As I get ready to fly back home from Dallas today, I see that the Examiner has an article in their Outdoor Travel section entitled “Frommer’s top 5 parks for cozy camping.” Here are the picks:
- Dry Tortugas National Park, Key West, FL
- Haleakala National Park, Maui, HI
- Virgin Islands National Park, Saint John and St. Thomas
- Channel Islands National Park, California
- Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii
I’m not saying these aren’t great places to go and maybe they are even cozy places to camp. Other than Channel Islands National Park, though, these are not what I would consider “top” parks for cozy camping. Heck, you can’t even have campfires at any of them, how is that cozy?
All of these parks, with the exception of the Channel Islands off the coast of Southern California, are only accessible by plane (assuming you don’t live on Maui or the big island of Hawaii). Technically, I suppose you can reach Dry Tortugas by boat, but it’s about 70 miles out in the Gulf of Mexico, so it wouldn’t be a short ride. I can’t imagine trying to fly somewhere to camp, under today’s airline security rules.
I’m not saying these aren’t great places and, given the opportunity, I’d love to visit them all. The only one that’s really feasible, for most people, is the Channel Islands National Park. If “cozy” means not having to camp with other people, the islands of San Miguel and Santa Rosa will usually fit the bill. There’s no cover from the sun or the howling Pacific wind, however.
What is your favorite cozy camping spot?