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Author Topic: overnight spot on the east side of Atlanta  (Read 4451 times)

suruchi

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overnight spot on the east side of Atlanta
« on: May 12, 2013, 10:01:08 AM »
We will be on our way to Charleston in a couple weeks.  Driving from Fort Worth, Texas to Vicksburg the first night and then on to Atlanta for the ssecond night.  We want to get just past Atlanta before stopping.  Anyone have any suggestions for low cost/free overnight parking?  If the weather is not too warm, we can do a Walmart or something similar.  However, if it is too warm, we would need electricity in order to be comfortable for sleeping.  Thanks!
Jim and Dena Hill, Fort Worth, Texas
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DearMissMermaid

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Re: overnight spot on the east side of Atlanta
« Reply #1 on: May 13, 2013, 11:22:49 AM »
There is a Flying J Travel Plaza west of Atlanta but not east of Atlanta.   Free camping there but park in the RV and car area, not the truck area.

Flying J Travel Plaza
15 Villa Rosa Rd
Temple, GA 30179

If you can push onwards to the J Strom THurmond Lake at the SC and Georgia border, you will be treated to awesome camping right on the lake.  I have stayed at Mistletoe State Park and Hamilton Branch State Park on the lake there.  Both come with electric and water plus awesome views.  There are numerous campgrounds to choose from on the lake, some owned by US ACE and others owned by GA or SC state parks.
Lake campgrounds listed here:
http://corpslakes.usace.army.mil/visitors/projects.cfm?Id=K603350

Otherwise if you want electric, I would look at the GA state parks such as Hard Labor State Park, which is about 40 miles east of Atlanta.  The Georgia state parks are done up really nicely.  I've been to many of their state parks, but not this one in particular. Also, you can get a reservation but you get to choose your spot first come first serve after you arrive at the park.  I love that about their reserve system, I've ended up in some awesome spots this way.

Just curious where you are staying in Charleston.  I recently camped above there at Buck Hall on the intracoastal waterway. I thought it was awesome though it is it 30 miles up the coast from Charleston. If you love natural beauty and large lots, it will fit the bill.
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suruchi

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Re: overnight spot on the east side of Atlanta
« Reply #2 on: May 14, 2013, 07:33:18 AM »
Great suggestions!  Thanks so much.  Hard Labor state park may be our best bet so I'll check that out.  On our trip east, we are pretty much on a schedule to get there.  We are meeting our friends from North Carolina and camping at the James Island campground for five nights in order to tour Charleston.  Then they go back home and we go on to Savannah for a few days.  Planning on stopping around Destin on the return trip.  Any other suggestions you have for there?

Jim and Dena Hill, Fort Worth, Texas
2012 Coachmen Freedom Express 242RBS
2012 Dodge one ton dually, 4X4

DearMissMermaid

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Re: overnight spot on the east side of Atlanta
« Reply #3 on: May 14, 2013, 10:05:42 PM »
If you are going to Savannah, you might want to stay at

Skidaway Island State Park
http://www.gastateparks.org/SkidawayIsland

I have stayed there at least twice and loved it each time.  My last stay was 5 nights of peace and beauty.

You have to drive through downtown Savannah to get to the park.  You can make advance reservations, but you get to drive around and choose your site after arrival. It is very shady and wooded with mature trees and huge lots that provide  a lot of privacy, electric, water and sometimes cable TV.  They rent bicycles too. 

My very first campground I stayed in when I started driving my RV in 2010 was at Savannah South KOA .  I loved watching the water fowl there, but the lots were small and crowded.  Many of the advertised features were not operational when I was there.  I stayed one night and have not been back again, but the birds were awesome.

Midway between Charleston and Savannah is Hunting Island State Park east of Beaufort SC.  Actually it's 21 miles down highway 21 from Beaufort to Hunting Island.  It is my all time favorite place in the whole wide world. The 8 miles of beach are totally unspoiled, the campground is adjacent to the beach. It is well worth the detour to go stay there, even if just for one night, if you can get a reservation.  I try to stop by there in the spring and fall. I was just there for 12 nights in April  and I've already reserved the max of 14 nights in October.  The island makes me homesick for the Caribbean where I lived 23 years.

http://southcarolinaparks.com/huntingisland/introduction.aspx

I've written volumes about the place on my blog. I first went there in 1964 as a mere child and fell hopelessly in love. The state has worked hard to protect the island in it's natural beauty.  I think I've been there 7 or 8 times in the past 3 years.

If you go there, be sure to stop at Gay Fish Company on 21 before the island and pick up their fresh off the boat shrimp to take camping. The shrimp is so fresh it cooks super quick, don't overdo it.

