Camping Destinations

The Best Campgrounds on the Water

by Joe ColemanMay 6, 2022

There are few things better than sunshine and a day camping when the weather is good. If you’re looking to enjoy the great outdoors and wake up to a picturesque body of water, here’s a list of campgrounds on the water crafted specifically to help you get there!

1. Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park™ Camp-Resort: Guadalupe River – Kerrville, TX

An aerial shot of the campground and water park at Yogi Bear's Jellystone Park™ Camp-Resort: Guadalupe River

Body of Water: Guadalupe River

Nearest Airport: San Antonio International Airport

Water-Related Amenities: Fishing, hot tub, pool, waterpark

Taking home Campspot Awards in Top Campgrounds in the USA, Top Campgrounds for Families, and Top Camping Sites, it’s safe to say you can’t go wrong here. With the nearby Guadalupe River, you won’t have to go far to enjoy a relaxing weekend on the water. Of all the possible campgrounds on the water, this is one of the best places to beat the heat in the entire Lone Star State.

Book This River Adventure

2. Oceanside RV Resort and Campground – Coos Bay, OR

Red picnic tables and a yellow tent on the beach at Oceanside RV Resort and Campground, a campground on the water

Body of Water: Coos Bay, Pacific Ocean

Nearest Airport: Southwest Oregon Regional Airport, Eugene Airport

Water-Related Amenities: Fishing, waterfront

The Oregon Coast is one of the best places to be in summer. With moderate temperatures, even in the warmer weather, it’s an incredibly comfortable place to be. The lush greenery makes even the most mundane of drives feel like an adventure, and you’re not far from your choice of state and local parks. Did I mention this campground on the water came in number three in both Most Popular Campgrounds in the USA and Top Campgrounds with Views in this year’s Campspot awards?

Book This Ocean Escape

3. Lake Siskiyou Camp Resort – Mt. Shasta City, CA

Two swimmers mid-air jumping into a lake with mountains and trees in the distance.

Body of Water: Lake Siskiyou

Nearest Airport: Redding Airport, Rogue Valley International Medford Airport

Water-Related Amenities: Beach, boat launch, canoeing/kayaking, fishing, waterfront, waterpark

Lake Siskiyou cracked the top 10 for Most Popular Campgrounds in the USA at the 2022 Campspot Awards, and for good reason. With picturesque views of Lake Siskiyou, Mt Shasta, and the Shasta Trinity National Forest, this campground on the water is a paradise for nature lovers and anyone looking to unplug without sacrificing creature comforts.

Book This Lake Retreat

4. Pedder Bay RV Resort & Marina – Metchosin, BC

Boats moored at the marina at Pedder Bay RV Resort & Marina with trees and blue skies in the background.

Body of Water: Pedder Bay, Matheson Lake

Nearest Airport: Victoria International Airport

Water-Related Amenities: Boat launch, canoeing/kayaking, fishing, waterfront

If you feel like traveling internationally, you won’t have to head too far. Just across the border from Washington State, you’ll be among some of the most beautiful parts of British Columbia and only a ferry ride from Olympic National Park! If you ever feel like taking a break from this picturesque waterfront, downtown Victoria is less than an hour away.

Book This Picture-Perfect Resort

5. Sun Outdoors Rehoboth Bay – Millsboro, DE

A blue camping cabin with palm trees at a campground on the water.

Body of Water: Rehoboth Bay

Nearest Airport: Salisbury Regional Airport

Water-Related Amenities: Beach, canoeing/kayaking, fishing, pool, waterfront

There’s no better place for first-time campers than Sun Outdoors Rehoboth Bay. That’s not just me saying that—it took home first place in this year’s Campspot Awards for Top Campgrounds for First-Timers! You’ll have everything you could need or want at this inviting, accessible resort. Whether you bring your RV or tent is up to you, but you’ll definitely want to check out the cottages they have available on site.

Book This Coastal Camping Spot

6. Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park™ Camp-Resort: Lakes Region – Milton, NH

An aerial shot of a lake surrounded by trees at Yogi Bear's Jellystone Park™ Camp-Resort: Lakes Region.

Body of Water: Northeast Pond

Nearest Airport: Manchester-Boston Regional Airport, Portland International Airport at Pease

Water-Related Amenities: Beach, boat launch, canoeing/kayaking, fishing, hot tub, waterfront

When it comes to campgrounds on the water, Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park™ Camp-Resort: Lakes Region makes a strong case. This place really has it all, taking home the top spot in this year’s Campspot Awards for Top Camping Sites. With every type of campsite imaginable, from tents to luxurious cabins, you’re sure to find your home on the water.

Book This Lake-Lovers Dream

7. The Hideaway Retreat – Navarre, FL

An aerial shot of campsites at a campground on the water.

Body of Water: Santa Rosa Sound

Nearest Airport: Destin-Fort Walton Beach Airport, Pensacola International Airport

Water-Related Amenities: Canoeing/kayaking, paddle boat, waterfront

Not far behind the Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park™ Camp-Resort: Lakes Region is The Hideaway Retreat. Coming at #4 in this year’s Campspot Awards for Top Camping Sites, “retreat” is not just a marketing gimmick. This campground revels in the aesthetic of old Florida with a series of white gravel roads guiding you under the shade of the local oak and magnolia trees.

Book This Hidden Gem

8. Fortland – Portland, ME

An aerial shot of Fortland, a campground surrounded by water near Portland, Maine.

