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There are many good reasons people like to vacation in the southern USA: palm trees, outdoor cafes, and year-round temperate weather. One way to enjoy all of these benefits is by packing a tent (or loading up an RV!) and heading to the best campgrounds in the south, all of which have a stellar selection of seashore spots, nature trails, rock climbing, miles of trails, horseback riding, RV sites and more outdoor adventures.
This post is sponsored by RVshare.
If tent camping or a primitive camping experience is your thing, you’re going to want to look for a campground with clear, clean tent sites, maybe a grill or fire pit nearby, a picnic area, and hot showers in the vicinity.
Families who prefer RV camping will need full hookups if you’re going to be there longer than a day.
The campsites on our list all have something special to offer, whether it’s biking trails, seashore access, overlooks, wildflowers, swimming pools, or miles of hiking trails. We present to you the best campgrounds in the South, including Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Kentucky. Happy vacationing!
Best Campgrounds in the South – Florida
Homestead, FL 33034
Dry Tortugas National Park is a gem for nature lovers, with seaside access and lots of wildlife and bird sightings in the area. Right on the Gulf of Mexico, this National Park offers myriad outdoor activities for quality family time in the sun.
You can’t bring an RV to the Dry Tortugas, but you can park your RV nearby on Key West and explore. Have this 2018 Forest River RV delivered to Key West and then you can take your car to the ferry and hop on over to the Dry Tortugas.
- Primitive campsites are available with no reservations necessary.
- Campsites include a grill, composting toilets and fire pit.
- Head oceanside for snorkeling at Windjammer Wreck.
- Be sure to bring battery-powered appliances; no electrical hookups are available.
3500 Pinellas Bayway S
Tierra Verde, FL 33715
With more than 1,000 acres spread across five interconnected islands on the Gulf of Mexico, Fort De Soto Park is home to more than 328 species of birds and stunning scenery. If you’re into kayaking, canoeing, fishing, hanging out at the beach, and lush green beauty, you’re going to love Fort De Soto Park. Make sure you stop by the fort itself for a taste of history, too.
Want to make it super easy? Take delivery from an owner at RVShare, like this big 2016 Starcraft Comet 3611 High Wall pop-up that sleeps 6.
- 6.8 mile asphalt recreation trail for biking, walking, and running.
- Dog friendly, with a fenced-in dog park and water stations for your furry friends.
- 238-site family camping area with hookups, modern restrooms and hot showers.
- Primitive camping for large groups inside of Shell Key Preserve.
Best Campgrounds in the South – Georgia
122 Cloudland Canyon Park Road
Rising Fawn, GA 30738
There’s a little something for everyone at the Cloudland Canyon State Park in northwest Georgia, including campsites for RVs, campers, tents and primitive camping. Or, if you prefer, relax and reserve one of the 16 cottage or 10 yurt rentals and move right in (bring your s’mores ingredients for the evening fire). Full hookups and RV pull-throughs are available for reservation.
Active, nature-loving families will appreciate the options at this state park campground, including disc golf, climbing, fishing, geocaching, mountain biking and hiking.
- More than 3,500 acres of gorgeous Georgia landscape adjacent to Lookout Mountain.
- 30 miles of biking trails.
- 64 miles of hiking trails.
- 1000-foot canyons, sandstone cliffs and picnics with a view.
Pine Mountain, GA 31822
This is Georgia’s largest state park, spanning 9,049 acres of rolling mountains, pine trees, creeks and breathtaking picnic spots. Named for frequent visitor President Franklin D. Roosevelt, this campground is just right for stargazing (telescope recommended to capture the full spectacle of the night sky), horseback riding and fishing in the creeks that wind through the landscape.
Only about 90 minutes from Atlanta, Franklin D. Roosevelt State Park is accessible from anywhere in the country. Full hookups are available, so a 7-person 2021 KZ Durango would be a great match delivered right to your campsite by RVShare.
- 21 cottages.
- 115 tent, trailer, and RV campsites, some with full hookups
- Stables for horseback riding ,
- 42 miles of hiking trails.
2700 Suwannee Canal Road (7 Miles Southwest Of Folkston)
Georgia Highway 121/23
Folkston, GA 31537-7906
If your kids are fascinated with creatures great and small, they’re going to be blown away by the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge. An internationally-recognized habitat for threatened and endangered species such as the indigo snake, wood stork and red-cockaded woodpecker, this park is home to alligators, bears and screech owls, too.
