Summer Is Here–Camping Edition!

It’s the first official day of SUMMER which means bbq’s, picnics, beaches, swimming pools, fireflies, fireworks, bonfire, s’mores, family, friends, etc…  For many of us, summer includes a nice getaway from the daily grind.  And as midwesterners, we’re lucky enough to live close to some of the country’s best camping locations.  So pack up your Toyota 4Runner, grab the kids, and hit the road!

  1. Ludington, MI: Ludington has EVERYTHING–beaches, lighthouses, Lake Michigan, fishing, and the Ludington State Park.  Midwest Living magazine voted the Ludington State Park the #1 state park in the Midwest, with seven miles of Lake Michigan shoreline. (SOURCE: Visit Ludington)
  2. Peninsula State Park, WI: Peninsula State Park is breathtaking! Considered Wisconsin’s most complete park, Peninsula offers 468 campsites, three group camps, a summer theater, an 18-hole golf course, sand beach, bike trails, a lighthouse and eight miles of Door County shoreline. The rollicking waves that skip towards Peninsula’s sky high bluffs are part of the Niagara Escarpment.  (SOURCE: Peninsula State Park)
  3.  Apostle Islands, WI: Along windswept beaches and cliffs, visitors experience where water meets land and sky, culture meets culture, and past meets present. The 21 islands and 12 miles of mainland host a unique blend of cultural and natural resources.  Lighthouses shine over Lake Superior and the new wilderness areas. Visitors can hike, paddle, sail, or cruise to experience these Jewels of Lake Superior.  (SOURCE: Apostle Islands State Park)
  4.  Door County, WI: For those who need nothing more than a tent and campfire to be perfectly content, Door County’s many campgrounds offer a welcome conundrum of where, exactly, to stay! From remote, roughing-it accommodations to cushy and convenient communities, you’ll find the right spot to set up camp.  (SOURCE: Experience Door County)
  5.  Sleeping Bear Dunes, MI:  Miles of sand beach, bluffs that tower 450’ above Lake Michigan, lush forests, clear inland lakes, unique flora and fauna make up the natural world of Sleeping Bear Dunes. High dunes afford spectacular views across the lake. An island lighthouse, US Life-Saving Service stations, coastal villages, and picturesque farmsteads reflect the park’s rich maritime, agricultural, and recreational history.  (SOURCE: Sleeping Bear Dunes)
  6. Wolf Creek State Park, IL: In east central Illinois-just minutes from Springfield, Decatur, Champaign, Effingham and surrounding communities – the Wolf Creek/Eagle Creek sites, facing each other across the central portion of Lake Shelbyville, provide the perfect setting for outdoor recreation and natural relaxation for a day, a weekend, or even longer.  (SOURCE: Wolf Creek State Park)
  7. Starved Rock State Park, IL:  Starved Rock State Park on the Illinois River bluff in La Salle County is one of Illinois’ most beautiful destinations.  The park’s 18 canyons feature vertical walls of moss-covered stone formed by glacial meltwater that slice dramatically through tree-covered sandstone bluffs.  More than 13 miles of trails allow access to waterfalls, fed season runoff or natural springs, sandstone overhangs, and spectacular overlooks.  Lush vegetation supports abundant wildlife, while oak, cedar and pine grow on drier, sandy bluff tops.   (SOURCE: Starved Rock State Park)
  8. Clifty Falls State Park, IN: Clifty Falls State Park is located near Madison with entrances on state roads 56 and 62. The park’s waterfalls change moods with the weather and the seasons and can range from roaring plunges to delicate bridal-veil mists to gleaming frozen titans. Winter and spring visits reveal them at their best. The rugged splendor of Clifty Canyon offers exciting year-round hiking and scenery. (SOURCE: Clifty Falls State Park)
  9.  Pomme de Terre State Park, MO: With locations on both the Hermitage and Pittsburg sides of Pomme de Terre Lake, Pomme de Terre State Park offers a little bit of everything. A marina and boat ramps make it easy to get in the water and fish for bass, walleye, catfish, crappie, or muskie. Two public swimming beaches make for great places to cool off or laze the day away. Two hiking trails satisfy an appetite for adventure. Approximately 240 campsites make the park ideal for multi-day getaways.  (SOURCE: Pomme de Terre State Park)
  10.  Roaring River State Park, MO: Fight trophy trout in one of the most breathtaking settings imaginable at Roaring River State Park. The park contains one of the premier trout fisheries in the nation, stocked each night. The natural setting – towering hills above a deep blue spring — provides a scenic backdrop to adventures. Seven trails cut through the park’s rugged terrain, and lodging options from campsites to cabins make Roaring River a place to experience a unique slice of Missouri.  (SOURCE: Roaring River State Park)

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