Have you ever wanted to sell everything you own and just "take off?" Travel the country's back roads, paddle down a meandering stream, experience breath-taking mountain views, walk among 100-year old trees, and just marvel at America's beauty? That is the dream that my partner, Betsy, and I decided to make a reality. This blog describes our adventure. The food we eat, people we meet, sights we see, and the enjoyment we find in traveling.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

RV Park Review–Bella Terra of Gulf Shores (Foley, Alabama)

Website:     Bella Terra of Gulf Shores
Location:    Foley, Alabama
Date:          April 2016
Price:         $33/night (Special)


Bella Terra is a Class A motorcoach resort located in Foley, Alabama approximately seven miles north of the Gulf of Mexico and the popular coastal towns of Gulf Shores and Orange Beach.  This park has nice amenities like an infinity pool and theater if you want to hang around the RV park.  But if you want to explore the area there is plenty to do within 10 minutes drive from shopping to lounging on the beach.  We took advantage of their three night “Play and Stay” promotion for $99 which means you take a one hour tour of the property and get to stay there to experience the resort.   That is a pretty good deal considering you may pay up to $70/night for a site.

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Overall, we really like this park.  Since it is a Class A motorhome park, it is obviously big-rig friendly.  The park is now developing its third and final phase and hoping to sell more lots and complete the build out.  The fact that it was not completely developed and site occupancy was not at maximum meant that it did not feel crowded.  People in the park were very friendly with a mix of transient and owners/seasonal. 
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Site description:

Roads, sites, and patios are paved.  Each site is privately owned so you have varying degrees of amenities on each site depending on what the owner decides.  Our site (#564) was very wide with a fairly large paved patio but no furniture.  Some are equipped with a coach house, gazebo, patio furniture, outdoor grill, firepits, landscaping, and enlarged concrete patio.

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All sites have water, electric (50/30/20), sewer, cable (approximately 55 channels), and free wifi.  There is a lack of large trees to provide shade so this place can get pretty hot.  Our patio faced the west so we had the afternoon sun and was too hot to sit outside on some days we were there. 

All sites are perfectly level and plenty long enough to fit a 45’ RV and car. 

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Their wifi service was spotty so we did use our Verizon hotspot which worked well and there was no issue with cell service. 

Amenities:

There are lots of amenities at this park and typical of a RV resort.  Plus, they have a busy calendar full of events both at the park and in the local area.  There is a large (6,000 square-foot) clubhouse with couches, tables, and a lounge.  It also features a movie theater (with 14 seats), business center, dry sauna, and great fitness center (with treadmills, exercise bikes, free weights and machines).  Outside is a large zero entry infinity pool with plenty of deck space with lounge chairs and tables and a fire pit and BBQ grill. 

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There are two fenced dog parks large enough to throw a ball for Spirit.  Each park had a water spigot and bowl.  In the center of the property is a large lake that is advertised as “stocked” and open for catch and release fishing. 

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Four bathhouses and laundry facilities are scattered throughout the property and were clean and well-maintained. 

Future amenities planned for Phase 3 are pickleball courts, another pool and club house, and bocce ball and shuffleboard courts. 

Surrounding area:

The park sits on a quiet street between some pretty busy thoroughfares used to get from I-10 to the beaches.  The beach is about seven miles to the south and I-10 is 13 miles north. The closest grocery store is about three miles away and you are not far from outlet malls, movie theaters, gas stations, etc.    Just a couple of miles north of the park is a large amusement/sports/entertainment park set to open summer 2017.  Basically, everything you need is pretty close.

What we liked:

We really liked the fact that our site and patio were paved (especially since we had a rainy day).  We did take advantage of some of the amenities like swimming and lounging by the pool and using the fitness center.  The people were very friendly and we did not feel unwelcomed as transient visitors. 

What we didn’t like:

The biggest drawback of our site was that our patio had afternoon sun and there was no shade which would be brutal in the summer.  Winds were high while we were there so we could not put out our awnings.  We would definitely request a different site next time.  Wifi did not always work well. 

Spirits’ two cents:

This was a pretty good park for her and she liked the dog parks that were big and never had other dogs in them.  The park is a decent size for a dog walk but there are no hiking trails close to the RV park. 





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