The Campground at James Island County Park offers the natural and beautiful landscape of a public campground combined with amenities and activities usually found only at the best private campground resorts. Located just 6 miles southwest of the great city of Charleston, this campground is one that immediately captured our hearts. A fabulous campground plus a fabulous city?! Clearly, a winning combination.
Charleston, SC, is the kind of city you fall in love with so easily. The food! The history! The architecture! The beach! We feel like we could visit again and again and never be disappointed by this Southern dame. James Island County Park provides easy access to the city, but it is also an utter oasis that feels worlds away.
Campground Details: The Campground at James Island County Park
James Island County Park is located just 6 miles outside of Charleston. It is about 2 hours south of Myrtle Beach and less than 2 hours north of Savannah, GA. This is a county park run by the Charleston County Parks association. While this is a public campground, it offers some of the benefits of a private park, nicely combining the best of both worlds.
Rates begin at $20 for tent sites and go up to $49 for full hookup, pull-thru RV sites. This.is.a.steal! It is amazing that full hookups are even available at a public park, and to find them at a great price is even better. This campground is incredibly popular with both locals and visitors from out of state. You will need to book well in advance, especially if camping during a holiday or school recess. The nice thing is that this campground can be enjoyed throughout the winter since the weather is relatively mild in this region.
In addition to the tent and RV sites, you’ll also find super cute cottages at the campground.
Campsite Details: The Campground at James Island County Park
You’ll find 100 campsites at James Island County Park, divided about equally into two parts. You really can’t go wrong with either side, but we give a slight edge to the side with a fishing pond, if you think you might enjoy the pond. This map shows the layout of the campsites:
You’ll find a variety of sites at James Island County Park. Those with pop-ups or camper vans might want to try to nab one of the coveted waterside spots that back up right to the pond. Those with big rigs will want to aim for one of the larger pull-thru sites, some of which offer concrete pads. There are not a ton of sites like these specialty offerings. The bulk of the remaining sites are mostly back-ins with full hookups and gravel pads.. Check out the website for photos of each and every site!
One thing we especially love about James Island County Park is the privacy offered at the campsites. Sites are generously sized and surrounded by tons of foliage. Even if you have a smaller spot, you’ll still feel fully separated from your neighbors. You will find more traffic in the sites near the camp store and sites #64-85, which back up to a county park roadway.
James Island County Park offers buddy sites; however, we noticed that these are not true buddy sites. Instead of finding spots where you can park awning to awning with your friends or family, you’ll find sites that seem shaped like a Y, sharing a single driveway. One camper will have terrible views of their buddy’s rig, while the other might enjoy fabulous forest scenery instead.
Campground Amenities: The Campground at James County Island Park
James Island County Park offers a ton of amenities, both inside the campground and accessible in the larger park outside of the campground. Within the campground, you will find great bath houses and laundry facilities. The camp store is well stocked. An Activity Center onsite offers recreation, with ping-pong tables, a kitchen, and more. It would be the perfect place to spend a rainy day.
Families will enjoy the fishing pond, bocce ball court, giant chess and checkers, ladder golf, horseshoes, and corn hole. Biking is a great way to explore James Island County Park, and rentals are even offered onsite.
Visitors can even hop on a shuttle service to Folly Beach and downtown Charleston. This is a great way to get into the city if you’d like to avoid driving in traffic. Once you arrive in Charleston, you’ll find it to be a wonderfully walkable city. If you do drive, you might be pleasantly surprised by the public parking options.
The Wi-Fi even works! What more could you ask for?! Well, surprisingly, there’s even more!
Amenities and Activities: James Island County Park
On our trip to James Island County Park, we only managed to see and experience a sliver of all that it offers. This is a world-class county park, probably one of the best in the nation, offering activities for every member of the family to enjoy. If Charleston weren’t at the campground’s door step, we might not have ever left.
Here’s a sampling of the amenities and activities you can enjoy in James Island County Park:
- Climbing wall and adventure area including bouldering and slacklines (these aren’t your average campground play areas. The climbing wall is several stories tall. Even tweens and teens will enjoy a challenge here.)
- Bike path and nature trails (shaded and beautiful places to explore all around the park)
- Splash park and spray ground (you’ll have to pay an additional fee, but this also looked amazing!)
- Playground (truly world class!)
- Picnic areas
- Disc golf
- Dog park with beach and lake access (seriously gigantic! We’ve stayed in campgrounds smaller than this dog park. Plus, you can walk to the beach. There are even doggy baths onsite.)
- Special events and festivals throughout the year (holiday lights, concerts, and more)
Do note that these terrific amenities and activities are not directly located within the campground. You’ll have to hop on your bike, take a long stroll, or drive your car around James Island County Park to access all that it offers.
The Campground at James Island County Park is simply one of the best campgrounds we have ever seen in our travels. For a complete run down of all the activities and attractions we experienced in Charleston, check out our RVFTA podcast episode #87.
See you at the campground!
Jeremy + Stephanie