Camping in North Carolina

      Your guidebook to camping getaways in North Carolina.

      Your Go-To North Carolina Camping Guide

      Craving an escape to nature’s playground? North Carolina’s got your back. What’s better than waking up to the symphony of birdsong in the crisp mountain air, or drifting off to sleep with the ocean breeze whispering lullabies? Hike through emerald forests, paddle crystal-clear lakes, or simply unwind by a crackling campfire under a canopy of stars.

      From the majestic Blue Ridge peaks to the sun-kissed Outer Banks shores, North Carolina offers diverse landscapes and welcoming campsites for every adventurer.

      Best Places To Camp In North Carolina

      Asheville and the Blue Ridge Mountains

      Surrounded by the stunning Blue Ridge Mountains, the area offers a diverse range of campsites, from primitive backcountry options in national forests like Pisgah and Nantahala to comfortable campgrounds with amenities in state parks like Mount Mitchell and Chimney Rock. Visitors can enjoy breathtaking scenery, hiking and biking trails, waterfalls, and various outdoor activities during their camping trip.

      Asheville And The Blue Ridge Mountains North Carolina

      Outer Banks

      For those seeking a coastal camping experience, the Outer Banks is a perfect choice. This string of barrier islands boasts pristine beaches, sand dunes, and historic lighthouses. Camping options range from beachfront campsites in Cape Hatteras National Seashore to private campgrounds offering amenities like pools and playgrounds. Visitors can enjoy swimming, sunbathing, fishing, kayaking, and exploring the unique ecosystems of the Outer Banks.

      Outer Banks North Carolina

      Kerr Lake

      Located north of Raleigh, Kerr Lake is one of the largest lakes in North Carolina, offering a variety of camping options around its shores. Kerr Lake State Recreation Area is a popular choice, with campgrounds catering to both tent campers and RVs, some offering stunning lakefront views. Visitors can enjoy swimming, boating, fishing, and exploring the nearby Eno River State Park, which boasts scenic hiking and biking trails.

      Kerr Lake North Carolina

      Uwharrie National Forest

      The Uwharrie National Forest, located in the central part of the state, provides a secluded escape for campers seeking a more rustic experience. With diverse landscapes ranging from rolling hills and hardwood forests to granite outcrops and waterfalls, the forest offers various campgrounds, including primitive and developed options. Visitors can enjoy hiking, mountain biking, rock climbing, and exploring the unique geology of the Uwharrie Mountains.

      Uwharrie National Forest North Carolina

      Cape Lookout National Seashore

      Accessible only by ferry or boat, the barrier islands boast pristine beaches, untouched wilderness, and abundant wildlife. Camping is permitted on designated beaches with a permit, providing a truly adventurous escape for experienced campers seeking solitude and connection with nature.

      Cape Lookout National Seashore North Carolina

      Things To Do In North Carolina

      Great Smoky Mountains National Park

      Renowned for its breathtaking mountain scenery, diverse ecosystems, and rich history, the park offers a plethora of activities for visitors of all interests. Hike along miles of scenic trails, including sections of the iconic Appalachian Trail, or drive along the scenic Blue Ridge Parkway for panoramic vistas. Immerse yourself in the region's rich heritage by exploring historical sites like Oconaluftee Village, a living history museum showcasing Cherokee culture. Whether you're seeking outdoor adventure, stunning natural beauty, or a glimpse into the past, Great Smoky Mountains National Park has something for everyone.


      Built by George Vanderbilt in the late 19th century, this magnificent chateau is a testament to Gilded Age opulence. Tour the grand rooms adorned with exquisite furniture, artwork, and period details, and wander through the expansive gardens designed by the renowned landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted. Beyond the house, explore the Biltmore Estate, encompassing over 8,000 acres with working farms, vineyards, and diverse ecosystems. Biltmore offers a unique glimpse into American history and provides a memorable experience for visitors interested in architecture, history, and stunning scenery.

      Blue Ridge Parkway

      Nicknamed "America's Favorite Drive," the Blue Ridge Parkway is a scenic route spanning 469 miles, connecting the Great Smoky Mountains National Park to Shenandoah National Park in Virginia. Winding through the Blue Ridge Mountains, the parkway offers stunning vistas of rolling hills, lush forests, and cascading waterfalls. Take a leisurely drive to appreciate the breathtaking scenery, stop at scenic overlooks for panoramic views, or embark on a hike along one of the many trails that dot the parkway. 

      Cape Hatteras National Seashore

      Stretching over 70 miles along the Outer Banks, Cape Hatteras National Seashore is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers. Explore diverse ecosystems, including pristine beaches, towering sand dunes, and maritime forests. Hike or bike along scenic trails, go bird watching, or try your hand at kayaking or fishing. Visit the iconic Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, the tallest brick lighthouse in the world, or climb the observation deck for unparalleled views of the coastline. Cape Hatteras National Seashore offers a unique opportunity to experience the unspoiled beauty of the Outer Banks and reconnect with nature.


      Explore the historic downtown area with its unique shops, restaurants, and architectural gems. Immerse yourself in the local art scene by visiting galleries and studios, or catch a performance at the renowned Thomas Wolfe Memorial. Hike to the top of Mount Mitchell, the highest point east of the Mississippi River, or take a scenic drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway for breathtaking views. Asheville offers a unique blend of urban excitement and outdoor adventure, making it a popular destination for travelers of all interests.

