From leafy lookouts in the Great Smoky Mountains to salt marshes teeming with birdlife, the Southeast offers up diverse landscapes and incredible campsites. Take a boat (or plane) to your secluded camp in Dry Tortugas National Park. Hike to one of the highest waterfalls in the eastern U.S. at Fall Creek Falls State Park. Maybe you’ll even be lucky enough to see dolphins swim into the cove to feed at Fort De Soto Park as you sip your morning coffee. Regardless of how you like to camp, there’s a lifetime of adventures waiting for you in this region. Start with this list and never stop exploring!

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1. Fort De Soto Campground — Florida

Camper trailer in beachy campsite beside chairs, and picnic table at waterfront site.

Image from The Dyrt camper Perry J.

This campground makes a great home base for exploring historic Fort De Soto Park, a former military encampment dating back to the Civil War. There’s plenty of nature to discover here, too, including seven miles of white-sand beaches that are connected to the wooded campground by a paved, multi-use trail. The park was named America’s top beach by Tripadvisor in 2008 and 2009 and is home to more than 300 species of birds, so bring your binoculars! You might see some marine mammals too. “Almost every morning dolphins would swim into the cove feeding,” says The Dyrt camper Mark P.

If you plan to swing through Fort De Soto Campground, reservations are recommended and can be made up to six months in advance. There are sites for tent campers and RVs, all with hookups, but keep in mind that alcohol and gas-powered generators are not allowed in the park.

Campground Details:

  • Price: $34-45
  • Number of sites: 236
  • RV sites: yes
  • Fires allowed: yes
  • Pets allowed: yes

2. Elkmont Campground — Tennessee

Campsite during fall covered in red and orange leaves with a tent, picnic, camp stove and tea kettle.

Image from The Dyrt camper Nick A.

With over 200 tent and RV sites, Elkmont is the largest campground in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Campers enjoy easy access to nearby trailheads that lead to miles of hiking and backcountry fishing. Keep an eye out for black bears, elk and deer as you explore the park’s 800-plus miles of maintained trails. History buffs will get a kick out of visiting historic log buildings on the property.

If you’re an RVer planning to stop at Elkmont Campground, keep in mind that there are no hookups and not every site accommodates RVs. Be sure to double-check the site measurements before booking!

Campground Details:

  • Price: $25-27
  • Number of sites: 200
  • RV sites: yes
  • Fires allowed: yes
  • Pets allowed: yes

3. Fall Creek Falls State Park — Tennessee

Aerial view of dripping waterfall into circular pool down below surrounded by lush forests.

Image from The Dyrt camper Shelly S.

Discover the lush forests, gorges and waterfalls of the Cumberland Plateau at one of Tennessee’s largest state parks. Explore more than 56 miles of trails and be sure to check out the park’s namesake, Fall Creek Falls, which is one of the highest waterfalls in the eastern U.S. There are over 200 campsites to choose from and plenty to do for everyone, including playgrounds, environmental education programs and an adventure course with ropes and zip lines.

Campground Details:

  • Price: $8-32
  • Number of sites: 222
  • RV sites: yes
  • Fires allowed: yes
  • Pets allowed: yes

4. Skidaway Island State Park — Georgia

Person sitting on bike in tropical forest of succulents and spanish mosh.

Image from The Dyrt camper Kevin E.

This campground makes a great basecamp for exploring the Intracoastal Waterway. Campers enjoy six miles of pet-friendly trails winding through beautiful maritime forests and salt marshes that are home to deer, egrets and other wildlife. Choose from a handful of cabins or dozens of campsites nestled under live oaks and Spanish moss, including options for RV, trailer and tent campers. Nature lovers can explore the nearby Colonial Coast Birding Trail, where more than 300 species of birds have been spotted!

Campground Details:

  • Price: $40-49
  • Number of sites: 90
  • RV sites: yes
  • Fires allowed: yes
  • Pets allowed: yes

5. Anchor Down RV Resort — Tennessee

RV parked beside lake with mountains in the background.

Image from The Dyrt camper Andy G.

Enjoy lakeside camping with gorgeous views of the Great Smoky Mountains at this luxury RV resort. Anchor Down is located on Douglas Lake, giving campers easy access to swimming, boating and fishing. There are also full hookups, Wi-Fi, private bathrooms and other luxury amenities. The Dyrt PRO camper Joy B. was impressed: “This place lives up to the hype and deserves to be called a resort! Very clean and well-manicured sites. Beautiful views. Be aware that you will probably need to plan your visit well in advance; they stay booked.”
Keep in mind this is an RV-only resort and any tents or campers without hookups are prohibited.

