PLACES - Our 10 Favorite Campgrounds
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A few weeks ago, we celebrated our 2nd NOMADiversary! AKA - celebrating two years of being full-time RVers. We decided as we looked down memory lane, we wanted to share our favorite products & places and talk about a few of our problems & plans. Today is the second of the four P's - PLACES.
Looking back at our last two years as full-time RVers, we challenged ourselves to think of our favorite campgrounds without going back and looking at all the places we’ve stayed. We wanted the places we included on this list to stick out in our minds as places we enjoyed. The past two years we have camped at 56 places in 23 states (see below). While this is about 50 more than we would have visited prior to becoming full-time RVers, this is minimal compared to the amount many of our fellow RVers visit. We tend to move a little slower across the country than most and with our workamping job commitments, we find ourselves parked for several months at a time.
While we try to keep the criteria consistent when doing our campground review posts, this list of our favorite places does not have any certain criteria other than being a campground or RV Resort we really enjoyed. Not all campgrounds are created equal.
As we make this list, we will point out our favorite part of each RV Resort / Campground. We do realize that what is important to us in a campground may not be important to others. In the list, we include the rate we paid, but do keep in mind that rates are always subject to change.
Since every TOP TEN list should include a grand entrance, drumroll please . . .
LOCATION: Foxboro, Massachusetts
RATE WE PAID: $66 / night
WHY WE LOVED IT: We loved the wooded-feel and large sites which is uncommon in a resort-style campground. They have just about any amenity you could think of - very large dog park, 4 pools (including 1 indoor), several hot tubs, fitness center, playgrounds, tons of sports courts (basketball, tennis, pickleball, soccer, softball, sand volleyball, bocce ball, shuffleboard, horseshoes, gaga ball, bike park, disc golf). Seriously, they thought of everything and we enjoyed getting out and having some fun! On top of this, we were impressed with the friendliness and professionalism of the staff members and the cleanliness of the facilities.
THINGS TO CONSIDER: It is certainly a family-friendly environment, so plan on hearing kids playing & enjoying their stay as well! Our visit was early Spring, so a slower time of year for the Boston area. I’m sure on a busy summer weekend it could start to feel rather crowded. Not all the sites have the wooded feel, as they have expanded and in the newer sections, the sites seemed to be a little closer together without the mature trees. Also, being about 35 miles from downtown Boston, there are obviously several highways nearby. We could hear some road noise from I-495 from a couple areas in the campground.
THEIR WEBSITE: Normandy Farms Family Camping Resort
NAME: Markham Park Campground
LOCATION: Sunrise, Florida (Near Fort Lauderdale)
RATE WE PAID: $38 / night
WHY WE LOVED IT: Many of you that have been following us for some time, know that we enjoy city life & beach life, but with that usually comes with lots of traffic and noise. So Markham Park was great for us as it kept us close to city & beach life, but also provided us with a little grassy and tree filled getaway. Markham Park is owned and operated by Broward County. The campground is well laid out with streets that end in a cul-de-sac with sites all along the street and circle. The sites were fairly wide in comparison to many RV parks in Florida where sites are laid out on top of each other. Most sites in the back of each of the twelve loops had a canal view. We enjoyed Markham Park because it provided a wooded/grassy feel, but still was convenient to just about anything and everything. We enjoyed the options for activities - disc golf, remote controlled airfield, Fox Observatory, tennis & racquet ball courts, mountain bike trails, boat ramps, dog park, cutely named “Barkham at Markham”.
THINGS TO CONSIDER: Be forewarned, traffic in the area is congested! The area surrounding Markham Park is a very commercial area, which is convenient for picking up some things, but not everyone's cup of tea. Some of the amenities do require a nominal fee. For instance, there is a fee to use the mountain bike trails and dog park. Markham Park is a really active public park, so there are lots of people coming in to enjoy what the park has to offer, especially on weekends. The campground is kind of divided from the majority of the attractions, but it is not entirely separate. During our stay, the pool was closed and we had heard they were trying to cut some life-guarding expenses, so if you are looking for a pool, you may want to verify if it will be open or not during the timeframe of your stay.
