25 Best Car Camping Sites in the U.S.

Published:

Modified: August 25, 2021

by Hillary Anne

a group of people car camping between giant rocks
Photo by Robson Hatsukami Morgan from Unsplash

The U.S. boasts some of the best recreational parks in the world. It’s no wonder more and more people are heading outdoors to enjoy hiking, trekking, and camping. Nowadays, however, camping is no longer exclusive to tents and primitive camping. These days, car camping — or simply put, sleeping in your car or recreational vehicles (RVs) instead of tents or sleeping bags while camping— is becoming popular among families and nature lovers. Whether you want to experience car camping in any of the glacier-covered parks in Washington State or at one of the red sandstone desert parks near Las Vegas, there are just a wide array of camping sites for you in the U.S.!

 

And if you’re planning to do car camping often, start by getting a U.S. National Park Pass to enjoy perks and discounts, while getting full-priced fun! Then, choose from the list below which parks you haven’t been to and make your own bucket list.

Best Car Camping Sites in the U.S.

 

1. Haleakala National Park — Hawaii

the caldera of Haleakala Volcano in Hawaii, car camping

Photo by Carol Baylis from Pixabay

 

Best time to visit: December to February
Camping Fee: Free

 

Settled in the Haleakala National Park, the sleeping Haleakala Volcano entices tourists and campers with its compelling story. Legends say that Maui, a demigod, snared the sun before hiding in the volcano to make the days longer. With this, Haleakala Volcano is particularly known for being a good spot to watch the sunrise or sunset. Some people also love hiking near its crater to appreciate its spectacular Mars-like rocky red desert. While some enjoy stargazing in its stark skies.

 

To see the dazzling beauty of Haleakala from its pleasant sunrise to starry night, you can head to either of the two campgrounds for car camping. The Kīpahulu Campground is located near the coasts of the Haleakala National Park, which gives you a breathtaking view of the Hawaiian beaches. While the Hosmer Grove Campground is found in the elevated area of Haleakala National Park at 7,000 feet. Both campgrounds have picnic tables, BBQ grills, and pit toilets, and are free of charge. However, at Hosmer Grove Campground, there is potable water available. 

 

2. Ozark National Forest — Arkansas

a small gushing waterfalls at ozark national forest, car camping

Photo by Martina from Adobe Stock

 

Best time to visit: March to October
Camping Fee: starts at US$15 per night without electricity at Long Pool Recreation Area

 

With over a million acres, Ozark National Forest is popularly known for being the home of Arkansas’ tallest mountain, Mount Magazine, and the underground cave, Blanchard Springs Caverns. Mount Magazine has a sweeping height of 2,700 feet and it has mesa peaks with cliff edges. The Blanchard Springs Caverns is a constantly changing cave and is where you can find the world’s largest flowstone. They also conduct various caving tours that focus on the kind of scenery that you want to marvel at.

 

Aside from hiking, rock climbing, and cycling, you can also camp in any of the campgrounds in Ozark National Forest. One good spot to do car camping is at Long Pool Recreation Area. You can find it on the banks of Big Piney Creek, which displays a large natural pool, dense forest, and precipitous rounded cliffs. The campsites have restrooms with flush toilets and showers, picnic tables, and potable water. If you’re coming in an RV, they also have dump stations and electricity and water hookups.

 

3. Guadalupe Mountains National Park — Texas

a palatial mountain in the desert, car camping

Photo by toroverde from Adobe Stock

 

Best time to visit: October to November
Camping Fee: starts at US$15 per night at Pine Springs Campground

 

The Guadalupe Mountains National Park is where you can find the highest peak in Texas, the Guadalupe Mountain Peak, which stands more than 8,700 feet. Also, below it, you’ll see the Chihuahuan desert and verdant woodlands beset with amplified stalagmites and stalactites at the Caverns National Park and the diverse habitats living in the park. Some of the animals you can see at the park are Texas banded gecko, raccoon, porcupine, and mountain patch-nosed snakes.

 

You can find two front-country campgrounds in the park: Pine Springs Campground and Dog Canyon Campground. There is not much difference between the two. However, there are only 4 RV sites in Dog Canyon while there are 20 RV sites in Pine Springs Campground. In Pine Springs Campground, they provide potable water, flush toilets, sinks, and payphones. However, there are no hookups and dump stations. If you want to fill in your RVs with water, you can head to an outside water faucet near the registration board.

