Finding Your Favorite Pet-Friendly Campground
On the RVing Trail With Your Pets, Let us Point the Way to Your Best Bets
Traveling with our pets adds unique experiences and memories to any trip. Our pets continually remind us to live in the moment. However, having our family members with fur along for the ride can also bring challenges. So, when you arrive at your destination after a long travel day, having already ensured that the campground is pet friendly is key to enjoying not only the surrounding area but your home base as well.
Pet-friendly campgrounds can mean different things to different travelers. Just like us humans, our pets have unique personalities, likes, and dislikes. Doing research in advance on campgrounds that claim to be pet-friendly can be fun. That’s why we always check out what activities and amenities our pets will enjoy ahead of time, and whether there are any restrictions at each campground so that we can avoid misunderstandings and disappointments.
Many campgrounds, including state parks and national parks, are located near or within protected wildlife areas or preserves, and understandably do not allow pets. Some campgrounds have closely spaced campsites that some dogs (or neighbors) may not be comfortable with. And many private campgrounds have pet policies that may enforce breed restrictions, limit the number of pets you can bring with you, or don’t allow pets at all. But don’t let those facts deter you from traveling with your pet(s), as there are many unique and pet-friendly campgrounds that are happy to welcome you and your pet with open arms—and paws!
Even if a campground claims to be pet-friendly, it may contain areas in which pets are not allowed. We have visited state parks that limit pets to certain areas in the campground. When we arrived, we were surprised that some streets in the campground even prohibited dogs. This was a lesson for us to check specifics on campgrounds that claim to be pet-friendly.
A Social Affair
We have visited many pet-friendly campgrounds during our full-time travels. And at the top of our list is Four Paws Kingdom Campground in Rutherfordton, North Carolina. If you are new to camping with your dog, this campground is the perfect place to get your paws wet. This campground is a destination by itself and its owners will welcome you with a friendly greeting while offering suggestions for activities within the park. This campground is solely dedicated to dogs and their owners, who have to be 18 or older.
If you don’t have an RV, you can rent one of theirs, or even a cabin or a yurt. There is a puppy salon, numerous off-leash dog parks, a private pond, and a fun gift shop with all the dog treats and toys your dog can dream of. Our favorite part of our visit was the weekend ice cream social when the owners delivered homemade doggy ice cream with a smile to every campsite. It’s hard to top this campground for dogs and their people.
Where’s the Beach?
If your pet loves the beach as much as our dog Peanut Butter Brickledoes, Kathryn Abbey Hanna Park near Jacksonville, Florida, should be on your pet-friendly campground list. Hanna Park not only has a white-sand, dog-friendly beach, but your pet is also welcome on the many trails in the woods and around the lake. The campground in this city-owned park has a campsite for everyone. Private, roomy campsites with full hookups or tent sites are available, as are rental cabins.
Each morning and evening, we enjoyed the routine of walking with our dogs to the beach, hitting the trails, and ending the night with another walk to the beach. Look for shark teeth and enjoy the sunrises and sunsets here with your pet. The full experience of this campground and park will have you and your pet feeling relaxed and appreciative of what camping was meant to be. We know our pets give it four paws up.
Falls for Fido
If your dog prefers mountains, creeks, rivers, and waterfalls like our dog Digby Pancake, consider making a reservation at Amicalola Falls State Park near Dawsonville, Georgia. This pet-friendly park is named after its most beautiful feature, Amicalola Falls. This 729-foot waterfall is the third-highest waterfall east of the Mississippi River. When you stay at the pet-friendly campground, you can walk to the top of the falls from your campsite. With numerous pet-friendly trails, many accessing the famed Appalachian Trail, you will experience fresh, mountain air with your dog like no other place.
The campsites are spacious and private, and many have fences to separate you from other travelers. This was perfect for our senior dogs, who enjoy their solitude after a morning of exercise. Complimentary Wi-Fi and laundry facilities are available.
A Horse, of Course!
Imagine a place where wild horses run free! Assateague Island is a thirty-seven-mile-long barrier island on the Atlantic Coast of Maryland and Virginia. Assateague is a wonderful place to spend a day or a whole vacation with your dog. Camping is available only in the Maryland district of Assateague Island. Dogs are allowed in Assateague Island National Seashore campgrounds but must be physically controlled on a leash no longer than six feet in length at all times.
This is for the safety of your dog and for the protected, wild horses. As you take a walk with your leashed dog along the beaches, make sure you safely admire them from afar. Pets are prohibited on lifeguarded beaches during swimming season, at backcountry campsites, on nature trails, in Assateague State Park and north to the Ocean CityInlet, and also at Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge in Virginia. Planning ahead for your camping trip here is key. Bring insect repellent, food, and water for you and your pet. Weather conditions can also change rapidly, so come prepared.
Know Your Pets
We are privileged to know our pets better than anyone. That includes knowing what makes our pets feel more relaxed, comfortable and motivated to be the best versions of themselves. We don’t want to force situations or experiences on our pets that make RVing any less than amazing.
Be realistic about your pet’s limitations and behavioral makeup. Not every pet is going to be happy with every campground. But when we do find the right one for our pets, the rewards of traveling together to our favorite pet-friendly campgrounds are endless.
Good Sam Parks
These Good Sam Parks roll out the red carpet for your furry family members. Remember to research/call ahead for pet-friendly specifics.
Escondido RV Resort-Sunland
Escondido, California – escondidorv.com
Flying Flags RV Resort & Campground
Buellton, California – highwaywestvacations.com
Compass RV Park
St. Augustine, Florida – sunresorts.com
Scenic Mountain RV Park & Campground
Milledgeville, Georgia – scenicmountainrvresort.com
Deer Creek Valley RV Park
Topeka, Kansas – deercreekvalleyrvpark.com
Normandy Farms Family Camping Resort
Foxboro, Massachusetts – normandyfarms.com
St. Cloud/Clearwater RV Park
Clearwater, Minnesota – time2camp.com
Cottonwoods RV Park
Columbia, Missouri – cottonwoodsrvpark.com
Route 66 RV Resort
Albuquerque, New Mexico – rt66rvresort.com
Evergreen Park RV Resort
Dundee, Ohio – evergreenparkrvresort.com
Wanderlust Crossings RV Resort
Weatherford, Oklahoma – wanderlustcrossings.com