THEIR WEBSITE: Markham Park
NAME: Delaware State Park
LOCATION: Delaware, Ohio
RATE WE PAID: $21 / night
WHY WE LOVED IT: Our number one reason to be at this campground is to be close to family. We have found that we really like the layout of many state parks, with Ohio State parks following suit. They have the loop style layout, with sites being located along the loop ending with a cul-de-sac. It often seems that this type of layout provides wider sites giving you more of a piece of the pie than a squared off site. While you won’t find a pool, the state park does have a beach area and onsite marina. The sites are well-maintained, paved, lots of green space, and plenty of trees for shade and privacy.
THINGS TO CONSIDER: The sites are electric only, but they do have a dump station near the entrance and water is available near each bath house. The campground itself does not have a lot of amenities, but you can enjoy the other parts of the state park during your stay. The only other downside is the drive back to the campground. Once you enter the park, it is about 3 miles back to the campground which seems to take forever at 20 mph.
THEIR WEBSITE: Delaware State Park
NAME: Venture Out Resort
LOCATION: Cudjoe Key, Florida
RATE WE PAID: $100 / night + plus additional resort fee
WHY WE LOVED IT: The crystal blue waters of the ocean have always kind of been an obsession of ours, so when our RV travels took us toward those we were a bit hooked. Really any place that got us this close to these waters would have been a winner in our book, but let us tell you a bit about this particular RV Resort. Venture Out Resort is a mixed park of both modular homes and RV sites, totaling about 650 lots. All sites are privately owned with about 60% available for rent. Most of the lots at Venture Out are modular homes, with roughly 20% being for RVs. The resort features a large, clean pool area with water views and a secluded hot tub. We could be found just about every afternoon along the North edge of the pool watching boats come in and out of the channel. There is no shortage of palm trees adding to the tropical feel. The temperatures were about perfect during our stay which apparently is the norm. One of our favorite parts of Venture Out was its convenience to the bike trails that line Route 1. We were just a short peddle from the trail and we could ride for miles and miles in each direction. In case you were wondering, bike trails lined with turquoise waters aren’t too shabby! Pickle ball is a big deal at Venture Out, so start training before your next visit.
THINGS TO CONSIDER: A downside to a stay in the Florida Keys is the $100+ nightly rates, but it is important to remember these three words that validate those rates - LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION! In addition to the nightly rate, be prepared to pay a resort fee. We were required to pay $53.75 in cash upon arrival. You might also want to know that Venture Out Resort has both RV Sites as well as lots with structures ranging from small mobile homes to larger vacation rentals. Also, we have not been back to Venture Out Resort in Cudjoe Key since Hurricane Irma hit in 2017.
THEIR WEBSITE: Venture Out Resort
NAME: Bethpage Camp-Resort
LOCATION: Urbanna, Virginia
RATE WE PAID: $84 / night
WHY WE LOVED IT: The campground was big-rig friendly with wide sites (50’ x 50’) so there is plenty of room to spread out and relax. The sites are all grass which might be an issue if there is a lot of rain, our tires did start to sink in a little bit. However, the sites are all very level and while they are actually back-in sites, assuming the site across is not spread out and occupied, they become pull-thru sites which are kind of our favorite. Anytime I don’t have to provide hand signals like a flight traffic controller is a good thing because honestly I’m not very good at it. I’m famous at directing Russ back with big bold hand signals acting like he has plenty of room and then suddenly yelling stop and giving the stop sign like he is about to hit a big brick wall. Let’s just say a pull-thru eliminates my less-than-stellar hand motions.They do have a few paved “super” sites, but I would definitely recommend just going with a normal site. The “super” sites are paved, but are pretty small and very close together and located in areas without any shade. Beth-Page Camp Resort certainly had the largest pool/waterpark complex we had ever seen at a camp resort. Since we were there during the week, it wasn’t overly crowded so that made the pool area even nicer! All the roads are paved, making it a great campground for bike riding. It is a large park with 1200 seasonal sites and 400 transient sites. It is located right along the Rappahannock River so I was expected some great water views. However, most of the seasonal sites sit along the river so there are very few places you can actually see the river. There is also a freshwater lake with a beach and aqua jump. We didn’t use the beach or get in the water, but I did enjoy the view while catching up on my laundry. The camp-resort also features 4 playgrounds located throughout the park.The mini golf course was well-designed and very fun for an evening activity. It was $5 for 18 holes. We had fun and treated ourselves to ice cream afterward. The mini golf & creamery are located down a gravel path. You can either walk or bike to get there. There are lots of planned activities if that is your thing or your aim is to keep every one in the family happy! Water aerobics, river cruises, kids crafts, corn hole tournaments, and much more. Golf Cart, Kayak, Paddleboard, and Paddleboats are available to rent during your stay. There is also a boat ramp right at the campground, making it a perfect location for boat owners!