 

If you’re looking for a more primitive adventure, head to Guadalupe Mountains National Park. Since it’s not yet that developed, the activities are quite limited to hiking and wildlife viewing.

 

4. Boise National Forest — Idaho

a scenic lake surrounded by pine trees and blooming flowers, car camping

Photo from the Federal Service website

 

Best time to visit: May to September
Camping Fee: starts at US$15 per night at Amanita Campground

 

If you’re looking for an adventurous break, the more than two million acres of Boise National Forest has a vast space for you. They have rapids at the Payette River, which is particularly known as a great spot for kayaking and shooting rapids. They also have popular fishing areas such as the Cascade Lake and the South Fork Salmon River. They also have paved ways for cycling, horse riding, OHV riding and, of course, trails for hiking.

 

With all the activities that you do here, a day will not be enough. You can choose from various districts with plenty of campgrounds for car camping, including the Cascade Ranger District, which is 400,000 acres of diverse wildlife and nature. The Amanita Campground is located on the banks of the idyllic Lake Cascade with an elevation of almost 5,000 feet.

 

It is only open from May to September with only 10 campsites. It has picnic tables, campfire rings, and grills. Vault toilets, potable water, and dump stations are also available.

 

5. Joshua Tree National Park — California

a car camping site with a majestic view of unique rock formation

Photo by Kurt Kleeb from Unsplash

 

Best time to visit: September to May
Camping Fee: starts at US$15 per night at Hidden Valley

 

Joshua Tree National Park is famous for its two distinct desert ecosystems, the Mojave and Sonoran. There are so many ways to appreciate its abundant flora and extraordinary scene. You can either go hiking or horseback riding through its dozen trails. But if you’re veering towards adventure, you can also climb the imposing rock formations at Wonderland of Rocks or the Skull Rock. Whichever activity you embark on, you will surely find yourself returning multiple times, especially so when you can always enjoy car camping in the park.

 

But if this is your first time, there are many campgrounds that you can choose from. Some of them require reservations and some offer primitive camping. One campground with reservation is the Black Rock. It has 99 campsites and is equipped with water, restrooms with flush toilets, picnic tables, fire grates, and a dump station. But if you are on a spontaneous trip and you were not able to reserve your campsite, you can head to Hidden Valley. It has 44 campsites shaded by gargantuan boulders, although they only provide pit toilets, picnic tables, and fire grates.

 

6. Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park — Colorado

a narrow river between large canyons, car camping

Photo by TS Schofield from Adobe Stock

 

Best time to visit: July to September
Camping Fee: starts at US$16 per night at South Rim Campground

 

The legendary Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park is where you can find the over two billion years old Precambrian rock, making it the world’s oldest rock. There are so many ways to explore these colossal gorges, either through strenuous hiking trails or scenic drives. When you hike through the canyons, you can choose to go either from the North or South Rim, or the inner canyons. Just be reminded that hiking to the inner canyons will require you to be in good fitness condition. Meanwhile, for scenic drives, there are tons of vistas or overlooks on the top of the gorges that will allow you to look down to an impressive 2,000 feet depth and see the cascading Gunnison river. Or you can also appreciate the multitude of gorges that your eyes can reach.

 

There are also many campgrounds that you can choose from. But the South Rim Campground is a more developed campsite and has a picturesque view of Colorado’s highest cliff that stands 2,250 feet tall. They also offer electric hookups, trash collection, food lockers, vault toilets, and potable water.

 

7. Big Bend National Park — Texas

a river with black canyons behind it

Photo by David Mark from Pixabay

 

Best time to visit: October to June
Camping Fee: starts at US$16 per night at Rio Grande Village Campground

 

Another pride of Texas, the Big Bend National Park is brimming with impressive dark and rugged canyons and unique rock formations. You can explore this picture-perfect park through scenic drives in the more than 100-mile paved roads. Here you will get a mesmerizing panoramic view of vistas and the diverse flora and fauna in the park. But if you’re looking for a more in-depth view, you can take a hike in elevations that range from 1,800 feet to 7,832 feet at Chisos Mountain.

