America’s smallest state leaves plenty to be discovered on a camping trip, from colonial towns to state parks.
Rhode Island may be small, but its campsites are mighty. The state offers something for everyone, so check into an RV park near the Roger Williams National Memorial and wander the Blackstone River Valley National Historic Park. History buffs can enter the Gilded Age with a Newport getaway, while urban explorers can embrace all things culture from a Providence campsite. If you’d rather glimpse rural Rhode Island, pick a direction, as well as a park, forest, or beach. You really can’t go wrong, whether you rent an RV site near the George Washington Memorial State Forest or stick close to the coast in Narragansett.
Put Rhode Island’s first state park first on your list of attractions. Not far from Pawtucket, this all-encompassing park lets campers design their own vacation, never far from the views—and beaches—of Olney Pond. Trails abound throughout the park, though how to traverse them is a decision best left to you. Horseback, mountain bikes, and good ol’ hiking boots all do the trick.
Before you reach the Atlantic, a series of bays bookend eastern Rhode Island. As New England’s largest estuary, Narragansett Bay offers campers access to beaches and trailheads galore. To camp all the closer to the water, take the ferry from Bristol to Prudence Island. Meanwhile, further north, campsites near Goddard Memorial State Park get campers up close and personal with Greenwich Bay.
No visit to a coastal town is complete with a stop on the coast. Camp along Rhode Island’s southern end, where log cabins and RV campsites pepper the shoreline. Make s’mores around a fire pit at Fishermen’s Memorial State Park before biking to Point Judith Lighthouse. Or, head to Burlingame State Park, where campsites come with tree coverage and views of Watchaug Pond.
Summer is the best—but busiest—season to experience the full range of Rhode Island’s outdoor activities. Maximize your camping options by planning a warm-weather getaway, when temperatures in Rhode Island hover in the 80s. Come fall, the Atlantic Ocean quickly cools down, so look beyond coastal campsites in the shoulder seasons. Both fall and spring are best suited for hiking and exploring Rhode Island’s close-knit towns, while winter camping is all about cozy A-frames and snow sports.
Camping costs in Rhode Island vary depending on the type of campsite and amenities provided. For tent and RV camping, prices can range from $20 to $50 per night. Cabin rentals can be more expensive, with prices starting around $80 and going up to several hundred dollars per night. To explore Rhode Island camping options, visit Hipcamp.
It's essential to review the specific rules and regulations for the campground you plan to visit, as some may have additional guidelines or restrictions. You can find information about Rhode Island campgrounds on Hipcamp.
In Rhode Island, camping directly on the beach is generally not allowed. However, there are campgrounds and parks close to the beach where you can set up camp and enjoy beach access during the day. Some popular beach camping options in Rhode Island include:
It's important to check the specific regulations of each campground or park before planning your trip. Narragansett Pier and Watch Hill are popular beach destinations, but not campgrounds. Providence is not a beach location. Find more beach camping options in Rhode Island.