Are you trying to plan a trip to go camping in Illinois? Then you’ve come to the right place!
Illinois is a beautiful Midwestern state that has a variety of different landscapes and tons of things to do.
It’s known as the “Prairie State” because it has rolling hills, valleys, forests, farmlands, and even wetlands that you can explore.
That means that you’ll find campgrounds in Illinois in pretty much every type of landscape.
On top of this variety of landscapes, Illinois is also right by one of the great lakes, Lake Michigan.
So, despite being a state in the Midwest, there are even beach campgrounds in IL!
Or, if you want to explore the cities like Chicago, there are KOA in Illinois just outside of many major Illinois cities.
Whether you want to explore Illinois’ State Parks, major cities, or quiet meadows, there’s an IL campground on this list perfect for your wants and needs.
So, let’s take a look at 15 of the best places for camping in Illinois.
15 Best Places To Go Camping In Illinois
Go Camping In Northern Illinois At Fish Lake Beach Camping Resort
Fish Lake Beach Camping Resort is a great option if you’re looking for campgrounds in Illinois that are farther north.
This Illinois campground is located in Volo, which is a little over an hour north of Chicago.
There aren’t any other larger major cities around Volo, so you’ll find the Fish Lake Beach Camping Resort to be pretty peaceful.
However, it’s still one of the best places for camping near Chicago!
In fact, it’s great if you want to escape the crowds of the city and get to enjoy Illinois’ natural areas.
The campground is one of the largest privately-owned campgrounds in Illinois, and it’s near Six Flags!
They are open seasonally from the end of April to the middle of October.
You can bring your tent, RV, or rent one of their park model homes if you are looking for something closer to glamping.
The property is massive and includes Fish Lake, over 600 campsites, and two pools!
If you’re looking for one of the best Illinois campgrounds, head to Fish Lake Beach Camping Resort.
Starved Rock State Park Is A Great Place For Camping In Illinois
Starved Rock State Park is a beautiful State Park in Illinois that has some great hiking trails Illinois.
It’s also a pretty popular Illinois state park with camping options.
You’ll find Starved Rock State Park in Oglesby IL, which is about in the center of the state.
There are a variety of campgrounds and campsites at the park too.
Some of the campgrounds are only open seasonally while others are open year-round.
You can reserve your campsite up to 6 months in advance, and it’s highly suggested you do.
There are 129 campsites within the campground. All of them come with RV hookups and a pad for your tent or RV.
This campground in IL has porta-potties throughout the campground as well as two shower houses that do have a few flush toilets.
So, depending on which campsite you stay at, you may have to rough it a little bit or walk farther to reach the shower house.
However, it’s still one of the best Illinois state parks with camping options.
Benton KOA Is One Of The Best Campgrounds In Southern Illinois
Benton IL is located in southern Illinois, about 5 hours south of Chicago.
The Benton KOA is one of the best campgrounds in southern Illinois if you are looking to explore that area of the state.
It is open year-round and has a selection of RV and tent sites as well as cabins you can rent.
There are tons of different amenities at this KOA in Illinois as well.
They have a snack shack, a pool that is open seasonally, a pet playground, and lots more.
The campground is also right by Rend Lake, which is over 19,000 acres.
So you can hang out at the lake during the day and then come back and relax at your campsite at night.
Try Primitive Camping At Kayak Morris Campground
Primitive camping is where you camp without access to water or electricity.
So, that means, at Kayak Morris Campground, you won’t find shower houses or bathrooms.
All you’ll have is your tent, a fire ring, and a picnic table.
However, you’ll also get to stay right on the sandy shores of the Illinois River.
You may have to give up some creature comforts, but it is camping after all.
You’ll be rewarded with some pretty views of the river too.
Kayak Morris Campground is right near the Illinois small town of Morris, where you’ll find plenty of things to do.
You can also use the showers at the Morris Public Pool for only $2 if you really want to.
It’s a great option for those who enjoy primitive camping in Illinois.
Explore Illinois’ Prairies At Shabbona Lake State Recreation Area
Shabbona Lake State Recreation Area is west of Chicago and known for its 1,550 acres of prairie land.
Along with the meadows in the prairie land, the park also has woodlands and a great campground.
If you want to try camping in Illinois State Parks, this is a great option.
Shabbona Lake has 150 campsites available for rent.
Of those, 90 are available to rent in advance and 60 are left as first come first serve.
So it’s a great option if you are looking for a last-minute option to go camping in Illinois State Parks.
The campground also has two cabins that you can rent if you don’t feel like bringing your RV or roughing it.
While you’re there, you’ll be able to explore some unique natural areas in Illinois that you won’t find in most other places in the state.
