The midwest is known for its lush forested views, breathtaking dune vistas, and stunning sunsets over the big blue waters of the Great Lakes. With so much to see and so many activities to enjoy, the midwest also boast a variety of lovely campgrounds to accommodate both tourists and residents alike. Check out our list of the top 20 best campgrounds of the midwest to learn how you can make the most of your stay in the Great Lakes region!
Middlebrook, Missouri: Johnson’s Shut-Ins State Park Campground
Nestled at the foot of Goggins Mountain, this beautiful campground has beautiful natural wonders, cozy cabins, modern facilities, and premium electric hookup sites. A new boardwalk leads to the shut-ins and wooded trails snake along the river for some supreme hiking. Have an outdoor family meal in one of its picnic areas, watch the kids splash around in the shallow waters of the East Fork River, and after the sun goes down, unwind around the toasty fire pit at your comfortable campsite. Call (573) 546-2450 or click here to plan your stay!
Nashville, Indiana: Brown County State Park
This massive year-round outdoor playground is Indiana’s largest state park. It has 20 cabins that sleep 8, plus 118 RV sites. Over 18 miles of hiking trails and 25 miles of mountain bike trails will keep you and the family busy all weekend long! Brown County State Park boasts contemporary and clean restrooms, a well-stocked camp store, and an indoor aquatic center with a water slide and whirlpool! The Little Gem Restaurant, known for its pork tenderloin sandwiches and fried buttermilk biscuits covered in cinnamon sugar, makes your stay here that much more enjoyable! Call (812) 988-6406 or click here to plan your stay!
Hayward, Wisconsin: Hayward KOA
This huge wooded campground has 157 RV sites and 31 cabins. Plan your stay here and enjoy themed weekends, (including a chocolate weekend, with a chocolate slide), a water park, free smores, outdoor movies, and DJ dances! Families can rent kayaks and inner tubes to explore the Namekagon River, then carpool shuttle back the campsite to unwind. Kids can also bounce around on the ginormous jumping pillow or pan for gold in the mining sluice. This family-oriented, award-winning campground offers you a camping experience that you and your family won’t soon forget! Call (715) 634-2331 or click here to plan your stay!
Carp Lake, Michigan: Wilderness State Park Campground
This 250 site campground is settled on a 26-mile stretch of rocky shoreline, giving campers an awesome landscape to explore and discover. The breeze off the straits keeps bugs away letting you enjoy fully enjoy all the recreation activities within the 10,000 acres of this phenomenal park. Its modern sites have some of the most dramatic water views of any campground in Michigan. Visitors often spot eagles, osprey and bears along 20 miles of hiking trails. As the name suggests, the Wilderness State Park Campground will give you and the whole family an intimate experience with the natural world! Call 231-436-5381 or click here to plan your stay!
Chesterton, Indiana: Indiana Dunes State Park
This federally protected area features towering sand dunes and primitively beautiful landscapes. Marshes draw migrating birds, and lush vegetation makes this park a hot-bed for wildlife sightings. With 16 miles of hiking trails that weave through thick woods and across warm sand, this is the perfect spot to make your vacation dreams a reality! Stroll the 3-miles of breathtaking beaches or climb a dune a scope out a spot to watch the sunset. This well-kept campground include 136 RV sites, a nature center with hands-on activities for the kids, and an updated bathroom facility. Indiana Dunes State Park is reasonably priced and just 45 miles east of downtown Chicago! Call (219) 926-1952 or click here to plan your stay!
Ashland, Nebraska: Eugene T. Mahoney State Park
Are the kids begging you to go to a water park this summer? This park has an outdoor aquatic center with water slides, a wave pool and a zero-depth zone! There’s also a mini golf course and pedal boats that dock near the lakeside for even more family-friendly activities. With free wifi, trail rides, arts and crafts nights, disc golf, and theater performances, there isn’t much this park doesn’t have! The Mahoney Grille serves delicious sandwiches for easy dining and boasts a spectacular view of the Platte River. Plan a stay here in the winter and enjoy sledding, ice skating, cross country skiing, and toasty bonfires! Call (402) 944-2523 or click here to plan your stay!
