Mark and I really enjoy camping and have plans to do a lot more of it this summer than I think we ever have before. Our favorite places to stay are at Minnesota state park campgrounds because of the great scenery and fun options for staying in something other than a tent.
- Standard Tent/RV Camping - Exactly what you'd expect. Most of the parks offer tent and RV camping with picnic tables, grills and shower facilities. We've never stayed at a Minnesota state park campground yet that we felt was horrible, dirty, broken, etc. They do a good job in maintaining them. Standard campsites are only $15-23 per night*
- Camper Cabins - For those that don't like sleeping on the ground and outside with the bugs, the MN State Parks have been adding camper cabins the past few years. They are wooden cabins, 12 ft x 16ft with bunk beds, a table and screened in porch area. Some have electricity (aka heat) but not all. Rentals are only between $55-$70/night.* No bathrooms though, you'll still have to hoof it to the shower/restroom facilities at the campgrounds which seem to always be very close by. They even put together this cool grid so you can compare the different cabins at the different parks and even see how far away the nearest restroom is.
- Yurts - Another fun option for those that prefer a real bed without losing the real camping experience. Currently only 3 different parks have them available. Kind of a slightly more rustic version of a camper cabin. I had never even heard of a yurt until about a year ago but I think this would be something really fun to try on one of our camping trips. They offer domed roofs, bunkbeds, tables and a woodburning stove. Two different versions available that sleep either 3 people or 7 people. Downside is that none of them have electricity options but again rentals are very reasonable at just $55-$65 per night*.
- Tipis - We are super excited to have one of these rented this summer! I mean, who wouldn't want to say they've camped out in a tipi! Granted we did stay in a different version of a tipi last year when we were driving along Route 66. MN State Park tipis are big enough to sleep about 6 people with a hard wood floor. They are in the regular camping areas so nearby to water, shower and bathroom facilities. Picnic tables and grills are also at the site. Only $30-35 per night*.
For those of you that are millennials like me and can't always handle comparisons of more than 140 characters at a time, here's a quick visual recap. Click to expand:
The downsides of things:
Now if I were to give you what we see as downsides to the Minnesota State Parks camping options:
- The sites all book up super early! For better or for worse, the online reservation site allows you to book up to a year in advance. Which is great for those of you that aren't at all spontaneous. But if you decide you want to try to book a camper cabin, tipi or yurt during the summer, you better have booked it months in advance. Tent camping is usually pretty open though.
- Camper cabins, yurts and tipis do not allow you to have pets stay with you in the structures. Not even in the screened in porch area of the camper cabins. So if you are planning to bring your furry family, make sure they have a comfortable place to sleep in their own crate or in your vehicle.