Plan a Military Vacation at One of These 13 Army MWR Lodging Facilities

This post may contain affiliate links, from which Poppin' Smoke earns a small commission at no cost to you. Thanks for your support of this free website.
Snowcapped mountains next to blue water
Seward Alaska, the location of Seward Military Resort (photo: Humans Outside)

Need affordable vacation ideas? The Army has you covered! They have recreation areas around the world where you can relax and enjoy a family-friendly getaway. Check out these 13 ideas to get you started!

Visit each facility website for more details, pricing, and reservations. Most of these Army recreation areas are open to disabled veterans who are not also retired from the military, but contact them directly for confirmation. In some cases eligibility information on their respective websites is not current.

Seward Military Resort (Seward, AK)

A building with a flag in front and mountains in the background
Photo: Seward Military Resort

This Army resort has something to offer in any season, from kayaking on glacier lakes in summer to cross-country skiing and snowmobiling in winter.

One of the coolest things about Seward is the incredible tours they offer, which take advantage of experiences that are uniquely Alaska! A few examples are dog sled tours, glacier and wildlife cruises, and charter fishing (the resort has a fish-cleaning house!). They also offer discount tickets to a variety of other local experiences.

Accommodations include motel rooms, spacious townhouses, log cabins, RV sites (full hookups), plus yurt and tent camping.

Apache Flats RV Resort (Sierra Vista, AZ)

Sunset over mountains
Sunset over the Huachuca Mountains (photo: Randy AuBuchon via Shutterstock)

This off-the-beaten-path military campground is less than a mile from Fort Huachuca in southern Arizona. A popular military RV park for snowbirds, it’s a tranquil space at the foot of the Huachuca Mountains.

Take advantage of the many recreational opportunities offered through the base, including: equipment rentals; a batting cage; horseback riding lessons and guided trail rides offered by the base’s stable; and Mountain View Golf Course, Fort Huachuca’s aptly named 18-hole championship course.

Apache Flats has 56 full hookup RV sites.

Destin Army Recreation Center (Destin, FL)

A colorful Florida skyline and bridge
An aerial view of the colorful Destin area (photo: pisaphotography via Shutterstock)

This Army resort is on Florida’s famous Emerald Coast, but it’s an activity of Fort Moore (formerly Fort Benning) in Georgia. The resort has a swimming pool and splash park, plus a marina (open March – October) that rents pontoon boats, jet skis, kayaks, and paddle boards.

A short distance from Destin’s lively HarborWalk Village, the resort has easy access to many shops, restaurants, and family-friendly activities. Destin Army Recreation Center does not have its own beach, but Eglin AFB Beach Park, a military-only beach, is right across the Destin Bridge.

Choose from a variety of lodging options, including 2- and 3-bedroom villas, hotel style rooms of varying sizes, and full service RV sites.

Pililaau Army Recreation Center (Waianae, HI)

Small, gray cottages with porches
The beach cabins at Pililaau (photo: U.S. Army)

This low-key resort on Oahu’s Pokai Bay is away from the hustle and bustle of the Honolulu area. Located on the west side of Oahu, the surrounding area is where “locals” live.

Enjoy the beautiful stretch of beach only steps away from your cabin, and catch an epic sunset from Beach House by 604, the on-site restaurant.

Cabins are fully furnished and range in size from studio to 3 bedrooms.

| Related Reading: Guide to Hawaii Military Resorts

Tokyo Recreational Lodging (Tokyo, Japan)

A room with a gray couch and orange chair
The living room of our suite at Hardy Barracks

Quite possibly the best deal in Tokyo, this facility operated by Camp Zama offers spacious suites in Roppongi, one of the city’s most popular areas.

Better known as Hardy Barracks, it’s located on a small U.S. Army installation called Akasaka Press Center. The only other building on the base is the Stars & Stripes Asia headquarters, which also houses a Mini Mart and fitness center, both of which are available to guests staying at Hardy Barracks.

This facility does not have amenities like the nearby New Sanno Hotel, but the price is right, and you have all of Tokyo as your playground!

| Related Reading: 5 Japan Destinations You Can Visit and Stay on a U.S. Military Base

Camp Carlson Army Recreational Area (Muldraugh, KY)

A large cabin with rocking chairs in front
One of the new cabins at Camp Carlson (photo: Fort Knox MWR)

An activity of Fort Knox, Camp Carlson offers a year-round military getaway about 30 miles southwest of Louisville, KY. This recreation area on the shores of 25-acre Carlson Lake is a great place to relax and enjoy nature.

Camp Carlson’s 2- and 3-bedroom family cottages just opened in September 2023. They also have 56 RV sites, tent camping, and a few rustic group cabins (with bunkbeds) suitable for parties of up to 16.

Lake of the Ozarks Recreation Area (Linn Creek, MO)

A wood cabin surrounded by trees
A cabin at LORA (photo: Fort Leonard Wood MWR)

Fort Leonard Wood operates this popular family destination, also called LORA. It’s located about 50 miles northwest of the base. Bordering Lake of the Ozarks, one of the largest man-made lakes in the U.S., LORA is an outdoor-lover’s paradise.