Oh and pay attention to the lot sizes when looking over the reservations, they vary widely in parking size due to the plethora of trees.  It doesn't matter which lot you end up on, the beach is 30 seconds to 3 minutes away by foot.   You can hike a mile or two down the beach to the lighthouse which is open to the public for climbing to the top. The views are awesome. You can also drive there too.  Pay attention to the tides, at low tide the beach is super wide, at high tide it's narrow.  Campers spread out up and down the beach, so it's never crowded.


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suruchi

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Re: overnight spot on the east side of Atlanta
« Reply #4 on: May 15, 2013, 08:21:15 AM »
WooHoo!  I'm calling hunting island today!  Sounds like heaven on earth and well worth a little side trip.  Thanks again!
Jim and Dena Hill, Fort Worth, Texas
2012 Coachmen Freedom Express 242RBS
2012 Dodge one ton dually, 4X4

DearMissMermaid

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Re: overnight spot on the east side of Atlanta
« Reply #5 on: May 15, 2013, 10:23:27 AM »
Doubtful you will get a live person on the telephone at Hunting Island.  They are super busy and just seem to never answer the phones.

They are on reserve America where you can look at lot sizes and reservations.  All the lots are generous but some will limit the size of the rig you can park there because they have so many trees, but there are nearly 200 lots.  The campground stays super busy.  They don't even have time to clean the lots, they just assume the prior campers will leave it nice for the next campers.  That being said, sometimes I show up and have to clean up the lot before I settle in, but maybe I am just picky.  I like for all the cig butts and water bottle caps to be in the garbage not on the ground.  The fire pits might be cleaned out or you might have to do it yourself or just move the pit to another area and spread out the old ashes.  Ditto for picnic tables, I often have to drag the table out of the way until I get parked. 

The beauty is drop dead awesome.  I can easily stay there 2 weeks and never once leave the island.  I just stock up on food before arrival and settle in, spending my days soaking up the beach and beauty.

Here is the Reserve America Link:
http://www.reserveamerica.com/camping/Hunting_Island/r/campsiteCalendar.do?page=calendar&search=site&contractCode=SC&parkId=10114&topTabIndex=CampingSpot
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Living, working. playing  in a Class C, 1994 Tioga Montara, 28'

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suruchi

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Re: overnight spot on the east side of Atlanta
« Reply #6 on: May 15, 2013, 11:14:33 AM »
Got it!  I'll go there.
Jim and Dena Hill, Fort Worth, Texas
2012 Coachmen Freedom Express 242RBS
2012 Dodge one ton dually, 4X4

suruchi

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Re: overnight spot on the east side of Atlanta
« Reply #7 on: May 18, 2013, 08:26:14 AM »
FYI.  Got in at Hunting Island for June 5 and 6, space #157.  Thanks for your help.
Jim and Dena Hill, Fort Worth, Texas
2012 Coachmen Freedom Express 242RBS
2012 Dodge one ton dually, 4X4

herd

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Re: overnight spot on the east side of Atlanta
« Reply #8 on: May 18, 2013, 02:05:36 PM »
Hunting Island is my number one place to camp also, we do at least 4 to 5 weeks a year there. Best sites are in the first and second loops, beautiful views. The backside is nice but no breeze and lots of skeeters.

My daughter and her husband are at James Island this weekend.
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Luca1369

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Re: overnight spot on the east side of Atlanta
« Reply #9 on: May 18, 2013, 02:31:36 PM »
There are two decent campgrounds east of Atlanta.  Riverside Estates RV Park in Covington, Georgia, exit 88 on I-20 eastbound.  Twenty-five miles further east is Country Boys RV Park in Madison, Georgia, at the 441 exit on I-20 East, exit 114.  Riverside Estates is the site the old Yellow River Drag Strip and is paved.  Country Boys is more in the country with gravel roads.

Steve
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DearMissMermaid

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Re: overnight spot on the east side of Atlanta
« Reply #10 on: May 20, 2013, 07:49:48 PM »
Hunting Island is my number one place to camp also, we do at least 4 to 5 weeks a year there. Best sites are in the first and second loops, beautiful views. The backside is nice but no breeze and lots of skeeters.

My daughter and her husband are at James Island this weekend.

It seriously depends on when you are at Hunting Island about the mosquitoes. I was just there recently  nearly 2 weeks with a friend and we bought 4 cans of OFF before we went to the island. We never got to unwrap any, as there were no mosquitoes during our stay. 

There was one week when I was there, and 2 days later, the mosquitoes did show up, so I emptied out a can of OFF the next few days, and continued to have a blast.

