Welcome to our (very personal) reviews of the campsites we have visited. If you arrived here from a link on our travel blog, Semi-True Tales of Our Life On the Road, you can click here to read all of our campground reviews.

If you would like to know more about me, or contact us, click on "Who are We?" (to the right). For more information about what you can expect to find in these reviews, click on "About These Reviews". Finally, a note about the photos: hover your cursor over a photo to read the caption, or click the photo to enlarge it.

Saturday, February 27, 2010


Rally room at Poche's, with Scoopy in the far right background Our Opinion: Rave.  Great location and unusual layout make this well-maintained campground a winner.

Date of Stay: February 24 through March 2, 2010

Weather During Stay:  Everything from almost-warm sunshine, to below freezing night time temperatures, to pouring rain.

Site Description: Poche’s 90 sites are almost all back-ins (just 3 pull-throughs), situated on levees edging two very large ponds.  About one third of the sites have concrete slabs; the remainder are gravel/grass.  We were in site 28, on a concrete slab facing north.  Sites are level and reasonably spaced for a commercial park.  Roads are narrow and graveled. All sites have FHU, 30/50 amps (I think). 

Small office, small swimming pool, fishing in the four large ponds.  Didn’t check the restrooms or laundry, but the entire park is very well maintained, including 7 appealing rental cottages.

Site 28 at Poche'sRate: Poche’s participates in CampClubUSA Sunday through Friday.  We paid $16/night for 5 of the nights we stayed, $32 on Friday and Saturday.

Phone/radio/TV: The Verizon service is spotty here, though we were able to use our phones and aircard most of the time.  TengoInternet is available for a fee - we paid $15 for a week of reliable WiFi service with a good signal at our site.  No obstacles for our satellite TV; networks, independents, and PBS available on the antenna.  NPR on 89.3.

Elevation/landscape/Terrain: This is a flat campground not much above sea level.  A Poche ancestor dredged the ponds out of swamps at some point in the past, using the dredged mud to build up his property surrounding the ponds.  Most of the property is water, with levee roads surrounding lovely blue ponds.  Views are of ponds, large water birds, neighboring RV’s and adjacent fields.

Lighting/noise: A few bright streetlights illuminate the campground; fortunately, we weren’t parked too close to one.  No road noise. 

Our view at Poche's Favorite Sites: We prefer the concrete slabs, as the ground became saturated and waterlogged quickly in a heavy rain.

Hiking/Walking: Walking the largest loop along the levees is a bit over a mile.  Very pleasant and convenient walking.

Comments:  We were surprised and pleased by the ambiance of this pretty and very well maintained RV park.  It is a family run operation, and they really care about their park and their guests.  The location is excellent for exploring Louisiana’s Cajun country.  Poche’s also runs a small market/restaurant/smokehouse nearby - excellent quality meats and daily plate lunches, Cajun style.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


Gulf Coast RV Park office, the view out of our front window. Our Opinion: Recommend (for a night or two).  Big pull-throughs and convenient access make this a good overnight stop along I-10.

Date of Stay: February 23, 2010

Weather During Stay:  Cold and rainy.

Site Description: We were in site 80, a long pull-through facing the office and park entrance.  All 125 sites in this park are just the same: the parking area is a narrow concrete slab with a small attached patio with picnic table.  Grass borders each site - this time of year, deep, muddy tire tracks attest to the perfect aim needed to maneuver onto the narrow slab.  Sites are level, roads are paved. All sites have FHU, 30/50 amps. 

The office includes a sparsely stocked “store”, and there is a small pool adjacent, with patio chairs.  I didn’t check the laundry room.  Two treadmills are squeezed into a tiny library.

Site 80, Gulf Coast RV Park Rate: Gulf Coast RV Resort participates in Camp Club USA, so we paid half the normal rate: $17.50 vs. $35/night.

Phone/radio/TV: Great Verizon service for phones and aircard.  Basic, 13-channel cable TV is provided, as is free WiFi - and nice, strong signal where we are, near the office.  No obstacles for our satellite TV; we didn’t check the antenna. NPR on 91.3.

Elevation/landscape/Terrain: This is a flat campground not much above sea level.  Views are of neighboring RV’s and the park buildings, with Interstate 10 not so far away.  Well-maintained grass and common areas.

Lighting/noise: Lots of tall streetlights in this park, but they are pleasingly dim.  Not too bad.  Noise from I-10 would be a major annoyance with the windows open.  On a cold, rainy night, it was not an issue.

Empty pull through site Favorite Sites: All the same, although we did like the convenient up-front location of site 80 - we liked watching other rigs arrive.

Hiking/Walking: Laps around the park - or walk on the new treadmills.

Comments:  This park makes a convenient stop along I-10.  With the Camp Club USA discount, the price is reasonable for the amenities.  This is our third stay - once again, one night and we are on our way.  This year, unusually rainy, the paved streets and concrete slabs are much appreciated.  If you like BBQ, don’t miss Willy Ray’s, a 5-6 mile drive into Beaumont.


