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27 Best Beach Camping Spots in the US (And How to Prepare)

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27 best beach camping spots in the us (and how to prepare)

Are you tired of staying at the same campground and you want to visit a more scenic park? You’re in luck!

Today we’re going to talk about the 27 best places to go beach camping! The following locations are on both the pacific and atlantic ocean (and they definitely don’t disappoint).

Let’s talk about how to prepare for beach camping and get you on the road!

Table of Contents

How to Prepare for Beach Camping

While camping on the beach is pretty similar to camping at a campground (you’ll still need to bring your camping gear and follow the same guidelines you normally would), there are a few things to keep in mind.

Here are five ways you can prepare for beach camping today:

  1. Bring your own firewood and portable fire pit. A lot of beaches follow a no-impact policy and don’t allow you to harvest and burn driftwood, which is part of the natural ecosystem. Be sure to double check what type of firewood is allowed at the campground before you get there! When it comes to a portable fire pit, we’re partial to our Solo Stove!
  2. Follow the “Leave-no-trace” rules. If you bring it with you, make sure you take it with you when you leave. Don’t leave food waste as it can attract wild animals and negatively impact the campers who plan on visiting next.
  3. Bring enough drinking water. Beaches are hot! You’ll want to make sure you’re drinking water as often as you can. Not to mention, the salt water in the air from the ocean will dehydrate you pretty quickly.
  4. Be prepared for wet conditions. Sounds like a no-brainer, right? Between the rising tide and the condensation that comes from the chilly nighttime air, you’ll need to be extra cautious with what you bring to sleep in! Warm layers and even a rain jacket will help tremendously at night (as well as early in the morning).
  5. Wear sturdy, comfortable hiking shoes. Whether you’re camping on a beach with rocky terrain or soft sand, it can be tough to navigate at times. Investing in good hiking shoes with proper support will help significantly when you have to walk in these conditions. Note: Waterproof hiking shoes would be best for beach camping.

Now that you’re prepared, let’s dive into these beaches!

The 27 Most Beautiful Beach Camping Spots in the US

Without further ado, here are the most beautiful spots in the US where you’re able to camp on the beach in a tent or while RVing:

1. Port Aransas Beach

Port aransas beach camping
  • State: Texas
  • Cost: $12 for beach camping permit
  • Types of Camping Allowed: Both RV and tent

At Port Aransas Beach, you’re able to camp on the beach in your RV or tent! There are Porta-Potties and outside showers available at the beach and you’re able to partake in so many activities while here.

From kayak rentals to boogie boarding, you’re sure to find something that the whole family will enjoy while here.  

2. Channel Islands National Park

Channel islands national park
  • State: California
  • Cost: Individual sites are $25/night and group sites are $40/night
  • Types of Camping Allowed: Tent

Looking for a tropical feel while you camp on the beach? Channel Islands National Park can provide that for you! You’re only able to access the five islands and their tent campsites by ferry, but it’s well worth the ride.

While you’re here, you’re able to explore sea caves, hike on trails that overlook the ocean, bring your sleeping bag out and stargaze, or kayak through kelp forests!

3. Zephyr Cove RV and Campground

Zephyr cove rv and campground
  • State: Nevada
  • Cost: Between $52 – $67/night
  • Types of Camping Allowed: Both RV and tent

Zephyr Cove Resort and Campground is an award-winning RV Park & Campground that offers you the comforts of an outstanding facility within the serenity of our lovely wooded setting. You’ll find this gorgeous campground on the southeast shore of Lake Tahoe, near the Nevada-California border.

Between the marina activities and horseback riding, you’ll always have something to do to keep you busy!

4. Bahia Honda State Park

Bahia honda state park
  • State: Florida
  • Cost: $36/night plus a non-refundable $6.70 reservation fee
  • Types of Camping Allowed: Both RV and tent

The Florida Keys offers plenty of beautiful sights and relaxation opportunities and Bahia Honda State Park does not disappoint.