THINGS TO CONSIDER: This is one of the biggest campgrounds we have ever seen with lots of seasonal sites. Due to being a resort-style campground, you can expect it to be crowded in summer months. We visited during the week, so it was fairly quiet during our stay. Golf carts are a big deal at this campground, so if you let the typical campground "golf cart parade" bother you, you might not enjoy your stay. As mentioned above, the majority of the sites are grass meaning that during bouts of lots of rain, things could get muddy quick! Bethpage Camp-Resort is in a very remote area of Virginia, so don't plan on eating out every night or going on a shopping spree.
THEIR WEBSITE: Bethpage Camp-Resort
LOCATION: Millsboro, Delaware
RATE WE PAID: $79 / night
WHY WE LOVED IT: The Resort at Massey’s Landing it just what the name implies, a resort-style campground. We stayed at this campground shortly after they opened, so there were still some things they were working on, including attempting to grow grass. The camp host said they had planted several times without much luck, but I would assume the sites are green and grassy by now. The beach area was very pretty. Parts of it where a bit rocky, but still a great place to relax. For dog lovers, the campground is super dog-friendly with a special doggy beach. The pool area was impressive for a campground. There was a kid friendly side with a few water fountains and a zero-entry, making it a great place for little ones to play and stay safe. There was a wall separating the kids section from the adult-only side. The adult only side has a swim-up pool bar. The paved roads make this a great campground to bike around for a leisurely bike ride. The campground was built around several small inlets/canals, making it a perfect place to kayak. We spent several mornings/afternoons paddling around the different canals throughout the campground. The campground store was large and well-stocked with food, beach & camping items, and campground apparel. The Jackspot Grill was a convenient and a yummy option for breakfast, lunch or dinner. The menu was diverse with a little bit of everything, including several daily specials, to keep everyone happy You could pick up the food and enjoy it poolside. The Choco-Latte was the campground’s coffee & ice cream shop - which we may or may not have frequented at least once daily! Not completed during our stay, but there is now a restaurant and bar on the beach. The laundry facilities were very nice and cleaned very frequently throughout the day. Rather than taking quarters, the washers and dryers only took credit cards which kept me from needing to run to the bank for more quarters. For those of you with boats, this campground would be great place to visit. There is a public boat ramp literally next door to the entrance of the campground. It would certainly be fun to have a boat to run around in while at the campground.
THINGS TO CONSIDER: It is important to remember that this is a resort-style campground meaning it will be crowded. There will be lots of people trying to use the beach area, the pool area, the ice cream store, etc. We enjoy this type of campground when we are in vacation-mode and want a tropical-style RV stay. While the campground is located on the bay where they have created a nice beach area, it is not on the Atlantic Ocean. It is about a 30 minute drive to a beach on the Atlantic.
THEIR WEBSITE: The Resort at Massey's Landing RV Retreat & Campground
NAME: Winton Woods Campground
LOCATION: Cincinnati, Ohio
RATE WE PAID: $49 / night
WHY WE LOVED IT: We seem to enjoy campgrounds that are owned by localities and this was another campground that fit that category. Winton Woods Campground is located in, as well as owned and operated by, Hamilton County. The campground was very well-maintained and has twelve nice paved pull-through sites. In addition, they have 25 full hook-up back-in sites, 68 tent sites, 10 rustic cabins, and 8 large deluxe cabins. It also was situated on the water and would be a great place for kayaking and/or paddle boarding. The campground store was nice and had a small cafe and ice cream shop. Unfortunately the super rainy weather didn’t allow us, but there is a walk/bike trail right along the entrance of the campground that we would definitely check out next time.
