If you are looking for beaches that aren't covered with people, you may have a hard time finding something no matter what state you live in. Luckily, North Carolina has some amazing beaches on the Outer Banks, and Long Point Cabin area should definitely be on your list of spots to check out. Since this area is on a small barrier island, you have to take a ferry to reach the cabins. Because of this you, and the other temporary residents of these cabins, have the island all to yourselves.
Being located far from any truly habited land comes with some benefits and issues. If you are looking for empty beaches, lots of outdoor activities (fishing, hiking, shelling, kayaking, etc.), and clear skies to view the stars at night, this is the campground for you. The downfall to this seclusion, though, is that you have to bring all of your necessities and recreational gear with you on the ferry. With an off-road vehicle, this will be no big deal. But if you don't have that luxury, you will be carrying your stuff back and forth on the back of a cart driven by one of the NPS staff. You also don't have any access to convenient stores for forgotten stuff or drinkable water. So be prepared before you head out to the island.
Although the cabins are a bit older, they are still great for your stay here. They all have a porch with rocking chairs to be able to soak up all of the island sun and breeze you can on your trip. They also each have their own private bathrooms and kitchen, so you don't have to worry about sharing with your neighbors.
I actually decided to set up my tent for the first night since it was so beautiful outside, but that required a lot of clearing an area in the sand for my tent since the send is covered in broken shells. This was a bit of a chore, but was so worth it when I fell asleep under the stars that night. Also be prepared for changing weather. As nice as it was the first day, I had to take down my tent the next day due to the harsh winds and rainstorm. Once that cleared up, though, the weather was back to being as beautiful as before.
- Great fishing and other outdoor activities
- Clear night skies for stargazing
- Private cabins or camping
- Personal bathrooms + kitchen
- No convenient stores for forgotten items
- Must bring all drinking water
- Older cabins
- Hard to explore without an off-road vehicle
- Quick-changing weather
Like the title says, Jordan Lake State Rec Area is a great spot to get away from the busyness of life without having to go very far. It is easy to get to from many of NC's biggest cities and college towns, including Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, Greensboro, and Burlington. If you find it on a map, you may make the mistake that I made and assume that it's just a city park that is noisy and not very pretty. I sure was wrong, though!
After multiple camping trips here, I can happily tell you this is a great camping spot for you and your family and friends to get away for a little weekend adventure. With over 1000 campsites spread out across multiple areas of the park and different spots on the lake, you never have to worry about not having a spot. Even during an event like the Cotopaxi Questival that I did last summer, we had our own lake-side camping spot with hardly any noise from the other groups around us thanks to the distance between campsites. If you think you'll run out of things to do camping by a lake surrounded by big cities, think again. You can be out on the water in motorized boats and jet skis, you can go kayaking, fishing, hiking, and swimming in the designated swimming spots by most campsites.
I will say that it can be very humid and buggy during the summer, but that's how it is anywhere in NC. Just be prepared with some good bug spray and a rain jacket for any sudden rain storms that could happen and you'll be all set!
I have loved my experiences camping at this state park and would highly recommend it to anybody that can't get away to the mountains for a weekend trip. And make sure to get a state park passport and get a stamp while you're there! It's an awesome way to get inspired to explore all of the beautiful state parks there are in NC.