10 Best Places To Go Beach Camping in the US

Where are the 10 best places to go beach camping in the US? Keep reading and find out!

1. Assateague Island National Seashore, Maryland

At Assateague Island National Seashore in Maryland, you get to witness an almost ethereal spectacle – wild horses freely roaming the picturesque beaches. This barrier island, renowned for its raw beauty, stretches seamlessly along the Atlantic coast, offering visitors a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Picture yourself strolling along the pristine shores, with the rhythmic sound of waves accompanying you, while these majestic creatures pass by, embodying the wild and free spirit of the island.

But it’s not just the horses that will steal your heart here. The national seashore is a haven of natural beauty, boasting a rich tapestry of marshes, forests, and dunes. These landscapes provide a haven for the horses and house an impressive diversity of bird species. Birdwatchers and nature enthusiasts will find themselves amidst a paradise, where every trail brings a new discovery and a fresh perspective on the island’s vibrant ecosystems.

assateague beach camping

During your visit, don’t miss out on the recreational activities the island has to offer. You can immerse yourself in many water sports including swimming, surfing, and fishing. If you prefer to stay dry, plenty of hiking trails offer breathtaking vistas of the surrounding landscapes. Whether you are a seasoned adventurer or looking for a peaceful retreat, Assateague has something to offer for everyone.

After a day of exploration, settle down at one of the several campgrounds available on the island. Imagine a night under the starlit sky, with the sound of the ocean as your lullaby. Camping here truly offers an immersive experience, bringing you closer to the island’s natural wonders. Before your visit, be sure to book your camping spot in advance, as the mesmerizing beauty of Assateague attracts visitors from far and wide.

Wild Horse SightseeingWitness the wild horses in their natural habitat
Bird WatchingObserve a diverse array of bird species throughout the island
HikingExplore the numerous trails offering stunning views of the landscape
Water SportsEngage in activities like swimming, surfing, and fishing
CampingExperience the natural beauty by camping under the stars

2. Cape Hatteras National Seashore, North Carolina

Imagine stepping into a picturesque setting where golden sands meet the restless waves of the Atlantic. Welcome to Cape Hatteras National Seashore in North Carolina, a true haven for beach lovers and nature enthusiasts alike. Nestled in the famed Outer Banks, this seashore offers not only breathtaking beaches but also an array of natural wonders just waiting to be explored. Its diverse ecosystems create a vibrant backdrop where each day unfolds a new scene of serene beauty.

But there’s more to this place than just the beaches. The seashore is dotted with historical landmarks, such as the iconic Cape Hatteras Lighthouse. Standing as a sentinel over the Graveyard of the Atlantic, this lighthouse has guided mariners for centuries and now beckons visitors to soak in panoramic vistas from its towering height. Nearby, the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum offers a deep dive into the maritime history of the region, weaving tales of shipwrecks and sea adventures that are bound to captivate your imagination.

best places to go beach camping in the us

When you venture outdoors, you are greeted with a plethora of activities to immerse yourself in. Whether it’s indulging in water sports like surfing and kiteboarding, or casting a line in the hopes of a big catch, adventure is never far away. And let’s not forget about the birdwatching opportunities here; the area is a hotspot for a diverse array of avian species, making it a birder’s paradise. Each season brings a different hue to the landscape, offering you the chance to reconnect with nature in its purest form.

As you wind down your day, don’t forget to soak in the stunning sunsets that Cape Hatteras is famous for. The sky painted with hues of orange, pink, and purple creates a mesmerizing canvas that encapsulates the tranquil beauty of this coastal gem. It’s not just a visit, but an experience that rejuvenates the soul and leaves you with memories that last a lifetime.

