KOA's have a habit of saying a popular city in their name (in this case "Santa Cruz Monterey Bay") but actually being in another city (in this case "Watsonville") which seems a bit deceptive if you are not aware they tend to do this. That being said this time I guess it was OK because Watsonville is midway between the 2 cities in its name. The road in has some trees that need to be trimmed back if you are in a large motorhome as we were (40') but the park seem very family friendly. My ATT cellphone did NOT work well here but their Wi-Fi was OK. We stayed here 4 nights and might stay again, but would probably look for a place nearer to Monterey Bay next time. We camped here in a Motorhome.
We arrived on 10/27 around 4 p.m. unaware the park was having a HUGE Halloween celebration through-out the entire park. When we checked in, the office was without electricity. The office staff guessed at which site we would fit in and sent us on our way. We’ve stayed at many KOA campgrounds and traditionally, a KOA person will escort us to our site. We have a 41’ 5th wheel pulled by a Dodge Ram 3500, so we are by all means a “big-rig.” There were three KOA carts with KOA people at the bottom of the hill when we arrived and when we were pulling into the park. At no time did any KOA staff feel it necessary to alert us that the entire park was full with tons of excited children running around trick-or-treating, loose dogs, people, cars, Halloween decorations thick in every site as I have ever seen. We drove up the hill in our big rig to the chaos to a back-in spot that was far too small. It took us nearly 30 minutes to back into our spot all the while trying to dodge small rampant children, adults and again, loose dogs. While focusing on dodging the Halloween chaos and backing into our too small site, we missed the fact that there was a pine tree with one low branch; that ended up putting six tears down our brand new 5th wheel roof. We needed to be in this area for work or we would have pulled out the next morning at sunrise. Heck, hindsight is 20/20, if we would have not been in such shock from all the chaos, we would have pulled our unit right back out the gate and not stayed at all! We went down and talked to the office the next morning and they told us we should have read on the website events to find out about the Halloween events; forget the fact we received 3 emails from this office, encountered 5 KOA employees at check-in. Yes, 1,800 miles from home, of course, we should have checked the website events section! Other problems we had while at this spot were: 1) loose dogs! We were here from 10/27-11/4 and encountered loose dogs every day. We have 2 small dogs and put up panels to keep wandering loose dogs from getting very close to us or our dogs, and it’s a good thing with the loose Australian Shepherd, Rottweiler, French Bulldogs and one Jack Russell Terrier visiting our site without the owners even paying attention. We even saw a Rottweiler tied up to a tree during all the chaos. It was very large and not under control in the slightest, in fact, the owners were enjoying the Halloween festivities and not even at their campsite! I’m not opposed to dogs of any breed, but they should not be loose in a campground, period! 2) AT&T cellular signal in this park was nearly non-existent. 3) FLIES! I don’t know if it was because of all the outside cooking, food, candy during the Halloween festivities or what, but flies were abundant! It rained one day, which I would figure would help wash whatever it was attracting the flies away, but it didn’t. This park does have 6 or 7 pull through premium sites that are the only actual sites for big-rigs. We just arrived at exactly the wrong time without any warning and now get to replace the roof on our 2012 5th wheel, which is why I would not recommend this park to anyone ever. Outside of crazy busy weekends, this isn’t a bad park if either the KOA would enforce their loose dog rules or you go in understanding to watch for loose dogs. We camped here in a Fifth Wheel.
Absolutely the best KOA of all. We normally avoid KOAs, but we had friends to see here so we did. What a wonderful surprise. All campgrounds should be this nice. Friendly helpful staff. Great electric, water and cable connections. We would go back here again in a heartbeat. Lots of activities for children to do. Great store and just overall a great place. We camped here in a Motorhome.
Really well run park, staff was super nice and helpful. Hope you have kids because it's busy, busy. Overnight price was a little high. Overall nice location if you have a tow car. We camped here in a Motorhome.
