By: Rachel Ventura
My family’s newest addition is a camper. We are in love! We got her this past Fall and used her for 2 weekends before she had to be winterized. It was a sad day, but we knew we’d be using her again soon!
We decided to test out her tires and take her for a road trip during April vacation. A total of 2,017 miles and 9 whole days spent in the small quarters. I was a bit nervous for it all, but it ended up being the most amazing vacation we have ever taken; and we’d do it again in a heartbeat!!
We left early Saturday morning and drove the 6 hours to Hershey, PA. Our first stop was Hersheypark Camping Resort. It was a beautiful drive filled with picturesque mountains and amazing weather. We set up our site and headed right up the street to Hershey’s Chocolate World for a tour of the factory. It was a little too crowded for my liking, so we didn’t do any of the other attractions or stay long; but it was a really cool place to check out!
We went back to our campsite, grilled and ate dinner, rode bikes and of course made s’mores over the campfire. After breakfast the next morning, we were off again. On to our next destination. A 7 ½ hour drive to Fort Mills, SC where we would call Charlotte/Fort Mill KOA our home for the next 3 nights.
This campground was small and lacked some amenities that other campgrounds usually offer. But, it allowed us to just relax and enjoy the outdoors, and I really enjoyed our stay here. It was quiet and peaceful and truly relaxing. Perfect.
One of my favorite things we did was Lazy 5 Ranch in Mooresville, NC. This place is SO cool!! I’m not sure if you would call it a farm, or a zoo, or a ranch, or a safari, they all seem to fit! They have horse drawn wagons or you can drive through the 3 ½ mile safari in your own car. You can also buy buckets of feed to give to the over 750 animals from 6 different continents. The amount of animals we saw was incredible, and the fact that they were right in front of your face, it was an experience like none other. Plus, since it is Spring, we saw so many adorable baby animals!! Baby emus, pigs, goats, ducks, deer, giraffes, camels, zebras. Amazing! They also have a petting zoo area you can walk through before or after the safari. This is definitely a must see/do if you are ever in the area.
On Wednesday morning, we packed up and drove 3 hours to our next stop, Myrtle Beach, SC. Myrtle Beach KOA is an awesome campground! It has 2 pools and a splash pad that are open year round (most others don’t open till May 1st or even till Memorial Day weekend). It’s also crazy close to the beach! You could walk, it’s that close; but they also provide a shuttle every hour. The campground is huge with tons of cabins. We really enjoyed our stay here.
We, of course, had to check out the SkyWheel. My husband doesn’t like heights, so he stayed with his feet planted safely on the ground. This thing is HUGE!! The kids and I had a blast, and the sights you can see from the top are amazing!
We also checked out Broadway at the Beach, which was a nice spot. Lots of shops and restaurants and fun things to do. Ripley’s Aquarium was a lot of fun. My daughter’s favorite part of our whole trip was getting to touch a jellyfish at the aquarium! It was pretty cool!
On Saturday morning, we started our trek back North. We drove 8 ½ hours to spend our last night at Hersheypark Camping Resort again. We were happy to stay here again, as it really is a nice campground with lots of amenities and area attractions! We got in pretty late, and it was cold, so we ate a quick dinner and played games in the camper before heading to bed.
In the morning, we decided to go back to Hershey’s Chocolate World a second time! We arrived as soon as it opened to beat the crowds, and it was perfect! We got to make our own chocolate bars and see the 4D movie. It was a great experience and the perfect way to end our vacation.
At noon, we got back on the road for the 6 hour drive home, that ended up being 8 hours with traffic. Yuck. I took it as a sign that we weren’t supposed to be going home yet. I wish we could have continued to travel and camp and relax and have fun, but sadly, all good things must come to an end and we did have to return to reality. Now we are back to work and school, activities and all of the hustle and bustle of everyday life. But we are counting down the days until our next camping adventure, which can’t come soon enough!