THINGS TO CONSIDER: While the campground had limited amenities such as a pool or sports courts, it was within walking distance to Winton Woods Harbor. It is important to note that in addition to the campground fees, you are required to have a vehicle pass which is an additional charge (minimal, but still should be considered). Also, there is a limited number of full hook-up sites with the majority of the sites being for tent camping.
THEIR WEBSITE: Winton Woods Campground
LOCATION: Clewiston, Florida
RATE WE PAID: $38 / day
WHY WE LOVED IT: Big Cypress RV Resort is definitely remote located about 20 miles North of Alligator Alley (I-75). It is situated just about halfway between Naples and Fort Lauderdale. The campground is operated by the Seminole Indian Tribe and is located on their Reservation. It is a very nice park with sites that would be considered very roomy, especially considering it is located in sunny South Florida. Each site was landscaped with at least 3 palm trees. The park is very well-kept featuring both paved and grassy sites. The heated pool is very nice and a great place to spend the afternoon chatting with fellow campers. Big Cypress RV Resort also features an 18-hole mini golf course, shuffleboard & basketball court, and an outdoor pool table which is nicely shaded by an authentic chickee hut! The majority of guests are repeat campers, several who have been coming back every winter for over 10 years! Because of this, the community of people at the campground is almost like family. Everyone we met from campers to staff were super friendly. Events were plentiful and there was no shortage of food celebrations - ice cream socials, drink circles, pancake breakfasts, grill-outs, and fish fries were frequent and enjoyed! While it is nearly 40 minutes to the closest ANYTHING, Big Cypress RV Resort is a little oasis nestled in the tranquil and scenic Everglades.
THINGS TO CONSIDER: This campground is extremely remote with the closest thing being about 40 miles away. There is a big chance you will encounter wildlife - alligators & panthers. The wi-fi was hit-or-miss and we did experience several short power outages. You will want to realize that you are a guest on the Indian Reservation. There will be places nearby that you will not be able to travel unless you are part of the Tribe.
THEIR WEBSITE: Big Cypress RV Resort & Campground
LOCATION: Mims, Florida
RATE WE PAID: $44 / night
WHY WE LOVED IT: We had joy, we had fun, we had Seasons in the Sun! So these song lyrics kept coming to mind during our stay at Seasons in the Sun RV Resort located in Mims, FL on the Space Coast of Florida. There are several different sections in the campground, some that feature gravel, highly-shaded sites while in other sections you will find wide-open paved sites. Seasons in the Sun RV Resort is well-maintained and most of the lots are fairly large. While sometimes we prefer a paved site, we really enjoyed our gravel site that was tucked in among the trees and palms. I have some of the best memories from this site. I felt like I was in the middle of a tropical rainforest! The pool area was very nice with a main pool, separate lap pool, and hot tub. During our stay at Seasons in the Sun RV Resort, the temperatures were rather chilly so even a heated pool didn’t draw us in. From the outside, the large clubhouse also appeared to be well-kept. There were also tennis courts which were being used for pickleball.
THINGS TO CONSIDER: There are several different types of sites within the campground. We typically like paved sites, but I would recommend the more wooded / private gravel sites. However, these sites were located on a one way road, so you did have to travel all the way around the park to access your site or travel in and out of the park. There were several bathhouses located throughout the park where you could find laundry facilities as well. These areas were fairly dated, but kept clean. Some of them had to be accessed using dirt nature trails. The campground did have several wi-fi hotspots, but we were not able to access any of them from our site. However, we could have walked to those areas to use them. Cable was available, but not digital so we opted to use our antenna & satellite instead.
