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38 Best Beaches for Camping in the USA

Looking for the best beach camping spots in the US or the best us camping spots for beach lovers?

Camping and beach are two of our favorite summer activities but combined they are so much more fun.

Camping by the beach is a delightful, one of a kind experience. It is one of the best ways to spend time in nature and create memories with your kids.

There are so many activities you can take advantage of when you are camping on any USA beach campground.

You can go swimming, fishing, surfing, kayaking, snorkeling, beach combing, hiking on the beach, horse riding, or build a sand castle!

Grill your own fresh catch of the day before sleeping under the stars. The sound of the waves will lull you to sleep and you will wake up to beautiful sunrises along the coast.

And if you can snag one of the free campsites, then it is also one of the most budget friendly family vacations!

No doubt about it, summer camping is so much more special when you are camping at a beach.

Related: Best Beaches in the USA to Visit this summer

Can you beach camp anywhere in US?

Not all beaches in USA allow beach camping but those that do offer a memorable experience. The US has some of the most stellar beachfront campsites in the world.

Our favorite spot to indulge in on the beach camping? Padre Island National Seashore in Texas! This is our all time favorite camping spot – mainly because its 3 hours drive away from Houston, where we live.

One of our favorite beach campsites in Florida? Bahia Honda State Park. The Calusa Beach located here is said to be the best in the USA. It is a must stop on the Miami Florida Keys Key West road trip.

Besides these, some of our other favorite and best places to go camping in the US near the water include Big Sur in California, Rialto Beach in Washington, and Door County in Wisconsin!

Best Places to camp on the beach in USA
Tent camping on the beach is one of our favorite summer activities

Best camping in United States on the beach

Many of the national and state parks in the country offer camping right on the beach.

Naturally many of these camping sites by the sea are located in Florida because the state has over 1300 miles of coastline, and even beats California – the undisputed king of beaches where you can camp on the West Coast.

You will find a good mix of primitive campsites as well as a modern campsites with picnic table, grill, and electric hookup.

Not all of these campsites are accessible easily on foot or by a car. Some of them require days of backpacking or intense hiking while others require an RV or tent camper or a 4WD vehicle to enjoy the experience.

That’s why we have tried to separate the sites based on their accessibility.

Here’s a list of the absolute best beach camping sites with beautiful views, clean sand, and pretty surf.

In this list of best camping in USA by the water, you will find campsites on the US Mainland as well as gorgeous beach campsites in Hawaii.

Related: Best Places to Visit in the USA

RVs at picnic area on the beach on East Coast USA
RVs at picnic area on the beach on East Coast USA

Easily Accessible Best Beach Campsites In The US

These beach campsites can be reached easily on foot or by sedans and minivans.

Cons – These campsites are mostly not right on the beach but a small distance away. They may be crowded and full due to their accessibility.

Pros – On the plus side, most of these sites offer campground amenities such as picnic tables, grills and paved access roads. There are restrooms, flush toilets, and showers in the campground. Often, you will be close to restaurants, bars, and shops.

Here are the stunning and popular beach campsites in this category.

Long Island, New York

For New Yorkers, the closest and best beach camping is in Long Island!

You never have to really leave the city and can go for an easy weekend or mid week camping trip.

Long Island has a variety of options including a beach campground and rv park which are perfect for solo travelers, couples, as well as families.

Whether you are going RV camping or pitching a tent site, Long Island has it all!

Also Read: Best Things to do in New York

Montauk Lighthouse at Long Island Beach in New York
Montauk Lighthouse at Long Island Beach in New York

Assateague State Park, Maryland

If you are looking for best beach camping on east coast, then try Assateague State Park located on Assateague Island in Maryland.

While Assateague State Park is popular with those who love beach camping, the island’s main attraction is the hundreds of wild horses that roam free.

Even on the shortest of visits, you will likely see a few of them galloping on the beach or in the distance.

Stay at a safe distance, do not offer them food, or approach them in any way.

The campsites in the state park are not located on the beach but are separated from the water by just a few sand dunes.

However, that doesn’t take anything away from the experience and the views are as gorgeous as those from the beach.

Assateague Island National Seashore, Maryland & Virginia

Assateague Island National Seashore, also located on Assateague Island, is shared by the states of Maryland and Virginia.

