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Seashore Campgrounds for Families

by Barbara Rogers

Aug 20, 2019

Stillman Rogers

Destinations / North America

Two summer activities that are sure recipes for family fun are camping and going to the beach. You can have it all by choosing a beachside campground — here are some suggestions in the Northeast:

Maine: Popham Beach State Park

At the mouth of the Kennebec River, Popham Beach has a long stretch of sand beach, and an island you can walk to at low tide. The surf is high enough for teens to bring their boards, but the beach is also good for swimming, and there’s a lifeguard. Kids especially love collecting shells here, and no trip to the Maine shore is complete without a lobster feast on the beach!

Beach Lobster Bake, Maine.

Beach Lobster Bake, Maine. Photo: Stillman Rogers

Massachusetts: Salisbury Beach State Reservation

At the point where Merrimack River meets the Atlantic Ocean, Salisbury Beach has been a favorite for generations of Boston residents. But in addition to the 3.8 miles of white sand, this state park has 484 campsites for tents, trailers and RVs. There’s a boardwalk, a boat launch for motorboats or kayaking in the river and a playground for children.

Rhode Island: Fishermen’s Memorial State Park

On Point Judith in the town of Narragansett, Fishermen’s Memorial State Park has a seaside village feeling, with lawns, shaded paths and a spacious campground with sites for tents and RVs. The park has its own farmers market, and recreation activities include basketball and tennis courts. Three popular state beaches surround the park: Scarborough, Roger Wheeler and Salty Brine. The boarding point for the Block Island Ferry is a mile from the park.

Connecticut: Hammonasset Beach State Park

Located near the town of Madison, at Connecticut’s largest beach, the campground has 550 grassy campsites for tents and RVs, along with more than two miles of sandy beach. There’s a boardwalk to stroll, a boat launch, snack concessions and Meigs Point Nature Center with programs and activities for budding naturalists. Stock up on kids’ books and summer reading at the famed RJ Julia Booksellers in Madison.

Delaware: Cape Henlopen State Park

Between the popular vacation haven of Rehoboth Beach and Lewes Beach, the park’s two newly renovated campgrounds are a short walk from the park’s own beach on the Atlantic Ocean, with both campsites and camping cabins to rent. Walking and cycling paths connect to various park attractions, which include disk golf, a nature center and a fishing pier. Campsites are suitable for various camping styles, from tents to large RVs.

Maryland: Assateague Island National Seashore

Although the park that protects this beautiful barrier island is in both Maryland and Virginia, it is only possible to camp on the Maryland portion. Oceanside sites require a bit more preparation than woodland or grass campsites: You’ll need long tent stakes to anchor in the sand, and an awning to protect from the sun. Assateague Island National Seashore Campgrounds include drive-in sites on both the ocean and bay sides for tents, trailers and recreational vehicles that don’t require hookups, as well as walk-in sites for tents only, located 100–200 feet from parking areas.

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