Looking to get away from it all? If you want to hunker down with the ones you love the most and get some real, comfortable, one-on-one time with the great outdoors, Kampgrounds of America is where it's at!
We want to note that we visited our KOA back in early March when it was safe to travel. While most KOAs are still open at this time, know that they’re closely monitoring the situation to ensure campers can still enjoy the outdoors while staying safe. If you’d like live updates, be sure to visit www.koa.com for more information.
We've talked about KOA at length, several times, because we're kind of obsessed. In our first post about KOA camping, we shared that KOAs are a system of public-reservable campgrounds with over 500 locations across the US and Canada. We've covered how we plan road trips around them and how they have spots at some of our all-time favorite destinations – like Lake Isabella.
As you further explore the Kampgrounds of America system, though, you learn that there's more to it than that. Various KOA brands offer different levels of amenities and services. Between KOA Journey, KOA Holiday and KOA Resort, you can find any kind of camping experience you could imagine! With over a million camping families served each year, we figured it was time to pair up again with our beloved partner, Kampgrounds of America, to delve into the details.
Kampgrounds of America KOA Must-Know Info
First off, “Kampgrounds of America” is abbreviated as KOA. The business started 55 years ago in Billings, Montana, and we've actually been to the very first one in Billings, Montana!
Kampgrounds of America Ways to Stay
KOA Journeys are usually located near a highway for ease and convenience for busy travelers. KOA Holidays offer lots of ways to stay and play with friends, including premium accommodations and TONS of stuff to do. Finally, KOA Resort is full-blown vacation-style camping in style, with staff-led recreation, pools, on-site dining and more.
Planning a KOA Trip
Reservations are made online or by calling ahead of time, and each Kampgrounds of America location has tons of information on the main KOA website. That's where they detail their pricing, features and availability. Kampgrounds of America also offers the KOA app with a campground finder, directions and navigation, special offers and an alert system to keep campers informed about activities and happenings.
Kampgrounds of America Activities
Ah, this is where it really gets good. On our first Kampgrounds of America trip, we discovered the joy of pedaling around in a surrey with a fringe on top. Since then, we've been treated to sumo-suit wrestling, bounce pads, mini golf, scavenger hunts, s'mores-making, shirt tie-dye activities, pancake breakfasts, movie nights and more. When we're looking for a whole-family campout adventure that lets me relax as opposed to having to orchestrate the whole thing, Kampgrounds of America is the answer.
Room to Spread out
What I love most about every KOA experience we've had is that there is never a shortage of room to roam. As a family of six, we’re often limited with hotels that serve a max of five people per room. That’s definitely not the case with KOA, which offers a ton of group sites and large cabins that can accommodate us PLUS friends and extended family.
Most Deluxe Cabins have spacious decks, many complete with fire pits, grills, dining tables, rocking chairs and porch swings. As if that weren't enough, we have lots of room to use our own preferred camping gear, from beloved smokers to skottles, camp chairs and more. Heck, we can setup a full kumbaya circle if we feel so inclined.
Dining Options while Camping
Many Deluxe Cabins come with fully-stocked kitchens. I inform you of this not because you HAVE to cook on vacation, but because you CAN if you choose to. As for me? I have the dudes grill up the meat on the grill or smoker outside while I enjoy a cup of freshly-brewed tea. We do usually bring along some bread and eggs to whip up in here for breakfast. It's also reassuring to leave on a road trip knowing we'll arrive to a Deluxe Cabin with coffee machines ready to help us re-caffeinate!
Oh, and do you see those games on top of the fridge? Yeah, those were already here too. It's a totally ready-to-go vacay situation here.
Sights and Scenes Near Kampgrounds of America
Perhaps one of the things I love most about Kampgrounds of America is that they're located near amazing sights! Pictured here is the infamous Wreck of the Peter Iredale in Astoria, along the Oregon coast. Instead of doing a ton of research and prep, I tend to just show up at our reserved KOA and ask the caretakers what we should see nearby. Most of them have custom-made pamphlets featuring their favorite local sights, often including little-known mom and pop restaurants and artisan crafters.
If only it was THAT easy to get our kids to pose at these spots.
Pets at Kampgrounds of America
Finally, we love that Kampgrounds of America makes our trips stress-free by actually allowing us to bring our pets along! Policies vary between KOAs, but most have pet-friendly campsites and cabins. Many even have dog runs and pet playgrounds! As always, call ahead to ask about rules, pricing, breed restrictions, etc.
We'll forever be thankful to Kampgrounds of America for helping get our family into the camping spirit at an early age. Way back when tents and RVs and camp cooking sounded like a terribly daunting process with little kids, KOA offered a solution to get into nature with ease. Now that our kids are a little older and able to help with the adventure, we're thrilled to continue exploring the world through KOA. Now, we rotate through the experiences that KOA has to offer – from RV sites to ground tents and more.
Thanks to KOA and their unique opportunities, we've had the chance to sleep in a teepee, a yurt, and a caboose. Next on the list? A treehouse, an Airstream, an old-school wagon and a geodesic dome.
Have you ever stayed at Kampgrounds of America?