Today is the first day of fall. I know this as a Floridian because my refrigerator now boasts several selections of pumpkin craft beers and pumpkin creamer. Our leaves will not change color, nor will our temperatures drop significantly (until those two cold days of 55 degrees Fahrenheit in February). You can, if you are perceptive enough, notice the change in the Sun. The light of day is shifting its direction oh so subtly.
For most of us who call the Sunshine State home, the best indication of fall is the slow decrease in the humidity levels. You barely notice the difference until that first morning you realize you walked those 10 feet to your car without breaking into a sweat. You think to yourself — fall is here.
My first camping trip every year here in Florida is around mid-November. And we have tons of options for camping here in Florida. You can camp in the Ocala National Forest, on the beach at Anastasia State Park or all the way down south in the Everglades National Park. But after seeing some of the spectacular places Orbitz detailed in a recent blog post, I may pack up my camping gear and head out of state. There are some great “glamping” options as well for those of you who prefer to not give up all of the indoor amenities.
You can read the whole Orbitz post here, and read on to see which two spots I find most drool-worthy.
Full disclosure. I’m a beachaholic. Not too surprising for a Florida girl, so naturally (pun intended) camping by the beach is a no-brainer for me. I have been to Big Sur but never as a camper or in the fall. I’m adding this trip to my “places-I-want-to-camp” list for sure.
Big Sur, California
There is one word that describes Big Sur in autumn: spectacular! Whereas tourists clamor to visit this legendary region and artist mecca in summer when the rugged and spiky coast is often fogged in, the month of October at least nearly guarantees abundant sunshine and fewer crowds.
From jagged bluffs overlooking the mighty Pacific to stream-side camping in lush forests, Big Sur offers easy and abundant opportunities for pitching a tent and exploring this most excellent part of coastal California.
Glampy base camp option: Post Ranch Inn
This legendary—and luxurious—ranch-style inn offers numerous accommodations, including guest rooms, stand alone suites and even tree houses set amongst thick redwoods with luscious views of the Pacific. The emphasis is on wellness.
This trip, I can speak from personal experience, is amazing. The scenery is breathtaking and the drive through the mountains awe inspiring.
Blue Ridge Parkway, North Carolina and Virginia
As celebrated for its beauty as the Pacific Coast Highway in California and Florida’s Overseas Highway and as popular in the imagination as Route 66, the Blue Ridge Parkway winds, meanders and bends for an astonishing 469 miles through 29 North Carolina and Virginia counties. If you’re visiting in autumn, you’ll be hitting the mother lode of changing leaves and crisp mountain air. There are nine campgrounds scattered throughout the Parkway, but all close down by November.
Glampy base camp option: Primland
A dilettante approach to the Blue Ridge Parkway would be to spend a weekend at this 12,000-acre mountain retreat surrounded by Blue Ridge beauty. Activities available at this place include golfing, swimming, tennis, tree climbing and even stargazing via the Observatory Dome.
Camping is a great way to leave the craziness of life behind and enjoy some simple pleasures. It’s crazy how breathing a little fresh air can change your perspective.