Everyone has their idea of the camping lots.  I have stayed all over the park and loved every site I had.

I've also been there during a storm when the winds and sea spray kicked up so bad, that half the folks in the beach loops packed up and left days early. But the tall trees in back kept those lots protected, so there was no mass exodus. 

It's a great place, every camping lot is  different and unique.  ;D
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suruchi

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Re: overnight spot on the east side of Atlanta
« Reply #11 on: June 05, 2013, 09:28:27 AM »
Just drove out of James island county park campground ( fabulous!) and are on our way to hunting island now. Rain off and on but hey... It's only water. Great trip so far!
Jim and Dena Hill, Fort Worth, Texas
2012 Coachmen Freedom Express 242RBS
2012 Dodge one ton dually, 4X4

DearMissMermaid

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Re: overnight spot on the east side of Atlanta
« Reply #12 on: June 08, 2013, 10:13:35 PM »
I hope you made it to Hunting Island all safe and sound!
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Living, working. playing  in a Class C, 1994 Tioga Montara, 28'

Pack half the stuff and twice the cash.
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suruchi

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Re: overnight spot on the east side of Atlanta
« Reply #13 on: June 09, 2013, 07:14:34 AM »
We did but probably only because we erred on the side of caution and left on Thursday morning and headed back home and away from the coast.  What a bummer to cut our trip short but not worth the chance of staying.   :'(Never can predict what the severity of the storm might be.  We loved Hunting Island though and want to go back.  We didn't make it to Savannah.  Boohoo!  We will have to get to that area again sometime but I think we will do it a bit earlier before hurricane season.  We did stop at a fabulous COE park in Tuscaloosa.  Probably would have stayed there a few days if we weren't so bummed and ready to just get  home.  Plus it was pouring down there.  It is Deerlick Creek Campground.  Absolutely gorgeous!  We also stayed one night at Hard Labor Creek on the drive east.  Another place we would love to revisit.  Beautiful!  anyway, we are back safe and sound and appreciate all the great tips from all of you. 
Jim and Dena Hill, Fort Worth, Texas
2012 Coachmen Freedom Express 242RBS
2012 Dodge one ton dually, 4X4

DearMissMermaid

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Re: overnight spot on the east side of Atlanta
« Reply #14 on: June 11, 2013, 10:07:10 AM »
Thanks for the update!  I've been through a few storms at Hunting Island, one that caused a tree branch from the very top of a healthy tree to plunge down into my roof like a dagger making a small skylight in my kitchen. 

The rangers offered to refund my prepaid days so I could go get emergency repairs, but instead I borrowed their jumbo step ladder and a willing soul. Between rainstorms we slapped a patch up on the roof and I stayed another week without leaving at all.

On my last visit I had to leave a day early because of an urgent repair and the schedule of a trusted repairman. I told my friend who was traveling with me at the time  "Just ignore the tears. I always cry when I leave this place, it's just oh so beautiful."

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Living, working. playing  in a Class C, 1994 Tioga Montara, 28'

Pack half the stuff and twice the cash.
http://dearmissmermaid.blogspot.com/

samanthahhi

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Re: overnight spot on the east side of Atlanta
« Reply #15 on: June 26, 2013, 09:44:31 PM »
Hunting island is my all time favorite too. I've lived 55 miles away from there for over 35+ years and had no idea what I was missing. It is now my home away from home!

Last time we were there, we were right up by the beach. The wind was absolutely unrelenting, the rain wa off and on again, but we didn't care. We walked the surreal landscaped beach and even went into town to hear our very own Lowcountry Lady, Candace Glover, sing during her American Idol visit home prior to the final show.

What a fantastic weekend!

Sure hope you return soon. We live in a beautiful area!

Samantha
Samantha - Bluffton, SC
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DearMissMermaid

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Re: overnight spot on the east side of Atlanta
« Reply #16 on: June 27, 2013, 08:04:23 AM »
I have already prepaid for the 14 day max starting October 21 through November 4th.

Spring and fall I detour over to Hunting Island, I can never get enough of the place. I would go more often if I could figure out HOW.
http://DearMissMermaid.Com

Living, working. playing  in a Class C, 1994 Tioga Montara, 28'

Pack half the stuff and twice the cash.
http://dearmissmermaid.blogspot.com/

samanthahhi

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Re: overnight spot on the east side of Atlanta
« Reply #17 on: June 27, 2013, 10:42:33 PM »
They really should have a "Like" button in these forums  ;)
Samantha - Bluffton, SC
Co-pilot, Brodie (son)

2009 GMC Yukon 4.8
2014 Nomad 241 and loving it!!

 

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