Camping in Rhode Island

      Your roadmap to the good life in Rhode Island.

      Your Go-To Camping Guide for Rhode Island

      Sleep under a canopy of pines next to a glistening lake, or wake up to the soundtrack of crashing waves lapping at your tent. Rhode Island caters to all camping styles, from seasoned adventurers to families seeking a nature retreat. Hike through emerald forests, cast your line in crystal-clear waters, or simply roast marshmallows under a sky bursting with stars.

      Rhode Island’s compact size means you’re never far from charming towns, delicious seafood shacks, or another hidden natural gem. If you’re ready, pack your bags, grab your sunscreen, and get ready to experience the best of Rhode Island’s great outdoors – all within a stone’s throw of adventure.

      Best Places To Camp In Rhode Island

      South County

      Renowned for its pristine beaches, charming towns, and relaxed atmosphere, South County is a top choice for both beach and nature enthusiasts. Popular camping options include Fishermen’s Memorial State Park, offering stunning ocean views and proximity to Narragansett Pier, and Burlingame State Park, nestled beside scenic Watchaug Pond and featuring over 700 campsites. Both parks provide various amenities like boat launches, hiking trails, and playgrounds, making them perfect for families and outdoor adventurers

      South County Rhode Island

      Block Island

      This car-free island paradise is a hidden gem, accessible by ferry from mainland Rhode Island. Camping choices include Great Salt Pond Campground, offering stunning ocean views and easy access to the island’s beaches and hiking trails, and Mohegan Bluffs Campground, located near the iconic cliffs and offering a more secluded experience. While amenities are limited on the island, Block Island’s charm lies in its natural beauty, relaxed pace, and unique island atmosphere.

      Block Island Rhode Island

      Blackstone Valley

      This historic region, located in the northern part of the state, offers a unique blend of historical sites, scenic forests, and peaceful lakes. Campers can choose from options like Pulaski State Park, featuring woodlands, a lake for swimming and fishing, and historical landmarks like the General Nathanael Greene Homestead, and World War II Memorial State Park, offering serene camping amidst rolling hills and forests. This region is ideal for history buffs and nature lovers seeking a more secluded camping experience.

      Blackstone Valley Rhode Island

      Newport County

      Home to the iconic mansions and charming town of Newport, this coastal region also boasts beautiful beaches and diverse camping options. Campers can choose between campgrounds like Gooseberry Beach, offering beachfront camping and proximity to historical sites, and Fort Adams State Park, featuring campsites within a historic fort with stunning ocean views. This region caters to campers seeking a combination of historical exploration, outdoor recreation, and proximity to charming towns.

      Newport County Rhode Island

      Narragansett Bay

      This scenic bay area offers diverse camping options catering to various preferences. Campers seeking beachfront camping can choose Fort Wetherill State Park, offering stunning ocean views and historical sites to explore. Alternatively, for a more rustic experience, Ninigret National Wildlife Refuge provides campsites amidst protected natural habitats perfect for birdwatching and nature walks. The Bay Area caters to campers seeking a mix of beach activities, historical exploration, and wildlife observation.

      Narragansett Bay Rhode Island

      Things To Do In Rhode Island

      The Breakers

      This opulent mansion, nicknamed "The Summer White House," was built by the Vanderbilt family and is the largest of the Newport mansions. Visitors can tour the grand rooms, admire the exquisite furnishings, and experience the lavish lifestyle of the Gilded Age.


      Nestled along the scenic Atlantic coastline, Newport, Rhode Island, boasts a vibrant tapestry of historical charm, captivating natural beauty, and luxurious opulence. Steeped in rich history, the city served as a playground for America's Gilded Age elite, leaving behind a legacy of awe-inspiring mansions, like The Breakers, nicknamed the "Summer White House." This opulent Vanderbilt mansion, the largest of its kind in Newport, invites visitors to embark on a journey through time. Explore the grand, meticulously decorated rooms, marvel at the exquisite furnishings, and gain a glimpse into the extravagant lifestyle of the era.

      The Elms

      A magnificent Vanderbilt mansion, this stands as a testament to the architectural grandeur of the Gilded Age. This French Renaissance masterpiece boasts sprawling gardens, meticulously landscaped with vibrant flora, and lavish interiors adorned with intricate details and opulent furnishings. Immerse yourself in the estate's rich history and witness the artistry and craftsmanship that went into creating this architectural gem.


      As the capital of Rhode Island, Providence pulsates with a vibrant energy, blending historical significance, cultural attractions, and a lively atmosphere. Immerse yourself in the city's rich history at the Roger Williams National Memorial, a park dedicated to the life and legacy of Roger Williams, the founder of Providence and a champion for religious freedom. Explore the park's historic sites, including the First Baptist Church in America, the oldest Baptist church in the country, and learn about the city's founding principles and the pivotal role Roger Williams played in shaping its identity.

      Brown University

      Established in 1764, Brown University is the seventh-oldest college in the United States and boasts a beautiful campus with historical buildings, academic centers, and green spaces. Visitors can explore the campus, learn about the university's rich history, or even catch a performance or cultural event.


      This renowned public art installation transforms the Providence River into a mesmerizing display of bonfires. Witness the captivating interplay of fire and water as flames dance across the river, creating a magical atmosphere. Take a boat tour on the river for a unique perspective of the installation, or simply admire the artistic display from the various bridges and riverside areas, soaking in the ambiance and enjoying the vibrant energy of the city.

