Hot Spots

Camping Hot Spots

Find great places to camp and gain insights into activities to make the most of the top camping hot spots. Get the scoop on where to go next. Discover destinations that offer unique opportunities for you to experience the great outdoors through recreation activities, wildlife viewing, and unforgettable vistas.

Southern Florida

March is an ideal time to visit Southern Florida, when the weather is perfect, the ocean is sparkling, and colorful birds are everywhere. At, weíve outlined a trek that will take you from the city lights of Miami to the beauty of Key Largo, the lush swamps of the Everglades, and the golfing and shopping highlights of Naples. Whether youíre looking for scuba diving adventures, deep sea fishing voyages, kayaking trips, or just a little relaxation on a sandy beach, youíll find a fabulous get-away in South Florida. The route outlined below can be done in a long weekend or spread out over several weeks, so set your own pace and enjoy the trip!

Begin your adventure in Miami, that vibrant city on Biscayne Bay, located on the eastern side of Floridaís southern tip. Known as the ìmagic city,î Miami is home to outstanding museums, family attractions like the Parrot Jungle and Miami Seaquarium, and sporting events with Dolphins football, Marlins baseball, and Miami Heat basketball. As home to the University of Miami's Hurricanes, this is a great place to enjoy a collegiate sporting event, a picnic in Bayfront Park, a play at the Coconut Grove Playhouse, or boating from one of the city marinas. You'll find incredible shopping in the city's downtown, amazing restaurants with Cuban flare, and unforgettable swimming and snorkeling at nearby Biscayne National Park.

From Miami, head south on Highway 1 through Homestead to Key Largo, the northernmost of the Florida Keys. Since this watery wonderland is near North Americaís only living coral barrier reef, it's natural that scuba diving, kayaking, snorkeling, and swimming are all popular activities here. You can plan a diving tour of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, exploring the Spiegel Grove, a 510-foot sunken Navy ship that provides habitat for coral and schools of fish. You can spend a day sport fishing for sailfish, redfish, and tarpon in Florida Bay and further offshore or go bird watching, kayaking, or wildlife viewing. Don't forget to watch for the elusive and gentle manatees while youíre here! If you have a little extra time, a visit to Key West makes an excellent side trip.

Heading back to the north, Highway 41 will take you through Everglades National Park, the largest subtropical wilderness in the country. Home to animals like crocodiles, panthers, and West Indian manatees, this is a must-see destination for wildlife lovers. Take a ranger-led tour to watch for alligators, view flamingos, or enjoy hiking through this 1.5-million acre wilderness. Since a third of the park is covered in water, this is a fantastic place to fish for snapper, sea trout, redfish, bass, and bluegill. You can take a side-trip to explore the Ten Thousand Islands, take photographs of wild orchids, or explore the world of the mangroves. Birders will love the colorful spoonbills, ibises, herons, pelicans, and other amazing water birds.

After your visit to the Everglades, follow Highway 41 north to Naples on Florida's Gulf Coast. With its calm seas and white sandy beaches, Naples is a paradise for water-sports enthusiasts. The area is also a haven for golfers, with more than seventy challenging courses that are open year-round. Nature lovers will enjoy a canoe trip through the Ten Thousand Islands, a visit to the Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens, and the Babcock Wilderness Adventures where you can see panthers, bison, ospreys, and wild alligators. Whether you stroll along the beaches looking for seashells or take a sailing trip through the turquoise waters, you'll have a thrilling time in Naples.

From a day of boating beside wild dolphins to shopping for treasures in boutiques and gift shops, Southern Florida has everything you need for a fun-filled camping vacation. Enjoy the nightlife of Miami, the sun and surf of the Keys, and the amazing natural beauty of the Everglades! With its sunny skies and tropical waters, a visit to Florida is a perfect way to welcome spring and start looking ahead to the joys of summer.

North Carolina

For a last glimpse of fall color, visit the charming Asheville area in Western North Carolina. Nestled amid the Great Smoky and Blue Ridge Mountains, this is the place to watch the leaves change. Try a scenic drive through the Mount Pisgah National Forest or tromp across the swinging bridge at Grandfather Mountain. In Asheville, youíll find plenty of places to stay and dine. A trip to the North Carolina Arboretum lets you study the trees on a closer level. Nearby, at Hickory Nut Gorge, the oak and hickory trees shift from bronze to brown, providing a stunning frame to the 404-foot waterfalls that made the backdrop for the film, ìThe Last of the Mohicans.î The gorge is a perfect place for hiking and bird watching, or for an afternoon picnic on the shores of Lake Lure. For a more unique November experience, head eastward to the coastal plains. Explore the beauty of the shore without the crowds and capture a special set of memories to last throughout the winter.


