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The names of Georgia’s best camping sites are as much fun as the notion of an outdoor vacation. So are the kinds of places all over the state to sleep and stay. From yurts to container pods, at the beach or by a waterfall, Georgia has dozens of camping destinations to consider.
It’s impossible to count the possibilities – one data point from Georgia State Parks & Historic Sites is 41 state parks with 2,700 campsites. That means tent-only, RV pull-through and back-in, primitive places and group camping.
Privately-owned campsites and campgrounds are also available throughout Georgia.
The best camping options in Georgia are as diverse as all the people you know who might go camping with you! Consider a few personalities, and then we’ll drill down to some details to help you choose the Georgia camping spot right for you.
Georgia Campgrounds With Interesting Names
Skidaway Island State Park: Curious name with access to salt marshes, Spanish moss, maritime forest trails and the ocean. This is the southern half of Georgia. Claims to the name include the British town Skedway, native American Skidowe and today’s residents who say it means beautiful, bountiful and pleasant.
Cloudland Canyon State Park in a little town called Rising Fawn: Backpackers hike in here for 13 primitive sites in a grove of hemlock and RVers choose shaded hook-ups. Find this in-the-clouds campground in Georgia’s top half.
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The Okefenokee Swamp is the place for campers in Stephen C. Foster State Park: Dark skies and loads of stars distinguish these wetlands of international importance.
Amicalola Falls in the Chattahoochee National Forest earns its name in part for having the tallest cascading waterfall in the southeast—720 feet. This is the southern start of the Appalachian Trail.
Think 350 to 760 AD when its first residents named Kolomoki Mounds State Park in Blakely in southwest Georgia. Wide range of camping options today, including hammock sites.
Campsites Without Traditional Tents or RVs
Should you call it best camping in Georgia when there’s no tent in sight like the ones your parents set up in the backyard, or hauled off in the station wagon or SUV with the kids?
Yurt villages add some pizzazz at six state parks in Georgia. Think canvas and wood tent/cabins with beds to sleep six, screened windows, locking doors, porches, grills and a picnic table. Bathhouses with hot showers and flush toilets are a short walk, and enjoy the water spigot just outside the yurt.
The newest yurts are at Red Top Mountain above Lake Allatoona. High Falls, Tugaloo and Fort Yargo have air conditioning! Other yurt choices are Cloudland Canyon and Sweetwater Creek.
Tugaloo – another cool name which meant at the fork of a stream to the Cherokee – is on Lake Hartwell north of Atlanta so boating, fishing and swimming are part of camping.
The only pet-friendly yurt is at Fort Yargo; Winder is the town, between Atlanta and Athens. No pets are allowed in any other yurt.
Read More: 10 Camping Essentials for Women
Canoe and Kayak Camping
Paddle-in camping is primitive, found on islands in three state parks south of Atlanta. Rental boats can be found at each.
Southernmost is Reed Bingham State Park in Adel, easily accessed from Interstate 75. The campsite sleeps 30.
Newnan is the town for Chattahoochee Bend State Park. Check in by 1:00 pm to paddle (or hike 5.5 miles) to eight undeveloped backcountry campsites. Why 1:00 pm? To get to your backcountry site before dark.
High Falls State Park in Jackson accommodates 25 people on its primitive camping island. This park is home to the tallest cascading waterfall south of Atlanta.
Squirrel Nests and Platforms
Want to just roll out a sleeping bag for a getaway and not expect much else? Fort Mountain State Park at the edge of the Cohutta Wilderness has six platform campsites. Simplicity campers here also choose from three pioneer campsites and four walk-ins. Other people reserve the 15 cottages.
Victoria Bryant State Park in north Georgia’s upper Piedmont has eight platform walk-in campsites—-and a golf course!
Consider a night like a squirrel at Unicoi State Park. Hammock or sleeping bag allowed, no tents. The “nests” are platforms built off the ground and stacked on the side of a ridge. Each holds four sleepers.
Container Pods for the Night
Moving, or camping? That’s the question for outdoor adventures in a pod. Most of us see pods as storage or transport. On 12 acres in Wildwood, Georgia, four miles from Cloudland Canyon State Park, are two camp-in pods. Private and luxurious. Think nightly fees of $298 or $399 for four people. Call this glamping.
Domes and Rectangles
And consider glamping at Lake Lanier, a bit northwest of Atlanta. These tents are geodesic domes (Ever equate Buckminster Fuller with camping?) or safari rectangles, 14 by 16 feet, furnished.
Safari tents hold a queen bed and one set of bunk beds. Domes have a king and space for two twins.
Some Campers Visit Every Georgia State Park
“We think it’s fun to do a double,” says Mitch Marshall who visits every Georgia state park with his wife Marilynne, and some of them twice! “Some trips we identify two parks sort of near each other and split our time away from home, or stay a bit longer.”
Often that means discovering little parks they might not have noticed in brochures and websites.
