It’s that time of year when many of us in the northern hemisphere begin to pack away our camping gear and trade our outdoorsy adventures for slightly more cozy indoor endeavors. But there’s no need to lose out on a whole camping season. These year-round warm weather camping destinations will keep your campfire burning even during the coldest winter nights. So don’t pack away that camping gear just yet, here are some warm weather camping getaways across the country calling for you to pitch your tent or park your RV no matter the date on the calendar.
Get outside and explore these 14 warm weather camping destinations.
1. Kayak with alligators in Everglades National Park
Where: Homestead, Florida
From December through April the Everglades enters its dry season and tourists from all over flock to this subtropical wilderness. Though the park is busy this time of year, the weather is spectacular. In fact, the warm winter weather—highs in the 70s and lows in the 50s—attracts the largest variety of wading birds and their predators, a sight that can’t be seen to the same extent during those rainy summer months. Many ranger programs only run at the park during the dry winter season, so to get the full experience of Everglades National Park, a wintertime visit is best.
Where to camp: Flamingo Campground and Long Pine Key Campground are both located within the park. Miami Everglades RV Resort is less than 10 miles away.
2. Explore the Grand Canyon of Texas
Where: Palo Duro Canyon State Park in Canyon, Texas
Camping in the heart of summer can melt even the most serious of heat lovers. For more mild Texan temperatures, wintertime camping is the way to go. And there’s no better place to sleep under the Lone Star State’s sky than in Palo Duro Canyon State Park, also known as the Grand Canyon of Texas, thanks to its size as the second largest canyon in the country. The temperatures during the winter months reach the upper 50s or lower 60s but they can dip as low as the upper 20s, so make sure you pack a cold weather sleeping bag and have plenty of wood to throw on the fire.
Where to camp: There are 8 different campgrounds within the park. Palo Duro RV Park is nearby.
3. Sleep in an unspoiled Hawaiian valley
Where: Ahupua’a o Kahana State Park in O’ahu, Hawaii
Spanning from the sea at Kahana Bay to the crest of the Ko’olau Mountains, Ahupua’a o Kahana State Park encompasses 5,300 acres of pristine Hawaiian wilderness. Though it rains a lot on this part of the island (up to 300 inches per year in some areas!), winter temperatures range between 80 degrees during the day and the upper 60s at night, making this the perfect place to hike or swim year-round.
Where to camp: There are 10 campsites in the park.
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4. Walk through a desert filled with Organ Pipe Cactus
Where: Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument near Why, Arizona
Jutting into the desert landscape are the whimsically-shaped Organ Pipe Cactuses, a species of cactus native to Mexico which can grow up to 16 feet high. The Organ Pipe Cactus is rare in the United States, except for in the Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument. Head to the monument during the slow winter months and you’ll have the place practically to yourself. Luckily, the winter offers great camping temperatures with highs in the 60s and 70s and nighttime lows in the 40s.
Where to camp: Twin Peaks Campground is located within the national monument.
5. See the largest intact expanse of old-growth forests in the U.S.
Where: Congaree National Park in Hopkins, South Carolina
One of the newest national parks, Congaree is a lush wilderness teeming with bobcats, river otters, deer and birds. The park’s claim to fame, however, is the old-growth hardwood trees that rise from the forest floor like sentinels. Traveling here in the wintertime means less mosquitos, less humidity and mild temperatures. Highs in the winter months are in the mid-50s and lows at night can sometimes dip below freezing, but snow is rare. Beware, though, that flooding is most likely in wintertime, so talk to park rangers about the risks and dangers of encountering high water while hiking or camping.
Where to camp: Tent and hammock camping is allowed in the park.
6. Enjoy giant redwood trees through an eerie mist
Where: Big Basin Redwoods State Park in Boulder Creek, California
There’s no doubt that visiting the redwoods is a trip to remember no matter the season, but there’s something about seeing the giant beauties amongst the winter mists that will turn your visit into an otherworldly experience. Hiking through the massive groves of redwood trees during the less-popular winter months (highs around 60 and lows around 50) also means that you’re more likely to be the only visitor, a humbling experience that will help you remember your place in the world.
Where to camp: The park has 146 campsites. Santa Cruz North/ Costanoa KOA is nearby.
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7. Enjoy both the beach and the city in one historic place
Where: Savannah, Georgia
Savannah is a sauna in the summertime, but when the weather cools in the winter, this city in southern Georgia makes the perfect place to pitch your tent. With high temperatures in the 60s and lows in the 40s, you can comfortably spend all day and night at your campsite. But why stick to one spot when the historical city of Savannah and the beautiful beaches of Tybee Island beacon? Use your campsite as a home base and go explore everything this area has to offer.
