Beach Camping Spots In The U.S.
Laze your days dashing in the water and your nights sleeping underneath the stars at these can’t-miss beach camping spots across the United States.
Long Key State Park: Long Key, Florida
Apostle Islands National Lakeshore: Wisconsin
If you happen to live in the Midwest far from the country’s West Coast and East Coast beaches, fret not: Northern Wisconsin’s stretch of Lake Superior shoreline features 21 islands and 12 miles of mainland packed with small white sand beaches.
Several of the lakeshore’s islands offer campsites on or near a beach, including Outer Island, York Island and Manitou Island. No matter which location you choose, you can expect to find amenities like fire rings and bear-proof food storage lockers. Some sites also offer picnic tables, tent pads and vault toilets or stump privies.
Keep in mind, almost all of the lakeshore’s campsites are only accessible by boat. You must make advance reservations for camping permits, which are valid for up to 14 days.
Hunting Island State Park: Hunting Island, South Carolina
Venture 17 miles southeast of Beaufort to camp in South Carolina’s most popular state park. The area’s main draw is its 5 miles of pristine beaches, where loggerhead sea turtles and various shorebirds nest every summer.
Hunting Island State Park is also home to a beachfront campground designed for novice campers thanks to amenities like paved roads and restrooms with hot showers. Plus, each campsite can accommodate recreational vehicles and features water and electrical hookups.
A dump station can also be found on-site. Up to six people can stay at each campsite, and pets are welcome in all camping areas.
Sonoma Coast State Park: Bodega Bay, California
Travellers who want a dose of adventure while visiting Northern California should spend a few days camping at Sonoma Coast State Park. This 17-mile-long stretch of protected coastline sits less than 60 miles northwest of Sonoma and Napa, making it easy to tack some time at the beach onto a wine vacation.
To wake up to phenomenal ocean vistas, camp at one of the park’s 27 Wright’s Beach campsites. On-site amenities are limited (think: picnic tables, fire rings and bathrooms with flush toilets).
Padre Island National Seashore: Texas
Though you may be tempted to spend most of your Gulf Coast beach vacation on better known South Padre Island, consider travelling farther north to North Padre Island. Here, you’ll discover Padre Island National Seashore, which boasts more than 130,000 acres of beaches, trails and campsites.
Multiple beach camping areas are available, including Bird Island Basin Campground, where you can enjoy Laguna Madre panoramas and activities like fishing, kayaking and windsurfing. The campground offers sections for both tents and RVs, but there are no on-site amenities other than covered picnic tables and chemical toilets, so plan on stocking up on supplies at the Malaquite Visitor Center before you arrive.
Horseneck Beach State Reservation: Westport, Massachusetts
Olympic National Park: Washington
Gulf Islands National Seashore: Florida and Mississippi
None of these areas require purchasing camping permits. Keep in mind that campsites must be at least 300 yards away from bird nests.
Assateague Island National Seashore: Maryland
Individuals and smaller groups can pick from drive-in spaces. They can accommodate trailers and RVs and walk-in spaces.
Jalama Beach County Park: Lompoc, California
Sandy Neck Beach Park: West Barnstable, Massachusetts
Bahia Honda State Park: Big Pine Key, Florida