Date of Stay: November, 2014
New River is a beautiful little state park in the mountains, about 15 minutes from the quaint little town of West Jefferson. The park is small, with only about 20 total sites. A limited number of sites have full hookups and are big rig friendly. I had no problem with a long bed truck towing a 39' fifth wheel. The approaches to the park on 221 are also big rig friendly, though going slow is recommended the last few miles from Jefferson northbound on US 221. The park has about 3 miles of very nice hiking trails, as well as a canoe launch and some day use areas along the New River. Very scenic. There is also a small museum and interpretive center at the park office that is worth a visit. The facilities are all in great shape and the bathhouse was immaculate (and heated!). Plan to visit West Jefferson's downtown area for shopping and a number of eateries, including a nice brew pub. Also, the drive up Mt Jefferson is well worth it for some gorgeous views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. A bit longer drive (one hour) will get you to Stone Mountain State Park, which is also a must see. Overall, this is a great little park if you are looking for somewhere to just unwind and maybe do a little bit of hiking and sightseeing.
Date of Stay: October, 2014
Well, it's taken years, but I have finally given a park my first 10. I try to rate a park not just based on my own preferences, but as I think the majority of campers would hopefully look at it. With only one or two very minor blemishes, this park is still a 10. Within Tanglewood Park there is everything you might want - fishing lakes, horse stables and trails, mountain bike trails, paved bike/jogging paths, canoe rentals, golf courses, picnic pavilions, playgrounds, a dog park, a weekly farmers' market, and more. There is no way you could stay here and be bored. We visited in the off-season so some of the activities were closed, but there was still plenty to do. The campsites themselves are very nice. It has paved roads and sites, though as mentioned, some are quite sloped, so bring leveling blocks if you can't self level. Sites are wide and there is enough space to the sides and behind your site that you don't feel cramped. The Wi-Fi was the fastest I have ever seen at a campground, hands down. We are not TV watchers, but the cable channel selection looked robust. As mentioned, the bathhouse is old, but it was spotless (and heated). Cleanliness is a hallmark of this park. The entire facility was incredibly clean and well maintained. We observed crews cleaning streets, repainting roads and facilities, and even blowing leaves off the trails each day. In short, besides not having fire rings at the sites, and a few sites being a sloped, there is nothing this campground lacks. We will return here as soon as we can.
Date of Stay: June, 2014
We've stayed in four of the big parks in Myrtle Beach and this is the best, hands down. Best part - no golf carts!! We could actually walk our dogs, ride our bikes, and drive in and out of the park without being run down by kids in golf carts. The sites are close, but better than the other parks due to the cabana that every site has. The downside is the sites are sandy, so bring lots of mats and a broom. Sites are mostly level and hookups are conveniently located. Our site had enough room for a 39' 5er, my long bed truck, and my son's car. We did see a lot of ants, but since I sprayed ant spray around the rig as soon as we got there, we had very few get inside. The park has great facilities and is conveniently located to WalMart, Tanger outlets, and Barefoot Landing. The WalMart and outlets are within a long walk/short bike ride. There is also a golf course right across the street, as well as a paved bike path that runs for about 2 miles. The beach is narrow at high tide, as others have said. In order to accommodate more people, the county has banned the monster-sized gazebo/tents people have set up at the beach in the past, so leave yours at home. Now you may only use a beach umbrella and it can't be set up (unattended) before 8 AM. Other odds and ends: the Wi-Fi was basically unusable on the northeast side of the park. Weak signal and very slow! Bathrooms are excellent and clean. The staff is very friendly. The check-in parking area is very crowded during a weekend check-in period--move slowly and watch your turns! The interior roads are sand and gravel and get muddy during rain, so bring some old shoes! Overall, this is a great park and about as close to a 10 as I've been to in quite some time.
Date of Stay: August, 2012
This campground is the best option on the Outer Banks. At less than half the price of the neighboring campgrounds, it is a great deal. They really recovered nicely from last year's hurricane damage and have spruced up the park somewhat. They even added deck chairs at the pool. The Wi-Fi seemed improved from last year, though still a bit hit or miss. Still no soap or paper towels in the restrooms, which is puzzling. There had been a near record amount of rain in the weeks before our visit, so (no fault of Ocean Waves) the place was a swamp. Several sites were unusable and almost all sites had puddles of water and mud. Not much they can do about the lack of drainage on a barrier island, but be advised to take old shoes or boots if the forecast calls for heavy rain! Also, due to the rain, the mosquitoes were horrendous. They literally swarmed you when you step outside. However, the campground has a curious rule banning torches. We have a tiki torch that burns citronella liquid that is a must for mosquitoes. I'd say if management won't allow such items, they better contract someone to spray the campground for bugs. All in all, a nice campground right on the beach and a great deal for the money. We will go back.