BeachcombingExplore the pristine beaches and collect unique shells and sea glass
Visiting Historical SitesDiscover the history through landmarks like Cape Hatteras Lighthouse and maritime museums
Water SportsEngage in exhilarating activities such as surfing, kiteboarding, and fishing
Bird WatchingEnjoy spotting various bird species, especially during migratory seasons
Sunset ViewingWitness breathtaking sunsets that paint the sky with a vibrant palette of colors

3. Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, California

There’s something almost magical about Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park in California. Nestled along the iconic Big Sur coastline, this park offers a front-row seat to some of the most breathtaking views you’ll ever witness. Picture towering redwoods reaching for the sky, rugged cliffs giving way to the mighty Pacific, and waterfalls that tumble directly into the ocean. It’s like stepping onto a canvas where every element of nature has collaborated to create a masterpiece of awe-inspiring beauty.

Now, you might be thinking that such a place is perfect for camping, but here’s where you need to pause and check the latest updates. Due to its popularity and efforts to preserve the delicate ecosystems, camping options might be limited or even temporarily unavailable. So, before you pack your tent and head out, make sure to verify the current status. Despite this, a visit to the park promises an enriching experience, one where you can truly immerse yourself in the splendors of nature.

While you’re there, don’t miss out on the iconic McWay Falls, a sight to behold as it cascades gracefully to meet the turquoise waters below. It’s an Instagram-worthy spot, and trust me, pictures don’t do justice to its real-life beauty. But it’s not all about the visuals; take a hike along the serene trails winding through the park, where every step brings you closer to the heart of this tranquil paradise. The air here feels fresher, the sounds of nature more harmonious, creating a haven where you can relax and rejuvenate.

So, whether you’re a seasoned hiker, a nature photographer, or someone simply looking to escape the city’s chaos, Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park awaits to embrace you with its natural wonders. Remember, while it’s a feast for the eyes, it’s also a sanctuary that commands respect and conservation efforts to ensure its beauty remains untouched for generations to come.

Viewing McWay FallsEnjoy the iconic view of the falls cascading directly into the ocean
HikingExplore the diverse trails offering different perspectives of the park
PhotographyCapture the stunning landscapes, perfect for nature photography
Wildlife ViewingSpot various wildlife species in their natural habitat
PicnickingRelax and have a picnic amidst the natural beauty of the park

4. Padre Island National Seashore, Texas

Imagine a place where the sun kisses the ocean, and the waves whisper secrets to the serene shores. Welcome to Padre Island National Seashore in Texas, a tranquil stretch of barrier island nestled in the Gulf of Mexico. This place is a haven where pristine beaches meet a vibrant tapestry of wildlife, offering visitors an unparalleled communion with nature. As you walk along the seemingly endless coastline, you’ll be treated to the soothing symphony of waves, a melody that beckons one to pause and appreciate the simpler beauties of life.

But the real charm of this place lies in its rich biodiversity. You see, it’s a sanctuary where a plethora of species thrive in harmony. From migratory birds painting the sky with synchronized flights to the sea turtles finding their nesting grounds, it’s a live documentary showcasing nature at its best. And let’s not forget the vibrant marine life that calls the surrounding waters home, promising avid nature enthusiasts moments of awe and wonder as they delve into the underwater world.

padre island national sea shore beach camping

Now, what adds to the allure of Padre Island National Seashore is the myriad of activities it has in store for visitors. Whether you’re looking to indulge in some bird watching, eager to cast a line and enjoy a day of fishing, or simply yearning to bask in the golden rays with the sand between your toes, there’s something here for everyone. Families, friends, and solo travelers alike will find a welcoming embrace in the tranquil surroundings, where each activity brings you closer to the heartbeat of the island.

So, next time you’re craving an escape to a place where time seems to slow down, where the symphony of waves provides the soundtrack to your day, remember Padre Island awaits. A visit here is not just a getaway; it’s a chance to reconnect with nature, to be mesmerized by the beauty that unfolds at every corner, and to take back memories that linger long after you’ve left its shores.

Bird WatchingWitness a diverse array of migratory and local bird species
Sea Turtle ViewingExperience the nesting and hatching seasons of sea turtles
FishingEnjoy a day of fishing in the rich waters surrounding the island
BeachcombingRelax and explore the serene beaches, collecting unique shells
Nature WalksImmerse yourself in the natural beauty with walks along the trails

5. Point Reyes National Seashore, California

Let’s take a moment to revel in the untouched beauty of Point Reyes National Seashore in California.

