We camped 5 times this summer while driving up and down the East Coast on our Epic Family Roadtrip. The first night was at a state park in Ohio but the other four trips we stayed at KOAs. This was my first time staying at a KOA and I was a pretty instant convert. What’s the difference?
The first thing I noticed about the KOAs compared to a lot of other campgrounds is simply the ease of booking. With over 485 locations throughout North America, it seemed like there was always a KOA within spitting distance of the routes we were driving and their website was incredibly easy to book with. Most of the KOAs have great maps of their campground so you can figure out where you want to stay and what you’ll be able to do there. I didn’t have to guess how far away the campground was, which site would be better to stay in or whether or not I’d have to pay for parking. Everything was easy. For a long road trip, this was a godsend!
Here’s a roundup of the four campgrounds we stayed at:
Our first KOA experience was at the Capitol KOA outside of Washington D.C. in Maryland. I think this was the perfect KOA to start with because they had everything going for them. The staff was super friendly and helpful, our tent site was within spitting distance of the playground which the kids adored, they had a lot of cool amenities like a jumping pillow, a giant chess board, outdoor billiards, ping pong and badminton. That night they showed a movie on the side of the office / store – it was so family friendly and was a nice break after a day of walking through Washington D.C.
Going to DC? Be sure to check out the shuttles to D.C. offered by the campground.
The next night we drove through to North Carolina where we stayed at the Enfield / Rocky Mount KOA. After driving through ferocious traffic, we were pretty exhausted and honestly didn’t make much use of their amenities. BB did play with their giant checker board (admittedly not as cool as the giant chess board). We were admittedly disappointed in the firewood they had available which was unfortunately too wet to get a good fire going but with the constant rain that plagued our vacation this was difficult to avoid.
After spending a lovely week in Florida visiting my dad, we drove north to the Forsyth Georgia KOA (did you see that beautiful picture at the top of this post? That’s from the Forsyth KOA). When we got to Forsyth my husband took advantage of a deal they had going to upgrade to a KOA Kabin for only $10 more per night! It was just a simple cabin with a full bed and a bunk bed and a small desk but it also boasted Air Conditioning!!!! This was music to our ears on a hot July night and a fantastic treat after making not terrific time driving yet again. Rather than setting up camp after a long drive, we unloaded the car and got right to the best part of camping: the camp fire! We also loved their playground which had a nice mix of classic playground equipment and fun new structures to play on as well.
So the next morning we drove to the Bowling Green KOA and I’ll admit it, I totally splurged on another cabin. It wasn’t the same great deal but it was the same amount of totally worth it. Honestly, we barely glanced at the amenities at this KOA because we were busy exploring caves (more on that later, I promise) but their website boasts mini golf, a pet playground, paddle boats, arcade games, horseshoes, volleyball, a swimming pool and more. In addition to being near Mammoth Cave and The Lost River Cave, it’s also near Dinosaur World (which we didn’t see this time) and the National Corvette Museum (which I went to when I was a little girl). So they’ve got a lot going on!
What kind of camper are you? State park? KOA? Backyard?
Tent / RV / Cabin / I’ll be at my hotel, thanks!