[ 9 / 10 ]
This was our first time at this KOA - we were pleasantly surprised - it is very well maintained,every kind of camping available, LOTS of planned activities, super family friendly. The only negative I can say is it is very pricey & then didn't even get a "printed" brochure of the area - it was a poor photo copy! We camped here in a Motorhome.
We spent 4 days in their Premium pull through sites. Sites were level and included full hook ups and cable TV. The park offers free Wi-Fi. We had plenty of room for our 36' rig with 2 slides and truck. Overall we were very impressed. Tons of activities for the kids. Neat beach theme through out the park. Its a easy drive to Santa Cruz. We camped here in a Travel Trailer.
Seriously pricey without kids who use their considerable facilies. Good layout with level spaces. Well managed and friendly staff. Fenced/grassy dog run area, but quite small and not for exercise. Many kids and attendant noise. We camped here in a Motorhome.
Downgraded review after our attempts to resolve a poor experience with one of the managers there didn't come to fruition. We met some great neighbors from out of the country. We were embarrassed when a KOA employee (later turned out to be one of the managers) interrupted our conversation to complain about our kids using kids' chalk to draw a simple hopscotch design on the pad where the RV sits on top of. He said he didn't want other prospective RVers to think it was a "trashy" campground. We were all stunned. The kids chalk washes off in seconds and certainly wouldn't have bothered anyone who came here for the reportedly "kid friendly" nature of the park. Not to mention no one would see it because an RV would be covering it. With some of the speeding cars and unleashed dogs running around the campground unchallenged, we felt this was not keeping focus on what's important. When we contacted the manager, we found out this employee who confronted us was her husband. She was very defensive and said his recollection of events was totally different. I won't go into all the details, but the 5 independent customers to this event apparently ms-perceived the manager's intrusion. A simple apology to us for making a mistake would have sufficed. As a result, we have no plans to return to this park. When being charged $108 a night for an RV pad, we expect a little better customer service.
We camped here in a Motorhome.
Very nice campground! It was so luxurious, I would not call it camping. Nice friendly staff. Guy at the front desk was the most helpful and friendly man. I would definitely recommend RV'ing at KOA. We camped here in a Motorhome.
Visited twice. Once in the lodge and another with 27' motorhome. Easy camping! Good roads. Easy back ins. Great facilities for kids and pets. Lots of walking around space. Never felt need to leave. Even at these prices gets full on holiday weekends. Will visit often until we find as nice a place for less $. Easy to find less $, but won't be as nice or as painless. Can relax and not worry about camping. Will visit often. We camped here in a Motorhome.
We don't usually chose KOA's after some sketchy experiences in the past but this is BY FAR the nicest KOA we've stayed in. Awesome facilities for families with kids! Get one of the inner sites with concrete pad and gravel surrounding or one of the most expensive sites with patio, fire pit, and chairs. When in the area again we will return. Again, awesome facilities and activities for kids! We camped here in a Motorhome.
Expensive but a very pleasant campground. Staff was friendly, helpful and everything was very clean and orderly. One of the best run campgrounds I've seen. Pretty much everything you will need can be found on site. We will definitely visit again. We camped here in a Motorhome.
First of all, this place is expensive. I was floored when I was told the price for a nights stay. Oh well, I was told by friends that this is the best place in the area for a motorhome. We have a big-rig class A and tow a car so we needed a pull-through. We arrived in December: this is very off season for this area. I called a day before asking if I could check in at around 11AM as that was when we were arriving. Upon arrival, I asked the guy at the desk if our space was available. He said it was an extra $20! I told him I called ahead and was told if the space was there it was OK. He called someone and acted as if he was doing me a big favor by waiving the fee. So, we drive to the site and guess what? There was no one else here. The area we were put in, had me and no other pull-through sites and one fifth wheel in another area. The place only had a few other guests, so what was the big deal on checking in early? I don't like feeling like I am being gouged. Oh well, the place was one of the nicest I have been to. Even though we didn't use them, I checked out the bathrooms and showers. Really, really clean! There are beautiful grounds and it is very dog friendly. All in all, a very nice place. I would imagine in the summer it would be packed and not as enjoyable for a loner like me. We would stay here again for sure. We camped here in a Motorhome.
