New Jersey's natural, picturesque landscapes offer some of the most exciting camping experiences in the Northeast. Of course, camping means different things to different people. Some think of a resort campground where they can park their RV, while others picture a remote site where they can drop their backpack and pitch a tent. Still, others imagine a sporting camp where they can enjoy a week by the lake in a rustic cabin.
You can find the best of all these worlds right here in the Garden State. Adventure seekers will discover that seemingly endless possibilities abound in our campgrounds. From swimming pools to lakes for kayaking, canoeing or fishing, rivers for tubing, mini-golf, bingo, bocce, horseshoes, shuffleboard, game rooms and playgrounds, there are activities for every member of your family to enjoy! We've picked a few to highlight New Jersey’s diverse offerings:
For travel trailer, tent or cabin-style camping, families turn to Turkey Swamp Park in Freehold for their outdoor leisure stays. Open April to mid-November, the campground has access to boating and fishing on a 17-acre lake, eight miles of wooded trails, athletic field rentals and four playgrounds. There’s also a group camping site available.
Ponderosa Campground in Cape May Court House is a must-go for families. In addition to being the closest campground to the beaches of Avalon, amenities include pet-friendly cabins, laundry facilities, two playgrounds, bike rentals, free Wi-Fi, a large saltwater pool, two basketball courts and more. The campground may be close to the beaches, but there’s so much more to do in the area. Just about three miles away is Cape May County Park and Zoo and right next to that is Tree To Tree Adventure Park, where you can zipline or take part in a treetop adventure course. Also close by several craft breweries (including Bucket Brigade Brewery and Slack Tide Brewing Company), numerous wineries (including Natali Vineyards and Jessie Creek Winery), Nauti Spirits Distillery, Wildwood and Ocean City boardwalks, delectable dining, multiple golf courses and more.
In Elmer sits a family camping paradise. Cool off in the swimming pool or splash park and partake in kid-friendly activities and themed events. RV and cabin rentals are available (all are air-conditioned), as well as tent camping. (Check out their location in Cape May Court House, too.)
This Sussex County gem is nestled into a natural setting in Newton. With 270 pet-friendly campsites, plus yurts and cabin trailers for those who prefer “kinda camping,” this campground has something for everyone. The campground offers meticulously maintained grounds, excellent services, and a truly family-friendly environment. A private lake for boating and fishing, playground, game room and swimming pool are some of the amenities that make this such a special place.
Open from April through October, Cheesequake State Park in Matawan offers 50 tent and trailer sites with fire rings and picnic tables. Go kayaking, canoeing or paddle boarding in Hooks Creek Lake, or bring your fishing pole and try your luck at catching trout, catfish, sunfish and largemouth bass (there’s even crabbing in the summer months!).
Take your pick of accommodations at this Cape May camping resort, from tee-pees and lakefront cabins to tent and RV sites (as well as RV rentals). (Bonus: many of their accommodations are pet friendly.) Water lovers will be happy—Beachcomber has two freshwater lakes with sandy beaches, along with three all-ages pools and three kiddie pools.
And many of these campgrounds are just a short drive from some of the state's premium attractions, cultural events, world-class museums and sandy beaches. Outdoor enthusiasts agree there's something for everyone to enjoy when you camp in New Jersey!
For more information on New Jersey's campsites, contact the New Jersey Campground Owners Association at 609-545-0145. For State Parks camping information, visit the New Jersey Division of Parks and Forestry. Be sure to contact your preferred campground for reservations and to determine operating seasons.
Then find even more to do around the state by downloading a free NJ travel guide or signing up for e-news from the New Jersey Division of Travel & Tourism.