When it’s time to beat the winter blues, a weekend family beach camping trip might be just the thing your kids need, to burn off some cabin fever and get outside. Beaches are a lot more laid back in the winter, so camping spots are a lot easier to get. And, while temperatures may not allow for splashing in the surf, there’s still fun to be had playing in the sand and spending some quality time with the kids around the campfire.
Short of a long airplane ride to a tropical island, nothing beats St. Joseph Peninsula State Park for its miles of sandy white beaches and bountiful wildlife. This is probably the best place to show your kids what Florida looked like, before it was developed into oblivion.
Primitive Camping Allowed ($4 per person).
Located along the south Texas coast, Padre Island National Seashore protects the longest undeveloped stretch of barrier island in the world. If you are considering a winter family camping vacation, Padre Island’s 70 miles of sandy beaches is sure to be a big hit with the kids.
Malaquite Campground: 16 RV sites, 26 tent / RV sites and 8 tent-only sites
Bird Island Basin: 45 tent / RV sites
North Beach: Primitive camping
South Beach: Primitive camping
Yarborough Pass: Primitive camping, 4-wheel drive only
All campsites are first-come, first served.
Gold Bluffs Beach is located in the Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park, in northern California, but it’s at the end of an unpaved road – so you are guaranteed plenty of solitude for your family beach camping vacation.
Campsites: 25 RV / Tent, 29 tent-only
Bullards Beach is a large, family-oriented park located just two miles north of Bandon. The campground is nestled among shore pines and well protected from the strong ocean breezes. Besides three loops of campsites, the park boasts 13 yurts, making year-round camping a very popular choice.
Huntington Beach State Park features a sweeping Grand Strand beach, pristine and wide open. Sea breeze camping and some of the finest bird-watching on the East Coast make this state park a great winter family camping escape.
Campsites: 131 tent / RV sites, 6 walk-in tent sites
Guaranteed winter solitude for your family, False Cape State Park is only accessible through the Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge and is limited to hiking, bicycling or boating – there is no motor vehicle access.
Campsites: Primitive camping, reservations required