Our campsite was large, well-shaded and had a concrete patio (not all sites have a patio) with a fire ring. Great kids and pets RV park! Kids congregate in the playground and quickly make friends. Plenty of space to walk the dogs and there are two enclosed dog runs. Bonus is a dog washing facility. Along with the playground, there is a play area with a jumping pillow (about 20 by 40 feet), mechanical bull or surfboard and climbing walls (all free). Proximity to nearby state beaches makes for more activity. This is a definite "return to" park. Staff was friendly and always available to help. Put your trash by the "curb" and it magically disappears at the hands of the ever-present staff. They even deliver pizza to your site. We camped here in a Motorhome.
This was our second night and first experience of a KOA camp. Check in on the gate was efficient but I was disappointed to have to pay an additional camp tax of a couple of dollars to use the facilities, $88 for the night should have covered everything! This is a big camp ideal for kids, ours loved it, but this would be a big minus if you wanted peace and quiet. We were opposite the playground. The sites were big and we had logs delivered to our door for the BBQ. Campers seemed only to be families with children or church groups, there was a lot of praising going on outdoors!! The shower facilities were small and communal. They weren't clean simply because there were so many people using such a small number of cubicles. The shop was well stocked and big, and generally everybody was helpful. I have given it a 7 as it was too big and noisy, and I preferred other sites. We camped here in a Motorhome.
This place has all the makings of a great campground, but the staff is inadequate. The jumping pillow is great, but amounts to a babysitter for most lazy parents. So, you end up with 30 kids on it and 4 parents supervising, and no one from the KOA office around to enforce any of the rules! The poor kid who ran the mechanical bull, also had to run the train all week because the park was so poorly staffed. Not to mention the woman in the front office who had zero people skills when you check-in. Replaced with the staff members from any other KOA we've been to, and this would be a great campground. Otherwise, it amounts to an overpriced, understaffed parking lot for RV's. We were given the wrong spot, then got stuck waiting beside the wrong spot to call the front office to correct it, and were put on hold for 15 minutes, before we finally gave up and took the wrong spot. By the way, don't let their website fool you: there is no pizza during the week, few movies, and most activities only occur on the weekends. And don't trust your little ones in this park because there is nobody around from KOA to enforce the speed limit. For 83 bucks a night, stay 2 nights at another KOA where the staff takes pride in the facility. Sorry, but that's the truth. We camped here in a Travel Trailer.
The good - VERY KID FRIENDLY/ORIENTED. There is tons of stuff for the kids to do. The teenage workers and maintenance crews were very nice. It is a good location central to beaches and area attractions. The bad - VERY KID FRIENDLY! Although our kids had a great time, if you like peace and quiet, give this place a miss. There are kids everywhere! We didn't mind a bit, but if you are retired and just wanted some quiet time, this is not the place for you. Also, it is VERY PRICEY. Our space was tight. There was no room for our truck. We had to park it in an adjacent site or in front of the office. There is no cable TV, you would expect it for $90/night! Front office staff is rude and very unfriendly. Overall, our kids had a great time on the playground, bouncing pillow, etc. but I doubt we will go back. We camped here in a Travel Trailer.
