12 Bucket List State Park Campgrounds in the USA

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12 Bucket List State Park Campgrounds in the USA

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12 Bucket List State Park Campgrounds in the USA

On this episode of the Campground of the Week podcast, we are talking about 12 bucket list state park campgrounds in the USA. These state parks are showstoppers. They are places that you should plan to visit at some point on your RV adventures.

We’ll tell you a little bit about what makes each of these bucket list state park campgrounds so special. But more importantly, we’ll tell you about the reservation window for each state park.

Reservation windows are how far in advance you are allowed to book a campsite. They are sooooo important to know because the most popular state parks book up FAST. Seasoned state park campers sit at their computers at midnight, waiting for the window to open like they are trying to buy Taylor Swift tickets for their preteen daughter. It’s serious stuff.

If you have other bucket list state park campgrounds to add to our list, tell us about them in the comments below. Or better yet, head over to our Campground Reviews page and leave your recommendation for the whole RVFTA community.

And now for our list of 12 Bucket List State Park Campgrounds…

 

Assateaque State Park

Photo Credit: Maryland State Parks

Assateaque State Park is located in Berlin, Maryland. It’s just about 15 minutes from Ocean City but feels a million miles away from the touristy crowds. The campground is fantastically maintained and wonderfully rustic. Sites back right up to the high, sandy dunes. There are amazing ranger programs right on site. Oh, and beautiful wild horses roam the island offering some pretty fantastic photo opportunities. There is one electric loop, and the rest of the campground is dry camping.

Booking Window: 12 months in advance

 

Nickerson State Park

Nickerson State Park is located on the Cape Cod peninsula in Brewster, Massachusetts. It offers 19 deeply wooded acres of pine and oak forest. There are 418 spacious campsites, and some overlook pristine freshwater kettle ponds. The whole state park is dry camping, but there are definitely sites that are big-rig friendly.

Booking Window: 6 months in advance

 

Custer State Park

Photo Credit: South Dakota Game, Fish, & Parks

Custer State Park is located in Custer, South Dakota not far from the popular road trip destination of Mount Rushmore. Janine Pettit reviewed the Blue Bell Campground in Custer State Park on episode #103 of Campground of the Week. She admitted it was one of her favorite campgrounds ever in the whole, wide world. Campers rave about the natural beauty alongside of the ample wildlife. It’s an added bonus that some of the campgrounds in Custer State Park offer water and electric hook ups.

Booking Window: 12 months in advance

 

Letchworth State Park

Photo credit: New York State Parks

Letchworth State Park is located in western New York State about an hour and a half southeast of Niagara Falls. It’s known as the “Grand Canyon of the East” and is one of the most popular state parks in New York. There are three major waterfalls and cliffs as high as 600 feet. Campers can enjoy over 66 miles of hiking trails.There are also plenty of nature programs as well as kayaking, whitewater rafting, and many other outdoor activities.

Booking Window: 9 months in advance

 

Silver Falls State Park

Photo Credit: Oregon State Parks

Silver Falls State Park is located in Sublimity, Oregon, 90 minutes south of Portland and 40 minutes east of Salem. It’s best known for the 8.7 mile loop Canyon Trail, also known as the Trail of Ten Falls. Visitors rave about this loop hike that offers stunning views of 10 waterfalls right within the state park. Larissa Richardson reviewed this campground on episode #27 of Campground of the Week, and said it was one of her family’s favorite stops in the Pacific Northwest.

Booking Window: 9 months in advance

 

Hither Hills State Park

Photo Credit: Reserve America

Hither Hills State Park is located in Montauk, New York at the very, very eastern end of Long Island. It’s a fairly upscale area (you’ve heard all about the Hamptons, yes?) with great restaurants, shopping, galleries, and surfing. The campground is right on the beach and also has access to the walking dunes of Napeague Harbor on the eastern boundary of the park. All 189 campsites are dry camping.

Booking Window: 9 months in advance

 

Bahia Honda State Park

Photo Credit: Florida State Parks

Bahia Honda State Park is located in Big Pine Key, Florida. It’s one of Florida’s southernmost state parks and a jewell of the Keys. It offers beautiful beaches, stunning sunsets, and world-famous snorkeling. Birders are particularly fond of this state park. There are also plenty of boat excursions available on site for campers to explore the reefs and waterways.

Note that Bahia Honda State Park was severely damaged in Hurricane Irma and hasn’t reopened for overnight camping yet. But we are sure it will be back in action soon!

Booking Window: 11 months in advance

 

Hunting Island State Park

Photo Credit: Delk Haigler Photography

Hunting Island State Park is located on the coast of South Carolina, between Charleston and Savannah. This is the most popular state park campground in South Carolina so the 100 campsites are in high demand. There are water and electric hookups (even 50 amp!!!), nice shower and restroom facilities, and five miles of beautiful beach.

Booking Window: 13 months in advance

 

Limekiln State Park

Photo Credit: California State Parks

Limekiln State Park is located in stunning Big Sur, California. It’s not the only state park in Big Sur to offer camping with coastal views, but campers particularly love the hiking options here. There are trails for every level of hiker, plus a beach, redwood forest, and the 100-foot Limekiln falls.

Booking Window: 6 months in advance

 

Indiana Dunes State Park

Photo Credit: Indiana State Parks

Indiana Dunes State Park is located in Chesterton, Indiana just about 45 miles east of Chicago, Illinois. At Indiana Dunes State Park, campers are just minutes from the National Lakeshore, but they can enjoy electric sites (even 50 amp!!!) that can be booked in advance. The state park is open year round and offers easy access to downtown Chicago. The facilities are top notch, and you can hear more about them on Campground of the Week episode #56 where Melissa and Matthew Kellas convinced us this should be one of our bucket list state park campgrounds!

Booking Window: Six months in advance for electric sites

 

Galveston Island State Park

Photo Credit: Texas Parks and Wildlife

Galveston Island State Park is located on Galveston Island along the southern coast of Texas. People love the option of bay or beach side camping. They also love the water and electric hook ups for around $20 a night. There are no vehicles allowed on the beach here and no alcohol either. Campers say this creates a much more calm and peaceful atmosphere than you find on the other Galveston Island beaches.

Booking Window: 333 days (11 months) in advance

 

Hocking Hills State Park

Photo Credit: Ohio State Parks

Hocking Hills State Park is located in southeastern Ohio about an hour from Columbus. The 2,356-acre park has cliffs, waterfalls, and hemlock-shaded gorges that will most likely take first-time visitors by surprise. There are a ton of recreational opportunities within the park. Perhaps most importantly, they just redid the campground and it now offers full hook up options for RVers!

Booking Window: 6 months in advance

Okay, that’s our own personal list of bucket list state park campgrounds in the USA. What state park campgrounds would you add? Let us know in the comments below. Or better yet, leave your own state park campground recommendation on our Campground Reviews page!

See you at the campground!

Stephanie + Jeremy

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