Bucket List May 08, 2023
by Sarah McCosham You’ll Be In Awe Of These 21 Amazing Campsites For Next-Level Getaways In The U.S.
Camping these days is so much more than simply pitching a tent and
roughing it. Of course, while we’re all for spending some good, old-fashioned time in the Great Outdoors at one of the country’s rugged primitive campsites, we also think there’s a way to have it all: a grounding and wondrous experience in nature that features not only basic creature comforts but also the kinds of luxurious extras one might expect from a high-end resort. This type of camping unicorn exists, and we’ve found some of the best campgrounds in the U.S. where you can pitch a tent and enjoy a next-level getaway while reveling in some of our country’s most resplendent landscapes.
Best Campgrounds In The U.S.
Waterfront Campsites In The U.S. 1. Two Harbors Campground - Santa Catalina Island, California Address: Campground, Two Harbors, CA 90704 Standout Amenity: Waterfront to the Isthmus Cove.
If you're looking for a unique campground in Southern California where you can spend the night in a setting that also offers an outstanding ocean view,
Two Harbors Campground
is *the* place to go. Located on lovely Catalina Island, you'll find the Two Harbors Campground, a remote and rugged campground that boasts breathtaking ocean views. When you reserve a campsite at Two Harbors Campground, you can choose to bring your own tent or stay inside one of the rustic tent cabins on-site; regardless of how you choose to camp here, the views are always, always spectacular. And with a population of only 300, this slice of SoCal paradise will feel like your very own private oasis!
Two Harbors Campground, Campground, Two Harbors, CA 90704, USA
2. Little Raccoon Key - Golden Isles of Georgia Address: 1 Harbor Rd Suite # 1, Jekyll Island, GA 31527 Standout Amenity: Have a reef island practically all to yourself.
Have you ever dreamed of camping on your own, private island? Make that dream a reality at Little Raccoon Key, a one-tent glampsite on the
Golden Isles of Georgia
. Little Raccoon Key is a tiny reef island off the coast of Georgia; it's a small, uninhabited island that's rugged, remote, rife with wildlife and positively resplendent. The abundant marine, land, and bird life make the unspoiled isle wholly unique, offering visitors the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to live out their very own island fantasy. Little Raccoon Key’s objective is to maintain and share the natural beauty of the island while focusing on the conservation of its native wildlife and plant species; as such, the glamping tent and amenities are rustic, yet comfortable. Because when you're staying in a place as glorious as this, you really don't need much!
Little Raccoon Key-Tours, Charters, and Glamping, 1 Harbor Rd Suite # 1, Jekyll Island, GA 31527, USA
3. Wallowa Lake - Oregon Address: LaGrande, Oregon Standout Amenity: Situated right on a glacial lake.
A pristine and perfect
alpine paradise in Oregon
, Wallowa Lake is a true #pnwonderland. Surrounded by the lush forests, glacial lakes, and the wide expanse of Eastern Oregon, the Wallowas are one of the state’s most resplendent treasures. And you can discover all of this marvelous wonder at Wallowa Lake State Park in Oregon, a beautiful place with a near-endless resume of recreation opportunities: boating, fishing, swimming, hiking, and superlative year-round camping. With 88 tent sites and several group tent sites, plus amenities like hot showers, flush toilets, and firewood, you'll enjoy a comfortable, waterfront camping experience at Wallowa Lake. While a bit more traditional than some of the other sites on this list, what sets this Oregon State Park campground apart are the views. Simply put, they are astounding, and you'll feel as though you've been swept away to a far-off European village in the mountains when you visit the wondrous Wallowas of Oregon.
Wallowa Lake, Oregon 97846, USA
4. Collective Retreats - Governor's Island, New York Address: Governors Is, New York, NY 10004 Standout Amenity: Statue of Liberty views.
