The 29 Best Beach Campgrounds On The East Coast
Planning a camping journey along the US East Coast? Well, then you should have a plan in your mind so that you can save time and see and do as much as possible throughout your trip.
One thing that you should plan is where you will stay along the way. And with the plenty of campground options out there, it can be very difficult to pick a few sites for your stay.
Well, to make your job easier, we’ve compiled a list of the 29 best campgrounds on the US East Coast!
Best Beach Campgrounds On The East Coast
Hammonasset Beach State Park – Connecticut
With its 900 acres of the sandy beach area and over 550 well-maintained campsites, Hammonasset Beach State Park is a solid option for inexpensive camping.
Along the 2 miles of the beach line, you will have access to camping areas & biking spots, dog walk areas, areas for fishing & boating, and, of course, a clean beach to swim in and enjoy the views from. Right outside the park, you have a few great restaurants, so food won’t be an issue here as well.
If you have plenty of time for your camping trip, then consider spending a few weeks at Cape Henlopen State Park. With its over 7,000 acres of land, there are plenty of things to do and see here. The environment of the park boasts unparalleled diversity with maritime forests, ocean & bay beaches, and tidal salt marshes.
Cape Henlopen State Park is great for RV camping as well. Its recently renovated campsites offer access to water, 50- and 100-amp electric hookups, picnic tables, fire rings, a laundry facility, dump stations, a play area, walk-in tent sites, a camp store, bait & tackle shop, food concessions, and an expanded parking area.
Jekyll Island has only one campground in its territory, which is Jekyll Island Campground. The campground is close to major local restaurants and tourist attractions. The island itself isn’t too big, so accessing the local bike paths and beach areas shouldn’t be a problem for you.
For RVing, this campground boasts 145 full hook-up sites with back-in and pull-thru options. Among the facilities offered to visitors are laundries, restrooms, and a well-stocked campground store. You can even rent a bicycle hire, which makes exploring the 5,700 acres of the island’s land nearly effortless.
The unique thing about Sea Camp Campground is that it is located on a remote island accessible only by boat. But once you get there, you are presented with a campground with modern facilities.
Needless to say, Sea Camp Campground is inaccessible for RVs, so there are no electric hookups available here.
This campground features 18 campsites located in the heart of wildlife, with each site having a fire ring, grill, picnic table, and food storage area. Aside from that, Sea Camp Campground has drinking water, flush toilets, cold showers, and a dishwashing sink.
The 18 sites of the campground tend to fill up fast, and camping here is most popular during spring and fall. You should thus make reservations well beforehand, but keep in mind that reservations can only be made up to 6 months in advance.
The Bahia Honda island is one of the world’s most romantic islands, so it’s a perfect choice for couples. There are plenty of things to do in Bahia Honda State Park as well, which is great if you have a lot of time – you certainly won’t get bored here.
First of all, you have around 80 campsites to stay at. Sites from #1 to $48 can accommodate large tents and RVs sized as big as 50 feet in length! These sites also all have electricity, water, as well as a grill and a picnic table. A dump station along with a bathhouse boasting hot showers and restrooms is also nearby.
You have access to 19 boat slips for overnight boat camping as well, each having water and electricity.
In terms of activities, Bahia Honda State Park offers kayak rental, scuba diving, snorkeling, swimming, as well as a variety of hiking & biking trails along with opportunities for birdwatching.
Biscayne National Park houses two campgrounds located on the islands of Elliot Key and Boca Chita Key. These islands are only accessible by boat, and since there is no service there, a trip to Biscayne National Park promises to be challenging and thrilling.
Boca Chita Key is the more popular island, boasting a grassy camping area with picnic tables and grills, as well as beautiful waterfront views. In spite of being the more popular island among the two, Boca Chita Key lacks showers, sinks, or drinking water, but it does have toilets.
Elliot Key is a little richer in amenities, featuring restrooms with sinks and cold water showers. Drinking water is available as well, though its supply system goes down occasionally. If coming on your vessel, you may also make use of the 33 boat slips available.
Note that no reservations in advance can be made for Biscayne National Park campgrounds – they work on a “first-come, first-served basis”. With that in mind, it’s a little bit more difficult to plan a trip to Biscayne National Park. It shouldn’t be too problematic though if you are a local.
Only accessible by water, this former fishing ground boasts 9 miles of underdeveloped shoreline along with several hiking and bicycle trails.
In terms of camping amenities, Cayo Costa State Park features 30 campsites in a primitive setting. Each site has access to water, a ground grill, and a picnic table, but no electricity. Even though the campsites aren’t equipped with tech, you do have access to restroom facilities with cold showers and flush toilets nearby.
