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The 48 Best Places for Beach Camping in the USA

 

With so many people planning staycations right now we wanted to celebrate the promise of sun, sand, and salt whipped air. Beach camping is sheer bliss and fortunately, the USA has miles upon miles of staggering coastline to choose from. Whether it's gazing upon starlight and the snowcapped peaks of the Arctic or if it's hiking a dramatic nature trail and sleeping cliffside above Big Sur, you can be sure of finding your perfect beach camping spot.

Maybe you want something wild and just a couple of tent sites or perhaps you are seeking all the amenities like flush toilets and a charming camp store, whatever your vision of a dream beach camping vacation looks like, let this guide help show you the way. We have rounded up a list of all the best beach access camping spots that make our heart sing, whether tent camping or rolling up in your RV campers, here are a handful of beach campsites for your summer road trip.

 

Best Beaches for Camping in the U.S.

Best Beaches on the East Coast

Huntington Beach State Park, Murrells Inlet, South Carolina

Wide sands, loggerhead turtles, and wonderful wetland birds, the coastal sweep of South Carolina is always a good choice for a camping trip. Huntington Beach offers beach campgrounds for all, whether you come with a tent or huge RV you have everything you need including a dump station and wifi.

  • Location:  236 E Beach Rd, Charlestown, RI 02813, United States
  • Best for: Drive-in, vans, tents, oceanfront
  • How to book: Huntington Beach State Park

 

Assateague Island: Assateague State Park, Maryland

Maritime forests, galloping horses, the tang of the sea, and a whole host of wholesome activities like kayaking, clamming and setting your watch to island time make a visit to Assateague Island an absolute must. 37 miles of beautiful coast invites happy campers to sleep beneath the stars and upon the sand.

  • Location:  6915 Stephen Decatur Hwy, Berlin, MD 21811, United States
  • Best for: Drive-in, vans, tents, oceanfront
  • How to book: Assateague Island

 

Other Awesome East Coast Beach Camping

  • Cape Lookout National Seashore, North Carolina
  • Assateague State Park, Berlin, Maryland
  • Charlestown Breachway Campground, Charlestown, Rhode Island
  • Horseneck Beach State Reservation: Westport, Massachusetts
  • Lake James State Park, North Carolina
  • Hunting Island State Park: Hunting Island, South Carolina
  • Cape Lookout National Seashore: Harkers Island, North Carolina
  • Salisbury Beach State Reservation, Massachusetts

 

Best Beaches on the West Coast

 

Ocean Cove Campground, Sea Ranch, California

California may have plenty of coastal prime real estate to choose from, but Ocean Cove still doesn't lose its sparkle. Inviting camping on the bluff and with boat access to a sheltered cove this little spot. There's a boat ramp for launching, a shaded camping area beneath the trees, or you can pitch right on the sands.

  • Location:  23150 CA-1, Jenner, CA 95450, United States
  • Best for: Drive-in, vans, tents, oceanfront
  • How to book: Ocean Cove

 

Sonoma Coast State Park in northern California

Rugged and wild, this spot in northern Cali is a vision of wild vistas, secluded coves, and rare beauty. Gaze in awe at Wrights Beach, hike California's Coastal Trail, and ancient Indian trade routes, and drink in all the drama of wine county. Like most the north beach spots, these shores aren't for swimming that doesn't take any of the pleasure away from Sonoma being one of the most impressive beach camping destinations.

  • Location:  3095 CA-1, Bodega Bay, CA 94923, United States
  • Best for: Hike in, tents
  • How to book: Sonoma Coast State Park

 

Other Awesome West Coast Beach Camping

  • Tillicum Beach Campground in Oregon
  • Wright's Beach, Sonoma Coast State Park: Sonoma County, California
  • Russian Gulch State Park, Mendocino, California
  • Mattole Beach Campground in northern California
  • Timber Cove Boat Landing and Campground, Jenner, California
  • Channel Islands National Park, Ventura, California
  • Beachside State Recreation Site, Oregon
  • Wai'anapanapa State Park: Maui, Hawaii

 

Best Beaches near the Gulf of Mexico

best camping gulf of mexico

 

Bahia Honda State Park, Big Pine Key, Florida

One of the best sandy beach spots in the Florida Keys and you will have instant access to that floury white sand as you sleep right on the beach at the Bahia Honda State Park. Snorkeling, flocks of bright birds, turtles, and fishing, you are invited to fall head over heels with palm tree days.

