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 Seeing Wild Horses
Assateague Island National Seashore, MD
Credit: Getty Images
Though relatively unknown compared with marquee coastal hotspots in Florida and California, the mid-Atlantic offers hundreds of miles of white sand and decent surf, along with prime camping of every stripe. Assateague Island, off the coast where Virginia meets Maryland, has all of the signature elements of the area – access to salt marshes and estuaries by foot and boat, biking and hiking trails – but also happens to be home to one of the few herds of feral ponies in the world. There are plenty of camping options (though due to quirky federal and state laws only on the Maryland side of the island allows it), including six areas for backcountry camping. But reservations fill up quick when they come available annually, so try to book at least six months in advance.