So, we did it! We managed to squeezed another mini budget-friendly family trip over this weekend before the school summer vacation is up. This time it was with my husband’s side of the family. Read about our family vacation with my side of the fam last month at Corolla, NC. Both experiences were fun! We chose to go glamping this time – which technically means we rented a fully furnished cabin with a/c. It’s our first time glamping, or camping, with the kids. We booked 3x 2-bedroom cottages. We had a pet-friendly cottage while the others had a strict no pet policy. If you are interested in finding out what it’s like to go camping at North Landing Beach Cottages, read about our first experience there below.
First off, you can stop by the office and ask to check out the place before reserving. to see if the place is workable for you. They will give you a temporary pass to check it out. This will give you a better picture of what the place is like and that’s exactly what we did. We were driving back from our day trip at Northwest River Park and saw the place from the side of the road and decided to check it out. It’s huge, compared to the camping site at Northwest River Park, which only had a minimal amount of cabins.
The office is where you check-in and check-out and it is located at the entrance of the camp ground to the right, coming from the road. It is also the building where you will find many of the free activities: basketball, tennis, table tennis, pool, mini golf, the gym. It is also where you sign up for paid activities. The office building is also where the store is at and they have pretty decent collection of essentials: eggs, milk, bacon, cold cuts, microwaveable sandwiches, drinks, sunscreen, bug repellents, lighters and many more. They even had flip-flops, which saved us because our teen’s flip-flop broke and didn’t have a replacement. It was expensive but it was necessary.
Our cabins were located by the beach. We had to bypass the RV sites to get there at 5 mph speed limit. It was a short drive, walking distance really. The beach is technically not ocean water but it does have a beach feel. I booked our cabins over the phone, but online reservations are available as well.
The 2 bedroom cabin can fit up to 7 people and includes:
- patio with a table and 2 chairs
- 2 bedrooms: one sleeps 2 and the other sleeps up to 5
- bathroom with shower, toilet, sink
- round dining table with 4 chairs
- 2 sofa loveseats
- 3 ac units – not centralized – one in each bedroom, + living room
- ceiling fan for each room
- flat screen tv with remote and cable at living room and master bedroom
- free wi-fi
- dresser and drawers in the master bedroom
- a stove top with 2 burners (no oven)
- kitchen sink
- full size fridge/freezer
- full size microwave
- 2 slice bread toaster
- full size coffee maker
- plates and utensils
- wine glasses
- drinking glasses
- pots and pans
- mixing/serving bowls
- dish drying rack
- trash bins
- dish soap – no dish scrub
- paper towels
- toilet paper
- Broom and Dustpan
- linens **** pet friendly cabins do not have linens though -I had to bring my own
- fire pit ring outside
The cabin rates cover 2 adults and 2 kids and differs at different times of year. For the summer, Beach View 2 bedroom cabins are $160/night, which includes parking for 1 vehicle. Additional vehicles are $5/day. Additional people can be added to the cabin reservation for an additional fee. There is also 10% military discount. I booked and paid for all 3 cabins myself to get the military discount.
Check-in is 3:00 pm and Check out is 12:00 pm.
Quiet time is between 10:00 pm to 7:00 am.
Activities, planned/organized and non, are available and mostly are for free. The activities we took advantage of are:
- Pool, no lifeguards, goes up to 8 feet, has a volleyball net
- Mini Golf
- Tie Dye Shirt Arts and Craft, $6/person
- Super Soaker Hayride
- 2 person Kayak, $20/hr
- Adult Paddleboard, $20/hr
- Complimentary Breakfast: Waffles, Juice, Coffee
Other activities available when we were there but didn’t participate in:
- Outdoor Movie Night – Disney’s Tarzan – complimentary popcorn/juice
- Inflatable $5/person
- Nature Walk
- Guided Fishing
- Nacho Bar $7/person
- Live Music
- S’more at the Beach
- Star Gazing at the Beach
- Corn Hole
- Horseshoe Pit
- Bird Watching
Our experiences with the Resort is good overall but there are some issues that were mostly nature related and the staff did their best to accommodate us. Here’s an overview of our experience:
- No mosquitoes! Yay!
- Our pet-friendly cabin had decent size grass area to walk our GSD for a quick potty break all around our cabin. I was happy about that.
- I’m an early riser and my dog and I walked around 5 am. It’s pretty dark still and the sun just barely peaking opposite of the beach area. There were no one out at that time. We stayed on the roads and some areas are not lit.
- Wasps nesting on our plight of stairs. 2 kids got stung, one day apart. The staff sprayed both days and removed a nest both days.
- Rotten fish odor on one of the cabins. It originated from under the fridge. They sprayed and cleaned it best they can.
- Super soaker hayride was fun! Participants ride a hayride armored with water guns and shoots people around the camp with water. Some people fire back, which makes it more fun. It’s also free.
