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7 family-friendly campgrounds in Virginia

Tent camping at the Williamsburg Busch Gardens KOA. | Photo courtesy Kampgrounds of America Inc. Williamsburg Virginia Tent camping at the Williamsburg Busch Gardens KOA. | Photo courtesy Kampgrounds of America Inc. Williamsburg Virginia

For some fun this summer, how about packing up your car, bike, or RV to visit one of Virginia’s family-friendly campgrounds? These outdoor vacation spots offer plenty of scenic vistas, fresh air, and on-site attractions for the whole family, plus they’re a more frugal alternative to pricey hotels.

Virginia has myriad campgrounds, and we have curated 7 options to get you started. Whether you’re looking for water parks and theme nights to keep the kids entertained or access to hiking trails for the ultimate social media detox, you’ll find a campground that’s perfect for your family. Keep in mind that because campsites get booked quickly, reservations are advised.

Alongside our curated suggestions, you can also use AAA Travel Guides to find other local campgrounds.

1. Clinch River Family Campground

Duffield

Clinch River Family Campground in Duffield is one of many of Virginia's family-friendly campgrounds. | Photo courtesy Clinch River Family Campground

Clinch River Family Campground in Duffield is one of many of Virginia's family-friendly campgrounds. | Photo courtesy Clinch River Family Campground

If falling asleep to the lull of a river is music to your ears, head to Clinch River Family Campground. It lies along the 135-mile-long Clinch River, which flows southwest from its origin near Tazewell to the Tennessee state line. More than 80 kinds of fish call the river home. It also contains 45 species of freshwater mussels—more than most rivers in the world. Head to the river to swim, tube, kayak, and canoe, or lace up your boots and hit the nearby hiking trails to enjoy various waterfalls.

Info: The campground has 30- and 50-amp riverfront RV sites available; all tent sites have a fire pit. Pets are welcome.

2. Christopher Run Campground

Mineral

Go kayaking on the 17-mile long Lake Anna. | Photo by Emily Kelley

Go kayaking on the 17-mile long Lake Anna. | Photo by Emily Kelley

On the shores of Lake Anna (Virginia’s second-largest lake at 17 miles long) is Christopher Run Campground, which has 200-plus woodland sites. The lake has a designated swim area and boats to rent. You can also visit several nearby attractions, including Kings Dominion amusement park for the kids; Lake Anna Winery, Chateau MerrillAnne winery, and Belmont Farm Distillery for the adults (be sure to designate a driver if you plan to drink alcohol); and Monticello and Civil War battlefields for the whole family.

Info: Many sites have water and electric hookups (up to 50 amp) and lake views. Cabins range from 1-room abodes to lodges with air conditioning, partial kitchens, and lake views. Pets are not allowed in cabins.

3. First Landing State Park Campground

Virginia Beach

First Landing State Park is the perfect choice for families looking to enjoy nature and unplug. | Photo by Jesse Kunerth/stock.adobe.com

First Landing State Park is the perfect choice for families looking to enjoy nature and unplug. | Photo by Jesse Kunerth/stock.adobe.com

First Landing State Park is for those eager to unplug in nature. First Landing State Park Campground has access to plenty of hiking trails and opportunities for dips in the Atlantic Ocean. You’ll find more than 200 campsites, including some close to the dunes and others near the highway that divides the park. History buffs will get a kick out of knowing they’re camping near where English settlers first landed in 1607.

Info: Some sites have no water or electricity, while others have up to 50-amp sites for RVs. All cabins have air conditioning, a deck, screened porches, outside grills, and partial kitchens. Pets are welcome.

Read more: 9 surprising adventures in Virginia state parks

4. Williamsburg/Busch Gardens Area KOA Holiday

Williamsburg

Busch Gardens KOA offers cabins for families. | Photo courtesy Kampgrounds of America Inc. Williamsburg Virginia

Busch Gardens KOA offers cabins for families. | Photo courtesy Kampgrounds of America Inc. Williamsburg Virginia

For something novel, how about spending the night in a yurt? You can reserve one of these round, tent-like structures (that sleep up to 6 people) at the 80-acre Williamsburg/Busch Gardens Area KOA Holiday located near Colonial Williamsburg, Jamestown Settlement, and Busch Gardens. (AAA members receive a discount at all 3 of these attractions).

