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Want to Escape the City? Here Are 3 Camping Spots Near DC.

For a more rugged experience, check out these camping sites.

Photograph by Olga Budko/Unsplash.

Beach Ponies

location_on Assateague Island National Seashore

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Assateague Island Distance from DC: Two hours and 45 minutes

For sandy panoramas and a chance to vacation among wild horses, park your car or RV on the Maryland section of the barrier island. Tents can be set up on either the bay or ocean side. Look out for some horseplay: The island’s famous ponies sometimes stroll past tents–just be sure to give them space. Reservations are required.


Celestial Sights

location_on Big Meadows Campground

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Stanley, Virginia Distance from DC: Two hours and 15 minutes

This campground at mile 51 of Skyline Drive offers easy access to hiking and other activities in Shenandoah National Park. The 221 sites are reservation-only, and each spot has a fire ring, with wood available for purchase. Outside the grounds, the park and its partners host Night Skies, a stargazing program with telescopes, on select Fridays.


Little Luxuries

location_on Cherry Hill Park

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College Park Distance from DC: 30 minutes

This is less rustic than some other campgrounds: There’s electricity and wi-fi plus the option to upgrade to a site with a gazebo, hammock, and grill. The grounds also include two swimming pools, a splash park, mini-golf, a pickleball court, and outdoor movies in summer. You must reserve a spot in advance.

This article appears in the April 2024 issue of Washingtonian.

Daniella Byck
Lifestyle Editor

Daniella Byck joined Washingtonian in 2022. She was previously with Outside Magazine and lives in Northeast DC.