City Limitless: Urban Camping, Coast to Coast

Angel_island_JJTSan Francisco views at Angel Island State Park. Photo: John Trippe/

If you're all about eating locally-produced food and being active in your community, consider staking claim to some nearby dirt or sand, too. Here's a quick (and coastal-centric) list of camping options. Pack your gear, grab your Metro card/cab fare/bike, and hit the wilder(ish)ness.

If you think you have to escape the Beltway to pitch a tent, you're wrong. Greenbelt Park is about 12 miles from the National Mall and offers much less trampled grass. There are around 175 campsites. You read that correctly. Don't expect seclusion in the summer, but if the noise gets to you there's always a three-mile hike out to the College Park Metro station. Then, try again in the fall or even winter. The $16/night campground is open year-round.

Los Angeles Area
L.A., beast of a city that it is, offers a multitude of sea-side camping options, both north and south. They're not nearly as close to the city center as the others on this list, but they're accessible and, at the very least, outside the fray. SoCal is filled with great state parks, and they need your patronage now more than ever. Near Malibu, Leo Carillo State Park comes recommended and has a good network of trails should you tire of the water. Sandwiched between Long Beach and Huntington Beach sits Bolsa Chica State Park. Off the water, check out Topanga Canyon State Park.

Filed To: Adventure, Nature, Hiking and Backpacking, Exploration, Camping

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