Posted in: Campground Review, YouTube Video Link

Kampvilla RV Park

For our stay in Michigan, we stayed at Kampvilla RV Park in Bear Lake, Michigan. It is an independent campground. For our stay here, we had full hook-ups for most of our stay, but had to switch to electric-only for the last 3 days. We had made our plans a little too late (4 months before) with the 4th of July holiday to get full hook ups for our whole stay. When we checked in, they gave the boys a Kampvilla postcard, sticker, and temporary tattoo.

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The campground had a heated pool, rec room with a washer and dryer, a patio with foosball, horseshoes, shuffleboard, sand volleyball, badminton, a playground, basketball hoops, and a pool. The equipment was left out (instead of having to go up to the office), so it made it very easy to play. There was another shed with a washer and dryer a little bit further into the park. It had a drive/path through the woods to tent sites, so it made a nice walking path.

There was ice ($3) and firewood ($5) were available for sale. You could pay at the office or in the drop box attached to the firewood shed.

Everyone was really nice at the campground. They had a lot of nice amenities and were pretty close to local attractions and grocery stores. It was about 30-33 minutes to the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Park Visitor Center. We would stay here again.

VIDEO: Campground Tour

SUMMARY OF CAMPGROUND:

Our rating: 3.5 out of 5 hitches

Cell Phone Reception: AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile

Laundry: Yes (2 washers and 2 dryers)

Bathrooms/Showers: Yes

RV Sites: Pull Through, Back-in (paved/grass/gravel)

Pop Up Tents/Gazebos/Outdoor Rugs On-Site: Yes

Amenities: picnic table/fire pit at site, playground, pool, games

Cabins: No

Tent Camping: Yes

Full Hook-ups: Yes

            Amps: 30 and 50 amp

Pool: Yes

Food On-Site: No

Camp Store: Yes

WiFi: Yes

Fishing: Yes

Posted in: Food, National Park, National Parks, Sightseeing

Frankfort, Michigan

Although we stayed in Bear Lake, we frequently went into Frankfort, Michigan. Frankfort was about 15 minutes away and was a cute town. There was a grocery store and gas stations near town. The main street had several restaurants, a bookstore, bakeries, and a neat beach area with a lighthouse. We found a Little Library and a Little Art Library.

There were several ice cream places in town as well, and the two we tried were both good. The bagels from L’Chayim were delicious, the ice cream cake from Kilwin’s was amazing (but expensive), and The Bookstore was fun to explore.

On Nick and Mom Day, we walked the jetty to the lighthouse. It was very foggy and you couldn’t see the lighthouse from the shore when we started. We spent some time on the beach at the swings. After telling Ben about the fun things at the beach, we all headed there the next clear day. The benches and swings all face the Lake! There were also a few sand volleyball nets. Restrooms were near the parking lot. It was a great place to relax. You could swim there, and some people were, but the water was too cold for us.

Frankfort was a nice walking town. If you are in the area, I would check it out!

Posted in: Hiking, National Park, National Parks

Sleeping Bear Dunes: Sleeping Bear Point Trail

We picked the Sleeping Bear Point Trail to hike in the park. It was listed as a moderate trail, but less strenuous than the Dune Hill Climb. It was a 2.8 mile trail loop. We did the trail clockwise, as the app stated that it was a little easier that way.

We started in a grassy forest type of area. I would wear long socks or stay in the middle of the trail, as there was poison ivy along most of that part of the trail.

We did see some great views of the water along the hike. One of the reasons we picked this trail was the “ghost forest”. The dunes shift and over time the trees that become covered in sand will die. There were a handful of trees, but not what I would think of a forest.

Hiking on sand is no joke! We were all pretty tired at the end, but the kids of course had a lot more energy. If you take this hike, bring water, a hat, and sunscreen. Once you leave the tree area, there is no shade.

Posted in: Food, Sightseeing

Tiffany’s Cafe in Empire, Michigan

Ben and I went on a little date and stopped at Tiffany’s Cafe in Empire, Michigan. It was a warm day, so we each got a shake and a chicken cherry wrap to share.

I got a coffee shake and Ben tried a Boston Cooler. The Boston Cooler was ginger ale and vanilla soft serve. It could be served like a root beer float or blended into a shake. We got the Boston Cooler shake and it was surprisingly good! We didn’t have high expectations for a ginger ale shake, but it was nice and refreshing. It’s something that we want to try making at home!

If you are in the area, it’s a cute spot to stop.

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Posted in: Hiking, Sightseeing

Petoskey Stones

If you hadn’t noticed yet, we like finding local things to do and especially collecting an item from the area. The boys and I like going to fossil parks. We found shark teeth in Myrtle Beach, and we like to find cool shells at each beach we go to. Michigan is known for having Petoskey stones. These are cool rocks with fossilized coral. There are a few beaches you can find them out, including the National Park.

You are allowed to collect up to 25 pounds of Petoskey stones a year. However, you are not allowed to remove any from the National Park.

This time, each kid got a “Mom Day” where we hung out for a couple of hours. Nick and I made the first adventure out to Point Betsie Lighthouse. Point Betsie had a neat lighthouse, which is available for tours during the summer. Parking is located along the street, as there is not parking lot available for public use at the lighthouse. There is a bathroom and gift shop at the lighthouse as well. The beach is very rocky! Which is great for finding Petoskey stones, but bad for silly people like us who forgot to bring sandals/crocs/water shoes. We managed to find a few stones, although they were smaller ones.

The next day, Will and I went to Empire Beach. Empire Beach had a playground, volleyball net, and bathrooms. There was a parking lot, but it was a paid lot ($1/hour). The beach was much nicer for beach use, as it was sandy. However, it made it harder to find Petoskey stones, as it wasn’t as rocky. We did find a few small ones though.

We bought some polish and will hopefully be able to sand and polish our stones so you can see the patterns. When they are dry, the stones look pretty much like any other grey rock.

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