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Santa Cruz / Monterey Bay KOA
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Reviews (142)
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Reviewed 18 August 2013

We visited from Scotland on a RV tour of California.
We liked it because of its setting, good facilities- pool, large playground (whole family had a laugh there), crazy golf, usual (overpriced as in all KOA sites) banana bikes etc for hire, good bathrooms (though quite spread out in site), climbing trees, kiddie "train" and laundry facilities (longer opening hours or accessible 24 hours as in other places would be good). We came late in the season but there seemed to be activities for children. The staff seemed friendly and helpful.

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled with family
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Thank MHT66
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 July 2013

We totally agree with Al B's review. Along with a number of other RVers,
we arrived at 11:30, since check out is 11:00. We would have had several hours
to settle in and get ready for a party with friends in our honor at 3:00. CHECK IN TIME
IS AT 2:00, and from we gathered, there are no exceptions. The staff told the next person
trying to check in to not listen to me, I was just disgruntled. Previous reviews will tell the
real story. At least 6 travelers turned around and left because they, too, did not realize
the late check in time. Seems to me this is KOA's bad management, and not that of
the travelers. I'm pleasant person who takes my time to help other travelers, and I always give an honest and fair review based on my experience...there are many travelers, many opinions. The traveler following us into the park told me they were also disgruntled and did not read the notice
of the late check in. WATCH FOR IT, you won't find it easily on their website, and although
we spoke with the staff on several occasions to make reservations through
out the summer, we were never told about this unusually late check in time. It is my opinion that
the attitude of the staff shows this is a normal routine of disgruntled travelers held at bay while the
park prepares for three hours after check-out, before allowing check-in. I noticed a number of small scraps of paper, plastic and debris in our spot...nothing terribly unusual, but surely no one cleaned our site.

What I disliked about this overpriced RV camp ground is not totally the
fault of KOA. My husband and I are adults traveling without children. This place caters to children,
so reviews from families are likely more positive. If you are an adult, try
the Santa Cruz Harbor RV park for a more interesting and satisfying stay at less
than half the price. We tried to change, but Harbor was filled, so reserve early.

1, Once we entered the park we were met with an abundance of small
children riding three wheel carts up and down the streets. We stopped
for them, but children did not watch for us, and we were nearly hit by
a youngster, whose father later found us and went into a rage because he thought we were
moving. Perhaps his son misunderstood that it was he who did not see the RV that stopped
for him and shared a different story. By now we are wondering what's next.
Seems to me that with all the empty space of weeds and dirt surrounding this RV
park, why is there not designated area for children to safely run about in these
carts. It looks like great fun, but on a busy Sunday afternoon, is it really
that safe?

2. Some of the sites are nice, even have nice tables and chairs, and well done
cement spots to sit on, but further down away from the children's
park, the sites get smaller, and shabbier. We have a very small RV, but
after a struggle, we managed to pull in partially on the cement and partially
on the dirt. There was not enough room between the pavement and the
hookups to bring our RV in because of the trees. The other traveler who
came in at the same time struggled also...there was not enough room, so
a park employee assisted them. They said they requested another spot, but
non available. This took up what little bit of time we had to get hooked up and
off to our event.

3. Where do you go and what do you do if you are not a child happy to play on
on a dirt based playground? Like with other reviews, you won't want to walk down
the busy street a few miles to the beach, so you will have to take your RV to the
beach. Be aware of parking at Manressa Beach...it's limited and this is a very
busy beach area on the weekends. We are previous residents of this area, so we
know there are many nice places to visit in Santa Cruz, Aptos, Carmel and Monterey,
but for certain there are no restaurants or events within easy reach of this KOA RV park,
so if you are an adult without additional transportation, and perfer to not unhook and re
establish every day, you will likely be stuck at the KOA with playground activities. Although they say this is a Santa Cruz/Monterey based RV park, please be aware that Santa Cruz is
15 miles north. Monterey is 35 miles south with nothing much in between...So
bring your camp gear, your food and your entertainment with you unless you are
8 years old or younger.

For all of this, you will pay double or more to stay here...it is not upscale, it is not well groomed....no
grassy spots... a lot of dirt and a lot of noise. NO, we will not come back, but if you are a family who
doesn't have a children's park near your home, you may have a wonderful time like many have. This is a campground, not a resort. Yet, they are very busy...so consider my review geared to adults who when paying over $80 per night might want a bit more than what is offered here.

  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank travelingforfun38
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 July 2013

I still don´t know why I paid for this KOA nearly double the average price I have paid for any other campground during our 2 weeks trip (and others have been MUCH nicer). The place is really packed, there is little privacy, it was very loud, the pool is small, you can´t walk to the beach with 2 kids since you have to walk a mile on the street, the washrooms are okay but not special and quite dark and the entertainment for the kids was not any better as in other KOA we stayed in. Overall: okay if you stay for a night or if you really like to be very near to the people next to you. We were happy to leave the place early in the morning.

  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled with family
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Thank Al B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 July 2013

We stayed two days before 4 July 2013 in our 35’ Fifth Wheel. #48 was spacious – could even fit the truck next to the RV with plenty of patio area. Just remember to brush off the acorns before you bring in the slides. Although we don’t have kids, I wish I were a kid again in this park! There are at least a dozen play areas and a little train to boot. We don’t often stay in KOA parks because they are twice the cost of other parks but we are definitely bringing our grandkids back. For adults, when 10:00 pm came, it was totally quiet; great country store for groceries, alcohol, and gifts; close to shopping. Special thanks to F.D. who helped us into our spot, gentleman who loaned us the 50 to 30 amp converter, and Mel for the ladder! We were just passing through but there is enough to do so that you never had to leave the park (or go a short distance to the beach). The lodges were just darling (upgrade from cabins) and I’d like to stay in one of them next time. If your GPS says to follow Buena Vista Drive, don’t do it! If you do, at the very end, go up the right hand lane to San Andreas Road.

Room Tip: If your GPS says to follow Buena Vista Drive, don’t do it! If you do, at the very end, go up the right hand lane to San Andreas Road.
  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Rosadelima_NewMexico
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 July 2013 via mobile

Went there for the first time for the 4th of July and stayed in one of the cabins there. When we arrived we were greeted with and inviting smile. I have two kids that are 3 and 4 and there were all kinds of activities for them from the jumping pillow to the park area to the train ride around the campground to coconut tree climbing and arcades. They also have staff/ security driving the camp grounds during the night to ensure everyone's safety. I already booked for next year and my family can't wait

  • Stayed: July 2013
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Thank Fitnesschallenger81
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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