Super close to Okefenokee Swamp (actually, any closer, you’d be in it!). Strategically located right down the street to the park entrance, this is likely the very closest to camping near Okefenokee you’ll come. Of course, you could try to camp INSIDE Okefenokee, but that’s quite challenging as you’ll need to book well in advance and kayak / canoe/ boat to get to the primitive sites that are there (more on this in another review from inside Okefenokee). Here, you don’t have to think about anything. Just rock up, pitch your tent, park your RV or open the door to the wooden cabins they rent. The place is incredibly compact and tight, but if you don’t mind rubbing elbows with your neighbors in exchange for waking up early the next morning to be one of the first to get zapped by the mosquitos in the south’s most infamous swampland, then you’ve come to the right place. Great news is that you are far enough removed from civilization, you won’t miss it (or hear/ see it!), but if you do need anything, Okefenokee Pastimes has you covered with a campground store where you can find those commonly forgotten things, get snacks, drinks, candy, ice cream, ice and even trinkets from local craftsman as well as some beginner and advanced astronomy equipment from time to time as well as a view into one of the darkest, natural skies on the East cost (this place is also rated as one of the top 10 in the Country!). And if you can't find what you need here at Pastimes, no worries, the nearby town of Folkston has you covered with its many restaurants (mostly fast food joints), gas stations, grocery stores and typical small town shopping.
Pastimes has excellent paved / milling parking pads & roads, built-in fire pits at all sites, relatively new / well-maintained wooden picnic tables as well as natural grass boundaries that both separates and surrounds all sites. There are many wildflower areas to attract pollinators and hummingbirds (with the campground's own distinct, bespoke hummingbird area), a small patio / dock area where you can feed the fish, watch the hummingbirds and / or just sit back, soak it all in and relax. A covered, lit pergola, complete with picnic tables, built-in benches and a top-end charcoal grill to cook at while overlooking the pond area. There's also a small, fenced-in dog park that's perfect for keeping your furry friends active and engaged (they even provide pet toys!). Nearby, there's a small playground, swing set and small yard game areas (think horseshoes, badminton, volleyball, jenga and jarts!). Beyond playtime activities, there's a proper laundry room with 2 sets of washers and dryers (with only 1 key given to a single guest at a time, so you have a real sense of privacy. This place scores extra points for having a book exchange and even offers up DVD's and VCR tape rentals (take that Blockbuster!). The best part about Pastimes? Unlike many other campgrounds that are well lit, Pastimes actually has a policy where they turn off all their lights at night so as not to contribute to light pollution and to preserve the most amazing star-gazing experiences you will ever have (OK, at least hear near Okefenokee - sorry, star-gazing in the Nordics is still the best IMHO!).
Insider’s tip? You’ve made it this close to Okefenokee, it’s important that you get out early – that’s when you’ll see the gators at their most active and we’re you’ll land some great photos – albeit from the bow of a canoe or kayak, which you can easily rent at the refuge itself. Also, while at Pastimes, do ensure you get out to spy on the many dragonflies, shouldered hawks, butterflies, squirrels, barn owls, armadillos and woodpeckers (obviously, be sure to pack your binoculars).