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“Great Family Place- Lots of Activities” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Yogi Bear's Jellystone Park at Natural Bridge

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Yogi Bear's Jellystone Park at Natural Bridge
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16 Recreation Lane, Natural Bridge Station, VA 24579   |  
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Jonesborough, Tennessee
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Great Family Place- Lots of Activities”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 14, 2013

We went for a weekend trip in March and absolutely LOVED this place! It was still cold out (pool and water area was closed, so I don't know about those). However, the kids loved the jumping pillow, hay rides and playground. It was just warming up enough to get outside and shake off cabin fever.

When we checked in, we were given a nice yellow bag full of information for our stay. When we looked over the activity schedule, we were overwhelmed! Since the wet activities were not available, the staff did an awesome job with other activities to keep kids occupied. There was an activity scheduled every hour or hour and a half! We were trying to figure out how we would get the kids away to get our meals in!

They had the wake-up the bears parade with a craft before to make masks, ties, bowties, and noise makers. The staff that helped with the activities seemed to be high school or young college aged kids. However, I was VERY impressed with their attention. They were not constantly on cell phones or just hanging out together. They actually did their job!!

Activities included: wii games, jumping pillow games, dodgeball (kids vs parents), relay races, Pajama Jump and Jam, movie night, basketball games with Yogi, hay rides, candy bar bingo, kickball, Pajama Dance Party, Wake Up the Bears Parade and volleyball

Crafts included: tie dye shirts (they have all sizes, including adult), painting ceramics (they spray these with sealer which is nice!), beaded bracelet and keychain, the things I mentioned earlier specific to the weekend theme, making a sock puppet, egg carton bugs, and decorating a pillowcase.

Some of the crafts cost extra, but the prices are reasonable according to the materials and supplies used.

I liked the individual bathrooms (sink, toilet, shower) all in one private, locked stall. It provided privacy. Some people complained about water in these stalls. However, if campers are respectful and dry off IN shower, this wouldn't be a huge ordeal. We did have extra towels with us and I did put one down outside the shower for us to step out on.

We will definitely be back again and for a longer trip!! This is probably the best trip we've ever taken- or close to it- with two little ones (ages 6 and 6). The activity director/manager (I think her name is Rachel?! is awesome. She tries to ensure the kids have a great time and she does a wonderful job with the junior staff!!

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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122 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (22)
Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Vinton, Virginia
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 4, 2013

I read all of the reviews on this site before going to Jellystone Natural Bridge. I was a little concerned with some of the criticisms but knew we would make the best of whatever we had. Here is my breakdown of our experience:

1. We rented a Deluxe cabin, it was situated towards the edge of the park so we had lots of shade when outdoors. This cabin is not large and when we were all inside trying to eat or get a drink, we did have some problems being in each others way. I think that the Large Deluxe cabin has more of a separation between kitchen and living area. Either way, we expected a small indoor area and only used it for sleeping and getting food so we all dealt with it fine. My only complaint would be that the mattress was OLD and needs to be replaced in the bedroom, I could feel the springs poking through. There were also limited Pots and Pans so plan to bring your own. Otherwise, the cabin was clean, cool and comfortable. Our 7 year old loved the sleeping loft!

2. Outside cabin features: there was an awesome fire pit made from stones. Wood is available to purchase at the camp store. We also had some great neighbors who left us their wood the day that they left. We had a picnic table and a cooking pit that was made into a grill. This worked fine for what we needed, if you want to make elaborate grilled items, you may want to consider bringing your own grill. We also had a small screened in porch on the back of the cabin, this worked nicely the ONE evening we had showers.

3. The park itself is full of activities! There was something to do at all times of the day and you receive a schedule the day you arrive. Our 7 year old loved to get up and meet Yogi and friends for the Pledge of Allegiance at the flagpole every morning. There was also funnel cakes with Cindy Bear and Ice cream with Yogi. The 13 year old and 7 yr old both participated in the Wagon Ride with Yogi and said it was a lot of fun. The characters really take the time to interact with guests. I read another review on here about being charged for pictures with the characters, that never happened to us- anytime they were around, they gladly posed with the kids for pictures.

4. There were 2 water slides that will wear the kids out! There was a pool, sprinkler zone, game room, activity center - both girls enjoyed painting their own river rocks and that was a free activity for them. A swimming pond is located near the James River. This is another area I was concerned from previous reviews. I loved the pond! The sand was clean and the pond was just as it claims- a pond. Yes, there was smushy stuff at the bottom as well as plant growth but it's a pond. I personally enjoy those types of swimming spots to a chlorine filled pool so I cooled off there instead of the pool which was on the crowded side.

