Imagine stepping out of your RV directly onto a beautiful beach, or enjoying a meal at your kitchenette table, with the sand and water beckoning through the window. There’s no need to carry armloads of chairs, towels, and snacks for several blocks, or spend precious beach time searching for parking when the beach is your backyard.
Beach camping doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. From coast to coast (and a few spectacular lakes in between) there are plenty of places to park an RV or set up a tent where you can be lulled to sleep by the crashing of waves. The beach environment can be a challenge for RV hookups, so some places require dry camping – well worth it, though, for the chance to make yourself at home among the dunes.
Beach camping is popular during the summer months, but with a little planning, you’ll soon find yourself waking up to the scent of sea air. Try one of these amazing beach campgrounds:
Hampton Beach State Park, New Hampshire
Location: Off of Highway 1A in Hampton, NH on the Hampton Harbor Inlet
Cost per Night: $30-50/night
Reservations: Recommended from Memorial Day weekend – Columbus Day weekend; First-come, first-served from April 29-Memorial Day.
Hookups: Full hookups
Once you’ve arrived at Hampton Beach State Park, you might never want to leave. Located on the point where the tidal Hampton River meets the Atlantic, the location of this beach campground is hard to beat. Spend the day on the beach, then walk into town to enjoy restaurants and entertainment.
Note that tent camping is not permitted and that only RVs and trailers that can hook up to water, electric, and sewer connections are permitted. There are no additional facilities on site so all camping units must be self-contained.
For a beautiful New England beach getaway, you can’t go wrong with Hampton Beach State Park.
Assateague Island National Seashore, Maryland
Location: 9 miles south of Ocean City, MD. Use the Route 611 bridge for the northern park entrance
Cost per Night: $30/night (+ park entrance fee of $20)
Reservations: Required March 15 – November 15; reserve up to 6 months in advance
Hookups: None. Drinking water available.
The famous wild horses of Assateague Island are your courteous neighbors at this beach campground. This is no ordinary beach experience! Camp among the dunes of this narrow barrier island and expect to enjoy the island’s wide variety of wildlife. Drive-in camping is available on both the ocean side and the bay side of the island. This popular campground takes reservations up to 6 months in advance and fills up quickly, especially on weekends.
Camping is also available at the Assateague State Park, which borders the National Seashore to the north. The state park campground has a limited number of electric sites available, as well as warm showers.
Camping on Assateague Island is a unique experience that you won’t soon forget!
Curry Hammock State Park, Florida
Location: Marathon, FL in the Florida Keys, on Little Crawl Key
Cost per Night: $36/night
Hookups: Water and electric (20/30/50 amp). Dump station available.
Are you dreaming of a camping vacation in the Florida Keys? If soft, sandy beaches and crystal clear water are your thing, then you’ll love Curry Hammock State Park. In addition to beautiful beach areas, the park offers opportunities to go hiking, snorkeling, or paddling. Kayaks are available for rent. Visit the Dolphin Research Center, the Florida Keys Aquarium, or any of the other attractions in the area.
Whether you choose to do it all or absolutely nothing at all, you’re sure to have an amazing experience at Curry Hammock State Park!
Padre Island, Texas
Location: 35 miles southeast of Corpus Christi, TX
Cost per Night: $14/night (+ park entrance fee of $20)
Hookups: None. Dump station and fresh water filling station available.
Padre Island National Seashore offers beach camping opportunities in five different areas of the park. The Malaquite campground has paved pads available and is the best suited for RVs. There are also toilet facilities and cold showers for rinsing off sand.
Padre Island separates the Gulf of Mexico from the Laguna Madre and is the longest undeveloped barrier island in the world. In addition to a wide range of wildlife, learn about the history of Padre Island including a 16th Century Spanish shipwreck. In the summer months, if the timing is right, you can watch the release of newly hatched sea turtles into the wild.
Camping is also available on nearby Mustang Island at the Mustang Island State Park. While this park offers electric hookups, the sites are still about 400 yards away from the beach.
Visit Padre Island for a natural camping experience on the Gulf Coast that will not disappoint.
Grand Haven State Park – Lake Michigan, Michigan
Location: Grand Haven, MI, on the shore of Lake Michigan by the mouth of the Grand River
Cost per Night: $33/night for 20/30 amp site; $37/night for 20/30/50 amp site; (+ $9 daily pass for out-of-state residents)
Hookups: Electric. Water filling stations and dump station available.
A Great Lake indeed! On the shores of Lake Michigan, you might forget you’re not looking out over the ocean. Grand Haven State Park campground offers both lakeview and riverview sites, and sites on the beach offer 20, 30, and 50 amp service. In addition to the beach, guests will enjoy walking along the beautifully lit South Pier and exploring two lighthouses.
You’re sure to have a grand time at Grand Haven State Park
Lone Rock Beach – Lake Powell, Utah
Location: off of US Highway 89, just north of the Arizona/Utah border
Cost per Night: $14/night (+ park entrance fee of $30)
Hookups: None. Drinking water and dump station available
Named for the massive and monolithic Lone Rock in Lake Powell, the Lone Rock Beach campground allows you to drive straight out on the beach up to the water’s edge. Launch a boat, swim in the crystal blue waters, or use this as a beautiful launch point for exploring nearby landmarks such as Horseshoe Bend and Antelope Canyon. Lone Rock Beach is a part of the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, and the National Park Service operates the campground. It is open year-round with no limitations on the number of campers allowed. It is often crowded on weekends and holidays.
Lake Powell is a freshwater lake and Lone Rock Beach is spacious and family-friendly. The stunning natural beauty of this area will take your breath away!
Bolsa Chica State Beach – Huntington Beach, California
Location: off of US Highway 1 (Pacific Coast Highway) in Huntington Beach, CA
Cost per Night: $65/night beachside; $50/night back row (includes day use fees)
Hookups: Water/Electric. Dump station, restrooms and coin-operated warm showers available.
Bolsa Chica State Beach offers a wide array of unique experiences and is rated among the best beaches in California. A beautiful campsite on the beach is just the beginning. Bolsa Chica is very popular with surfers as the offshore conditions create excellent waves. The paved, multi-use Huntington Beach Trail is perfect for walking, biking, or rollerblading. There are plenty of fishing opportunities, including California grunion. These fish are unique to the area and may only be caught barehanded, which is fun and entertaining for anglers and spectators alike. While these campsites might seem pricey for a state park, many campers find the fees worth it for all that the location has to offer.
Note that tent camping is not allowed at Bolsa Chica State Beach. Fire rings are available for campfires right on the beach, so bring some (in-state) firewood!
Beachside State Recreation Site, Oregon
Location: Highway 101 on the central Oregon coast, between Waldport and Yachats
Cost per Night: $31/night
Hookups: Water/Electric sites. Flushing toilets and hot showers available.
Surround yourself with the beauty of the central Oregon coast by camping at the Beachside State Recreation Site. Located right on the Pacific Coast Highway, between the famed roadway and the ocean itself, this campground is an excellent choice whether you stop for the night along the way, or stay longer and explore all that the area has to offer. Beachfront sites with an ocean view are available, and all sites have quick and easy access to the beach.
The park is open seasonally, from March 15-October 31. Reservations are recommended, especially for the beachfront sites.
You’re sure to sleep well with the sound of Pacific waves crashing just outside your window. Enjoy the wonders of the central Oregon coast at the Beachside State Recreation Site.
Camping on the beach is the perfect getaway! Let Outdoorsy help you find the perfect RV for soaking in the sun, surf, and sand this summer!
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