make sure you remove all your jewelry and any other shiny objects—those toothy little creatures will strike at anything that glimmers.?
If you'd rather stay on the surface, kayak and canoe through bays and mangroves, looking for manatees?and alligators or catch some Dorado, grouper and tarpon, and cook up one of the best seafood dinners you may have ever had.
On land, explore the island or run across one of the Keys' 43 bridges connecting all of the islands. A camping trip here is nothing short of a Caribbean vacation so even though you may be roughing it, jump in the car for some island hopping. Florida Key watering holes feel as if they're straight out of a Jimmy Buffet song. Hit up fish joints and try some cracked conch, conch chowder, stone crab claws and other fresh, local fare.
Acadia National Park, Maine
The coast of Maine is unlike any other American region, with its rocky shoreline, granite mountains, firey fall colors, small-town charm, moss and evergreen wilderness, marshlands, glacier-made kettle lakes, local color and old-school harbor living. Most of Acadia National Park's 35,000 acres is located on Mount Desert Island and although there's no backcountry camping here, there are plenty of campsites to choose from and miles of pristine ecosystems.
When you want a taste of civilization, check out the little town of Bar Harbor (pronounced "Baah Haa-bah") for some lobster, a local microbrew and cuppa "chowdah."
Na Pali Coast State Wilderness Park, Kauai, Hawaii
This coastline is so dramatic, it's played setting to movies like Jurassic Park, King Kong and Raiders of the Lost Arc. With jagged, green, Polynesian mountains plunging into the Hawaiian Pacific, this shoreline is only accessible via the Kalalau Hiking Trail or by boat.
The 11-mile trail crosses cliffs and valleys before dropping to sea level at Hanakapi'ai and Kalalau beaches. Parts of the trail are pretty gnarly, to say the least—especially if you're planning to hike the entire 22 miles (roundtrip) and obtain camping permits—so make sure you know exactly what you're getting into.
But waterfalls will greet you practically every mile and you'll spot mountain goats hopping around everywhere. This is camping at its most primitive, especially when you find yourself looking up at one of the most plentiful star-filled skies you've ever seen, in the middle of the Pacific, on the edge of a tropical jungle, half expecting a pterodactyl to swoop down on you.