Ready to hit the road, leave the noisy city behind, and find some peace and quiet out in the wilderness? The itch to travel is unpredictable, and when that itch hits, it’s difficult to ignore. You have the freedom to go anywhere you want in your RV, so why not choose somewhere memorable?
Among the tens of thousands of campsites spread across the country, there are some truly remarkable ones just waiting for you to visit. But which one should you choose for your trip? To help you make your decision, we’ve compiled a list of the 10 best campgrounds in the U.S.
There are so many great choices to pick from when it comes to campsites. However, all parks fall into a handful of categories including state, private, and national. You may be wondering how these parks differ from each other and which type is the best. So, before we dive into the top 10 campsites, let’s first begin by breaking down these three categories.
- State Parks: A state park is an area of land that a state’s government protects and manages. It is terrain that the state has deemed worthy of preservation because of its beauty, historical significance, or ability to be used for outdoor recreation.
- National Parks: A national park is similar to a state park in that it is protected and managed by the government for the same reasons a state park is. However, the federal government is responsible for providing resources and personnel rather than the state. A few other minor differences include larger land areas, higher popularity, and reduced accessibility.
- Private Parks: Unlike state and national parks, private parks don’t exist on public land. They are instead on land owned by an individual or part of a campsite network, like the Kampgrounds of America (KOA). This type of park can vary greatly from one to another based on the resources it’s provided.
As mentioned earlier, some private parks are part of a network of campgrounds. KOA is the largest network of privately owned campgrounds in the world. Think of each park like a single McDonald’s restaurant and together they form a chain owned by the brand. In this example, KOA would be the McDonald’s brand.
Whatever type of campground you choose, you’re sure to have a great time. However, there are certain pros and cons that each campsite category offers.
- You’re likely to find better amenities in private RV parks. This can include features like Wi-Fi, cable hook-ups, laundry facilities, and more. However, if you’re interested in hiking, biking, kayaking, and other activities, this may not be the right choice. While there are private parks that offer these options, it’s not a guarantee.
- State and national campgrounds provide all the outdoor action you could want. They also offer plenty of chances to explore and see unique scenery. On the downside, there are fewer amenities, leaving you to fend for yourself in some cases. If there are amenities available, they may be run-down.
If you’re going camping, make sure you find out if the campgrounds allow reservations. Most campground reservations let you set aside a time and date months in advance. However, this is not the case with first come, first serve campsites. As the term suggests, these are campgrounds where the first person to secure an available spot gets it. To have some peace of mind, you may want to look at campground reservations first.
Without further ado, let’s get to the best campgrounds in the U.S. From stunning vistas to secluded paradises, these are locations worthy of hitting the brakes for.
10) Jellystone Park
For families looking to enjoy the outdoors together, this Yogi Bear-themed campground is perfect. Located in Larkspur, Colorado, guests can start the day by exploring Pike National Forest and follow that up with an archery class, fossil digging, or geocaching. Schedule your reservation here.
9) Kirk Creek
Located in Big Sur, California, Kirk Creek Campground is a sight to behold. This oceanside paradise offers awe-inspiring panoramic views of the sunrise that you can watch from the comfort of your RV. Visitors can schedule their reservations right now for only $35.
8) Yosemite Pines
There’s nothing like experiencing the legendary Yosemite National Park firsthand. Although Yosemite does offer RV parking, the campground doesn’t offer many amenities. However, only 22 miles away in Groveland, California, Yosemite Pines offers premium pull-through and back-in sites. You can reserve your spot for as low as $34.
7) Havasu Falls
Scheduling a reservation at the Havasu Falls campground is not the easiest task. However, if you’re lucky enough to secure one, you won’t regret it. This unique getaway in Supai, Arizona, is a desert oasis full of red rock, blue pools, and picturesque waterfalls. At the moment, reservations are suspended due to COVID-19, but you can get in line here.
6) Jumbo Rocks
If you’re into rock climbing, then Jumbo Rocks Campground in Twentynine Palms, California, is the campsite for you. Believe it or not, but this park is full of large rocks just begging to be scaled. Spots can be reserved during winter and the campground is first come, first serve during summer.
5) Trap Pond State Park
For a more secluded stay, there’s Trap Pond State Park in Sussex County, Delaware. Kayak or canoe between the beautiful cypress trees that grow out of the water or immerse yourself in some hunting and fishing. There’s plenty to do at this campsite. Online reservations can be made at any time of the year.
4) Garden of the Gods Recreation Area
Located in Southern Illinois, this site is full of unique rock formations, beautiful vegetation, and plenty of hiking trails. It’s no wonder Garden of the Gods is one of the most photographed areas in the state. This campsite is first come, first served.
3) Fontainebleau State Park
This Louisiana-based park features a sandy beach for sunbathing, fishing, boating, and much more. If staying on land is more your speed, there are plenty of opportunities to hike, bike, and bird watch. Plus, New Orleans is just a short drive away. Make your reservation here.
2) Blackwoods Campgrounds
Blackwoods Campgrounds is located in Acadia National Park in Maine. Its most distinguishing feature is its rocky Atlantic coastline and granite peaks. Not far from this scenic location is the Cadillac Mountain. Make your reservations here.
1) Tettegouche State Park
This is a massive park with plentiful hiking trails, rock climbing areas, coastal scenery, and a waterfall. Located in Lake County, Minnesota, there are few campgrounds as spectacular as this one. You can make your reservation here.
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