- For families with adventurous older kids, consider getting a permit to paddle out to the island in a canoe and staying in one of seven overnight shelters.
- Auto tour routes are available year-round.
- Jacksonville, Florida, is only an hour southeast and Amelia Island an hour due east, and both places offer more types of camping if you want to travel around.
- No hookups for RVs are available here
Best Campgrounds in the South – South Carolina
161 Holcombe Circle
Salem, SC 29676
Devil’s Fork State Park, located deep in the Blue Ridge Mountains in the northeast corner of South Carolina, is a riot of azure sky, verdant grasses and plants and the dappled blue waters of Lake Jocassee. There are hiking and nature trails galore here, along with kayaking, canoeing and fishing opportunities. After you’re finished for the day, rest your head in an RV like this adorable unit that sleeps 8 and can be delivered to you.
What really makes this park unique is a separate boat-in campground for an experience unlike any other. A boat-in campground means the site is only accessible by boat, so it’s more secluded than others. You park your trailer, put the boat in the water already loaded up with your tent, water, food and supplies, and motor over to your private campsite. Just make sure to bring your own boat, because rentals are not available.
- 20 two- and three-bedroom villas for rent.
- Easy one-mile Oconee Bell Nature Trail that will appeal to families with young kids.
- Between mid-March and mid-April, visitors are treated to hundreds of wildflower blooms including the rare Oconee Bell of the southern Appalachian mountains.
- Full hookups are available for campers up to 40 feet long
4401 S Kings Hwy
Myrtle Beach, SC 29575 (843) 238-5325
South Carolina beaches are legendary, and Myrtle Beach State Park offers pier and shoreline access along with camping sites and glamping options. Choose between seaside tent sites, RV spots with full hookups, or you can stay in one of six cabins located less than 200 yards from the beach.
Rent an RV like this 2019 Keystone RV Premier Ultra Lite which sleeps 9 and delivery is only $100 anywhere in South Carolina.
- 278 campsites, 138 of which including full hookups.
- One glorious mile of unsullied, undeveloped beach for exploring.
- Enjoy fishing, crabbing and bird watching at the pier.
100 National Park Road
Hopkins, SC 29061
Eighteen miles from Columbia, the capital of South Carolina, a 26,276-acre national park sprawls across the splendor of giant hardwoods and pines. Wooden boardwalks carve trails through the forest, making walks and hiking a pleasure, and guided canoeing tours are available starting March 1.
- You’ll need a reservation for one of the front country campsites or a permit to hike into the wilderness and create a primitive camping spot of your own.
- Only tents and hammocks are permitted at Congaree National Park; no RV hookups available.
- Each campsite has a fire pit and picnic table and the campground has two vault toilets on site.
Best Campgrounds in the South – North Carolina
789 North Carolina 24
Troy, NC 27371
Horseback riding fans will find a match made in heaven at Uwharrie National Forest, which boasts 40 miles of riding trails. Need to stop for a rest to pamper your four-legged friend? Visit Canebrake Horse Camp, which offers electrical hookups for campsites, a horse washing station and showers for you (which would be quite welcome on a warm day).
We highly recommend glamping in the Taj Ma-Haul travel trailer (sleeps 8) from RVShare, which could be delivered to your site.
- If you prefer a mechanical steed, there are miles of ATV trails for your convenience.
- Trails are plentiful, from an easy 0.3 mile walk made for parents and toddlers to mid-grade 3.6-mile river hikes to a challenging 1.4 mile climb.
- Primitive campsites are available throughout the forest, or you may opt for tent camping or RV sites with electrical hookups and water spigots nearby.
1600 State St #151
Asheville, NC 28801
Nestled in the Appalachian Mountains of western North Carolina over a wide swath of land stretching 500,000 acres, the Pisgah National Forest awaits your family getaway. The trail network feels nearly endless, so plan out your backpacking route or mountain biking session and don’t miss the Moore Cove Falls, which has a 50-foot waterfall you can walk behind.
- Hikers, you’ll be rewarded for your work with a clear view of Cold Mountain on one side and downtown Asheville on the other.
- Roadside campsites are sprinkled throughout Pisgah National Forest and include a tent pad, fire ring and parking space.
- The easy-access Rocky Bluff campground has 15 campsites with a parking spot, picnic table, tent pad and fire grate.
