5 Great Campgrounds Within Driving Distance

posted by Jeff Cecil -

Whether it's in a tent, pop-up, class C or A, it's always fun to get away for a weekend. Forget about work for a few days and just enjoy nature, good company and possible a beer or two (or a lot more)

My wife and I love camping and go every chance we get. There's something about a good campground that keeps you coming back again and again. So, I've put together a list of campgrounds we visit frequently and certainly enjoy our time at every one. Any you want to add to the list? We're always up for exploring new places to go.

Harvest Farms Campground

1.5 hours from Rochester

3690 318th Ave - Cresco, IA


This is, by far, one of our favorite places to camp. It's very "family friendly" and there's always fun things for the kids to do.  There's a huge playground as well. Not to mention the occasional "hay ride", etc. The Upper Iowa River runs close by so tubing is a must. You can bring your own tube or they rent them on the premises. Get yourself a tube and a full cooler and you're good to go. It's a good 2-3 hours and it's a blast! The campsites are spacious and there's plenty of them. They just added new sites to the other side of the campground, closer to the river. Another great thing about this campground, if you need something, you just go to the office and get it. A mini "store" on site (as well as a hairdresser) with everything you'll need, including beer or any other camping supplies. Get what you need and it all goes on your bill that you pay at the end of the weekend. So, no need to have cash on hand every time you go to the "store."  If you've got a golf cart, by all means, bring it with you, decorate it up and join in the occasional golf cart parade. There's so much more to this campground. It's definitely worth a trip, year after year, again and again.  Check out their video, here.


Oxbow Park

20 minutes from Rochester

5731 County Rd 105 NW - Byron, MN

This one, if you live in or around Rochester, is a little closer to home. Another one that's great for the kids with Zollman Zoo, right next door. Nice, spacious sites. Either water and electric or primitive sites available. Check out a piece ABC6 did on the zoo. 


Wildcat Landing and Campground

1 hour 18 minutes from Rochester

11011 State 26 - Brownsville, MN

This campground offers a great view of the Mississippi. Plus, if you've got a boat, jet skis, a pontoon or any kind of watercraft, you're in luck. There's a boat landing, on site. Spacious sites with primitive and water & electric sites with a lot of mature trees for shade.


Edge of the Dells Campground

2 hours 17 minutes from Rochester

N555 US 12 & 16 - Wisconsin Dells, WI

If you're looking for a more "adult" campground, this is the place to be. They don't allow people under 21. There's a great bar on site with cold beer and delicious food. The sites are pretty big and they also have cabins for rent. We went in the fall but if you happen to go in the Summer, they've got a pool right outside the bar for volleyball, etc. Not to mention, an outside bar. Great place for a weekend away from the kids. 


Flambeau Lodge Resort & Campground

3 hours and 23 minutes from Rochester

N7870 Flambeau Rd. Ladysmith, WI 

We haven't been here for a few years but plan to make a trip there again this Summer. They do happen to have a cabin on site and when we were there, (MANY times over the years) they did have a few electric sites as well as a lot of primitive sites. This place is great because it's right on the Flambeau River. When you set up, you're right on the shore. This is optimal for kids that like to fish or if you want kayak or canoe (they use to rent them) you can do so. A great place to launch a boat and there's definitely some good fishing!  

We plan to hit a few different sites this year. Champions Riverside Bar & Grill is one we've heard a lot about so we plan to hit that up for the Cinco de Mayo weekend and a couple KOA's in the Dells. Wherever you camp, if it's not on the list, let me know about it. We're always looking for a new place.

Happy camping!

#campfire

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