Urbanites enjoy an escape in nature from time to time, too, and
this campsite on Governor's Island
is so totally "New York" -- and we love it. Only a quick ferry ride away from downtown Manhattan, Governors Island has its own Collective Retreat glampground that offers New Yorkers the ultimate camping experience, complete with the most jaw-dropping views of the city. At the glampground, you'll find three different accommodation options, all of which come equipped with electricity and outlets, along with posh features such as soaking tubs and king beds. Dine at the Three Peaks Restaurant whilst gazing out at the iconic skyline, then do yoga or enjoy a live show with the city's buildings twinkling in the distance. Did you realize such a high-end outdoor experience was waiting so close to the Big Apple? It's pretty incredible.
Governors Island, New York, NY 11231, USA
5. R2 Where R U - Catskills, New York Address: Swan Lake, New York Standout Amenity: Two safari tents with lake views.
The Catskill Mountains are one of New York's greatest treasures. Comprised of more than 700,000 acres flush with waterfalls, rivers, and old-growth hemlock and hardwood forests, this region is a wondrous world offering endless adventures. And in this extraordinary region, there's a campsite that's quite literally
out of this world
. R2 Where R U is a double tent camping destination surrounded by lush forest scenery that's reminiscent of Endor. The campsite features a Star Wars theme that truly works in harmony with the landscape. The large planform includes two canvas safari tents, each with a queen-sized bunk bed and two pop-up tents, two picnic tables, fire pits, and iconic Adirondack chairs to soak up the rapturous lake views. With next-level camping amenities, sublime scenery, and plenty of fun Easter eggs,
this retreat is a bucket-list experience for all Star Wars fans
Catskill Mountains, Shandaken, NY 12464, USA
Mountain Campsites In The U.S. 6. Under Canvas Great Smoky Mountains - Pigeon Forge, Tennessee Address: Pigeon Forge, Tennessee Standout Amenity: Safari-style glamping in the most visited national park.
The country's most-visited national park, the Great Smoky Mountains span half a million acres across eastern Tennessee and western North Carolina, offering a near-endless list of bucket-list-worthy hiking adventures. It's a place to stay and savor, and there's no better place to do that than
, a camping experience minus the
of standard camping. Under Canvas offers safari-style glamping opportunities near Gatlinburg, Tennessee, and it’s easily the most luxe and relaxing camping experience in the national park. You'll feel as though you're deep in the mountainous wilds of the Smokies, but have all the comforts of home... and more. There are multiple tent options from which to choose, including the most luxurious "Suite" that offers lounge areas, private bathrooms, a private deck, and expansive indoor space, as well as the Stargazer and Deluxe tents. Each includes luxury linens and private bathrooms, as well as a wood-burning stove with firewood. The only "rough" part of this experience will be deciding which tent to book!
Under Canvas Smoky Mountains, 1015 Laurel Lick Rd, Pigeon Forge, TN 37862, USA
7. Treebones Resort - Big Sur, California Address: 71895 CA-1, Big Sur, CA 93920 Standout Amenity: Overlooking the Pacific Ocean.
The beauty of Big Sur is something everyone must experience, and
is the very best way to revel in the resplendence of this paradise in Northern California. Treebones is located within the stunning Big Sur Coast, and it's the perfect place to set up camp while you explore -- or simply sit back, relax, and take in the views. This off-grid camping resort has traditional campsites, yurts, and even treehouses, making it unlike any camping experience you've ever had -- all in one of the most pristine and picturesque places in California.
Treebones Resort, 71895 CA-1, Big Sur, CA 93920, USA
8. Under Canvas Mount Rushmore - Keystone, South Dakota Address: 24342 Presidio Rnch Rd, Keystone, SD 57751 Standout Amenity: Situated on an original gold mining settlement overlooking Mount Rushmore Nat'l Memorial.
In the shadows of an American monolith,
Under Canvas Mount Rushmore
is as wonderfully iconoclastic as the icon itself. This campsite is a diamond in the rough and has been recognized by the prestigious Condé Nast Traveler as being the "Best Resort in the World," a "Top 10 Resort in the United States," and one of the "Top Resorts in the US – Midwest & West." Under Canvas certainly lives up to these accolades, too; this glampground is arguably the most unique place to stay in South Dakota, thanks to such luxurious accommodations as suite, stargazer, and deluxe tents. No matter which you choose, you will be treated to comfortable beds and linens, beautiful furniture, a wood-burning stove, and a private bathroom -- and, of course, immensely scenic views of one of our country's greatest national treasures.
