06 Dec

Campground Review #110 Sunset Bay RV Resort and Campground in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan near Isle Royal National Park

Sunset Bay RV Resort and Campground is in Allouez, Michigan in the part of the Upper Peninsula that stretches over Wisconsin in Lake Superior. This is a remote campground, serving as a great basecamp to Isle Royale National Park. Sunset Bay RV Resort is about 4 hours from both Duluth, Minnesota and Green Bay, Wisconson. It’s a full seven hours
northwest of Traverse City.

On this Campground of the Week podcast episode, Melissa and Matthew Kellas share why it’s more than worth it to make the trip to this remote but amazing destination.

Sunset Bay RV Resort and Campground is one of the oldest continuously operating campgrounds in the Upper Peninsula. It opened in 1944, and has been providing a classic camping experience for decades.

Campground Details

This is a small campground with 11 tent sites, 23 RV sites, and two cabins. Melissa and Mathew snagged the ONLY full hook up site in the campground (site 21), which also has a fantastic water view. Sunset Bay is planning on expanding in 2018, adding 11 new sites with full hook ups.

Sunset Bay is open from mid May to mid October, and there pricing system is different than anything we have ever heard of…they charge by the length of your rig! RVs up to 29 feet are $30/night; 30+ feet rigs will run you $35/night; and 40+ feet will break the bank at $40/night.

Seems quirky to us, but clearly it’s working for them.

The individual sites are level and spacious. Melissa and Mathew tell us that there are no bad views.

And the view is the star of the show. You won’t find playgrounds and jump pillows at the Sunset Bay RV Resort and Campground. You will find a rocky beach with direct access to Lake Superior. And you should also expect those sunsets to be incredible!

Regional Attractions

This campground is within reach of the least visited national park in the system, Isle Royale National Park. Isle Royale is on an island, so Melissa and Matthew walk us through our options for getting there and what to do once we have arrived.

There are two ways to travel to Isle Royale National Park: plane or boat. Listen to the podcast episode for details about the planes and the ferry. Here are the links to the ones mentioned:

There is a ton of mining history in the area as well. In the episode, Melissa and Mathew share details about…

They also recommend checking out the waterfalls at Jacob’s Creek and strolling through downtown Calumet, Michigan.

Lastly, they give us some dining recommendations…

It was so much fun talking to Melissa and Matthew about a fascinating region of our country that so few people visit. It definitely made us feel itchy to make our way there, no matter how many hours of driving it takes! A big thanks to both of them for bringing us such a fun episode of Campground of the Week.

And a big thanks to our sponsors for supporting weekly content for all our RV and camping fools…

See you at the campground!

Stephanie + Jeremy

30 Nov

Campground Review #109 Yogi Bear Jellystone Park Mammoth Cave near Mammoth Cave National Park

On this episode of the Campground of the Week podcast, our correspondent Casita Dean May gives us a complete review of the Jellystone Park Mammoth Cave, located just 10 minutes from Mammoth Cave National Park.

This is podcast episode is paired with RVFTA episode # 170: Greetings from Mammoth Cave National Park. Listen to that podcast episode to hear all of Casita Dean’s recommendations for exploring this popular national park and the surrounding area.

Jellystone Park Mammoth Cave is a definitely a campground in transition. This campground has been a popular family-owned destination for decades, and they recently embarked on a 10 million dollar renovation. That means there will be some pretty amazing features in the near future (summer 2018), but at this moment in time, expect some on site construction.

Yogi Bear Jellystone Park Mammoth Cave is centrally located about 75 minutes south of Louisville, Kentucky and about 75 minutes north of Nashville, Tennessee. It’s also just 30 minutes north of Bowling Green, Kentucky. This campground is conveniently located minutes away from Mammoth Cave National Park, making it the perfect base camp for anyone visiting this bucket list destination.

Campground Details

There is a wide variety of site options at Jellystone Park Mammoth Cave. You can snag a full hook up (30 or 50 amp) for between $77-$81 per night, peak season. There are also water and electric sites or primitive tenting sites for a lower price tag.

Many Jellystones feature fantastic cabin options, and Mammoth Cave is no exception. There are efficiencies, cabins, and bungalows that range from about $125 to $300 per night. This is a fantastic option for folks traveling with extended family or friends that do not own RVs, but still want to enjoy the campground experience.

