We camped here on a beautiful, sunny January weekend with our two young children. The campground is surrounded by the San Diego Bay, complete with a marina and a small park. Although a fence separates you from these attractions, it also provides security since the park can get very busy on weekend afternoons. The campground itself is very clean, has a small store, a nice hall for group events, an exercise room, a fabulous outdoor BBQ with a view of the marina with wonderful rocking seats. There is a spa (18 or older) and a heated pool (with adult hours at three different times throughout the day). The sites are cement and are divided by bushes, but they are somewhat narrow - we have a slide, so basically the width extended from our slide to just past our awning. The sites along the perimeter have a nice view of the marina or park, which was a bonus. There is a path where you can walk or ride your bike along the bay to the Coronado Pier. This campground seemed more geared toward couples, but there were a few kids riding bikes and swimming in the pool. There were mostly high-end rigs and lots of rules (many signs posted around), yet it didn't feel too stuffy. They had a few activities throughout the weekend, including Karaoke on Friday night (with $1 pizza, beer and wine). The place was very quiet at night, so it may not be the best place for evenings by the fire with several friends (only duraflame logs in a covered fire pit allowed). It is also close to major attractions (Old Town, Balboa Park, San Diego Zoo), which was a bonus. The only reason I didn't give it a 10 was because it lacked grass and trees in the campsites, which I really love. I feel it is worth the price and would definitely go again.
We loved this campground as a stopping point (not a destination) - it's about 10 miles north of Crescent City. Although it is right next to Hwy 101, there is very little traffic noise. The sites are rustic with dirt pads, but have fern and beautiful redwood trees all around. I understand a new owner acquired it a year or so ago, so they have really done a great job revamping the campground. There is a new playground, horseshoes, and cabins along the outer perimeter (which seemed very nice from the outside). This campground lacks a store (which I understand will be coming in the near future), a pool (although it was too cold to swim when we visited), and a large laundry room (only two washers and two dryers, which were being used to wash the rental cabin linens). There are several campgrounds in Crescent City, but these were all unpleasant - just a parking lot with full-timers living in them, so your best bet is The Redwoods RV. Since there isn't much to do in Crescent City, I suggest using this campground as a stopping point for a couple nights.
This was our second visit to this campground. We really like the woodsy setting, with large pine trees, grass, and farm animals roaming the boundary of the campground. The sites are plenty long and wide. There is a pool (unheated in the winter), spa, well-stocked store, petting zoo, bike rentals, new playground, and plenty of activities in the summer (ice cream socials, pancake breakfasts, movie nights, hay rides, crafts, etc.). The campground is very clean. You have the choice of more rustic sites with gravel, dirt, grass and trees or with asphalt/concrete, grass and trees. There is lots to do nearby, including Six Flags Discovery Kingdom (Marine World), San Francisco, Historic Petaluma, the wine country, and more. The only things I could possibly complain about are the price (we paid $60/night over spring break 2008 [includes 2 extra people] and nearly $70 in the summar of 2007) and the cows which can get a bit smelly in the summer. It is a great place to camp, especially with kids.
We stayed here over Easter weekend 2008, so the rate was $50 per night for a full-hookup site. The campground is much nicer than I expected given its close proximity to Hwy 101 - it was very clean with lots of trees and grass. The freeway is literally 30-40 feet from the campground, so the freeway noise was a little annoying. Luckily, it did quiet down at night, but then you did hear the occasional train nearby. The pool was nice, but not heated. You can walk to the beach and the quaint town of Ventura is nearby. The store was well stocked, but ice was very pricey ($3.25 for a small bag). Unfortunately the weekend we were there was very windy all three days, but that's just the way it goes. We felt the rate was too high for this campground.
