We left the quiet solitude of Yosemite with our hitchhikers in tow and headed to the KOA Kampground we had booked at Petaluma North, San Francisco. Since this is the third or fourth KOA we have camped in now, I thought it was time to do a bit of a review for other would-be campers out there!
KOA stands for Kampgrounds Of America and has been around since the 60’s. Each campground we have stayed in so far has been owned by a couple who have been on site each time. This has ensured a lovely experience so far.
Brittney likes to be annoyed at the spelling of Kampgrounds but I think it’s a bit of marketing genius!! All through their literature they spell words with K’s – it sure makes you remember them. But, I digress.
The Kampgrounds have tent sites, cabins and RV parking. It’s nice to have a choice between cabins and tents!!
Initially when we looked at campgrounds we thought KOA was a little on the expensive side when compared to other camping places. We tend to google by location while we are driving, so local campgrounds come up and occasionally the KOA comes up in the searches.
So far we’ve stayed in a private RV park in Tombstone and another one in Roswell for two nights. We’ve camped near a lake in Waco (for $12 per night – BARGAIN!!!) and stayed by a lake near San Antonio for $45 per night.
All of these venues had one thing in common.
Very basic camping facilities!!!
In all cases it’s been a small hike to toilets and showers. Some had wifi, some did not. If they did supply free wifi, it generally could not be accessed from our tent sites!!
None of them have been bad experiences. We actually enjoyed all of them and the staff at all these sites were lovely.
When we finally stayed at a KOA however, we discovered a HUGE difference in facilities that has convinced us to stick with them and made us wonder why we didn’t book there sooner!!
Our first stop was KOA, Flagstaff where we stayed for 2 nights. We could have stayed in a teepee here but chose the cheaper tent site – I’m still kicking myself that we didn’t sleep in a teepee!! This park had a playground and a splash area and offered free tea and coffee! A big plus for Gert and Britt!! When we were leaving we noticed a spot where we could take photo’s!
You know we can’t resist a pic….here’s the results!!
Next on our list was KOA, Kingman. These guys had mini golf for the kids and all of ours had a turn!!
We then stayed at KOA, Visalia which is close to Fresno. This campground was practically a hotel (except for our tents!!). They had a gym and a rec room with TV. There was a playground and a great pool that the kids really enjoyed.
We were pretty sure this was as good as a KOA could get.
Until. We. Arrived. At.
North San Francisco/Petaluma!!
I’m sitting in a small park area just outside the KOA office writing this review. It’s a big weekend here as its Mother’s day weekend. These guys have gone all out!!!
There’s rock climbing, a petting zoo, a giant jumping pillow, a huge swimming pool, a rec room with Karaoke at night, an arcade with games and prize machines and you can rent banana bikes by the half hour!! There’s been snow cones, a giant slide and a DJ today at the pool. Tonight there’s a kid’s movie by the pool, marshmallow making and an ice-cream social!!!
What an amazing array of entertainment!!
We have not seen Jono all day – he is having a great time and I’m sure will need a big sleep to recover!!
The place is of course packed with people! According to the map there’s 284 sites. Each of these has it’s fair share of adults, kids and dogs this weekend so you can imagine the noise!!
It’s great to be amongst people again, though we were not too sure last night since we had just been in the quiet of Yosemite!!
We’ve had such good experiences that we joined up the the KOA club for $24 and now receive 10% off every stay. We’ve already saved more than the $24 so everything now is money in our pocket!!
Can’t wait to keep you posted on the the next KOA’s and their facilities!!
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