My husband and I used to go camping every year on the beaches in Northern California. Even saying it sounds dreamy! And it was! It was so much fun! And then the babies started coming and the pregnancies and camping became a bit more tricky and not as dreamy. We still go traditional tent camping occasionally, but now that we are in Indiana, with no ocean and not as many trees, it isn't quite as dreamy as it used to be. However, we have recently discovered Lake Michigan and we absolutely love it! So this year we took the kids camping, a little more mom and dad style, and we also made some rockin' Chocolate Caramel S'mores!
So I was thrilled when KOA offered us the opportunity to explore the campground of our choice this summer! We have never stayed at a KOA before and we were really excited to discover what was behind the yellow sign. We decided to head up to South Haven Michigan and spend a little time at the lake! This particular KOA not only has campsites, but also has small cabins you can rent! And even ones with their own bathroom! We were sold!
I was able to quickly find a cabin and book our stay online. In fact the whole booking process only took a few minutes!
So we made our reservation, packed up the marshmallows, graham crackers and chocolate and took a short road trip up to the beach.
The first time we laid eyes on Lake Michigan we simply fell in love! The wide sandy beaches remind me of East Coast beaches, and the lake water is clear and clean! It is so big you feel like you are at the ocean, but without salt water and without rip tides! So it is (gasp!) at least with kids, even better then an ocean in my opinion! We are truly in love with this lake!
The campground was great too! We were pleasantly surprised by our little cabin! With children it is so nice not to have to walk in the dark to a shared bathroom in the middle of the night. Having our own bathroom and shower was simply amazing! The kids loved their bunk beds and there was a queen for my husband and I. The cabin had air condition and a flat screen tv. And it even had a gas grill and a nice fire pit. We were right on a small little lake too so it felt secluded and was so pretty. It was cozy but absolutely perfect for the four of us to sleep in. This is definitely the way to "camp."
This KOA also had a pool and a couple of playgrounds! There were a few free kids activities scheduled during the day, but we were so busy at the beach and exploring the neighboring towns, we didn't have a chance to check any of them out.
And of course, perhaps the BEST thing about camping is the S'mores! I have always loved making s'mores around a campfire and we love sharing this tradition with our kids to! But this year I decided to take it up a notch.
I always loved traditional s'mores with graham crackers, a marshmallow and an inexpensive chocolate bar...until I was older and then I realized that there is much better chocolate! So this year I grabbed one of my favorite candy bars, a Ghirardelli Milk and Caramel Chocolate Bar! These are amazing!
We sandwiched a perfectly golden (extra large) marshmallow in between two graham crackers and added a couple pieces of delicious caramel chocolate. This created perhaps the most decadent treat one could ever hope to come from atop a campfire. And honesty, this was just so incredibly tasty!
Seriously, this s'more was A.MAZ.ING! The caramel added a rich yummy gooey-ness that perfectly complimented the crispy yet melt-in-your-mouth roasted marshmallow.
You've never truly eaten a s'more until you've tried this. It's seriously that delicious!
Overall we truly enjoyed our stay at the South Haven KOA. The staff was friendly and helpful (they even delivered our firewood!) and the overall facilities were nice and a great alternative to traditional tent camping in my opinion! We are definitely looking forward to heading back here again soon!
Check out more great camping ideas on the KOA Trekaro website here.