In 41 camping trips we have had full hook-ups only one other time. Such a luxury!
Waterside at Blue Ridge is a gated RV and tiny home resort located just seven miles north of downtown Blue Ridge. The campground offers 192 sites with the options of renting a tiny home, gravel site, paved sites, or premium site with a hot tub and outdoor fireplace. All of the sites at Waterside are full hook-up, offering sewer.
The campground has a pool and large community hot tub. The Waterside Community Clubhouse is located across the road from the pool and offers rocking chairs, tables, a TV, bathrooms (with showers), laundry, and a deck overlooking the pond at the front of the campground. Both ponds were stocked with fish for catch-and-release fishing. The campground had multiple community fire pits available for use (not all of the sites had their own fire pit). There is a second pavilion in the back of the campground called the gathering
This RV and tiny home community is different from other campgrounds in that each site is privately owned. Some owners do not rent out their sites at all. Multiple sites have campers set up on them to rent. The owners of our site 145, Vili and Alex, are very friendly. We were able to meet them when they came for the Waterside Easter egg hunt. Alex is a fantastic photographer and took awesome drone photos of our camper.
Site 145 is a paved, back-in site in the back of the campground overlooking the pond, dog park, and gathering pavilion. The site has a fire pit, picnic table, Adirondack chairs, and fiber internet (if you have a router). The campground wifi did not reach this site. The outdoor living area is at the back of the site—really taking advantage of the view. It does have direct sunlight all day, as does much of the campground because of the lack of mature trees. Next time we would set up our popup canopy over the picnic table.
The owners of site 145 are currently offering a 10% off discount with the code AM2020. In order to get the discount you must call to make the reservation, the website does not have a place for discount codes. 706-851-8855.
In my opinion site 145 is one of the better ones in Waterside at Blue Ridge because of the location. You do not have a site right behind or in front of you, only the neighbors on either side, one of which is a tiny home. This particularly cool weekend would have been great for a site with a hot tub, but it does come with a higher price tag, $115 a night.
The ranger called us at about noon on Friday to give us the gate code if we were arriving after 2 p.m. because he would be off duty. We got there around lunch after picking up Chick-fil-a off Highway 5. If you want to stop there, I suggest pulling into the CVS and parking on the side and walking over to Chick-fil-a. We had plenty of room. Site 145 was easy to back in to and quick to set up as we did not have to worry about leveling the camper. I did still check though; they did a great job with the pavement. The ranger came to our site with some paperwork to fill out and return to him at our convenience. He was very friendly and seemed to do much of the work in the campground, including trash pickup from 9 a.m. – 11 a.m.
We did not have neighbors on either side until Saturday afternoon. It was really enjoyable to get to the campground so early on Friday. We enjoyed watching all the campers pulling in later in the afternoon from our spot on top of the hill.
Saturday the campground put on an Easter egg hunt for the kids. They had two separate sections set up, one for the big kids and one for the toddlers. Waterside at Blue Ridge also provided the kids with individually packaged egg decorating kits. The kits had plastic eggs, crayons, markers, and stickers. In the clubhouse they provided snacks for the kids and parents. The event was done really well and we had a lot of fun! Waterside at Blue Ridge frequently has events throughout the year for renters and their kids.
We planned to eat out and do the touristy Blue Ridge things the whole weekend. Every fall we rent a cabin near Blue Ridge with friends, but don’t usually leave the cabin except for hiking. It was great visiting the town in the Spring and exploring.
Friday afternoon we stopped at Grumpy Old Men Brewery located just past downtown. It was packed! One of the grumpy old men was working the parking lot and helped us to the last spot in the lot. They had live music, a large patio, and great beers. In the corner of the patio they had a food truck with hotdogs and soft pretzels. Our daughter spent the majority of her time upfront dancing to the music.
An instagram follower recommended Mystic Mountain Pizza to us and it was delicious! It is a hole in the wall type of place, but offered live music and a small arcade. Next time I would order it to-go and bring it back to the campground and enjoy the view from my site.
Saturday morning Heather drove to the corner market (gas station) Turn left onto the highway and it’s the first gas station on the right. They make biscuits from scratch, but you have to get there early. By 10:45 am it was slim pickings. My jalapeno biscuit with chicken was so good! Heather had a plain biscuit with delicious tenderloin. We loved this place so much we went back Sunday morning, but the biscuit counter was closed–possibly for Easter or they may be closed every Sunday. A Dunkin’ Donuts is located across the street. Attached to the Corner Market gas station is a farmers market store. Heather had to buy pork rinds and pickles. They had a huge assortment of canned and fresh fruits and vegetables.
