I have always wanted to go glamping. What is glamping you ask? Glamorus camping. There is no sleeping in a tent on the ground with nature. Glamping has amenities and can even be resort like yet, you still get a taste of the great outdoors with some comfort. So when I was invited to stay at one of the sites with Kampgrounds of America (KOA), I excitedly jumped on that.
Kampgrounds of America (KOA)
If you didn’t know, Kampgrounds of America is the world’s largest privately held system of campgrounds. There are over 500 locations across the United States and Canada! The first campsite was in Billings, Montana. Montana happens to be on my glamping bucket list so hopefully I can do that one day soon.
There are 3 types of KOAs; KOA Journey, KOA Holiday, and KOA Resort. KOA Journey is located near major highways and have pull through RV sites. KOA Holiday has patios, full baths, and upgraded RV sites. KOA Resort has staff led activities, resort style pools, cabins, patios, and more. KOA is great for overnight stays, long term, short stays, and vacation destinations. So there is something for everyone.
Don’t have an RV? That is perfectly fine, many of the campgrounds do. Don’t want to pitch a tent and be one with nature? There are tons of lodging choices to choose from throughout the system. Cabins, safari tents, RVs, treehouses, and all sorts of really cool places to stay that I have my eye on. If you do want to pitch a tent then you can also go ahead and do just that and get the full camping experience!
My KOA Experience
There are so many cool KOAs to choose from it made for a tough decision. We had a few that we narrowed it down to, but still had trouble choosing which to go to. We kept coming back to Chincoteague Island, which happens to be a KOA Resort in Virginia. I’ve lived and frequented the DMV area in the past, but had never heard of Chincoteague. It looked cool and seemed like it would be a fun road trip so we chose this location.
Chincoteague is a town in Virginia that also includes the island of the same name. The campgrounds are located on Chincoteague Island. It is also close to nearby Assateague, home to the famous wild ponies. Chincoteague Island is very peaceful, yet fun. There is no traffic, no crowds, and no skyscrapers. It is the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of city life.
The island has many restaurants with different types of cuisines. Of course if you love seafood, this is a great place to be. Museums, ice cream parlors, food trucks, and mini golf are just some of what you can find in the area. They even just recently opened up a water park, Maui Jack’s, right next door to the KOA. The Assateague lighthouse, hiking, bird watching, or relaxing on the beach can also be done in this charming place.
KOA Chincoteague Island
The road trip from the New York City area to Chincoteague Island was smooth. We hit no traffic and the rain went away to show off blue sunny skies. The area is very rural with farms everywhere in Chincoteague. You can even check out the Nasa Wallops Flight Facility. Once you start going over the bridge to get to the island there are billboards off to the side letting you know all there is to do, see, and eat on the island.
Pulling up to the KOA, you can’t miss it as there is a big sign. There is also a safari tent being showcased outside. They do have them to stay in. You also can’t help but see Maui Jack’s water park as you enter. The welcome center, general store, and activity center are all near the entrance.
It was a quick and easy check in. A few papers to sign and then the key along with a map of the grounds was given to us along with a parking pass. We didn’t see any signs that say row a, b, c etc so we just figured it out ourselves. KOA Chincoteague Island has RV sites, deluxe cabins, island bungalows, safari tents, tent sites, and rental RVs. We were staying in an RV and had to look carefully for the number on it as they were a bit small. There was a dedicated parking spot waiting for us.
I really wanted to get a deluxe cabin, but they were already sold out for the days I wanted. The next best option was the RV. The RV’s are new to the Chincoteague Island campgrounds and it definitely smelled new when we walked in. The website indicated they had bed linens, but it didn’t say that there were towels, washcloths, silverware, a toaster, a coffee maker, plates, bowls, and cups. So we came prepared with our own towels and disposable utensils, plates, bowls, and cups.
They had all of that and a few other items. We still used a few disposable things though because it came in handy. Many things were either brought from home or purchased at the Dollar Tree and Walmart on the way to the campsite. So we had snacks, beverages, pizza, etc.
