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Beach camping in North Carolina is the best way to enjoy the Atlantic coast and its famous lighthouses. From the Tidewater to the Outer Banks, the beauty never ends. It’s a seaside sanctuary for beach lovers and outdoor enthusiasts of all backgrounds. North Carolina has some of the most pristine beaches on the east coast, and you can enjoy them up close and personal. Whether you’re windsurfing, clamming, or hiking, the beaches on the Atlantic coast will leave you refreshed and rejuvenated. We have the best beach camping in North Carolina for exploring the Atlantic and beyond.

The Best Beach Camping in North Carolina

1. Ocracoke Campground

Ocracoke Campground

The Ocracoke Campground is on the beach of Cape Hatteras National Seashore, east of Ocracoke. The campground has reservable sites for tents and RVs up to 40 feet. There are no hookups, but you do get fire rings, flush toilets, and showers. Since the campsites are on sandy soil, come prepared with extra-long tent stakes. The beach is mere steps away, giving you unparalleled access to some of the best views on the coast. Spend the day building sandcastles, hopping waves, or climbing the Ocracoke Lighthouse. The Hammock Hills Nature Trail has amazing views of Pamlico Sound and its coastal species. The Ocracoke Campground is one of the most quintessential examples of great beach camping in North Carolina. Don’t miss this one.

“Ocracoke is a great place to ‘recharge’ the batteries of life pure and simple! Falling asleep listening to the sounds of the ocean; to look up at night and see our galaxy the Milky Way and all the stars revolving around Polaris is simply awe inspiring and a slice of heaven! We tent camped D-28. The steady breeze kept the bugs away all 3 nights. 4×4 to the many beach gates is a definite must. Lower tire pressure to 15-20 psi is highly recommended” – The Dyrt camper Joseph H.





Campground Details:

  • Price: $28
  • Number of sites: 126 
  • RV sites: Yes
  • Fires allowed: Yes 
  • Pets allowed: Yes

2. Frisco Campground – Cape Hatteras

Frisco Campground - North Carolina

The Frisco Campground at Cape Hatteras is also in Cape Hatteras National Seashore, on the west end of Hatteras Island. The campground has reservable sites for tents and RVs. There aren’t any hookups, but sites come with fire rings and access to flush toilets and showers. You can play in the dunes or take the short boardwalk to the ocean. A few miles up the road, you can climb the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse or submerge your fishing vessel. The Buxton Woods Coastal Reserve is next to the campground, as well as the Open Ponds Trail. On a clear night, you can watch the stars twinkle brightly over the Atlantic. The Frisco Campground is the best mix of seaside camping and woodland exploration.

“This campground feels built right into the dunes. It is a perfect place for a true Outer Banks experience. We enjoyed deer stopping by our camp site, and the wild, remote feeling here. It is dependent on the site you choose. Some are much more secluded than others. Pet friendly, fire ring, and picnic table at each site. There’s amazing, world-famous fishing in the area, so in Spring and Fall this place can be packed and hard to get a reservation.” – The Dyrt camper Kelley E.

Campground Details:

  • Price: $28
  • Number of sites: 127
  • RV sites: Yes
  • Fires allowed: Yes 
  • Pets allowed: Yes

3. Oregon Inlet Campground

Oregon Inlet Campground

The Oregon Inlet Campground is on a barrier island in Cape Hatteras National Seashore. The campground has reservable sites for tents and RVs. Amenities include electric and water hookups, flush toilets, and showers. You can walk to the ocean from your campsite and enjoy sand and surf. Take in the sun’s warming rays and appreciate the twinkling night sky. For calmer waters, head west to the Roanoke Sound, where you can fish for flounder, bluefish, and mackerel. Or take the five-minute drive to the scenic Bodie Island Lighthouse. The Oregon Inlet Campground is a welcome haven for anglers and beach bums alike.

“Spent 4 days here in our rooftop tent and really enjoyed ourselves. Warm outdoor showers are provided. The bathrooms are some of the cleanest I’ve seen. Campsites on the outer edges (odd numbers) are more spread apart. They also back up into dunes or brush, which give you somewhat of a “woodsy” feel. We had the beach access pass and drove on during the days to hang out which was great. Also, conveniently located to town so you don’t feel too far removed. Overall a good spot. Definitely worth a trip.” – The Dyrt camper Paige L.

