Pitch Perfect (Tents): Family-Friendly Campsites in the DMV

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For as little as $15 a night (yup, you read that right!) your family can have a fun-filled, memorable vacation in the great outdoors. Enjoy an inexpensive summer getaway filled with s’mores, starry skies and smoldering campfires at one of these six campgrounds. Singing “Kumbaya” is totally optional.
2678020846_5acd913ba6_zPhoto: Tavis and Cathy Szeto via Flickr
Mason Neck Peninsula 
Pohick Bay Regional Park offers fifty pull-in tent sites (complete with grills, fire rings and picnic tables) on the Mason Neck Peninsula. There is plenty to do onsite—mini golf, a waterpark, waterfront activities and a one mile hike to Gunston Hall Plantation. But the real draw is the almost-island’s 6000 acres of national, state and regional parkland which includes forests, fields, marshes and open water.
Cost: Starting at $29/night
6501 Pohick Bay Drive (Lorton, Va)
Assateague Island National Seashore
Pony up for a beach or bay front camping site (available on the Maryland side only) for an equine-filled adventure. This barrier island is best known for their wild horses. These feral animals famously swim across the channel on the last Wednesday in July, drawing nearly 40,000 visitors. You can spot the creatures year round, making off-peak months the perfect time to camp. The island even accommodates campers who want to BYOH (that’s bring your own horse!); two unique campsites are horse-friendly.
Cost: Starting at $30/night ($50 for a horse-friendly site)
7206 National Seashore Lane (Berlin, Md)
Online: nps.gov
Shenandoah National Park
This national park has four main campgrounds, but it’s Lewis Mountain that is favored by the old-school camping crowd (all tents, no RVs!). You and your brood will feel like you are backcountry camping, all while enjoying the convenience of a campground (some of the amenities include showers, a convenience store and laundry). Lewis Mountain operates on a first come, first serve basis (it is best to come on a Thursday to secure a weekend site).
Cost: $15/night
3655 U.S Highway 211 East (Luray, Va)
Online: nps.gov
The C&O Canal
The town of Brunswick, a small hamlet nestled along the Potomac River in Maryland, operates a campground (situated between the water and the C&O Canal) with scenic views from every site! It’s the perfect starting point to explore the Chesapeake and Ohio historical park. There is also plenty to do on the grounds including horseshoes, volleyball, basketball and more.
Cost: $11.43/adults; $6.67/children 12 and under
100 S Maple Ave. (Brunswick, Md)
Harper’s Ferry
I spy from way up high…..three states and two bodies of water! The Adventure Center campsite is perfect for “Little Eyes” to get a bird’s eye view of the land from the top of wooded mountainside. You can even see near-by Harper’s Ferry (a must-see local attraction). Each campsite is equipped with a fire ring, charcoal grill and a picnic table. The Center offers half-day and full day excursions like white water rafting, rock climbing, zip lining, tubing and more.
Cost: Starting at $38/site
37410 Adventure Center Ln. (Purcellville, Va)
Inside the Beltway
If you just want to get outside and under the stars, Cherry Hill Park will meet your needs. Heralded as the closest campsite to the city, what this campsite doesn’t offer in natural surroundings it makes up for in amenities: an arcade, pool, exercise facility, picnic area, recreation hall and more.
Fee: $53/night
9800 Cherry Hill Rd. (College Park, Md)
Where do you go camping in the DMV? Tell us in the comments section below. 
–Meghan Meyers
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