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Stay at a Perfectly Rated Good Sam Park

Stay at a Perfectly Rated Good Sam Park

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January 13, 2022

Get a taste of perfection by staying at a Top Rated Good Sam Park. For 2022, a total of 157 Good Sam Parks scored flawless 10/10★/10 Good Sam ratings based on our trusted evaluation system.

Our rep teams travel across North America and inspect parks for the cleanliness of restrooms and showers; environment and visual appearance. Each category is graded on a scale of one to 10, and a star is added for exceptionally clean restrooms. You’ll also find these parks listed by state and province — along with plenty of helpful RV-related content — in our 2022 edition of the Good Sam Campground & Coupon Guide.


Alabama


Arizona

A golf clubhouse with golf carts at sunset.

Pueblo El Mirage RV & Golf Resort in El Mirage, Arizona

De Anza RV Resort, Amado Good Life RV Resort, Mesa
Sundance West RV Resort, Apache Junction Mesa Regal RV Resort, Mesa
Sunrise RV Resort, Apache Junction Sun Life RV Resort, Mesa
Superstition Sunrise RV Resort, Apache Junction Towerpoint Resort, Mesa
Weaver’s Needle RV Resort, Apache Junction Valle Del Oro RV Resort, Mesa
Black Canyon Ranch RV Resort, Black Canyon City Desert Shadows RV Resort, Phoenix
Vista Del Sol RV Resort, Bullhead City Far Horizons RV Resort, Tucson
Verde Ranch RV Resort, Camp Verde Mission View RV Resort, Tucson
Sundance 1 RV Resort, Casa Grande Rincon Country East RV Resort, Tucson
Pueblo El Mirage RV & Golf Resort, El Mirage Rincon Country West RV Resort, Tucson
Eagle View RV Resort Fort McDowell Bonita Mesa RV Resort, Yuma
Arizonian RV Resort, Gold Canyon Del Pueblo RV Resort, Yuma
Canyon Vistas RV Resort, Gold Canyon Villa Alameda RV Resort, Yuma
Gold Canyon RV & Golf Resort, Gold Canyon Westwind RV & Golf Resort, Yuma
Apache Wells RV Resort, Mesa

California

An aerial view of a golf course and RV resort against stark desert mountains.

The Springs At Borrego RV Resort & Golf Course in Borrego Springs, California

Bakersfield RV Resort, Bakersfield Pala Casino RV Resort, Pala
The Springs At Borrego RV Resort & Golf Course, Borrego Springs JGW RV Park, Redding
The RV Park At Rolling Hills Casino and Resort, Corning Redding Premier RV Resort, Redding
Yanks RV Resort, Greenfield Coyote Valley RV Resort, San Jose
Indian Waters RV Resort & Cottages, Indio Pechanga RV Resort, Temecula
Jackson Rancheria RV Park, Jackson Vineyard RV Park, Vacaville
Berry Creek Rancheria RV Park, Oroville

Colorado


Florida

View of grass-thatched huts on the other side of a canal with grassy banks.

The Aztec RV Resort in Margate


Georgia


Illinois

Double J Campground, Springfield


Louisiana

Paragon Casino RV Resort, Marksville


Massachusetts

Quaint, red clapboard church atop a grassy rise against a fall backdrop.

Pine Lake RV Resort & Cottages in Sturbridge, Massachusetts


Michigan


Minnesota


Mississippi

Biloxi Bay RV Resort and Marina, Biloxi


Missouri


Montana

Nugget RV Park, St Regis


Nevada

A dock overlooks a shimmering lake with a tower and house on the banks.

Lakeside Casino & RV Park, Pahrump, Nevada


New Mexico

Route 66 RV Resort, Albuquerque


New York


North Carolina


Ohio


Oklahoma


Oregon

Rectangular indoor swimming pool with floor-to-ceiling window.

Indoor swimming pool at Bay Point Landing in Coos Bay, Oregon


Pennsylvania

StonyBrook RV Resort, Lehighton


South Carolina

Boats moored on a shimmering harbor during dawn.

Boats moored near Hilton Head Harbor RV Resort & Marina, Hilton Head Island, South Carolina.

Hilton Head Harbor RV Resort & Marina, Hilton Head Island


South Dakota


Tennessee


Texas

A stone bridge crosses a calm creek and leads to an RV park.

Buckhorn Lake RV Resort, Kerrville, Texas.

Ridgeview RV Resort, Abilene Advanced RV Resort, Houston
Whistle Stop RV Resort, Abilene Katy Lake RV Resort, Katy
Oasis RV Resort, Amarillo Buckhorn Lake Resort, Kerrville
Shady Creek RV Park and Storage, Aubrey Fernbrook Park, Longview
Basin RV Resort-Bastrop, Bastrop Bentsen Palm Village RV Resort, Mission
Basin RV Resort, Belton Forest Retreat RV Park, New Caney
Bushman’s RV Park, Bullard Northlake Village RV Park, Roanoke
Alsatian RV Resort & Golf Club, Castroville Coffee Creek RV Resort & Cabins, Santo
Jamaica Beach RV Resort, Galveston Rayford Crossing RV Resort, The Woodlands
Shallow Creek RV Resort, Gladewater Oak Creek RV Park, Weatherford
San Jacinto Riverfront RV Park, Highlands

Utah


Vermont

Sugar Ridge RV Village & Campground, Danville


Virginia


Washington

White blossoms from a tree in the foreground; motorhome in background.

Horn Rapids RV Resort, Richland, Washington


Wisconsin


Canada


New Brunswick


Nova Scotia

Two wooden cabins under a blue sky amid evergreen trees.

Baddeck Cabot Trail Campground, Baddeck, Nova Scotia


Ontario


Quebec

Camping la Cle des Champs RV Resort, Saint-Philippe

John Sullaway

John Sullaway

John Sullaway has worked for years as a writer and editor for outdoor publications including RV Business, Highways and the Good Sam Campground and Coupon Guide. A SoCal native, John enjoys spending time with his family and two chihuahua mixes who think they’re pit bulls.

Source: Stay at a Perfectly Rated Good Sam Park

Top 10 U.S. Roadside Attractions

Top 10 U.S. Roadside Attractions

Roadside attractions are usually defined as some giant, green-spotted animal (dinosaurs, for the most part) you can see on Interstates. But roadside attractions are sometimes as-is: an attraction by a roadside that’s so eye-catching that you just have to stop and admire it. There are tons of these in the United States, and here we have compiled a list of the top 10 roadside attractions.

The Thing, Arizona

The Thing, Arizona a sign

Photo: Wikimedia Commons/C.G.P. Grey

Before arriving in Dragoon, Arizona, you’ll most likely see some “precautionary” signs along the way to alert you of the presence of The Thing. Made up of striped metal sheds, it houses a number of strange things. If you take the time to go inside, you’ll be welcomed by a nauseating surprise. Not only will you be confronted with gimmicky taste in patterns, but you can also get a little history fix as you trek the sidewalk. No spoilers here though, you can simply pass by and admire it. Mini spoiler: Rolls-Royce and mummies.

Monster with red eyes looms over speedway.

The Dover Monster. photo: Judson

Miles the Monster, Dover, DE

At the site of the Dover International Speedway in Dover, Delaware lives a massive rock monster with flame red eyes. While the speedway is less-than-scenic, posing with this 46-foot-tall car-crushing behemoth guarantees massive Instagram likes. It seems like it’s from The Thing and The Hulk’s same angular genetic branch. “It actually usually has legs,” says Joe Heller, the racetrack’s PR coordinator,  “but if it did, it could go up to 80 feet tall!” He does have a point there. They compromised by showing the monster’s upper half only.

World’s largest chest of drawers, North Carolina

In High Point, North Carolina, the “Home Furnishings Capital of the World,” on your way to one of the two major trade shows that open the town up twice a year, you’ll find the world’s largest chest of drawers. Two enormous socks dangle from a drawer, officially symbolizing “the city’s hosiery industry.” It’s right in the middle of a neighborhood full of houses,  so this roadside attraction really catches you off guard.

Hole N’ The Rock, Utah

Hole N The Rock monument near Moab, Utah

Hole N The Rock monument near Moab, Utah. Photo Credit: Getty Images, oscity

On the outskirts of the most well-known mountain biking capitals of the world, the Hole N’ the Rock is carved out of a signature Moab red rock. Albert Christensen hand-carved his luxurious suite of rooms out of a natural cliff face in the 1940s. This lasted for 12 years, and soon after he moved in with his wife Gladys. Inside this magnificent 5,000-square foot home are 14 rooms, with some being simple with the sheer rock-carving mania they required. There are other attractions that are no doubt inspired by Albert’s work, such as Gas Station-In-The-Rock in Hanksville, Bed and Breakfast-in-the-Rock in the Canyonlands area, and others.

Bishop Castle; Rye, CO

You wouldn’t think that private homes are roadside attractions, but this Bishop Castle in Rye, Colorado is obviously an exception. It is owned by Rye native Jim Bishop,  and this wood-and-stone castle has been continually built upon since 1969 when Bishop was 15.

Enchanted Highway, Regent, ND

The Enchanted Highway

Photo Credit: North Dakota Tourism

The Enchanted Highway is a 32-mile stretch of paved county highway between Regent and Gladstone, reaching I-94. made by metal sculptor and retired schoolteacher Gary Greff, he then created ten giant sculptures, one every few miles along Regency-Gladstone Road, paired with picnic areas and playground equipment.

The Farnham Fantasy Farm; Unger, WV

The Farnham Fantasy Farm (sometimes called Farnham Colossi) in Unger, West Virginia will truly be an Instagram-worthy spot that’ll fit your feed. It’s home to a collection of massive statues of men, ranging from Santa Claus to surfers, in addition to one solo bikini-clad gal.

UFO Welcome Center, Bowman, SC

Aliens are truly welcome in this roadside attraction at Bowman, South Carolina. It’s a UFO replica and scrap metal fence that’ll tug your heartstrings with this token of friendship to our outer space friends.

World’s Largest Garden Gnome; Kerhonkson, NY

If you thought gnomes are only guardians of little home gardens, you’ll have to reconsider. Here we have Gnome Chomsky, standing 13.5 feet tall over the area’s rolling green hills.

Grandfather Cuts Loose the Ponies; Vantage, WA

Don’t be too scared when you see more than a dozen horses riding along a hillside. They’re not coming for you. At least, not yet. Artist David Govedare installed these 15 life-size steel horses in 1990. It’s also a great spot to stop and have a picnic, hike the cliffs, or enjoy the scenic view of the Columbia River, so don’t mull over fear and explore this roadside attraction.

Source: Top 10 U.S. Roadside Attractions

6 Luxury RV Accessories To Upgrade Your Outdoor Adventures

6 Luxury RV Accessories To Upgrade Your Outdoor Adventures

Last Updated on January 10, 2022 by Christina

Luxury RVing in style

If an RV doesn’t sound like luxury accommodations, you haven’t seen RVs lately. With some simple additions and modifications, you can easily make your RV feel like your home away from home.  Space can be at a premium in most RVs, with basic essentials taking up most of the room. However, a few luxury RV accessories can improve your camping experience in an instant. From cooking tools to relaxation gadgets, General RV Center has compiled some of the top luxury RV accessories.

Add A Back-up Camera For Worry-Free Parking

Over the last century, there have been countless advancements in automotive safety, and one of the most critical has been the rear-facing backup camera. Becoming popular in new vehicles in the 2010s, the U.S. government made it mandatory in 2018 for all new vehicles sold in the country to come with a backup camera installed. Many newer motorized RVs come with backup cameras installed, but travel trailers, fifth wheels and older RVs can certainly benefit from the added safety the cameras provide.

Furrion Vision S Wireless Backup Camera System
Furrion Vision S Wireless RV Backup Camera System

The Furrion Vision S Wireless RV Backup Camera System features a waterproof camera with infrared night vision. A reliable digital wireless connection allows the camera and monitor to remain lag-free for up to 492 feet when parked, and 50 feet at high speeds. The 7-inch touchscreen, anti-glare monitor comes with park assist marker lines and displays a clear image for up to 4 cameras simultaneously. The Furrion Vision S Wireless RV Backup Camera System also provides security features, turning observation cameras into motion-detecting security cameras when your RV is stationary.

Upgrade Your RV Mattress For A Better Night’s Sleep

Hitting the road in an RV can be a great adventure. However, if you’re sleeping on an uncomfortable mattress, you could also be in for some great pain. Whether you’re traveling in your RV for a few days or a few months, finding an RV mattress that is comfortable and supportive is a must.  While the number of RV mattress options is limited, there are still plenty of great choices out there to consider.

Denver Mattress RV Luxe 2
RV Luxe 2 by Denver Mattresses

The RV Luxe 2 from Denver Mattresses features individually wrapped coils to give you the best support possible while keeping motion to a minimum. A layer of high quality latex foam provides cushioning support, while a layer of breathable serene foam ensures cooler comfort. The mattress is wrapped with a soft, luxurious fabric boasting antimicrobial properties. It’s topped with a luxurious quilted knit cover featuring advanced cooling technology for a comfortable night’s sleep. The RV Luxe 2 gives you all of the comfort of a luxury mattress while still being able to fit in your RV.

Boost Your RV’s Cellphone Signal

For those folks who live the RV lifestyle, there are some things that you come to expect. One of those things is spotty cellphone reception, or maybe no reception at all. To get to those beautiful, picturesque spots, you probably have to head on out to the boondocks. A quality cellphone signal booster can help counter the poor reception you will likely experience.

KING Extend cellphone booster
KING Extend LTE/Cell signal booster

The KING Extend boosts and extends personal LTE/Cell signal up to 32 times, providing greater coverage and speeds while supporting multiple users. This signal booster is ideal for RVers and all mobile adventurers looking for improved cellular connectivity. The KING Extend boosts voice and data range, works with all U.S. carriers, and does not require an extra monthly service. The LTE/Cell booster also comes with a versatile offering of mounting features with roof, pole, and ladder mount options all included. Powered by WeBoost, the KING Extend has been independently tested, delivers proven quality, and is trusted by first responders on the job.

Upgrade Your RV’s Shower Head

One of the first things replaced in many new RVs is the shower head. In some RV’s, the standard shower head you receive tends to lack in water conservation. This means more water out of the fresh tank and into the gray. It also means the hot water is gone in no time. Another common complaint about the typical RV shower head is that it’s flimsy. Standard RV shower heads rarely give the user the best experience possible.

Oxygenics BodySpa RV shower head
BodySpa RV Shower Head by Oxygenics

The BodySpa RV shower head from Oxygenics was designed with RV showers in mind. It uses cutting-edge pressure boosting technology that turns even the weakest water pressure into a strong and luxurious spray. At the same time, it uses less water than traditional showers so tanks last longer. A convenient SmartPause valve helps preserve water by quickly limiting water flow. It also includes a limited lifetime warranty against clogging or performance failures of any kind.

Stay Hydrated With An RV Water Filter

RVers can experience unknowns in their water supplies while on the road. An RV water filter serves many purposes, mainly giving RVers peace of mind when they drink water from their RV’s taps. There are two ways to get water in your RV: hook up to the local city or well water, or fill your fresh water tank at home. While you might think these are both safe options, some areas in the U.S. have dangerous water. You also need to consider your fresh water tank’s quality and cleanliness. If the tanks are not clean and sanitized properly, your water may present health hazards.

Camco TastePURE XL Water Filter
Camco’s 40019 TastePURE XL RV water filter

Camco’s 40019 TastePURE XL RV water filter provides two times the filtration and capacity as compared to standard water filters. It reduces bad taste, odor, chlorine and sediment in drinking water with a 20-micron sediment filter. The TastePURE XL water filter also features GAC (Granular Activated Carbon) filtration in combination with KDF to prevent undesirable bacteria growth when the filter is not is use.

Portable Grills Are Your Best Friend

When it comes to grills, bigger isn’t necessarily better. Small grills may have more limited cooking capacity but what they lack in grate space they make up for in portability. The best portable grills let you take your home cooking on the road. Knowing where you want to cook and what you want to cook is definitely a recipe for success. However, more goes into finding the best portable grill than just that.

Weber portable grill
Weber Q 2200 Gas Grill

There are few grills available today that have the same stellar reputation as the Weber Q 2200 Gas Grill. The 2-piece porcelain-enameled cast iron cooking grate covering 280 square inches that will easily sear several hot dogs and hamburger patties at once. The revolutionary Q-shaped stainless steel burner supplies consistent heat to every corner of the grill.

Ready to take your RV adventures to the next level? Let General RV help you discover the RV lifestyle. We offer a huge selection of new motorhomes, travel trailers and fifth wheels, as well as used RVs for sale. Need RV parts? We’ve got those, too. And our highly trained technicians can help with all your RV service needs. Visit our RV Virtual Showroom to start browsing now. Or find a General RV dealer near you. Whether you shop online or in store, our experts will help you camp with confidence.

Source: 6 Luxury RV Accessories To Upgrade Your Outdoor Adventures

The National Parks Service: A Brief History

The National Parks Service: A Brief History

The National Park Service, formerly known as the National Park System, grew in the century between 1872 and 1972 from a single, original public reservation called Yellowstone National Park to embrace almost 300 historical, cultural, recreational, and natural properties situated throughout the United States, its island possessions, and territories. The said properties have come to include increasingly diverse categories in 400 areas — not only National Parks, but also National Monuments, National Memorials, National Military Parks, and others. You may be wondering how this remarkable growth and diversification occurred. These areas now cover 84 million acres across all fifty states.

Castle Geyser erupting in Yellowstone in strong back light.

Castle Geyser erupting in Yellowstone. Credit: Getty Images, Riishede

This incredible story began with just one park that didn’t bring any revenue. The concept of the national park is largely credited to George Catlin, an American painter who, in 1832, traveled across the Great Plains to document disappearing native American tribes. According to Catlin, “A nation’s park, containing man and beast, in all the wild[ness] and freshness of their nature’s beauty!”

Decades later, his dream came true when a natural wonderland spanning Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho became the world’s first official national park. They called it the Big Yellowstone.

In California’s Yosemite Valley, controversy was brewing. John Muir believed that the state-managed areas were being exploited and lobbied congress for it to become a national park under full federal control. In 1903 Muir convinced President Theodore Roosevelt to join him on a camping trip in Yosemite. Three years later, the park was under full federal control. Roosevelt took swift action, making Wyoming’s Devil’s Tower the first national monument that year and establishing a tradition of a continued today.

Large creek with pine trees in Yosemite Valley

Yosemite Valley, turnout near Tunnel View. Credit: Unsplash, Bailey Zindel

On August 25, 1916, the National Park Service was created by President Woodrow Wilson to clear the bureaucratic mess. By 1933, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt further streamlined the executive order 6166 by consolidating the national parks, monuments, memorials, and cemeteries into a single national park system. Three decades later, President Johnson ushered in a new era of America’s conservation. This emphasizes the people’s ideology that sought more publicly accessible parks and urban areas. Since then the list of national parks has grown steadily. California has the most national parks with nine. While Alaska’s Wrangell-St. Elias National Park is by far the largest with 13 million+ acres. Can you even imagine America without its national parks? We sure can’t. From the rivers of grass in the Everglades to the volcanoes of Hawaii, this unique system reflects how far Americans have come in appreciating the natural world.

Erin Peters

Erin Peters

Erin Peters has over 20 years of marketing experience and has created and grown digital media departments at advertising agencies. Erin is also a renowned beer writer and judge, that has been enticing beer drinkers for over a decade through her blog, The Beer Goddess. As a long-time competitive swimmer, growing up on boats, she loves anything involving the water.

Source: The National Parks Service: A Brief History

How To Travel Full-time While Working Remote From Your RV

How To Travel Full-time While Working Remote From Your RV

Last Updated on January 6, 2022 by Christina

http://www.generalrv.com/

Over the last decade, RV sales have skyrocketed as more and more Americans choose to live and work wherever the road takes them. The prospect of buying an RV and living in it full-time is pretty enticing. So is working remotely. But is there any way to combine the two? Of course. With remote work opportunities becoming more common, working remotely from your RV is more possible now than in the past.

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we live and work. As companies adjusted to stay-at-home orders, it became clear that work isn’t always location-dependent. In fact, companies across the U.S. now embrace the idea of remote work. It has resulted in more and more people seeking answers on how to work remotely and travel at the same time.

Why RVs Are Becoming the New Office

http://www.generalrv.com/

Working from an RV isn’t a new concept, but it is becoming increasingly popular. RV technology and accessories make it possible for digital nomads to hunker down in remote locations and still stay connected. Full time and even part-time RVers have found ways to have jobs that allow the flexibility to work and travel simultaneously. With a stable internet connection, it’s possible to work from the road or even your own backyard.

How To Work On the Road In An RV Remote

http://www.generalrv.com/

Working from the road may not always be as glamorous as social media makes it seem, but once you establish a work-travel balance, you will discover that life as a digital nomad gets easier. Not every work situation is the same, but learning the secrets on how to work remotely and travel in your RV before beginning your journey will help make the transition from office to RV a little less bumpy.

Create Comfy Office Space Inside Your RV

http://www.generalrv.com/

Fantasies of Zoom meetings from the beach or working while nestled in the pine trees facing a mountain lake are not always realistic. Sun glare, bugs, and ever-changing weather conditions make it challenging to work outside for long periods. Here’s some helpful hints to creating a comfy workspace inside of your RV.

  • Set up your workspace somewhere other than the bed. Your body will thank you later.
  • Utilize a wireless Bluetooth keyboard and mouse.
  • Elevate your laptop or buy an external monitor to avoid long hours hunching over a small screen.
  • Think about light sources in your RV, and adjust your workspace to avoid glare.
  • Face the outdoors. If you can’t be outside, at least you can see it.
  • Decorate your RV with items and colors that make you happy. You want the inside space to feel as relaxing as your outside space.

Keep Your RV Workspace Organized

http://www.generalrv.com/

Organizing your RV office will help your workday run a little more smoothly. Your RV might be your working and living space, and organization is the key to finding harmony between the two worlds.

Are you easily distracted, or will you work alongside someone else in your RV? Consider noise-canceling headphones to help block out distractions.

Clean your space each time you sit down to work. Removing the clutter around you will also help to declutter your mind. You might need to organize your work area a few times a day.

Have a place to store your laptop, computer accessories, and other materials if you don’t have a dedicated desk. It’s easier to stay organized and keep your workday more structured when you can put work away once you’ve finished for the day.

Set Realistic Work and Travel Expectations

http://www.generalrv.com/

It can be hard to balance work, play, and travel time, especially for new RVers. Working long hours without structure directly conflicts with why you probably set out in the first place. Setting realistic work and travel expectations is the key to figuring out how to work remotely and travel.

Set aside dedicated travel days. Whether your travel days are long or short, most RVers will tell you travel days are exhausting.

Plan to stop driving before three in the afternoon. Arriving at a new place after dark is very difficult for RVers. Parking and setting up in unfamiliar areas at night can often be a recipe for frustration.

Do not expect to have a productive workday after driving more than a few hours. Planning to work after a long drive doesn’t work for most people.

Plan for dedicated workdays, even if those days fall on a weekend.

Allow time in your travel days for setting up or taking down your RV. Account for gas stops as well as time to dump or fill your tanks.

Stay in one place longer. If you work from the road, it’s easier to enjoy new areas when you stay put. Take time to explore and enjoy the places you go. You’ll make great memories along the way.

http://www.generalrv.com/

Add time in your schedule for sightseeing, hiking, and other outdoor activities. Some RVers find if they don’t schedule their free time, it doesn’t always happen.

Schedule some flex time in your work or travel days to allow for unexpected events such as mechanical emergencies or illnesses.

Use apps, club memberships, and other online tools to scout for safe or scenic places to stay.

Subscribe to the General RV Blog and check out more helpful advice to make RVing the relaxing, enjoyable experience it should be.

Source: How To Travel Full-time While Working Remote From Your RV

Explore Florida’s Untamed Coast in Levy County and Cedar Key

Explore Florida’s Untamed Coast in Levy County and Cedar Key

Levy County is an untamed slice of Florida’s Gulf Coast. Here, you’ll find rivers winding through lush forests and a profusion of wildlife that thrives in expansive public lands. After adventures on the mainland, head out to Cedar Key to savor a laid-back community that epitomizes “Old Florida.”

Cedar Key: Great for Snowbirding

Situated on Florida’s northwest coast, Levy County sits an hour west of Gainesville. U.S. Route 98, which runs parallel to the coast, connects many of the small towns in the region, including Chiefland and Crystal River. Those venturing out to the collection of islands known as the Cedar Keys will take Highway 24 west. The largest island is home to the small town of Cedar Key, with fewer than 1,000 residents. Snowbirds are attracted to this region’s mild winters, with lows rarely dipping below 50 degrees.

Untamed slice of Florida's Gulf Coast — Complex of piers on water.

The waterfront of Cedar Key. Getty Images

Florida Wildlife

Featuring a host of protected lands, the region is a prime location for hunting, fishing and wildlife watching. Cedar Key Scrub State Reserve and the Lower Suwannee National Wildlife Refuge entice hikers to explore salt marshes and grand cypress and oak trees. Nearby, the Waccasassa Bay Preserve State Park, accessible only by boat, is ideal for canoeing and kayaking in unspoiled landscapes. Keep an eye out for migratory birds, manatees, alligators and more. With both saltwater and freshwater fishing, anglers will find diverse habitats. Bicyclists won’t want to miss the Nature Coast State Trail, which includes 32 miles of a rail-to-trail conversion. The Gulf Hammock Wildlife Management Area offers more than 24,000 acres of hunting grounds that teem with whitetail deer and feral hogs.

The sun rises over a swampy area with channels.

Sunrise over Cedar Kay. Photo: Pat Bonish

Laid-back Living

While Florida is a tourist mecca, visitors to the Nature Coast come to escape the theme parks and crowded beaches. Here, life is a little more relaxed. Stroll the streets of Cedar Key to discover quaint restaurants, shops and art galleries. The beaches here remain unspoiled, and the diverse waterways entice kayakers, canoe enthusiasts and others.

A pelican looking wryly at camera with dockscape in background.

A Pelican at Cedar Key. Getty Images

Bird Watching

Cedar Keys National Wildlife Refuge preserves nesting grounds for migrating birds on the small islands that dot the waters off the coast. Inland, Fanning Springs and Manatee Springs state parks showcase warm, turquoise waters, which are favorite spots for swimming, diving, snorkeling and watching for the magical manatees, the so-called “sea cows” that visit during the chilly months.

a manatee stares at the camera

Face to face with a manatee. Photo: Pat Bonish

Florida Festivals

Come to Cedar Key for one-of-a-kind celebrations. In April, the Cedar Key Arts Festival brings a juried art show to town, with local artists displaying and selling their works. In October, the Cedar Key Seafood Festival recognizes the local seafood industry and offers up family fun and savory fares. Also, check out the Watermelon Festival in June, the Peanut Festival in October and Yankeetown-Inglis Seafood Festival in November.

A diver prepares to go under in an underground spring.

Devil’s Den. Photo: Pat Bonish

Devil’s Den

Go diving in an aquatic environment that time forgot in this untamed slice of Florida’s Gulf Coast. Devil’s Den is an underground spring with crystal-clear water that stays at 72 degrees year-round. Divers can see ancient rock formations and fossil beds from 33 million years ago. With a 120-foot diameter and maximum depth of 54 feet, Devil’s Den gives explorers an unforgettable underwater experience. Rent equipment for snorkeling and scuba diving.

Delicious Seafood

Discover fresh regional seafood, from farm-raised clams to oysters galore. Fine restaurants and seaside shacks serve up all kinds of seafood straight from the Gulf. Catch your own by joining a chartered fishing expedition or by finding a stretch of waters to toss in a line. The Suwannee River and Lake Rousseau are teeming with catfish, bass and more.

An airboat navigates a thin channel.

Airboat near Cedar Key. Photo: Pat Bonish

Airboat Adventures

Airboat excursions take visitors to the waters of Cedar Key for fishing, scalloping and sightseeing. Visitors can experience the grass flats of the area and witness amazing ecological diversity. Nothing beats the adrenaline rush of zooming across the water at high speed. Check the contact information below to find an airboat trip that’s right for you.

Dolphins cavorting off of a coast.

Dolphins in Cedar Key. Photo: Pat Bonish

Dolphin Spotting by Kayak

With a low profile that puts paddlers close to the surface of the water, kayaks give explorers a chance to get within touching distance of the surrounding flora and fauna. If you paddle in Cedar Key, you’ll have a good chance of seeing dolphins swimming and going about their business. If you don’t have your own kayak, several outfitters in town rent the vessels to visitors.

Window to the Past

Get an overview of Cedar Key’s history as a port city and railroad town with a visit to the Cedar Key Museum State Park. You can also learn about the Native Americans who once lived in the region and the town’s role in the Civil War. An expansive seashell collection and a restored farmstead round out the offerings. Housed in a building that dates to 1871, the Cedar Key Historical Society Museum is another pick for exploring the story of the area. Dedicated guides and a variety of artifacts bring the past to life. Those with an interest in military history will want to explore the Fort Fanning Historic Park. Located on the Suwannee River, this fort played a prominent role in the Second Seminole War.

For More Information

Levy County Visitors Bureau

877-387-5673

www.visitnaturecoast.com

Florida Tourism

888-735-2872

www.visitflorida.com

Source: Explore Florida’s Untamed Coast in Levy County and Cedar Key

January Regional Travel — Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions in These Southern States

January Regional Travel — Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions in These Southern States

author image

December 27, 2021

In January, many of us try to stick to the New Year’s resolutions we made the previous year. How many of us have the determination to see it through?

The following places might just inspire you to live up to the promises you made to yourself as the clock ticked down to 2022. If you resolved to get more exercise, take a jog on a sandy gulf beach or paddle a kayak along the coast of a barrier island. Was a better diet on your list of resolutions? Try a healthy fish-and-greens diet found at a seaside eatery.

Find a destination below and then book a stay at a nearby RV Park (click on the links for more information).

Alabama’s small but beautiful stretch of Gulf Coast entices beachcombers to explore sugar-white sands.

Walk Beautiful Bon Secour

Take a walk and burn off calories in one of the South’s most beautiful sanctuaries. Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge has six miles of trails that lead through maritime forests and wetlands bursting with colorful flowers. Make sure you walk on the banks of Little River Lagoon Lake and Gator Lake, whose clear surfaces reflect clear southern skies.

—Sunset over Mobile Bay on the Alabama Gulf CoastAfterward, enjoy a healthy seafood meal at DeSoto’s Seafood Kitchen in Gulf Shores. Try the steamed snow crab legs and flounder almondine to keep things simple. In Foley, Portabella’s serves classic Italian food along with abundant salads.

Kayak Near Mobile

Grab a paddle for a kayaking and canoeing workout. Follow the Bartram Canoe Trail from the center, exploring the Mobile-Tenslaw Delta, which is the nation’s second-largest river delta. Visitors can discover rivers, streams, lakes, sloughs and bayous found throughout the Delta. Spend evenings camping on raised platforms while exploring over 170 miles of waterways.

