From the beautifully undisturbed coastal beaches to the cool resort-style accommodations found just an easy trek away from Wilmington, the Cape Fear region is bustling with amazing camping options. As a result, visitors of all tastes will find exactly the type of stay they are looking for – regardless of whether it’s a cool family-friendly environment, or just a stretch of shoreline in the middle of nowhere.
Camping is a popular activity in a number of regions throughout the Cape Fear area, and newcomers will also find plenty of options for finding a spot to call their own. Discover the incredible attractions, stunning natural landscapes, and everything in between by plotting a Cape Fear camping adventure that your family will never forget.
Campgrounds in the Cape Fear Area
Ready for a camping excursion and not sure where to go first? Then check out these popular area camping destinations where the views, amenities, and / or natural settings are all out of this world.
Located in the quiet Ogden region, and close to all of Wilmington’s top attractions, this resort-style campground features approximately 100 sites for tents and RVs with available 50 amp electric, sewer hook-ups, cable TV, and wireless internet access. Additional amenities include a seasonal swimming pool, community kitchen, and available supplies for sale, such as firewood and propane. Summertime family activities and programs may also be available for campground guests.
Winner's RV Park
Situated in Carolina Beach, this RV Park features a modest 21 spaces that include full hook-up facilities with 30/50 amp electrical service, cable and available Wi-Fi, and an on-site boat or RV storage lot. This RV Park is close to a number of area attractions, including shops, restaurants and local beach accesses.
Carolina Beach Family Campground
This campground features approximately 100 sites for tent and RV campers, with amenities that can include electric, sewer, and water hook-ups, as well as free wireless internet access and cable TV. Community amenities include a seasonally available in-ground pool with sunbathing area, laundry facilities, a large bathhouse, and an on-site general store. Two popular parks and the area beach accesses are also located nearby.
Freeman Park is located on the northern outskirts of Carolina Beach, and is a popular destination for beachcombers, fishermen, 4WD beach drivers, and campers. Camping is allowed within the park with a seasonal permit, and visitors can camp virtually anywhere along the beach unless otherwise posted. Fires and pets are allowed, however visitors should note that the sites are very rugged, and they should bring along all supplies (including trash bags.)
Carolina Beach State Park
The Carolina Beach State Park is one of the most popular destinations for campers, thanks to nearly 700 acres of hiking trails, picnic areas, waterfront beaches, and other scenic areas next to the Cape Fear River. The expansive camping area within the park features 83 sites for RVs and tent campers, which includes sites with sewer, water, and 50 amp electric service. Additional amenities within the park include an on-site Visitors Center, an area beach, an on-site boat ramp and marina, and a wealth of seasonal programs and activities that are led by area park rangers.
When it comes to rustic camping, Mansonboro Island is hard to beat. This 8.4 mile long barrier island is completely undeveloped and is only accessible via a private vessel – whether it’s a motorized boat, kayak, or a locally run private tour boat or water taxi service. While camping is allowed within the park, visitors should note that the facilities and amenities are extremely limited, and will want to bring along all supplies accordingly – including food, water, and trash bags for any litter.
Woodside RV & Trailer Park
Situated in the pretty northern Cape Fear community of Holly Ridge, this campground is just a few miles away from the Topsail Island Beaches as well as the amenities and attractions of northern New Hanover County, such as the Poplar Grove Plantation. The campground features full hook-ups at every site, as well as community amenities including wireless internet access, a camp store, a laundry room, a seasonal swimming pool, a game room, and playing fields / activities including a volleyball court, basketball court, and a playground.
Oak Island Campground
Situated in the southern North Carolina town of Southport, the Oak Island Campground features a number of sites for both tent and RV campers which can include 30/50 amp power, water and sewer hook-ups, and wireless internet access. Additional amenities for guests include wireless internet access, a picnic area, and a storage facility for boats and campers.
