Wherever you camp in Georgia, you will find hospitality, history, and scenery that is lush, peaceful, and unique. The campsites are also as diverse as the landscape. They range from Georgia’s well-maintained state park system to off-the-the-grid camping under the stars.
The mild weather in this part of the country also makes it the ideal place for outdoor activities year-round. This means that most of the attractions, parks, and facilities are open when campgrounds further north are closed. This is thanks to the average yearly temperature of a balmy 62 degrees and the humid subtropical climate.
The landscape of Georgia is extremely varied, and so is the camping. The geography begins with the tranquil Blue Ridge Mountains in the north. It flattens out through the Piedmont plateau and coastal plains, ending at the barrier islands off the Atlantic coast.
Georgia also has the largest swamp in North America, the Okefenokee. Other bodies of water include Lake Lanier, the Suwannee River, the Chattahoochee River, and the coastal salt marshes along the Atlantic. Which of course, means lots of great fishing and boating in every season.
Because it has mountains, swamps, coastal marshes, and the Atlantic Ocean, there is a lot of wildlife to see here. (This is also due to the mild temperatures.) The state of Georgia has extensive wildlife and interpretive programs. If you have children, it’s great for learning and interaction. There is also a lot of organized hunting and fishing here as well.
Georgia State Parks
Georgia state parks are everywhere – from North Carolina to Florida, and also from Alabama to the Atlantic Ocean – just waiting for campers to head away from wifi and the urban centers like Atlanta and Savannah and explore. There are 63 state parks in all, plus 15 more national parks. Along with historical sites, you could spend an entire year exploring the state. Not to mention privately owned campgrounds, farms, cabins, golf resorts, and beach lodging.
Top Ten Most Popular Georgia State Parks
- Amicalola Falls
- Wormsloe Historic Site, Savannah
- Tallulah Gorge
- Unicoi State Park & Lodge
- Cloudland Canyon
- Vogel State Park
- Providence Canyon Recreation Area
- F.D. Roosevelt State Park
- Skidaway Island
- Red Top Mountain
Organized Activities Offered by Most State Parks
Because of the varied geography, there are many things to do in the parks. And it’s all prearranged for you by the staff at each location.
- Horseback Riding
- History Tours
- Nature Watching
- Tree Climbing
The state parks are organized under one system and you can buy annual parking passes to save money. These passes are accepted at all parks. There is also a historic site annual pass, which gives you admission to all historical sites for one year. There is also a rewards program where you can earn free nights and rentals.
Vogel State Park
One of the oldest in Georgia, Vogel State Park is located up north in the Chattahoochee Forest. At the base of Blood Mountain, this 233-acre park is most popular in the fall when the leaves change. There are hiking trails for all levels here to take advantage of the beautiful views.
The park was originally constructed in the 1930s during the Great Depression by the Civilian Conservation Corps. There is a 22-acre lake here, which is open to any non-motorized boats, along with a mountain-view beach. There is also a museum, which is open seasonally, that explains the history of the park. The park itself and its facilities (like picnic tables and restrooms) are open year-round.
In addition to the park amenities, the Chattahoochee Forest is right there to enjoy as well. There are also many other activities in this part of the spectacular Blue Ridge mountains to enjoy.
Main Features of the State Park
- 90 RV campsites w/electric
- Dump station
- 18 walk-in tent sites
- 34 Cottages
- 1 Group Pavilion
- 4 Picnic Shelters
- Paddleboards, Pedal boats
- Bike Rental
- Hiking – 17 miles of trails
- Amicalola Falls
- Blue Ridge Mountains
- Southern Highroads Trail
- Brasstown Valley Resort
- Reece Heritage Farm
- Alpine Village of Helen (Bavarian Village, Oktoberfest)
Chattahoochee National Forest
The Chattahoochee National Forest is spread over about 750,000 acres in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Located in the northern part of the state, this forest is a true mountain wilderness. If you are looking for rough back roads, untouched high falls, and deep woods, you have found it.
This is an awesome place for primitive camping. So when you come to this forest, bring your camping A-game!
Although it receives more than 10 million visitors per year, you wouldn’t know it. The forest service strictly enforces the policy of “leave no trace behind.” This is because the forest service began purchasing land in 1911 with the serious mission of preserving it. As of now, there are more than 500 different species of fish and wildlife species here.
The forest is also a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts who want to do some stargazing around the campfire. Nevertheless, there is plenty of lodging and more civilized recreation for anyone who wants it. This is also a very family-friendly camping and recreation area.
The convenient thing about the forest is that the recreation areas and campgrounds are all open year-round.
Main Features of the Forest
- 37 developed recreation areas
- 500 developed campsites
- 200 picnic sites
- 530 miles of hiking & biking trails
- 6 swim beaches
- Waterfall hikes
- Whitewater rafting
- Canoeing, kayaking, boating
- Trout fishing
- Horseback riding
- Winery Tours
- Guided Scenic Drives
Skidaway Island State Park
Skidaway Island is located near Savannah and is a part of Georgia’s Intracoastal Waterway. There is also a boardwalk, along with an observation tower here. If you have children, they can watch wildlife like deer and raccoons, as well as birds and sea life. There are also trails that lead through the salt marsh and the forest. \
This is a campground popular with families and groups. The scenic campground, tucked away under the large oaks and Spanish moss, is well-maintained. It is also close to many other attractions. If you have a family vacation to spend, this is a great place to have a base camp.