This NPS managed site has similar landscape as to that of the state park and amazing ocean views. Camping here is a delight.

The park has oceanside, bayside, as well as equestrian camping sites. Backcountry camping is also allowed here.

Sonoma Coast State Park, California

Have you always wanted to camp along California’s famous State Route 1 or the Pacific Coast Highway?

Then Sonoma Coast State Park in northern California with its spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean is your best bet.

The state park has a long sandy beach, rocky coastline, and rugged cliffs that make camping in the park a sheer delight.

Camp at any of the 120 campsites at Wright’s Beach and you will also experience breathtaking Pacific coast sunsets.  

The park truly offers one of the best beach camping in California.

Bahia Honda State Park, Florida

Located in the Florida Keys on Bahia Honda Key, Bahia Honda State Park is a true Florida gem.

It has the best beach not just in southern Florida but in the entire country!

This is a great option for those living in Miami.

Camping at Bahia Honda is an absolute delight. This is definitely one of the best beaches to camp on in Florida.

Make a camping reservation well in advance and wake up to the crashing waves and soaring seagulls.

The park has crystal clear turquoise waters and excellent snorkeling that the Florida Keys are famous for.

During your stay, you can enjoy many other things such as the nature trail, butterfly garden, and views from the Old Bahia Honda bridge.

Overall, Bahia Honda State Park is perfect to get some rest and relaxation.

Bahia Honda State Park in the Florida Keys has one of the best beaches for camping in USA
Camping in Bahia Honda State Park in the Florida Keys

Waiʻanapanapa State Park, Hawaii

Are you an adventurer in search of caves and beach camping? Head to Hawaii!

Waiʻanapanapa State Park offers excellent opportunity to camp along the Road to Hana.

The campsites are located amidst wild, volcanic coastline and offer dramatic views of the Keawaiki Bay.

Other attractions at Waiʻanapanapa State Park include hiking trails, native forests, exploring sea caves and arches, spotting seabirds colonies, and enjoying the beautiful beaches.  

Long Key State Park, Florida

Located at Mile Marker 67 along the Overseas Highway in Florida Keys, you will find the Long Key State Park.

It has many beautiful ocean view campsites.

The park also has kayaking and hiking trails and is a great stop along the Miami Key West road trip.

The park is easily accessible from Key West and is a great option.

Update – Long Key State Park used to have some of the best camping in Florida Keys but many of the campsites were destroyed by Hurricane Irma. Check the current status before you plan a trip.

Homer, Alaska

Our favorite way to road trip Alaska? In a camper. That way you get to enjoy gorgeous campgrounds like the Homer Spit Campground.

This campground has everything including ocean views, soft powdery sand, amazing west coast sunsets, and glimpses of marine life right from your site.

The campground also accommodates tent campers.

It location close to Homer and its boutique stores, restaurants, and art galleries, make this a great option for families.

Sunrise at Beluga lake in Homer, Alaska
Sunrise at Beluga lake in Homer, Alaska

Silver Strand State Beach, California

If you are in southern California, then try camping at Silver Strand State Beach near Coronado.

This state beach is perfect for those living in the greater San Diego area.

Here you will find a wide, sandy beach that is perfect for all activities such as camping, swimming, lounging on the sand, and fishing.

Campsites range from beachside sites that can be reserved to large parking lots that can accommodate large RVs and camper vans.

Definitely pick Silver Strand State Beach for your next camping adventure if you want to enjoy the sun and surf SoCal style.

Tillicum Beach Campground, Oregon

Tillicum Beach Campground located on the Siuslaw National Forest on the Oregon Coast is another great place to go camping by the beach in the Pacific Northwest.

The campground is located right on the beach and easily accessible from Highway 101, hence really popular.

Most of the sites get reserved as soon as they open up 6 months in advance, so we recommend setting an alarm if you really want to camp here.

There are a couple of first come first serve sites too, but you have to be really lucky to secure them.

Camping here does not only provide access to the beach but also to the many hiking trails within the national forest.

Tip: While you are camping here, do not forget to check out the Sea Lion Cave, a sea cave located within the Siuslaw National Forest.

Related: Oregon Coast Road Trip

Best Beach Campsites In The US Accessible via 4WD Vehicles and RVS

Many of the coastal campsites are far away from the roads and can be accessed only by driving over soft sands.

