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

23 Nov

Campground Review #108 Inn Town Campground in Nevada City, California

Photo courtesy of Erin Thiem.

We love seeing new campgrounds open, and we love it even more when these campgrounds are built by young, locally rooted entrepreneurs who have their fingers on the pulse of a new camping generation.

Inn Town Campground just opened for business this past year in Nevada City, California, and Janine Pettit stayed there recently for a Girl Camping event. We are lucky enough to have a review of the campground on our podcast this week.

To hear more about the campground, check out our interviews with Erin and Dan Thiem on episodes #21#85, and #124 of the RV Family Travel Atlas podcast.

Campground Details

The Inn Town Campground is open year round, and offers tent sites, full-hook up RV sites, and glamping tents on the beautiful 15-acre property. Camping rates range from $45-$65, and the glamping tents cost $85-$150 per night. The campground is full of towering pine trees, creating privacy for the individual campsites.

But the campground also invites plenty of communal interaction. Erin and Dan were inspired by the Holiday Parks that they enjoyed years ago while traveling through New Zealand. Inn Town Campground has many indoor and outdoor shared spaces for friends and families to enjoy together, and for campers to meet new folks during their visit.

Activities and Amenities

Janine Pettit particularly enjoyed the well-stocked camp store full of local food and beverage options. She also raved about the communal kitchen, where she spent a cozy morning curled up on the couch with a cup of hot coffee. The kitchen is completely stocked with everything you need to cook a meal (sans food!). We think this feature makes spontaneous tenting and RV getaways so much easier.

Erin also talked about the activities they have offered and how they hope to grow their recreation schedule over on the Girl Camper podcast, where she was interviewed last month. Right now they host outdoor movies, arts and crafts, and fireside chats with experts on local topics of interest.

Other amenities include:

  • foosball and ping pong tables
  • pool
  • laundry
  • Wifi

Regional Attractions

Campers can visit the neighboring railway museum and stroll through the historic Chinese miner’s cemetery right on site. But of particular distinction is that the Inn Town Campground is located just under two miles from downtown Nevada City. Janine loved that she could take a beautiful walk through the woods and emerge in a town full of shops and restaurants.

Visitors can also enjoy the nearby Yuba River area, where folks can enjoy outdoor activities like fishing, kayaking, swimming, skiing, and biking.

Listen to Campground of the Week episode #108 to hear more recommendations for enjoying your stay at the Inn Town Campground!

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See you at the campground!

Stephanie + Jeremy

 

04 Oct

Campground Review #101 Albuquerque Central KOA in Albuquerque, New Mexico

Albuquerque, New Mexico is a must-visit destination in the southwest with its unique blend of urban and outdoor adventure, plus an amazing local food culture.

On this episode of the Campground of the Week podcast, we review a great urban camping destination in the heart of the city, the Albuquerque Central KOA.

This campground offers the perfect urban camping experience in our opinion, combining a great location with a relaxing environment for unwinding at the end of a busy day.

Campground Details

The Albuquerque Central KOA is a small gated campground just minutes from Route 40. It has plenty of good-sized, pull thru sites well-suited for big rigs. The landscape is unabashedly southwestern, with few trees and crushed red rock as ground cover. The sites farther away from Route 40 will give visitors a better view of the nearby Sandia Mountains.

Amenities

The Albuquerque Central KOA is a simple basecamp, but it does offer some nice amenities for guests including a pool, hot tub, playground, and well-stocked camp store. There is also a small miniature golf course and a group fire pit/picnic area. We experienced excellent customer service during our stay.

Regional Activities

We enjoyed our visit to Albuquerque so much that we had to do an entire RV Family Travel Atlas podcast about it! Check out episode #162 of the RVFTA podcast to hear all our recommendations for exploring and EATING in the area.

The RVFTA Podcast Network also has some other great content about this beautiful area of the country. If you are visiting New Mexico or traveling along Route 66, check out RVFTA episode #140: Kate Gets Her Kicks on Route 66 and Campground of the Week episode #81: Enchanted Trails RV Park and Trading Post, another great option for camping near Albuquerque.