Under Canvas Mount Rushmore, 24342 Presidio Ranch Rd, Keystone, SD 57751, USA
National Park Campsites In The U.S. 9. North Rim Campground - Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona Address: North Rim, AZ 86052 Standout Amenity: Located on the North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park.
In addition to being one of the seven wonders of the world, the Grand Canyon is a certified Dark Sky Park with perhaps the best
stargazing in the country
. When night falls over the deserts of Arizona, trillions of stars and celestial bodies shine bright, creating a sublime scene that doesn't look real. The best part is that you can witness this dazzling spectacle with the naked eye -- no fancy equipment necessary -- at one of the park's numerous campsites. We're partial to North Rim Campground, which boasts breathtaking views of this world wonder, minus the crowds. While North Rim Campground is home to one of the most marvelous lodges in the country, there's a primitive campsite here where you can pitch a tent that offers a truly unrivaled Grand Canyon experience. And isn't that what your bucket-list adventures should be?
Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona, USA
10. Camp’d Out Joshua Tree Experience - Joshua Tree National Park, California Address: Joshua Tree National Park Standout Amenity: Ultimate desert glamping experience in stunning Joshua Tree National Park. Joshua Tree National Park
is a bucket-list destination in Southern California, and when visiting, it's only appropriate that your accommodations be just as bucket-list level. And while there are numerous world-renowned lodges and resorts that offer nothing but luxurious R&R, for a truly immersive Joshua Tree adventure, there's nothing better than the Camp’d Out Joshua Tree Experience. At this incredible campsite, the legendary La Quinta Resort & Club brings the Waldorf Astoria's glitz and glam to Joshua Tree National Park. Partnering with Camp'd Out Tents, the resort has created a camping experience unlike any other, complete with lux hotel bedding, campfire cuisine, butler service, and so much more.
Joshua Tree National Park, California, USA
11. Biscayne National Park - Florida Address: 9700 SW 328th Street, Sir Lancelot Jones Way, Homestead, FL 33033 Standout Amenity: Sleep near coral reefs, islands, and shoreline mangrove forests.
If you’ve ever been to the area just east of Downtown Miami, then you likely entered into this
wonderland of water
. Biscayne National Park is a haven for Florida marine life, from beautiful islands and its inhabitants to coastal foliage and rare coral reefs. Evidence of 10,000 years of human history can be found at this pristine park, too; from prehistoric tribes to shipwrecks, and pineapple farmers to presidents. For many, the park is a boating, fishing, and diving destination; visitors can actually boat or take a guided snorkel eco-tour through this National Park. Take your Biscayne adventures a step further at one of Biscayne's two campgrounds. Accessible only by boat, Elliott Key and Boca Chita Key offer visits a wholly unique, off-the-grid experience (there are minimal amenities on these isles) that's as wonderfully close to nature as it gets.
Biscayne National Park, Florida, USA
12. Assateague Island National Seashore Campground Address: 7206 National Seashore Lane, Berlin, MD 21811 Standout Amenity: Camp where wild horses roam.
Assateague Island Camping
options are truly one-of-a-kind. Various options are available from the Oceanside Drive-in, which takes tents, trailers, and RVs with no hookups. Meanwhile, the Oceanside Walk-in offers tent-only sites with picnic tables and fire rings. But one of the best parts of camping here is being able to see the wild horses roam the area at any given time. Just make sure you protect your food!
VIDEO 13. Mathews Arm Campground in Shenandoah National Park Address: Skyline Dr, Rileyville, VA 22650 Standout Amenity: Close to a waterfall and vista hiking trail.
One of the best parts of visiting Shenandoah National Park is the camping at
Mathews Arm Campground
. This beautiful campground is reservable on a first-come, first-served basis. Visitors to this campground will be able to explore the beauty of the national park throughout their stay. While camping at Mathews Arm Campground, find the trail marker to Overall Run Falls, which leads you to a beautiful 29 foot cascade!