We spent the rest of the morning exploring the shops in downtown Blue Ridge. We bought two Blue Ridge t-shirts, fudge, coffee, and Easter cupcakes. Our favorite stores were Huck’s General Store, Blue Ridge Outfitters, and The Sweet Shoppe of the South. Unfortunately, we did not get to see the train while we were downtown.
We don’t worry about the dogs being left in the camper while we are gone because we have the MarCell temperature monitoring system. This will send us text messages if the power goes out in the camper or if the temperature or humidity goes out of the range that we set it on. We have used MarCell for five years and have been pleased with the service. They gave us a discount code to share with our follower. Use the code Imagine20 for $20 off your purchase of the temperature monitoring system.
Saturday afternoon we drove out to Serenberry Vineyards located 6 miles and about 15 minutes from Waterside at Blue Ridge RV resort. To get to this vineyard you do spend a short time on a gravel road, but its worth the drive. The house is small and we weren’t able to go completely inside as part of their Covid precautions. Serenberry Vineyards is a family business, the son-in-law was the one working the bar when we visited. They have owned the property for over 100 years and the vineyard has been open to the public for 10 years. The property is huge. We ran through the vines and watched a family flying kites. The employee told us about the creek at the bottom of the hill and so we ventured down to check it out. All the water in Blue Ridge is so clear!
I failed to make reservations in time for the two restaurants we wanted to try, Harvest on Main and Black Sheep. To avoid dealing with the crowds downtown we tried the Flying Trout Restaurant 10 miles east of the campground down highway 76. I had no idea this restaurant was part of the lodge for a cabin community. The lodge has a community pool, amphitheater, and large creek flowing right by. The service was fast and friendly, but we were not impressed with the food. It was a one and done for us–we would not recommend.
Both evenings we seemed to be the last ones with a fire going outside. Not sure if people were inside their campers watching tv or if they all just go to bed early. The campground was quiet. That being said there is a business nearby called Tank Town USA. You can run over cars with a tank and shoot machine guns. We heard the machine guns once on Saturday afternoon, but it did not last long. The cows located on the farm next door do not seem bothered by it.
Waterside at Blue Ridge is located minutes from Blue Ridge Lake. Morganton Point Day-Use area would be the access point from the campground. Using my AllTrails app I found a place to hike on the lake. It was a quick half mile hike with a beautiful view of the water and mountains. Before this trip we had hiked Fall Branch Falls in Cherry Log. Highly recommend the hike to see the waterfalls. We have also tubed the Toccoa River on a day trip to Blue Ridge. The river is deep and cold, but we had so much fun.
We drove through Morganton Point COE (no gate or attendant) to check out the campsites. There were just a couple sites that I liked in the campground. We did not like the sites in the back because with the way you are angled in the campsite you must exit and go all the way into the back of the campground and around a loop to get turned around. There are multiple spots on the road where your tires could fall off the pavement. You can see the Blue Ridge KOA from the highway and most KOAs don’t seem appealing to us, but I have seen many people say positive things about that campground. It is on the Toccoa River, but sites are right on top of each other. Don’t think we would be fans. Waterside at Blue Ridge would be our first choice of campground in the area.
Places to visit next time:
Harvest on Main
Bear Claw Vineyards
Toccoa River Swinging Bridge: This is located an hour and a half south of the campground.
Blue Ridge Train: We feel as though our baby girl was not old enough for this and worried about being stuck on a train with her for an hour ride there and hour back.
Waterside at Blue Ridge RV Resort and Tiny Home Community is putting in an additional pool and clubhouse in the back of phase two. The campground is planning on putting a second playground near the Gathering Place, perfect spot for site 145. The main pool opens on May 1st for 2021. Can’t wait to enjoy those amenities.
Things we learned at Waterside:
- If you leave your blinds open and the sun shines onto the Marcell Temperature monitoring system you’ll get an inaccurate reading of the temperature in the camper–much warmer than it actually is. After the vineyard I got a text message saying it was 78 degrees in the camper and we could not understand why since we left it with the AC running. Before heading to the restaurant we stopped by the camper to make sure everything was okay. The one set of blinds that we forgot to close on our way out, of course were right next to the monitor.
- We are so used to having a dump station that I forgot to bring the dump hose support system that has never been used. Site 145’s sewer hookup is located more than 15 feet from where our camper was parked. We solved it by using 15 ft and 10 ft hoses to reach. I’m adding it to the final check-list, we’ll be back to Waterside at Blue Ridge sometime this year!