Our original plan for visiting New Orleans, Louisiana, was to stay at one of the state parks on the northern side of Lake Ponchartrain, Fountainebleau State Park in Mandeville. We called the park for availability, and much to our disappointment, they were booked up for the weekend. After calling and researching online, we discovered that all the state parks within a decent driving distance (defined as an hour and a half or less) of New Orleans were all booked, except for Bayou Segnette and Grand Isle. These are both on the south side of New Orleans, and Richard and I agreed neither of us wanted to take the coach through the New Orleans metropolitan area. We much prefer to avoid driving in large cities, or even driving too close to large cities, if possible.
So we started searching out private parks in the area, and found many of them to be either inconveniently located (for us) or out of our price range. Interestingly, and for those more adventurous about driving their RV in city traffic, we even found, on recommendation from our friends on iRV2, a park located nearly in the French Quarter itself. Finally we found a park just over the border in Picayune, Mississippi, called Sun Roamers RV Resort.
Like many private parks, Sun Roamers is primarily a seasonal destination, with many sites filled with stationary park models or RVs. The presence of seasonals don’t bother us, although if we are planning on a long stay somewhere, we generally prefer for the seasonal sites around us to be well taken care of, as in the case of Sun Roamers. Sun Roamers does have a fairly good selection of sites designated for their traveling visitors, however if you are a big rig (40 feet or larger) you may find some of the spaces pretty tight.
The sites in the front area are reserved for short-term stay visitors, while there is another section for longer stay visitors. Three of the short-term sites have full concrete pads (always a plus in my book). The park is surrounded by tall pines which act as a visual reminder that you’re in the Pine Belt, as they call it.
There is a distributed wi-fi system at the park, which provides a fairly good signal throughout, although like most systems it gets very slow around the later afternoon and evening as everyone gets home and logs on. Laundry and shower facilities, as well as an Olympic-sized pool (not heated), a clubhouse, a small non-denominational chapel and a pond round out the amenities. We managed to get a weak satellite signal on 110, but not 119. 129 (if we had the capabilities to use it) was also clear from our site at the front of the park.
After Katrina, the park underwent some renovation. The office looks new, and the staff were welcoming and helpful, with popcorn and coffee for visitors. They offer daily trash pick up, which is fabulous, but although they advertise as being a green park, they did not have recycling facilities. I have to say that I am very disappointed by the general lack of recycling at most parks, even state parks, but I suppose that’s a complaint for another time.
I got my first picture of a crook-neck crane here, and the office is home to three or four cats who were friendly. I do enjoy stealing some cat time when I can. 🙂