Last Updated on October 8, 2021 by Christina
“Virginia is for Lovers” has been the state’s official advertising slogan since 1968, but we think that “Virginia is for Campers” has a nice ring to it, too. While the state, sadly, isn’t likely to change the slogan, we still love camping in an RV throughout Virginia. We’ll show you how it’s chock-full of campgrounds, each with unique aspects to offer that will make your stay in the Old Dominion a memorable one.
At 42,804 square miles, Virginia has several distinct regions, all featuring warm southern hospitality, a rich history and fantastic food. Pack your fifth wheel, travel trailer or motorhome to learn more about the nation’s first settlement at Jamestown. Catch a glimpse of the famous wild Chincoteague ponies and tour presidential homes in a single trip. There is so much to see and do, there is no time to waste!
Why Go Camping In Virginia?
The state is often referred to as “the birthplace of a nation.” Many people believe they know everything there is to know about the stunning state of Virginia from textbooks. However, seeing a photo of Chesapeake Bay is nothing compared to experiencing it for yourself in your RV. Virginia is full of surprises. Camp next to a battlefield one night and then a beach the next. Soak up the sights of Washington D.C. another night and relax to the sounds of the Blue Ridge Mountains the next evening. Campers love:
- Access to absolutely beautiful beaches on the Atlantic Ocean to swim, fish, walk on the boardwalk or visit a lighthouse. Of all its beaches, Virginia Beach is arguably is most popular with a ton of activities and amusements the whole family will enjoy
- Walking into a history book. In just a small sampling, Virginia is home to Mount Vernon, Monticello, Arlington National Cemetery, the National 9/11 Pentagon Memorial, Manassas National Battlefield Park, Yorktown National Battlefield, Colonial Williamsburg and the Jamestown Settlement
- Diverse southern fare, including fresh seafood like oysters, trout and blue crabs, as well as peanuts, country ham, old-fashioned BBQ and even Brunswick stew
- Some of the south’s most popular family destinations, including Shenandoah National Park, Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center and Busch Gardens
- Being surrounded by nature’s beauty. Virginia’s natural wonders include Luray Caverns, Great Falls Park, Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge, Chesapeake Bay, Blue Ridge Mountains and Natural Bridge.
8 Virginia Campgrounds We Love
Whether you’re a fan of history or simply love nature’s beauty, you’re sure to enjoy your stay at the best Virginia campgrounds. There is truly something for everyone. Here are our favorite picks for Virginia campgrounds that will steal your heart:
Greenville Farm Family Campground | Haymarket
Best Virginia campground for old-fashioned fun
First on our list is a campground for animal lovers. Greenville Farm Family Campground is both a campground and a working farm. This 200-acre farm has been family owned and operated since 1828. They added the campground in 1967. Today, campers are welcome to experience farm life firsthand by viewing farm operations and visiting with the animals.
The campground has a relaxed, quiet atmosphere. There is a large outdoor pool and campers have access to four ponds that are stocked with bass, bluegill and channel catfish. The ponds also attract a fair share of ducks.
While the campground may be rustic with few bells and whistles, it does provide a unique experience. Enjoy the sounds of cows mooing and birds chirping during the day; frogs croaking at night to lull you to sleep. At dusk, sit outside and gaze out over the rolling hills as you watch deer and rabbit frolic in the distance. The sunsets are amazing in this rural part of Virginia, too.
The remote location is perfect to visit the nearby Manassas National Battlefield Park, the site of two Civil War battles. The First Battle of Manassas, also known as Bull Run, took place on July 21, 1861 and the Second Battle of Manassas happened on August 28-30, 1862. Visitors can take a guided tour, view living history demonstrations and visit the Henry Hill Visitor Center and Brawner Farm Interpretative Center. Other nearby attractions include the Manassas Historical Museum, Arlington Cemetery, Mount Vernon and Washington, D.C.
Campsites are available in the grassy area up front or wooded region in the back of the campground. Facilities and amenities are limited in the winter. They include restrooms, showers, dumping station, camp store, firewood, ice, laundry and playground. There are 125 spaces available and 30 have full hookups. Most sites are pull-thru with shade, a fire ring and a picnic table. Pets are welcome.
