Want to know what pairs best with your favorite food? Fresh air and sunshine, of course! If you love the idea of hitting the road and experiencing great food when you stop, then this list of campgrounds for foodies is for you. Just because you aren’t in a well-known culinary city doesn’t mean you have to keep on driving. Take advantage of these hidden gems!
1. The Campground at Big B’s Delicious Orchards – Hotchkiss, Colorado
This isn’t just a campground for foodies; it’s a retreat paradise for all who visit. Spend your time strolling through the grounds of this apple orchard and enjoy panoramic views of the mountains. If you can ever convince yourself to leave Big B’s, you’ll be right near Southwest Colorado’s premier outdoor spots.
Nearest Airport: Grand Junction Regional Airport, Aspen/Pitkin County Airport
Nearby Attractions: Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, Gunnison River Pleasure Park, Montrose Water Sports Park
Big B’s Delicious Orchards U-pick, Cafe & Tasting Room
There’s farm to table, and then there’s camping at the farm. This is about as convenient as it gets when it comes to campgrounds for foodies. It’s up to you whether you want to sit down for a meal or just try out their hard cider selection, but a visit here is not optional.
The menu here mostly consists of lighter fares in keeping with what’s locally available, but there’s a section here devoted to unique, Colorado-style Mexican food offerings.
Sure, you’ve heard of Memphis and Carolina-style BBQ. You know Texas and Arkansas have their claim to it as well. However, you might be surprised at just what this Rocky Mountain BBQ joint is able to pull off. Zack’s has been “smokin’ in the Rockies” for almost 50 years now, and unlike many other BBQ spots, they’re open from breakfast to dinner.
2. Crossing Creeks Farm – Shelbyville, Tennessee
As a farm, you might say that this campground is entirely designed around food. With pasture-raised, organic-fed and soy-free meats and eggs, Crossing Creek is dedicated to regenerative farming practices and hosting guests on their land. In addition to a farm store, they also have an on-site commercial kitchen where they serve up treats like bone broth and Einkorn cinnamon rolls.
Why leave the Crossing Creeks campground when you’re already on a farm with great food on your doorstep? Well, because the small town of Shelbyville packs a serious culinary punch, too! There are so many good local restaurants nearby that you have to venture out to truly appreciate the full scope of what Shelbyville, Tennessee, offers you. If you aren’t traveling in an RV, make sure to take advantage of the cabin rentals.
Nearest Airport: Nashville International Airport, Huntsville International Airport
Nearby Attractions: Fisherman’s Park, Jack Daniel Grave, Lucky Ladd Farms
I’m gonna jump ahead of a couple of your concerns immediately. You’re going to park and see Queen Gyro and its location, and you might want to second-guess this pick. However, as a seasoned food lover knows, sometimes the best food comes in the most unlikely places. That’s 100% the case with Queen Gyro.
If you want to have your mind blown by incredible Greek food in a place that looks simple from the outside, Queen Gyro is your stop. Just trust me on this one.
Mai House Asian Cuisine
This is another one of those hole-in-the-wall spots that you’d pass right over if you weren’t looking for it. Don’t make that mistake! This small Thai restaurant punches well out of its weight class in quality and taste. While you can get your meal to go, you only get the full experience if you stay.
3. Lazy Fish at Pelican Point – Jamestown, North Dakota
I don’t know about you, but I don’t see North Dakota topping lists for travel or food very often. That works in your favor here though! While not every traveler is heading to Jamestown, North Dakota, you’ve got the inside scoop. You’ll be right on the waterfront when you stay at this amenity-rich campground, and the on-site bar and grill here are not to be missed.
Nearest Airport: Jamestown Regional Airport, Hector International Airport
Nearby Attractions: World’s Largest Buffalo, National Buffalo Museum, McElroy Park
The Lazy Fish
This is a fitting name considering you don’t have to even leave the campground to get here. If you want to stay on-site, you will not be disappointed. The Lazy Fish offers a great bar and grill ambience just steps from the water and has a full calendar of exciting live music to enjoy.
IDK Bar & Grill
“Where do you want to eat?” “I don’t know.” “Perfect!” I have to imagine that’s how this place got started. If you don’t know where to eat in Jamestown, IDK is never a bad choice.
This unfussy spot continually gets strong reviews from travelers and locals alike. It’s a simple setup with all sorts of classic bar eats made to perfection. What more can you ask for?
4. Talona Ridge RV Resort – East Ellijay, Georgia
Besides having a guarantee of good Southern food, East Ellijay is also on the Appalachian Trail, so you’ll get to hike beautiful trails and probably meet some really interesting people.
This is a more low-key RV resort, but you’ll have all basics covered and then some. With trees as far as the eye can see, it’s easy to relax and shut out the outside world for a weekend at Talona Ridge.
Nearest Airport: Chattanooga Airport, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport
Nearby Attractions: Expedition: Bigfoot! The Sasquatch Museum, Amicalola Falls State Park, Fall Branch Falls
It probably comes as no surprise that there’s a good barbeque joint by Talona Ridge. This casual spot makes you feel right at home, all while slow-cooking some of the best eats you’ll have. Make sure to try the beef brisket and a few classic Southern-style sides for the full experience.
Yeah, it’s literally just called Chili Dog. Personally, I think that’s great. Chili Dog is as unfussy as the name suggests. All they do is churn out incredible food, six days a week. While the name suggests it just does lunch and dinner, it’s actually a breakfast and lunch joint. They’re known for their dogs, but you can also get a good Georgia breakfast here (starting at 5:00 a.m.)!
5. Camp Fimfo Texas Hill Country – New Braunfels, Texas
You had to know a list of campgrounds for foodies would have a spot in Texas somewhere on it. Truthfully, you could throw a dart at a map of Texas and get delicious local food no matter where, but New Braunfels is a unique spot. This town is still strongly tied to its German roots and has the restaurants to prove it.
While staying at Camp Fimfo, you’ll have everything you need for a luxurious (and yummy!) experience with their No Dive Bar (a swim-up bar), and two spots to eat on site: Squirrely’s Tavern, and The Filling Station. Taking third place in Top Campgrounds for Families and second place in Top Campground Design at the 2022 Campspot Awards, you can be sure you and your family are in good hands here.
Nearest Airport: Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, San Antonio International Airport
Nearby Attractions: Heritage Museum of the Texas Hill Country, Wimberley Zipline Adventures, Natural Bridge Caverns
Alpine Haus Restaurant
You have to get some good German food in New Braunfels and, while there are no bad choices, Alpine Haus is a staple and a great way to start your food tour. The ambience here makes you forget about the outside world, and all the food is made from scratch. As with any good German spot, you’ve got an adjoining beer and wine garden to enjoy.
Gristmill River Restaurant & Bar
While there are plenty of amazing restaurants in New Braunfels, Gristmill River makes a strong case for top billing. The building is almost 150-years-old and the views of the river are incredible. This American-style restaurant serves up some of the best chicken-fried steaks and burgers in South Texas, so ignore the calories and take in the experience.
Whether you’re willing to take a drive or want an on-site restaurant to check out, the best campgrounds for foodies put you right next to spots you might not visit otherwise. With some conveniently located hiking trails always nearby, consider all the calories at these spots to be guilt-free.
Joe Coleman is a freelance travel and outdoor writer based in East Texas. His love for the outdoors started when living near Olympic National Park and has stayed with him ever since. Taking a respite from social media, you can reach him exclusively at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Image credit in order of appearance: The Campground at Big B’s Delicious Orchards, Crossing Creek Farm, Lazy Fish at Pelican Point, Talona Ridge RV Resort, Camp Fimfo Texas Hill Country