In the bustle of the mid-Atlantic United States’ cities, resorts, and populous towns, it can be hard to find the space to truly get away. Luckily, this area of the US is also home to some of the country’s most serene beach camping sites—if you know where to look. In just a few hours from home, you can say goodbye to the hustle of your day job and hello to a relaxing weekend at a gorgeous oceanfront campground. Here’s a round-up of the best coastal and waterfront campgrounds in Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Delaware.
Located on the gorgeous Assateague Island National Seashore, Oceanside Campground is an absolute fan favorite, and it’s not hard to see why.
You can see the Atlantic Ocean from the campground, and it’s just a short walk to the beachfront if you want to take a dip. The site is known for pristine beaches, hiking and biking trails, and, best of all, wild horses. That’s right, Maryland’s Eastern Shore is famed for wild horses that roam the beaches. Campendium visitors love spotting these iconic wild horses from the campground. If you’re a horse lover, or even if you’re not, this beach campsite is a must.
The campground is a short 20-minute drive from mainland Berlin, Maryland. Around three hours from Baltimore and Washington, D.C, this beachfront campground is easily accessible for a quick weekend getaway.
Oceanside’s next-door neighbor is the beautiful Bayside Campground. This camping site offers guests a stunning view of the Sinepuxent Bay from the campground’s small peninsula.
In addition to the wild ponies, Campendium campers have seen foxes, herons, and Maryland’s iconic blue crabs here. Being bayside, these camping sites are also a bit more isolated from the wind coming off the Atlantic Ocean than the oceanfront lots.
The sites can be a little harder to secure with only fifty spots, but if you can nab a reservation, it’s well worth it.
Assateague State Park
Back across the bridge in mainland Maryland is Assateague State Park, a peaceful beachfront campsite with both boondocking and hook-up sites.
For affordable rates, you can enjoy clear skies, a sandy beach, and the sound of crashing waves just outside your RV’s window. There are plenty of activities for families and kids of all ages, and many of them are free. You can explore hiking trails, fishing spots, and of course, there’s plenty of sand and sunshine to go around. For fans of wildlife, this site is home to waterfowl, deer, and wild horses. There are also bike, kayak, and stand-up paddleboard rentals available for the adventurers among us.
When you visit, don’t forget to enjoy the star gazing! With little ambient light, the site provides breathtaking views of the night sky. Exploring constellations while making s’mores at the fire pit is the perfect recipe for a memorable family vacation.
Greenbrier State Park
Heading inland, Greenbrier State Park in Boonsboro is about a half-hour northwest of historic Frederick, Maryland.
This campsite is on an adorable, picturesque lake and has easy access to both front and backcountry hiking trails. Campendium users rave about how clean and well cared for this park is. The park is just off the highway, making it easy to access and perfect for day trips to the surrounding areas. Reliable cell coverage will keep you tuned in if that’s what you’re looking for.
Rocky Gap State Park
Our last Maryland location is the incredible Rocky Gap State Park, located right on the Maryland-Pennsylvania border in Flintstone.
This state park is the pinnacle of mid-Atlantic forest campgrounds. The site is surrounded by tall trees on one side and the handsome Lake Habeeb on the other. With boat rentals, kayaks, canoes, and paddleboards, you can experience the great outdoors in all her glory. This pet-friendly site has tons of hiking trails that your dog will love.
The park’s wooded campground is private, accessible, and full of amenities for your fun-filled stay. If you find yourself nearby in West Virginia or Pennsylvania, be sure to stop for a day or two and enjoy the amazing natural landscape.
Belle Isle State Park
Explore the wide Rappahannock River as it flows into the Chesapeake Bay at Virginia’s Belle Isle State Park. The park’s petite campground, with just 32 campsites, is beloved by the Campendium community for its secluded sites, clean facilities, and tons of biking and hiking trails with access to the river. Because of its small size, this campground can be tricky to get into during the weekend; reserve a weeknight spot to enjoy this summer.
Douthat State Park
Located an hour north of Roanoke, Virginia, Douthat State Park is a peaceful, mid-sized campground that some Campendium users have called the prettiest in Virginia.
The campground has swimming, fishing, hiking, and even a playground for the little ones. A stream runs nearby, perfect for casting a line to fish for trout. Last but not least, if you want to enjoy scenic views of the Allegheny Mountains, the forty-plus miles of hiking trails here are a perfect way to do it.
Located within the Hungry Mother State Park, Camp Burson is a two-hour drive southwest of Roanoke, Virginia.
Camp Burson sits on the edge of Hungry Mother Lake, a picturesque water body that offers gorgeous views at sunset. With a boat ramp and lakefront fishing access, you will be able to explore the many different species of fish in Hungry Mother. The beachfront is great for swimming, and there are plenty of hiking trails in the surrounding area.
Claytor Lake State Park
Just an hour outside of Roanoke on the wandering Claytor Lake is the stunning Claytor Lake State Park.
This large park has a lot to offer, with a beach and swimming area, loads of hiking trails, and boat access to the very spacious lake. At 4,500 acres, Claytor Lake is an amazing place for fishing enthusiasts. Here you can find fifteen species of bass, catfish, and more. The site even offers boat rentals and a tack shop.
Campendium users note that the RV park is about a mile walk from the beach, but being on a peninsula, there are coastal views to explore all around!
Raymond B. Winter State Park
The ultimate favorite camping experience in Pennsylvania belongs to Raymond B. Winter State Park. Located about an hour and a half north of Harrisburg, this state park has so much to offer.
With cabins available for rental, tent sites, and partial (electric) RV hook-ups, this site will check the boxes for many types of visitors. The state park has the adorably small Halfway Lake with beachfront swimming access and a breathtaking waterfall. There is also a playground, fishing access, and plenty of hiking trails.
Campendium users note that cell signals are low here, so if you are looking for a place to truly unplug, this is an ideal spot.
Delaware Seashore State Park
Last but not least, the Delaware Seashore State Park is a crowd-pleaser, thanks to its location right on Rehoboth Beach.
This site comes in on the pricier side of our list, but it’s understandable why. On land, there’s a playground, volleyball courts, picnic areas, and an amazing beach. You also get a boat ramp for water access, plenty of swimming areas, fishing access, and a marina. It’s pet-friendly, and there are pull-through spots for big rigs.
No matter which campsite you choose, we hope you get out and enjoy the peace and quiet that can be found in the mid-Atlantic’s waterfront campgrounds.