5. We opted to pay to tube down the James River one of our days there. One word of caution- if you are taking children or anyone who has never tubed on a river before, you may want to bypass this activity. I LOVED it because the water was not too low and the current carried us right along. This is a 4 hour trip and the kids got bored because they were afraid to get out of their tubes to swim or anything. The tubes are nice and have cup holders but aren't easy to get back in once you get off it like a normal inner tube is. The man driving us to the put in was very helpful and gave us very good tips. I think the kids and my boyfriend would have enjoyed this more if they had done it before and it were a shorter trip.

All in all, it was a GREAT time and we will definitely go back! P.S.- Rent a golf cart, the kids will love that too!

Room Tip: -Cabins away from the main activity areas are quiet and less traffic with golf carts.
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 28, 2013 via mobile

My family has stayed here on numerous occasions. The staff is always friendly,funny, and courteous. The grounds are always clean and mowed. The kids enjoy all the activities put on at the park. All the nearby attractions make this a great destination.

  • Stayed July 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Leesburg, Virginia
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 22, 2013

This was our family's first visit (July 19-21). We have 2 sons (12 & 8) and they both enjoyed all of the activities.
Bathrooms: Late in the evening the bathrooms were a little wet and slightly "yucky." We found that they were better in the morning and the middle of the day. Acceptable
Pool and Slides: Our boys loved the wet activities and we hung at the pool on Saturday morning.
Lake: We have played in many different lakes and this lake was pretty clean. It was not mucky and I could actually feel sand under my feet.
Game room: The game room was clean but a little dated. Still my 8 year old enjoyed playing and winning tickets.
Tubing: Tubing down James River was fun and took about 3 hours. It is a little expensive but within the typical price range of other tubing adventures we have had.

We also enjoyed lots of great activities. The kids loved the wet wagon ride and it was a real highlight for us. There was a glow stick party on Saturday night and they enjoyed dancing and listening to music.

It did rain twice on Saturday but despite the weather we were able to really enjoy our stay. We will return.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Colfax, North Carolina
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 8, 2013

Even though it rained A LOT, the activities and staff kept the fun rolling. You will not be disappointed: great value for the money, lovely setting and super clean facilities. Breakfast was tasty, too. We camped in the upper section (field site) and enjoyed the mountain views and extra space.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Roanoke, Virginia
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 8, 2013

I live close,about 45 minutes away. but because one of my son's in-laws was vacationing here. My son asked if I wanted to. i had never stayed here before so I rented a small deluxe cabin. It was very nice, very clean, but there were little ants, so bring ant spray. We had a great time. It is a well run camp type place. It's on the James River. Our cabin overlooked it :) I saw on Facebook someone complain about the price of the cabins, they are high, BUT, you get so many extras that are included. For the price of a cabin , you also get arm bands for everyone and they can go to kiddie pool area, the pool, they have a small man made lake, i saw a lot of folks on floats, with beach area, i saw some folks playing volleyball, a big 2 tunnel water slide, a putt putt area, several playgrounds, a really neat big bouncing area,a basketball court, they let the kids do crafts for free, they have a daily schedule of fun activities to do for kids of all ages, like a parade, and dancing on the beach, and of course the Yogi Bear characters that the kids love. We went Fourth of July weekend, but it didn't seem crowded to me in any of the areas. We drove around on the park it was full! The snack bar was good, had some of their food, hotdogs and fries and ice cream and the prices were reasonable, less than 2 dollars for each. It was nice that they have a general store on site to get milk and bread if you run out. And just about anything else, some items were a little pricey, but like any convenience store. I'm glad it's so close, I can see us doing this a lot!

Room Tip: I'm not normally a camper , but cabins are definitely my style. I would book early and get cabin...
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California
Top Contributor
62 reviews 62 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
62 helpful votes 62 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 6, 2013

Wow… non-stop rain, extremely muddy site, river flooded over all riverfront sites, relocation, exhausted parents, but the kids still had fun and will have memories for a lifetime. Tent camping is an outdoor activity so one needs to expect the elements and be prepared as such. We are seasoned campers (immediate family) and have been through snow, sleet, strong wind, rain, hail, and thunderstorms. We have enjoyed all of our camping trips. On this trip Hubby, myself, and 12y/o son invited 10 y/o nephew, and 13y/o son’s friend. We were prepared for the elements and the travel time to this location was about 5hrs+. In this particular camping trip, the rain did put a damper on things because our site was primarily dirt which turned into slippery, soft, digging in kind of mud upon arrival. We had a premium waterfront site. The river over flowed which caused everyone in the waterfront sites locations to evacuate on the 4th of July because it was no longer safe. The water surpassed our fire rings and in some sites covered more. Having said this, the camp staff did an excellent job in assisting everyone to relocate to a higher campground site. Our second site was in the overflow grassy area which did have a fire ring and shared water spigot but no electric hook ups. Rachel, the manager, charged back $40 to our account. Everyone liked this site better due to the grass but I didn’t care for it as much because there was no shade and separated from all the activities. But it was safe none the less and more peaceful. Overall we would come back if we lived no more than 2hrs away. Please read on for specifics on the actual campground.

