The Best Campsites Near Memphis, Tennessee

From secluded retreats to more social nature spots, there are plenty of camping options near Memphis
From secluded retreats to more social nature spots, there are plenty of camping options near Memphis | © Mike Hardiman / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo of Frank Lopez
Writer9 September 2020

The tradition of camping in the United States is fundamentally connected to the history of American life itself, and in Memphis, you can head in any direction and find a site where you can camp in style. From Village Creek State Park to Southfork Resort, we’ve rounded up some campsites that will appeal to those who want to live under the majesty of the night sky, even if only for a couple of nights.

Hales Bar Marina Resort

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On the Tennessee River, just 15mi (24km) from downtown Chattanooga, is the Hales Bar Marina. The camping site has a full-hook-up RV campground and a full-service marina. The standout feature of the park is its floating cabins. Here, you can become a part of the scenery as much as an admirer of it. Tie your boat, which you can rent on site, to the cabin to settle down for a cozy night – a unique way to camp that is aided by a very accommodating staff.

Graceland RV Park

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You may wish to visit Graceland to pay homage to Elvis Presley, or you may just be passing through Memphis. Either way, this is a unique and rather special stop for anyone camping or driving an RV through the region. This park has all the facilities and security you could require, plus a swimming pool. The park is also surprisingly quiet, most definitely friendly and, by being in the shadow of Memphis’s ultimate legend, a unique spot you’ll want to write home about. A shuttle bus is also on site to take you into town.

Tom Sawyer's RV Park

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Based in West Memphis, Tom Sawyer’s is a relaxed camping ground. The grounds are well maintained with an emphasis on keeping things natural, and the park prides itself on being able to offer nature and wildlife with the comforts that one needs to enjoy it. Whether you choose to settle down in the shade of the forest or right by the water’s edge, you have the best of both worlds. There are many trails to follow from here, and it’s just a short distance to the lakes for some excellent fishing.

Southfork Resort

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This camping resort is well worth the two-and-a-half-hour journey northwest into Arkansas, for those looking for a really tranquil atmosphere to camp. This is the opposite of a corporate experience, and you can actually get to meet the guys who own and run the site. This is by no means roughing it, though; the cabins still have air conditioning, and the whole place is equipped with electric hook-ups and hot showers. There are plenty of water sports on display during the day and some really decent fishing opportunities too.

Village Creek State Park

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An hour west of Memphis, in Arkansas, lies Village Creek State Park, where campers like to golf too. Within all this splendid nature is a super well-maintained 27-hole championship golf course with a clubhouse and restaurant. The park itself is spread across 7,000 acres (2,800ha) and is littered with campgrounds and trails to hike. The campsites are excellently equipped, and there are even theaters and a museum to keep your kids well entertained when the weather isn’t great, and horseback riding for when it is.

Hernando Point Campground

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If you head only one hour south out of Memphis to the Hernando Point Campground, which sits on Arkabutla Lake, you are met with not only great camping, but also fantastic sailing. There is a real family vibe on site, but also a focus on local hunting. The trails you can follow from the site are educational and focus on local wildlife. If you want to fish, then there are bass, bream and catfish aplenty. This is a great choice for a site so close to Memphis and yet so far from city life.

These recommendations were updated on September 9, 2020 to keep your travel plans fresh.