Camping ideas for families recommended by expert camping travelers
When it comes to summer adventure travel on a budget, family friendly camping is hard to beat!
I grew up camping with my grandparents — spending long, lazy weekends swimming at the pond, cooking hot dogs over the campfire, and chasing fireflies. Yes, I really chased fireflies!
If family friendly camping trips like this sound appealing to you, this list of the best family campgrounds in the US is a great place to start planning.
This curated list of the best campgrounds in the US for families comes from trusted family travel bloggers and camping bloggers who have been there, done that and loved it!
It’s arranged by state to help you find the best family campgrounds near you.
Where relevant, it includes nearby attractions, restaurants and/or can’t miss activities at these family friendly campgrounds to make planning your summer adventure vacation even easier.
Best family campgrounds in the USA
Gulf State Park, 20115 State Park Road, Gulf Shores, AL
Rates start at $42.95 per night, two night minimum. Book early, especially summer/holidays.
Gulf State Park on the Alabama gulf coast is one of the best family campgrounds in the US. With space for tent camping, trailers and RVs, and even cabin rentals, there’s something for rustic campers or those who prefer something more like glamping.
The Gulf Shores State Park has a lot to offer family campers, including the beach, miles of boardwalk and trails to explore, pools, nature programs and fishing. Sporting enthusiasts can enjoy tennis, pickleball, horseshoes, volleyball and much more.
Beyond the Gulf State Park family campgrounds, the surrounding communities offer more recreation, fabulous restaurants, shopping and entertainment. This area is great for weekend getaways with the kids!
For adventure travel, it’s hard to beat Gulf State Park. It truly is one of the best family campgrounds in the US.
Colusa Sacramento Campground, 50 10th St, Colusa, CA
Colusa-Sacramento River campground is one of the best campgrounds in the USA for families.
It offers a variety of campsite types, picnic areas, and launch ramps for small boats along the Sacramento River.
It’s a great campground to enjoy wilderness. Families will enjoy hiking trails and watersport activities. It’s also a great place to fish for a variety of fish including king salmon and rainbow trout.
It is a great spot for wildlife photography. A patient photographer is likely to see deer, coyote, and fox.
The weather, in particular, makes this a great campground for families. In spring and summer, enjoy warm temperatures. During fall and winter, it gets a bit cooler, but just be sure to add a couple layers.
Pines Campground At Yosemite, 9024 Southside Drive, Yosemite, CA
Rates are $36/night. Booking for some campsites is done by lottery.
Located in the heart of Yosemite National Park, the Upper and Lower Pines Campgrounds are the ideal family friendly campgrounds for exploring the grandeur of Yosemite Valley.
From these campgrounds, it’s easy to get to the trailheads for some of Yosemite’s best hikes where you can explore soaring granite cliffs, stunning waterfalls, and the vast Yosemite wilderness.
Both Upper and Lower Pines offer amenities that make them one of the best family campgrounds in the US, including fire rings, picnic tables, and bear-proof food storage lockers. The bathrooms even have drinking water and flushing toilets, so your family can feel a little more comfortable out in nature.
Upper Pines Campground is the larger of the two campgrounds with 238 sites and is open all year long, while Lower Pines has 60 sites and is open from April to October. Plan ahead to get these family friendly camping sites, as they book through a lottery system!
San Elijo State Beach Campground, 2050 S Coast Hwy 101, Cardiff, CA
Rates begin at $35/night, and book far in advance.
A fantastic campground to stay at in Southern California is San Elijo State Beach Campground.
It has over 150 different sites located along towering bluffs and each site is stocked with its own fire pit and picnic table. There are also plenty of restroom and shower facilities available for use.
But, the campground’s biggest draw is its proximity to the beach. Between every 15 sites, there’s a staircase that will lead you directly to the beach.
This is perfect for families who want to enjoy the sweet California surf, play in the sand, or just take in the views! And, when you’re done hanging out at the beach, you can enjoy some of the delicious SoCal food that the area is known for!
Photo credit: Kristin of Global Travel Escapades, used with permission.
Wawona Campground, Yosemite National Park (driving Directions Link)
Rates begin at $28 (offseason). Mid-April to Mid-October, reservations required, rates are $38.
Wawona Campground at Yosemite National Park is a great place for families who are looking to have an unforgettable camping experience. Not only is the location breathtaking, but it is also filled a number of activities. Hiking is a popular activity, with a variety of trails for all ages and abilities. Kids will also enjoy fishing, swimming, and learning about nature conservation by participating in ranger-led programs.
