7 Not To Miss Campsites for Families

by | Jul 9, 2024 | Camping/Glamping, Family Adventures

(This article may or may not contain affiliate links. What does that mean?)

 

For many outdoorsy families, summer means camping. There is something magically freeing about letting the kids get as dirty and marshmallow-sticky as possible, making new friends as they bike the campground loop or explore hiking trails, and lingering around the campfire past their bedtime. Disconnecting with the incessant notifications and distractions of everyday life is crucial to everyone’s well-being, and it’s at these magical campsites for families that lifelong memories are made.  

For families looking for a new spot to pitch their tent or perhaps a new style of camping (think Airstream trailer or even a houseboat!), we’ve rounded up seven of the most popular spots for family camping in the United States. Use this as a jumping-off point to find your family’s new favorite spot, from RV parks to private campgrounds. From hot tubs and outdoor pools to exciting water sports and general stores with locally sourced treats, today’s camping options take this classic summer experience up a notch. 

 

NO TIME TO ENJOY THIS ARTICLE NOW? PIN IT OR BOOKMARK FOR LATER!

 

Point Landing, Coos Bay, Oregon 

Families who are ready to upgrade to glamping should head to Bay Point Landing. With thoughtful amenities, including a heated saltwater swimming pool, a Peloton in the water-view fitness center, a Kids Den for young kids, a communal firepit, bocce ball, a playground, a game room, a sunset terrace, guest laundry, and private bathhouses scattered throughout the property, Bay Point feels more like an upscale family resort than a traditional campground. They’ve even leveled up their camp store, where you can find not only s’mores ingredients but also local craft brews. Roll up to one of the RV sites with full hookups, or opt for one of the modern cabins outfitted with plush bedding, a full bathroom and shower, a kitchenette, bay views, and exterior picnic tables. There are several options, accommodating 2 to 6 people. Or, go classic in an Airstream Suite, which sleeps up to 4 people. 

 

Favorite Feature: The food truck is a great way to mix up your camping menu. Pick up snacks, salads, burgers, fish & chips, or soft-serve ice cream.

 

Price: $50-$179 

 

boy in hammockn-best family campsites, family travel

The dirtier the kid, the more successful the camping trip! Photo by Derek Owens, Unsplash.

 

DON’T MISS! 8 Incredible Fall Getaways For Families

 

Hidden Valley Campground, Joshua Tree National Park, California 

The iconic landscapes of Joshua Tree National Park make for incredible photography and a fantastic natural climbing playground for kiddos. The national-park-run Hidden Valley Campground in Twentynine Palms – with 44 tent sites, pit toilets, and no water – is rustic and so probably best suited for families with older children. Introduce the kids to a variety of ecosystems, huge boulders, and a night sky unfettered by light pollution. The sites are set along Park Boulevard, with Joshua Trees aplenty. Keep an eye out for wildlife, including lizards, jackrabbits, and white-tailed antelope ground squirrels. Just remember to bring your own firewood for your fire rings – you may not gather vegetation near your campsite, living or dead, to fuel your fire. With the dry desert climate, fire danger here is nearly always high. 

 

Favorite Feature: Don’t miss the Hidden Valley trail, an easy 1-mile hike that shows off the national park’s spectacular views of Joshua Trees, pine trees and monolithic boulders. 

 

Price: $15

 

two girls making faces - best family campgrounds, family travel

Giggles and glee in the great outdoors. Photo by Colin Meg, Unsplash.

 

Sandy Springs Campground, Stout, Ohio 

Ever wanted to stay in a houseboat? Live out your daydreams on the banks of the Ohio River at Sandy Springs Campground. This private campground, nestled up to Shawnee State Forest in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, offers a charming, beached houseboat as part of its site offerings. 

If you remember the Fisher-Price toy houseboat (aging myself here!), this one looks a little like that. The main deck has kitchen, dining, and sofa areas, while the rear or aft of the boat has bedroom and bathroom areas. Accommodating a max of 5 people, it’s an ideal and creative, family-friendly campsite. Sit back on the wraparound deck, take in the idyllic views, and imagine you’re sailing down the lazy Ohio River – minus the rocking and swaying of the water. 

In addition to the cute houseboat, Sandy Springs offers 40 full hookup campsites, as well as cabin and camper rentals. Amenities include private rooms for hot showers, a playground, scheduled activities in the summer, laundry facilities, and a nearby hiking trail.

 

Favorite feature: It has to be the calming view. Past campers have waxed poetic about the quiet riverside ambiance, watching boats glide by and trains roll along on the Kentucky side of the water. 

