Best Beaches for Camping in the US

When you can’t decide between a relaxing beach vacation and a camping trip with the whole family, why not combine the two? In the United States, overnight camping is illegal on many beaches with large fines, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t hundreds of great beaches that do allow camping. Here are some of the best places to head for your caravan holiday this year.

camping on the beach

by irvotheturbo on Flickr

Jalama Beach County Park in California

This park sits less than 60 minutes from the mansions and world-class shopping of Santa Barbara with more humble accommodations. Keep in mind the campsites are awarded to the first who show up so you’ll want to get here early if you want one of the spots directly on the beach.

All campsites include the basic amenities, including fire rings and tables, and small pets are allowed for an extra fee. While you’re here, enjoy the surfing and head down to the nearby grill for a bite to eat.

Long Key State Park in Florida

You’ll find this gorgeous oceanfront campground just off the Overseas Hwy. The park has 60 camp sites, all of which overlook a quiet stretch of the beautiful Atlantic. Spend your time soaking in the sun or snorkeling along the shore, then try the relaxing nature trail.

You can also rent a kayak or canoe here and navigate your way down the canoe trail and explore the lagoons. The park has hot showers and hook-ups for caravans with clean drinking water.

Padre Island National Seashore in Texas

This park sits on an undeveloped piece of barrier land just outside Corpus Christi. Spend a couple of days enjoying nature and use the campsite as your base.

All caravan and tent reservations are given on a first-come basis and you’ll need to get a permit from one of the kiosks or campground hosts to enjoy the amenities.

This area is best known for its great windsurfing near the hyper-saline lagoon nearby. You can take lessons and rent the equipment you need.

Grayton Beach State Park in Florida

Grayton Beach State Park sits on the Santa Rosa beach, which is considered one of the best beaches in the country. The area is famous for its beautiful emerald waters and magnificent sunsets although you can spend your time exploring the 4 miles of nature trails as well, which take you through the coastal forest.

If you’d like to get in some kayaking, head to Western Lake. You need to book in advance if you plan to camp here as most people book up to 11 months before their trip.

Assateague Island National Seashore

This campground, right on the border of Virginia and Maryland, allows you to camp right on the beach and then enjoy the hiking trails through the forest where you’ll encounter herds of wild horses. The area is one of the only remaining places in the United States to see wild horses, although you should only observe them from a distance.

Campsites include water, cold water showers and chemical toilets and the price is highest during the peak season, which runs from April through October.

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