Cozy RV Campgrounds in Crowded Cities
Nothing beats the ease of driving your rig down a two-lane highway and pulling into a campground with large sites and quiet neighbors. There comes a time, though, when you want to see the Statue of Liberty or the Space Needle or maybe visit Bo at the White House. What does this mean? Either you need to plan a route into town, or you need to find a campground close by. Here are a few suggestions for campgrounds near some of this country’s major cities.
Liberty Harbor RV, Jersey City, NJ
It’s hard to believe, but you can park your rig at Liberty Harbor RV and be at a Broadway show within 15 minutes! The PATH train is a short walk from the campground, or you can take the New York Waterway Ferry. The campground also offers views of the Statue of Liberty and the Manhattan skyline. That said, don’t expect spacious sites with tall trees, picnic tables, and a pool. You’ll get a concrete site close to your new (hopefully) best camping friends along with a safe and convenient location. And besides, who needs greenery when all of New York City awaits?
Campland on the Bay, San Diego, CA
If Liberty Harbor offers bare-bones camping, Campland on the Bay offers a full-figured camping experience. It has many sites near the beach and a variety of family-friendly activities including waterskiing, jet skiing, crafts, horseshoes, sand-castle building, soccer, and skateboarding. Public transit into San Diego is a short walk away. Be warned: if you’re looking for peaceful relaxation, this campground probably isn’t for you. But it’s perfect if you want a fun-filled place to park your rig that’s close to major San Diego attractions.
Cherry Hill Park, College Park, MD
There’s plenty of room in front of the Washington Monument for a few RV’s to park overnight, but until the National Park Service approves that idea, your best bet is Cherry Hill Park, the closest campground to DC. Its 400 sites are attractively spaced and have plenty of surrounding plants and trees. There are also cabins and park trailers—even a yurt—for rent. Sign up for one of the twice-daily Gray Line tours or take a public bus (it stops here hourly) into the capital. The campground even sells pre-loaded SmarTrip Cards for city subways and buses. You can also arrange to have your dog walked while you’re out sightseeing.
Pioneer Trails RV Resort Campground, Anacortes, WA
Pike Place Market is just one of the must-see attractions on a visit to Seattle. Unfortunately, there are few campgrounds close to the city that offer public transportation. Your best bet is Pioneer Trails. It’s an hour’s drive from Seattle, but it’s a great location for exploring the San Juan Islands and for outdoor activities. Plus, if you have your passport, the nearby Anacortes ferry will take you on a breathtaking trip through the islands to Sydney, British Columbia. The park’s 26 acres offer a true Pacific Northwest experience, with large RV sites surrounded by evergreens and ferns. If you get tired of all the nature, there’s a casino nearby.
St. Louis RV Park, St. Louis, MO
You can’t beat the location of the St. Louis RV Park: directly in downtown! It’s not very big, but it has clean, secure restrooms and large pull-through sites. Camping here puts you very close to the Botanical Gardens, several free museums at Forest Park, the Riverfront Walk, the Anheuser Busch Brewery, and the Gateway Arch. Public transportation is close, so you can explore even more of the city. A nearby bike trail runs along the river into Illinois, so you can visit two states within half an hour!
Chicago McCormick Place Marshalling Yard, Chicago, IL
First the good news: the McCormick Place Marshalling Yard is cheap and it has one of the best parking locations in a major city. (Just call ahead for directions, as it can be hard to find.) The bad news? You’re parking with the “big boy” truckers in a location without restrooms, laundry, or hookups. Still, many campers find that boon docking in a safe, guarded location is an ideal way to visit Chicago. The yard has plenty of space, so you can park away from the trucks. Public transportation is right outside the guardhouse gate, and the 18.5-mile Lakefront Trail, directly across the street, lets you walk safely to Grant Park, the Museum of Science and Industry, the Planetarium, and downtown.
Have you found great RV parking or camping locations in other cities? Let us know by adding them at bestoftheroad.com!