31 May

Campground Review #83 Jellystone Park Hagerstown in Williamsport, Maryland

We have had a lot of great stays at Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park Camp Resorts, but Hagerstown has shot to the top of the list after our stay there last weekend.

Located in northern Maryland, just a mile from I-81, this area is often referred to as the “Crossroads of the Civil War.” The Hagerstown Jellystone is less than an hour and a half from both Washington DC and Baltimore, making this a fantastic weekend escape option for residents of those urban areas.

The Campsites

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26 Apr

Campground Review #78 Gettysburg/Battlefield KOA Holiday near Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

Campground Review: Gettysburg/Battlefield KOA Holiday

On this episode of Campground of the Week, we are reviewing the Gettysburg/Battlefield KOA Holiday which is located just outside of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania and is a short 10-minute drive to the Gettysburg National Military Park.

We planned on using the Gettysburg/Battlefield KOA as a basecamp to explore the area nearby, including the national park site and historic downtown. We never imagined that the campground itself would charm the socks off of these very seasoned campers. We have stayed at hundreds of campgrounds around the country, and this one checks off all the boxes, offering warm hospitality, beautifully maintained grounds, spacious and level sites, and plenty of family-friendly activities for all ages.

The Gettysburg/Battlefield KOA has tons of amenities including:

  • heated pool
  • bouncy pillow
  • playground
  • dog park
  • recreational games such as corn hole, carpet ball, shuffleboard, and horseshoes
  • weekend pancake breakfast
  • on-site nature trail

They also offer plenty of activities:

  • bike rentals
  • shuttle tours for the battlefield
  • Thursday night ghost stories
  • rotating weekend activities (we participated in the flashlight egg hunt while there)

Listen to the episode to hear our insider tips for site selection and booking, plus our nobody’s perfect feedback.

We also chat about the local attractions, including the star of the show: Gettysburg National Military Park. A visit to this NPS site requires some advance planning and scheduling so listen for our recommendations on:

We also had a great meal at Food 101, coffee and treats at the Ragged Edge Coffee House, and enjoyed exploring the historic downtown.

A big thanks to our awesome sponsors for supporting weekly content for all our RV and camping fools:

We’ll see you at the campground,

Stephanie + Jeremy

29 Mar

Campground Review #74: Townsend/Great Smokies KOA in Townsend, Tennessee

On this episode of Campground of the Week, we are reviewing the Townsend/Great Smokies KOA in Townsend, Tennessee.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the most visited national park in the country, and we covered both the North Carolina and Tennessee side extensively over on our RV Family Travel Atlas Podcast a little while back. Make sure to take a listen to these episodes if you are planning a trip to the Smokies. We gave a ton of recommendations for hikes, activities, and good eats:

The Townsend KOA is located on the Tennessee side of the Smokies in the small and charming town of Townsend, just about 7 miles from the Cades Cove loop drive, one of the most popular places in the national park. This area is sometimes called the “Peaceful Side of the Smokies” and if you are looking to stay away from the hustle and bustle of Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg, or Cherokee this might be the perfect option.

This is branded as a Holiday KOA, which means it offers upgraded amenities and activities while providing a great basecamp for exploring the local area. With about 100 sites for RVs and tents, and a few dozen cabins, you will need to book early if visiting during the peak summer season.

Amenities:

  • Pool
  • Playground
  • fudge and ice cream shop
  • snack bar
  • basketball
  • bike rentals
  • tube rentals and shuttle service
  • clean, well-maintained bath houses

Activities (from Memorial Day to Labor Day):

  • Outdoor movies
  • Wagon rides
  • Tie Dye
  • Bingo
  • fishing

Cell service is sketchy in the Smokies to say the least, but if you need WiFi you can get a good, strong single up by the fudge shop and camp store. Listen to the episode to hear our recommendations for the best sites at the Townsend KOA and tips for booking them!

The RV Family Travel Atlas podcasts are going to give you a ton of recommendations for activities in the area, but if you want to chill near the campground, here are some great options.

Area Activities:

  • 5-mile bike path
  • Tubing the Little River with River Rat Tubing
  • Fishing with Smokey Mountain Angler or Little River Outfitters
  • Tuckaleechee Caverns
  • Smoky Mountain Heritage Center
  • Townsend Festivals

There is no shortage of great campgrounds in the Smokies, but the Townsend KOA stands out as a charming, warm, beautiful campground providing a peaceful location and plenty of amenities. People return year after year, and that says everything.

See you at the campground,

Stephanie + Jeremy

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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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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.

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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!

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

01 Dec

Campground Review #57 Cherry Hill Park in College Park, Maryland near Washington DC

On this episode of Campground of the Week, Stephanie and Jeremy Puglisi of RV Family Travel Atlas review Cherry Hill Park in College Park, Maryland just outside of Washington DC.

The Campground

This campground is their preferred choice for exploring the amazing city of Washington DC, and they highly recommend it as an “Urban Basecamp”, a campground that gives you easy access to a great American city.

Cherry Hill park is located within a highly urban area, so campers need to be prepared for some road noise. The tradeoff is that you are under 30 minutes from the major attractions in Washington DC. You also have access to DCs public transportation system–there is a bus stop within the campground that will take you to the Metro, and Metro cards are available for sale in the camp store. That’s about as easy as it gets!

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