THEIR WEBSITE: Seasons in the Sun RV Resort
LOCATION: Four Oaks, North Carolina
RATE WE PAID: $41 / night
WHY WE LOVED IT: While we typically do our research and pick campgrounds that will be enjoyable to stay at, Raleigh Oaks RV Resort & Cottages exceeded our expectations. At Raleigh Oaks RV Resort & Cottages, I mean after all, they serve free waffles, OJ, & coffee Wednesday thru Sunday mornings and have a guest appreciation dinner on Thursdays. Free food is always a hit! If this doesn’t make you appreciated, the staff members will. They do however have two rules we should warn you about from their website! Rule #1 - The camper is always right; and Rule #2 - If you think the camper is wrong, read Rule one again.You can tell the employees take this to heart and treat guests in a friendly & professional way. Raleigh Oaks RV Resort & Cottages just finished up a large renovation of the property. The campground has over 150 sites as well as 20 cottages. The pool areas are unique in that they are surrounded by green, grassy turf. Definitely a nice touch. There are two pools and a hot tub. The 9-hole mini golf course was very well-kept and nicer than the typical campground course. We also played our first game of pickle ball on one of two courts. They appeared to be fairly new. For your convenience (and ours), recreation equipment was available for check-out at the office. Other amenities included a fitness room, billiard room, outdoor ping pong table, playground, and three fully fenced dog parks. While the sites were not paved, they were extremely level. The long gravel sites are edged with railroad ties, keeping the sites looking tidy. Nearly all the sites are in the 60 - 75 feet range for length with the majority being pull-thru. We typically don’t have a need to use the bathhouse in a campground, but Raleigh Oaks RV Resort did it right! The bathrooms are all individual suites with a toilet, sink, and tiled shower with the comforts of heat & air conditioning.
THINGS TO CONSIDER: The only downfalls to this campground are the lack of many trees within the campground and the slight traffic noise from nearby I-95. However, both of these things can be seen as advantages to some. No trees means no need to climb up on the roof to check the top of slides for debris. Being close to a major interstate means easy on and off access to the campground. It all depends how you look at it. Please do note, that even though the name of the campground contains the name Raleigh, it is about a 40 minute drive to downtown.
THEIR WEBSITE: Raleigh Oaks RV Resort & Cottages
LOCATION: Trenton, Maine
RATE WE PAID: $15 / day while Workamping in Bar Harbor
WHY WE LOVED IT: We spent 162 days at Narrows Too Camping Resort due to being their for our workamping job in Bar Harbor, Maine. This part of Maine is absolutely beautiful. The campground has several different levels/price ranges for sites including some very nice waterfront sites. Nearly all of the sites at Narrows Too Camping Resort are long, level gravel sites. For us, the campgrounds proximity to Bar Harbor, Mount Desert Island, and Acadia National Park was its main highlight. There is a kayak launch at the water which is most conveniently accessible at high tide. One of the major perks of this campground is that it is a stop for the Island Explorer shuttle that takes you to the Village Green in downtown Bar Harbor where you can catch other shuttle lines that take you all over the island. Even better, this service is completely FREE! There are several traditional lobster pounds nearby in Trenton, including the most popular seeming to be the Trenton Bridge Lobster Pound.
THINGS TO CONSIDER: Uniquely many of the sites are pull-in sites, which means even with a 5th wheel or travel trailer, you pull-in to the site. This means you have to figure out how to get your truck out from the front of the site. It takes some thought and planning, but it works. There was road noise as well as airplane traffic overhead as the Bar Harbor Airport was right next door. While many people thought of this as a disadvantage, we actually enjoyed watching all the private jets and small commercial planes fly over.
THEIR WEBSITE: Narrows Too Camping Resort
And there you have it - a list of our top ten favorite campgrounds we have stumbled across during our two years of travel. The list ranges from RV resorts chocked full of amenities to a state park with only electric connections. We hope you find this list to be insightful as we enjoyed taking a trip down memory lane. Many of the stays at these campgrounds and others have allowed us the opportunity to explore and enjoy so many wonderful sights and attractions. We often highlight these in our end-of-the year favorite moments & Nomadivesary clebration posts.