Campground Details:

  • Price: $28-35
  • Number of sites: 107
  • RV sites: Yes
  • Fires allowed: Yes 
  • Pets allowed: Yes

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4. Cape Point Campground

The Cape Point Campground is the largest camping area in Cape Hatteras National Seashore, on the east end of Hatteras Island. The campground has sites for tents and RVs, with same-day reservations. There aren’t any hookups, but there are fire rings, flush toilets, and showers. Take the short walk down to Cape Hatteras beach, where you can enjoy the splendors of the Atlantic Ocean. It’s a popular spot for surfing and fishing. Or hike the Buxton Woods Trail up to the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse. The campground is next to the Buxton Woods Coastal Reserve, where you can explore the lush forest. Keep an eye out for seabirds and other wildlife. The Cape Point campground is a relaxing spot to enjoy contrasting natural environments.

“Beautiful campground. Breezy since it is right off the beach. Had a beautiful view of the lighthouse from our specific spot. No power and cold showers, but worth it!” – The Dyrt camper Alycia S.

Campground Details:

  • Price: $20
  • Number of sites: 202
  • RV sites: Yes
  • Fires allowed: Yes 
  • Pets allowed: Yes

5. Carolina Beach

Carolina Beach State Park

The Carolina Beach Campground is in Carolina Beach State Park, east of Carolina Beach. The campground is amidst the Atlantic, Cape Fear River, and Snow’s Cut Waterway, giving you many water sports and fishing options. They have reservable sites for tents and RVs and cabin rentals. Amenities include hookups, fire rings, flush toilets, and showers. Take the Snow’s Cut Trail from the campground to enjoy scenic views of the waterway, or hike any of the other eight trails. You can rent a kayak, swim the river, catch your dinner, or scout for birds. The Carolina Beach Campground is poised to give you quick access to various land and water activities.

“Are you on the sand beside the ocean? No, but this is a great campground within the state park that has secluded campsites in the woods. This is a rare find this close to the beach/ocean. There are sites that you can not even notice you have neighbors. It has some nice trails for light hiking and is just down the road from the ocean. Being in town it is close to grocery stores, places to eat, and shopping. That being said, once in the park you feel like you are far from the crowds of town.” – The Dyrt camper Andrea B.

Campground Details:

  • Price: $23-55
  • Number of sites: 83
  • RV sites: Yes
  • Fires allowed: Yes 
  • Pets allowed: Yes

6. Camp Hatteras

Cape Hatteras KOA - Beach Camping North Carolina

The Camp Hatteras Campground is a world-class RV resort on a beachfront strip between the Atlantic Ocean and Pamlico Sound. The campground has spacious beachfront sites for tents and RVs of all sizes. They offer many amenities, like full hookups, wifi and cable, a pool and jacuzzi, lawn games, laundry, and planned events. Walk to the beach where you can go clam digging or deep-sea fishing. Or head to the sound, where you can see abundant wildlife and shellfish. Take advantage of the equipment rentals to explore the waves, or check out the local dining. You can also try the Cape Hatteras/Outer Banks KOA, right next door. The Camp Hatteras campground is a great way to enjoy the Atlantic without sacrificing luxury.

“Location, location, location! Wow! Right on the ocean, so if you want to be near a wonderful beach, this is your place. Sites are right next to one another but you expect that. Water, sewer and electric are fine. Bathrooms are old but clean. Did I mention location! ” – The Dyrt camper Wayne

Campground Details:

  • Price: $35-146
  • Number of sites: 411
  • RV sites: Yes
  • Fires allowed: Yes 
  • Pets allowed: Yes

7. Cape Lookout National Seashore

Cape Lookout National Seashore offers 56 miles of dispersed beach camping up and down the Atlantic coast. Best of all, camping is free. Depending on location, you’ll have access to flush toilets and showers but no trash cans. What better way to enjoy the Atlantic than camping right on its sandy beaches? You’re steps from fishing, kayaking, swimming, and clamming. Climb the Cape Lookout Lighthouse, or enjoy a colorful sunset on the beach. Use one of the boat ramps to float the waves, or try out windsurfing. The Cape Lookout National Seashore is one of the most beautiful places on the Atlantic to sleep and play.

“After 10 months of camping this was hands down my best experience. Camp sites are attractive and afford privacy. Some have ocean views so choose carefully. Walk to beach is an easy 1/2 mile mostly on the boardwalk. The beach is wide and long. Many shells along the high tide line. Many people surf casting for Red Drum. It’s a lovely, friendly scene. The beach is why you come and it doesn’t disappoint. Enjoy! Showers are clean and cold but not freezing. All sites are primitive with picnic tables and grills. Water available at bathhouse. Ferry to Ocracoke Island is free and it runs every hour.” – The Dyrt camper Lisa S.

Campground Details:

  • Price: $0
  • RV sites: No
  • Fires allowed: Yes
  • Pets allowed: Yes

These are the top spots for beach camping in North Carolina. Check out these relaxing sandy retreats when you’re planning your next vacation.

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