Campground Details:

  • Price: $49-139
  • Number of sites: 170
  • RV sites: yes
  • Fires allowed: yes
  • Pets allowed: yes

6. Cloudland Canyon State Park — Georgia

View from the top of cloudland canyon over looking rocky cliffs and forested valley below.

Image from The Dyrt camper Kelly W.

Camp on the western edge of Lookout Mountain and experience the leafy gorge views of Cloudland Canyon. This area is great for hiking, mountain biking, rock climbing, horseback riding and fishing.

This campground has 150 varied sites from backcountry to glamping. Make sure to choose your campground wisely. The Dyrt camper Caitlin says the “west rim is more secluded and quiet but east rim is more convenient access to the visitor center, trailhead and other activities.”

Campground Details:

  • Price: $8-160
  • Number of sites: 150
  • RV sites: yes
  • Fires allowed: yes
  • Pets allowed: yes (in allocated sites)

7. Jonathan Dickinson State Park — Florida

Truck with kayaks on top and trailer behind parked at a forested campsite on the beach in Florida.

Image from The Dyrt camper Corey K.

Camp at the largest state park in southeast Florida and experience the varied landscape of coastal sand hills, upland lakes and scrub forests. Jonathan Dickinson State Park sits along the coast just 40 minutes north of Palm Beach. View the park from the water by paddling along the Loxahatchee River or bring your bike and explore the park on two wheels! The Dyrt camper Karen says you “must climb Hobe Mountain, the views are stunning.”

This state park has four separate campgrounds, so make sure to reserve the one nearest to the attractions you are looking for.

Campground Details:

  • Price: $26
  • Number of sites: 89
  • RV sites: yes
  • Fires allowed: yes
  • Pets allowed: yes (in designated areas)

8. Lake Powhatan Campground — North Carolina

Campsite in the forest with tent, hammock, picnic table, and a dog.

Image from The Dyrt camper John W.

Located in the Pisgah National Forest just 10 minutes from Asheville, Lake Powhatan serves up surf-and-turf splendor with swimming, boating and fishing in the lake and hiking and biking trails in the Appalachian Mountains. Visitors will be hard-pressed to find some downtime with nearby Asheville and its great food, live music and a farmers market on Saturdays.

Lake Powhatan has standard camping sites in addition to new canvas glamping tents. Be aware that this is a bear habitat. The Dyrt camper Sebrena W. reminds campers to “be VERY careful about disposing your food quickly and properly.”

Campground Details:

  • Price: $24-120
  • Number of sites: 97
  • RV sites: yes
  • Fires allowed: yes
  • Pets allowed: yes

9. Dry Tortugas National Park — Florida

Tent pitched on beach below palm tree on the island of Dry Tortugas National Park.

Image from The Dyrt camper Lazy C.

Pitch a tent 70 miles from civilization on Garden Key, one of the seven Dry Tortugas islands. Located west of the Florida Keys in the Gulf of Mexico, the only way to get to this campground is by plane or boat. Explore the island — which is home to 19th-century Fort Jefferson — and spend your days snorkeling, bird watching and experiencing some once-in-a-lifetime sunsets.

Dry Tortugas National Park is a remote camping destination, so make sure to read all regulations and understand transportation before booking.

Campground Details:

  • Price: $15-30 (does not include transportation)
  • Number of sites: n/a
  • RV sites: no
  • Fires allowed: only grill fires
  • Pets allowed: no

10. Bear Den Mountain Resort & Campground — North Carolina

Van parked in campsite beside blazing campfire and picnic table.

Image from The Dyrt camper Glass R.

Camp in their spacious tent or RV sites or rent a cabin at Bear Den, located just off the famous Blue Ridge Parkway in western North Carolina. The mountain lookouts on the Parkway make for great sunset watching and the nearby trails offer scenic views and the occasional waterfall. This campground is highly rated for its extensive amenities making it a great spot for families. Bear Den has an arcade, a small lake for swimming and fishing, a few playgrounds, basketball court and a recreation hall with ping pong, corn hole and shuffle board.

Campground Details:

  • Price: $33-$229
  • Number of sites: 123 (99 tent and RV sites + 24 cabins)
  • RV sites: yes
  • Fires allowed: yes
  • Pets allowed: yes

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