Best Camping near Emerald Isle, NC

Camping near Emerald Isle, North Carolina

Emerald Isle, North Carolina, is a gem for campers looking to enjoy the great outdoors. With its beautiful beaches, lush forests, and serene campgrounds, it's a perfect spot for a camping adventure. Whether you're a seasoned camper or a newbie, you'll find plenty of options to suit your needs. From established campgrounds with all the amenities to more rustic spots, there's something for everyone.

In this guide, we'll explore some of the best campgrounds near Emerald Isle, what you can do while you're there, what campers like and dislike, and some handy tips for families and RVers. Let's dive into the details and help you plan your next camping trip to this beautiful part of North Carolina.

What to do

Camping near Emerald Isle offers a variety of activities to keep you entertained. Whether you enjoy hiking, fishing, or just relaxing by the campfire, there's something for everyone.

One popular spot is the Cedar Point Campground. It's known for its great nature trails and proximity to the water. Lana M. mentioned, "The nature trail has nice walkways over the marsh. You can walk from the campground to boat launch, picnic area, and nature trail." Read more.

Another great option is the Oyster Point Campground. This campground is perfect for those who love water views and spacious sites. Roger W. shared, "Sites with water view are best. Very wide sites and quiet during our stay." Read more.

For beach lovers, the Onslow Beach Campsites offer easy access to the beach and the Intracoastal Waterway. Joy B. said, "Intracoastal waterway on one side of the campground and ocean on the other. Quiet and relaxing." Read more.

What campers like

Campers have a lot of positive things to say about the campgrounds near Emerald Isle. Clean facilities, friendly hosts, and beautiful surroundings are some of the highlights.

At Cedar Point Campground, Kristie R. appreciated the cleanliness and dog-friendly environment. She wrote, "Showers and bathrooms were exceptionally clean. Dog friendly, electric and good clean drinking water on site." Read more.

The Oyster Point Campground is praised for its peaceful atmosphere and great cell service. Lucy P. mentioned, "Quiet, beautiful, cheap, great cell service. Love this place!" Read more.

Campers at Onslow Beach Campsites enjoy the proximity to the beach and the friendly staff. Caralee B. shared, "The camp host was super helpful and so friendly! It is right across the dunes from the beach." Read more.

What you should know

While camping near Emerald Isle is generally a great experience, there are a few things you should be aware of to ensure a smooth trip.

Some campers have noted that certain campgrounds can be noisy due to nearby construction or military activity. For example, Sara E. at Onslow Beach Campsites mentioned, "Construction noise started a little before 0700 each day. Dump trucks and heavy machinery while drinking your coffee." Read more.

Privacy can also be an issue at some campgrounds. Kelsey K. at Oyster Point Campground noted, "Everything is so open, you can see every person's campsite. There's no real privacy." Read more.

Lastly, be prepared for some bugs, especially during certain times of the year. Jennifer M. at Oyster Point Campground shared, "Drawbacks are the biting flies and tough ground if you're tenting." Read more.

Tips for camping with families

Camping with family can be a wonderful experience, especially in a place as beautiful as Emerald Isle. Here are some tips to make your family camping trip enjoyable.

Choose a campground with amenities that cater to families. The Cedar Point Campground is a great option with its clean facilities and nature trails. Chris S. mentioned, "Lots of space and shade and even the ability to pull in without reservation. We are sitting by the campfire watching the fireflies." Read more.

Look for campgrounds with easy access to activities that kids will enjoy. The Onslow Beach Campsites offer close proximity to the beach, which is perfect for family fun. Joy B. shared, "Very family friendly and dog friendly. Staff are always super nice and helpful." Read more.

Consider the season and weather when planning your trip. Joseph B. at Onslow Beach Campsites advised, "Would stay here again, but only during the cooler months." Read more.

Tips from RVers

RVers have specific needs and preferences when it comes to camping. Here are some tips from fellow RVers to help you have a great experience near Emerald Isle.

Look for campgrounds with spacious and level sites. Tod S. at Cedar Point Campground noted, "38 paved, level sites with 20/30/50A electric. Water and dump station available. Some sites are really huge!" Read more.