Now, if you’re yearning for a getaway where the wilderness meets the ocean, then this is your destination. Picture this: you’re surrounded by the melodious symphony of crashing waves while a gentle breeze carries the refreshing scent of the sea. Point Reyes offers this and so much more. The majestic California coastline is home to an abundance of scenic vistas, where every turn unveils a new picture-perfect view, beckoning nature enthusiasts and photographers alike.

But what truly sets this place apart is the unique backcountry beach camping experience it offers. Imagine setting up camp amidst the natural beauty, where the sky is your ceiling and the rhythmic waves your lullaby. Here, the world seems to slow down, allowing you to reconnect with nature and soak in the tranquility that surrounds you. It’s a paradise for campers seeking a serene retreat, where each day unfolds a new adventure waiting to be explored.

orange tent beach camping

Venture out during the day, and you’ll find a diverse array of trails that beckon you to explore the wonders of the seashore. Whether you are hiking through the lush landscapes or horseback riding along the beach, the opportunities for adventure are boundless. And let’s not overlook the rich biodiversity the park hosts; from elephant seals basking in the sun to an array of bird species painting the sky, it’s a living canvas that showcases nature in its purest form.

So, if you’re planning a visit to Point Reyes National Seashore, gear up for an experience that transcends the ordinary. It’s not just a destination; it’s a journey that promises to captivate your soul and leave you with memories that linger, long after you’ve left its shores. Trust me, this coastal gem is a sanctuary where nature unfolds its poetry, inviting you to be a part of its mesmerizing narrative.

Backcountry CampingExperience camping amidst the natural beauty of the coastline
HikingExplore the diverse trails offering stunning views and landscapes
Horseback RidingEnjoy a unique perspective of the seashore on horseback
Wildlife ViewingWitness the rich biodiversity, including seals and various bird species
PhotographyCapture the breathtaking scenery that surrounds you

6. Olympic National Park, Washington

Let’s delve into the scenic beauty of Olympic National Park in Washington. A real gem in Washington, this national park offers a rich tapestry of landscapes where mountains meet rainforests, creating a unique backdrop for a camping adventure like no other. As you venture further, you’ll find stretches of stunning coastline, offering a perfect spot to pitch your tent and gaze at the horizon where the sky kisses the sea.

Now, the charm of this place is truly multifaceted. On one hand, you have the serene beaches where you can stroll with the rhythmic symphony of waves playing in the background. On the other, there’s the verdant forest offering an embrace of tranquility and an array of hiking trails that wind through ancient trees, leading you to picturesque viewpoints. It’s like stepping into a world where time has stood still, allowing nature to weave its magic in every nook and cranny.

olympic national park

But it doesn’t end there; the park is a haven for wildlife enthusiasts. As you explore, don’t be surprised to come across a rich diversity of fauna. From majestic elk grazing in the meadows to the playful dolphins in the waters, it’s a live documentary unfolding right before your eyes. And as night falls, find yourself under a canopy of stars, where the sounds of nature serenade you to sleep. It’s an experience that transcends the ordinary, drawing you closer to the heart of Mother Earth.

So, if you’re plotting a getaway that promises a harmonious blend of beach and forest camping, Olympic National Park stands as a beacon of natural beauty and adventure. It’s not just a visit; it’s an experience that rejuvenates the spirit, offering moments of peace and reflection amidst the captivating surroundings. Trust me, a visit here is like unfolding chapters of a book where every page narrates a tale of nature’s grandeur and magnificence.

Useful Table:

Beach CampingExperience camping along the pristine Pacific coastline
Forest HikingWander through the lush trails showcasing the area’s greenery
Wildlife ViewingSpot a diverse range of wildlife in their natural habitat
StargazingEnjoy a night under the stars, away from the city lights
PhotographyCapture the breathtaking vistas and moments of your journey

7. Cumberland Island National Seashore, Georgia

In the southern stretches of Georgia lies a hidden jewel waiting to be discovered: Cumberland Island National Seashore. This pristine sanctuary is the epitome of untouched beauty, where sandy shores kiss the gentle waves of the Atlantic. As you step onto the island, you’re welcomed by miles of untouched beaches that seem to stretch endlessly, offering a tranquil backdrop that beckons you to unwind and immerse yourself in the natural beauty that surrounds you.

