Mom Goes Camping

Top 6 US Family Camping Destinations for First-Timers

If you’re new to camping, you might feel a little daunted about the idea of planning a wild camping trip, but you can’t let that stop you. The rewards of this kind of experience far outweigh the stress of organizing it.

I’ve put together a list of six amazing US family camping destinations for first-timers, all of which are on lower elevation, not in bear country, and not near any dangerous snakes — ideal for camping newbies.


Santa Claus, Indiana

For a great campground with plenty of amenities for families, head to Lake Rudolph Campground & RV Resort in Santa Claus, Indiana. The children will love playing on the basketball courts, mini golf, playgrounds, and paddle boats, as well as making the most of the pool on site. You will also be next door to the Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari theme park.  It’s not exactly “nature”, but still fun for the family.  


Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota

Offering three different campsites; Roundup Group Horse Camp, Cottonwood, and Juniper Campground, this national park offers a really rural camping experience. The park provides some activities specifically for children and families, such as the Junior Ranger Program, as well as offering fishing, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing.


Milford Reservoir, Kansas

If you’re looking for a full-service resort in Kansas, you need to head to Acorns Resort and RV Park. Across the 99-acre facility, you’ll find a marina, fishing facilities, hiking trails, and even a full-service bar and grill. Nearby you can spend your time checking out the local museums and attractions at Fort Riley.


Frankfort, South Dakota

Fisher Grove State Park in SD is a firm family favorite. Take part in activities such as fishing, golf, and canoeing, as well as simply walking around the beautiful park. Spend a night at the Pheasant City Drive-In watching a movie, and be sure to check out The World’s Largest Pheasant, which is is an enormous 28-foot and made from 22-ton fiberglass and steel.

“The World’s Largest Pheasant” in Huron, SD


Lake Michigan, Indiana

The Indiana Dunes State Park is a beautiful place for families to camp, offering over 50 miles of dunes, beaches, and forest to explore. This area is really popular with families, as children love to spot the different wildlife and plants and talk to the local park rangers. If you want a day trip elsewhere, you are only a train ride away from Chicago, so that you can have the best of both worlds.


Halstead, Kansas

The Spring Lake RV Resort and Campground is all about children, so this is the perfect way to get your children excited about camping. There are three ponds perfect for fishing, as well as a bike trail, a playground, and a pool. On top of all of this, you’ll also find a clubhouse where families can enjoy food and live music.


There are so many reasons to choose camping over other forms of vacation. For example, 25% of travelers admit to missing a flight — stress that you don’t get if you stay in the US and go camping somewhere more local instead!

You can spend some quality time as a family away from technology, and there is so much to see and do in the wild. Once you’ve tried camping once you will hopefully be hooked.

Where would you recommend for first-time campers? Let us know in the comments!

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