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

See you at the campground!

Stephanie + Jeremy

20 Sep

Campground Review #99: Sandy Pines Campground in Kennebunkport, Maine

We wrapped up our summer camping adventures in the best possible way this year…with a visit to Sandy Pines Campground along the southern Maine coast. Our stay checked off all the important boxes: warm days, cool nights, and lobster every evening.

Campground Details

Sandy Pines Campground is brand new, having opened in the Spring of 2017. It’s a large campground with over 300 sites, but somehow manages to have a small campground feel. The campground has many different ‘sections’ according to the map, but we felt like there were two distinct areas: the front part with the camp store, pool, playground, glamping tents and RV sites, and then the back area which is more tent friendly. The front feels like a charming private campground…the back feels like a remote state park. Rumors are that the back part will be developed in another stage of upgrades. Listen to the episode to here more on that scoop.

Sandy Pines Campground has gorgeous grounds. We were blown away by how well they landscaped and developed the sites so that it feels groomed but also beachy and woodsy…just like the perfect Maine campground should. The Lodge and General Store up front sets the tone: blueberry bushes are worked into the landscaping and our boys were encouraged to pick the berries. Believe us, they did!

Campground Amenities

  • Heated saltwater pool
  • Lawn game area with corn hole, frisbee golf, ladder golf, giant connect four
  • Kid’s camp craft tent with board games, crafts, etc.
  • Playground
  • Kayak , paddleboard, and bike rentals 
  • Great onsite breakfast/lunch/dinner options 
  • Onsite Lobster Dinner for 2, 4, or 6 

Listen to the episode to hear more details on campground wifi, activities, and insider details.

Area Attractions

One of the best parts about staying at this campground is that Goose Rocks Beach is less than a mile away, and you can easily ride your bikes there. If driving, get there early and buy a parking permit at the general store right by the beach. 

Other things to do in the area…

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See you at the campground!

Stephanie + Jeremy

13 Sep

Campground Review #98: The Resort at Massey’s Landing near Rehoboth Beach, Delaware

Beach camping resorts are having a moment in the Mid Atlantic region, and this week we are reviewing another great option: The Resort at Massey’s Landing in Long Neck, Delaware about 15 minutes from Rehoboth Beach.

This brand new campground, built from scratch, is privately owned by the a company called Blue Water Development that also recently purchased Sunset Beach Resort and Chincoteague KOA in Virginia. It’s located on a peninsula bordered by the Rehoboth and Indian Point bays.

The Resort at Massey’s Landing comes by its name honestly, offering enough onsite amenities and activities to truly earn the resort moniker. The most important thing to realize before booking a stay here is that this is a bustling, busy campground so if you are looking for a quiet, peaceful, and private camping experience, this probably won’t fit the bill.

It did fit the bill for us, though, and we had a fantastic stay enjoying the pool, bay beach, and onsite restaurant and tiki bar.

Campsite Details

Almost all of the sites here are back ins, and will run you from $60-$105 depending on season, length of stay, and location within the resort. In our perspective, it’s waterfront or bust when booking here. Make sure to listen to the episode to hear our specific campsite recommendations.

Amenities and Activities

You could easily spend your entire vacation without leaving the campground property, especially with all the delicious breakfast, lunch, and dinner options. Additional campground amenities include…

  • Heated pool
  • Adult pool with swim up bar
  • Private Beach on the Rehoboth Bay
  • Dog beach
  • Boat cruises that leave right from the campground dock
  • canoe, paddleboard, kayak, golf cart, and bike rentals
  • Happy Jack’s and The Jackspot restaurants
  • RV Storage and Valet option
  • Dog walking services
  • Well-stocked camp store and packaged goods store

The Resort at Massey’s Landing also has themed activity schedules from April through October as well as fitness classes and other scheduled recreation.