- Kayak/Paddleboat rental reservations are done at the office, which was opposite of the beach. Equipment pickup is at the beach. So we paid and scheduled our rental at least 30 minutes in advance to give us sufficient time to get ready and get there.
- There’s an inlet at the side of the campground that we took advantage off. This is where boats get unloaded/loaded but it was very windy so we wanted to avoid swimmers and so we kayaked and paddleboat there.
- It was high tide and the water was brown, which scared me. I no doubt there are snakes near the trees and shrubs that border the other side of the water. I didn’t see any, nor did I want to see any.
- Because it was windy, we didn’t want to try extending the rental, or try canoeing or crabbing.
- It rained Saturday night, hard, so we weren’t able to do a fire pit kind of camping night. By the time it stopped it was pass 9, which only gives us a small window to enjoy the night before quiet time rolls around.
- We didn’t bring s’mores but the kids wanted to make some over the fire. We bought 2 4-s’more stick packages, 4 Hershey bars, 1 bag of marshmallows, 1 box of graham crackers and it cost us $22. Since it rained, we just cooked it in the microwave.
- There are laundromats we didn’t use it but it’s $2/load for each washing and drying.
- There are also private deluxe bath houses outside the cabins, which have locks in them, especially useful since we only had 1 bathroom in the cabin.
For food, we cooked everything because there were no restaurants near by. We all brought our own food to share. Here’s what I shared:
- Friday dinner:
- Trader Joe’s Chicken Teriyaki w/ Fresh Broccoli
- Trader Joe’s Chickenless Mandarin Oranges
- Fresh Grapes
- Saturday Breakfast:
- Homemade Crepes: strawberries, bananas, blueberries, nutella, homemade whipped cream
- Vegan-Friendly Cinnamon Raisin Bagel
- Saturday Lunch:
- Vegan-friendly Mung Beans with Portabella Mushrooms, Tomatoes, Onion, Ginger (I cooked this at home – this takes a while to make)
- Adobo Whole Shrimp, w/head
- Saturday Dinner:
- Vegan-friendly Trader Joe’s Japanese Fried Rice
- Vegan-friendly Vegetable Gyoza
- Vegan-friendly Tropical Smoothies w/ homemade whipped cream
- Sunday Breakfast:
- Scrambled Eggs
- Chickenless Mandarin Orange leftover for me – trying to lessen the load back home. lol
- Snacks can be brought to the pool/beach:
- Boiled Peanuts
- Homemade Avocado/Tomato/Mango Dip and Chips
- Trader Joe’s Cheese Puffs
- Pita and Hummus
- Potato Chips
Extra items I brought, aside from personal items:
- My Fur Baby’s Essentials – he has his own luggage
- Beach Towels
- Bed Sheets and Blankets
- Paper Towels
- Disinfecting Wipes – to clean counters
- Lysol – spray bed
- Room Deodorizer – wasn’t sure what it would smell like inside a pet-friendly cabin
- Ziploc Bags, sandwich and gallon size
- Chopping board
- Kitchen Shears
- Aluminum Foil
- Trash Bags
- Bug Spray
- Itch Cream
- Mini First Aid Kit
- Coffee and Coffee Filter *Complimentary coffee avail at office when open
- Dish Scrub and Dish Soap
- Hand Soap
- Travel mugs
- My own Non-Stick Pan and Spatulas
- Wood for the fire pit
What I would have brought in addition to what I did bring:
- Hangers to hang the swimwear after I wash them.
- Laundry Soap, which technically I forgot to bring. I used dish soap to hand wash the swimwear.
- S’mores ingredients and roasting sticks – Wow it was expensive to buy it there.
- Extra flip-flops and sneakers to play basketball and tennis
Our Expenses broken down:
- Cabin and extra car parking fee w/ tax: $320.50
- S’mores (Hershey Bars): $5
- 2 Person Kayak: $20/hr
- Adult Paddleboard: $20/hr
- Tie Dye Shirt Activity: $12
- Grocery: $105 (with some leftovers, which I took back home)
- Replacement Flip-flop: $13
Total expense for this mini vacation: $495.50 (2 nights/2 days)
I was definitely glamping it with a cost of $247.75/night. Considering this is a summer vacation expense, by the water, with food and activities already factored in, I will say that it was decently priced for a mini vacation.
Needless to say, our SUV was packed. My husband met us there after work so it freed some space for luggage. Our fur baby took half of space in the back. Because our teen got stung by a wasp, it will be a while until we can do a repeat of this glamping adventure. We will have to do outdoors activities far from bugs for now. Haha.
We are looking into Disney Cruise for future vacation. We definitely need to save up for this one. If you have tips to maximize the fun and savings for this event, please share.
Until next time.