Camping, Comparisons, Top Lists

Top 5 Family Campgrounds – Alabama

If you haven’t ever considered camping in Alabama then maybe now is the time. Family campgrounds in Alabama are plentiful and you are sure to make memories. While many might not give Alabama a second thought there are some fantastic places to stay. There are plenty of attractions to see in Alabama! Have you ever thought of searching for bioluminescent insects or caves in the American South? If not, then look no further because you can camp in Alabama and see these two wonderous things! Beyond this, the state is filled to the brim with beautiful forests and lakes with wonderful camping spots to boot. Many of the best family campgrounds in Alabama are also littered with historical significance. With so many options to choose from I have done the hard task of finding the best! So get ready for a little Southern hospitality while we take a look at the Top 5 family campgrounds in Alabama!

Family Campgrounds in Alabama
Known for its Southern Hospitality Alabama is sure to wow you with both its people and scenic beauty!

Make sure to take your Dutch Oven along and try your hand at some southern campfire cooking!


5. Cathedral Caverns State Park Campground

Cathedral Caverns - Family Campgrounds in Alabama
Cathedral Caverns State Park is a wondrous place! Credit: Alabama State Parks

The Cathedral Caverns State Park Campground starts off as our number 5 of the Top 5 Family Campgrounds in Alabama. This is an extremely popular campground with families due to its proximity to the namesake Cathedral Caverns and its relative proximity to Huntsville. There is quite a bit to do in the Cathedral Caverns State Park. For instance, you can go hiking, take a cave tour, or go gem mining all on the same day! The major drawback to this campground is how small it is. There are less than twenty sites currently! However, the state is working to add an addition to the improved camping sites! This means that in the very near future there will be even more campsite options. Additionally, you cannot reserve sites at this time. If you are able to get into a site on a busy weekend your family will have a blast. So, if you rush out to claim your family will be rewarded with some very exciting activities that you can’t find in many places.

Now, if you are looking for additional things to do while camping here, then you could use this as a base camp. Nearby you will have access to DeSoto State Park, Lake Guntersville, and the Marshall Space Flight Center. Each of these will help you explore a little more of Alabama! Not to mention the fishing that can be had out on Lake Guntersville, so bring that pole! If the Cathedral Caverns State Park campground is full there are also other nearby family campgrounds in Alabama that are comfortable. Specifically, take a look are DeSoto State Park as a backup!

Cathedral Caverns State Park Campground Details

Number of Sites: 11 RV/Tent Sites (Currently constructing a new addition)

Season: Year-Round

Cost*: $22 per night

Reservations: First come first served (New online reservation system in the works)

Features: Limited Cell Reception / No Internet Connection / Picnic Tables / Trash and Recycling Collection / Staff on-site / Potable Water / Fire Rings / Vault Toilets / Nature Programs / Play Area

Regulations: Quiet Hours 10pm – 6 am / Pet’s Welcome / Fires in provided fire grate only / No fresh wood collection

Activities: Hiking / Wildlife viewing / Nature programs / Cave Tours / Gem Mining / Primitive Camping

4. Alabama Coast Campground

Alabama Coast Campground
Enjoy the Warm Gulf waters when you stay at Alabama Coast Campground. Credit: Alabama Coast Campground

Our family campgrounds in Alabama continue with the Alabama Coast Campground. This is such a wonderful place for families to stay and get back to nature for a few days. This camping trip will be less about hiking to activities and more about enjoying the company of your family. The sites at this campground are quite spacious and include plenty of shade. They also have options for both full hookups in an RV or primitive campsites. Everything is very well maintained and orderly. Additionally, the campground offers on-site entertainment throughout the year such as live music, movies, horseshoes, and disc golf. These options are sure to make your family’s summertime feel unique and special.

