Get Out and Be Out: 9 LGBTQ-Friendly Campsites


by David Perry

Contributor to the EDGE Media network

Saturday 22 August 2020

(Source: Getty Images)

No doubt about it: COVID-19 has put the kibosh on travel. Unless you are going off the beaten track. Or rather, “outside”.

Camping has several built-in benefits that make quarantines a moot point. Tent or cabin, motorhome or trailer, the relative distance between installation sites allows for quick social distancing work. Careful timing in lodges, showers and latrines keeps potential virus spread rates to a minimum. Compared to Saint-Tropez, the campsite is cheaper, easy to access and has everything you need to “commune with nature”. Several queer destinations have LGBTQ-owned, LGBTQ-friendly or LGBTQ-populated campsites on their outskirts. Here are nine of our favorites:

Campit Outdoor Resort
Fennville, Michigan
Not far from the gay midwestern mecca of Saugatuck, Fennville is smack in the middle of Michigan’s wine country, which makes Campit all the more appealing during a viral apocalypse. LGBTQ at its core, the resort’s 28 cabins, nine-bedroom dorms, 100 RV parks, and five tent areas span over 33 acres. The facilities are complemented by a pavilion, games room, games room, heated swimming pool, volleyball, horseshoes and nature trails.

Several LGBTQ campgrounds can be found in the idyllic Hudson Valley region, making them equidistant from the Big Apple and Beantown:

Kate’s lazy meadow
Mont Tremper, NY
Pierson and Coleman turned an old motel into a glamorous, campy, MTV-meet-mid-century modern spooky modern straight out of a B-52s video. Divided into “suites” that can accommodate two to four people, guests can enjoy the vibes while socially distancing themselves and taking in views of the Catskills, Esopus Creek, and other outdoor perks spread over eight acres. If you want something a little more private, check out Kate’s Lazy Cabin in Lake Hill, New York.

Easton Mountain
Greenwich, New York
Beginning as a gay men’s retreat during the dark early days of the HIV / AIDS crisis, Easton Mountain remains a haven where men can “grow and heal, play and pray, dream big dreams and all while plotting to make the world better “. While fostering fellowship and community, Founder John Stasio has created a safe space that is as much about going outside as it is about connecting with your spiritual side.

Katie’s Lazy Desert

Southern california
Kate’s lazy desert
Landers, California
“Staying here is an out-of-body, otherworldly experience,” says Kate Pierson of The B-52’s. Along with her partner Monica Coleman, she runs this five-acre glamping retreat in the heart of the Mojave Desert. “You are surrounded by sand and stars and there is no other place on earth like this. Come look for the aliens and if you come back without being probed you don’t get your money’s worth! “

Okay, that’s not the most conventional selling point – no judgmental – but the open immensity of the Mojave sound is swelling right now. Local artists have restored six vintage Airstreams to create a retro paradise under the stars.

Starland Community
Flamingo Heights, California
Also in Mojave (and owned by Pierson), the Starland community is an adult-only and most rustic campground on this list. Presiding over a desert cliff surrounded by mountains and canyons, the ten-acre site offers cabins and RV parking for guests, as well as plenty of nature. A favorite with hikers and Burning Man fans alike, visitors should bring their own food and water, but since the camp is de facto clothing optional, you’ll have more room to pack.

“We offer a simple life; you can see the stars at night with or without a telescope,” says beam director Mohabee Serrano, who adds that the Starland is excellent for foreigners in need of quarantine (10-14 days) before exploring the rest. from California.

Highland Resort

Northern California
Highland Resort
Guerneville, California
Located in the artsy Guerneville district (about an hour north of San Francisco), the Highlands Resort dates back to the 1920s. ‘Straight-to-Home’ campground, owner Lynette McClean ticks off several highlights – the Redwoods, the Pacific Coast Highway, Sonoma Wine Country – plus undeclared competition among visitors for the most fabulous campsite on the three-acre lot.

“Customers decorate their campsites and tents,” she says. “They bring huge tents with several rooms and a veranda. Even if it’s only for one person!” McLean said, adding, “It’s a magical place. A short walk from town, surrounded by redwoods, but with lots of sun and light.”

Grizzly pines
Navasota, Texas
“With COVID-19, we’ve seen a marked increase in our business,” said Jim Schwab, owner of Grizzly Pines, “We’re an outdoor place; many guys think it’s a safe environment to visit. “

Grizzly offers dorms, RVs, tent sites, wagons and cabins spanning 15 acres of clothing optional in the Texas countryside (just over an hour’s drive from Houston). Accommodation ranges from $ 125 a night to just $ 25 (the latter is a dormitory), and Schwab manages to keep a low-profile schedule of events as the coronavirus allows, from August’s “Trailer Trash Weekend”. at Drive-In Movie Night.

Rainbow Ranch LGBT Campsite
Groesbeck, Texas
About 95 miles south of Dallas, the Rainbow Ranch has won the Dallas Voice – Readers Voice Award for Best Weekend Getaway in the past four years. Located in the small town of Groesbeck, on the edge of the leafy shore of Lake Limestone, Rainbow Ranch spoils its guests with accommodation choices including a house, apartments, cabins, tent pitches and campgrounds. because tastefully distributed in the woods of Texas.

Vitambi Springs Resort & Camp
Clewiston, Florida
Vitambi guests can upgrade and stay at the on-site hostel, or embrace their inner adventurer and pitch a tent on this campsite’s 269 acres just south of Lake Okeechobee and 100 miles from Miami. Realizing that Florida is now a COVID hotspot, director member Steve McCloud has denied the group events and mandated social distancing and masks while remaining open, making the camping force a retreat.

“What’s amazing is that this approach works. A lot of people really want a sanctuary for everything that’s going on in their world,” he says. “Vitambi Springs has always been a safe place to have fun, enjoy nature and the people you will always want to call a friend.”

David Perry is a freelance travel and news journalist. In addition to EDGE, his work has been published on ChinaTopix, Thrillist and in Next Magazine and Steele Luxury Travel, among others. Follow him on Twitter at @GhastEald.


Sally J. Minick

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