Off the coast, Dauphin Island thrills cyclists with trails that wind throughout the resort community. Take the 3.4-mile bike path that connects historic Fort Gaines on the eastern tip to Public Beach on the island’s west end. The trail takes cyclists to some of the island’s favorite attractions, including the Audubon Bird Sanctuary and the Estuary, the public aquarium with exhibits devoted to the diverse ecosystems of coastal Alabama.

Choose from the following Alabama RV parks:

Lake Osprey RV Resort, Elberta

Ahoy RV Resort, Foley

Man and woman kayaking

Florida Keys. Getty Images

Visitors will find plenty of elbow room on Florida beaches. Indulge in kayaking, cycling or simple beachcombing on this visit (the fishing’s not bad, either).

Launch Kayaks and Wear Diving Gear in the Florida Keys

The Florida Keys stretch 125 miles from the south of Miami to legendary Key West. Many travelers can’t wait to hoist a tropical drink at one of the Key West bars frequented by Ernest Hemingway, but slow your roll and enjoy some of the islands in between that are connected by the Overseas Highway. For kayakers, nothing beats Marathon, where paddlers can follow mangrove tunnels just wide enough for kayakers. Several tours lead kayakers through this environment, giving voyagers glimpses of vibrant plant and animal life.

Prefer kayaking out in the open? Closer to the mainland, John Pennekamp Park on Key Largo is home to miles of channels that lead paddlers to view of osprey, herons, egrets and more. Below the surface, explorers will glimpse stingrays and other local creatures. For those who prefer going below the surface, the park hosts several diving tours to some of the most dynamic coral reef environments on the planet. Snorkelers also will find places to dive.

A lone island in a city harbor

Tampa Bay. Getty Images

Go Beachcombing in Fort Myers, Tampa and Other Gulf Coast Gems

Fort Myers’ long, sweeping beaches are the stuff of legend. On Estero Island, Fort Myers Beach encompasses seven miles of white sand with lots of recreation opportunities. Take a bike ride or hike through Lovers Key State Park, with trails that wind through broadleaf forest and hammocks and onto the beach. You might catch a few of manatees and dolphins. Check out the Discover Center, with exhibits explaining the diverse ecosystem.

Up the coast, Tampa Bay bustles with breweries, cultural activities and outdoor fun. At the Getaway tiki bar, patrons can choose between flavorful tropical drinks or paddleboarding: The onsite Urban Kai offers self-guided trips to the bay via kayaks, canoes or paddleboards. From here, paddles can journey to Weedon Island Preserve. Explore the protected mangroves and sandbars, which forms. 3,000-acre labyrinth. On Florida’s Panhandle, Pensacola hosts a slew of hiking and biking trails. And when it comes to fishing, you can reel in your own dinner on a charter off the coast.

Choose from the following Florida RV parks:

Travelers Campground, Alachua Avalon Landing RV Park, Milton
Craig’s RV Park, Arcadia Splash! RV Resort & Waterpark, Milton
Bonita Terra, Bonita Springs Northtide Naples RV Resort, Naples
Belle Parc RV Resort, Brooksville The Tides RV Resort, Palmetto
Breezy Oaks RV Park, Bushnell Pensacola RV Park, Pensacola
Orange Lake RV Resort, Citra Sun N Shade RV Resort, Punta Gorda
Twin Lakes Camp Resort, Defuniak Springs Ocala North RV Resort, Reddick
Camping on the Gulf, Destin Vero Beach Kamp, Sebastian
Beverly Beach Camptown RV Resort, Flagler Beach Outback RV Resort At Tanglewood, Sebring
Paradise Island RV Resort, Fort Lauderdale North Beach Camp Resort, St Augustine
Upriver RV Resort, Fort Myers Stagecoach RV Park, St Augustine
Road Runner Travel Resort, Fort Pierce Sunkissed Village RV Resort, Summerfield
Boardwalk RV Resort, Homestead Tallahassee RV Park, Tallahassee
Boyd’s Key West Campground, Key West Bay Bayou RV Resort, Tampa
Keystone Heights RV Resort, Keystone Heights Fisherman’s Cove Golf & RV Resort, Tavares
Whisper Creek RV Resort, LaBelle The Great Outdoors RV Nature & Golf Resort, Titusville
Lake City RV Resort, Lake City Quail Run RV Resort, Wesley Chapel
Lake Pan RV Village, Lake Panasoffkee Wildwood RV Village, Wildwood
Sanlan RV & Golf Resort, Lakeland Williston Crossings RV Resort, Williston
Yankee Traveler RV Park, Largo
Jolly Roger RV Resort, Marathon
Florida Caverns RV Resort, Marianna

Elegant fountain in a park square

Fountain in Savannah’s Forsyth Park in the Historic District. Getty Images

The Peach State welcomes travelers with modern cities and relaxing towns that echo the Old South.

Roam Tybee Island and Savannah

Located 18 miles east of Savannah, Tybee Island consistently ranks among the top East Coast beach destinations. Tybee Island boasts a scenic trail that circles the island that you can walk or bike. If you bring your kayak, or need to rent one, you can paddle on some of Georgia’s most unspoiled waterways. Stand-up paddleboarding is another popular pastime. You can take your personal watercraft out on the Savannah River or just go for a swim. Maybe you want to do some deep-sea fishing or dolphin watching as well. Back in Savannah, take a carefree stroll in one of the city’s historic squares and enjoy world-class dining.

Explore Atlanta and Stone Mountain

East of Atlanta, Stone Mountain Park occupies 3,200 acres and 15 miles of trails that connect a wide variety of attractions. When you’re not working up a sweat, enjoy attractions like the Summit Skyride, 4D Theater, Geyser Towers and Sky Hike. The centerpiece of the attraction is the giant granite rock — the largest mass of exposed granite in the world — which is five miles in circumference at its base.

A pair of sightseers looking out over a forest as tram slides by.

A pair of tourists on Stone Mountain. Photo: Stone Mountain Park Campground

Back in Atlanta, visitors can stroll Olympic Park’s mountain biking and hiking trails. Reward yourself with a meal at a top restaurant on Peachtree Street, the city’s popular stretch of hip bars and eateries.

Choose From the following Georgia RV parks:

Coastal Georgia RV Resort, Brunswick Waterside at Blue Ridge Tiny Home, Morganton
Southern Retreat RV Park, Brunswick Hawkins Pointe Park, Store & More, Rossville
Allatoona Landing Marine Resort, Cartersville Red Gate Campground & RV Park, Savannah
Cecil Bay RV Park, Cecil Savannah Oaks RV Resort, Savannah
Lake Pines RV Park & Campground, Columbus Stone Mountain Park Campground, Stone Mountain
Jekyll Island Campground, Jekyll Island River’s End Campground, Tybee Island
Scenic Mountain RV Park & Campground, Milledgeville Southern Trails RV Resort, Unadilla

Beach with a few umberellas

Beach on the Alabama Gulf Coast. Getty Images

A day at the beach means choosing a spot along 62 miles of scenic shoreline — plenty of room for swimming, sunbathing or hunting for seashells. Work up a sweat at Buccaneer State Park in Waveland, with a 4.5-acre water park, an 18-hole disc golf course and the Pirate’s Nature Alley Trail.

In Gulfport, the Center for Marine Education & Research — also known as The Institute for Marine Mammal Studies  — provides a learning experience about marine life in the area. A visit to the Maritime & Seafood Industry Museum is the place to learn more about the Gulf Coast’s history and heritage.

Choose From the following Mississippi RV parks:

City skyline with lush green field and stream in foreground.

Downtown Dallas. Getty Images

Do Dallas and Fort Worth

White Rock Lake features a scenic park with 9 miles of running, biking and walking trails. Originally built as a reservoir to supply Dallas with water, it’s become an outdoor oasis, where flatwater paddling and kayaking are commonplace. This tranquil body of water serves up excellent skyline views and supports over 200 bird species, including herons and egrets. It’s regularly stocked with largemouth bass, too, so don’t forget to bring your rod.

Get Outdoors in Houston

The fourth-largest city in America, Houston has risen to become a top Texas destination. Explore the city and its beautiful surroundings.

The most stunning views of the Houston skyline can be found along the waters of Buffalo Bayou. While you can see the skyline along the bayou’s pathways, one of the coolest Houston outdoor activities is renting a kayak and paddling through Buffalo Bayou. Extending a whole 53 miles through Houston, there’s plenty of space in the bayou to go kayaking for just an hour or an entire day!

Stay at the following Texas RV parks:

Whistle Stop RV Resort, Abilene Loyd Park Camping Cabins & Lodge, Grand Prairie
Fort Amarillo RV Resort, Amarillo Traders Village RV Park, Grand Prairie
Oasis RV Resort, Amarillo The Vineyards Campground & Cabins, Grapevine
Shady Creek RV Park and Storage, Aubrey Traders Village RV Park, Houston
Oak Forest RV Resort, Austin Katy Lake RV Resort, Katy
Summer Breeze USA Katy, Brookshire Buckhorn Lake Resort, Kerrville
Hardy’s Resort, Bryan Colorado Landing RV Park, La Grange
Hidden Creek RV Resort, Bryan Stay A While RV Park, Murchison
Bushman’s RV Park, Bullard Island RV Resort, Port Aransas
Mill Creek Ranch Resort, Canton Sea Breeze RV Community Resort, Portland
Parkview Riverside RV Park, Concan Northlake Village RV Park, Roanoke
Colonia Del Rey RV Park, Corpus Christi Bar J Hitchin Post RV, Sweetwater
Jamaica Beach RV Resort, Galveston Bluebonnet Ridge RV Park & Cottages, Terrell
Lakeshore RV Resort, Garland Rayford Crossing RV Resort, The Woodlands
Shallow Creek RV Resort, Gladewater

Good Sam Camping

Good Sam Camping

Good Sam provides everything you need to have a good trip. From savings on accessories and services to finding a campground, roadside assistance, insurance and specialized products and services designed to enhance RV and outdoor lifestyle.

Source: January Regional Travel — Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions in These Southern States

6 Ways to Spend Winter in the Southwest

6 Ways to Spend Winter in the Southwest

author image

December 21, 2021

Discover how the Southwest does the holidays. You’ll find an accommodating RV park ready to help you make your winter dreams come true.


Southern Arizona

Hike and Bike in Mesa

Located east of Phoenix, Mesa has more than 300 days of sunshine a year and scenic grandeur from every vantage point. It’s no wonder that recreational opportunities abound in these parts. Mesa connects with hundreds of miles of superb hiking, biking and horseback riding trails ranging in length and level of difficulty. Usery Mountain Regional Park is woven with over 29 miles of trails, including the 1.6-mile Wind Cave Trail that delivers breathtaking mountain views without the need for challenging elevation spikes. The more strenuous 7.1-mile Pass Mountain Trail satisfies hikers looking to feel the burn and escape the (relative) crowds. The small nature center at the park’s entrance has a clutch of exhibits devoted to flora and fauna of the Sonoran Desert.

Southwest does the Holidays Bridge over a river at sunset.

Yuma’s Ocean to Ocean Bridge. Getty Images

Go Fish Around Yuma

Yuma’s proximity to the Colorado River and several lakes makes it a great destination for boaters and water-loving adventurers. On the Arizona side of Imperial Dam, Martinez Lake gives visitors a chance to go kayaking, canoeing or fishing by boat. On a hot day, you can relax and enjoy a lazy ride down the Colorado River on an inner tube for as little as an hour, or as long as three hours, depending on where you launch. Largemouth, smallmouth and striped bass make their homes in many of the hidden lakes and water channels created when the dam was constructed. Drop a line in Squaw Lake or Ferguson Lake, or in the Colorado River channel.  Board a paddleboat sternwheeler for a chance to see the landscape slide by as you travel down the river.

Stay here during your Arizona visit:

Arizonian RV Resort, Apache Junction Towerpoint Resort, Mesa
Campground USA RV Resort, Apache Junction Val Vista Village RV Resort, Mesa
Sunrise RV Resort, Apache Junction Valle Del Oro RV Resort, Mesa
Superstition Sunrise RV Resort, Apache Junction Western Acres, Mesa
Weaver’s Needle RV Resort, Apache Junction Picacho Peak RV Resort, Picacho
Casa Grande RV Resort & Cottages, Casa Grande Crazy Horse RV Campgrounds, Tucson
Canyon Vistas RV Resort, Gold Canyon Far Horizons RV Resort, Tucson
Gold Canyon RV & Golf Resort, Gold Canyon Rincon Country West RV Resort, Tucson
Apache Wells RV Resort, Mesa Del Pueblo RV Resort, Yuma
Good Life RV Resort, Mesa Fortuna de Oro RV Resort, Yuma
Mesa Regal RV Resort, Mesa Sundance RV Resort, Yuma
Sun Life RV Resort, Mesa Villa Alameda RV Resort, Yuma

Southern California

Golf in Palm Springs

Located about 100 miles east of Los Angeles, Palm Springs has grown to become one of Southern California’s favorite desert playgrounds. five-star restaurants, upscale shopping and hiking are favorite pastimes, but few local diversions match the area’s golf offerings. Enjoy a cool desert morning at one of Palm Springs’ verdant golf courses, where seasonal rates and public accessibility invite players to tee off amid desert splendor year-round. Choose from 18 or 27 holes on courses designed by masters like John Fought and Gary Player.

A kayaker in Pismo Beach

Kayaking in the caves around Pismo Beach. SLO-CAL

Paddle a Kayak in Pismo

The coastal cliffs on the Pacific Ocean near San Luis Obispo County’s Pismo beach are riddled with caves and rock arches. And kayaks, with their maneuverability and nimble size, are perfect for subterranean exploration on the water. Join a tour to explore grottoes, kelp forests and arches and protected coves. Dinosaur Caves will dazzle you with soaring rock formations and currents surging between rock walls.

Stay here during your California visit:

Catalina Spa and RV Resort, Desert Hot Springs Campland On the Bay, San Diego
Sam’s Family Spa, Desert Hot Springs Mission Bay RV Resort, San Diego
Indian Waters RV Resort & Cottages, Indio Bonelli Bluffs RV Resort & Campground, San Dimas
Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort & Marina, Newport Beach Santee Lakes Recreation Preserve, Santee
Pala Casino RV Resort, Pala Pechanga RV Resort, Temecula
Fairplex RV Park, Pomona Olive Avenue RV Resort, Vista

Nevada

Put Pedal to the Metal in Pahrump

Ready to release your inner Speed Racer? About 60 miles west of Las Vegas, the Spring Mountain Motorsports Ranch in Pahrump allows would-be racers to put high-powered sports cars through their paces. The track is home to the Ron Fellows Performance Driving School, where motorists of all experience levels can get behind the wheel of a Corvette and learn about advanced cornering techniques, open-lapping and progressive car control exercises. Navigate banked curves and tight corners like a racing pro.

Corvette read to hit trzack.

Chris Moran/TravelNevada

See the Strip in Vegas

Las Vegas has a vibe all its own. Take a daytime stroll down the main touristy thoroughfare known as The Strip and you’re likely to see all sorts of people, from partying college kids carrying to-go cups full of fruity, boozy concoctions to families taking in the sights. There are always plenty of costumed street performers, too, which makes it feel a bit like a grown-up Disneyland at times. When night falls, things tend to get a bit rowdier, but despite its seedy reputation, Vegas is a relatively safe place, with heavy surveillance and a lot of security, owing largely to the myriad casinos here.

Stay here during your Nevada visit:

John Sullaway

John Sullaway

John Sullaway has worked for years as a writer and editor for outdoor publications including RV Business, Highways and the Good Sam Campground and Coupon Guide. A SoCal native, John enjoys spending time with his family and two chihuahua mixes who think they’re pit bulls.

Source: 6 Ways to Spend Winter in the Southwest

Plan Ahead With Our Regional Travel Calendar for 2022

Plan Ahead With Our Regional Travel Calendar for 2022

We’ve found an RV travel region for every season in the U.S. and Canada. Look at the travel calendar below and find a fun-filled destination during your favorite seasons.

Check out the attractions in each of our monthly regions, then choose an RV park for your stay.


Calendar Graphic

January — Southeast States

Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, Texas

Stick to your New Year’s resolutions at these sunny snowbird spots.


Calendar Graphic

February — Southern States

North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee

Fall in love with RV travel in the Southern States.

Elegant estate-type building at the edge of meticulously mowed lawn

The Biltmore. Photo: Stephanie Klepacki


Calendar GraphicMarch

Northern Arizona, Northern California, Colorado, New Mexico, Utah

Take a spring break on your own terms in the Western United States.


Calendar Graphic

April

Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma

Stop and smell the blooms in these South Central locations.

Field of sunflowers during sunset.

Kansas sunflower field. Getty Images


Calendar Graphic

May

Kentucky, Virginia

Savor the best barbecue in the world in the Southern Appalachian states.


Calendar Graphic

June

Alaska, Alberta, British Columbia, Ontario

Extend your daylight fun in these northern destinations.


Calendar Graphic

July

Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington, Wyoming

Embrace your travel independence in the Northwest.

Loan hiker crossing a rope bridge

Capilano Bridge. Getty Images


Calendar Graphic

August

Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota, Wisconsin

Stay cool in these Midwest water recreation hotspots.


Calendar Graphic

September

Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio

Finish up the summer season in a big way in the Midwest.


Calendar Graphic

October  — Mid-Atlantic States

Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania

Fall colors blaze in these Mid-Atlantic cities and forests.

Lake fringed by golden trees.

Autumn on Lake George in Upstate New York. Getty Images


Calendar Graphic

November — Northeast States

Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire

Give thanks for RV travel in New England.


Calendar Graphic

December — Southwest States

Southern Arizona, Southern California, Nevada

Celebrate the season in the Southwest.

Cactus bedecked with holiday lights.

Christmas lights on cacti. Getty Images

Source: Plan Ahead With Our Regional Travel Calendar for 2022

Take a Winter Walk On a Guided Snowshoe Adventure

Take a Winter Walk On a Guided Snowshoe Adventure

When you get settled into your winter RV camping destination this year, naturally you’ll start looking around for things to do. Hiking isn’t easy with a foot of snow on the ground, so here are five guided snowshoe adventures to check out this winter. 

As the saying goes, “If you can walk, you can snowshoe!” So don’t be discouraged if you’ve never tried it before. Most of these companies specialize in teaching beginners the basics of snowshoeing and winter trail etiquette. 

PS Not all of these wintery locations will have a year-round Good Sam RV park nearby, but we’ve included a few options for you at the end of this article.

Guided Snowshoe Adventures

Most companies that offer snowshoe adventures will rent you the snowshoes and poles. Still, you’ll need a good pair of winter camping and hiking boots. Also, make sure you consult the tour company’s website for a full list of what to bring for your snowshoe adventure. 

Male and Female Caucasian Adult Hikers Snowshoeing Together on a Groomed Path Outdoors in the Snow

Snowshoe hiking in Colorado. Getty Images

Breckenridge Nordic Center

Snowshoe adventures at the Breckenridge Nordic Center are great for all ages and you don’t need any snowshoeing experience to enjoy them. Their adventures last 1.25 hours and offer a great way to explore Breckenridge and the surrounding mountains. 

Their guides will also teach you about the history of the small mountain town and can answer many of your questions about the area’s winter inhabitants. Yes, we mean both humans and native wildlife. 

They also offer guided snowshoe adventures for larger groups and their marked trails are open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily if you’re interested in a self-guided adventure. Tours come with a complimentary trail pass and are available seven days a week.

Tahoe Adventure Company

A pair of snowshoes planted in the ground.

Snowshoeing near the edge of Lake Tahoe. Getty Images

Exploring the High Sierras on one of Tahoe Adventure Company’s guided snowshoe tours is a great way to exercise while the rest of the family hits the ski slopes. This company is locally owned and operated and their guides have tons of information about local history, flora and fauna. 

Their tours run from several different locations, but the infamous Donner Summit is one of the most popular starting points. From here, you can hike up to a ridgeline with exceptional views of Donner Lake and the valley that is home to the small mountain town of Truckee, California. 

Regular tours last approximately four hours and cover two to five miles. They’re available seven days a week and prices start at $90 per person. They also offer sunset and full moon snowshoe tours on set dates throughout the winter. 

Taos Snowshoe Adventures

Lone Snowshoer crosses a meadow covered in powder.

Getty Images

Taos Snowshoe Adventures is the right company to call upon if you want to explore New Mexico’s wintery backcountry. They offer half-day and full-day tours, as well as backcountry trips, full-moon snowshoe hikes and even overnight yurt trips

If your family is looking for something even shorter, you can explore the Sangre de Cristo Mountains on their Learn to Snowshoe hike. Because winter recreation at high altitudes can present some challenges, all of their adventures are customized to meet your group’s preferences.  

Also, for all tour participants, they offer a convenient gear list that will help you arrive prepared for your adventure. Their prices start at $59 per adult for their introductory two-hour tour and then go up from there depending on the adventure you’re looking for.

Smugglers’ Notch Vermont Snowshoe Adventures

Snowshoe walker standing at the top mountain taking in the view.

Getty Images

If you’re in the northeast this winter, you should check out the snowshoe adventures at Smugglers’ Notch in Vermont. “America’s Family Resort” offers a lot in the way of winter sports, so there’s something for the whole family here. 

Their snowshoe adventures utilize the resort’s Nordic skiing trails, which offer plenty of space for snowshoers and the cross-country skiing crowd. Weather permitting, these tours are available annually from December 10 through April 10. 

Their offerings include lessons and tours designed for all skill levels and they also offer special programs for families. For the rugged adventurers out there, you can also contact them to design your own customized snowshoe adventure. 

All Seasons Snowshoeing Adventures

Pair of Snowshoe Walkers in this powder.

Getty Images

Heading back to the west, All Seasons Snowshoeing Adventures is based in Park City, Utah. The Uinta Mountains are one of Utah’s great winter wonderlands and this company offers a variety of adventures for snowshoers ages four and up. 

Tour routes can be customized for a leisurely stroll, an aerobic mountain climb or anything in between. Durations range from one to five hours and tours run from December through March, depending on the weather and snowpack. 

Typically, tours consist of groups of two to five people, but they also offer private tours for larger groups. For some tours, you can even arrange for a guide to pick your group up and bring you right to the trailhead. From there, you’ll pack up water, snacks and first aid supplies before strapping snowshoes on and hitting the trail. 

Year-Round Good Sam RV Parks

If you’re looking for a place to park your RV close to one of these adventures, here are a few options to consider: 

Grand Sierra Resort and Casino RV Park

If you’re heading to Tahoe to snowshoe with Tahoe Adventure Company, staying at the Grand Sierra RV Park is a great choice. It’s about 45 minutes from several of the company’s tour destinations while being far enough off the hill for you to avoid dangerous winter road conditions. 

Snow covers the rooftops of adobe buildings

Santa Fe, New Mexico, during winter. Getty Images

Rancheros de Santa Fe Campground

For those of you interested in heading up to Taos for a snowshoe adventure, staying at the Rancheros de Santa Fe Campground is one of your closest options to that small mountain town. It offers multiple back-in RV sites with full hookups through the winter, but the availability of water can be dependent on weather. 

Dakota Ridge RV Resort

Anyone looking to explore the Rockies for their guided snowshoe adventure should check out Dakota Ridge in Golden, Colorado. It’s a great spot to set up your adventure sports basecamp and then enjoy snowshoeing, skiing, and other winter sports in the mountains above. 

Steps to Fun

Snowshoeing is a great way to get exercise between big holiday meals and quality time with family. We hope you take advantage of one of these guided snowshoe adventures to check out this winter!

Source: Take a Winter Walk On a Guided Snowshoe Adventure

Welcome to Lake Pines: A Family-Centered Retreat in Georgia

Welcome to Lake Pines: A Family-Centered Retreat in Georgia

Situated on 20 acres of pine forest, Lake Pines RV Park & Campground welcomes visitors with a family-centered retreat away from the busy world in Columbus, Georgia, since 1967.

Lake Pines RV Park & Campground offers full-service hookups, dump station, propane, 30- and 50-amp service and many more amenities to make your stay enjoyable and comfortable.

In 1967, Ralph and Jean Gilbert opened up 20 acres of land to their camping club and other camping enthusiasts, creating a nature lover’s paradise. Fifty years later, Lakes Pines Campground and Event Center has become more than just a campsite shared among friends — it has grown into a legacy for generations of outdoor enthusiasts to love.

RVs parked in a woodsy campground.

Lake Pines RV Park & Campground

With just a short drive, you can visit the many beautiful outdoor attractions the area has to offer. Guests can choose from whitewater rafting the Chattahoochee River, hiking Pine Mountains’ 23 miles of trails, visiting the state-of-the-art National Infantry Museum or ziplining from Georgia to Alabama, 1,200 feet of exhilaration.

RVs camped amid lush green trees in neat RV park

Lake Pines RV Park & Campground

Lake Pines also is home to its own Event Center. Whatever the occasion, the Lake Pines Event Center can host your event. Management has transformed the hay barn into the perfect stage to host a wedding, a corporate or private event. From the tack room leather and antique stone fireplace to the drop lights strung from the ceiling that twinkle like a sky full of stars against the stained-glass windows, each carefully considered element gives the barn an old-world feeling with a modern touch for your event.

Wooden Christian chapel behind white picket fence.

Chapel at Lake Pines RV Park & Campground Wedding Chapel.

In 1997, Lake Pines’ wedding chapel was completed, offering brides the opportunity to be married indoors or outdoors on site. The wedding chapel is a perfect blend of old and new. The old church steeple is from Hiawassee, pews from Whitewater Baptist Church in Oglethorpe and wainscoting from an old post office in Charing. Each piece was rescued from the debris and refurbished to craft a building as beautiful as the stories that are now created within it.

The most recent addition to Lake Pines Event Center has been the Lillie House, an early 19th-century shotgun-style house. The Lillie House boasts architectural pieces from across the state, such as the majestic Corinthian columns from Columbus’ original antebellum courthouse. This picturesque house, with a capacity of 45 (seated) to 80, is the perfect setting for bridal luncheons, showers, teas and especially wedding day preparations.

Lake Pines RV Park & Campground has so much to offer as a family camping destination. Enjoy our swimming pool, catch-and-release fishing, hiking trails and lots of choices for planning a wedding or special occasion. The only decision you have to make now is when you want to visit. Call 706-561-9675 or go online lakepines.net to book.

Discover more about the Columbus area here.

Source: Welcome to Lake Pines: A Family-Centered Retreat in Georgia

The Travel Guide to Ice Fishing in Upstate New York

The Travel Guide to Ice Fishing in Upstate New York

When it comes to bagging great winter bass, trout, and panfish, it’s hard to beat ice fishing in Upstate New York. We’ve had a few warm seasons in the northeast and I’ll tell you what, the people around here are itching like never before to get out on the ice.

I’m neither a scientist nor a politician, but it seems like some form of climate change is impacting the way we fish in the northeast. It’s been trending in that direction for many years now. I can remember when I was nine or ten years old, there was no questioning whether or not the ice was thick enough to walk on. If it was December or January, it was thick enough and we all knew it without even measuring.

Two men walking on a frozen lake bed near parked pickup trucks.

Photo: Flyrtk/Pixabay

In fact, the ice used to be so thick that we actually had to put extensions onto the augers to get through the ice. We’d plant our makeshift shelters out there and pretty much leave them there for the entire season until late February or early March, when everything started to thaw out. This isn’t the occasion anymore.

Nonetheless, ice fishing is still a hot topic in upstate New York, and there is no shortage of fishing opportunities, whether you’re fishing the hard water or not. Of course, the list goes on and on about the places you could fish, but here are a few of my favorites as well as some tips and tricks I’ve learned over the years.

5 Best New York Lakes for Ice Fishing

Here are some of my favorite upstate New York ice fishing lakes:

1. Lake Champlain

Anglers come here for walleye, perch, trout and a variety of panfish. There’s also smelt here and, according to a lot of the locals, this is the only lake you can fish and actually find decent sizes. Most people would consider smelt to be a baitfish, but if you can manage to pull one in of solid size, they’re actually quite tasty. Plus, because of the sheer number of them, there isn’t a daily limit on the lake, so you can fish all you want.

Ice fishing shanties sit in the distance on a frozen lake.

Lake Champlain. Photo: Getty Images

You’re free to fish most of the lake, with the exception of Malletts Bay and Missisquoi Bay in Vermont. There are also special border regulations, so be sure to inform yourself of all your Ps and Qs before dropping a jig.

You can use up to 15 tip-ups and two lines and you’re limited to 50 perch and sunfish per day. Access the lake from Route 87 and 22, and you’ll find a wide assortment of parks and boat launches with parking. Ticonderoga off 74 is a popular spot and you can also launch at Port Douglas off 16.

In the case of ice fishing (which I assume is why you’re here), the lake is pretty much wide open and when the ice is thick enough, you’re free to drive on it with ATVs and other all-terrain vehicles to pull your sleds out to the holes.

2. Saratoga Lake

A lone angler sits on the ice with a line dangling through frozen lake surface.

Getty Images

Ice fishing. Saratoga Lake in the Springs is open for ice fishing and people come here to catch a wide variety of fish, including walleye, northern pike, yellow perch, chain pickerel and plenty of panfish. It’s important to mention that Saratoga does fall under the “special regulations” of New York State, so there’s a little more red tape to cut through.

Saratoga falls into a unique category of protected waters. I could sit here all day and tell you about every little rule and regulation, but it would take too long. Here’s the special regulations guide. There are specific seasons, even within the ice fishing season, where you’re allowed to keep certain species. If all of this red tape is a little too much for you to swallow, I understand, but let me tell you that once you figure it out, the fishing here is great. It’s not as bad as you think.

A hand pulls a gaping bass out of a hole in the ice.

Winter bass. Getty Images

Anyway, it’s a 3,762-acre lake with 12 miles of shoreline and an average depth of 25 feet. You can access the boat launch off U.S. Route 9 and they do charge a fee to launch here. Of course, ice fishing doesn’t require that and you’re free to roam about the ice with your all-terrain vehicle, thickness permitting. The lake gets stocked each year with walleye, so it’s really a great destination for ice anglers.

3. Fourth Lake

A man with augers on the ice of a frozen lake during sunrise.

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Here we have a 2,137-acre lake with an average depth of 33.5 feet. It spans through a few towns and a couple of counties and serves as one of the state’s most popular ice fishing destinations. If you’re looking for a place where you can have the whole lake to yourself, I wouldn’t recommend Fourth Lake. That said, you’ll find a wide variety of species here, with smelt being a popular target.

Take the shallower parts of the lake and you can hook yellow perch, bass, northern pike and musky. Ice fishing is permitted here with special regulations as well, so you’ll want to read up on those if you plan on keeping anything to keep yourself out of trouble. According to the locals, jigging grubs is a popular option here, whether you’re fishing for smelt or panfish. You can best access the lake off State Route 28 and take it north to Inlet.

4. Oneida Lake

A wheeled shack on the ice with

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Travel 10 miles north of Syracuse and you’ll find Oneida Lake. Occupying 50,894 acres, Oneida is the largest lake entirely within New York State with an average depth of 22 feet. It has more than 77 miles of shoreline and is open to ice fishing whenever the ice thickness permits. It’s best known for its dense population of yellow perch and walleye and this is because it’s stocked each year. In fact, the lake actually hosts a variety of professional fishing tournaments like Bassmaster, making it one of the more popular bass angling destinations in the country.