The positives: lots for kids to do such as a train ride, jump pillow, mechanical bull, movies on a giant inflatable screen and it is close to the beach. General: most sites are back-in other than about 10 premium sites, but they helped me back in. Most of the staff was friendly. The negatives: when we made the reservation, we had done a conference call so that we could make sure to reserve two sites right next to each other for another family we were camping with. When we arrived, we were not together. The guy behind the counter said that there was a $10 fee for reserving specific sites, this was not mentioned on the phone. I understand that people make mistakes, but the young man working the desk could not have been more condescending and rude about it. After ten minutes of explaining the situation to him and getting his eye rolls, we asked to speak to the manager who took care of it placed us in adjoining sites - which the guy behind the desk said was impossible. The other bad thing was that the pool was closed for chemical cleaning one afternoon. The other negative was that they do not enforce the quiet hours. We were right next to the playground and there were teenagers playing on the playground and being loud until close to midnight, which kept our friends in the tent awake. We camped here in a Travel Trailer.
This site is truly kid friendly with enough activities to keep the kids busy, however, we thought the beach access was to far to walk safely with kids, and shower area lacks privacy since it is co-ed and small. This location had some staff with attitude issues but we were overall happy with the site. We camped here in a Travel Trailer.
Wonderful campground for families with kids. While we stayed all but the banana bikes, miniature golf, and climbing wall were free. Our kids loved the jumping pillow and mechanical surfboard. 5 minutes to Manresa beach, with great waves. 10 minutes to Capitola Village, and 20 to Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. Youth workers were great with the kids. Only downside was that some of the female adult staff were rude. Have already booked our next stay. We camped here in a Motorhome.
Great Service. They delivered firewood and propane right to our campsite, sometimes before I could get back from ordering it. Grass with concrete patios and trees at most sites. There are plenty of kid things to do. Lots of cabins and rental RV’s available. We where here on Memorial Weekend and it was full. Good restaurants near by. If you like camping with all the amenities this is the place. We camped here in a Fifth Wheel.
I would love to give this park a higher rating. Based on what I paid per night and the garbage around the park, it won't happen. I keep telling myself not to pay these ridiculous rates that KOA's charge and this one might be the one that convinces me to do that. The work campers and employees are very friendly and helpful but I watched them all ride by bags of garbage left on sites the entire time I was here. This park also has quite a few "permanents" with junk all around their rigs. I would not stay here again. (800) 562-7701 We camped here in a Fifth Wheel.
The campground has lots of activities for kids and is family oriented. Some of the activities include the following: train rides, jumping pillow, bike rentals, bucking horse and mini golf, but all for an additional price. Pretty steep considering the fact that this is probably one of the most expensive places we have stayed at: $100/night! Also has other activities like group campfire with smores, skits, movie night, bingo. There are also a few beaches close by: Manresa and Sunset beach, the Santa Cruz Boardwalk and Capitola are 15-20 minutes away if you want to get off site and do a day trip. The site itself was just ok. It was level, with a fire ring and bench, but no vegetation or privacy between sites. I guess I was expecting something spectacular after spending the $100/night. However, the sites on the perimeter are much nicer with views of the trees/redwoods. They also have about 8-10 premium sites that include a Gas BBQ, patio, chairs, wood stove. If not for the price and the poor RV site location that was assigned to us, I would have rated this at least an 8. The kids loved it, I would go back again begrudingly. We camped here in a Motorhome.
We decided to try something new this time around after receiving the email invitation for the KOA stay one night get the other night free promotion. After looking through the KOA web site we found this location and noted the kid friendly environment portrayed on their web site. Having two kids (5 and 2) we thought this would be a perfect way to start the camping season this year. This campground is definitely kid friendly however it's not adult friendly.. at least not when it comes to the wallet. We were very disappointed to find that all the kid activities featured at this campground were an additional charge on top of the expensive nightly rate. (Thank goodness we got one night free). Each kid friendly activity had it's own individual charge or you could purchase an "all day" pass that would get you on all the activities as many times as you wanted during the day. The all day pass though was an additional $20 per kid. There are also age restrictions for the mechanical "bull" and jumping pillow so purchase of an all day pass was useless for us. The jumping pillow also wasn't regulated at the time we were there so at times there were dozens of kids jumping on it which would have proved hazardous to the littler kids. The kids did love the "train" though that roamed through the campground and rode it a couple of times ($1/person) and I even enjoyed it. The pool was also warm and clean and included a hot tub. The campground was also clean and well maintained. Staff was very friendly as well and quickly assisted when I had a small problem with the fire pit that's not worth mentioning. The mini golf .. well if you could call it that. I could have fit the course in my back yard. It was very very small and almost not worth playing. Before I forget though .. the playground is HUGE and is bigger than some community playgrounds I've been to. The kids loved it and so did we since it was free :) One of the best playgrounds we've ever seen in an RV park or even in our local housing community. I gave this campground an 7 because as an RV park it was very nice. However I think that the very high price per night should include at least the chance for the kids to try one or two of the activities once for free. The web site should also post the age restrictions on the activities. Probably will not come back here as I can get more value for my money elsewhere. It's cheaper in some cases to take the kids to the Santa Cruz Boardwalk and ride the rides there instead. We camped here in a Travel Trailer.