Shenandoah National Park, Virginia, USA
Rugged Campsites In The U.S. 14. Camp Comfort - Austin, Texas Address: Camp Comfort Ln, Austin, TX 78717 Standout Amenity: A boutique bed-and-breakfast converted from a historic 1860s bowling alley.
One of the most
beguiling little locales in Texas
, Comfort is located between Fredericksburg, Boerne, and Kerrville, and mere minutes from San Antonio, making it the perfect getaway in Central Texas. It's the kind of charming little town you'll visit and not want to leave; luckily, there's a wonderful little campground you can call home for as long as you'd like. Originally a historic bowling alley built in 1860, Camp Comfort was converted into what's now one of the most unique accommodations in Texas. The campground houses four rooms and two cabins, with a central courtyard comprised of fire pits and a social hall with tables and chairs, a coffee bar, and fresh cookies served daily to all guests. It's the classic communal campground experience, in a wholly unique and wonderful little package that's as charming as it gets.
Camp Comfort Lane, Camp Comfort Ln, Austin, TX 78717, USA
15. Kirby Cove - San Francisco, California Address: Conzelman Rd Sausalito, CA 94965 Standout Amenity: Spectacular views of the iconic Golden Gate Bridge.
The Golden Gate Bridge is an
, and there's perhaps no better way to experience this wonder than Kirby Cove. Tucked away in a wooded setting, Kirby Cove campground boasts spectacular views of the Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, and the Marin Headlands. The campground is located south of Sausalito at what was once Battery Kirby, an old military base. It consists of just five campsites and a day-use area. This campground is very popular and it's definitely not hard to see why: the campsites Kirby Cove are nice and large and come equipped with tent pads and picnic tables. Tent #1 is arguably the most favored due to its tucked-away setting along the bluff that affords breathtakingly beautiful views of the bridge. But no matter what campsite you find yourself stationed for the night, awe-inspiring views of the Golden Gate Bridge await at this NorCal campsite.
Kirby Cove, San Francisco, CA, USA
16. Beaver Island Retreat - Beaver Island, Michigan Address: 34195 King's Hwy, Beaver Island, MI 49782 Standout Amenity: Luxury outdoor accommodations in a remote location.
Bask in the glory of #PureMichigan when you camp at
Beaver Island Retreat
, a site located on one of the state's most pristine islands. About 50 miles away from Mackinac Island on Lake Michigan sits Beaver Island, this island a bit of a hidden gem that generally attracts visitors looking for a deep connection with nature. This wanderlust is at the heart of Beaver Island Retreat, a site featuring luxury, outdoor accommodations designed to bring guests unprecedented comforts while experiencing serenity and dark skies in the unspoiled wilds of the island. If you're into stargazing, the skies here are splendid for this dreamy activity, offering a glimpse into the depths of the cosmos you didn't think was possible. Private bathrooms and amenities guarantee a quiet and serene experience that's the true definition of R&R.
East Beaver Island Road, E Beaver Island Rd, Grayling, MI 49738, USA
Unique Campsites In The U.S. 17. Conestoga Ranch Glamping Resort - Bear Lake, Utah Address: 427 N Paradise Pkwy, Garden City, UT 84028 Standout Amenity: Luxury glamping in Bear Lake, Utah.
On the shores of beautiful Bear Lake in Utah,
Conestoga Ranch Glamping Resort
is a step back in time in the very best possible way. Here, you'll enjoy the peace and serenity of camping, but with all the creature comforts of a resort or hotel (cruiser bikes, yoga classes, a nice bathhouse, and an on-site general store and restaurant -- just to name a few!). Conestoga Ranch consists mainly of conestoga family wagons, which are custom-made for the resort based on 19th century designs, as well as "Grand Tents" and the "Royal Tent Suite," also known as the Joshua Tree Suite. No matter what accommodations you choose, you're sure to love this only-in-Utah experience.
18. Sandy River Outdoor Adventures - Rice, Virginia Address: 147 Monroe Church Rd, Rice, VA 23966 Standout Amenity: Situated on 24-acres of space.
