Skip to main content

The Manual may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site.

Wineries, golf courses, museums, and more: Here are 12 of the best campground alternatives for RVs

You just might find your favorite place to stay on this list

Two fighter planes, one yellow one black, sit facing an aircraft hangar.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

With the camping season around the corner, it’s time to pull the covers off the RV, take your essential gear and get ready to hit the road. RV owners across the U.S. are champing at the bit to get back out and experience the freedom of having the world at your feet. When peak season arrives, this means that campsites and national parks can be overrun, and your sense of freedom starts to disappear as campsite after campsite feels more like a parking lot than your own Shangri-La.

This means you need to get creative, and with 21st-century technology at your fingertips, your phone is your friend. If you’re looking for traditional RV campgrounds, apps like Good Sam and Campendium can give you a range of options. If you want to avoid the rush, one of the best apps for finding campground alternatives in the U.S. is Harvest Hosts. You can get a subscription for just $99 per year, and with thousands of free sites for you to choose from, this pays for itself after just a few trips.

Picked red wine grapes in vineyard

Find your favorite campground alternative

With wineries, golf courses, museums, and much more to choose from, we had a tough time deciding on some favorites, but here they are.

Grand Teton Distillery
Grand Teton Distillery / Facebook

Grand Teton Distillery

Location: Driggs, Idaho

Starting our list with arguably one of the best views in the country, the Grand Teton Distillery is right on Highway 33, part of the Yellowstone-Teton Scenic Loop. Park up and head inside for a tour of the distillery, or to try out one of their interestingly flavored liquors, such as their huckleberry vodka or raspberry moonshine. They also have ranges of whiskeys, bourbons, and unflavored vodkas, so there’s plenty to choose from when you’re looking for a bottle to take home.

The Rail Golf Course
Image used with permission by copyright holder

The Rail Golf Course

Location: Springfield, Illinois

Voted as one of the best places to play golf in Central Illinois, it’s hard to believe that the impeccably manicured fairways of The Rail golf course were once a working dairy farm. The farm was converted by Robert Trent Jones, Sr. into a course that was used as a championship ground for thirty years. At the end of the day, you will have this stunning spot all to yourselves, and you can relax, ready for a round of 18 holes the following morning.

An outdoor seating area, covered by a pagoda, in front of the Wyldewood Cellars Winery.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Wyldewood Cellars

Location: Peck, Kansas

With over 40 bottles to choose from and more than 500 international awards to back up their business, Wyldewood Cellars began as a way to keep the family farm operational. Their passion for winemaking began over 25 years ago with elderberry wine and has expanded into a range of wines made from a variety of fruits, berries, and grapes, including their interesting Strawberry Rhubarb Pie Wine. Wyldewood Cellars is just off interstate 35, and this convenient overnight spot offers wide-open spaces and expansive vineyards as a backdrop to your RV camp.

A large, yellow, twin propellor airplane, inside the Fargo Air museum.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Fargo Air Museum

Location: Fargo, North Dakota

RVing isn’t all about getting back to nature. A stay at the Fargo Air Museum gives you the chance to explore the city of Fargo, with its excellent restaurant and shopping opportunities. Much more than that, the museum itself gives you a chance to see both vintage and modern aircraft, and the interactive exhibits are great for younger visitors. The museum has a flight simulator and drone experience on-site, giving budding aviators a chance to earn their wings.

A six pack of Big B's Harvest Apple Hard Cider, lemon yellow cans with a vintage pickup loaded with apple crates.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Big B’s Fruit Company

Location: Hotchkiss, Colorado

Camp within the orchards of a working farm at Big B’s Fruit Company. Park up for the night and enjoy live music and a range of hard ciders in their taproom, or spend the day helping with the fruit picking and learning about the inner workings of a cider farm. You can tour the orchards to your heart’s content and unwind in this relaxing environment. The farm sells a range of fruit juices and vinegar, as well as their hard ciders, so there are plenty of choices to restock the fridge with.

The view from one of the teeing grounds at Excelsior Springs Golf Course.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Excelsior Springs Golf Club

Location: Excelsior Springs, Missouri

The rolling hills and regular changes in elevation of the par-72 Excelsior Springs golf course may attract the keen golfer, but the serene natural setting will keep you there overnight. The course was designed by Tom Bendelow, who was responsible for other notable courses used for both the U.S. Open and PGA championships. RV campers who stay here can play as many rounds of golf as they like without the need to pay a tee reservation fee. If you’re a keen golfer and RVer, this is a must-visit destination to add to your list.

A bunch of blueberries, ripe and ready to pick.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Sunrise Harvest Farm

Location: San Pierre, Indiana

Stock up on your antioxidants with a summer stay at Sunrise Harvest Farm. The passion for blueberries extends far beyond the usual jams and pies, although you can get these from their on-site market stall and food truck, fittingly named ‘Ole Blue’. Its repertoire for blueberry-inspired cuisine goes further, and you can try nachos topped with blueberry barbecue sauce or a panini with ham, provolone cheese, and blueberry basil jam. During your stay, you can choose to relax or head out into the orchards and pick your own, before kicking back to enjoy the fruits of your labor.

A stuffed long horn sheep in the Hastings Museum.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Hastings Museum

Location: Hastings, Nebraska

There is always something new to learn and explore at the Hastings Museum. The natural and cultural museum has a range of year-round exhibits, and if you check their calendar, there are events happening continuously throughout the year, too. There are educational and Hollywood movies on show in the museum theatre and a Planetarium where you can discover the planets and learn to distinguish Ursa Minor from Canis Major.