This is definitely a campground geared toward kids and families. If you are looking for peace and quiet and/or privacy, this is not the place to go. If you are looking for a place that has ongoing activities and festivities and you don't mind the noise level, this is the place. The sites have little to no privacy and there is not much in the way of trees, etc. They have two nice fenced dog runs and things for the kids like banana bikes and a jump pad. The individual rates to use stuff is pretty steep, but they do offer a wristband and if you have active kids, will probably get your money's worth out of the wristband. Not close to town so make sure you bring everything you need. They do a have a store onsite and during the busy season, enough staff that you are almost tripping over them. Close to Santa Cruz and not too far from Monterey, both of which make nice day trips. Also close to the ocean/beach within just a few minutes drive. Free WiFi was nice although cell service was kind of sketchy. We camped here in a Travel Trailer.
Many others have made the same point--but I will make it too: $80!!! No way that is appropriate. Having said that, we stayed there for 3 nights, enjoyed it completely and our 4 year old had a great time. That is what the campground is all about--lots of things for kids to do. We were there Monday to Thursday so all the activities were "free". On weekends they charge $10 per head to ride the train, bounce on the jumping pillow and ride the bull. That is appalling on top of the per day charge. A few things are included in the regular per day campsite fee--including a very large, like-new play structure and the swimming pool (we didn't use the latter but it was large and looked very nice). The investments made by the owners seem to have been primarily in the fun stuff--the campground itself and the hookups, sites etc are tired and are not at all consistent with the fee they charge--and they need to bring in cable TV. There is virtually nothing available over the air (2 stations plus 2 very fuzzy). Wifi is "free" and worked very well. We stayed in a large pull-through and there was plenty of room for dinghy, the slideouts, awnings etc. The campground is not very close to anything (no restaurants or services nearby) but is well-located between Santa Cruz and its boardwalk/amusement park and Monterey and the fabulous aquarium. Getting to the campground from 101 is via some very narrow roads with overhanging trees or a longer way bouncing across the strawberry fields--scenic but you wonder where the campground is. It is tough to make an overall rating--OK location and access, tons for kids to do, antiquated hookups and ridiculous price--but it was fun, is one of the few games in town and we will probably stay there again. Other campers will need to consider what is important to them and make their choice about staying here. We camped here in a Motorhome.
Is there and echo..(echo) (echo)? The price is steep. Plus add in the kiddie activies (~$10) and a hotel stay seems somewhat reasonable. Sites are adequate. Nothing special, just adequate. However, my kids informed me that this was the best camp ev-er. They always had something to do and enjoyed all of the activites that the camp had to offer. From the bikes to the mechanical bull. The beach is a mile or so from the camp. The camp is within a dozen miles or so from the Santa Cruz Boardwalk and about 1.5 hours from San Francisco. All of the amenities were in good working order. The camp's complextion changes vastly during the week. During the week, it seemed like every other campground. On the weekend, it's Kid Central. For those of you who have an aversion to large amounts of chilluns, beware. For those of us who have active kids, c'mon down. Yeah, the price is steep. But if we come back to this area, I'm going to have to do a lot of explaining to my kids why we didn't stay here! We camped here in a Motorhome.
