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You're in the Club: Military Recreation Areas

Michelle Cuthrell
tagged: military life, benefits, travel
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In a life that requires multiple deployments, frequent moves and single parenthood every TDY, sometimes a military family just needs a break. We crave a place to relax, recoup and rejuvenate—without relinquishing all that hazard pay savings from Deployment No. 3.

That’s why many military families choose to vacation military-style. The cool part is, we’ve got some fabulous options…  >>


There are more than 200 military recreation areas – campgrounds, RV parks, cabins and lodging areas—available to military ID card holders and Department of Defense employees in the United States. These are in addition to the six popular and widely known Armed Forces Recreation Centers—places like Honolulu’s Hale Koa Resort and Orlando’s Shades of Green Resort.

Some of us travel far to spend a few days of rest at one of these locations. But for many military families, these recreation areas are right in their own installation backyards. Here are a few you'll love...



For her R&R, Army wife Jennifer Hall booked the Log Cabins at Fort Story through the military-run Cape Henry Inn and Beach Club near Norfolk, VA. At Fort Story, she, her husband and her four children stayed together in a two-story, fully-furnished cabin with a loft, a fireplace and a full kitchen.

“The quaint cabin, having way more space than a hotel room, was right by the ocean for half the cost,” says Hall, who paid $68 per night when she stayed in 2009.

Prices for cabins, cottages and bungalows there currently range from $70 to $175 per night. Three years after her vacation, Hall still recommends that recreation area to friends looking for an affordable family vacation within driving distance of home.

“We always look for military lodging or military recreation lodging first, as it’s such a price discount,” she says. Compared to a standard hotel vacation, “there was more privacy, and we didn't have to worry about the kids being quiet.”

Another plus: No need to find a pet-sitter or kennel, for your pets are also permitted in bungalows and cabins.


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