 

Price: $35-$125

 

kids in tent at the best family campsites, family travel

Why does food always just taste better when you’re camping? Photo by Ochimax Studio, Unsplash.

 

DON’T MISS 5 for 5: 5 Best Lightweight Travel Trailers for Families of 5

 

St. Andrews State Park, Panama City, Florida 

With white sandy beaches, emerald waters, swimming, snorkeling, fishing, and boat rentals, St. Andrews State Park boasts one of the most family-friendly campgrounds in Florida. Each of the 176 camping sites features water, electric, and sewer connections, as well as a picnic table and grill. Hike the day away on a number of trails that crisscross the dunes and pine forests. 

In summer, take the shuttle to and from Shell Island, a nature reserve with its own beautiful swimming beach and the chance to spot cavorting dolphins in the water. 

Campground amenities include bath/shower buildings, laundry facilities, picnic areas, and playgrounds. Sun umbrellas for the beach are available for rent. Hungry? Don’t miss local favorites Big Mama’s on the Bayou and Bruster’s Ice Cream snack bar.

 

Favorite feature: The park’s shallow, calm jetty area is a great place for younger kids. Bring snacks, water toys, beach chairs, umbrellas, and maybe even a fishing pole. Hang there for the day.

 

Price: $28-$100

 

Elkamp Eastcreek, Mineral, Washington

Elkamp Eastcreek is a gem of a family campground just a short drive from the Nisqually Gate of Mount Rainier National Park. Elkamp is short for “elevated camping,” which is more than evident from the variety of accommodation options and thoughtful amenities. There are 23 sites for tent camping, cabins, and vintage Airstream trailers (situated within tall trees for privacy). Use the family-friendly campground as a home base for exploring the national park, as well as hiking, fishing, river rafting, kayaking, and wildlife watching in the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest. 

Amenities include water and power hookups at more than half of the sites, notably clean restrooms, showers, and laundry facilities round out a comfortable camping experience. The meadow is the best place to hang out after dark – grab a comfy Adirondack chair and stargaze. Stop by the gift shop before you leave to pick up locally crafted souvenirs. 

Price: $42-$68

 

two boys at campfire - best family campsites, family travel

Tik Tok and Snapchat have nothing on early-morning campfires. Photo by Janko Ferlic, Unsplash.

 

DON’T MISS 7 Best Places for Family Glamping in Northern California

 

Camp Clearwater, White Lake, North Carolina

Spread out at Camp Clearwater, an epic campground for the whole family with its own 1,100-acre lake and 1,300 feet of shorefront. Camp Clearwater has easy access to North Carolina wineries and White Lake Water Park, with hours of splash pad and waterslide fun. There’s miniature golf, a sports field, a pet-friendly park, and a slew of activities, from scavenger hunts to cornhole tournaments. If that’s not enough, Jones Lake State Park and Singletary Lake State Park are a short drive away. 

Price: $40-$60

 

 

couple in camp chairs toasting from a vista - best family campsites, family travel

You did it! Kids, camping, the outdoors … take a moment to toast yourselves! Photo by Jimmy Conover, Unsplash.

 

Keuka Lake State Park, Finger Lakes, Upstate New York 

Lake lovers will fall hard for Keuka Lake State Park campground, near the Finger Lakes Region’s Seneca Lake State Park, Stony Brook State Park, Canandaigua Lake State Marine Park, Watkins Glen State Park, and Cayuga Lake State Park. There are 150 tent and trailer sites (53 with electrical hookup), a picnic shelter, a boat launch ramp, a docking space, and hiking trails. Keuka is one of the warmer Finger Lakes for swimming and is well-known as one of the best places to fish in Upstate New York.  

 

Favorite feature: Camp with family friends so you can take turns watching the kids and allowing some of the adults to slip away for wine tastings along the nearby Keuka and Seneca Lake Winery trails. 

 

With all the different campgrounds out there these days, including national park classics and quirky privately run destinations, you’ll find just about any amenity you’re seeking, from swimming pools to horseback riding. However rustic or upscale you take your outdoors, just get out there and get dirty this summer! 

 

IF YOU ENJOYED THIS ARTICLE, PLEASE CONSIDER PINNING OR SHARING IT!

 

From her home in Seattle, Michelle writes for a variety of internationally based travel companies. When not writing, she’s hiking, skiing, reading, or (in actuality) working her other job as “mom taxi.” Check out her other work at Eagle Eyes Editing.