9 Most Beautiful RV Campgrounds in the U.S., According to Experts
For years, the baby boomer retiree was the stereotypical RV traveler, but these days, millions of Americans live in RVs — a growth that's been fueled by millennials and young families. It's a nationwide trend that exploded during the course of the pandemic, with Outdoorsy reporting a 4,500% increase in RV rental bookings in their 2020 travel trend report.
With plenty of newbies getting on board (literally) with RV life, there are a few practical things to know, like how to pick the right RV, what to pack, and mistakes to avoid. But, as any longtime RVer knows, half the battle is finding a campground that has the amenities you need, the space you crave, and the views you want. To cut out some of the legwork, we asked experts to share some of the best and most beautiful RV campgrounds they've ever experienced, and then added a few of our favorites — because one of the best things about a home on wheels is waking up to a million-dollar view.
Sun RV Resorts in Petoskey, Michigan
If you're looking for small-town charm and easy access to water, look no further: Sun RV Resorts is a quick 10-minute drive west of delightful Petoskey, and it sits on the shore of Lake Michigan. If hopping in the lake isn't your thing, enjoy the RV park's temperature-controlled pool and spa, or play tennis to your heart's content.
Bob Martin, a longtime RVer and president and CEO of Thor Industries, an RV manufacturer, notes, "The park is ideal for those traveling in large RVs and seeking extended stays." The sites can accommodate rigs up to 55 feet long and include Wi-Fi, cable, and a fire ring.
Zion River Resort in Virgin, Utah
Chances are you've seen photos of Zion National Park, an area renowned for its red cliffs, bizarre rock formations, waterfalls, and narrow gorges that seem to cut through the earth. Just minutes from the park's south entrance is Zion River Resort, complete with full RV hookups, grills, free Wi-Fi, and yes, views galore. Once you've fully experienced Zion National Park, use the campground as your home base to explore a little further — Bryce Canyon National Park is just two hours northeast.
Schoodic Woods Campground in Winter Harbor, Maine
This National Park Service campground isn't in the main part of Acadia National Park, but trust us, that's a good thing. You'll get all the pros — views and easy access to the park — without the crowds.
Jeremy Puglisi, cohost of The RV Atlas podcast, author, and Thor ambassador, explains, "An anonymous donor developed this campground, bike paths, and facilities on the Schoodic Peninsula before turning over the property to the National Park Service."
Lighthouse Point at Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio
The only thing better than spending the day at a 364-acre waterfront amusement park is being able to park your RV a few steps away and do it all again tomorrow. Martin says it's the norm for RVers at Lighthouse Point at Cedar Point (who also get early park entry and ticket packages). If amusement parks aren't your thing, head to the RV campground's Lake Erie beachfront or sit back and relax at your site, which has a full hookup, cable, and Wi-Fi.
Lake Placid/Whiteface Mountain KOA in Wilmington, New York
Puglisi and his family, who live in New Jersey, think of the Lake Placid/Whiteface Mountain KOA as their "basecamp option #1 for any serious outdoor adventure in New York state's vast and magnificent Adirondack Park." The KOA sits at the base of Whiteface Mountain and is an easy drive from great fly-fishing spots, hikes, cliff jumping, and — when civilization calls — downtown Lake Placid.
But don't think that just because you're camping you won't have access to the finer things in life. At this particular KOA, there's a rec room, sports center, pool, mini golf, and special weekends that include music and activities.
Boyd's Key West Campground in Key West, Florida
You don't have to rent a beach house in Key West to get a spot right on the water. At Boyd's Key West Campground, found near the end of Highway 1, you can book a site right on the ocean and soak up the laid-back island vibes. The family-run RV campground has a pool and beach area, full hookup sites, and easy, breezy access to Duval Street and downtown Key West.
Rafter J Bar Ranch in Hill City, South Dakota
If you're craving ample elbow room, sprawling views, and cushy amenities, a visit to Rafter J Bar Ranch will do you good. You can plan your days with trips to Mount Rushmore (16 minutes by car) and Crazy Horse Memorial (19 minutes by car), but Puglisi says some of his family's favorite memories took place at the campground, which has a heated pool and hot tub. "We had a large, grassy field right in front of our site, and we played soccer and catch in a park-like setting surrounded by the beauty and stoic grandeur of South Dakota," he added.
Hilton Head Harbor RV Resort & Marina in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina
You've likely heard of Hilton Head Island, but you don't have to leave your RV behind to experience the renowned golf courses and Atlantic beaches. The RV sites at this campground have Wi-Fi and cable, and the property includes saunas, swimming pools, and a hot tub. When you want to venture out, head to the marina to pick up a jet ski, kayak, or paddleboard and cruise around the shore.
Salt Creek Recreation Area & Campground in Port Angeles, Washington
One of the most visually stunning RV campgrounds in the U.S. can be found in the Salt Creek Recreation Area on Washington's Olympic Peninsula. Puglisi says, "When we post pictures of the campground at the Salt Creek Recreation Area on social media, our followers flip out and demand to know where it's located. It's just that beautiful."
The campground sits on a bluff above the water, and there are tide pools and plenty of hiking, surfing, biking, and kayaking spots to be explored. If you can tear yourself away from this magical place, make a trip to Olympic National Park to get up close with the peninsula's temperate rain forests, wild coastline, and glacier-capped mountains.