Spend Some Time Camping In Illinois At Camp Bullfrog Lake
Camp Bullfrog Lake is part of a forest preserve in Cook County, IL.
You’ll find this Illinois campground in Willow Springs, right on the shores of Bullfrog Lake.
At this campground in Illinois, they have a variety of different campsite rentals to choose from.
You can bring your tent, your RV, or rent one of their small or large cabins.
If you want to bring a massive group, there are even options to rent out the entire campground!
There are just over 30 tent and RV campsites in Illinois available to rent at this campground.
Or, you can rent one of their 3 large cabins or 8 small cabins.
The cabins have bunk beds, ceiling fans, and bathrooms.
Some of them even have air conditioning or heat.
It’s a spot for some of the best camping in Illinois if you want to stay in a cabin on a lake!
Use The Chicago NW KOA As A Basecamp For Exploring The Area
The Chicago NW KOA is about an hour north of the heart of Chicago, and it’s one of the best campgrounds near Chicago.
So it’s a great basecamp if you’d like to plan some day trips from Chicago since it’ll put you a lot closer to many of them.
But you’ll still be relatively close to the city too.
This KOA has a variety of different options for campsites in Illinois.
You can bring your RV, your tent, or rent one of their cabins.
The cabins range from rustic to deluxe, meaning some of them are practically fully equipped tiny homes.
So you can pick whichever Illinois camping option attracts you the most.
This KOA in Illinois is also close to the local train station where you can catch a train into the heart of downtown Chicago.
If you want to explore Chicago and the surrounding areas, this is a great KOA in Illinois to stay at.
Go Camping In Northern Illinois At The Illinois Beach State Park
Illinois Beach State Park is in northern Illinois, right near the border with Wisconsin.
It sits on the shores of Lake Michigan and encompasses 6.5 miles of sandy shores.
In fact, Illinois Beach State Park is the only beach ridge shoreline left in the state.
So if you choose to go camping there, you’ll get to experience a one-of-a-kind Illinois landscape.
The State Park also boasts a pretty large campground.
There are just over 240 campsites in Illinois at this particular campground.
They all have access to electricity, and throughout the campground, there are shower houses with flushing toilets.
This Illinois campground is only open seasonally, from April 1st to December 30th.
Try The Garden Of the Gods Illinois Camping Grounds
The Garden of the Gods is one of the most popular State Recreation Areas in Illinois and for good reason.
It’s full of amazing and picturesque Illinois hikes and landscapes.
The park gets its name from the unique rock formations that you can find scattered throughout the park.
However, if you want to experience Garden of the Gods Illinois camping, you’ll have to rough it a bit.
This campground in Illinois is open year-round and campsites are first come first serve.
So you won’t be able to reserve a campsite ahead of time.
The campground does have water and vault toilets, but you won’t find shower houses or electric hookups.
That means it’s better for tent camping and not necessarily RV camping.
While you’re enjoying Garden of the Gods Illinois camping you’ll be able to explore one of the most popular areas in Illinois to explore.
Kinkaid Marina Campground Is One Of The Best Campgrounds In Southern Illinois
Another great campground in southern Illinois is the Kinkaid Marina Campground.
The Kinkaid Marina Campground is part of the large marina on Kinkaid Lake, in Murphysboro IL.
It’s not a huge campground and there are just under 30 campsites that you can rent.
However, if you want to spend a weekend on the lake, it’s a great campground in southern Illinois.
You’ll have full access to the marina and be able to rent a boat if you’d like to have a day on the lake.
Plus, the onsite restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
It’s easily one of the best campgrounds in southern Illinois! It would make the perfect Midwest weekend getaway.
Camp Near Lake Shelbyville At The Lithia Springs Campground
Lake Shelbyville is in the heart of central Illinois.
All around this large lake you’ll find a bunch of different campgrounds.
One of the most popular Illinois campgrounds near Lake Shelbyville is the Lithia Springs Campground.
The Lithia Springs Campground has just over 100 campsites.
They all have full electric hookup, so you can choose to bring your RV or just your tent.
One of the things that makes this a great place for camping in IL is that many of the campsites are right on the lakeshore or a short walk away.
You can go swimming in the lake, relax by your tent on the beach, or explore the nearby oak and hickory forest.
There is a shower house with flush toilets, a playground, a fully-equipped marina nearby, and a boat ramp.
Mill Point RV Park Is One Of The Best RV Parks In Illinois
One of the best RV parks in Illinois is the Mill Point RV Park, in East Peoria IL.
You’ll find some really cool things to do in Illinois in Peoria, which is a charming city on the river.
