The Best Urban RV Campgrounds Near Popular U.S. Cities

Dec 21, 2020 | Travel & Destinations

The Best Urban RV Campgrounds Near Popular U.S. Cities

Traveling to an urban area differs greatly from trips to remote settings, but can be just as rewarding. These are some of the best urban campgrounds to park your rig for a big-city vacation.

By Togo RV

Photo: Kris and Andy Murphy

Who says RVing is just about visiting national and state parks? We asked industry experts and fellow RVers for recommendations on their favorite campgrounds near urban areas. Whether you’re looking to visit the beaches of Los Angeles, the Big Apple, or the French Quarter of New Orleans, there is an RV resort for you on this list. 

Liberty Harbor RV Park Near New York City

RVs parked in urban campground in New York City
Photo: Kerri Cox

“With views of the Manhattan skyline and the Statue of Liberty, Liberty Harbor RV Park is a prime example of an urban campground. As they say in real estate, location is everything—and that is certainly the case for this park, which is located just off the Hudson River in Jersey City, New Jersey. You can hop on a ferry or walk to a train station for easy access to New York City. You may have to adjust your campground expectations, though. Liberty Harbor is basically a parking lot, with lots of commuter and nightlife traffic, little vegetation, tight spaces, and no real amenities. However, none of that mattered to my family since we were thrilled to have the city at our fingertips.”

Kerri Cox Kerri Cox Travels With Birdy

“Turns out you can bring your RV to NYC. Maybe not all the way, but Liberty Harbor RV Park gets you as close as possible. Liberty Harbor RV Park offers a unique and economical way to explore New York City. Yes, you’re paying around $100 per night for a tight parking space with hookups—but this is all about location, not an RV resort experience. Restaurants, shops, and parks in Jersey City are close by. The adjacent Liberty State Park is a destination on its own. 

Liberty Harbor RV Park can accommodate big rigs, however, maneuvering narrow city streets and traffic is not for the faint of heart. But if you can make it there with your RV, you can make it anywhere. “

Michelle Neale Michelle Neale Neales … on Wheels

Normandy Farms Near Boston 

Pond at an RV park with surrounding RVs and cabins
Photo courtesy of Normandy Farms

“When visiting Boston, the first and only place we look to stay is Normandy Farms campground. Located 30 miles outside of the city, this campground by itself can be a destination. It’s filled with fun family activities like disc golf, swimming, an RC car track, tennis, paddleball, a dog park, walking trails, and more. And if you’re an NFL fan, the campground is less than 10 minutes from Foxboro, the home of the New England Patriots. Getting into Boston could not be easier; you can take public transportation located minutes from the campground or drive into the city. You’re close enough to be in the city before you know it, yet far enough away to enjoy the great outdoors.”

Keith Sims Keith Sims Soulful RV Family

McKinney Fall State Park Near Austin

RV parked at a site with person swinging in hammock
Photo: Jesse and Rachael Lyons

McKinney Falls State Park is a rare campground where you don’t need to sacrifice scenic campsite ambiance for a convenient urban location. It’s a quick 15-minute drive to downtown Austin’s top attractions, food trucks, murals, and music venues. After a day of stuffing yourself full of barbecue and tacos, relax around the campfire in your quiet, wooded campsite. The park also features hiking and fishing, but the main attraction is swimming among McKinney falls on a hot day. The campground offers water and electric hookups, a dump station, and bathhouses.”

Jesse and Rachael Lyons Jesse and Rachael Lyons The Taste for Adventure

“McKinney Falls State Park campground is a small and beautiful park hidden within the bustling metropolis of Austin, Texas. To us, this campground felt like the best of two very different worlds. It was a close escape from the city. We could take evening walks to the waterfalls and had plenty of trails to get in all of our runs and hikes, but we could also drive into the downtown area in under 15 minutes. Our internet and television signals were very strong, yet the campground was tranquil.”

