We’ve been RVing now for almost 15 years. That’s a long time, but obviously not as much as a lot of RVers. We’re fortunate — our businesses allow us the freedom to get out when we want, pretty much go where we feel we’d like, and still make a decent living. Klein Tank has been a BIG part of our lives these past few years and we’re grateful for the people we’ve met and helped.
In our travels, we’ve been to some pretty great RV parks, resorts, and state parks and reservation areas. We’ve also been to some pretty horrid ones! This short essay highlights to top five that we call our favorites.
Topsail Hill State Preserve State Park, Santa Rosa Beach, Florida
Hands down, this is the nicest place we’ve ever been too. It’s no surprise — it started out as a private RV resort on the Florida Panhandle Gulf Coast and was given to the State of Florida upon the original owner’s death.
Here, you’ll find 160 or so sites arranged in loops, like so many RV parks and park grounds are. The best ones are the “lower” numbers where you’ll camp amongst Longleaf pine trees, Florida Rosemary, Deer moss, and ground-hugging palms. All of the sites have plenty of space between them and each one is pretty secluded from its neighbors. Roads are paved and well-maintained, the facilities are all top-notch, and the park has extensive hiking trails and campsites are about a mile or so from the beach.
Nearby dining, shopping, and sightseeing make this an easy choice for any RVer. Beware though, this park books up months in advance and can be very, very difficult to get into for any length of time during winter months.
Wagon Trail Campground, Ellison Bay, Wisconsin
If you’ve never been to Door County, Wisconsin, get ready for a great time of shopping, antiquing, outdoor activities, and dining. I mean, who doesn’t like a Fish Boil?!
This campground/resort boast 145 sites, all back in the Wisconsin woods. Almost every campsite is nestled in a secluded nook of trees and heavy ground growth, so you’re pretty isolated from your neighbors. The roads are crushed gravel and the park is very well-maintained with a lot of flower plantings and landscaping that enhances the rustic nature of the area.
Amenities are nice and well-maintained. Open fires are fine, but you’ll need to purchase local wood (there are plenty of nearby homes selling it streetside). Telephone cell service is absolutely horrible and the only place you’ll find WiFi is at the lodge (which has a nice reading room, store, and great shower houses). Then again, you come here to enjoy nature, get out and do some shopping, and see the sites.
Illini State Park, Marseilles, Illinois
As state parks go, this is probably our favorite. We always camp in the low-numbered sites in the Great Falls loop, all of which back up to the Illinois River. Sites are wide and extremely deep and there are nice, large, old trees, plenty of privacy, and great views of the lazy river. Building a roaring campfire, grabbing a good book and some tasty cocktails (be sure to be discreet — open alcohol is prohibited), and watching the frequent barges slide by is an absolute de-stressor.
Nearby, Ottawa has great restaurants and shops. You’re not too far from Starved Rock and Mathieson State Parks and their canyons, WPA lodge and other outdoor structures, and excellent, scenic hiking.
Jamaica Beach RV Resort, Galveston, Texas
A private RV resort, this is a great place to “overwinter” for those seeking a warm, yet cool winter climate, access to Texas’ excellent beaches (just across the street!), and the eclecticness of old Galveston.
The resort is a collection of paved streets with decent space for each site. Everyone keeps to themselves, though everyone is very friendly. Amenities include a large spa, mini golf course, and pool. There are always activities going on like potlucks if you’re so inclined. The real benefit here is the close proximity to Galveston, a great old city that boasts plenty to do, wonderful of great restaurants, and lots of fresh markets (fish, farmers markets, etc.).
Catherine’s Landing RV Resort, Hot Springs, Arkansas
One of the RVC Outdoor Destination family of RV parks, this one features large sites, many of which back right up to Lake Catherine. The amenities are top-notch: The pool is large and inviting, the gift shop and store have something for everyone, and the bathrooms are the best we’ve ever experienced, hands down.
Nearby is historic Hot Springs with plenty to see and do. And if you love BBQ, there are many, many excellent choices. We always try to make this one of our “must stop” destinations when traveling through the central south.
We’d love to hear your feedback if you’ve visited any of these five destinations. And if you have some favorites you’d like to share, leave your comments below!