Pitch Perfect: Favorite Family Campgrounds - Alyson Young Gregory
Tent? No tent? Yurt? Cabin? RV? Camping these days comes as individually tailored as you’d like—you can even dial your wilderness experience up or down depending on how close you prefer to sleep to nature—but whatever you choose, it all comes to down to the same thing: sleeping under the stars and making memories with your family! Check out these top campgrounds near Boston where you can escape summer in the city and spend a night or two in the great outdoors with your favorite people (and animals too!).
Family owned and operated since 1958, this fourth generation campground located in the heart of Cape Cod (perfect for exploring in any direction) has 250 wooded campsites designed for reconnecting to nature, and the wildlife of the Cape’s wetlands. When you take a break from bird watching with the fam, you’ll find plenty of activities to keep everyone busy till your next campfire! The kids fishing dock and Catch & Release derbies on Griffith’s Pond are a thrill for all, and canoe rentals anytime of day are pure relaxation. An old-school arcade, six playgrounds, and horseshoe pits round out on-site recreation, and a lit basketball court and brand new 18-hole mini golf course keep the family fun going after dark. Check the website for special weekend celebrations, and don’t forget to grab a souvenir from the well-stocked Camp Store. Brewster, MA sweetwaterforest.com
Boston Minuteman Campground
If nearby undisturbed relaxation among the pines is what you’re looking for, this is your place. 30 miles northwest of Boston, woodsy tent campsites and one and two-room rustic cabin rentals make communing with nature easy. Quiet hours, no late-night activities, and a peaceful family atmosphere to sit around the campfire, toast some marshmallows, and enjoy being on vacation is what has been attracting people here since 1973. Challenge family members to a game of Bocce, tetherball, ladder ball, basketball, or cornhole in the sports area, followed by a refreshing dip in the pool. You’ll find a playground for the kids, a game-filled Rec Hall, and a store full of goodies. Want to do a little sightseeing? Revolutionary towns Lexington and Concord are both a short drive away. Bonus: Four-legged friends are welcome in the top-rated dog park! Littleton, MA minutemancampground.com
Just 30 miles from Boston, and voted among the top 13 campgrounds in the world by the Travel Channel, this luxury camping resort has the convenience of being nearby and is loaded with amenities and activities. The staff of 15 dedicated solely to your entertainment provide a daily schedule of recreation from breakfast until after dark featuring everything from Zumba and Tai Chi to candy bar bingo. Toddler time, parachute play, and family softball games guarantee everyone’s smiling, and the four swimming pools and fishing pond offer plenty of water play. With 400 travel trailer campsites, cabin, yurt, and safari tent rentals (glamping is still camping), it’s hard to believe there was room for the phenomenal bike park! Huevos for breakfast anyone? The “snack bar” even delivers to your campsite if you’re enjoying some quiet time with the family! Foxboro, MA normandyfarms.com
Cape Ann Camp Site
Tent camping near the beach? Yes, please! This family-run, tree-covered campground offers 200 campsites and the best of both worlds when it comes to summer fun with the scent of pine in the air mixed with salt from the ocean just down the road. Explore local tide pools and history in and around the fishing village of Gloucester, and maybe even schedule a whale watching expedition or side trip to Salem before heading back to your quiet, wooded campsite to completely unplug. Wood and ice available to buy in the small camp store.
Gloucester, MA capeanncampsite.com
Myles Standish State Forest
Robert Frost would have loved this place! Forest trails you can hike for miles with ponds, lakes, and crystal clear water (visit the favorite Curlew Pond) promise a peaceful camping experience at any of this massive park’s spacious sites. Heaven for swimmers and cyclists, yurts available on a limited basis, and the ideal place to start that family meditation practice!
Plymouth County, MA, 508-866-2526
Got darkness? No need to take a crash course in astronomy! Download one of the many free (and entry-level) apps designed for child-friendly nighttime sky viewing to identify and learn
about constellations, far-off galaxies and even satellite fly-bys! Bigger is better when it comes to the screen here as you can live-touch any object in view and get a real-time info pop-up!