The campground, accessible by car with numerous parking spots, also includes several amenities such as flush toilets, fire pits, running water, picnic tables, and food storage lockers. Wawona Campground in Yosemite National Park is an excellent choice for families who want a memorable, adventurous family camping vacation.
Amphitheater Campground in Ouray, Colorado
Rates are $24/night, and the season runs from June-October.
Looking for one of the best camping ideas for families in the United States? If so, then you can’t beat Amphitheater Campground in Ouray, Colorado.
After all, this incredible family friendly campground is tucked away along the beautiful Million Dollar Highway and overlooks the Uncompahgre River.
Additionally, this amazing site gives you access to some of the best hikes in Ouray like Lower Cascade Falls, the Animas Forks OHV Trail via Silverton, and more.
Afterward, head to the local hot spring and soak in the calming waters here before enjoying family friendly activities like wildlife viewing, fishing, and biking through the so-called “Switzerland of America”.
Important note: When staying here be sure to lock up any food since black bears are known to frequent the area.
Also remember that sites 19 through 27 operate on a first-come, first-served basis.
Lost Lake Campground, Paonia Rd, Paonia, CO
One of the most beautiful campgrounds for families in the USA would have to be the Lost Lake Campground in Colorado, near Paonia and Gunnison.
On top of the amazing scenery, this campground features some great hiking and fishing opportunities, with short and easy trails to Lost Lake, Dollar Lake, and Lost Lake Slough.
There’s a big field for kids to play in, and you can enjoy the sounds of the creek running. If you’re lucky, you may even get to experience a moose sighting or the fall leaf colors!
The campground is open from June 18 to October 3. It’s first come, first served.
It’s well worth a visit!
Sylvan Lake, 10200 Brush Creek Rd, Eagle, CO
Sylvan Lake is one of the best state parks in Colorado for family friendly camping.
Located high in the Rocky Mountains at an elevation of 8,500 feet, the pristine lake is surrounded by rugged mountains making for jaw-dropping scenery.
There are many camping options at Sylvan Lake that include tent camping sites, camper and trailer sites, cabins, and yurts. The campground bathrooms have running water and hot showers available.
Besides the incredible scenery and great camping options, there are also so many recreational activities at Sylvan Lake. Hiking trails are abundant with an easy trail around the lake perfect for families with young kids. Kayak and canoe rentals are available, and the fishing is fantastic.
Reserve your campsite early because this beautiful campground fills up fast in the summer.
Ginnie Springs, 7300 Ginnie Springs Road, High Springs, FL
Rates begin at $25/adult and $8/child, higher on holidays and weekends.
Easily one of the most unique camping ideas for families in the US, is Ginnie Springs. This natural spring park with stunning, crystal blue water in Northern Florida is a perfect spot for SUPing, swimming, kayaking, scuba diving through local caves, tubing, and more.
It’s also well-located near family-friendly Tampa and makes for a great day trip since it’s only a 2-hour drive from the city.
Family Friendly Camping TIP: Because this campground is privately owned, drinking is allowed on-site. Therefore, try to avoid the park on the weekends and during spring break when raucous college students tend to frequent the area.
One caveat at this park, due to its unique ecosystem — no pets are allowed!
There are so many great places to go camping in Florida for families that we created a new post just for them! Please check it out!
Bald Mountain Resort: Hiawassee KOA
Rates begin at $45, though KOA members can save 10%.
The Bald Mountain Camping Resort has lots of fun activities for the entire family making it one of the best family campgrounds in Georgia.
This campground in the Georgia mountains has multiple swimming pools, volleyball courts, several playgrounds, a game room, wifi and much more. You can bring your RV to stay in one of the great RV sites or you can pitch a tent in a tent-dedicated portion of the campground.
There are lots of places nearby to explore for great weekend getaways for families. The resort is only two hours northeast of metro Atlanta. Other day trips to consider on family vacations are to Alpine Helen, a Bavarian Village, The Appalachian Trail, Brasstown Bald (highest peak in Georgia), Bell Mountain near town and the Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds, beautiful Lake Chatuge, and the Cabbage Patch Kids Babyland.
Jekyll Island Campground, 1197 Riverview Drive, Jekyll Island, Georgia
Along the Georgia coast, just south of Savannah, is Jekyll Island Campground.
The campground is on the island’s north end, nestled in a picturesque wooded area covered in Palmetto plants and live oaks dripping in Spanish moss.