But the beaches are just the beginning of the tale. The island is a vibrant mosaic of ecosystems, housing dense maritime forests and salt marshes that play host to a rich variety of wildlife. It’s not uncommon to witness herds of wild horses grazing in the meadows, adding a touch of wild elegance to the landscape. Bird enthusiasts, keep your binoculars at the ready, for the island is a haven for a myriad of bird species, offering splendid opportunities for bird watching and photography.

cumberland island national seashore

As you venture further, you’d find that the island’s charm is accentuated by the historical and cultural landmarks dotted across it. From the picturesque ruins of Dungeness to the Plum Orchard Mansion, there’s a rich tapestry of history woven into the very fabric of the island. It’s a place where the past meets the present, offering visitors a glimpse into the storied history, adding depth to the already enriching experience.

So, if you’re planning a getaway where you can be at one with nature, Cumberland Island should be on your list. It promises not just a retreat, but an adventure where each day unveils new facets of beauty and wonder. Trust me, a visit here is like stepping into a living painting, where every frame showcases nature in its most beautiful and untouched form.

BeachcombingEnjoy tranquil walks along the pristine beaches
Wildlife ViewingWitness the diverse array of wildlife, including wild horses
Bird WatchingSpot a rich variety of bird species that inhabit the island
Historical ToursVisit the historical landmarks showcasing the island’s rich history
PhotographyCapture the serene landscapes and vibrant wildlife in your lens

8. Gulf Islands National Seashore, Florida/Mississippi

Envision stepping into a stretch where nature meets history, where pristine white-sand beaches greet the azure waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Yes, that’s Gulf Islands National Seashore for you, a place that offers more than just a beach getaway. Nestled across the coastlines of Florida and Mississippi, it’s a place where you can sink your feet into the soft sand and lose track of time as the gentle waves play a melodious symphony, a sound that seems to resonate with the heartbeat of the island.

As you traverse through this picturesque locale, you’ll realize that the beaches are just the beginning of an enriching journey. The national seashore is home to a plethora of wildlife, promising encounters that would leave nature enthusiasts spellbound. Whether it’s the playful dolphins riding the waves or the graceful birds soaring in the sky, each glimpse is a testament to the vibrant life that thrives here, offering moments of wonder and awe at every turn.

gulf islands national seashore

But don’t just take my word for it; immerse yourself in the rich tapestry of history that this place harbors. You see, Gulf Islands National Seashore is not just a natural sanctuary, but a historical treasure trove. From the ancient forts that stand as silent witnesses to the bygone era to the educational centers narrating tales of the past, there’s a historical depth that adds layers to your visit, transforming it into a journey through time.

So, if you’re in the mood for a getaway that promises a melange of natural beauty and history, this national seashore stands as an inviting destination. Trust me, it’s not just a visit, but an enriching experience where every moment unveils a new layer of beauty and knowledge. A haven where you can unwind on the pristine beaches while delving into the tales etched in the sands of time.

Beach RelaxingEnjoy the soft white-sand beaches and clear waters
Wildlife ViewingExperience the varied wildlife, including dolphins and bird species
Historical ToursExplore the historical forts and educational centers to delve into the rich past of the region
Nature TrailsWalk through the scenic trails offering a glimpse into the natural beauty of the seashore
PhotographyCapture the stunning vistas and vibrant wildlife that grace the region

9. Haleakalā National Park, Hawaii

When you think of Haleakalā National Park, it’s quite likely that the first image that comes to mind is the towering summit of its famed volcano, a place where you can witness the awe-inspiring sunrise that seems to set the sky ablaze with hues of red and orange. However, what often skips the radar is the lesser-known but equally enchanting coastal Kīpahulu District, a treasure trove offering the perfect setting for beach camping, nestled amidst the lush tropical beauty of Hawaii.