Date of Stay: August, 2012
This park is still recovering from last year's hurricane, but is almost back to normal. They rebuilt a very nice pool and some nice looking cabins. The RV sites remain much like they were previously - sand/gravel/mud and a bit uneven. Given that, this park is WAY overpriced for what it offers. We stayed here just one night because we decided to extend our OBX trip by one day and the campground to the south couldn't extend our stay. The KOA staff was very helpful in accommodating my request for a pull through for one night. I was shocked when I checked in and I had to pay $5 per dog for one night (I had 4 on this trip, as I was dog-sitting an extra). So my total for one night was $114! Given that the sites are dirt and mud, we don't use the bathhouses, there is no wi-fi at the site, the cafe was closed Monday and Tuesday, the mosquitoes were horrendous, and I brought my own dog bags, I am not sure what that $114 was getting me. I will say the new ramps over the dunes are nice and the new bathhouses appeared nice, but short of that, you would be much better off to look further south for a better deal and nicer sites.
Date of Stay: July, 2012
A very nice park, but it has a few issues that keep it from being rated higher. The campground is very wooded, which makes July in Georgia much more tolerable. It is also very spacious, at least at the pull through sites. We had so much room between us and the next rig over that we thought there might be a tent site in between (there wasn't). As noted by a prior reviewer, the hookups are somewhat randomly placed, so check carefully before you unhook. Also, our sewer cap was slightly uphill, and it also clogged up when I tried to dump. Management had someone out there within minutes to work the issue, however. The campground is also very sandy as mentioned, so there is plenty of dust and your feet will be black if you aren't wearing socks and shoes. The biggest disappointment however, were the mosquitoes. Other than Alaska, I have never seen so many mosquitoes in my life. They swarmed us as soon as we were out the door. They even bite through clothing! We were told by a shopkeeper that they spray the island, but if so, they missed the campground. We could not even sit outside. Last, there are some trees very close to the roads, so watch carefully when you pull in and out. I was able to maneuver a 38' fifth wheel OK, but there wasn't a lot of room on some roads to make the turns. Other roads are fine - it is just luck of the draw, so check things out before committing yourself to a road. Overall, we enjoyed the island very much. The beaches were quiet and peaceful, though the water is very silty. There is a very nice municipal beach near the convention center, 5 minutes drive from the campground. The campground is adequate and decent for the price, just bring lots of bug spray!
Date of Stay: July, 2012
This is a tough campground to rate because it will be very appealing to some and not so much to others. For us, just looking for a nice place to park our rig close to the beach, it was a very good experience. There are only 29 sites, all with concrete pads and deep enough for a big rig and vehicle. There is ample parking for extra vehicles close by as well. The grounds are very well kept, with thick grass between each site. In addition, there is a huge field where dogs can be walked and are allowed to run off leash (if no other dogs or people are present). The beach is a short walk (8 minutes from our door to the public access). Overall, we found this place to be well kept and the manager is very involved with keeping it so. The only (minor) complaints we had were that there was no picnic table at the sites and the Wi-Fi was very weak and slow. If you are looking for a great location to park your rig (at half the price of other Destin campgrounds) while you enjoy the beaches and sights of Destin, I would highly recommend Geronimo. If you are looking for a campground with a view, a pool, and activities for your kids, you will need to look elsewhere.
Date of Stay: July, 2012
Very nice campground located southeast of Chattanooga, about 1/4 mile into Georgia. Very convenient to all of the sights of Chattanooga; 15 minutes or less drive. Also, very convenient to I-75, which leads to a fairly regular turnover of sites. We used this campground as a base to sightsee. The staff was very helpful in recommending things to do and see. The battlefield just south was very interesting, and Ruby Falls and Rock City are a must. The packet they gave us when we checked in was very useful. It even included recommended directions for cars vs. big rigs, as the approaching roads to the campground are quite narrow and curvy. The campground has a small but well stocked store with reasonable prices. There is also acres of open space for dog walking and riding bikes. I would camp here again if visiting Chattanooga.
