Camp Margaritaville RV Resort & Lodge in Pigeon Forge, TN is a fantastic spot to spend a few days or a whole week for a family trip. And it’s easy on the gas tank at three hours from Greenville, SC. Thank you to Camp Margaritaville Resort for inviting us to the resort for a complimentary stay so we could write this review.
If you love relaxation while being in the middle of all the best activities near the Great Smoky Mountains and having a beautiful space to chill out with your family, Camp Margaritaville RV Resort & Lodge in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee is the spot.
About Camp Margaritaville RV Resort & Lodge
Camp Margaritaville RV Resort & Lodge is less than a minute from the main drag in Pigeon Forge and five minutes from the entrance to the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. The location is ideal for families who want to go hiking and explore the park plus enjoy all the fun things to do in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg – of which there are many. Or just stay at Camp Margaritaville because there are enough things to do there.
Camp Margaritaville is part of the Margaritaville brand, which means the decor is beachy and just lovely colors of blue, green and yellow, which I love. It really does make for a relaxing vibe. The RV resort opened in the summer of 2021 while the Lodge only opened in February 2022. It is impeccably clean, spacious, and incredible for families.
The resort has both RV sites and hookups as well as a beautiful lodge, which is where we stayed. I’ll get to our amazing room in a bit.
There are pickleball courts and an awesome pool area that has a zero-entry pool, little splash area, hot tub, and water slide. The lodge is also home to a big arcade, Fins Bar & Grill, a lazy river, darts, duckpin bowling, a huge green open space for activities, and a snack bar.
If you don’t want to drive anywhere during your stay, the Pigeon Forge Trolley makes a stop right inside the resort, which will take you anywhere on the main drag in Pigeon Forge.
The lodge at Camp Margaritaville has several room layouts to choose from like king, double queen, and deluxe. They offer both mountain and resort views.
We stayed in a Deluxe King Room, which was enormous. It was light-filled with calming blue and teal walls and “License to Chill”, the trademark slogan of Margaritaville properties, painted on the walls, which, honestly, I need to be reminded of. I appreciated it.
The bathroom is beautiful with a huge shower and vanity. They have shampoo, conditioner, and shower gel already in the shower from their St. Somewhere Spa. I really liked this because I always forget these necessities. My kids also forgot their toothbrushes and the resort was quick to give me a couple for them. They have excellent customer service!
Here’s the best part of the room: there are two twin beds in a little tent hideaway that you have to pull aside heavy curtains to get to. How fun! The sheets actually look and act like sleeping bags, keeping with the camp theme. There’s a television in there so the kids can watch cartoons when they get up at the crack of dawn and parents want to sleep in a little. So smart, Camp Margaritaville, so smart. Our Deluxe King also had a pullout couch so could sleep six people total if need be.
The room also has an adorable mini-fridge, Keurig coffee maker, and microwave. Just an all-around excellent setup that is truly geared towards having a relaxing and fun time with your family.
We got a glimpse of the pool and waterslide from the parking lot and my kids couldn’t get up to the room fast enough to change into their swimsuits. So that’s what we did since it was a nice, hot afternoon when we arrived.
I love waterslides myself so I got up there and tried it out and had a blast. It’s not too high, maybe ten feet and there are two twists in the open-air slide, which dumps you into a pool that is four-and-a-half feet deep. The water was nice and warm and felt great, so good, in fact that I got up there and slid down again. My kids must have gone on the slide at least 30 times. I had a hard time convincing them to leave the pool so we could eat dinner.
One of the evenings after we had a blast at the arcade, we went back out to the pool for an evening swim. Ok, more like the kids sliding endlessly down the waterslide. They loved it and I got to relax, a particularly foreign concept to me. Oh, and the music at the pool is great! It’s a lot of Jimmy Buffet and old-school country music with a little modern pop thrown in. And there’s a fire pit that gets lit in the evenings.
The pool isn’t deep at all, which is great for smaller kids or weaker swimmers. The deepest is four-and-a-half feet at the waterslide. There is a great zero-entry part of the pool for smaller kids (or parents who want to lounge in the water but not take a dip) plus a small splash area that is just over a foot deep. For adults, there is a hot tub. Do you feel relaxed yet?
There is plenty of seating around the pool area with lounges and Adirondack chairs plus tables if you want to eat dinner out there. They don’t have towels so be sure to either bring your own or use the big, striped ones that the lodge provides in each room. Pool hours are 10 am – 10 pm.
The lazy river was not open when I went but it is now (August 2022) so that’s another thing to enjoy at the resort.
The restaurant on-site at the lodge, Fins Bar, is right next to the pool. Servers walk around the pool area and you can actually order whatever you want and have it brought to you out there, which I totally did because after all, I was given a license to chill (™). I got one of their signature margaritas because, well, I was at Margaritaville. It was delicious.
Once I managed to convince my kids they needed to eat and leave the waterslide, we headed inside to the restaurant. While our dinner was being made, we played cornhole outside, which was a blast. I imagine it’s even better at night since they had lights strung over the turf for a nice ambiance.
