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June 17, 2011

AllCampgrounds Best Places for Summer Camping, Part 1: KoA

Filed under: Campground Destinations — Tags: , — Simos @ 12:01 am
Outside Colorado Springs

Outside Colorado Springs
Photo by: Marina Nisi (Stock Exchange)

Welcome back to AllCampgrounds! The camping season is officially in full swing: have you hit the trail yet? Whether you’re into tent camping, primitive camping, or the RV life, it’s the time of year to get out and enjoy. AllCampgrounds is going to help you do it by showcasing some of the best parks and camp grounds around North America for this summer. To begin with, we check in with everyone’s favorite camping franchise, Kampgrounds of America. Here are our picks for this summer …

For those who might not be familiar with KOA, it’s a family-friendly, quality controlled private camping franchise. KOA Kampgrounds are famous for offering unique camping experiences that cater to families, kids, and folks who want to enjoy a little bit of tourism along with their camping. What do we mean by unique? Just a few weeks ago we pointed out the “greenest” camp ground around, Herkimer Diamond KOA’s Solar Lodge. Fun and novel camping like that are what KoA is all about.

So, which Kampgrounds are looking good this year? It depends on who you ask, of course, but AllCampgrounds is going to have a look. USA Today starts us off with The Best KOA Campgrounds. Their recommendations?

Mercer / Grove City KOA: Out in northwest Pennsylvania, a stone’s thrown from Pittsburgh, this Pennsylvania KOA is known for blending terrific tent camping and cabin rentals with plenty of amenities for athletes. You can enjoy golf, basketball, volleyball, bocce ball, and horseshoes (the latter a beloved favorite in all kinds of camp grounds, as well as many KOAs.) And just down the street, you can add skydiving to the list!

Gulf Shores KOA: Gulf Shores KOA in Alabama is near and dear to my own heart as a great camp ground with a super special twist: right on the border with Florida, it’s convenient to some of the best beaches in the United States. Other cool camping attractions include free hot tub and sauna and the local race track. RVers can enjoy the Lost Bay RV Resort, while others can choose from cabin, lodge, and tent camping.

La Junta KOA: La Junta KOA in Colorado is a spectacular spot to take in the sights of the American west. Right on the historic Santa Fe Trail, this is the place to be for Old West culture and sights. While camping out here, you can enjoy the “Castle of the Plains,” Bent’s Old Fort — a painstakingly reconstructed trading post. Likewise, one of the state’s greatest collection of native artifacts is found at the Koshare Indian Museum.

And our top picks?

Yellowstone KOA: It’s no secret AllCampgrounds loves Yellowstone, so you can bet we feel the same about the local KOA. With everything cool from “Kampgrounds” plus the amazing scenery of Yellowstone in Montana, you can’t go wrong. Yellowstone KOA is renowned as one of the best quality camping experiences in KOA, and it’s even big rig friendly. High speed internet, pancake breakfasts, and Yellowstone: a terrific combo.

Branson KOA: If you’re not familiar with Branson, Missouri, you might wonder how this one got on the list. Well, the Branson KOA is a new and up-and-coming spot, and sets itself apart with the state’s largest group and reunion facilities. If you want to meet up with other campers, you won’t find a better place to do it. And what’s more, the Branson KOA is tucked away only miles from the entertainment district, with dozens of music venues and attractions like the Hollywood Wax Museum and Mount Pleasant Winery.

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