Regional Highlights

The Resort at Massey’s Landing offers a complete concierge service, connecting campers with the best experiences in the area. We enjoyed our Farm Tour run by Delmara Discovery Tours. Other area highlights include…

  • Dogfish Head Brewery
  • Historic downtown Lewes
  • Cape Henlopen State Park
  • Rehoboth Beach and boardwalk
  • Bethany Beach

If you are thinking of visiting The Resort at Massey’s Landing, book now. This campground is truly the hot, new spot in the Mid Atlantic Region and you will have to book far in advance to get the best spot.

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

See you at the campground!

Stephanie + Jeremy

30 Aug

Campground Review #96 Whispering Hills Jellystone Park in Big Prairie, Ohio

Whispering Hills Jellystone Park is a beautiful campground retreat located just about an hour and a half southwest of Cleveland,  in Big Prairie, Ohio. This campground manages to offer all the greatest aspects of a Jellystone Park (family-friendly activities and amenities galore) while still feeling peaceful and relaxing. The entire family truly enjoyed our time here this summer.

Whispering Hills has been in business for quite some time, but only recently rebranded to a Jellystone Park. They have fully embraced the model, offering on-site food, pool, jumping pillows, and a full calendar of scheduled activities. We highly suggest reserving in advance if you are visiting on the weekend. Weekdays seemed to be much quieter, even during the summer peak season.

Campsite Details

Pull thrus and back in sites are available, but you will want to look at a campground map to see what area of the campground would suit your family best. Listen to this episode to hear our thoughts on the different campsite locations. We also talk about seasonal sites and cabin accommodations at the Whispering Hills Jellystone. Expect sites to run from $42-$82 depending on a number of different variables.

Campground Activities and Amenities

This is the type of Jellystone that appeals to all guests no matter what their age. The very youngest children, teens, and adults will find plenty to appreciate at Whispering Hills. We particularly liked the emphasis on recreation with two Gaga ball pits, mini golf, and a beautiful frisbee golf course. Other amenities include…

  • pool
  • jump pillow and jump pad
  • food service
  • arcade
  • corn maze
  • basketball
  • volleyball
  • outdoor theater
  • fishing
  • dog park
  • nature cabin

A full schedule of activities is available seven days a week during the summer season and includes pool games, bingo, crafts, and karaoke.

Although we were reluctant to even leave the campground during our stay, guests might want to wander into downtown Wooster while visiting Whispering Hills. We got a cup of coffee at Templeton Scottish Bakery and Coffee House, shopped at Books in Stock, and got a glowing recommendation for Broken Rocks Cafe and Bakery.

Listen to Campground of the Week episode #96 to hear more of our recommendations for visiting Whispering Hills Jellystone and the surrounding area. And check out our Facebook Live tour of the campground during our stay…

A big thanks to our sponsors for supporting weekly content for all our camping and RVing fools!

See you at the campground!

Stephanie + Jeremy

09 Aug

Campground Review #93 Oceanside Beachfront RV Resort in Charleston, Oregon near Coos Bay

Oceanside Beachfront RV Resort is the type of campground that you leave with a heavy heart, knowing that you won’t find any other place quite like it on your journey. Camping on the beach is certainly a pleasure like none other…but camping on the beach along the southern Oregon Coast? Well, that’s just a dream come true.

On this episode of Campground of the Week, we are sharing all the details from our stay at the Oceanside Beachfront RV Resort in Charleston, Oregon just south of Coos Bay. This is a paired travel episode, so make sure you listen to RVFTA episode #154 to hear about all the hikes, lighthouses, day trips, and restaurants we recommend in the area.

Campground Details

Oceanside Beachfront RV Resort is about 20 minutes south of Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area and about 30 minutes north of Bandon. Portland is four hours away, so this is a great destination for a long weekend escape from the city.

The campground is owned by Highway West Vacations, which has properties in California, Oregon, Washington, and Utah. This was our second stay at a Highway West Vacations property and we were just as impressed with the level of customer service and attention to guest experience.

