Skip to main content

The Best Camping Within a Reasonable Drive of the D.C. Metro Area

Camping Near DC Metro
Getty Images: Jon Bilous

Camping near the DC metro area isn't as difficult as you think.

As with any big city, the DC metro area has its share of ups and downs for those who live in and around our nation's capital, but it shouldn't have to be an issue to get away from it all. For those who would like to simply hop in the car and travel outside for a week or a weekend, here are a few of the places that get all the attention.

Sure, the DC region is replete with all of the trappings of big city life, but even the beltway has some natural scenes to offer. If you're looking for a campground getaway that's not too far off the beaten path for your family to kick back and relax in, we've got your covered. It's a welcome relief to get away from the crowds on the National Mall and crowding in front of the white house. These are places you can kick back, relax, and maybe head out for a hike or kayak trip.

Just want to see the Milky Way for once, or simply start a fire without having the fire department in your face? Here are the choices you can make to get back to nature and recharge, or just to change into some camping clothes for once. Many of these locations are in close proximity to Baltimore too. All of them a short drive from the Capitol. 

Cherry Hill Park

Glamping pods (and 1 yurt) are open for rental starting Thursday! We're also opening our cafe for curbside pick-up starting this week (we'll post with more details soon).

Posted by Cherry Hill Park on Tuesday, May 12, 2020

It must be said that this location is a tried and true spot for those with the desire to get away from it all, but due to its popularity and close proximity to the city it can get busy. Be sure to book well in advance to ensure a good campsite, but the rewards are terrific.

This countrified wooded area is located near the interchange of the I-95 and the Beltway in College Park, Maryland and boasts of great amenities like options for both the tent and RV camping crowd, but also upscale glamping pods, plus premium, and rustic cabins.

Harpers Ferry Adventure Center

Round up your friends and family for a rafting trip this spring! Since it can still be a bit chilly, we are offering...

Posted by Harpers Ferry Adventure Center on Wednesday, April 3, 2019

The Harpers Ferry Adventure Center may be a little further away, but it affords a family the chance to do some river tubing, kayaking, and whitewater rafting. Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Harpers Ferry offers both cabin and campground sites along the Potomac River for those who love to be beside the water.

Little Bennett Campground

Guess what??? Little Bennett Campground is fully open this weekend, just in time for spring break and the gorgeous...

Posted by Little Bennett Campground on Friday, March 26, 2021

Closer to the city and quite easy to get to, Little Bennett is a 3,700-acre forest and meadowlands that is great for both hiking and biking. There are nearly 100 campsites, each with a provided picnic table, fire ring, and its own lantern post.

There are three cabins and three yurts that can be rented, but these book quickly so get online soon. At least 22 of the campsites are available for complete hookups to water, electric, and sewer.

Wilderness Presidential Resort

Reach out and touch the water from our Lakeside Camp Cottage decks! #waterfront #glamping #virginia More info here: https://wpresort.com/lakeside-camp-cottages/

Posted by Wilderness Presidential Resort on Monday, May 18, 2020

Located just over an hour away from the city, the Wilderness Presidential is made with the glamping and cabin oriented crowd in mind. This private campsite offer some 600 acres of forests along with two lakes and is open the entire year.

Want a cabin with a hot tub? Wilderness Presidential Resort is the place for you.

Burke Lake Park

We are Burke Lake Park and We Are Parks and Recreation. Did you know we offer camping programs and more? #WeAreParksAndRec

Posted by Fairfax County Park Authority on Friday, July 3, 2020

A much closer 45-minutes away, Burke Lake Park is made for those who want to car camp at their leisure, and that's pretty much all of us at one time or another. According to their website it offers no less than "A 218-acre lake with fishing, boating, rowboat rental, camping, a miniature train, a carousel, outdoor volleyball courts, open fields, an 18-hole par 3 golf course, clubhouse with snack bar and driving range, disk golf, horse shoe pits, an ice cream parlor, picnic areas with grills, 3 playgrounds, trails, amphitheater, and a brand new mini golf course. Nominal fees are required for boat rentals, camping, carousel, train and other activities."

Elizabeth Furnace Campgrounds

The Elizabeth Furnace Campgrounds provide all who come here with access to the nearby Shenandoah National Park, horseback riding at Fort Valley Ranch, and to the town of Strasburg for socially distanced dining and breweries.

All of the campsites come replete with the usual amenities for the car camping crowd. At a mere hour and a half away, it makes this place great for leaving the city behind you for a few days.

Getting Away From Washington DC

The DC area is an amazing place where every single citizen of this country should visit at least once in their lives, but living in any big city can wear anyone out. Especially when dealing with the traffic or the crowds at the Metro Station. No one actually has to be a camper to seek out a place with hiking trails, fire pits, or RV sites with full hookups, just that we all need a rest from the daily grind.

Tent sites are one thing and RV parks are another. All that matters is the desire to leave the Wifi behind you, (really, you don't have to) and go off-grid. You may just want to go sightseeing in the nearest state park or set up a tent in the closest campground, but outdoor recreation is for everyone.

Most places offer a bathhouse, camp store, and even a game room for the kids to let off steam. If you just want a day trip to the water park, you can find that, but with a little planning and extra effort, you can take the whole family camping.

Maryland, Virginia, and even West Virginia are all within easy driving distance of the Nation's Capital, so the time is now to plan your camping trip.

Products featured on Wide Open Spaces are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.

Looking for a little more or even hot lunch for your hunting blind? Follow my webpage, or on Facebook and YouTube.

NEXT: CALIFORNIA NATIONAL PARKS: THE TOP DESTINATIONS FOR SUMMER WILDERNESS ADVENTURE

WATCH

Related Videos

 

The Best Camping Within a Reasonable Drive of the D.C. Metro Area