I got the pork nachos for dinner the first night, which was an appetizer that could have fed two people for dinner. It was huge with cheesy goodness everywhere. My kids got cheeseburgers off the kid’s menu and they couldn’t even finish them because the portions were large. Everything was flavorful and the staff was amazing. Then the second night we got the Beach Chips, which are homemade lattice chips layered like nachos with cheese, chives, sour cream, and ranch. I also got the Fins Burger, which was delicious and cooked perfectly and had some kind of tasty sauce on it. If I could recommend one thing though on the menu, it’s those Beach Chips. The nachos are a close second. I love food layered in cheese.
They also have things like a spicy chicken sandwich, wagyu hot dog, pizza, and salads on the menu.
Our server, Clara, was the sweetest and so attentive. She initially served us out at the pool and was our server for dinner. We had at least one manager come and ask us how dinner was as well. All the staff we came into contact with were so kind. There was one girl, Madi, who was at the pool and then later at the arcade that remembered the names of my daughters (and all the other kids going down the waterslide). And it was her first day!
A good arcade is such a fun thing to do for rainy days but since it was nice outside and we needed to let dinner settle, we hit up the arcade at the lodge right after dinner. It’s downstairs where the new Feeding Frenzy snack and frozen drinks bar is. It looks really fun with lots of space at the bar, tables, comfy couches, a space where video games can be rented, foosball, and darts. It leads out to the lazy river and big activity green.
So, back to the arcade. They had my ultimate favorite game, Skeeball, which I immediately ran over to, leaving my kids to wonder what in the world had overtaken me. I did pretty well, too, considering I haven’t played in many, many years.
You get a card instead of using coins where you can put money on and reload as you want. Most games are $1. My kids’ favorite was one where you rode a motorcycle. It did look pretty fun but I was still enamored by Skeeball. We spent about an hour there each night and really enjoyed the laid-back vibe. It was not an easy task to leave since we all were having so much fun but it was such a joy to see the smiling faces of my kids and hear their laughter. Plus, they won some prizes from the claw hands that totally made their night.
There’s a breakfast buffet and then there’s the breakfast buffet at Camp Margaritaville. This was one of those times where I wish I could just eat unlimited food and not get full. They had everything you could possibly want from pancakes and French toast to biscuits and gravy to fruit, yogurt, muffins, ham, cheese, cereal, and my favorite: blueberry syrup.
Again, the staff was so kind, helpful, and attentive. Our server, Sydnah, was the sweetest woman and asked what we were up to the first full day we were there and then the next morning at breakfast, she remembered what we had done and asked how it went. The amazing customer service only added to the experience of the excellent food. It really makes a difference.
Breakfast is available daily from 7-10:30 am and costs $9.95/adult and $7.95/ages 5-10 years old. Kids 4 and under are free. They have coffee to go as well, which is helpful if you want to get an early start on any outdoor activities you may have planned.
Kids Activities at the Resort
Camp Margaritaville is still in its infancy as a resort but they are moving fast to make it a one-stop-shop destination. Already there are kids’ activities on weekends like Ranger talks (I’m so sad we missed this – Ranger talks are the best!), arts and crafts, and story times. This is only the beginning though.
If you come to the resort, go find Mark who works in the Activities department. This guy knows everything about what there is to do at the resort and how to find out what is going on. He can also give you some fantastic hiking recommendations. The plans he has for things to do with kids sound awesome – think fire building and s’mores and meet & greets with local fire departments. His enthusiasm for his job and for helping families make the most of their visit and take back memories to last a lifetime is so fantastic. I don’t know how Camp Margaritaville found all their staff but they managed to do a stellar job.
You can see different events at the resort on their website.
Honest Mom Review
I have a really hard time unwinding, as in it hardly ever happens. There was something about this place that made it so easy to relax. I don’t know if it was the easygoing, laid-back vibe or the supreme happiness of my kids (ages 7 and 11), or the attentiveness and kindness of the staff. Maybe it was all of that but in the end, although we were only there for two nights, I felt refreshed. The Smoky Mountains are one of my most favorite places to visit. I love the mountains and the fact that the resort overlooks the Smokies and is in such close proximity to the Park, plus has so many fun things to do with your family, I think makes this resort such an ideal spot for a family trip.
There’s that balance on family vacations to strike between having enough things to do with the kids plus having that downtime that parents desperately need. Camp Margaritaville strikes that balance to perfection and I think that’s what helped really make the trip such a stellar experience.
Now that the lazy river is open (it was still in construction when I visited), I need to go back!
Visiting Camp Margaritaville Resort
You can book Camp Margaritaville online whether you want to stay at the lodge or the RV park. Like any other resort, nightly costs will vary depending on the time of year and day of the week.
The resort is pet-friendly both in the RV park and the lodge and has a dog park.
I don’t think you can go wrong staying at Camp Margaritaville.
For a massive list of things to do in the Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge area, see our Ultimate Guide to Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge.
Camp Margaritaville RV Resort & Lodge
149 Cates Lane, Pigeon Forge, TN