Less than a mile from the campground, you’ll find the Fishing Pier at Clam Creek on Saint Simons Sound, and the stunning Driftwood Beach, all within easy walking distance. There’s even a bird sanctuary right in the campground!
With an extensive network of biking trails (over 22 miles), families can easily access the island’s must-see spots and activities, including numerous beaches (no two are the same), a water park, the Georgia Sea Turtle Center, historic sites and tours, and many shopping and dining options. Bike rentals are available right in the campground.
With its breathtaking natural beauty and abundant nearby recreational opportunities, Jekyll Island is an ideal destination for the best family camping vacations.
Anahola Beach Park, Island of Kauai, Hawaii
Rates are $3/person for each permit. Book in advance!
Anahola Beach Park is a great option for those looking for a camping spot on the beautiful Hawaiian island of Kauai.
Its location within Anahola Bay, with amazing views of the ocean and surrounding mountains, allows adventurous families to truly enjoy nature. This unique family friendly campground offers 19 campsites with facilities that include BBQ grills, picnic tables, showers, and restrooms.
This secluded spot is manned by a County of Kauai and is near Kapaa Town, making it easy to pick up any supplies.
Besides camping on the beach, families can enjoy a variety of activities, including snorkeling, swimming, and fishing, and after dark, they can appreciate Anahola’s peaceful atmosphere.
Spencer Beach Park, 62-3461 Kawaihae Rd, Waimea, HI (The Big Island)
Everyone knows that visiting Hawaii is extremely expensive especially for family vacation. But if you actually go camping and prepare in advance, you can save big on your stays, food and even entertainment.
The Big Island of Hawaii is a family friendly destination, with many campsites. Quite a few are ocean/beach sites that make that experience even better.
There’s even a historic national park next door to explore called Pu’ukohola Heaui with fantastic trails, ancient sites to explore and gorgeous vistas to capture and experience.
Spencer Beach Park is one of the best camping ideas for families and is quite popular with locals. So, make sure that you book a site in advance so you can take advantage of some of the premium spots on the water.
One note: Spencer Beach Park gate closes at 8:00 p.m. for the night, and no one is admitted after that time, so plan your day’s activities accordingly.
If you are traveling around the island, plan a family friendly visit to the Big Island. There’s so much to see and do on the island that is kid friendly.
Fox Ridge State Park, 18175 State Park Road, Charleston, IL
Fox Ridge is a state park located just south of Charleston in Central Illinois. This small, family friendly campground is great for weekend getaways with the kids. It has 43 campsites and a large shower house.
Most of the campsites can be reserved, but the best campsites are first come first serve. The spacious flat sites are well spaced and come with a fire ring, picnic table, electricity and a lantern pole.
Fox Ridge State Park is a 2000+ acre recreation area. It’s a great place to hike due to the numerous ridges and ravines. They provide a moderate challenge in an otherwise flat area. A hike to the Eagles Nest Overlook is a must see.
Hiking Tip: Read these hiking tips for families before you go!
The park has a few lakes and a river for fishing, forested areas for mushroom foraging, and a large area for hunting turkey in season.
We highly recommend 2-4 days at this hidden gem in Illinois.
Sandy Pines Campground, 277 Mills Road, Kennebunkport, Maine
Rates begin at $66/night for tent sites. Glamping and other options available as well.
One of the best camping ideas for families is the Sandy Pines Campground, located in Kennebunkport, Maine.
Located just a few minutes from the Maine coast, this family camping experience gives you the best of everything: the beach, sun, and sand, and the traditional campground in the woods.
The Sandy Pines family friendly campground opened just a few years ago, and has great amenities for the modern family. Everywhere you look, you’ll find something fun for kids and adults making this one of the best family campgrounds in the US.
The huge swimming pool is inviting, with lots of places to sit and relax nearby, from colorful enclosed domes to swings to idyllic deck chairs.
When you’re not swimming, take part in the nearby lawn games, like cornhole. It’s not too far over to the Kids Playground, either, where you’ll also find the Kids Kraft Tent where artistic exploration can take shape.
When it comes time to do the camping itself, families can choose from spots for RVs and tents, or consider one of Sandy Pines’ super unique and beautiful glamping options! There are 4-person family glamping tents (all gorgeously decorated with distinct themes), family cottages, and more. You can be comfortable and homey even while in the “wilderness” here.
NOTE: Pets are not allowed at the glamping sites, but they are welcome at tent and RV sites.