Bayside RV Park entrance Our Opinion: Neutral.  This is where we would stay if we visited Palacios again. 

Date of Stay: February 21 and 22, 2010.

Weather During Stay: Lots of overcast. We had one sunny, warm afternoon, followed by a sunny, cool afternoon and a very cold night.

Site Description:  We had a typically-sized pull-through space.  FHU with 30 amps.  Site surface was “grass” (well, green plant matter) with some sort of soft asphalt laid over it to keep heavy rigs from sinking in too deeply.  Our back tires sagged down an inch or so while we were parked there.

According to the directory we used, this park has 25 FHU sites, but I think it is larger.  Our site and most of the others were very non-descript, not noteworthy for either a bad aspect or a good one.  However, some of the sites are quite appealing for their waterfront location and views (not available on discount rates).

Site 6A Rate: Standard daily rate is $20 to $30/night, but many discounts apply.  We paid the 50% off Camp Club USA (and PA) rate of $12.50/night, good for three nights.  Good deal for the services provided and the pull-through ease.

Phone/radio/TV:  Good Verizon service for phones and air card. No obstructions for TV satellites.  No TV stations on antenna, and no NPR station. 

Elevation/Landscape/Terrain:  This flat park is just 3 feet above sea level, and the surrounding water lends some charm.  Follow a long, palm-lined road past “Shrimp Basin #3, right to the end of a peninsula - there is the park.  Our view, from the center of the small park, was of a row of RV’s lined up along the water; behind us, RV’s lined up to the shrimp boat marina.  Quite interesting.

Lighting/Noise: The park was somewhat noisy during the day - the mostly interesting sounds of shrimp boat repairs.  Quiet at night.  Night lighting is quite bright from “streetlight” type lighting in the campground and marina.

Still water in Basin #3. Favorite Sites: We didn’t look, as it is unlikely we will return to Palacios - and the best sites aren’t available unless you pay full price (makes sense to me).

Hiking/Walking:  It was interesting to walk around the perimeter of the shrimp boat area.  Drive or bike into Palacios to the seawall for a 1 ¼ mile walk (one way) along the bay front.

Comments: The owners of this park were very friendly and helpful, and a little clubhouse is used by winter Texans for hobbies and potlucks.  We had some excellent shrimp, catfish and gumbo in town.  This small town (and this campground) probably would be a fun, very laid-back place to visit in spring.  Though I doubt we will ever return, we would stay here if we did.

Friday, February 19, 2010


Mustang Island SP Campground Our Opinion: Recommend, but it’s not for everyone.

Date of Stay: February 16 through 20, 2010.

Weather During Stay:  We had it all - sun, rain, cool and warm.

Site Description:  We’re in site 15, an east-facing site with water and 50 amp E.  I specifically asked for an east facing site to catching the morning sunshine in our windshield (for warmth) and afternoon sun on the “patio” side.

The campground here has 48 level, back-in spaces, lined up down each side of a wide, paved “road”. Easy access.  All sites have 30/50 amps and water, and a wooden “shade” structure covering a wooden table.  Utilities are on poles at the back of each site.  Because of the way the sites are arranged, you have a VERY close neighbor on one side, with your table and your neighbors table on the other side.  No privacy whatsoever.  Many, many of the sites flooded during a night-long rain, with campers facing a slog through a couple inches of water to reach their vehicles.

Rainy morning. Maintenance of park facilities and vehicles has been deferred due to budget shortfalls, and it is obvious.  Restrooms (in one building at one end of the campground) are old and in need of maintenance.  Quite unappealing.  Dump station available.

Rate: Water and 30/50 amp E sites are $16/night, plus a per person day use fee ($4/$2 senior, over age 65), covered for us by our annual pass.  Dry camp on the beach for $8 (suitable for smaller RV’s and tents only).

Phone/radio/TV: Excellent Verizon coverage. WiFi available to campers in the park office - we used our aircard. No obstacles for roof-mounted satellites, and several local channels are available on antenna.  NPR on 90.3.

Elevation/Landscape/Terrain:  This sea-level campground is a short walk from a long, beautiful beach.  Dunes covered with sea grass are between the camping area and the beach - walk, bike or drive to the beach.

Great Beach Walking Lighting/Noise:  No light at night in our area of the campground, but the restroom and it’s parking area are brightly lit with streetlights - fortunately, far from us.  Very quiet.

Favorite Sites:  Very little difference between the sites, other than which direction you face.  We would be sure to park reasonably far from the restrooms to avoid the night lighting, and prefer to have our table on our door side.

Hiking/Walking:  This is where the park shines.  Stormy or sunny, walking on the beach is a treat (driving is also allowed).  Unlimited distance.

Comments: This park is suffering from budget shortfalls.  The restrooms in the day use area on the beach are unusable - and almost beyond repair.  However, the utilities work, as does the dump station.  We come to enjoy the beach and the area, and relax.  Works for us!


