Camping has come a long way from the days when John Muir hiked across the Sierras.
Camping, in fact, means different things to different people. For some, camping is sleeping in a tent and roasting marshmallows over a roaring fire. For others, camping is what you do when you explore America's highways and byways in the comfort of your RV. It's what snowbirds do, when they find that perfect RV park or resort, far from winter's chill.
For many, camping means driving to scenic locations in the mountains or near the coast and spending the night in a cozy park model, cabin or yurt. For still others, a camping trip could entail sleeping in unique accommodations, like a historic train, car or even a teepee.
"No matter what kind of camping you do, it's a unique experience that helps bring you closer to family and friends," says Debbie Sipe, executive director of the California Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds. "It's the perfect antidote to the stresses of everyday life."
And it remains America's most affordable vacation option.
In fact, three quarters of the people who camp don't even own an RV, according to a recent study by Coleman, Kampgrounds of America and The Outdoor Foundation.
Camping enthusiasts also pair their enjoyment of the outdoors with other activities, including hiking, swimming, jogging, bicycling, canoeing and kayaking, river rafting and horseback riding.
"We enjoy the Great Outdoors and the company of friends and family however we want," Sipe says. Campgrounds, meanwhile, are doing their part to make sure you can sample the outdoors and outdoor activities any way you want.
You don't even have to buy a tent or sleeping bag. Growing numbers of campgrounds, RV parks and resorts offer rental accommodations ranging from safari tents and teepees to park model cabins and yurts. Some even offer Airstream trailers that are already set up and ready for use.
Camp-California will help you explore the various camping options that are available to you in California. So whether you are interested in taking a weekend camping trip or organizing a family reunion at a campground with a mix of RV and tent sites and rental accommodations, this guide can help you find the park that's right for you.
But be careful. Some find that once they start camping, they can't get enough of it.