From scouring the internet to find the best family campgrounds & RV parks in the US to discovering tips for your first family camping trip, there is a lot to consider when planning a camping trip for the whole family.
To take the guesswork out of things, we’ve researched and revealed a list of all the states in the country and ranked them based on family activities, family campsites, Instagramability, and safety, to find the perfect states for a family camping adventure.
The best states in the US for a family camping trip
When it comes to choosing the perfect spot for a family camping trip, there’s no denying that the US has plenty of options to choose from. But if you’re wanting to head out of state, where should you consider heading to?
Below, we’ve ranked and revealed the best states in the US for a family camping trip:
1. Florida | Family-friendly camping score: 8.87/10
In first place, Florida is the best state in the US for family camping, based on the factors we looked at.
The state, popular among vacationers, retirees and spring breakers is also the best location in the country for families looking for a camping adventure. Florida has the most family-friendly things to do out of all states we looked at, at 4,622, providing endless opportunities to make memories as a family.
40.9% of all campgrounds in Florida are family-friendly style sites, which is a higher percentage than any other state on our list except Hawaii.
Florida is the third most-Instagrammed state on our list, with 65.8 million posts including the hashtag #florida, and Florida comes in third for the most family-friendly hiking trails, at 1,662.
2. California | Family-friendly camping score: 8.75/10
One of the US’ most-visited states, famous for its beaches, sunshine, and for being the home of Hollywood. The coastal state is one of the US’ best locations for family camping fun, coming in second place out of all states we looked at.
California is home to more family-friendly things to do than any other state we looked at except Florida, at 3,210, promising heaps of family fun.
California is in the top five states for family-friendly campgrounds, with 34.2% of all campgrounds in the state listed as family-friendly on Tripadvisor.
The second most-Instagrammed state, there are 97.8 million posts with #california on Instagram.
For families who love keeping active, California has the most family-friendly hiking trails of all states, at 4,383.
If you are thinking about visiting California for a camping trip, why not take a look at our guides to the best family camping spots in northern California and southern California.
3. New York | Family-friendly camping score: 8.37/10
The ‘Big Apple’ state is more famous for its bustling cities and tall skyscrapers than its natural areas and camping reservations, however, it is one of the best states for families planning a camping trip in the US.
New York comes in third place for family-suited activities, with 1,733 family-friendly things to do throughout the state.
Only 16.2% of all campgrounds in New York are family-friendly, which is fewer than in most states we looked at, however, New York has more tagged Instagram posts than any other state.
New York has 1,997 family-friendly hikes, and the highest safety score out of our top three, at 61.7/100. The worst states in the US for a family camping trip
The most Instagrammed state | New York: 119.3 million posts
New York is the most picture-perfect state we looked at, reaching the most tagged posts on Instagram. There are 119.3 million Instagram posts that use the tag #newyork.
The safest state | New Jersey: Safety score 72/100
New Jersey has the highest safety score out of 100, of all the states in the US, at 72.
The best state for family-friendly hikes | California: 4,383 trails
California is the ideal state for families who love outdoor hiking. The state is home to 4,383 family-friendly trails, more than any other state.
The best state for family-friendly activities | Florida: 4,622 activities
For families looking for a wide range of activities during a camping vacation, Florida is the best state, boasting 4,622 family-friendly things to do.
The state with the most family-friendly campgrounds | Hawaii: 44.44%
Hawaii is undeniably one of the most naturally breathtaking places in the United States, ideal for those who love camping and experiencing the outdoors. Hawaii has the highest percentage of family-friendly campgrounds, with 44.4% of all campsites in the state listed as family-friendly on Tripadvisor.
We wanted to find the best states in the United States for a family camping trip, therefore we looked at every state except New Mexico, for which the relevant information was unavailable.
We ranked each state based on the following criteria and gave each state a relative score out of 10 for each factor. With all factors equally weighted, we calculated an average score for each state using the scores for each factor, giving a ‘family-friendly camping score’ out of 10.
The % of total campgrounds that are family-friendly, in each state, was sourced from Tripadvisor, by recording the number of ‘campground’ hotels in each state and the number of ‘campground’ hotels tagged as ‘family friendly’ under the ‘style’ category. The information is accurate as of 12/4/22.
The number of family-friendly things to do in each state was sourced from Tripadvisor on 18/3/22.
The number of Instagram posts for each state was sourced from Instagram by recording the number of hashtagged posts for each state on 18/3/22.
The safety score /100 for each state was sourced from Consumer Affairs.
The number of family-friendly hikes in each state was sourced from Alltrails on 18/3/22.