There are many access points, with many of them being in Oswego County. You can access the lake via the Cleveland Dock off route 49, Taft Bay and Three Mile Bay, all off State Route 49. There’s access off Interstate 81 as well near the cross of 81 and Swamp Road. There’s plenty of parking here and a variety of shore fishing opportunities if the ice isn’t ready.

5. Cayuga Lake

Person sitting on a bucket, ice fishing on a frozen lake in the middle of winter. Wisconsin pastime

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If you’re looking for an exciting place to fish, Cayuga Lake is that. It’s the largest finger lake and over 400 feet deep, so it never really freezes over except a small four-mile span at the north section of the lake. You’ll want to travel along State  Route 89 on the western portion toward Cayuga Lake State Park and that’s where you’ll find the only ice fishing access on the lake.

Jigging raps for walleye and perch are popular as well as micro-tungsten dots. There isn’t a ton of fishing space here and it’s not super deep, so you don’t need a ton of line and an eight-pound braid should be good enough to get the job done. Tip-ups are always a good option as well.

How Do You Know the Ice Is Safe?

The general rule of thumb is that five inches of ice can bear the weight of a person of any size. Many people will say four inches, and believe me, I’m not a big person, but I’d rather not push my limits. There can be areas where water is still moving underneath the ice and that will make it weaker in those areas.

Wooden staircase leading down to a frozen lake.

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It’s easy to get excited about the first ice of the season and especially with the past lackluster seasons we’ve had, but it’s important that you always put safety first.

Once the ice reaches a nice solid six inches of thickness, it’ll be safe rough to drive on with ATVs and snowmobiles. You’ll still want to check it every so often to make sure nothing has changed, but you should be good. After 10 inches, it’s safe enough to drive a small vehicle on. It’s recommended that you don’t wear a seatbelt and keep your windows open in the event of an emergency. Also, try to avoid parking multiple vehicles near each other.

Staying Cool

There are endless excellent ice fishing opportunities in upstate New York for anglers of all experience levels. Many New York RV parks stay open through the winter. Plan your cool ice fishing trip and make your reservations in the following all-season RV parks:

AA Royal Motel & Campground, North Tonawanda

Black Bear Campground, Florida

Camp Chautauqua Camping Resort, Stow

Southaven (Suffolk County Park), Brookhaven

Turning Stone Resort Casino, Verona

Source: The Travel Guide to Ice Fishing in Upstate New York

Elote Love: Instant Pot Mexican-Style Street Corn

Elote Love: Instant Pot Mexican-Style Street Corn

If you’ve never had elote, you’re missing out! This zesty and creamy corn dish is a popular Mexican street food that’s often sold in food trucks and restaurants. Elote transforms your regular, boring corn on the cob into a delicious side dish with lime, chili and cheesy flavors.

Elote is typically grilled, and this recipe can be made with grilled corn on the cob or even corn cooked over an open fire. But for those who don’t have access to a grill or camping in an area that doesn’t allow campfires, you can still enjoy these flavors with instant pot corn.

Two ears of corn slathered with ingredients on a green plate.

Photo: Sarah Cribari

This is another one of those super easy recipes that are simple to make at the campground. You can even make the sauce ahead of time and store it in a cooler or your RV’s refrigerator until you’re ready to use it. So instead of slathering your corn on the cob in butter, next time try this delicious topping full of sour cream, mayo, lime juice and salty cotija cheese.

Tips for Making Elote (Mexican Street Corn)

While this recipe calls for making the corn in an Instant Pot, you can easily grill the corn on the grill or roast it over the campfire. If you can’t find corn on the cob, you can also just make the sauce and use it as a topping for frozen or canned corn. If you still want that grilled flavor but don’t feel like standing over the grill the entire time, just make the corn in the Instant Pot and throw it on the grill for a few minutes afterward just to get the charred color and flavor.

This recipe calls for cotija cheese, which is a mild and salty Mexican cheese made from cow’s milk. If you can’t find cotija near you, swapping it with feta or parmesan cheese will also work, although the taste will be slightly different. Cotija can be purchased both as a block of cheese or already crumbled in a container.

Two big pieces of cheese on cutting board

Cotija cheese. Getty Images

Cotija is a fairly salty cheese, so we didn’t add any extra salt to this recipe. If you find it not salty enough for your taste, you can always add a bit to the sauce or as a topping.

Chili powder is a fun topping that adds both flavor and color to this dish, but if you don’t like chili powder, you can swap it out for paprika.

Elote can be a bit messy (but totally worth it) due to the delicious cream sauce, so sticking wooden skewers or corn skewers in the ends can help you keep hold of the cob. You can also cut the corn off the cob and serve it in a large bowl with the cream sauce either mixed in or served on the side.

One bite of this street corn and it’ll become your new favorite way of eating corn year-round!

Instant Pot Mexican Style Street Corn

Sour cream container Isolated.

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Ingredients:

1 cup water

4-5 cobs of sweet corn, shucked

Topping Ingredients:

1/4 cup sour cream

1/4 cup mayo

Juice from 1/2 lime

1/4 cup of crumbled cotija or feta cheese

1 tablespoon of chopped cilantro (or 1/2 tablespoon of dried cilantro)

1/2 teaspoon of chili powder

Equipment:

Instant Pot with a trivet or collapsible steamer basket

Directions:

1. Place the trivet or collapsible steamer basket inside the Instant Pot and add the cup of water to the bottom of the pot. Shuck and rinse the corn cobs. Stack the corn on the trivet.

Three ears of corn in a pot.

Photo: Sarah Cribari

2. Cover the Instant Pot, making sure the lid is locked and the pressure release vent is set to sealed. Switch the mode to manual high pressure and set the timer for 3 minutes.

3. While the corn is cooking, mix the sour cream, mayo, and lime juice in a small bowl. Stir until well combined and set aside.

Mayonnaise, limes, sour cream and other ingredients arrayed around a bowl.

Photo: Sarah Cribari

4. When the cooking time is finished and the pot beeps, carefully turn the valve to venting to allow for a quick release of the steam. Be careful of the hot steam escaping! Using tongs, remove the corn from the Instant Pot.

5. Optional: If you want to add some flavor, after the corn is done cooking, throw the corn on a hot grill for a minute or two and rotate the cobs to add grill marks.

Corn slathered in cheese and cilantro on green plate.

Photo: Sarah Cribari

6. Plate the corn and slather the cobs with the sour cream and mayo mixture. Top with the cheese, cilantro, and chili powder to taste.

Notes on the recipe: If you can’t find cotija cheese, feta and parmesan will also work. The sauce is also fantastic on grilled corn on the cob or even as a topping for frozen corn.

Source: Elote Love: Instant Pot Mexican-Style Street Corn

Welcome and Make Yourself at Home at Country Oaks Campground Kingsland, Georgia

Welcome and Make Yourself at Home at Country Oaks Campground Kingsland, Georgia

Stop in and make yourself at home with us at Country Oaks RV Park and Campground. My family and I built this park in 1997 from a section of our 18-acre property.

Our campground is a full-featured destination that is just minutes away from the Georgia coastal waters. You will find the atmosphere friendly and relaxing. All 44 RV sites are full hookups and the campground is surrounded by lush oak and palmetto forest, teeming with wildlife.

A large pond surrounded by a green lawn reflects trees.

Country Oaks RV Park and Campground

Guests at Country Oaks RV Park and Campground aren’t the only anglers to enjoy our fully stocked fishin’ hole. An osprey or two or a great blue heron are regular diners, too.

The convenience of Jacksonville, just across the state border in Florida, is just a few miles south down the road. We’re just off Interstate 95 at Georgia off Exit 1. We’re the last exit before Florida, where you’ll find 2 full-service truck stops. Gas prices traditionally are well below the national average. That’s just one of the many reasons our campground is a great stop-over if you’re just passin’ through, to or from the Sunshine State. Once you’re here though, you might find that you want to stay a spell longer.

Two motorhomes sit under shady trees.

Motorhomes camping

Many of our guests are repeat visitors and enjoy coming back home to Country Oaks. We have very reasonable weekly and monthly rates. When you stay here, you are truly our guest.

Check out our website countryoaksrv.com to learn about all the points of interest to visit in the area. With so many Historic places, you might never want to leave. To book now, call Country Oaks Campground at (912) 729-6212.

Good Sam Camping

Good Sam Camping

Good Sam provides everything you need to have a good trip. From savings on accessories and services to finding a campground, roadside assistance, insurance and specialized products and services designed to enhance RV and outdoor lifestyle.

Source: Welcome and Make Yourself at Home at Country Oaks Campground Kingsland, Georgia

How Cameras Can Take Your RV’s Security to a New Level

How Cameras Can Take Your RV’s Security to a New Level

Having a secure RV is extremely important when on the road. While instances of break-ins and theft are reasonably rare, at the very least, having someone enter your RV unauthorized would ruin your trip. Nobody likes to think about safety and security concerns when it comes to RVing, but it’s a necessary part of preparing for and planning. 

There are plenty of things you can do to keep your RV safe. If you’re looking for an option that will take things to the next level and help ensure your home away from home stays safe and secure, then you need to consider adding security cameras to your rig. Here’s some way they can help. 

Cameras Monitor Your RV While You’re Away

Cameras provide monitoring of your RV. They’re your extra pair of eyes. That means once you get to a campground and get your campsite set up, you can go off and go hiking, and your security system’s cameras will monitor your RV. 

Cylinder-shaped security equipment

SimpliSafe security.

It’s wise to have cameras both inside and outside your RV. That way, you can see what happens both at the campsite and inside your RV. Because of the RV’s small footprint, a couple of cameras should suffice. 

It’s also important to note that security cameras with remote monitoring, like the kind available from SimpliSafe require a Wi-Fi connection, so you’ll need to make arrangements for a Wi-Fi connection as well.

Video Recordings Provide a Record

Along with monitoring comes the actual video files. The good thing about having cameras outside and inside your RV is that you have a video record of everything that happens. So, in the unfortunate event of a break-in or theft, you can provide a clear record of what happened to the police, your insurance agency, or any other party that needs to see it. 

Keypad mounted on wooden wall.

SimpliSafe keypad

Cameras Deter Criminals Before They Act

Cameras are great for capturing what has happened, but they also play a vital role in deterring crime before it happens. Criminals don’t want to get caught, and cameras provide another obstacle for them. Many will simply avoid a camper with a quality security system. Having a security camera or two on your rig can be an easy way to deter any nefarious activity. 

Cameras Provide Peace of Mind

Last but certainly not least, cameras will help provide you with true peace of mind. You’ll know that your RV is being monitored. That means you can more easily enjoy your time away from the campsite. 

Many camera systems, like the ones from SimpliSafe, provide remote monitoring with your smart device. That means you can see what’s happening at your campsite and in your RV while you’re away.

SimpliSafe has a special limited-time offer right now. It’s offering 40 percent off a new system and two months of 24/7 monitoring by purchasing any new system. This offer runs only from December 2 to December 7, so act fast by clicking here.

Source: How Cameras Can Take Your RV’s Security to a New Level

Celebrate RV Friendsgiving With Camping Buddies

Celebrate RV Friendsgiving With Camping Buddies

If you’re not traveling to see family this Thanksgiving, hosting an RV Friendsgiving is a great alternative for a stress-free celebration. For those of you staying in RV parks or campgrounds near friends, you should know how to host a Friendsgiving gathering in your RV. 

How Many Friends Can You Host in Your RV?

First, you need to decide how many friends you’re comfortable hosting. This will largely be dictated by the size of your RV and the weather in your region. 

If you’re hosting a warm-weather Friendsgiving, we recommend popping out your RV awning and setting up for an outdoor dinner. That way, you’ll keep your RV kitchen dedicated to meal prep and cooking instead of trying to make enough space to cook, eat and entertain inside.

Full length view at diverse group of young people enjoying picnic outdoors while camping with trailer van

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For those hosting Friendsgiving in a colder location, you may be more limited to hosting a smaller group. As a rule of thumb, we’d recommend keeping your gathering to a maximum of 5 to 6 friends if hosting inside your RV. 

If you have a slide-out, you may add a couple more friends to that total. Pick up a camping table to provide your guests with more comfortable indoor seating for your Friendsgiving gathering if this is the case.  

Tips For Safe and Efficient Friendsgiving Cooking

Every year around this time, we hear at least one story about a mismanaged turkey. To keep your Friendsgiving safe and reduce the stress your feel to prepare an awesome meal, follow these tips for safe and efficient Friendsgiving cooking.

Mouth-watering golden roasted turkey over white background, no garnish.

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Clean Your RV Oven Before Cooking

If you’ve got any buildup in your RV oven, clean it out before cooking your Friendsgiving meal. Turn your oven off and take the oven racks out to soak in warm water for about 30 minutes. 

Then use your RV vacuum to remove loose debris. From there, warm water and dish soap will suffice as a cleaning solution, but consider using a vinegar soak and the rough side of your sponge to remove any burnt residue. 

Wipe everything dry with a clean microfiber cloth (racks included) and then replace the racks inside your oven. Properly cleaning your RV oven will help you avoid setting off your RV’s smoke alarm while cooking your Friendsgiving meal.

Prep as Much as You Can In Advance

A Delicious Meal Served in a Recreational Vehicle with Red and White.

Getty Images

If you plan and prep in advance, cooking your Friendsgiving bird will be the only thing you do on the actual day of your gathering. Even that can be prepped and seasoned in advance so you just pop it in the oven a few hours before you want to serve dinner. 

If you’re providing dishes like mashed potatoes or sweet potato casserole, there’s no reason why you can’t cook those dishes the day before and reheat them when the time comes. Your guests won’t be the wiser and you’ll enjoy more freedom to enjoy hosting rather than spending the entire day in the kitchen. 

Utilize Additional Kitchen Appliances

Your RV probably came with a microwave, stovetop and oven, but you may need additional cooking ability. That’s why adding small portable kitchen appliances like air fryers and pressure cookers make a lot of sense when cooking for large groups

Of course, you’ll need additional counter space for these appliances, which lends itself to the idea of setting up your dining table outside. You’ll also need to consider the wattage requirements for these appliances and you may need to stagger using them to avoid popping a circuit breaker by running too many at once. 

Checking on Camper RV Propane Stove. Cooking While Travel Theme.

RV propane stove. Getty Images

Keep it Vented

Because you’ll most likely be cooking in your oven, on your stovetop, and in one or more of those smaller kitchen appliances, open at least one window and turn on one of your roof vent fans to allow smoke to escape and fresh air to circulate back in. 

This will help you avoid setting off your smoke alarm and will keep your RV from overheating while you’re cooking. As an added safety precaution, make sure you know where your RV’s fire extinguisher is located just in case you run into a cooking emergency. 

Clean As You Go and Ask For Help

Sometimes we forget about the cleaning requirements that come with Friendsgiving gatherings. We get excited about the eating and the socializing and then realize we have an overloaded sink once all our guests are gone. 

Because RV’s tend to have smaller sinks, it really behooves you to clean as you go as much as possible. You also shouldn’t hesitate to ask for help from your guests on this front (or with meal prep in general). Sharing is caring during the holiday season and you should be able to relax a little and enjoy your party as well!

Casual Thanksgiving dinner table spread with multiple traditional dishes

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The Benefits of a Friendsgiving Potluck

RV kitchens generally have less space than residential kitchens. If you have one of the more spacious Class A motorhomes or fifth-wheel trailers, you may not have an issue, but if you have a smaller rig, consider organizing a Friendsgiving potluck. 

Here are a few good reasons to go the potluck route when hosting Friendsgiving in an RV: 

  • You’ll spend less time cooking and more time socializing
  • It’s easier to have all your dishes ready at the same time 
  • Everyone gets a sense of pride in bringing one of their favorite Thanksgiving dishes
  • You might discover new Thanksgiving dishes that your family never makes
  • It minimizes clean-up time because you can send everyone home with their dirty dishes

How To Organize a Friendsgiving Potluck?

Getting everyone on the same page is one of the most challenging aspects of organizing any potluck, regardless of the occasion. So here are a few tips that will help you avoid duplicate dishes and other communication issues for your Friendsgiving potluck: 

Thanksgiving dinner with chicken, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie, wine, seasonal vegetables and fruits on wooden table, copy space. Traditional autumn holiday food concept.

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Create Your Menu

As the host, it’s your responsibility to create a structure for friends to pick the dishes they want to bring. Come up with a menu of all the dishes you’d like to have for your gathering. 

It’s a good idea for the host to pick the menu because you’ll have the best vision of how much space you really have in your RV. You’ll need to consider how you’ll set all these dishes out so that it’s as smooth as possible for everyone to serve themselves when the time comes. 

Share Your Menu

Next, put that menu in a spreadsheet or send it in an email to all of your friends. We like the spreadsheet approach because guests can easily put their names next to their preferred dish instead of filling up your email inbox. 

It also makes it easy for your procrastinating friends to make sure they don’t duplicate any dishes. Plus, it makes it easier for you to remember what you need to prep and it helps your friends keep track of what they’re bringing so they won’t reach out to confirm at the last minute.

Plate of pie on table setting.

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Within your spreadsheet, create a column (or a separate page) for your guests to add suggestions. If they have family Thanksgiving recipes they really want to bring, it’s healthy to leave a little room for your menu to adapt. 

If you’re going to have a Thanksgiving bird at your gathering, we feel that it’s customary for the host to cook it. So, exclude this item from your spreadsheet, as well as anything else you plan to prepare yourself. 

Plan to Minimize Cleanup

To minimize cleanup, ask your friends to bring food storage containers so you can send everyone home with leftovers. Everyone loves holiday leftovers and the smaller size of RV refrigerators limits what you can keep anyway. 

Also, request that everyone pack their dishes in recyclable cookware that can be disposed of after your meal. That way, you won’t have a massive pile of dishes in your sink after everyone heads home. 

Friendsgiving Entertainment Ideas

While the meal is the focal point of your gathering, it’s great to have a few entertainment ideas in your back pocket. One of the best parts of Friendsgiving is catching up on what’s going on in everyone’s lives, but a good host provides several options to keep their guests entertained. 

Full length portrait of young African-American woman playing guitar while enjoying camping outdoors with diverse group of friends

Friendsgiving under an awning. Getty Images

Indoor Games

If you’re hosting a small gathering or the weather outside is frightful, indoor games might be your entertainment of choice. After everyone’s bellies are full, pull out your favorite board games or puzzles to pick the energy back up. 

Outdoor Games

For larger, warm-weather gatherings, set up your portable fire pit or light a campfire as dinner is winding down. In advance, set out your preferred outdoor games like cornhole or bocce ball. 

If you do host outdoor games before or after dinner, put up adequate outdoor lighting to create a safe environment. You can also impress your friends by setting up an outdoor mini bar and serving your favorite camping cocktails

Utilizing Your RV’s Entertainment Center

If your crew is passionate about keeping up with NFL action during your gathering, this is where your RV’s outdoor entertainment center will come in handy. If your RV doesn’t have one, you can always put the games on your inside TVs and have them running in the background. 

Keeping It Fun (and Delicious)

We hope these suggestions help you organize an amazing Friendsgiving this year. From all of us here at Good Sam, we wish everyone a Happy Friendsgiving and a joyous holiday season!

Source: Celebrate RV Friendsgiving With Camping Buddies

Winter Workamping: Camp and Work in a Sunbelt Destination

Winter Workamping: Camp and Work in a Sunbelt Destination

You don’t have to be a full-time RVer to enjoy the benefits of winter workamping. If the coldest days of the season are getting to you, here are three reasons why it’s smart to consider taking a seasonal workamping job.

Why Winter Workamping is Worth a Try

If you are allergic to winter, workamping offers a chance to head south to more pleasing weather. The sunbelt states often come with a high cost of living, but they also provide the greatest range of places to try workamping.  When you decide to take a seasonal winter workamping job in a place like Florida, Texas or California, it’s a win-win. You’ll save on rent and often earn a few bucks to offset your expenses. But that’s not the only reason why it’s such a fun thing to do. Other reasons to try this unique opportunity include:

Motorhome parked near some palm trees

RV in Florida. Photo: Getty Images

Sign saying,

Photo: Rene Agredano

1. Even non-retired People Can Fly South for Winter

Most people assume that only retired RVers get to fly south for winter. But that’s just not the case anymore. Technology allows more people than ever to work in flexible jobs from any location. Winter workamping can be ideal for everyone, from entrepreneurs like me to stay-at-home moms to remote employees who can spare a few hours in a workamping role. Sure, being a full-time RVer makes it easier to fly south and commit to a workamping job, but even if you’re in a traditional housing situation, with enough planning, you can probably find a way to do it. For example, a homeowner could list their place on Airbnb for the season. Renters might be able to sublet their apartment if their landlord allows it. If you have school-age kids, consider road schooling them during winter? You don’t always need to sell your possessions and hit the road for good. Whatever your situation, there is likely some way that you can fly south for winter workamping.

2. Winter Workamping Pays for Itself

Employers in warm-weather states actively recruit year-round workampers everywhere from RV resorts to public campgrounds to entertainment venues. Now that RVing is more popular than ever, qualified team players are in high demand, even as snowbird season kicks off. And opportunities are getting better all the time. For example, in previous years, most workamping jobs didn’t pay any kind of wage but instead offered a free campsite in exchange for a few hours of labor each week. Today, things are different. Just peruse current Workamper News job listings. You’ll see many employers offering competitive wages and sweet benefits to their seasonal workers. Sure, you’ll still find traditional workamping arrangements that only offer a free campsite instead of wages, but these positions are becoming more of an exception than the norm.

Hand feeding orange food to several alpaca alpaca.

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3. The Variety of Workamping Jobs is Growing

My husband and I have been chasing the sun since 2007 while working for ourselves. We work online from our RV, but when we find a winter workamping job that’s just too good to resist, the savings on rent can be so significant that we find a way to squeeze it into our life. Finding these kinds of low commitment and often unusual workamping jobs is relatively easy, because most opportunities offer part-time hours or even less. One unusual winter workamping job only required us to work three hours a week! Many jobs are for hospitality workers at resorts and campgrounds, but not all of them. Some of the more interesting workamping job opportunities include:

  • Assisting and teaching at a nature reserve and yoga retreat center
  • RV resort chaplain opportunities
  • Ranch caretaker
  • Bed & breakfast hosts at a former missile silo complex
  • Llama ranch caretaker
  • Organic farm caretaker

Painting a bathroom faciity.

Photo: Rene Agredano

When is the Best Time to Apply for Winter Workamping Jobs?

Winter is almost here, but you haven’t necessarily missed your chance to give workamping a try. Although most employers start looking for winter workampers much earlier in the year, that doesn’t mean they found the right ones. Many seasonal jobs go unfulfilled—there just aren’t enough workampers out there to staff them. And even a position gets filled, cancellations occur and vacancies happen. So if you are in a place where winter workamping this season sounds appealing, it’s not impossible to find one in outlets like Workamper News and various workamping job boards around the internet.

The days are shorter and temperatures are colder, but that doesn’t mean you need to stay put and hunker down. If you have a road-worthy RV, there’s no need to suffer through a long, dark season. Winter workamping is one of the smartest ways to warm up, see new places, and have fun in some of the best snowbird destinations in the U.S.

Source: Winter Workamping: Camp and Work in a Sunbelt Destination

Fight the Frost: RV Hacks for Winter Weather

Fight the Frost: RV Hacks for Winter Weather

Every season adds beauty to our world. But winter RVing living can make it tough to enjoy the coldest part of the year. If you want to have fun in cold winter destinations, here’s what you need to know about staying warm, safe and happy.

Don’t Let Winter RVing Steal Your Fun

I spend most of my time in sunbelt states, where year-round RV living is possible. But those mild winter days can lull snowbirds like me into a false sense of security. Love it or hate it, winter always feels like an unwanted surprise — especially when I’m soaking in the spa at my favorite RV park in December. I find it easy to forget that unpredictable weather can be just around the corner. But even my favorite sunny regions like the Southwest often get hit with epic cold fronts that keep us indoors more than we’d like. A Midwesterner might laugh at my definition of “cold,” but the fact is that even the most well-built RVs like mine are not impervious to occasional arctic blasts and wet weather. I love my “four-season” RV, but cold always finds a way in somehow. This is what I do to keep it out:

Class C motorhome parked on frosty ground near a lake.

Getty Images

Monitor the Weather

Winter weather camping can test your appreciation for this lifestyle. It pays to know the weather headed your way in case you need to batten down the hatches, so don’t ignore weather reports. You can get a general sense of your region’s upcoming weather by tuning into any TV station’s news report. But for the most accurate weather reports for your specific location, the Internet is your go-to source. Visit The National Weather Service first. You’ll get instant knowledge of weather changes, pending hazards, and freezing weather that reminds you to detach your drinking water hose from the campsite spigot.

Sleek dehumidifier against white background.

PureGuardian Small Space Dehumidifier. Photo courtesy of Camping World

Use a Dehumidifier

Running your RV furnace can keep you toasty warm. But it can also add unwanted humidity and mildew to walls, windows, and furniture. My small space dehumidifier is one of the best winter RVing gadgets I ever added to our seasonal toolkit. Each time I dump the water chamber, I’m shocked by the amount of moisture taken from my RV interior. A constant power source is necessary to keep the device operating, but I won’t complain about hooking up to shore power when the chill comes on.

Keep an Alternative Heat Source on Board

One of the advantages of owning a smaller RV is that we can camp just about anywhere. But a huge disadvantage is our 27-foot RV’s lack of space for an onboard generator. When we are dry camping in winter and it’s too cloudy or dark to rely on our RV solar electric power system, our Honda generator powers everything from our computers to the furnace. Unfortunately, turning it on means flipping a coin to decide who will go outside to get it started. In the meantime, our indoor catalytic heater quickly and safely heats our living quarters enough for us to get moving.

A space heater glows red.

Camco Olympian Wave-8 Catalytic Heater. Photo courtesy of Camping World

Carry a Stash of Old Towels

Ratty bath towels never get tossed; they go into our clean-up supplies. Besides using them for an occasional dog bath, that ample supply of old towels can mop the floor, soak up falling drops from wet rain gear, and clean up muddy dog paws before they decorate our carpet and furniture.

Maintain Weather Stripping on Exterior Cabinets

Cold weather creeps into our RV at the point of least resistance, those basement storage bays. When the chilly wind blows hard enough, I can feel it hit my feet when I’m working at my desk. That’s a brutal reminder to inspect and replace weather stripping around cabinet doors if necessary. When it’s looking worn out, all it takes is a few pennies to replace it and enjoy a more comfortable interior.

A two-lane highway leads to jagged snow-capped mountains on the horizon.

HIghway to Jasper National Park. Getty Images

Insulate with Reflectix

That silver “bubble wrap” insulation material for home construction projects isn’t pretty. But it’s one of the best materials to keep you warm during the worst winter weather. Lightweight and easy to stash away, you can buy short or long rolls to custom-cut pieces that match your RV window dimensions. When placed over skylights and other openings, this material can reflect up to 96% of radiant energy for more warmth inside the RV. As a bonus, you can use them in summer to keep the rig cool.

Don’t Forget Plan B

Sometimes despite your best efforts, cold weather refuses to leave you alone. When that happens, remember that not even winter can steal one of the greatest joys of this lifestyle—the ability to turn the key and leave at a moment’s notice. If you’re tired of living inside and mopping rain and mud from pet paws and overcoats, just pull up stakes and follow the sun to your happier place.

Source: Fight the Frost: RV Hacks for Winter Weather

Experience the Oregon Coast Year-Round at Osprey Point RV Resort

Experience the Oregon Coast Year-Round at Osprey Point RV Resort

Located only one mile from Osprey Point RV Resort in Lakeside is the Oregon Coast with its miles of beautiful beaches, unusual rock formations and much more. Many beaches along the Oregon Coast are off-leash beaches, so your furry children can run, play and paddle in the water right along with you!

Sun setting over ocean and casting shadows on a creamy dunescape.

Osprey Point RV Resort

A mere 15-minute drive away from Osprey Point, you can visit one of the many natural wonders of the Oregon Coast, the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area. Here you can witness wind-sculped sand dunes that tower 500 feet above sea level and experience the thrill of riding your off-highway vehicle on the dunes, hiking, biking, horseback riding or just sitting back and capturing photos of this natural wonder! There is so much to see and do at the Oregon Dunes, just down the road from Osprey Point RV Resort.

Lake Location

Osprey Point RV Resort is located on Tenmile Lake, known throughout the Pacific Northwest and California for great fishing and other water recreation. You can start your day enjoying one of our specialty coffees in our Coffee House. After a day of fishing, boating, riding the Oregon Dunes or simply beachcombing, end your day enjoying a pizza or burger in Osprey Point Pizza Pub.

A smooth wood bar stands in front of a variety of beer taps.

Osprey Point Pizza Pub

Our RV sites have full hookups and are big-rig friendly. Ask about our cabin rentals if you would like to bring along friends or family members who don’t have an RV. The milder coastal climate allows for boating and fishing fun all year long. Fish species include trout, bass, perch, bluegill, crappie and the occasional steelhead! We provide boat slips for our guests with shore power, security lights and parking for your trailer. Whether or not you have a boat, it’s not a problem, as we also have boat rentals! If you just want to hang around the campfire and relax at the end of a day of fishing, you can order dinner from our onsite Osprey Pub and Pizza and never leave the property. With all we have to offer, this can be your home-away-from-home for boating, fishing, skiing, beachcombing, dune jumping or just relaxing. We have everything you’ll need at our resort, or you may venture into nearby Lakeside for fine dining, casual dining and grocery shopping or personal services.

Lakeside hosts fun family events May-September, so if your timing is right, you could attend Mothers’ Day Weekend Crawdad Festival or the Lakeside Independence Day Celebration with fireworks. In August, Lakeside hosts the Annual Cardboard Boat Races at the County Park, which would be fun for the entire family! Labor Day Weekend brings the Labor Day Regatta at North Tenmile Lake Yacht Club and Lakeside’s Annual Labor Day Celebration. See, there are activities for all ages, everyone in the family can enjoy your stay at Osprey Point RV Resort!

Good Sam Camping

Good Sam Camping

Good Sam provides everything you need to have a good trip. From savings on accessories and services to finding a campground, roadside assistance, insurance and specialized products and services designed to enhance RV and outdoor lifestyle.

Source: Experience the Oregon Coast Year-Round at Osprey Point RV Resort

Lakeside Casino & RV Park in Pahrump, Nevada: The Perfect Fall Getaway

Lakeside Casino & RV Park in Pahrump, Nevada: The Perfect Fall Getaway

Experience your oasis in the desert while staying at Lakeside Casino & RV Park this fall. Located just 45 minutes west of Las Vegas, the Lakeside RV Park is perfect for outdoor enthusiasts with plenty of hiking and biking trails just steps away. Guests are invited to take in the entertainment offerings of rural Nevada. The Lakeside RV Park carries a 10/10*/10 Good Sam rating.

The Lakeside Casino & RV Park has a full-service, 159-space RV Park that can serve as the home base for recreational vehicle travelers to discover the outdoors or just relax next to a lush seven-acre man-made lake.

A couple on a sandy beach with a bottle of wine overlooking the lake.

Wine on the beach at Lakeside Casino & RV Park.