It’s renowned as a top beach camping spot, with scenery that could rival any Caribbean island! Whether you go kayaking, shelling, snorkeling, or take a dip in the turquoise waters, you’re sure to have a great time here.

5. Charlestown Breachway Campground

Charlestown breachway campground
  • State: Rhode Island
  • Cost: $18/night for tent sites, $24/night for electric/water hookups, and $28 for full-hookups and ocean view
  • Types of Camping Allowed: Both RV and tent

Charlestown Breachway Campground has panoramic views of Block Island Sound and is within walking distance to Charlestown State Beach! Bring your beach blanket down to the shore and relax for the day while here!

The Breachway also has a boat launch with a limited parking area. Keep in mind that utilities aren’t available at this campground and pets aren’t allowed.

6. Gulf State Park

Gulf state park
  • State: Alabama
  • Cost: $50/night
  • Types of Camping Allowed: Both RV and tent

Located just 1.5 miles from the white sand beaches, Gulf State Park Campground offers 496 improved full-hookup campsites with paved pads and 11 primitive sites.

If you camp here, you’ll have access to pickle ball, horseshoe, tennis, and volleyball courts. You can also visit the camp stores to rent bikes or go hiking!

7. Huntington Beach State Park

Huntington beach state park
  • State: South Carolina
  • Cost: $80/night, RV camping $140/night (if you have more than 10 campers, expect to pay $8/person)
  • Types of Camping Allowed: Both RV and tent

For being only 30 minutes away from Myrtle Beach, you’ll find that Huntington Beach State Park is a much quieter, less crowded area for beach camping.

It’s known for its quaint fishing village and, fun fact, this is where most of the state’s seafood is sourced! Whether you hang out on the sand dunes by the atlantic ocean or go swimming, you’re sure to have a great time while here!

8. Lake Sakakawea State Park

Lake sakakawea state park
  • State: North Dakota
  • Cost: $17/night primitive camping, $25/night regular campsites
  • Types of Camping Allowed: Both RV and tent

Lake Sakakawea has 180 gorgeous miles of shoreline and is the perfect place to do some primitive beach camping.

With a full service marina, plenty of fishing opportunities, beach swimming, and more, you’re bound to have an amazing time here!

9. Assateague Island National Seashore

Assateague island national seashore
  • State: Maryland
  • Cost: $30/night
  • Types of Camping Allowed: Both RV and tent

What’s better than being able to camp on the beach with wild horses? We can’t think of anything! At Assateague Island National Seashore, you’re able to do both!

The island is pretty small, but you’re able to swim, beach-comb for seashells, and boogie-board as much as you want while camping here.

10. Cave Lake State Park

Cave lake state park
  • State: Nevada
  • Cost: Admission $5, Camping $15/night
  • Types of Camping Allowed: Tent

If you’re looking for one of the most beautiful beach camping spots, look no further than Cave Lake State Park! Each tent site has a firepit, grill, picnic table, toilets, showers, and designated parking spots for your car.

You’re able to fish for rainbow trout and you’ll see elk, eagles, and songbirds while here!

11. Red Coconut RV Park

Red coconut rv park
  • State: Florida
  • Cost: From $70 – $125 daily, $505 – $777 weekly, and $2,000 – $2,600 monthly
  • Types of Camping Allowed: RV

Red Coconut RV Park is a vintage style beach campground with swaying palm trees and white sand beaches. There are 41 camping sites and each comes with cable and Internet, full hookups, and a picnic table!

While here, you’re able to partake in activities such as parasailing, jet-skiing, and kayaking. You’re sure to have an amazing beach camping trip at Red Coconut RV Park!

12. Cape Lookout National Seashore

Cape lookout national seashore
  • State: North Carolina
  • Cost: No fee to stay here!
  • Types of Camping Allowed: Tent

Cape Lookout National Seashore is a free beach campground for tent campers. Keep in mind that you’re only able to get to Cape Lookout National Seashore by boat or ferry!

