Whether a visitor craves a rustic environment that’s bordered by miles of Croatan National Forest, or a more holiday-infused atmosphere with plenty of amenities, New Bern is the place to go.

With a hopping downtown that’s filled with attractions, the campgrounds in the New Bern area are close to dozens of sites and destinations, while serving as their own little “getaways” with extras like exceptional views, community pools, local beaches, and much more.

Discover how fun the great outdoors can be when you’re in an area as scenic as New Bern, and plan a camping vacation that can boast all the bells and whistles, or just miles of pretty and undisturbed natural views.

Campgrounds in and around New Bern

RV and tent campers alike will find a nice selection of accommodating options when it comes to New Bern area campgrounds. Explore these destinations for your next camping adventure, and enjoy a spot that’s close to the all the activities in town, but which feels miles away.

The New Bern KOA has a picturesque setting on the edge of the Neuse River, and is just a few minutes’ drive from the heart of the downtown area. The extensive complex can accommodate both tent campers and RV vehicles up to 128’ ft. on pull through sites, and has 50 amp electric, wireless internet access, and cable TV available. In addition, the site features a 100’ ft. long fishing pier, launching sites for 14’ ft. vessels, kayaks, and canoes, a group-outings pavilion, a fishing pond, a mini-golf course, a dog park, and a community swimming pool. Extra amenities including a snack bar, bike rentals, firewood, and propane are also available for an additional fee.

Moonlight Lake RV Park and Cottages
The Moonlight Lake RV Park and Cottages is located just a few miles east of downtown New Bern and is an RV-friendly destination with 38 full hook-up sites. Sites are available on a daily, weekly, monthly, or even annual basis, and can include electrical hookup, water and sewer hookups, cable television, and wireless internet access. Garbage services, propane exchanges, laundry services, and a bathhouse are all available, and the “campground” also features cottages and other accommodations available to rent. Additional on-site amenities include picnic tables and fire pits at every site, and a catch and release fishing pond. Tent sites may also be available.

Paul's RV Park & Boat Ramp
Paul's RV Park & Boat Ramp is located just south of the historic New Bern downtown area, and is next to the Tucker Creek tributary of the Neuse River. The RV Park features water, 50 amp electric service, and sewer hook-up at the individual sites, as well as a boat launch area that directly connects with the river waters. Pets are allowed, and the site has easy proximity to great fishing as well as the Croatan National Forest and the heart of New Bern.

Flanners Beach Campground
The Flanners Beach Campground is located within the Neuse River Recreation Area in the Croatan National Forest and is just a short drive away from historic New Bern as well as the Crystal Coast attractions. The campground features 41 sites, (which includes 22 sites with electrical hookups), as well as on-site private hot showers, an adjacent day-use picnic area, and easy access to the Neuse River Beach. Additional amenities or attractions in the immediate area include three miles of hiking trails, a dump station, fire rings with grills, river access for paddlers and mariners, and an information board / campground host for questions. The Flanners Beach Campground is seasonal and is generally open from the first week of March until the last week of November.

Fishers Landing Recreation Area
The Fishers Landing Recreation Area is located roughly 8 miles south from New Bern, and is a rustic camping destination that has limited facilities, but which is open year-round for adventurers. Located within the Croatan National Forest, the campground features vault toilets and drinking water, and area attractions include a nearby kayak and canoe launching point, picnicking areas, and easy access to the adjacent Trent River. Swimming is also a popular pastime, (although water shoes may come in handy for the sometimes rough terrain), and the nearby sand beach features a boardwalk / stairs for easy access to the water, the bluffs, and the views.

Rivers Edge Family Campground
Rivers Edge Family Campground is a year-round campground that’s located roughly 25 miles east of New Bern in the small town of Bayboro. The campground features access to local fishing piers, a boat ramp, a neighborhood playground, and a camp store for supplies. 30 and 50 amp electricity are available at the individual sites, and the RV sites are open to campers on a daily, weekly, monthly, and even annual basis. Located on the edge of the Bay River, the campground also has exceptional views of the water as well as some rental units available for less rustic accommodations.

Trent River Campground
The Trent River Campground is located about 30 minutes west of New Bern, and is a relatively new campground that’s situated on a quiet 30 acre site on the outskirts of the historic town of Trenton. The campground has separate and nicely private sites for both tents and RVs, and amenities within the campground include exceptional kayaking and canoeing access, great fishing in the Trent River, a boat ramp and hiking trails, and on-site fire rings and picnic tables. Additional guided activities, like hay rides through a ¾ mile area along the Trent River, may also be seasonably available.