Tall Pines Harbor Campground | Temperanceville
Best Virginia campground for watching the sunrise or sunset
Next, let’s take a trip to Temperanceville. Located on Virginia’s Eastern Shore in Sanford along the shores of the Pocomoke Sound is Tall Pines Harbor Campground. It has a fantastic sandy beach swimming area, boat ramp for small watercraft and bay front campsites. No matter where you camp in this beautiful, large campground, you’ll have a spectacular view of the best sunrises and sunsets around.
With an entire day ahead of you, don’t retreat to your RV to go back to sleep. Take a refreshing walk or surprise the family with a huge breakfast. Prepare for a day of fun in the sun at the campground’s splash park, zero-entry swimming pool with splash features, jumping pillow or sandy beach. There is even a horse riding area. Get out on the water with the campground’s rentals. Rental equipment includes kayaks, canoes, water trikes, corcls and paddleboats as well as golf carts and pedal carts.
There is so much to do, you won’t have to leave the campground. However, you might want to venture out on the short journey to Chincoteague to get a real flavor for Virginia. Many campers say you’ll find the best crab cakes in town.
If you prefer, catch your own Chesapeake Bay blue crabs by throwing over a line on the campground’s 226-foot fishing pier. Campers also catch croaker, flounder, rock fish, trout and catfish. The camp store stocks a variety of bait, in addition to an assortment of tackle and crabbing supplies. Tall Pines Harbor is located on the Pocomoke Sound, where the mouth of the Pocomoke River and Chesapeake Bay meet. The water is brackish due to this, meaning you can catch both salt water and freshwater fish in the area.
There’s ample room on the campsites for large RVs like Class A motorhomes and fifth wheels. There’s a variety of campsite types offered, from bay front and waterfront to large pull-thrus and smaller back-ins. Full hookup, seasonal and shaded sites as well as cable TV hookups and free WiFi boost your comfort level. “Buddy sites” allow groups of friends to camp in close proximity like one big happy family. Each site is equipped with a picnic table and a fire ring. Also on the grounds are hot showers, restrooms, laundry, camp store, arcade, dump station and ice machines.
First Landing State Park | Virginia Beach
Best Virginia campground for views of Chesapeake Bay
Just off Chesapeake Bay on the back dunes of the beach, First Landing State Park is a popular place for travelers who want to get away without being far from the action. Tourists are drawn to Virginia Beach, a vibrant area filled with sun-seekers and plenty of things to do. The beach is the main attraction, in addition to a fishing pier and boardwalk to explore. Don’t miss the photo op in front of the Neptune statue on the boardwalk as well as other area attractions. This area is also well known for its military history. Check out the Nauticus, a maritime-themed science and technology center. Tour the Battleship Wisconsin, one of the largest battleships built by the U.S. Navy. Nearby, the Spirit of Norfolk offers a variety of leisure cruises.
First Landing State Park has its own unique history as the location where English colonists first landed in 1607. This campground provides a peaceful, calming space to relax and hang out with family. Also, explore the rich natural resources and early history. The park is a National Natural Landmark and listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The habitats within the 2,888-acre park include cypress swamps, salt marsh, lagoons, freshwater wetlands, dunes, maritime forests and bay shoreline. Many are home to numerous rare plants and wildlife. In total, there are 20 miles of trails and 1.5 miles of Chesapeake Bay beach frontage.
Campers can enjoy swimming on the unguarded beach and activities like hiking, biking, boating, picnicking and fishing. Bicycle rental is available at the camp store. Beyond the campground, First Landing State Park also serves as a Virginia Beach Tourism satellite location, making it home to interesting displays and three indoor aquariums.
