Those looking to hit the road this December in search of new festive ways to celebrate the season will find no shortage of themed events and yuletide merriment at campgrounds from coast to coast. Whether you’re searching for family-friendly sleigh rides and visits with Santa, or hoping to ring in the New Year with dinner and dancing, there’s a chance to experience it all with your RV in tow.
From a quiet getaway to Pennsylvania Dutch Country to a rousing, rollicking, music-filled spectacle in Northern Georgia, here are a few of the best campgrounds to visit this holiday season.
1. Stone Mountain Park Campground in Stone Mountain, Georgia
Stone Mountain Park Campground, located just outside of Atlanta, is Georgia’s top-rated campground. This 400-plus-site property offers year-round camping opportunities in the middle of one of the area’s most popular attractions. Come winter, the park is home to Stone Mountain Christmas, which is regarded as “Atlanta’s Most Heartwarming Holiday Celebration.” The event offers a charming array of attractions, including a skyride on a high-speed Swiss cable car and several holiday-themed journeys through the mountains aboard a 1940s train. And once night falls, the park fills with festive music, high-energy shows, millions of dazzling lights, and the chance to watch Santa fly overhead in his magical sleigh.
2. San Antonio KOA in San Antonio, Texas
San Antonio, Texas, is a charming holiday destination, offering popular events at local attractions such as Natural Bridge Caverns, The San Antonio Zoo, and the San Antonio River Walk. And the best home base for exploring it all is the San Antonio KOA. Located along the City Hike-N-Bike Trail, which provides the perfect backdrop for outdoor exploration, this campground boasts a variety of themed activities for the season. Visitors are encouraged to take part in a site-decorating contest, where participants can win prizes awarded at the property’s annual tamale dinner, hosted each Christmas Eve. The event is the perfect opportunity to get a true taste of San Antonio cuisine in a festive setting.
3. Old Mill Stream Campground in Lancaster, Pennsylvania
For a truly old-fashioned holiday celebration, there’s no more idyllic setting than Pennsylvania Dutch Country. Lancaster’s Old Mill Stream Campground features waterfront camping in a locale that allows you to explore the time-honored traditions of the region’s Amish residents, while also staying just a short walk from the entrance of one of the area’s top attractions, Dutch Wonderland. This uniquely themed amusement park offers thrills for all ages and is home to a top-rated holiday event. At Dutch Winter Wonderland, you can meet Santa, marvel at thousands of holiday lights, snack on seasonal treats, and delight in a variety of rides.
4. Sun Outdoors Lake Rudolph in Santa Claus, Indiana
This holiday season, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a jollier location than the festively named town of Santa Claus, Indiana. Known for featuring Christmas-themed offerings all year long, the area shines brightest come December when a sparkling, 12-mile-long drive-through attraction fills the night sky with illuminated scenes of holiday merriment. The Santa Claus Land of Lights is just one of the merry activities found at Sun Outdoors Lake Rudolph during winter, as the campground also plays host to themed events each weekend, offering the chance for RVers to sip cocoa by the fire, mingle with Santa, and more.
5. Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park Camp-Resort: Tower Park in Lodi, California
Jellystone campgrounds are known for their kid-friendly activities, making these properties an excellent choice for families seeking holiday cheer. California’s Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park Camp-Resort: Tower Park features robust offerings for the season, including a golf cart decorating contest, carols, cheerful crafts, fireside hot chocolate, and selfies with Santa throughout the campground. And those looking for a fun way to usher in the New Year will also enjoy the Ring in the New Year at Jellystone Park event, which offers a fun-filled weekend full of dancing, parties, and other celebrations to help close out the year in style.
6. Camp Margaritaville Resort & Lodge in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee
If a country-style Christmas in the Smoky Mountains is what you crave, you’ll find a postcard-perfect RV spot at Camp Margaritaville Resort & Lodge in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. This upscale campground features a lazy river, on-site dining and bar space, and an expansive entertainment center with an arcade, billiards, duckpin bowling, darts, a craft room, and more. To help commemorate the season, Camp Margaritaville is offering packages that coincide with the region’s Smoky Mountain Winterfest Celebration, which boasts sleigh rides, trolley tours, parades, and whimsical events at nearby Ober Gatlinburg and Dollywood. With many activities running through February, the Winterfest event offers plenty of opportunities to plan a camping getaway that’ll chase away those wintertime blues.