Camping in Virginia

      Your roadmap to once-in-a-lifetime camping adventures in Virginia.

      Your Virginia Camping Guide

      Forget the decision fatigue of mountains or beaches, Virginia lets you have both. Hike the legendary Blue Ridge until your legs ache, then unwind with a campfire serenade by the calming Chesapeake Bay.

      Think crystal-clear kayaking adventures on sparkling lakes, followed by cozy nights under a blanket of stars. Virginia is an open-air adventure for every soul, where memories are made as effortlessly as breathing in the fresh air.

      Best Places To Camp In Virginia

      Shenandoah National Park

      This vast park encompasses over 190,000 acres of rolling hills, lush forests, cascading waterfalls, and diverse wildlife. Campers can choose from various options, including backcountry camping along the iconic Appalachian Trail, developed campgrounds with amenities, or private campgrounds offering unique experiences like cabin rentals and glamping. Hiking, biking, scenic drives, and ranger-led programs are just a few of the activities available in the park.

      Shenandoah National Park

      Virginia Beach

      The vibrant coastal city offers several campgrounds, some located directly on the beach, allowing campers to wake up to the sound of crashing waves and enjoy stunning ocean views. Popular options include First Landing State Park, with its diverse ecosystems and historic sites, and False Cape State Park, known for its pristine beaches and undeveloped camping experience accessible only by foot, bike, or boat.

      Virginia Beach

      Grayson Highlands State Park

      Nestled atop the Virginia-North Carolina border, Grayson Highlands State Park offers a unique camping experience with breathtaking views of rolling hills, wild ponies roaming freely, and diverse wildlife. Campers can choose from developed campgrounds with basic amenities or backcountry camping for a more adventurous experience.

      Grayson Highlands State Park

      George Washington National Forest

      Spanning over 1.1 million acres, the George Washington National Forest offers a vast wilderness area for camping enthusiasts. The forest encompasses diverse landscapes, including mountains, forests, lakes, and rivers, providing a variety of camping options, from primitive campsites to developed campgrounds with amenities. Hiking, fishing, hunting, and water sports are popular activities in this diverse forest, offering something for every outdoor enthusiast.

      George Washington National Forest

      Nelson 151

      This scenic region nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts and campers. The area boasts numerous campgrounds, from private campgrounds with unique experiences like glamping to state parks offering scenic settings and access to hiking and biking trails.

      Nelson 151 Virginia

      Things To Do In Virginia

      Colonial Williamsburg

      Step back in time and experience 18th-century life at Colonial Williamsburg, the largest living history museum in the United States. Explore over 300 acres meticulously restored to reflect the colonial era, with costumed interpreters demonstrating daily life, trades, and crafts. Witness historic reenactments, attend educational programs, and shop for authentic reproductions of colonial goods.

      Shenandoah National Park

      Encompassing nearly 200,000 acres of breathtaking scenery, Shenandoah National Park is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. Traverse the iconic Skyline Drive, a scenic 105-mile ridge road offering panoramic vistas of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Hike amidst diverse ecosystems, explore cascading waterfalls, and go stargazing under pristine night skies. The park also provides opportunities for camping, picnicking, and fishing.

      Virginia Beach

      Virginia Beach is a vibrant coastal resort city renowned for its expansive beach, buzzing boardwalk, and diverse attractions. Relax on the 27 miles of sandy shore, perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and water sports. Explore the lively boardwalk, featuring amusement parks, arcades, shops, and restaurants. Experience thrilling rides at Busch Gardens Williamsburg or discover marine life at the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center.

      Arlington National Cemetery

      Arlington National Cemetery is a poignant and historic landmark, serving as the final resting place for over 400,000 American veterans and their families. Pay your respects at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, where a changing of the guard ceremony occurs every half hour. Witness the eternal flame at the John F. Kennedy Eternal Flame site and explore the Arlington National Cemetery Museum, showcasing the history and significance of the cemetery.


      Thomas Jefferson's iconic mountaintop estate, Monticello, offers a glimpse into the life and legacy of one of America's Founding Fathers. Tour the beautifully restored mansion, designed by Jefferson himself, and learn about his architectural innovations and personal life. Explore the expansive grounds, including gardens, orchards, and Monticello's Mulberry Row, showcasing Jefferson's agricultural endeavors.

      Luray Caverns

      Venture beneath the surface and explore the enchanting Luray Caverns, a vast network of underground limestone chambers adorned with breathtaking natural formations. When you’re here, marvel at towering stalagmites, delicate stalactites, and flowstone formations sculpted over millions of years. 

      Great Falls Park

      Located on the Potomac River, Great Falls Park offers a scenic escape and a glimpse into the power of nature. Witness the cascading waters of the Potomac River as it plunges over a series of majestic waterfalls, including the iconic Great Falls, reaching over 76 feet in height. Hike along scenic trails with breathtaking views, explore historical sites like the C&O Canal remnants, or go whitewater rafting on the challenging rapids below the falls.