Whether you are looking for remote sites for Atlantic coast camping or camping by the Pacific beaches, here are some of our favorite places to go beach camping in the USA.

Cape Lookout National Seashore, North Carolina

Looking for the best beach in USA to go camping on the East Coast? Try Cape Lookout!

Cape Lookout National Seashore in the Outer Banks is an amazing adventure! Easiest way is to board the ferry to reach the Cape Lookout. The ferry is active in high season from April to November.

But an even better way? Drive a 4WD vehicle on the beach and enjoy the amazing experience.

The primitive camping facilities here add to the adventure and the views – they’re just stunning!

If you are planning to go for a swim, be prepared! The water of the Atlantic Ocean almost always feels cold!

The beach camping here is especially popular with kayakers.

Cape Cod National Seashore, Massachusetts

Another pretty beach camping spot on the East Coast? The ever popular Cape Cod National Seashore!

The right to camp on the pristine beach at Sandy Neck Beach Park is limited to ‘self-contained’ 4WD vehicles.

By self-contained, we mean 4WD vehicles with toilets and tank, required off-roading gear, and an ‘okay to drive off road’ permit.

That doesn’t affect the popularity of Cape Cod.

Camp sites are restricted to hundred vehicles per night, so you need to arrive early to secure one.

Sunset in the sand dunes beach on the Cape Cod National Seashore in Massachusetts
Sunset in the sand dunes beach on the Cape Cod National Seashore in Massachusetts

Padre Island National Seashore, Texas

Padre Island National Seashore is definitely one of the best camping sites in the US to wake up to incredible ocean views.

This is our absolute favorite beach camping site in the whole wide world!

Here’s our tip to getting an awesome spot on Padre Island National Seashore – drive along 60 miles length of South Beach and park wherever you fancy!

The primitive beach campsites are free and you need to pay just the park entrance fees. At any time, you will be walking distance away from the warm waters of the Gulf shore.

You do need a 4WD vehicle for this adventure but we have managed with a 2WD at times as well.

Surfside Beach, Texas

This amazing beach campsite is a little over an hour away from Houston and is one of the best kept secrets on Texas Gulf Coast.

At the Brazoria County Park in Surfside Beach, you will find miles and miles of free beach camping in Texas. You can drive on the beach, park your RV, or go tent camping.

The nearby Texas beach town of Surfside Beach also has a fishing jetty, crabbing pier, and great seafood restaurants.

Horseback riding on the beach is also popular here.

Want to read all about camping on beach in Texas including free camping at Crystal Beach, South Padre Island, and Port Aransas? Check out our Ultimate Guide here.

Several camping sites by the water in USA
The USA also has several group campgrounds where you can camp by the sea

Best Beach Campsites In The US for Backpackers

These beach campsites in USA are the most secluded and can be reached by mile long hikes while carrying all your gear in your pack.

The rewards are well worth the efforts and camping at one of these sites is a memorable experience.

Lost Coast, California

In search of the best places to camp in the US that are remote, mysterious, and otherworldly? Visit California’s Lost Coast!

Lost Coast, by its very name, conjures images of camp sites in secluded, misty conditions and a befitting hike to reach the coveted beach.

Not for the faint of heart, the Lost Coast Trail is exactly as the name suggests.

If you do venture on this hike, you won’t be disappointed.

Located in King Range National Conservation Area along California’s North Coast, the hiking trail takes you through dramatic scenery, rocky coast, and foaming waves.

Be prepared to get wet and study the tidal charts properly prior to going, parts of this 25 mile one way trail are under water at high tide.

Pebble beach and driftwood on the Lost Coast of California
Pebble beach and driftwood on the Lost Coast of California

Na Pali Coast, Hawaii

Best places to go camping in America that reminds you of the tropical forests and swaying palm trees? Plan a trip to the Na Pali Coast of Hawaii.

Accessible only by the 11-mile Kalaulau Trail which connects Ke’e Beach and Kalalau Beach, these backpacking only campsites are well worth the effort to reach them.

The beach camping area has literally everything from lush valleys, gushing waterfalls, towering sea cliffs, and pristine sand.

Camping permits to this site are hard to obtain and require advance planning.

Na Pali Coast in Hawaii
Na Pali Coast, of Kauai Island Hawaii

Olympic National Park, Washington

Washington’s Olympic Peninsula has some of the most stunning camping places in USA including Kalaloch campground, Rialto Beach, and Ruby Beach.

