These unique campgrounds are the perfect option when you want to get out in nature with some modern conveniences included
Up your camping game this year and book some time in the great outdoors at these campgrounds with amazing amenities. With your night spent in a tent and your days spent at a water park, on a zip line, or rafting down some rapids, this is an adventure you won’t soon forget. Scroll down to see all the amazing spots!
Best Hidden Gem Campsites in the West
Inn Town Campground (Nevada City, CA)
You’ll find plenty of options for camping and glamping at Inn Town in Nevada City, where you can bring your own tent set up or relax inside a deluxe tent. Swim in the pool, curl up in a reading nook, or let the kids catch an outdoor movie in front of an Old West façade. Looking for even more to do? The Nevada County Narrow Gauge Railroad Museum is right next door.
Paradise Shores (Bridgeport, CA)
When you’re looking for a quiet escape, this charming little spot is just the thing. Tucked away against the backdrop of the Sierras, Paradise Shores offers a place to relax and connect with new friends around the communal campfire. Bring your own tent or RV, or rent one of the super comfy trailers, fully decorated and equipped with everything you’ll need for your stay. Just a short drive from Bodie ghost town, hot springs, fishing, and tons of hiking, Paradise Shores is the perfect home base for your adventures.
Point Mugu State Park (Malibu, CA)
Ocean shoreline, sand dunes, 70 miles of hiking trails, and an assortment of available day activities await you at this sweet spot in Malibu. Build an epic sandcastle, hike and look for wildflowers or just relax and soak up the rays.
Mt. Baker Farm (Eastsound, WA)
A train ride through the woods and a petting zoo are total kid-pleasers at this enchanting 80-acre campground on Washington’s Orcas Island. No gear? No problem! They rent everything from tents to bedding to hammocks. Bring your own setup from home, or make your dreams even sweeter by splurging on one of the magical lotus tent rentals.
Jellystone Park Tower Park Resort (Lodi, CA)
This spot heats up in the summer and it really delivers all the water amenities you desire including a lazy river and a water park with slides. Spend the night in a cabin, or bring your own tent or RV for a DIY experience. There's even a number of on-site dining options if you want to make it REALLY easy on yourself.
Fernwood Resort (Big Sur, CA)
Big Sur's heavenly mix of forested mountains, rugged coastline, and lack of cell service make it the ideal locale for getting away. Fernwood Resort offers all sorts of camping options from tent spots and RV sites to cabins and glamping tent cabins. All have access to the camp store and the Fernwood Bar & Grill (which has Wi-Fi), for when you don't feel like grilling. Spend your days exploring the Big Sur River, and you may never want to go home.
Check out other NorCal glamping options here.
Beverly Beach State Park (Newport, OR)
Forest and ocean lovers alike will adore this large family campground in Oregon. Nestled in the woods but just a short walk to the beach, the park is close to fun coastal attractions like the impressive Devil’s Punch Bowl Natural Area, Otter Rock, the Oregon Coast Aquarium, and Yaquina Head lighthouse.
Sand Hollow State Park (Hurricane, UT)
If your camping dreams involve spending your days cliff-jumping into clear blue waters and riding your ATV over massive sand hills, then this campground is for you. Sand Hollow offers two campgrounds for RV and tent campers. Rent an ATV on-site and grab a spot at the Sandpit Campground where you can ride your ATV through the tunnel to access Sand Mountain.
Piñon Flats Campground (Mosca, CO)
Located just one mile from the Visitor’s Center of Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve, Pinon Flats Campground offers excellent views of the biggest dunes in the U.S. Take the tots sledding and sandboarding on the dunes, enjoy some water play at nearby Medano Creek or hit a hiking trail. The campground is open from April through October each year.
