Campground Reviews

The good, the bad, and the ugly. Not all campgrounds are created equal. A great campground can really enhance your trip, or even be a destination in itself. A bad one might lead you to question if you even really like camping to begin with. As we travel, we review the campgrounds where we stay, so look below to find out which ones we think you shouldn’t miss, and which ones to avoid.

Heading North, part 2: North Carolina

While we weren’t the least bit tired of traveling or being on the road, we were a little tired of being tourists. The weather, though it had stopped raining, had turned colder and we weren’t inspired to head to any of South Carolina’s beaches. We also decided not to head in to Charleston but instead chose a leisurely morning at the campground and then got back on I95 heading north. We reasoned that the East Continue Reading →

by

Heading North, part 1: South Carolina

Despite all of the twists and turns we encounter in more than 12,000 miles of road, we often talked about our big trip having 4 main turns. We started by turning WEST in Pennsylvania, and though we wove around to see sights and visit friends, our general direction was west. When we reached the Pacific we made a giant left turn and started heading SOUTH along the West Coast. When we reached Mexico, we made Continue Reading →

by

Dayton Beach KOA – Campground Review

Since our friends were in a housing transition and staying with family, it was important to us to be able to visit with our friends at our campsite rather than expect them to host us. The Daytona Beach KOA gave us a great location to be able to do that. Here’s our campground review (spoiler alert: it’s a good one) Price: $70 for 2 nights (not including KOA member discount) Location: convenient to most Daytona Beach Continue Reading →

by

Gulf Coast part 2: the Florida Panhandle

Continuing east into Florida, we stopped and spent a night at the Tallahassee East KOA campground. We had plans to meet up with friends in Daytona Beach for the weekend, so we did not take time to see or do anything in the area. Here’s our review: Price: $33/night after KOA member rebate Location: Convenient to I-10 in the Tallahassee area. Facilities: Great shower and bathroom facilities. The common room was comfortable, with armchairs and Continue Reading →

by

Gulf Coast, part 1: Mississippi & Alabama

Leaving New Orleans, our next destination was Daytona Beach, FL. But since that trip was over 9 hours of driving time, we broke it up and made a couple of overnight stops along the Gulf Coast. We didn’t spend much time in Mississippi, essentially just driving across the southern tip of it. But the Mississippi highlight was this exit marker off of I-10. When I was a kid, my dad traveled often for work. I always Continue Reading →

by

N’awlins

New Orleans is a city unlike any other we’ve been to, with a culture all its own. Since you could argue that this culture is built around alcohol and music, then for our purposes the music was in focus.   We took a walking tour of the French Quarter and enjoyed beautiful architecture and waterfront views. We walked through an outdoor market and went to the Jazz National Historic Park (and stamped our national park Continue Reading →

by

Remember the Alamo!

The problem is I didn’t. Remember the Alamo, that is. I remembered that we’re supposed to remember the Alamo, but I couldn’t remember why. As we crossed Texas, we spent a night at the San Antonio KOA and decided to spend part of the day checking out the Alamo before heading on to Houston. In between the time of our visit and when I’m actually writing this, I’ll admit that I’ve forgotten most of it Continue Reading →

by

Problems in Fort Stockton

Texas is big. That may seem obvious, and we knew that but it wasn’t until we decided to cross it that we understood it from experience. To go from visiting our friends in El Paso to visiting our friends in Houston, given our self-imposed 4 hour per day driving limit, was going to take several days. So why did we stay in Fort Stockton? Well, we looked at our route from El Paso to Houston, Continue Reading →

by

Alamogordo NM/White Sands National Monument

I had never heard of White Sands National Monument before we started planning our trip through New Mexico. Maybe it’s because I’m from the East Coast and I had never heard anyone talking about going there, but this gem of a park was not on our radar until we started looking for a stop-over to break up the trip between Albuquerque and El Paso, TX. Our visit to the park began at the visitor’s center Continue Reading →

by

Petrified Forest National Park and the Holbrook/Petrified Forest KOA

Petrified Forest National Park was another of those stops that was never on our original itinerary. Our next planned stop was Albuquerque, but the drive there was longer than we wanted to do in a single day. As I sat in the little room at the Grand Canyon Community Library and searched the web for a good place to stop between Grand Canyon and Albuquerque, I stumbled upon Petrified Forest National Park. Only about 20 Continue Reading →

