North and South Carolina Beach Camping

North and South Carolina are popular destinations for beach campers in the United States. Both states have shorelines ideal for a family trip or beach adventure and each state`s coast is known for its beaches, fed by the vast Atlantic Ocean. If you are planning a beach camping in North or South Carolina, you have many state and private campgrounds to choose from.

Ocracoke Island Campground

Accessible only by ferry, the Ocracoke Island Campground in North Carolina is a solid choice for campers who want water nearby. The island is part of the Cape Hatteras National Seashore and preserved in its natural state. The campgrounds are only separated from the Atlantic Ocean and beach by dunes. Boat rentals are available in the Ocracoke Village and campers can kayak on the Pamlico Sound side of the island.

Ocean Waves Campground

Part of the Outer Banks, a string of barrier islands off the North Carolina coast, on Hatteras Island, the Ocean Waves Campground is a scenic oceanfront camping site. Both fishing and surfing are popular activities along the Cape Hatteras National Seashore. With less than 70 full sites, Ocean Waves provides a quieter, less busy beach camping experience. Both double-width concrete pad sites and water and sewer facilities are available to campers, as well as hot showers, running toilets and a local camp store.


Huntington Beach State Park

Located in Murrells Inlet, South Carolina, a fishing village near Myrtle Beach, the Huntington Beach State Park is right by Grand Strand Beach. Both tent and RV sites are available, with some sites capable of accommodating RVs up to 40 feet long. Restrooms and hot showers are near all campsites and all sites except tent sites have electrical and water hookups. Tent campers can rent a site that has electricity and water. Some sites also have sewer hookups available. Huntington Beach State Park does allow leashed dogs in the camping areas and on the south end of the beach.

Ocean Lakes Family Campground

Ocean Lakes Family Campground is a resort campground in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Spanning over 300 acres on the oceanfront, Ocean Lakes has over 800 camping sites and a recreation area and it can accommodate trailers and recreation vehicles on some of the sites.


Hammocks Beach State Park

Part of Bear Island in Swansboro, North Carolina, Hammocks Beach State Park is a must for those looking for an unspoiled beach. The campground is open year-round but only reached by ferry or private boat from the mainland. The beach and campgrounds are free of commercial buildings and only accommodate tents. The island does have a restroom facility and water available during the main camping season.

Beach Camping Tips

Beach camping is not the same as traditional forest camping. You`ll need longer tent pitches and a tent that is resistant to strong winds. A dome tent, with a series of crossing poles, is self supporting and often easier to pitch in sand. Bring empty plastic bags just in case you experience very strong winds. You can fill the bags with sand and use the sand bags as weights for the tent`s guylines.

As you`ll be in open areas and won`t have trees to provide shade, you will need extra sunscreen and beach umbrellas. Mosquitoes might be even more of a nuisance if you are camping on a beach in hot weather, as water is a breeding ground for mosquitoes. Bring insect repellent products for yourself and your family and make sure your tent`s insect netting is in good condition.

Blowing sand will get into nearly every surface. Bring a broom to sweep out your tent or RV as needed and keep bags in a sealed tent or RV at all times. Have old towels handy and wipe off feet and shoes before going into your tent or RV so you don`t bring sand in.

If you can`t get to these camping sites in North and South Carolina because of reservation problems or travel concerns, there are other options. European recreational parks offer the best of camping in the United States without the long travel time.

Look for a park that has the same features you were looking for in your preferred Carolina beach campsite and don`t forget to check reviews before you go.