Best Hidden Gem Campsites in the Southwest & Midwest
Jellystone Park Clay’s Resort (North Lawrence, OH)
Northeast Ohio is home to this 500-acre camping resort that offers tent sites, glamping tents, cabins, and RV sites, all waiting to be booked up this summer! Jump on the jumping pillow and then cool off in the lake or the pool. There's even a floating obstacle course on the lake if you really need to tire those kids out.
City of Rocks State Park (Faywood, NM)
Marvel at the impressive formations in this “city” of rocks made by a volcano eruption 34 million years ago! Kids will love the history when you camp at this scenic and otherworldly park in New Mexico. Hike the trails, check out the desert botanical garden, stop by the Visitor’s Center, and don’t forget to show your sweet stargazers the amazing night view.
Dinosaur Valley State Park (Glen Rose, TX)
Walk in the tracks of dinosaurs! Set up camp at Dinosaur Valley State Park, and get a close-up view of real dino tracks in the bed of the Paluxy River. Plus, you’ll find ranger programs, workshops, a tackle loaner program for fishing, plenty of hiking, and the Fossil Rim Wildlife Center, just a short drive away.
Lake Rudolph Campground & RV Resort (Santa Claus, IN)
This campground definitely wins for the best theme as campers at Lake Rudolph have access to Santa's SplashDown Water Park, Dasher Splasher splash pad, and the Blitzen Bay Pool. It's also super close to the Holiday World Theme Park if you are looking for an off-site activity. Reserve a tent or RV site or glamp it up in one of the cabins, cottages, or RV rentals that come with A/C.
Kinnikinnick Farm (Caledonia, IL)
Kick it Little House on the Prairie-style at Kinnikinnick Farm where you can glamp on a real working farm. Only an hour and a half northwest of Chicago, the farm-stay program will have your kids picking eggs, feeding pigs, and milking goats. The accommodations are a cross between a log cabin and a classic tent with running water and an insulated chest that functions as a refrigerator. You’ll have to fend without electricity during your visit but with so many fun farm-centric activities, we’re guessing your kids won’t even notice.
Lazy River Campground (Granville, OH)
This Ohio gem welcomes campers with an in-ground swimming pool, basketball court, game room, outdoor laser tag, playground, horseshoes and sand volleyball pit but the biggest draw is the property's zip line and challenge course. The campground features tent and RV sites, a creek and trails for hiking.
Smokey Hollow Campground (Lodi, WI)
Countless activities for kids and adults make this Wisconsin campground a family favorite. Along with tent and RV sites, you can rent a gazebo, Conestoga wagon, cabin, yurt, trailer or even a coach bus! Little campers will get a kick out of the giant shopping cart rides, swimming pond, dunk tank, outdoor movies, jumping pillow, climbing wall and so much more.
Kamp Dels (Waterville, MN)
It’s over-the-top fun at Kamp Dels in Minnesota. With a huge outdoor water complex, a petting zoo, a climbing wall, mini golf, tennis, boating, fishing, and more, you’ll find no shortage of ways to make some unbeatable family memories.
Big Cedar Lodge (Ridgedale, MO)
This spot is a bit of a hike from Chicago, but it's so great we felt it was worth a share—plus, a relaxing road trip might be just what you need right now. A newbie to the glamping scene, Camp Long Creek at Big Cedar Lodge invites guests to get their glamp on near Missouri's Ozark Mountains with luxury glamping tents, camp huts, and camp cabins. The definitely-not-roughing-it amenities include beach access, a pool, a vintage airstream trailer that serves food & drinks, and a must-have s'mores kit upon arrival. They also have nightly programming for families that include scavenger hunts and guided adventures along the Lost Canyon Cave and Nature Trail.
Best Hidden Gem Campsites in the Southeast
Canaan Valley Resort (Davis, WV)
Canaan Valley Resort has RV sites and cabins. The state park has a variety of amenities for families: scenic chairlift at the ski area, Tube Park, Resort Board tours, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, climbing wall, Eurobungy, clay trap shooting (for kids 12 and older), naturalist programs, hiking, biking, geocaching and mini golf. The RV Park has 34 sites and there are a variety of cabins and cottages with two to four bedrooms.