Consider the availability of hookups and other amenities. The Onslow Beach Campsites offer full hookups, which can be a big plus for RVers. Joy B. shared, "Full hook ups, very clean, friendly staff, and many sites have a shelter area for the picnic table." Read more.

Be aware of the campground's rules and regulations. Kelsey K. at Oyster Point Campground mentioned, "They are also sticklers about dogs on leashes. Even though mine was trained and playing with us in our area, we were still forced to leash him." Read more.

Camping near Emerald Isle, North Carolina, offers a mix of beautiful scenery, fun activities, and a range of campgrounds to suit different preferences. Whether you're camping with family, in an RV, or just looking for a peaceful getaway, you'll find plenty to enjoy in this lovely part of the state.

Best Camping Sites Near Emerald Isle, NC (66)

    Camper-submitted photo from Cedar Point Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Cedar Point Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Cedar Point Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Cedar Point Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Cedar Point Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Cedar Point Campground

    1.

    Cedar Point Campground

    25 Reviews
    102 Photos
    139 Saves
    Swansboro, North Carolina

    Overview

    Cedar Point Campground and Recreation Area is located in eastern North Carolina at the junction of the White Oak River and the Bogue Sound, immediately adjacent to the Swansboro Inlet. It is within 1 mile of full service shopping, and within 2 miles of NC's Crystal Coast and the barrier island beach community of Bogue Banks. The campground is extremely busy and reservations are recommended but must be made 3 days in advance. Of the 36 campsites, 4 are considered first-come, first served campsites that cannot be reserved or held, so a person must physically be there with their camping equipment to purchase the campsite. Cedar Point campground has the option to use Scan & Pay system, but by the rules of recreation.gov it may only be used for first-come, first served sites. Please make sure to contact a campground host to ensure availability before paying for any campsite. Failure to check with the campground host for availability may result in the loss of your camping fee.

    Recreation

    Canoeing and fishing are popular options. Power boating is allowed on the White Oak River. Visitors can hike the Tidelands National Trail, a 1.9-mile path divided in two loops that lend themselves to wildlife viewing. Ospreys and the occasional dolphin can be viewed along the loops. The recreation area is also home to a picnic area and shallow draft boat launch.

    Facilities

    Canoeing and fishing are popular options. Power boating is allowed on the White Oak River. Visitors can hike the Tidelands National Trail, a 1.9-mile path divided in two loops that lend themselves to wildlife viewing. Ospreys and the occasional dolphin can be viewed along the loops. The recreation area is also home to a picnic area and shallow draft boat launch.

    Natural Features

    Cedar Point, at the mouth of the White Oak River, is bordered by a salt marsh and a coastal forest. The salt marsh, where fresh water meets salt water, stretches out like a sea of grass. This nutrient-rich wetland is a valuable habitat for commercial seafood, including fish, shrimp, crabs and oysters. The recreation area is part of the Croatan National Forest, a 160,000-acre tract on North Carolina's coast, bordered on three sides by tidal rivers and Bogue Sound.

    contact_info

    For facility specific information, please call (252) 638-5628.

    Nearby Attractions

    The campground is a short drive from the developed barrier island town of Bogue Banks.

    Charges & Cancellations

    There is a $10.00 fee to cancel Reservations. Reservations canceled within the 3 days of arrival may result in the loss of the fee for one or more nights stay. Refunds for weather or checking out early will not be considered

    • Pets
    • Fires
    • Electric Hookups
    • Phone Service
    • RVs
    • Tents

    $27 / night

    Camper-submitted photo from Oyster Point Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Oyster Point Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Oyster Point Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Oyster Point Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Oyster Point Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Oyster Point Campground

    2.

    Oyster Point Campground

    23 Reviews
    51 Photos
    122 Saves
    Morehead City, North Carolina

    Overview

    Oyster Point Campground is located on the banks of the Newport River, near the town of Newport, NC. The campground is just a short drive to the beaches of Atlantic Beach, NC and other coastal fishing destinations. The campground can get very busy and reservations are reccamended but must be made 3 days in advance. Of the 15 campsites, 1 are considered a first come-first served campsite that cannot be reserved or held, so a person must physically be there with their camping equipment to purchase the campsite. Oyster Point campground has the option to use Scan & Pay system, but by the rules of recreaiton.gov it may only be used for first come-first served sites. Please make sure to contact a campground host to ensure availability before paying for any campsite. Failure to check with the campground host for availability may result in the loss of your camping fee.

