Written By Blair Koster
1. Sherando Lake Recreation Area (Blue Ridge Mountains)
96 Sherando Lake Road
Lyndhurst, VA 22952
This is one of the most popular recreation areas in the George Washington National Forest, with secluded and spacious campsites and clean mountain air. Choose from among 60 family and group sites.
2. Fairystone State Park
967 Fairystone Lake Drive
Stuart, VA 24171
(276) 930-2424 or (800) 933-Park
The largest of Virginia’s six original state parks is home to rare “fairy stones,” or rare mineral crosses, and 4,639 acres of astounding scenery. This park is a local and regional favorite.
3. Lake Anna State Park
6800 Lawyers Road
Spotsylvania, VA 22553
(540) 854-5503 or (800) 933-Park
This 2,300-acre park with a glistening lake along 10 miles of shoreline serves more than 200,000 visitors annually and is the perfect place for tent and RV camping. Choose from sites with and without water and electric hookups.
Note: Between August 14 and Labor Day, a shortage of qualified lifeguards may result in swimming only being available on Saturdays and Sundays —except for Labor Day weekend. Check the website for swimming hours.
4. Occoneechee State Park
1192 Occoneechee Park Road
Clarksville, VA 23297
(434) 374-2210 or (800) 933-Park
Located on the tranquil shore of Buggs Island Lake, this park is great for vacationing. Habitat enhancement plots attract various birds, deer and woodland creatures. The park is named after the Native Americans who once lived here.
Select from 48 total campsites; most sites accept RVs up to 30 feet. Thirty-three sites have electric and water hookups. There is even an equestrian campground for self-sustaining horse trailers and RVs. Although there are no horse rentals, there is a multi-use trail.
5. Claytor Lake State Park
6620 Ben H. Bolen Drive
Dublin, VA 24084
(540) 643-2500 or (800) 933-Park
Located on the 4,500-acre, 21-mile long Claytor Lake in the New River Valley of southwestern Virginia, this park offers a scenic and restful spot for camping. Swimming may be unavailable on some weekdays; call park for details.
There are 70 standard campsites, and three campgrounds accommodate mostly tents and small trailers up to 20 feet long. Campgrounds are mostly wooded, and there are no hookups for electric and water.
6. Big Meadows Campground
Shenandoah National Park
3655 U.S. Highway 211 East
Luray, VA 22835
(877) 444-6777 or recreation.gov
This secluded campground is located near many major facilities and hiking trails within the park. Three waterfalls are within walking distance, and the meadow, abundant with wildlife, is nearby.
7. Pocahontas State Park
10301 State Park Road
Chesterfield, VA 23832
(804) 796-4255 or (800) 933-Park
Located in the largest state park, the campground is deep in a forest in Chesterfield County but only miles from downtown Richmond. Rich with wildlife and amenities, this park has something for everyone. Swimming and the boat launch are even free to overnight campers.
The park has 114 campsites accommodating RVs up to 50 feet. There are also five Buddy sites for a maximum of 18 people and three ADA-compliant sites. All campsites have electric and water hookups but no sewer.
8. Chippokes Plantation State Park
695 Chippokes Park Road
Surry, VA 23883
(757) 294-3625 or (800) 933-Park
Visit one of the oldest working farms in the U.S. The park has a wide variety of offerings as well as Chippokes Mansion, formal gardens and the Chippokes Farm and Forestry Museum. The park is close to Williamsburg, Virginia Beach and Richmond.
9. Misty Mountain Camp Resort
56 Misty Mountain Road
Greenwood, VA 22943
(888) 647-8900 or mistycamp.com
Nestled in the trees, this family-friendly resort is a great choice for a relaxing—and comfortable—camping trip. This 50-acre park is perfect for a private getaway, a family vacation, or for a rollicking time with a large group.
Campers will appreciate the 91 sites with hookups for electric, water, sewer, free wireless Internet—even cable TV. There are also plenty of activities to keep the children busy, including horseshoes, volleyball, hayrides, video games, music and dancing and playgrounds.
10. Newport News Park
13564 Jefferson Avenue (I-64 Exit 250B)
Newport News, VA 23603
(757) 888-3333 or nnparks.com
This 8,000-acre park is one of the largest municipal parks east of the Mississippi and is home to native wildlife—deer, foxes, otter, raccoon and beaver, to name a few. The park is perfect for the outdoor lover, situated among woodlands, lush meadows and dazzling lakes, and there are plenty of nearby attractions.
The 188 campsites are arranged through natural woodlands but with modern conveniences.