And remarkably, tram service is available at 10 AM – 4 PM for gear and passenger transport.
Cayo Costa State Park also has a bayside park dock for boat camping. The slips here have no water or electricity, and generators aren’t allowed on the island. While this will pose inconveniences, you’ll have a chance for a raw boat camping experience here!
Curry Hammock State Park is a smaller campground – after the huge campgrounds with over a hundred sites we’ve overviewed, the 28 sites available in the state park may seem underwhelming. With that said, if you hate overcrowded parks, then you may like what Curry Hammock State Park has to offer!
Each of the available campsites comes with a charcoal grill, a picnic table, water access, and 20/30/50-amp electrical service. It’s particularly notable that the sites are laid out with pea gravel that is not as invasive as sand and is easier to clean.
If you like to spend your time in the water, there are kayak and paddleboard rentals available at Curry Hammond State Park. This state park is located in the Florida Keys and one the Atlantic Ocean, so you will miss a lot if you don’t take the chance to spend some time on its beaches or in the water!
With its 68 sites, Gamble Rogers Memorial State Recreation Area At Flagler Beach is a little more versatile than Curry Hammock State Park. Not only that, but half of its sites are located on the oceanfront dune of the beach and the rest on the riverside, allowing for a wider range of options when it comes to surroundings.
The dune system here is extremely fragile. Due to this, your routes are restricted to dune walkovers. Besides, pets are prohibited on the beach but are allowed in other areas of the campground.
All of the 68 sites provide you with water, electricity, fire rings, and a picnic table. And among the facilities of the campground are a laundry room, a fishing area, kayak rental, a boat launch, and a snack bar.
Grayton Beach is a consistent guest in the top rankings of the most beautiful and pristine US beaches. If admiring views and photography are among your key activities when out in the wild, then Grayton Beach State Park’s 2,000 acres of land has a lot to offer.
Grayton Beach’s campground has 59 campsites with water, electricity, and some with sewer hookups. If your RV is sized below 40 feet, then you should have no issues with finding a spot here.
This campground is pet-friendly as well, though pets are not allowed in areas such as beaches, park buildings, concession facilities, and playgrounds.
And needless to say, situated near the beach, Grayton Beach State Park offers plenty of water activities to engage in, including paddling, fishing, and swimming.
Fort De Soto has won numerous awards and titles over the years. In 2009, it was named America’s Top Beach by Trip Advisor. And back in 2005, Dr. Beach named this park the nation’s number 1 beach.
Fort De Soto Count Park is insanely popular as well – annual attendance here averages more than 2.7 million people. You may want to book a spot here well in advance!
Fortunately, this campground is huge – it has 238 sites with facilities like play areas, picnic tables, grills, electricity, water, washers, dryers, dump stations, restrooms, and a camp store. Some campsites here are also specially made for pet owners.
Destin is renowned as one of the luckiest fishing villages on the planet – among the fish species that you may test your luck and fishing skills with are redfish, flounder, catfish, whiting, and cobia. And if you want to stay here for a while, then consider Henderson Beach State Park.
Not the biggest campground in Florida, Henderson Beach State Park offers 60 back-in and pull-thru sites. Each of the sites has access to water, electricity (50-amp in some sites), picnic tables, and grills.
Among the facilities offered at the site are air-conditioned and heated restrooms & showers, washers, dryers, and vending machines. A plethora of restaurants is also in just a short drive from the state park.
Claimed to be Maine’s most relaxing oceanfront location, Flood’s Cove is a great option for a long stay. The key feature of this campground is the oceanfront cottage area, with cottages costing around $1,500 per week, though they’re also are options as expensive as $3,400 per week.
For those who intend to camp, Flood’s Cove offers 8 campsites located on the 13-acre Ames Island. Each of the campsites is amply sized and well-separated from neighboring sites. And while you don’t have electricity here, you are provided with an adjustable grill, a picnic table, and a steel fire ring.
Located right beside the ocean, Flood’s Cove gives you access to a variety of water activities. And whether you choose the simple experience of the campsites or the home comfort of the cottages, Flood’s Cove promises a completely new camping experience.
Libby’s Oceanside Camp offers oceanfront RV sites with a view of Nubble Light, one of the most renowned lighthouses in the state of Maine.
There are plenty of activities to engage in on this campsite, including shopping, hiking, and, of course, sightseeing. The historic town of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, is just a 20-minute drive from here as well.