However the best is Olympic National Park Second Beach Trail which offers one of the most exceptional beach camping in the area.

Accessed by a short mile long trail, this camping spot does not require any strenuous hiking and is popular with families and beginner backpackers.

Offering dramatic views of the coast and of the headland forests, this is a very unique camping spot.

Wildlife viewing opportunities include bald eagles, seals, whales, and even bears!

Just make sure you have bears canisters to store food and garbage if you plan to camp here.

Point Reyes National Seashore, California

Point Reyes National Seashore Wildcat Campground is perfect for backpackers looking to get their feet wet.

It can be reached by a 5.5 mile hike from the Palomarine trailhead.

The beautiful hike borders the Pacific coast and offers stunning views while the secluded campsites are located on a grassy seaside meadow.

The beach is just a short walk away from the campsites.

This is great option for those in San Francisco and Bay Area.

Waves crashing at the Point Reyes National seashore in Californi
Waves crashing at the Point Reyes National seashore, California.

Andrew Molera State Park, California

The rugged coastline of Big Sur along California’s central coast has some of the best camping in America.

Located in California’s Big Sur region, the 24 campsites at Andrew Molera State Park campground can be accessed by a short half mile walk from the trailhead.

The sites are located along the Big Sur river and just a short walk away from Molera Beach which offers beautiful views of the Pacific.

You will also find tide pools and intertidal creatures such as starfish, sea anemones, and sea urchins. The park is great for exploring with the kids.

False Cape State Park, Virginia Beach

The barrier island on which False Cape State Park is located is a pristine undeveloped stretch of sandy beaches and stunning camping spots.

The sites can only be reached through hiking or biking and are perfect for backpackers and adventure lovers.

To reach here, you need to park at Little Island Recreation Area and hike 5 miles to 8 miles one way to the site, depending on which campground you are in.

The hike will take you through Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge and you can spot amazing wildlife including deer, feral horses, migratory birds, and even dolphins.

You can also kayak to these beachfront campsites, for a more detailed list of watercraft accessible campsites, continue reading below.

Best Beach Campsites In The US accessible via ferry or kayaks

Imagine a secluded beach campsite that no one but you can get to!

While some of the beach campsites on this list can be accessible by ferry, some of them can be reached only via kayaks or other personal watercraft.

Biscayne National Park, Florida

Looking for remote beach camping in Florida?

Accessed by a powerboat shuttle or seven mile kayak trail across Biscayne Bay, the park offers beautiful beach camping at two of its keys – Boca Chita Key or Elliott Key.

These campsites are water enthusiasts paradise – there is plenty of snorkeling, diving, kayaking, and marine life in the area.

We highly recommend avoiding hurricane season of June through November; getting stuck in a hurricane is not easy!

Boca Chita Key Campground in Biscayne National Park in Florida, United States
Boca Chita Key Campground in Biscayne National Park in Florida, United States

Little Tybee Island, Georgia

One of the best places to camp in the United States!

Georgia’s beautiful Little Tybee Island is an undeveloped barrier island that can be reached only by a boat or kayak.

The reward for those who venture is a charming white sand beach covered with driftwood and seashells.

Little Tybee Island is definitely one of the most romantic camping destination in the USA.

The campsites on this island are free and the island is great for boondocking.

A site by the wavy sand dune, hiking in the coastal marshland, and exploring the dense forest – there is little for everyone at Little Tybee Island.

Dry Tortugas National Park, Florida

Dry Tortugas is one of the most remote and least visited national parks in the country. It offers the best camping in the united states for adventure travelers.

So what and where exactly are the Dry Tortugas?

Have you always wanted to star on your own version of a ‘Stranded’ movie (think Cast Away, Lost)?

Camping on Dry Tortugas National Park is your chance to do it. Reached via 90 minutes ferry or an expensive seaplane ride from Key West, Dry Tortugas is a world far removed from the US Mainland.

Surrounded by turquoise waters, the beaches here are stunning. To camp here you need to bring all your gear on the ferry or the plane.

Then the ferry leaves you on the island by yourself and picks you up the next day.

To keep you company for the night there is the grand old Fort Jefferson, a thousand seabirds, marine life, and wait for it, crocodiles.