 

If you are still undecided, you can do car camping instead to have the time to do all of the activities available. There are three National Park Service-managed campgrounds that you can choose from. The Rio Grande Village Campground is the largest, offering 100 campsites and requires a reservation. They don’t offer hookups, though they have restrooms with flush toilets, running water, picnic tables, grills, and a dump station nearby. You can also find camp stores with showers and laundromats nearby.

 

8. The Valley of Fire State Park — Nevada

a motorcycle traversing the road towards the massive red rocks

Photo by Jannes Glas from Unsplash

 

Best time to visit: October to April
Camping Fee: starts at US$20 per car

 

Welcome to the oldest and largest park in Nevada, the Valley of Fire State Park. Over the years, it draws visitors with its spectacular assemblage of 40,000 acres of Aztec sandstones and gray and white limestones as well as its peculiar rock formations like the Beehive, Elephant Rock, Pink Canyon, and Rainbow Vista.

 

There are two campgrounds that you can choose from: the Arch Rock Campground or the Atlatl Campground. Both campgrounds have a potable water supply, picnic tables, fire rings, and grills. However, in terms of the facilities, you may opt for Atlatl Campground because they have electric and water hookups, restrooms with flush toilets, and a shower.

 

When you explore the Valley of Fire State Park, make sure your cameras are fully charged. There will be a lot of fascinating landscapes for you to take pictures of. Whether you want a full shot at the Fire Wave or the narrow walkways of the White Domes, you will surely not get enough of the fantastic views.

 

9. Glacier National Park — Montana

a stunning car camping site of immense mountains, car camping

Photo by JD Andrews from Unsplash

 

Best time to visit: October to February
Camping Fee: starts at US$20 per night at Apgar Campground

 

Boasting endless rugged colossal mountains brimming with jillions of pine trees, Glacier National Park is over one million square miles of glacier-capped mountains that stretch towards the Canadian borders. One notable spot that you can’t miss is the 50-mile route that was constructed during the Great Depression, the Going-to-the-Sun Road. During your drive, you will see the azure rapids wedged by boulders of Avalanche Creek, the mesmerizing switchback of The Loop, the drenching of Weeping Wall, and the contour of Jackson Glacier. It’s totally understandable to be distracted by these dazzling views, but please keep your hands on the wheels since it’s a cliff-side road.

 

There are plenty of drive-in campgrounds within the park, but the Apgar Campground is the largest. Also, at the nearby Apgar Village, you can find restaurants, a visitor center, and shops. During peak season, it also gets more crowded since most of the reservations for activities like horseback riding, boat rentals, and Red Bus tours are done in Apgar Village. But, for sure, you will still have a good time car camping because the campground offers potable water, restrooms with flush toilets and sinks, and showers in Loop A. Also, apart from being able to enjoy the sunsets at Lake Mcdonalds, the campground also gets more lively at night because of evening programs at the Apgar Amphitheatre.

 

However, you should be cautious since glaciers are home to grizzly and black bears. Make sure to always bring with you a Bear Spray every time you go out of your car.

 

10. Zion National Park — Utah

a surreal car camping site with colossal sandstone canyons

Photo by Dave Herring from Unsplash

 

Best time to visit: September to February
Camping Fee: starts at US$20 per night at South Campground or Watchman Campground

 

Utah’s first national park, Zion National Park is known for its tremendous sandstone canyons with white, pink, and red lines. In its astonishing canyons that range from 500 to 2,000 feet tall, you will see disparate wildlife and plants, which add more character to the park. You can explore the park through cycling, horseback riding, hiking in any of the various trails, or through canyoneering at The Narrows. Or if you’re more experienced, you can head to the more challenging The Subway. Apart from these, if you want a more fulfilling activity, you can also save bats by climbing. You just have to spot hibernating bats, quietly take a photo of them, and send the location to Zion National Park. Learn more about this through the National Park Service.

 

Car camping is also welcome in this vast area. You can choose from two desert campgrounds in the park, the South Campground or Watchman Campground. The South Campground has 117 campsites and offers dump stations, flush toilets, picnic tables, a fire pit, and potable water. However, the generators are only operated from 8 AM to 10 AM and from 6 PM to 8 PM. If you are coming in an RV, there are campsites with electric hookups at Watchman Campground.