The property is less than a five-mile drive to the Sanders Winery, where the tasting room is open daily, and the 18-hole Mountain Falls Golf Course, which offers a pro shop and grill room.

Lakeside’s amenities include the property’s man-made lake, which offers kayak and pedal boat rentals and fishing activities. The lake includes a sandy beach, swimming pool and hot tub, along with a nine-hole Frisbee golf course and a horseshoe pit. An enclosed dog park also is included in the facilities. There are also three comfort stations on the property available exclusively for guests who stay at the RV Park.

The Lakeside Casino, which is adjacent to the RV Park, has over 160 gaming devices, a non-smoking bingo room and a cafe that is open daily at 8 a.m. A convenience store and gas station are located on the premises.

Slot machines and poker games glow in a casino with wooden frame supports.

Lakeside Casino, which is adjacent to the RV park.

Book online and receive a 20% discount on your stay. This offer is available now through December 30. Don’t miss out on this offer. Guests checking in will also receive a coupon booklet valued at $50.

Members of the True Rewards players club are eligible for RV Park discounts at Lakeside.

Lakeside is one of three casinos in Pahrump operated by Golden Casino Group, a division of Golden Entertainment, Inc. The two other properties are:

  • The Pahrump Nugget, which has 69 hotel rooms, over 300 gaming devices, table games, a race and sportsbook, a bingo facility and a bowling center. The property also has a café and an award-winning steakhouse.
  • Gold Town Casino operates over 175 gaming devices. Gold Town also includes two dining facilities, the Back Porch Café and Slices and Scoops. Gold Town is also home to Pahrump’s largest full-service liquor store.

Arizona Charlie’s Boulder RV Park

Meanwhile, when traveling to Lakeside or on the way to your next destination, Arizona Charlie’s Boulder is the perfect stopping point. The location offers convenient access to the Las Vegas Strip or Downtown Las Vegas. Arizona Charlie’s is also a full-service casino-resort offering several affordable restaurant selections.

Good Sam Camping

Good Sam Camping

Good Sam provides everything you need to have a good trip. From savings on accessories and services to finding a campground, roadside assistance, insurance and specialized products and services designed to enhance RV and outdoor lifestyle.

Source: Lakeside Casino & RV Park in Pahrump, Nevada: The Perfect Fall Getaway

9 Tantalizing Reasons to Experience New Orleans

9 Tantalizing Reasons to Experience New Orleans

The Big Easy. Crescent City. NOLA. Birthplace of Jazz. No matter what you call this Louisiana city on the Mississippi, New Orleans never loses its allure. After all, New Orleans is one of the most beloved cities in the U.S. and home to the infamous Bourbon Street and historic French Quarter. But there’s more than meets the eye in this town of above-ground cemeteries and voodoo priestesses.

A bright red streetcar in New Orleans.

Streetcars are ready to take passengers throughout New Orleans. Getty Images

Hop on a streetcar for a fun way to view the town. World-class museums offer a close-up inspection of Southern art, local religion and World War II from a NOLA perspective. City Park is renowned for its regal centuries-old oak trees and a beautiful place for whiling away an hour or two.

The Crown Jewel of New Orleans

A bowl filled with spicy shrimp.

Steam shrimp in a bowl with spicy chili sauce. Getty Images

When you enter Bourbon Street, you’ve stepped into 13 blocks of pure New Orleans culture. Grab a bite of authentic Cajun food at a local restaurant or check out Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop, said to be “the oldest bar in the U.S.” and the supposed stomping grounds of the ghost of pirate Jean Lafitte (the bar serves great drinks, too). With an abundance of shopping and interesting architecture, there’s plenty to do until night falls and the streets come alive because this is the site of Mardi Gras.

Cool French Quarter

Building with wrap-around balconies in French Quarter

An old colonial building in the French Quarter on Dumaine Street.

The French Quarter is home to Bourbon Street but it’s also the oldest neighborhood in NOLA, with late 18th-century architecture, historic homes and the Hex Old World Witchery Shop (get a deck of Tarot cards or some roots or herbs). Step back to the days of swashbucklers and pirates when you meander Pirates Alley, filled with 600 feet of quirky shops and heart-pumping legends. Royal Street is another must-see with its French vibe and Southern hospitality.

Louisiana Water Fun

New Orleans Paddle Steamer

New Orleans paddle steamer on the Mississippi River. Getty Images

There are some fantastic boat tours to experience, like the NOLA Gondola in City Park or an airboat adventure through an area swamp. Looking for a way to chill? Float down the Bogue Chitto River or rent a kayak, canoe or stand-up paddleboard for a cool way to explore NOLA’s waterways (if it’s warm enough). Go to extremes and seek a thrill when you try your hand at flyboarding; whether you ride high above the water depends on your balance. Anglers have a lot to choose from — freshwater, saltwater, brackish or deep-sea fishing may entice. For a romantic evening, watch the sunset on Lake Pontchartrain. Take a daytime riverboat jazz cruise on the Mississippi aboard the City of New Orleans stern-wheeler paddleboat.

A City for Strolling

Sunset over an elegant cathedral with horse carriages in foreground.

Jackson Square at Sunset with St. Louis Cathedral. Getty Images

Jackson Square is one of New Orleans’ most recognizable attractions. Take a stroll along slate flagstone pavers as you watch artists plying their craft or find a shady bench and people-watch. City Park, founded in 1853, is one of the oldest parks in the country. Home to 600-year-old oak trees draped in Spanish moss and stone bridges that cross rippling streams, this is a relaxing respite from the city’s hustle and bustle.

Go Golfing

Aerial view of a golf course surrounded by buldings.

Metairie Country Club in New Orleans. Getty Images

Since 1902, golfing has been a major pastime for New Orleanians. There’s a course for every level of play, so golfers can enjoy the iconic courses or tee off at an old-school course with natural surroundings. NOLA is home to the annual Zurich Classic stop on the PGA tour.

An Eclectic Delight

View of cathedral Interior from center aisle.

St. Louis Cathedral. Getty Images

St. Louis Cathedral is the oldest Catholic cathedral in continuous use in the country and among the tallest and most imposing structures in the French Quarter. Admire beautiful stained-glass windows shining colorful light on the rococo-style gilded altar. Hear a quiet whisper on a rainy day? That’s just Pere Dagobert, a monk rumored to haunt the church.

NOLA Art Scene

Crowd reflected in a trombone.

A trombone during a New Orleans jazz performance.

The Ogden Museum of Southern Art is home to the largest and most extensive collection of Southern art, including visual arts, music, literature and culinary history. New Orleans cemeteries are renowned for their resourcefulness and history. Walk the local graveyards for a peek into the haunting French-inspired beauty of these Cities of the Dead. And delight in a Jazz Funeral, an authentic New Orleans tradition of “cutting the body loose.” Held in April and May, the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival brings top musicians to the Big Easy.

Larger Than Life: The Carnival

Revelers reach out for beads during carnival celebration.

A Carnival float during Mardi Gras. Getty Images.

This is the festival Louisiana is known for. For the week that is Mardi Gras, the fun never ends. Enjoy parades, parties, both on and off Bourbon Street, delectable Cajun and Creole eats including King Cake, lavish costumes with glittery, feathery masks and beads — catch plenty of beads. Visit the Mardi Gras Museum for the real low-down on the history of this festival, plus a look at antique masks, party favors and costumes. Mardi Gras World offers a behind-the-scenes story of the parade with mask-making, papier-mache props, and float-building demonstrations.

History and Mystery

A cat with white and gray fur lying on a slab in a cemetery.

A cat at the St. Louis Cemetery in New Orleans. Getty Images

Tempt military buffs with a foray into the National WWII Museum, a Smithsonian Institution affiliate, with interactive displays and historical exhibits. Learn how Americans responded to the war effort, how people coped with shortages during the war, and what life was like on the home front. Explore the Backstreet Culture Museum with exhibits, artifacts and films supporting NOLA’s African American culture. What’s a trip to New Orleans without a little voodoo? At the New Orleans Historic Voodoo Museum, you can explore the culture and history that makes New Orleans synonymous with Voodoo. Learn secrets about rituals and folklore, and the lasting legacies of the Voodoo queens.

Discover Good Sam Parks in the New Orleans area:

Pine Crest RV Park of New Orleans, Slidell

Jude Travel Park of New Orleans, New Orleans

Lakeside RV Park, Livingston

Across the Border in Mississippi:

Bay Hide Away RV Park Campground, Bay St. Louis

Sun Roamers RV Resort, Picayune

Source: 9 Tantalizing Reasons to Experience New Orleans

Lakeside Casino & RV Park in Pahrump, Nevada: The Perfect Fall Getaway

Experience your oasis in the desert while staying at Lakeside Casino & RV Park this fall. Located just 45 minutes west of Las Vegas, the Lakeside RV Park is perfect for outdoor enthusiasts with plenty of hiking and biking trails just steps away. Guests are invited to take in the entertainment offerings of rural Nevada. The Lakeside RV Park carries a 10/10*/10 Good Sam rating.

The Lakeside Casino & RV Park has a full-service, 159-space RV Park that can serve as the home base for recreational vehicle travelers to discover the outdoors or just relax next to a lush seven-acre man-made lake.

A couple on a sandy beach with a bottle of wine overlooking the lake.

Wine on the beach at Lakeside Casino & RV Park.

The property is less than a five-mile drive to the Sanders Winery, where the tasting room is open daily, and the 18-hole Mountain Falls Golf Course, which offers a pro shop and grill room.

Lakeside’s amenities include the property’s man-made lake, which offers kayak and pedal boat rentals and fishing activities. The lake includes a sandy beach, swimming pool and hot tub, along with a nine-hole Frisbee golf course and a horseshoe pit. An enclosed dog park also is included in the facilities. There are also three comfort stations on the property available exclusively for guests who stay at the RV Park.

The Lakeside Casino, which is adjacent to the RV Park, has over 160 gaming devices, a non-smoking bingo room and a cafe that is open daily at 8 a.m. A convenience store and gas station are located on the premises.

Slot machines and poker games glow in a casino with wooden frame supports.

Lakeside Casino, which is adjacent to the RV park.

Book online and receive a 20% discount on your stay. This offer is available now through December 30. Don’t miss out on this offer. Guests checking in will also receive a coupon booklet valued at $50.

Members of the True Rewards players club are eligible for RV Park discounts at Lakeside.

Lakeside is one of three casinos in Pahrump operated by Golden Casino Group, a division of Golden Entertainment, Inc. The two other properties are:

  • The Pahrump Nugget, which has 69 hotel rooms, over 300 gaming devices, table games, a race and sportsbook, a bingo facility and a bowling center. The property also has a café and an award-winning steakhouse.
  • Gold Town Casino operates over 175 gaming devices. Gold Town also includes two dining facilities, the Back Porch Café and Slices and Scoops. Gold Town is also home to Pahrump’s largest full-service liquor store.

Arizona Charlie’s Boulder RV Park

Meanwhile, when traveling to Lakeside or on the way to your next destination, Arizona Charlie’s Boulder is the perfect stopping point. The location offers convenient access to the Las Vegas Strip or Downtown Las Vegas. Arizona Charlie’s is also a full-service casino-resort offering several affordable restaurant selections.

Good Sam Camping

Good Sam Camping

Good Sam provides everything you need to have a good trip. From savings on accessories and services to finding a campground, roadside assistance, insurance and specialized products and services designed to enhance RV and outdoor lifestyle.

Source: Lakeside Casino & RV Park in Pahrump, Nevada: The Perfect Fall Getaway

Stay at Arizona Charlie’s, Minutes Away from the Vegas Strip

Stay at Arizona Charlie’s, Minutes Away from the Vegas Strip

Located just minutes from the Las Vegas Strip, Arizona Charlie’s Hotel, Casino & RV Park is home to more than 200 RV spaces with access to a handful of additional amenities. With easy access from the 93/95 highway, the RV park is the perfect destination for both Las Vegas visitors looking to explore the city and those who are in need of a great place to stop on their way home. The full-service park includes everything for both groups — renovated bathhouses, a pool area with access all year round, a private clubhouse with a large-screen TV, fitness equipment, complimentary wireless internet, 24-hour security, including brand new security gates, full hookups with 30/50-amp, propane service, pull-through parking and a remodeled guest laundry room, available for 24-hour use. Plus, the RV park is just steps from Las Vegas’ friendliest casino, a variety of dining options and more.

Rectangular pool in a luxury resort.

Arizona Charlie’s Pool

Arizona Charlie’s thrilling casino experience boasts both comfort and excitement when playing one of its many slot machine games and bingo. The casino offers 658 ticket-in, ticket-out slots and video poker machines, including traditional games like Double Double Bonus Poker, Jokers Wild, Ultimate X and Deuces Wild, as well as some of the latest games, including Dragon Link, Buffalo Link, Lightning Link, Buffalo Gold and Hot Wicked Wheels. Notorious for its bingo, Arizona Charlie’s hosts eight sessions daily during every odd hour from 9 a.m.–11 p.m., plus bingo and other gaming promotions, weekly. Also on the casino floor, bettors can take their pick at the William Hill Sportsbook.

RV park lit up with neon lights.

Arizona Charlie’s

Sourdough Café is Arizona Charlie’s traditional café restaurant, which offers comfort cuisine at an exceptional value in a casual atmosphere. Recently, Arizona Charlie’s has also welcomed local favorite, PT’s Express and coffee chain, Dunkin’, to each of its locations. PT’s Express is a first-of-its-kind, on-the-go burger, wing and sandwich joint, conveniently open 24-hours, daily. In addition to local favorites, Dunkin’-lovers may enjoy morning coffee, breakfast, wraps, sandwiches, muffins and more.

Also available just steps away, the newly remodeled Palace Grand Lounge offers exceptional bar service all day long and occasional live music.

Lights blazing, casinos line the Las Vegas Strip at night.

Las Vegas Strip

For rewards lovers who enjoy the “stay and play,” Arizona Charlie’s RV Park visitors may sign up for Arizona Charlie’s loyalty program, True Rewards, which rewards guests for playing, dining and staying at Arizona Charlie’s or any other Golden Entertainment Inc. property. Members can earn points while playing their favorite slot machine or daubing in the bingo room, plus rewards may be earned while dining at a participating restaurant. Redemption for True Reward points includes cash back, free play and retail comps. Membership is free, and those interested may visit the True Rewards Center at Arizona Charlie’s. For more information or details on Arizona Charlie’s Hotel, Casino & RV Park, guests may visit www.arizonacharliesboulder.com.

Source: Stay at Arizona Charlie’s, Minutes Away from the Vegas Strip

6 Simple Ways to Stop Wasting Fuel

6 Simple Ways to Stop Wasting Fuel

With the high costs of both gasoline and diesel fuel, it’s a good idea for RV travelers to modify driving habits to help reduce vehicle fuel consumption. Driving slower, accelerating at a moderate rate and keeping your vehicle in a well-maintained state are undoubtedly great ways to cut RV fuel costs. But many wasteful driving styles haven’t changed.

Consider how the following fuel wasters impact your budget’s bottom line:

A vehicle pulling a folding camping trailer driving close to a Class C motorhome.

Photo: Peter Mercer

Following Too Closely

Referred to as “tailgating,” this habit can cost you dearly at the pump and is hazardous for both you and the person in front. Looming close behind other vehicles, tailgaters work the throttle to maintain the distance between their vehicle and the one ahead. Frequent brake applications are required in maintaining this close proximity and the constant throttle-adjustment surges result in wasted fuel burn. All that braking consumes energy from the vehicle’s momentum — momentum that was built by fuel. And more fuel will be needed to regain that same speed.

Delayed Braking Application

Every day, we see people approaching a stoplight or sign at a speed looking like they’re not going to stop. Then, miraculously, they hit the brakes hard, halting their vehicle at the last second. This habit not only puts a lot of strain on your brakes but also delays the retarding of the throttle, which burns fuel needlessly. Starting to slow down appropriately begins with reducing the throttle input to zero at an appropriate distance for a normal braking application based on the vehicle’s weight and momentum.

Using Cruise Control on Hilly or Mountainous Roads

Cruise control is a wonderful feature that manages the speed, throttle control and, on some vehicles, even the jake and/or the service brakes. In addition, it can produce better fuel-consumption numbers than many drivers can attain while manually operating the vehicle. But these gains are enjoyed only when traveling on relatively level roadways. Using cruise control in conditions involving ascending and descending grades, however, may not yield the same rewards. Driving in these conditions requires varying the throttle input to attain the most economical fuel consumption. Allowing your vehicle to coast down to about 15 percent slower than your desired average speed when approaching a downgrade will eliminate or reduce the need for applying brakes to check the speed.  When climbing a grade, avoid using full throttle. A lesser power setting combined with a manually selected gear will get you up there burning less fuel. The need to manually select a lower gear is to prevent an upshift resulting in an engine-lugging condition.

A high mountain peak wreathed in fog.

Photo: Peter Mercer

Excess Idling Time

In many situations, RV owners let their engines run for long periods of time. We let engines idle for supposedly quick rest area stops while checking in to a campground and the like. Most of these stops take five minutes or more. While idling seems to make sense, consider how wasteful it can be. Shutting it down can aid in fuel savings, providing the motor does not need to cool down from a hard run.

Dealing With Head Winds

Tailwinds can offer a free bonus for vehicles. They don’t help by pushing you in the desired direction; they merely reduce the air’s friction resistance. Let’s say you’re traveling 60 miles per hour. A robust 20 mph wind from behind the vehicle would decrease the resistance down to what you’d experience driving 40 mph. But what about headwinds? This, of course, increases the vehicle’s air resistance. Driving in the opposite direction would present a wind resistance equal to 80 mph. In this scenario, the wind resistance in one direction would be only a half that of the opposite direction. This difference is very noticeable on the fuel gauge. So, when faced with headwinds, there are probably only two ways to deal with it short of just grinning and bearing it. You could hold up where you are and wait for the wind to ease or reduce your travel speed. Slowing down will help, as the air’s friction percent of resistance to travel speed will go down. Often the re-routing to a secondary highway, where winds aren’t as powerful, will aid in this endeavor.

A GPS device lying on top of an open Atlas.

Photo: Peter Mercer

Route Planning Dos and Don’ts

Having a well-planned route both before and during your journey is needed, including regularly referencing GPS and/ or maps.  After all, running in circles and backtracking is really not that economical. Good Sam members can access the Good Sam Trip Planner to create efficient routes.

These are just some of the ways that may help to capture some of your RV’s fuel that might otherwise go to waste.

Peter Mercer — With Ways To Reduce Fuel Shrinkage

Source: 6 Simple Ways to Stop Wasting Fuel

Tackling RV Fridge Troubles in October’s Mark My Words

Tackling RV Fridge Troubles in October’s Mark My Words

Hi all! This month, we’ve got questions on various RV appliances. Remember to send your RVing questions to [email protected].

Hi Mark,

We’ve noticed an increase of icing on our fridge-cooling fins. It is the original Norcold fridge in our 1996 Itasca Sunrise. Food remains cold at a midrange setting and the freezer seems to keep things frozen sufficiently, so there is nothing to complain about other than a concern about the icing. We do clean out the fridge and freezer routinely. The icing is occurring while we’re hooked up to shore power and doesn’t seem to be any different whether it is set for normal operation or high humidity.  We only run on gas infrequently. Wondering if there is something we should be doing differently.

Thanks,

Phil

Hi Phil,

Usually, when an RV refrigerator starts forming more frost but still cools normally, I’d look at the door gasket. It doesn’t take much of a leak to let humid, warm air into the fridge and that will definitely increase frost production.

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<p id=Photo: CWH

Visually inspect the door seal for any tears or obvious problems. Clean both surfaces. Now, close the door with a dollar bill inserted between the door seal and the body of the refrigerator. You should be able to pull it out with some resistance, but in areas where the seal is not making, it will be very easy to pull out or entirely loose. Usually, there’s no way to fix a door seal, you just have to replace it. It’s not a very hard job to do.

Some other possibilities: have you changed your diet recently and are loading new foods that tend to carry more moisture with them? Have you recently moved the RV to an area with more humidity?

I deal with frost build-up in my small Norcold fridge by adding a small 12-volt DC electric fan to blow on the right-hand side of the coils. That’s the part that gets the coldest, and the circulating air really reduces frost buildup while maintaining very low interior temperatures. The fan can be fed from the 12-volt DC power source behind the fridge. If you use a small muffin fan, it can run continuously because these small fans only draw about 150 mA (Milliampere) of current.

Dear Mark,

I have a Wilderness 27-foot travel trailer.  My problem is the heat. I don’t know when it’s going to run and when it may decide not to. We took a trip to Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, last year for Thanksgiving. We turned on the heat and heard the lighter was trying to ignite, tick tick ticking, but if it didn’t want to ignite. We were just getting cold air. So we played with the thermostat and turned it on and off, and you’d never know if it was going to be heat or just fan going. I can tell it’s trying to ignite cause I hear tick tick, but if it doesn’t want to, it’s just not dependable, and we like to camp in the winter on occasion. Any suggestions? Someone said to clean the igniter, but I don’t even know where that is. Someone mentioned it may be propane is low. I just don’t know, but I want it dependable.

Sharon in Charleston, SC

Winter Rving. Class A Recreation Vehicle on the Park Parking Covered by Snow. Winter Boondocking.

Getty Images

Hi Sharon,

It’s no fun to have a furnace that you can’t trust! Several things can cause the problem you are seeing. It can be a problem with the propane supply to the furnace or low battery voltage at the furnace, but I suspect yours is an igniter problem or a circuit board problem. There are two metal probes inside the combustion chamber of the furnace that a spark jumps across to light the gas burner. That’s the “tick tick” sound you hear. Those probes may be dirty, misaligned, or there may be a problem with the high voltage connection to the furnace igniter board. If you have the manual for the furnace and are handy with tools, the igniter probes are relatively easy to remove and clean. The manual should show you where they are located inside the furnace. If cleaning the probes does not help, the problem may be in either the furnace control board or possibly the gas valve.

Unfortunately, furnaces really should be repaired only by folks who understand the safety aspects of working with gas appliances. If you are not sure what you are doing for your own safety, have a qualified technician diagnose and repair your furnace.

Mark:

You may have addressed this question before, but a friend told us that it’s not good to park our rig and leave everything off, especially the refrigerator. He said it’s not good to allow the coolant to settle to the bottom of the unit rather than circulate constantly. Our unit works off propane or electric, and we have been keeping the camper plugged into the house just to keep the refrigerator running. Fact or fiction?

Sonny and MayLynn

Hi Sonny and MayLynn,

I’d have to cast my vote for “fiction.” Leaving the refrigerator off when you are not using the RV will not adversely affect its lifespan. Running it continuously won’t really hurt it either, as long as it is level, but the electric heating element that operates the fridge when it’s on AC may eventually burn out; plus, it takes several hundred watts to operate. Save your money: RV refrigerators are designed to be turned on and off without causing any problems. Just leave it off, and prop the doors open so that it doesn’t smell musty inside. You may have to remove the inside 12-volt light bulb if it is still on when the refrigerator is turned off and the door is open.

Mark:

How do I clean out the water heater tank on my 1987 Bounder? 

Thanks,

Linda

Hi Linda,

First, make sure it is cold, or at least cool. Turn off the water heater, making sure that both the gas burner and the electric element (if so equipped) are off. Then, turn off the water pump, or disconnect the hose from the city water inlet. Open a hot water faucet to release any pressure, leave it open and go outside. Open the water heater access panel, and using a suitable tool, remove the water heater drain plug. Once the heater has drained, flush the inside of the tank through the drain plug by using a water heater flushing tool available at any RV parts store. The flushing tool is a long, thin nozzle that attaches to your garden hose and fits into the water heater drain opening. One popular brand is called a tank saver.

Once it’s all flushed out, replace the drain plug and turn the water back on. Let the water heater fill until water runs from all open hot water faucets before turning the heat back on. It’s best to do this at least once a year.

A single travel trailer on a camp site surrounded by green, leafy trees.

Getty Images

Hi Mark,

We are staying at an RV park in Tillamook, Oregon. We have a 30-amp connection.

The first morning after we arrived, it was about 45 degrees. I turned on our electric fireplace and started my microwave to heat my tea water. I usually set it at 2min 30 secs. When the water was done, it was barely warm. Then I noticed that the heater wasn’t as warm as usual. I thought that the microwave was on the fritz. I checked the power at the pole. I noticed that the three lights on the surge protector were not all green. The first light was red but the others were green. The list of faults said it was the L1 and L2 and neutral were reversed. I told the park of the problem, and they sent an electrician to remedy the problem. It was fine for a day. Next morning same issue. But it was repaired. I think it may be a supply issue at the park. There are about 65 other trailers here. Just looking for your thoughts on this issue.

Jeff

Hi Jeff,

Is your rig 50 amps and were you using a 30- to 50-amp adapter at the time? If so, those can cause some surge protectors to report a wiring problem, and it’s not usually a problem to operate that way.

Also, if you are used to having a 50-amp hookup, running on 30 amps requires load managing. In the example you provided, running an electric heater (fireplace) and the microwave at the same time along with the fridge and battery charging could push you over 30 amps. Low voltage is also a possibility: if the park’s system is overloaded and the voltage drops, it could make things like the microwave heat slower.

If the problem recurs at the next place you stay, then it’s something that needs to be looked into. I suspect, like you, that it’s a power issue at the park, and as such, shouldn’t follow you down the road. 😊

Source: Tackling RV Fridge Troubles in October’s Mark My Words

Fall for Apple Crisp Foil Packets

Fall for Apple Crisp Foil Packets

Fall is in full swing, and that means it’s time for all things apple! If you’re an apple lover, it’s the perfect opportunity to start cooking with these delicious fall fruits. In fact, October is National Apple Month, so why not whip up a tasty apple treat on your next camping trip?

Apple crisp is such an easy and delicious dessert, which makes it perfect for camping trips! The cinnamon and sugar go so well with the crisp apples and oat topping in a way that just screams “fall.” But while most apple crisp desserts need to be baked in an oven, this foil packet recipe is easy to make at the campsite and can be cooked over the fire, on a grill, and yes, in a tiny RV oven. You can even prep some of the ingredients at home, which makes this dessert even easier when you’re on the road!

Four crisp apples on a wooden table

Apples ready to cook. Photo: Pasja1000/Pixabay

If you’re traveling to a northern state that’s known for apples, stop by an orchard or farm stand and pick up some fresh apples to use in this recipe. But even if you’re heading south for the fall, grocery stores will be brimming with apple choices this time of year. What variety of apples work best with this recipe? Many! Any good baking apple will work great, and some of our favorites include Granny Smith, Honeycrisp, Braeburn, Pink Lady, Fuji and Gala.

So if you’re enjoying the cool weather and sipping on something warm around the campfire, add this recipe to your lineup for a festive fall camping dessert!

Tips for Making Apple Crisp Packets

  • You can mix the dry ingredients for the crumble before leaving for your camping trip to cut down on the number of elements you’ll need to pack. Just add the dry ingredients to a resealable jar or bag and bring the container along. Then add the melted butter once you’re ready to make the recipe.
  • Should you peel the apples or not peel them? That’s totally up to you. I tend to peel the apples since I’m not a particular fan of apple skins, but it’s fine either way.
  • These foil packets can be made three different ways — on the grill, over the fire or in the oven. We’ve included directions for each cooking method in the directions below.
  • Using heavy-duty foil or 2 layers of regular aluminum foil will help keep the packets from ripping or getting holes while cooking. The double-layer is especially helpful when cooking over a campfire. If you’re making these in your RV oven, you can get away with a single layer of foil and place the packets on a small baking sheet before putting them in to cook.
  • If cooking over a fire or on the grill, occasionally rotate the packets so they can heat evenly on all sides.
  • Be extra careful when removing the packets from the heat and opening them after cooking. The hot steam can burn, so keep your face, fingers and skin out of the way.

Campfire Apple Crisp Foil Packets

Makes 5 packets

Ingredients:

Overhead shot of dry ingredients in a white bowl on a lawn.

Dry ingredients for apple crisp.

5 apples (such as Honeycrisp, Granny Smith,

or Braeburn), cored and sliced

1/4 cup brown sugar

2 tsp cinnamon

Crumble Topping:

1/2 cup quick oats

1/2 cup flour

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1/3 cup butter, melted

Optional Toppings:

Ice cream

Whipped cream

Caramel sauce

Tools:

10 sheets of Aluminum foil

Directions:

1) To make the oat topping ahead of time, mix all dry crumble ingredients (everything EXCEPT for the butter) in a bowl (above) until well combined. Store mixture in a resealable jar or bag until needed. If you’re making this in one go, jump to the next step!

Sliced apples in a white bowl on wooden table.

Peeling apples is optional.

2) Core and slice apples. You can peel the apples if you’d like, but it’s not necessary. Add the apples to a large mixing bowl and add the 1/4 cup of brown sugar and 2 tsp of cinnamon. Mix well until the apples are evenly coated.

Coated apples sliced and ready to cook in a white bowl.

Coat the apples evenly before cooking.

3) Cut 10 sheets of heavy-duty aluminum foil approximately 12-14 inches long. You’ll use 2 sheets for each packet.

4) Add the crumble dry ingredients to another bowl and mix until well combined. Add the melted butter and stir until the mixture is crumbly.

Apples on a sheet of aluminum foil under a pile of crumbles.

Mixing crumble with the coated apples.

5) Divide the coated apples into 5 packets (each packet will have 2 sheets of foil).

6) Spoon the crumble mixture evenly onto the 5 packets.

On each foil packet, bring the two long sides of the foil together and fold them over a few times. Then fold in the ends to make a sealed packet. Be sure to leave some room inside the packets for the steam to circulate. Double-check to make sure there are no holes in the foil and that the packet is sealed tightly.

To cook on the grill:

Cook the packets over indirect medium heat on a grill for 15-20 minutes until the apples are cooked through. Carefully open the packets and watch for escaping steam.

A freshly unwrapped packet containing cooked apples.

Cooked apples in their foil packets.

To cook over the fire:

Wait until your fire has been burning for a while and has reduced to a nice bed of coals. Put the packets on a cooking grate over the coals and cook for 15 minutes, rotating the packets occasionally. Once the apples are cooked through, carefully remove the packets from the heat. Allow to cool for a few minutes and carefully open.

To cook in the oven:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Put the foil packets on a baking sheet and cook for about 20 minutes. Cook until the apples are soft, then remove from the oven. Carefully open the packets and enjoy!

Whipped cream spread on apple crisps.

Whipped cream adds the final touch to an apple crisp packet. Now it’s time to dig in!

Top with whipped cream, caramel sauce, or ice cream for a tasty dessert or snack. Or skip the toppings; it’s just as good on its own! Refrigerate any leftovers in an airtight container. The leftover crisp will last 3-4 days in the fridge — if you don’t eat it all before then!

Photos by Kacey Cribari unless otherwise indicated.

Source: Fall for Apple Crisp Foil Packets

12 Spooky RV Destinations for Halloween and Beyond

12 Spooky RV Destinations for Halloween and Beyond

Don’t let the spirits of October catch you by surprise. To help you plan a fun and spooky Halloween road trip, we’ve compiled a list of some of the scariest places and events in North America. Many of these spots stay open long past October 31, giving you a chance to get your fright on well into autumn.

Find a Good Sam Park near each scary stop on this list. 

