Joe R.
Celebration, FL
Joined February 2019
Family of five that likes outdoor adventures.
Tropical Oasis for the Family

I find myself torn between four and five stars on this campground. It turned out being everything we expected and more. As an camper with northern roots, I have found it hard to camp in Florida. This campground helped me relieve those worries. 

I will start by saying that this campground is south of St. Pete and north of Ana Maria Island. We drove down from Orlando and it took us under two hours. We hit some traffic on 275 and the Parkway, but it is expected. There are two tolls (1.00 and .75) before you hit the park. One thing we learned and a good pointer is that if you intend on going into the park (which you probably will), you should go in and register BEFORE you go to the beach, even if before check in time. By paying for your site, they provide you a beach pass for two vehicles, which saves $5 each on parking. 

The check in process was very simple. We arrived about an hour early and got everything set up. We were told to stop back between 12:30 and 1 (Advise that check in is at 1pm, so getting in early is not a guaranteed or expected result). The parking lot is a bit awkward, as the camper/trailer line blocks views and actual spots for cars..but it is trivial. 

We had rented site 28 (mostly because it was one of the only ones available and best of the litter). There are three loops, and we were in the 1-86 loop. There are no pets and no RV's allowed, which was perfect for us. Most of the outer side of the loop has some sort of water. Water does not mean access. It seemed that the higher numbers (40+) had less access to water and more of a mangrove area. Depths of sites also varied widely. We must have done the camping gods some good, because we hit the site karma. Our site was nice and deep, with a weird little island (former tree/stump) in the middle. This actually made us divide the tent area up into two sides, which worked out well. The site has plenty of options for both clothes lines and hammocks. We opted to put the "kitchen" towards the back of the site with the water view, and fire bin (rented for $3 from the campground office). We had neighbors on both sides and across (this places always sells out) and it was still fairly secluded. They did a great job at keeping a lot of natural growth to maintain privacy and a true tropical feel. There was plenty of shade, but also plenty of sunshine when you wanted it. This site also gets direct sunlight after about 9am (based on mid october), so plan accordingly. It gets toasty :) We have an inflatable raft that we took out in the water. We were greeted by dolphins, sting rays and manatees. 

The bath house is pretty central and literally across the road from our site. We had expected a much further walk based on the map, but it was just a 1 minute walk. They were ample, but nothing to write home about. They clean them daily, so they are not bad. The showers leave a lot to be desired with water pressure and privacy. They share a common area with stalls and cheap liners that offer little privacy. Again, it is camping so this isn't a complaint, but a warning. Also, bring your own toilet paper. 

There is a playground with good swings and also a sturdy playground that offered plenty of opportunity for my four year old to blow off some steam. The ground is all recycled rubber, which I love as a parent. 

The campground store is nice and good for essentials if you don't want to take the 15/20 minute drive to publix or 7 minute drive to 7-11. Firewood is a bit overpriced at $9 per bundle and the fire buckets are cheap at $3 per night. They also have basic food and camping supplies. Note that there is no alcohol allowed in the park, including the campground. All I can say is that you should use common sense. This is a family friendly place. They also rent bikes and kayaks. 

The site was just a 10 minute drive to north beach, which is our favorite. There is plenty to do in the area. Overall, I love this place and look forward to coming back many times in the future. Note that they do start booking 6 months out and open up 10% of the sites for the weekend each friday at 7am if you want to try and get lucky.

This is how "luxury" is done

I was googling places to go on our RV trip and stumbled upon Anchor Down on the old Google. As I looked around, I struggled to find a legitimate bad review. The pictures all looked great, so we decided to book. We secured site 53 for two nights (it was all that was available). 

Before arrival, I had called to change our site when I found our site open. The lady on the phone was super nice, and informative about the seasonal activities. The initial taste was good. 

When we arrived, we were met by a greeter, who took down our plate number and sent us in to check in. The whole process took just a few minutes, and we were on our way. The view does not really come into play until you come up over the hill after registration. Even with the water level down, Douglas Lake is a site to see. We wound around and EASILY backed into our site. The sites are all pretty large (way bigger than our 30' rental), paved and flat. The hookups are right where they should be, and they even include cable and wifi. We did not use either, but it is a great added value for the price. The view alone was worth a million dollars. The fireplace was another. 

We ordered several buckets of wood ($5 cash or $7.50 card…it is an outside vendor they buy from). They deliver it to your site within minutes in a bucket, and each bucket is more than a typical bundle. We also rented a golf cart for $35 a day. we found this to be essential to just get around for our family. 