White Oak River Campground
The White Oak River Campground is located roughly 20 miles south of New Bern, and is a family-owned destination that’s adjacent to the White Oak Riverfront in the small town of Maysville, NC. The campground facilities feature 40 individual sites with water, sewer, and electric hook-ups, as well as community amenities including a playground, hot showers, picnic tables, and grills. An expansive disc golf course, fishing, and kayaking are all also located on-site, and the campground is open year round, with daily, weekly, and monthly sites available.

Seasonal Information for New Bern Camping

New Bern and the surrounding regions are generally warm enough for camping year-round, with average summertime temps in the 70s to high 80s, and wintertime temps in the mid-30s to mid-50s.

With that being said, several campgrounds in the New Bern area may close in the winter months, (generally from late November / early December until March), and especially those that are managed by the Croatan National Forest.

Check each campground diligently for seasonal hours of operation and to see what amenities may or may not be available. Community amenities like swimming pools are also seasonal, and are generally operational from late spring until early fall.

Tips and Tricks for camping in and around New Bern

  • There are several cool campgrounds located less than an hour away, including a collection of campgrounds and RV parks that border the Crystal Coast. For a camping adventure that’s close to the oceanfront beaches, look at all options south.
  • For the most rugged camping experience on the coastline, check out the Cape Lookout National Seashore. Located an hour’s drive and a 20-45 minute ferry ride from New Bern, this “campground” consists of a wild and undeveloped 56-mile long stretch of natural seashore.
  • New Bern can be muggy and buggy in the summer months, so come prepared with plenty of bug spray – especially in rustic campgrounds, like in the Croatan National Forest, where the human population is scarce.
  • New Bern is a great spot for a “permanent” vacation and many RV parks offer monthly and annual sites available for visitors who want to make New Bern their second home.
  • Not up for roughing it? New Bern has a number of vacation rentals and hotels / motels for visitors who would like a les rustic experience.
  • Watch for hurricanes and seasonal storms. New Bern can be susceptible to flooding due to coastal storms, so pay attention to the weather well before your arrival.

With rugged campgrounds that are refreshingly in the middle of nowhere, as well as more community-oriented campgrounds that feel more like a vacation resort, the New Bern camping scene truly has it all.

Plan a getaway that revolves around a beautiful river landscape, and you’ll enjoy a vacation experience that’s serene, rustic, and altogether unforgettable.

Neuse River Recreation Area

Neuse River Recreation Area

The Neuse River Recreation Area is an inviting rustic vacation destination for seasoned campers and newcomers alike, with an equally alluring location that's just steps away from the miles-wide Neuse River, and just a few miles away from New Bern, Morehead City, and the beaches of the Crystal Coast. Ideal for visitors who want to get back to nature while enjoying a day on the shore, this recreation area can please beach-goers, swimmers, nature fans, birders, anglers, and virtually every outdoor lover in between.

Top 10 Things to Do in New Bern

Top 10 Things to Do in New Bern

Visitors will find that New Bern is so much more than just a picturesque waterfront, and a collection of chic downtown shops. The area has a wide range of “claims to fame” that will engage visitors of all ages, and will make every stay a surprising and fascinating tour of local history, culture, and incredible things to do.

Shelling near New Bern, NC

Shelling near New Bern, NC

Treasure hunters of all varieties will find that New Bern serves as a fine launching point for a shelling adventure or two. From the ancient relics that are buried just outside the Aurora Fossil Museum to the isolated finds along the Cape Lookout National Seashore, New Bern visitors will find that some of the best shelling in the coastal Carolina region is just a short road trip away.

New Bern Firemans Museum

New Bern Firemans Museum

The New Bern Fire Department began as a fraternal organization and was originally called the "Atlantic Hook & Ladder Company," and was the first chartered fire department in the state of North Carolina. This original company became inactive during the Civil War when many of its volunteers were fighting for the Confederate Army, and noting a need for local firefighters, invading Union forces who had infiltrated and then settled in New Bern during the latter portion of the war, set up a rival company in 1865, the "New Bern Steam Fire Engine Company No. 1." The two companies remained in service well after the Civil War ended, but the initial rivalry between north and south originating companies never dissipated. Both companies would try to "out-do" each other with station equipment upgrades, and both companies regularly competed against each other in state-wide firefighting competitions. (Incidentally, both performed exceedingly well, perhaps due in no small part in an effort to out-do the other rival.)

Lawson Creek Park

Lawson Creek Park

Lawson Creek Park is an active destination that's suitable for nature lovers and outdoors fans of all genres. Encompassing a massive 140 acre site surrounded by the waters of Lawson Creek and Trent River, this park is a perfectly scenic locale that feels worlds away from the rest of Eastern North Carolina, but still has ample amenities to keep its more active visitors hard at play.