We all know the checklist: spacious skies, purple mountains majesties, a little piece of quiet. With millions of acres of wildlife, fresh air, and open skies beckoning, ours is an astonishingly varied land and we've never found a better way to take it all in then getting out and pitching a tent for a couple nights. We could fill a library trying to list all the various options for camping, and so instead we've pulled together a few of the most exceptional ones – whether it's the best place to see the sun rise, or dazzling stars at night, or to get in a skinny-dip in between.
For Not Getting Away from it All
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El Capitan Canyon Campground, CA
Say what you will about the notion of luxury camping,but for those who want to ease into the concept of taking on the great outdoors, or simply want to get a little closer to nature (but not too close), El Capitan is ideal. A 300-acre campsite with modest but worthy hiking trails just north of posh Santa Barbara, there's hard-walled cedar cabins or canvas-roofed safari tents, complete with running water and toilets. Should you want supplies, a cooked meal or, say, a copy of Men's Journal, the Canyon Market is on-site and even does cabin service.