- The campground itself gets a B+. Lots of pro’s and some cons.

1) FUN: (A-) Lots of amenities for children of all ages (pool, large waterslides, two jumping pillows, put putt golf, swim-lake, basketball, recreation center, playground, hay rides etc). The kids loved all of it. What made this campground stand out is the young staff who made all the scheduled activities fun. This campground has multiple activities throughout the day. Most are free and some charge a fee. The swim-lake is so-so for me but the kids enjoyed it. The fishing pond water looked yucky. The river would have been fun had but no one was allowed to tube or canoe due to the high level of water- rendering it unsafe –so it was a safety issue and I am glad they care for our safety. Unfortunately, we chose this specific campground because we wanted to do this particular activity so it was a huge bummer. But it is not as if the campground can predict or control Mother Nature so moving on….

CONS: They should have bike rentals available instead of those expensive golf carts. Just don’t get the novelty of it. They are expensive $42 weekdays and $100 for the weekend. People go camping as a less expensive way to have fun. But not everyone will agree with me as evident as just about everyone had one of them. To me they are more of a distraction and they take away from the peace - but to each their own. I also don’t think they should charge to take a picture with the characters – this campground is on the expensive side already – so why be greedy? Most importantly, for the amount of money paid to camp they should have lifeguards at the pool and swim lake. This is inexcusable to me as not all parents are trained lifeguards or even know how to swim. Lucky for my family, we all know how to swim well.

2) PREMIUM RIVER FRONT CAMPSITE: (C+) Nothing beats being waterfront. Shady trees, electric, water, picnic table, and fire ring w/ cooking grate. Would be great on a dry day however wouldn't bother with these sites if there is any chance of rain due to the condition of the sites. I wish I could tell you otherwise.

CONS: The sites are a little too close together for my liking. Although I knew this information ahead of time (website pics), this is still part of the grading. What brought the grade down further was that our site was mostly 90% mud. Needless to say everything got muddy – no fun. The sites do slope a little downward toward the river and watery mud did run through our fire ring. You have to be very careful not to slip, fall, or get your vehicle stuck due to the soft ground. Staff should install gravel, pads, or grass as this would help remedy all of this. Further, Wi-Fi was soooo slow to non-existent (Probably the worst connection ever in my opinion). The website stated “available throughout the park and most of the camping areas.” Well it didn't work at our riverfront site nor did it work at our upper campground site. It didn't work well throughout the campground itself either. We asked a few neighbors if it worked for them but no dice. My suggestion would be to not count on it/or ask specifically for a site with it if it is important to you because in my opinion they are treading a fine line of false advertising. Lucky for my family it is not a deal breaker. Lastly, it was still a hike to get to the pool and comfort station. They did have port potties for us in the lower part of the campground. Our second site had more private restroom/shower combo but it was still a hike to them. The bathrooms themselves should be cleaned a little more often. I expect more when paying premium. Overall disappointed that flush toilets were up a hill. Think a C+ is more than fair. Phone reception is bad too but that is not part of the campground itself.

3) SNACK CENTER and GIFT SHOP: Life saver when we arrived because it was raining heavily and didn’t want to cook. Prices are fair and food was good. We ordered pizza and cheese sticks. Serves as a place to get dry, watch movies, and do crafts. The gift shop is very well stocked they just about sell everything you need if you forget something. You can also start a line of credit if you want your children to be able to get things without cash. The only con is the interior of the buildings look a little dated and could use a face-lift. Other than this I can’t complain about either one.

4) STAFF and GUESTS: (A) Upon arrival we were escorted to our site by a friendly man. With the exception of one older lady who was short tempered and snappy, all staff was friendly and helpful. Give an extra special kudos to the young staff in charge of activities. Guests seemed to be locals and were courteous. Everyone said hi to each other and was friendly. No complaints.

In conclusion, yes it wasn't the best camping experience for the parents. It was actually down right exhausting setting up twice and worrying about the weather. But it was FUN for the kids, locals were friendly, staff was helpful, and we were safe. In the end that is all that matters to us. It could have been a lot worse. We would come back if we lived closer. Nothing wrong with this campground just a little too far to deal with the above said. The area itself is close to a lot of sight seeing and Natural Bridge. There are other Jelly Stone Park Campgrounds near where we live and will try them too. Hope this review was helpful.

Room Tip: Riverfront campsites can flood if there is heavy rain.
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Yogi Bear's Jellystone Park at Natural Bridge

Address: 16 Recreation Lane, Natural Bridge Station, VA 24579
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Virginia > Natural Bridge Station
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Specialty lodging in Natural Bridge Station
Also Known As:
Yogi Bear`s Jellystone Park At Natural Bridge Hotel Natural Bridge Station

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