Gunfighter Ghost Tour, Tombstone, Arizona

Sign indicating the

Getty Images

If the town’s name and wild past doesn’t convince you that this place is haunted, then a tour through its neighborhoods might turn you into a believer. The Tombstone Gunfighter and Ghost Tour starts at Big Nose Kate’s Saloon, once the elegant Grand Hotel. A stroll down Allen’s street takes tourgoers to sites of some of the bloodiest Old West gunfights; guests are advised to be vigilant for spirit sightings. Of course, the tour includes a stop at the infamous O.K. Corral, the place where lawmen led by Virgil Earp gunned down three outlaws in 30 seconds in 1881. Whet your whistle at Doc Holliday’s Saloon after a day spent walking with ghosts.

Stay: CT RV Resort in Benson offers luxury living with spectacular views just minutes from Tombstone.

Whaley House, San Diego, California

A brick, two-story house near a palm tree.

Whaley House. Photo: Joe Mabel

Sitting in the Old Town district of San Diego, a pleasant-looking, 1800s-era house hides a troubled past. According to local history, a thief named James “Yankee Jim” Robinson was hung on the site in 1852 for the charge of grand larceny. A few years later, a couple named Thomas and Ana Whaley built a brick house in Greek Revival style on the spot. In the subsequent years, occupants of the house have reported hearing the footsteps of Yankee Jim. Others have reported sightings of a little girl and dog. Were these real or imagined? Find out for yourself with a tour of the house, and explore the other historic sites in beautiful Old Town.

Stay: Santee Lakes Recreation Preserve in Santee has more than 190 acres of parkland.

Sea Witch Festival, Rehoboth Beach, Delaware

Sails and mast on ancient sailing vessel against a usk sky.

Getty Images

The family-friendly 30th Annual Sea Witch Festival puts a nautical twist on Halloween. Events here include a costume parade, dog parade, trick or treating, and hayrides. One of the event’s highlights is the Sea Witch Hunt, in which revelers try to find the dreaded witch for prizes. The event was featured in HGTV’s list of the “21 Great Fall Festivals.”

Stay: Massey’s Landing in Millsboro sits in the heart of the First State’s Shore.

Haunted Road, Orlando, Florida

Silhouette of person standing in the dark forest with light.

Getty Images

Florida’s theme park capital is home to the scariest stretch of road in the mortal realm. The Haunted Road leads motorists on a 40-minute drive past terrifying specters and eerie lights. Tune in to the radio broadcast to get the full experience. Designated parking spots along the route give motorists a chance to experience the total shock of the route. Every motorist must wear a seatbelt and vehicles must not exceed 7.5 feet tall and 17 feet in length. The road is open well into November, so don’t rush to get there — the ghosts will be waiting. 

Stay: Southern Palms RV Resort in Eustis features guest activities and is just a short drive from Orlando.

Haunted New Orleans, Louisiana

Horse and Carriage Wagon Ride, Historic New Orleans, Louisiana, at Night

Historic New Orleans. Getty Images

The town that gave us Mardi Gras puts on an equally spectacular Halloween show. History buffs can take tours through some of the many haunted sites throughout the town’s French Quarter or walk through one of the town’s famed above-ground cemeteries. During Halloween, street parties rage on Bourbon and St. Ann streets in the heart of the French Quarter. If you’re visiting earlier in the week, watch the Krew of Boo Parade on October 23. Marvel at the floats that pass by, and catch the prizes thrown out by the float-riding ghouls and goblins. This family-friendly event features plenty of candy and toys.

Stay: Pine Crest RV Park of New Orleans in Slidell is only 30 minutes from downtown New Orleans and Gulf Coast beaches.

Jack O’Lantern Blazes, Hudson Valley, New York

Many Halloween Pumpkin glowing faces in a row isolated on black background. 3D Rendering illustration

Getty Images

The historical Cortlandt Manor in New York’s Hudson Valley becomes the setting for eerie displays of orange light. More than 7,000 pumpkins are lit up for the Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze held through November 21. Synchronized lighting and an original soundtrack make this a Halloween celebration like no other. See these glowing gourds arranged in towering sculptures that will make you rethink Halloween.

Stay: Rip Van Winkle Campgrounds in Saugerties is close to the beautiful Catskills Mountains.

Haunted Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

A lone cannon faces an empty battlefield under overcast skies.

Gettysburg National Military Park. Photo: Durban

Gettysburg has been considered one of the most haunted places in the United States. Much of that reputation can be attributed to the bloody Civil War battle that raged here in 1863, which saw more than 50,000 men die in combat, most buried in nearby graves. Take a ghost tour through town to learn about the spirits of soldiers and locals who purportedly haunt Gettysburg’s streets to this day. For something a bit more whimsical, watch the Annual Olde Getty Place Gettysburg Halloween Parade. Floats, marching bands and some scary ghouls highlight this event.

Stay: The Drummer Boy Camping Resort in Gettysburg has modern amenities and is close to ghost walks and battlefield tours.

Fright Nights, Las Vegas, Nevada

Moon hangs low over brightly lit Vegas skyline.

Buildings line the Vegas Strip. Getty Images

Las Vegas terrifies visitors with Fright Nights, a trio of hair-raising experiences located in the heart of the city. Dodge good ole boys wielding pitchforks and axes at the Blood Barn; Explore a nightmarish Victorian home in Nightmare Manor; and come face-to-face with a circus of nightmares in the Clown Invasion 3D, where painted fiends lurk in chaotic mazes and diabolical ball pits. Fright Nights benefits Opportunity Village, a not-for-profit organization serving adults in the Southern Nevada community with intellectual and related disabilities. 

Stay: Las Vegas RV Resort offers luxury amenities situated close to the legendary Strip.

Deadwood, South Dakota

Ghost town under starry skies.

Getty Images

During its heyday as a mining town in the Black Hills, the city of Deadwood was a magnet for outlaws. Wild Bill Hickok, Calamity Jane, Potato Creek Johnny and other gunslingers helped fill the plots of Mount Moriah Cemetery on the edge of town. Today, ghosts from the town’s colorful past are said to haunt many of the buildings from the 1800s that line the town’s streets. Sign up with a Haunted History Walking Tour and visit places like the Historic Bullock Hotel; some say it reeks of cigar smoke produced by the ghost of the town’s first sheriff, who built the hotel in 1895.

Visiting during Halloween? Have fun at Deadweird, the town’s annual celebration with a Monster Ball, Costume Contest and music.

Stay: Chris’ Camp & RV Park is located in beautiful spearfish just minutes from Deadwood.

Ripley’s Haunted Adventure, Gatlinburg, Tennessee

Old haunted abandoned mansion in creepy night forest with cold fog atmosphere

Getty Images

Located at the foot of the Great Smoky Mountains, Ripley’s Haunted Adventure occupies 10,000 feet of scary space inhabited by creepy occupants — actors in makeup — who spook visitors at every twist and turn. Part of the Ripley’s Believe it Or Not complex of attractions in Gatlinburg, this haunted house is open 365 days a year, giving guests a taste of Halloween long beyond fall. Ripley’s Haunted Adventure celebrates its 20th annual Fright Nights with a special show each weekend in October, with no extra charge every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evening plus Halloween night.

Stay: Greenbrier Campground sits on the Little Pigeon River and is only six miles from downtown Gatlinburg.

USS Lexington, Corpus Christi, Texas

Aircraft carrier under an overcast sky.

Aircraft carrier USS Lexington docked in Corpus Christi. Getty Images.

On the Gulf Coast, a decommissioned World War II aircraft carrier harbors ghostly crew members, according to spirit watchers. Visitors to the USS Lexington have reported a sailor in uniform helping lost tourists navigate the ship’s passageways as well as a sailor talking to guests in the engine room before vanishing. The high numbers of incidences have put the ship, which is now a museum, high on the list of America’s haunted places. The USS Lexington Museum has embraced the ghostly spirit with the 2021 LEX Haunted House, a tour through 80 compartments in the ship, including spaces never before seen by the public. Tourgoers should be able to handle steep ladders, dark corridors and spine-tingling frights. The haunted house runs through the first week of November. 

Stay: Colonia Del Rey RV Park in Corpus Christi is located just five miles from Padre Island.

Thomas Family Farm Pumpkins & Corn Maze, Seattle, Washington

Man leading kid through corn maze.

Getty Images

North of Seattle, Thomas Family Farm offers the perfect Halloween event for families seeking autumn fun. Visitors can take a wild ride in a Monster Truck, take aim at the Kids’ Paintball Blast or get lost in the 8-acre corn Maze. The Zombie Safari Paintball Hayride is as scary as it sounds, while the Nightmare on 9 Haunted house is bound to raise some hairs. Missed Halloween? The farm puts on plenty of Holiday events.

Stay: Lake Pleasant RV Park in Bothell situates guests close to all that Seattle has to offer.

Source: 12 Spooky RV Destinations for Halloween and Beyond

Protecting Your Pets on Camping Trips

Protecting Your Pets on Camping Trips

Sink your claws into this fact: RV travelers love bringing their pets on the road with them. Surveys have shown that more than 60 percent of RVers are accompanied by animal friends on camping trips. This should come as no surprise if you’ve spent any time in campgrounds across North America (at least the ones that allow pets). People walking their dogs, and to a lesser extent, cats, are a common sight. There are also RV owners camping with parrots, iguanas, ferrets and a whole lot more. But for this post, let’s focus exclusively on cats and dogs. Let’s talk about safeguarding your pets on the road.

Finding the Right RV Park

Keep in mind that it’s essential to review the pet policies of the parks you’re visiting. Most campgrounds require dogs to be kept on a short leash and not roam free. However, many private campgrounds offer dog walks or off-leash dog park areas to accommodate pet owners. Check the Good Sam listing of the park you plan to visit to determine pet policies. You’ll find information about pet restrictions in the campground listing’s Policies section.

Differences in Geography

Woman hiking with akita inu dog on mountain trail.

Getty Images

So how do we keep our furry friends from harm while traveling the country in our RV? How is safeguarding them while traveling any different than caring for them at home?

There are other things that change with the geographic area. Depending on where you travel, you may encounter birds and reptiles that may pose a problem. Snakes, for example, pose little danger for most of us as they will scurry away should we ever get near them. But dogs and cats like to sneak around and investigate. They might just find a Florida favorite, the pygmy rattlesnake. Not only might they come upon a snake, but cats may actually bring one back to your RV to show you what they caught. This I have witnessed several times with a park neighbor. Fortunately, these were not venomous types but more in the grass snake group.

Other Animals

Happy hipster people having fun in summer vacation in car during summer vacation - Young multiracial friends in camper van - Focus on dog face

Getty Images

If you’re visiting some wetlands areas in the Gulf Coast region of the country, you might want to keep your dog out of some of the freshwater rivers, lakes and ponds. Alligators have been known to surprise unsuspecting animals in their environment. In fact, Everglades National Park in Florida prohibits dogs from the park’s trails (although they are allowed in other areas of the park). So, it’s best to restrain Fido in certain areas.

Wolves, coyotes, bobcats and cougars are just some of the animals that may inhabit the regions you roam in. This is not a big issue, providing you are aware of the environment. Though the chances are highly unlikely a predator will target your pet, why expose them to such a risk?

If you have a very small cat or small dog, you should be mindful of larger bird species like the golden or bald eagle in places like Alaska. They target small animals like rabbits, squirrels, marmots and the like. Not allowing your pets to roam freely will alleviate the risk of such exposures.

Everyday Dangers

A man sitting on the edge of a cliff with two small dogs.

Getty Images

In many ways, traveling with your little friend is really no more dangerous than that of being at home. There may be a snarling rottweiler that lives down the street in your neighborhood, stretching his chain in hopes of being able to get your Fido. You put in place measures that prevent this from ever happening. Likewise, the urban and suburban motorways and multi-lane highways that wind through your area call for a secure restraint to protect your pet from roaming into a possible dangerous area.

Also we also must be vigilant against RV features that don’t exist in our fixed residences, things that your pet may not be familiar with. For example, interior slide tops, when retracted, are an appealing hideout for felines. In addition, both cats and dogs may curl up in a floor slide area. This may expose them to a mechanical injury if activated. So, be sure to have your pet(s) contained within a safe place when slide engagement is employed.

Automatic entrance steps are a great feature. However, not so great if your pet is beneath or close to them. Again, they can be exposed to possible mechanical injury. Therefore, if Fido or Felix is out and about in the patio area, be sure to turn the auto step feature off.

If you take the proper safety precautions for your pets, you and your traveling companion are free to have fun. Consider all the aspects of traveling with your pet.

Peter Mercer — Adjusting to your location’s environment.

Source: Protecting Your Pets on Camping Trips

Kid Eats: Top 10 Kid-Friendly Camping Recipes

Kid Eats: Top 10 Kid-Friendly Camping Recipes

In every camping escapade, from the early mornings to starry nights, only two things are constant: campfires and food. For children, camp stories will be an addition. While camping, a child’s vivid and nostalgic memories revolve around these three. Cooking by the campfire, especially with its varying temperatures, which will need extensive patience from everyone, will always be a challenge. But for the kids, what can we do? Cooking in the wilderness is fun enough that the challenges to be encountered (i.e., the fire going off with every gust of wind, keeping the food at the right temperature, etc.) will likely be worth it in the long run. But for a hungry brood of kids to feed, having scrumptious recipes planned out in advance will be best. Pack up the essentials, grab your ingredients and cookware, and cook up these kid-friendly camping recipes we’ve listed below.

Savory Breakfasts

Six pancakes cooking on an outdoor grill.

Getty Images

For early morning arrivals at camp, watching the sunrise will be the best way to spend the time. What better way to upgrade this experience than eating an extra special breakfast that will keep you and your family energized throughout the day? Pancakes make the perfect campfire food: You can pre-make (and pack) the dry and wet ingredients separately, then mix them up just when you need them. Another classic that kids can make themselves are peanut butter and jelly with a twist: they’re muffins. These can make this classic delicacy easy to grab and go.

Super Sandwiches

A pair of hamburgers with onions, tomatoes and halloumi.

Veggie halloumi burgers. Getty Images

If barbecuing would be your choice for lunch, halloumi would be a perfect option as it holds its shape while cooking and develops a beautiful chargrilled, salty flavor. Light up the coals and get grilling with those cheese slices! Try these quick and easy veggie halloumi burgers (above) featuring toasted brioche buns with fresh lettuce and tomatoes. These tasty little salmon tacos with lime dressing (top of page) will be a real treat for your kids as they can assemble their own after you’ve cooked the salmon on the barbecue. With just a frying pan in hand, a tasty no-oven pizza is a popular camp meal for the kids. They can simply make their dough and choose a selection of their favorite toppings to garnish!

Easy Lunches

Veggie boxes

Your little ones will be refueled with these fresh and healthy lunchboxes. This pasta pesto salad is not only easy to prepare in advance but also quick to eat and nutritious to keep the kids energetic for the rest of the day. Another veggie box the kids (and adults) would surely love is this deli couscous that isn’t just healthy, but definitely tasty too!

Homemade taco chicken soup in a rustic pot

Cowboy chicken and bean stew. Getty Images

Make-ahead Meals

Minimal prep will be involved with the cowboy chicken & bean stew, but you will need a bit of patience. Give this casserole dish a bit of time to cook to get the best results. Once every ingredient has been decked out, you can simply leave it to cook on its own. Alternatively, these make-at-home recipes that you can rehear at camp will make your lives way easier, especially with your schedule of activities completely packed. Our roast summer vegetables and chickpea stew and squash, chicken & couscous one-pot are full of goodness and also perfect for making ahead.

A cast-iron pot containing red blend of veggies with some spinach leaves.

Roast summer vegetables and chickpea stew. Getty Images

Make-Ahead Mac and Cheese

This decadent pasta features sharp Cheddar, mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. You’ll savor every single forkful of this dish for sure.

A pan brimming with delicious Mac and Cheese.

Mac and cheese. Getty Images

Dipping Desserts

We’re all aware of how kids would probably choose desserts over any meal, right? You can satisfy their cravings with these sticky strawberry, marshmallow & chocolate dippers. Simply melt some chocolate (milk, white, or dark) over the dying embers of a barbecue so it doesn’t burn. Be careful not to let the kids touch the pan, though, as it will get really hot. Hand out wooden skewers to be used for the marshmallows and strawberries. Add on some selection of sprinkles, flaked coconut, crumbled biscuits, or chopped nuts for kids to be creative with after dipping!

Bedtime drinks

Nothing beats looking at the starry night, with board games, bedtime stories, and a warm cup of hot caramel malted milk, as the kids get ready to be tucked in bed. Of course, hot chocolate topped with mini marshmallows is a good idea, too. An all-time classic, for sure.

Source: Kid Eats: Top 10 Kid-Friendly Camping Recipes

Drop a Line in Destin, Florida, the ‘World’s Luckiest Fishing Village’

Drop a Line in Destin, Florida, the ‘World’s Luckiest Fishing Village’

In Destin, located on Florida’s panhandle, the menu for fun includes fishing, paddleboarding, shopping and dining on fresh seafood. Once a sleepy fishing village, Destin has grown to become one of the premier vacation destinations in the Sunshine State. Between the soft, white-sand beaches, the world-class fishing excursions and the thrill-a-minute attractions on shore, there’s a little something for everyone in this warm-weather paradise. Drop a line in Destin for snowbird adventure.

For a great place to stay, Camping on the Gulf is a top-rated destination situated right on the coast.

Hook, Line and Dinner

Grandfather, teaching his two teenager grandaughters his best tricks to catch some big fish.

Getty Images

Billed as the “World’s Luckiest Fishing Village,” Destin is home to one of the country’s largest charter fishing fleets, making it easy to arrange the excursion of your dreams. For an accessible, family-friendly outing, try the inshore waterways of Choctawhatchee Bay, where king mackerel, red snapper or grouper are a quick cast away. However, more serious anglers will want to book a deep-sea outing 25-miles offshore, where the shallow waters of the harbor give way to the rich waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Tuna, billfish, and sharks, as well as plenty of seasonal sportfish, call these bountiful waters home, so you can expect plenty of fight and plenty of fish as you cast a line alongside some of the Gulf’s most experienced guides.

Surf and Sand

A young woman rides a wave on a paddleboard.

Photo Courtesy of Camping on the Gulf

Renowned for its sugar-white beaches, the region is a haven for sunbathers of all stripes. If you’re looking to lounge the day away, it’s hard to beat the powder-like sand at family-friendly James Lee Park. The sand’s white color even keeps it cool under your feet. For a more secluded outing, head to Henderson Beach State Park, where you can observe stunning sea birds in their natural habitats. The nearby nature trail offers an even closer look at the iconic animals. At Jetty East beach, you’ll find plenty of surfers testing their mettle against pulse-pounding waves. At the same time, the harborside Norriego Point is the perfect place for boating, kayaking or paddleboarding in calmer water alongside picturesque dunes. Of course, once you’ve worked up an appetite, nothings beat a visit to the popular Crab Trap, a thirty-year-old eatery that serves up super-fresh seafood and unforgettable sunset views amid fun nautical-themed decor.

The Squeaking Sands of Okaloosa

A pier stretches into emerald waters from a white-sand beach.

Okaloosa Island Fishing Pier and Beach. Getty Images

Just across the bridge on Okaloosa Island, visitors are greeted with miles of shoreline with sand so fine it literally squeaks under your feet. Bring a picnic and some sunscreen and be sure to enjoy some of the most strikingly beautiful coastlines America has to offer. You can even take a sandcastle-making lesson right on the beach. Anglers can bring their poles to the Okaloosa Island Fishing Pier, which spans 1,262 feet into the Gulf’s waters. On an average day, pier anglers can catch Spanish mackerel, whiting or bluefish. Foodies should set their hooks for pompano, a fish prized by chefs for its taste, flaked texture and versatility. Didn’t bring fishing gear? No worries. The pier rents out rods, cut bait and tackle at an additional charge.

Harbor Walks

Two boats suspended by cranes above their slips on a bustling waterfront area.

Getty Images

Spice up your stay with a visit to HarborWalk Village, home to some of the best shopping on the Panhandle. Whether you’re in the market for a kitschy accessory or true nautical treasure, you’re sure to find it in one of the funky waterfront shops. The area is also home to an array of restaurants and rides catering to all types of visitors. From upscale eateries, dockside seafood, dolphin cruises, fireworks, pirate parades, and more, HarborWalk is at the heart of Destin’s fun-filled philosophy. It’s also a great jumping-off point for visits to a family-friendly outing to Big Kahuna’s Waterpark, where kids and adults alike will revel in the more than 40 slides, rides and play areas.

Wonderful Wildlife

Sea turtle swimming amid rays of sun that stream through the water.

Getty Images

Last but not least, no trip to Destin would be truly complete without experiencing the exciting world of wildlife that calls this unique region home. Dolphin cruises are a popular pastime, while SNUBA, a cross between snorkeling and scuba diving, brings the underwater world closer than ever before. With the ability to stay underwater for 20-30 minutes at a time, you can explore artificial reefs and shipwrecks, as well as collect sand dollars from the seafloor. Back on dry land, budding biologists should join a Nighttime Educational Beach Walk with a local sea turtle expert. The endangered species are a vital part of the Gulf ecosystem and the Emerald Coast is one of the best places to catch a glimpse of this majestic creature during its seasonal migration. Book your place online or via the Destin-Fort Walton Beach Welcome Center.

Sea Life Adventures

At the Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park, you can spend the morning snorkeling with stingrays, the afternoon feeding the penguins and then take in a fun-filled dolphin show before dinner. It’s an immersive, one-of-a-kind experience that visitors return to year after year. Just make sure to save enough time to make it to Okaloosa Island Pier for the brilliant sunsets on the Gulf of Mexico and Wednesday night fireworks shows that happen weekly during the summer. For a deep dive into the legacy behind the “luckiest fishing village in the world,” stop into the Destin History and Fishing Museum, which displays artifacts and exhibits about the city’s pioneer days and how the earliest fishermen thrived off the bounty of the sea.

Source: Drop a Line in Destin, Florida, the ‘World’s Luckiest Fishing Village’

Project Rustic: Boondocking Responsibly Off-The-Grid In An RV

Project Rustic: Boondocking Responsibly Off-The-Grid In An RV

Last Updated on October 8, 2021 by Christina

While you may not have heard of “boondocking” before, you probably know what it is and may have even done it yourself. It’s the primary form of camping for Project Rustic, a five-month long project to gather data about state forest campgrounds that stems from a partnership between General RV and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Paige Lackey, an AmeriCorps member serving with the DNR, is traveling in a Nexus Triumph provided by General RV on a tour of 77 sites where she’s gathering GPS coordinates, photos, and more. Paige is chronicling her experiences in this blog, including what she’s learned, how she’s been boondocking at many of her sites, and some of the highlights of her journey.

What is Boondocking?

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Boondocking is a type of camping that typically implies camping with a vehicle, such as an RV, van, car or pickup truck outside of a developed campground. Folks who primarily boondock are seeking a more traditional way of being in nature away from noise, other campers and light pollution.

Boondocking, or dry camping, is a self-sufficient way to camp away from town and without any public utilities or hookups. The term stems from the word, boondocks, which originates from the Tagalog word, “bundók” which means “mountain”. The word was brought to the United States by American soldiers fighting the Philippine-American War (1899-1902). The Filipino people used the word as a colloquial for rural inland areas, which on the Philippine islands is generally mountainous, difficult to reach areas. Today, the phrase, “out in the boonies” stems from the word “boondocks”.

Boondocking: The Responsible Way to Camp in a Pandemic

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Boondocking could be viewed as a responsible way to camp during the pandemic. It provides an opportunity for solitude and independence. Over the last two years, we’ve seen a large increase in use of campgrounds and outdoors spaces across the country. Many popular campgrounds were completely booked for the last summer season. Boondocking provides an opportunity to isolate and socially distance from the outdoor crowds. Additionally, there are no shared services like bathrooms or water sources. While boondocking, you use only what you bring and interaction with others is limited, and often nonexistent.

Rules of Boondocking & Things to Consider

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Although boondocking could seem as simple as spotting an open field and parking your rig there, there are many things to consider. First off, you need to know whether you are legally allowed to stay on the land. Check any posted signage or with a local ranger station regarding local regulations. Be mindful of the size of your RV. Make sure your RV can handle traveling off the beaten path and has enough room at the site to safely park, or even turn around. Additionally, make sure the surface you park on is durable – this will minimize your impact.

Safety should be taken into consideration when camping “off-the-grid”. You are likely alone, meaning the nearest person may be miles away. You most likely will be far from cell service or other means of communication. Keep your wits about you and choose your location wisely. Stick to existing roads and use established sites when possible. Weather can change quickly, which could alter road conditions, making a previously easy-to-navigate route impassable.  Be mindful of water sources, as a low and lazy creek could become a roaring river after heavy rainfall.

Most importantly, leave no trace. This should be top of the mind when boondocking. The same rules that apply to backcountry backpackers and tenters apply to boondockers. This means “pack it in, pack it out”. Everything you brought with you needs to leave with you, especially any trash generated. Be responsible with fire, don’t dump your tanks on the ground and respect the wildlife.

How to find a Boondocking site

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In the U.S., most boondocking can be found on public lands, which include Bureau of Land Management land, national forests and some state land. Dispersed and Primitive tent camping within U.S. Forest Service land is allowed almost anywhere, unless otherwise posted as closed and/or “No Camping”. Most national forests that allow dispersed camping have a 14-day stay limit, though it can vary from as short as one day to as long as 30 days. Check local regulations by either stopping in at the nearest ranger station, or calling ahead before you arrive. Some online resources are available, like Campendium and iOverlander, which provide honest reviews and detailed information on middle-of-nowhere places to set up camp.

Essential Items Needed for Boondocking

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Boondocking requires a little extra thought and preparation. Once you’re parked in your spot the nearest town could be miles away. Here are a few items you may need to be prepared for off-grid living:

  • Power Source:
    • Solar panels are more popular than ever and they’re much more environmentally friendly than a generator. Even with a solar set up, a back up generator is good idea. Some days might not offer enough sunlight to charge up your batteries.
  • Lights:
    • The easiest way to light up your camp is with solar powered lights. Lanterns or string lights can be helpful outdoors lights.
  • Heating/Cooling:
    • A portable heater might be necessary for cold nights. Instead of using the noisy, battery-draining heating system in the RV a propane heater is a great alternative.
    • Using the AC while boondocking is typically not possible. A battery-powered fan is a great, low-energy alternative.
  • Water Containers:
    • Prior to leaving civilization, make sure you have sufficient water for your trip. Top off the water tank in the RV and bring additional water sources with you. Plastic water jugs or reusable containers will offer additional water if your tank starts to run low.
  • Cooler/Fridge:
    • Food storage is necessary and often can be one of the more challenging elements of boondocking. A low power fridge or electric cooler are great options. An ice packed cooler is also sufficient for shorter trips. 

Best Types of RVs for Boondocking

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Small to medium-sized trailers, such as teardrop campers, tend to be most popular among full-time boondockers. Boondockers generally want their trailers to be manageable in having to make tight turns, towing up steep grades, and getting through soft sand. Vans, and Class-B RVs do a great job of being able to get into smaller campsites, and offer much more maneuverability in tight dirt roads, but full-time boondockers prefer to remain camped in the same site for at least a week or up to a few weeks at a time. When it comes to living full-time as a boondocker, couples need space to maintain a healthy relationship. Some of the best RVs for boondocking by class type include:

Best Travel Trailer for Boondocking

Best Class B RV for Off-The-Beaten-Path Adventures

Best Adventure Ready Toy Hauler

Pop-Up Campers Built for Exploring Parts Unknown

Best Fifth Wheel RV for Boondockers

Best Class C Motorhome for Boondocking

Project Rustic is now entering its final stages, as Paige visits the final handful of sites remaining on her list. Continue to follow Paige’s journey across Michigan with updates on the General RV Project Rustic blog page.

Source: Project Rustic: Boondocking Responsibly Off-The-Grid In An RV

The Best Virginia Campgrounds For An Unforgettable RV Excursion

The Best Virginia Campgrounds For An Unforgettable RV Excursion

Last Updated on October 6, 2021 by Christina

“Virginia is for Lovers” has been the state’s official advertising slogan since 1968, but we think that “Virginia is for Campers” has a nice ring to it, too. While the state, sadly, isn’t likely to change the slogan, we still love camping in an RV throughout Virginia. We’ll show you how it’s chock-full of campgrounds, each with unique aspects to offer that will make your stay in the Old Dominion a memorable one.

At 42,804 square miles, Virginia has several distinct regions, all featuring warm southern hospitality, a rich history and fantastic food. Pack your fifth wheel, travel trailer or motorhome to learn more about the nation’s first settlement at Jamestown. Catch a glimpse of the famous wild Chincoteague ponies and tour presidential homes in a single trip. There is so much to see and do, there is no time to waste!

Why Go Camping In Virginia?

chesapeake bay virginia
Pier leading out into the Chesapeake Bay, VA

The state is often referred to as “the birthplace of a nation.” Many people believe they know everything there is to know about the stunning state of Virginia from textbooks. However, seeing a photo of Chesapeake Bay is nothing compared to experiencing it for yourself in your RV. Virginia is full of surprises. Camp next to a battlefield one night and then a beach the next. Soak up the sights of Washington D.C. another night and relax to the sounds of the Blue Ridge Mountains the next evening.  Campers love:

8 Virginia Campgrounds We Love 

Whether you’re a fan of history or simply love nature’s beauty, you’re sure to enjoy your stay at the best Virginia campgrounds. There is truly something for everyone. Here are our favorite picks for Virginia campgrounds that will steal your heart:

Greenville Farm Family Campground | Haymarket

Best Virginia campground for old-fashioned fun

civil war cannon virginia
Civil War cannon at Manassas National Battlefield Park

First on our list is a campground for animal lovers. Greenville Farm Family Campground is both a campground and a working farm. This 200-acre farm has been family owned and operated since 1828. They added the campground in 1967. Today, campers are welcome to experience farm life firsthand by viewing farm operations and visiting with the animals.

The campground has a relaxed, quiet atmosphere.  There is a large outdoor pool and campers have access to four ponds that are stocked with bass, bluegill and channel catfish. The ponds also attract a fair share of ducks.

While the campground may be rustic with few bells and whistles, it does provide a unique experience. Enjoy the sounds of cows mooing and birds chirping during the day; frogs croaking at night to lull you to sleep. At dusk, sit outside and gaze out over the rolling hills as you watch deer and rabbit frolic in the distance. The sunsets are amazing in this rural part of Virginia, too.

The remote location is perfect to visit the nearby Manassas National Battlefield Park, the site of two Civil War battles. The First Battle of Manassas, also known as Bull Run, took place on July 21, 1861 and the Second Battle of Manassas happened on August 28-30, 1862. Visitors can take a guided tour, view living history demonstrations and visit the Henry Hill Visitor Center and Brawner Farm Interpretative Center. Other nearby attractions include the Manassas Historical Museum, Arlington Cemetery, Mount Vernon and Washington, D.C.

Campsites are available in the grassy area up front or wooded region in the back of the campground. Facilities and amenities are limited in the winter. They include restrooms, showers, dumping station, camp store, firewood, ice, laundry and playground. There are 125 spaces available and 30 have full hookups. Most sites are pull-thru with shade, a fire ring and a picnic table. Pets are welcome.

