Camping in Virginia is an amazing experience because this beautiful state has so much to offer. From beaches to rivers to mountains to valleys, there is a little something for everyone. Camping in Virginia isn’t hard to do because there are lots of easily accessible parks and campgrounds that offer great amenities for beginners. On the flip side, for camping veterans there are more challenging and remote locations to camp.
Before heading out on your tent camping adventure, be sure to check my packing list recommendations to ensure you don’t forget anything!
Here are my recommendations for the best places to go tent camping in Virginia.
Where to camp in Virginia:
1. Virginia State Parks
There are a total of 41 state parks – with more in development – across this beautiful state. These parks have campgrounds that offer a variety of campsites, from group sites to sites with electrical and water hookups to sites with no hookups. All campgrounds have drinking water and most have a bathhouse. The parks are very accessible and a great place for beginner campers to start exploring as well as veterans to test their skills. Check out the VASP website for more information. Here are a few of my personal favorite state parks to go camping in Virginia:
Grayson Highlands State Park
Deep in Southwest Virginia lies this wild, rustic, and beautiful state park. Nestled high up on the mountains in the Mouth of Wilson, this park is one of the most beautiful places in the state. With many miles of trail to be hiked or biked, easy-to-access overlooks that open to the beautiful valley below and the surrounding mountains, as well as rock climbing and fishing, there are a plethora of things to do and see here.
Kiptopeke State Park
On the Eastern Shore across the Chesapeake Bay you can find this absolute gem of a state park. With a long beach stretching along the coastline for swimming or sunbathing, several hiking and biking trails, a huge pier for fishing and sightseeing, kayak rentals, and a line of shipwrecks out in the water, this park is one of the coolest places to camp.
Shenandoah River State Park
On the edge of the Shenandoah Valley you can find this underrated state park. Right on the south fork of the Shenandoah River, you can fish, hike, bike, and kayak or tube down the river. This park is also very close to Shenandoah National Park and Skyline Drive.
False Cape State Park
Camping at this park is not for the faint of heart! With no vehicle access to the park, all campers must hike or bike 4-6 miles roundtrip to stay at this secluded campground. It is definitely a challenge but absolutely worth it! The park offers many miles of hiking trails and places to gaze out across the water.
2. National Parks and National Forests
State parks aren’t the only options when it comes to tent camping in Virginia, the National Park Service also offers camping at beautiful locations around the state. These campgrounds contain campsites without hookups and permits for backcountry camping are available for purchase. Check out the NPS website for more information. Here are some of my favorite places to go tent camping:
Prince William Forest
Located in Northern Virginia, this park offers the city folk an escape into nature. With 15,000 acres of woods and wilderness, there is endless space to go hiking, biking, fishing, wildlife watching, or picnicking.
Blue Ridge Parkway
This iconic parkway that stretches 469 miles across Virginia and North Carolina has not only great views but also great camping! Staying overnight allows quick access to so many amazing overlooks and cool hikes along the parkway.
George Washington & Jefferson National Forest
Spanning 1.8 million acres across three states, this forest is an absolute haven for campers and adventurers alike. Lush and green during the summer and vibrant during the fall, this is a must-see place year round.
Hone Quarry Campground – this hidden gem is nestled in the national forest and offers a great camping experience! Located close to a waterfall hike and plethora of fishing holes, a stay here is a great adventure experience.
3. Shenandoah National Park
Though technically a National Park, this park needs a category of its own. This well-known park offers some of the best views, hikes, and camping in the state. From spring to fall, there are endless trails to hike and views to see while camping at this iconic park. There are beautiful views off Skyline Drive as well as amazing hikes to mountain tops, waterfalls, and rock cliffs. Find out more information and reserve a campsite here.
4. Other Campsites
While the state and national parks are the most common choice for tent camping in Virginia, they aren’t the only option you have. If you’re looking for a less trafficked, smaller, more secluded tent camping experience in Virginia, you can use websites like: