Good Sam RV Travel Guide & Campground Directory

Life’s a Beach When You Can Find a Beach Campground

Water has always drawn us to its banks and beaches and it’s certainly no different when we’re on vacation. When looking to find a campground, most are drawn to the beach, whether it’s along an ocean, lake or river.

Although a postcard scene of a pristine beach on a tropical island may be what first comes to mind, the fact is beaches abound in the United States, from the sunny coastline of California to the tree-studded shores of the Great Lakes.

Here’s a look at five major areas of the U.S. that offer their own unique beach campground experience.

West Coast

Emma Wood State Park Campground If you have your heart set on watching the sun set over the ocean from the comforts of your beachside campsite, then the West Coast is the place you have to go. In California, most beach campgrounds are likely part of the state park system. The good news is that California has an extensive park system so it is relatively easy to find a campground along the coast. Oregon also has an extensive state park system, making it easy to find a campground along the state’s Pacific coastline. The state has more than 80 parks available for camping on the beach. Washington’s rugged coastline has a handful of state parks with a beach campground. If you don’t need to be on the Pacific Coast, you can find a campground on the beach along the Puget Sound.

East Coast

From northern Maine to Virginia, the East Coast offers many opportunities to find beach campgrounds. The selection is breathtaking along the East Coast, from the dramatic shoreline of Maine to Cape Code in Massachusetts to the wide beaches of New Jersey to North Carolina’s islands. The biggest problem with this area is deciding where you want to find a campground. As with most states, to be on the beach means staying at a public beach campground. If you don’t have to be on the water, there are private beach campground options that are near the water or just a few miles away.


You will be able to find a beach campground in South Carolina, with several options between Hilton Head to the south and Myrtle Beach to the North. There are even some state park options near Charleston, about midway between the two tennis and golf hubs. The North Carolina Outer Islands offer public and private locations to find a beach campground. Even Georgia’s limited coastline offers some beautiful beach campground spots. From Crooked River in the south to Skidaway Island to the north. The Atlantic side of Florida, features many beach campground opportunities from St. Augustine to Daytona Beach, South through Miami and all along the Florida Keys.

Gulf of Mexico

Texas has more than 600 miles of coastline along the Gulf of Mexico with plenty of private and public beach campgrounds along the way. In Louisiana, Grand Isle State Park is a popular spot for beach campers. Alabama squeezes itself between the Florida panhandle and Mississippi to touch the ocean. Mobile Bay and Gulf Shores are the primary beach campground spots. Although Hurricane Katrina wrought significant damage to the Mississippi coastline, beach campground locations have returned. The Gulf Islands National Seashore is an idyllic location to find a beach campground. A mix of private and public spots will net you a beach campground spot, with many locations near Pensacola in the Florida panhandle.


The ocean isn’t the only body of water that is framed by a beach. Lakes and rivers offer their own unique beach campground experience. Of course, the best know American body of water is the Great Lakes. Although Michigan is nearly surrounded by the lakes, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York also share shoreline space with these natural wonders. Another popular location is Lake Tahoe, which has its banks shared by California and Nevada. Lake Cumberland in Kentucky is one of the largest man-made bodies of water in the U.S. And if you are looking for a reason to visit North Dakota, two of the largest man-made lakes in the nation are located there – Lake Sakakawea and Lake Oahe, which is shared with South Dakota.

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