Thursday, June 16th, 2016 - NewsMaker

Pitch Your Tent Next to the Beach This Summer

BOSTON, MA -- (Marketwired) -- Jun 15, 2016 -- About 40 million Americans go camping each year, and, whether they pitch a tent, park an RV, or move into a cabin or yurt, they're drawn to camping for the same reasons: to escape the workday grind, reconnect with nature and spend time with friends and family. This summer, Cheapflights.com, the online leader in finding and publishing travel deals, has another suggestion for avid campers: with thousands of campsites to choose from, why not pick a spot with the added perk of a beachside location? To get you started, the team of travel experts at Cheapflights have come up with their picks for the Top 10 beachside campsites (with a few planning tips thrown in to boot).

From Alaska to Florida, there are beach campsites that offer easy access to a whole array of water-based activities, including canoeing, kayaking, fishing, surfing, snorkeling and swimming. And when the day is done, nothing beats the sight of a fiery sunset (or a sunrise) over the ocean bookending another day in paradise.

Cheapflights has also put together a packing guide for those campers flying to their destination. Certain items, like camping fuel and cutlery, require special consideration, and weight is always going to be an issue. In some cases it might be easier to rent equipment upon arrival, but for those who want to pack their own gear, the guide can help avoid disappointment.

Here are five of our picks for top beachside campsites from coast to coast:

  • Homer Spit Campground, Homer, Alaska - At the end of Homer Spit, Alaska, campers are afforded picture postcard views of the mountains and the ocean. The Homer Spit Campground on the shores of Kachemak Bay can accommodate 122 RVs and 25 tents. Amenities include free Wi-Fi, dump station, fresh water, laundry, restrooms, showers and a gift shop. Firewood and ice are available for purchase. The campsite is within walking distance to shops, restaurants and bars, like the Salty Dawg Saloon, a dive bar where visitors must try the Duck Fart, a shot purportedly originating in Kodiak and composed of Kahlúa, Bailey's Irish Cream and Crown Royal. Open May 1 to Sept. 15, visitors can reserve campsites by calling 907-235-8206 or emailing [email protected].

  • Cape Lookout National Seashore, North Carolina - The pristine beaches of the Cape Lookout National Seashore offer ocean camping at its purest: a chance to sleep under the stars at the edge of the Atlantic Ocean, far from the distractions of the mainland. Ferries depart from the historic town of Beaufort, North Carolina and the old-fashioned maritime village of Harkers Island for the Cape Lookout Lighthouse area and Shackleford Banks, where descendants of Spanish mustangs have roamed wild for five centuries. This is primitive camping, with no fixed sites or camp stores and few amenities. Restrooms are open seasonally at the lighthouse area and Wade's Shore on Shackleford Banks, but campers must carry in all supplies, including water, provisions and firewood if they want to build a campfire, which is allowed below the high-tide line. Campers must also be prepared to carry all trash back to the mainland. Permits are generally not required except for groups of 25 or more. Park rangers recommend tents with insect netting and a tarp or a rain fly capable of withstanding strong winds. Longer tent stakes are also advised to anchor tents in the soft sand.

  • Waiʻānapanapa State Park, Hana, Hawaii - The remote campsites in Waiʻānapanapa State Park offer the chance to camp along the volcanic coastline. The campsites are set in the jungle near an ancient Hawaiian coastal trail, which leads to Hana, Hawaii. Campers get an up-close-and-personal interaction with nature here. The park is home to a seabird colony, native hala forest, anchialine pools (landlocked bodies of water with subterranean connections to the ocean), heiau (religious temple) and a beautiful black sand beach.

  • Horseneck Beach State Reservation, Westport, Massachusetts - Camping directly on the beach is prohibited here. However, the Horseneck Beach State Reservation campground offers a unique camping experience. The 100-site campground is nestled between the natural sand dunes and the Atlantic Ocean, affording a panoramic view from the beach of the Elizabeth Islands and Cuttyhunk Island. Campgrounds include waterfront campsites. Amenities include a picnic table, a fire grill, toilets, hot showers, dishwashing sinks and a dumping station. The campgrounds also include a swing set, basketball court and volleyball court. The combination of ocean beach and estuary habitats makes Horseneck Beach one of the premier birding locations in New England. Reservations can be made one day to six months in advance by calling 1-877-422-6762 or via Reserve America.

  • Kalaloch Campground, Olympic National Park, Washington - Located on the southwest coast of Olympic Peninsula, Kalaloch Campground is a popular place to camp, particularly at the 170 year-round campsites located on a high bluff adjacent to the Pacific Ocean. The campground is located between the two-lane Highway 101 and a cliff above the beach. Book a campsite with an ocean view; E009 and A001 are the closest ocean-view campsites with the easiest bathroom access. There are four stairways that go down to the beach from the campsite. Other nearby beach camping options include Second Beach off the road between Forks Road and La Push Riad (there is a short, not terribly steep hike with a large pile of driftwood to climb over at the bottom). Campers need a Wilderness Camping Permit to camp at these locations. You'll need a bear canister to store food anywhere on the beach. Bear canisters are available at Olympic National Park Visitor Center in Port Angeles and are used primarily to keep raccoons out of your food stash. The fall and winter months are known for perfect storm watching from the safety of the shore with a hot drink. Pets are also welcome at Kalaloch. Nearby, the Creekside Restaurant at Kalaloch Lodge offers casual, cozy dining with panoramic ocean views serving fresh local and sustainable cuisine to recharge campers before another walk on the beach. Campsite reservations can be made during the summer (June 10 to Sept. 20) via the Olympic National Park website; campsites are first-come, first-served the rest of the year.

To discover more unique campsites, with black sand beaches, sand dunes, wild horses and more, have a look at Cheapflights.com's complete list of Top 10 beachside campsites at www.cheapflights.com/news/how-to-beach-camp.

About Cheapflights.com, part of the Momondo Group
Founded in 1996, Cheapflights is a leading global flight comparison and deals publishing platform. It is now a market leader in the UK, U.S., Canada, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand generating over $3 billion in global downstream revenue for its partners as it expands into numerous other territories. More than 120 million users visit its websites and apps each year, receiving more than two billion search results a month from across 900,000 routes. The 10 million strong opt-in subscribers to the Cheapflights newsletter receive the best deals from over 120 travel businesses -- for whom it has driven more than $65 million in revenue this year. Together, the Cheapflights platforms generate enough bookings for its partners to fill a Boeing 747 every five minutes.

In 2011, Cheapflights became part of the privately owned online travel search and inspiration network, Momondo Group.

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