22 Feb

Campground Review #69 Yogi at Shangri La in Milton, Pennsylvania

On this episode of the Campground of the Week podcast, we are reviewing the Yogi at Shangri-La in Milton, Pennsylvania. This campground is part of the Yogi Bear Jellystone Park Camp Resorts family, and is a great example of the activities and amenities that many Jellystones offer.


Yogi at Shangri-La is located in eastern Pennsylvania, about 75 miles north of Hershey and 100 northwest of Lancaster County. The campground is nestled at the foot of the Montour Ridge, along the Chillisquaque Creek in the Susquehanna Valley.

This campground is a great place for a family getaway, offering everything you need right on site to chill out and have fun. In fact, the only times we left over our long weekend visit was to eat (twice!) at the amazing Road Food joint, Fence Drive-In. The fish platter, fish sandwiches, and milkshakes hit the spot for our whole family.

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15 Feb

Campground Review #68 Grand Canyon Trailer Village RV Park, Grand Canyon National Park

On this episode of Campground of the Week, Kerri Cox of TravelswithBirdy.com reviews Grand Canyon Trailer Village RV Park. We are calling this a Campground Smackdown, because Kate Dunbar reviewed the Grand Canyon Railway RV Park back on Episode #28. Listen to both episodes to get a complete picture of your camping options when visiting Grand Canyon National Park.


Kerri Cox was happy that her family decided to stay at the Grand Canyon Trailer Village RV Park, mostly because of the location. The Grand Canyon is notoriously difficult to navigate during peak season because of the crowd congestion, and Kerri felt that camping in the park made it easier to get in and out.

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08 Feb

Campground Review: Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground in Disney World, Florida

On this episode of Campground of the Week, we are reviewing what may be America’s favorite campground of all time: Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground in Disney World, Florida.

After camping at Fort Wilderness, we can honestly say that it has earned every bit of it’s stellar reputation. Simply put, we will never stay anywhere else on return trips to Disney World.

If you are planning a trip to Disney World, one of the most important things to know is that Fort Wilderness is considered a Disney Resort property, which means that you will enjoy the benefits of staying ‘on property’: early dining reservations, early Fast Pass booking, and access to daily extra Magic Hours. You will also have access to Disney transportation: busses and boats connect Fort Wilderness to all the other Disney properties and parks.

This is a ‘paired podcast episode’. To hear a complete breakdown of our time at the most magical place on earth, also listen to RV Family Travel Atlas Episode #128: Greetings from Walt Disney World! We review Fort Wilderness here on Campground of the Week, and everything else about our stay on the RVFTA podcast.

Campground Basics

Fort Wilderness is located in the heart of the Disney property, situated on Bay Lake with the Magic Kingdom directly to the north and all the other parks to the south. This campground is ENORMOUS, with over 750 acres of land, about 800 campsites, and about 400 cabins.

The campground is organized in ‘loops’ numbered from 100-2800. The 100 loop is closest to the Settlement, and the 2800 loop is closest to the Outpost. The 600-900 loops are situated near the Meadows area in the middle of Fort Wilderness.

Technically, Disney will not guarantee a site, or allow you to book a specific loop or site. However, they do take requests and it seems that those requests are honored more often than not. There are 4 types of sites: premium, preferred, full hook up, and partial hook up. Here is how that breaks down according to loop:

Loop 100 – Preferred
Loop 200 – Preferred
Loop 300 – Preferred (Pet friendly loop)
Loop 400 – Premium (Pet friendly loop)
Loop 500 – Premium (Pet friendly loop)
Loop 600 – Premium (Pet friendly loop)
Loop 700 – Premium (Pet friendly loop)
Loop 800 – Premium (Pet friendly loop)
Loop 900 – Premium (Pet friendly loop)
Loop 1000 – Premium
Loop 1100 – Premium
Loop 1200 – Premium
Loop 1300 – Premium
Loop 1400 – Premium
Loop 1500 – Partial
Loop 1600 – Full (Pet friendly loop)
Loop 1700 – Full (Pet friendly loop)
Loop 1800 – Full (Pet friendly loop)
Loop 1900 – Full (Pet friendly loop)
Loop 2000 – Partial

Listen to the episode to hear us share recommendations for other podcast listeners about their favorite loops and why they love them!

We stayed in loop 900 and would be thrilled to get that same location again. It was great to be so close to the pool, trading post, and the campfire area. Plus, the sites were private and huge, backing up to a quiet, wooded area with a walking path.

The price range at Fort Wilderness is $53-$163 per night for a campsite, and $309-$539 for a cabin. You need to book far in advance no matter when you are going–we visited during one of the quietest times of year and the campground was at 100% capacity.

Campground Activities and Amenities

Fort Wilderness offers an amazing array of amenities and activities, and you will definitely want to schedule time during your stay to simply enjoy the campground. Listen to the episode to hear our tips on balancing park time with campground time!