Tall Pines Harbor Campground | Temperanceville

Best Virginia campground for watching the sunrise or sunset

rv campgrounds sunset sunrise
Sunset along shore of Pocomoke Sound

Next, let’s take a trip to Temperanceville. Located on Virginia’s Eastern Shore in Sanford along the shores of the Pocomoke Sound is Tall Pines Harbor Campground. It has a fantastic sandy beach swimming area, boat ramp for small watercraft and bay front campsites. No matter where you camp in this beautiful, large campground, you’ll have a spectacular view of the best sunrises and sunsets around. 

With an entire day ahead of you, don’t retreat to your RV to go back to sleep. Take a refreshing walk or surprise the family with a huge breakfast. Prepare for a day of fun in the sun at the campground’s splash park, zero-entry swimming pool with splash features, jumping pillow or sandy beach. There is even a horse riding area. Get out on the water with the campground’s rentals. Rental equipment includes kayaks, canoes, water trikes, corcls and paddleboats as well as golf carts and pedal carts.

There is so much to do, you won’t have to leave the campground. However, you might want to venture out on the short journey to Chincoteague to get a real flavor for Virginia. Many campers say you’ll find the best crab cakes in town.

If you prefer, catch your own Chesapeake Bay blue crabs by throwing over a line on the campground’s 226-foot fishing pier. Campers also catch croaker, flounder, rock fish, trout and catfish. The camp store stocks a variety of bait, in addition to an assortment of tackle and crabbing supplies. Tall Pines Harbor is located on the Pocomoke Sound, where the mouth of the Pocomoke River and Chesapeake Bay meet. The water is brackish due to this, meaning you can catch both salt water and freshwater fish in the area.

There’s ample room on the campsites for large RVs like Class A motorhomes and fifth wheels. There’s a variety of campsite types offered, from bay front and waterfront to large pull-thrus and smaller back-ins. Full hookup, seasonal and shaded sites as well as cable TV hookups and free WiFi boost your comfort level. “Buddy sites” allow groups of friends to camp in close proximity like one big happy family. Each site is equipped with a picnic table and a fire ring. Also on the grounds are hot showers, restrooms, laundry, camp store, arcade, dump station and ice machines.

First Landing State Park | Virginia Beach

Best Virginia campground for views of Chesapeake Bay

chesapeake bay virginia
Chesapeake Bay, VA

Just off Chesapeake Bay on the back dunes of the beach, First Landing State Park is a popular place for travelers who want to get away without being far from the action. Tourists are drawn to Virginia Beach, a vibrant area filled with sun-seekers and plenty of things to do. The beach is the main attraction, in addition to a fishing pier and boardwalk to explore. Don’t miss the photo op in front of the Neptune statue on the boardwalk as well as other area attractions. This area is also well known for its military history. Check out the Nauticus, a maritime-themed science and technology center. Tour the Battleship Wisconsin, one of the largest battleships built by the U.S. Navy. Nearby, the Spirit of Norfolk offers a variety of leisure cruises.

First Landing State Park has its own unique history as the location where English colonists first landed in 1607. This campground provides a peaceful, calming space to relax and hang out with family. Also, explore the rich natural resources and early history. The park is a National Natural Landmark and listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The habitats within the 2,888-acre park include cypress swamps, salt marsh, lagoons, freshwater wetlands, dunes, maritime forests and bay shoreline. Many are home to numerous rare plants and wildlife. In total, there are 20 miles of trails and 1.5 miles of Chesapeake Bay beach frontage.

Campers can enjoy swimming on the unguarded beach and activities like hiking, biking, boating, picnicking and fishing. Bicycle rental is available at the camp store. Beyond the campground, First Landing State Park also serves as a Virginia Beach Tourism satellite location, making it home to interesting displays and three indoor aquariums.

The campground has 200 campsites, many with water and electric hook-ups. Each site contains a picnic table, fire ring/grill. Campsites can accommodate both pop-up campers and RVs up to 50 feet in length. If the type of campsite you stay in is important to you, check out the campground map. Ensure your campsite is the correct size for your RV, as well as the location and scenery you prefer. The camping sites at First Landing State Park are quite different when it comes to their location and size. Some are located in close proximity to each another or may be near the highway that divides the park. Other campsites provide additional space between sites, are closer to the beach area and located further from the state road.

Common areas include a camp store that sells firewood, camping supplies and a limited amount of basic food items, bathhouses with hot showers, laundry facility, picnic spots and boat ramps.

Big Meadows Campground| Luray

Best Virginia campground to reconnect with nature

skyline drive
Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park

Nestled among the rolling hills and lush tree cover in Shenandoah National Park is Big Meadows Campground. Camping is more than just a relaxing experience in this section of the Blue Ridge Mountains, it’s an adventure.

Located in northeastern Virginia, Big Meadows Campground is one of three campgrounds within the massive 199,195-acre Shenandoah National Park. It is located at Mile 51.2 along Skyline Drive, the park’s popular scenic route. There are three waterfalls within walking distance. Also nearby is the picturesque Big Meadow, a recreational area listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1985 that is home to an array of wildlife and plant growth.

From the campground, you can access two major hiking trails, Story of the Forest Trail and the Appalachian Trail. The Story of the Forest Trail is a family-favorite, non-strenuous 1.8 mile walk that is partly paved and filled with wildflowers, deer and songbirds. Nearly 101 miles of the 2,181-mile Appalachian Trail is located within Shenandoah National Park, crossing Skyline Drive several times. Individuals, couples and families can create many shorter hikes that utilize the Appalachian Trail.

Camping in this part of the state is mostly remote. Therefore, it’s imperative that you maintain proper food storage practices at all times. Otherwise, you could receive a surprise visit from a hungry bear, deer, raccoon or skunk in search of a tasty meal.

While in the heart of the Shenandoah Valley, Big Meadows Campground welcomes RVs and is well-equipped to accommodate RV campers. Highlights include pull-through and deep back-in sites designed to harbor most RV sizes and a tow vehicle. There are no electric or water hookups available, but the campground does offer potable water and a dump station. Generator use is limited to certain areas during posted hours. In total, there are more than 200 campsites with plenty of shade.

Public facilities include restrooms, showers, a utility sink, laundry, emergency phone, ranger station, dumpster, recycle area and amphitheater.

Richmond North/Kings Dominion KOA | Doswell

Best Virginia campground for thrill seekers

Richmond North/Kings Dominion KOA is a great place to chill out after spending the day conquering rollercoasters and walking around in the steamy summer sun. There are plenty of opportunities to take a deep breath, recharge your batteries and prepare to hit the amusement park again the very next day.

Access to King’s Dominion, one of Virginia’s most popular attractions, is among Richmond North/Kings Dominion KOA’s greatest assets. Even if amusement parks aren’t your jam, there is plenty to do at Soak City. The 20-acre waterpark features massive water slides, wave pools, interactive splash pad area for young children, cabanas and more. Spend an evening at the Richmond Raceway, which hosts the NASCAR Cup Series, NASCAR Xfinity Series, NASCAR Gander RV & Truck Series, and the NTT IndyCar Series on a ¾-mile D-shaped oval track. In addition to its great location, the KOA has many fantastic amenities of its own, including volleyball, horseshoes, basketball, swimming pool and life-sized checkers.

The RV sites are spacious, with high water pressure and some under a canopy of tall pine trees. They can accommodate all RV types, from pop-ups to big rigs. Another benefit is the shuttle service to and from Kings Dominion and Soak City throughout the day at no charge. Park your RV, skip the parking fees at the amusement park and enjoy the short shuttle ride.

Camping in your RV so close to an amusement park definitely has its advantages. Escape the midday heat by taking a nap in your air-conditioned RV, avoid high-priced fried foods and enjoy a homemade meal back at your campsite and check out deals to the park for campground guests.

Smith Mountain Lake State Park | Huddleston

Best Virginia campground to splash around in the water

smith mountain
Smith Mountain Lake, VA

If your kids turn into mermaids and dolphins in the summer, then you won’t want to miss a trip to Smith Mountain Lake State Park. Located along Virginia’s second largest freshwater lake, there are numerous water activities to enjoy. That includes swimming, boating (rentals available) and a universally-accessible fishing pier.

The 500-foot beach features a snack bar and is open from Memorial Day through Labor Day. It has both guarded and unguarded swimming available and is one of two beaches located on the lake. Fishing is very popular. Smith Mountain Lake is known for striped bass, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, catfish and other species. Fish on shore, take a boat out or participate in one of the many fishing tournaments. Boat rentals include canoes, kayaks, ski boats, paddleboats and pontoon boats. Hydrobikes and jet skis are also available for rent.

There are a total of 13 hiking trails at Smith Mountain Lake State Park, adjacent to the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The trails range in length from half a mile to three miles long,  providing a scenic view of Virginia’s stunning landscapes.

Campers receive a couple of fun perks, including free boat launches and access to a trail leading to a wonderful fishing spot. Although there are no waterfront camping sites, RVs up to 50 feet and most boats can be accommodated. Some sites are located in wooded areas. Water and electricity are available on all sites, which also come with a campfire area, picnic table, post for a lantern and in-ground grills for cooking.

If you are looking to explore Bedford County, check out the Booker T. Washington National Monument, National D-Day Memorial and the Blue Ridge Parkway, one of the most scenic drives in America. You can also tour an alpaca farm, go golfing and attend a wine tasting.

You also won’t want to miss the Smith Mountain Dam Visitor Center. It’s filled with exhibits about how the Smith Mountain Pumped Storage Project dramatically transformed the Roanoke River Valley region in the 1960s. Its main goal was to provide electricity and drinking water, but today is a recreational hot spot and home to nearly 21,000 residents. The Smith Mountain Lake Chamber of Commerce has an extensive article on the area’s history and a video with Smith Mountain Lake Dam designer Dr. Jeffrey Fong here.

Prince William Forest RV Campground | Dumfries

Best Virginia campground to relax and recharge

fishing prince william
Fishing in Prince William Forest Park

Located within Prince William Forest Park, Prince William Forest RV Campground features campsites with lots of tree cover.  The forest ecosystem is like a community, with each part making an important contribution to the neighborhood as a whole. The best way to experience everything this National Park has to offer is by taking a hike. Pack a lunch, bring lots of water and get out your camera, because there are more than 900 plant species within the park’s borders.

Feel the tension and stress melt away as you view the abundant wildflowers, ferns, moss, mushrooms, trees, shrubs and fungi. The forest is also home to skunk cabbage, which presents a pungent, familiar odor when the leaves are torn. The Indian pipe is a white plant that does not need sunlight to grow. For this reason, it thrives in some of the darkest areas. The small-whorled pogonia is a federally-listed threatened species that needs to be protected to ensure its survival.

If you love to spend your days fishing, there are plenty of opportunities within the park. There are nearly 18 miles of streams as well as two impoundments that are open for public fishing. That includes the South Fork and Quantico creeks as well as four small lakes built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s. Get away from it all and apply for a backcountry permit at the visitor center to fish at the Breckenridge Reservoir. This area can only be reached by foot and no watercraft is allowed. Anglers often report catching lots of bluegill, pumpkinseed, largemouth bass and channel catfish throughout the park.

If you find watching wildlife relaxing, the National Park Service reports that there are 38 species of mammals. Included on the list are black bear and beaver; 24 species of amphibians; 27 species of reptiles; more the 100 species of birds; and 23 species of fish. Two venomous snake species call Prince William Forest Park home; the northern copperhead and the timber rattlesnake. Neither is abundant and both prefer to stay away from humans.

Guests love the peace and quiet at the campground. It has a laid-back atmosphere with a playground and pool. Most guests tend to leave during the day to explore, so if you want to lie in a hammock with a good book, you can likely do so undisturbed.

Most campers report that the campground and its facilities are clean. If you have a big motorhome or travel trailer, you may want to call to verify that a site can accommodate your RV. Paved pull-thru sites are a maximum 35-feet long, with single car parking areas beside them. Many sites have full hook-ups. The campground’s proximity to Washington D.C. is a big draw as there are not many campgrounds close to the nation’s capital.

Prince William Forest RV Campground is a concessionaire-run campground with full hook-ups for RVs, a pool and laundry facility. Please note: If you opt to explore the park beyond the campground, you will be charged the park entrance fee unless you have a valid national park pass.

American Heritage RV Park Campground | Williamsburg

Best Virginia campground to be a part of history

williamsburg virginia
Williamsburg, VA

Is it possible to camp in modern surroundings in a place that is steeped in colonial history? Absolutely, if you reserve a campsite at the American Heritage RV Park Campground. Step out of your RV and step back in time at this campground just eight miles from historic Williamsburg, Jamestown and Yorktown, a region known as America’s Historic Triangle. Children will love watching the pages of their history book come alive. Costumed characters show visitors what times were like during the Revolutionary War in the Governor’s Palace, Capitol and Public Armoury. Then tour Jamestown, the first permanent English settlement in America and visit the Yorktown Battlefields.

Campers enjoy going on a daytime adventure to learn about the nation’s history, then returning to the campground for a quiet, relaxing evening. The campground is situated in an isolated, but not remote area. You’ll drive through a residential area and then poof – there’s a campground. Although not too far from local attractions, you still hear nature sounds at night and an occasional train whistle in the distance.

The 70-acre campground itself provides numerous recreation opportunities. Chill out by the pool, play a round of horseshoes, stroll on a nature trail, play mini golf or engage in a game of basketball or volleyball. Campers appreciate the well-appointed facilities, especially the laundry facilities and fenced dog run. An impressive camp store is fully stocked with snacks, RV supplies, gift items and Colonial Williamsburg souvenirs.

American Heritage RV Park Campground is well-suited for RVs both big and small. There are 80 pull-thru and multiple back-in sites available as well as 30/50 amps, WiFi and cable hook-ups. Full hook-ups are available at 138 sites in both shaded and open areas. There is plenty of room for multiple slides and campers love the leveled concrete pads at each campsite.

If you prefer some extra room and luxury amenities, the campground offers larger premium sites that come fully equipped with patio furniture and a fireplace.

For more information on the best Virginia campgrounds

  • Located 35 miles from Washington D.C. near Manassas National Battlefield Park, Greenville Farm Family Campground is a 200-acre working farm with 43 acres. Its address is 14004 Shelter Lane in Haymarket. For more information or to make reservations, call (703) 754-7944.
  • Your family will love all the water activities available at Tall Pines Harbor Campground. The campground is located at 8107 Tall Pines Lane in Temperanceville. For details, call (757) 824-0777.
  • First Landing State Park, located at 2500 Shore Drive in Virginia Beach, is rich in natural resources and military history. Breathe in the ocean air, relax on the beach or learn more about the country’s history. For more information, call (757) 412-2300.
  • Big Meadows Campground in Shenandoah National Park usually opens in the early spring to campers on a first-come, first-served basis. Specific campsites can be reserved beginning in early May, although a number of sites continue to maintain a first-come, first-served status. Reservations are highly recommended on weekends and holidays and may be made up to six months in advance of arrival. Make a reservation at recreation.gov or call (877) 444-6777.
  • Richmond North/Kings Dominion KOA in Doswell, Virginia is the perfect place for an action-packed, fun-filled RV vacation getaway. Reservations are recommended, but not required for RVs. For more information, call (800) 562-4386.
  • Smith Mountain Lake State Park is a very popular campground at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains. It is located at 1235 State Park Road in Huddleston. For more information, call (540) 297-6066. For reservations, click here.
  • Relax among nature at Prince William Forest RV Campground, which is open year-round. The campground is located amid Prince William Forest Park, a national park. Call (888)737-5730 for reservations or at 703-221-2474 for general information.
  • The American Heritage RV Park Campground is close to America’s Historic Triangle: Colonial Williamsburg, Jamestown and Yorktown. The campground is located at 146 Maxton Lane in Williamsburg. For more information, call (888) 530-2267 or (757) 566-2133.

For more must-visit destinations, check out these articles on the General RV Blog.

Source: The Best Virginia Campgrounds For An Unforgettable RV Excursion

9 Reasons to Discover Baltimore’s Natural Side This Fall

9 Reasons to Discover Baltimore’s Natural Side This Fall

Baltimore and the surrounding area seem tailor-made for autumn. The fall colors in the trees add splashes of bright crimson and gold to the town and the outlying regions. The many historic sites related to local hero Edgar Allan Poe are the perfect companions to Halloween season. And the hot seafood from the Chesapeake Bay wards off the fall chills that blow off the Chesapeake Bay. Discover Baltimore’s natural side this fall.

Known as Charm City, Baltimore also is home to historic ships, exciting museums and the Inner Harbor — the city’s focal point. When you’re not outdoors, explore this Jewel of the Chesapeake with a visit to the Baltimore Museum of Art, with a huge selection of Impressionist paintings. With the African American Wax Museum, the National Cryptologic Museum and a chance to follow Edgar Allen Poe’s wanderings, you’ll find plenty to keep yourself busy.

Camp out in a nearby Good Sam Park and enjoy the magic of Charm City.

Hiking Outside of Town

A paved trail flanked with crimson and gold trees during fall.

Autumn trees in Downs Park. Getty Images

Before exploring urban landscapes, check out the natural areas surrounding the town. Escape to Gwynns Falls, an urban hiking and biking trail with nine trailheads connecting 30 neighborhoods along with a historic greenway stream valley that provides access to Baltimore. Gunpowder Falls provides views of 18th-century Hoffmanville Cemetery and leads to Pretty Boy Reservoir. On the Chesapeake, Downs Park offers a variety of natural and recreational activities throughout its 236 acres. Also on the bay, Black Marsh Trail winds for six miles along wild wetlands and bordering forests, perfect for birders and naturalists searching for bald eagles and swamp sparrows.

Loch Raven Reservoir

For those who don’t mind traveling a little farther to the north, Loch Raven Reservoir, which provides the drinking water for Baltimore City, offers miles of woodsy trails for running, hiking and spotting wildlife. On most weekends throughout the year, a stretch of road through the watershed is closed to vehicle traffic and open to pedestrians. Check the website for updated schedules.

Harbor Boats

A tall ship moored to a dock with tall buildings in the background.

The USS Constellation, which served in the Civil War, is moored in Baltimore Harbor. Getty Images

One of the most important seaports in the U.S. is the Baltimore Inner Harbor, where four historic boats are moored. The oldest is the USS Constellation, a sloop-of-war that served in the Civil War and is the last tall-sail ship of the U.S. Navy. The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter 37, built in the 1930s, was designed for search and rescue, law enforcement expeditions and maritime patrol. Lightship 116 Chesapeake patrolled the mouth of the Bay for 50 years. USS Torsk served during WWII and is often called “The Last Survivor of Pearl Harbor.” The Inner Harbor also is home to the National Aquarium, the most visited attraction in the city. Don’t miss a chance to see the first Dolphin Sanctuary in North America where seven dolphins live, play and train. Overlooking the harbor is the odd-shaped Seven Knoll Lighthouse, built in 1855 and the oldest screw-pile lighthouse in Maryland.

Red, wide lighthouse on a sunny day.

The wide Seven Knoll Lighthouse overlooks Baltimore Harbor. Getty Images

Water Fun

There are plenty of boat tours, harbor cruises and water taxis to explore the Inner Harbor; there’s even a pirate ship — whatever floats your boat — but for a more personalized water experience, grab a paddle, set sail or start your engine. Catch a guided kayak tour or be part of a group paddle for fun on the water. Schooners are plentiful in the harbor and you may be asked to help with ropes and sailing activities during a tour. Rent an electric boat for an exciting spin or charter a private yacht and experience the ultimate way to travel. Anglers can spend a day on the Chesapeake Bay catching striped bass, trout, flounder, king mackerel and seabass.

Impressive Collection

The Baltimore Museum of Art is the largest art museum in Maryland and home to the most extensive collection of paintings by Matisse in the world. There are more than 95,000 pieces of artwork, including 200 African ceremonial weapons, Native American scrimshaw and Chinese ceramics. National Great Blacks in Wax Museum is an African American wax museum and exhibits life-size, lifelike wax figures focusing on influential people who’ve defined the Black experience in the U.S.

A gravesite with the raised letters,

Base of the Poe tombstone with a floral tribute. Getty Images

Get to Know Poe

Take a Halloween hike. Walk in the footsteps of Edgar Ellen Poe, the writer who pioneered macabre fiction in the early 1800s. Visit the eerie Edgar Allen Poe Home and Museum before making a short pilgrimage to Poe’s grave at Westminster Hall and Burying Grounds. For 60-plus years on Poe’s birthday, the anonymous Poe Toaster would leave a bottle of cognac and three red roses at the grave. If you’re still in the mood for mysteries, delve into the world of spies and espionage at the National Cryptologic Museum. Examine the only existing German Enigma machine and learn how Code Talkers played a vital role during WWII.

A Crackin’ Good Time

Steamed crab on cutting board.

A steamed crab in a Baltimore eatery. Getty Images

Baltimore is known for its delicious crab, and several great crabbing spots are found throughout the city. Crabbing season runs from April through November, so visitors will have lots of chances to add crab to fall menus. Check out Fort Smallwood Pier, located on Chesapeake Bay and within reach of Maryland’s iconic blue crabs. Located about 30 minutes from downtown Baltimore, Green Haven Wharf has abundant crabbing and also is a great place for launching a kayak. Just outside of town, North Point State Park has a fishing pier that makes crabbing easy. If the crustaceans aren’t biting, go hiking in the park or launch a kayak on North Bay.

Oh Say Can You See

Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine preserves the stubborn fortification that inspired Francis Scott Key to pen the “Star Spangled Banner” during the War of 1812. Key marveled at the American flag that remained waving over the fort amid the turmoil of battle under “the rockets’ red glare.” Stroll the historical grounds, visit the casements and brush up on American history. Nearby, the Baltimore Museum of Industry provides hands-on exhibits and stories of the workers and entrepreneurs from small companies, manufacturing industries and national businesses that have thrived and grown in the city.

A pagoda structure towers over cherry blossoms in the foreground.

Patterson Park’s Pagoda. Getty Images

Patterson Park

Located blocks from the Baltimore Harbor, Patterson park has given city dwellers a welcome dose of nature for more than a century. The centerpiece of the six-acre expanse is the Pagoda, a four-story structure with wrap-around balconies that dish out excellent views of the city. A boat lake inhabited my mallard ducks adds to the scene.

Source: 9 Reasons to Discover Baltimore’s Natural Side This Fall

Pacing Your RV Trip: How Many Miles a Day Is Too Much?

Pacing Your RV Trip: How Many Miles a Day Is Too Much?

So, you are preparing to set out on a long RV journey stretching over miles of ever-changing landscapes and distant urban silhouettes. This is one of the biggest trips you will take this year. You have spent a great deal of time planning the route and activities that you seek to enjoy.

Now comes the big question: How many miles are too many miles to drive per day? Do you have the constitution of a long-haul trucker, or do you prefer trips with short legs between stops? This article will help you arrive at answers to those questions.

Planning

A family of four pours over a map in their RV.

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Proper planning for such a journey entails identifying locations of points of interest, night stopovers, extended stay venues, probable fuel stops and so much more. Making campground reservations for each planned stop is highly recommended, especially during the busy season. Arriving in an area that is totally sold out can really spoil your day, and, of course, your night. Though through all of this, free time and time to just relax must also be considered. Making too tight a travel schedule can dampen some of the enjoyment.

Don’t fall into the trap of planning too great a distance each day. Generally, this leads to the need for earlier on-the-road starts each day and later-than-anticipated evening arrivals. In addition, this usually includes the need for higher vehicle cruise speeds and minimized stops. This generally can heighten the fatigue and travel stress you may experience throughout the day.

Instead, with a more relaxed planned trip with shorter daily runs, a family breakfast can be enjoyed prior to setting out each day.  Also, time would be available should attractions along your route warrant stopping.

Tools for Your Trip

Map of major highways with location markers.

Good Sam Trip Planner

Good Sam’s Trip Planner can help you map out itineraries and provides drive times and traffic reports for your journey. The planner also indicates Good Sam Parks, Gander RV & Outdoors and Camping World stores along the way. The planner only is available to Good Sam members. For an overall list of RV parks, check out our Find a Park page. The Good Sam Camping app, available for Android and Apple IOS, also helps drivers find nearby Good Sam parks.

Finding the Right Miles Per Day

So how many miles a day is right? Much of this is subject to the type of route you are traveling on and the traffic conditions. But I can tell you, if your RV is equipped with an average speed display, you will probably find the following: Speed averaged over a long RV journey (2,000-3,000 miles) will be in the low forties. This, to me, would support a daily target of 300 to 350 miles per day. Of course, this is all subject to your holiday time availability and your route highway type and conditions.

Refueling

Travelers also should factor in fuel stops. After all, being on a long trip from home, you are probably unfamiliar with the services in the region. Don’t wait until the “Low Fuel” light has to remind you. That typically happens many miles from any service station. This, too, tends to elevate the driver’s stress level on the road.

Refueling a Class C motorhome at a service station.

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Drivers should really start looking for a gas stop before the gauge reaches one quarter. It is a great idea to reset the trip odometer each time you refill the fuel tank. Then, knowing your vehicle’s approximate tank range, you have a redundant measure to determine the remaining fuel quantity. In some ways, this can be a more accurate tool to use as it is not affected by temperatures, pressures or vehicle angle.

For RV travelers, Flying J travel centers provide fuel as well as propane and dump stations. Good Sam members receive a 5-cent-per-gallon discount on gas and 8-cents-per-gallon discount on diesel.

Going the Distance

Hopefully, these suggestions might help you start a less stressful RV vacation. A vacation when you walk out of your house, not when you reach your destination. Getting there can be half the fun and part of the adventure that awaits.

Peter Mercer — Getting More From Your RV Journey

Source: Pacing Your RV Trip: How Many Miles a Day Is Too Much?

Glow West: Dazzling Fall Colors in Arizona, New Mexico and Nevada

Glow West: Dazzling Fall Colors in Arizona, New Mexico and Nevada

Autumn in New England is a stunning experience to behold. But fall RVing in the Southwest is an equally impressive leaf-peeping journey. If you haven’t experienced the change of seasons in Nevada, Arizona or New Mexico, it’s not too late.

Fall in Love with Southwest Leaf-Peeping

I had no idea what fall is supposed to look like until I went RVing to New England in the fall. As a child growing up among the evergreen landscapes of Southern California, the only way I knew when seasons were changing was by paying attention to department store displays. Years later, I figured out how to tell it was fall when my husband and I took a leaf-peeping excursion to Maine. Until then, I had never personally experienced the joy of fall colors painting my surroundings. That breathtaking East Coast experience left me yearning for another fall experience, but with better weather and taller mountains. When we took a fall RVing trip to the Southwest, I finally found that and so much more.

Discover a Rainbow of Autumn Hues in New Mexico

Golden leaves of trees shimmer in the sun.

Golden colors grace the trees in Santa Fe National Forest. Getty Images

The state that pledges allegiance to the chili pepper has a wide variety of terrain There’s a lot more to see than the flat moonscape comprising the Chihuahuan Desert of southern New Mexico. With over 88 different mountain ranges towering above the state’s iconic sandstone cliffs and canyons, you’ll have plenty of high-altitude locations to embrace the season. One of my favorites is in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Just park your home on wheels at any Santa Fe RV park. They’re all great and so close to town. Then take a driving tour along the Santa Fe National Forest Scenic Byway. It’s one of the most scenic destinations in New Mexico any time of year, but especially in fall. Originating at the historic downtown Santa Fe Plaza, this 15-mile curvy mountain driving experience quickly ferries you up and out of the city.  You’ll find yourself in a brilliantly colored landscape of golden quaking aspens, trickling waterfalls and meandering hiking trails that take you deep into the heart of fall.

Stay: Route 66 RV Resort is just minutes west of Albuquerque on historic Route 66. Discover more New Mexico camping options.

Nevada’s Best Fall Destination

A road flanked by golden aspen trees.

The summit of Wheeler Peak in Great Basin National Park towers over bright yellow aspen trees in autumn. Getty Images

One of the best-kept fall secrets in Nevada is a long journey that’s always worth the drive. Located at 7,000-feet elevation, Great Basin National Park is a remote RVing destination in Nevada that’s an oasis in the desert any time of year. Upon your approach, you’re greeted by the 13,063-foot summit of Wheeler Peak. It towers above the park like a sentinel, ready to feed your fall foliage desires. In stark contrast to the state’s familiar flatlands, all of Great Basin campgrounds give you easy access to high desert hiking trails and scenery.

Take a gentle stroll through tall aspen groves exploding in blazing autumn hues of red, gold and orange. Or go underground and explore the stunning Lehman Caves. And you can’t leave without seeing the ancient Great Basin Bristlecone pine, one of the oldest trees on earth, estimated between 4,700-5,000 years old. Camping inside the park is rustic and geared toward smaller RVs, but larger rigs can find full-hookups just beyond the park entrance in the town of Baker.

Stay: Valley View RV Park in Ely is a scenic spot that puts guests within reach of Great Basin. Discover more Nevada camping options.

Fall in Arizona Is the Best Time of Year

Golden-green aspen trees flank a shallow creek.

Oak Creek outside of Sedona, Arizona. Getty Images

For those who like it hot but not too hot, fall in Arizona is a perfect choice. Escape from the warmer flatlands of the Sonoran Desert into the higher reaches of the Verde Valley. Here, cooler fall temperatures greet eager visitors ready for pumpkin spice lattes and hot apple cider. The change of season is easy to spot along Oak Creek Canyon, a meandering scenic drive between Flagstaff and Sedona. Along this route, you can explore trails like the West Fork of Oak Creek. It’s a showcase of wildlife and leaf-peeping hotspots that strut their stuff well into November. The Verde Valley makes a great base camp, where nearly a dozen Good Sam Parks offer front-door access to Arizona’s coolest autumn experience.

Stay: Verde Valley RV & Camping Resort is a 300-acre oasis in the high desert of Arizona near Sedona. Discover more Arizona Camping options.

New England in the fall is something everybody should experience at least once. But when you can’t make the drive, a showcase of fall foliage and mild temperatures combine for an unforgettable autumnal escape into the stunning high altitude deserts of New Mexico, Nevada and Arizona.

Source: Glow West: Dazzling Fall Colors in Arizona, New Mexico and Nevada

Hikes in Mammoth Cave National Park in Kentucky

Hikes in Mammoth Cave National Park in Kentucky

There are plenty of hikes in Mammoth Cave National Park for beginners and experienced trail buffs. The main trails near the Visitor’s Center can be explored in a single day if you are up for the task, but there are plenty of additional attractions to see in other areas of the park! Even though the park is known as the home of the longest-known cave system in the world, the trails above ground shouldn’t be missed by serious hikers.

Tip: The discovery tour of Mammoth Cave is the best way to see the main Rotunda on a self-guided adventure. If you want to explore deeper into the caves, I recommend booking a cave tour well in advance of your proposed arrival date.

Always check the national park website for the latest alerts and updates on tour availability.

Mouth of a cave bathed in red light.

