If you’re planning a camping trip for the family this summer, there’s no better place to go than North Carolina. With gorgeous towering mountain ranges and outer bank islands, wherever you go, there’s plenty of untouched nature to explore! So if you’re looking for a campground somewhere in North Carolina this summer, we’ve got the list for you. With spots in the Blue Ridge Mountains, the Pisgah National Forest, and even on the coast, you’re sure to find one that suits your family and your camping adventure. Here’s our top 7 North Carolina campground picks:
If you plan on doing any kind of exploring in North Carolina, you need to check out the campgrounds on the Blue Ridge Parkway. The parkway itself is a recreational motorway that extends 469 miles along the famous ridge of the Blue Ridge Mountains, offering breathtaking vistas and places to stop and explore the whole way down. There’s nine different campgrounds down the parkway, so you could always make a road-trip out of it! It’s important to know that while most of the campsites offer plenty of space for an RV or camper, there are no hookups available. You can call ahead and make reservations at some of the campsites, but not all. A few of our personal favorites along the parkway are: Linville Falls at Mile 316, which offers the opportunity to check out some striking waterfalls, and Mt. Pisgah at Mile 408, where at 5,000 feet, it’s not too difficult to hike to the top of the mountain.
Just outside of Asheville, the campground on Lake Powhatan is a favorite destination for locals and visitors alike! Offering a few more comforts than a rustic campsite, the Lake Powhatan Campground has flush toilets, showers, and a swimming area. All campsites are within walking distance of the lake, and if you’re looking to do any kind of mountain biking, this is absolutely the spot for you! The campground links up with a maze of Bent Creek Mountain Biking Trails, suitable for any biking experience level. There’s trails for families, and more technical options for serious bikers, making it easy for anyone to spend a day on the trails, and then come back to a comfortable campsite.
Offering mountaintop camping at its finest, Campfire Lodgings has accommodations for just about everyone. They provide plenty of hookups if you’re traveling in an RV, have numerous tent camping sites, and offer multiple unique rental options. Always wanted to vacation in a yurt? This is the place to go! They also rent out cabins, and a cliff house built into the mountain. And since the campgrounds are just 10 minutes from downtown Asheville, you’ll have access to all of the activities the vibrant city has to offer, in addition to the vast hiking and bike trails offered by the campground itself.
If you’re looking for a little taste of lake life while you’re camping, the Lake James State Park has a lot to offer. Boating, beaching, fishing, hiking, and biking are just a few of the activities you’ll have access to when you stay at the Lake James State Park. They have 20 backpack campsites about 150 to 300 yards from the parking lot, and 30 boat-in campsites that you can paddle to from across the lake. Whether you want to do a bit of canoeing, or just relax on the beach, the Lake James State Park won’t disappoint.
Located in the Pisgah National Forest, the Davidson River Campground provides close access to a wealth of beautiful North Carolina landmarks. You’ll be right next to famous attractions like Sliding Rock, Looking Glass Falls, and the Blue Ridge Parkway. And if you’re camping with the family, there’s no shortage of activities for the kids! With the river nearby they can go tubing, swimming, or even try a little bit of trout fishing. It’s also easy to link up to hiking trails in the forest, and with a nearby bike rental, you might want to do a bit of mountain biking. The camp itself provides picnic tables, tent pads, lantern posts, and campfire circles, with showers and flush toilets nearby in each camping loop. For a family-friendly camping adventure, you can’t go wrong with the Davidson River Campground.
Voted Best Campground by the Blue Ridge Outdoor Magazine in 2016, the Bear Den Family Campground always has something going on. Near Spruce Pine, NC right off the Blue Ridge Parkway, the campground offers fun for the whole family, no matter the weather. You can take part in traditional camping activities: hiking, fishing, and biking on their 400 acres of wooded forest, or you can check out what the campsite itself has to offer! With basketball, volleyball, badminton, and an entire indoor game room, you’re guaranteed a good time even if it rains. They’re RV friendly too, with both 30 and 50 amp hookups, and plenty of space for your big rig. If you’d rather rent a place to stay and leave the tent at home, check out one of their Campin’ Cabins, big enough for the whole fam.
Cabin Creek Campground
Located on the coast of North Carolina, this campground is a little different from the others. Instead of mountain trails to hike, you can explore the unique islands of the Outer Bank. The campground itself features all kinds of amenities like wi-fi access, hot showers, and even self-service laundry. They’re also RV friendly with hookups and spacious camp sites. From the campground you’ll be just minutes away from seaside towns like Wilmington with quaint downtowns and excellent fishing. So whether you’d rather do some seashore exploring, or a little bit of shopping, you’ll be perfectly situated at the Cabin Creek Campground.