The best BOAT IN camping near
Surf City , NORTH CAROLINA

50 Reviews10 Campgrounds

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Most Recent Surf City Camping Reviews
Very clean and fun

Great sites, fishing pier, playground great for kids, close to shopping and other stuff

It’s a national forest...

This site is conveniently close to many beach attractions. To compare it to the local RV sites it so great in the aspect you are not on top of each other. The site itself for it being on “national park/forest land,” is “ok.” But in comparison to other national parks or federal land, it is barely a 3 star. It struggle in cleanliness and upkeep. The facilities are at best an “ehhh it’s food enough.” There are nice people here though that are making an honest effort, and who can argue with this places excellent location?

Fantastic area and vibe

We visited this area last summer, but didn't camp there. However we did spend a lot of time in area. This campground is directly across the street from the beach. The beach is beautiful and the landscaping has rock formations scattered through it. It's a somewhat remote feel to this area even though it's not far from Carolina Beach. There is also a aquarium, and museum down the road if you need a history or education fix. Down South of it is bald island a access to a ferry that will take you to Southport. Next time we come back to this area we will definitely camp here.

Good park

We went in November and it was nice to have a quiet campground to explore. Nice trails and water access.

Great!

Love that it’s close to the beach. The bathrooms were very clean. I’m not a fan of the spot we received because we are a pop up camper surrounded by very bright and very large RV’s but if next time we get the back circle area where our camper belongs it will be wonderful.

Nice family park and Hiking Trail

We enjoy coming here with our family during the fall.

4x4 Camping Heaven

Freeman Park is a beach area located in Carolina Beach. It's the place to take your 4x4 vehicle, your friends, kids, and dogs, and have some fun in the sand, wind, and waves.

First and foremost, make sure you know how to drive in the sand and what to do when your car gets stuck. It happened to us, as well as to many vehicles on the beach.

Also, be aware of the tides, it's dangerous to be driving near the water when the high tide comes in.

The camping is allowed on the beach Labor Day through memorial Day, but might require a permit, check the rules before you go. In the past, the permit was required only after April 1, so we always tried to come in February or March, when the weather is nice but not too hot.

The camping is allowed in the designated spaces. There's enough room for one tent. Remember, when camping on sand, you don't need stakes. Instead you bring 4 plastic bags, fill them with sand, tie the tent corners to the bags and bury them in the sand. This will prevent your tent from flying away,

There are several pit toilets on the beach, some trash cans are provided too. There's a store next to the fishing pier a short distance from the beach where we usually go to brush our teeth in the morning. 

I love Freeman park and give it 4 stars only because it's a primitive camping spot and people should be aware what to expect. It doesn't have fancy amenities, but the proximity to the ocean is priceless. 

Our favorite dining spot: The Shuckin' Shack Oyster Bar in Carolina Beach.

Paddle In Sites

We stayed at site 14, which is on the other side of the island and is only accessible on a boat. We kayaked from the park office and boat launch. The route was difficult for me, the tide was coming in plus a strong wind, it took us about an hour to get to the island. The site itself was perfect, much better than the rest as much as we could see as we looked around. It's located in the woods with a nice shady clearing, its own very private little beach. We kayaked to the beach and walked around to see the ferry dock.

Make sure you know the tide schedule. The water levels are changing pretty dramatically during the day. 

We also experienced a  lot of mosquitoes during the night on the island, but it probably depends on the weather.

The fires are not allowed on the island, which requires some thoughts around cooking and reheating food. 

Overall I would say it was a very unique experience.

Peaceful Family Campground with Beautiful Sunrises

The great thing about this campground is that it offers a peaceful setting no matter whether you are camping in your travel trailer, a tent, or as a group. As a leader of the Boy Scouts and the Royal Rangers, I have camped here many times in large groups. We even had a campout here with about 300 boys. As a group campout, there was lots of room for activities planned by our leaders—paintball, scavenger hunts, and evening campfire services. With that said, one of my latest campouts was just with a group of friends. I think the best fun was fishing, although I really like kayaking on the lake. At this campground, you don’t have to worry about driving in tent stakes if you are camping in a tent. The soil is sandy, and the ground is usually covered with pine straw. When I wanted to build a campfire, there were plenty of sticks and limbs to start and build a campfire. There is a swimming beach, but I would be careful about where I step since there is sometimes goose poop on the sand. You can also rent canoes and pedal boats. There is a hiking trail as well, but make sure you have waterproof shoes if it has recently rained. The trail beside the lake gets really muddy. The price is reasonable, and the staff is friendly. This is a laidback campground in a rural area, so if you are in need of supplies, you’d better bring them with you. The bath house has a concrete floor, but it is well-maintained. I have camped at this campground over a dozen times, and it never gets old. That’s why it’s one of my favorites.

Beautiful beach camping!

Love this park. Bear Island is only accessible by boat. So you have to pay a small fee for the ferry ride that takes you to Bear Island. Or you can canoe or kayak. You have to hike with all your camping gear less than a mile to the beach. There is not much shade on the hike there but it wasn't bad on a hot summer day. 

The beach camping spots are right in front of the dunes. We went on Labor Day weekend and there was no one there! So peaceful and serene. Lots of shells to find! And what a beautiful beach. There are nice bathrooms, water, and a snack bar that is open during the summer (cash only). Lots of picnic tables here as well.

Planning on coming back here next summer and staying longer! Such a unique camping experience!