We’ve come to love Army Corps of Engineers campgrounds. There is always a lake nearby, the sites are spacious, and the price is right (especially using our half price America the Beautiful pass). Not all Corps campgrounds have sewer hookups, but when we come across one with full hookups we feel like we’ve hit the jackpot.
Gunter Hill Campground, near Montgomery, AL, is all the above. It’s in a beautiful setting with really nice, paved and large sites. With the state capitol nearby, there are plenty of local attractions. The only negatives are a poor Verizon signal, a neighboring race track that can be noisy at times, and getting a satellite signal from some sites is impossible. This is a popular campground and reservations, especially on weekends, is a good idea.
We really like this campground. The Escapees club is the largest (maybe only) organization for fulltime RVers so when we are at an Escapees park we enjoy the company of like-minded people. This campground, being in the sunny south and in such an interesting area, attracts lots of folks who maybe aren’t RVing fulltime but are at least “long-timers” who spend the winters as “escapees” from the cold north. Everyone is friendly and welcoming and there are lots of walkers who enjoy stopping for a chat.
Not only are there many people in RVs, there is also an entire neighborhood of houses occupied by folks who have “retired” from RV travel or at least have decided this would be a good place to put down some roots. There are a variety of houses but nearly all of them have some kind of accommodation for a RV. It’s fun to walk around and see all the innovative ways people have built houses that also provide for RV parking and use.
The RV area is grassy on packed sand. We enjoyed the spacious site and a nice shady oak tree. In the past we have parked under oak trees in the fall and didn’t enjoy the acorn bombardment on the camper. This being spring we mainly had to put up with leaves falling (the oaks don’t shed leaves until new leaves come in and “push” them out).
There are lots of activities in the park’s activity center: everything from a music group to quilters to a chair “caning” group. Of course, there are plenty of eating opportunities as well.
Let me include in this review a special mention of Robertsdale Church of the Nazarene. We worshiped with these fine folks the past month and enjoyed it very much. Pastor Melissa and her congregation made us feel right at home and I recommend this church to any who visit Escapees Rainbow Plantation.
The gulf coast of Alabama is a terrific place to visit. In addition to major league attractions like the Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola, FL and Battleship Alabama in Mobile, AL (both already reviewed) there are many fun and interesting things to see and do.
We enjoyed the Arts and Crafts show in Fairhope where we saw some extremely nice art work and hand crafts. Several young women were dressed in beautiful colorful Southern Belle dresses with large hat and lots of ruffles posing for photos with tourists and promoting the area. It was a beautiful day for a drive and day out after colder weather. I bought a silver and turquoise necklace that matches my turquoise set from my Grandmother Smith.
Another fun event was the Elberta, AL German Sausage Festival. There was a variety of craft and food booths. One booth was selling cheese curds – yum! Of course, the main attraction was the sausage we had for lunch. Mine had sauerkraut and Scott had spicy brown mustard on his. We sat listened to music and did a lot of people watching while we ate. Overall, it was a fun family event.
A free local attraction is the Foley Model Railroad Museum. It is at the local park right off the main highway through town. It is an ‘O’ Gage model railroad layout that is 24 by 60 feet, representing 12 different railroads of the time. The “town” is a 50’s era community with business, a church, fire station (with an animated truck and fireman), and a drive-in- theatre with a movie running on the screen. The miniature town has a full city park with a small train carrying children around the park, and much more to see. A favorite of small children is Thomas the Train running on its track along with a wide variety of trains going around the town and through the tunnel under the mountains. Outside in the park is a miniature train set up for children to play on with a bell to ring. The park itself is lovely and a nice place to take a break.
Of course, the main attraction of the area is the beautiful while “sugar sand” beaches. We enjoyed strolls along the beach – getting our feet wet and the sound of the surf. In addition to all the above, there are several great restaurants in the area, a big outlet mall and much more. We spent a month on the Alabama gulf and enjoyed all it has to offer. Chances are good that we’ll be back!
Spending a few months each year volunteering at Battleship Texas as we do, we couldn’t resist visiting the USS Alabama in Mobile, AL. What an amazing Battleship! We spent several hours looking around and enjoying this WWII ship.
In the main exhibit area you learn about the history of the ship. We especially enjoyed watching the free 15 minute video of the ship. The officer’s living spaces, main guns, anti-aircraft guns, ships bridge, flag plot room, and fire control tower are located on main deck and above. We climbed nearly as high as was open to tourists.
There was an amazing amount of fire power on this ship. We looked inside one of the 16″ turrets, and checked out several of the other guns. Below deck forward was Warrant officer’s living spaces, Marine Corps living spaces, post office, sick bay, engine room and radio room. Below deck aft is the crew’s living spaces, crew’s galley, bakery, brig, barbershop, and laundry.
We enjoyed our visit to the Alabama very much. On the same property is the submarine USS Drum as well as several WWII aircraft, tanks, etc. We were pretty tired from our exploration of the big ship and decided visiting these other exhibits would have to be done on a future visit!