If you want to experience a perfect spot in New England—especially in the summer, I can’t recommend Sandy Pines enough.
Colwell Lake Campground, Manistique, MI
Rates begin at $22/night, and the season runs from May to September.
There are so many great places to camp in Michigan from lake front to mountain top. Camping is our favorite family adventure and we go as often as possible in the summer.
Colwell Lake Campground is a small campground with only 34 campsites. The sites, however, are spacious and most are on the lakefront which makes it a great family friendly camping idea for weekend getaways with the kids.
In the morning, start a fire, make some coffee and enjoy the peace and quiet and incredible views of the lake.
At night, stargazers will be amazed at how many stars light up the skies. Colwell lake is far removed from any ambient city light giving you incredible views.
Nearby, you’ll find Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, Seney National Wildlife Refuge, hundreds of miles of hiking trails, an abundance of wildlife, and a number of waterfalls. Nature lovers won’t be disappointed that they made the trek to this northern Michigan campground.
Note: Cell service at the campground is spotty at best. We drive 20 miles to get a signal.
Tourist Park, 2145 Sugar Loaf Ave, Marquette, MI
Tourist Park is the best place to camp in Marquette, Michigan because you’re surrounded by stunning natural beauty, and just two miles from Downtown Marquette. It’s the best of both worlds!
The campsites are spacious and well-kept, so whether you’re pitching a tent or rolling in with your RV, everyone’s comfortable.
The park offers hiking trails, bike trails, a beach, and playgrounds for the little ones. Tourist Park even hosts awesome family events like bonfires, movie nights, and organized games. It’s like an instant community of outdoor enthusiasts, and certainly an amazing family campground!
As an added bonus, the city’s multi-use bike path is right next to the campground making it easy to bike into town for an afternoon to explore Marquette’s restaurants and breweries.
Candy Cane RV Park, 11 Highway M, Steelville, MO
Candy Cane RV Park in Missouri is a great campground for families. It has everything you need for a fantastic camping getaway.
One of the highlights of this park is the variety of activities available.
Kids can have fun at the playground, swinging, sliding, and making new friends. There’s also a swimming pool where everyone can cool off in the heat of summer.
Nearby, you’ll find a floating river where you can go tubing and enjoy the scenic beauty of Missouri.
Candy Cane RV Park also offers fun activities like putt-putt golf, horseshoes, basketball, and volleyball. You can challenge each other to a friendly game, and it’s a great way to spend quality time together, creating lasting memories.
Candy Cane RV Park’s friendly and helpful staff will make you feel right at home. They’re always there to assist you with anything you need and provide information about the area. Their warm hospitality adds to the overall enjoyment of your stay.
Another great reason to stay at this family campground is that they are part of the Passport America RV Park Membership. If you’re a member, you can save 50% on your stay.
Table Rock State Park, 5272 State Highway 165, Branson, MO
Rates begin at $14, off season. Peak rate is $50.
Table Rock State Park in the Missouri Ozarks provides a great family campground experience. Located only 15 minutes from Branson, this family friendly campground offers the perfect balance of natural beauty and access to exciting shows and activities in town.
The park has two campgrounds, accommodating both RVs and tent campers. Table Rock State Park understands the importance of catering to families, and their family campsites are a testament to that. These campsites are specifically designed to accommodate families with two camping pads as well as two tables, grills and lantern posts.
One of the highlights of our camping adventure was the proximity of Table Rock Lake and fun activities including kayaking, paddleboarding and fishing. You can even rent supplies from the on-site state park marina. The park also has numerous hiking trails and picnic areas.
Fish Creek Campground, Fish Creek Campground Rd, West Glacier, MT
Rates are $23 per night, Memorial Day through Labor Day. Closed otherwise.
Fish Creek Campground in Glacier National Park is the only reservable campground on the west side of Glacier National Park. Being able to make a reservation is fantastic for family friendly camping at this bucket list travel destination.
There are 178 campsites within this large campground, making it one of the best family campgrounds in the US to experience the great outdoors. Most of the sites have plenty of shade and great tree cover to help with privacy between campsites.
A few sites even have amazing views of Lake McDonald.
One great amenity in Fish Creek Campground is the modern bathrooms and showers in one of the first loops. The showers are only available for registered campers.
The campground is close to the visitor center and provides easy access to the Going to the Sun Road and Lake McDonald. This is the perfect location to spend time relaxing in your campground while also being able to easily explore the crown of the continent Glacier National Park.
