Earlier this year, Deke and I decided that we were going to see as many concerts as possible this summer (because last year I think we saw one) so when we learned about FloydFest we knew we had to check it out. It seemed smaller, almost all locally sponsored and more laid back than a lot of festivals out there, plus it was 3 hours away! (For a good, really short summary of the festival, I suggest reading This Must Be The Place from the Smokey Mountain News.) The bonus was we could make another trip to Virginia Highland Haven to stay! We love the place, and the town of Floyd, and music, so it was a no-brainer.
That’s us on the left. I think.
Again, we had great weather, met some new folks, reconnected with some we’ve known only online and got to explore the area again, which didn’t disappoint. We wrote a review the last time we were here and mentioned the drive — I forgot to take a video, but here’s what our map looked like driving away from Floyd.
Many, many sharp turns.
I think I’d like to live here……
View from the end of the park.
FloydFest was really fun, and we’re glad we did it, although staying up to see bands going on at midnight didn’t really work for us too much. It’s a really well organized event (free mountain spring water, 24 hour fantastic coffee station and beer is only sold in a cup you buy at the venue with tickets you also buy, so its an easy process, parking is in lots with a shuttle and the food options were numerous). If you go prepared, you’ll be ok (prepared=sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen). Also note: FloydFest really isn’t in Floyd proper, it’s several miles outside of town on the Blue Ridge Parkway, and about 25min drive from Highland Haven – without traffic.
There are big stages….
The Main Stage.
And really small ones…
You can stand way up front…
Trampled By Turtles.
Or sit in the back and just listen (and people watch, which was often better than the bands).
It doesn’t look like Deke has enough sunscreen on.
There were also some great, local vendors there as well — we each picked up a pair of shoes from Astral, a shoe company out of Asheville that makes really stylish shoes for kayaking! They gave you 20% off any pair of shoes if you swapped them out for a pair of your own. So far, I’m loving them. Also, they make incredibly cool lifevests as well — for humans and dogs!
Yes, those are the socks I’m wearing today.
We cut short concert going one day and hit Floyd and the surrounding area. We needed some food, so the Farmer’s Market was a success.
Veggies, kombucha stand, fruit, crepes and coffee.
We had breakfast at the Blue Ridge Restaurant, had a Japanese style pour-over coffee at the Black Water Loft and walked to the biggest fabric store I’ve ever seen: Schoolhouse Fabrics.
Old school = mega fabric store.
Riverstone Farm Store.
The kicker was finding Riverstone Farm Store. On the Floyd Highway into town we saw this handwritten yellow sign stuck in the ground that said “Farm Store” with an arrow. We followed it for MILES on a very narrow dirt road then almost missed it. The Riverstone Farm is a certified organic farm (however their meat is not certified organic) with a self-serve store carrying chickens, lamb, mutton, veggies from the farm, and cheese, sauerkraut and some other things from local places. Definitely worth the stop. They also have a building across the road with bulk meats, so if you want a whole lamb, its butchered and you can just take it out of the cooler and leave the money. They also do tours on Saturdays at 2pm!
We hated to leave —
Blue Ridge Parkway.
On our way back from Florida, we saw that the temperatures in Raleigh were supposed to be extremely cold in the next few weeks, so we decided it would be best to blow out the lines before putting it back in storage. We thought we’d give try the Fayetteville RV Resort a try since it’s about an hour from our storage garage.
This was previously a KOA, so it’s got all the things you’d come to expect from a KOA (pool, little cabins to rent, a store, full hook ups, level spots, propane) but I feel the new owners are really working to make it better. All the restrooms are being updated, they’ve obviously done a lot of work on the landscaping and overall, it’s a really nice park for a day or two.
They have a section for fulltimers in the back that doesn’t have as many trees as the front of the park, but the spots are still nice (definitely nicer and bigger than several spots we lived in while fulltiming).
Since moving here, we’ve definitely noticed a shortage of nice RV parks in the area (and by nice I mean clean and safe), so I’d definitely recommend this park if you’re traveling through the area and need to make a pit stop.
We wanted to check out at least one campground in South Carolina before heading home and Huntington Beach State Park looked perfect.
The park has 133 spots and direct beach access via several wooden paths throughout the park.
There are two beach paths leading from each end of the park.
There are some pretty private spots like ours, or some not-so-private spots around the inside of the loops. There’s also a loop in the back with heavy tree cover (but further from the beach), and some tent sites.
Second loop of the campground.
On the grounds of the state park is also Atalaya, a Moorish-style house that was once the winter home of sculptor Anna Hyatt Huntington. You can tour the house for $2.
The beach here is also really beautiful — white sand, dolphins, pelicans and some great shells.
New Year’s morning.
Jekyll Island is fantastic.
Bike path all the way around Jekyll Island.
The campground is the least private we’ve stayed in on this trip, but with an island this great, we didn’t spend a lot of time in the campground anyway.
No privacy in spot #27, but that didn’t stop us from having a fire. Sorry neighbors.
There are 206 camp spots (back in, pull through, full hook ups, primitive tent….) and a general store with the basics, including firewood. There’s also a little area designated for bird watching with swings for guests to sit on.
Looking for some quiet or just some birds?
In some spots, maneuvering around the trees in a big rig might be tricky.
At least there’s shade!
A short drive or bike ride directly across from the campground leads to Driftwood Beach with a fishing pier, and a nice sandy beach that leads to some beautiful scenery.
Pier off of Driftwood Beach.
It seems like this boat was way too close to shore….
For all the people in the campground, it was extremely quiet — plus there were a lot of fellow Airstreamers there! (Hi Bob and Lisa!)
Tomoka State Park landed us about as far south in Florida as we had time for before having to head back north to Raleigh. It’s between Jacksonville and Dayton Beach (I can’t even say it without a Spring-Break-WOOOO) and looked beautiful, and we got one of the last spots available for 3 days over Christmas (a good and bad thing as we later found out).
Entrance to the park.
The entrance to the park is beautiful, but has giant potholes… like 6 ft wide, so drive slowly!
The park has about 100 sites in every possible size and configuration you can imagine — short, long, really long, pull-through, private, not private — so really check them out when you go. We’d stay here again, but definitely try for a spot on the second row away from the bathrooms with no one across from us. Also, site 100 is hard to find — its kind of inbetween the two rows, like it was a total afterthought when building. It might be a winner. This place was packed (well, it was a holiday) with the most wide ranging group of people we’d ever seen in a campground. Next to us was a family that played the best mariachi music and had their site decorated with so many lights we didn’t need our flashlight at night. On the other side there were three spots filled with Hasidic teenagers, taking over the road several times a day dressed in their prayer shaws and tzitzit. The noise from both of them was a crazy mash-up.
The park also has a store (about a mile or so away from the campsite) that sells soda, beer, firewood and has boat rentals if you want to paddle around the inlet. We chose not to get in the water for one reason:
The camping area is part of a much larger state park with many designated fishing areas — like miles of them. We rode our bikes around the park a lot and just enjoyed the views.
All roads are sand…..
View from one of the many fishing areas.
To check out the area, we went on The Loop drive which takes you around Ormond Beach — its a narrow two lane road with really low hanging trees at certain points, we definitely wouldn’t recommend doing this in an RV. You can stop at the ruins of a plantation, one of the oldest trees around and wind through a few older-towns-with-much-newer-houses. And you can see the ocean.
View at Ormond-by-the-Sea.