This is definitely an off the beaten path fl beach camping experience!

Campgrounds at Dry Tortugas National Park in Florida
Campgrounds at Dry Tortugas National Park in Florida

Cape Hatteras National Seashore, North Carolina

Located on Outer Banks, North Carolina Cape Hatteras National Seashore offers some of the best camping by the sea in the area.

Activities such as kayaking the sound, climbing Cape Hatteras Lighthouse and Bodie Island Lighthouse keep visitors busy for days.

Cape Hatteras offers plenty of camping near the beach facilities the best of which is Ocracoke campground.

The beach camping Outer Banks campsites are separated from the beach by a few barrier dunes and campers are welcome to enjoy the spectacular views of Atlantic Ocean.

Black Sand Beach State Marine Park, Alaska

Alaska also has many beaches you can camp on. One of the most famous is the gorgeous Black Sand Beach.

Accessed only by boat or plane, Black Sand Beach State Marine Park in Prince William Sound is a stunning Alaskan gem.

This beach campsite is not for the fainthearted – one of the best ways to reach the camping spot is by sea kayaking through marine life and icy waters.

The best coastal campsites here are unique and have views of sparkling glaciers, beautiful Alaskan mountain ranges, and the vast ocean – but beware, the water is really cold!

Best Beach Campsites in the Midwest near lakes

If you thought that near beach camping was limited only to the coastal US States, you are in for a surprise.

Midwest also has some spectacular beach campgrounds with beautiful views of the blue waters of the Great Lakes.

Read on to find some of the best beach campgrounds in the Midwestern States.

Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, Wisconsin

Apostle Islands National Lakeshore consists of 21 islands and 12 miles of Mainland Coast.

Naturally, it has a variety of places to camp on the beach or by the water’s edge.

Visitors can camp along the shores of Lake Superior and on 19 of the 21 islands and indulge in backcountry camping.

While the islands in the lake can be accessed only by a boat or a cruise, Big Bay State Park on Madeline Island can be accessed by cars from spring to fall.

The park has several great lakeside camping sites in a well established campground.

Fisherman’s Island State Park, Michigan

Consisting of six mile shoreline of Lake Michigan, Fisherman’s Island State Park has exceptional camping sites on the beach near the shores of the lake.

The campsites in the beach campground are nestled among the dunes and have great lake views. Access to the swimming beaches is a short walk away.

Custer State Park, South Dakota

Custer State Park located in the Black Hills of South Dakota is one of the largest state parks in America.

The park is home to 4 lakes and plenty of waterside campsites surrounding the lakes.

The 4 lakes are Center Lake, Legion Lake, Stockade Lake, and Sylvan Lake.

Your campsite will be few feet away from the water and amongst the shade of the tall ponderosa pines

Custer State Park camping
Custer State Park camping

Beach Camping List

The list of best places to camp on the beach cannot be complete without mentioning a beach camping packing list!

Whether you have booked a site at a campground, RV resort, or are going back country camping, here are some of our camping essentials that we take on every trip.

Here is what you need to take along to enjoy your outdoor stay at some of the best places to camp in America.

And always remember, in case you forget something, you may be able to pick up essentials either at the campground store or park visitor center.

Also: sand is going to get everywhere including your tent, your clothes, and even your food!

Tent, stakes and mallet

Bring an easy to setup tent that you have used before.

Sleeping Bag

To keep warm and sleep comfortably. We prefer carrying the bags even in hot weather just in case.

Waterproof beach blanket

For sitting down or covering tent in case of rain or several other purposes.

Flashlight

Never forget a flashlight as it is useful for several purposes such as using the restrooms at night, checking for sounds or disturbances, finding things in the dark, or others.

Bug Repellant

An essential to stay safe from flies, mosquitoes, and other annoying insects. Also pack a first aid kit in case of any bruises or injuries.

Sunscreen

Again, essential to stay safe from the heat. Make sure it is waterproof.

Camper cars on beach
Campers by the beach along the Pacific Coast

Beach Chairs and Beach Umbrella

While these are optional, they definitely add to the campsite and make it more comfortable.

Backpacking Stove

Never rely on getting firewood and cooking in the firepit or on the grill. We always recommend carrying a stove just in case.

Pots & Pans and Utensils

Must to cook your favorite camping meals. Carry camping tableware and Dutch ovens along with skillets and a variety of cooking spoons.