Mammoth Cave near entrance. Getty Images

The Hikes in Mammoth Cave National Park I Enjoyed Near the Visitor’s Center

I spent a full day hiking while I was in the park. From the Mammoth Cave Campground, I connected the Whites Caves Trail to the Sinkhole Trail to the Echo River Springs Trail to the Green River Bluffs Trail (with little side spurs off on the River Styx Spring Trail and the Dixon Cave Trail).

There are roughly 7.2 total miles of trails in the center of the park, but here is a quick overview of the trails I hiked in the visitor’s center area:

Raised trail in Mammoth Cave in Kentucky

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Whites Cave Trail

  • Length: 0.6 miles
  • Starting Point: Sinkhole Trail and/or Mammoth Cave Campground Trail
  • Difficulty: Easy

The Whites Cave Trail descends gently from the Mammoth Cave Campground. It is a wide trail that offers plenty of space for two-way traffic while still offering plenty of canopy coverage to keep you in the shade.

It eventually ties into the Sinkhole Trail, which you can take to the left if you want to check out Echo River Springs. If you follow it to the right, it will remain higher up on the bluff and head towards the Visitor’s Center.

Sinkhole Trail

  • Length: 1 mile
  • Starting Point: Heritage Trail and/or Echo River Springs Trail
  • Difficulty: Easy

The Sinkhole Trail runs from the Old Guide’s Cemetery and runs down to Echo River Springs. The section I hit from the junction with Whites Cave Trail down to the springs lost elevation the entire time and could be a little slippery after heavy rain.

Echo River Springs Trail

  • Length: 1 mile
  • Starting Point: Green River Ferry
  • Difficulty: Easy

Parking near Green River Ferry will give you the best chance to see Echo River Springs on a short hike, but you can also follow the trail along the river. It offers minimal elevation change throughout, but that can change if you decide to tie into the River Valley Trail or the Sunset Point Trail to loop back around.

Trees on the banks of a river.

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River Styx Spring Trail

  • Length: 0.4 miles
  • Starting Point: Historic Cave Entrance
  • Difficulty: Easy

The River Styx Spring Trail begins near the historic entrance to Mammoth Cave and descends gently down to the spring itself. Look for small fish and other aquatic life once you get down there and feel for the cooler air that is exiting the caves below your feet.

If you hike the Echo River Springs Trail from Green River Ferry, be sure to hit the quick spur on the River Styx Spring Trail to see the springs and enjoy some views of the Green River up close.

Waters wells up from a hole surrounded by trees and shrubs.

River Styx Spring. Getty Images

Green River Bluffs Trail

  • Length: 1.3 miles
  • Starting Point: Picnic Area near Visitor’s Center
  • Difficulty: Moderate

The Green River Bluffs Trail is one of the longest stretches of uninterrupted trail near the Mammoth Cave Visitor’s Center. It also offers mild elevation gain and some of the best views of the Green River Valley that the park has to offer.

If you take this trail all the way from where it begins at the intersection of the Echo River Springs and River Styx Spring trails, it will loop you all the way around to the picnic area, which is just a quick walk back to the visitor’s center.

Dixon Cave Trail

  • Length: 0.4 miles
  • Starting Point: Historic Cave Entrance
  • Difficulty: Easy

The Dixon Cave Trail descends moderately from the historic cave entrance and ends at a nice overlook of the Green River valley. Along the way, the overlook of Dixon Cave offers some unique insights into the caves below and the animals that inhabit them.

If you are hiking the Green River Bluffs Trail, the spurs to the cave overlook and river viewpoint are both well worth the added time and mileage.

Fingers of sunlight shoot through openings in the canopy of trees.

Getty Images

Other Cool Hikes in Mammoth Cave National Park

If you take the Green River Ferry into the northern part of the park, here are a few other epic hikes worth exploring:

Sal Hollow and Buffalo Creek Loop Trail

  • Length: 5.4 miles
  • Starting Point: Maple Springs Trailhead
  • Difficulty: Easy

If you make your way across the Green River on the ferry, the Maple Springs Trailhead is one of the first places you can stop to get on a trail. This loop only gains about 334 feet of elevation over its entire length and there are a couple of viewpoints where you can look down at sections of the Green River.

This hike is forested the entire route, which means it can get a little muddy after heavy rains. Wear long pants to protect yourself against ticks and other insect bites. Dogs are allowed, but they must be kept on leash at all times.

Collie Ridge Loop Trail

  • Length: 10 miles
  • Starting Point: Lincoln Trailhead
  • Difficulty: Easy

The Collie Ridge Loop Trail offers another easy hike but covers a longer distance. It is located in the northwestern part of the park and is most easily accessed via smaller towns like Sweeden, Straw, or Stockholm, Kentucky.

The trail is multi-use, which means you are likely to encounter horseback riders while hiking. Practice proper trail etiquette by moving off the trail to allow horses to pass and keep dogs on a leash at all times.

First Creek Lake Trail

  • Length: 3.6 miles
  • Starting Point: First Creek Trailhead or Temple Hill Trailhead
  • Difficulty: Moderate

This hike gains roughly 500 feet of elevation and loops around the small First Creek Lake. It can be muddy after rains and also experiences a good bit of horseback traffic throughout the year. Be prepared for horseback riders and wear long pants to protect yourself from mosquitoes and ticks.

There are also a few backcountry campsites along this trail that can be great places to camp when the weather is nice. If you are interested in backpacking in the park, be sure to go to the visitor’s center for up-to-date trail information and to obtain a backcountry camping permit.

Trees along the banks of a lake.

Getty Images

Good Sam RV Parks near Mammoth Cave National Park

National park campgrounds can get crowded really quickly. If you aren’t able to snag a spot in the park, check out these Good Sam RV parks nearby:

Cave Country RV Campground

Cave Country RV Campground is located in Cave City, Kentucky, which is roughly 20 minutes away from the Mammoth Cave National Park Visitor’s Center. There are 51 full hookup sites in this Good Sam RV resort and some of its best amenities include an exercise run, heated pool, and enclosed dog run.

Singing Hills RV Park

Also located in Cave City, Singing Hills RV Park is approximately 12 minutes away from the visitor’s center. It is a smaller park with 17 full hookup sites and 29 sites in total. They offer Wi-Fi at all overnight sites and the park also features a self-service RV wash and a fishing pond.

Go Deep

I hope this guide has been helpful as you plan your visit to Mammoth Cave National Park. Of course, the premier attractions at this park are the caves themselves. Once you are tired of walking underground, however, we hope you enjoy some of these hikes in Mammoth Cave National Park!

Source: Hikes in Mammoth Cave National Park in Kentucky

28 RV Snowbird Hot Spots in the Sun Belt

28 RV Snowbird Hot Spots in the Sun Belt

Feel that chill in the air? If you live in the northern states or Canada, the arrival of fall signals the start of snowbird season.

Each year, more than one million RV travelers descend from America’s north to bask in the warm weather of the Sun Belt until spring rolls around. Hundreds of RV parks welcome these snowbirds, who stay in one place for months or spend the winter season touring the south. 

If you’re planning a snowbird trip but haven’t chosen a roost, there’s still time to claim your place in the sun. Start getting to work now with the extensive planning and preparation that’s required. For Canadians, snowbird traveling has gotten more complicated. Because of COVID-19 restrictions, the U.S.border is slated to open on October 21, giving Canadians a late start in the game. But there’s still time for fun in the sun.

Recreational Vehicle Driving on Autumn Highway In Beautiful Mountains Wilderness in Jasper, AB, Canada

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Below, you’ll find links to each state’s COVID-19 rules guidelines. Review the pertinent state’s policies before traveling.

Ok, now the fun part: Below we’ve rounded up the best landing spots for snowbirds seeking a warm winter. You also can consult Good Sam’s Snowbird Destinations page. Now stretch those wings and get going.

Winters in Alabama mean fun days along the Gulf Coast or exploring small towns and cities in the River Heritage region.

Sunset over Mobile Bay on the Alabama Gulf Coast

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Gulf Shores

Stroll along 32 miles of soft sandy beaches on the Gulf of Mexico on Gulf Shores and Orange. This coastal getaway is far from big cities but all you need for fun, including fishing, swimming and kayaking. 

Stay: Lake Osprey RV Resort in Elberta puts golf, fishing, a clubhouse and a tiki bar all in one place. 

Mobile

Once called “the Paris of the South,” this city has retained the elegance of its French colonial heritage. But beyond the seafood restaurants and historic neighborhoods, travelers will discover hundreds of miles of canoe and kayak trails in the waterways surrounding the city. Take a side trip to Dauphin Island to explore a forest, dunes and the Audubon Bird Sanctuary.

Stay: Shady Acres Campground in Mobile sits on the Dog River and is close to all of the area’s attractions.

Golf course accessible with wooden walkway.

Getty Images

Dothan

Considered Alabama’s “best-kept secret,” this small town in Yellow Hammer State’s southeast corner gives travelers an escape from busy interstates and big cities. From here, visitors are 12 miles north of the Florida Panhandle and just east of Georgia.

Stay: Dothan RV Park in Dothan is a dog-friendly place to stay with all the amenities you could ask for. Great shopping is close by.

Alabama COVID-19 Information

Arizona welcomes snowbirds with warm winter weather along with communities geared toward winter visitors. Places like Yuma and the Valley of the Sun have ample resorts for winter travelers. 

A rock outcropping looms over a desert community as dusk light glimmers on the horizon.

The red sandstone buttes of Papago Park in Phoenix after sunset.

Valley of the Sun

This region blends urban living with nearby outdoor fun. Phoenix is the fifth-largest major city in the U.S., with world-class museums, big-league sports teams and a wide range of entertainment options. Just beyond the border, spots like Superstition Mountains, Tonto National Forest and Saguaro Lake add more options. Stay through February and enjoy the Cactus League, which sees major league baseball teams slug it out in surrounding towns like Mesa and Goodyear.

Stay: Val Vista Village RV Resort hosts a vibrant winter community with world-class amenities and planned activities. 

Tucson

Arizona’s second-largest city caters to lovers of wide-open desert spaces. Just outside of town, the natural attractions of Saguaro National Park and Mt. Lemmon — home to the Tucson Observatory — draw lovers of hiking and mountain biking. In town, Spanish Colonial, Moorish and Googie architecture make Tucson a feast for the eyes.

Stay: Rincon Country West RV Resort is a gated community with all the amenities you’ll need for a long stay. Close to downtown Tucson, it’s also within reach of a casino, hiking and mountain biking.

A steel-truss bridge spanns a placid river.

The Colorado River Bridge in Yuma, also known as the Ocean to Ocean Bridge, connects California with Arizona. Getty Images.

Yuma

In southwestern Arizona, Yuma sits on the banks of the Colorado River, putting visitors close to tubing, fishing and boating. The town is close to major growers, and local restaurants offer guests some of the best farm-to-table dining in the nation. Eat your veggies while you enjoy fun in the sun.

Stay: Via Alameda Resort welcomes long-term guests to a resort that places guests in proximity to downtown Tucson, great golfing and historical attractions.

Elsewhere in the state, Lake Havasu keeps the party going on the shores of a fun-filled body of water and Camp Verde puts visitors close to Sedona and other northern Arizona attractions.

Arizona COVID-19 Information

The Golden State offers an eclectic mix of snowbird options. You can do the desert in Coachella Valley or camp with coastal vistas at your doorstep on the Central Coast. In the heart of the state, the nation’s agricultural breadbasket opens up wine-tasting and agritourism possibilities.

A pier juts out into the ocean with Ferris wheel lit up.

Santa Monica Pier. Getty Images/iStockphoto

Central Coast

If you don’t mind some chilly days, California’s Central Coast is a scenic snowbird base. Spots along the coast like Ventura, Santa Barbara, Pismo Beach and Morro Bay offer sweeping ocean views to the west and mountain adventures to the east. Go winter wine tasting without the big summer crowds at some of the nation’s top vintners.

Stay: Marina Dunes RV Resort south of Monterey puts guests close to the Pacific Ocean as well as one of the state’s most beautiful towns.

Coachella Valley

Do the desert in style. This SoCal region is home to Palm Springs, Palm Desert and La Quinta. More than 100 golf courses dot the area, and gourmet restaurants, upscale shopping and cultural events can fill your calendar throughout the season. Go on an architecture tour of Palm Springs, ride the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway or take a hike through the surreal landscapes of Joshua Tree National Park to the east. Craving big city action? LA is 100 miles to the west.

Stay: Sam’s Family Spa in Desert Hot Springs gives guests access to therapeutic pools and hot mineral spas from naturally heated underground wells. This, combined with great amenities, make Sam’s an ideal snowbird spot.

Sunset at Joshua Tree National Park

Sunset at Joshua Tree National Park. Photo Credit: Unsplash, Vik Jam

San Diego

This SoCal town will make snowbirds forget that it’s winter. With sunny days and popular attractions, from SeaWorld to the San Diego Zoo and Gaslamp Quarter, you’ll never run out of things to do. Although many attractions can get crowded, many local RV resorts will provide sanctuary in the sun.

Stay: Vacationer RV Park in El Cajon is a gated community that’s close to San Diego.

Elsewhere, the Los Angeles area opens up a world of tourism possibilities, and some RV parks are located fairly close to the city. In the San Joaquin Valley, agritourism restaurants and tours await.

California COVID-19 Information

The Sunshine State gives snowbirds a taste of tropical living with plenty of water nearby. From the Gulf Coast to the Atlantic, visitors will never run out of beaches to explore.

A lighthouse at the edge of an island in a bay.

Harbour Island Lighthouse in Tampa Bay. Photo: Michelle Raponi/Pixabay

South Florida

Head South and just keep going down the peninsula. South Florida’s attractions include Lake Okeechobee — a fishing hot spot and the second-largest freshwater lake in the U.S. — as well as the Everglades and the vibrant town of Fort Lauderdale. Hit Miami for a hearty Cuban meal, then continue south on the Overseas Highway to the Florida Keys. 

Stay: Boyd’s Silver Palms RV Resort is just minutes from Lake Okeechobee and boasts amenities like a gym, pool, sports courts and surrounding wetlands and wildlife preserve.

Central Florida

In the mid-section of the Florida Peninsula, visitors can meet Mickey in Walt Disney World, cast spells at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter or watch rockets blast off at Canaveral National Seashore. Tampa serves up Cuban cigars in Ybor City and thrills at Busch Gardens theme park. 

Stay: Tampa South RV Resort in Ruskin sits on the Little Manatee River, which leads to Tampa Bay and the Gulf. 

A fishing boat in Desint

A fishing boat in Destin. Photo: Florida Tourism

Florida Panhandle

This stretch of the sunshine state features laid-back cities, awesome fishing and lots of “Old” Florida spots that haven’t been touched by modern tourism. Charter a fishing trip in Destin and haul in hefty tarpon.

Stay: Camping on the Gulf in Destin offers beachfront camping and is in proximity to designer outlet shopping. 

Florida COVID-19 Information

The Peach State’s big cities host lots of places to stay during the winter, but don’t skip the small towns on the coast or in the countryside.

A fountain in a park square.

The Fountain in the Forsyth Park in Savannah. Getty Images

Coastal Georgia

This stretch of shoreline is a bewitching blend of beautiful scenery and rich history. Stroll the tree-lined squares of Savannah and take a selfie by the Forsyth Park Fountain. To the south, small towns like Brunswick preserve a colonial past and serve up shrimp right off the boat.

Stay: Southern Retreat RV Park in Brunswick puts guests close to beautiful beaches and cruise-ship ports.

Metro Atlanta

The biggest city of the South turns out to also be a great snowbird roost. The city’s gourmet eateries and cultural attractions could keep you busy all winter, but folks who venture outside of town are rewarded with beautiful countryside. Check out Stone Mountain Park, with a host of attractions that will dazzle snowbirds of every stripe.

Skyline of a major city under blue sky.

Atlanta skyline. Photo: Getty Images

Stay: Stone Mountain Park Campground is part of Georgia’s most popular attraction and puts all of the area’s attractions right at guests’ fingertips.

Georgia COVID-19 Information

The Pelican State is a feast for the senses. Smell the savory cooking, lay your eyes on elegant city streets and listen to music with Cajun roots going back centuries.

Colorful building corning in New Orleans.

Wrought-iron railing in New Orleans’ French Quarter. Photo Credit: Unsplash, Aya Salman

New Orleans

Lovers of food and fun will have a hard time beating New Orleans when it comes to choosing a snowbird roost. Catch one of the several Mardi Gras parades rolling through the French Quarter and other neighborhoods during winter and sample some world-class restaurants. 

Stay: Jude Travel Park of New Orleans puts guests near the heart of the Big Easy with all the amenities needed for a great stay.

Henderson

Welcome to Cajun Country. Visitors here can enjoy amazing boudin, gumbo and po’boys served in friendly restaurants. Located between Lafayette — considered America’s “Cajun Capital” — and the vast Atchafalaya National Wildlife Refuge, Henderson is the perfect base for adventures on the bayou.

Stay: Cajun Palms RV Resort has ample amenities and is close to Interstate 10, giving guests easy access to Louisiana attractions.

Vidalia

This town along the banks of the Mississippi River is steeped in history. Knife-wielding Jim Bowie once brawled here using the long curved blade that bears his name (Bowie would later perish in the Alamo). The Civil War raged here as Union and Confederate forces clashed for control of the vital waterway. See monuments dedicated to this history — and get some fishing in — during your visit.

Stay: River View RV Park and Resort on the Mississippi River 

Louisiana COVID-19 Information

Ole Miss treats snowbirds to Southern hospitality and rollicking fun. Indulge in casino play on the coast and then belly up to fine Gulf seafood in a homey diner.

Biloxi Lighthouse in Mississippi

Biloxi Lighthouse. Photo Credit: Getty Images, Sean Pavone

Biloxi

Golf, excellent cuisine and historic antebellum homes all are within reach from this town, just 75 miles from New Orleans. Try your luck at one of the high-stakes casinos on the Gulf shore. 

Stay: Majestic Oaks RV Resort in Biloxi treats guests to beautiful surroundings with all the amenities you’ll need for fun on the shore.

Bay St. Lous

Situated at the entrance of its namesake Bay, this town is a launching point for fishing charters heading out to catch trout, redfish, sharks, black drum and more. Folks who prefer to stay on dry land can walk the town’s miles of white beaches or embark on one of the Mississippi History Trails leading to significant sites of the state’s past.

Mississippi COVID-19 Information

While the northern half of the Silver State gets hit by winter, you can still chase the sun in Vegas and surrounding areas.

Climbers scale sheer red rocks

Climbing in Red Rock Canyon Natural Conservation Area. Photo: Tuende Bede, Pixabay

Southern Nevada

Las Vegas might be the first place that springs to mind when thinking about this region of the Silver State, but the surrounding towns shouldn’t be missed. Pahrump, Laughlin and Boulder City, with gorgeous scenery and lots of attractions, each deserves a visit. Lovers of the great outdoors can explore Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, which lies just west of Vegas. Lake Powell and the Hoover Dam are found to the east. Let it roll!

Stay: Arizona Charlie’s Boulder RV Park in Las Vegas boasts casino action, dining, shopping and a relaxing pool & Jacuzzi just steps from your site.

Snowbirds in the Land of Enchantment can choose between forests and mountains in the north and sprawling deserts in the south. Take a deep dive into Native America and Spanish Colonial pasts.

Central New Mexico

Albuquerque stays fairly warm during the winter, although nights can get chilly. Attractions here include a historic stretch of Route 66, with compelling shops and restaurants along the way, as well as the Acoma pueblo to the west, considered to be the oldest continuously inhabited community in North America. Take the tramway to the Sandia Peak Ski area just north of town.

Stay: Isleta Lakes & RV Park

Boating in a lake amid a desert landscape.

Boaters go fishing and cruising on the waters near Elephant Butte. Photo: Visit New Mexico

Elephant Butte Lake and Truth or Consequences

Elephant Buttle Lake is the state’s largest body of water and a haven for boaters and anglers. Follow the Geronimo Trail Scenic Byway for hiking and four-wheeling adventure. Nearby, the town of Truth of Consequences has historic hot springs as well as a cityscape that preserves architecture from the 1930s. 

Stay: Elephant Butte Lake RV Resort in Elephant Butte puts guests close to hiking, boating and sightseeing.

Las Cruces

This desert town is home to New Mexico State University and a slew of museums and entertainment options. A short drive to the north takes visitors to White Sands National Park, a glittering gypsum dune field that stretches across 275 square miles. 

Stay: Sunny Acres RV Park in Las Cruces has big, grassy sites with lots of shade close to town.

New Mexico COVID-19 information

The Palmetto State is home to long stretches of the Atlantic Ocean for a four-seasons of vacation. A winter stay here means fewer crowds but no shortage of attractions.

A long stretch of shore with towering hotels and Ferris wheel.

Myrtle Beach South Carolina. Photo Credit: Getty Images, Kruck20

Grand Strand

This 60-mile segment of the Atlantic Coast includes Myrtle Beach, considered the ultimate family beach getaway. Along this stretch, golfers will discover courses designed by some of the game’s biggest names along with fishing piers.

Stay: Apache Family Campground & Pier has a restaurant, lounge, planned activities, entertainment and the Apache Pier. You may be tempted to stay on the grounds for your visit’s duration.

Hilton Head Island

How’s this for an island getaway: Hilton Head has 12 miles of beaches, 24 golf courses and six marinas, making it an ideal snowbird roost. Hit one of the many bike trails, Go shopping for designer goods or learn about the Gullah-Geechee culture that arose in the region.

Stay: Hilton Head Harbor RV Resort & Marina situates guests right on the Intracoastal waterway between the island and the Pickney Island National Wildlife Refuge.

Down here, snowbirds are called “winter Texans,” and you’ll feel like a local in one of the Lone Star State’s welcoming communities.

A woman on a boat holds a big fish that was just caught.

Catching a big redfish off Port Aransas. Photo: Visit Texas

Gulf Coast

On this stretch of coastline, visitors will find endless miles of unspoiled beaches to explore. Walk along the sprawling shores of Padre Island or put down stakes in Port Aransas, where fishing and kayaking are unrivaled. In Rockport, a vibrant cultural scene is matched only by its fishing piers and birdlife.

Stay: Ancient Oaks RV Park in Rockport sits close to beaches with lots of amenities. Activities for winter Texans keep things fun.

Hill Country

Country music, cowpokes and unforgettable landscapes have helped put this region on the map. Located between Austin and San Antonio, this vibrant spot is home to Bandera — the “Cowboy Capital of the World” — and New Braunfels, a hotbed of German cuisine. 

Stay: Top-rated Buckhorn Lake RV Resort in Kerrville is an ideal base camp for exploring Hill Country. 

A rope bridge stretches across a rainforest canopy.

A rope bridge spans a subtropical forest in the Santa Ana Wildlife Refuge in Texas.

South Texas Plains

Experience life along the Rio Grande, a migration spot for both snowbirds and actual birds from across the Americas. See Spanish missions throughout the region, then tour the Alamo as you traverse San Antonio’s Riverwalk.  

Stay: VIP-La Feria RV Park in La Feria has pools, spas and planned activities amid the lush landscapes of the Rio Grande Valley.

Texas COVID-19 Information

Source: 28 RV Snowbird Hot Spots in the Sun Belt

Mark My Words September: Fiver Fixes and Generator Queries

Mark My Words September: Fiver Fixes and Generator Queries

Hi Mark My Words Readers! This month we’ve got questions on axle flips, generators, toilets and propane. Remember to send your RVing questions to [email protected].

Mark,

Could you discuss the pros and cons of doing an axle flip on a fifth-wheel that results in gaining three to four inches clearance from your truck bed? Also, a friend gave me one of those brass fittings that allow you to fill a 16-ounce propane bottle from a larger bottle. However, no instructions were included, and I can’t make it work. Can you explain the process?

Ron

Hi Ron,

Flipping the axles is a common way to raise the fiver to accommodate a taller tow vehicle. It will gain you around three to five inches of increased hitch height. The job should only be done by a competent shop, as new spring perches must be welded onto the axle. You can’t simply flip them over, as the axles are designed with a built-in bow to provide for proper toe-in and camber. Most trailer service places can do the job. The only disadvantages will be the need for an additional step at the entry door and a slightly raised center of gravity on the rig. These modifications don’t usually adversely affect either tire wear or handling.

A man twists the valve of a white propane tank.

Getty Images

The bottle filler is a mixed blessing, in my opinion. To use it, you attach it to your large tank and then screw the small disposable cylinder onto it. Then you must invert the large tank so as to feed only liquid propane to the small cylinder. Open the valve and some gas will be transferred to the smaller tank. I have played with one of these refilling fittings and attempted to refill a number of cylinders. I have found that you typically don’t get a complete gas charge into the little tank.

About half-full seems to be the average, and, what’s worse, many of the little disposable tanks will fail to seal properly after refilling and can leak gas. For that reason, you should never store refilled disposable cylinders in any compartment or enclosed area. Plainly labeled on all disposable cylinders is a warning that they cannot be transported or shipped if refilled. That’s because the dispensing valves weren’t designed for repeated use, and most will leak after several refilling cycles. Due to the problems I experienced, I now just buy the disposable tanks from the store and don’t try to refill them.

Hey Mark,

We are about to purchase a fifth-wheel and begin full-time RVing. Our plan is to spend two to three months at a park and do some sightseeing as we travel around the country. Should we invest in an onboard generator when we make this purchase? This would add $5,000 to the price. Could we get by with a less expensive portable generator or should we make the original investment upfront?

Thanks,

Ray

Bright Red Honda Generator on white background.

Honda CU2200. Photo: Camping World

Hi Ray,

You might want to just get the fifth-wheel without the generator. It is always possible to add one later after you have had a chance to see if you really need one. After you spend a few months settling into your new lifestyle, you’ll know whether or not you need a generator. Many RVers have onboard generators they hardly ever use. Unless you will be spending a lot of time away from electric hookups, a generator is just extra weight and expense. Plus, you have to exercise them every few weeks to keep them healthy.

If possible, have the RV made “generator ready” by the manufacturer or dealer. They will prep a compartment for accepting a generator and typically will install a transfer switch and all necessary wiring. (Some units come from the factory with generator prep as standard equipment.) Then, if you decide you need a generator, adding one is painless. Portable generators are another option, but don’t be tempted by that $400 open-frame contractor’s generator. Those units are ill-suited to RV use as they tend to be noisy and do not last as long as a quality inverter generator. The only portable generators that are suited to RV use are smaller portable inverter units like the Honda EU series. These units are quiet and efficient, but their capacity is limited. For more information on portable inverter generators, check out these links for Yamaha and Honda.

Mark,

It is time for me to replace my RV toilet. Has anyone done any research as to the best on the market? Any input would be appreciated.

Tom

RV Bathroom interior with wood cabinetry and toilet

Photo: Camping World

Hi Tom,

The current RV toilet manufacturers are Dometic and Thetford. Sealand is now owned by Dometic. There are a wide range of prices and options. The Thetford Aqua-Magic line seems to be the most inexpensive choice, and the Sealand toilets are at the high end of the price range. Most of these units are similar in the way they perform their function (how much innovation is really possible in an RV toilet?) and are generally interchangeable. You’ll need to determine if your existing toilet is a high-rise or low-rise model and replace it with one of the same height.

If you go with a different brand or model, you may need to modify the freshwater connection, as different models tend to have slightly different water connections. Prices vary from around $120 for the Aqua Magic up to around $350 for top-of-the-line models from Sealand. Shop around to find the best prices. Special features, such as china bowls and more house-like appearance and operation, are available on the more expensive models. I guess it all depends on what you feel is the best match to your wallet and your personal preferences.

Dear Mark,

We’re in the process of shopping for a new RV, and we’ve found several models that utilize a single huge holding tank instead of separate black- and grey-water tanks. Would you comment on the advantages/disadvantages of each system?

Thanks,

Jane

Hi Jane,

Well, you’re asking for an opinion, and I do have one! I feel that putting it all in a single tank is a bad idea. A single-tank setup will prevent you from keeping the nasty and disgusting black water separate from the relatively benign greywater. That means you’ll be unable to dispose of them separately. I’d much rather tote a blue tank full of soapy water over to a dump station than a tankful of waste! What will I use to rinse the black goop out of my hose if I have no grey water handle to pull? Also, it will be much harder to use any kind of bacterial/enzymatic black-tank treatment when you are filling the tank with antibacterial soapy water and cleaning products.

Worst of all, we all know how unreliable tank gauges tend to be, and I’m sure that most of us have allowed our grey-water tank to get a tad too full. The result is usually greywater backing up into the shower or tub. Now, that I can deal with, but black water in the tub? Time to break out the Clorox and the Brillo pads before setting foot (ewww!) in that tub again! I think “one tank for all” is the concept of simplicity taken a step too far. Thankfully, RVs set up this way are rare.

Mark,

I want to head for the coast, but my husband is concerned about salt air and all the exposed metal on our fifth-wheel. How can we protect it and keep the rust to a minimum? Should we spray the exposed joints and hinges with WD-40 or silicon?

Barb

Several motorhomes parked against beach concrete wall

Photo: PaulBR75/Pixabay

Hi Barb,

I spent winter on the Texas Gulf coast and didn’t have any significant problems with salt-induced corrosion. Salt air is not as much a problem as you might think unless you are planning to spend many months on the coast. For visits of a week or two, if your rig is waxed and you wash it or rinse it off when you leave the coast, you should be fine. If you want to spend several months somewhere like Padre Island, where you park on or near the beach, then you may want to wash the rig every week to remove the accumulation of salt and dirt. If any rust or corrosion starts anywhere, clean the spot thoroughly, removing all corrosion, and protect with automotive wax or clear spray-on sealant. I’d avoid oil, or any oily spray stuff, as it will be a dirt and dust magnet. Boeshield T-9 is the best thing for preventing corrosion on metals. Spray it on and it dries to a non-sticky waxy residue.

Hi Mark,

My LP gas-leak detector goes off on an intermittent basis. It went off about six times in one day until I moved all the produce out of the nearby cabinet and aired out insect spray I’d sprayed into the electrical connector box (outside). Weeks will go by and nothing sets it off. Then, seemingly for no reason, off it goes again. I have been advised to ignore it, that “they all do that.” If it is a case of a leak in the line, why would several weeks pass with no alert?

Thanks,

Nicole

Hi Nicole,

Those alarms can be set off by anything in a spray can that uses propane or butane as a propellant. That covers the majority of aerosol sprays, which are a common source of false alarms. If your alarm is more than five years old, it may be in need of replacement. Those alarms do have a service lifespan and many times will begin to act erratically when they get senile. I suspect from the symptoms you describe that you probably don’t have a propane leak. Watch to see if your false alarms are associated with using aerosol products. If not, then it may be time for a new alarm. It’s probably a good idea to replace your smoke alarm, too, if it’s getting on in years.

Source: Mark My Words September: Fiver Fixes and Generator Queries

5 Dog-Friendly Activities To Do This Fall on Oregon’s Adventure Coast

5 Dog-Friendly Activities To Do This Fall on Oregon’s Adventure Coast

Another Labor Day has come and gone and you may think to yourself, “Doggonit, summer is nearly over! What am I supposed to do now?” Well, friends, don’t fret! The fun is only beginning. Oregon’s Adventure Coast: Coos Bay, North Bend & Charleston is a year-round destination, and autumn is one of our favorite seasons! If you want to plan an extra special adventure, bring a furry family member or two along for the trip! We not only welcome dogs to Oregon’s Adventure Coast, we encourage them! Guess you could say the “paw-sibbilites” are endless!

