The 5 Best Places to Camp in Mississippi this Summer

Written by Cindy Rasmussen
Published: September 11, 2022
© Adrien Lamarre, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers / public domain – License / Original
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For some of the bet camping in Mississippi it is going to be hard to choose between a coastal campground along the beach, a lake side retreat with excellent fishing or a site right on the Mississippi River. With campgrounds that are rustic and remote to resort-style campgrounds with water parks, Mississippi has a little bit of everything. Here are the 5 best places to camp in Mississippi this summer.

Gulf Islands National Seashore: Davis Bayou Campground

Gulf Islands National Seashore
Can you imagine this view as you step out of your tent in the morning? Then set up camp at one of the campsites at Gulf Islands National Seashore.

©forestpath/Shutterstock.com

Located along the southern coast of Mississippi is the Gulf Islands National Seashore. In and around the seashore you will find a variety of wildlife including bottlenose dolphins, river otters, raccoons and armadillo. You can take a boat or charter one out to one of the four coastal islands of Cat, Horn, Petit Bois and East Ship where you can experience island camping at its best. On the mainland there is a 51-site campground, Davis Bayou Campground which is far from rustic with electric and water at each site and restrooms/showers in the campground. There is also a visitor center, boat launch and fishing pier.

LocationSouthern Mississippi along the coast
Nearest CityOcean Springs
RV/Tent Sites51 sites w electric and water
Island camping on Cat Island, Horn Island, Petit Bois Island and East Ship IslandMultiple tent sites, access by boat only
Picnic Tables at each siteYes
Fire Pit at each siteYes
AmenitiesRestrooms, bathhouse with showers
Pet FriendlyYes except no pets allowed on Horn and Petit Bois (of course cats are allowed on Cat Island!)
ReservationsNo, first come, first serve
What makes it one of the bestIsland camping in the Gulf of Mexico!

Buccaneer State Park

blue crab vs snow crab
You might see some of the Blue crabs on a hike on the Pirates Alley Nature Trail. Then head back to camp for some splashing fun at the waterpark!

©P. Dorman/Shutterstock.com

Buccaneer State Park is located in the SE corner of Mississippi on the Gulf of Mexico. A little bit of history, the entire park was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina back in August of 2005. The waterpark, park’s structures and facilities were all wiped out. But after many years of restoration it has been brought back to be one of the best places to camp in Mississippi. The waterpark is definitely one of the huge draws but there is also the Pirate’s Alley Nature Trail where you can see Brown Pelicans, Egrets and Blue Crabs. The campground has 206 RV/Tent sites with full hookups and 70 sites situated up on a grassy hill that overlooks the Gulf of Mexico. There are also 25 primitive sites tucked back in the back of the park.

LocationAlong the coast
Nearest CityWaveland
RV/Tent Sites reservable206 sites with water, electric, sewer
RV/Tent Sites, no reservations, first come first serve70 sites with water and electric on grassy hill overlooking the Gulf of Mexico
Primitive Campsites25 primitive sites, you can drive there but there are no services except restrooms
Picnic Tables at each siteYes
Fire Pit at each siteYes
AmenitiesRestrooms, Rec Center, Camp Store, Swimming pool, and Buccaneer Bay waterpark!
Pet FriendlyYes
ReservationsSome yes, others first come first serve

McLeod Park Campground

Largemouth Bass from Lake
Looking to catch some largemouth bass? Rent a canoe at McLeod Park Campground before a Friday night fish fry. Definitely one of the best places to camp in Mississippi this summer!

©Maclane Parker/Shutterstock.com

The McLeod Park Campground is a friendly, smaller campground right on the banks of the Jourdan River. Near Kiln, Mississippi you will be close to town but have the unique nature experience as well. Each modern site has water electric and sewer. The campground has a camp store, playground, splashpad, basketball court and disc golf. To enjoy the river and nearby Jimmie Lake you can rent a canoe or bring your own boat for some fishing, swimming or just enjoying the wildlife. As a coastal river you may be lucky to catch largemouth bass, spotted bass, red ear sunfish and bluegills. Haul your catches back to your campsite for a Friday night fish fry.