      Chimney Rock State Park

       Located near Hickory, Chimney Rock State Park is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts and thrill-seekers. Hike to the top of Chimney Rock, a towering granite monolith offering panoramic views of Hickory Nut Gorge below. Take a thrilling climb on the 215-foot Hickory Nut Falls Trail, or test your courage on the SkyBridge, a 756-foot suspension bridge spanning the gorge. Chimney Rock State Park provides a unique combination of natural beauty, exhilarating activities, and breathtaking views.

      Linville Gorge Wilderness

       Located in the Pisgah National Forest, Linville Gorge Wilderness is a breathtaking natural wonder renowned for its deep gorge, cascading waterfalls, and challenging hiking trails. Hike along the Linville Gorge Trail, offering stunning views of the gorge and plunging waterfalls. For experienced climbers, the rock faces of the gorge offer challenging and rewarding climbing opportunities. Linville Gorge Wilderness provides a challenging and rewarding adventure for those seeking breathtaking scenery and a true wilderness experience.

      Grandfather Mountain

      Grandfather Mountain provides a unique combination of breathtaking views, thrilling activities, and opportunities to learn about the region's natural wonders. Ascend the highest peak in the Blue Ridge Mountains south of Mount Mitchell, Grandfather Mountain. Take a thrilling ride on the Mile High Swinging Bridge, the longest suspension bridge in the United States open to pedestrians. Explore the various hiking trails, offering diverse views and opportunities to encounter diverse plant and animal life.

      Cape Lookout National Seashore

      Located off the coast of Carteret County, Cape Lookout National Seashore is a remote barrier island accessible only by ferry or private boat. Cape Lookout National Seashore offers a peaceful escape for those seeking solitude, pristine natural beauty, and a chance to reconnect with nature in its undisturbed state.


      As the largest city in North Carolina, Charlotte is a dynamic metropolis offering a blend of urban excitement and Southern charm. Explore the vibrant Uptown district, featuring museums like the Mint Museum and the NASCAR Hall of Fame, or catch a performance at the Blumenthal Performing Arts Center. Take a walk through the historic Fourth Ward, a thriving neighborhood with unique shops, restaurants, and breweries. For outdoor enthusiasts, explore the numerous parks and gardens within the city, or visit the nearby Lake Norman for its scenic beauty and recreational activities.


      North Carolina's capital city, Raleigh, is a vibrant center for culture, history, and innovation. Immerse yourself in the state's rich history by visiting the North Carolina Museum of History or exploring the world-renowned North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences. Learn about the Wright Brothers' pioneering legacy at the Wright Brothers National Memorial, or explore the Research Triangle Park, a hub for science, technology, and research.


      Wilmington offers a delightful combination of historical significance, natural beauty, and cultural attractions, making it a popular destination for travelers seeking a relaxing and enriching escape. Explore the historic downtown district with its cobblestone streets, antebellum architecture, and unique shops. Visit the Battleship North Carolina, a World War II museum ship, or learn about the region's maritime history at the Cape Fear Museum. Relax on the pristine beaches of Wrightsville Beach or Carolina Beach, or take a boat tour to explore the surrounding waterways. 

      Featured North Carolina Parks

      Inspiration From Our Nearby States

      Book an RV in North Carolina

      Craving an escape from the ordinary? Ditch the beaten path and hit the open road in North Carolina with an RV adventure. Hike through ancient forests, kayak crystal-clear lakes, or stargaze under endless skies – all without ever leaving your cozy mobile haven. 

      Frequently Asked Questions

      North Carolina offers diverse weather patterns across its regions. Spring and fall generally offer pleasant temperatures and fewer crowds. Summer can be hot and humid in lower elevations, while winter offers cooler temperatures and potential snow in the mountains.

      The best months for camping in North Carolina depend on your preferences:

      • Pleasant temperatures and fewer crowds: Spring (April-May) and fall (September-October) offer comfortable weather and beautiful scenery.
      • Warm weather activities: Summer (June-August) is ideal for enjoying water activities like swimming and kayaking, but expect hot and humid conditions, especially at lower elevations.
      • Cooler temperatures and potential snow: Winter (December-February) offers a unique experience in the mountains, but be prepared for colder weather and potential snowfall.

      Reservations are strongly recommended, especially during peak season and weekends. Many state parks and campgrounds use online reservation systems like ReserveAmerica (accessed through the NC State Parks website).

      Camping options near Carolina Beach vary in price and location. Here are a few examples:

      • Carolina Beach State Park: Campsite fees start around $25 per night.
      • Private campgrounds: Prices range from around $30-$80+ per night depending on amenities and proximity to the beach.

      Yes, most campgrounds charge camping fees, which can vary depending on the location, amenities offered, and campsite type. State parks also have day-use fees in some areas.

      Yes. Many campgrounds offer family-friendly amenities and activities. Remember to supervise children closely around water bodies and educate them about safety in the outdoors.

      Hiking, fishing, swimming, kayaking, biking, and exploring historical sites are just a few possibilities. Many campgrounds also offer organized activities and ranger-led programs.

      Campsite fees in North Carolina can vary greatly depending on the location, amenities offered, and type of campsite. Here's a general breakdown:

      • State parks: Typically range from $15-$30 per night.
      • National forests: Typically start around $10 per night for primitive campsites and can go up to $25+ for sites with amenities.
      • Private campgrounds: Can vary widely based on location and amenities, ranging from $20-$100+ per night.

      Respect the environment by minimizing campfire size, properly disposing of waste, leaving no trace at campsites, and respecting wildlife. Be a responsible camper and help preserve the beauty of North Carolina's natural spaces.

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