      Chincoteague Island

      A charming escape awaits on Chincoteague Island, known for its wild ponies and pristine beaches. Descended from Spanish mustangs, the famous Chincoteague ponies roam freely on the island, offering a unique encounter with these fascinating creatures. Each year, the island comes alive during the Pony Swim, a historic event where the ponies are herded across the Assateague Channel.

      Virginia Museum of Fine Arts

      Housing one of the largest collections in the South, the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts offers an immersive journey through diverse artistic expressions. Spanning over 5,000 years of art history, the museum's collection features European masterpieces, American art, African art, and Asian art. Visitors can admire iconic works by renowned artists like Edgar Degas, Claude Monet, Vincent van Gogh, and Mary Cassatt.

      The Blue Ridge Parkway

      The Blue Ridge Parkway, a 469-mile National Scenic Byway, beckons travelers on a scenic adventure through the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains. As you cruise along the ridge, breathtaking vistas of rolling hills, lush valleys, and cascading waterfalls unfold before you. Scenic overlooks provide ample opportunities to stop and soak in the beauty, while the park itself offers diverse ecosystems for hiking, camping, picnicking, and immersing yourself in the unique culture and heritage of the Appalachian region.

      Natural Bridge

      A marvel of nature, Natural Bridge is a massive 215-foot-high limestone arch carved by Cedar Creek over millions of years. Hike or drive to the bridge for breathtaking views of the surrounding gorge and lush forest. Explore the Natural Bridge State Park, offering scenic trails, historical exhibits showcasing the bridge's significance, and even a zip line adventure for thrill-seekers.

      Shenandoah Valley Wine Country

      Visit family-owned wineries nestled amidst breathtaking landscapes, offering diverse varietals of Virginia wines for tasting and purchase. Enjoy guided tours and learn about the winemaking process, savor delectable meals paired with the wines, and soak in the scenic beauty of the valley.

      Featured Virginia Parks

      Inspiration From Our Nearby States

      Book an RV in Virginia

      Ditch the crowded hotels and rigid itineraries! Experience Virginia's diverse landscapes and hidden gems freely with an RV rental. Cruise through rolling hills, camp under star-studded skies, or stroll along the coast, all in the comfort of your own mobile haven. Book your RV adventure today and start exploring Virginia, one unforgettable mile at a time!

      Frequently Asked Questions

      Spring (April-May) and fall (September-October) offer pleasant temperatures, vibrant foliage, and fewer crowds compared to the summer peak. That said, summer (June-August) is ideal for water activities and swimming in lakes and rivers, although be prepared for hotter weather and potential thunderstorms. 

      Winter camping is possible with proper gear and precautions, offering a unique experience in snowy landscapes.

      Virginia caters to various camping styles. Choose from developed campgrounds with amenities like restrooms, showers, and electric hookups, perfect for families and those seeking convenience. 

      You can also opt for primitive campsites in national forests or backcountry areas for a more secluded experience, which may require basic camping skills.

      Virginia hosts various festivals and events throughout the year, adding another dimension to your camping adventure. Research events happening near your chosen location, like music festivals, food and wine festivals, or historical reenactments, to potentially enhance your camping experience.

      Several companies offer guided camping trips and tours in Virginia, catering to various experience levels and interests. These trips can be a fantastic option for beginners or those seeking a more structured and informative camping experience. Guides can provide valuable knowledge about the local environment, teach essential camping skills, and help navigate unfamiliar terrain.

      Practice responsible camping principles like using designated fire rings, properly disposing of waste, and leaving no trace behind. Minimize your water usage and use biodegradable soap when necessary. Choose eco-friendly products whenever possible and be mindful of wildlife by storing food securely and avoiding attracting animals to your campsite.

      Permits are necessary for camping in certain areas, particularly backcountry camping within national parks and forests. Always check with the specific park or forest for permit requirements and regulations. State parks generally require reservations, especially during peak season.

      Many campgrounds in Virginia welcome furry companions, but leash laws and specific pet regulations are essential to follow. Make sure you check individual campground policies before bringing your pet to ensure a smooth and enjoyable camping trip for everyone.

      Virginia offers endless opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts. Hike through scenic trails, go swimming or boating in lakes and rivers, have a picnic lunch with stunning views, or stargaze under clear night skies. Explore historical sites, visit local towns, or simply relax by the campfire and enjoy the peacefulness of nature.

      Be aware of your surroundings and practice responsible wildlife encounters. It’s important to always extinguish campfires properly and dispose of waste responsibly. You must also be prepared for changing weather conditions, especially if camping in the mountains. And always pack a map and compass, and inform someone of your camping plans and expected return date.

      Camping costs in Virginia vary depending on factors like the type of campground, location, and amenities offered. State park campsites typically range from $20-$40 per night, while private campgrounds can cost more, depending on the facilities provided.

      Backcountry camping usually has minimal fees or may be free, but remember to check permit requirements.

      The term "wild camping" is often used interchangeably with dispersed camping. In Virginia, wild camping, or camping outside designated campgrounds and established dispersed camping areas, is generally not allowed on public lands like national forests or state parks. 

      It's crucial to check with the specific land management agency regarding their regulations and permitted camping locations to ensure a safe and legal camping experience.

      Become a Go Camping America Member!

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