Older park in remote area outside of Watsonville, CA. Lots of low trees on roadway leading from Hwy 1 to site - watch with big rigs. Park is way over-priced for what you get - must be sought after because of lack of RV parks in this area. No cable TV, sites very rustic to kind of run down. $81 per night!!!! You can stay in luxury, five star motorcoach resorts in Vegas and Indio for this kind of money! We camped here in a Motorhome.
Large sites, fantastic playground, jumping pillow was a hit with the kids, banana bikes were getting old, but kids still had fun, pool was pristine clean, store was well stocked and great. KOA employees were wonderful and friendly, and they even let us stay a bit past our checkout time so the kids could swim longer. No cable, but we still got a ton of channels with our own antenna. Several families were camping together and the adults were very loud until about midnight, and that was not pleasant, but they ignored the quiet time rules. We were right next to the playground, so I was concerned the kids would be noisy, but it wasn't the kids - it was their PARENTS who were noisy! Go figure. This is a GREAT place, and we will definitely go back. They're remodeling the main bathroom/shower building, so that will probably be nice once it's done. We camped here in a Motorhome.
Santa Cruz KOA is a beautiful park with large sites and plenty of shade trees. Several wonderful beaches are less than a mile from the park. The camp host were extremely friendly and helpful and there is a nicely stocked store. Santa Cruz is a short 20 minute drive and the Monterey Pennisula is about 30 minutes. Make sure to check out the charming villages of Aptos and Capitola. We camped here in a Travel Trailer.
[ 10 / 10 ]
My family has enjoyed camping here for several years. We have 5 children ranging from ages of 3 to 15 and they just love camping here. The pool is always clean, we usually go to the beach and then rinse all the sand off in the heated pool before heading to the trailer for the night. The staff is always very helpful and very courteous. The prices can be a little hefty but the location is perfect and the staff makes it worth the stay. I recommend getting a premium site when making reservations. I also recommend getting there on a Wednesday or Thursday so you can get a better site before all the weekender's show up. We camped here in a Travel Trailer.
Nice park with nice cabins for people that don't have trailers. Banana bike rental was fun. Miniature golf is not up to par, but small kids would like it. Pool was clean and store was nice. Site was nice, but the fire pit was full of garbage when we arrived. Arcade area for kids. Park staff was nice. Close to the beach, but you have to drive to it, too far to walk. Will stay here again. We camped here in a Travel Trailer.
Had a great time at this KOA during Thanksgiving 2005. The owners cooked up the Turkey and mashed potatoes for the entire park. Very friendly service, and helpful. Even though this RV site was very pricey ($60/night), I think it was worth it. Would go again given the chance!! Lots to do for the kids. Clean restrooms and showers. The owners helped out all Rv'ers that came in late by taking them to the site and helping to set up. We camped here in a Travel Trailer.
This is an older campground kept up very nicely. Most sites are straight back-in which
can be tricky for the bigger rigs. Many sites have woods or grassy hill behind. One mile to ocean. Best location to explore Monterey Bay. We camped here in a Travel Trailer.
[ 3 / 10 ]
The park is well maintained. The restrooms are clean and the sites are spacious enough. There is a nice swiming pool and bike rentals. There are many things to do for children. However they do not supervise the park in the evening. My family and I spent the weekend. Friday and Saturday night had people out in the street dancing and playing loud music till 3:00 AM. I thought it was a fluke and came back next year and found the same result. Go during the week if you like to get sleep. We camped here in a camper.
[ 10 / 10 ]
Pool is heated year round. Beautiful landscaping. Video game arcade. Breakfast available certain weekends. Walking distance to beach (approximately 1-2 miles). Playground. We've been there at least half a dozen times. It's a great "sure thing" campground - we know there won't be any unpleasant "surprises." We camped here in a camper.