10 Best Campgrounds for Families
Whether you like to pitch your own tent or get a good night’s sleep in an air-conditioned cabin, a number of campgrounds across the United States are great for all kinds of families.
Photo By: Jellystone Park Camp Resort
Photo By: Herkimer Diamond Mines, Inc.
Photo By: Stan Badz/PGA Tour/Getty Images
Photo By: Shelley Campbell Bogaert/Lakedale Resort
Photo By: Georgia Department of Natural Resources
Photo By: South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks
Photo By: Kampgrounds of America
Photo By: Shutterstock/Jacqueline F Cooper
Photo By: Lake Rudolph Campground & RV Resort
Photo By: Lake George Escape
Jellystone Park at Larkspur, Colorado
Families can’t help but love this Yogi Bear-themed campground, which is located midway between Denver and Colorado Springs and offers much more than sites to pitch a tent. Look for cottages with en suite bathrooms, as well as yurts, tepees and safari tents. Explore nearby Pike National Forest, or spend the day at the campground for a fossil dig, archery class or geocaching. Snap pics with Yogi and Boo Boo at the flag-raising and lowering ceremonies that start and end each day.
Note: Some campgrounds are open seasonally, and some may have limited capacity or other restrictions due to COVID-19. See each website or call for details.
Herkimer Diamond KOA, Herkimer, New York
Sure, you’ll find the usual cabins and tent sites at Herkimer Diamond KOA in upstate New York, but sky-watchers and kids will go mad for one of the astronomy lodges, which feature their own observatories and telescopes. Book one of the Solar Lodges for an off-the-grid camping experience or reserve Caesar's Place, a pet-friendly cabin, if Fido is coming along. Families can also prospect for diamonds (well, quartz crystals) at Herkimer Diamond Mines or visit the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, about an hour away. Visit the diamond mine and hall of fame websites for information on possible COVID-19 restrictions or closures.
Bend-Sunriver RV Campground, Bend, Oregon
At Bend-Sunriver RV Campground, an on-site activities coordinator ensures that kids and families have fun all day long, whether by participating in mini-golf, pickleball, arts and crafts, tournaments or just enjoying the playground. The campground is minutes from central Oregon’s Mount Bachelor, where there are plenty of opportunities for hiking, biking, canoeing and fishing. In the evening, relax in your tent, RV, cottage, or cabin or in a unique accommodation, like a tiny house or covered wagon.
Lakedale Resort at Three Lakes, San Juan Island, Washington
Situated on San Juan Island in Washington, 82-acre Lakedale Resort offers a variety of places to stay: in the lodge, yurts, a vintage Airstream RV, glamping cabins and cottages, log cabins, a lake house or on sites for tent or RV camping. The classic campsites have fire pits and picnic tables, while the lodge has deluxe rooms and whirlpool tubs. Surrounded by three lakes, the resort offers many water activities, including fishing, canoeing and stand-up paddleboarding. Organized activities such as crafting tie-dyed shirts and stuffed animals keep the kids entertained.
Fort Yargo State Park, Winder, Georgia
Fort Yargo State Park, located between Athens and Atlanta, is home to a 1792 fort built by early settlers. Stay in a cottage, cabin or air-conditioned yurt, or choose an RV or tent camping site. Kids will love swimming in the lake, paddling kayaks or playing a challenging round of disc golf. Admission to the park, picnic areas, trails, the boat ramp and parking lots may be limited on busy days to maintain social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic. Check the website or call before you go.
Blue Bell Campground, Custer, South Dakota
For old-fashioned hayrides and classic chuckwagon cookouts, spend a few days at Blue Bell Campground in South Dakota’s Custer State Park. Bring your RV or tent and set up on one of the 31 campsites (some with electric hookups), or book one of 23 cabins. The whole family will love the guest ranch feel and a variety of outdoor activities, including horseback riding and fishing. As a bonus, open-air Buffalo Safari Jeep Rides pick up at nearby State Game Lodge Resort, allowing visitors to tour the park with an expert guide and spot buffalo, elk and other wildlife.
Ventura Ranch KOA, Santa Paula, California
Let the kids splash in the pool at Ventura Ranch KOA, which sits just over an hour outside Los Angeles at the foot of one of Ventura County’s tallest mountains, Topa Topa. Then, take a nature walk, fly down a zip line or race up the rock-climbing tower. In the evening, settle into your cabin or tent (tent sites do not have electricity). RV sites have full or partial hookups, but no cable for TV. Even better, try a safari tent with a comfy bed and porch, a Conestoga wagon with electric lights, or a tepee. Check the website for information on possible restrictions or required protocols due to COVID-19.
Jellystone Park at Mammoth Cave, Cave City, Kentucky
Be sure to explore the caverns of nearby Mammoth Cave National Park with a ranger before bouncing on the huge jumping pillows, sliding down a 300-foot waterslide and having a water-balloon battle with other campers at Jellystone Park at Mammoth Cave. Kids love the five playgrounds, the catch-and-release fishing pond and inflatable boat races at Karst Beach (admission to the beach is included for registered campers). Look for a variety of cabins and cottages, including the Boo Boo Bungalow, which sleeps up to 15 people. See the website for operating dates for water attractions.
Lake Rudolph Campground and RV Resort, Santa Claus, Indiana
Nearly every road and section of Lake Rudolph Campground & RV Resort is Christmas-themed. Santa's SplashDown Water Park, also on the grounds, is open seasonally; see the website for a schedule. From playgrounds and mini-golf to family movie nights and visits with Rudolph himself, there’s plenty more to do at the campground. The free shuttles and parking lot trams that take campers to and from nearby Holiday World Theme Park and Splashin' Safari are suspended through 2020 due to COVID-19.
Lake George Escape, Diamond Point, New York
At this campground in the Adirondacks, kids will love hiking, fishing, kayaking and tubing along the Schroon River while staying in a log cabin. There’s also a bonfire pit at Lake George Escape that’s ideal for roasting s’mores when the sun goes down. A full-time activities staff ensures that children have plenty to occupy them every week of the summer, from learning the hula at a luau to playing laser tag to decorating bikes to ride in a parade. See the website for information on amenities that may be restricted or closed due to COVID-19.