      Southeast Lighthouse

      Hike or bike to the historic Southeast Lighthouse, a beacon standing guard over the island since 1873. Ascend the lighthouse for breathtaking panoramic views of the island and the surrounding waters, and learn about its intriguing history as a vital navigation tool for mariners.


      Visit the historic village of Slatersville, a living history museum showcasing the life and work of 19th-century textile mill workers. Discover the preserved mill buildings, worker housing, and historical sites that tell the captivating story of the valley's industrial past.

      Ocean Drive

      This scenic coastal road winds along the Atlantic Ocean, offering panoramic views of the coastline, beaches, and mansions. Visitors can take a leisurely drive, stop at scenic overlooks, or explore the charming seaside towns along the way.

      Cliff Walk

       This 3.5-mile coastal path offers breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean, rocky cliffs, and opulent mansions perched on the seaside. Hikers can enjoy the scenic beauty and historical landmarks along the way.

      Rhode Island School of Design Museum of Art (RISD Museum)

      Housing an extensive collection of over 100,000 works of art, the RISD Museum offers a diverse exploration of art history, from ancient artifacts to contemporary pieces. Visitors can delve into various artistic mediums, including paintings, sculptures, textiles, and decorative arts.

      Roger Williams National Memorial

      Extend your journey into the Blackstone Valley by visiting the Roger Williams National Memorial, a park commemorating the life and legacy of Roger Williams. Explore the park's historic sites, including the Blackstone River, and gain a deeper understanding of the region's role in shaping the nation's early history.

      Featured Rhode Island Parks

      Inspiration From Our Nearby States

      Book an RV in Rhode Island

      Ditch the hotel room and embrace the open road! Cruise the scenic coastlines and explore the charming villages of Rhode Island in the comfort and freedom of your own RV rental. From the vibrant culture of Providence to the breathtaking beauty of Block Island National Wildlife Refuge, Rhode Island offers a unique blend of history, adventure, and relaxation.

      Frequently Asked Questions

      The best time for camping in Rhode Island depends on your preferences. Here's a breakdown:

      • Spring (April-May): Pleasant weather with fewer crowds.
      • Summer (June-August): Warmest temperatures, ideal for swimming and beach activities, but expect peak crowds and higher prices.
      • Fall (September-October): Enjoy mild temperatures, vibrant foliage, and fewer crowds.
      • Winter (November-March): Limited camping options due to colder weather and potential snowfall, but offers peaceful solitude for experienced campers.

      Several campgrounds in Rhode Island welcome furry companions. However, it's crucial to check the specific pet policies of each campground, as restrictions may apply concerning breed, size, leash requirements, and additional fees. Remember to bring your pet's vaccination records and ensure they are well-behaved and comfortable in a camping environment.

      The amenities offered at Rhode Island campgrounds vary depending on the location and whether it's state-run or private. Here's a general overview:

      • State parks: Typically offer basic amenities like restrooms, showers with coin-operated hot water, fire pits, and picnic tables.
      • Private campgrounds: Often provide more amenities, including laundry facilities, swimming pools, playgrounds, camp stores, and recreational activities.

      Determining the exact number of campgrounds in Rhode Island is challenging due to the presence of both state-run and private options. However, the state boasts numerous opportunities for camping enthusiasts. The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management manages five state campgrounds with over 1,000 campsites, offering various amenities ranging from basic to developed sites. 

      Camping year-round in Rhode Island is possible but with some considerations. While most state parks operate throughout the year, some campsites may have seasonal closures or limited availability during colder months.

      It's always best to check with the specific park for their operating season and campsite availability. Similarly, private campgrounds have varying seasonality, with some closing during winter and others remaining open year-round. Always check with individual campgrounds for their specific operating schedules.

      Rhode Island boasts several beautiful state parks offering diverse recreational activities, including camping. Popular options include Burlingame State Park, Fishermen's Memorial State Park, George Washington State Campground, Charlestown Breachway State Park, and Ninigret National Wildlife Refuge (which offers camping through a partnership with the state). 

      These parks provide various amenities and cater to different camping preferences with their unique natural settings.

      Yes, a fishing license is mandatory for anyone over the age of 14 when fishing for freshwater or saltwater in Rhode Island. Licenses are available for different durations and can be obtained online or at authorized retailers like sporting goods stores.

      • Fees: State park campsites generally have lower fees compared to private campgrounds.
      • Amenities: State parks typically offer basic amenities like restrooms, showers, and fire pits. Private campgrounds often provide more amenities like laundry facilities, swimming pools, and recreational activities.
      • Reservations: Reservations are highly recommended for both state parks and private campgrounds during peak season. However, state park reservations might be more streamlined and managed through a centralized system, while private campgrounds may have their own reservation process.
      • Experience: State parks offer a more natural and rustic camping experience, while private campgrounds may cater to various preferences with additional activities and amenities.

      Generally, consuming alcohol is prohibited within Rhode Island State Parks, encompassing all areas like campsites, beaches, and hiking trails. However, there might be designated areas within specific parks that allow alcohol consumption with a permit. 

      Yes, some Rhode Island campgrounds restrict the use of firewood to prevent the spread of invasive insects like the Emerald Ash Borer. These campgrounds usually sell firewood bundles purchased on-site to ensure they are safe and local. Always check with the specific campground for their firewood policy and regulations.

      Following the "Leave No Trace" principle is crucial when camping in Rhode Island. This means packing out all trash you generate, including food scraps, packaging, and other waste. 

      Dispose of trash properly in designated bins provided by the campground or use a Leave No Trace method like carrying a small trash bag to collect your waste and dispose of it responsibly upon leaving the campsite.

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