The RV comes equipped with a stove, oven, microwave, and a little sink. A video was sent prior to arrival to show us how to use the stove/oven, the toilet, and more. Unfortunately the oven wasn’t working correctly, so after many attempts we finally called the welcome center. They sent over maintenance who realized the propane tanks outside weren’t filled up, so he switched it out and the oven was working so we could put a pizza in.
The RV has bunkbeds on one end. They are pretty wide and someone could definitely spread out. 2 people could also fit on each one, kids would fair better if putting 2 in one bed though. It would be great if there were some outlets in the bunkbed area. There is a comfy booth and table that can also be turned into a bed. A futon couch is also in the RV, which is another bed if you would like.
On the other end of the RV is a full bed. There is storage near the kitchen sink area and more storage above the full size bed and on either side of it. A curtain can be pulled for privacy. I have to say the bed wasn’t comfortable to me. It felt like I was laying on a table or something. It was hard and I didn’t sleep well. Also there are no pillowcases so bring yours.
An AC unit can be found on the ceiling and many lights, just make sure the master switch is on to get them to work. There is a TV that has cable. Hookups for a TV is also in the area with the full bed, it would have been nice if there was one there. Speakers are also in ceiling, but we didn’t get around to testing those out.
There is a full bathroom with a sink, shower/tub combo, and a toilet. The bathroom is small so if you are tall this could be slightly problematic. The tub is small, great for kids, but as an adult, don’t think you are taking a bubble bath. Standing in the shower could also be an issue if you are around 6’3 or 6’4 as your head will be right on the ceiling.
We had to Google how to deal with the water issue in the bathroom as well. The bathtub would just fill up with water. When you ran the water in the sink it would also fill up. We soon found out that going outside and releasing the water would alleviate this issue.
The RV has a retractable awning over the patio deck. The patio has a table and 4 colorful Adirondack chairs. A grill is right off the deck for your grilling needs and a ring is also available to make a fire. I highly recommend wearing bug spray, even though they got us good while we had it on. A bug zapper will come in handy too! We brought one into the RV as the great outdoors were joining us inside.
KOA Chincoteague has an abundance of amenities. A free shuttle service will take you to the beach and other parts of town. As I mentioned above there are 24 hour bathhouses. I am not sure how long the hot water lasts in the bathhouses, but in the RV, it runs out quickly. They are very clean and have spacious bathroom stalls and showers. The bathhouses are all over the campgrounds. Soda vending machines are also outside of each-one.
The campgrounds has 24 hour security. Free cable and Wi-Fi. The Wi-Fi was pretty good and we had no issues. There is an outdoor pool that we didn’t get the opportunity to give a go.
A playground, jump pillow (a waiver must be signed for kids), and a dog park are also on the campgrounds. Up for a game of corn hole? They have that too. I spotted some hammocks I would have loved to try out, but they were always taken. I wish there were more around the grounds. An activity center that also doubles as a meeting room is available (holds up to 75 people), with an onsite activities director.
Family gatherings or a celebration can be had at the waterfront pavilion. It has space for up to 100 people. View of the Assateague Lighthouse can be seen from here and the pier is nearby as well as a community campfire.
Golf carts can be rented as well as bikes and kayaks. People who holiday with their own equipment will be interested to know that the kayak launch is right by the pier, meaning that you could inquire about bringing along your own kayak. If you don’t have one already, you may need to look at different kayak rack for trailer options to allow you to travel around with your kayaking gear. It should also be of note that there are also on site laundry facilities and propane filling stations for a fee. A general store is available and you can purchase firewood, citronella candles, charcoal, ice, and much more.
Maui Jack’s is a new waterpark that opened in 2018 and is walkable from the campgrounds. It looked really nice, but was closed while we were there so we weren’t able to experience it. It opened the day we left. There is a place to get food and drinks at the waterpark. I was told if staying at the KOA you get a discount on the entry fee.
Besides getting torn up by the bugs, we really enjoyed staying at KOA Chincoteague Island. It was such a fun and peaceful place. The staff was very nice. I enjoyed sitting out on the patio and picnic tables staring up at the constellations that this city girl never gets to see. Sitting outside and making s’mores was also a highlight. I would definitely want to go back and stay in a cabin for a different experience.
Disclaimer: Thank you to KOA/KOA Chincoteague for hosting us. While receiving a complimentary stay all opinions and views are my own.