Cooler

Bring a large enough cooler and enough ice for everyone, especially if the weather is getting very hot.

Water

Bring enough water for everyone in your party. Check the availability of potable water near your campground.

Food & Snacks

Plan your meals well in advance and only bring as much as required. Keep the food in wildlife safe canisters. Bring energy rich snacks such as trail mix, nuts, crackers, granola, and protein bars.

Trash bags

To practice Leave No Trace and keep your campsite looking as tidy as you found it.

Swimsuit

A swimsuit is a must when packing for the beach. Expect to use it a lot while swimming, snorkeling, or kayaking.

Beach Toys

Don’t forget the beach toys for the kids!

Beach Camping Tips and FAQs

Here are some of our tips to make sure your camping trip is most enjoyable and memorable:

Pick a campground and book your site well in advance. Most of the beachfront camping sites get booked months before.

If you pick a backcountry camping site, ensure that you are well away from the water line at high tide.

Follow the rules of dispersed camping and pick a site away from others.

Camping on the dunes and protected vegetation is banned in several places.

Some of the campsites may be open only in the peak season, so research opening dates before planning your trip.

Before planning cooking in the fire pit or planning a bonfire, check for fire rules and bans at the campground.

Follow Leave no Trace and make sure to throw all your trash in the dump station.

Tent on a sandy beach in a Pacific Ocean Coast
Tent on a sandy beach in a Pacific Ocean Coast in the Pacific Northwest

Best camping in the United States – National Parks & Mountainous camping sites

And with that, we conclude our ultimate list of camping sites by the beach in USA.

Whether you are looking for best beach camping in Florida or the best lake side campsites in the Midwest or dreamy camping spots in the Pacific Northwest, there are plenty of opportunities for outdoor lovers throughout America.

But cannot really finish this list without mentioning some of the best camping in United States that may not have a beach but are located amidst stunning landscapes such as mountains and the desert.

These best places to camp in US are perfect to get away from the stresses and monotonous routines of the daily life and enjoy the natural surroundings.

Here is the comprehensive list of best camping in USA.

Joshua Tree National Park

Inside Joshua Tree National Park, you will find colorful cacti, twisted and the park’s namesake scraggly Joshua trees, and barren rock boulders.

You can go both tent camping and RV camping within the Joshua Tree National Park.

Winter camping here is especially popular as the park gets very hot in the summer.

On a day or two in Joshua Tree, you can also hike or go bouldering and climb up to Keys View.

Joshua Tree National Park, California has one of the best campsites in the USA
Campground with RVs at Joshua Tree National Park, California

Badlands National Park

Badlands National Park in South Dakota is an incredibly dramatic and colorful landscape.

Camping at Badlands is one of the best ways to enjoy the beauty and solitude of this national park.

Camping also puts you closer to the numerous trail heads and provides easy access to hiking in Badlands.

You can either go tent camping at Cedar Pass campground or go backcountry camping anywhere in the wilderness area.

Grand Canyon National Park

Grand Canyon National Park is the most visited and the most popular national parks in the country.

It offers a stunning beauty and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Camping in the Grand Canyon allows you to enjoy the complete splendor of the park from sunrise to sunset.

You can watch the stars rise above the years old landscape and enjoy its vast beauty by hiking.

Also Read: Grand Canyon Zion Bryce Road trip itinerary from Las Vegas

Sunrise in Grand Canyon National park, Arizona
Sunrise in Grand Canyon National park, Arizona

Yosemite National Park

Yosemite Valley with its stunning landscape of the granite domes of El Capitan and Half Dome and the beautiful waterfalls, is definitely one of the best places to camp in the US.

There are 13 different campgrounds in the national park, some of which can be reserved while others are first come first serve. 

Camping in Yosemite Valley is most popular due to the convenience. This is the busiest part of the park and you will never be far away from restrooms, showers, trailheads, and restaurants.

If you prefer more solitude, we recommend going further in the park. Try the Upper Pines or Lower Pines or North Pines campgrounds. All of them have stellar views and great sites. 

But our personal favorite is definitely Tuolumne meadows campground. This is open only when the Tioga Pass Road is open. The views here are surreal. 

Tip: if camping at higher elevations, be prepared for cold weather at night. 

