The Absolute Best Camping Near Atlanta

Written by Cindy Rasmussen
Published: September 18, 2022
Image Credit Isaac Mok/Shutterstock.com
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If you want to enjoy the sites and attractions of downtown Atlanta, GA but also camp, there are many amazing options in and near Atlanta for camping. Maybe you live in Atlanta and want to get away from it all; there are great sites just outside the downtown area. Read on to find out about the absolute best camping near Atlanta!

1) Chattahoochee Bend State Park

Chattahoochee Bend State Park is known for its great paddling and fishing, where you can explore the river by kayak, canoe, or paddleboard.

One of the largest state parks in Georgia is just a little over an hour outside of downtown. It is located right on the Chattahoochee River with some of the campsites by the riverside! The park is known for its great paddling and fishing, where you can explore the river by kayak, canoe, or paddleboard. You can rent kayaks and canoes right in the park with easy access to the river at the boat ramp. There are several great fishing holes right along the shoreline where you can fish for trout, catfish, and bass. Chattahoochee Bend State park has 12 miles of hiking trails, including a hike to the Observation Tower, where you can scan the skies for bald eagles, cooper’s hawks, and red-shouldered hawks, especially during the winter months.

The campground has quite a variety of sites ranging from primitive backcountry sites and walk-in tent camping to modern cottages and everything in between. One of the unique features of the campground are the riverside platforms for tent camping which make a nice setting for a scenic camping trip. The RV sites are roomy, have electric hookups, restrooms, and hot showers nearby. Clearly one of the absolute best places to camp near Atlanta!

LocationSW of downtown on the Chattahoochee River
Distance from downtown Atlanta1 hr 15 min (60 miles)
Total number of sites71 sites
RV/Tent sites with electric37 sites
Riverfront Platform Camping8 sites, for tents
Walk-in Tent Only and Backcountry sites12 walk-in, 8 backcountry
Cottages/Adirondack3 cottages, 1 Adirondack
Picnic Tables at each siteYes
Fire Pit at each siteYes
AmenitiesRestrooms, showers, picnic shelters,
Pet FriendlyYes
ReservationsYes, if sites are open they are made available first come first serve
What makes it one of the bestRiverside camping not far from downtown!

2) Stone Mountain Park Campground

Right next to Stone Mountain Park Campground is the Summit Skyride, a Swiss Cable Car that will take you to the top of Stone Mountain.

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A little closer to downtown is the family-friendly Stone Mountain Park Campground. This large camping complex is right on the shores of Stone Mountain Lake. Many of the campsites are either on the lake or have beautiful lake views. You can choose from one of the 400 tent and RV campsites or rent one of the yurts or Safari Tents for a little something different. The yurts are right on the lake, with decks overlooking the water. Each yurt has log cabin furniture, heat, air conditioning, and electrical outlets. Nice accommodations if you don’t want to “rough it.”

Stone Mountain Lake is a favorite fishing lake for carp, crappie, bream, bass, and catfish. There is a Public Boat Ramp in the park for launching your boat (non-motorized boats and outboard motors 10 hp or less only). Right next to the campground, you can visit the Summit Skyride, a Swiss Cable Car that will take you to the top of Stone Mountain. Imagine the views of the Appalachian Mountains and the Atlanta skyline from the top. You can see why this is an amazing place to camp!

LocationNE of downtown Atlanta
Distance from downtown Atlanta40 min (30 miles)
RV/Tent sitesYes, 400 total, some with full hookup, pull thru and back in, some lakeside
YurtsYes, lakeside, sleep 4-5, electricity
Safari TentsYes, sleeps 4, electricity
Picnic Tables at each siteYes
Fire Pit at each siteYes
AmenitiesRestrooms, showers, laundry, camp store
Pet FriendlyYes
ReservationsYes
What makes it one of the bestMountain and lakeside camping in one!

3) Sweet Water Creek State Park Campground (near Six Flags)

Sweet Water Creek State Park is a quiet place to stay while exploring the Atlanta area.

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Near the Six Flags Amusement Park, the Sweet Water Creek State Park is on the other side of Atlanta. The park is along the creek where you can hike to an old textile mill, previously run by the New Manchester Manufacturing Company before it was burned during the Civil War. Further down the trail, you can hike to an overlook where you can see the rapids on the river. The creek flows into the George H. Sparks Reservoir, where you can fish for bass, crappie, and catfish.

