Sleep under the stars, under a tree canopy, by the ocean, in the middle of a meadow, or even at a festival. Tent camping can seem a little bit daunting for those who never have before, but if you have some blankets or a sleeping bag, a tent and some food, you can spend the night with Mother Nature for a pretty reasonable price….maybe even free. If you’re looking for options, here’s a sampling of sites in Delaware that we think you should check out.
During these uncertain times, please keep safety in mind and consider adding destinations to your bucket list to visit at a later date.
13. Blackbird State Forest, Smyrna
Most people don't realize that you can camp in Blackbird State Forest. The five primitive sites are first-come, first-served. There are miles and miles of trails, including a paved nature trail. Bring your fishing pole for catch and release fishing in the pond.
12. Delaware Seashore State Park, Indian River Inlet
Wide open spaces and water surround camping sites at Del Seashore. Recently renovated, the campsites are for anything from tents to RVs. The campground is popular with beach goers and those who want to go fishing. And if you burn your dinner over the campfire, walk over to Hammerheads Dockside for a bite to eat (and maybe a tropical beverage too).
11. The Resort at Massey's Landing, near Longneck
This luxury campground is slated to open Memorial Day Weekend in 2016. While it's new, so we don't have any reviews just yet, the promise of camping right on the water at a resort with amazing amenities is pretty tempting. Primitive tent camping will only be accessible by kayak or canoe, but you can still use the resort's pool, grab a cup of coffee at the coffee shop or snag a bite at the restaurant.
10. The Woodlands at Firefly, Dover
If you're heading to Firefly Music Festival in Dover in June, the festival offers on-site camping so that you can stay and soak in the sounds all weekend. Camping experiences range anywhere from a simple spot with access to shower and bathroom facilities, to luxury 'glamping' sites that have air conditioning.
9. Treasure Beach RV Park and Campground, Fenwick Island
This bayside campground has been around since the 1970s. Family tent sites for 2 adults and 3 children are available among the 1000 sites. Most sites are RV and travel trailers set up for the summer season. The park is just 2 miles to the ocean, but there are waterfront views and amenities all around the site.
8. Brandywine Creek State Park, Wilmington
Brandywine Creek State Park, like White Clay Creek, does not have a formal campground. However, it does offer primitive camping for youth groups, and occasionally it also hosts family camping nights.
7. White Clay Creek State Park, Newark
While White Clay Creek State Park doesn't have an official campground, youth groups are able to reserve a primitive camping area. Even though the amenities are really limited, the park activities and rustic overnight experience are worth it for the kiddos. There are 37 miles of trails to hike while you're not hanging out tent side.
6. Holts Landing State Park
Holts Landing State Park offers primitive camping, not just for youth groups, but for any group, with reservations. This location along the Inland Bays is the most remote of the primitive camping offered in the parks.
5. Lums Pond State Park, Bear
Pop a tent up just steps from the state's largest freshwater pond. While the park doesn't have specific tent-only sites, the sites are spread out enough that you can get away from motors. And there are yurts that you can reserve too, which are kind of like a more permanent, tented room--a step up from a tent. The park boasts four spots that are just for those who want to bring their horses to ride along the trails.
4. Killens Pond State Park, Felton
Killens Pond State Park is the only Delaware State Park in Kent County Delaware. Many people use the campground as a home away from home during Dover-based events and festivals. In addition to 59 full service sites, there is a loop for tents only. The tent sites are farthest from the pond, but still within easy walking distance, and are full shaded.
3. Cape Henlopen State Park, Lewes
The campground at Cape Henlopen State Park has spots for RVs, travel trailers, and tents; it even has cabin rentals. Our favorite part of the campground though is the tent-only loop. It's usually so quiet you can hear the crashing waves on the beach at night. It's just a short walk to the sandy beach and great trails.
2. Trap Pond State Park, Laurel
Trap Pond State Park is another one of Delaware State Parks' fine, full service campgrounds. If you're looking for something extra special, book the island tent sites. These two sites are the most remote of the tent sites and are right on the banks of Trap Pond. If you drag your kayak or canoe down the trail to the sites, you can drop them in the water right off the shore. Talk about a view!
1. Your own backyard
When all else fails, pitch a tent in your own back yard, drag some blankets and pillows into it and sleep under the stars. Your bed and a hot shower are just inside in case you (or your tent mates) just can't hack it.