Most of the campsites are pull thrus, but there are some back ins available. Listen to the episode to hear Dean’s specific site recommendations and where you might want to be after the renovation is complete.

Activities and Amenities

This was Dean’s first Jellystone experience and he was impressed by the amenities offered at Mammoth Cave. There are two swimming pools, including one with a splash ground plus a water slide.

Did Dean try out the water slide himself? You’ll have to listen to find out…

Other amenities include…

  • Two playgrounds
  • Jump Pillow
  • Mini golf course
  • Ranger station
  • Basketball, sand volleyball, and horseshoes
  • Fishing
  • Laundry facilities

Activities include…

  • complete summer recreation program
  • wagon rides
  • arts and crafts
  • character appearances

By summer of 2018, the Jellystone Park Mammoth Cave will host a pretty impressive 2.3 acre manmade pond. You can visit karstbeach.com to see the plans for this fun on site beach complete with Wibits, inflatables for the water.

To hear all of Casita Dean’s recommendations for visiting Mammoth Cave National Park and the surrounding region, head on over to RV Family Travel Atlas podcast episode #170 Greetings from Mammoth Cave National Park. You may also fight out some interesting info about the white squirrels in Bowling Green. Just sayin.

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

See you at the campground,

Stephanie + Jeremy

17 Aug

Campground Review #94 Crescent City/Redwoods KOA in California

The fourth stop on our epic Pacific Northwest adventure was the Crescent City/Redwoods KOA where we stayed while exploring the Redwood National and State Parks.

On this Campground of the Week episode you will hear our complete review of the KOA. If you want to hear all our recommendations for regional highlights including hiking, beaches, and good eats, listen to RVFTA podcast episode #155: Greetings from the Redwoods National and State Parks…

Campground Details

Crescent City/Redwoods KOA is branded as a Holiday KOA, which means it is an ideal basecamp for exploring the local attractions. The campground is only about five minutes from Crescent City and a short 10-15 minute drive to Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park, where the famous Stout Grove is located.

The campground property is large with ten acres of Redwoods right onsite. The number of sites is limited though, so we recommend booking in advance of your arrival. During our stay we saw quite a few campers without reservations arrive only to find a fully-booked campground.

The campsites are a mix of pull thrus and back ins. If you are tenting or have a smaller rig (and don’t require full hook ups), we strongly suggest requesting a spot in the Redwoods grove which was remarkably beautiful. Listen to the episode to hear more details about recommended sites and areas of the campground.

Campground Activities and Amenities

The campground was comfortable for a five day stay, offering basic amenities without a ton of bells and whistles. While there we enjoyed…

  • Game room with ping pong table and foosball
  • Campstore/gift shop
  • Pancake breakfast
  • Clean laundry room
  • Bike rentals
  • Small playground

Additional Information

The cell service was strong during our stay, but the wifi connection was limited, depending on the time of day. One of our favorite features of this campground is the ample information provided about the region by the owner, Kevin. He helped us craft our itinerary every day and offers detailed self-guided tours with maps in the camp office.

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

See you at the campground,

Stephanie + Jeremy

03 Aug

Campground Review #92 Silver Cove RV Resort near Mount St. Helens, Washington

When we were first planning our epic Pacific Northwest adventure, we thought that Silver Cove RV Resort would be a convenient base camp for exploring nearby Mount St. Helens. What we didn’t expect was to find an amazing campground that we were so sad to leave five days later. We would have been happy to settle in for another few days, paddle boarding around on Silver Lake and hiking in the nearby state and national parks.

You can listen to our complete review of Silver Cove RV Resort on the Campground of the Week podcast…

And you can also listen to all the amazing things we did in the area over on the RV Family Travel Atlas podcast episode #153.

Campground Details

Silver Cove RV Resort is located at the foot of Mount St. Helens in Washington State. It’s about an hour north of Portland and three hours south of Seattle. It took us around 3.5 hours to drive here from Port Angeles on the Olympic Peninsula. This campground is wearing a lot of hats–it’s a great weekend getaway spot for folks in nearby urban areas, but it also is the perfect place to stay when visiting the iconic Mount St. Helens.

Silver Cove is owned and operated by Highway West Vacations, and the company’s focus on customer service is on display from the moment guests arrive and are offered cookies (YES!!! COOKIES!!) upon check in. The employees are also happy to help plan adventures and offer helpful recommendations for nearby activities and dining options.

