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“Worst campground EVER!"”

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Dauphin Island Campground
Clarksville, TN
Level 1 Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Worst campground EVER!"”
Reviewed July 29, 2011

Before driving 14 hours to get to Dauphin Island, we had reviewed the campground's website and pictures, so we had high hopes of the seclusion and beauty shown on the Internet ( a quick note: there are NO pictures of your typical site...now we know why... Upon arrival, we noticed there were campers and boats parked in the grass at the chain-linked fence entrance. When we went inside to check in, we were told at least 3 times that there were no refunds. We found our site (#20) and were shocked to see how packed the place was. The campers next to us could not fully extend their awning because we were so close. We didn't unhitch, but decided to walk down to the beach. The first stop was the bath house. My husand went inside and said it was terrible. He said it looked like they had done nothing to maintain the place in years. The boardwalk was long and not someplace I'd want to walk after dark. We did see one empty site right at the beginning of the boardwalk. Because it was a shorter walk to the beach and not as crowded, we walked back to the office to see if they could move us. The elderly assistant manager said the site was already reserved, but she could show a few others to us. As we drove through the campground in her golfcart, we had to stop on several occasions to allow drunks and very small unsupervised children to get out of the road. The other site offered was closer to the beach but backed up to the chainlinked fence. We told her we'd stay where we were. On the way back to site #20, the asst. manager again stopped several times to talk with other campers who were obviously VERY intoxicated. (Don't get me wrong; we enjoy drinking wine and beer, but these people were staggering) My husband and I got back to our site and contacted friends to let them know how terrible the place was. They got online and found a vacancy at Topsail State Park in Florida. After they booked it for us, we heated up some soup for dinner (my husband was leary of grilling out after dark) we went to bed. Shortly before 7:30, we were up the next morning and went to check out. Since it was made clear to me that there were no refunds, I didn't even ask for my money back even though we'd paid for 3 nights. The only good thing about the island was leaving it. We took the ferry across the bay to get us to Florida. If you are use to tightly packed camping, drunk campers, and unsupervised children, you might enjoy this place. We're use to state parks that have regulations, maintain the grounds, and enforce policies. I was very embarrassed to come home to let everyone know that so much driving time on our 5 day trip was wasted on getting to such an awful place.

Stayed July 2011, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
13 Thank Creeking41
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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83 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (8)
Date | Rating
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English first
Joplin, Missouri
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed July 3, 2011

We just got back from Dauphin Island Campground. We had a wonderful time there...our tent camp spot was at first going to be a middle spot that would have had quite a bit of morning/afternoon sun...however, the staff allowed us to change locations and we were in a quite shady spot...the spots are quite close together but we didn't find this too uncomfortable. The campground is dog friendly and campers cleaned up after their pets.

The bathroom/showers were quite adequate...they are older and could use an update, however, there was plenty of hot water and they were cleaned daily with bleach. There is also a laundry area...again the washers and dryers are older...however...this is camping and they do their jobs quite well.

The path to the beach was just beautiful...pines and palms leading to a boardwalk...several benches were along the way if you wanted to stop...there were quite a few cigarette butts...shame that people who smoke still think it is okay to just throw the ends of their cigarettes down for others to deal with...especially in such a gorgeous area...this was really our own disappointment.

The beach was BEAUTIFUL...so natural and relaxing...sugar white sand and not commercialized at all...and very dog friendly...there aren't any lifeguards on duty, however, the water at this area was quite calm and shallow so it made swimming and enjoying the water and beach very safe. There were times that we were the only ones there and it was like our own private beach getaway.

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
23 Thank shanwool
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Saint Louis, Missouri
Level 4 Contributor
21 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
Reviewed March 25, 2011

My family and I (including our dog) stayed in Dauphin Island Campground over spring break this year. Overall, we loved the location, and the campground. Initially upon arrival, however, we were placed in a back into spot that was very tight between two long term campers. (literally, one camper had a wooden deck built off their camper) When our neighbors were sitting outside in lawn chairs or on their deck, they were less than 2 feet away from our camper, and unless the curtains were drawn, were peeping inside.
The site had a lovely live oak, which was constantly littering our pad and chairs etc with leaves and flowers. Although they do supply electricity, sewer, water and a concrete pad, there is no bbq nor is there a fire ring. You are able to build a fire on the site, but they do not supply a ring.

The campground had a great playground, which the kids loved, and played with other children happily daily. Our site was close enough to the playground that the children could play while we prepared our meals, or loaded/unloaded the camper.

The restrooms were always pretty clean (now we are talking public restrooms here folks-graffiti on the doors, and old tile), and there was always ample hot water. There was no soap at the sinks for handwashing, but the showers had a double door which provided good privacy for changing etc. (more than I can say for other campgrounds) Also located in the restroom/showers were the laundry facilities.

There was also ample boat parking, and a great fish cleaning station near the trash, along with a fenced off leash pet area. This campground is very dog friendly, and almost everyone had a well socialized dog. The campground also provided "mutt mits" to clean up after your dog, which everyone did- I did not notice a stray poo anywhere, on the grass, walks or on the beach.

The path through the woods to the beach was beautiful, as was the beach. White sand, (no tar balls noted, or dead animals etc. from the oil spill) The dogs were welcome on the beach, and could run free if no one was around.

The estuarium was directly across the street, and was lots of fun for the kids (aged 9, and 3) where they learned about the ecosystem, and got hands on experience with live horseshoe crabs, hermit crabs, and snails, and they also got hands on with dead/preserved specimens. The estuarium is not Sea World. It is about the size of an exhibit at the zoo.

Fort Gaines is next door, and there is a wonderful bike path which runs down the length of Bienville.