    Recreation

    Canoeing and fishing are popular options. Power boating is allowed on the Newport River, however, the boat lanch at this location is a small hand launch with no vehicle access that you may use a canoe or kayak cart/dolly for assistance to get your boat to the water if desired. The Croatan Saltwater Trail weaves south between the barrier islands of the Bogue Sound and north on Adams Creek connecting to the Neuse River. This campground is also the trailhead for the Neusiok trail which is a 21-mile hiking trail that meanders through cypress swamps, loblolly pines and vast bogs of thick vegetation.

    Facilities

    Canoeing and fishing are popular options. Power boating is allowed on the Newport River, however, the boat lanch at this location is a small hand launch with no vehicle access that you may use a canoe or kayak cart/dolly for assistance to get your boat to the water if desired. The Croatan Saltwater Trail weaves south between the barrier islands of the Bogue Sound and north on Adams Creek connecting to the Neuse River. This campground is also the trailhead for the Neusiok trail which is a 21-mile hiking trail that meanders through cypress swamps, loblolly pines and vast bogs of thick vegetation.

    Natural Features

    Situated in the coastal pine forest and intercostal waterway of the Croatan National Forest, which encompasses 160,000 acres in eastern North Carolina, the Newport River is 12 miles long and opens into the Bogue sound. It is popular with anglers and flatwater paddlers.

    Nearby Attractions

    The campground is just a short drive to the towns of Newport, NC and Morehead City, NC. These towns offer full service grocery, retail, and an abundant selection of restaurants.

    Charges & Cancellations

    There is a $10.00 fee to cancel Reservations. Reservations canceled within the 3 days of arrival may result in the loss of the fee for one or more nights stay. Refunds for weather or checking out early will not be considered

    • Pets
    • Fires
    • Phone Service
    • RVs
    • Tents
    • Cabins

    $10 / night

    Camper-submitted photo from Onslow Beach Campsites
    Camper-submitted photo from Onslow Beach Campsites
    Camper-submitted photo from Onslow Beach Campsites
    Camper-submitted photo from Onslow Beach Campsites
    Camper-submitted photo from Onslow Beach Campsites
    Camper-submitted photo from Onslow Beach Campsites

    3.

    Onslow Beach Campsites

    15 Reviews
    34 Photos
    102 Saves
    Hubert, North Carolina

    Welcome to Onslow Beach Campsites, nestled near Sneads Ferry, NC. This spot is a favorite among campers, especially those with military ties, thanks to its prime location between the Intracoastal Waterway and the ocean. If you're looking for a place where you can unwind and enjoy the beach, this is it.

    One of the standout features here is the easy access to the beach. Just a short walk from your campsite, you'll find clean sands perfect for hunting shark teeth or simply soaking up the sun. The water is clear and inviting, making it great for a swim.

    The campground is pet-friendly, so feel free to bring your furry friends along. Each site comes with a picnic table, and many have a shelter area, which is a nice touch for those sunny days. While the WiFi might not be the best, the cell signal is decent, so you can still stay connected if needed.

    For those who need a few supplies, there's a mini-mart right next to the campground. It's stocked with essentials, so you won't have to venture far for snacks or forgotten items. Fishing enthusiasts will also appreciate the nearby fishing spots along the waterway.

    A heads-up: the campground is on a military base, so you might hear some noise from low-flying aircraft or artillery fire. It's all part of the experience here. Also, be prepared for some construction noise if there's ongoing work nearby.

    Overall, Onslow Beach Campsites offers a laid-back, beachside camping experience with the convenience of nearby amenities. Whether you're here for a weekend or a week, it's a great spot to relax and enjoy the coastal beauty.