With its bright blue skies and golden grasses, you might forget that itís fall in Texas. Even in this land of honest beauty, where the land and sky stretch out for miles, November is a time of harvest. Make this the destination for your family outing. Meet up for a meal at Dinosaur Valley State Park (located in North Texas) and stay to view the hillside blazing in red, orange, and yellow foliage. Kids will enjoy investigating the dinosaur tracks and models at the park. From there, visit the Dallas-Ft. Worth area for unsurpassed dining, museums, and sporting events. Not far south, in the rolling hills of Central Texas, youíll find rural beauty at its finest. The vineyards and farms, lined with rolls of harvested hay, are sure to put you in a holiday mood.


Pastel-pale Arizona shines in November like no other place. Where else can you still enjoy warm days and clear skies, this close to the holiday season? This is the time to see Arizonaís premiere sights, when the crowds are small and the temperatures are mild. Make a memorable visit to the Grand Canyon by visiting the spectacular South Rim this month. Located eighty miles north of Flagstaff, this southern side of the park offers outstanding views of the 4,000-foot deep canyon. For maximum viewing, park your car and take one of the shuttle buses to the information center. Peer down through geologic time, hike along the rim, or watch for wildlife. From the Grand Canyon you can plan a side trip Flagstaff or head south to the red rocks of Sedona. The amazing beauty of these towering rock formations will amaze you, as will the excellent dining opportunities you can find in this hidden resort town.

Point Reyes, California

Just thirty miles north of San Francisco off Highway 1 is a magnificent stretch of natural wilderness. The 70,000-acre Point Reyes National Seashore offers breathtaking ocean views, miles of natural coastline, and plenty of wilderness and wildlife. With 150 miles of hiking trails, you’ll never run out of terrain to explore at Point Reyes..

Picture yourself riding your mountain bike (or horse) through pastoral grasslands to the Inverness Ridge or the Bear Valley Visitor’s Center, getting the lay of the land and forming a plan for your visit. You’ll find plenty of scenic drives and trails to stroll along, but you'll also encounter dairy cows and a thriving dairy industry situated on NPS land. As a matter of fact the Bear Valley visitor center used to be the “W” or Bear Valley Ranch and was then designated as the new National Seashore’s headquarters. There are six working dairies and cattle ranches operating in the park. Some of the best cheese in the country and maybe the world comes from this area. Stop in at Cowgirl Creamery for delicious artesian cheeses and take home an unusual souvenir.

Many visitors enjoy taking a whale watching trip off the coast. Between January and April, visitors flock to the Point Reyes headlands to look for migrating gray whales and seabirds. Gray whales make one of the longest migrations in the world. Every year, they travel over 10,000 miles from the cold feeding waters of Alaska to the warmer seas of Baja and Southern California. In fact, a gray whales spends a third of its life migrating! Mid-January is the best time to see these giants of the ocean heading south to their traditional breeding grounds. Around mid-March, they’ll make the trek northward again. A little later in the season (April and May), mother whales and calves can be seen heading north at a slower pace, closer to shore.

You’ll also want to visit the grassland terrain of Bear Valley, home to kinglets, thrushes, hummingbirds, and owls, and the Limantour, a marsh, pond, and shore area that’s favored by wading birds and waterfowl. At the Bolinas Lagoon, pelicans, cormorants, kingfishers, and other waterfowl flock to the rookeries. Five Brooks Pond is where you’ll see green-backed herons, mergansers, and grebes. Ducks and raptors like the terrain of Abbotts Lagoon, and long-eared and great-horned owls nest along the Estero Trail.

Point Reyes is known for the marine wildlife that relies on the safety of the seashore for resting and mating. While you’re there, watch for Elephant Seals, sea lions, and several species of seals. In fact, every year, 7,000 harbor seals (20% of the California breeding population) haul out at Point Reyes.

Other wildlife are attracted to the abundance of Point Reyes. Tomales Point and the Elephant Seal Overlook are great places to watch for the resident tule elk ranging on the grasslands below. Nearly forty species of mammals, including bobcats, mountain beavers, deer, and long-tailed weasels, reside in the park.

With all its natural beauty and abundant wildlife, Point Reyes is an amazing place to explore. You can take a kayak trip around the coves and shallows, discover the Point Reyes Bird Observatory, or take your time getting to know this amazing piece of coastline.
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