Utica, Illinois: Starved Rock State Park Campground
While this campground isn’t inside the state park, it’s still a gem of a destination! The 133-acres of secluded woodlands, will give you the perfect break to relax and get away from it all. Explore canyons, discover waterfalls, and take in the sights on more than 13 miles of scenic hiking trails. Here, you don’t even have to worry about cooking because Utica is packed with tons of restaurants and award-winning wineries, plus ice cream shops to cool you down after an active day under the sun! Call (815) 667-4726 or click here to plan your stay!
Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, Honor, Michigan: Platte River Campground
Locals try to keep this place a secret, but the word is definitely out about this natural playground! Popular with paddlers, hikers, and outdoor enthusiasts of all kinds, this year-round campground provides you with a variety of camping options from primitive to electric hook up sites. The clear, sandy-bottomed Platte River empties out into Lake Michigan and is perfect for cooling off after an active outdoor day. The whole family will enjoy picnics beneath the shade of pine trees canopies for a picturesque dining experience unlike any other! Ranger-led programs share the sad Native American legend about the sleeping bear waiting for her cubs to cross lake Michigan. Call (231) 325-5881 or click here to plan your stay!
Branson, Missouri: Silver Dollar City’s Wilderness
The Ozark woodlands cover this location near the theme park known for its rides, hearty restaurants and on-site artisans. Deer, turkey, and armadillos often wander out from the woods to give you an intimate glimpse into the natural world. 39 cabins are available ranging from rustic to posh, and guests can rent several RVs parked on-site too. Silver Dollar City’s Wilderness features a swimming pool, complimentary shuttle service, air conditioned TV lounge, game room, 24-hour laundromat, and a fully-stocked camp store. Newly renovated restroom complete this quality campground. Call (800) 477-5164 or click here to plan your stay!
Ludington, Michigan: Ludington State Park
This is one of the most popular state parks in the midwest for a reason. With a must-see lighthouse and beautiful views of the forests, marshland, and over six miles of Lake Michigan shoreline this is the perfect destination for any midwest adventure! There are a total of 355 sites among all the campgrounds, including three mini-cabins, but the three campgrounds within the park fill up months before the summer season, so don’t wait to plan your stay! Whether you prefer modern or primitive camping, Ludington State Park has it all, including swimming pools, playgrounds, and a fully-stocked convince store. Camp here and enjoy the peace of being surrounded by nothing but water and dunes. Call (800) 447-2757 or click here to plan your stay!
Council Grove, Kansas: Canning Creek Cove Park
Nested between the Flint Hills, Council Grove Lake welcomes campers looking to hike, boat, fish and bird-watch. Hills and limestone rise from the 40-mile shoreline for plenty of picturesque hiking opportunities. This 49-site park offers adventurers with over 3,300-acres to explore and discover. Take a guided bus tour through the grasslands and see a 1881 ranch home for a glimpse back in time. This campground is ideal for avid outdoorsmen with great fishing opportunities and nearly 2,700 acres of public hunting land. Call (620) 767-5195 or click here to plan your stay!
Grand Marais, Minnesota: Grand Marais Recreation Area
The famed North Shore is a perfect blend of fine dining, great shopping and picturesque views of the Lake Superior shoreline. This 300-site recreation area offers pull-through spots with water, electric and sewer hookups. When you stay here, you’ll be snuggled up to the cobblestone Lake Superior shoreline for amazing scenes of the color-changing sky above the calm waters of the vast lake. With downtown located only 3 blocks up the road, some of the best cuisine on the North Shore is only a few minutes away from your campsite! Call (800) 998-0959 or click here to plan your stay!
Mandan, North Dakota: Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park Campground
With Native American earth lodges, a military fort, and Lt. Col. George Armstrong Custer’s home all housed on the land, this campground is an ideal location for any history buffs out there. Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park Campground is more than just a place to stay the night, it is a unique look into the nation’s past. Guides lead groups through all the sites while sharing stories and heart-tugging details of the life on the windswept prairie. Cottonwood trees and the Missouri River give this campground, with 57 RV sites, gorgeous view, while modern facilities ensure a pleasant and comfortable stay. Call (701) 667-6340 or click here to plan your stay!