Sites at Buckhorn Our Opinion: Recommend - if you are looking for a high-end “Resort” that deserves the name.

Date of Stay: February 13 - 15, 2010

Weather During Stay:  Quite cold at night; a mix of sunny and cloudy days – both quite cool.

Site Description: We were in site 6105.  In this site (and many others), we pulled in head first, facing a small pond.  It gave a nice feeling of privacy.  All sites are level concrete, FHU with 50 amps and cable TV, a mix of pull-throughs, back-ins, and pull-ins.  All sites have concrete patios surrounded by grass, and at least a picnic table; “Executive” sites have teak tables and chairs!  All sites are larger than those in a typical commercial RV park. 

Our Waterfront site, 6105 This is truly a “Resort”, with well manicured sites and all the extras designed for rallies and high-end, long-term stays: a fitness room, day spa, store, pristine common areas, swimming pools, spas, laundry rooms.  One loop of the park is an “adults only” area.  Very impressive.

Rate: We paid $94 for three nights on an “internet special”: pay for 2 nights, get the third one free.  The way they calculate this is extremely nitpicky and marred our first impression.  Normal rates vary depending on type of site, with non-discounted daily rates ranging from $39 to $49, weekly from $210 up to $260, plus electricity.

Phone/radio/TV: No obstacles for our roof-mounted satellite (and cable was provided).  NPR was available on one or two stations.  The big surprise: VERY WEAK Verizon service in our site.  Our phones cut out frequently, and our aircard didn’t connect!  Since we were ¼ miles off of Interstate 10, this had never occurred to us when making our reservation.  The park has free WiFi, which would tear along at blazing speeds, then slow to a pitiful, frustrating crawl - I would expect better from a park of this caliber.

BBQ Pit at Buckhorn Elevation/landscape/Terrain: This is a gently undulating campground in a rolling, hilly landscape at 1,800 ft. elevation.  The park has some lovely, mature trees and several ponds.  Views are of neighbors, well designed and maintained buildings, trees, grass, and ponds.  Very appealing.

Lighting/noise: Night lighting is unobtrusive, and noise is minimal.

Favorite Sites: Wow - the Executive sites(most costly) are great: huge, grassy, with wonderful views.  Many nice sites in this park.

Hiking/Walking: Laps around the park.  No good distance walking without a drive.  A well-equipped fitness room kept Odel happy.

Premium Waterfront Sites at Buckhorn Comments:  This park is way out of our normal price range, but we wanted to visit a friend who was there (and we were ready for full hookups).  After a poor first impression caused by the way they handled the “pay for two, stay three” internet special, we enjoyed the park.  Excellent hill country location for sightseeing, but the lack of Verizon coverage means we wouldn’t return - even if we were willing to pay the high rates!

Monday, February 15, 2010


Site 18, McKinney Falls SP Our Opinion: Recommend.  Close to Austin for sightseeing, but in a natural setting.

Date of Stay: February 10th through 12th, 2010.

Weather During Stay:  Cold and rainy (some sleet) until the last day, then cold and sunny. 

Site Description:  We were in site 18, a 50 amp site with water, next to the restroom.  84 sites have E and W; 12 of those have 50 amps, the rest have 30 amps.  Sites are a mix of pull-outs, right alongside the loop road, and back-ins.  Sites are reasonably spacious (though not particularly private), with tent pads, picnic tables, and fire rings.

Typical pullout site at McKinney SP Campground roads are asphalt, as are sites.  Sites vary in length, but many will accommodate big rigs.  We had to maneuver quite a  bit to get level in our site.  Many trees in the park - watch for overhanging branches.  Most sites are shaded.  Dump station available.

Rate: 50 amp sites are $20/night, plus a per person day use fee ($4/$2 senior, over age 65, I believe).  Our $60 annual pass covered the day use fee.  30 amp sites are less, but I don’t know the fee.

Phone/radio/TV: Excellent Verizon service for phones and air card.  Some obstacles for roof-mounted satellites; choose your site carefully.  NPR on 89.5.  All networks available on batwing antenna, including PBS.

Elevation/Landscape/Terrain:  This is a flat, fairly heavily forested campground in a large state park with two rivers/creeks.  Views are of neighboring campers and trees.

Looking North in CampgroundLighting/Noise:  No light at night except on the small buildings in the campground.  Very quiet.

Favorite Sites:  We didn’t spot any exceptional sites.  Most were rather rough - uneven asphalt, sloping here and there…

Hiking/Walking:  There are lots of hikes in the state park, including two hike/bike trails each 2.8 miles long.  Hike to waterfalls, old stone buildings, and the “rock shelter”, a rock overhang along Onion Creek.

Comments: This park worked well for our visit to Austin - downtown Austin is about 20 minutes away.  Lots of deer here, too.  Too bad it was so wet and cold when we visited.