How to Camp Through Wine Country | Wine Enthusiast
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How to Camp Through Wine Country

Why settle for four-star accommodations when you could have the whole night sky? Forget the hotels, resorts and bed-and-breakfasts the next time you visit one of your favorite wine regions. Good old-fashioned camping, or newfangled glamping, lets you nestle right into nature. So, pitch your tent and build a campfire—it’s time to open a bottle and dream of the next day’s tastings.

Here are some coast-to-coast suggestions for a summer’s worth of camping adventures.

Elk Ridge Campground, Yakima Valley, Washington
Elk Ridge Campground, Yakima Valley, Washington / Photo courtesy Elk Ridge Campground

Elk Ridge Campground

Yakima Valley, Washington

The Vibe: Open year-round, with 2,200 feet of private frontage along the Naches River in the mountains near Yakima, Elk Ridge Campground offers 20 forested RV sites with electricity and water. There are also nine quirky, nostalgic cabins, some that date to 1928. All are heated and equipped with fireplaces and kitchens. Once you find your way into this wild and beautiful setting, you might be tempted to hike, mountain bike or cast a fishing line.

The Vineyards: There are more than 60 wineries in the Yakima Valley, many that produce Chardonnay, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Riesling or Syrah. Drive to Naches Heights Vineyard or Wilridge Vineyard, Winery & Distillery (20 minutes) Yakima’s tasting rooms (30 minutes) or Owen Roe or Treveri Cellars (45 minutes).

The Vintages Trailer Resort, Willamette Valley, Oregon
The Vintages Trailer Resort, Willamette Valley, Oregon / Photo courtesy The Vintages Trailer Resort

The Vintages Trailer Resort

Willamette Valley, Oregon

The Vibe: Welcome to the throwback neighborhood! Parked between Dundee and McMinnville, The Vintages offers 34 retro-charming trailers that make a swanky pitstop in the Willamette Valley. The oldest trailer (Spartan Manor) dates to 1947, and all have been restored and customized with air conditioning and heat. A propane grill and lounge chairs are arranged outside each trailer. The pet-friendly resort offers a pool, fireside areas, outdoor lawn games, complimentary cruiser bikes and dog park next door.

The Vineyards: The Willamette Valley is especially known for Pinot Noir, but you’ll also find Pinot Gris, Chardonnay and many other wines. More than 20 wineries are located within six miles of The Vintages, like Stoller Family Estate, Remy Wines, Domaine Serene, Sokol Blosser, Durant Vineyards, Winderlea Vineyard & Winery and Archery Summit Winery.

Extra: The Vintages offers special tasting experiences, like the V.I.P. (Very Important Pinot), developed with Gran Moraine Winery, and the hop-on/hop-off Shuttle, Sip, & Savor package.

Bothe-Napa Valley State Park, Napa Valley, California / Photo by Brian Baer
Bothe-Napa Valley State Park, Napa Valley, California / Photo by Brian Baer

Bothe-Napa Valley State Park

Napa Valley, California

The Vibe: Roughly 5 miles from both Calistoga and St. Helena, Bothe-Napa Valley State Park is the only campground in upper Napa Valley. The 1,900-acre park is open all year, with 30 standard campsites (no hookups) for tents or RVs, 10 yurts of various sizes, and five historic cabins that have been restored and furnished. Each campsite comes with a fire ring, grill and picnic table. ADA accessible campsites, yurts and cabins are also available. The park has more than 10 miles of forested hiking trails, plus a spring-fed pool with views of the hills. Next door, the Bale Grist Mill State Historic Park features a working flour mill built in 1846.

The Vineyards: There’s a dazzling array of wines in Napa that include Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc and Zinfandel. Frank Family Vineyards and Larkmead Vineyards are both located within walking distance of the park, with Schramsberg Vineyards, Madrigal Family Winery and Castello di Amorosa nearby.

Extra: Calistoga offers an on-call shuttle service into town or wineries located en route to town. It’s free for guests staying at one of 43 properties within the City of Calistoga, or $1 for general visitors.

