By Bonnie & Bill Neely
We have enjoyed KOA’s across the USA and Canada, and each is so unique, but they all have dependably pristine restrooms, laundry facilities, K9 recreation areas, and playgrounds. The various areas are specifically designated for the needs of RV’s, or tents, cabins, or even yurts; and all are clean, well planned and maintained. We have stayed in the Journey KOA’s, perfect for just overnighting to break a very long cross-country drive. Some of those offer delivery of dinner or provide breakfast. In a few places we have felt posh in the KOA Resort Campgrounds, which are more glamourous Glamping than just camping, with evening parties, dances, drinks, games.
All KOA’s have nice play areas for children, and some offer special family activities and more elaborate play areas and become favorite places for extended family stays. Some KOA’s are forested with trails that beckon exploring. Some have lakes with boats and fishing. Most have a stream nearby, and/or transport available to a nearby city. We LOVE KOA camping!
This fall in the Shenandoah area we discovered Luray KOA with the most vastly beautiful grounds of any we have seen. The really large grassy area on the gently rolling hill is weedlessly beautiful. This pastoral field is centered with a well-equipped screen-room kitchen for parties and bar-b-ques, which you can request for a particular time for your group.
Each RV site there has thick gravel with a separate gravel area for hook-ups, so no muddy holes in rainy times! Each site has a lovely daisy-shaped firepit and two Adirondack chairs and a sturdy picnic table. The restroom and laundry area are attractive and clean. This KOA is adjacent to a family farm, and your family can enjoy watching the small herds of cows and sheep. And a little stream is near the campground edge.
We especially like the special back-in sites with the new pergolas on cement platforms. These have the comfortable chairs and picnic table for resting and reveling in the beauty of brilliant sunsets across the mountains and valley. The entire KOA is surrounded by the lovely Appalachian Mountains. If you are an early riser, you will enjoy the mountain sunrises too.
In the office from 8-10 each morning a free continental breakfast awaits campers. We also found there a well-catalogued library of books and DVD’s to borrow while you are there or to take one,leave one for other campers. We were not surprised to discover the owner of this wonderful KOA is from Switzerland and is on-site checking on things every morning. This is one of our very favorite KOA’s and in a short drive’s distance from all the wonders of Shenandoah mountains and valleys and the thrills of Luray Caverns, Car and Carriage Caravan Museum, Toy Town Junction, and many other attractions.
As you enjoy the beauty of nature in Shenandoah Valley and the Appalachian Mountains be sure to stop at the National Park Visitor Center and hope to be there for the Ranger’s Butterfly Study, which is fascinating as you learn about the lepidopterans which travel through this Virginia valley, especially the monarchs for which milkweed plants are generously cultivated here.
IF YOU GO: https://koa.com/campgrounds/luray/, https://www.visitshenandoah.org/, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Appalachian_Mountains, https://koa.com/