8 Great Lakefront Locations With Gorgeous Views

Trip Planning

8 Great Lakefront Campgrounds With Gorgeous Views

Here are eight great lakefront RV campgrounds with gorgeous views — all of them are directly on, or directly near lovely lakes.

Whether you love to fish, kayak, swim, or just take in the water views from your camp chair, lakefront camping is highly desirable. But that also means that lakefront sites can be challenging to reserve and can require advance planning and research. There are hundreds of great lakefront RV campgrounds in the U.S., so we’ve narrowed it down to some of our favorites in different regions.

RELATED: 8 Great Oceanfront Campgrounds on the East Coast

1. Shelter Cove RV Resort, Oregon

The RV sites at Shelter Cove are top-notch — they’re quiet, shady, and spacious with many of them just a short distance away from world-class fishing and boating on Odell Lake. Guests can rent a pontoon boat from the campground’s on-site marina and head out onto the lake for swimming and a picnic lunch.

2. Jedediah Smith Campground, California

Jedediah Smith Campground’s location is simply stunning. Camping among the old-growth redwood trees along the Smith River is peaceful and restorative. Kids can spend the entire day swimming and splashing in the river while you relax on the shoreline and dive in for a dip if you get hot. The Hiouchi Trail runs along the Smith River and takes you to Stout Grove — an incredible spot for viewing the redwoods up close and personal. The RV sites aren’t directly on the water here, but they’re very close.

3. Holiday Park Campground, Michigan

Traverse City is an absolute gem, with great coffee shops, independent bookstores, breweries, restaurants, and a hip, cool, and outdoorsy downtown vibe. Holiday Park Campground is located 15 minutes from town and has a charm all its own set on the waters of Silver Lake. The campground was formerly a seasonal campground for Airstreams only, with a few rental sites for transient campers. Now any type of RV can camp here, but you’ll still find dozens of sites occupied by classic Airstreams.

4. Old Highway 86 Campground, Missouri

Old Highway 86 Campground is a gem in the often-overlooked Army Corps of Engineers network of campgrounds. It’s situated on a peninsula that juts out into Table Rock Lake so every site has views of the water — and many of the sites (about 75 percent of them) back right up to the lake. If you travel with kayaks or paddle boards, this is one of the best spots in the Midwest. If you don’t have a site with direct water access, there’s a sandy swimming beach with picnic tables and a public dock for launching your boat.

5. Jellystone Lakes Region, New Hampshire

This Jellystone Park is located on the shores of Northeast Pond and has two of its own private, sandy beaches for swimming and kayaking. Basketball, volleyball, tennis, and soccer are available for the sports nuts in your family, and so is giant chess. RV sites near the water are nice, but the wooded and shady sites a bit further back are serene. The well-known White Mountains are just a bit further north if you want to do some serious hiking or drive up to Mount Washington.

6. Keuka Lake State Park, New York

The campground at Keuka Lake State Park is located in the heart of New York’s wine country and is ideal for a romantic RV trip without the kids. But if you bring the kids, they’ll have a blast too. The sandy beach and crystal clear waters of Keuka Lake are perfect for swimming, kayaking, and romping around in the sand. The campground isn’t directly on the water but is just a short walk away.

7. Otter Lake Camp Resort, Pennsylvania

Otter Lake Camp Resort is a family-favorite campground that many RV owners return to summer after summer in the Poconos. The 60-acre lake is perfect for fishing and kayaking and many of the RV sites are directly on the water. Families that love sports will have endless options here including basketball, tennis, and racquetball. The indoor and outdoor pools are also popular, and so are the themed weekends and organized activities.

8. Mount Pleasant / Charleston KOA, South Carolina

Located near some of the Charleston area’s top historic attractions, restaurants, and beaches, this KOA is scenic and convenient during a trip to the Southeast. Our family enjoyed kayaking on the lake and spotting alligators resting in the sun along the shore — so we definitely skipped swimming here. Kids love swimming in the pool and playing basketball while adults enjoy relaxing on the deluxe patio sites.

We hope you find the lakefront RV site of your dreams and get to hit the open road sometime soon! Planning and daydreaming about your next epic trip is always a huge part of the fun! Just don’t forget your sunscreen, okay?

Jeremy Puglisi

The RV Atlas

Jeremy and Stephanie Puglisi are the co-hosts of the weekly RV Atlas and Campground of the Week podcasts and the RV Atlas blog. They are also the authors of See You at the Campground: A Guide to Discovering Community, Connection, and a Happier Family in the Great Outdoors, and Where Should We Camp Next: A 50 State Guide to Amazing Campgrounds and other Unique Outdoor Accommodations, and the Acadia National Park Adventure Guide. After buying their very first pop-up camper more than 10 years ago, Jeremy and Stephanie caught the RV bug in a big way, and now spend over 70 nights a year in their travel trailer with their three sons, Theo, Max, and Wes, and sweet Maggie the pup. You can follow along on their adventures (and misadventures) over at RV Atlas.