10 Best Kid-Friendly RV and Camping Destinations
A family of RV experts share their top spots to take the kids, from Oregon to Montana.
Chelsea and Nate Day know how to camp.
The full-time RVers, who are based in Boise, Idaho, travel the country with their four children in tow, sharing their experiences on their family blog called Someday I’ll Learn. When it comes to kid-friendly destinations, they look for “plenty of green space to play, nearby activities and walking trails,” ideally in “areas with minimal traffic,” Chelsea says. “Bonuses like on-site dining, equipment rentals and activities are great!”
The family serves as ambassadors for the RV company THOR, traveling around in a 2018 Highland Ridge HG31RGR RV with a garage section that “provides plenty of configurable space for our growing kids (and toys!)” Chelsea says. A pull-down deck doubles as the kids’ play space in good weather. And a large kitchen and living area “lets us congregate easily while also providing a significant buffer between their sleep spaces and ours,” Chelsea adds, “so we don’t disturb each other.”
All four kids—Olin, 11; Elich, 9; Ahren, 7; and Ikah, 5—are homeschooled, which allows the Days to travel the country with flexibility and ease. When asked about any common mistakes made by first-time RVers or campers or advice for families who are ready to embark on a camping or RV adventure, Chelsea advises parents to plan ahead.
“First-time RVers and campers often don’t take the time to practice enough before planning BIG trips,” Chelsea says. “Explore your local area a bit to get a feel for your gear before going too far!”
Here, the Days share their top 10 kid-friendly camping and RV destinations in the West:
1. Zion River Resort
This site is “open to RVers as well as tent and cabin campers,” the Days say. “Our kids loved the heated pool and spa, playground, activity room, and ice cream shop.” And the adults “couldn’t get over the stunning views and easy river access.”
2. West Glacier KOA
“Just 2.5 miles from the entrance to Glacier National Park, West Glacier KOA has infinite entertainment options, including a pool and hot tub, restaurant, espresso bar, ice cream shop, basketball court, playground, hiking trails, crafting events, magic shows, live music, and recreational clinics to help families learn how to raft and fly fish,” the Days say. “We spent a week here and never ran out of options.”
3. San Elijo State Beach
“This wildly popular campground books up months in advance, but campers who are lucky enough to nab a spot are treated to jaw-dropping beach bluff views and epic swimming, surfing and biking opportunities,” the Days say. “San Diegans are known for their welcoming vibe, and the locals who camp here often form impromptu fireside meet-and-greets.”
4. McCall RV Resort
“The RV sites and furnished cabins in this quaint, deer-filled, woodsy town are set along a peaceful river and come complete with a central lodge that provides a refreshing salt water hot tub and pool,” the Days say. “Our family likes to bike into town and go jet-skiing on the lake.”
5. Astoria / Warrenton KOA
“Activity options here are some of the most plentiful we’ve seen at any RV resort,” the Days say. “You can also go whale watching, clam digging and beachcombing at the Pacific Ocean right across the street.
6. RV Park at Circus Circus
“The ‘family-friendly’ nature of Las Vegas is up for debate, but this RV park keeps kids entertained with a play area, hot tub, pool, slides and splash zone,” the Days say. Plus, it boasts “easy access to a plethora of entertainment on the strip.”
7. Palisade Basecamp
“This aptly named ‘basecamp’ provides a jumping-off spot to explore Colorado’s snow sports, orchards, paddle boarding, mountain biking, and festivals—all from the comfort of a family-friendly spot that has every amenity you could need,” the Days say.
More from this issue:
- 3 Cabins, 3 Styles: Is This the Ultimate Forest Hideaway?
- These Road Trips Aren’t Just Epic, They Can Be Done in an Electric Car
- Bikepacking 101: Why You Should Try It and How to Get Started
- Feeling the Heat? Try These Drought-Tolerant Plants in Your Garden Now
- Go Ahead, Forage Your Own Food. But First Know the Rules
8. Harmony Lakeside RV & Cabins Resort
Silver Creek, Washington
“Book a beautiful cabin or a full hookup RV site and take advantage of Mayfield Lake’s many recreational opportunities,” the Days say. “Harmony even has party boats for rent!”
9. Angel Fire RV Resort
“Angel Fire is the ultimate in luxury, with premium RV sites offering access to immaculately groomed pickle ball courts, horseshoe pits, a play area, putting green, and hot tubs, as well as planned activities for the whole family,” the Days say. “They even deliver waffles right to your door on weekends!”
10. Verde Ranch RV Resort
“Resort-style organized activities are a big draw here, and families of all shapes and sizes are kept busy with a playground, heated pool and hot tubs, splash pad, spacious clubhouse, well-appointed gym, pickleball courts, and a trail with river access,” the Days say. “Our family really enjoyed the food trucks and glamping wagons.”