Fort Wilderness has all the standards of a resort campground:

  • Pools
  • Walking and Biking paths
  • Playgrounds
  • Basketball and Volleyball courts
  • Fishing

But then also adds some pretty unique offerings:

  • Tri Circle D Ranch with pony rides and carriage rides
  • Archery
  • Segway Tours
  • Boat rentals
  • Bike rentals
  • Fishing gear rentals

Plus, Fort Wilderness offers legendary entertainment:

  • Chip and Dale’s Campfire Sing along at the Meadows Recreation Area
  • Hoop De Doo Review
  • Mickey’s Backyard BBQ

And other restaurant options:

  • Trail’s End Restaurant
  • PJs Southern Takeout
  • Crocket’s Tavern

The bottom line is that a stay at Fort Wilderness will probably be one of the most magical campground experiences of your life. We are already obsessing about a return trip. In the meantime, say hi to Mickey for us.

See you at the campground!

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01 Feb

Campground Review #66 Fort De Soto Campground near St. Petersburg, Florida

Campground Review: Fort De Soto Park Campground

On this episode of Campground of the Week, we review the Fort De Soto Park Campground, about 20 miles south of St. Petersburg, Florida. Fort De Soto Park Campground is a perennial favorite for native Floridians and for the snow birds that flock down to the Sunshine State every winter.

And it is easy to see why. Simply put, this is one of the most beautiful campgrounds we have ever seen, and we can imagine returning again and again if it was in our own backyard.

Campground Details: Fort De Soto Park Campground

The campground is located in Fort De Soto Park, part of the Pinellas County Park System. There are 238 camp sites, spread out over three loops. This is one of those campgrounds where it pays to study the map–each loop has distinctive characteristics and rig requirements:

  • Area 1 allows tents, vans, pop ups, and trailers under 16 feet.
  • Area 2 allows all rigs and is pet friendly.
  • Area 3 allows all rigs and NO PETS.

Make sure you pick an appropriate site for your family! This campground document is very helpful…

The great news is that all three areas offer waterfront sites and spacious pull thrus. Every site also has water and electric hook ups, with dump stations easily accessible from each area.

Sites become available six months in advance, and you actually need to book that far ahead if you want your pick of spots. This campground routinely sells out, so don’t expect to show up and park on a waterfront site on a whim. Take a listen to the episode to hear about the other amenities available in Fort De Soto Park Campground.

Surrounding Activities and Attractions

On this episode of Campground of the Week, we only talk about the activities available within Fort De Soto Park itself. This is because we have an entire segment on the St. Petersburg/Tampa area on our RVFTA podcast this week. Head on over to RVFTA episode #127 to hear our interview with native Floridian, Courtney Parish, who shares all the best attractions in this area.

Fort De Soto Park is over 1,000 acres and is beautifully arranged for visitors who want to enjoy the natural beauty and historical significance of this location. While you are here, check out:

  • North Beach, East Beach, and the designated dog beach
  • Boat ramps and fishing piers for easy water access
  • 7 miles of paved, multi-purpose trails, perfect for walking and biking
  • 2-mile, self-guided canoe and kayak trail
  • Historic Fort, with self-guided tour available here.

After our brief visit, we can see why so many people say this is one of their favorite campgrounds in Florida. Make those reservations way in advance, and enjoy your stay at this gem in the Sunshine State!

See you at the campground!

A big thank you to our sponsors who support weekly content for all our camping and RVing fools:

 

26 Jan

Campground Review #65 Lincoln/Woodstock KOA in the White Mountains of New Hampshire

On this episode of Campground of the Week, we are reviewing one of our very favorite New England campgrounds–the Lincoln/Woodstock KOA in the White Mountains of New Hampshire.

This is a perfect example of a well-operated campground, with owners that tend to the details and create a fun and welcoming space. The White Mountains is full of adventure and this is the perfect place to stay while exploring this storied region of New Hampshire.

The campground has a wide variety of sites, from premium patio sites to wilderness sites. Definitely study the campground map when deciding what will be best for your family when staying here.

The Lincoln/Woodstock KOA also offers a complete roster of amenities:

  • Pool
  • Bounce Pad
  • Volleyball court
  • Sports Field
  • Playground
  • Disc Golf
  • Fishing Pond
  • Game Room
  • Well-stocked campstore

Plus, we love the daily campground activities that are offered all summer:

  • Face Painting
  • Bingo
  • Wagon rides
  • laser tag
  • tie dye

The White Mountains has more area attractions than we could ever talk about in a short podcast, but here are a few of our favorites:

We also wrote about the White Mountains of New Hampshire on the Go RVing Blog and in our most recent book, Idiot’s Guide to RV Vacations.

