We are by no means camping veterans. We’ve had our fair share of glamping and tiny house adventures, but until recently- we had yet to sleep in an actual tent aside from that one night at the Bronx Zoo. But when Aldi had an amazing deal on an 8 person tent, I immediately called my friend and told her to grab one so we could plan that camping trip we’ve only been talking about for the last 8 years. Since it was summer, I thought it would be awesome to find a campground that was also near the beach. So in my research I found Wildwood State Park- a 767 acre park in Wading River, Long Island.
I booked two camp sites across from each other from Friday to Sunday- which came out to around $60. There is only one car allowed per campsite at Wildwood, so even if we ended up putting our tents together on one site, I figured it wasn’t a bad price to pay to be able to access both of our vehicles at any time during our stay. Upon check in, we registered our vehicles and grabbed a map of the campground. We then headed to the Camp Store to rent a fire ring and buy firewood. They do not have fire rings at the campsites- so you can bring your own or rent from the store.
After setting up our home for the weekend, we threw some food on the grill and hung out around the campfire- ending the night with s’mores. The camp sites at Wildwood are fairly close together, so if you’re looking for a middle-of-nowhere camping experience- this definitely isn’t it. But for first time campers or folks who don’t mind, it was perfect.
In the morning, we made bacon, eggs, and home fries on our portable stovetop and served with fruit and pastries. Our portable stove was another great Aldi find that we’ve been using when we grill outside or at the park- so it was fun to finally be able to use it while camping. After breakfast, we packed up and jumped in the car to head to the parking lot near the beach. We were told it was walkable- but we’re glad that we drove as it would have been a long walk with the kids.
If you’re familiar with the sound side of Long Island, then you know how beautiful the beaches are. There’s just something about the landscape that makes you feel like you’ve escaped far away. But, the downside of the Long Island sound is that it’s not soft lush sand- it’s endless amounts of rocks and shells- so be sure to wear water shoes! The beach at Wildwood has a small section in front of the beach house where you’re able to swim- everywhere else is good for fishing and strolling along the shoreline.
After all day at the beach, we headed back to take showers. The bath house was just a short walk from our tent- with the shower rooms in between the men and women’s restrooms. Be sure to wear your flip flips when heading to the showers- they keep them as clean as possible but it’s still not a place you want to go barefoot.
We then headed back to our campsite to hang out and make dinner for the night. My cousin who lives just 20 minutes away joined us for dinner and to hang out by the fire for the night. They were able to park down at the beach parking lot where we picked them up and then dropped them back off when they headed home.
The next morning I woke up early to enjoy some time in our hammock we brought before everyone woke up. It was such a peaceful moment- just myself, the birds, and the smell of coffee floating around the campground. It was a great weekend spent with family and friends, and we’ll definitely be planning our next trip.
Before heading back home, we stopped by a local farm that I love the let the kids to let the kids play and enjoy some apple cider donuts. Windy Acre Farm on Middle Country Road also has berry picking, fun life sized Connect 4 and Chess, and more. We then stopped at a roadside stand to pick up some sunflowers to take home.
To prepare for our camping trip, I checked out a few camping check lists that I found by easily googling and ordered the rest of what I was missing on Amazon. Below is a list of examples of what we used:
- 8 person tent
- Queen Air Mattress
- Portable LED lanterns
- Portable Air Pump
- Wenzel Camp Pillow
- 2 person hammock
- Portable Stove
- Portable Grill
- Bug Spray
*Contains Affiliate Links
Know Before You Go
I did a lot of research on the campground before our trip- so there were no surprises. One thing that I did see were some reviews of how bad the ticks were from years ago. My cousin and a friend also warned me about the ticks- so I’ll admit I went with several cans of spray and prayed to mother nature that she’d have mercy on us. I’m happy to report that we did not see a single tick while there- though I’m sure the were lurking. I probably used four cans of bug spray on ourselves, our tent, and our car- but it was worth the peace of mind that we were protected.
To learn more about Wildwood State Park and to explore other camp options, visit www.reserveamerica.com.