Like tiny Dames Ferry park near better known High Falls and Indian Springs, south of Atlanta, more middle Georgia. Why is that a bonus? Lakeside camping is one reason.
Retired and grateful to experience the outdoors all over Georgia, they sleep in their RV under a map of the state with stars pinpointing the places they’ve camped.
“We started with a 17 footer and now stretch a little bit more with our 22-foot camper,” Mitch says.
SheBuysTravel Tip: Before setting out, make sure your marriage or partnership can survive backing into an RV camping site. They’re not all drive-through, and experienced campers say the job of giving directions is just as challenging as backing up the truck.
North Georgia mountains camping trips delight Mitch and Marilynne for the mountain peaks and views, and cooler air.
“Vogel State Park near Blairsville is just so beautiful, and interesting as maybe the second oldest park in Georgia,” Marilynne says.
And all RV campers will appreciate Vogel’s recent updates to all full hookups. That means sewer hook-up in addition to electricity and water.
From Fort Mountain State Park, the Marshalls visit Ellijay for a day trip and lunch, and use the Blue Ridge Mountains hiking trails to see even more “absolutely wonderful scenery.”
Since this mountain is seriously steep, they recommend driving in from the town of Chatsworth side.
Tallulah Gorge State Park means steep too, with 400 steps down into the gorge. Hikers who reconsider their idea to descend can take a bridge at the halfway point to the other side and go back up!
Cloudland Canyon State Park earns rave reviews for its “amazing scenery” from Mitch and Marilynne, including two waterfalls deep in the canyon. Their caution: the hiking trails here are strenuous.
Black Rock Mountain State Park comes with a caution from those who’ve been: roads are steep and narrow so be confident with your RV driving, and problem-solving. The FoxFire Museum invites immersion into mountain life with walking trails, 20 log buildings, demonstrations and artifacts.
The bear rambling among campsites at Fort Mountain State Park served as a stark reminder to Mitch and Marilynne and their Georgia campgrounds neighbors to lock up food supplies, always.
Red Top Mountain State Park in Acworth, on the 12,000-acre Lake Allatoona, is an easy Atlanta access campsite.
Best Camping In Georgia Further South
Georgia’s a big state so it helps to think regionally when exploring park campgrounds, whether tent camping or RV resorts. Further south makes year-round camping even easier.
Tybee Island is a much-loved Georgia beach, a neighbor to Savannah. And Skidaway Island State Park is about 30 miles away with salt marshes and maritime forests.
Make time for the Visitor Center at Skidaway, particularly to see the skeleton of the prehistoric sloth.
SheBuysTravel Tip: Welcome centers at many Georgia State Parks are new, robust, and filled with natural science exhibits and information. Travelers who rejoice in visiting the parks in many states report Georgia welcome centers to be exceptional.
Island Camping Adventures
Primitive group camping is possible on Sapelo Island at Cabretta Campground. Ferry is the only way to get there and groups are limited to 10 – 25 people. Transportation is provided to haul gear to the campsite which is just steps away from undeveloped beaches.
Cumberland Island, accessible by ferry from St Marys, is an official National Seashore with five camping areas. Specific details are vital to know about each one and available on the website. Plan to walk in all gear, and walk out all trash.
Jekyll Island campground is a half-mile from Driftwood Beach, with 12 primitive tent camping and 167 RV pull-through or back-in spaces. Old oak trees, Spanish moss, birding trails and bike rentals are part of the mood.
Campgrounds with History
Some people travel to post offices to see murals painted as CCC projects—the Civilian Conservation Corps.
Others choose campgrounds like F. D. Roosevelt State Park 80 miles southwest of Atlanta, in Pine Mountain. Seems fitting this park abounds with stone cottages, fireplaces, steps, walls, culverts and a spring-fed swimming pool.
CCC workers built them in 1933, part of the launch of Roosevelt’s New Deal.
Ten other Georgia State Park & Historic Sites feature CCC stone works.
Farms with Campgrounds
Agritourism for best camping in Georgia sounds like explorations for another day.
Dollison Farms in a south Georgia town called Poulan thinks tent campers enjoying their farm is a good idea.
Georgia Grown is a concept spreading beyond edible and usable products to farm-stay opportunities, and the Georgia Grown website offers links to agritourism camping.
Amenities in Georgia Camping Spots
Experienced RV campers Mitch and Marilynne Marshall consider brochure spreadsheets from Georgia State Parks & Historic Sites indispensable.
“We cross reference locations with details like wifi, miles of trails, pet friendly and lakeside parking,” they say. Others look for restrooms, picnic tables, swimming pools, laundry facilities and boat docks in planning the best camping trips in Georgia.
Camping families count on each other too, joining social media groups to find practical tips beyond brochures and campground websites. Kemp Outside is a favorite of the Marshalls—observations of a former wildlife biologist dedicated to making sure no kids miss out on the wonders of nature. Or no adults either.
FriendsofGAStateParks.org is another.