The start of the Heritage Oak Trail that leads from the winery to the river.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Heritage Oak Winery

Location: Acampo, California

It’s not every day that you have the opportunity to camp at a winery, especially one with so much on offer. The tasting room is open daily and you can try the winery’s flights in the bar or out on the spacious patio, where you can watch hummingbirds zoom about. Once you have found your flavor, you can buy a bottle and enjoy a picnic down by the river at the end of their well-signposted hiking trail. The gentle Mokelumne River is a popular kayaking spot and if you have your own kayaks with you, the Heritage Oak Winery will let you access the water free of charge, so long as you buy a bottle or two, of course.

Farm Images / Getty Images

Misty Acres Alpaca Farm

Location: Sidney, Maine

Whether you choose to stay for a night of your journey or use it as a base camp to explore the local area, Misty Acres Alpaca Farm gives you the option to get up close and personal with these fantastic creatures. The farm sells a selection of soft alpaca products, including socks and sweaters. The passion for alpacas is evident throughout Misty Acres, and you will be welcomed to see the property and learn all about raising your own herd. Visit in mid-summer for your best chance to see a baby alpaca, known as a cria.

The clean and modern interior of the Brengman Brothers winery.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Brengman Brothers

Location: Traverse City, Michigan

The clean, modern feel of this converted farmhouse may be at odds with the dusty cellars of your imagination, but the Brengman Brothers vineyard produces a range of excellent reds, whites, and rosé wines. Though we recommend visiting at any time of year, the trees around the vineyard come alive during fall, setting the immaculate rows of grapes against fiery copper foliage. There are regular events and dinners taking place at the winery, so be sure to check their calendar when planning your visit.

The front view of the Kansas Underground Salt Museum.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Kansas Underground Salt Museum

Location: Hutchinson, Kansas

Ride the Salt Mine Express and see what it would have been like to be a salt miner under Kansas over 50 years ago. Or explore the underground wearing a hard hat and headlamp to see the geology and inner workings of The Kansas Underground Salt Mine. Still in operation today, some of the purest salt comes from around 650 feet underground, and you can get your hands on a salty keepsake or visit the gift shop before heading back to your RV for a quiet night outside the museum.

Class C motorhome parked under the night sky
JillWellington / Pixabay

More ideas for campsite alternatives for RVers

The above list is amazing, and we highly recommend each one. But if they aren’t on your travels, then here are some more ideas:

  • Walmart parking lots: Many Walmart locations allow overnight RV parking, offering a safe and convenient option in rural areas. Be sure to check with individual store managers for permission.
  • Casino stays: Some casinos cater to RVers with designated parking areas and even hookups.
  • Fairgrounds and event centers: Many fairgrounds and event centers offer RV parking during non-event times, often with hookups and amenities. You can enjoy spacious grounds, peace and quiet, and potentially even discounted rates. Contact the fairgrounds directly to inquire about availability and rates.

Editors' Recommendations

Tom Kilpatrick
A London-born outdoor enthusiast, Tom took the first ticket out of suburban life. What followed was a twelve-year career as…
These are the travel memberships and subscriptions that are worth the money – CLEAR, Global Entry, and more
Not all travel programs are created equal
Traveler pulling a rollaboard suitcase outside an airport, sun shining directly into the camera.

From Netflix and smartphone apps to food delivery services, everyone is vying for your subscription dollars these days. Most aren’t worth the expense, in our opinion. There are a few, however, that make legitimate sense — and cents — for travelers. If you're planning to travel in the upcoming year, here are the best travel memberships and subscription services that are worth the money in 2024.

TSA PreCheck
Let’s start with the most obvious travel membership: TSA PreCheck. Even for U.S.-based travelers who only fly a handful of times per year, the recurring cost is worth the time and money. A five-year membership costs $78 (less than $16 annually). It’s guaranteed to save you hours at the airport because PreCheck passengers needn’t remove their shoes, belts, or light jackets, and can leave laptops and liquids in their carry-on luggage.

Read more
Headed to Aspen for skiing or snowboarding? Here are the 5 hotels you should stay at
These are our top picks
Hotel Jerome Aspen

Aspen, Colorado, combines winter adventure and world-class attractions like few locations. Surrounded by four ski areas — Aspen Mountain, Buttermilk, Snowmass, and Aspen Highlands — the town offers abundant options for every skier and rider. With comfortable, charming accommodations on offer, you can kick back and relax after scoring powder turns. 

But some Aspen hotels stand out from the rest. Here are our five favorites.

Read more
Jerky, trail mix, chickpeas, and more: Here are the 18 best healthy snacks to munch on during road trips
You don't have to forget about your diet on the road, you have plenty of healthy snack options
Road trip

Road trip season will be here soon enough. The carefree season of cookouts, beach days, grilling, camping, and road trips. There’s something so thrilling about stuffing your trusty car to the gills with everything you could possibly need and then hitting the road toward a brand-new destination or revisiting your favorite stomping grounds. The road trip essentials: You, your travel companions, the open road, your favorite tunes, and a bounty of snacks.
However, most of the time, road trip snacks are highly processed, sugar-laden, salty, caloric indulgences that can not only leave you feeling bloated and throw your digestive system into disarray, but they can also derail your diet and fitness goals. Though most gas stations and rest stops now offer some healthier snack options, you’ll have better luck stocking your car with nutritious options if you grocery shop ahead of time and pack a cooler before you hit the road.

Best snacks for the road that are good for you
Regardless of whether you’re a planner or prefer to wing it and pull over once hunger strikes, there are plenty of healthy snacks for road trips you can choose from. Keep reading for inspiration to come up with healthy snacks for the road.

Read more