Out of the 150(ish) sites, most are back ins, but there are select pull thrus as well, all with full hook ups and many with waterfront access. If you are traveling with kayaks, boats, or stand up paddle boards, make sure you request a waterfront site. A particularly on-trend feature is RV sites located next to cabins so groups can camp together in mixed accommodations.

Campground Amenities

Silver Cove felt like a friendly neighborhood, and the campground management is adding a lot of features that support communal experiences like a beautiful clubhouse, group fire pit, and outdoor kitchen. Other great amenities include…

  • Well-stocked campstore
  • Boat rentals: motorized, kayaks, SUPs
  • Playground
  • Laundry and bathhouses

This is a remote location, so come prepared for limited cell service and spotty WiFi. We were able to work on the WiFi during our stay, but had to move around the campground at times for the best signal.

Regional Activities

We covered all the best area activities over on RV Family Travel Atlas, so make sure to listen to hear about the boys’ ALL-TIME favorite adventure in the Ape Caves. We had far more fun than we expected in this area, and highly recommend including this stop on your agenda if you are road tripping through Washington and Oregon. And if you live nearby in Portland or Seattle…well, you are just one lucky camper.

You can also check out our Facebook videos of the cabin we stayed in…

And our golf cart tour of Silver Cove RV Resort…


A huge thanks to Highway West Vacations for providing such a wonderful experience during our stay at Silver Cove RV Resort. We can’t wait to see you all again!

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


See you at the campground!

Stephanie + Jeremy

27 Jul

Campground Review #91 Elwah Dam RV Park outside Olympic National Park in Port Angeles, Washington

Elwah Dam RV Park is a perfect base camp for exploring Olympic National Park, and on this week’s podcast episode of Campground of the Week, we are giving a complete review of the first place we stayed on our epic 25-day Pacific Northwest adventure.

Olympic National Park is HUGE, and it’s really important to pick a campground location that will give you easy access to the parts you are most interested in exploring. Elwah Dam RV Park is located just about 10 minutes from downtown Port Angeles, which is also home to the main Olympic National Park visitor center. For us, it was the perfect basecamp location since it placed us within easy driving distance of Crescent Lake, Hurricane Ridge, and Sol Duc Falls.

There are other popular NPS campgrounds located throughout the park, so make sure to check out RVFTA podcast episode #152: Greetings from Olympic National Park where we chat about the geography and highlights of this amazing NPS destination.

Campground Details

Elwah Dam RV Park is a small, rustic, and charming campground with about 60 RV sites and a handful of tent sites. All the sites are full hook up, with a mix of back in and pull thru. There is an entire section of sites for big rigs. The campground fills up during peak travel season, so book early if possible.

The sites are on the small side and close together, but this is definitely a base camp, so your time will be spent exploring the national park, not hanging out all day at the campground. The prices are also reasonable at $46.50-$49.50 per night.

It also has a house rental on property, which was where we stayed for our 6-day visit. The house was a large 4-bedroom, 2.5 bath residence, well stocked and hosting a washer and dryer. Most of the house has been remodeled, but there are still some finishing touches (molding, window dressings, etc.) that need to be attended to. However, for $175 per night, we felt this was a steal and would recommend it to anyone traveling to Olympic National Park without a camper.

Amenities and Activities

One of the best features of this campground are the charming owners and hosts, Dave and Chris, who live on site and are more than happy to share recommendations for local hikes, activities, and restaurants. There is also volleyball, horseshoes, and basketball. The playground is small and dated.

There is a beautiful, modern clubhouse with seating area, television, and communal kitchen. There is also an outdoor cooking space.

Elwah Dam RV Park hosted no organized activities while we were staying, but again, this isn’t the sort of campground that folks hang out at all day. For most of our stay, we left early in the morning and returning late in the evening.

For more information about our trip to Olympic National Park, check out RV Family Travel Atlas episode #152: Greetings from Olympic National Park. Also make sure to check out our Facebook and Instagram feeds for pictures of our stay at Elwah Dam RV Park and Olympic National Park. We included a ton of information about campgrounds and destinations in our social posts!

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

See you at the campground!

Stephanie + Jeremy

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

Thanks to our wonderful sponsors for supporting weekly content for all our RV and Camping Fools…

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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