Ocean Breeze Family Campground
This campground that’s located in the southern town of Supply is close to the Holden Beach shoreline, and features a series of tent and RV sites with 20, 30, and 50 amp electricity, high definition cable TV, spigots at each site, and community-wide grounds upkeep. Additional amenities include a bathhouse, a laundry room, and a host of restaurants and shops in the surrounding neighborhood.
Holden Beach RV & Campground
Also located in the town of Supply, the Holden Beach RV & Campground features RV and tent sites that can include full-hook ups for guests, as well as a premium setting in a scenic section of the coastal terrain. Additional features for guests include available cable television and Wi-Fi, a free dump station, a laundry room, and a community bathhouse with hot showers.
Virginia Creek Campground
Situated in the town of Hampstead, which is just north of the heart of Wilmington, this modestly sized campground features 20 sites with full hook-ups, (including electric, water, and sewer), which can accommodate both tent and RV guests. Wilmington attractions are easily accessible nearby, and the campground is also nicely close to a popular hiking destination, the Crooked Creek Trail.
Seasonal Information for Cape Fear Camping
Depending on the region where a visitor lands, the climate in this section of coastal North Carolina is generally conducive for camping year-round. The Cape Fear area traditionally has an average wintertime temperature of 40-50 degrees, as well as average summer temps of 80-90 degrees, which means that it’s generally comfortable enough for camping regardless of the time of year.
With that being said, the Cape Fear area can experience cold snaps with freezing temperatures in the wintertime – especially in the months of December, January and February – so campers, (and especially tent campers), will want to come prepared with extra items such as portable heaters.
Bugs and mosquitos can present an issue in the Cape Fear area as well – especially in the summer months, and especially in isolated areas like Carolina Beach State Park and Masonboro Island. As such, tent campers will want to have mosquito netting, and campers of all varieties will want to have plenty of bug spray on hand.
While the majority of campgrounds are open to visitors all year, a number have seasonal amenities that are only available in the prime summer months, which can include swimming pools, and activities / programs for campground guests. Call ahead to see what the seasonal dates of availability may be for these features and / or activities.
Otherwise, enjoy the stunning whether regardless of your dates of stay! The spring and fall are arguably the best times of year for a camping trip, as the temperatures are at their moderate best, the local landscapes are in bloom or showing fall foliage, and the area attractions and beaches are devoid of the summertime crowds.
Tips and Tricks for Camping in the Cape Fear Area
- Advanced reservations are strongly recommended, especially in popular campgrounds and vacation destinations, such as Carolina Beach. Many campgrounds allow guests to book online in advance, well before their stay, so a little advanced planning will ensure guests can acquire a spot.
- Watch out for busy festival weekends, such as Riverfest in the fall, and the Azalea Festival in the spring. During these times of year, area campgrounds can be packed with visitors.
- Long-term options may be available for RV visitors as well! There are several RV / mobile home parks that can accommodate monthly or annual guests, which are perfect for visitors who get hooked and who want to stay a while.
- Many campgrounds are pet friendly, although guests will want to call ahead to see if any restrictions apply, such as keeping a pet leashed at all times, etc.
- Large groups can often be accommodated, although be sure and note when making your reservation if your party size is larger than normal (i.e., 8-10 people or more.)
- Need more room to move? Check out the local vacation rentals. Vacation rentals are everywhere in the Cape Fear area, and can range from studio apartments to 8 bedroom or more oceanfront sandcastles.
- Special restrictions on fires, litter, and pets may apply to isolated park or nature reserve camping destinations, like Freeman Park and Masonboro Island. Consult the park or reserve site directly for any special rules in these rustic destinations.
Camping is a popular form of accommodations for many Cape Fear area visitors, simply because it’s so diverse and inherently wild. With a collection of campgrounds scattered throughout the area, it’s easy to find a spot that’s close to everything a visitor wants to do, see, and explore.
Plan a weekend getaway, or even an extended week-long adventure to uncover all the reasons why the Cape Fear area remains on the top of the list of vacation destinations. With everything from isolated beaches to resort-worthy destinations, camping is a dream in this stretch of North Carolina coastline.