We’ve been living this lifestyle now for 3 years. Each year, we manage to spend time in Mandeville, Louisiana and it’s a place that is easy to return to. We love Fontainebleau State Park with the access to Lake Pontchartrain and the large moss draped oak trees.
Another thing we really love? The food. Seriously we eat out so much in Louisiana! One of the best burgers out there can be had at the Rusty Pelican and I had three (yes, three) Pontchartrain Pickle burgers during our 2 weeks stay. We also checked out The Barley Oak for the first time with it’s beautiful lake views & great beer draft selection and of course made a stop at the Old Rail brewery.
We went into New Orleans on a Friday to try & catch a New Orleans Mardi Gras parade. We enjoyed the day walking around the city, listening to music & managed to see a little bit of the Krewe of Cork parade. Unfortunately they changed the parade route so the corner we staked out got bypassed so this short person didn’t get to see nearly as much as she hoped! We were invited to see the Krewe of Eve in Mandeville but after a day in the city, I decided to pass. Seeing the aftermath of the party the next day on the streets – we obviously chose the wrong parade! Next year!
When we decided to make another pass through the panhandle of Florida, the first place I checked was Topsail as we loved the location last year but didn’t really get to enjoy it much. It’s a popular park & unsurprisingly, we couldn’t secure reservations. I started to expand the search so that – while we were still within driving distance to visit family – we also had easy access to the beach.
Pensacola Beach RV Resort has impressively high rates, even in the off season, but the location is pretty hard to beat. The best value is monthly and that is what we ultimately decided to do. If at all possible, splurge for the water view sites – it was really nice to be able to pull in & have the large RV window look out right over the water. (For you 5th wheelers, they have hook ups on both sides to accommodate your awesome back window too!)
The resort itself was nothing too special – I’ve seen better laundry rooms in state parks and the pool area isn’t exactly scenic. But, the resort was super clean, the camp host friendly and the spots – while not spacious, have a small amount of room in between the rigs.
Traveling in the off season also gave us more room, and we rarely had neighbors on both sides. What we liked best about this resort was the location. It was refreshing to not use the car & be able to walk to bars & restaurants. It was across the street from the gulf as well, although we didn’t take advantage of that too much due to the beaches not being dog friendly.
Our biggest complaint had nothing to do with the resort itself, but with mother nature. The one big downside to staying on a barrier island was the constant strong winds that would shake the RV. After a month, I was really looking forward to my house not pitching about in the breeze.
Overall it was a really nice stay & a spot we would head to again in the off season.
After a month inland, it was time to seek out some water again so we headed to Pensacola Beach. I found an RV park that, while the daily rate was insane (seriously – $90 a night in THE OFF SEASON), the monthly price was more reasonable and even though it was at the high end of our monthly ground rent budget, we stayed in a waterfront site. It was well worth it!
Of course, it wasn’t a visit to the panhandle of Florida without a serious freeze. Just like our last visit, we had to endure 20 degree weather during our stay. We survived last year & we survived again this year, but we might have to evaluate visiting the panhandle in January!
Last year was the first week of my new job we were in this area so I was a nervous wreck, worried about connectivity and didn’t really enjoy the flexibility of working remote. This year, I worked outside whenever possible and even worked gulf front a day or two. I can’t say enough about having the ability to be productive while enjoying beautiful views!
We both had to travel during our stay so we didn’t get to hang out & explore nearly as much as we planned. I got the better end of the deal at least – my trip was to San Diego. The next week Keith’s was to Providence, RI during a lovely blizzard.
We did get to visit some family & took a trip out to Fort Pickens which was beautiful. We ate out a few times & got our fill of fried seafood. We enjoyed the water views & the sunsets. The RV park was walking distance to just about everything in Pensacola Beach which made the stay nice. We also got to meet fellow RVer’s Trevor & Roni thanks to RVillage and it is always awesome to chat with others that choose to live this crazy life of constant travel.
We went into Pensacola a few times, enjoying the historic district & walking around aimlessly. We tried the Pensacola Brewing company & while we loved the dog friendly outside, the beers ended up being rather metallic & one pint was enough.
Overall, it was a nice month & it flew by – time to head to one of our favorite areas!