Wheeler Peak Campground, Baker, NV
Wheeler Peak Campground in Great Basin National Park is a great place to for family camping getaways.
This family friendly campground in Nevada offers well-spaced campsites, bathroom facilities and drinkable water.
Two meadows in the campground and hiking trails nearby offer lots of space to explore the outdoors. Hike to the Bristlecone Pine Trail to see Nevada’s only glacier at the base of Wheeler Peak.
Another attraction at Great Basin National Park is the Lehman Caves, which offers guided tours.
For adventurous families, this is a great weekend getaway with the kids.
Watkins Glen State Park, 1009 N Franklin St, Watkins Glen, NY
Watkins Glen State Park is the most visited state park in the Finger Lakes region of New York. The natural beauty of the park is breathtaking and being able to spend the night there just makes it special.
The State Park offers around 290 campsites and rustic cabins to book, although the cabins are fewer than campsites. The Watkins Glen campsites are spread out in 6 loops, with each loop identified with a village name that can be easily booked online at the State Park website.
Each campsite is spacious and equipped with a fire pit, benches and tables and parking for cars. The best part is the campground is surrounded by lush green trees, fresh air and serenity to enjoy.
The campground comes with facilities like restrooms, showers, dumping station and a firewood shop that make it comfortable for families. NOTE: Firewood CANNOT be brought in because of invasive disease and insects.
Other amenities include food concession shops, gift shops, playgrounds and a swimming pool making it one of the best family friendly camping options in the region.
Adventurous families will enjoy the hiking the trails, especially the scenic Gorge trail (open seasonally). Trails meander past 19 waterfalls in the park.
Bear Den Campground, 600 Bear Den Mountain Rd, Spruce Pine, NC
Bear Den Mountain Resort and Campground near Spruce Pine in Western North Carolina has long been one of our favorite places to stay, even before we had kids.
One reason is location, since it sits right off the Blue Ridge Parkway (MM 324) and is within 20 minutes of popular places like Linville Falls and Little Switzerland.
The friendly people who run Bear Den keep the camping spots and cabins clean and well-maintained. They’ve got a great playground for little kids and an arcade for the older kids.
And each year, there always seems to be at least one or two enhancements to the huge property. Examples include upgrades to their massive swimming pond and expanded hiking trails that now lead to waterfalls.
You can check-in either at the Trading Post or at the mailboxes if you arrive after open hours. They’ll give you a map of the campground, tips on places to go nearby, and anything else you might want to know. Inside the Trading Post, you can buy a variety of camping supplies (including firewood).
Carolina Beach State Park, 1010 State Park Road, Carolina Beach, NC
Carolina Beach in southern North Carolina has one of the best state park campgrounds in the United States. The wooded campsites are spacious with all the amenities for both tent and RV family campers. There are wheelchair-accessible campsites and cute log cabins for rent as well.
The campground is close to outdoor adventures such as hiking, exploring magnificent sandy beaches or kayaking to Masonboro Island, a remote barrier island.
Outdoorsy families will love the Flytrap Trail, a short hike from the campground. Kids of all ages will marvel at the carnivorous plants found along the path, especially the rare Venus Flytrap, that only thrives within a 70 mile radius of the park.
Mohican State Park Campground, 3116 OH-3, Loudonville, OH
Rates start at $25. Open year-round, but some amenities available seasonally.
The Mohican State Park Campground in Loudonville, Ohio provides incredible weekend getaways for families who enjoy outdoor recreation in a safe environment.
Not only does this family friendly campground adjoin one of the best state parks in Ohio, the area is also nicknamed the “Canoe Capital of Ohio” due to its proximity to the Mohican River and busy canoe liveries.
Like the best family campgrounds in the US, Mohican welcomes tent campers and RVers, and also provides cabins for those who enjoy the outdoors but prefer not to camp.
Campground amenities at Mohican State Park Campground include a pool, playground, volleyball and basketball courts, hiking trails, camp store and showers.
To ensure safety, the campground is only open to registered guests during their busy season, so you won’t find people driving in off the street to take a look around.
The state park and nearby state forest offer lots of affordable family fun like easy to challenging hikes, mountain biking, bird watching (keep an eye open for a Bald Eagle), and fly fishing opportunities. It’s also a favorite destination among photographers so make sure to pack a camera.
Buckhorn Campground, Buckhorn Rd, Sulphur, OK
The Chickasaw National Recreation Area in south-central Oklahoma is a great spot for family friendly camping. Located about two hours from Oklahoma City and Dallas, it’s perfect for a weekend getaway or a week long trip.