Cindy Scott Cindy Scott Cinders Travel

Marin RV Park Near San Francisco 

RV parking lot and main office
Photo courtesy of Marin RV Park

Marin RV Park has an ideal location for RVers visiting the city of San Francisco, plus nearby natural attractions like Muir Wood National Monument, Mt Tamalpais State Park, and Golden Gate National Recreation Area. Overlooking San Francisco Bay, the park is adjacent to protected wetlands, which are great for scenic pet walks and bird watching. Don’t miss the adjacent Greenbrae Boardwalk with its unique tiny houses on stilts—or the view of the famous and imposing San Quentin State Prison across the harbor.

Tight sites and minimal landscaping give the place that parking lot feel, but the adjacent wetlands provide a natural experience, and the location is amazing for easy access to San Francisco. It’s tough to beat walking to the ferry from your RV and riding across San Francisco Bay as a way to visit the city. Bus lines are also available close by. In addition to convenient shopping at big box stores, you can tour Bay Area eateries and surprisingly charming small towns like Larkspur nearby. With full hookups, laundry facilities, and a small pool, Marin RV Park makes a great base for a couple of days or more.”

Michelle Neale Michelle Neale Neales … on Wheels

Philadelphia South / Clarksboro KOA Near Philadelphia

Family eating at picnic table outside parked RV at campsite
Photo courtesy of Philadelphia South / Clarksboro KOA

“The Clarksboro KOA, located in Clarksboro, New Jersey, is only 20 minutes outside of downtown Philadelphia. The campground features everything you expect from a KOA, like pull-through and back-in RV sites, tent sites, and newly added deluxe cabins with bathrooms and kitchens. There’s plenty to do at the campground with a pool, jumping pillow, playground, and an off-leash dog park for your four-legged friends. Be sure to check out all that Philly has to offer including the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, The Franklin Institute Science Museum, and more. And, don’t leave the City of Brotherly Love without trying one of the city’s famous cheesesteaks from Geno’s Steaks or Pat’s King of Steaks.”

Keith Sims Keith Sims Soulful RV Family

Crystal Cove State Park Near Laguna Beach

Wildflowers on coastline at sunset
Photo: Elizabeth Stefan

“Visitors will find Crystal Cove State Park and Moro Campground on the border of Orange County’s Newport Beach and Laguna Beach, about 85 miles from San Diego and 50 miles from Los Angeles. The campground offers 57 sites, including 27 RV sites. All sites are pull-in and designated spots have hookups. Length restrictions do apply (25 feet for non-hookups and 38 feet for hookups). The incredible views of the Pacific Ocean below make it easy to forget that you’re conveniently located near city life along Highway 1. Traditional bathrooms and showers are available. The spots are condensed and it can be noisy based on who is camping next to you. 

Visitors looking for an active day can choose from a selection of easy and moderate hiking trails that wind their way through the park—many with trailheads at or near the campgrounds. Those looking for a relaxing day can head down to the beach, where clear water and small waves make it the perfect spot for body surfing, boogie boarding, or surfing. Paddleboarders and kayakers will enjoy the calm morning waters. Or head down the road to the Beachcomber restaurant (located on the sand at Crystal Cove State Beach) for a burger and milkshake while overlooking the ocean.”

Elizabeth Stefan Elizabeth Stefan @coast_n_airstream

Sparks Marina RV Park Near Reno

Marina and reservoir with surrounding buildings and mountains in the background

“One of our favorite city campgrounds is the Sparks Marina RV Park near Reno, Nevada. This is very much an urban campground but offers large full hookup sites and clean, well-cared-for amenities. The campground is only 15 minutes from the downtown action and across the road from the Sparks Marina, which offers walking trails around a lake. The campground is located in a nice, quieter part of town, unlike other camping options that are near the airport. It’s continuously patrolled, making it a safe place to stay near downtown.”

Tom and Cait Morton Tom and Cait Morton Mortons on the Move

Worlds of Fun Village Near Kansas City

Photo courtesy of World of Fun Village

“If you’re looking to visit Kansas City, look no further than Worlds of Fun Village. Yes, one of the largest theme parks in the midwest also has a full-service RV campground. This super clean campground offers both back-in and pull-through sites with level concrete pads and every site has full hookups. They even have free satellite TV and high-speed internet. 

With easy access just off I-435, it will take you no time to reach one of the city’s world-famous BBQ joints. Kansas City also has no shortage of important museums, like the American Jazz Museum and Negro Leagues Baseball Museum.”

