Beach camping? In New York City? Yes, it's possible

Chris Moody, CNNUpdated 25th October 2017
Camp Rockaway
(CNN) — There's nothing better than roasting marshmallows over a crackling campfire, and, before retiring to a cozy tent beneath the stars, ordering a plate of Pad Thai on Seamless from a Michelin-recommended restaurant to be delivered straight to your campsite.
Such is the bountiful life on offer when camping by the beach in New York City.
Yes, you read that right.
Camp Rockaway, a new pop-up camp along Rockaway Beach in Queens, opened this fall, offering a rustic but comfortable seaside getaway that is reachable from midtown Manhattan on public transportation in less than two hours.
The camp offers a range of sleeping options for anyone game enough to sleep outdoors and wake up to fresh, ocean air. Campers can choose between sleeping in high-end safari-style tents with Casper mattress beds and solar-powered lights or reserving ground space to pitch your own tent.
Nestled in a partial maritime forest on the site of a former U.S. Army base now controlled by the National Park Service, Camp Rockaway's tents are arranged in a semi-circle around a cozy fire pit tended to by camp employees.
Hot water is provided for coffee and tea, along with hammocks, a charging station for mobile phones and a key to immaculately clean restrooms and hot showers that are available exclusively to guests.
And it's all right next to the beach, where there's far more to do than just sit and watch the sunset. Take a surf lesson, ride a jet ski, go whale watching, hire a fishing charter or take a meditation class in town.
Located just a short bus or car-share ride away from the town of Rockaway Beach, food options are plentiful. Many will deliver. (This is still New York City, after all.)
For those who want to stay super local, there's a beachside bar and restaurant within walking distance. Or, since this is still a camping trip, you can bring your own food and cook it over the fire.
The camp is the brainchild of local architect Kent Johnson, who started the project on Kickstarter in 2014, and finally got approval from National Park Service to offer it as a pilot program this year. He got the idea after seeing old photographs of summer tent cities that used to line New York's beaches in the early 20th century. Now he wants to bring the experience back.
"I knew there was a place for this for New Yorkers," Johnson said. "I wanted it to still feel like camping."
The season for this camp lasts until November, and it may return next summer, so keep an eye out.