Best Lakeside Camping Destinations

best-lakeside-camping-destinations

Summer is prime camping season, but if you don’t pick the right destination you may find yourself sweltering in the heat instead of enjoying yourself. That’s why finding a great campground near the water is key!

Lakes are wonderful for camping and most have some amazing campgrounds nearby to choose from. You can build wonderful memories with your family at a lake. So, pack up your swimsuits, fishing poles, and kayaks and head to one of these fabulous lakeside campgrounds, many part of the Good Sam Campground network. A Good Sam Membership saves you 10% on stays at these campgrounds and over 2,000 other camping destinations.

Davis Lakes Campground – Virginia

Forget about camping on just one lake…try three! Davis Lakes Campground has it all: fishing, water sports, and plenty of activities for land lovers too. Located in Suffolk, Virginia this campground in only an hour away from Virginia Beach and Colonial Williamsburg, but you might have a hard time dragging yourself away from all they have to offer onsite.

Even better than camping on one lake is camping on three! Davis Lakes Campground has it all: fishing, water sports, and plenty of activities for land lovers too. Located in Suffolk, Virginia this campground is only an hour away from Virginia Beach and Colonial Williamsburg, but you might have a hard time dragging yourself away from all they have to offer onsite.

For starters, the 25-acre Lake Neal is the primary fishing spot, but don’t miss the six-acre Catfish Lake stocked with bluegill, largemouth bass, and catfish. If you’re looking for a sandy beach with a terrific swimming area, try the 18-acre Lake Helen which also boasts an Aquaglide with water trampolines, jungle gyms, and blast bags.

Other Campgrounds Nearby

Camp Chautauqua Camping Resort – New York

Father and Daughter Grilling by RV and Lake
Image: Camping World

Since 1968, the Anderson family has been providing a summer retreat for the whole family at Camp Chautauqua Camping Resort. Located on the shores of the 17-mile-long Chautauqua Lake in Western New York, this family resort has every amenity you could want including a pool, splash pad, playground, boat marina, and nature trails for starters.

They also have themed weekends with fun activities all summer long. One of our favorites is the Wet & Wild Weekend in July, which includes a cool twist on kickball, a soaker hayride, and a giant slip-and-slide. What better time to enjoy the outdoors than a summer visit to New York?

Other Campgrounds Nearby

Catherine’s Landing – Arkansas

Just five minutes away from Hot Springs, Arkansas Catherine’s Landingis aptly named as it features one mile of water frontage on beautiful Lake Catherine. Many sites are waterfront and there are beautiful woods all around. Each paved site has full hook-ups, a picnic table, BBQ grill, and fire ring.

Just five minutes away from Hot Springs, Arkansas, Catherine’s Landing is aptly named as it features one mile of water frontage on beautiful Lake Catherine. Many sites are waterfront and there are beautiful woods all around. Each paved site has full hook-ups, a picnic table, a BBQ grill, and a fire ring. The camp store will even deliver firewood right to your site. Rent a kayak or pontoon boat to explore the windy Ouachita River or stay at the campground and soak in the saline pool while kids enjoy the splash pad. If you get adventurous they also have a zip line.

Be sure to head into town to visit Hot Springs National Park, which is the only national park we’ve visited that is in a city. While there are some nature trails, the main attraction is Bath House Row where you walk down the city streets and tour historic buildings that once housed medical spas. You can even book your own “bathing” experience that includes a private soak in the mineral waters, a steam bath, and a massage.

Other Campgrounds Nearby

Neshonoc Lakeside Camping Resort – Wisconsin

Grilling on Pitboss Grill Next to RV Lakeside
Image: Camping World

Situated on the shores of beautiful Lake Neshonoc, you will find family camping at its best! Neshonoc Lakeside Camping Resort offers spacious RV sites with two swimming pools, playgrounds, and sports fields. The best part is the 600-acre lake perfect for swimming, fishing, and kayaking.

This campground is only 15 minutes from La Crosse, a terrific town on the banks of the Mississippi River. The area features a downtown trolley tour, paddle boat cruises, wineries, and farmer’s markets.

Other Campgrounds Nearby

Wahweap Marina RV Park & Campground – Arizona

Wahweap Marina RV Park and Campground is located in the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area

Enjoy this desert oasis in the southwest! The Wahweap Marina RV Park and Campground is located in the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, which manages the lake as well as a large 1.3 million-acre swath of Arizona and Utah. Lake Powell is one of the largest man-made lakes in North America. It is 186 miles long with 1,960 miles of shoreline and over 96 major side canyons.

The campground is a quarter-mile from the lake but set on a tiered hillside to provide fabulous views. They provide a shuttle to help you get around, and you can charter a boat or book tours on the lake as well.

Other Campgrounds Nearby

Curlew Lake State Park – Washington

RV Overlooking Lake
Image: Shutterstock

Not only do you get all the fun that comes along with camping near a lake, including fly fishing, but Curlew Lake is never limited by seasonal changes. Catch salmon, yellow perch, trout, and tiger muskie during the warmer months. Then, when the weather turns cold, explore activities like cross-country skiing and sledding.

Regardless of when you visit, Curlew Lake is never short on fun. A quick piece of advice: always bring a blanket or tarp. One look at those grassy meadows and you’re going to want to sit around for a while to soak it all in, including flying eagles overhead.

Other Campgrounds Nearby

Loon Lake Lodge & RV Resort – Oregon

RV Parked by Lake
Image: Shutterstock

If you’re looking for a location that boasts ideal conditions for watersports, then look no further. The Loon Lake Lodge & RV Resort has mild summer temperatures and clear skies making it the perfect getaway for watersports enthusiasts. Nestled in the forested mountains south of the Umpqua River, campers have everything from volleyball to fishing as entertainment.

Other Campgrounds Nearby

Lake Sakakawea – North Dakota

RV Couple by Lake
Image: Shutterstock

At an impressive 180 miles in length, Lake Sakakawea is the third-largest man-made lake in America (by area). Popular among anglers who fancy northern pike, walleye, and rainbow trout, this lake also offers plenty of fun by way of boating and swimming as well.

If you’re one of those people who like to look at the water but prefer not to dip your toes in, no worries. There are several adventurous hiking trails in close proximity that allow you to soak in the views without the hassle of getting wet. It’s the perfect place for a camping trip if you’re looking for a crowd-pleaser.

Other Campgrounds Nearby

Regardless of where you end up, you can’t go wrong with warm sunshine and plenty of water. Lakeside camping is often considered the best side of camping. Safe travels!


Did we miss one? Let us know what your favorite lakeside camping resort is in the comments below.

Best lakeside camping destination

Julie and her husband Sean started traveling in their RV full-time 4 years ago after they each served 20 years in the US Air Force. Having lived in more than 10 states and 4 countries, the Chickerys decided it was time to enjoy the rest of the United States. They manage Chickery’s Travels, an educational and inspirational blog and YouTube channel aimed at helping people realize their full-time travel dreams.

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