Camping under the stars brings many things to mind: the great outdoors and a little peace and quiet on the one hand; a lack of running water and lots of bugs on the other. But some campgrounds have bonus features that make "roughing it" a bit less rough. Check out these five fun campground amenities.
1. A Water Park — Cherry Hill Camping Resort, Kaysville, Utah
If you're expecting just a water slide ending in a postage-stamp-size pool, you'll be surprised by this campground's foam-padded rafting river, the pirate-themed kiddie pool (complete with ship and sound effects) and the Double Dragons, with fog and lighting in its watery tunnel slides. It's almost a full-blown amusement park, with batting cages, arcades and Aeroball (a crazy game that's similar to playing basketball on a trampoline).
2. Top-Notch Trout Fishing — Tiger Run Resort, Breckenridge, Colo.
Few campgrounds have a location as spectacular as that of Tiger Run, nestled at the foot of the Rockies. You'll find not one but two trout-fishing opportunities: the Swan River, which runs right through the property, and the Blue River at its western boundary. Anglers are far from the only outdoors lovers who will appreciate this swank campground, complete with spacious RV sites, chalet cabins and a roomy clubhouse. There are hiking trails in every direction, and it's just a short drive from great hikes and sports at Breckenridge and Copper Mountain.
3. A 300-Foot Zip Line — Lazy River at Granville Campground, Granville, Ohio
Riding a zip line is a thrill for all ages, and this one is 300 feet long, running parallel to the river and offering a bird's-eye view of the 195-site campground in the scenic Welsh Hills near Columbus. The campground also features a BMX track, hiking trails, and cabins and lodges for those needing a roof over their heads.
4. Coral Reef Access — Garden Key Campground, Dry Tortugas National Park, Fla.
No roads lead to this campground, one of the country's most scenic, about 70 miles west of Key West in Dry Tortugas National Park; getting there requires a boat or a seaplane. Once you do reach it, though, you'll find yourself just a stone's throw from some of Florida's best coral reefs. The 100-square-mile park is mostly water, save the seven small islands that include Garden Key, home of historic Fort Jefferson. After arriving, pitch a tent, grab a mask and flippers and dive into the inviting tropical waters.
5. 'Close Encounters of the Third Kind' Showings — Devils Tower KOA, Devils Tower National Monument, Wyo.
This standout campground in northeastern Wyoming has a splendid view of the iconic Devils Tower National Monument, which was featured as an alien landing site in Steven Spielberg's 1977 movie classic, Close Encounters of the Third Kind. The campground celebrates its Hollywood legacy with a free nightly screening of the film for guests.
Also of Interest
- America's top natural wonders
- Unlikely allies against a COLA change for Social Security
- Get free assistance with tax-return preparation
Visit the AARP home page for travel discounts, tips and more