  • Location:   36850 Overseas Hwy, Big Pine Key, FL 33043, United States
  • Best for: Drive-in, vans, tents, oceanfront
  • How to book: Bahia Honda State Park

 

Other Awesome Gulf of Mexico Beach Camping

  • Grand Isle State Park: Grand Isle, Louisiana
  • Deer Island Coastal Preserve, Biloxi, Mississippi
  • Fontainebleau State Park, Mandeville, Louisiana
  • Gamble Rogers Memorial State Recreation Area, Central Florida
  • Red Coconut RV Park, Fort Myers, Florida
  • Cayo Costa State Park, Captiva, Florida
  • Curry Hammock State Park, Florida
  • Fort De Soto Park, Tierra Verde, Florida
  • Grayton Beach State Park, northwest Florida
  • Sea Rim State Park, Texas
  • Port Aransas Beach, Port Aransas, Texas
  • Grand Isle State Park, Grand Isle, Louisiana
  • Bird Island Basin: Padre Island National Seashore, TX
  • Cypremort Point State Park, Louisiana

 

Best for Camper Vans

 

East Beach/Ninigret Conservation Area, East Beach, Rhode Island

A stone's throw from the shimmering sands and sea of East Beach, you can practically park in the sand dunes and tumble out of bed and into the blue. This camper spot is designed for vans only and tends to be uncrowded when it comes to day-trippers. With the ocean at your door and a fishing pond behind you, Rhode Island delivers pure rustic joy.

  • Location:  236 E Beach Rd, Charlestown, RI 02813, United States
  • Best for: Drive-in, vans, rustic, oceanfront
  • How to book: East Beach

 

Homer Spit Campground: Homer, Alaska

Where the land meets the sea, this Alaskan gem is awesome for van life. Park right up on the beach and soak up the simple luxury of a hot shower after days exploring Kachemak Bay closeby. World-class fishing, a wealth of wildlife, and even free Wifi can be found at this king of RV sites. Homer hits that perfect balance between offbeat and low-fi simple joys. It's no surprise that Alaska is such an intrepid and inspiring camping destination.

  • Location: 4535 Homer Spit Rd, Homer, AK 99603, United States
  • Best for: Drive-in, vans, simple comforts
  • How to book: Homers Spit

 

Kalaloch Campground, Olympic National Park, Port Angeles, Washington

With a million acres of rainforest, clean crisp air, and a Pacific Ocean playground, there are thousands of reasons to fall for Kalaloch. While most Olympic Park campsites are first come first served, this gem allows you to make camping reservations ensuring your destination has space. There are gear and groceries nearby and incredible hiking trails to choose from.

  • Location: Forks, WA 98331, United States
  • Best for: Drive-in, vans,
  • How to book: Kaloch Campground

 

Best for Paddlers

 

Hammocks Beach State Park, North Carolina

Perfectly primitive, Hammocks Beach State Park captures all the charm of North Carolina's coast. Close to Bear Island and with paddling trails that go right through the marshes, you can roll up your jeans and dive into this wetland world. Spend days packing picnic lunches and kayaking along the waterways.

  • Location: 1572 Hammock Beach Rd, Swansboro, NC 28584, United States
  • Best for: Paddlers, families, vans, tents
  • How to book: Hammocks Beach State

 

Biscayne National Park, southern Florida

Over fifty islands of coral reefs and endless shades of blue make up the Biscayne National Park. Grab your scuba gear, your paddle, and your birdwatching binoculars and hit the road. Camp at Elliot Key (a former pineapple plantation) for restrooms with cold showers, drinking water, and grills. Take your kayak or boat out along the mangroves. This is also an awesome spot for saltwater fishing, swaying palm trees, and white sand beaches galore closeby.