Amenities include a swimming pool and splash pad, a playground and gravity rail, a 9-hole disc golf course, and Kamp K9, an interactive dog park. Kids will enjoy the themed weekends that the campground hosts, like Super Heroes Weekend (July 9–11) and Ice Cream Weekend (July 16–18), which include frozen treats, games, and activities.

Info: The campground also has cabins, including deluxe ones with partial kitchens and full baths. Tented sites come with picnic tables and fire rings, plus some have water and electric hookups. RV sites have 50/30 and 30/20 amp available.

Read more: While you’re enjoying the great outdoors, why not try making one of these gourmet camping recipes?

5. Harper’s Ferry Adventure Center

Purcellville

Guests at Harper's Ferry Park Adventure Center prep to go whitewater tubing. | Photo by William Graham/Alamy Stock Photo

Guests at Harper's Ferry Park Adventure Center prep to go whitewater tubing. | Photo by William Graham/Alamy Stock Photo

Harper’s Ferry Adventure Center isn’t a campground with on-site attractions—it’s more like an activity center with on-site cabins and campsites. Dive into water-based adventures on the Shenandoah and Potomac rivers, including tubing, rafting, and single-person kayaking in inflatable vessels called “duckies.” Or take to air for zip lining and a 3-level elevated ropes course. You can mix and match aerial and water pursuits through the center’s combo packages.

Info: Mountaintop cabins have no bathrooms, but each comes equipped with AC, electricity, a grill/fire ring, and a picnic table. For tent sites, you’ll have several options: Potomac River sites and mountaintop spots come with a charcoal grill, and fire rings. No pets.

6. Lake Fairfax Park Campground

Reston

A young guest enjoys the slide at the Water Mine Family Swimmin’ Hole at Lake Fairfax Park Campground. | Photo by Don Sweeney/Fairfax County Park Authority

A young guest enjoys the slide at the Water Mine Family Swimmin’ Hole at Lake Fairfax Park Campground. | Photo by Don Sweeney/Fairfax County Park Authority

Not far from the metropolitan Washington, D.C., area, Lake Fairfax Park Campground centers around an 18-acre lake filled with fish for anglers and rental paddle boats for boating enthusiasts. Younger kids will love the carousel and the Western-themed Water Mine Family Swimmin’ Hole with slides and flumes. A nearby skate park complete with bank ramps, a 4-foot quarter pipe, a pyramid, grind rails, and a grind box will amuse teens. Hikers of all ages will appreciate the bounty of trails on the parkland’s 476 acres.

Info: Whether you’re pitching a tent or hooking up your RV (20/30 and 50 amp available), each pet-friendly site has a picnic table and fire ring/grill combo with nearby flush toilets and hot showers.

7. Virginia Beach KOA Holiday

Virginia Beach

Choose from rustic (pictured) or deluxe cabins at the Virginia Beach KOA Holiday. | Photo courtesy Virginia Beach KOA

Choose from rustic (pictured) or deluxe cabins at the Virginia Beach KOA Holiday. | Photo courtesy Virginia Beach KOA

Only 2.5 miles from the rolling waves of Virginia Beach and its 3-mile boardwalk is Virginia Beach KOA Holiday campground. Its on-site features include rentals of beach bikes, pedal carts, and golf carts; 2 pools; a huge inflatable waterslide; a giant bouncy jumping pillow (great for kids after a long car ride); basketball, volleyball, and gaga ball courts; ice cream socials; free Wi-Fi; and even live music most weekends in the summer. What’s more, furry friends can run and socialize together at Kamp K9 dog park.

Info: Virginia Beach KOA Holiday has sites for tents and RVs (50-amp max), along with a variety of cabins. While the rustic cabins have no bathrooms, deluxe options come with partial kitchens, full baths, and patios.

Victoria Abbott Riccardi has written travel, food, wine, and culture articles for consumer print and online media, including Bon Appétit and Condé Nast Traveler.

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AAA Travel Alert: Many travel destinations have implemented COVID-19–related restrictions. Before making travel plans, check to see if hotels, attractions, cruise lines, tour operators, restaurants, and local authorities have issued health and safety-related restrictions or entry requirements. The local tourism board is a good resource for updated information.

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