The facility is open year-round, but you should visit between March and October if you want to take advantage of the marina, which rents various motorized boats, water skis, and jet skis!

LORA offers a range of accommodations, including 1-, 2- and 3-bedroom cabins, plus full and partial RV hookup sites.

Round Pond Outdoor Recreation Area (West Point, NY)

Two small cabins surrounded by autumn leaves
Autumn at Round Lake Recreation Area (photo: West Point MWR)

Enjoy a getaway in Upstate New York at this recreation area operated by the United States Military Academy. Located minutes away from the Academy (off the installation) in a beautiful, wooded area, Round Pond offers 10 mini log cabins (max of four guests), a rental cottage (accommodates up to six), plus RV and tent camping.

The lake, stocked with bass, catfish, and other pan fish has two fishing piers and a small sand beach. You can rent non-motorized watercraft, bait, and other equipment at the main office.

This facility is open April through November.

Lake Elmer Thomas Recreation Center (Fort Sill, OK)

cabins on a lake with mountains in the background
Lakefront cabins on Lake Elmer Thomas (photo: Fort Sill MWR)

This large recreation area in a beautiful, mountainous region of Oklahoma is an activity of Fort Sill but is open to the public. Located 12 miles northwest of the garrison, it’s also convenient to popular area attractions, including the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge and the resort town of Medicine Park.

The facility is open year-round, but activities vary by season. In the summer, enjoy swimming in the lake, a water slide, and paddle boat, kayak, and canoe rentals. Year-round activities include biking and hiking, fishing (they offer boat rental), paint ball, an archery range, and an 18-hole mini golf course.

Lodging options are 10 furnished cabins of varying sizes, 45 full hookup RV sites, and camping.

Tobyhanna Villas (Tobyhanna, PA)

A cabin with a porch
One of the Tobyhanna Villas (photo: Tobyhanna MWR)

Take an affordable vacation in the Pocono Mountains by staying at the villas on Tobyhanna Army Depot. The area has year-round activities, including hiking, golf, boating, fishing, hunting, snowmobiling, and skiing. Tobyhanna is within 30 minutes of numerous ski resorts, state parks, lakes, and golf courses.

They offer fully furnished 2- and 3-bedroom vacation homes, plus 1-bedroom suites.

Weston Lake Recreation Area (Hopkins, SC)

A large wood cabin in the woods
A cabin at Weston Lake Recreation Area (photo: Fort Jackson MWR)

This Army Recreation Area is an activity of Fort Jackson and is only a few minutes from the base. Situated on a quiet lake surrounded by tall pine trees, it offers fully-furnished 1- and 2-bedroom cabins, rustic camping cabins, and an RV campground that’s a favorite among military RVers.

The lake has a small sand beach and dock, plus you can rent canoes, paddle boats, kayaks, and other recreational equipment. Other activities include fishing and swimming (summer only).

Belton Lake Outdoor Recreation Area (Belton, TX)

sunrise over a calm lake
Sunrise over Belton Lake (photo: Krumpelman Photography via Shutterstock)

Fort Cavazos (formerly Fort Hood) operates this beatiful recreation area, locally known as “BLORA.” Located about 14 miles northeast of the base, BLORA is on the shore of 12K acre Lake Belton. It has a beach, trails for hiking, biking, and horseback riding, plus numerous picnic areas. Rent kayaks, canoes and other recreational equipment at the base’s Recreation Equipment Checkout Center.

BLORA offers furnished cottages, each with screened porch and barbecue grill, plus both full and partial hookup RV sites.

Fort Belvoir Travel Camp (Fort Belvoir, VA)

RVs parked on a grassy area by a river
Fort Belvoir Travel Camp (photo: Chickery’s Travels)

The campground on Fort Belvoir, about 20 miles south of Washington, DC offers a relaxing getaway surrounded by nature with easy access to the DC area attractions.

The camp itself is along the shore of the Potomac River, in close proximity to Accotink Wildlife Refuge and its many hiking trails. While there, you can fish from one of the two fishing piers and rent boats, bikes, and other recreational equipment from the base Outdoor Recreation office.

For those who come in their own rig, Fort Belvoir Travel camp has 52 full hookup sites. They also have travel trailers and a rustic cabin available for rent.

* * *

Looking for more military recreational lodging? Learn all about the many MWR resorts, hotels, and campgrounds here!

And stay tuned for articles featuring MWR facilities run by other branches of service!

The appearance of U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) visual information does not imply or constitute DoD endorsement.

Good article? Share it!

4 thoughts on “Plan a Military Vacation at One of These 13 Army MWR Lodging Facilities”

  1. Thanx, Stephanie!

    Great article. We have stayed at numerous Military RV Campgrounds in our 42 ft Class A Motorhome.

    Your list and descriptions will be very helpful in planning our next adventures.

    Wishing you and yours a Very Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas!

    Bob & Carol Cain
    ** PS. We will return to San Sebastian (Donostia) Spain for a few weeks in March 2024. We love the Basque Country and would enjoy meeting you for Pintxos and Txakoli!!

  2. We love your post and put them all in a folder we are getting ready to use your recommend travels soon thank you for you knowledge and post.

Comments are closed.