- Some sites have RV hookups with a reservation.
1792 Pilot Knob Park Road
Pinnacle, NC 27043
Located in northwest North Carolina, this park is centered around a geological formation called Pilot Mountain, which is an ideal site for climbers and hikers. Rappelling is permitted on the mountain with a permit, and experienced climbers with teens will find this to be a camping trip to remember.
- There are 42 family campsites, each including a tent pad, table and fire pit/grill. Two bathhouses with hot showers are nearby, and water stations are located throughout the campground.
- Two paddle-in campsites require reservations and your own supply of water, but provide an unmatched opportunity to experience nature.
- Horseback riding and mountain biking trails abound in this park.
- No hookups or RV sites are available in this park.
Best Campgrounds in the South – Tennessee
2009 Village Camp Road
Spencer, TN 38585
Hike into backcountry sites, pitch a tent, park your RV (with electrical hookups) or try a cabin rental at Fall Creek Falls, which features an astounding number of geographical wonders everywhere you look. Families with kids of all ages can enjoy nearly 30,000 acres of fun along with four playgrounds, five covered picnic pavilions and an Olympic-sized swimming pool between Memorial Day and Labor Day. There’s even a wading area in the pool for tiny tykes.
- Try zip lining or the ropes course at Canopy Challenge Course – it’s available for kids as young as 4 all the way up to moderately fit seniors.
- Tackle 56 miles of hiking trails and 24 miles of biking trails.
- An 18-hole golf course is available for links fans.
107 Park Headquarters Road
Gatlinburg , TN 37738
With lush forests that are surely the same as they were 100 years ago, this protected section of land in Tennessee is America’s most-visited park. Camping is king in this park and there are lots of places to settle in for the night, including 10 developed campgrounds. If you’re craving a roof over your head, the only option inside the park is LeConte Lodge, which requires visitors to hike of five to nine miles to get there. But once you do… wow. It’s stunning.
- In the developed front country camping area, each site includes a fire grate and picnic table and the campground has restrooms with cold running water and flush toilets.
- Small easy-access horse camps include hitch racks for horses and primitive camping facilities.
- Intrepid backpackers can hike several miles to primitive campsites.
Best Campgrounds in the South – Kentucky
2135 Natural Bridge Road
Slade, KY 40376
Beset with a jewel of a 60-acre lake, the Natural Bridge State Resort Park made our list for its full list of amenities and incredible views. If you can, visit when autumn colors are in full display and the valley is awash with red, orange and yellow. Between April and October, take a rest from hiking and catch the sky lift, which picks you up 1/2 mile from the park entrance and stops less than two football fields away from the Natural Bridge.
- 10 hiking trails range from an easy 1/2 mile to a strenuous 7.5 miles.
- Try glamping in one of 35 rooms at Hemlock Lodge.
- Lots of family fun like a miniature golf course, a stone bathhouse and a massive pool.
- Electric hookups are available.
7351 Highway 90
Corbin, KY 40701
Gorgeous and scenic with Cumberland Falls as its centerpiece, the Cumberland Falls State Resort Park made our list for its natural beauty and family fun. You’ll enjoy twisty hiking trails, horseback riding and swimming. And you don’t have to go all-in with primitive campsites here; adorable cottages and lodge rooms are available with modern amenities like hair dryers, TVs and fully-equipped kitchens. Camp during the day and snooze on a real bed at night, if you like.
Electrical hookups are available at some of the reserved campsites. To really do it up, reserve delivery of this roomy brand-new 2021 Forest River RV Cherokee Grey Wolf from RVShare that sleeps 9 with a full kitchen and a fun outdoor shower.
- Horseback riding for kids 6 and older.
- 50 campsites with electric and water hookups.
- 17 miles of hiking trails.
- Cumberland Falls Mining Company offers fun mining activities for gemstones and fossils.
- One of the only places in the world to see a Moonbow – a rainbow-shaped refraction of light formed with tiny water droplets before and after a full moon.
Kristin Shaw is a freelance writer, adventurer, and motorsports competitor with bylines at Popular Science, Edmunds, The Drive, Motor1, Road & Track, Car and Driver, Forbes Wheels, U.S. News and World Report, GearJunkie, and more. Her work on parenting and relationships has been featured often at The Washington Post and the TODAY show site.
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