Go to the website for Table Rock - there are full H/U 50 amp sites in both campgrounds, pretty clearly labeled on the maps. We were there in August & enjoyed it, a bit more compact than the SP's we're used to but that's what you get when you go full HU. Should be plenty of room for your 5er, a bit farther from all of the action than some of the CG's but also less $$. Check on Google Maps to get a feel for the distance - don't rely on the maps from the visitor info sites, they aren't even close to scale.
+1 on Four Mile Creek SP. Nice sites, right on the lake, and your sticker lets you park at the state parking lot close to the falls for free. Definitely go on both sides (US & Canada), different experience and views. If you park in the lot on the US side it's an easy (and cool) walk over the bridge to the Canadian side, just don't forget the passports. You can get the Maid of the Mist on either side (a must) but they have different packages with other stuff. We especially liked the Cave of the Winds tour on the US side - you hike out onto a deck where you are standing right under the Bridal Falls - they show it on one of the Thompson Watersealer commercials.
Cave of the Winds
The comparable tour on the Canadian side where you "go under the falls" was disappointing - you're in a concrete tunnel and look out a little opening and see the backside of the big falls, much more fun to walk out in your souvenir poncho and flip-flops and have it crashing over you. If you have time head east and check out the Finger Lakes area of New York - lots of state parks with waterfalls (smaller) and tons of wineries.
We stayed at Table Rock State Park last month and also enjoyed it. We were in CG 1 and had a full hookup site. Sites are a lot tighter than what we are used to in state parks but the pads are pretty solid and we were glad to not be on dirt & grass when it rained for 3 of the 5 days we were there. No cable but they do have Wi-Fi available - I think the routers are in the shower buildings so the closer you are to that the better.
As far as activities, we actually didn't do any shows in town (not our thing) but spent 2 days at Silver Dollar City and loved it. They have plenty of musical performances there, probably saw 2 hours worth each day along with an hour and a half show at their big amphitheater (4000 seat!) after the rest of the park closes. Also did the COE tour of the dam, very interesting, and spent a bunch of time in the Historic Branson area - they have a very nice new area down by the lakefront with shops, restaurants, and free musical events on the weekends.
Does it have to be past St. Louis? We were just down that way, had a family thing to do on our way to Branson and stayed at the St. Louis RV Park. Right in town, pretty much just off the Interstate. Basically a parking lot with hookups, but nice shower & bathroom facilities, clean pool, nice folks running it and a super convenient location if you want to do anything in St. Louis before you head to Branson. They have pull through sites that will handle big class A's so you should be able to stay hooked no sweat.
We do Wally World for overnights with our hybrid. Stay hitched but flip out the back bed, try to park so it's hanging over the grass. Usually drop the stabilizers but make sure we put 4x4's or lego levelers under them so we don't trash the asphalt. Always phone first to make sure there aren't any local ordinances against staying, that's usually the issue, not the store.
We did a 2 week "front range" loop in 2010 and thoroughly enjoyed it - coming from Illinois, so about the same distance as you. 4 nights at RMNP - great scenery & hiking, had an awesome site in the C loop of Moraine overlooking the valley where we would just sit & relax in the morning (unusual for go-go folks like us). 4 nights at Mueller S.P., used as a base for Colorado Springs, Pikes Peak, Garden of the Gods,etc. 3 nights at private CG in Canon City, Royal Gorge & rafting. 2 nights at San Luis Lakes S.P., hit the Great Sand Dunes N.P. (a don't miss!!), train ride out of Alamosa to a cool amphitheater in the mountains with an afternoon bluegrass extravaganza headlined by Michael Martin Murphey (remember "Wildfire"?). Great trip, enough time in each spot to actually be relaxing, even the teenagers ended up having a good time (whether they wanted to admit it or not). Starting at RMNP and going all the way down to the Grand Canyon would probably be too much driving for the time you have, pick one or the other.
The "quiet side" refers to the bay side of the peninsula as opposed to the lake side.
Actually the "quiet side" is the lake side. Most of the "touristy" type towns are on the bay side, probably because the beach areas are calmer since they are on the bay instead of Lake Michigan. The peninsula is only about 10 miles wide so it's easy enough to get from one side to another.
Great area to visit, we go every year over Labor Day. 3 days will probably leave you planning a return trip, lots to do. Try to make it to a local tradition, the Door County fish boil. We like the one at the Square Rigger in Jacksonport, right down the road from where you are staying.
Also agree that you're better off getting through Chicago on the first day if you can. Just over the Wisconsin border is Bong State Recreation area, part of the Wisconsin State Park system. Should have no problem accomodating your rig and should have openings on a Thursday night. The Wisconsin state campgrounds do fill up on weekends during the summer, we always make reservations just to be sure. Check availability on Reserve America.
Four Mile Creek State Park. Beautiful roomy sites, right on Lake Ontario, 10 to 15 min via highway to the Falls, plus your entry pass lets you park free at the State Park parking lot next to the Falls. Not FHU, but electric sites, water available from spigots all around, and dump station.
Custer State Park is great - if you want something a bit more rustic and don't need all of the amenities the Black Hills National Forest will fit the bill. We camped at the Sheridan Lake campground and it was awesome, woods and water just like you asked for. Good central location for all of the activities in the area.
Looks like a winner. One suggestion - in between Durango and Colorado Springs, head north from Alamosa and spend a day at Great Sand Dunes National Park. I guarantee it's like nothing you've seen out west before. The CG there is pretty rustic, but right next to it is San Luis Lakes State Park, very nice with all electric sites. Highly recommended, would be a shame to miss since you're basically going right by it. Take a look at the website and you'll see what I mean.
Looking at the map in the link above, the sites in Shady Lane are nicely wooded so you have better separation from your neighbors but might be tight for your MH. The ones in Twin Oaks are more open and will probably be easier to fit into, probably a bit more level too. I think that almost all of the sites are set up with 1 power pole for 2 sites (more cost effective) - the site detail section on the reservation website will give you the exact distance to the pole, some are a lot closer than others, numbers are pretty accurate. I picked up a 30' 30 amp extension cord to give me flexibility in picking sites. Great park, nice campground and awesome hiking trails. Enjoy your visit.
Also highly recommend Four Mile Creek State Park, nice sites, some right on the lake, close enough to the falls (15-20 min?) and the big bonus of free parking at the State Park lot right at the falls on the US side. Definitely do both sides - better view of Horseshoe on the CA side but the Cave of the Winds tour on the US is way cool - you walk out on a deck and stand right under the Bridal Falls. CA side seemed more commercial right at the falls while the US is a State Park so there are some nice hiking trails and it seemed like you could actually get closer to the falls - the town on the US side may be more commercial but we didn't spend any time there. 1 1/2 to 2 days is good and don't forget your passports to cross the bridge. We actually needed them on the way there since we took the northern route, 94 to 69 through Lansing & Flint instead of 80/90 - I think it was a little shorter and we saved a bunch on tolls. Hershey was OK but 3 days is too much - we didn't do the park , if you're doing Cedar Point there's no need. Some time in the Amish area (Lancaster, Bird-in-Hand) and Gettysburg would be a much better choice, kids should be old enough to start appreciating it.