The best camping near Cape Hatteras National Seashore

Discover the most magical spots to pitch your tent or park your rig on your next Cape Hatteras National Seashore adventure.

Dive into an oceanside playground of sand dunes and salt marshes.  

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Community favorites near Cape Hatteras National Seashore

Top-rated campgrounds reviewed by the Hipcamp community.

Top-rated campgrounds near Cape Hatteras National Seashore


Cedar Island Ranch

83 sites · Lodging, RVs, Tents10 acres · Cedar Island, NC
If you only camp once in your life, make it Cedar Island Ranch. Here, you can ride a horse along miles of undeveloped beach that hasn’t changed since long before the Spanish explorers set eyes on it. Rent kayaks, paddle boards or canoes, go fishing or have a romantic weekend on the beach. We’re open year-round for your vision of a family vacation paradise or a perfect honeymoon. We’re open year-round. Bring your home or stay in the comfort of our 2-bedroom Suites or beautifully renovated Motel Rooms. Most RV sites have ocean or bay views – 17 are directly on the bay water. Twelve pull-through sites directly face Cedar Island beach with fantastic views. Our RV park has 61 spaces with water plus 30- and 50-amp electric service. When the guests ask, we provide. So, we’ve got everything you need for an unequaled coastal experience right here. The Cedar Island Ferry terminal to Ocracoke Island and on to Cape Hatteras is right at our doorstep. You’ll have free Wi-Fi, clean bathroom facilities, and an enthusiastic, knowledgeable staff to help. Bring your boat. We have a private ramp and a state ramp into deep water and Atlantic access.
Potable water
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Hip Kite Camp! Hatteras Island, NC

1 site · RV1 acre · Waves, NC
A truly special property - one of the last of its kind on Hatteras Island. Wild wooded acreage spills down a shallow hill to reveal its very own private sandy soundfront beach. Total seclusion...Sunsets to die for...What more could you ask for? All centrally located in the middle of Hatteras Island within walking distance to several restaurants, ice-cream, surf shops, etc...
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Gator Creek

1 site · Tent6 acres · Columbia, NC
Located near Alligator River on the Little Alligator Creek. Fishing all around, just a short walk thru the woods or down the road. Public boat ramp in walking distance. Game lands are nearby with hunting for deer, bear etc. in season of course. No hunting allowed at Gator Creek. Not much light pollution so great for sky watchers. Lots of wild plants. Fiddle Head Ferns, Hearts A Busting, Wild Blueberries, Elderberry and more. We have an outdoor shower and porta john located at my personal cabin but guest are welcome to use it or even pitch your tent in my cabin yard. City water available. We are adding a cooking shack for your use and hope to have it ready in a couple weeks. We do ask that you dispose of your trash appropriately because of the wild animals at Gator Creek. Hope you enjoy your stay. PS: I am open to allowing car campers and or small camper vans.
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The best camping near Cape Hatteras National Seashore guide



Seventy miles of sandy beaches, wild dunes, and wave-sculpted islands make up the Cape Hatteras National Seashore, which curls south from South Nags Head around the Pamlico Sound. Seaside fun comes with a dose of adventure here, whether you go kayaking along the sound, explore the beaches in an off-road vehicle, or swim, fish, and hike along the Atlantic. Prefer ocean views to hitting the waves? Climb the historic Bodie Island and Cape Hatteras lighthouses, or spot seals, sea turtles, and waterbirds along the shore, then pitch your tent or park your RV by the beach.

Notable campgrounds

  • Best for RV campers: Oregon Inlet Campground has 107 sites, 47 with electric and water hookups, plus hot showers.
  • Best for ocean views: Frisco Campground has 127 tent and RV sites dotting the sand dunes and a boardwalk leading down to the ocean.
  • Best for beachgoers: Cape Point Campground features 202 tent and RV sites with easy access to the Atlantic Ocean beaches.

Tips for snagging a campsite

  1. You can reserve a site at one of Cape Hatteras’ four campgrounds online. Campsite reservations open six months in advance and must be booked three days before arrival. An exception is Cape Point Campground, where bookings can only be made four days in advance.
  2. Campsites can book up as fast, especially on summer and holiday weekends. Book a minimum of three months in advance to avoid disappointment.

When to go

Summer is the most popular time to visit Cape Hatteras National Seashore, when the weather is ideal for swimming and water activities. Sea turtles nest on the beaches between May and October, and this is also the ideal time for birdwatching along the coast. For the best fishing, opt for a spring or fall visit. Camping season runs from April through November, but two campgrounds—Oregon Inlet and Ocracoke—stay open year-round.

Know before you go

  • Cape Hatteras National Seashore is in the Outer Banks of North Carolina. The main access point is from Nag Heads along NC-12.
  • There is no admission fee, but camping reservation fees apply and permits are required for fishing and off-road vehicles. The two lighthouses require admission fees. 
  • Park facilities include boat launches, fishing piers, lifeguard-patrolled beaches (summer only), restrooms, and picnic areas. The park has cell service, although it may be patchy at some of the more remote beaches.
  • There are accessible campsites, bathhouses, beaches, and boardwalks at Cape Hatteras.

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