1. Join the Camping Babble forums today and become an active member of our growing community. Once registered you'll be able to exchange camping photos, stories and experience with other members. If you're still undecided, feel free to take a look around and see what we're all about!

Any Americans here? Camping on the Beach.

Discussion in 'United States' started by campforums, Dec 25, 2012.

  1. campforums

    campforums Founder Staff Member

    I've always thought that because of the long coasts on the east and west, the United States would be a great country for doing some ocean beach camping.

    Are there any American here who know anything about coastal camping sites? I'm from Ontario, so I'm mainly looking for things on the east coast.
  2. TABL

    TABL Explorer

    RE: Any American's here? Camping on the Beach.

    I'm an American, but I've never done beach camping. My Girl Scout troop always wanted to do it, but for some reason we never did it. I'd be curious to hear some experiences too :)
  3. R. Zimm

    R. Zimm Newbie

    You have to find a spot it is allowed. You can't just camp and cook food at any public beach. The beach camping areas mostly have a variety of spots to camp that are in from the beach a little and near normal facilities. The beach is then used for recreation, not camping per se.
  4. GSBryce

    GSBryce Newbie

    I would like to know what beaches allow you to have bonfires? That sounds like so much fun. Get a group of people together and camp around a big bonfire. Like they do on tv and movies. Hmm I must look into this for a next get together.
  5. TABL

    TABL Explorer

    Is there a list of beaches that do this??
  6. Jessi

    Jessi Novice Camper

    I tried looking for one and can't seem to find a large list of them. I was able to find some smaller lists state-by-state, though, so it might be easier to just search local beaches and find out their laws. It seems like most are closed at night and therefore don't allow camping, but a few select ones still do.
  7. Foster

    Foster Newbie

    I lay down and get a tan at the beach.
  8. TabithaW

    TabithaW Newbie

    We used to camp on the beach when I was a little girl. I lived in California then. I live in Texas now so the only beach is down south at the Gulf of Mexico. I don't know if beach camping is permitted "these days". There was a situation a few years back down at the Gulf when a man was sleeping under his truck (who knows why) but the tide came in, the truck did some sinking and when he woke up he couldn't get out from under it. I don't recall how it turned out, but tide is certainly something to think about if you are considering sleeping on the beach.
  9. Jessi

    Jessi Novice Camper

    That sounds awful, Tabitha.

    I wonder why he didn't feel the water coming in and getting him wet? Wouldn't that be enough to wake you up before the truck could start sinking?
  10. TabithaW

    TabithaW Newbie

    My guess is that he had too much to drink. That particular beach is known for crazy 'spring break' parties. Galveston and Corpus Kristy (both down in the gulf) are wild certain times of the year. I never attended any of those spring break beach parties but without fail they are on the news every year with one horror story or another about teens gone wild :s.
  11. campforums

    campforums Founder Staff Member

    Haha, I'm sure you've had your own share of fun ;)
  12. Esperahol

    Esperahol Newbie

    Bonfires and the like tend to occur more on private beaches in fairly nice communities. However, you can inquire about the activities allowed or disallowed at a particular beach or in a particular area.
  13. pinsmatt

    pinsmatt Newbie

    I am unfamiliar with any of the East Coast of the United States, but I do know that beach camping has become scarce in California. Unless I am sadly mistaken, privately owned beaches are actually considered public domain and most municipalities do not allow camping. Of the locations I have heard that allow camping are private campgrounds and California State Parks. There is a KOA in Westport, California, that has sites on the beach, set back far enough to be out of the maximum high tide area. How there is a distinction between a private business and a private landowner is beyond me, but that's California politics for you. I have heard from visitors to California that Oregon and Washington have different situations.
  14. 2sweed

    2sweed Natural Camper Staff Member

    There are some areas along the west coast of Florida, up around Cedar Key, and Chiefland area that camping along beach is permitted. I think there are some campgrounds near the beach. One thing about Florida, is the sand fleas & skeeters, can ruin a camp out if your not prepared. And there is always the bad sunburns to avoid during the day. lol
  15. AurelioLeo

    AurelioLeo Newbie

    I am from the United States and I am located on the West coast. I can say coastal camping is very good along the Oregon Coast and my parents go every year. I go when I can ,but do to other commitments I go not as much as I would like too.
  16. I have a favorite Northern California campground called Anchor Bay. The sites themselves are nestled in some redwood trees but in less than 5 minutes walk you are at the water's edge of a beautiful private bay. The bay takes campers and day use. The beach has great sand and is gorgeous. There is also a little stream for kids to play in. I just went there last month and had a great time. The campground has showers and flushing toilets which are always a plus. The sites are fairly large tent sites and can accommodate some RVs. Some people even live there for the season in their RV.
  17. In case I'm not the only one that reads old threads, I'd thought that I would contribute to this one with some ideas from the East Coast that I have researched.

    Beach camping to me is right on the beach in the sand and just above the high water mark.

    The only place that I have found that permits this is in the Outer Banks of North Carolina and specifically the Cape Lookout National Seashore.

    Caveat - You must take a private ferry, reserved and scheduled in advance. Be sure to bring along ALL of you food, water etc for the duration of your stay.

