Camping: An American Pastime

by Casey Higgins | Posted: Jun 4, 2010 | Updated: Apr 17, 2018

Comments: 8 Comments

Did you ever go camping as a kid? I did. In anything from tents and slide-in pick-up truck units to pop-ups and tag-alongs. We enjoyed our summers along the north fork of the Shenandoah River in the Shenandoah Valley. It was always a carefree adventure and time seemed to stop. Having such fond memories, I’ve decided that camping is something I want my kids to experience, too.

Bear Creek Lake State Park CampingI have not researched every Virginia campground to give you an honest “where’s the best place to camp” schpiel, but someone else has picked a few for your consideration.

Today ReserveAmerica tapped their picks for the Top 100 Family Campgrounds and 12 Virginia sites made the cut. Not suprisingly (at least not to me), they’re all Virginia State Parks (insert shameless plug about being “America’s Best“)!

#5: First Landing State Park in Virginia Beach
#13: Claytor Lake State Park in Dublin
#14: Douthat State Park in Millboro
#16: Kiptopeke State Park in Cape Charles
#24: Westmoreland State Park in Montross
#39: Smith Mountain Lake State Park in Huddleston
#40: James River State Park in Gladstone
#43: Fairy Stone State Park in Stuart
#57: Occoneechee State Park in Clarksville
#62: Chippokes Plantation State Park in Surry
#80: Staunton River State Park in Scottsburg
#93: New River Trail State Park in Foster Falls

For other Virginia campgrounds, see our Go Camping and RVing feature article. There you’ll find information on KOA’s, Jellystone’s, National Parks, and many others. Plan your family getaway at or call 1-800-Visit-VA to request a free Virginia is for Lovers® Travel Guide.


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[…] you need more inspiration or want a ‘best of the best’ list, see our post that includes 12 Virginia campgrounds that made the cut for ReserveAmerica’s Top 100 Family […]


[…] Camping: An American Pastime […]

Wes Depaul

valuable information and excellent design you got here! I would like to thank you for sharing your thoughts and time into the stuff you post!! Thumbs up!

VA Camping - Derek

I love camping in the Shenandoah area! I’ve yet to try all of the campgrounds that you have listed, but I can personally vouch for the Jellystone at Natural Bridge. (of course, I’m a little partial to the smokey mountains)

Thanks for the hook-ups!

Dave Peale
Dave Peale

if someone just on the spur of the moment wanted to find out what campsites or cabins were available at any state park location, your web sites don’t make this information readily available. Or perhaps I didn’t get to the right link. I would think you would want 100 % occupancy. just a thought but perhaps a “click here for availability” might be nice for computer-illerates like me. Thanks –


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It’s a “pastime”, not a “past time”.