Jamie Feinberg
by Jamie Feinberg
Posted June 4, 2019

We usually think of campgrounds as a necessary expense when planning our vacation, but at some unique KOAs, you’ll have so much to do that you won’t want (or need) to leave! Here are 10 unique KOAs worth the trip itself.

Ventura Ranch KOA — Santa Paula, California

Image source: koa.com

Just over an hour outside of Los Angeles and at the foot of one of Ventura County’s tallest Mountains, Topa Topa, is Ventura Ranch KOA. Race up a rock-climbing tower, try a zip line or take a nature walk, and spend the evening in your RV or one of several Sioux Indian-style teepees or safari tents. Take advantage of the on-site activities, including gem mining. Keep your eye open for the occasional peacock!

North Sydney/Cabot Trail KOA — New Harris, Nova Scotia

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This KOA has the perfect location for exploring the 185-mile-long Cabot Trail on Cape Breton Island. You’ll hug the shore across beaches, coves, and fishing villages, watch for whales and enjoy the plentiful local seafood and other cuisines. The friendly staff offers a swimming beach, Wi-Fi, dog park, mini-golf, a playground, and a boat launch. Plus, the ferry to Newfoundland is only 15 minutes away, and it’s a nice drive to the Fortress of Louisbourg as well.  

Herkimer Diamond KOA — Herkimer, New York

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Dig for diamonds at the Herkimer Diamond Mines, part of this KOA Resort. You can experience upstate New York’s largest jewelry store here, as well as a museum, a fossil and gemstone sluicing area, and an activity center. Dine at Miners’ Table, a wood-fired pizzeria and chophouse, during your visit, and fish and float on West Canada Creek. Even more fun? Nearby you can enjoy a canal boat ride or visit Cooperstown’s Baseball Hall of Fame.

Cavendish KOA — Cavendish, Prince Edward Island

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This KOA is wonderful for families! Enjoy a petting zoo, heated swimming and kiddie pools, daily hayrides, outdoor movies, themed weekends, kids’ camp, pancake breakfasts, candy bar bingo, and more! There’s even a remote control racetrack and rentals! The location also can’t be beat, with its central location for exploring the island, including Anne of Green Gables sites and Prince Edward Island National Park of Canada (which is across the road).  

Niagara Falls KOA — Niagara Falls, Ontario

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The amenities here will keep you busy for days, from heated pools to mini-golf to an outdoor cinema, themed weekends, and wagon rides plus a dog park and a KOA Patio & Pub. When you’re ready to explore, take advantage of the tour shuttle right from the campground. Local attractions include Niagara Falls of course (try a boat cruise, jet boat, or helicopter), and you can enjoy some dinner theatre, Skylon Tower or the Butterfly Conservatory.  

Hayward KOA — Hayward, Wisconsin

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There’s so much to do here! Fly down a 300ft waterslide or take a dip in the 9ft deep heated pool, Rent a bike, play the 18-hole mini-golf course and have fun on two different playgrounds and the jumping pillow. Take advantage of safe pick-ups and drop-offs for your time on Namekagon River, and during the summer, enjoy Friday night s’mores, crafts, outdoor cinema, games, and DJ dances or wagon rides. If all the fun has you working up an appetite, head over to the Red Pine Express Cafe on site for breakfast, lunch, and dessert.  

Bay Center/Willapa Bay KOA — Bay Center, Washington

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 Looking for a quiet, natural setting for your next trip? Head to picturesque Willapa Bay! A scenic nature trail from the campground takes you to the beach for bird-watching and beachcombing, and with a license, you can rake for steamer clams! Swim in the tidal bay, work up an appetite for oysters, enjoy ice cream socials and other activities at the campground. Be sure to try out a three-wheel banana-peel bike while you’re here, and finish out your day with a sunset over the bay.  

Brattleboro North KOA — East Dummerston, Vermont

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This KOA offers a little bit of everything! In addition to the pool, multiple playgrounds (two for humans and one for your pup), lots of outdoor toys, and a game room, you can enjoy the walking trail on the farm out back, the farm stand next door, free ice cream socials, and the on-site goats! And though it was closed in 2018, they generally offer a cafe on-site plus a bed and breakfast option for those needing a bite to eat.  

Lake Livingston KOA/Onalaska KOA — Onalaska, Texas

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This campground wraps around Lake Livingston, the state’s second-largest lake, making it an ideal setting for boating, swimming, fishing and even enjoying a lakefront site. Enjoy the beautiful beach, extensive marina, hot tub, and pool as well as seasonally themed weekends, planned activities, and Kamp K9. If you’re hungry, Farmhouse on the Lake restaurant serves lunch and dinner, including homemade desserts.  

Mount Rushmore KOA at Palmer Gulch — Hill City, South Dakota

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In addition to its location, convenient to Mount Rushmore and Crazy Horse Memorial, you’ve got all you need to keep you occupied here. Attend one of the summer on-site rodeos or visit KOA’s Fun Zone (summer) with heated pools, spas, a waterslide, a splash pad, a jumping pillow, and mini-golf. You can also enjoy the 25-foot climbing wall, bike/golf cart/ATV rentals, ample activities, fire engine rides, live entertainment, movies, and more. Be sure to get breakfast at the pancake tent, lunch at the snack bar, and dinner at the full-service restaurant before hopping on the nightly shuttle to the lighting ceremony at Mount Rushmore.  

Make your way to KOA

Has reading about these KOAs inspired you to plan your next trip? Rent an RV, book your KOA campground, and you’re on the road to a great vacay!

Jamie Feinberg

Jamie Feinberg is a blogger, musician, theater artist and educator traveling the country full-time in her RV. She performs with her husband Ross Malcolm Boyd as they travel, and they co-own Tiny Village Music, offering private music lessons online in guitar, piano, ukulele, voice and more.


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