Libby’s Oceanside Camp has over 100 campsites to choose from, with all sites offering water, electricity, and sewer hookups. Electricity is available on all the sites as well, though you get only a few 50-amp sites.
Be mindful that the sites located closer to the beach are larger and have fire rings, not to mention that they present you with a scenic view of the seaside.
Boston Harbor Islands feature the contrasting views of the Atlantic Ocean on one side and Boston’s skyline on the other. But the most unique feature of the Boston Harbor Islands is that you have something new to see and do even after numerous visits.
You can choose to camp in one of the several mainland parks or islands only accessible by ferry. Not only that, but you will have the chance to see and visit abandoned hospitals and historic military forts that are waiting to tell you the story of Boston.
The camping season here begins in late June and ends with a run through Labor Day, but with an off-season camping permit, you may camp here anytime throughout the year. You don’t need to stay here for a camp though – you may purchase a ticket and visit as many islands as you want in a day!
Horseneck Beach State Reservation offers year-round access to its 2-mile long beach and the 600 acres of salt marsh and barrier beach areas.
This campground features 100 partially-paved pull-thru campsites, each with its picnic table and grill. Aside from that, you have a comfort station with flush toilets and hot showers, a dumping station, basketball & volleyball courts, and a playground.
Keep in mind that the beach access here isn’t as free as in some other campgrounds listed –swimming is only allowed at designated beach areas, and pets aren’t allowed in the swimming areas or on the beach.
Sandy Neck Beach Park offers beautiful beach views along with miles of hiking trails through a maritime forest and marshlands. This beach park offers campsites directly at the beach, but they seem to be a bit limited – you are required to have both gray water and septic tanks in your RV. Most RVs have these though, so this shouldn’t be a problem for you.
You may also be required to pass a beach driving test to ensure that your RV can maneuver in the sand. But once you make it into the park, you’ll have 4,700 acres of land to explore along with activities such as swimming, surf fishing, or sunbathing.
These two campgrounds are renowned for their wild horses that casually roam the beach and the campsites. These horses shouldn’t be approached or be fed though since they are wild, but you can take a few photos with them.
Assateague State Park’s concessions are more oriented toward families. It’s also the bigger campground among the two – it offers 350 sites with fire rings and picnic tables. Availability of electric hookups is limited in the J-loop, so you better book a spot here in advance if you want electricity (you are required to book a spot a year in advance anyway).
Assateague Island National Seashore campground is much fewer RV-oriented since its 158 campsites do not have hookups. It only has cold showers, so it’s definitely not for an RV trip, but it’s a solid choice for camping.
Hampton Beach State Park is another great option if don’t like campgrounds full of people. It just has 28 hookup sites for RVs, with 15 of them located at the corner of Hampton River.
Being the only park located on the coast of New Hampshire, this park is very popular among RVers. Its sites get booked very fast, and you are required to book a site 11 months in advance.
With its 50 acres of area, Hampton Beach State Park isn’t the best option if you like hiking. However, with Hampton Beach nearby, it’s a great place for those who love fishing and swimming.
Island Beach State Park is a nice option if you are just passing through Seaside Heights. Interestingly, camping isn’t allowed on the beach, but you are allowed to stay overnight as long as you are fishing.
There are plenty of other activities to engage in during your stay at Island Beach State Park. On the beach, the most popular activities are swimming, kayaking, and surf fishing. Aside from that, you may hike through the dense maritime forests or have a bike ride along the miles of biking trails available here.
If you have a self-contained RV and like the challenge of camping in a remote area, then Hither Hills State park may be a nice option. None of its nearly 200 campsites have hookups.
Aside from that, if you want to do tent camping, then there are tent sites available in Hither Hills State Park as well.
If you are an avid angler, then you’ll be glad to hear that you can fish here year-round. You can even fish at night if you obtain the permits for it! And if you love hunting, then you’ll also be able to hunt for big & small game during the hunting season that is open in late autumn and throughout winter.
Aside from angling and hunting, hiking & biking trails are also available here for you to admire the local wildlife and nature.
With its 200 sites, Camp Hatteras RV Resort is a heaven for RVers.All the sites have full hookups along with concrete pads. Some of the sites are located next to the Atlantic Ocean and others on the side of Pamlico Sound, the US’s largest lagoon along the East Coast.
As weird as it may sound, staying near Pamlico Sound is going to provide you with a richer view of the seaside. The view of the sites closer to the beach is often obstructed by the dunes.
Camp Hatteras RV Resort is filled with recreational amenities such as pools, mini-golf, and WaveRunner watercraft rentals. If you have the dog, then you’ll be delighted to hear that this campground has a dog park.