This RV park in Illinois can be found at Upper Peoria Lake, which is on the Illinois River.
There are 80 shaded campsites available to rent and all of them have full hookup capabilities.
Along with their RV campsites, they also have a few cabins and tent sites that you can rent too.
It is a seasonal campground, so it’s only open from March to November.
You’ll be close to beautiful Peoria, right on the Illinois River, and more at this RV park in Illinois.
Bring The Whole Family To Green River Oaks Camping Resort
Green River Oaks Camping Resort is proud to be family-owned and operated.
They also strive to be a great option for families looking to have some fun camping in Illinois.
Each week they are open, from April to October, they have a specific theme.
Themes range from ‘Dino-Mite, Barnyard Palooza, The Wild West, and more.
Throughout the week, there are different fun activities that your family can participate in that are centered around that week’s theme.
It’s a camping experience that might be right for everyone, but if that sounds like something you’d like, then I’m sure you’ll have tons of fun.
You can rent a traditional tent campsite, an RV campsite, or one of the travel trailers and cabins.
So even if you don’t have your own tent or RV, you can still join in on the fun.
Stay At The Small Campground At Cave-in-Rock State Park
Cave-in-Rock State Park actually has its own lodge and restaurant.
At the lodge, you can rent a room that is very similar to a hotel room.
But if you want to go camping at Cave-in-Rock State Park, you can do that too.
However, because they do have the lodge, their campground isn’t very big.
There are 59 campsites that you can rent, which are located on the scenic north side of the park.
34 of the campsites have full electric hookup capabilities.
25 of the campsites are specifically for tent camping.
On the campground, you’ll also find a shower house with flushing toilets.
It’s a beautiful Illinois State Park with camping.
Enjoy Tons Of Amenities At O’Connell’s Yogi Bear Jellystone Resort
Yogi Bear Jellystone Resort is a chain of RV resorts throughout the country.
O’Connell’s is located in Amboy, IL, which is about 2 hours west of Chicago.
At a Yogi Bear Jellystone Resort, you can expect to enjoy tons of fun and unique amenities.
There are 3 pools, 2 waterslides, an arcade, a playground, and tons more.
They have a selection of cabins you can rent if you want to try glamping. Or you can rent one of their RV or tent campsites.
This RV park in Illinois is open seasonally, from April to October.
So if you want to enjoy a camping vacation at an amazing camping resort, head to O’Connell’s Yogi Bear Jellystone Resort!
Packing List When Camping in Illinois
If you are searching, here are some tips on how to pack lightly when packing to visit campsites in Illinois.
A concealed travel pouch may be one of the most important items you bring along when camping in Illinois. It is always important to protect your personal information. Identity thieves are everywhere.
This unisex RFID blocking concealed travel pouch is lightweight and comes in several colors. It has lots of organization to give you peace of mind. You can place it under your clothes next to your body to carry your ID safely.
If you have a pouch already that does not come with the RFID protection, as I do, these RFID sleeves are the perfect solution.
If you are planning on taking a lot of pictures with your phone you will definitely want to consider an external charging battery. This Anker high-speed phone charging battery is the exact one I carry with me on all of my trips.
I like that it holds its charging capabilities for several uses so I do not have to worry about it while out and about, and if I forget to recharge it at night, it will still be good to go the next day.
My daughter gifted me with this FugeTek selfie stick and tripod setup for my birthday. I absolutely love it! It is made of lightweight aluminum and is so easy to use.
It has Bluetooth connectivity and is a breeze to use for taking Insta-worthy selfies while visiting campgrounds in IL.
I never much believed in using packing cubes when traveling. That is until I tried them. Now I am hooked. These are the exact cubes I use to stay organized when I pack for a trip!
You will want to bring your own refillable water bottle with you.
I never leave home on a trip without my Bobble filtration bottle. The 18.5-ounce size is perfect for your adventures and it fits nicely in the pocket of a backpack.
Perhaps you are traveling a long distance and packing space is a premium in your suitcase, or in your car. Then this set of collapsible silicone foldable water bottles would work well for you. Would not take up much space at all.
You will want a backpack or daypack with you to store snacks, your water bottle, phone, extra clothes, etc.. . No matter the time of day or evening.
This foldable water-resistant backpack would be great. And it comes in many different colors.
There are tons of different and unique options for camping in Illinois.
Whether you want to set up your tent on the shores of Lake Michigan, hike in the Garden of the Gods, or just relax in a beautiful prairie, there is a campground in Illinois for you on this list.
You can even go camping near Chicago if you want!
With so many options, it’s easy to see why camping in IL is always a fun adventure.
And such a cool place to visit in the Midwest!