Imagine setting up camp where the turquoise waters of the Pacific greet the rugged coastline, where each morning welcomes you with a gentle sea breeze and the melodious symphony of waves crashing against the rocks. It’s in Kīpahulu where you can truly immerse yourself in the beauty of Hawaiian nature, away from the hustle and bustle, offering a canvas where the greens of the forest seamlessly blend with the blues of the sea. It’s a paradise where time seems to slow down, offering moments of tranquility amidst the pristine surroundings.

woman on a beach

But it’s not just about the serene beaches. The district is also home to a rich biodiversity, where a walk can lead to encounters with an array of flora and fauna, a testament to the vibrant life that thrives in this tropical paradise. From the vibrant blooms that grace the landscape to the tropical birds that add a splash of color to the sky, it’s a living painting that captures the essence of Hawaii’s vibrant ecosystem.

So, if you’re planning a getaway that promises an amalgamation of natural wonders, Haleakalā National Park stands as a beacon of diverse experiences. Trust me, a trip here offers not just a rendezvous with the majestic volcano but a chance to rediscover the joy of being amidst nature, where the coastal Kīpahulu District beckons with open arms, inviting you to be a part of a narrative that transcends the ordinary, offering moments of wonder and tranquility amidst the tropical paradise.

Beach CampingExperience the tranquility of camping along the pristine coastline
Nature TrailsExplore the lush trails showcasing the vibrant flora and fauna
Bird WatchingWitness the diverse bird species that inhabit the region
PhotographyCapture the breathtaking vistas and moments of your journey
Volcano ViewingDon’t miss the chance to witness the grandeur of the Haleakalā volcano

10. Bahia Honda State Park, Florida

Nestled in the heart of the Florida Keys, Bahia Honda State Park stands as a testament to Florida’s unparalleled coastal beauty. Imagine stepping into a realm where the skies mirror the azure waters and where the golden sands invite you for long, leisurely strolls. This state park is a sanctuary for beach lovers, offering a slice of paradise where one can unwind amidst the serene landscapes, with the rhythmic melody of waves playing in the background, setting the perfect tone for a relaxing getaway.

But it’s not just about the beaches, as glorious as they are. Bahia Honda is a haven for underwater enthusiasts, presenting excellent opportunities for snorkeling. Picture yourself plunging into the clear waters, greeted by vibrant coral reefs that house an array of marine life. It’s like stepping into a different world, where colorful fishes dart amongst the corals and where each dive unveils new marvels of the underwater kingdom. Trust me, it’s an experience that resonates with both novices and seasoned snorkelers alike, offering a glimpse into the rich marine biodiversity that thrives beneath the waves.

girl on a beach

While you’re here, don’t forget to explore the other facets that this park has to offer. From kayaking through the tranquil waters to fishing along the shore, it’s a place where each day promises a new adventure. It’s an oasis that beckons to be explored, where each activity brings you closer to the heart of nature, offering moments of joy and discovery amidst the captivating surroundings. It’s not just a destination, but a journey that brings you face-to-face with the vibrant pulse of coastal Florida.

So, if you’re plotting a retreat that harmoniously blends natural beauty with adventurous pursuits, Bahia Honda State Park should definitely be on your radar. Trust me, it’s a place where the sun kisses the sea, where the days are marked with discoveries, and where the nights unfold under a starlit sky, offering an experience that rejuvenates the spirit and fills the heart with an unspoken joy. It’s a rendezvous with nature, where every moment is a beautiful postcard come to life.

Beach LoungingUnwind on the beautiful beaches with golden sands
SnorkelingExplore the vibrant marine life and coral reefs in the clear waters
KayakingPaddle through the tranquil waters and explore the surrounding areas
FishingTry your hand at fishing and possibly catch a dinner
PhotographyCapture the serene landscapes and vibrant marine life in your lens

You now know 10 great places to go beach camping in the US. Before you head out, take a look at our 14 tips for beach camping.

Jim Murphy

Jim's love for camping started at an early age. His parents would take him camping every summer, where he'd spend his days getting quality time in with his dad and his nights eating too many smores.

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