Located on the undeveloped islands of Cape Lookout, Cape Lookout National Seashore is a great option if you want to have a challenging and rough experience. There are no designated campsites here and only a few amenities, so your trip to the islands certainly won’t be like the convenient journeys that you may be used to.
According to the National Park Service website, there are 4 ways to explore the park.
First of all, you may ride as a passenger on any of the authorized ferries and then explore the park on foot.
Secondly, you may bring your ATV, UTV, or 4-wheel drive vehicle aboard one of the vehicle ferries and then explore the beaches or back roads on South Core Banks or North Core Banks.
The third option is to hop into a kayak or canoe and paddle towards the barrier islands.
And finally, you may book a tour with one of the private tour services. These services may offer boat tours, vehicle tours, or walking tours.
If you’d rather prefer to camp closer to the beach, then Freeman Park is a nice alternative to Camp Hatteras RV Resort. It’s not as facility-filled as Hatteras RV Resort, but it’s a much better option for beach camping.
The camping sites are located along the dunes, but camping is actually allowed anywhere on the beach. If you want to secure a beach spot though, you’ll need to get there early in the day. But also keep in mind that on the beach, you won’t have access to the facilities that each camping spot is equipped with.
East Beach is one of the least developed beaches among the state beaches of Rhode Island, but it still is one of the state’s “spectacular seaside treasures.” It offers a less tech-filled and more pristine experience of RV camping.
If you’ll be going to East Beach, then be sure that your RV is self-contained – that is, has permanent holding tanks for potable water, black water, and gray water. Your RV should also have permanent bath equipment. The reason for this is the lack of hookups at the beach.
And besides, keep in mind that tow trailers and fifth wheels aren’t allowed and that your camping unit must have 4-wheel drive.
Fishermen’s Memorial State Park Campground isn’t located right near the ocean, but it is in close vicinity to Scarborough and Roger W. Wheeler State Beaches. Aside from that, it has water access through Bluff Hill Cove.
This state park campground has miles of bike trails, a playground for kids, as well as a farmer’s market, open every Sunday. You may also buy local beef from a farm lying down the street to grill perhaps the finest steaks you’ve ever had!
As for RV camping, Fishermen’s Memorial State Park Campground offers nearly 150 large and shaded campsites with full water and electricity hookups.
Ocean Lakes Family Campground is the largest campground along the East Coast and a perfect site for a family vacation.
This campground boasts over 800 sites, each sized amply and equipped with full hookups. The sites are also pull-thru and are located along paved roads. Most of the sites have concrete pads as well.
The area of Ocean Lakes Campground is huge, and there’s plenty of things to do here, especially for kids. Aside from having a walk along Myrtle Beach, you may play the nearby Prestwick Golf Course, check out the new water park, pay a visit to one of the 5 bathhouses, or eat out at nearby restaurants.
Considerably smaller than Ocean Lakes Family Campground, Hunting Island State Park still has some of the most beautiful South Carolina beaches to boast. Aside from that, a former hunting preserve, Hunting Island State Park is now a hub of wildlife in the area.
Hunting Island State Park offers 117 RV campsites with electric and water hookups. The campsites are pretty large, and some can even accommodate 40 feet long RVs! You are also provided with modern restrooms, hot showers, a dump station, and free Wi-Fi.
If you like to spend your time out in the wild, then you’ll be glad to hear that this campground has over 8 miles of hiking and biking trails through the forests. Besides, you can climb the historic Hunting Island Light located in the park!
First Landing State Park is another excellent option if you love to spend your time out in the wild. This state park boasts 2,700 acres of maritime forests, freshwater ponds, and salt marsh habitat. Not only that, but you have the chance to hike along the 20 miles of trails, as well as have swimming and boating opportunities along the 1.5-mile shoreline of Chesapeake Bay.
First Landing State Park offers interactive programs such as beach walks, nature hikes, and environmental educational programs, which is perfect for family trips.
And if you are coming in an RV, then you have over 100 RV campsites with water and electrical hookups. Some also have a fire grill!
Before setting off, make sure that you have a roadmap of your journey. Having a plan well before you actually begin your trip will allow you to save plenty of time, money, and nerves.
The 29 campgrounds that we’ve featured above are just a few among the hundreds of options available for you. And while you may look elsewhere, the sites listed above should be a good starting point.
You may just pick a few spots from above to visit along your route. Besides, through the links provided, you may research many other campgrounds available near the ones included.
The 29 picks should be good enough for most people though. Besides, we’ve made it a little more varied so that more people can find what they are looking for!