Indoors in the Great Outdoors

October 19, 2010
Cabins and lodges provide the perfect balance between hotel convenience and outdoor adventure.

“Cabins are cheaper than hotels, they are dry when it rains, but you still get the benefits of camping [like] campfires and being close to nature.”

That’s what KOA camper Dave Numme wrote when we asked our Facebook fans why they chose to stay in our cabins, cottages and lodges. For many people, like Dave, campground lodging provides the perfect balance between the convenience of a hotel and the adventure of the outdoors.

“We LOVE Kabins!” said Donald Baker. “It was a step up from tent camping, but without the investment of a rig. We found that if we pack one duffle with our bedding my wife and oldest daughter can set up beds while the younger two and I unpack. We can settle into our home away from home in just 15 minutes giving us more time to kick back and relax! On the flipside, we can pack up and be on the road in 30 minutes. We could never do that in tents.”

In fact, Donald said that now they never stay at a motel if a KOA available on their vacation route.

According to facility development manager Mike Atkinson, approximately 95 percent of KOA campgrounds have some sort of indoor accommodations. Although cabins and cottages have been common fixtures on many campgrounds, more are adding new lodges, with private bathrooms and kitchenettes. They are an ideal option for those without an RV or for those who like the convenience they provide.

“As a single mom, I enjoy camping but can’t afford a camper, nor could I set up a tent or pop-up camper on my own,” write Cheryl Ferguson. “I’ve stayed in [KOA] cabins and rented RVs. Both are wonderful—they give me the camping experience without the hassle. I feel like I can take care of everything and still give my daughter the real camping experience.”

Mimi Bynum-Johnson has a pop-up camper, but still opts to choose lodging. “Setting it up for just one night is such a hassle that on our way to and from our main destination (the halfway point) we stay in a cabin. It’s plain easier and cheaper than a hotel…easy place to park the RV and safer at a KOA than in town anyway.”

Ranging in size from approximately 200 to 400 square feet, lodges have varying levels of amenities, including some which provide linens and cookware. Sometimes, as Susan Gilbert learned, the chance to be warm and dry are the most important amenities of all.

“We are historical re-enactors and carry a lot of period correct camping gear that is complicated and time consuming to set up. As we travel to and from teaching re-enactments a cabin is a fast comfortable way to get a great nights sleep, in a warm/cool, dry cozy cabin. All we need is to bring in the sleeping bags and a toothbrush and we’re good to go. We got flooded out of an event in Minnesota [and] had to break camp at 2 am in the pitch dark and pouring rain. Found a KOA outside Minneapolis with a cabin that allowed us to get showers, warmed up and dried off. We were able to dry all the soaked gear and calm our rattled nerves. It was a blessing. We love KOA cabins!”

  • Eric

    KOA kabins are great! They save time setting up a tent, which gives you more time to enjoy the activities the KOA has to offer. The grandkids love them and it also leaves more room in the vehicle for other items when you don’t have to pack a tent. One down side is; they are VERY popular, so reservations are extremely important, so call ahead at least a week or two in advance.

  • Beachline

    KOA cabins are great for me. I cannot afford an RV, but, after a lifetime of tent camping I can still enjoy the friendliness of campers and the outdoors.

  • MelMarSim

    We have stayed in the Kabins on two separate occasions at two different KOAs. Both were fantastic and we’d do it again. The only drawback is that we really like to camp with our dog and cannot bring her when we Kabin. So, if Kabins become more pet-friendly, we’d definitely utilize them more often.

  • Charlene

    My husband, Noah & I recently spent time in upstate New York. The KOA Newburgh/New York City was our destination. For the first time, in the many KOAs we have stayed, this particular one was abound with activity-Must have to do with the jumping pillow, fishing, the Woods, and friendly staff! Though in a RV, we were envious of the cabins full of families—we will miss the kids on bicycles, conversing at the picnic tables and the many inviting walks to see the colors. We will be back!

  • Irene

    I wish that the price of a lodge/ kabin were more affordable. My family and I would actually be able to afford to “get away to a KOA” more often!I love the KOA quaility of kampnig!