 

11. Pedernales Falls State Park — Texas

a river with limestone slabs in Pedernales Falls State Park, car camping

Photo by Travis Witt from Wikimedia Commons

 

Best time to visit: October to June
Camping Fee: starts at US$20 per night

 

The Pedernales Falls State Park features a river flowing through huge slabs of limestones. Most of the time, the river is tranquil water where you can enjoy swimming, tubing, or fishing. However, there are also times when it could get raging. But don’t worry, because you can still do other activities such as horseback riding, hiking, or biking.

 

Most of all, you can also do car camping in their developed campgrounds. In this campground, they offer water and electricity hookups, restrooms with showers, a fire ring with grill, and picnic tables.

 

12. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park — Tennessee

a car camping site with a majestic view of endless mountain outlines

Photo by Ivana Cajina from Unsplash

 

Best time to visit: June to December
Camping Fee: starts at US$25 per car at Elkmont Campground

 

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is home to the scenic mountain ranges of the Blue Ridge and Appalachian that stretches into two states, Tennessee and North Carolina. You can choose from the 10 campsites that accommodate car camping, but the most popular is the Elkmont Campground. When you camp at Elkmont Campground, an expansive collection of plants, over 400 protected wildlife, and historic sites will welcome you. Since it is the largest campsite at the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, you will be able to choose from 200 tent or RV campsites that are surrounded by picnic tables, paved ways, restrooms, and spigots of potable water.

 

Also, aside from hiking trails, you can take a spooky tour around Elkmont’s Ghost Town or reel your fishing rod at The Little River. You can also visit the SkyBridge since it’s the longest pedestrian suspension bridge in North America.

 

13. White Mountain National Forest — New Hampshire/Maine

a lake surrounded by mountains dotted with orange trees, car camping

Photo by Winston Tan from Adobe Stock

 

Best time to visit: May to October
Camping Fee: starts at US$25 per night at Hancock Campground

 

Started as a 7,000-acre rehabilitating forest, the White Mountain National Forest expanded to 800,000 acres forest that stretches from New Hampshire to Maine. It boasts an impressive natural wonder from its hardwood forest to its jagged mountains. Moreover, in the hardwood forest, you will also find remnants of the Native American’s settlement, such as ruins, logging camps, and even a railroad bed. Meanwhile, you can also see various Appalachian Mountain Ranges with Mount Washington as the highest peak.

 

When you plan to do car camping here, you can choose from numerous campgrounds inside the national forest or surrounding concessionaire’s private campgrounds. One car campground inside the national park is the Hancock Campground. You can find them at the western end of Kancamagus Highway, and it’s also a preferable hiking trail for its scenic view. They also provide a faucet and hand pump, as well as flush toilets.

 

While in Moose Hillock Camping Resorts, they have various facilities like a poolside cafe, arcade, and a heated swim-in movie theatre. Also, when you do car camping here with your RV, they offer full hookups of 20, 30 and 50 amperes of electric service, restrooms, dump stations, as well as picnic tables and natural stone fireplaces.

 

In White Mountain National Forest, you will not run out of outdoor activities to do. Aside from the usual hiking, since it’s surrounded by rivers, you can also go fishing or kayaking. You can also rent bicycles or climb any of the mountains in the national forest.

 

14. Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore — Michigan

a woman walking along the sand dunes that overlook the gorgeous Lake Michigan

Photo by Nicole Geri from Unsplash

 

Best time to visit: March to June
Camping Fee: starts at US$26 per night at the PRCG campsite with no electrical hook-up

 

A unique park in Michigan, the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore is well-known for the turquoise-colored Lake Michigan surrounded by steep and thick sand dunes atop the glacier moraines. From the sand dunes, you can get an unobstructed view of the bluffs of Sleeping Bear, Empire, and Pyramid Point, as well as its abundant flora and fauna. Whether you have less than three hours or three days, there are many activities you can do here — from wading at Loon Lake to biking around Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail, you will surely have a great time.

 

To make the most out of your visit, you can head to Platte River Campground for car camping. It is a developed campground with non-electric and electric hookups, dump stations, restrooms with flush toilets and sinks, and showers. Picnic tables and campfire rings are also provided at each campsite.

