It wasn’t too long ago that I had a very different impression of KOA’s than I do today. KOA stands for Kampgrounds of America. It is a franchise that has over 500 campgrounds in North America. There are KOA Journeys which are great for pulling into after being on the road. They tend to be close to major interstates and highways. We stayed at two of these on our Texas trip. One in Wellington, KS right off of I-35 and one in Kansas City, MO. There are also KOA Holidays which tend to have more amenities and activities. Then there is KOA Resorts which are vacation destinations of their own. There are only eight that are labeled as resorts throughout the US. I am not sure exactly what my impression was before we stayed at our first one last fall but I know that now we have stayed at a handful of them, I would recommend them to anyone. When pulling into one, you have a general idea of what to expect. You could compare this to like a Holiday Inn. Similar rooms and amenities no matter where you go. But, that isn’t to say each KOA offers unique amenities either.
After doing much research, we settled on the San Antonio KOA for our main campground reservation to explore the San Antonio area. Originally we thought we would stay outside the city and make day trips in but in an effort to save time spent in the car we opted for this campground. It had received good reviews on numerous sites and KOA named it the Campground of the Year in 2015. I made the original reservation online for a back-in site but then called to speak to someone in person about the available options. After talking with the staff, we decided to switch to a pull-through site in a similar location.
This campground is located right in the heart of San Antonio only a few miles from downtown. It was relatively easy to access off the interstate and was a short drive to most of the things to do in the area. It is located in a more industrial part of the city. We felt safe while staying there. The campground is gated and you must have a code to get in after 8pm. When we arrived there were many staff there to greet you. Check in was easy and you were escorted to your campsite by a helpful person in a yellow shirt.
Another perk of this campground is that it is located on the city bus line so if you didn’t want to drive to downtown you could hop of the bus from the bus stop right outside the gate. The fare was I believe about $3 or less each way and even less for the kids. Children under four years old and under ride free. The ride took about 30 minutes each way. The campground does warn not to take the bus late at night but it seemed okay during the day. The staff encouraged us during to check in to take the bus if we were heading downtown. We did use it our first trip to downtown but drove and parked the second time we went because we were already out and about.
The campground had a few shower house scattered throughout the campground. Anytime I went into the shower houses they appeared clean and were up to date. Most of the sites at the campground and full hookups so I am not sure how much they get used.
This campground has a variety of campsites available depending on your needs. Everything from tent sites with water and electric to pull through and back-in full hook up sites. The campground also has cabins available to rent. Prices range from $53.95 for the tent and RV water/electric sites to $63.95 for the full hook-up pull thru sites. Cabins range from $81.95 for a 1 bedroom cabin w/out a bathroom to $179.95 for a Deluxe Cabin with bathroom.
Our site was full hookups and we received a 10% discount because we are KOA Value Kard Rewards members. I have to admit the sites weren’t anything special. They were pretty close to one another and the hookups were to the front of the site so you had to pull all the way through, unhook and then move your tow vehicle to the back of the trailer. Also, the neighbors sewer hook up was right next to our little patio (see image below). That was our picnic table but the neighbor’s RV and sewer hook up. I knew going in the spots would be tight but the pros of being so close to everything outweighed the cons of the small sites.
Amenities and Activities
Although the sites leave much to be desired, this campground offers quite a few amenities. There is a great pool that is open year round and was built in 2014. We didn’t find the time to use the pool since we did so much off site but it looked really nice and there were kids swimming despite it being in the upper 60’s and low 70’s during our stay. A nice feature of this pool was the fact that it was zero-entry which is great for the little ones and it is heated!
The campground, like most KOA’s also had a playground. When I first saw it I was a little unimpressed. But you know what? The kid’s LOVED it! There were kids on it all the time and Elsie loved playing during any free time she had. She met a new little friend there and they met up in the evenings for some playtime together. It was cute.
Also offered is two different food options. There is the Chuck-wagon/Frederick Hall which has a menu of breakfast items that you can order. We attempted to do this on our last day but the place was hopping and it was a long wait to get our food so we opted to find something in our trailer to eat since we wanted to get on the road. The other options is Hunts Brothers Pizza, which was located in the main building. We ordered Pizza one night. It worked out perfect because I threw a load of laundry in the wash in the clean laundry area, placed the order, waited about 20 minutes, put the clothes in the dryer, and then picked up the pizza all while the girls kept playing on the playground. It just worked out perfect.
This KOA also has many of the amenities that are familiar with KOA campgrounds such as the K9 Corral-the campgrounds dog park, firewood and propane for sale, pedal carts to rent, and during our stay there were a few planned activities such as a scavenger hunt, tie-dye, and popcorn and movie nights.
A unique feature this campground has is the the Howard W. Peak Greenway Trail is located on the west side of the campground. This trail is 2.3 miles and runs along side the Salado Creek.There are plans in the works to connect this trail with another to create many more miles of multi-use trails. We had intentions on going on the trail but it just didn’t work out for us since we didn’t spend much time at the campground.
Things to Do
I can’t even begin to think that I can give a comprehensive list of everything there is to do in the San Antonio area. The first thing I would do is check out a guidebook and read about all of your options. Some of our favorite ideas of things to do are:
- Visit Brackenridge Park and the museums and zoo that are located within the park.
- Spend some time in Downtown San Antonio and check out The Alamo, the Riverwalk, and Hemisfair Park
- Explore all or some of the San Antonio Missions. We recommend trying to visit them by utilizing the hike and bike trails.
- Spend a day at SeaWorld or the Aquatica Water Park. Or if you are up for a more thrilling adventure-there is Six Flags Fiesta-Texas.
There are so many options for anytime of vacation and we can’t recommend San Antonio enough. We really enjoyed our time here.