Rolling waves, powder soft sand, and beachfront campfires make a visit to the southeast and gulf coast well worth the time and money. Its mid July and while temperatures are high, the spirit of adventure is even higher. Below is a snapshot of some of the best camping destinations in the southeast and along the gulf coast:
Chattahoochee- Oconee National Forest- Georgia
The Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest is nestled in the northeast corner of Georgia and extends through the southern corners of South Carolina and Tennessee. The creation of the forest began in 1911, when the United States purchased 31,000 acres of land that later comprised the forest from a local family. In 1959, president Eisenhower declared a total of 96,000 woodland acres as the Chattahoochee- Oconee National Forest. Today, the forest is a favorite camping and hiking destination for adventurers around the world. The forest contains over 450 miles of hiking trails and 1,600 miles of roads. If you’re a fan of fishing, there are many rivers and streams. There are several campgrounds throughout the forest, including both RV and dry camping areas. Grab your fishing poles and hiking boots!
Congaree National Park- South Carolina
Never estimate the beauty of a hardwood forest, especially during the fall. Located in the center of South Carolina, the Congaree National Park is a bottomland hardwood forest, one of the largest remaining intact forests of its kind in the US. Comprised of 26,276 acres, this national park is filled with trails, campgrounds, and a variety of wildlife. During periods of heavy rain, parts of the forest will flood, creating a swamp. This park is home to bobcats, armadillos, and turkeys (to name a few). Visitors are encouraged to hike, canoe, and bird watch around the park, much of which can be done on the raised boardwalk trails. The park has some “back country” or dry campgrounds, but there are no RV sites within the park.
Talladega National Forest- Alabama
The Talladega National Forest is located near the center of Alabama and is comprised of 392,567 acres that touch the southern corner of the Appalachian Mountains. Hailed as a sportsman’s paradise, the park is well known for its abundance of wild game such as white-tailed deer, bobwhite quails, and gopher tortoises. If plants are more your thing, the park is home to bogs, sinkhole ponds, and bottomland hardwoods. The park is administered in three districts- Talladega, Shoal Creek and Oakmulgee, each rich with their own history and diversity. Take a swim in Devil’s Den Waterfall and swimming hole or take a 23 mile ATV ride around the Kentuck ATV ORV Trail. The activities in this park are nearly endless. Camping options include traditional, camper, or RV. We’d like to point out that this particular park has more RV campsites than many of the others on this list.
The Everglades National Park- Florida
Most of us have to admit that we love a good Florida vacation. After all, Florida has mild winter weather, islands, beautiful beaches, and swamps filled with rare and even endangered wildlife. Besides what nature has to offer, Florida is also home to many family friendly amusement parks and several big cities. The Everglades National Park is home to manatees, panthers, and American crocodiles- all of which are endangered species. Another fun fact is that the Everglades are America’s largest tropical wilderness and an international biosphere reserve. The National Park preserves the southern 20% of the original Everglades- some of which has already been developed. Popular activities include biking, boating, fishing, canoeing, and hiking. There are both dry land and water trails throughout the park. If you’d prefer a more “tourist-y” visit, there are many boat and walking tours. The park has both traditional campgrounds as well as RV sites.