05 Apr

Campground Review #75: Badlands/White River KOA near Badlands National Park in South Dakota

On this Campground of the Week episode, Kerri Cox of TravelswithBirdy.com reviews the Badlands/White River KOA outside of Badlands National Park in South Dakota.

Kerri and her family didn’t actually plan on staying at this KOA. They had made reservations at the Cedar Pass campground in the national park. Well, weird things happen, and when they showed up to claim their site, there was no record of the reservation.

Enter the Badlands/White River KOA.

In retrospect, Kerri is quite happy this mix up occurred. Her family loved staying at the Badlands/White River KOA and weren’t thrilled with what they saw of the Cedar Pass Campground. You can listen to the whole story and find out why the KOA was such a hit on Episode #75 of Campground of the Week.

You can also read Kerri’s own blog post on the Badlands/White River KOA, and find all her recommendations for activities in and around Badlands National Park.

Many visitors simply make a day trip out of the Badlands, stopping by on their way to Mt. Rushmore, or driving out for the day. Kerri recommends staying at least a night or two and really enjoying the unique and stunning beauty of the region.

A special thank you to the sponsors of Campground of the Week for supporting weekly content for all our RV and camping fools:

We will 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 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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24 Nov

Campground Review #56 Indiana Dunes State Park in Chesterton, Indiana

On episode #56 of Campground of the Week, Melissa and Matthew Kellas review Indiana Dunes State Park in Chesterton, Indiana, just about 45 miles east of Chicago, Illinois.

In fact, if you are looking to visit Chicago, this base camp might offer the best of both worlds–a remote, natural setting with easy access to one of our country’s most dynamic cities.

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Indiana Dunes State Park is also a great alternative to camping at the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore (Dunewood Campground) just up the road. Dunewood Campground only has primitive sites and they are all first come/first serve. At Indiana Dunes State Park, you are just minutes away from the National Lakeshore and you can reserve electric sites–even 50 amp!!!–in advance. Plus the state park is open year round.

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03 Nov

Campground Review #53 Mosca Campground in San Luis State Park, Colorado

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On this episode of Campground of the Week, we welcome guest correspondent Scott Elias to review Mosca Campground at San Luis State Park in the great state of Colorado. Scott Elias is a former educator who now works for Apple. He grew up camping, but his wife didn’t so it took some convincing to get her and the family on board with the RV dream. Scott must be convincing, though, because now they have a brand new Jayco Whitehawk and are spending as many weekends as possible exploring their beautiful home state.


Mosca Campground is located in the high mountain valley between the San Juan and Sangre de Cristo mountain ranges. It is only 15 miles west of Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve, so it makes a perfect base camp for exploring that NPS site.

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25 Aug

Campground #42 Platte River Campground in Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, Michigan

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On this week’s episode of Campground of the Week, we are reviewing the Platte River Campground in Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, Michigan.

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore was names on of America’s most beautiful places by Good Morning America, and there is not better place to stay while exploring than the Platte River Campground. This is a hugely popular campground, and booking 6 months in advance when the reservations window opens is necessary if you want to nab a spot during peak season.

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11 Aug

Campground #40 Jellystone Park of Estes near Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

Jellystone of Estes ParkRocky Mountain National ParkColorado

On episode #40 of Campground of the Week, Brett Neilson reviews his base camp for exploring Rocky Mountain National Park–Jellystone Park of Estes. Rocky Mountain National Park is the 3rd most visited national park in the country, but surprisingly enough, people have some difficulty finding a great campground with reasonable access to the park.

Jellystone Park of Estes stands out for its combination of location and amenities. Listen to hear Brett’s review of his family’s first Jellystone Camp Resorts experience. We’ll give you a hint…we think another visit with Yogi might be in their future!

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04 Aug

Yellowstone Grizzly RV Park in West Yellowstone, Montana

Yellowstone Grizzly RV Park West Yellowstone, Montana

On this week’s episode of Campground of the Week, Kerri Cox of travelswithbirdy.com reviews Yellowstone Grizzly RV Park in West Yellowstone, Montana. If this bucket list destination is on your future road trip list, you have to listen to this episode.

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Kerri’s family loved staying at this campground while they explored Yellowstone National Park, and she’ll explain why it was the perfect place to unwind and enjoy downtime when they weren’t busy photographing geysers and hiking to epic vistas.

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14 Jul

Campground #36 Schoodic Woods Campground in Acadia National Park, Maine

The National Park Service is celebrating it’s 100th year and we wanted to mark the occasion by visiting the newest NPS campground, Schoodic Woods Campground in Acadia National Park, Maine.

The Schoodic Peninsula is a part of Acadia National Park that many visitors never see, but that doesn’t make it any less magical or spectacular. Located about an hours drive from the main part of the park on Mount Desert Island, the Schoodic area has a rugged beauty and amazing views, but none of the crowds that you will find on the Park Loop Road.

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Listen to hear the whole story about the anonymous donor who developed the campground, bike paths, and facilities before turning over the property to the National Park Service. You can also see our campground images on our Instagram account.

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23 Jun

Campground #33 Devil’s Garden in Arches National Park, Utah

Devils Garden Arches National Park, Utah

On this week’s episode of Campground of the Week, correspondent Brett Neilson takes us to Devils Garden, a peaceful and remote campground in Arches National Park, Utah.

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Devils Garden has no hook ups, no activities, and no amenities, but the location in one of Utah’s most iconic national parks more than makes up for it. Brett prefers the back in sites, and even shares his favorite one in the campground. He also talks about the amazing access to bouldering and rock scrambling that guests have when staying at Devils Garden.

Brett shares his favorite hikes, highlighting some of the easier ones with big payoffs:

  • Balanced Rock
  • Double Arch
  • Sand Dune Arch
  • Delicate Arch Viewpoint
  • Fiery Furnance–book online for ranger led hike

Moab is also a great place to visit while staying at Devils Garden in Arches National Park. There you will also find Deadhorse Point State Park and Canyonlands. There are also dozens of outdoor adventures to be found there, including rafting, 4-wheeling, and mountain biking.

A special thanks to Jayco and Progressive, sponsors of Campground of the Week!

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