Body of Water: Casco Bay Harbor

Nearest Airport: Portland International Jetport

Water-Related Amenities: Canoeing/kayaking, fishing, waterfront

Probably the best name on this list, Fortland is more than just a unique moniker. It came in at #5 in the 2022 Campspot Awards for Top Campground Design. It is quite literally a fort, having been created to preserve the history of this Civil War-era fort.  You’ll be able to enjoy the sunsets from the comfort of your yurt or canvas tent, both complete with electricity and luxury queen beds. When you’re ready to leave, you’ll have plenty to do including local museums, observatories, and of course, the obligatory duck tours!

Book This Historic Stay

9. American Sunset RV & Tent Resort – Westport, WA

Two surfers lean on the front of a jeep parked on the sand, oceanside.

Body of Water: North Bay

Nearest Airport: Seattle-Tacoma International Airport

Water-Related Amenities: Pool

This Washington coast getaway is open daily all year. With its water activities and proximity to some of the best hikes in Washington, this is the perfect place to stop on a trip to Olympic National Park. If you aren’t heading to the park, this campground is still an ideal getaway, nestled in the quiet central Washington coast.

Book This Epic Basecamp

10. Westward Shores Cottages & RV Resort – West Ossipee, NH

An aerial shot of a campground and marina on a lake.

Body of Water: Ossipee Lake

Nearest Airport: Portland International Jetport, Manchester-Boston Regional Airport

Water-Related Amenities: Beach, boat launch, canoeing/kayaking, fishing, paddle boat, waterpark

If you’re looking through lists of campgrounds on the water for the perfect basecamp for outdoor enthusiasts, look no further. In picturesque New Hampshire, you’ll find the perfect mix of getaway and outdoor destination. If you’re looking to get on the water, the nearby marina gives access to great fishing and water-sports. If you’re looking for something more unique, head out to the nearby Lakefront Landing Marina and look for boat rentals!

Book This Boating-Centric Stay

11. Steamboat Park Campground – Jenison, MI

An aerial shot of campsites along a campground on a river.

Body of Water: Grand River

Nearest Airport: Gerald R. Ford International Airport

Water-Related Amenities: Fishing, pool, waterfront

Just need a comfortable and enjoyable place to park your rig? While Steamboat doesn’t offer their own cottages, they cater well to travelers and RVers looking for a place to spend a relaxing night or weekend. You’ll have full hookups and all the waterfront views you could ask for.

Book This Relaxing River View

12. Rodanthe Watersports and Campground – Rodanthe, NC

A yellow truck and a camper parked at a campground on the water.

Body of Water: Pamlico Sound, Atlantic Ocean

Nearest Airport: Norfolk International Airport

Water-Related Amenities: Canoeing/kayaking, fishing, waterfront

If you like to save money on accommodations to spend it on adventure, Rodanthe is the place for you. Catering to families, Rodanthe is the destination for North Carolina travelers looking to keep things simple. You’ll be surrounded by water as you spend your days by the Pamlico Sound and the Atlantic Ocean.

Book This Water-sports Haven

13. Sun Retreats Cape Cod – Dennisport, MA

A grey cabin underneath trees at Sun Retreats Cape Cod.

Body of Water: Cape Cod

Nearest Airport: Martha’s Vineyard Airport, Nantucket Memorial Airport

Water-Related Amenities: Beach, boat launch, canoeing/kayaking, fishing, hot tub, waterfront

Sun Retreats Cape Cod boasts the distinction of being the only campground with “its own private swimming 500-foot beach on the Nantucket Sound.” If that doesn’t entice you, I don’t know what will! With full hookups as well as cottage stays at this campground on the water, you can be as plugged in (or unplugged) as you’d like during your stay.

Book This Beach Resort

14. Sun Outdoors Key Largo – Key Largo, FL

A dock at Sun Outdoors Key Largo overlooks the ocean with blue skies and clouds in the distance.

Body of Water: Florida Strait

Nearest Airport: Miami International Airport, Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport

Water-Related Amenities: Beach, boat launch, canoeing/kayaking, fishing

When it comes to campgrounds on the water, this one means business. Venture to the diving capital of the world and explore the clear blue waters of the Florida Keys. Adventurers looking to nature will never be disappointed staying at Sun Outdoors Key Largo. This relaxing resort has proximity to Florida’s best outdoor destinations and provides all the amenities necessary to relax after a long day of exploration.

Book This Slice of Florida Keys Heaven

15. Camp Valhalla – Nakusp, BC

A dog looks out at the water and mountains in the distance on a tree-lined beach.

Body of Water: Summit Lake

Nearest Airport: West Kootenay Regional Airport, Kelowna International Airport

Water-Related Amenities: Beach, boat launch, fishing, waterfront

Valhalla is genuinely a perfect name to describe this British Columbia getaway. You’ll be treated to some of the most magnificent beach and mountain views all in one place. When you’re tired after a long day on the water, you’ll be able to come back to your RV or tent and enjoy all the amenities necessary to keep you well rested and ready for a new day.

Book This Lake Adventure

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 joecolemanfreelance@gmail.com.

Photo credit in order of appearance: Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park™ Camp-Resort: Lakes Region, Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park™ Camp-Resort: Guadalupe River, Oceanside RV Resort and Campground, Lake Siskiyou Camp Resort, Pedder Bay RV Resort & Marina, Sun Outdoors Rehoboth Bay, Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park™ Camp-Resort: Lakes Region, The Hideaway Retreat, Fortland, American Sunset RV & Tent Resort, Westward Shores Cottages & RV Resort, Steamboat Park Campground, Rodanthe Watersports and Campground, Sun Retreats Cape Cod, Sun Outdoors Key Largo, Camp Valhalla