Not only will you be able to escape the hubbub of daily life but you will be well-positioned to take part in the numerous attractions nearby. These include an amusement park (OWA Amusement Park), water sports (Waterville USA), beaches, coastal walking trails, and picnic areas. If you time your visit just right you will also be able to take part in local festivals. You are sure to want to catch the Shrimp Fest or the German Sausage Fest. Don’t stop there though! Charter a deep-sea fishing excursion or take in some local hiking. Really the Alabama Cost Campground is a southern base camp for enjoying everything the Alabama Gulf Coast has to offer!

Alabama Coast Campground Details

Number of Sites: 93 RV/Tent Sites

Season: Year-Round

Cost*: RV Full hookup – $39 per night / Tent Sites Start at $32 per night

Reservations: Select Pricing on the website, then select “Book Now”

Features: Cell Reception / Free wifi / Picnic Tables / Trash and Recycling Collection / Staff on-site / Potable Water / Electric Hookups / Full Hookups / Fire Rings / Bath House / Coastal Trail / Play Area / Disc Golf / Dog Park / Live Music

Regulations: Pet’s Welcome / Fires in provided fire grate only / No parking on Grass / 10 MPH Speed Limit / Solid Container for outside trash

Activities: Hiking / Live Music / Disc Golf / Play Area / Ocean Swimming / Amusement Parks / Water Sports / Graham Creek Nature Preserve

3. Cheaha State Park Campground

Cheaha State Park - Family Campgrounds in Alabama
Cheaha State Park Hiking leads to some incredible vantage points. Credit: Alabama State Parks

The number three spot in family campgrounds in Alabama that you must stay at leads us to Cheaha State Park. This park is located in the Talladega National forest and sports Alabama’s tallest mountain. The Alabama State Park services tout this mountain as “an island in the sky”! Your family is going to love the hiking and mountain biking options that this park offers. The campground will become your favorite starting point for these activities. As you can see in the photo above the trails will lead to fantastic vantage points that are truly unrivaled in Alabama. Not to mention the number of waterfalls that you can further explore in the National Forest! The campgrounds have been kept up to date and are clean and comfortable. Make sure to reserve early especially in the fall. Not only do people flock here for the stunning changing of the leaves they also use it as a basecamp for Talladega Superspeedway!

Aside from the natural attractions, which is enough for me to log some time in this campground, there are other amenities as well. Within the park, there is a mountain store and restaurant so you can grab something quick to eat after a long day of hiking. You will also find easy access to the Talladega Scenic Drive. For those families that want a little history with their camping, the campground is within easy reach of historic Alabama downtowns. So don’t have a one-dimensional Alabama trip! Take in some wonder in nature and a bit of history too.

Cheaha State Park Campground Details

Number of Sites: 77 Improved Campsites / 26 Tent Sites / 28 Rustic Tent Sites / 5 Group Sites

Season: Some sections closed in winter / Some Tent sites Year-Round

Cost*: RV – $31 per night / Tent Sites Start at $19 per night

Reservations: Online Reservations

Features: Limited Cell Reception / Picnic Tables / Trash and Recycling Collection / Staff on-site / Potable Water / Electric Hookups / Fire Rings / Bath House

Regulations: Check-in time is 4:00PM / Check-out time is 11:00AM / Quiet hours 10:00PM to 6:00AM / Pet’s Welcome / Fires in provided fire grate only

Activities: Hiking / Restaurant / Cliffside Pool / Lake / Swimming / Fishing / Dog park / Accessible and extreme trails / Cultural heritage

2. Tannehill Ironworks Historical State Park Campground

Tannehill is chock full of historical and natural elements! Credit: Tannehill State Park

Getting closer to number one! Have you stayed at any of the three sites already listed? If so, let us know what you thought about them in the comments below!

Our number two family campground in Alabama is the Tannehill State Park campground. This campground and park are chock full of history and natural elements that are sure to keep your family busy for more than one trip! The site was one of the ironworks that were heavily used by the Confederacy during the American Civil War. Remnants of these activities are still seen throughout the park. Now campers can hike through numerous trails or take in the history through live craft demonstrations. There is fishing available and a miniature railroad. The options of things to keep you busy really do seem endless.

