Seriously, I've died and went to heaven…at least a heaven filled with Vikings, beer, grassy rooftops, a beautiful, freeways lined with flowers, and campsites with shower stalls that are better than yours.
I feel that the description above, although precise, still does not describe the beauty of this place. Surrounded by small quaint towns, Peninsula State Park is nothing less than a Mecca for all sorts of camping enthusiasts.
The grounds are manicured to a T with plenty of bathrooms AND shower stalls, 100s of camping sites, some of the best fire rings I've ever used, near a beach in Lake Michigan, and with plenty of activities. This location will certainly please even the most,"roughing it is not having room service" people.
The outskirts of the park is lined with incredible vistas, beaches, and a golf course. Kayaking, horseback riding, and amazing hikes are some of the immediate activities. If that's not really your pace, you can head out to one of the many towns that surround the area and that will open up infinite possibilities, including:
1. Scuba diving
2. Cliff jumping
3. More hiking
4. Kayaking tours
5. Sailing and/or Parasailing
Of course, after doing all of the above, you'll need to eat. Don't fret as this piece of heaven on earth has some of the best food on the planet, seriously!
My number one recommendation is the Wickman House in Ellison Bay. Prices may vary BUT, my buddy and I had:
1. 1 Old Fashioned(each)
2. 1 bottle of wine
4. Corn salad
6. Dessert(the best I've ever had in a restaurant, Golden Beets Pannacotta, with cubed red beats, caramelized orange rinds and mint of the side)
All of that costed us around$120, TOTAL. The place is open from 1700-2100, Friday through Monday. Please DO NOT wait and try to walk in. Get there between 1500-1600 and make a reservation for the night, trust me.
Another fun spot is Fred and Fuzzy's. A bar on the edge of Lake Michigan serving great local foods and drinks. Oh, you want to make this fun? Okay…Go to the beach in Sister Bay, rent a kayak, and paddle there. It’s a quick trip, just make sure to go left when you get going.
And this is all I can mustard. There are so many things to do here. One trip will not be enough to truly experience this amazing place.
Pro tip: At a time of COVID, you can reserve a spot for around$700 and stay for a month…it's all about that telecommuting perk!
For those who need to get out of town yet can't imagine not checking the latest tweet, Tik Tok, or Instagram post, this park is for you. Not 2 miles from Six Flags, and 5 minutes from the freeway, you'll find plenty of beauty, creature comfort amenities, and cell service.
We are looking at 3 primitive campsites(closed at the time of this review), 6 family tent sites, as well as plenty of RV spaces with electrical hookups.
The park is known for its well-groomed trails, which are used by hikers, mountain bikers, and equestrians alike. Plenty of stables surround the area, where you may rent a horse and go for a stroll through the woods.
The primitive sites are large, with picnic tables and an outhouse, while the family tent ones are near restrooms, showers and a source of water.
The whole park is rather pretty with plenty to do and see.
Now, with that said, I was not a huge fan. This is not a place for a person who wants to get away from people. The Family tent sites are very close to the road, as in 10ft from it, so traffic to and from the stables are rather annoying. Being very close, the freeway noise is still present, and you'll find many motorcycles riding by you on their way through the winding roads of Wildwood. It's a nice sight but the noise sucks. The place has A LOT of deer which means that ticks are everywhere-which is not a big deal if you know what you're doing.
During the time I spent here 2 different homeless looking kids stopped by asking for food, money, to borrow my phone to make a call. One after the other had to be shooed out of my site. That was followed by a STL County Police Officer patrolling the location. That did not settle well, and the night was a bit odd. Keep in mind that I was here alone and during the middle of the week so, chances are, during the weekend you might not have the same experience.
Overall, this is well maintained park with plenty of activities and close to all the luxuries that a town can offer, lots of amenities nearby or on site.
You would enjoy it:
- If you want to be near civilization.
- If you are a family with children.
- If you want to enjoy Six Flags and then go camping.
- If you would like mountain biking.
- If you need facilities such as bathrooms and showers
You'd, maybe, not enjoy it so much:
- If you'd like to disconnect.
- If you are looking for less noise
- If you are looking for less cars/traffic
- If you are looking to be alone with your thoughts.
Are you a person who enjoys the outdoors more than the couch? Do you thrive in medium/tough hikes where the possible main cause of death is by "neck chaffing due to skin stickyness?" Do fetid sauna-temperatured bathrooms and nightly raccoon raids tickle your camping funny bone? Then this location is for you!
We are looking at 12 first, honor, come first served sites, with 2 larger special use ones.
The flora is rich and thick, with good shade on all sites. The drawback is the amount of poison ivy, so be careful.
Trash hooks are provided for all campsites but you'll need to take the trash out when you leave, as there's no collection. FURTHERMORE, many of the hooks are 4x4 posts which raccoons can easily climb, so you'll need to be proactive and put it all in your car. No bears, in my experience, are in the area so that should not be a big deal. Also, don’t forget to put all the food in the car as well as the little pests will tear through anything that is left behind-they’ve once stole one of my Olights, leaving only the butt and the battery behind.
Great for tent as well as hammocks. I've done both and, by far, the second it the way to go. Make sure that the site is free from the possibility of deadfalls, which happens all over. The dept of conservation does a good job cutting the dangerous trees but, sometimes, sh*t happens… Good fire rings with grates, as well as picnic tables are provided.
Fauna is everywhere! This is a great base for you to go out birding. I've found animals from Luna Moths to Copperheads in the surrounding areas. There is a very small pond in between all the sites. The noise at night is ABSOLUTELY deafening-I Love it! If this was the 60's and frogs were musicians, the place should be named Woodstock.
There's "drinkable" water on site but I would boil it, filter, and have it blessed before consuming it, if I were you…although that will not improve the taste of your instant coffee, sorry.
Temperatures are often manageable, especially at night as the place tends to fluctuate within 20 degrees between midday and 10pm- it's quite nice.
Mosquitoes are a nonsense that can be easily avoided by you not being a dummy and, 1. not camping next to the pond, 2. applying repellent.
This is one of my favorite sites in Missouri. Even if all sites are to be taken you'd still feel that there is enough space between you and the sucker next door. Thanks for reading and stay tuned for my next post,"Mina Sauk Spigot."