Camping is a beloved pastime and a quintessential part of American culture. Since 1962, Kampgrounds of America (KOA) has been on a mission to preserve the joy of camping and to make it an experience that everyone can partake in. KOA summarizes, “We help people get outside because we know it changes them on the inside. KOA resorts offer a carefree vacation in the great outdoors. Enjoy robust recreation and staff-led activities, kick back and relax by the pool, or grab a bite to eat, all while never leaving the campground.” With over 500 locations across the United States and Canada, adventure is closer than you think!
KOA’s San Diego Metro Campground
Within San Diego County, Chula Vista is home to KOA’s San Diego Metro campground. I was given the unique opportunity to tour the property with the owner, Clint Bell. His grandfather, Ted Bell, founded the campground in 1968. Clint is a third-generation owner and prides himself in fostering a sense of community within the six KOA establishments that his family owns. The company strives to support multi-generational camping. Consequently, the property has steadily grown from a mere five acres to the impressive 24 acres that it is today.
The campground has pet-friendly tent sites, pull-through and back-in RV pads, and luxurious cabins that even the most discerning camper would appreciate. Australian eco tents are available for glamping (glamorous camping) enthusiasts. Standard amenities include showers, restrooms, laundry facilities, free WiFi, and an outdoor communal kitchen. For those who are not keen on cooking or barbecuing, the Sand Castle Café serves fresh pizzas, salads, burgers, and local wine/beer.
Recreation Options for Everyone
San Diego’s KOA resort is paradise for recreation lovers. Bike rentals? Check. Game room? Definitely. Playground, basketball court, and a grass playing field? You bet! Insider tip: No KOA vacation is complete without practicing your acrobatic tricks on the giant jumping pillows (imported from Australia). The brand-new recreation center showcases a spacious pool and an indoor kids club. Four-legged friends can frolic around Kamp K9, a 7,000-square-foot dog park. Rain or shine, there is always something to do. The company goes the extra mile to make sure that their campers are happy and entertained.
The San Diego location supports sustainability in numerous ways. Specialized water tanks and solar panels are used to conserve water and energy, and maintenance is done in house. Their recycling program donates all proceeds to a local chapter of Care Camp, an organization that helps kids with cancer make unforgettable camping memories. Furthermore, the neighboring organic farm, Agua Dulce Farms, supplies fresh fruit and vegetables for the Sand Castle Café. Agua Dulce Farms also hosts the campground’s annual fall festival. Environmentally conscious and community centered, what’s not to love?
Staying Safe During Coronavirus
Kampgrounds of America is committed to keeping its guests and staff safe during the coronavirus pandemic. Rigorous cleaning protocols (multi-point disinfection) and social-distancing policies are in place to protect everyone. Masks are required in public spaces, and the number of people allowed in a building is limited. Employees go beyond upholding the highest-level of cleaning standards by using personal protection equipment and following strict disinfection procedures. All cabins and eco tents are treated with Bioesque® after each booking.
Despite the pandemic, San Diego’s KOA resort continues to prioritize connection within and between families. For example, the annual fall festival was creatively adapted to include train rides, arts and crafts, pumpkin carving, a costume contest, and movie night under the stars. The pool remains open (2-hour reservations are required), and the Sand Castle Café offers alfresco dining or takeout options. With an emphasis on safety and customer service, KOA successfully preserves the value of bringing people together in the great outdoors.
Come Visit and Stay a While; Here’s How!
Clint Bell expressed what it was like to lead such a dynamic operation: “It’s like being the mayor of a small city.” Clint’s company truly embodies his passion for hospitality, camping, and recreation. The staff members work diligently to keep America’s favorite pastime alive for generations to come. Visit and stay a while; Clint and his team will ensure that your experience is nothing short of exceptional.
Are you interested in staying at the San Diego KOA location? Reservations can be made by visiting their website or calling the office (619-427-3601). The campground, located at 111 N. 2nd Avenue, Chula Vista, CA, is a 20-minute drive from San Diego International Airport.