The campground has 200 campsites, many with water and electric hook-ups. Each site contains a picnic table, fire ring/grill. Campsites can accommodate both pop-up campers and RVs up to 50 feet in length. If the type of campsite you stay in is important to you, check out the campground map. Ensure your campsite is the correct size for your RV, as well as the location and scenery you prefer. The camping sites at First Landing State Park are quite different when it comes to their location and size. Some are located in close proximity to each another or may be near the highway that divides the park. Other campsites provide additional space between sites, are closer to the beach area and located further from the state road.
Common areas include a camp store that sells firewood, camping supplies and a limited amount of basic food items, bathhouses with hot showers, laundry facility, picnic spots and boat ramps.
Big Meadows Campground| Luray
Best Virginia campground to reconnect with nature
Nestled among the rolling hills and lush tree cover in Shenandoah National Park is Big Meadows Campground. Camping is more than just a relaxing experience in this section of the Blue Ridge Mountains, it’s an adventure.
Located in northeastern Virginia, Big Meadows Campground is one of three campgrounds within the massive 199,195-acre Shenandoah National Park. It is located at Mile 51.2 along Skyline Drive, the park’s popular scenic route. There are three waterfalls within walking distance. Also nearby is the picturesque Big Meadow, a recreational area listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1985 that is home to an array of wildlife and plant growth.
From the campground, you can access two major hiking trails, Story of the Forest Trail and the Appalachian Trail. The Story of the Forest Trail is a family-favorite, non-strenuous 1.8 mile walk that is partly paved and filled with wildflowers, deer and songbirds. Nearly 101 miles of the 2,181-mile Appalachian Trail is located within Shenandoah National Park, crossing Skyline Drive several times. Individuals, couples and families can create many shorter hikes that utilize the Appalachian Trail.
Camping in this part of the state is mostly remote. Therefore, it’s imperative that you maintain proper food storage practices at all times. Otherwise, you could receive a surprise visit from a hungry bear, deer, raccoon or skunk in search of a tasty meal.
While in the heart of the Shenandoah Valley, Big Meadows Campground welcomes RVs and is well-equipped to accommodate RV campers. Highlights include pull-through and deep back-in sites designed to harbor most RV sizes and a tow vehicle. There are no electric or water hookups available, but the campground does offer potable water and a dump station. Generator use is limited to certain areas during posted hours. In total, there are more than 200 campsites with plenty of shade.
Public facilities include restrooms, showers, a utility sink, laundry, emergency phone, ranger station, dumpster, recycle area and amphitheater.
Richmond North/Kings Dominion KOA | Doswell
Best Virginia campground for thrill seekers
Richmond North/Kings Dominion KOA is a great place to chill out after spending the day conquering rollercoasters and walking around in the steamy summer sun. There are plenty of opportunities to take a deep breath, recharge your batteries and prepare to hit the amusement park again the very next day.
Access to King’s Dominion, one of Virginia’s most popular attractions, is among Richmond North/Kings Dominion KOA’s greatest assets. Even if amusement parks aren’t your jam, there is plenty to do at Soak City. The 20-acre waterpark features massive water slides, wave pools, interactive splash pad area for young children, cabanas and more. Spend an evening at the Richmond Raceway, which hosts the NASCAR Cup Series, NASCAR Xfinity Series, NASCAR Gander RV & Truck Series, and the NTT IndyCar Series on a ¾-mile D-shaped oval track. In addition to its great location, the KOA has many fantastic amenities of its own, including volleyball, horseshoes, basketball, swimming pool and life-sized checkers.
The RV sites are spacious, with high water pressure and some under a canopy of tall pine trees. They can accommodate all RV types, from pop-ups to motorhomes. Another benefit is the shuttle service to and from Kings Dominion and Soak City throughout the day at no charge. Park your RV, skip the parking fees at the amusement park and enjoy the short shuttle ride.
Camping in your RV so close to an amusement park definitely has its advantages. Escape the midday heat by taking a nap in your air-conditioned RV, avoid high-priced fried foods and enjoy a homemade meal back at your campsite and check out deals to the park for campground guests.
Smith Mountain Lake State Park | Huddleston
Best Virginia campground to splash around in the water
If your kids turn into mermaids and dolphins in the summer, then you won’t want to miss a trip to Smith Mountain Lake State Park. Located along Virginia’s second largest freshwater lake, there are numerous water activities to enjoy. That includes swimming, boating (rentals available) and a universally-accessible fishing pier.