 

15. Yosemite National Park — California

a car camping site with a spectacular view of the mountains, forests, and falls at Yosemite National Park

Photo by Cullen Jones from Unsplash

 

Best time to visit: October to June
Camping Fee: starts at US$26 per night at Upper Pines Campground

 

When you think of a national park or a campground, it will be impossible not to mention this park. Regardless of the time you visit the Yosemite National Park, there will always be tons of exciting things you can do here. From river rafting in spring and joining Yosemite Tours in the summer to rock climbing El Capitan during Autumn, and skiing at Curry Village Ice Rink, you will definitely need more days to explore the park.

 

Camping in Yosemite National Park is quite popular that it’s best to reserve your campsite ahead of time to avoid any inconvenience. You can find 10 campgrounds that accommodate car camping. But most of the time, the recommended site is the Upper Pines Campground. Since it is located at the heart of the Yosemite Valley, you will be able to wake up to a picturesque view of various trees and listen to the ambient sound of the river. There are 238 campsites that you can reserve as early as five months before your camping. There are no hookups available, although there are food storage lockers, a picnic table, a fire ring, restrooms with flush toilets, and drinking water at the sites.

 

16. Denali National Park and Preserve — Alaska

a scenic car camping site with the view of the lake and snow-capped mountains

Photo by David Mark from Pixabay

 

Best time to visit: May to September
Camping Fee: Free at Riley Creek Campground from Mid September to early May, but normally the Camping fee starts at US$27 for an RV length of 30 feet

 

When we hear the word “Alaska”, our mind automatically creates a stereotypical image of an expansive tundra and snow-white mountains. Well, Denali National Park and Preserve is the reality of your thoughts. This park stretches to over six million acres and is best known for Mount Mckinley, which is the highest mountain peak in North America.

 

There are several campgrounds that you can choose from. But there are only three campgrounds that allow car camping, which are the Riley Creek, Savage River, and Teklanika River. All campgrounds don’t have an RV Hookup, but Riley Creek offers RV Fill/Dump station every summer. Also, you can camp there for free during winter from mid-September to early May. When you camp at Riley Creek, you can also access their facilities such as shower, convenience store, laundry, picnic tables, bear-proof food lockers, and even National Park Service Evening Campground Programs.

 

17. Harrington Beach State Park — Wisconsin

 

Harrington Beach State Park 1024x683 - 25 Best Car Camping Sites in the U.S.

Photo by Maryna from Adobe Stock

 

Best time to visit: May to October
Camping Fee: starts at US$28 per night at the Family Campground

 

The Harrington Beach State Park underlines more than 700 acres of sandy shores at Lake Michigan. Aside from swimming in its blue waters, you can also enjoy boating, canoeing, and kayaking in its gentle waters. Apart from the beach, the state park also features a white cedar swamp surrounding an abandoned quarry. You can explore more spots in the park through various activities like horseback riding, skiing during winter, and, of course, camping.

 

You can find a 69-campsite campground with 31 campsites offering electric hookups, picnic tables, and a campfire ring. They also have restrooms with showers and flush toilets, and there is also a nearby dump station and water refilling station. However, their campground is only open from May to October, and they require a minimum of two days of camping.

 

18. Assateague Island National Seashore — Maryland

horses galloping in the sand dunes near car camping sites

Photo by Sara Cottle from Unsplash

 

Best time to visit: May to October
Camping Fee: starts at US$30 per night at Oceanside Drive-in

 

The Assateague Island National Seashore is a straightforward yet picturesque park in the U.S. It is a 75-square mile park that expands from Maryland to Virginia and serves as a barrier between Chincoteague Bay and the North Atlantic Ocean. Aside from its gleaming beach and vast loose sands, you can also spot wild horses and ponies galloping on the shores. Also, visitors can do a lot of activities here, such as joining kayak tours and sightseeing cruises, catching the famed Blue Crab, and, of course, swimming on the beach.

 

You can maximize your vacation by car camping at Oceanside Drive-in or Bayside Drive-in. They have picnic tables, a fire ring, portable toilets, showers, and potable water. However, there are no hookups here.