The pool was great, and the waterslide was perfect for the kids. Later in the week and weekends, they have a food truck outside the pool area. We got some ice cream and enjoyed the great view. The resort has a playground, laundry, showers etc. The bath and shower houses are immaculate. The entire place is run with pride and a sense of service. We will come back in a heartbeat. 

While we loved our site, even if you are stuck with the very last site…take it. There is really no bad site in this place.

We wanted to love this place so much..

We were eying Stone Mountain our whole trip, and even moved around dates to make it for the Pumpkin festivities. I had heard great things from friends, and thought it worth a shot. We originally booked two nights, but ended up extending a third to take more time to explore the park.

This place has two things that need to be improved to be worth the premium charged. One being the general level of service provided (all around the mountain, not just the park), and the physical maintenance of the place (both financial improvements and general maintenance/housekeeping).

The service has nothing to do with the individual level of service, as everyone was pleasant and professional. It is the consistency and information provided. We were regularly told different information (items, prices, hours) from staff. This caused a lot of confusion with shuttles, propane times events etc. it is clear that the campground and mountain do not work well together. The shuttle service, while again had great service with drivers, was confusion. Half of the team said it ran Sunday, half didnt. Just beware that if you ask for something, that it is not set in stone. It is kids running the show.

The biggest complaint is physical upkeep. I was told that funding is finally coming through to improve sites and roads. They are horrible. Nobody was level. Pads are uneven and unsafe. Fire rings are half out together. Roads are just as bad, especially in the loops. Our site was not clean (common complaint), but we did benefit on Sunday when we were able to purge leftover firewood.

With all of the above being said, we love the place. We somehow got 389 just a few days out, and after driving around, think it’s the best. It fit our 30 foot rv and a 20 foot tent tightly, with room on sides for a set up (see photos). The path went directly to the water and had a nice rock and landing area for our raft. Campground was quiet and even when we had neighbors, it wasn’t too bad.

Lots of stink bugs and ants. Plan accordingly. Bathrooms are ok. Showers about one level below ok, but still manageable.

Overall, nice place, but not worth a premium ($69 for a site) plus a $20 fee. They need to lower prices or invest. Playground was nice, but that was about it for amenities actually inside the ground.

This is definitely a happy place

I will be the first to admit that I was apprehensive about booking. I had been scouring the internet for reviews, and this place had been recommended to me on a Facebook group. Most of the negative reviews were either old (seemingly old management) or and what seemed to be one off guests, most of whom seem to have their own individual, underlying issues. I decided as a decider, I would call in and see what kind of vibe I got. After all, I’m responsible for booking our first ever family road trip. Luckily, I called in and got Tori on the phone. She was clearly doing something else when she answered, but once she realized I was looking into visiting, she dropped everything and made me feel like I was booking a room in her house. She was interested in my family breakdown so she could help find the perfect spot… and she did a damn good job.

We were only there one night, and she put us in B14. It was right across from the camp host, so firewood was easy to come by. It was also directly across from the bathhouse. We had a 30 amp in our 30’ rental RV, but luckily we had a adapter. The place was empty as it is mid week in off season, which was perfect. While I loved the place, I’m not sure I would have the same experience over 50/75% occupancy. It was great to throw the raft in the river and let the kids enjoy themselves without worry. The river wasn’t very deep, and even provided some small rock slides. The playground was about 5 sites down and also perfect to let the kids run to.

We wish we could have stayed longer, but we will be back. If not this week, on our next trip to the mountains. The hospitality of Tori and This true hidden gem are a family memory we will have forever.

Great park for the family

We stopped through as our first stop on our family RV trip. We did not intend on doing much, as this was our closest stop with some form of “nature” in our eyes, coming from Orlando. We planned on getting in late, so we called ahead and got the gate code (DO THIS IF YOU PLAN ON ARRIVING LATE). We didn’t get in until after midnight, so it was a quick park and plug in.

We booked site 87, which is at the end of the loop, an easy walk down to the river. We like both 87 and 88. It was quiet (only 3 campers in the loop) so the crowd was not an issue. It was very hot, with a forecast of 99. By the time we pulled out at 1030, we still had plenty of shade.

The bathroom was nice and clean. Amenities include putt putt, boat rentals, paddle board rentals, hiking etc. we did not partake in any. We did stop in the shop to style, and it is cute and seems stocked.

Carla was a gem. She stopped by to check on us and was sooo sweet. I could sit and chat with her all day. She drove me to site 27 and recommended for our family and she was perfect. The world needs more Carla. And campgrounds like this :)

We had a 30’ RV America rental and no issues.