We stayed in the Chaparral camp area in a hookup site (No. 40), which had water and electric, for $30 per night. Our site was a gravel spot, fairly narrow (not a lot of room under our awning), surrounded by weeds and trees overlooking the race track. It was a large site - at least 50 feet deep - but I would have been very disappointed if I had the spot next to us, which was literally a gravel parking spot. The grade to the campground is very steep (16%) and the roads are fairly narrow. There is really nothing to do at the campground, but you are only 8 miles from the Aquarium and Cannery Row. I would prefer to stay at Marina Dunes RV Park which was a little nicer, had full hookups, closer to town, and more facilities (laundry, etc.). If you want to watch a race from your campsite, then this is a good place to go.
This is a good campground if you need a place to stay while you do lots of day trips, such as Crescent City, Ferndale, Old Town Eureka, Samoa Cookhouse, and various beaches. It was much better than the Eureka KOA a few miles away. Mad River was very clean and quiet. Most people who pulled in just stayed a night, maybe two, and were on their way again. No one sat outside their rig and not many people walked around. Each site was very deep (we fit our truck and trailer no problem), had green grass, and some of the sites (including ours) had a small tree. It was close to the 101, but you didn’t hear the traffic. The bathrooms were very clean and the laundry room would have been nice if 3 of the 6 dryers weren’t broken. The selection in the store was pretty limited. The game room had half dozen video games, a ping pong table (free), and a pool table ($1.00). It was a good place to stay if you plan to do various day trips, but would not be my choice if I wanted to hangout at camp and relax day after day.
I would definitely recommend the San Francisco North/Petaluma KOA. It has everything. The campsites just below the store are the best – they seem very rustic with dirt and large redwood trees. The sites are pull-throughs and plenty big (we are 51' long when hooked up and we fit in our site without any problem), with lots of room for a picnic table and fire ring. On Tuesdays, they rake and hose down the sites, so they keep the grounds very clean. The pool is huge and not too cold. They also have a game room, two laundry rooms, a petting zoo, a wonderful playground, and also open space with cows, donkeys, and sheep. In the summer, they have activities planned throughout the day. On weekends, they have a country breakfast, coffee cart, live music at the pool, water slide, and several craft activities. Every day, they have a scavenger hunt, hay ride, ice cream social, bike (quad and banana) rentals, and kid and adult movies in the evenings. They also have a bus tour you can take if you want to see the SF sites. Historic Petaluma is nearby and there is also a small outlet mall if you want to escape for the day. The only drawbacks about this campground are the price ($60 per night for four people) and the nearby cows can be a little smelly if the wind is blowing in the right direction. We've loved it and will definitely be back.
We went to Casini Ranch Family Campground in August of 2007 and stayed just one night, even though we had reserved three nights. (The rate is $40/night for a full hookup site with 2 adults and 2 kids.) I have to say the place looks nothing like the pictures on their website. When you first pull in, it does seem nice. There is a cute general store where you check in. But once you drive to the full hook-up sites, you see some run down trailers (which we found amusing since their rules say "RVs must be in very good condition and must be of suitable appearance") and then you see rows and rows of sites that are simply weeds, gravel and a few small trees. (I guess the trees have been cut way back since the website photos were taken.) There were only a handful of RVs there mid-week, so we didn't need a reservation. The sites that are closer to the river do seem better, but again you are camped on dirt with some trees, no sewer hookups, and a pretty desolate river. The "beach" along the river is gravel, so there is no sand for the kids to play with and there is a lot of moss in the river, so that could be the reason there was no one in the water. Since we paid for three nights, I did try to get a refund for two nights but only because the campground paperwork did NOT say no refunds for early departures. They refused to give us a refund, but we still left.
It looks like an older park that has been revamped, so the sites are small and very close together. The pool area is nice, but the club house, office, and restrooms had a bad odor (like a dirty cat box), which lasted the entire weekend. The sites are gravel and cement, and you park your car next to your awning. Our FW barely fit in the site (no. 36) - even though we were backed against a tree, the front of the trailer was right at the road. There are a lot of full-timers, but they don't have stuff lying around, so it wasn't that noticeable. This campground did look nicer than Vacationeer and Circle RV, which were nearby.