Full-Time RVers – Campground / RV Park Review: Dakota Ridge RV Park & Resort – Golden, Colorado (Near Denver)

Dakota Ridge RV Park and Resort Campground Review Golden Denver Colorado

I am so excited to be giving out our very first 5 out of 5 on The Gypsy Scorecard!

I don’t take this score lightly, but I think it is well-deserved for Dakota Ridge RV Park in the charming town of Golden, Coloradoย only 11 miles outside of downtown Denver. We officially love this place and highly recommend it!

A few things to love about Dakota Ridge:
– Buddy sites with lots of space
– Hot tub
– Close to grocery stores, Target, and other shopping
– Workout room (It’s small, but it exists!)
– Proximity to Chick-Fil-A (Sweet tea and waffle fry heaven – thank goodness – it had been over 2 months since my last chick Fil A fix and just about as long since I’ve had a good southern, sweet tea.)

First off, how beautiful, large, and gorgeous is this site? Beautiful grass, no dirt, and large concrete pads to park your RV on are just the beginning. While not everyone likes buddy sites, I personally do. I think they give everyone more space and most of the time, you and your neighbors are not typically outside at the same time. Check out our gorgeous site below!

Some of the amenities include a swimming pool (great for swimming laps), a hot tub, a community room with games and movies to borrow, a small workout room, playground, and a dog walking area.

The bathhouse and the laundry room are both very nice as well. Unlike most RV parks, both are large and spacious here. The laundry facility is very large with more washers and dryers than most places. In the bathhouse, the shower stall are huge with a bench to sit your stuff on and numerous towel hooks. Once you’re out of the shower stalls, there are plenty of mirrors and places to get ready.

Overall, we really enjoyed our time at Dakota Ride RV Park. We were here for almost a month and we will definitely be back in the future. It is a short drive to Denver and only about an hour away from Summit County with our favorite places like Copper Mountain and the town of Frisco.

* I only have 2 complaints about this place. They’re minor in the scheme of things, but I would be remiss if I did not mention them.

1) They only have valet trash pickup. This means, any trash you don’t set out between the hours of 8am-10am, can’t even be put in a dumpster. They keep the dumpster locked. This is impractical in a campground. People cook food and don’t want cut up food leaving odors in their RV (think cutting up onions in a small space and leaving them out all night while you sleep). We typically take the trash to a dumpster after each meal. They keep the dumpster locked so you can’t even throw away your own garbage.

2) The hot tub is frequently closed. As one of the main perks of this RV park, I expect it to be open more than it was. Many days we were told there was a chemical imbalance and the hot tub was closed. It is not that difficult to keep the chemicals in a hot tub balanced if you know what you’re doing. It is obvious, they don’t know enough about hot tub chemicals to keep it properly balanced. One of our first nights in the hot tub, they checked the water 3 times while we were in it as they couldn’t quite get the reading they wanted. While we used the hot tub frequently, many times we went up there only to find it was closed.

*It is also worth noting how expensive this park is. Being one of the few decent campgrounds in/around the Denver area, they’re able to charge quite a bit for it. They take advantage of being one of the few good ones in the area, but I can’t fault them for that. That’s business. The park was full every night we were there so they can clearly charge that much and still get repeat customers. Some of the people we met at the park have been staying at Dakota Ridge for years and are still coming back even with the price increase. – Obviously, if you’re looking for a budget friendly RV park, this is not the one you’re looking for, but if you’re looking for close proximity to area attractions (like Red Rocks Amphitheater or Frozen on Broadway at Denver Center for the Performing Artsย or a Colorado Rockies game– click any of those links to read about our experiences at those places – also we viewed the Solar Eclipse from here) then this is a great park. It is also worth noting, I have a friend that lives nearby which we took into account when choosing this park.

