5 Best Camping Spots in Rhode Island

Pitch a tent (or feel the comforts of a camper), kick back and enjoy the serenity of the great outdoors.

Editor’s note: Call or check the website for pandemic precautions at each of the campgrounds.

Burlingame State Park and Campground

Burlingame is one of Rhode Island’s most popular campgrounds. With more than 3,000 acres of woodlands and access to Watchaug Pond, it features 700 campsites and a total of twenty cabins. It offers plenty of activities to campers and visitors alike. The pond has a number of boat launches for canoes and kayaks, as well as a swimming area and plenty of fishing spots. The Kimball Wildlife Sanctuary and Ninigret National Wildlife Refuge are both a short trip away. Route 1, Charlestown, 401-322-8910, riparks.com.


Whispering Pines Campground

With a mini golf course, basketball courts, a playground, space for swimming and a whole lot more, you can’t say there is nothing to do at Whispering Pines Campground. If fishing is your favorite pastime, throw a line from your kayak as you row over the glassy surface of the pond. You’ll have all the comforts of home while still enjoying the wild beauty of the great outdoors. 41 Saw Mill Rd., Hope Valley, 401-539-7011, whisperingpinescamping.com.


Melville Ponds Campground

A short drive away from downtown Newport, Melville Pond, located in beautiful Portsmouth, pairs rural relaxation with loads of nearby attractions. Explore the City by the Sea’s shops and eateries, or head north to the East Bay Bike Path and enjoy the bay’s scenic views while you pedal. If you’d rather not venture too far from the campgrounds, there’s still plenty to do. Play a game of volleyball, go for a swim or take a hike on the on-site trails. 181 Bradford Ave., Portsmouth, 401-682-2424, melvillepondscampground.com.


George Washington State Campground

The campground occupies a small slice of the 4000-acre George Washington Management Area, which is chock-full of interesting flora and fauna. There are forty-five gravel spots to park your trailer, RV or set up your tent. Hike along the area’s numerous trails or take a seat lakeside — the campground abuts the serene Bowdish Reservoir. While the campground may be overflowing with natural luxuries, the amenities are sparse: there are no showers or flush toilets here. When planning your visit, expect a truly rural retreat. Putnam Pike, Glocester, 401-568-2085, riparks.com.


Charlestown Breachway Campground

Open to RVs only, the Charlestown Breachway might have some of the best views of any campground in the state. Hint: panoramic views of Block Island Sound. Overlooking the open Atlantic, campers are free to enjoy all the activities the sea has to offer, from bird watching to boating to swimming and sunbathing (it has some of the best saltwater fishing in the state). It’s adjacent to Ninigret Pond, a haven for kayaking, windsurfing or paddle boarding. The great location does come at a price: amenities such as electricity, running water, and sewage disposal are nonexistent. Charlestown Beach Road, Charlestown, 401-364-7000, rhodeislandstateparks.reserveamerica.com.


Reporting assistance by Samantha Labrecque and April Federico. 



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