Palisade Base Camp, Grand Valley, Colorado
Palisade Base Camp, Grand Valley, Colorado / Photo courtesy Palisade Base Camp

Palisade Basecamp RV Resort

Grand Valley, Colorado

The Vibe: Located 4,700 feet above sea level in the heart of Colorado’s orchard and vineyard country, Palisade Basecamp RV Resort is a modern 14-acre, pet-friendly campground and RV resort right on the banks of the Colorado River. Sites are extra-wide (35-feet minimum), with electricity, Wi-Fi, modern restrooms and comfy grass to set up camp. If you’re in the mood for a cute, modern cottage, they have those as well, along with a spiffy new shower house, laundry facilities, playground and pool. Some sites are actually perched beside the vines of neighboring Colterris Winery, and the campground also has an on-site greenhouse and peach orchard.

The Vineyards: Explore Syrah, Viognier, Merlot, Tempranillo, Riesling, Cabernet Franc and more while you’re in the Grand Valley. There are more than 25 wineries, including Bookcliff Vineyards, Colterris Winery, Carlson Vineyards, Red Fox Cellars and Varaison Vineyards and Winery, all within a few miles of Palisade. 

Rio Verde RV Park, Verde Valley, Arizona
Rio Verde RV Park, Verde Valley, Arizona / Photo courtesy Rio Verde RV Park

Rio Verde RV Park

Verde Valley, Arizona

The Vibe: Located in Cottonwood, 20 scenic minutes from Sedona, Rio Verde RV Park is perched beside the Verde River, where old-growth shade trees provide shelter from the intense Arizona sun. Rio Verde’s rainbow selection of eight tiny homes may be rented by the night or week. Each house comes fully furnished with cooking supplies, towels, linens and sleeps up to four guests. Outside, each has a private patio that overlooks the river, with a built-in fire pit, grill and picnic table.

The Vineyards: Throughout the Verde Valley, you’ll encounter Chardonnay, Malvasia, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Syrah, Zinfandel, Sauvignon Blanc and more. Wine producers near Rio Verde RV Park include Javelina Leap Vineyard & Winery, Alcantara Vineyards, Oak Creek Vineyards & Winery and Chateau Tumbleweed. The Verde Valley Wine Trail has great suggestions for stops, sips and snacks along the way.

Enchanted Rock State Natural Area, Texas Hill Country, Texas / Getty
Enchanted Rock State Natural Area, Texas Hill Country, Texas / Getty

Enchanted Rock State Natural Area

Texas Hill Country, Texas

The Vibe: Located near Fredericksburg’s lively wine scene, the massive pink granite dome of Enchanted Rock State Natural Area has mesmerized visitors through the ages. It’s a great place to climb, hike or just gaze at the stars, since Enchanted Rock is also a designated International Dark Sky Park. The campground offers 35 walk-in sites near parking areas with grills, picnic tables, water access and shared restroom/shower facilities. If you feel like roughing it, you can hike a mile or two to one of 20 primitive campsites with compost restrooms, no water and no fires allowed.

The Vineyards: Texas Hill Country bursts with more than 50 wineries and vineyards where you can try Merlot, Syrah, Tempranillo, Viognier and other wines. You won’t have to travel far from Enchanted Rock to visit Grape Creek Vineyards, Lost Draw Cellars, Pontotoc Vineyard or Inwood Estates Vineyards. Also, Fredericksburg offers a large selection of guided wine tours and shuttle services, plus a busy calendar of wine-related events throughout the year.

Warren Dunes State Park, Lake Michigan Shore, Michigan
Warren Dunes State Park, Lake Michigan Shore, Michigan / Photo courtesy Warren Dunes State Park

Warren Dunes State Park

Lake Michigan Shore, Michigan

The Vibe: Spread out on 1,952 acres along Lake Michigan on the southwest coast of the state, Warren Dunes State Park is a refreshing place to stay and play. There are sandy beaches along three miles of shoreline and dunes that rise up to 260 feet. It’s especially known for hang gliding, if that’s on your bucket list. The park offers six miles of hiking trails, a dog-friendly stretch of beach, a range of campsites that include 182 “modern” spots with electricity and shared restrooms, and 36 “semi-modern” rustic spots with vault toilets. The park is also the home to the annual Lake Michigan Shore Wine Festival, which takes place each summer.