It’s a smaller campground with only about 60 RV sites. Additional accommodations include safari tents (which we stayed in!), cabins, and vintage RV rentals. Listen to hear all the details on our magical stay in the safari tent!

There are a mix of back ins and pull thrus, but you will probably want to choose your site on based on location. Check out the campground map to decide if you would prefer to be right near a beach entrance or in a more private site that backs up against the coastal cliffs.

The prices for RV sites range from $54-$68 depending on the season and the day of the week. Oceanside Beachfront RV Resort is open year round, and if you are visiting during the summer you will probably want to make a reservation. The campground was sold out during our stay in July.

Activities and Amenities

The campground has all the basics:

  • clean restrooms and showers
  • laundry facilities
  • cable
  • wifi
  • well-stocked campstore

But it also has some super-duper special offerings, like a crab cleaning and cooking station, complete with pot and propane provided. How do you catch the crabs? Why, just use one of their crab nets available for loan from the campground!

We love on-site dining at a campground, and the Coos Bay Crab Company is one of the best we have ever experienced. The fish and chips are divine, and we could enjoy the clam chowder bread bowl for dinner over and over again.

Make sure to listen to RVFTA episode #154 Greetings from the Oregon Coast to hear other recommendations from the area!

A huge thank you to our podcast sponsors for supporting weekly content for all our camping and RVing fools:

We’ll 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

12 Jul

Campground Review #87 Wanderlust RV Park in Eureka Springs, Arkansas

On this episode of Campground of the Week, Kerri Cox of TravelswithBirdy.com reviews Wanderlust RV Park in Eureka Springs, Arkansas.

Eureka Springs became a popular destination in the 1880s when people flocked from all around to experience the supposed healing power of the springs. Today visitors can enjoy many historic buildings from this time period, including Victorian houses and the Crescent Hotel.

Campground Details

Wanderlust RV Park is a wonderful base camp for exploring this area. This is a Good Sam park and enjoys the status of having  excellent ratings: 9.5/9.5/10. When reading reviews of this park, you will repeatedly hear people reference the friendliness of the staff and cleanliness of the park.

The campground has over 85 full hook up sites, half being pull thru and half being back in. Other amenities include:

  • Pool
  • Laundry facilities
  • Social Pavilions
  • WiFi

Wanderlust RV Park is located just three miles from downtown Eureka Springs, Arkansas. It is conveniently located along the “Blue Route” and guests can catch the Trolley for a ride right into town.

Regional Attractions

Regional Dining

Don’t forget to check out Kerri’s recommendations for nearby Bentonville, a must visit when exploring this area!

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


See you at the campground!

Stephanie + Jeremy

05 Jul

Campground Review #89 Amarillo Ranch RV Park in Amarillo, Texas

On this week’s episode of Campground of the Week, Kate Dunbar reviews Amarillo Ranch RV Park in Amarillo, Texas. This campground is located along the historic Route 66, and Kate talked about her epic journey on the Mother Road over on Episode #140 of the RV Family Travel Atlas podcast. You can listen to that episode to hear more of her recommendations for the area.

Campground Details

Amarillo Ranch RV Park embraces all the traditional kitsch of Route 66 and offers a great atmosphere to talk in this region. The campground has 151 full hookup, pull thru and back in sites, and many are big-rig friendly. It also has plenty of other amenities including…

  • Indoor heated pool with jacuzzi
  • enclosed dog parks
  • playground
  • daily complimentary coffee and donuts
  • Pavilion and pool patio with grills
  • clubhouse
  • updated, clean restrooms and laundry facilities

Perhaps the most enjoyable amenity of all is the onsite restaurant, The Big Texan Steak Ranch. You have to listen to Kate describe the ridiculously amazing 72 ounce free steak challenge at this famous joint.

Area Attractions

On of the most famous Route 66 attractions of all time, the Cadillac Ranch,  is located right near the Amarillo Ranch RV Park. Other great regional attractions include…

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