Ready for pristine Gulf waters, rowdy football games, sweet iced tea, and skies that are just so blue you could sing about ’em?
Sounds like you need a trip to Alabama.
Although it might not be as fancy or renowned as some other, uber-popular RV destinations, Alabama’s something of a southern hidden gem for campers. Whether you’re looking for a beach day, a weekend in the woods, or even a trip to the big city, ‘Bama’s got it all on offer.
And besides… sometimes, not-so-fancy is just the way we like it. They don’t write songs about the comfort of being “down home” for nothing!
But with so many options, what are the best places to see on your Alabama RV trip? And which RV parks and campgrounds are the best ones for your stay?
Not to worry: We’ve gathered ten of our favorite options to help you roll tide in comfort and style. Southern style, that is.
The Best RV Parks in Alabama
Whether you’re looking for luxury or a simple, but lovely, waterfront spot by the river, Alabama has some of the best RV parks and campgrounds in the states. And although things can get pretty heated in the summertime, its southeastern locale makes for a relatively mild winter — which means you can find a great place to stay just about any time, year round.
1. Desoto Caverns
Think you have to head out west to see stunning cave formations? Think again. In fact, these were the first caves ever noted in American history.
Desoto Caverns Park is located just outside of Birmingham, and a visit combines incredible views and fascinating educational facts all into one — perfect for the whole family.
Primitive camping is available at $22.99 per night, or 30- and 50-amp hookup sites are available for $29.99 and $34.99 per night, respectively.
Alabama State Parks with RV Camping
You don’t have to shell out the big bucks for resort accommodations to find some of the best camping in Alabama. The state has a ton of great public parks that offer RV camping, even if you need large, full-hookup sites.
2. Lake Lurleen State Park
Image via StateParks.com
Just outside of Tuscaloosa and only an hour or so from Birmingham, this state park boasts 23 miles of trails for hikers and mountain bikers — and, of course, the park’s namesake lake. Named after Alabama’s first female governor, Lurleen is almost 50 feet deep, a mile and a half wide and just crammed with fish to reel in for dinner — or “supper,” as native Alabamians might say.
3. Gulf Shores State Park
Want to roll out of bed and right into a beach day? Gulf State Park, home to the famous and well-fished pier, offers campers 496 full-hookup sites and some primitive spots, too. They’re large enough to accommodate even big rigs with slide outs, and there are also cabins and cottages available for rent. Depending on when you go and the size of your campsite, you can expect rates of about $40 per night.
4. Cheaha State Park
Deep in the Talladega National Forest, Cheaha Mountain, Alabama’s highest point, beckons. And if you answer its call, you’ll be rewarded by stunning views, exciting hikes, and waterfalls.
Improved campsites include hookups with up to 50 amps of electricity and full water and sewer facilities. You can reserve a site online by paying a one-night deposit, which is refundable until 72 hours before the reservation.
5. Oak Mountain State Park
Alabama’s largest state park offers more than 50 miles of hiking trails, as well as cable skiing, boat rentals, basketball courts, and a well-regarded BMX track. On-site camping is convenient and well appointed: 85 of Oak Mountain State Park‘s sites service 30-amp electrical connections as well as water and sewer, and 60 primitive sites are available for overflow.
6. Lake Guntersville State Park
If you’re looking for an all-inclusive vacation getaway, look no further than Lake Guntersville State Park. Located in Alabama’s northeastern corner, the park provides campers the opportunity to swim, fish, hike, bike, boat, and even ride on a zipline. They also have a swimming pool and a well-stocked on-site country store.
7. Joe Wheeler State Park
Image via TripAdvisor
Nestled between Wheeler Lake and the Tennessee River, this northern Alabama park is a water-lover’s dream. You can take to the waters from the full-service marina, or enjoy a nice game of golf on solid ground.
Joe Wheeler State Park offers 116 campsites, almost all of which feature full hookups. It’s also right nearby a host of unique area attractions, from Helen Keller’s home in Tuscumbia to The Rosenbaum House in Florence, which was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.
8. Wind Creek State Park
One of the largest public campgrounds in the entire country, Wind Creek State Park is also the host of several fishing tournaments each year. Anglers reel crappie, bluegill, and striped bass out of Lake Martin.
The park offers a whopping 586 campsites, almost a quarter of which are situated along the waterfront. And if you’re looking for an equestrian getaway, you’re in luck: 16 of the sites are set up for horse camping. Happy trails!
9. DeSoto State Park
Waterfalls and wildflowers… sounds like Washington State, right?
Wrong! DeSoto State Park, tucked almost along the edge of Alabama’s eastern border, offers both of these wild attractions to nature lovers — and so much more, too. The park offers “kayaking, fishing, hiking, biking, cycling, rappeling, bouldering,” and “picnicking,” just to name a few activities. “We literally have it all!” its website boasts, and it seems as though it may just be right.
10. Lakepoint State Park
This 45,000-acre park is situated on the banks of Lake Eufaula, which is otherwise known as “The Bass Capital of the World.” Aside from providing a bottomless fish dinner, Lakepoint State also offers playgrounds, swimming pools, and hiking trails for the whole family.
Alabama RV Parks and Campgrounds
Even if none of the parks we’ve mentioned suit your needs or are near enough to your route and itinerary, there’s so much more to see — and places to stay — in Alabama. Check with the state association of RV parks and campgrounds, Camp in Alabama, for more information. And don’t forget, there are always great private campgrounds to fall back on, from one-off, mom-and-pop locations to KOAs.
No matter where you end up, we hope you enjoy camping in Alabama… although, by the looks of things, it seems it would be difficult not to!