 

19. Crater Lake National Park — Oregon

a crater lake surrounded by snow-capped mountains and pine trees

Photo by WolfmanSF from Wikimedia Commons

 

Best time to visit: June-September
Camping Fee: starts at US$31 for a no-hookup RV campsite at Mazama Campground

 

Nestled in a sleeping volcano, the Crater Lake National Park is famous for having America’s deepest lake. The lake, which has a depth of almost 2,000 feet, was formed due to a vicious volcanic eruption of Mount Mazama that happened over 7,000 years ago. Today, rains and snow make up its pristine and sky-blue-colored water, making it one of the cleanest and clearest lakes in the world. Also, it has four forest zones that were developed millennia ago.

 

You can find two developed campgrounds in the park, but they are only open during summer. You can only reserve a campsite from July-September; while in June, it’s on a first-come, first-serve basis. The Mazama Campground is the only park that allows car camping, and they have on-site trash collection, food storage lockers, camp store, ice and firewood sale, laundry, dump station, and potable water. Also, they can provide electricity hookups (US$36) or full hookups (US$42).

 

Explore the park by joining boat or trolley tours or get a panoramic view by driving 33 miles Historic Rim and stopping over 30 different overlooks. Meanwhile, if you’re looking for a more thrilling adventure, you can take a strenuous hike to the steep Cleetwood Cove Trail.

 

20. Sonoma Coast State Park — California

a craggy cliff in a bay filled with huge rocks

Photo by Barry from Adobe Stock

 

Best time to visit: July to September
Camping Fee: starts at US$35 per night at Bodega Dunes Campground

 

The Sonoma Coast State Park is dappled with numerous beaches with extensive sands and rocky bluffs. Some of the notable beaches are Gleason Beach with its massive boulder and rock columns, the dangerous Duncan’s Landing, and the Arched Rock Beach. Aside from sightseeing and hiking, you can also do fishing and swimming on the beach.

 

With the expansive size of Sonoma Coast State Park, you have many options for car camping. One good spot for car camping is the Bodega Dunes Campground. Located less than five minutes away by car, it is nestled between the Bodega Harbor and Bodega Dunes Beach, making it a perfect place to dodge the Californian summer heat. Most of its campsites are pleated behind trees so it’s shady and less windy. They also offer toilets with token-operated showers and flush toilets, potable water, and a dump station. However, there are no hookups here.

 

21. Minnewaska State Park Reserve — New York

a rugged cliff with falls and countless trees

Photo by Laura from Adobe Stock

 

Best time to visit: September to February
Camping Fee: starts at US$38 for non-members at Samuel F. Pryor III Shawangunk Gateway Campground

 

Located less than an hour and a half away from the Empire State, Minnewaska State Park Reserve is a 23,000 acre of natural beauty. You will find rugged ridges and hardwood forest dotted by numerous waterfalls, three crystal-clear lakes, and cascading streams. It is particularly known for the climactic Shawangunk Mountain Ridge that stands more than 2,000 feet. Aside from hiking, visitors can also enjoy horseback riding, bouldering, scuba diving, and cross-country skiing during specific times in winter.

 

Although Minnewaska State Park Reserve doesn’t allow camping inside, you will find the Samuel F. Pryor III Shawangunk Gateway Campground, which is less than 10 minutes away from the entrance. This campground has coin-operated showers, flush toilets, and sinks. However, they don’t have hookups for RVs. With this, they only limit cars to 22 feet and below.

 

22. Badlands National Park — South Dakota

a car camping site with a picture-perfect view of fascinating striped mountains

Photo by Michael Alain from Unsplash

 

Best time to visit: September to November
Camping Fee: starts at US$38 per night at Cedar Pass Campground

 

Another natural wonder perfectly carved by nature, Badlands National Park is a fascinating rock formation that was formed by various rocks and two distinct processes, deposition and erosion. Over the years, parts of these cragged and gigantic rocks were eroded through the cascading Cheyenne and White Rivers, and until now they are still eroding. In fact, scientists said that in 500,000 years, the Badlands will be completely eroded. But for now, let’s enjoy the mesmerizing beauty of these pink, red, and white-lined pinnacle and spires. Among the best ways to do it is by catching the sunrise or spending a romantic night of stargazing.