Date of Stay: July, 2012
This is a very nice park in a great location. As many others have already commented on the tubing and other fun activities nearby, I will just say that I agree that this is a great family destination with tons of stuff to do nearby. The park is very clean and well kept. However, the roads do get quite muddy when it rains. My biggest issue with this campground is that it is really only barely big rig friendly. West Deep Creek Road, which brings you to the campground from Bryson City is VERY narrow and winding. My dually took up the entire lane and I had to "borrow" some of the other lane on some curves. Also, the campground itself has very narrow lanes and fences and rocks right to the edge of the road. If you are towing anything over about 34 feet, be very careful when you make the turns to the big rig spaces. The spaces themselves are just fine for a big rig - plenty wide and deep and more than enough room to back in. Again, the hardest part is just getting to the spots. So while you certainly can camp here with a big rig (my trailer is 38 feet), just take it easy and be very attentive. Lastly, I wanted to comment on the management. I found them all to be very helpful and knowledgeable about things to do in the area. Whether it was tubing, sightseeing, or places to eat in town, they had an answer and were willing to help. I did not experience any of the issues a few others have commented on in the past. All in all, a very nice campground that I would go to again.
Date of Stay: November, 2011
I rate this campground as a strong 8. It is convenient to Williamsburg and surrounding attractions. The campground is nicely wooded, has level concrete pads, and nice, clean bathhouses. There are plenty of things to do in the park such as a long nature trail, horseshoes, basketball, mini-golf and what looks like a nice pool for the summer. They also have a very large fenced dog run for the pups. I have towed a 39' fiver into this campground a half dozen times and never had any issues with trees, obstacles or narrow roads. Take your time and you will be fine. Three minor things keep this park from a 9 or 10. First, the cable TV has always been very fuzzy here, as others have pointed out. Also, the Wi-Fi is very weak, and we were not very far from the office. I gave up using my computer after the first day. Last, if you are in the sites closest to the cabins, be prepared for healthy whiffs of sewage every now and then. There is a tall vent pipe of off the septic area that is quite pungent if the winds are right. Overall, you won't go wrong at this park.
Date of Stay: November, 2011
We stayed here so that we could visit the NC zoo and also to see some fall colors in the Piedmont. It is a beautiful area, and the zoo was awesome. Overall, I would give this park a high 7 as it is currently, but it is very apparent the new owners are making rapid and extensive improvements since they took over in June. I could foresee a grade of 9 in the not too distant future. The staff was very friendly and helpful. The campground was clean and very pretty, with some great hiking trails along the river. There is a nice catch and release pond as well. The bathhouses are a bit messy right now, but that is due to the ongoing renovations. The only issues I had with the park are minor and more due to the "geography" of the park, and are out of the control of the owners, who obviously care about providing a nice camping experience. First, there is a fair amount of road noise if you are in the full hook up section rows near the edge. Also, I felt a bit like I was at Myrtle Beach, as our awning almost extended into our neighbor's site. Not all of the pull through sites are this narrow, but many seemed to be. As the park was not full, I thought management could have spread folks out more. Also, the sites are not very long. With my 38' rig, it was almost jutting out the back of the site, and I could barely parallel park my truck in front without being in the road. Last, there is a decent slope in the full hook up area, so bring your leveling blocks. Otherwise, nice park, lots of activities (putt putt, bocce ball, pool, volleyball, and more), and great staff. I would definitely camp here again.
Date of Stay: August, 2011
The last time we camped here was our first trip to Myrtle Beach - in 2003. I vowed we would never go back and for the next 8 seasons we went to either Pirateland or Lakewood and enjoyed them both. I figured it was time to give Ocean Lakes another shot. Overall, it was about what I expected, though I give it a higher rating this time around due to the nice wide concrete pull throughs they now have in the 3000 section. Also, there are a ton of activities for all ages, every day of the week. Other than that, it doesn' have anything over its two neighboring parks and suffers from a few faults. First, golf carts are out of control and there is no sign that the management even cares. They are probably no worse than other nearby parks, but due to the immense size of Ocean Lakes, the number of "golf cart bandits" is much higher. Also, the beach was so narrow that it is incredibly crowded - if you don't have your umbrella in the sand by 8 AM, you may not find a spot. It doesn't help that everyone seems to have gazebo-sized sun shades either. The beach is narrow at Pirateland (where we camped last month), but because the park is so much smaller than Ocean Lakes, there is plenty of elbow room. All in all, if you don't mind the golf carts and a very crowded beach, you will be OK here. However, choose your spots wisely. Perimeter roads, the beachfront, and anywhere near the pool are very chaotic at all hours. If you want some quiet on relatively wide concrete pull throughs, look to the interior rows in the 3000 section. Note: we were with family on this trip and we had read about the incidents of theft. Though we did lock up some things, we had no incidents at either campsite and did not hear of anything being stolen anywhere around us.