I also want to mention we read quite a bit of negative reviews on this park and we didn’t have many location options when we booked so we were quite nervous about staying for so long. I understand everyone has different opinions AND they have very strict policies, but as a person who actually likes rules, that made me like this place. I read a lot of people complaining online about some of their rules – including, extra costs for additional people, charging for dumping trash outside of the dumpsters, refund/deposit policy, not accepting mail on behalf of guests, etc. While I don’t love all of these rules, I would personally rather have rules I hate than not enough rules. I like order and don’t like when people break rules so I liked this park. Just a few days ago, I saw someone on the Full-Time RVers Facebook group complaining about this park and while I agreed with the RVer and not the RV park, the RV park clearly states all policies ahead of time AND requires guests sign a form stating they understand these policies. Like I said, I like rules so I was ok with this, but it seems many others are not as fond of the park as I am. You wouldn’t have so many people come back again year-after-year if the park wasn’t good tough. A lot of people complain that the spaces are tight, but that is really only the back-in sites around the perimeter. The pull-through sites (which do cost more) are much more spacious with concrete padding. I wouldn’t stay in a back-in site here, but we’ll definitely be back again to stay in a pull-through. Maybe we got lucky and didn’t have some of the issues other people have had at this park, but I also like to think we’re kind of chill and just liked this place. ๐Ÿ™‚

Full-Time RVers Do MLB – Colorado Rockies Game

Major League Baseball MLB Colorado Rockies Full Time RV

Growing up in the softball world, I was never really into baseball – which for some reason surprises most people since they thing baseball and softball are the same thing. That’s wrong. They aren’t. Sure they’re similar, but baseball is SO. MUCH. SLOWER. The games take forever and I get bored. There’s not nearly as much action as softball.

We realized though, that other than a few Braves games a long time ago, we hadn’t really been to an MLB game before and I don’t remember going to those Braves games back in the day. So we ended up at a Colorado Rockies game (against the Braves no less). I must say it was pretty great. The game felt so long, but we had fun and ate a lot of really great food.

Would I frequently go to MLB games? No.
Will I continue to go occasionally? Yes. (Mainly for the food)

Here’s a few photos of our day at the ballpark!

Also, this has me jonesin’ for summer when we’ll be in Oklahoma City for the Women’s College World Series – after a 2 year hiatus, we’re going back! Luckily, we’re season ticket holders there so we’ll have our lucky seats back – I mean, the Gators did when 2 National Championships with us there and couldn’t win with us not there. I’m not saying we’re good luck, but what I’m saying is they were waiting to win the 3rd while we’re there. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Turnaround, Bright Eyes – Total Eclipse of the Sun

Total Solar Eclipse 2017 Full Time RV

I mean, a Total Solar Eclipse is a big deal right? It is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, right?

Wrong. In case you didn’t know, it is happening again in 7 years. Start preparing now. Maybe we’ll have enough Eclipse glasses and camera lens filters by then to be prepared.

For now, we’ll have to be satisfied with the 93% Eclipse we found ourselves in and the photos we got by placing the one pair of Solar Eclipse glasses we had over the camera lens. Oh, and we only managed to get that pair of glasses because we found ourselves at Gigi’s Cupcakes and the store was giving out a pair to everyone who bought more than 4 cupcakes – which, who buys less than 4 cupcakes at a time? *Especially when they have the most delicious gluten free cupcakes in the entire world.*

Since I couldn’t get the full Eclipse shots, I tried to be different. I went the “Let’s try to be artistic and cool with these photos” route and I think we got some cool ones, but I’ll let you be the judge of that. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Full-Time RVers Do Red Rocks

Red Rocks Amphitheater Yoga on the Rocks Full Time RV

Red Rocks Amphitheater is a bucket list item for everyone right?

If it isn’t on your bucket list, you should write it in. Seriously, write it in now.

We had two beautiful experiences at this amazing location and I would do them both again in a heartbeat. We attended the last Yoga on the Rocks for the 2017 summer season and a concert with some amazing artists – Sam Hunt headlining with Maren Morris, Chris Janson, and Ryan Follese as the openers.

Sorry to every single person that had to watch me dance the entire concert because let me tell you, I was jammin’ and I basically look like Chandler when I dance. These are my favorite artists, singing my favorite songs. I stood and sang (sorry, again) and danced for every – single -song.

But enough about my lack of dancing skills.

For starters, even if you don’t do yoga a lot, you should absolutely go. We arrived about 5:45am for the gates to open at 6:00am for the 7:00am yoga class. Crazy, right? Wrong. The sunrise is worth every minute of sleep lost. We watched the sun come up over the rock formations with the city of Denver off in the distance.

Is this gorgeous or what?

Then the concert – talk about an incredible experience. The sound. The atmosphere. Everything about this place is amazing. (And Sam Hunt, duh.) We had great seats for a great show and I wouldn’t change our experience for anything. I’ll go back again and again whenever we’re back in Colorado. This once-in-a-lifetime experience should be anything but!