While the activities will keep you busy during the day the campgrounds will keep you comfortable at night. There are more than 1,500 acres set aside for camping, hiking, wildlife viewing, and other outdoor activities. There is plenty of room to spread out in these improved and primitive campsites. The forested areas surrounding the campgrounds are calming to the senses. You can escape daily modern life into a historical world that mimics the slow southern life. This is a popular place to visit and camp. The sites are first come first serve. As a result, it is highly recommended to come early and make a reservation at the back door of the Country Store.

Tannehill Ironworks State Historical Park Campground Details

Number of Sites: 195 Improved Campsites / 100 Primitive Tent Sites

Season: Year-Round

Cost*: RV starting at – $25 per night / Tent Sites Start at $20 per night

Reservations: First come, first served at the back of the Country Store For more information call (205) 477-5711

Features: Limited Cell Reception / Picnic Tables / Staff on-site / Potable Water / Electric Hookups / Fire Rings / Bath House / Dump Stations

Regulations: Check-out time is 1:00PM / Quiet hours 10:00PM to 6:00AM / Pet’s Welcome / Fires in designated area only

Activities: Hiking / Restaurants / Crafts / Live Demonstrations / Fishing / Hiking Trails / Miniature Train / Cultural heritage / Seasonal Festivals / Museum

1. Dismals Canyon Campground

Taking the evening hike to see the Dismalites will remind you of looking at the star studded sky.

Here is the number one family campground in Alabama. It is for obvious reasons that I have selected this spot. It is not a large campground. There are not many camp amenities provided. However, the site is a one-of-a-kind place in the world. Here you can view Dismalites and their bioluminescence. While you are camping you should take advantage of the guided night tours. For a small additional fee ($10 adults and $7.75 under 12) you can experience a truly unique stroll. The walls will seem alive with a blue-green light that will dazzle your eyes! There are things to keep you busy during the day as well! Walk through the canyon and see artifacts from early peoples. When you get hungry stop off at the country store or soda fountain for a nice treat.

The campsites themselves are all primitive tent sites. It is important to note that each of them will have a short nature trail hike to get to them. If you have not tent camped as a family before this would be a nice place to practice. There are plenty of activities but the sites are not terribly far from the car. Though with smaller children you may want to consider practicing at home first. Each site has plenty of space and is separated from the other sites. You will have access to a modern bathhouse. Want a little more privacy? Try to reserve the “Sleeping Water” site which is in a separate box canyon with its own waterfall! Imagine falling asleep to the sound of water each night!

Dismals Canyon Campground Details

Number of Sites: 5 Primitive Tent Sites

Season: 7 days a week from Memorial Day to Labor Day (Weekends only Labor Day to Memorial Day)

Cost*: Primitive Sites 1 -3 – $27 per night / Sleeping Water – $48 per night / Dead Water Bluff – $36 per night

Reservations: Reservations call (205)-993-4559

Features: Limited Cell Reception / Picnic Tables / Staff on-site / Potable Water / Fire Rings / Bath House / Trash bins / Bundles of Wood

Regulations: 2night minimum stay (Holidays 3 night minimum) / No hammocks or clothes lines / Check-in time after 3:00PM Check-out time is 12:00PM / Quiet hours 11:00PM to 7:00AM / Pet’s Welcome / Fires in designated area only / Only deadwood can be collected / No outside firewood

Activities: Hiking / Restaurants / Pool / Dismalites / Soda Fountain / Country Store


What is your favorite Alabaman Campground? Tell us in in the comments below, on our Facebook, or on Reddit!

*All costs and other information shown on this page are at the time of research and are subject to change. Please check linked reservation tools or contact facilities directly for the most up-to-date prices, availability, and site regulations/information.

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