Top East Coast Beaches for Camping

Top East Coast Beaches for Camping

Whether you love a day of fun in the surf and sand, adrenaline-pumping watersports or relaxing by the sea, a beach camping trip has something for everyone in your family. Some of the best beaches on the East Coast are not far from campgrounds in the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Yet, just north of this incredibly well-known beach destination is a new hotspot among campers — Virginia Beach. 

If you're an avid beach camper who's looking to mix it up, forget camping in OBX this year. See what Virginia Beach has to offer campers of all kinds. 

Campgrounds in Virginia Beach, VA vs. Outer Banks, NC 

While many beaches along the East Coast are well-known vacation destinations, Virginia Beach and the Outer Banks have some of the best beach campgrounds. So, if you're looking to get up close and personal with the Mid-Atlantic's coastal habitat, both of these locations are a great choice. Plus, geographically, these camping destinations give you access to some of the most popular beaches for swimming, surfing and fun on the East Coast.

While both are fantastic beach destinations, there are a lot of advantages to camping in Virginia Beach rather than choosing an OBX campground in NC.

Easy Access

Even though the Outer Banks is a top tourist destination, accessing it can be a bit tricky. This string of barrier islands sits just off the coast of North Carolina's mainland and can only be accessed by bridges or ferries. During peak vacation season, you can expect a lot of traffic. The swell of vacationers often leads to a bottleneck of vehicles trying to get in. 

Virginia Beach is much easier to access. In fact, a major interstate leads directly to the oceanfront and all the top tourist attractions along the boardwalk. From there, it is easy to make your way to a nearby campground, like Virginia Beach KOA Holiday®, for your unforgettable beach vacation.

Many OBX visitors attempt to avoid the busy summer months by planning their Outer Banks vacation during the off-season. However, the communities that form the Outer Banks are actually relatively small towns. Many of the best shops, attractions and activities close up if you don't come during peak season. That's not the case with Virginia Beach. No matter when you plan your vacation, most of the best local sights are open year-round, including beach access and outdoor activities like hiking and bike trails. 

Less Driving to See the Sights

The Outer Banks includes nearly 200 miles of ocean shoreline dotted with a few towns and commercial areas here and there. If you want to see any of the sights outside your campsite, expect to do a lot of driving. 

When you visit Virginia Beach, you can park at one of the many lots found just off the boardwalk and spend the whole day exploring all the sights and sounds this resort town has to offer. Even if you do end up driving, you won't have to go far to find some incredible attractions. Virginia Beach has a little something for everyone:


  • Beautiful beaches with umbrellas and beach chair rentals for luxury lounging.
  • One of the top boardwalks on the East Coast, complete with sweets, eats and lots to see.
  • Thrilling zip line tours through the local forest and wetland ecosystem.
  • Historical landmarks from before our nation's founding.
  • A world-class aquarium.
  • Hiking and biking along beautiful shorelines, peaceful woods and mysterious swamplands.


What to Do — Unforgettable Events

Yes, camping is usually about connecting with nature and getting a taste of the great outdoors, but that doesn't mean you can't have a little fun while you're at it. OBX may have plenty of great beaches, but their events tend to be few and far between. When you camp in Virginia Beach, you get the best of both worlds — an incredible beach camping adventure plus plenty of music festivals, family-friendly events, a restaurant week, fireworks and so much more. 

Whether you are planning a camping retreat with the kids or a more grownup getaway, be sure to check out what's happening in Virginia Beach so that you can plan your vacation around one of our area's many unforgettable events. From the Shamrock Marathon in the spring to the Neptune Festival that closes the summer season, these happenings celebrate good music, good food and good old-fashioned family fun.

For Those Who Want to Avoid Crowds

If it's a summer beach vacation you want, whether you choose the Outer Banks or the Virginia Beach oceanfront, chances are you are going to encounter crowds of other beachgoers. Thankfully, Virginia Beach has several beach options with fewer crowds. Head up past 40th Street to Virginia Beach's North Shore. Or, find refuge among the kinder, gentler waves of the Chesapeake Bay at Chic's Beach. There is also a secluded beach hideaway of pristine sand dunes called Sandbridge. 

Of course, if you really want to avoid the crowds, beach camping is ideal. Virginia Beach offers some of the best camping anywhere along the East Coast. These hidden gems are a natural retreat where you can escape, unwind and thoroughly enjoy your beach vacation without the hustle and bustle. 

The best East Coast campgrounds like Virginia Beach KOA Holiday® ensure your privacy while at the same time offering luxurious amenities to ensure an outstanding stay. There is also a wide variety of onsite activities perfect for couples retreats and family getaways alike, such as a Jumping Pillow, swimming pools, music under the stars and community bonfires.

Something for Everyone When You Book Your Virginia Beach Camping Trip

If you like camping in the Outer Banks, then you'll love Virginia Beach. We only mentioned a few of the incredible advantages a beach camping trip in VA Beach will bring your way. To really experience this beautiful destination, you'll need to plan a trip and see it for yourself. Virginia Beach KOA Holiday® is your perfect basecamp for a Virginia Beach getaway. Experience the exciting boardwalk while still communing with nature during your coastal camping trip. 

Whether you prefer glamping in a cozy Deluxe Cabin or sitting back at a traditional Tent Site, we have the perfect accommodations for every kind of camper. If it is one of the best RV campgrounds on the East Coast you are after, our RV Sites are an amazing option. Plus, we're chock full of fun activities for all ages and comfortable amenities you're sure to love. 

Relax, have fun and get ready to explore the exciting local attractions and coastal great outdoors with your family and friends when you book your stay at Virginia Beach KOA online. You can also give us a call at 757-428-1444 to learn more about what sets our East Coast beach campground apart.


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