Keith Sims Keith Sims Soulful RV Family

Thornhill Broome State Park Near Malibu

Airstream trailer and tow vehicle parked in beachside state park in California
Photos: Elizabeth Stefan
Airstream trailer parked on sandy spot at the beach with picnic table setup

“Located north of Los Angeles, on Pacific Coast Highway, Thornhill Broome State Campground in Point Mugu State Park hugs the coast, offering campers the ultimate beach camping spot. The park is open to RV and tent campers with visitors parking horizontally along the sand—allowing you to step out of your door into the sand. Dolphin sightings are frequent and nothing beats a morning walk up the beach. Each site includes a fire pit and picnic table. Port-a-potties, potable water, and trash disposal are available, but there are no showers or dump facilities. Late afternoons and evenings can be windy and cool, so pack layers even when visiting in the summer months. A convenient stop in or out of the city, travelers can drive along Highway 1 through Malibu, complete with breathtaking views, and Santa Monica before reaching downtown Los Angeles.

The only downside to this gorgeous location is that everyone else wants to be there too (it’s sold out months in advance) and the close accommodations can make or break your experience based on who is camping next to you.”

Elizabeth Stefan Elizabeth Stefan @coast_n_airstream

Seven Points Corp of Engineers Campground Near Nashville 

“This campground is only 20 minutes from downtown Nashville but offers a beautiful and quiet wooded camping experience. Seven Points Corp of Engineers Campground sits on the J. Percy Priest Lake and has a swimming beach and boat launch. The sites have water and electric hookups, and there is a 14-day stay limit.”

Tom and Cait Morton Tom and Cait Morton Mortons on the Move

Shady Creek RV Park Near Dallas-Fort Worth

RV parking lot with clubhouse and city in the distance
Photo courtesy of Shady Creek RV Park

“I want to give a shoutout to Shady Creek RV Park, which is located just north of Dallas in Aubrey, Texas. We spent nine months living in DFW in our RV, and it was virtually impossible to find any place to park within 45 minutes of the city. Even though it was a bit farther out than we would have liked, Shady Creek made up for the distance by being very well-maintained and friendly. Amenities included a pool, dog park, paved walking trail, pond, creek, laundry facilities (with a treadmill and TV so you can work out while waiting on your clothes), as well as nice, clean bathrooms and showers. I definitely recommend it to anyone traveling by RV to the DFW area.”

Ashley Mann Ashley Mann RV Inspiration

Los Sueños de Santa Fe RV Park & Campground Near Santa Fe

Los Sueños de Santa Fe RV Park & Campground is conveniently located in the heart of New Mexico’s state capital. This campground has friendly staff and accommodates all camping types, including big rigs. Los Sueños de Santa Fe RV Park & Campground is close to all the comforts of home, including shopping and restaurants, as well as a quick drive into the quaint downtown plaza for local artisan shops right off the square. If you’re looking for outdoor activities, this campground is within driving distance of Pecos National Historical Park and many hiking trails around the city. 

Los Sueños de Santa Fe RV Park & Campground offers many amenities including bathhouses, laundry facilities, and a playground and dog run. A little bit of road noise can be heard at night, but it’s expected given its location. The campground itself is quiet and close to public transportation if finding parking for larger vehicles is difficult in the downtown area.” 

Kris and Andy Murphy Kris and Andy Murphy Where Wild Ones Roam

French Quarter RV Resort Near New Orleans

RV resort with pool
Photo courtesy of French Quarter RV Resort

“The French Quarter RV Resort in New Orleans is located just off I-10 and across the street from St. Louis Cemetery No. 1. Each RV site is large and paved, with full hookups, cable TV, and limited WiFi. The French Quarter-style courtyard, located near the resort entrance, houses on-site recreation including a pool and hot tub, fitness center, and gazebo with bar facilities. The attached clubhouse houses spacious private baths, a laundry room, and an indoor lounge. 

Check-in was quick and easy and we were settled into our site and out exploring within half an hour. Be cautious at night when walking from the French Quarter as portions of the route are not well lit. Cabs are easy to find near any French Quarter hotel, or consider a pedicab.”

