See what a great time we had in our recent holiday Gulf Coast RV Park Camping Trip.
In November, we purchased a new motorhome. Since we are still social distancing and not spending the holidays with family, we decided to go camping for Thanksgiving and Christmas.
We only had a few days off for Thanksgiving, so we stayed in Illinois. We drove south, ending up at Wayne Fitzgerald State Park at Rend Lake. It was a bit chilly, so we knew that we would have to drive much further south in December. Land Between the Lakes would be too cold in late December.
Gulf Coast RV Park Vacation Itinerary
After researching weather averages, the decision was made that Camping on the Gulf of Mexico was required to find warm weather. This keeps us within 800 miles, which allows us to drive over 2 days. We like to set up before dark, which means getting off the road by 4 pm.
A search for Alabama and Mississippi Gulf Coast Campgrounds came up with our trip plan. Our Gulf Coast Itinerary included Buccaneer State Park, Davis Bayou Campground, and Dauphin Island Campground. We went to Big Lagoon State Park in Florida on a previous trip.
Check out our West Coast Camping Trip and Mid Atlantic RV Adventure.
On the way down, we stayed at Persimmon Hill Campground in Northern Mississippi. This Army Corps of Engineers recreation site was clean, quiet, and well maintained. We would definitely stay there again.
Beachfront RV Parks Gulf Coast
Our first Gulf Coast Camping stay was at Buccaneer State Park in Waveland, Mississippi. There was a cold snap going on while we were there, so we kept our coats on when we walked along the water.
We set an alarm and woke up early to a beautiful Christmas morning sunrise. The wind broke that afternoon, which made the temperature more comfortable. Sunrises and sunsets are amazing from this Mississippi beach campground.
Camping Near Biloxi
After a 2-night stay, we took Hwy 90 across Bay St. Louis, through Gulfport, to Ocean Springs. It was interesting to see all the improvements and rebuilding that had been done to the Biloxi area since Hurricane Katrina. We went down on a relief trip to this area as a family 15 years ago. There was some evidence of damage visible from Hurricane Zeta, which hit at the end of October.
The next 2 nights were spent at Davis Bayou, which is part of the Gulf Islands National Seashore. We really liked this hidden gem because of its classic national park feel. It felt like traditional camping to us.
The best parts were seeing an alligator in the bayou and spending time along the water at the pier near the visitor’s center.
We plan to explore all of this national seashore, including another Gulf Coast Camping Trip to this location in the future, along with Shepard State Park.
Gulf Coast RV Parks on the Beach in Alabama
Our final destination was Dauphin Island Campground. This barrier island is by the mouth of Mobile Bay. We discovered it about 5 years ago on a spring break trip to Fort Morgan, which is just west of Gulf Shores. We took the Mobile Bay Ferry for a day of adventure, which took us to this quiet island.
The ferry stop is right next to this Alabama Coast Campground. We knew back then that we would return and stay at this campground. We booked for 3 nights and decided to extend 2 nights to avoid driving home through bad weather.
Those two extra days were such a nice bonus because the Audubon Bird Sanctuary reopened after being closed from Hurricane Sally damage. We also enjoyed beach walks, ship watching on the bay, Fort Gaines, and the lovely weather which allowed us to sleep with open windows.
Many snowbirds come down to this campground for the winter. We hope to be a pair of them when we retire. I do not think we could get bored there.
Alternate Route Through Mississippi
When we looked at Google Maps for the drive home, Route 45 was one of the recommendations. Since we drive slower than most vehicles on the interstate, we decided to take it north. It was such a pleasant drive without wind or truck traffic.
We stopped for the last night at Chickasaw State Park in Tennessee. This is a nice park with many activities, although not in January. We got a level full hookup site. This allowed us to dump and winterize before pulling out of our site.
As you can see, we had a great time on our Gulf Coast RV Park Adventure. We were able to maximize our relaxation time because we premade and froze all of our dinners to take with us. That also helped cut down on the number of dishes that had to be washed. Doing meals, this way is a big benefit of owning a motorhome. We did much the same on our Alaskan RV Adventure.
There are no plans in place for our next great adventure, but we hope it will be soon!