Camping is a timeless outdoor activity that allows families to spend quality time together in the peaceful serenity of nature. While camping is a great family pastime, initially, you will need to outlay some money to gather quality equipment and gear. Once you have the necessities though, camping becomes a very affordable and enjoyable family vacation. Whether you’re an experienced camper or first timer, there are many family-friendly camping destinations that offer a range of campsite amenities and activities like hiking, fishing, swimming, and kayaking to make your trip memorable. Let’s look at some of the best destinations for a family camping adventure!
Yosemite National Park, California
Located in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California, the breathtaking natural wonders of Yosemite National Park are notorious. Opportunities for hiking trails and wildlife viewing are plentiful, but one of the biggest draws for Yosemite is climbing El Capitan. In 2017, Alex Honnold climbed this vertical rock formation in under four hours with just his climbing shoes and a bag of chalk! If rock climbing leaves you weak at the knees, Yosemite offers campsites like Upper Pines and North Pines Campgrounds which are ideal for camping with kids and located near the park’s main attractions.
Acadia National Park, Maine
Located along the coast of Maine, Acadia National Park combines mountain views, colorful forests, and blue waters stretching to the horizon. Within the park there are several sandy beaches and an array of wildlife to view. For the more adventurous souls, an extensive hiking system will take you up mountains, through forests or along the coast for an intoxicating scenic experience. Blackwoods and Seawall Campgrounds are the best camping spots for a family vacation at Acadia.
Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado
Just over 60 miles outside of Denver, Colorado is the Rocky Mountain National Park. Boasting over 265,000 acres of pristine wilderness, the park offers a range of outdoor activities, including scenic drives, hiking trails, fishing spots, and wildlife viewing. Despite all the water, this is not the place for swimming – the water that isn’t fed by snowmelt is too strong to swim in safely without life preservers. Moraine Park and Glacier Basin Campgrounds are two family-friendly campgrounds that offer spectacular views of the park’s landscape.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee/North Carolina Border
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park offers various campground options, over 800 miles of hiking trails, several scenic drives, and an array of interesting wildlife, making it the perfect destination for a family vacation. There are two main options (frontcountry or backcountry) for nature loving families looking for a fun and relaxing camping experience. You can either drive up to your chosen campground site like Cades Cove or Elkmont Campgrounds or adventure down a trail and park deeper in the National Park if you want some space from your camping neighbors - just mind the bears!
Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming
Grand Teton National Park is a stunning destination that offers a range of outdoor activities for families, including hiking, fishing, wildlife viewing, and scenic drives. With its jagged peaks, alpine lakes, and lush forests, the park offers astonishing views and plenty opportunities for outdoor adventure. There are several family-friendly campgrounds, including Colter Bay and Jenny Lake Campgrounds, both of which offer magnificent views of the park's surroundings.
Camping is the perfect option for a fun-filled family vacation allowing you to strengthen familial bonds while enjoying the splendor of nature. Whether you prefer a scenic hike, a relaxing fishing trip, or a thrilling outdoor adventure, there’s a camping destination that’s just right for your family's needs. So, pack your gear, grab your family, and get ready for a fun-filled adventure!