Campspot Releases “Best Cities for a Calm-Cation” Index with Top Destinations to Experience the #1 Camping Trend for 2024
November 14, 2023
The camping booking site crunched more than 2.5 million data points to identify the top 20 cities based on trending camper preferences like proximity to water and clear skies
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., Nov. 14, 2023 — After years of ‘revenge travel’ spent checking off bucket list trips, recent research* by Campspot, the leading camping booking site and campground management platform, revealed a new desire for travelers to return to nature in 2024. A poll of almost 3,000 customers across North Americaindicated that one in three respondents felt stressed about the economy and nearly 70 percent craved a sense of calm during next year’s trips. The solution? ‘Calm-cations,’ a type of camping trip that allows travelers to experience the modern amenities and resort-like features many campgrounds have to offer, particularly waterfront locations, crystalline skies with views, and even high-speed connectivity, the three factors research showed help campers feel the most relaxed.
As experts in finding the perfect campsite, Campspot wants to make it easy for travelers to experience their own ‘Calm-cation’ and has ranked the country’s best cities for a water-driven getaway or a clear sky holiday. To create the “America’s Best Cities for a Calm-Cation Index,” Campspot analyzed more than 2.5 million internal and external data points based on five different categories, including campground availability, experience, value, and high-speed internet connectivity, as well as proximity to water and water-based amenities or public air quality and proximity to Dark Sky designated parks, depending on the type of Calm-cation.
In response to the growing demand for serene and rejuvenating vacations, we’ve delved into our treasure trove of data to uncover the ultimate destinations for a ‘Calm-cation’ and we were excited to see some unexpected additions to our list.
America’s Best Cities for a Calm-Cation Index – Top 20
Best Cities for a ‘Water-Lust Wellness’ Calm-Cation
Great destinations to experience the healing properties of a water-themed vacation
1) Ashland, NH
2) Auburn, ME
3) Grand Rapids, MI
4) Rehoboth Beach, DE
5) Knoxville, TN
6) Port Aransas, TX
7) New Braunfels, TX
8) Wisconsin Dells, WI
9) Lake George, NY
10) Navarre, FL
Best Cities for a ‘Clear Sky Sanctuary’ Calm-Cation
Top spots to experience incredible night sky views and fresh air freedom
1) Asheville, NC
2) Jamestown, TN
3) New Braunfels, TX
4) Greenville, ME
5) Kanab, UT
6) Luray, VA
7) Moab, UT
8) Sedona, AZ
9) Mackinaw City, MI
10) Ellison Bay, WI
What Makes a Great Calm-Cation Destination?
To rank the best cities for the two most popular types of ‘Calm-cations,’ these 20 destinations ranked highly in the following categories**:
- Campground Availability: Destinations were scored by the density of nearby campgrounds
- Overall Ratings: Destinations were scored by the average ratings of nearby campgrounds
- Average Price: Destinations were scored by the average nightly rates of nearby campgrounds
- High-Speed Internet Connection: Destinations were scored by camper ratings of wifi and cell phone reception and wifi amenities of nearby campgrounds
- Proximity to Water & Themed Amenities: “Water-lust Wellness” destinations were scored by the number of local campgrounds near natural bodies of water. They were also scored by the number of nearby campgrounds that offer water amenities including waterfront, beach, and fishing availability.
- AQI Data and Dark Skies Proximity: “Clear Sky” destinations were scored by local public air quality index (AQI) data, as well as each destination’s proximity to International Dark Sky Association designated parks. They were also scored by the number of nearby campgrounds that offer hiking and other fresh air amenities.
“Campspot is on a mission to simplify the search for the perfect camping experience, ensuring that every camper can effortlessly discover their ideal spot in the great outdoors,” said Erin Stender, CMO of Campspot. “In response to the growing demand for serene and rejuvenating vacations, we’ve delved into our treasure trove of data to uncover the ultimate destinations for a ‘Calm-cation’ and we were excited to see some unexpected additions to our list. We believe that nature has the power to heal and rejuvenate, and we’re committed to helping more campers connect with the tranquility they seek in the most beautiful and serene corners of the world.”
Ready to book a ‘Calm-cation’ of your own? Campspot lets travelers search over 200,000 campsites around the country, and allows them to easily filter by location, stay type and amenities – so whether you want to stay in a cabin or RV site with a beach, fishing, hiking, or more, it’s easy to find exactly what you’re looking for.
To view the complete city index and featured campgrounds in each destination, visit https://www.campspot.com/about/camping-trends.
Campspot is the leading software provider and online marketplace for RV resorts, family campgrounds, cabins, glamping options, and more, providing access to more than 200,000 campsites across the United States and Canada. Campspot provides an intuitive, easy-to-navigate guest booking experience that makes planning a vacation seamless. For campground customers, Campspot offers a real-time, cloud-based management solution that powers a best-in-class reservation system.
The Calm-cation survey was conducted online by Campspot from June 27 – July 5, 2023 across North America. The study was conducted among 2,850 respondents amongst Campspot customers.
Campspot examined more than 2.5 million internal and external data points across cities in the U.S. based on factors important to campers looking for a ‘calm-cation,’ including campground availability, ratings, price, and high-speed internet connection, as well as proximity to water and amenities or AQI data and proximity to Dark Sky designated parks, depending on the Index category. Each factor was ranked on a scale of 1-5, allowing a total score of 20 points per category. Leveraging the different rankings across all categories, we created a weighted index to determine which cities had the highest ranking across all variables. Availability score takes into account the density of campgrounds within the city vicinity. Pricing score is based on the average daily rate of all nearby campgrounds. High-speed connectivity is derived from the camper ratings wifi and cell phone reception as well as the wifi amenities of nearby campgrounds. Proximity to water and amenities score takes into account the number of local campgrounds near natural bodies of water and that offer water-themed amenities including waterfront, beach, and fishing availability. AQI Data and Dark Skies score is determined by local public air quality index (AQI) data, as well as each destination’s proximity to International Dark Sky Association designated parks and the number of nearby campgrounds that offer hiking and other fresh air amenities. Based on these factors, this index identified the best cities in the nation for travelers to experience a “Water-Lust Wellness” or “Clear Sky Sanctuary” Calm-Cation.