Rhode Island may be the smallest state in the U.S, but it more than makes up for its size in the diversity of its landscape. Rhode Island has beautiful beaches, wetlands, and of course the amazing forests that the North East is known for.
Rhode Island has a surprising amount of campgrounds for such a small space. From State parks to family owned campgrounds. Some campgrounds are designed to be a source of all in one entertainment, picture the resort in Dirty Dancing, while others are meant to just be a place to leave your shelter while you enjoy everything the outdoors has to offer.
Wondering which places in Rhode Island are the best to go camping? We have put together a list of the campgrounds that are standouts. There is something for every style of camper, and there are a few campgrounds on the list that are definitely unique in what they offer.
We have also put together some tips on how to decide which campground is right for you. Keep on reading to learn more about camping in Rhode Island.
How To Decide On A Campground in Rhode Island
Picking a campground in Rhode Island when planning a family camping trip can be overwhelming. There are so many options, and you can’t always trust the reviews you read online. When picking the campground make a list of your priorities, and which amenities you would like it to have.
Are you a backpacker, with lots of experience, or is this meant to be a family get away? Consider the ages of your children, and what will keep them entertained and make the trip go smoothly. If you are planning a family trip, take a look at our guide to planning a family camping road trip for some helpful tips.
What style of camping are you planning on? Are you tent camping, or are you renting an RV. All of these decisions will inform your choice of campground. If you’re renting an RV for the first time, check out our guide to RV rentals.
Once you have made your priorities list, you can narrow your search. Some campgrounds only have sites for RV’s which automatically rules them out if you’re planning on tent camping. Enjoying a kid free experience? You can rule out the places that are obviously targeted for families with small children.
21 Best Places To Go Camping in Rhode Island
Whether you prefer truly roughing it, tent camping, RV camping, or feel like “glamping” in a cabin with air conditioning is more your style, there is a place for you to enjoy getting away from it all in Rhode Island.
From scenic beach views to family-friendly campgrounds with amenities, let’s explore 21 of the best places to go camping in Rhode Island.
1. Bowdish Lake Camping Area
Looking for a truly memorable family getaway? Bowdish Lake Camping Area certainly fits the bill and offers some of the best camping in Rhode Island. From hayrides to fishing, and chainsaw carving demonstrations, you can keep the kids entertained while making memories.
You can enjoy the peace of the private beach, as well as fishing, and retire to your tent or RV in one of the spacious campgrounds they offer. Check their site map so you can make sure your campground is in an ideal place for your family’s needs.
2. Burlingame State Campground
If you would like the option to stay in a cabin, but prefer simplicity, this campground may be perfect for you. There are campgrounds for tent camping and a few cabins available. With canoe rentals available, a variety of hiking trails, and a freshwater beach, Burlingame State Campground presents plenty of opportunities to just get out and enjoy nature.
Cabins are available for those who prefer not to stay in a tent, but if you choose a cabin be prepared for “rustic charm”. Cabins provide no utilities, and you will need to provide your own bedding. Each cabin has 2 sets of bunk beds, and mattresses are not provided.
3. Charlestown Breachway
Lovers of saltwater fishing should definitely make a trip to the Charlestown Breachway. Park your RV while you try what has been described as some of the best saltwater fishing in South County Rhode Island. For travel buddies or family members who prefer not to fish, they can spend the day swimming in Block Island Sound.
4. Ginny-B Campground
The perfect spot for RV’ers with small children, the Ginny-B Campground has 200 sites with water and electricity. They have a lake for swimming, a kids fishing hole, and basketball and volley-ball courts.
Each campsite offers a picnic table and a fireplace. To entertain the youngest members of your family, they even offer a kids bingo.
5. George Washington State Campground
With sites for tent campers and RV’s, George Washington State Campground is more likely to appeal to people who prefer a more simplistic style of camping.
With walking trails, kayaking, and swimming, this campground is perfect for unplugging and finding peace in the outdoors.
6. Whispering Pines Campgrounds
Whispering Pines Campgrounds has something for every style of camper, there are scenic wooded sites for tent camping, RV hookups, and even air conditioned cabins for the people who love the outdoors, but also love temperature control.
One pet is allowed per campsite, but they are not allowed in the cabins, and there is an off-leash area available for dogs to socialize. This campsite is targeted to families, with a recreation hall, arcade, bocce court, and more.
7. Melville Ponds
Open to tent campers and RV’s, Melville Ponds has walking trails and a playground for the kids. For those who are craving a little bit of “civilization”, It is located 5 miles from Newport and is also close to several beaches.
8. Echo Lake
For tent campers that love water recreation, Echo Lake is the place you’ve been looking for. With fishing, beaches, and swimming, it’s the perfect spot if you crave water activities.
For those who also enjoy hiking, Echo lake has miles of trails to experience. Make sure you bring quarters for the shower facilities.
9. Worden Pond Family Campground
This RV campsite offers a private beach to those camping there, as well as a play area for the kids. Enjoy the fishing and the gorgeous beach views.