The area is a part of the National Park System and was once a designated national park. The area is famous for its sulphur mineral springs and spring fed creeks that are a cool way to beat the hot Oklahoma summer heat.
The park offers access to more than twenty miles of trails and borders the Lake of the Arbuckles in Sulphur, Oklahoma. So it’s a favorite for not only campers and hikers, but also boaters, kayakers, and fisherman.
When we go, we enjoy staying in Buckhorn Campground which offers both first come, first served sites as well as those by reservation. It tends to be the least crowded of the park’s six campgrounds offering 400 campsites.
Mazama Campground, 569 Mazama Village Dr, OR
Rates begin at $21 per night. Open Memorial Day to the end of September (weather permitting).
Mazama Campground in Crater Lake National Park in Oregon offers the best family friendly camping experience.
This large campground has flush toilets, easy accessibly trails, and is close to a grocery store, restaurant and pay showers.
Adventurous families will love the paved paths through the campground for riding their bikes or walking.
There are Ranger programs offered within the campground almost nightly. Ranger programs cover everything from bird watching to hiking with a park ranger.
The campground is minutes away from the rim of Crater Lake and the scenic drive around the lake.
Families can also take trolley and boat tours within Crater Lake National Park. With so many great activities, this is one of the best camping ideas for families in the Pacific Northwest.
Granite Hill Campground, 3340 Fairfield Road, Gettysburg PA
Rates start at $50. Discount on weekly rentals.
What could be better during a visit to Gettysburg PA than camping on a 150-acre Civil War era farm? Granite Hill Campground and Adventure Golf has more than 300 sites, ranging from those in the open sunshine to secluded spots in the woodlands.
Some of the amenities at Granite Hill include a swimming pool, paddleboat and kayak rentals on their lake, playgrounds and a fishing pond. Families can also enjoy basketball, shuffleboard, sand volleyball, horseshoes and an arcade.
The crown jewel at Granite Hill is their Adventure Golf, which starts with a waterfall and cascading streams from atop their own Stone Mountain. The state-of-the-art course continues with sand traps and water hazards.
Granite Hill is also home to an internationally acclaimed Bluegrass Festival twice a year.
Whether you’re just tenting, want to stay in a cabin, or need a pull-thru RV hookup , Granite Hill has something for every type of family.
Ricketts Glen State Park, 695 PA-487, Benton, PA
Rates begin at $20 per night. Weekends book far in advance.
In the Endless Mountains of Eastern Pennsylvania, Ricketts Glen State Park is fabulous place for weekend getaways with the kids. The park has ten ADA compatible rental cabins and 120 tent and trailer campsites.
The park offers flush toilets, warm showers and pets are permitted for an additional fee.
The park’s many amenities include a swimming lake, the best day hiking trails in Pennsylvania with waterfalls all along the trail, boating, kayaking, canoeing, and fishing.
The sheer beauty of this park is its main attraction, though with plenty of space to explore, it’s one of the best family campgrounds in the US.
Lake Wateree State Park, 881 State Park Rd, Winnsboro, SC
Midway between Charlotte, NC and Columbia, SC, Lake Wateree State Park is a popular campground and recreation areas for families looking for weekend getaways with the kids that also offer lake fun.
This family campground can accommodate RVs up to 40 feet in length, five spots are pull-through and 15 spots are waterfront. Lake Wateree State Park also offers convenient restroom facilities with hot showers. Book ahead to get a waterfront spot.
Amenities include easy hiking, biking trails, bird watching, a waterfront area to swim (swim at your own risk), a park store, a private boat launch and gas pumps at the dock. Fishing is allowed, and campers can buy a fishing permit at the store.
Nearby marinas offer boat rentals for families to enjoy a relaxing day on the lake.
Legion Lake Campground, 12958 US-16A, Custer, SD
Custer State Park is a popular destination for family friendly camping in South Dakota. This Black Hills gems covers 71,000 acres.
This park offers many great family friendly activities including hiking, kayaking, biking, scenic drives, and a lot of wildlife, making it a great camping idea for families.
There are nine campgrounds throughout the park. Legion Lake at Custer State Park is one of the best family campgrounds because it is centrally located, has huge campsites, and some of the best amenities at Custer State Park — even an onsite restaurant.
A popular activity at Custer is the Wildlife Loop Road. This 18-mile drive through the hills allow visitors to see buffalo, deer, and elk. You will certainly see the begging burros, which will pop their heads in your vehicle looking for a hand out. Dawn and dusk are the best times to see the most animals.
Elkmont Campground, Elkmont Campground Rd A, Gatlinburg, TN
Elkmont Campground is located in Great Smoky Mountain National Park in Tennessee. This gorgeous family campground provides easy access into Gatlinburg for groceries and to explore the town.
It also provides easy access to Cades Cove and the popular Laurel Falls Trail, making this a great camping idea for families who enjoy adventure and history.
This is the largest campground in Great Smoky Mountains National Park which means there are great amenities for families, everything from ice cream machines to a great camp store. Parents will love that they don’t have to stress about picking up any last minute supplies they may have forgotten.
The campground has flush toilets, running water, and space for RV’s up to 35 feet long.
Sun Outdoors at 1773 US 191, Moab, Utah
Sun Outdoors is an amazing private campground in Moab, Utah, with a number of site options and incredible amenities.
Whether you’re traveling in an RV, looking to rough it in a tent, or would enjoy a vacation rental, all are possible at Sun Outdoors.
Kids will love playing in the heated pool, and parents will be thrilled with the convenience of full hook-up RV sites and screaming fast wifi. Other amenities include life size chess, a bike repair and wash station, a dog park and an onsite camp store.
This campground has great access to Arches and the Island in the Sky section of Canyonlands, which are some of the best family-friendly places to visit in Moab!
Look no further than Sun Outdoors in Moab when arranging lodging for your backcountry adventure!
Watchman Campground At Zion National Park, UT-9, Springdale, UT
The Watchman Campground in Utah is the largest campground within in Zion National Park. This great campground is located near the visitor center and shuttle stops, making it a great choice for family friendly camping.
When visiting the Zion Canyon visitors have to take a free Zion shuttle to the canyon. The Watchman Campground is a great choice for families visiting Zion since it is so close to a shuttle stop.
The campground is also close to Springdale, Utah which has a grocery store, restaurants, and activities great for family vacations.
Reservations can be made up to six months before heading to the park so you know that you have a place to camp and don’t have to worry about where you will be staying.
The Watchman Campground has beautiful restrooms with running water and flush toilets, a luxury perk for camping. The National Park Service has done a lot of work in this campground, making it one of the best family campgrounds in the country.
Hobuck Beach Resort, 2726 Makah Passage, Neah Bay, WA
Rates begin at $25 for tent camping. There are several cabins available as well.
Hobuck Beach Resort is perfect for families looking to leave the crowds and immerse themselves in nature. While visitors flock to the more popular areas of the Olympic Peninsula, Neah Bay, Washington, gets overlooked. And that’s a shame.
Hobuck Beach Resort is in full of stunning landscapes on the northwest corner of Washington, near Cape Flattery. With long picture-perfect beaches, sea stacks, and the occasional wildlife, families of all ages will love their time camping in the upper left of the United States.
Three of the “must see” areas when visiting here are:
- Cape Flattery: Two-mile family-friendly hike to the most northwest point in the Lower 48
- Shi Shi Beach: 4.5-mile hike to a gorgeous hidden beach. If you want to walk on the beach, it could add another four miles.
- Hobuck Beach: Ridiculously long yet lovely beach with many places for kids to hang out.
As for the campground itself, there are ten RV spots available, and 200-300 tent camping sites. Amenities include: a bathhouse with free showers, picnic tables, some shade, and electrical hookups. The RV spots are pull through sites with picnic tables.
Kalaloch Campground, Forks, WA
Rates begin at $40. Booking is made available six months in advance.
The Kalaloch Campground in Olympic National Park offers the best of family camping in Washington. The campground is located right on the beach at the Pacific Ocean. With 168 sites, visitors have options on where they would like to camp.
Travel Planning Tip: If you want a beach front campsite, make a reservation in advance. These sites book early.
This family campground is one of the best in the US for weekend getaways. It offers easy access to the sandy beach, walking distance to the Kalaloch Lodge and restaurant, and an easy drive to the Hoh Rainforest.
If you have any Twilight fans in your house you will want to drive through Forks, Washington on your way to the campground.
Sol Duc Hot Springs and waterfalls are close by for a great day adventure.
You will find both tent and RV sites within the campground though there are no hook-ups. The campground does have modern bathrooms.
When it comes to family camping in Washington, you really cannot ask for more.
Ohanapecosh, Ohanapecosh Rd, Randle, WA
Rates are $20 per night, and booking windows open six months in advance.
