Top Camping Spots Along the Essex Coastal Scenic Byway

June 14, 2023

Exploring the Essex Coastal Scenic Byway provides breathtaking coastal views, rich history, and a multitude of outdoor activities. For nature and camping enthusiasts alike, it also offers several fantastic camping locations! Beautiful sunsets, a refreshing ocean breeze, spending the night under the stars, what could be better? Learn more about these five must-visit coastal camping spots that can be found along the Byway.

Salisbury Beach State Reservation

Photo Credit: Mark Ouellette

Address: State Reservation Road , Salisbury, MA 01952

The Salisbury Beach State Reservation is the perfect destination for beach lovers and who also like to camp. This scenic campground offers direct access to beautiful Salisbury Beach, making it an ideal spot for sunbathing, swimming, and beachside picnics. The campground provides various amenities, including restrooms, showers, and a camp store. With over 450 campsites available, this is a popular spot for trailer camping as well. Ranging from traditional tent only sites to full-hookup RV sites, Salisbury Beach State Reservation caters to a wide range of camping preferences.

Cape Ann Camp Site

Address: 80 Atlantic Street, Gloucester, MA 01930

Nestled in the vibrant coastal city of Gloucester, Cape Ann Camp Site offers a serene camping experience surrounded by natural beauty. This family-owned campground provides an amazing atmosphere with spacious campsites and well-maintained facilities. Offered amenities include clean restrooms, hot showers, laundry facilities, and a camp store. Each of its 200-plus sites are all unique. Whether you have an RV and would like a full hookup site with a water view or you have a simple tent and love the shade, Cape Ann Camp Site has a spot for you, your family, and your pet.

Winter Island Park

Address: Winter Island Road, Salem, MA 01970

Winter Island, connected to the mainland in Salem, has an interesting history and is a great spot for camping goers. Located on a scenic peninsula, this campground offers stunning harbor views and easy access to Waikiki Beach. There are campsites for recreational vehicles, a boat launch, picnic areas, a bathhouse, and Fort Pickering which is a 17th-century historic fort. A visit here makes a lovely getaway in combination with nearby Salem Willows Park, a great site to enjoy some arcade games and good eats.

While staying at Winter Island, take the opportunity to explore Salem’s rich maritime history!

Bakers Island Light Station

Address: Bakers Island, Salem, MA (accessible via boat or kayak only)

Bakers Island Light Station is a historic lighthouse property that offers camping opportunities through Hipcamp. Located on Bakers Island off the coast of Salem, this secluded and exclusive camping spot provides a remarkable setting surrounded by ocean views and fascinating history. Staying here allows you to immerse yourself in the tranquil beauty of the island while enjoying amenities such as restroom facilities and access to tours of the light station. Camping out at Bakers Island Light is a once in a lifetime experience you’ll never forget!

You can check availability for Bakers Island Light Campsite on Hipcamp and reserve a date for family or friends.

Enjoy the outdoors? Check out our blog post on Water Activities and Rentals on the Essex Coastal Scenic Byway.