No Forest Required: Urban Campsites for City Slickers
Bivouac offers tent camping atop the roofs of Brooklyn. (Photo: Mark Römisch)
It’s summertime, and your inner traveler is torn — is it into the woods for stargazing or off to the city for sightseeing? We say why decide, when the prospect of urban camping offers the best of both worlds? While urban camping might sound like an oxymoron, there are some surprising prospects for campsites set within city limits that make for perfect base camps for city exploring while letting you sleep under the stars at night. From waking up in Central Park to viewing Sydney Harbour from your camp, here are some of the world’s most memorable urban campsites.
New York City
Pitch your tent in the midst of NYC’s concrete jungle, courtesy of the Urban Park Rangers camping program. The free, family-friendly, scheduled events sign up participants through an online lottery system for park camping spanning all five NYC boroughs, including Manhattan’s Central Park and Brooklyn’s Prospect Park. Tents and s’mores are included, as are guided evening activities like hiking, nature talks, and stargazing.
Or, look to something edgier, like Bivouac, which launched in 2011 as the brainchild of Brooklyn-based artist Thomas Stevenson, featuring a rotating camp of seven tents that pops up on assorted Brooklyn rooftops; the experience includes a hosted communal dinner, morning coffee, and, happily, a working toilet.
Camp on Grape Island for some sweet views of the Boston skyline. (Photo: Mike Fahey)
For some of the country’s best urban camping, the Boston Harbor Islands come tucked into Boston’s backyard harbor, offering four islands (Grape, Bumpkin, Lovells, and Peddocks) with national parkland campsites. Easily accessible via scheduled ferry service, the sites boast Boston skyline views and beachfront access; Peddocks Island even touts pre-erected yurt rentals, equipped with proper beds and electricity, for some lucky pampered campers.
You can stay up all night with the animals of Lincoln Park Zoo. (Courtesy: Lincoln Park Zoo)