LocationOn the Shores of the Jourdan River
Nearest CityKiln, MS
RV/Tent120 sites with full hookups, water, electric and sewer
Picnic Tables at each siteYes
Fire Pit at each siteYes
AmenitiesRestrooms, hot showers, camp store, playground, splash pad, Basketball court, disc golf, canoe rental
Pet FriendlyYes
ReservationsYes
What makes it one of the bestMany waterview sites, right on the river!

LeFleur’s Bluff State Park, Jackson

Jackson, Mississippi
Stay at the LeFleur’s Bluff State Park right next to downtown Jackson for a home base near everything.

©Sean Pavone/Shutterstock.com

For another one of the best places to camp in Mississippi this summer stay right near all the action. To enjoy all the sites of Jackson with a home base at a campground, LeFleur’s Bluff State Park is right in the heart of everything. Just east of the downtown area situated on Lake Mayes and the Pearl River this 305-acre park offers hiking trails, boating, fishing and a 9-hole golf course. The fishing is fine on Lake Mayes for crappie, bream, bass and catfish. The park is literally 3 miles to the downtown area where you can visit the Mississippi  Museum of Natural History, Children’s Museum, Museum of Art or any of the delicious restaurants and intriguing shops. Such a convenient and easily access location that offers the best of both worlds.

LocationJust east of the downtown area, between downtown and the airport
Nearest CityJackson
Developed Campsites RV/Tent28 with water and electric, some are even lakeside!
Primitive Campsites Tent only10 located near the lake, walking distance to restrooms
Picnic Tables at each siteYes, on cement slabs
Fire Pit at each siteYes
AmenitiesRestrooms, hot showers, playground, 9-hole golf, disc golf,
Pet FriendlyYes
ReservationsYes
What makes it one of the bestRight in the heart of downtown Jackson!

Red Bluff, Mimosa Landing Campground

Sunrise on a mountain trail in the woods.
One of the best places to camp in Mississippi this summer is definitely right near the Red Bluffs. The canyon is known as the “Little Grand Canyon of Mississippi.

©iStock.com/Rachael Frances

Red Bluff is the “Little Grand Canyon” of Mississippi. The canyon of carved red rock is carved by the Pearl River, and is still eroding its way through the rocks. It has even worked its way through one of the roads twice with its rapid expansion. This is definitely not a leisurely walk on a paved trail, in fact there are few trails if any. But you can explore on your own and hike down to the bottom of the canyon. You might even see a red-tailed hawk circling above the canyon as you hike. There you can follow the stream, through a forest and end up at the Pearl River.

There is not any camping at Red Bluff but in nearby Columbia there is a campground right on the Pearl River. The Mimosa Landing Campground has RV sites, Tent sites and cabins to rent with some right along the river. There are restrooms, hot showers, a swimming pool, basketball court, and fishing pond stocked for catch and release. Look for osprey and herons along the river and relax after a long day of hiking at the Bluffs.

Location4 ½ hours south of Memphis
Nearest CityFoxworth, Columbia
RV Sites and Tent SitesYes, some with full hookup, water, electric, sewer
CabinsYes
Picnic Tables at each siteYes
Fire Pit at each siteSome, also grills available to rent
AmenitiesRestrooms, showers, playground, swimming pool, basketball, volleyball
Pet FriendlyYes
ReservationsYes
What makes it one of the bestRight next to the adventure hiking of the Red Bluffs!

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Okatibbee Reservoir
© Adrien Lamarre, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers / public domain – License / Original

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About the Author

I'm a Wildlife Conservation Author and Journalist, raising awareness about conservation by teaching others about the amazing animals we share the planet with. I graduated from the University of Minnesota-Morris with a degree in Elementary Education and I am a former teacher. When I am not writing I love going to my kids' soccer games, watching movies, taking on DIY projects and running with our giant Labradoodle "Tango".

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

Where is a place to camp on the Mississippi Gulf Coast shore?

Located along the southern coast of Mississippi is the Gulf Islands National Seashore. In and around the seashore you will find a variety of wildlife including bottlenose dolphins, river otters, raccoons and armadillo.

Where can I camp in Mississippi and still be close to a major city?

The best places to camp in Mississippi this summer and stay right near all the action. To enjoy all the sites of Jackson with a home base at a campground, LeFleur’s Bluff State Park is right in the heart of everything. Just east of the downtown area situated on Lake Mayes and the Pearl River this 305-acre park offers hiking trails, boating, fishing and a 9-hole golf course.

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