Date of Stay: June, 2011
We head to the Outer Banks about every other year, but have always stayed at the KOA next door. The prices there have climbed to ridiculous levels, so we finally got our request in early enough this year to secure 4 nights at Ocean Waves. We had walked through the campground before and it seemed pretty nice. I will admit, I was skeptical about the string of 9 and 10 ratings it garners. I will say it is a nice campground, but not quite worthy of a perfect 10 in my book. For my wife and I, who just want to park our camper and go to the beach, it is nearly perfect, especially given the price, but I am rating it for the benefit of others who may have kids or not be in a self-contained unit. That said, I would give it a low "8". The sites are a standard beach campground: very close. However, they are level, paved and deep. I was able to back in my 40' fiver and park my long bed truck in front of it without a problem. There is nice grass between each site: no sand spurs or hot sand! Water pressure was good and we showed 122 volts consistently on our EMS. The few minor negatives that keep this place from really being a 9 or 10: 1) The bathhouses are as stated by previous reviewers. Normally we use our own facilities, but do use the bathhouse when we are at the beach and don't want to go back to the rig. As stated before, no soap, no paper towels or dryer, and at 5'9", my knees pressed against the stall doors. How much can paper towels and some soap cost? Basic sanitation shouldn't be optional. 2) Next, the Wi-Fi was terrible. In site 64 we never got more than a "Low" signal and a 1.0 Mbps rate: think 1990s dial up speeds. Normally I don't care about having Internet, but my daughter was working some online classes and had to walk down to the office just to get a signal. It wasn't our equipment either. We had a Mac, a PC notebook, and a phone: same result, in or outside the camper. 3) The pool is not above ground as a previous rater stated, but a fiberglass shell that juts a foot or two above the ground and is surrounded by decking: no big deal. Adequate size for a campground this small. But there are no deck chairs at all. Seriously: a pool with no deck chairs? People were laying on their rafts or on towels on the hard deck. 4) The beach access is no problem for most people. However, anyone with difficulty navigating in deep sand or up steep hills, be warned. They need a boardwalk like the other 2 nearby campgrounds. 5) Not an issue for us, but there are no real activities for kids (other than miles of gorgeous beach of course!) A single swingset next to the dumpster was it. Compared to other beach places we've stayed, that seems to be lacking. Again, we thoroughly enjoyed our stay here and will go back. The beach is awesome: uncrowded and beautiful. The water can be rough at times and is usually chilly until mid-July. We saw plenty of kids in the water, so there is no need to drive to soundside beaches, as previously stated. In 30 minutes or so you can be in Nags Head and Kitty Hawk, or south to Buxton and Hatteras. If, like us, you just want to park your rig at a nice quiet place and fish or hit the beach, this place is for you. The price is unbeatable. If you are looking for a campground with nicer facilities, nice bathhouses, entertainment for your kids, Internet access, and a nice large pool, you might want to look elsewhere.
Date of Stay: March, 2011
We go to this KOA on occasion, as it is close to our son's college. It is a nice campground, almost an 8 in my book, but not quite. The sites are level, the campground is visually appealing with woods and tall pines, and the staff is superb. Our dogs also enjoy the large dog runs. However, the detractors that take a bit of the shine off this KOA are the very dusty roads that turned to a muddy mess during rain, and the very busy road right in front of the campground. US 17 is very noisy at all hours and the car wash just in front of the park could be heard as well. The high volume of traffic makes turning left out of the park nearly impossible. Luckily most of the activities in Wilmington are to the right. All in all, a nice park, but fairly basic. It will fit your needs as a place to base out of for the Wilmington sites and beaches, but not a whole lot to do in the park if you have kids.
Date of Stay: June, 2010
Very nice campground. Tons of stuff to do in the park for all ages. We don't have young kids, but were impressed with all of the activities available for the youngsters. There was a water park, climbing wall, kayak rental, paddle boat rental, fishing ponds and lakes, and bike trails. I enjoyed the running trails and the dog beach was an awesome place for our dogs. I only have 2 minor issues with this park that kept it from being a 10. First, is the approaches to the park. All of the roads have low trees, making it a bit of a white knuckle experience for tall rigs. My rig is 13' tall and several branches knocked into our front A/C unit. Once inside the park, all the clearances were OK. The other minor point is that many of the sites are close together and not very private. Be prepared to see and hear your neighbors in most sites. Beyond that, I'd highly recommend this park to anyone.