While here, you’ll see rugged dunes with beach grass swaying in the breeze. The swimming conditions are excellent, you’ll be able to fish, and if peace and quiet is what you’re after there’s truly no better place to be!

13. Russian Gulch State Park

Russian gulch state park
  • State: California
  • Cost: $45 per night ($40 during off-season)
  • Types of Camping Allowed: Tent

Russian Gulch State Park offers not only a sandy beach, forests, fields of wildflowers, and rocky headlands. You’ll also find natural formations here, one in particular is called the Devil’s Punch Bowl (it was created by waves crashing into a collapsed sea cave).

There are 26 family friendly beach campsites, reservations are required, and you’re able to swim in the water!

14. Tillicum Beach Campground

Tillicum beach campground
  • State: Oregon
  • Cost: $28/night without hookups, $36/night with hookups, and $8/night per extra vehicle
  • Types of Camping Allowed: Both RV and tent

Tillicum Beach Campground is popular among surfers and if you’re a fan of camping in solitude, this is one of the beach camping destinations for you.

There are bathrooms on the beach near the tent campground and while RVs are welcome here, hookup sites are just a short walk away.

15. Cayo Costa State Park

Cayo costa state park
  • State: Florida
  • Cost: $22 plus a nonrefundable $6.70 reservation fee
  • Types of Camping Allowed: Tent

Cayo Costa State Park is located on a remote island state park that you can only get to by boat. While you’re here, you’re able to swim, snorkel, go bird-watching, bike, fish for flounder and snapper, or find unique seashells!

There’s also a chance that you’ll see sea turtles, manatees, or porpoises while camping here!

16. Kalaloch Campground

Kalaloch campground
  • State: Washington
  • Cost: Between $24 – $48/night
  • Types of Camping Allowed: Both RV and tent

If you’re looking for the ultimate beach camping experience, why not do it in Olympic National Park? Kalaloch Campground is one of the most sought after beachfront campgrounds thanks to its rocky landscape and gorgeous views.

While there, you’ll be able to see whales, bald eagles, tufted puffins, sea stars, and colorful anemones (only during low tide). There’s plenty of hiking trails near this national seashore, too!

17. P.J. Hoffmaster State Park

P.j. hoffmaster state park
  • State: Michigan
  • Cost: Between $17 – $41/night
  • Types of Camping Allowed: Both RV and tent

P.J. Hoffmaster State Park sits on three miles of shoreline and has spectacular views (as well as hiking trails). In fact, there are 297 sites at this campground for tents, RVs, and trailers!

If you have an annual pass for P.J Hoffmaster State Park, you only have to pay $17. However, if you’re not an annual pass member, it’s $33 per night plus an $8 reservation fee.

18. Crystal Cove State Park

Crystal cove state park
  • State: California
  • Cost: Hook-up sites – $75/night & Standard sites – $55/night
  • Types of Camping Allowed: Both RV and tent

Take a leisurely 3.2 mile stroll between Laguna Beach and Newport Beach when staying at Crystal Cove State park!

They do offer tent camping but a lot of their sites are built for RVers. While camping here, enjoy pier fishing, surfing, beach volleyball, and more!

19. Padre Island National Seashore

Padre island national seashore
  • State: Texas
  • Cost: $10/night
  • Types of Camping Allowed: Tent

At Padre Island National Seashore, camping permits are required (which can be purchased at the Kiosk upon entering the park). There are no RV sites here but there is an RV dump station as well as a water filling station.

This National Park protects up to 66 miles of coastline, dunes, prairies, and wind tidal flats teeming with life. It’s also a safe nesting ground for the Kemp’s ridley sea turtle and a safe haven for over 380 bird species!

20. Gulf Islands National Seashore

Gulf islands national seashore
  • State: Mississippi
  • Cost: Tent sites are $26/night, RV sites are $40/night, plus an entrance fee of $10 – $20
  • Types of Camping Allowed: Both RV and tent

At Gulf Islands National Seashore, you’re able to partake in tent camping as well as RV camping! Backcountry camping used to be allowed, but to try to protect the pristine beaches, they’ve forbidden it (due to people who damaged parts of the park in the past).

