Date of Stay: November, 2009
If it weren't for this park's lengthy and ridiculous RULES sheet you are handed when you check in and its total lack of street lights, it would rate higher. One rule says in capital letters, "NO ELECTRIC HEATERS, PLEASE." Just what is the above-average $35 a day fee supposed to pay for if not utilities? Maid service? Paving? A 30 amp circuit will not run two electric heaters on high, nor could you stand the heat inside if they both ran constantly, but let's say you could do both. At 10 cents/KWH two electric heaters on high ALL NIGHT would cost less than four bucks. So what's the problem? I'm paying them ten times that and I can't use less than four bucks of electricity? Another says, "In the event of a hurricane or other natural disaster directed towards the Pensacola area, all visitors must leave the park... No refunds will be given to any persons due to a natural disasters (sic)." Just exactly why would you refuse someone a refund in those circumstances? There is an extra charge for more than two people. Just what is the extra cost to an RV park of another person? Ten gallons of water? And as usual, no vehicle washing. You pay $35 a day yet can't use more than a KWH or two of electricity and and one tenth the water a normal household uses per day? And what's with no refunds after they throw you out?? This campground has very good free Wi-Fi, picnic tables, level crushed rock sites, and the fellow who checked me in was very nice. But whoever wrote the rules should not be within ten feet of anyone who owns his own business. There are no street lights whatsoever and the place is black-hole dark at night. I'd rather stay in a Wal-Mart parking lot than go back here, given what I'd get for the money.
Date of Stay: November, 2009
Shady Acres is about one mile from I-10 Exit 22. We liked Mobile, this park and its owners so much we stayed five nights instead of our planned three. There are active train tracks 1/4 mile away which are used in the daytime and once or twice at night and the noise did bother us, but not enough to offset this park's many positives. The owners might be the nicest we have ever met(!), the price is low, it is very easy to get to, it is less than four miles to city center, gorgeous big oak trees shade most of the park, there are $1 washers and dryers, and they have the fastest (free) Internet service we have ever found in a campground: 15Mbps down and 12Mbps up according to Speakeasy! The campground is quite near the secondary Mobile airport, but traffic is sparse, does not include anything louder than a turboprop, and we never heard an airplane go over at night. If you listen for the sound of traffic on the Interstate you can hear it, but it is not loud and is steady enough that it blends into the background, unnoticeable to us. The owner led us to our site and helped us park. Roads and sites are crushed rock and the long sites appear to have had a fresh layer added recently. There is not a lot of extra maneuvering room for the biggest rigs except at the front spaces because of the big trees. No hiking to a dumpster. There is a very convenient big trash container, the type a garbage truck can pick up with a hydraulic arm, behind each site. Cable TV service, some channels of which are clear and others not, is limited to 15 channels which are an odd mix of local and cable channels, but at least The Weather Channel is included. Our hookups were in new condition. The family has owned the campground land for four generations. They live on site, just past some trees, down on the Dog River, and invite you to walk down their driveway and through their yard to see the river or to fish. We felt comfortable going for a walk in the modest neighborhood. The location is perfect for seeing Bellingrath Gardens (highly recommended, especially in the Christmas season), the beaches, forts, and the charming town of Fairhope on the other side of Mobile Bay. Be warned that the folks at Bellingrath only tell you photography is not allowed inside the house after you have bought your tickets to tour it. The gardens themselves are spectacular. There are three seafood restaurants near Shady Acres that we did not try. Four miles away, the Tiny Diny's famous breakfasts and home cooking lunches are not to be missed. We toured the Richards DAR house downtown and enjoyed it. Mobile is such a beautiful city we would consider moving there! Everyone is extremely friendly. Our $22 rate would have been $20 with Good Sam. We would stay nowhere else on our next visit.