We decided to try Ocean Lakes for the Thanksgiving weekend this year. After reading all the excellent reviews I thought this has got to be great. I was a little disappointed. The campground is huge and there are plenty of things to do. My biggest complaint was the trash laying around everywhere. Cups and trash in the bushes, tons of old cigarette butts on campsites and all along the roads, just plain trashy. The kiddy pool looked wonderful although I don't have any little ones anymore. I also expected more campsites. It seems as most of the park is permanent homes, huge ones too. The playground, ice cream shop, volleyball, etc. were located right on the beachfront which seems like it would be really a hot place to play in the summer. I can see that ice cream melting before you paid for it. There were some nice walking areas although there was trash there too. I really don't understand why most people rate this campground so high as it's not a 10 in my opinion. Laundry and bathhouses were clean and nice. I have no reason to return but it was interesting to see.
We visit Pirateland twice yearly, spring and fall and it's always a pleasure to visit. I've never seen scum in the lazy river as the previous poster alluded to. The pool and lazy river were sparkling clean during our trip. The staff have always been friendly and helpful. They've added more concrete pads this year. The beach is the reason we visit and bring our two small dogs. Many campers don't pick up after the dogs which can get annoying. We aways pick a beachfront site and can see the ocean. It's a large campground with many permanent sites and some can use some attention. I'm sure during the peak season the golf carts can become a nuisance. We like spring and fall to avoid the crowds and still have beautiful weather. We'll be back in the fall.
Not a bad campground for an overnight stay off I-95 but I would not camp here for any length of time. I just got a creepy feeling being at this KOA. As we were checking in an employee was blowing off the sidewalk in front of the office with a cigarette sticking out of his mouth, not my idea of a great first impression. I had to close my window because he was blowing so much dust around. I was afraid to walk outside at night so didn't use the restrooms. The water was also very slow and it took forever to fill the toilet and sink. Other than that it was just okay.
As others have said, this is the nicest campground we have ever seen. We camped on Palm Circle and it felt like a private cul-de-sac with beautifully landscaped sites. Sites were nicely spaced with plenty of room for big rigs and privacy. Very clean restrooms and showers. The beach didn't seem far as we biked, but the tram was also available for those who chose not to bike or walk. Staff was very friendly. Since this was our first trip to the Emerald Coast we were in awe of the sugar white sand and the crystal clear waters of the gulf. A beautifully clean campground in a state park. They are adding tent sites and a playground. Even though construction was going on every employee would stop and let the campers go first. Great place.
We've camped at Pirateland for the past 10 years and it's always been our favorite campground. The office staff has always been helpful and friendly during check-in. This campground is on the ocean which makes it wonderful. They have shelters on the beachfront sites which make it nice to protect you from wind, rain and sun. Each site has a picnic table. If you have a problem the staff takes care of it quickly. The pool is always clean and they have a lazy river which is nice to relax in. I think they need to upgrade to wi-fi or phones at the sites because so many people are bringing laptops these days. Going to the office to send and receive e-mail can get old quickly especially at the time of year when the office closes early. The security is very good at keeping this campground under control although I can't imagine how they do it during the summer months when the campground must be packed. This is a huge campground. The store is always well stocked. I can't say more about this campground. We travel with our little dogs and even they love it.