Just for Fun

The Best Cities to Go Camping | Name Bubbles

JoAnna Schwartz


Apr 27, 23

The Best U.S. Cities for Camping

introductory graphic for the best cities for camping

Are you itching to unplug and reconnect with nature? With warmer weather in sight, it's time to start planning your outdoor adventures. What better way to enjoy the sublime embrace of nature than by going camping?

After all, nothing beats time spent outdoors with family and friends. From roasting marshmallows and sharing stories by the campfire to hiking, swimming, and stargazing far from the city lights, camping offers endless opportunities for fun, relaxation, and adventure.

To help you make the most of your summer vacation time, we've crunched the numbers to bring you the ultimate guide to the U.S. cities with the best access to all things camping. You might be surprised by some of the cities that made our list. Grab your tent and sleeping bag, and let's head for the hills!

The Best U.S. Cities for Camping

There's something deeply human in our desire to connect with nature. With the constant barrage of notifications and digital distractions that make up modern life, a camping trip is a perfect way to unplug and reconnect with yourself and those around you. But where do you begin?

First, we suggest Asheville, North Carolina. Asheville, the number one U.S. camping hotspot on our list, stands out with an impressive nine five-star campgrounds, far surpassing the national average (just 3.7 per city). Nestled in the stunning Blue Ridge Mountains, Asheville offers easy access to wooded mountainsides, the French Broad River, and endless creek gorges making it ideal for camping, fishing, hiking, and exploring on foot or horseback.

Austin, Texas, might be famous for its live music scene and vibrant nightlife, but it also has lots to offer when it comes to outdoor recreation, leading to its fourth-place ranking when it comes to camping. With its vast selection of campgrounds (a staggering 219), Austin has more camping options than any other city in the United States! From the shores of beautiful Lake Travis to the miles of nature trails in Barton Creek, you'll have no trouble finding the perfect campsite.

If you love to paddle, consider Tampa, Florida, for your next camping adventure. The city takes the crown as the #10 best U.S. city for camping, largely thanks to its high volume of kayak rentals available. You can rent kayaks at 42 different locations in Tampa—that’s 214% more than the average city. The best part? You don't have to wait for summer. Tampa's warm weather and abundant sunshine make it a top-notch destination for year-round camping and water sports.

When it comes to national parks, California reigns supreme. The state's 28 parks, including world-famous Yosemite and Joshua Tree, boost Napa, CA's ranking and make it the 11th-ranked U.S. city for camping (proving the city is more than just a culinary paradise and home to world-class wineries). From the dramatic giant Redwoods of Sequoia Grove to the wildflower-laden hillsides of Napa Valley, Napa is brimming with places to explore and enjoy nature's beauty.

Finally, #13 Tucson, Arizona, stands out for having the most hiking trails of any city we analyzed, with an impressive 1132 miles of trails to explore. Surrounded by stunning mountain ranges, including the Santa Catalina, the Santa Ritas, and the Rincons Mountains, Tucson offers a wide range of hiking opportunities for campers seeking adventure and breathtaking views.

Closing Thoughts

If you're looking to embark on a soul-stirring camping odyssey this summer, these top U.S. camping cities have you covered! With unparalleled landscapes, vibrant flora and fauna, and a wide variety of exciting outdoor activities, from hiking to kayaking and beyond, these destinations offer endless outdoor pursuits for the intrepid spirit. 

Struggling to fit a family camping adventure into your summer plans? Consider an exciting summer camp experience for your children! With Name Bubbles' custom label packs, you can help counselors keep track of your kids' belongings and ensure all their gear returns home safely.


To identify the best cities for camping, we started with a list of 100 of the most ‘outdoorsy’ cities in the U.S. We then collected data on each city across 13 different ranking factors.

We assigned cities with a score of 0-5 for each factor, with a score of 5 representing the most favorable conditions for camping. We determined each city’s total score from the total of its individual factor scores, which were weighted according to their impact on the camping experience. Individual factor scores were then added together to give each city a final score from 0-100. Higher scores indicated cities are better for campers.

A full list of ranking factors can be found below:

  • # of Hiking Trails
  • Mileage Of Hiking Trails
  • # of National Parks
  • Avg. % Chance Of Sunshine
  • Avg. Rainfall
  • Avg. Temperature
  • Natural Hazard Risk
  • # of Sporting Goods Stores
  • # of RV/Camper Rentals
  • # of Bike Rentals
  • # of Kayak Rentals
  • # of Campgrounds
  • # of 5-Star Campgrounds

Full Dataset

Check out our complete data set in the interactive table below.


JoAnna Schwartz

I’m the Vice President here at Name Bubbles and have had a chance to work in many different areas of the company since I joined in late 2011. I graduated from SUNY Oneonta with a Bachelor of Arts in Art History and Studio Arts in 2010. I naturally...

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