The park is 588 acres total and the Tybee Island beaches are close by. Pets on leashes are allowed and some of the RV sites have sewer hookups.
Main Features of the Park
- 3 camper cabins
- 3 primitive, private campgrounds for groups
- 87 Tent, Trailer, and RV campsites
- 5 picnic pavilions
- 1 group pavilion (seats 150)
- 3 playgrounds, volleyball court, etc.
- 6 miles of trails with birdwatching trail
- Bicycle rentals
- Golden Isles of Georgia
- Fort Morris State Historic Site
- Fort McAllister
- Old Fort Jackson
- Wormsloe State Historic Site
- Ossabaw Island (Hunting)
- Richmond Hill (Hunting)
Camping Around Savannah
Besides Skidaway Island, there is an overabundance of camping around this very historical city. This includes other state-run camping, private campgrounds, and historical sites.
The city of Savannah has a lot of its own to offer in the way of nature, history, and food. It’s the oldest city in the state and was established in 1733. Its notable historic buildings and cobblestone streets are a reminder of times gone by, especially the Victorian Historic District. The city served as a strategic port city for the American Revolution and is still an important American seaport.
Perhaps the most prominent feature of the city is the open park squares. These park squares were laid out in a grid and built in 1733. There are 22 squares in all, designed to keep the city green and rural.
The cool Atlantic breezes of Tybee Island make it a favorite camping spot in this area. RV camping is especially popular, but there are also hotels, B&B’s, rental homes, and tent camping.
Attractions on Tybee Island
- Tybee & Cockspur Lighthouses
- Fort Pulaski
- Tybee Marine Science Center
- Tybee Pier & Pavilion
- McQueen’s Island Trail
- Dolphin Charters
Fort McAllister State Park
This historic site, surrounded by 100-year-old oaks, is also a campground. So besides being able to tour a historic fort, you can also camp in your RV. There are 67 RV, trailer, and tent sites available to reserve. There are also cabins on stilts over the marshes, and the whole camp sits on the banks of the Ogeechee River.
Almost every campground in Georgia has a historic guided tour or museum nearby. You would do yourself a great favor by checking these out. The south has quite an interesting history and this is a chance to experience it firsthand. (While you take full advantage of the awesome camping!)
Little Tybee Island
Little Tybee Island is the best-kept camping secret in the area. This is because you can only get there by kayak. The camping here is primitive, unmarked, and free.
You have to be an experienced paddler to get to the island, but it is worth it. This is because when you do get here you can see dolphins and bald eagles close up.
This is an uninhabited barrier island, so there is nothing here to spoil it – especially the crowds. You will have to bring all your food and water, and pack out everything you bring.
Because of the warm weather, Georgia is a crowded camping destination. Many, many people come here to camp, so the state is very big on the Leave No Trace principles.
There are also many RV parks and other private campgrounds around the area. Campgrounds are usually open all year round and it’s best to make reservations.
Camping Around Atlanta
Because of the southern climate and welcoming landscape, there are many places to camp around the Atlanta area. Many of these campgrounds are within minutes of the city. So there is no need to get a hotel room when you visit this capital city.
Stone Mountain Park
Stone Mountain Park, only about 15 miles east of Atlanta, is a family camping tradition. Here, you will find RV, tent camping, and yurt rentals in a picturesque and self-contained family campground. First-time campers are welcome and there is also traditional hotel lodging.
One unique aspect of Stone Mountain Park is that they rent out RV’s as well as safari tents. The emphasis here is on a safe and happy family experience.
Main Camping Features
- 400 RV, Pop-up, and Tent Sites
- Yurts & RV Rentals
- Dump Station
- Comfort stations & laundry
- Swimming pool
- 15 miles of hiking trails
- Scenic Railroad/Cable Car
- Many, many family activities
Red Top Mountain
Red Top Mountain, on Lake Allatoona, is perfect for weekend camping and to get out of the city. There are fifteen miles of hiking and biking trails, along with swimming, kayaking, and fishing. There are also 36 RV sites with full hookups and 52 sites for primitive camping.
Sweetwater Creek State Park
Sweetwater Creek is perfect for weekend getaways. It’s an extremely peaceful little tract of wilderness, only a few minutes from downtown Atlanta. There are many hiking trails that run through the historic ruins and natural wonders of this 2,549-acre wilderness.
There is also fishing, along with kayaking, canoeing, and paddleboard rentals.
Final Pro tip:
Sweetwater Creek also has something the people of Georgia call “Glamping.” Glamping is the Georgian tradition of roughing it – but in completely urban style and comfort.
A combination of the words glamour and camping, glamping is about enjoying the outdoors in luxury. At Sweetwater Creek, this means cozy beds in yurts along the peaceful shores of the George Sparks Reservoir.
In case you didn’t know, yurts are semi-permanent tent structures that are already set up for you when you arrive. They are sort of like little homes with real furniture, and they aren’t just at Sweetwater Creek. In fact, you can find these structures at almost any campground in the state.
Most of them have everything but restrooms, which are usually shared. Other than that, it’s like having your own little home in the beautiful woods of Georgia – with heat. Because of the mild climate, it’s just one of the unique camping experiences the state has to offer.