These are some of the best places to camp in the United States, from Maine to Florida.
From coast to coast, the U.S. features beautiful sights in every state. Taking a road trip with friends or family can be one of the best ways to see the country and create lasting memories together. Sometimes, the more spontaneous trips can be the most memorable!
Planning your trip around the United States? When you can find them, many of the most beautiful natural spots to visit are found in our national parks. The best places to camp allow you to see and experience nature at its best. Spacious campgrounds, great food, and family fun is waiting for you at these scenic locations. One of the most important steps to take before planning a trip is considering whether you want to stay close to home or travel far away. If you do happen to be looking for the best places to camp near me, we’ve got some great ideas for that, too.
Acadia National Park, Maine
Located on Mount Desert Island in Downeast Maine, Acadia National Park is the Pine Tree State’s natural jewel. The park boasts 17 million acres of forest, 6,000 lakes and ponds, and 32,000 miles of rivers and streams to offer a scenic backdrop to your hiking and camping. Heading there soon? Check out this official guide for the phases of reopening (including when campgrounds may open), available trails, and other useful tips.
White Mountain National Forest, New Hampshire and Maine
The White Mountain National Forest covers more than 800,000 acres in northern New Hampshire and western Maine. The landscape encompasses deep forested ravines, clear-water rivers, tall mountains with fir and spruce forests, and alpine zones. Most popular during leaf-peeping season in the fall, the forest remains busy throughout the year with sightseers, climbers, hikers, campers and skiers.
Minnewaska State Park Reserve, New York
This state park reserve is just a short drive from NYC, surrounded by rocky terrain and the Shawangunk Ridge. The park currently has a reduced capacity, and some facilities are closed — including the campground. Hiking, biking, and especially enjoying the scenery is allowed in the park but ask around or visit official website before visiting to check for periodic closures and service disruptions.
Shenandoah National Park, Virginia
Less than a two-hour drive from Washington D.C., Shenandoah National Park has 500 miles of trails, including an eight-mile hike up Old Rag Mountain that’s a must for avid hikers. And it’s much more than just trails – though the lush views of forest and waterfalls are glorious. You can also take a drive down Skyline Drive, which bisects the park, or sip a local craft beer at one of the shops in nearby Charlottesville.
Assateague Island National Seashore, Maryland
From wild horses to surfing, you’ll have plenty of things to do at this campground. Reopened on 2022, the barrier island campgrounds are only nine miles south of Ocean City. Amenities include 37 miles of beaches, lakeside and bay-side campsites with fire rings and picnic tables, canoe rentals, full restrooms with hot showers (including a coin-operated laundry), and playgrounds. Make sure you get to the beach in time for the wild horse parade early each morning and evening.
Dry Tortugas National Park, Florida
As the southernmost national park, Dry Tortugas is accessible only by seaplane or boat—but once you’re there, you’ll find that its unmatched snorkeling and a staggering array of sea life make the journey completely worth it. You can have one of the world’s largest barrier reefs right outside your tent in this beautiful park. Campers can rent some snorkel gear and spend their days on the beach or explore Fort Jefferson. With the absence of fishing, swimming and snorkeling areas, the Dry Tortugas is teeming with sea turtles; hence the name “Dry” (no fresh water) and Tortugas (meaning turtles in Spanish). This area is also great for bird-watching, so make sure you pack a pair of binoculars.
Explore Dry Tortugas National Park:
Big Bend National Park, Texas
Big Bend National Park is an excellent place to go rafting, canoeing and kayaking. The park is located on the Rio Grande River. There are trails along the park’s desert, mountain and river landscapes for hiking or backpacking. You’ll find three developed campgrounds there, as well as backcountry camping. Expect gorgeous views of the desert, mountains and river.
Ozark National Forest, Arkansas
Ozark National Forest, with some 1.2 million acres, is the largest national forest in Arkansas and offers a wide range of outdoor recreation opportunities. The forest’s rugged limestone hills and valleys drain into the Arkansas and Buffalo Rivers, providing canoeists and anglers with hours of pleasure. Visitors can view all types of wildlife, including deer, elk, turkey, bobcat and black bear. Visit site to get the latest update before going there.
Badlands National Park, South Dakota
It’s hard to believe such a beautifully rugged place like the Badlands is still so close to civilization. The mixed-grass prairie and dramatic buttes might be the opposite of what you’re used to, but it’s sure worth the trip. The park has two campgrounds (Cedar Pass is the only one with running water and electricity), though you can also find lodging in nearby Rapid City and at national park lodges outside the park. A visit to this beautiful park will make you a true explorer.
Sawtooth National Forest, Idaho
This diverse forest has some of the most rugged mountains and pristine rivers in the U.S., providing an ideal setting for numerous outdoor recreational activities, such as hiking, fishing, rafting, horseback riding and camping. The steep Smoky Mountains offer stunning views, practically like a Bob Ross painting. There are dozens of campgrounds at this national forest, but one of the best spots is Sawtooth National Recreation Area. Some recreational sites have reopened — check out this map to see which are still closed.
Camper Van Mobile Home T-Shirt
Whether you’re an outdoors enthusiast or a novice, camping is a great way to experience nature up close. If you’ve never been camping, consider looking into some of the fun and useful gifts from our collection of Shirts, Canvases, and Mugs. Don’t miss the chance to come and grab a camp shirt as gift for your beloved one.
With so many beautiful settings to choose from, it’s no wonder that 56% of Americans say they like to go camping. From Maine to Alaska, California to Florida, and anywhere in between, campgrounds speckle the country. Some are by the beach while others are near quiet lakes and lakeside campsites are perfect if you have a boat or love to fish. Other campsites can be found at remote mountain trails or within national parks. Don’t miss a chance to pick up some camping shirt that you will surely not find in any shop. Make sure that you bring your sleeping bag, camping tent and your camera. Some campgrounds are currently closed or limiting capacity due to the COVID-19 pandemic, so be sure to check their websites before you plan your trip.