The ferry takes you across the bay to Gulf Shores, and will even take campers/rv's.

BTW, go to Cosmos in Orange Beach, great food and drink, and your dog is welcome to dine with you on the outdoor deck, and shop in the wine shop.

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
17 Thank newcampr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Guntersville, AL
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed October 26, 2010

We just returned from a 5 night stay at this campground. This was our second visit so we knew what to expect. The campsites are very flat, easy to maneuver into, and each has a concrete patio, a very nice feature. We had a full hook up site with 30 and 50 amp power available. The location is just about perfect. The campground is at the east end of the island, sandwiched between historic Fort Gaines and the Audubon Bird Sanctuary nature trail, and across the street from the Sea Lab Estuarium, so there are plenty of recreational opportunities. There is also a wonderful paved bike path that runs all the way to the business district of the island, about 2.5 miles away, a nice easy ride, even for a sedentary person like me. The beach is very secluded, beautiful white powdery gulf sand, and we never saw more than a handful of people there. The staff was courteous enough, as were most of the fellow campers. One of the long term campers, a very friendly older gentleman came over and offered his assistance as I backed into our site.
Now for the negatives:
The sites are a bit small, offer very little shade, and no privacy. As stated in an earlier review, the majority of sites are occupied by long term renters and many of them, while not actually rude, made me feel less than welcomed and definitely regarded me as an outsider. Although the camp has posted quiet hours from 10pm - 7am, one of our neighbors (a long term renter) hosted a fishing party one morning which began around 5:30 with lots of loud talking, laughing and slamming of doors for almost an hour. I got to see the sunrise that day, because it was impossible to sleep. The largest negative to this park, though, is the bath house. It is very old and in desperate need of replacement. it is cleaned twice daily and I never found the toilet section to need attention, but the showers have exposed plumbing which cannot be adequately cleaned and the tile had so much mineral buildup (or soap scum) that it always looked gross.

I must say that all of these negatives are typical of an older property, and did not dampen our eagerness to return. The weather this time of year is absolutely perfect, with Highs near 80 and lows near 60. You couldn't ask for a more relaxing place to unwind and recharge. I'm already looking forward to our next visit.

  • Stayed October 2010, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank CamperRN
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mobile, Alabama
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed May 31, 2010

Our fishing and camping viliage, We live in North Mobile county, and yes we visit here every summer.I have been staying at this campground for over 30 yrs., I have taken my 2 daughters and my 27 foster girls there thru the years with us. Now our grandchild go,We have been staying for the last several years, for the summer program, 4 months (May thru August), and never had a bad experience with anyone, yes there has been campers traveling thru the area,and they did have some attitude, but they were there for only a few days. Our neighbors lost one of there pre-teen grandchildren, they locked down the campsite, until the young boy was found. All the staff workers were assisting on their own time, they were off the clock, helping search for this boy. He was found in another camper, with other kids, playing TV games, he was fine.
The summer campers are the ones who keep this camp site open all year long.We pay well for our summer site, and It does help when you can leave your boat in your camp site area, instead of hauling it back and forth each weekend, the fuel we save in not having to haul it, pays for our site, at least half. When you have been out fishing all day, the camp site provides a fish cleaning table, and all the visitors can watch this procedure, and ask the fisherman what kind they are? or any other questions they might have.
We who stay the 4 months have become neighbors and some of us family.We do watch our children and assure you it was your son who caused this reaction?
The staff does work with campers and try making the stay pleasant. There is campers who come thru and do not appreciate the campground like we do, so they do don't know how to clean up after themselves,
This camp site has been here for over 30 yrs, and does have many activites around, but if you enjoy fishing, there is a free fishing pier, within walking distance, you can get up each morning, with your cup of coffee, sit at the dock, and see every type of fishing boat you want launching, on any Saturday or Sunday morning. Then in the afternoons, go to the fish cleaning station, and see the catch coming off the boats. There is a fishing tournament every weekend during the summer months.
We do not appreciate what this oil spill is doing to our fish, wildlife,or our chance to go out in the Gulf of Mexico, enjoying our All American hobby, or pass time. Boating,fishing or picking up sea shells, or just laying out on our sunny beaches getting a tan.
Yes, we are all sorry about the lives lost on this tradgy, with everything that this oil spill is caused is so sad.
I have traveled all along from Mississippi, ALABAMA, and Florida Gulf Coast and enjoyed camp grounds, and this one does care about there vistors.

  • Stayed May 2010, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Polly2056
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
St. Amant, La
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed January 28, 2010

My husband and I, along with our 5 year old grand daughter arrived Thanksgiving afternoon. We spent 2 days and 3 nights at the campgroud. We were very please with everything. The grounds were well maintained, the staff was very helpful and friendly. Our granddaughter really enjoyed the playgrond and the walk to the private beach was enjoyed by all, including our family dog.

We will be going back and highly recommend

  • Stayed November 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank kpbrignac
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chattanooga ,Tn
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed September 23, 2009

Great Location, at the east end of the Island. You are a short walk to The Dauphin Island Estuarium with tanks of fish and sea creatures, The old brick Fort is also very close to the campsite. My site for tent set up was under big shade trees with nature path and boardwalk trails to the beach close by. I Cooked breakfast on site then watch the sunrise from the beach! Great white sand and peaceful beaches. Try the shrimp poor boy sandwich at the local fishing dock hang out!

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank edinchattanooga
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Dauphin Island Campground

Property: Dauphin Island Campground
Address: 109 Bienville Blvd, Dauphin Island, AL 36528-4603
Location: United States > Alabama > Dauphin Island
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 4 Specialty Lodging in Dauphin Island
Number of rooms: 150
Also Known As:
Dauphin Island Campground Hotel Dauphin Island

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