Between boating, fishing, swimming, snorkeling, and more, you’re sure to have a great time here!

21. Hunting Island State Park

Hunting island state park
  • State: South Carolina
  • Cost: Tent camping – $80/night, RV camping $140/night (if you have more than 10 campers, expect to pay $8/person)
  • Types of Camping Allowed: Both RV and tent

Planning a trip to South Carolina soon? If so, Hunting Island State Park is the camping destination for you! This campground provides plenty of space for both tent and RV campers.

There are plenty of things to do while at Hunting Island, such as salt water and regular fishing, boating (there’s an accessible boat ramp for all campers, too), paddling, geocaching, and more!

22. Sonoma Coast State Park

Sonoma coast state park
  • State: California
  • Cost: $35/night
  • Types of Camping Allowed: Tent

Sonoma Coast State Park has a string of beautiful little beaches. You’re able to camp on the beach, go whale watching, windsurf or kiteboard, and more!

While you’re able to go in the water, please be careful! The waves here can get very choppy. If you’re interested in beach camping but don’t mind not going in the water, you’ll find hiking and biking trails within walking distance (and the nearby town has plenty to offer, too).

23. Apostle Islands National Lakeshore

Apostle islands national lakeshore
  • State: Wisconsin
  • Cost: $15/night
  • Types of Camping Allowed: Both RV and Tent

Apostle Islands National Lakeshore is an amazing place to go camping. Not only do they have tent sites, they allow you to partake in primitive camping, too!

Be cautious if you do this though – each tent site comes with a metal bear-resistant food locker (bears are very common here, be sure to clean up all of your food waste).

24. Point Mugu State Park

Point mugu state park
  • State: California
  • Cost: $12/day
  • Types of Camping Allowed: Both RV and tent

Point Mugu State Park is located in the Santa Monica Mountains in Southern California. This park features five miles of the pacific ocean shoreline and features rocky bluffs, soft sand beaches, sand dunes, and more.

With 70+ miles of hiking trails, swimming, body surfing, and fishing, you’ll always have something to do here!

25. Kirk Creek Campground

Kirk creek campground
  • State: California
  • Cost: $35/night
  • Types of Camping Allowed: Both RV and tent

Kirk Creek Campground is an oceanside paradise, and each site overlooks the Pacific Ocean! The campsites are spacious, open and grassy.

You have ample opportunity to see wildlife, such as foxes, bobcats, deer, mountain lions, and raccoons. Fishing, mountain biking, and horseback riding are only a few things you’ll be able to do here!

26. Horseneck Beach State Reservation

Horseneck beach camping
  • State: Massachusetts
  • Cost: $22 for MA residents, $$70 for non-resident plus $6 electric surcharge where applicable
  • Types of Camping Allowed: Both RV and tent

At Horseneck Beach State Reservation, you’re able to camp on the beach in both a tent and RV. Relax on the beach, swim, build sand castles, go windsurfing, or get lost in a book while here!

Note: On the Reserve America Website, it states that you’re only able to camp up to 7 days at a time.  

27. Nāpali Coast State Wilderness Park

Na pali coast state wilderness park
  • State: Hawaii
  • Cost: $25/night for Hawaii residents, $35/night for non-residents
  • Types of Camping Allowed: Primitive camping

Known as one of the most beautiful and recognizable coastlines in the world, Nāpali Coast State Wilderness Park is an awesome place to camp while in Kauai!

Whether you take a helicopter ride to see the massive cliffs, waterfalls, and beaches from above or hike the Kalalau Trail, you’ll find your days filled with adventure!

Click here if you want to read about more camping destinations in Kauai, Hawaii!

Other Amazing Camping Destinations

Looking for more camping destinations? Check out these articles:

Have you ever been to one of these spectacular campgrounds? If not, where do you think you’ll go first? Let us know in the comments below!

Here are a few other camping guides you might like:

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