Thanks to our sponsors for supporting weekly content for all our camping fools:

18 Jan

Campground Review #64 Americamps RV Resort near Richmond, Virginia

On this episode of Campground of the Week, we review the Americamps RV Resort near Richmond, Virginia.

 

This campground review is a bit different that our normal reviews in that we recommend this campground mostly as a great stopover point if you are traveling north or south on I95. This is one of the most heavily trafficked corridors for RV travel, so we know that having a great place to get rested and refreshed is important for many road trippers.

Americamps RV Resort is definitely not a resort campground according to our personal definition, however it is a lovely campground just minutes off of I95, about 8 miles north of Richmond.

The campground has everything you need after a long day on the road, including:

  • Pool
  • Playground
  • Fitness Room
  • Cornhole
  • Dog Park
  • Horshoes
  • Campstore

The long pull thru sites allow RVers to stay overnight without unhitching, if that is your preference. Free ice cream in the evening and a free waffle breakfast in the morning are just a couple of the extra touches that make this a memorable stopover on a long RV journey.

If you do want to spend more than one night at Americamps RV Resort, there are plenty of local attractions to keep you occupied. On this episode we discuss:

Some RVers are happy pulling into a Walmart or Cracker Barrel to break up a long drive. We prefer to stop at a campground that is close to our route and offers our family the chance to stretch our legs. Americamps RV Resort is an example of a perfect stopover campground.

Thanks to our sponsors for supporting weekly content for all our camping fools!

See you at the campground!

11 Jan

Campground Review #63 My Old Kentucky Home State Park in Bardstown, Kentucky

On this episode of Campground of the Week, our guest correspondent Casita Dean reviews My Old Kentucky Home State Park in Bardstown, Kentucky. Dean is a big fan of the Kentucky State Parks system and wholeheartedly recommends their network of campgrounds, lodges, cabins, golf courses, and restaurants.

Campground Details

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04 Jan

Campground Review #62 Branches of Niagara Campground and Resort in Grand Island, New York near Niagara Falls

On this podcast episode of Campground of the Week, we are reviewing Branches of Niagara Campground and Resort in Grand Island, New York near Niagara Falls State Park.

The Campground

This campground is a short 15-minute drive from the American falls and the city of Buffalo, and our family had a wonderful time there enjoying the close proximity to regional highlights paired with great resort amenities and activities.

Branches of Niagara is a newer campground that has only been open for about six years. Right now there are about 80 RV and tent sites, ranging from back in to pull thrus and offering 30 amp and 50 amp sites, some with just water and electric, some with full sewer. The range of prices reflects the range of the campsites and you should expect to pay anywhere from $40-$100 depending on your site and the time of your visit. The campground does offer a Good Sam and military discount.

Branches of Niagara has an 8-acre lake with a swimming area and beach, fishing, boat rentals, and two zip lines, one for the little kids and one for the big folks. There is also a swimming pool, playground, bocce ball court, horseshoe pit, mini golf course, basketball court, and volleyball net.

We particularly love the attention to family friendly activities. The staff offer a wonderful daily schedule of events including craft time, face painting, nature shows, field games, and more. While we were there, there was bird house building, bracelet making, and a visiting reptile exhibit.

Listen to hear our insider details and recommendations for improving the RVing experience at this campground.

Area Activities and Attractions

Also listen to hear our recommendations for regional activities and attractions including tips for visiting:

Niagara Falls is a huge tourist attraction, but we truly believe it is worth battling the crowds to see this awesome site. Branches of Niagara Campground and Resort is the perfect family-friendly place to stay, offering a great outdoors complement to tourist attractions.

Thanks to our sponsors for supporting weekly podcast content for all our RV and camping fools:

See you at the campground!

Stephanie + Jeremy

29 Dec

Campground Review #61 Ventura Beach RV Park in Ventura Beach, California

On this episode of Campground of the Week, Kate Dunbar returns to her old California stomping ground and gives us a great review of Ventura Beach RV Park in Ventura Beach, California.

This campground is a short 15-minute walk to the beautiful beaches of Ventura (or just 10 minutes along the gorgeous and well-maintained bike path) where you will find opportunities for surfing, paddle boarding, kayaking, bird watching, scuba diving, and sand castle building. It is also within biking distance of downtown shopping and dining.

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22 Dec

Campground Review #60 Colter Bay RV Park in Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

On this podcast episode of Campground of the Week, Kerri Cox from travelswithbirdy.com shares a review of the Colter Bay RV Park in Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming. Kerri loved this national park campground, and highly recommends that visitors take the time to truly enjoy the epic beauty of the Grand Tetons.

Colter Bay RV Park is one of the national park campgrounds run by a concessionaire, which means you will find amenities like water and electric hookups, but the prices will also be higher than many other public campgrounds. The most important thing you need to know? This campground books out long in advance and if you are planning on staying at Colter Bay RV Park, then you need to make your reservations today.

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