Where to camp: Savannah South KOA.
8. Sleep under moss-draped oaks in the Gulf of Mexico
Where: Buccaneer State Park in Waveland, Mississippi
Located directly on the beach in Waveland, Mississippi, Buccaneer State Park is a year-round camping destination for warm-weather campers. The park’s 206 campsites were completely destroyed when Hurricane Katrina blew ashore in 2005, but the area has recovered and moves forward. The campground features a nature trail and a disc golf course, but its true highlight is the sun-draped shore itself. Winter temperatures reach the mid-60s and low temperatures dip into the 40s—that’s perfect weather for snuggling up in a sleeping bag.
Where to camp: Buccaneer State Park campground.
9. Visit the lowest point in America
Where: Death Valley National Park in Inyo County, California
Famous for being the location of America’s lowest point, as well as one of the hottest places in the world, Death Valley National Park is made up of 3.4 million acres of desert and mountains. Because of the scorching summer temperatures, Death Valley is considered a winter park. Temperatures in the winter months hover in the mid-60s and dip to around 40 at night. If you go between Thanksgiving and Christmas it’s the least-crowded time to visit. Pitch your tent at one of the National Park Service campgrounds within the park or at one of the privately owned campgrounds nearby.
Where to camp: Furnace Creek Campground is centrally located within the park.
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10. Explore two national parks from one location
Where: Moab, Utah
A true outdoor lovers paradise, Moab is located between two of the country’s beloved national parks: Arches and Canyonlands. Make Moab your home base and then spend your days exploring the red rock arches and the hidden canyons that make Moab such a popular spot on the map. Winter is a great time to visit Moab as summertime temperatures are so hot that being outdoors during the middle of the day is often intolerable. Though winter temperatures do get cold (nighttime temps can dip in the 20s) it’s nothing that a 0 degree sleeping bag and some warm clothes won’t solve.
Where to camp: Moab Valley RV Resort.
11. Explore a historic Spanish colony in America
Where: Albuquerque, New Mexico
Founded by the Spanish in 1706, Albuquerque is New Mexico’s largest city. There’s much to do within the city limits, including shopping for Native American handicrafts and visiting historical museums. But for nature lovers, the real draw of Albuquerque is the high desert, including the hiking, biking and rock climbing opportunities in the expansive Cibola National Forest. Winter is a great time to visit the area as days stay a mild 50-60 degrees and nights rarely dip below 25 degrees.
Where to camp: Albuquerque KOA.
12. Visit a land of dark skies and desert
Where: Big Bend National Park in southwest Texas
Isolated and stark, Big Bend National Park is a land of dark skies and bright stars. The large park contains both the Chihuahuan Desert and the Chisos Mountains and the mighty Rio Grande River runs through it. The park can’t be experienced in one day so it makes sense to set up camp and spend a few days exploring the area. The winter season is the perfect time to do this, as temperatures are mild and sun and snow are rare. If time allows, make sure to visit Langford Hot Springs, near the Mexican border, for a soak amongst ancient pictographs.
Where to camp: Rio Grande Village.
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13. Visit a national park in the middle of downtown
Where: Hot Springs, Arkansas
When you’ve got healing thermal waters to soak in it doesn’t really matter how cold it gets in the winter. No matter, Hot Springs, Arkansas, home to Hot Springs National Park, enjoys wintertime highs of 50 degrees and lows around 30. This fascinating city is best known for the waters that bubble (quite literally) right in the middle of town. But the springs aren’t the only reason why Hot Springs is a great winter destination. Hot Springs is also home to an impressive trail system that keeps bikers, hikers and runners moving all year long.
Where to camp: Hot Springs National Park KOA.
14. Explore one of the country’s most popular urban parks
Where: New Orleans, Louisiana
Though New Orleans isn’t exactly known for its outdoorsy vibe, the city offers more green space than one might think. City Park, the largest park in New Orleans, is about half as large as New York’s Central Park and just as popular. Of course, another appeal to New Orleans is the city itself, with its vibrant nightlife, French cuisine and “big easy” vibe. Wintertime is the perfect time to visit when temperatures rise to 60 and drop only to 50 at night. If you want to see the city without the massive crowds make sure to avoid Mardi Gras which takes place each year in February.
Where to camp: Pine Crest RV Park of New Orleans.