    • Pets
    • Electric Hookups
    • Phone Service
    • Reservable
    • ADA Access
    • Tents
    Camper-submitted photo from Hammocks Beach State Park Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Hammocks Beach State Park Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Hammocks Beach State Park Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Hammocks Beach State Park Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Hammocks Beach State Park Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Hammocks Beach State Park Campground

    4.

    Hammocks Beach State Park Campground

    9 Reviews
    64 Photos
    161 Saves
    Swansboro, North Carolina

    Primitive campsites are located near the beach and the inlet at Bear Island. Fourteen family campsites accommodate up to six people and two tents each. Campsites 1 to 11 are accessible via ferry, private boat or paddling only. Campsites 12 to 14 are accessible by private boat or paddling only and are not hikeable.

    Sites 1 to 11 have a picnic table, while sites 12 to 14 do not. Fires are not permitted at Bear Island, but campers may bring propane or backpack camp stoves.

    Water and a bathhouse with hot showers is located at Bear Island, but is available from only mid-March through mid-November. There is no water at Bear Island when the facilities are winterized.

    Hike-In Distance Light and simple is the way to travel, as campers must carry all provisions to the campsites from the beach or ferry dock.

    • Pets
    • Phone Service
    • Reservable
    • Tents
    • Group
    • Picnic Table

    $12 - $52 / night

  1. 5.

    Goose Creek Campground

    7 Reviews
    25 Photos
    93 Saves
    Emerald Isle, North Carolina

    Located along North Carolina's Crystal Coast, Goose Creek RV Resort family campground is conveniently located on Bogue Sound along the Intracoastal Waterway. Goose Creek RV Resort is only minutes away from the ocean by land or by water. This Crystal Coast RV resort offers a serene atmosphere in what may be one of only a very few undisturbed beach vacation spots left. Lack of any high density commercialization offers our campers a true family atmosphere. Your trip to Goose Creek RV Resort will occupy you with a large choice of activities offered at Encore's Crystal Coast RV resort throughout the year. Goose Creek RV Resort borders waters that are known for some of the best saltwater fishing anywhere. A Crystal Coast RV resort in a serene and undisturbed beach vacation spot Whether you're planning a retreat for the whole family, a group of friends or a getaway for two, there's no shortage of unique activities to explore at Goose Creek RV & Camping Resort. Plan activities upon arrival or visit this page before your departure to plan ahead. Looking for more? Our friendly staff can fill you in on all of the great ways to make your stay a memorable experience.

    • Pets
    • Fires
    • Electric Hookups
    • Phone Service
    • Reservable
    • ADA Access
    Camper-submitted photo from Holiday Trav-L-Park Resort
    Camper-submitted photo from Holiday Trav-L-Park Resort
    Camper-submitted photo from Holiday Trav-L-Park Resort
    Camper-submitted photo from Holiday Trav-L-Park Resort
    Camper-submitted photo from Holiday Trav-L-Park Resort
    Camper-submitted photo from Holiday Trav-L-Park Resort

    6.

    Holiday Trav-L-Park Resort

    6 Reviews
    7 Photos
    113 Saves
    Emerald Isle, North Carolina
    • Pets
    • Fires
    • Electric Hookups
    • Phone Service
    • Reservable
    • ADA Access
    Camper-submitted photo from Croatan National Forest Oyster Point Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Croatan National Forest Oyster Point Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Croatan National Forest Oyster Point Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Croatan National Forest Oyster Point Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Croatan National Forest Oyster Point Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Croatan National Forest Oyster Point Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Great Lake Dispersed Site - Croatan National Forest
    Camper-submitted photo from Great Lake Dispersed Site - Croatan National Forest
    Camper-submitted photo from Great Lake Dispersed Site - Croatan National Forest
    Camper-submitted photo from Great Lake Dispersed Site - Croatan National Forest

    8.