Ocean Lakes Family Campground (Myrtle Beach, SC)
A mile of soft sand welcomes you to this campground in Myrtle Beach, SC. Choose from oceanfront, lakeside, and shaded campsites. All campsites have access to playgrounds, a family fun center with mini golf, cafes, a tube slide, a lazy river, and more.
Enota Mountain Retreat (Hiawassee, GA)
Waterfalls, miles of hiking trails, and an organic farm and garden are some of the highlights of this gorgeous mountain campground in Northern Georgia. Reserve a spot by the creek where kids can splash all day, check out the playground, take a hike, or visit and feed the animals on the farm. With its lush setting surrounded by forests, this is one place the whole family can truly unplug and enjoy nature’s magic.
Turtle Beach Campground (Sarasota, FL)
Catch the unbelievable beach sunrise at this little gem of a campground in Florida. Direct beach access takes you from tent to surf in a matter of seconds, and there’s a free open-air trolley to town so you can check out the sights.
Amicalola Falls State Park & Lodge (Dawsonville, GA)
Located in Dawsonville, Amicalola Falls State Park & Lodge is one of two Adventure Lodges of Georgia. Nestled within 829 acres of North Georgia mountain wilderness, Amicalola Falls State Park & Lodge is an outdoorsman’s paradise. The lodge provides easy access to a challenging hike to the top of Amicalola Falls, the tallest cascading waterfall in the Southeast at 729 feet. Additional adventure activities include zip lines, tomahawk throwing, 3-D archery, and GPS scavenger hunts. Newly renovated, the lodge features an expansive outdoor veranda with panoramic views of the mountains, a fire pit, and rocking chairs to bask in the view. Cabins and campsites are also available.
Best Hidden Gem Campsites in the Northeast
The Treehouse Camp at Maple Tree Campground (Rohrersville, MD)
If your tiny explorer has always dreamed of living in a treehouse, head to The Treehouse Camp at Maple Tree Campground. In addition to tent sites, this Maryland campground rents year-round tree cottages and three-season treehouses on twenty wooded acres. Looking for something a little cozier? The adorable Hobbit House sleeps four and has electricity and a wood stove for heating and cooking.
Red Apple Campground | Arundel, ME
Want to go camping in Maine? This spot is perfect for families and has possibly one of the best perks in town, fresh lobsters delivered to your campsite! How awesome is that? Kids will love the recreation area with a new play set, a basketball hoop, horseshoe pits, bocce ball and shuffleboard courts, and an adult-sized swing set (kids welcome too)!
Water's Edge Family Campground | Lebanon, CT
This 10-acre camping destination is wooded with a stocked fishing lake as well as a huge swimming pool for families to take a dip in on hot summer days. During the open season of April 15-October 15, the campground's several activities include a fishing derby, Bingo tournaments, bicycle parades, horseshoes, Texas Hold 'em tournament, and an 80's themed weekend.
Winter Island Park Campground | Salem, MA
If you're looking to scope out all that Salem has to offer, this is the campground for you. Open May-October, you'll find RV and tent sites here and it's near a gorgeous lighthouse and gazebo that you can explore. There are a few prime RV sites that are right on the beach.
Buttonwood Campground (Mifflintown, PA)
This Pennsylvania campground has a pool, mini golf, laser tag, hay rides, gaga pit, water wars, playgrounds, pedal carts, fun on the river, themed weekends, and even an on-site winery for the grownups. The nearby Juniata River is the perfect adventure spot for tubing, canoe, and kayak rentals or just a good time splashing around.
Tully Lake Campground (Royalston, MA)
This tents-only waterside campground in Massachusetts offers shady private sites, canoe and kayak rentals, and kids' programs during the season. Try a history walk, attend a nature presentation, or enjoy some water fun on the 200-acre lake.
Additional reporting by Anna Doogan