Sometimes you just know. From somewhere deep beyond your uvula you hear the words: “This year we go to Indianapolis!” Sometimes you’re not so sure, and from somewhere past your sinuses you hear: “Or maybe Albuquerque?”
Besides the Best in Tent Camping books, a website that I’ve found extremely useful is The American Southwest. They’ve got suggestions for eight states. For each state, they list state and national parks, as you’d expect, but also other cool places to see.
Not every place is a campground. Some are just places to visit, not sleep at. Like the Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument of New Mexico. It’s an amazing place to see, that you’ve probably never heard about, and you can go and walk around for several hours before they start closing up and send you home. I discovered Tent Rocks all by myself, before I discovered The American Southwest website. When I saw Tent Rocks listed there, I knew I’d found a valuable resource for cool trips! They’ve got tons of other cool places that I’d never heard about too!!! Woo-hoo!