Among the very best reasons to go camping is to quite simply take in the various sights and attractions of a given area. I have made a little video to exemplify how one might go about doing that sort of thing. Most areas, at least out here in the West, will have some pretty cool things to see and do, close by.
Also, it seems to me, half the problem of doing anything is getting in range. Thus, with just a little extra research and planning, you might find your camping efforts are taking you right by something that you really should see or do.
It might be a little unfair to use Flagstaff as an example considering it has the Grand Canyon, San Fransico Peaks, Sunset Crater, Wapatki, Walnut Canyon, Oak Creek Canyon and other fairly well known, if not famous, places in close proximity. However, in this video I use some mostly lesser-known attractions that are within range. (There are many more possibilities as well though.)
This is also sort of a cool approach when out on camping vacations. Keep in mind the kids might need a hike just to unwind and stretch their legs.
Of course, Google and especially Google Earth are quite useful for your planning efforts. Also look into state parks and local museums when searching out the possibilities.
This time of year, you might have some wonderful leaf peeping opportunities as well.
Don’t waste your fall, Go Camping!