Bellows Air Force Base campground

With my dad visiting from NJ for two weeks, it seemed like good timing to sort through all the camping gear and try another campground. Dad has over 50 years of camping experience and as many tips refined by experience. We had a great time at Bellows. I chose group site 3 so that we could have a fire in a fire pit. No open fires are allowed elsewhere in the campground. What’s camping without a big fire? I have enjoyed a charcoal fire in a little Weber grill, but with Dad along it made sense to splurge ($35/night vs $8/night).

The group sites allow up to 75 people and 15 tents. There were plenty of tables and space for us to spread out. Water was on-site and this particular site was closest to the bathrooms and shoppette. The shoppette was very well stocked, and other amenities include a snack bar (run by Keneke’s, so you can be sure to find excellent plate lunch fare!), lanai, movies, mini golf, driving range, and large playground. The beach was about 200 yards away, and our site was protected against the wind by a berm.

Bellows allows public camping by permit in a large camping area along the beach from noon Fri through 8am Monday. When we went through to recon our site at 7pm on Sunday, it looked like this area was very full and people tend to stay through Sunday night. The military section requires ID to enter, and a guard is posted at the second gate. The lettered camping sites seemed to be relatively quiet during the week (we camped on a Monday night) while the group sites were booked for family reunions. There are also little log cabins that appear to be for sleeping only (no kitchen). The larger cabins along the beach have 2 bedrooms and one bath, with kitchen/dining/living area. They were clean and attractive, albeit not necessarily new.

Overall, this seems to be the best campground on the island for beach access, cleanliness, safety, peace, and fun. Find more information at the Bellows AFB website.

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