Whether it’s your first Valentine’s Day together or your 10th, we challenge you to shake things up a bit this year and forgo the white tablecloth dinner reservations and heart-shaped candy box. Instead, throw your tent, camp stove and two folding chairs into the back of your truck and head for the woods. Sound good? Set your target for some of our top picks for campsites that are sure to get a few sparks flying in the romance department.
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Patrick’s Point State Park, California
The Pacific Ocean, redwoods, a beach full of agates. Honestly, what more could you ask for? This state park has some of the most stunning scenery in the country with long-range views of the coast as well as a network of trails which are ideal for long evening strolls. There’s a good amount of greenery around each campsite as well. So even if you have a neighbor, you still feel alone in the wilderness. It can get foggy, but skies clear for some of the best stargazing around.
Big Lagoon State Park, Florida
There are 705 acres in Big Lagoon State Park for you and your special someone to explore. Though it’s February, you’re likely to find temperatures in the panhandle to get up into the mid-60s during the day and the 50s at night, which means it’s perfect kayaking weather for daytime adventures. The Florida Circumnavigational Saltwater Paddling Trail is nearby and just cool enough to give you a reason to start a campfire. Pro tip: Bring your own s’mores and chilled wine to make the evening even more special.
El Cosmico, Texas
If glamping is more your thing (or your SO’s), we recommend El Cosmico. The unique southwest Texas location features a bunch of vintage trailers, safari tents and yurts for you to choose from, plus camp is just a short walk into town. It’ll take a little effort to reach this spot in the high desert but you’ll be rewarded with one of the coolest spots in all of Texas. If you want to make a big impression on Valentine’s Day, this is the place to go.
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Hunting Island State Park, South Carolina
If exploring a lighthouse during the morning, doing a little hiking around a secluded lagoon during the day and watching the sunset along the Marsh Pier isn’t romantic, we don’t know what is. Get on down to South Carolina’s low-country coast and soak up some of the wintertime warmth while relaxing under a palmetto frond or two. Bonus: The cute little town of Beaufort is a short drive away for those of you who, ahem, forget to pack food and need to go out for a nice dinner for two.
Refugio State Beach
If the idea of paddling out for some waves is your idea of a romantic date then you’re in luck. Refugio State Beach not only has waves, but it also has campgrounds with hot showers and a picnic table at each site. There’s also hiking and biking trails in case the waves are flat, as well as a nice little camp store in case you want to grab some ice to keep that six-pack cold.
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Kalaloch Campground in Olympic National Park, Washington
One of the most beautiful campgrounds in the entire Pacific Northwest just so happens to be open year-round. And it’s in one of the coastal regions of Olympic National Park which means access to an abundance of riches in the form of beaches, trails and mossy, lush forests.
Doris Campground, Wichita Mountains, Oklahoma
For those of you who think remote locations and budget-friendly prices spell romance, check out Doris Campground in the Wichita Mountains. It’s located in the southwest corner of Oklahoma and while it may be a little bit off the grid (it’s 1 hour and 22 minutes from Oklahoma City), you can score a campsite for only $12. Daytime activities include hiking and even rock climbing. We recommend the Bison Loop which is about 5.7 miles long and takes you past some lakes and provides a ton of opportunities for spotting wildlife.
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The post The Most Romantic Campsites for a Valentine’s Day Camping Trip appeared first on Men’s Journal.