Ohanapecosh is a beautiful campground in Mount Rainier National Park, Washington that is perfect for families.
It lies at the base of Mount Rainer and, while there are no views of the mountain itself, all 188 campsites are set amongst magnificent old growth forest.
Each site has picnic table and fire pit and an authorized vendor comes around the campground each evening selling firewood (perfect for s’mores!).
A small Visitor Center at the entrance to the campground provides information about the national park.
The small, scenic, snow-fed Ohanapecosh River runs through the campground. You can hike down to the river and take a (chilly) dip. The lovely Silver Falls trail also starts and ends at the campground. The 2.7-mile loop goes through stunning old growth forest to a lovely waterfall and is a great hike for the whole family.
Sahara Creek Horse Camp, 262nd Ave E, Ashford, WA
Rates are free with a Washington Discover Pass (required). Reserve at firstname.lastname@example.org at least 3 days and not more than 3 months in advance.
Sahara Creek Horse Camp, in Ashford, Washington is an excellent base camp for exploring any of the best hikes in Mount Rainier National Park. It’s just about a teb minute drive from the entrance for the famed Paradise section of the park!
And for budget travel, Sahara Creek campground is totally free to stay at, so long as you have a Washington State Discover Pass, a $30 pass that gives you access to the state parks and Department of National Resources sites in Washington state.
While the campground doesn’t offer hookups, there’s plenty of shady spots, under the cathedral of lush trees, stretching overhead.
Each site comes with a nice picnic table and fire rings—perfect for decompressing after a long day of exploring Rainier (and enjoying a s/more or two).
There’s also a large pavilion that’s perfect for group outings and rustic amenities, like a vault toilet, if you’re camping without a fully equipped RV.
It’s worth noting that certain spots are reserved for campers with horse trailers, given that there are several horse trails on the property, but campers of all kinds can usually find a spot regardless!
For rustic comfort (that’s not an oxymoron) and easy access to Mount Rainier, this is hard to
Tranquil Timbers, 3668 Grondin Rd, Sturgeon Bay, WI
Rates begin at $70 per night for tents. Yurts and cabins are also available.
Tranquil Timbers Camping Retreat is located near Sturgeon Bay in gorgeous Door County, Wisconsin. The campground is located in the heart of Door County, the seventy-five-mile long peninsula that is known as one of the nation’s premier vacation destinations with 5 state parks and 10 lighthouses!
That said, it’s a great camping idea for families who are outdoor lovers! From here you can enjoy some of the best things to do in Door County such as kayaking, hiking, cycling or exploring by segway.
The best about Tranquil Timbers Camping Retreat is that you can choose your accommodation type: whether you want to stay in an RV, a yurt or a wooden cabin, the choice is yours! This and the natural surroundings make Tranquil Timbers Camping Retreat one of the best Northern Wisconsin resorts to stay with your family.
Colter Bay Campground, 100 Colter Bay Campground Road, Moran, WY
Colter Bay Campground is located in Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming. The campground is close to the Colter Bay Visitor Center and Village. This easy access makes this a great camping idea for families who want to experience Grand Teton National Park and have easy access to great amenities.
The campground has 22 restrooms with running water, an important amenity at the best family campgrounds in the US. Showers and coin operated laundry are available in Colter Bay Village.
The campground is close to a couple of restaurants, a general store, and a marina. If you are looking to explore Grand Teton National Park this is the perfect family campground for weekend getaways with the kids.
More Resources for family camping
- How to estimate travel expenses: Road trip costs, food, attractions and more.
- Road Trip Tips: Surviving “Are we there yet?” Ideas to make the road trip part more fun.
- Travel Resources: Travel planning tools for hotels, car rentals, attraction discounts and more!
When it comes to family friendly camping, choosing the best family campgrounds is a great place to start! We hope the many camping ideas for families in this post inspire you to explore someplace new!
More resources for family friendly camping
We hope this list of the best family campgrounds in the US gives you fresh family friendly camping ideas. Besides these camping ideas for families, the following resources will help you plan your vacation:
- How to estimate travel expenses: a vacation budget planning tool for road trip costs, food, and attraction expenses,
- Family hiking gear: Essential hiking gear for safe day hiking for the whole family
- Surviving “Are we there yet?” Tips we use to make the road trip a fun part of vacation
- Travel Resources: Links to the same tools we use to save on car rentals, hotel costs, and attraction tickets wherever we go!