  • Location: Elliott Key, Biscayne National Park, FL
  • Best for: Paddlers, families, vans, tents
  • How to book: Biscayne National Park

 

Best for Backpackers

 

False Cape State Park, Virginia

With no vehicle access, primitive camping, and plenty of hiking and biking opportunities, the False Cape State Park is the perfect escape for ramblers, tent campers, and backpackers looking to get back to a slice of the wild. False Cape is considered one of the last undisturbed coastal spots on the east coast.

  • Location: 4001 Sandpiper Rd, Virginia Beach, VA 23456, United States
  • Best for: Hike-in and tents
  • How to book: False Cape State Park

 

Sea Camp Campground: Cumberland Island National Seashore, Georgia

Hike in and camp beneath sprawling southern trees and in throwing distance of Georgia's wild shore with a stay on Cumberland Island. Straddling the line between wild living and a tent site with good amenities, you can enjoy some creature comforts like drinking water, flush toilets, and even a picnic table and grill all while experiencing a wilderness dream.

  • Location: Cumberland Island, St Marys, GA 31558, United States
  • Best for: Hike in and tents
  • How to book: Sea Camp Campground

 

Nāpali Coast State Wilderness Park: Kauai, Hawaii

Grab your backpack and walking shoes and set out on an epic adventure. While you will need a valid camping permit, this unique spot is about as wild as it gets. As the only way to access this remote park is by hike or boat, you can glug down that clean fresh air and camp in a secluded cliffside spot with the beach stretched out in front and a waterfall thundering behind.

 

Best for Bikepackers

 

Coast Campground, California

Pitch your tent in the cool coastal grasses of sunny California and soak up that ocean breeze. At the end of a hiking trail, caught between tide pools and the sea, this rustic no-fuss campsite invites you to whip down on your bike and sleep in secluded bliss. Surrounded by endless hikes, surf, and off-road biking ops, we are all California dreaming for sure.

  • Location: Point Reyes Station, CA 94956, United States
  • Best for: Hike in, tents
  • How to book: Coast Campground

 

Best for Families

 

Cobscook Bay State Park, Maine

Discover the magic of Maine with this family-friendly camping spot for those wanting scenery and solitude. Scattered spots that stretch down to the beach, the ebb and flow of the tide, and the chance to dig for soft-shell clams for supper make life in Cobscook Bay a blissful dream.

  • Location:40 S Edmunds Rd, Dennysville, ME 04628, United States
  • Best for: Ocean front, tents, drive-in, families
  • How to book: Cobscook Bay

 

Gulf State Park, Gulf Shores, Alabama

Clear waters, white sand, seagulls, nature centers, kayaking, butterfly gardens, and biking -there is so much to do at the Gulf State Park. Families will never tire of exploring this Alabama coastline whether you choose a cute cabin, RV camping, or spacious tent camper.

  • Location: 20115 State Park Rd, Gulf Shores, AL 36542, United States
  • Best for: Families, tents, vans, cabins
  • How to book: Alabama Gulf State Park

 

Best for Glampers

 

Sunset Bay State Park, Oregon

Towering cliffs, quaint sandy coves, and rustic yurts, you don't get any cuter than the Sunset Bay State Park. This gem of a spot has views to die for including ocean framed sunsets in the sweet summer months and even whale watching spots. Tide pools, a pretty picnic area with picnic tables, and beautiful bluffs only add to the gorgeous glamping drama.

  • Location: Coos Bay, OR 97420, United States
  • Best for: Glampers, oceanfront
  • How to book: Oregon State Parks

 

How do you love to spend your camping days? Hanging off the fishing pier or paddling through turquoise hues? Do you love raw wilderness and a trusty fire pit flickering beneath the stars or are you more sold on hot showers and featherbeds in glamping tents? We'd love to hear about your fave campsites so we can start planning our great escape this summer.

 

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