 

To maximize your visit, you can car camp at the Cedar Pass Campground. Here, they offer RV campsites with electric hookups and dump stations. Most of the campsites also have picnic table areas and nearby showers, flush toilets, and potable water.

 

23. Zephyr Cove Resort Campground — Nevada

a beach filled with smooth boulders

Photo by Jeffrey Kreulen from Adobe Stock

 

Best time to visit: July to September
Camping Fee: starts at US$42 per night at Zephyr Cove RV Park & Campground

 

Unlike most campsites on this list, Zephyr Cove Resort Campground is a developed vacation spot that offers impressive sites, plenty of activities, and full-service amenities. It is located in one of the surrounding sandy shores of Lake Tahoe, along with the grandiose Ehrman Mansion, the ski resort of Heavenly Mountain Resort, and the hidden castle of Vikingsholm. Apart from these sites, you can also enjoy playing golf at Lake Tahoe Golf Course, or test your fears with outdoor activities like skydiving, hiking, climbing, parasailing, and kayaking. The Zephyr Cove Resort also has nearby restaurants and casinos for your convenience and entertainment.

 

When you camp at Zephyr Cove Resort Campground, you are camping in paradise. Aside from the rewarding natural beauty of Lake Tahoe and accessible amenities, you can also car camp in their 10 drive-in campsites or 93 RV campsites. Their campground is equipped with picnic tables, fire rings, food lockers, grills, full hookups, and cable TV lines.

 

24. Stone Mountain Park — Georgia

a car camping site with a monumental stone with carved figures

Photo by Paul Brennan from Pixabay

 

Best time to visit: October to November
Camping Fee: starts at US$42 per night at RV Blue Sites

 

Stretching to over 3,200 acres, the Stone Mountain Park is one of the most visited tourist destinations in Georgia. Whether you’re a history buff, an outdoor junkie, or you’re traveling with little ones, Stone Mountain Park offers many activities and places to see. At the Historical & Environmental Education Center, you will marvel at a 5,400 square feet of galleries, interactive exhibits, and a film showcase of the history of the park as well as the Civil War in Georgia. Meanwhile, if you’re an outdoor junkie, you can get a panoramic view of the park through a cable car at Summit Skyride, or fish in the Stone Mountain Lake. But if you’re coming with little ones, you can head to Laser Show, aboard the 1940s train, or see life-size dinosaurs.

 

There are just so many things you can do that staying for a day or two is recommended. Good thing they have 250 developed RV campsites that you can choose from. If you’re only staying for a short time, you can head to RV Blue Sites, which has electric or water hookups. But if you’re planning to stay longer, you can stay at the RV Red Sites. They are found at the heart of the campground, and they offer cable TVs and full hookups such as water, electricity, and sewer. They are also located near the pavilion and general store.

 

25. Bahia Honda State Park — Florida

a white sand beach with abandoned railway

Photo by Simon Dannhauer from Adobe Stock

 

Best time to visit: November to May
Camping Fee: starts at US$51 per car including the entrance fee at Buttonwood

 

Home to the historic 1912 Saddleback Bridge, Bahia Honda State Park attracts a lot of tourists with its another depiction of what picture-perfect scenery is. Unlike other parks that pride themselves on expansive mountain ridges and cascading rivers, in Bahia Honda State Park, you will be enjoying a vast beach area, boasting a rich marine life. Although the view is already mesmerizing from its white sands, wait till you scuba dive or snorkel. With its clear turquoise waters, you will see vibrant coral reefs and impressive marine life. However, just be careful since there are nurse sharks that you might meet in your dive, although they are nocturnal.

 

You can choose from almost 80 campsites in the area. But if you’re going to do car camping, you can head to Buttonwood, which is the largest campsite in the area. They have a water supply, bathrooms, dump station, and electricity, as well as picnic tables and grills.

 

Aside from scuba diving and snorkeling, you can also do boating with access to the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean, as well as fishing and wildlife viewing. Alternatively, you can also cycle around its paved roads or hike the park’s trails.

 

Final Thoughts

There are plenty of car camping sites in the U.S. that offer various activities and magnificent views. So deciding which one to camp at mainly depends on your budget and what kind of adventure you’re up to. We hope that this helped you plan your car camping adventure!