The campground is only 10 minutes from Six Flags over Georgia, so spend the day at the amusement and water park, then head back to your campsite. The campground is small, with only 5 walk-in tent sites and 10 yurts, but the yurts are nicely spaced apart for privacy and right on the lake! There is a playground for the kids and boat rentals in the summer, so there is no need to haul in your boats. A quiet place to stay while exploring the Atlanta area.

LocationEast of downtown in Lithia Springs
Distance from downtown Atlanta22 min (18 miles)
RV sitesNo, not available
Tent sitesYes, 5 walk-in sites, near the lake
YurtsYes, 10 lakeside
Picnic Tables at each siteYes
Fire Pit at each siteYes
AmenitiesRestrooms, visitor center, playground
Pet FriendlyYes, at the tent sites, No in the yurts
ReservationsYes
What makes it one of the bestLakeside yurt camping close to Six Flags!

4) Sawnee Campground (Lake Lanier)

Sawnee Campground is in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

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About an hour northeast of Atlanta on Lake Lanier are several campgrounds, but one of the absolute best places to camp near Atlanta is the Sawnee Campground. The campground is in the Blue Ridge Mountains‘ foothills so you can imagine the amazing mountain views from your campsite. There are 59 different campsites (43 with water/electric, 5 tent-only walk-ins with water/electric, and 11 tent-only walk-ins with no hookup) with restrooms, showers, and laundry nearby. One of the park’s highlights is the nice sandy beach for swimming. Bring some sunscreen and a picnic lunch, and spend the afternoon lounging at the beach with a quick dip to cool off.

J. M. Hobbins caught the state record-breaking white bass in Lake Lanier, weighing 5 lbs 1 oz in 1971. There are good-sized bass to be caught in Lake Lanier, including smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, white bass, and striped bass, so bring your fishing gear. Maybe you will break the new record (or at least catch enough for a campfire fish fry!).

LocationNE of downtown Atlanta on Lake Lanier
Distance from downtown Atlanta1 hour (42 miles)
RV/Tent SitesYes, 43 with water/electric,
Tent only sites5 walk-ins with water/electric, 11 walk-ins no hookups
Picnic Tables at each siteYes
Fire Pit at each siteYes
AmenitiesRestrooms, showers, laundry, playground, swimming beach
Pet FriendlyYes
ReservationsYes
What makes it one of the bestSwimming beach right at the campground!

5) McKinney Campground on Lake Allatoona

You can explore the downtown zoos, aquariums, shops, and restaurants close to the McKinney Campground.

Isaac Mok/Shutterstock.com

Just 30 miles north of downtown Atlanta is the McKinney Campground. You can explore the downtown zoos, aquariums, shops, and restaurants (like the infamous Georgia Aquarium, where you can see the largest fish in the world, the whale shark, which averages 18-32 feet long!) and then head back to your campsite for a nice shaded campfire. McKinney Campground is one of the campgrounds on Lake Allatoona, which has 270 miles of shoreline and is stocked with crappie, bream, gar, catfish, and bass (so bring your fishing gear). You can fish right from the dock at the campground or take a boat out to find your fishing hole.

McKinney campground has 150 campsites for tents and RVs, with some right on the lake. Most campsites are nicely shaded, giving you a traditional “camping in the woods” feel. Walk to the large sandy swimming beach or take out a kayak or paddle board to explore the coves around Lake Allatoona. A great place to relax and enjoy a weekend away!

LocationNorth of downtown, near Acworth, GA
Distance from downtown Atlanta45min-1+ hrs. depending on Atlanta traffic (30 miles)
RV/Tent sites150 sites, some right on the lake, electric
Picnic Tables at each siteYes
Fire Pit at each siteYes
AmenitiesRestrooms, showers, swimming beach, boat ramp, dock
Pet FriendlyYes
ReservationsYes
What makes it one of the bestLakeside camping 30 miles from downtown Atlanta!

Up Next

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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".

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Sources
  1. McKinney Campground, Available here: https://www.recreation.gov/camping/campgrounds/232639?tab=info
  2. Sawnee Campground, Available here: https://www.recreation.gov/camping/campgrounds/232700?tab=info
  3. Sweet Water Creek State Park Campground, Available here: https://gastateparks.reserveamerica.com/camping/sweetwater-creek-state-park/r/campgroundDetails.do?contractCode=GA&parkId=530195
  4. Stone Mountain Park Campground, Available here: https://www.stonemountainpark.com/
  5. Chattahoochee Bend State Park, Available here: https://gastateparks.reserveamerica.com/camping/chattahoochee-bend-state-park/r/campgroundDetails.do?contractCode=GA&parkId=530483