Camping is a great idea, especially when you have all these choices in North Carolina in your backyard

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(BestReviews photo)

GREENVILLE, N.C (WNCT) — Roughing it, back to nature, getting away from it all.

Camping means different things to different people. Why even the definition covers a lot of … ground. Webster’s Dictionary defining it as “spending a vacation living in a camp, tent or camper.”

In short, camping is a fun and unique way to get away from it all. You can camp outside in your backyard to get away from the TV, phone or other distractions around you. You can load up the family or friends, get a tent or maybe an RV and rough it at a park or campground. You can really get back to nature by pitching a tent at one of the many locations in North Carolina.

There are all kinds of ways and all kinds of places in North Carolina to enjoy when you go camping. So we’ve got a list of the top locations in our state to check out when you want to go and the different ways you can enjoy.

Listed below are some great locations to check out. We’ve even broken it down by different parts of the state because camping it’s about just the mountains or a thick forest or campground anymore.

Coastal

(Cape Lookout National Seashore photo)

CAPE LOOKOUT NATIONAL SEASHORE
There are three barrier islands that span 55 miles in the Crystal Coast area. You can camp in a number of locations on or near the water. During the day, you can also swim, check out the birds and fish. If you’re lucky, you might see the wild horses on Shackleford Banks and limb the lighthouse, when it’s open.

HAMMOCKS BEACH STATE PARK
This prime location has 323 acres and four islands. Bear Island is only accessible by the park’s ferry or by canoe. You can camp on the beach and hike the dunes while enjoying the amazing ocean views. There are also places to fish, swim and picnic. It’s definitely more than a one-night stay.

CAROLINA BEACH STATE PARK
The whole family can enjoy a secluded camping spot or you can rough it on your own under the towering trees. During the day, the 761-acre park gives you the chance to hike, fish and more. Family cabins are available if you still need the air-conditioning. The campground is family-friendly, too.

OTHER PLACES TO CHECK OUT

Coastal Plain

Jones Lake State Park (NCParks.gov photo)

JONES LAKE STATE PARK
Many say the 2,308-acre park is one of the geological mysteries of the U.S. It has water sights to enjoy, a four-mile hiking trail that loops around the lake. There are campsites to enjoy which feature grills, picnic tables and even electrical and water hookups. With the chance to canoe paddleboat and swim (if the water isn’t too chilly), it’s quite the experience.

RALEIGH OAKS
Located in Johnston County, you can rough it, stay in a cabin and/or enjoy all the extras this place has to offer. Sure, it’s a nice spot for camping outdoors. You also have options like a swimming pool, spa, pickleball courts, fitness center and miniature golf. Howell Woods allows has hiking, biking, horseback riding and much more.

ROANOKE RIVER PLATFORM SITES
There are 15 riverside camping platforms to choose from, all linked by 140 miles of water on the Roanoke River. You can go kayaking or canoe right from your campsite. It’s like getting to the dock and pulling right away from the tent where you’re camping. Like so many of the other places, there’s lots to do and many ways to pull yourself away from it all.

OTHER PLACES TO CHECK OUT

Piedmont

(Hanging Rock State Park photo)

HANGING ROCK STATE PARK
Stokes County is on the edge of the Piedmont area. It is nestled between the foothills of NC and not too far north of the Winston-Salem area. You’ll find forests, waterfalls and other breathtaking views. Campers will have the option to use your tent, the trailer campground or the cabins. There are 18 miles of hiking or biking with breathtaking views of the Sauratown Mountains.

PILOT MOUNTAIN STATE PARK
It’s one of the most popular places and most recognizable for campers in the state for a reason. It has forests with hickory and oak trees to explore, a 49-campsite facility for tents and RVs plus lots of family-friendly activities like canoeing on the Yadkin River or hiking up Little Pinnacle Overlook Trail. There you can see Pilot Mount and the many other peaks.

LAKE POWHATAN RECREATION AREA AND CAMPGROUND
This popular campground has scenic beauty from the woods to the waters. You can pitch a tent at one of the shaded sites next to the forest. There are even glamping tent sites and some full hookups for RV campers. You’ll get your fill of hiking, mountain biking and much more. Asheville is also just 30 miles away to check out.

OTHER PLACES TO CHECK OUT

Western Foothills

Linville Gorge (WGHP photo)

LINVILLE GORGE WILDERNESS
If you wanna really rough it, this is a place to check out. It has around 12 miles of rock formations, a deep-cut gorge where echos go to die (2,000 feet deep), waterfalls and more. You can camp on the trail, see the mountains in the distance and see sunsets that will take your breath away. There are also campsites for those who don’t wanna rough it too much.

LAKE JAMES STATE PARK
Is it a place to camp, hike or enjoy the water? Yes, yes and yes. There are 150 miles of shoreline on the 6,500-plus acre lake area. Campers will find a number of family-friendly things to do, whether it be boating, driving, walking and even mountain biking. There are also educational opportunities for the children with Holly Discovery Trail and Overmountain Victory Trail.

LONG COVE RESORT & COUNTRY CLUB
Don’t let the name fool you. Based on the banks of Lake Wylie, you can get a different flavor of camping here. With Wi-Fi, Starbucks, TVs with streaming services and a private beach, it may not seem like the ideal place for the traditional camper to check out, but it’s certainly a popular destination for a reason.

OTHER PLACES TO CHECK OUT

Appalachian

mount-mitchell-south-nc1_331090
(Mount Mitchell, WNCT photo)

MOUNT MITCHELL STATE PARK
It’s the highest part of our state with Mount Mitchell the highest peak east of the Mississippi River. There are tent campgrounds with grills and picnic tables or you can go down the road and really return to nature. The park has an observation deck with sights that will blow your mind. The area also has culture, natural history and other outdoor adventures.

MOUNT PISGAH CAMPGROUND
Part of the Blue Ridge Parkway, this part of NC allows you to experience the mountains, thick forests and landscapes that will literally take your breath away. You can check out Frying Pan Trail. There are 52 sites to camp out. The Pisgah Inn is a restaurant not to miss. When you’re ready to take a break from roughing it, the beautiful city of Asheville is just 20 miles away.

DAVIDSON RIVER CAMPGROUND
You can rough it at the 144-site campground with your tent or RV. There are lots of waterfalls, beautiful mountain scenery and even places to go swimming, tubing and trout fishing. When you want a break from getting away from it, Brevard is just three miles away with lots of restaurants, breweries and shops.

OTHER PLACES TO CHECK OUT

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