Dates of Stay: July 13 – August 1, 2016
I thoroughly enjoyed my stay at James Island County Park, operated by Charleston County Parks. James Island is perfectly situated between Charleston and West Ashley; it is a 10-minute drive to either town. It is also a 10-minute drive to Folly Beach.
The campsites are typical, with full hook ups, fire ring, and a picnic table. There is some shade. However, it was too blazing hot to sit outside in July, much less have a fire. The restrooms and showers are centrally located and include coin operated laundry machines. Everything is kept neat and tidy. There is a central dumpster, and garbage is picked up every day.
Charleston sits on a peninsula, and the whole area is very sandy. Therefore, the non-paved campsites are very sandy, too. It was a constant battle to keep sand out of the rig, between the tracking by my feet and the dogs’ paws.
There is always something going on at the park.
During the summer there are reggae concerts. They had “Yappy Hour” at the dog park once per month in the summer, complete with food and drinks and live music. There are nature talks, bike trails, a climbing wall, fishing, kayaking, and a huge waterpark. The park is very family-friendly. A trolley runs between the park and the Folly Beach pier. At Christmastime there is The Holiday Festival of Lights, and this owl outside the RV park is lit up all year long.
I cannot say enough about the staff at the park. When the front secirity gate, meant to be locked at 7:30 p.m. with an access code, was not working, the park entrance was staffed 24 hours a day until it was repaired. When I had difficulty with the electrical pole at my campsite, they came out twice in the same day, almost immediately after I phoned. The people at the front desk were friendly and helpful and called me when a package was delivered. After 8:00 p.m., a park ranger was available by cell phone.
As a dog owner, the most amazing thing about this park was the dog park. It is situated on a lake!
It was a short drive or walk from the RV Campground to the dog park. There is a small dog side, but it is boring and does not front the lake. Luckily my babies don’t mind running with the big dogs! On the cool, big dog side, there are picnic tables, waste receptacles, dog poop bags, a water station, and a place to wash off the doggies before leaving the dog park. Immediately outside are port-a-potties and vending machines. Rocket and Pinkie and I went to the dog park every day, sometimes twice a day.
A word of warning: There is zero shade there until about 6:00 p.m.
There are no bargain basement prices at James Island County Park. The average stay in summer is $48 per day, and the only discounts are for senior citizens and Charleston County residents.
Tammy’s Tip: On check in, when I winced at the total for the two-week stay and inquired if they were any discounts, the nice woman behind the desk gave me 10% off, noting in the system that I was a “senior citizen.” It saved me $100! It never hurts to ask.