The Vineyards: Wines like Riesling, Traminette and Chardonnay are prevalent in vineyards near Michigan’s scenic coastline. Follow the Lake Michigan Shore Wine Trail to 19 wineries that include Domaine Berrien Cellars, 12 Corners Vineyards, Cogdal Vineyards, St. Julian Winery and Distillery, Lazy Ballerina, Hickory Creek Winery and Lawton Ridge Winery.

Shenandoah National Park and the Blue Ridge Mountains, Virginia / Getty
Shenandoah National Park and the Blue Ridge Mountains, Virginia / Getty

Misty Mountain Camp Resort

Monticello, Virginia

The Vibe: In the shadow of the Blue Ridge Mountains near Charlottesville, Misty Mountain Camp Resort offers 50 acres of rustic fun. There are an array of heated and air-conditioned cabins as well as creekside, backcountry, mountain or meadow tent sites. There are also RV spots, a bunk house and glamping tents that open in October. Guests can enjoy an outdoor pool, stocked fishing pond, hiking trails, playgrounds, horseshoes and hayrides. Weekly live music events feature local musicians, and food trucks stop by on warm-weather weekends.

The Vineyards: Taking inspiration from Thomas Jefferson, modern-day regional winemakers are crafting wines that include Viognier, Chardonnay and Cabernet Franc. Misty Mountain is close to more than 30 wineries and vineyards on the Monticello Wine Trail, like Barboursville Vineyards, Horton Vineyards, Veritas Vineyard & Winery, King Family Vineyards, Jefferson Vineyards, Michael Shaps Wineworks and Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards.

Extra: Misty Mountain’s Hop & Vine Tours take groups of up to 10 guests on a five-hour tour to wineries and breweries of your choice.

Firelight Camps, Finger Lakes, New York
Firelight Camps, Finger Lakes, New York / Photo by Rita Kapoor Wojick

Firelight Camps

Finger Lakes, New York

The Vibe: Firelight Camps is Ithaca’s groovy glamping hotspot. On the grounds of La Tourelle Hotel, you’ll find posh platform tents with queen- or king-sized beds. You won’t suffer from comfort withdrawal here, thanks to Firelight’s artisanal drinks, handcrafted s’mores and a complimentary locavore breakfast. A bath house provides hot showers and restroom facilities. Activities include daily outdoor yoga, yard games and campfires, and you can always meander next door to Buttermilk Falls State Park. Firelight Camps is open seasonally, May through October.

The Vineyards: The Finger Lakes region is a great place to try Riesling, Chardonnay, Gewürztraminer, Cabernet Franc, Pinot Noir and more. Firelight Camps is only a 10-minute drive from downtown Ithaca’s Ports of New York Winery. Venture into the countryside on the Cayuga Lake Wine Trail—billed as the oldest wine trail in the U.S., established in 1983— to visit wineries like Hosmer, Goose Watch, Knapp or Swedish Hill. You can continue over to Canandaigua, Seneca or Keuka lakes to investigate the wealth of wineries there.

Terra Glamping: East Hampton, Long Island, New York
Terra Glamping: East Hampton, Long Island, New York / Photo courtesy Terra Glamping

Terra Glamping: East Hampton

Long Island, New York

The Vibe: The newly opened Terra Glamping: East Hampton is a luxury camping resort situated on the grounds of 607-acre Cedar Point County Park, with sweeping views of Gardiners Bay. Its 30 luxurious tents each have posh furnishings and memory-foam beds, plus a front porch for relaxing. Two lounge tents are stocked with board games and books, and there’s a fire pit and hammocks. Terra offers sunrise yoga, movie nights, live music, wellness events and visits from guest chefs. Kayaks and stand-up paddleboards are available, continental breakfasts are included, and there’s even a tempting gourmet s’mores bar at the evening campfire.

The Vineyards: Boasting more than 60 vineyards, Long Island presents plenty of tasting opportunities, with Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon or Chardonnay available. While on the South Fork, it’s easy to visit Duck Walk Vineyards, Wölffer Estate Vineyard or Channing Daughters. You can also ferry to the North Fork to visit wineries like Osprey’s Dominion, Macari Vineyards, Paumanok and Raphael.

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