When most people think about camping, they envision a spot in the woods with no electricity or amenities. Indeed, these are some of the best parts of going camping; yet there's another outdoor experience known as glamping, and its offerings are equally unique. Welcome to
Sandy River Outdoor Adventures
, where you can stay the night inside one of several outfitted tipis. Whatever you're imagining with a "tipi" accommodation, this
it; step inside and you'll discover your own personal oasis, complete with a kitchenette, sofas, tables, chairs, and even an ensuite bathroom. The outfitter also offers plenty of outdoor activities you can enjoy during your visit, such as a swimming pool and adventure park with zip lines. If you're looking for a healthy dose of nature and the comforts of home, this glorious glampsite in Virginia is truly the best of both worlds.
Sandy River Outdoor Adventure, 147 Monroe Church Rd, Rice, VA 23966, USA
19. The Resort at Paws Up - Greenough, Montana Address: 40060 Paws Up Rd, Greenough, MT 59823 Standout Amenity: A premier luxury ranch resort in Montana with wilderness adventures. The Resort at Paws Up
is a luxury ranch just east of Missoula, Montana, where visitors can immerse themselves in all the Treasure State has to offer. The resort offers luxury stays indoors as well as outdoor glamping opportunities, and boasts a menu of more than 70 outdoor activities from which to choose: fishing, whitewater rafting, dogsledding, and horseback riding are just the beginning! And with rustic-chic accommodations surrounded by the Montana wilds, The Resort at Paws Up is a fantastic all-around camping
for outdoor enthusiasts.
The Resort at Paws Up, 40060 Paws Up Rd, Greenough, MT 59823, USA
20. Sandy Pines Campground - Kennebunkport, Maine Address: 277 Mills Rd, Kennebunkport, ME 04046 Standout Amenity: Safari tents near the tranquil coast.
Maine feels like the edge of the world in the very best possible way; it's a state of rugged beauty and untamed wilds that's truly wondrous. And up in Kennebunkport,
Sandy Pines Campground
offers guests a camping experience that's every bit as extraordinary as its surroundings. Sandy Pines has three separate luxury rental types: Camp Carriages, Hideaway Huts, and Glamp Tents -- and each accommodation boasts its own bespoke amenities and features. The Glamp Tent is the most "classic camping" of the offerings; each of these tents offer 430 square feet of space, a king-sized bed, and decor hand-picked by New England designers. During your stay, guests have access to a clean and fully updated bathhouse, too; and as if that weren’t enough, all glamping rentals are situated in a wonderfully quiet "serenity zone," ensuring total R&R in this little slice of Pine Tree State paradise.
21. Kalaloch Campground - Forks, Washington Address: Forks, WA 98331 Standout Amenity: Beach access on a bluff overlooking a driftwood-saturated beach.
It doesn’t get much more unique than camping at
. This stunning campground in Olympic National Park offers bluff views of a driftwood-lined beach below. Located on the southwest coast of the Olympic Peninsula, campers will have access to the Pacific Ocean, plus tons of opportunities to hike through the lush, dense forest.
Kalaloch Campground, Forks, WA 98331, USA
When was the last time you immersed yourself in the Great Outdoors on a camping trip? It’s something we highly recommend, especially at one of the above next-level campsites. USA campgrounds cannot be rivaled, and this list is only the beginning. Do you have a favorite campsite in the United States that you love? Share with us in the comments section!
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The OIYS Visitor Center
Best Campgrounds In The U.S.
May 09, 2023
Where can I find campsites in the United States?
Campsites are all over the United States, from state parks and national parks to privately-owned getaways. The best campgrounds in the United States include:
What amenities are typically available at campsites?
The majority of campsites have the following amenities:
Clean drinking water
Bear-safe food storage
While these are often the minimum amenities that are most commonly found at campsites, primitive sites often offer even less. Meanwhile, glamping is a step up in terms of amenities and accommodations.
How much does it cost to camp in the United States?
The cost to camp in the United States varies depending on the accommodations. The average price for a mid-range RV campsite is $30-$50 per night. The average cost for a campground in a state park or national park is around $25-$45 a night. Meanwhile, the average cost for a public campground costs around $22 per night.