Can You Go Camping At The Beach? (Explained)

Can You Go Camping at the Beach

You must be wondering if it’s okay for you to go camping at the beach. Before camping at the beach, you must know if your state allows camping in public areas like beaches. 

Some states across the US don’t allow campers on their beaches. This law differs from state to state. But generally, can one camp at the beach?

Most beaches across the US allow the public to go camping but mainly during the day. Spending time on the beach camping is a fun way to spend time outdoors. However, you should know what beaches allow camping gear on their grounds. Doing this can save you a trip to the courtroom.

Camping might be fun, but not all beaches allow camping gear on their grounds. Before you go beach camping, you should know the areas that allow the activity. 

Hence, in this article, I will educate you on the states that allow campers to swarm their beaches. 

Can You Camp at the Beach?

Can You Go Camping at the Beach

Not entirely. Not all states around the US allow campers at beaches. Some states don’t allow camping at beaches at all. 

Some states allow campers on beaches only during the day. Hence, you should browse the laws regarding camping in public areas in your state. 

Night camping without proper permission is illegal in most parts of the US. The reason is simple: your safety is the government’s top priority. 

Camping on beaches at night is extremely dangerous. There are several reasons why beach camping at night is illegal in the US. 

Primarily it’s because you most likely will be the only one around. If something were to happen to you, no one would be around to come to your aid. 

Water levels rise at night, so the sea/ocean will likely exceed its banks. 

There have been several cases of people drowning overnight at beaches because the water levels rose beyond what they usually expected. 

Can I Set up a Tent on the Beach?

That depends on the region or state you plan on pitching your tent. Before visiting any beach in the US, you should first find out if it’s against the rules to set up a tent on the beach. 

Although tents are a common outdoor thing, there are many beaches around the US where you can’t pitch your tent on their sands. 

Nevertheless, some beaches don’t allow camping-style tents, but you can use beach-style tents. On the contrary, some states won’t allow you to use any tent style on their beaches. 

Keeping a tent from flying away at the beach is challenging, mainly because of the loose sand. The loose sandy ground makes keeping a tent firmly on the ground extremely difficult. 

It gets ten times more problematic if it gets windy. Hence, you must know how to properly set up your tent at the beach to keep it from flying away. 

While setting up your tent, you have two primary options you can go with to keep it from flying off. 

First is staking the tent as you would at a typical campsite or using something heavy to weigh it down. However, I suggest you use both methods to pin the tent firmly to the ground. 

What Beaches Allow Camping in the US?

If you love camping and going to the beach, camping on the beach will be your ultimate outdoor activity. 

Waking up on the sand and watching the sun rise over the ocean are some of the world’s unspoken wonders. 

With some states prohibiting beach camping on specific beaches, there are other beaches where you have to spend money to camp on their sands. 

In this section, I will highlight beaches that allow camping in the US. 

#1. Padre Island National Seashore, Texas

Padre Island National Seashore is one of the best camping spots on the Gulf of Mexico. Although you must pay an entrance fee before entering the seashore, you will have free tent camping for 14 days. 

#2. Forest Road 29, Washington

Beach camping doesn’t necessarily have to be on a sea shoreline. Forest Road 29 is a lake; you can use its shores for beach camping. 

#3. Custer State Park, South Dakota

Custer State Park in the Black Hills of South Dakota is one of the largest state parks in the US.

Furthermore, it is home to 4 lakes that offer a lot of waterside camping grounds. 

Best Places to Go For Beach Camping

Are you searching for the best places to go beach camping in the US? Florida has some of the best beach camping sites in the country.

Florida has a whooping 1300 miles of coastline and is the king of beaches on the West Coast. You can find a healthy mix of primitive and modern campsites around the state.

However, if you’re not a fan of Florida, you can beach camp in the US in several other states. 

Not all beach campsites are easily accessible. Sometimes, you may have to hike for days before reaching the campsite. 

Hence, to help you choose what campsite you want to visit, I will classify these beaches by accessibility. 

#1. Long Island, New York

Long Island is an excellent region to go beach camping. It is easily accessible and has a beach waiting for you to explore.

Long Island has several campgrounds for urban residents who want some time outdoors. Furthermore, you can even go night camping on some beaches on Long Island. 

Some campgrounds can accommodate not only tents but also RVs of all kinds. 

In addition, you will have access to basic amenities like water, electricity, and sewer. It is a popular pick for beach campers in the area. 

#2. Assateague Island National Seashore, Maryland & Virginia

Assateague Island is another popular pick for easily accessible beach campsites in the US. 

Maryland and Virginia share Assateague Island National Seashore, and they ensure that beach camping on this island is memorable. 

You can go beach camping on the National Seashore’s bayside and oceanside camping sites. 

#3. Sonoma Coast State Park, California

Do you have an ultimate beach camping fantasy of camping along the Pacific Coast Highway?

Sonoma Coast State Park in California has some of the most spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean. 

The State Park has a long coastal beach that is rocky and full of rugged cliffs. Beach camping at one of these locations is sensational. 

Sonoma Coast State Park offers one of the best camping experiences in California. 

Beach camping might be your ideal outdoor activity. However, there is nothing without advantages and disadvantages. Hence, you should evaluate your options to avoid a terrible beach camping trip. 

Below is a table that outlines the pros and cons of beach camping on easily accessible beaches: 

You can access these locations by foot or sedanMostly crowded
Basic amenities availableNoise pollution 

#4. Lost Coast, California

California’s Lost Coast might be the remote location you’re looking for to get a clear view of the stars. 

Lost Coast is mysterious and feels like you’re camping in another world. It isn’t a location for the faint-hearted. 

The path that leads to this remote beach is, as the name suggests. However, venturing on the hike to find California’s Lost Coast is worthwhile, especially if you enjoy the adventure. 

The beach camping site is in King Range National Conservation Area along California’s North Coast. 

Furthermore, the hiking trail has some dramatic scenery you’ll love. Similarly, the coast is rocky, and the waves are foamy. However, before taking this hiking trail, study tidal charts.

The trail is 25 miles long and goes underwater at high tide. In addition, the trail is one way. Hence, you might get into some trouble if you go during high tide. 

#5. Na Pali Coast, Hawaii

No scenery beats that of tropical forests and swaying palm trees. Very few beach camping sites around the US have the scenery Na Pali Coast in Hawaii offers. 

The beach camping area has lush valleys, towering sea cliffs, gushing waterfalls, and pristine white sands. 

It doesn’t get better than this. However, getting to this beach camping site can be a pain. You require permission before you can spend your day enjoying this scenery. 

In addition, the beach is only accessible by the 11-mile Kalalau Trail, which connects Kalau and Ke’e beaches. 

#6. Olympic National Park, Washington

Washington’s Olympic Peninsula is home to some of the most stunning camping grounds in the country. 

Some of the mind-blowing camping grounds in the US on the peninsula include Kalaloch Campground, Ruby Beach, and Rialto Beach. 

However, these camping grounds can only offer so much. Contrarily, the Olympic National Park offers some of the best sceneries in Washington. 

Hiking this one-mile trail allows you to take in the view of the headland forests. Furthermore, you can view wildlife like bald eagles, seals, whales, and bears. 

What Beaches Can You Camp on for Free?

Are you looking for a quick rundown of beaches you can camp on for free? I designed this section for that purpose. 

Hence, below is a quick list of the top 5 beaches you can camp on:

  • Jackson’s Island, Tennessee
  • Long Point, North Carolina
  • Boca Chica Beach, Texas
  • Haterius Park, Texas
  • Cape Lookout National Seashore, North Carolina
Josh Matthews

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