Best Winter Beach Camping Getaways

When it’s time to beat the winter blues, a weekend family beach camping trip might be just the thing your kids need, to burn off some cabin fever and get outside. Beaches are a lot more laid back in the winter, so camping spots are a lot easier to get. And, while temperatures may not allow for splashing in the surf, there’s still fun to be had playing in the sand and spending some quality time with the kids around the campfire.

Florida: St. Joseph Peninsula State Park

Winter beach camping at St. Joseph Penninsual State Park

Miles of sandy white beaches (photo by LgclThry on Flickr)

Short of a long airplane ride to a tropical island, nothing beats St. Joseph Peninsula State Park for its miles of sandy white beaches and bountiful wildlife. This is probably the best place to show your kids what Florida looked like, before it was developed into oblivion.

Campsites: 119
Cabins: 8
Primitive Camping Allowed ($4 per person).

Texas: Padre Island National Seashore

Winter beach camping on Padre Island

70 miles of sandy beaches on Padre Island (photo by Gerald5970 on Flickr)

Located along the south Texas coast, Padre Island National Seashore protects the longest undeveloped stretch of barrier island in the world. If you are considering a winter family camping vacation, Padre Island’s 70 miles of sandy beaches is sure to be a big hit with the kids.

Malaquite Campground: 16 RV sites, 26 tent / RV sites and 8 tent-only sites
Bird Island Basin: 45 tent / RV sites
North Beach: Primitive camping
South Beach: Primitive camping
Yarborough Pass: Primitive camping, 4-wheel drive only
All campsites are first-come, first served.

California: Gold Bluffs Beach Campground

Winter camping at Gold Bluffs Beach

Winter camping at Gold Bluffs Beach (photo by tasker on Flickr)

Gold Bluffs Beach is located in the Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park, in northern California, but it’s at the end of an unpaved road – so you are guaranteed plenty of solitude for your family beach camping vacation.

Campsites: 25 RV / Tent, 29 tent-only

Oregon: Bullards Beach State Park

Winter beach camping at Bullards Beach State Park

Yurt camping at Bullards Beach State Park (photo by fredsharples on Flickr)

Bullards Beach is a large, family-oriented park located just two miles north of Bandon. The campground is nestled among shore pines and well protected from the strong ocean breezes. Besides three loops of campsites, the park boasts 13 yurts, making year-round camping a very popular choice.

Campsites: 187
Yurts: 13

South Carolina: Huntington Beach State Park

Winter beach camping at Huntington Beach State Park

Grand Strand beach at Huntington Beach State Park (photo by LSykora on Flickr)

Huntington Beach State Park features a sweeping Grand Strand beach, pristine and wide open. Sea breeze camping and some of the finest bird-watching on the East Coast make this state park a great winter family camping escape.

Campsites: 131 tent / RV sites, 6 walk-in tent sites

Virginia: False Cape State Park

Winter beach camping at False Cape State Park

Winter beach camping at False Cape State Park (photo by pcopros on Flickr)

Guaranteed winter solitude for your family, False Cape State Park is only accessible through the Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge and is limited to hiking, bicycling or boating – there is no motor vehicle access.

Campsites: Primitive camping, reservations required

See also…

28 thoughts on “Best Winter Beach Camping Getaways

  1. There is a lot of fun that can be had while camping. You might discover something new about yourself, get a little closer to nature or just feel free from the everyday stress you have to deal with. You can hike and roast marshmallows over an open fire. There are lots of things you can do, and lots of things to do before your next camping trip. Here are some helpful tips to assist you to have that great experience. *

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  2. So much beautiful sand, so little time. I think I need to plan on spending a winter on the southern east coast….soon. Great pictures as always,

    Rick

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  4. I’ll have to try Northern CA! The only winter beach camping I’ve done is in Southern CA…specifically, Doheny State Beach (you can put your tent ON the sand), Oceanside Harbor (RV only, no hookups, right by the sand & water, and there’s usually one or two seals out in the water playing around), and San Elijo State Beach (RV and tent allowed). But, it would be so neat to venture up north and give your recommendation, Gold Bluffs Beach, a try! Thanks for sharing.

    • It’s definitely a lot more layed-back in NorCal, particularly north of San Francisco, Jill. I would love to just take a few weeks and meander up the coast – that would be a lot of fun.

  5. I grew up going to Port. St. Joe every year, it’s definitely one of my favorite places in the world. I haven’t been for 6 years now, but I’m going next week. I definitely recommend it to anyone wanting to go somewhere peaceful!

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  7. All of these featured beaches look wonderful. This sounds like a great way to get outdoors with the family. I know that the boy scouts camp out all year in Kansas, but I’ve not met any families who do.

    • It sure does, Sharlene – I definitely want to check it out, someday. I think we’ll take the kids to Disney World in the next few years, so I’m planning to take an extra 3 or 4 days to see some of Florida’s parks.

  8. Gold Bluffs beach was one of my favorite camping spots when I was in college. We’d often see elk on the beach and loved hiking into the redwoods right from the campsite.

    • I love that part of California, Melynda – I wish we could get up there more often. The last time we were there, we woke up on morning and there were 5 bull elk just outside the campground area – quite a site!

  9. Thanks so much for this post! I have cabin fever really bad, along with my husband, and we are camping nuts. We thought about going to Florida for a warm weather getaway, but could not afford it this yr. Going camping on the beach sounds like the perfect compromise- thanks for the info!

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