“It is an urban park extraordinaire, nestled like a luxury hotel in the heart of the French Quarter. You can walk for breakfast from the RV resort to Brennan, a creole feast at Antoine’s Restaurant, and to Preservation Hall for a traditional jazz performance.

This is an excellent choice for people looking for workcation options as each of the French Quarter RV Resort’s 52 oversized paved sites features WiFi access and 62 channels of cable TV. A posh clubhouse provides recreation, fitness, and laundry rooms. It also has a business office with computers, printers, and an ATM. There’s also a pool, spa, and a gazebo with bar facilities.”

Jennifer Schultz, Outdoor Guide and Instructor Jennifer Schultz, Outdoor Guide and Instructor Outforia

Campland on the Bay Near San Diego

RV park on the water in San Diego
Photo courtesy of Campland

Campland in San Diego has to be one of the most unique RV parks in the country, offering more than 500 RV spots on a stretch of Mission Beach Park, pretty much in the heart of San Diego. The bay is popular for all sorts of water sports, including sailing, kiteboarding, kayaking, and jet skiing. Pacific Beach, with its many beaches and coastal nightlife, is just two miles away. Add to this all of the other activities San Diego offers, from city nightlife to Sea World and the San Diego Zoo, and you’ll have no shortage of ways to keep yourself busy. Don’t get me started on how good the weather is.”

Chris Emery Chris Emery Ordealist

Southern Comfort RV Resort Near Florida City

RV resort in sunny destination with shuffle board
Photo courtesy of Southern Comfort RV Resort

“Just minutes from the picturesque Florida Keys, Southern Comfort RV Resort offers RV and tent sites as well as RV rentals and cabins. This campground is all about creating a fun vacation, and it features a tiki bar that has daily drink specials and weekly entertainment in the form of DJ sets and karaoke nights. Other onsite activities include aquasize, exercise classes, bingo, and even a mini Mardi Gras parade. This is one of my favorite campgrounds, especially on the way to the Keys.”

Lindsey Maxwell, Co-Founder Lindsey Maxwell, Co-Founder Where You Make It

Dockweiler Beach RV Park Near Los Angeles

Sign on the coast at state park pointing to RV parking
Photo: LMWH / Shutterstock

Dockweiler Beach RV Park is the only RV campground on the beach in Los Angeles County and it’s easily accessible off Interstate 105 at the Imperial Highway exit. It’s close to the shops and restaurants of Marina del Rey and Santa Monica, as well as Venice with its outrageous beach scene and 16 miles of canals.

The RV park is maintained and operated by the Los Angeles County Department of Beaches & Harbors. It lacks some of the deluxe amenities of a privately-owned campground, but it has all the necessary hookups and you’re camping right on the sand at a fraction of the cost of a hotel.”

Jennifer Schultz, Outdoor Guide and Instructor Jennifer Schultz, Outdoor Guide and Instructor Outforia

Cherry Hill Park Near Washington, D.C.

Family sitting in front of campfire at night
Photo courtesy of Cherry Hill Park

Cherry Hill RV Park offers resort-style accommodations close to the Washington, D.C., metro area. From tents to big rigs, this RV park has all of the amenities you’d expect from any RV resort including a clubhouse, heated pool and hot tub, large laundry facilities, and clean restrooms. The clubhouse also offers a small cafe to grab pizza or sandwiches, as well as a business center and event space. Golf carts are available to rent from the office, and the kids can play on the multiple playgrounds around the park, cool off at the splash pad, or take a swing at the mini-golf course on site. 

Although Cherry Hill RV Park is on the higher price scale, it does offer family activities throughout the year as well as concierge service for Washington, D.C., tours. Cherry Hill RV Park is conveniently located near the Greenbelt Metro and public shuttle service for a quick ride into the heart of the U.S. capital, or you can simply drive in with your own vehicle. Close to shopping and restaurants, Cherry Hill RV Park is a great place to stay when visiting the many attractions around Washington, D.C.”

Kris and Andy Murphy Kris and Andy Murphy Where Wild Ones Roam

Honorable Mentions

Editor’s note: Some quotes have been edited for clarity. 

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