Sometimes everyone needs a break from life in the concrete jungle and if Central Park is not enough to satisfy your lust for green, taking a trip a few hours north of the city might just be the answer.
The many camping options in the New York region offer open skies where you can actually see the stars and a break from email and the heat radiating off the garbage on the streets.
“Our mission really is to get people back to nature; get them outdoors doing things,” said David Webb, the owner of Orenda, a luxury camp in the Adirondacks. “I truly believe that everybody should have a natural connection with the outdoors — disconnecting from that urban setting, getting out of the office . . . and realizing some of the fundamental enjoyments of life.”
New York offers many options for camping. Find the one that’s right for you and pack your bags to get a break from it all.
Roughing it: Beaver Pond Campground
Just over an hour north of midtown in Stony Point, New York
Rent a campsite for about $20 per night in Harriman State Park, with comfort stations, showers and laundry facilities all available. Take a hike or go fishing, or drive about 15 minutes north to Bear Mountain State Park. There, you’ll find more hiking and biking, as well as the Trailside Museums & Zoo, where you can learn about everything from the geologic formations of the Hudson Highlands to the human history of the region.
Info: parks.ny.gov; trailsidezoo.org
Family friendly: Rip Van Winkle Campgrounds
About 2 hours north of midtown in Saugerties, New York
Families looking for outdoor fun will have an abundance of options at this Catskills campsite that offers a pool, an outdoor movie theater, a track to race remote-controlled cars and more. Visitors have several sleeping options too: rent a basic tent site for $40/night or a cabin complete with heat and air conditioning for $125/night (with a two-night minimum).
About 4 hours north of midtown in Johnsburg, New York
Sleeping bags not really your style? Head to the Adirondacks for an all-inclusive experience where you don’t need to bring anything except yourself.
This campground provides all meals cooked over an open flame and from their own organic garden — many dietary restrictions accommodated — and nonalcoholic drinks (don’t worry, there’s a wine fridge for BYOB, which is encouraged).
The nightly rate, which comes out to about $240 per person including fees, may be on the steep side, but campers can relax in cabins with luxurious beds, with towels and toiletries provided for use in the shared outdoor shower with a heated floor and toilets with heated seats. The camp also offers Wi-Fi, canoes, kayaks and mountain bikes, as well as guided rock climbing and white water rafting.
Trending tiny: Getaway
Within 2 hours of the city
Tiny houses are all the rage on TV, but nothing new to anyone who has rented a studio apartment in the city. If New Yorkers want to try their hand at a 160-to-200 square foot vacation in the woods, book a night at with Getaway for only $99.
These tiny homes come complete with a queen bed, stove, bathroom, board games and a fire pit to make s’mores. The location of the permanent homes are secret and revealed right before you go.