Date of Stay: April, 2010
I chose this campground based upon the reviews that were written, and I could not have been more disappointed. This park is predominantly (99%) permanent trailer/park homes; they are very close together and many are not well maintained. Because of this fact, the park is not designed for anything close to a big rig. The roads are narrow, winding and have low hanging branches which threaten roof appliances. You cannot get through the park safely with a tow vehicle attached. Many sites have cracked cement, and your site may simply be between two mobile homes. Some sites are so shaded that satellite reception is not possible (I overheard this from the couple next to me in the office who had this particular problem). The staff is very friendly and helpful, but they cannot overcome the crowded and shabby condition of the park. I would not stop here again.
Date of Stay: March, 2010
I've read the other reviews on Grand Lake, and I largely concur with most of the comments. Overall, this is a very nice park. Some of the positives and negatives should be highlighted, though. First, this is, visually, a lovely park. The landscaping is well manicured, the sites are nicely spaced with plenty of "breathing room", and the roads are wide and well-paved. Also, we felt very safe in this park, even though the gate is left open during the day. No issues with leaving your things in the park while you go off for a walk, a drive, or a week-long car trip. Second, the staff is friendly and efficient: particularly one lady who is a treasure at the front desk. Mail service is very convenient as well. Third, if you are a golfer, this is a great place, as there is an on-site 9-hole course, a driving range, and a putting green. The big negative concerns Wi-Fi. The park's wireless service provider, WiFiFee, is virtually non-functional. Most of the time, you cannot get on at all, and if you do, it times you out after 2 hours or anytime you get thrown off the internet (which is frequently). (And don't buy the extra time, it won't work any better even though WiFiFee tries to trick you into thinking that it will). I was in constant communication with the tech assistants at WiFiFee, and they only could tell me that service to that area was bad. Moreover, if you rely, as I do, on Verizon wireless as your internet service provider (the thing you stick in the USB port on your computer to get internet access), there is absolutely no Verizon wireless internet service in that whole area (cell phone yes, but wireless internet no). So, you either need to not care about wireless internet service, or you need to come with your own satellite service if you stay at Grand Lake for an extended time. The second biggest problem is the distance you must travel to get anywhere. Orange Lake is a solid 25 minute drive to Ocala or Gainesville, and there is nothing in between you and these destinations but farmland and/or swampland. So popping downtown for a coffee or quick run into a shop is really not in the cards. OK for a few days, but after 3 months, this can wear thin. Lastly, I must make guests aware that the driving range doubles as the wastewater drainage field. So the golf balls that are collected after you hit them and that are returned to you when you purchase another bucket have not infrequently been basted in rather unsavory substances. Wash up after hitting the balls. Overall, I'd stay again readily once I get satellite internet service.
Date of Stay: November, 2009
I read through many of the reviews before posting, and I agree with many of the positives and negatives of this park. The KOA in Nashville is truly pricey, but you are really without options because you are paying to be in Nashville and there are only three or four parks (all virtually on the same street) from which to pick. The proximity to Opryland can't be beat (down the street), but it's a good 40 minute drive into downtown in pretty serious traffic. The park has actually improved under current ownership. The newly added dog park area is really nice and I used it frequently to give my pooches an unleashed run-around time. Also, cable TV is now available, and believe me, staying here without it a few years ago was a real drag. There are plenty of TV stations. That being said, the sites are tight and a big rig (which I drive) only fits in a standard site if you park your tow vehicle diagonally across the site either in front or in the rear of your rig. A few deluxe pull-throughs have been created and they permit rig and vehicle to park straight on. Also, it is very true that the streets in the park only allow one vehicle on the road at a time. That can be tricky, and the park tries to allow for this by making the streets one way. Problem is that the streets aren't marked, so you don't know which way the street is supposed to go unless you keep your park map with you at all times. A big issue is the proximity of the park to a highway, which is really noisy. You don't want to be parked near it. Try to park in the new section that has been opened up across from the office, which is quieter. Finally, I note that I've stayed here several times and the staff has been either terrific (the more usual) or awful. In particular, try not to interact too much with a male staff member "M", with whom I had nothing but difficulties during my most recent stay in November, 2009. He is rude and protects the live-aboards when they are misbehaving to the detriment of the casual traveler. He will also retaliate against you for lodging any sort of complaint.