We just returned from a stop over at the Capitol KOA in Millersville. We travel with a 21 foot travel trailer and have visited several KOA's in Canada and the USA. The purpose of this stop was to spend a few days visiting the Smithsonian, a few days relaxing by the pool and a day of back to school shopping. After being rocked by the DC Quake and chased by Hurricane Irene we managemed to accomplish are goals in part and had a great time even with the catasrophese.
The campground is well maintained. We were on a full service pull through site. We had no trouble accessing it and the services were well positioned for easy hook up. The sites were nestled in the forest with a few trees found between sites at least giving the illusion of privacy. The campground store was clean but small any groceries or supplies required were generally purchased off property. The washrooms and laundry were clean and adequate for our needs. The pool is a small rectangular pool and there is other recreation available including ping pong and a giant chess set. There are two nature trails on site but we did not get an opportunity to enjoy them on this trip.
The staff was very friendly and accomodating at that location. One member in particular, "Sparky" helped to make our trip memorable and was always very attentive to any needs we had.
Our dissatisfaction with the location comes from the dishonest approach management takes to marketing the campground. They advertise that they provide a shuttle for a 20 minute ride into the Capitol attractions. First off 20 minutes is an outright lie. At highway speeds and no traffic the drive would be 45 minutes, at the time it actually travels the commute is an hour plus. To me when a resort advertises that the provide shuttle service it generally indicates two things... One it is a free service meant to augement your stay and secondly that it runs routinely. Neither of these things are true. The shuttle is twelve dollars per person each day you wish to use it and it only runs once in each direction leaving at 0900 and returning at 1630. With the hour commute in, this provides you with less then 6.5 hours to tour all of the attractions on Capitol Hill. They also neglect to tell you that if they do not sell enough seats the bus will be cancelled, this was not an issue for us as the bus was full each day.
We were also disappointed to find out that while they advertised that the pool was open until Labour Day they neglect to tell you that for the last two weeks of the summer the hours are restricted to after 4pm. Maryland students are in school. There laws require a lifeguard at the pool and none of their adult staff have bothered to become certified so the pool is closed while the sun is shining and you are most looking to enjoy the cool water.
The main local attraction is clearly visiting the Capitol. And what we saw of it we truly enjoyed. For me it was incredible to stand at the Air and Space museum next to the Wright Bothers Kitty Hawk. Realizing that this was the actual plane that launched flight was awe insipring. I think if you ask my wife she will tell you that admiring the Hope Diamond was one of her highlights. If you are going to do this attraction consider your travel options. Driving into the Capitol is not really an option at $15.00 per hour for parking. The shuttle worked ok for us but at $12 a head and only 6 hours to tour it lacked value for our entertainment dollar. Next time I will consider using the local subway system. It is $4 to park and about $8 per person but it allows you to travel on your schedule and has severl stops along the Capitol Mall. We also utilized the Tourmobile while at the Capitol. That came as a package deal so we paid $57 for adults and $41 for children to cover both the KOA shuttle and the on site Tourmobile. For us this ended up being a waste of money as our main objective was the Smithsonian buildings which were all within short walking distance of the shuttle drop off point. If you are interested in attending the monuments and Arlington Cemetary then the Tourmobile has greater value but be warned the trip to Arlington is a minimum 3 hour round trip.
If, like us, you are also hoping to do some outlet shopping while travelling in the States the local shops are not what you are looking for. We had researched Outlet Malls and found that Arundel MIlls boasts an Outlet mall with 200 shops within 20 minutes of the KOA. This location is in no way an outlet. It is a standard mall. The shops are all full price stores offering their "current" merchandise. There were some seasonal sales to be had and my wife enjoyed some of the shoe stores but other then that we found little of value at this location. Luckily on our way South for this vacation we had run into bad weather in Hagerstown Maryland so had spent a day at thier Outlet Mall where we were able to get most of our back-to-school shopping done.
Despite our issues with this location we will return to the area some day as we hope to see much more to the Smithsonians 17 buildings, all of which were free to enter! We will stay at the KOA again as we were happy with the amenities but we will utilize the subway system for travel rather then depending on the KOA shuttle.
- Also Known As:
- Washington Dc, Ne Koa Hotel Millersville