Now that’s what I call tailgating with a view! (Below)

Full-Time RVers – Campground / RV Park Review: Denver / East Strasburg KOA – Strasburg, Colorado

Denver East Strasburg KOA Colorado Campground Review

On our journey from Wyoming, we needed to stay near the Denver airport for a few days (to pick up Mom) before heading over to Golden, Colorado for our 3 week stay so we immediately looked up KOA as we figured they would have some options in the area. The Denver/East Strasburg KOA was perfect and only about 15 minutes from the Denver Airport. This is one of the nicer KOA’s we’ve stayed at and they have the NICEST showers I’ve seen in any RV park. The rest of the bathroom was interesting (think – neon lights around the mirrors – DISCO TIME!!!), but the showers were recently redone and were a gorgeous, marble finish. There isn’t much around in the town, but there is a little diner across the street that isn’t too shabby and it is better than it looks from the outside.

Also, has anyone else noticed how there are ALWAYS train tracks near campgrounds? What’s up with that? Thank goodness for white noise machines or sleep would not exist.

Full-Time RVers – Campground / RV Park Review: Brush Memorial Municipal RV Park and Campground – Brush, Colorado

Brush Memorial Municipal RV Park and Campground Review

Don’t let this place fool you. It is SO WORTH the stay for a weekend. I’m bringing you another Weekend Edition of The Gypsy Scorecard for this great little place in Brush, Colorado called Brush Memorial Municipal RV Park and Campground. While we didn’t stay long (only one night), this cute little town is well-deserved of a quick layover. The best part is, your first night is FREE. Yes, F-R-E-E! And, even if you stay longer than your first free night, it is only $20 per night after that. All you have to do is pull in, pick your spot, and park. It’s just that easy. Once you park, fill out the envelopes left at the bulletin board (see below) and drop it in the box. While some of my ratings below aren’t the best, it doesn’t mean I wouldn’t stay again. I would come back to this little campground and town in a heartbeat!

The RV park is right next to the very large city park which includes a huge pool with a giant slide along with a large playground, huge grassy areas, and covered picnic areas with grills.

Full-Time RVers – Campground / RV Park Review: Elks Campground – North Sterling State Park – Sterling, Colorado

Elks Campground North Sterling State Park Colorado Campground Review

Today, I’m debuting a new version of the Gypsy Scorecard – The Weekend Edition! This scorecard is solely reserved for places I believe are great weekend getaways, but they aren’t necessarily somewhere we would stay long term. The Weekend Edition of the Scorecard will only be used occasionally as we typically stay places long-term and always ensure they are work-from-home friendly. Occasionally, we’ll hit a weekend getaway to get off-the-grid a little bit (because who doesn’t love a weekend on the lake without cell phone service?).

Elks Campground at North Sterling State Park was also our first experience with the whole state park, first-come, first-serve to get a camping spot. We got super lucky as when we pulled up the sign said the campground was full, but we decided to drive up to the gate to make sure this was true. We lucked out and it wasn’t – in fact, most of the campground was empty and they hadn’t removed the full sign from the night before. We got our pick of spots and we found a great, large spot with a small walking trail to the reservoir. It was perfect for us to walk our paddleboards right down to the water.

On a side note – while I’m not judging cell phone service on The Weekend Edition of the Scorecard, this area has very little to no cell phone service at all. It was nice for us, but if you aren’t into that, you’ve been warned. If the kids must have Netflix, this isn’t your place, but if they’re cool playing down on the beach and in the reservoir, you’ll have a gem of a weekend.

Don’t you love this awning over the picnic table below? It was super unique, but really great! We loved how it covered not only the roof but one of the sides, too.

The below is an indoor space which is great for eating, hanging out, escaping the weather, or anything else. It is just a large open space for campers to use.

Ok. How many people have experienced this (see below)? Is this how State and National Parks are with their showers? This was our first State Park experience so we weren’t sure if it was normal or not. Let me tell you, paying for minutes of a shower with quarters is challenging. You realize how long of a shower you actually take and when you run out of time, there’s no warning. The water just shuts off.

And, the sunsets were just gorgeous.

On a completely separate note, when we left Elks Campground, we found a farm selling sweet corn right out of the field. We drove by saw the sign and did a u-turn (with a fifth wheel!). We pulled into the corn field and watched as they brought fresh corn they had just pulled off the stalks. Seriously, $5 for a dozen fresh sweet corn cobs is a killer deal. We were grilling fresh corn for the entire next week!