The family beach vacation experience can take on many different forms. The best part is, you can visit the same place over and over again and experience a completely different vacation just by switching up the lodging. Spending a week at a coastal campground is one way you can definitely change it up this year!
Coastal campgrounds in particular provide a unique opportunity to experience a beach vacation from a completely different perspective. Luckily, South Carolina is home to a multitude of campgrounds full of exciting amenities (even water parks!), natural surroundings, and ocean views.
GRAND STRAND AREA
The Grand Strand encompasses Myrtle Beach and surrounding areas immediately to the north and south. While the beach seems to be lined with mostly high rise tower hotels as far as the eyes can see, there are plenty of coastal campground options sprinkled throughout. These campgrounds provide entertainment and amenities on site, while also ensuring easy access to some of the most exciting beach attractions on the East Coast.
Ocean Lakes is at the top of this list because it is more than just a campground. This place is more like campground meets resort meets entertainment! Lodging options include multiple RV parking spaces as well as single family houses available to rent all throughout the campground.
The list of onsite amenities is astounding. There is a 2 acre family fun center that includes a large pool area, a water park, mini-golf, game center, and a cafe. You will also find on property a general store, laundromat, RV Sales and Supplies, a nature center, and bicycle rentals. There are tons of outdoor activities including fishing, basketball, volleyball, and ping pong, to name a few. The recreation center hosts many activities including bingo, crafts, dances, and you can even go to church!
If you are still not entertained, you surely will enjoy the parade of golf carts that happens all summer long. Vacationers go all out in decorating their golf carts with all lights, music, and other oddities while riding around the campground.
The Lakewood Camping Resort has so much on site, you may never need to leave the property! Similar to the other locations, this campground offers RV sites as well as vacation rentals. The campground has over 1300 sites that come with full hookup, free wife, free cable, a picnic table, water, sewer, and daily trash removal.
Once you have settled in, the fun really begins! The campground has ½ mile of beach, a full sized water park, two pools, mini-golf, recreational sports activities, bike rentals, water crafts, ice cream parlor, and food trucks. Amenities also include bath houses, laundromat, a general store, coffee house, dump station, and propane refills. This is only a sampling of all the options offered on site. For a full list, check out their website!
Taking it down a notch to a more “normal” and nature filled coastal campground experience, Myrtle Beach State park offers the traditional camping experience within a beautiful setting. The park has 1 mile of undeveloped beach, a fishing pier, nature trails, nature events, and two playgrounds.
The park has 278 campsites, 30 tent sites, and 6 cabins. There are standard sites with electric and water and full sites with electric, water and sewer.
South of Myrtle Beach in Murrells Inlet is another picturesque state park, Hunting Beach State Park. This unique park features the national landmark, Atalaya, which is the winter home of Archer and Anna Huntington (founders of Brookgreen Gardens). During September, the annual Atalaya Arts and Crafts festival is held at the home, bringing thousands to the area.
Huntington Beach has 3 miles of beachfront, and the park as a whole is 2500 acres. There is a freshwater lake, fishing options, a boat ramp to access the inlet, WIFI, gift shop, hiking trial, and numerous boardwalks throughout so you can take in the saltwater marsh and freshwater lagoons up close.
There are 107 standard sites with Electric and water, 66 sites that also have sewer hookups, and 6 tent sites. The entire park and beach is dog friendly year round, so you can bring Fido too!
The Myrtle Beach travel park is another campground option in the Grand Strand area. The travel park has multiple affordable campsites, and they also offer villa rentals and travel trailer rentals
On site amenities include heated indoor pool, large outdoor pool, lazy river, camp store, arcade, fishing lake, numerous recreational outdoor activities (Basketball, volleyball, horseshoe pit), playground, laundromat, snack bar.
Onsite worship services are held at the pavilion, and Christian day camps are offered during the summer months for children ages 5-12. There are also multiple events throughout the year, which you can find posted on their calendar.
The Myrtle Beach KOA is walking distance from some of the most famous Myrtle Beach attractions, but the campground itself is set in a park-like setting full of shady trees and a tranquil lake. The campground has multiple campsites, tent sites, and cabin rentals, so there is sure to be an option no matter the camping experience you are looking for.
Amenities include a dog park, fishing, pool, free WIFI and cable, bike rentals, and a pavilion. They also have on site a theatre, wagon rides, a doggie daycare, playground, beach shuttle, splash pad, a jumping pillow, and on site planned activities. There food options available including a bar & grill and a pancake breakfast every weekend morning in the summer.
The Charleston area includes downtown historic Charleston and surrounding areas. Since lodging can be very expensive in Charleston, staying at a campground is a very affordable and fun way to get in touch with nature, entertain your family, and still see all the beautiful sites Charleston has to offer without breaking the bank.
When you think of a county park, you might imagine picnic tables, trails, and playgrounds, but the James Island County Park has so much more to offer.
The park is home to one of Charleston’s only water parks, Splash Zone, and the park has one of the tallest outdoor climbing facilities in South Carolina. Park features include a 18-hold disc golf course, bicycle and kayak rentals, saltwater fishing and crabbing, spray fountain, hiking trails, large playgrounds, an off leash dog park, and more. There are plenty of things in the area to enjoy year round, such as the Holiday Festival of Lights in December.
The campground has 124 campsites and 10 cottages available for rent. The campground has 24 hour staffing, an activity center, free Wifi, a store, full hookups, a laundry facility, and round trip shuttle service for only $10 per person to the downtown Charleston visitor center and Folly beach County Park.
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This KOA campground is unique because it is located on the grounds of historic Oakland Plantation. You can take in the charming mossy oak trees and other lowcountry vegetation as you enjoy a complimentary wagon ride tour of the plantation. Other amenities include bike and boat rentals, a large lake for fishing, 1.5 mile nature trial, bike and boat rentals, and various games such as cornhole, disc golf, and horseshoes. There is also a pool and dog park on site, and a limited amount of cabins for rent.
HILTON HEAD AREA
Hilton Head is a beautiful island located right off of the coast of South Carolina. It provides the tropical feeling without being too difficult to get to, and it is the perfect place for serenity and rest. Whether you are enjoying 5 star dining, taking in the beautiful sunsets over the Calibogue Sound, or having a day out on the sand, Hilton Head offers all that you need for the perfect vacation.
While there are multiple resorts and vacation rentals on the island, you may find that you just want to keep things low key and stay at a campground. There are two main campgrounds located on the island, both with excellent reviews.
Located right on the marina, this 200 site campground offers multiple amenities and easy access to the intracoastal waterway. You can even stay right on the waterfront for a small premium! This water-front campground has a 5 star restaurant on site, water sports including Jet Skis, kayaks, paddleboards, and dolphin tours, a ship store, laundry and exercise rooms, two swimming pools, a convenience store, bath houses, wifi, and cable. This location is further away from the hustle and bustle of the touristy-end of the island, so if relaxation is nature is your thing, this is probably a better option of the two.
Located in the heart of Hilton Head island, this 50 acre gated campground is close to everything – beach, shopping, and restaurants. In fact, multiple places are within walking or biking distance! On site amenities, include a large pool, heated spa, exercise and laundry facilities, tennis courts, bathhouses, dog park and dog wash, playground, outdoor activities (basketball, shuffleboard, etc.), cable/wifi, onsite bike rental delivery, and lake. This campground is truly unique with it’s woodsy, shaded lots and resort like setting.
As you can see, there are multitudes of options if you are looking for a coastal campground for your vacation in South Carolina. Once you decide where to stay, make sure you are ready for your beach vacation by checking out my 24 family beach vacation tips and tricks!
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