College Corner, Ohio: Hueston Woods State Park Campground
Let’s set the scene: Mature forests and miles of hiking and mountain biking trails weaving past waterfalls. Sailboats glide across Acton Lake while kids splash along the sandy beaches of the shoreline. Campers picnic in the shade beneath a covered bridge while others tour a restored Pioneer Farm museum and join fossil-hunting expeditions. And when the sun goes down, families can be seen sharing stories circled around fire rings at any one of the 250 electric-hookup sites, 3 cabins, and 37 cottages. Call (513) 523-6347 or click here to plan your stay!
Sandusky, Ohio: Lighthouse Point and Camper village at Cedar Point
After a long day of thrills, it’s nice to have a place to relax and unwind! This campsite is conveniently located to accommodate amusement park-goers. When you’re done exploring the world’s best amusement park, you can walk back to one of the 209 RV sites, or 104 cottages and cabins in this waterfront village tucked between the Lake Erie shoreline and Cedar Point. RV sites offer full electric, water, sewer and cable hookups, with lovely overlooks of the gorgeous lake. And if that isn’t enough of a reason to stay here, guests also get discounted tickets and early admission to the park! Call (419) 627-2106 or click here to plan your stay!
Norton Shores, Michigan: P.J. Hoffmaster State Park Campground
This 297-site campground is settled beside the spectacular shoreline of Lake Michigan and is nestled among huge beech, hemlock and maple trees along the backside of lakefront sand dunes. Summertime nature walks give you a chance to spot wildlife. A forested trail snakes along beside a creek and guides you to the beach for a scenic hike with a breathtaking destination. Cap off the perfect day with a jaw-dropping sunset from atop of towering dune. If campers are craving a little civilization, just head down to the ice cream stand 5 miles down the road or browse store and sample restaurants in nearby Grand Haven. Call (231) 798-3711 or click here to plan your stay!
Hill City, South Dakota Mount Rushmore KOA/Palmer Gulch Resort
Old West Main streets themed resort sets the tone at this location. The 290-RV-site resort is packed with family-friendly activities and gorgeous views to boot! This destination is ideal for sun-lovers and features two pools, a water park, a new foam pool and splash pad, stables, gold panning, four wheeler rentals and stunning vistas of Harney Peak! For more family-oriented activities challenge the kids to a round of mini golf or take a drive through the Black Hills and see some iconic landmarks along the way. Then head back to the campsite to unwind and get ready for another active day! Call (800) 562-8503 or click here to plan your stay!
Merrimac Wisconsin: Merry Mac’s Campground
Campers can take their pick from a range of activities offered at this campground. With a fishing pond, swimming pond with inflatables, a jumping pillow, dunk tank, nickel bingo and Texas Hold ‘em tournaments, there is something for everyone in your family here! Themed weekends like the under the sea beach party, complete with sand castles, a beach-blanket party and limbo contest, make stays here even more exciting and entertaining. Make reservations for one of 252 RV sites and make your next adventure one to remember! Call (608) 493-2367 or click here to plan your stay!
Lodi, Wisconsin: Smokey Hollow Campground
Cinderella’s pumpkin-style coach escorts kids around this wooded campground, and that’s just one of the offerings you’ll find here! A water-balloon war, segway clinics, and a weekly Friday night fish fry are some of the more standard activities. Travelers can choose from 100 RV sites snuggled into the woods for a cozy and private feel. Or choose from nearly two dozen other kinds of lodging options, including yurts, covered wagons, cabins and gazebos for a unique camping experience. Call (608) 635-4806 or click here to plan your stay!
Yankton, South Dakota: Lewis and Clark Recreation Area
This beautiful and laid back campground boasts manicured landscaping, modern bathrooms, and new playground equipment. Many people come here to go boating, but there are also 409 RV sites and 17 cabins to take advantage of. Take a romantic walk down the sandy beach, challenge the family to a round of disc golf, or stroll down the 4.1-mile paved trail along the Missouri river. Once you quickly become settled into this recreation area, you are not going to want to leave. Experience the peace and relaxation of the outdoor lifestyle at this phenomenal campground. Call (800) 710-2267 or click here to plan your stay!
Choose from any one of these phenomenal campgrounds and have a blast during your next midwest adventure! If you know of another must-visit campground that didn't make our list, tell us about it in the comments below!