    Great Lake Dispersed Site - Croatan National Forest

    6 Reviews
    4 Photos
    96 Saves
    Havelock, North Carolina

    Welcome to the Croatan National Forest, one of four National Forests in North Carolina and the only true coastal forest in the East. The Croatan National Forest's 160,000 acres have pine forests, saltwater estuaries, bogs and raised swamps called pocosins. Bordered on three sides by tidal rivers and the Bogue Sound, the forest is defined by water. All this water provides a variety of recreation and diversity of wildlife- from deer, black bears and turkeys to wading birds, ospreys and alligators. Canoeing and fishing are popular on blackwater creeks and saltwater marshes. The Croatan is also home to the carnivorous Venus fly-trap, sunder and pitcherplant. The Croatan National Forest has one Ranger District, the Croatan Ranger District. Please contact the District for more information. Camping and Day-use Information Enjoy camping or a picnic at one of the many day-use areas. A list of camping and day-use areas in the Croatan National Forest can be found here. Recreation Maps Croatan National Forest Maps Be Safe The national forests in North Carolina offer a wide variety of outdoor recreation opportunities. From the mountains to the sea, there are many exciting adventures awaiting your visit to these national forests. Please keep in mind that all outdoor recreational activities on the Croatan, Pisgah, Nantahala and Uwharrie national forests, including activities at recreation sites, have inherent risks due to the natural setting in which they occur. Always remember, your safety is your responsibility.

    • Pets
    • Fires
    • Phone Service
    • RVs
    • Tents
    • Group
    Camper-submitted photo from Dogwood Family Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Dogwood Family Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Dogwood Family Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Dogwood Family Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Dogwood Family Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Dogwood Family Campground

    9.

    Dogwood Family Campground

    4 Reviews
    18 Photos
    2 Saves
    Newport, North Carolina

    We are a cozy, family-friendly campground in Newport, NC. Enjoy being tucked away beside the Croatan Forest and only a short drive (30 minutes) away from all the Crystal Coast beaches, 10 minutes to MCAS Cherry Point, 30 minutes to Historical New Bern and many other local attractions. Close enough to be away from it all. We offer daily, weekly and monthly sites, all with FHU's, monthly sites pay for the electric that they use during that time. We have a catch and release fishing pond, walking trails, a dog area, playground area and Wi-Fi.

    • Pets
    • Fires
    • Electric Hookups
    • Phone Service
    • Reservable
    • RVs

    $66 - $80 / night

    Camper-submitted photo from New Bern KOA
    Camper-submitted photo from New Bern KOA
    Camper-submitted photo from New Bern KOA
    Camper-submitted photo from New Bern KOA
    Camper-submitted photo from New Bern KOA
    Camper-submitted photo from New Bern KOA

    10.

    New Bern KOA

    12 Reviews
    47 Photos
    75 Saves
    Bridgeton, North Carolina

    Nestled on the tranquil banks of the Neuse River and minutes from historic downtown New Bern, this quiet campground is the perfect setting for a peaceful retreat. Enjoy a day of fishing or watch a beautiful sunset from the 100-foot pier. The boat slips, ramp, kayaks and paddleboats welcome campers who yearn to get out on the water. A catch-and-release fish pond and a group-outings pavilion round out this haven for extended relaxation. The kids can enjoy our playground with a jump pad & swing set. New to our campground is our Gem Mine and Gaga Ball. Browse the many antique shops and boutiques in North Carolina's second-oldest city. Step into the past at Tryon Palace Historic Sites & Gardens, the former state capitol, historically regarded as the most beautiful public building in Colonial America. Pool: May 1 - October 1. Max pull thru: 128 feet.

    • Pets
    • Fires
    • Electric Hookups
    • Phone Service
    • Reservable
    • ADA Access
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Pet-friendly camping near Emerald Isle

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Frequently Asked Questions

What camping is available near Emerald Isle, NC?

According to TheDyrt.com, Emerald Isle, NC offers a wide range of camping options, with 66 campgrounds and RV parks near Emerald Isle, NC and 4 free dispersed camping spots.

Which is the most popular campground near Emerald Isle, NC?

According to TheDyrt.com, the most popular campground near Emerald Isle, NC is Cedar Point Campground with a 4.1-star rating from 25 reviews.

Where can I find free dispersed camping near Emerald Isle, NC?

According to TheDyrt.com, there are 4 free dispersed camping spots near Emerald Isle, NC.

What parks are near Emerald Isle, NC?

According to TheDyrt.com, there are 2 parks near Emerald Isle, NC that allow camping, notably Cape Lookout National Seashore and B. Everett Jordan Lake.