Learning Curves: Selecting Campgrounds

The criteria for making campground choices is unique to our travel style and desires for activities, but the need to locate campgrounds is universal.

Due to the extreme heat of this summer, we are sticking to day trips in the car on weekends. The trips are being used to get a drive through view of some of our nearby campgrounds.

I am retired and have the benefit of free time to throughly research and screen numerous campgrounds. In his free time, Earl also spot checks areas online and brings up locations that I overlooked.

That means searching a 200 mile radius from Lily’s storage facility in north Georgia, roughly an easy half day drive. That area includes slices of four neighboring states: Alabama, Tennessee, North Carolina and South Carolina, along with the upper half of our home state Georgia.

Before heading out on a day trip “inspection” we have targeted potential locations from campground icons on Google Maps, mentions in camper’s blogs, Facebook group pages, camping apps, TripAdvisor comments and online reviews from various sources.

We also look over campsite photos and amenities, compare campground maps to Google earth views, check routes on Mapquest and route elevation apps, plus look over campground rules and regulations for even more information.

We want to select a few campgrounds to use over and over for short weekend camping trips, and as possible base camps for the first and last nights of any of our long trips. Through this research process a lot of area campgrounds have been screened and disregarded.

None of that initial planning has been very successful from our location, though it has been fun and interesting to scout out places.

I seem to be old enough to be adopting “the good ole days” attitude. In 2017, our first year with the Vistabule, we have only been to one campground with the reasonable prices, spacious campsites and neighborly feel that I recall from numerous childhood camping trips: Skidaway Island Campground, Savannah, GA. It has been the best present day campground we’ve seen this year; successfully including large RVs without neglecting nature and other styles of camping. It also ticked off our desire of being close to city attractions.

We have a few more years in the southeast before Earl retires, so we will happily continue seeking and trying out different camping spots along the east coast of the US. Always looking for new ideas of where to camp!


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