We’d rather stay in State Parks on the road, but when a last minute opportunity presented itself to attend my neice’s 3rd Bday party (pirate/fairy themed!) of course we’re going to do it! The only place available close to Charlottesville was the area KOA (9 miles from my sister’s house north of the city). It was one of the better KOA’s we’ve stayed in, but I think your individual experience here would vary greatly depending on which spot you get.
This park is located in a beautiful wooded area, but some of the spots have no shade, and last weekend it was in the 90s. We felt very fortunate to have gotten spot #11 — spaced well from the neighbors and very shaded, with a nice view of the woods.
The first row of spots seemed like winners overall, but I don’t know if they could fit larger motorhomes or 5th wheels, except in spot #12 where they crammed in a Prevost next to a little pop-up camper. I still don’t know how that thing fit.
Spots #12 and #13 would be great for two people camping together!
The second row is all huge pull-through sites, but not a lot of privacy.
This KOA had all the regular things you’d expect in a KOA — a pool, playground and covered picnic areas, but most of these were on the other side of a little creek that separated the two, so you didn’t get any of the noise (genius!).
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.
For the first time almost 4 years (I think — time goes so fast) we found ourselves needing to winterize the Airstream, so we took one last trip to a full hook-up park to empty/blow out the tanks. Finding a good, safe, nice looking park is a little harder in the Raleigh area than we thought, but we came across Jones Station which has been under new ownership since January and looked good (note: they told us they were having internet problems, and their website seems to be up and down lately).
The park is located in Mebane, NC, an easy 46 miles drive from Raleigh, with a quaint downtown. When you first see the park, it looks a little parking-lot-like, but only the first row is tree-less. We were in the third row, and you can see the nice trees and little lawn area. The owners are super nice and have had the park since January. They’re planning a second building phase even further into the woods.
Entrance to the park.
The park is typically packed all the time — good for them, not great for campers looking for a full hook-up spot in the area, especially with really good internet!
Another shot from our spot.
Definitely take a trip to downtown Mebane too. There’s coffee (Reed’s), dinner (The Mebane Downtown Table), shopping Solgarden, Fifth Street Books, and a few bars.
Deke and Lu walking down the street in Mebane.
Outside Dick and Jane’s.
We had a great time here and will go back soon!
We haven’t had a lot of time to get away the last few weeks, but we were itching to camp — so we dusted off the tent and sleeping bags and headed 2 hours south of Raleigh to Lumber River State Park.
Trail to sites #6 and #7.
The park is tent camping only, and you have to park in a lot and walk to your spot. There are 9 spots in the Princess Ann section (on Princess Ann Road) and 15 spots on the Chalk Banks (another bank of the river several miles away). We chose the Princess Ann section based on photos alone — it was more wooded and right by the river. We were looking for some peace and quiet, so it seemed like a good bet.
Lucy not looking at Deke putting up the tent.
We popped our tent up pretty fast, got it all set up on the inside and started making some hot dogs. What we didn’t anticipate were the mosquitos. They were everywhere! In all our years of camping, we’ve never encountered anything like it. But some insect rellepent and a smokey fire and we were doing ok.
We took some walks around the park — nothing too major, but very pretty.
Two hours south of Raleigh is almost in South Carolina, so we saw some old, beautiful cypress trees along the river.
One of many.
The town of Orrum (pop. 91) is small — it’s mostly barns, tobacco and soybean farms — and more cemeteries in the 4 miles of town than we’ve ever seen in one place. There’s a general store, but it’s really a gas station so make sure you get everything you need if you visit the park!
To escape the mosquitos, Lu and I took a siesta in the tent….
We went to bed when it got dark and woke up around 8, so it’s possible we slept 12 hours, which we both needed.
In the morning, we took a few more walks, made some bacon and headed home. (Note unusual shot of Lucy looking at me.)