by

Camping in Grand Canyon National Park

There are a number of campgrounds and RV parks along the road as you approach Grand Canyon National Park. I’m sure they all have their advantages, but we loved the idea of being able to just park the car for a few days and get around on foot and using the shuttle bus system. There are several campground options within the national park itself, but only Trailer Village has hook-ups. So we chose Trailer Village Continue Reading →

by

Blake Ranch RV Park – Kingman

Our next destination was the Grand Canyon. But the drive from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon was a little longer than our typical day’s drive (Google maps predicted 4 hrs and 40 min). Adding in our stop at the Hoover Dam, we decided to stop for a night in between and chose the Blake Ranch RV Park in Kingman, AZ. Their rates were really reasonable, even after they charged us extra for the kids. Continue Reading →

by

Viva Las Vegas

A little known fact about Las Vegas: there is a campground on “the Strip”. There’s a wall around most of it for security and sound-dampening, so if you’re not looking for it, you probably wouldn’t see it. But nevertheless, there is a large parking lot behind Circus Circus, and it’s run by KOA. Really there’s very little about camping on the Strip that would usually be described as camping, outside of the fact that we Continue Reading →

by

Hits and Misses in the California High Desert

Calico Ghost Town

(Fear not, loyal reader… after a brief hiatus when celebrating Christmas and the New Year with our families took priority over blogging, we’re back. We WILL continue sharing our trip and we’ll hopefully finish before memories start to fade. Thanks for sticking with us and for your patience!) Our last night spent in California was a stop at the KOA in Barstow, in the high desert enroute to Nevada. The scenery was beautiful and despite Continue Reading →

by

Camping in San Diego

Welcome back! My apologies for the recent blogging hiatus. I realize it wasn’t clear whether the blog would continue to recount the rest of our adventures even after we have returned home. I will continue writing it for myself even if no one continues to read. But I hope you will, because there’s still about a third of our trip left to share. Now that our kiddos are semi-recovered from jet lag, it may be Continue Reading →

by

Oceano Washout

Travel Route

One more night on our way to Santa Barbara. We stayed at the Oceano Campground in Pismo Beach, which is a San Luis Obispo State Park. We weren’t far from Santa Barbara, but we were waiting for our friends to get home. We picked Oceano because it was easy walking distance to a beach, a duck pond and a large playground. The plan was to stay the night then spend as much time there as Continue Reading →

by

Pinnacles National Monument

We worked our way slowly south through California for many reasons. The weather was amazing and there was so much to see and do. We also felt like California is so far away from where we usually are when we’re in the US that we’re unlikely to get back there again any time soon. And at this particular point in our trip through California, we were trying to time it right to see our friends Continue Reading →

by

Monterey

Our next stop in California was along the coast between Santa Cruz and Monterey, at the Santa Cruz/Monterey Bay KOA (creative name, I know). At over $50 per night (before our member discount) for the most basic campsite, this was by far the most expensive campground we’d stayed in yet. In fact, we chose to stay an extra night in San Francisco because the weekend rate for the same site was over $70. On the Continue Reading →

by

Redwood Area Campgrounds

We stayed in three different campgrounds as we made our way south through the northern California/Redwood area: Hiouchi RV Park, Sounds of the Sea, and Albion River Campground. Here are reviews of all three: Hiouchi RV Park Price: $31/night Location: Just outside the entrance to Jedediah Smith Redwood State Park, a 10 mile drive from Crescent City Site description: gravel and grass; some sites had a concrete slab Facilities: adequate bathroom/shower facilities. Showers were not Continue Reading →

by

Crater Lake

Sparkling and radiant blue and surrounded by rugged cliffs, Crater Lake is instantly captivating and breathtakingly beautiful. We visited Crater Lake National Park on a sunny Saturday and spent the day exploring the park and once again marveling at God’s amazing handiwork. We drove the loop around the lake, which seems to be very popular with cyclists, and stopped at various overlooks and view points. The lake appears so different from different perspectives, including an Continue Reading →

by