Pets are allowed, and you must have proof of vaccination to bring them into the campsite. This is a laid back place to enjoy the outdoors while bonding with your family.
10. Holiday Acres Campground
In operation since 1945, Holiday Acres has an old fashioned charm. Holiday Acres is open to tent campers and RVs as well as having rustic cabins available to rent. You can enjoy hiking and swimming, as well as participate in the campground activities.
11. East Beach Campground
If you love the sound of waves, and the smell of the ocean, then you will be enamored with this campground. Sitting on an undeveloped barrier beach, you will be able to enjoy the beauty of this small beach, without the noise and retail clutter of more developed beach fronts.
East Beach Campground is open only to self-contained RV’s, and it has a limited number of sites available.
12. Fort Getty Park and Campground
A touch of history, a walking trail, and a wildlife observation platform, all within steps of the beach, make this a unique camping experience.
Open to RV’s, with an area for tent camping, Fort Getty park has the remains of old fortifications and covers 41 acres. For those who like to explore more developed areas, and want to enjoy a bay view, this will be a unique experience for you.
13. Oak Embers Campground
Another campground perfect for families. Oak Embers Campground is less about experiencing nature, and more about the family experience.
With kid’s activities, such as crafts, Luau weekends, and movie nights, you can enjoy a family vacation in a beautiful natural setting, while experiencing the fun and frivolity that your kids will remember as the best part of their childhood.
14. Dyer Woods Nudist Campground
This is definitely one of the more unique experiences on the list. You can hike and enjoy nature while au natural. There are tents and RV sites available, as well as a few cabins with amenities.
There are safety rules which are strictly enforced to make sure the atmosphere remains family-friendly and relaxed. This is a family-friendly experience, meant to let people feel truly attuned to nature in a pure and wholesome way.
With hiking trails, swimming, and games like volleyball and frisbee golf, there is lots of family fun available, for those who enjoy the nudist lifestyle.
15. WestWood YMCA and Family Campground
This is another non-traditional campground. It is not just a campground, it is a YMCA and is open for members to camp and enjoy the outdoors with their families.
There is a 300-acre lake, access to swimming, and 80 acres of woods. Members of YMCA’s that offer nationwide membership are welcome to visit and participate in YMCA activities, and nonmembers are welcome to book sites in the campground.
16. Ayoho Campground
If you enjoy camping on the river’s edge, then you will want to take a gander at Ayoho Campground. Located near the 7-mile long Johnsons pond, you can pitch a tent or park your RV, and then enjoy the swimming, boating, and fishing, this pond is popular for.
17. Hickory Ridge Campground
This RV campground is situated on 40 acres of woodland, with a 2-acre pond. The pond is perfect for kayaking and fishing, and there is an onsite swimming pool. This campground is pet and child friendly and had been operating for over 40 years.
This campground is made for people who want to enjoy the beauty of nature, but also want to go into town occasionally. Hickory Ridge is located near Coventry and is also only a short distance from Newport and Providence.
18. Wawaloam Campground
The Wawaloam Campground has a long history, starting in 1967. This campground had been family-owned for three generations, and they have kept family first in their campground design.
Wawaloam Campground is for RV’s only and has large wooded sites. Nestled in a heavily wooded area this campsite is picturesque but maintains the feel of a resort.
Unlike other campgrounds on the list that offer a chance at hiking, boating, or communing with nature, much of the charm of Wawaloam is in the amenities it offers onsite.
Offering glow parties, obstacle courses, as well as a massive waterslide, the Wawaloam campground is a blend of campground and amusement park.
19. Second Beach Family Campground
Bordered by Sachuest Point Wildlife Refuge, Second Beach Family Campground is a peaceful retreat near an area of undeveloped beachfront.
The goal of the Second Beach Campground is to provide a quiet and relaxed atmosphere for people to enjoy the tranquility of the beach. Dogs are not allowed, and RV camping is the only type of camping allowed. The sites are pull-through sites that can handle around 44 RV’s.
20. Fishermen’s Memorial State Park Campground
Whether you are tent camping or traveling by RV, Fishermen’s Campground has a campsite for you. Near several state beaches, and excellent opportunities for outdoor activities.
There are hiking trails nearby, as well as areas to dig for clams, fish, or even just soak up the sun. The campgrounds are manicured, with trimmed edges, and walking paths. There are 182 sites, each of them with a fire ring and a grate. The park itself has a playground and a Marina and is close to areas of historical interest.
21. Oakleaf Campground
Last, but not least of our best campgrounds in Rhode Island is Oakleaf Campgrounds. Campers who want easy access to hiking trails or lakes should take a closer look at Oakleaf Campground.
Open to tent camping or RV’s, Oakleaf is close to woodlands and water, with many opportunities to relax and commune with nature, but still offers many of the amenities you may find at other campgrounds.
Oakleaf Campground has been running since 1972 and was recently taken over by a new family, who have worked hard to polish it up, and make it a destination that outdoorsy people continue to visit. Oakleaf Campground offers an onsite swimming pool, a bathhouse with free showers, and a recreation hall.