The 500-foot beach features a snack bar and is open from Memorial Day through Labor Day. It has both guarded and unguarded swimming available and is one of two beaches located on the lake. Fishing is very popular. Smith Mountain Lake is known for striped bass, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, catfish and other species. Fish on shore, take a boat out or participate in one of the many fishing tournaments. Boat rentals include canoes, kayaks, ski boats, paddleboats and pontoon boats. Hydrobikes and jet skis are also available for rent.
There are a total of 13 hiking trails at Smith Mountain Lake State Park, adjacent to the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The trails range in length from half a mile to three miles long, providing a scenic view of Virginia’s stunning landscapes.
Campers receive a couple of fun perks, including free boat launches and access to a trail leading to a wonderful fishing spot. Although there are no waterfront camping sites, RVs up to 50 feet and most boats can be accommodated. Some sites are located in wooded areas. Water and electricity are available on all sites, which also come with a campfire area, picnic table, post for a lantern and in-ground grills for cooking.
If you are looking to explore Bedford County, check out the Booker T. Washington National Monument, National D-Day Memorial and the Blue Ridge Parkway, one of the most scenic drives in America. You can also tour an alpaca farm, go golfing and attend a wine tasting.
You also won’t want to miss the Smith Mountain Dam Visitor Center. It’s filled with exhibits about how the Smith Mountain Pumped Storage Project dramatically transformed the Roanoke River Valley region in the 1960s. Its main goal was to provide electricity and drinking water, but today is a recreational hot spot and home to nearly 21,000 residents. The Smith Mountain Lake Chamber of Commerce has an extensive article on the area’s history and a video with Smith Mountain Lake Dam designer Dr. Jeffrey Fong here.
Prince William Forest RV Campground | Dumfries
Best Virginia campground to relax and recharge
Located within Prince William Forest Park, Prince William Forest RV Campground features campsites with lots of tree cover. The forest ecosystem is like a community, with each part making an important contribution to the neighborhood as a whole. The best way to experience everything this National Park has to offer is by taking a hike. Pack a lunch, bring lots of water and get out your camera, because there are more than 900 plant species within the park’s borders.
Feel the tension and stress melt away as you view the abundant wildflowers, ferns, moss, mushrooms, trees, shrubs and fungi. The forest is also home to skunk cabbage, which presents a pungent, familiar odor when the leaves are torn. The Indian pipe is a white plant that does not need sunlight to grow. For this reason, it thrives in some of the darkest areas. The small-whorled pogonia is a federally-listed threatened species that needs to be protected to ensure its survival.
If you love to spend your days fishing, there are plenty of opportunities within the park. There are nearly 18 miles of streams as well as two impoundments that are open for public fishing. That includes the South Fork and Quantico creeks as well as four small lakes built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s. Get away from it all and apply for a backcountry permit at the visitor center to fish at the Breckenridge Reservoir. This area can only be reached by foot and no watercraft is allowed. Anglers often report catching lots of bluegill, pumpkinseed, largemouth bass and channel catfish throughout the park.
If you find watching wildlife relaxing, the National Park Service reports that there are 38 species of mammals. Included on the list are black bear and beaver; 24 species of amphibians; 27 species of reptiles; more the 100 species of birds; and 23 species of fish. Two venomous snake species call Prince William Forest Park home; the northern copperhead and the timber rattlesnake. Neither is abundant and both prefer to stay away from humans.
Guests love the peace and quiet at the campground. It has a laid-back atmosphere with a playground and pool. Most guests tend to leave during the day to explore, so if you want to lie in a hammock with a good book, you can likely do so undisturbed.
Most campers report that the campground and its facilities are clean. If you have a big motorhome or travel trailer, you may want to call to verify that a site can accommodate your RV. Paved pull-thru sites are a maximum 35-feet long, with single car parking areas beside them. Many sites have full hook-ups. The campground’s proximity to Washington D.C. is a big draw as there are not many campgrounds close to the nation’s capital.
Prince William Forest RV Campground is a concessionaire-run campground with full hook-ups for RVs, a pool and laundry facility. Please note: If you opt to explore the park beyond the campground, you will be charged the park entrance fee unless you have a valid national park pass.
American Heritage RV Park Campground | Williamsburg
Best Virginia campground to be a part of history
Is it possible to camp in modern surroundings in a place that is steeped in colonial history? Absolutely, if you reserve a campsite at the American Heritage RV Park Campground. Step out of your RV and step back in time at this campground just eight miles from historic Williamsburg, Jamestown and Yorktown, a region known as America’s Historic Triangle. Children will love watching the pages of their history book come alive. Costumed characters show visitors what times were like during the Revolutionary War in the Governor’s Palace, Capitol and Public Armoury. Then tour Jamestown, the first permanent English settlement in America and visit the Yorktown Battlefields.
Campers enjoy going on a daytime adventure to learn about the nation’s history, then returning to the campground for a quiet, relaxing evening. The campground is situated in an isolated, but not remote area. You’ll drive through a residential area and then poof – there’s a campground. Although not too far from local attractions, you still hear nature sounds at night and an occasional train whistle in the distance.
The 70-acre campground itself provides numerous recreation opportunities. Chill out by the pool, play a round of horseshoes, stroll on a nature trail, play mini golf or engage in a game of basketball or volleyball. Campers appreciate the well-appointed facilities, especially the laundry facilities and fenced dog run. An impressive camp store is fully stocked with snacks, RV supplies, gift items and Colonial Williamsburg souvenirs.
American Heritage RV Park Campground is well-suited for RVs both big and small. There are 80 pull-thru and multiple back-in sites available as well as 30/50 amps, WiFi and cable hook-ups. Full hook-ups are available at 138 sites in both shaded and open areas. There is plenty of room for multiple slides and campers love the leveled concrete pads at each campsite.
If you prefer some extra room and luxury amenities, the campground offers larger premium sites that come fully equipped with patio furniture and a fireplace.
For more information on the best Virginia campgrounds
- Located 35 miles from Washington D.C. near Manassas National Battlefield Park, Greenville Farm Family Campground is a 200-acre working farm with 43 acres. Its address is 14004 Shelter Lane in Haymarket. For more information or to make reservations, call (703) 754-7944.
- Your family will love all the water activities available at Tall Pines Harbor Campground. The campground is located at 8107 Tall Pines Lane in Temperanceville. For details, call (757) 824-0777.
- First Landing State Park, located at 2500 Shore Drive in Virginia Beach, is rich in natural resources and military history. Breathe in the ocean air, relax on the beach or learn more about the country’s history. For more information, call (757) 412-2300.
- Big Meadows Campground in Shenandoah National Park usually opens in the early spring to campers on a first-come, first-served basis. Specific campsites can be reserved beginning in early May, although a number of sites continue to maintain a first-come, first-served status. Reservations are highly recommended on weekends and holidays and may be made up to six months in advance of arrival. Make a reservation at recreation.gov or call (877) 444-6777.
- Richmond North/Kings Dominion KOA in Doswell, Virginia is the perfect place for an action-packed, fun-filled RV vacation getaway. Reservations are recommended, but not required for RVs. For more information, call (800) 562-4386.
- Smith Mountain Lake State Park is a very popular campground at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains. It is located at 1235 State Park Road in Huddleston. For more information, call (540) 297-6066. For reservations, click here.
- Relax among nature at Prince William Forest RV Campground, which is open year-round. The campground is located amid Prince William Forest Park, a national park. Call (888)737-5730 for reservations or at 703-221-2474 for general information.
- The American Heritage RV Park Campground is close to America’s Historic Triangle: Colonial Williamsburg, Jamestown and Yorktown. The campground is located at 146 Maxton Lane in Williamsburg. For more information, call (888) 530-2267 or (757) 566-2133.
For more must-visit destinations, check out these articles on the General RV Blog.