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15 Best Places To Camp By Water

There is no denying that there is something healing about water. Whether you like jumping in, kayaking, fishing, or just catching rays on the beach… here are the top places to camp by the water. For this list we looked for places with great waterfrontage, rural camping, and of course plenty of cabin rentals.

The top places to camp by the water are:

  1. Virginia Beach, Virginia
  2. Thousand Islands, New York
  3. Lake Superior, Minnesota
  4. Flathead County, Montana
  5. Grand Lake, Colorado
  6. Lake Chelan, Washington
  7. Adirondacks, New York
  8. Lake Lure, North Carolina
  9. Finger Lakes, New York
  10. Moosehead Lake, Maine
  11. Big Bear Lake, California
  12. Lake Champlain, Vermont
  13. Lake Tahoe, California
  14. Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri
  15. Blue Ridge Lake, Georgia

1. Virginia Beach, Virginia

Virginia beack cabin
Virginia Beach, Virginia

You might be surprised to see Virginia Beach on the list. Virginia beach is a well known vacation spot, but not many people realize that it is a great place to camp. There are many cabins for couples and families sitting beneath pines right near the ocean. Many of them are dog friendly and some include a dog beach. One of our favorites and affordable options is Cherrystone Family Camping Resort.

2. Thousand Islands, New York

Southwicks Trail, NY

If you love water and cabins, then you will fall in love with the Thousand Islands, New York. The thousand islands are a group of over 1,800 islands that are positioned within the St. Lawrence River. The river flows right into Lake Ontario which also is a great place for fishing and cabin rentals. Be sure to take the drive from Henderson Harbor, through Clayton, Alexandria Bay, and over the great bridge to Wellesley Island. Wellesley Island is a beautiful Island that has many rentals and is situated right between the USA and Canada. There are boat tours, plenty of shopping towns, and boat rentals all along the Thousand Islands.

3. Lake Superior, Minnesota

Lake Superior is the world’s largest lake by surface area and an amazing place to go camping. While there are not that many places to go swimming… there are many beautiful waterfalls that cascade down into Lake Superior. This is a wonderful place to go boating and enjoy some amazing views. There are many many cabins around the entire lake.

4. Flathead County, Montana

If you are looking to go camping and want to enjoy a beautiful lake, then you need to search Flathead County, Montana. There are 269 lakes and revivors residing inside Flathead County and plenty of cabins and lodges. Some notable places within Flathead County include Glacier National Park, Whitefish, and Lake McDonald. Montana is certainly a Cabin Dreamers paradise.

5. Grand Lake, Colorado

Coined “The Gateway To The Rockies”, Grand Lake, Colorado is certainly a beautiful lake with many cabins available. You’ll find trails, dog friendly trails, boating/fishing, and even have the chance to spot a moose. We love how Grand Lake is not as touristy as many other lakes and offers a great quiet place to camp.

6. Lake Chelan, Washington

Clear water, rolling mountains in the background, and some of the best fishing you’ll find. Lake Chelan is a wonderful place to go camping and rent a cabin. With a handful of wineries, this is the perfect place for wine lovers. Be sure to check out the Lake Chelan State Park while you are there!

7. Adirondacks, New York

Adirondacks, New York

When it comes to camping and cabin culture the Adirondacks just may own the title. If you are looking for wilderness and beautiful lakes, this is the place to go. There are over 3,000 lakes and ponds and over 30,000 miles of rivers and streams to camp by, kayak, fish, swim, or just nap by. There are also an abundance of cabins for rent in the regions with many located right on the water.

8. Lake Lure, North Carolina

Do you love the movie Dirty Dancing? Then you might like this next one. Lake Lure is where many scenes of the famous movie were shot. You might even want to attend their Dirty Dancing Festival. There is a good reason why they chose Lake Lure. Lake Lure has great boat tours, mountain climbing, hiking, biking, fishing or just relaxing. There are also plenty of cabins to rent in the surrounding area.

9. Finger Lakes, New York

Is excellent wine and crafted beers your thing? Then renting a cabin on the finger lakes may be a great idea for you. The finger lakes are a perfect place to get away and enjoy beautiful lakes. There are many world renowned wineries and breweries to visit and taste test. You’ll also find hiking trails and some of the most amazing waterfalls that we have seen. Be sure to take hike up Watkins Glens! There are also many cabin rentals on each lake and in the surrounding areas.

10. Moosehead Lake, Maine

Maine’s Moosehead Lake is a great region for those looking to camp by water. As the name suggests… there is a good chance you’ll see a moose. Moosehead Lake region is a great place for outdoor lovers looking to getaway. You can spend your time hiking their many trails, kayaking, or just enjoying quiet family time. We found many cabin rentals around Moosehead Lake for any budget and family size!

11. Big Bear Lake, California

Big Bear Lake, California is a year-round family friendly getaway. There is plenty to do year-round at Big Bear Lake. On the lake you can enjoy kayaking, boat tours, boat/jet skis rentals, and fishing. Around the lake you can find ski slopes in the winter, biking, hiking, gold mining, golfing and more. If you are looking for a family friendly place to rent a cabin and getaway… Big Bear Lake is your place.

12. Lake Champlain, Vermont

Positioned between the Adirondack Mountains and Vermont’s mountains, is Lake Champlain. There are many beautiful cabin rentals throughout this region and lots of outdoor activities to do. Enjoy hiking, swimming, and laying on the beach.

13. Lake Tahoe, California

Split between California and Nevada lays Lake Tahoe. In the winter you can ski, snowboard, or snowshoe and in the summer you can wake board, lay on the beach, or go hiking. If you are someone who likes things to do on your vacation, then this is the place for you. Lake Tahoe has many beautiful cabin rentals in the region and fills up quick… so book ahead!

14. Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri

You may have heard of the Ozarks from the popular show. However, we had to include the Lake of the Ozarks on our list. This is a great family or couple vacation spot. You can visit the waterpark, go golfing, fishing, kayaking, or visit the spa. Be sure to checkout their famous caves while you are there. The Ozarks let you go camping in a tent or cabin and still have plenty of extra activities to do.

15. Blue Ridge Lake, Georgia

If you don’t need a waterpark and truly want to just relax by crystal clear waters, go hiking, and enjoy magnificent mountains… then you may want to rent a cabin on Blue Ridge Lake, Georgia. This is the perfect getaway for people who want to unplug and relax. The water is crystal clear and great for boating, kayaking, and fishing. There are plenty of cabins for rent all around Blue Ridge Lake.

These are just a few of our top places to camp and rent cabins around water. Tell us in the comments… where is your favorite lake, pond, or shore to camp by?

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