Also Read: California Road Trip Itinerary

View of the Yosemite Valley at dawn
View of the Yosemite Valley at dawn

Crater Lake National Park

Stunning Crater Lake National Park is Oregon’s best known gem. This is the only national park in the state and very popular with visitors. 

Crater Lake is said to be the deepest lake in America. It was formed by the collapse of volcanic Mount Mazama and subsequent water accumulation in the crater. 

The lake is known for its intense deep blue color and the small island at the center. The Rim drive is one of the best ways to see the park. 

Naturally, Crater Lake is one of the most scenic camping spots in the USA.  The huge Mazama Campground, named after the volcano, can accommodate over 200 groups of campers. 

Other options include backcountry camping or tent camping in the small Lost Creek Campground.

Acadia National Park

Acadia National Park in Maine is a unique park in many ways. It is located on the coast of Maine and so you would ideally expect at least a few beach campsites. 

However, the coast here is really rocky and has uneven terrain which is the reason most campgrounds are located in the interior of the park. 

Here you will find everything from mountains, dense forests, lakes, and rock pools. 

One of the most popular campgrounds is Blackwoods. You will be camping close to amenities and in the shade of trees. 

If you are looking for a more quiet setting, then camp at Seawall Campground. 

For a truly rugged and primitive camping experience, choose the Duck Harbor Campground, located on the remote island of Isle au Haut. You can reach here only via a mail boat ferry from the mainland!

Camping in Badlands National Park is an amazing experience
Camping in Badlands National Park is an amazing experience

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

By setting up a tent in the Smokies in the fall, you get to experience the best camping in America.

You will be surrounded by vivid changing colors of autumn and camp in the fiery forests of yellow, orange, gold, and red. 

But camping in Smoky Mountains is also fun year round. 

In the summer, you will be thankful for the cool shade of the trees while in the spring you can enjoy the blossoming trees and spring wildflowers. 

Some even prefer winter camping in the park: this is the time to go snowshoeing or hike frozen waterfalls.

While many prefer to make Gatlinburg or Pigeon Forge their base, camping in a tent or RV inside the park puts you more close to the smokies wildlife, scenic drives, and waterfalls.

Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming is famous for its spouting geysers, numerous hot springs, bubbling Sulphur pools, and a high level of geothermal activity.

Yellowstone is hallowed grounds. This is the first national park in the world and has pioneered the way in saving natural lands for future generations.

This National Park is a very popular place to visit for outdoor lovers and hence camping here is on the bucket list of many visitors. 

Fortunately, the park has a vast number of campgrounds spread throughout its expanse. Some of them can be reserved in advance while others offer first come first serve campsites. 

Camping in Yellowstone places you right in the midst of the stunning beauty of the park and is one of the best places to camp in America.

Yellowstone National Park prismatic spring in Wyoming
Yellowstone National Park prismatic spring in Wyoming

Denali National Park

Alaska’s Denali National Park and Preserve is one of the largest in the country. 

It is a stunning natural paradise and has an undulating landscape of snow clad mountain ranges, tundras, and blooming river valleys. 

Denali is wild and untamed and camping here is an unparalleled experience. 

There are a total of 6 campgrounds in Denali; the Riley Creek Campground is the most popular one because of its easy accessibility from the park roads. 

Savage River and Sanctuary River campgrounds are popular for the views of Mount Denali from the campsites. 

For an amazing secluded and remote camping experience in Denali National Park, try camping at the tent only Igloo Campground. 

Just remember that Denali is in Bear country and you should secure all food items and personal things to stay safe.

Arches National Park

Camping in the red rock landscape of Arches National Park in Utah is a real delight. 

You can sleep in the shadows of the iconic arches including Delicate Arch and Double Arch and witness the amazing dark night sky in the park. 

The park has just one established campground at Devil’s Garden. Here you will find facilities for RV as well tent sites and amenities like potable water and fire pits. 

There are also a few backpacking campsites in the park. They mostly need permits which you can get at the Visitor center. 

Besides the campsites in the park, there are many other campgrounds in Moab where you can go tent or RV camping.

Camping at Long key State Park in Florida
Camping at Long key State Park in Florida

Are there any more spectacular beach camping sites or a campground that we missed out on? What do you love more, the beaches or the mountains? Where are you planning to camp this summer? Let us know in the comments.

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