    As soon as you arrive you deflate your tires down to 15 to 18 psi and shift into 4WD as the roads are all sand and lead to the beach where you can also drive along.

    The beautiful thing is you can pitch your tent anywhere along the miles and miles of beach and you choose whether to set up near others or go secure your own private beachhead for privacy.

    You can also camp behind the dunes but the bugs are worse.

    You are going to need your own toilet, bucket etc.

    If tenting, sand stakes are highly recommended as it can get very windy. 18 inch rebar fashioned into tent pegs is the popular and inexpensive choice.

    Bugs - bring lots of spray and a screen house as the mosquitos and biting sand flies come out in full force especially during the summer evenings.

    Spring and fall are the recommended times to avoid extreme heat and extreme bugs.

    The ocean water stays warm and swimmable through October and possibly early November.

    Campfires are permitted on the beach but must be between the surf and the high water mark.

    Fishing - excellent surfcasting and in fact most everyone fishes along the beach and is why a large number of people visit these islands. Just get a license.

    There are cabins available for rent and community shower/toilet within the vicinity of the cabins. The cabins have no running water or electricity however are wired for you to connect your generator.

    You can explore Portsmouth Island, small town there and there is a light house to climb too.

    I had a trip planned for this past October but had to cancel due to work, hopefully next year!

    Just research the heck out of this place and check into the two private ferry companies, I believe they are priced equally at least they were back in September.

    Sent from my XT1254 using Tapatalk
  18. Outer Banks continued....

    If you prefer established campgrounds with the usual amenities then check out the Cape Hatteras National Seashore and take the FREE ferry to Ocracoke Island.

    There are several campgrounds along the Cape just off of NC Route 12.

    Along NC Route 12 you can find sand dunes with hang gliding, parks, wild life reserves and lots of scenic coastline with views of both the Atlantic Ocean and Pamlico Sound not too mention several lighthouses that you can visit.

    You can also drive on the beach at several designated areas however you need to purchase either a weekly or annual permit to do so which start at $50/wk.

    You get the permits from the Rangers after you watch a 10 minute safety video about beach diving.

    Best thing about driving on the beach is you keep all the beach paraphernalia in your Jeep/SUV and don't have to hump all that crap back and forth over the dunes everyday !

    And for you families, they also have the National Park Junior Ranger program that usually includes daily activities throughout the summer months.

    For the kids and history buffs out there, there was a lot of pirate activity up and down this coast as well.

    I live in South Central Pennsylvania, my family actually looks forward to the 10 hour drive to the OBX for our annual vacation. We actually dread the populated beaches of Maryland, New Jersey and Delaware after being spoiled by OBX.

    Campfires and cooking are allowed on these beaches as well and as long as you adhere to a few rules.

    Surfcasting is popular hear as well.

    Sent from my XT1254 using Tapatalk
  19. Delaware

    Cape Henlopen State Park, Lewes, Delaware is also on the beach.

    Designated campsites are amongst pine trees and such and away from the beach but offer the usual campsite and RV site amenities.

    There are bike and hiking trails throughout the park that take you to the several beach areas although you can not camp on any of the beaches.

    There is neat old WWII military installations named Fort Miles and several military fire towers that were erected during the war along the Delaware coastline that you can bike/hike too.

    You can also bike to the nearby towns if Lewes and Rehoboth if you want a touristy area to visit.

    Or you can take the Cape May - Lewes Ferry by car, bike or on foot across the Delaware Bay and visit Cape May, NJ. A very historic town, beach and cool place to walk around and visit.

    The park also has community bicycles available for free based upon availability.

    The nearby Delaware Seashore State Park has off beach camping too.

    You can also obtain an OHV surf
    fishing permit for your 4WD to drive into the beaches. The only caveat being that you must be fishing. Most throw a line in and just chill on the beach.

    I believe these parks are day use only and campfires would be prohibited. But okay back at your tent site.

    Sent from my XT1254 using Tapatalk
  20. Maryland

    Assateague State Park , Berlin Maryland

    This state park is bordered by the Assateague Island National Seashore and permits camping at designated sites although not directly on the beach they are extremely close to the ocean.

    This park is know for a large herd of feral horses that roam freely about the island and they have been know to forage in campsites.

    There is also a historic plantation that you can visit.

    Bugs can be extremely bad here too, not just the mosquitos but flies that bite with a vengeance!

    If you go here be sure to visit the small town of Berlin. It will remind you of the main street in Mayberry complete with antique stores and an old fashioned ice cream parlor/soda fountain.

    Fun Fact: Berlin was the setting for the film Runaway Bride that starred Julia Roberts and Richard Gere.

    You cannot drive a vehicle without an OSV permit on the beach and fires are strictly prohibited on the beach. There are campfire rings at the tent sites.

    You can also camp at the National Seashore however their rules are slightly different as are their amenities. The NPS offers OSV (Over Sand Vehicle ) permits for the Maryland and Virginia areas however you must check their websites to see when they are open. Not sure if they are even available in the summer as I was told they open the OHV areas in November.

    Be careful of the horses as they bite and kick. They also have numerous legal restrictions regarding distances, feeding etc that are enforced by Rangers.

    Sent from my XT1254 using Tapatalk
    killeroy154 likes this.
Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page