Here are five great ways to enjoy Oregon’s Adventure Coast with your pet this fall. Unless otherwise specified, please keep your pet on a leash in all public areas.

Dog on park bench looking at ocean.

A dog overlooking Cape Arago. Getty Images

#1 Hike along the Cape Arago Loop Trail. There are plenty of impressive hiking trails to choose from on Oregon’s Adventure Coast, but this 6-mile round trip hiking trail takes you along the rugged coastline and through mysterious and beautiful coastal forests. Paths are wide enough that if you encounter other hikers, it’s easy to step aside and let them pass and still keep your distance.

A golden lab dog runs free along a beach

Getty Images

#2 Run Free Along an Open Beach! We love all our beautiful, undeveloped beaches. Our beaches are ideal for picnicking, walking/jogging or spending a relaxing day tossing a ball or frisbee with your best friend. If your pup needs a good run, we recommend heading to Horsfall Beach in North Bend and Bastendorff Beach just outside of Charleston. Both locations have long stretches of beach for dogs to run and play.

A dog looks down a forested trail.

Getty Images

#3 Traverse Through Coastal Forests in the Golden and Silver Falls State Natural Area. Golden and Silver Falls State Natural Area (about 30 miles from Highway 101, on Highway 241) is the perfect destination for two-legged and four-legged adventure-seekers alike! This destination has been called “a hidden gem in dense coastal forests” and takes hikers through scenic canyons and lush coastal forests to two magnificent waterfalls. Vantage points all along the trail give you excellent views of the falls from the bottom, mid-point and top. It’s the perfect place for a “pup-arazzi” photo shoot!

Closeup of dog's face in forest.

Photo: Getty Images

#4 Wander Through the Scenic Trails and Waterways in the South Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve (SSNERR). This glorious nature preserve covers 19,000 acres and offers miles of beautiful hiking trails and waterways to explore for all ability levels. These trails are well maintained and relatively easy to hike — perfect for hiking with your best furry friend! SSNERR is also home to various marine life, plant and bird species — so be sure to bring binoculars with you! Please note that all dogs must be on a leash at all times.

Labrador relaxing at a campsite.

Photo: Ari Bady/Unsplash

#5 Embark on a Camping Adventure. Are you going through a rough “pooch”? Outdoor enthusiasts have long known that camping is an excellent way to retreat into nature and relieve stress and anxiety — especially when traveling with your beloved pet(s)! There is no shortage of fabulous (and in most cases pet-friendly) RV Parks & Campsites on Oregon’s Adventure Coast! You never know, a camping trip might be the perfect way to get a new “leash” on life!

For more travel inspiration, visit the Oregon’s Adventure Coast website! Or request a visitor’s packet today.

Good Sam Camping

Good Sam Camping

Good Sam provides everything you need to have a good trip. From savings on accessories and services to finding a campground, roadside assistance, insurance and specialized products and services designed to enhance RV and outdoor lifestyle.

Source: 5 Dog-Friendly Activities To Do This Fall on Oregon’s Adventure Coast

Fantastic Fall for Camping Myrtle Beach

Fantastic Fall for Camping Myrtle Beach

It is that welcoming time of year when life starts getting back to a routine, and we began to prepare for Fall and the holiday seasons. While camping in Myrtle Beach offers wonderful accommodations at award-winning campgrounds, their locations allow easy access to the area’s major attractions including golf, shopping, fishing, dining, and more. Not to mention the beautiful scenery along the lakes and oceanfront. This time of year, the weather is not too hot or cold…it is just right. So, choose your campsite and enjoy the freshness and crispness of Fall that can only be experienced in Myrtle Beach.

Aerial shot of RVs parked on green lawn around a pond area.

Willow Tree RV Resort Campground

Make sure to visit CampMyrtleBeach.com and plan your next camping adventure.  The experts at these wonderful campgrounds:  Lakewood Camping Resort,  Myrtle Beach KOA Resort, Myrtle Beach Travel Park, NMB RV Resort-Dry Dock Marina, Ocean Lakes Family Campground, PirateLand Family Camping Resort and Willow Tree RV Resort Campground can help you design the perfect vacation, weekend get-away, or few days escape in beautiful South Carolina. Take advantage of Fall savings and discounts like never before. A variety of festivities are happening in Myrtle Beach over the next few months so come and Camp Myrtle Beach and experience them all.

Aerial shot of RVs parked next to a beach shore with pool and lazy river.

Ocean Lakes Family Campground

We are going to let you in on a little local secret; Not only does Myrtle Beach have the best camping in the world, our fall festivals and holiday shows are some of the most entertaining and memorable experiences. There are all types of festivals up and down the Grand Strand that will bring plenty of smiles and laughs to you and your family. It is not too early to plan for Christmas and with that in mind, you can witness Christmas parades and tree lighting ceremonies, special, one-of-a-kind celebrations, unique to Myrtle Beach. If you can only choose one event to attend, then Night of a Thousand Lights at Brookgreen Gardens is the one for you.  Tens of thousands of lights sparkle in the dark creating a special kind of holiday glow. Take enchanting walks through the twinkling lights as carolers sing, holiday music plays, all the while enjoying a warm cup of apple cider. It is the perfect way to celebrate the enchantment of Christmas. So, plan your holiday get-away and take in some of the local flair that only Myrtle Beach can offer. Make sure to check out the Events page on CampMyrtleBeach.com for more information.

Cyclists riding a bike path in the shade of old oak trees.

Cyclists under Oaks in the Myrtle Beach area.

While you’re welcoming fall and the holiday seasons, here are some friendly reminders. Location: Myrtle Beach is one of America’s favorite vacation destinations. Visitors, like you, have been enjoying the Grand Strand for decades and generations of families continue to return each year. If you have never been, this is the perfect time of year for a weekend get-away or an extended stay. Don’t miss out on all that Myrtle Beach has to offer. Crowds: All the people that pack Myrtle Beach in the summertime have left. There is room to breathe, and traffic is no longer bumper to bumper. The long lines at the restaurants have vanished and it doesn’t take all day to visit your favorite attractions. This alone is reason enough to visit Myrtle Beach this time of year. Come experience the salt life like never before and enjoy the relaxation and peacefulness. Attractions: All the awesome attractions are still here. Savory restaurants, incredible shops, and championship golf courses are nestled in Myrtle Beach for your pleasure. Tourist favorites, like Broadway at the Beach and the Myrtle Beach Boardwalk and Promenade, stand proud and await your arrival.

A wooden walkway leading to an unspoiled beach.

Myrtle Beach

The beaches of Myrtle have seen millions enjoy romantic walks in the sand and the soothing sounds of the tide rolling in and out has pacified countless guests. Come experience one of the best locations, with gorgeous weather, uninterrupted by crowds, featuring awesome attractions, and the best camping Myrtle Beach has to offer! Visit CampMyrtleBeach.com for more details.

Source: Fantastic Fall for Camping Myrtle Beach

How to Organize Your RV

How to Organize Your RV

Good Sam sets a high bar for quality, and for 2020, a total of 197 RV parks answered the challenge by attaining flawless 10/10★/10 Good Sam ratings. The numbers are based on our trusted evaluation system, and most of the top scorers are Good Sam perfect parks.

Our rep teams who visit the parks check for cleanliness of restrooms and showers; environment and visual appearance. Each category is rated on a scale of one to 10, and a star is added for exceptionally clean restrooms. You’ll also find a list of these parks — along with plenty of helpful RV-related content — in our 2020 edition of the Good Sam Guide Series.

Desert RV camping with cactus in foreground.

Getty Images

Set a high bar on your next RV trip. Stay at one of the top-rated parks, or to cast a wider net, search Good Sam Parks that have cumulative ratings of 28 or more. Good Sam members save 10% at Good Sam Parks across North America —  2,400 locations in all.

Good Sam Parks with 10/10★/10 scores.

Arizona

Doubles tennis under blue sky.

Valle Del Oro RV Resort

De Anza RV Resort, Amado

Superstition Sunrise RV Resort, Apache Junction

Weaver’s Needle RV Resort, Apache Junction

Black Canyon Ranch RV Resort, Black Canyon City

Vista Del Sol RV Resort, Bullhead City

Distant Drums RV Resort, Camp Verde

Palm Creek Golf & RV Resort, Casa Grande

Sundance 1 RV Resort, Casa Grande

Pueblo El Mirage RV & Golf Resort, El Mirage

Eagle View RV Resort Asah Gweh Oou-o At Fort McDowell, Fort McDowell

Arizonian RV Resort, Gold Canyon

Canyon Vistas RV Resort, Gold Canyon

Gold Canyon RV & Golf Resort, Gold Canyon

Apache Wells RV Resort, Mesa

Good Life RV Resort, Mesa

Mesa Regal RV Resort, Mesa

Sun Life RV Resort, Mesa

Valle Del Oro RV Resort, Mesa

Desert Shadows RV Resort, Phoenix

Far Horizons RV Resort, Tucson

Mission View RV Resort, Tucson

Rincon Country East RV Resort, Tucson

Rincon Country West RV Resort, Tucson

Del Pueblo RV Park and Tennis Resort, Yuma

Shangri-La RV Resort, Yuma

Villa Alameda RV Resort, Yuma

Westwind RV & Golf Resort, Yuma

Arkansas

Ozarks RV Resort On Table Rock Lake, Blue Eye

California

RVs parked in desert as mountains rise in the background.

The Springs at Borrego.

Bakersfield RV Resort, Bakersfield

The Springs At Borrego RV Resort & Golf Course, Borrego Springs

Indian Waters RV Resort & Cottages, Indio

Jackson Rancheria RV Park, Jackson

Cava Robles RV Resort, Paso Robles

Berry Creek Rancheria RV Park,
Oroville

Pala Casino RV Resort, Pala

Durango RV Resort, Red Bluff

JGW RV Park, Redding

Redding Premier RV Resort, Redding

Pechanga RV Resort, Temecula

Vineyard RV Park, Vacaville

Colorado

Royal View RV Park, Canon City

Mesa Verde RV Resort, Mancos

River Run, Granby

Florida

A tranquil pool surrounded by palms.

Palm Beach Motorcoach Resort

Cross Creek RV Resort, Arcadia

Belle Parc RV Resort, Brooksville

Palm Beach Motorcoach Resort, Jupiter

Aztec RV Resort, Margate

Crystal Lake RV Resort, Naples

The Great Outdoors RV, Nature & Golf Resort, Titusville

Williston Crossings RV Resort, Williston

Georgia

Coastal Georgia RV Resort, Brunswick

Illinois

Double J Campground, Springfield

Louisiana

Cajun Palms RV Resort, Henderson

Paragon Casino RV Resort, Marksville

Massachusetts

RVs parked under tall, shady pines.

Normandy Farms Family Camping Resort

Cape Cod Campresort & Cabins, East Falmouth

Normandy Farms Family Camping Resort, Foxboro

Pine Acres Family Camping Resort, Oakham

Michigan

Traverse Bay RV Resort, Traverse City

Minnesota

Stony Point Resort RV Park & Campground, Cass Lake

Grand Hinckley RV Resort, Hinckley

Missouri

Big Creek RV Park, Annapolis

Cottonwoods RV Park, Columbia

Lazy Day Campground, Danville

Osage Beach RV Park, Osage Beach

Montana

RV park lodge surrounded by robust trees

Nugget RV Park

Nugget RV Park, St Regis

Nevada

Las Vegas RV Resort, Las Vegas

LVM Resort, Las Vegas

Lakeside Casino & RV Park, Pahrump

Nevada Treasure RV Resort, Pahrump

Wine Ridge RV Resort & Cottages, Pahrump

Sparks Marina RV Park, Sparks

New Hampshire

Mountain Lake Camping Resort, Lancaster

New Mexico

Route 66 RV Resort, Albuquerque

New York

An RV reflected in a pond surrounded by lush treen lawn

The Villages at Turning Stone RV Park

Swan Bay Resort, Alexandria Bay

Camp Chautauqua Camping Resort, Chautauqua

Skyway Camping Resort, Ellenville

Black Bear Campground, Florida

King Phillips Campground, Lake George

Ledgeview RV Park, Lake George

Rip Van Winkle Campgrounds, Saugerties

The Villages At Turning Stone RV Park, Verona

North Carolina

Raleigh Oaks RV Resort & Cottages, Four Oaks

The Great Outdoors RV Resort, Franklin

Fayetteville RV Resort & Cottages, Wade

Ohio

Cross Creek Camping Resort, Delaware

Evergreen Park RV Resort, Mount Eaton

Arrowhead Campground, New Paris

Oklahoma

By The Lake RV Park Resort, Ardmore

Do Drop Inn RV Resort, Calera

Xtreme RV Resort, Eufaula

Fun Town RV Park at WinStar, Thackerville

Oregon

RVs parked under lush trees with mountain skyline in distance.

Seven Feathers RV resort

Bend/Sisters Garden RV Resort, Bend

Cannon Beach RV Resort, Cannon Beach

Seven Feathers RV Resort, Canyonville

Bay Point Landing, Coos Bay

Olde Stone Village RV Park, McMinnville

Pacific Shores Motorcoach Resort, Newport

Hee Hee Illahee RV Resort, Salem

Casey’s Riverside RV Park, Westfir

Pheasant Ridge RV Resort, Wilsonville

Tennessee

Smoky Bear Campground and RV Park, Gatlinburg

Twin Creek RV Resort, Gatlinburg

The Ridge Outdoor Resort, Sevierville

Two Rivers Landing RV Resort, Sevierville

Texas

Aerial shot of RVs in a lush resort

Bentsen Palm Village RV Resort.

Whistle Stop RV Resort, Abilene

Shady Creek RV Park and Storage, Aubrey

Bushman’s RV Park, Bullard

Alsatian RV Resort & Golf Club, Castroville

Galveston Island RV Resort, Galveston

Jamaica Beach RV Resort, Galveston

Shallow Creek RV Resort, Gladewater

San Jacinto Riverfront RV Park, Highlands

Advanced RV Resort, Houston

Katy Lake RV Resort, Katy

Buckhorn Lake Resort, Kerrville

Fernbrook Park, Longview

Bentsen Palm Village RV Resort, Mission

Forest Retreat RV Park, New Caney

Texas Lakeside RV Resort, Port Lavaca

Northlake Village RV Park, Roanoke

Coffee Creek RV Resort & Cabins, Santo

Rayford Crossing RV Resort, The Woodlands

Oak Creek RV Park, Weatherford

Utah

Mountain Valley RV Resort, Heber City

Vermont

Sugar Ridge RV Village & Campground, Danville

Apple Island Resort, South Hero

Virginia

American Heritage RV Park, Williamsburg

Washington

Northern Quest RV Resort, Airway Heights

Deer Park RV Resort, Deer Park

Columbia Sun RV Resort, Kennewick

Liberty Lake RV Campground, Liberty Lake

Wine Country RV Park, Prosser

North Spokane RV Campground, Spokane

Wisconsin

Stoney Creek RV Resort, Osseo

Recreational vehicle travel trailer in campsite at dusk with lights and campfire, horizontal.

Getty Images

Canada Good Sam Parks

New Brunswick

Camping Colibri, Bertrand

Camping Pokemouche, Pokemouche

Ocean Surf RV Park, Shediac

Nova Scotia

Baddeck Cabot Trail Campground, Baddeck

Bras d’Or Lakes Campground On The Cabot Trail, Baddeck

Ontario

Quinte’s Isle Campark, Cherry Valley

Wildwood Golf & RV Resort, Essex

Bissell’s Hideaway Resort, Pelham

Quebec

Camping la Cle des Champs RV Resort, Saint-Philippe

Other Parks

Resort housing lines a tranquil canal.

Palm Creek Golf RV Resort

Arkansas

Catherine’s Landing At Hot Springs, Hot Springs National Park

California

Outdoor Resort Palm Springs, Cathedral City

Outdoor Resort Indio, Indio

Colorado

Tiger Run Resort, Breckenridge

Pueblo South/Colorado City KOA, Colorado City

Florida

Renegades On The River, Crescent City

Cypress Trail RV Resort, Fort Myers

Gulf Waters RV Resort, Fort Myers Beach

Ocean Breeze Resort, Jensen Beach

Riverbend Motorcoach Resort, La Belle

Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground, Lake Buena Vista

Naples Motorcoach Resort & Boat Club – Sunland, Naples

Emerald Coast RV Beach Resort, Panama City Beach

Myakka River Motorcoach Resort, Port Charlotte

Georgia

Crossing Creeks RV Resort & Spa, Blairsville

Idaho

StoneRidge Golf and Motor Coach Village, Blanchard

Louisiana

Reunion Lake RV Resort, Ponchatoula

Maine

Red Apple Campground, Kennebunkport

Wells Beach Resort, Wells

Massachusetts

Beach Rose RV Park, Salisbury Beach

Michigan

Oak Grove Resort, Holland

Harbortown RV Resort, Monroe

Soaring Eagle Hideaway RV Park, Mount Pleasant

Duck Creek RV Resort, Muskegon

Petoskey KOA, Petoskey

Petoskey RV Resort, Petoskey

South Haven Sunny Brook RV Resort, South Haven

River Ridge RV Resort & Marina, Stanwood

Minnesota

Prairie View RV Park & Campground, Granite Falls

Montana

Polson Motorcoach Resort, Polson

New Hampshire

Twin Mountain/Mt. Washington KOA, Twin Mountain

Cold Springs Camp Resort, Weare

New Mexico

Angel Fire RV Resort, Angel Fire

New York

Chautauqua Lake KOA, Dewittville

Triple R Camping Resort & Trailer Sales, Franklinville

Lake George RV Park, Lake George

Canoes and houses on a lakeshore.

Branches of Niagara Campground & Resort

Branches Of Niagara Campground & Resort, Niagara Falls

North Carolina

Mountain Falls Luxury Motorcoach Resort, Lake Toxaway

Ohio

Sunbury/Columbus North KOA, Sunbury

Oklahoma

Choctaw RV Park KOA, Durant

Pennsylvania

Lake In Wood Resort, Narvon

South Carolina

Hilton Head Harbor RV Resort & Marina, Hilton Head Island

Hilton Head Island Motorcoach Resort, Hilton Head Island

WillowTree RV Resort & Campground, Longs

NMB RV Resort and Dry Dock Marina, Myrtle Beach

Ocean Lakes Family Campground, Myrtle Beach

Tennessee

ps://www.goodsam.com/campgrounds-rv-parks/details/default.aspx?cgid=201519913″>Anchor Down RV Resort, Dandridge

Texas

Johnson Creek RV Resort & Park, Kerrville

Wisconsin

Milton KOA (formerly Hidden Valley RV Resort & Campground), Milton

Canada Parks

Ontario

Fisherman’s Cove Tent & Trailer Park, Kincardine

Sherkston Shores RV Resort, Port Colborne

Woodland Park, Sauble Beach

Quebec

Camping Alouette – Parkbridge, Saint-Mathieu-De-Beloeil

KOA Bas-St-Laurent Campground, Saint-Mathieu-De-Rioux

Source: How to Organize Your RV

3 Small Beach Towns to Escape the Big Crowds

3 Small Beach Towns to Escape the Big Crowds

RVing makes it so easy to try on different lifestyles. When I feel like being a surf bum, I just head to cute small beach towns with RV resorts and campgrounds. Great destinations like Jacksonville, North Carolina, Rockport-Fulton, Texas and California’s seaside San Luis Obispo County make it easy to reap the rewards of oceanfront real estate—at a fraction of the cost! Playing in the sun and sand with my home on wheels in tow allows me to enjoy waterfront real estate on my terms.

First stop, Jacksonville, North Carolina

Five young kayakers paddle on a placid lake.

Photo: Visit Jacksonville NC

There are 23 U.S. cities named Jacksonville, but only Jacksonville, North Carolina, has plenty of sun and sand for RVers. Located in the state’s Crystal Coast region and nestled along the New River, this fun beach town is currently ranked as one of North Carolina’s fastest-growing small cities. It’s adjacent to Camp Lejeune, the East Coast’s largest Marine Corps base, giving it youthful energy that welcomes visitors into this vibrant community with so much to do.

Life begins on the Jacksonville Landing

Every day, you’ll find anglers, kayakers, boaters, and bird watchers gathering at fishing piers and boat launches to enjoy the day on calm, clear water. Back on land, Jacksonville’s 19 miles of multi-use paths and greenways meander through fun and interesting places like the old train depot at Riverwalk Crossing Park, or Lejeune Memorial Gardens, the second largest Vietnam Memorial in the United States.

Anglers cast a line on a boat during sunset.

Photo: Visit Jacksonville NC

For more of that classic coastal experience, it’s an easy jaunt to the Atlantic at popular beaches like Emerald Isle, Bear Island, or North Topsail Beach. And if you happen to know a Marine at Camp Lejeune, ask them to take you to Onslow Beach. This gorgeous, fun oceanfront destination has its own coastal RV park just for authorized military members with visiting friends and family.

A variety of great RV parks makes it above average

Online reviews by RVers show that Jacksonville is one of North Carolina’s best RV destinations. You’ll find it tough to choose just one. The area has four highly rated parks all within 30 minutes of downtown. Waterway RV Park in Cape Carteret, Lanier’s Campground in Surf City, White Oak Shores Camping & RV Resort in Stella, and Deep Creek RV Resort & Campground in Hubert. All of Jacksonville’s RV resorts give you that country getaway feel, without sacrificing any of the cute small beach town vibes you’re after.

Gulf Coasting at Rockport-Fulton, Texas

I once met a Texas snowbird RVer who wintered in the Rockport-Fulton area. When she told me about her resort, I pictured a tired enclave of canasta clubs, elevator music, and Bermuda short-wearing retirees. I was so wrong! Rockport and Fulton have so much to do for RVers of all ages, the area rivals any coastal destination in the country.

Three paddleboarders crossing a bay.

Photo: Rockport-Fulton

Rockport Beach is one of the cleanest in the country.

Both in the water and on the shore, beaches don’t get any nicer than Rockport’s. Experts test the water twice weekly for bacteria, and the results are posted on the TexasBeachWatch.com website. Local efforts to keep it clean have granted Rockport a “Blue Wave Beach” status as part of a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) program. Unlike some other small beach towns, you can feel really good about swimming, surfing and lounging at this beach.

Anglers casting a line at sunset.

Photo: Rockport-Fulton

One way that Rockport and Fulton do feel like other small beach towns for RVers is that life is lived on the water. You can’t truly experience this area without casting a fishing line into the Gulf. Don’t know how? Dozens of charter guides are ready to help! Bird watching is also big, especially between November and March when North American whooping cranes return to Aransas National Wildlife Refuge. Paddlesports are wildly popular, too, in places like the calm waters in the south end of Little Bay. The nearby dog park and the canine-friendly beach also make it fun for RVing dogs. And if the weather isn’t the greatest, which sometimes happens, a choice selection of art galleries and coffee shops lets you experience Rockport and Fulton’s funky, artsy side.

The hardest part is choosing where to camp in Rockport-Fulton

Few great beach towns cater to RVers the way this place does. Nine of the Gulf Coast’s best RV parks are in Rockport and Fulton. Most have monthly rates for winter snowbirds and an endless list of fun things to do that will keep you so busy, you might never want to leave.

Take it SLO in San Luis Obispo County, California

Uncrowded cove on a sunny day.

Photo: Visit SLO CAL

The Golden State’s central coast is a throwback to my Southern California childhood. That’s when camping and dune buggying on the beach was allowed almost everywhere, and farm stands dotted the countryside with fresh-picked produce. California has changed a lot since then, but not so much in the region dubbed “SLO CAL” – and rightfully so. Having fun doing what you love (preferably outside) is a way of life for locals and visitors alike, whether it’s putting pedal to the metal in an all-terrain vehicle or winery hopping on the weekends.

SloCal has California’s best beach fun

From the county’s northernmost town of San Simeon, where the glitzy Hearst Castle stands like a sentinel over the coastline, to cool the beach towns of Pismo and Oceano where off-roading is allowed and encouraged. Dune buggy and UTV enthusiasts are welcome to play at Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area, one of the last stretches of California coastline that allows motorized vehicles. If that’s your scene, you can park your RV on Pacific Coast Highway to camp, then take off for a day of adventure right from your front door.

Cyclists coast down a steep trail.

Photo: Visit SLO CAL

SloCal isn’t just about beaches, however. Culinary fans can head inland to quaint communities like Paso Robles and Edna Valley. Both are agritourism meccas where farmers and ranchers enthusiastically share their love for local agriculture production with foodies and wine aficionados. With so many great food destinations, it’s tough to choose just one. Thankfully several food and wine tour operators are ready to help with guided trips to SloCal’s best food and drink producers. In the surrounding hills, bike trails give cyclists a chance to explore the stunning countryside.

Two Cute Small Beach Towns, Two Great RV Parks

Four young women riding horses on the beach as green hills rise on the horizon.

Pacific Dunes Ranch RV Resort

Pismo and Oceano have the best choices for parking the RV and playing in the sand; Pismo Sands RV Park and Pacific Dunes Ranch RV Park. Both offer year-round beach camping with oceanfront fun just steps away. Fill your day with off-road adventure in the dunes, leisurely bike riding, and scenic coastal hikes right from your doorstep in the region’s best beach camping destinations.

With 95,471 miles of coastline in the United States, these three great coastal destinations for RVers barely scratch the surface of bucket list RV destinations. No matter which cute small beach town you decide to explore, the ever-shifting sands and surf is guaranteed to give you the adventure of a lifetime.

Source: 3 Small Beach Towns to Escape the Big Crowds

10 Awesome Mid-Atlantic Destinations for October

10 Awesome Mid-Atlantic Destinations for October

Leaves turn beautiful hues during autumn in the Mid-Atlantic — but this region also has high-speed racing, vast wilderness areas and outdoor adventure in the shadows of big cities.

Find a destination below and then book a stay at a nearby RV Park (click on the links for more information).


Delaware

Ride the Waves in Rehoboth Beach

Surfing on the eastern seaboard? Although West Coast wave riders think they have a lock on this board sport, you’ll find lots of big waves crashing onto this shore. Rent a surfboard and take surfing lesson at Rehoboth Beach Surf Shop. If you don’t want to hang ten, enjoy the town’s artsy, sophisticated and family-friendly vibe. The area is well known for fine cuisine, plenty of shops and – of course – the beautiful sandy beach. Bonus: Finish your day with a tall one at Dogfish Head Brewings and Eats. Hoist a nice, cold “Brett Lacks Toes” beer or a “Covered in Nuggs” brew. Oh yeah, they serve great food, too.

A surfer takes on a wave in the ocean.

Photo: Getty Images

Get Your Motor Running at the Monster Mile

In October, top drivers rev their engines during NASCAR Race Weekend at the Monster Mile, a top stock car racing venue. Set up a tailgate in the lot and prepare to watch high-speed action in one of the most challenging NASCAR tracks around.

Stay here during your Delaware visit:

Massey’s Landing, Millsboro


Maryland

Kayak in Baltimore Harbor

Who knew that Maryland’s biggest city had so many great places for paddling? Grab your kayak and paddle past the tall ships and the Domino Sugar Factory at your own pace or join a tour led by expert guides on the area’s background. More intrepid paddlers can enjoy picturesque surrounds about a half-hour away at Loch Raven Reservoir or Gunpowder Falls State Park, where top-notch bass and trout fishing are also available. For a relaxing outing, hop aboard one of the smaller charter schooners docked in the Inner Harbor for an exclusive day or night tour.

Skyline overlooking a river.

Photo: Bruce Emmerling

Relax in Abingdon

Nestled on the shores of the Chesapeake Bay, this town gives you the opportunity you divide your time between rural life, seaside adventures and day trips to Baltimore. Step back in time on a visit to nearby Jerusalem Mill Village or the Anita C. Leight Estuary Center at Otter Point Creek. For dinner, head to the Inner Harbor neighborhood in nearby Baltimore to dine on the famous steamed blue crabs while taking in a sunset over the Bay.

Stay here during your Maryland visit:

Bar Harbor RV Park & Marina, Abingdon

Ramblin’ Pines Family Campground & RV Park, Woodbine


New Jersey

Go Beachcombing in Cape May

Occupying the southern coast of New Jersey, Cape May’s seem frozen in time, with preserved Victorian architecture and uncrowded beaches. The best beach is at Cape May Point State Park, two miles south of town, where a pristine ribbon of white sand is unblemished by commercialism, and whales can be spotted off the coast from May to December. The park’s diverse ecosystems, including wetlands that draw myriad bird species, can be accessed along three miles of hiking trails. Take the 1.6-mile novice loop trail that meanders through idyllic woodlands carpeted with wildflowers, picturesque beaches and fertile marshlands. Birders won’t want to miss the Cape May Migratory Bird Refuge, a 212-acre sanctuary rated as one of the nation’s finest birding areas.

Escape the Big City at Liberty State Park

Less than a mile across the water from New York’s Ellis Island on the New Jersey Mainland, Liberty State Park gives visitors a pleasant getaway from the hustle and bustle of urban life. Visitors can stroll on the green expanses or visit the Liberty Science Center, which hosts an array of fun and interactive exhibits for visitors of all ages. The park also is home to the Empty Sky 9/11 Memorial, commemorating the fateful 2001 attack of the World Trade Center in Manhattan across the harbor.

Stay here during your New Jersey visit:

The Depot Travel Park, Cape May

Liberty Harbor Marina & RV Park, Jersey City


New York

Explore the Adirondacks

The Empire State enjoys two big distinctions: It’s home to the biggest city in the U.S. (New York) as well as the largest expanse of publicly protected area in the Lower 48 States. Adirondack Park consists of six million acres of rugged countryside, making it bigger than the nation of Belize and an ideal getaway for hikers and bikers seeking adventure in untouched environments. Nearby, you can check out the Village of Lake George, Six Flags, Saratoga Springs and other area attractions.

Check Out Two Iconic Big Apple Parks

On sunny days, 843-acre Central Park welcomes families, friends, dog-walkers, picnickers and ballplayers. The world-famous park, which forms a 2.5-mile-long rectangle between Fifth Avenue and Central Park West, has served as a backdrop for countless New York books, plays and movies. Visitors could easily spend a day strolling among the fountains, statues, conservatories, lakes, carousel, zoo, boathouse and gorgeously landscaped Shakespeare Garden. While many lavish praise on famed American landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted for his designs for Central Park, Brooklyn’s Prospect Park offers an equally seductive complement to NYC’s urban frisson. There’s the 60-acre lake, myriad ballparks, a zoo and the only urban Audubon Center in the U.S. Prospect Park forms a key part of the Atlantic Flyway bird migration route, and more than 200 species can be found in the park.

Stay here during your New York visit:

King Phillips Campground, Lake George

Lake George Riverview Campground, Lake George

Lake George RV Park, Lake George

Ledgeview RV Park, Lake George

The Villages At Turning Stone RV Park, Verona


Pennsylvania

Taste the Sweet Life in Hershey

More than a century ago, Milton Hershey began manufacturing chocolate treats in a community that would come to bear his name. His legacy is honored at Hersheypark, a  confectionery-themed amusement destination that pays homage to the town’s chocolate legacy. Rollercoasters and exhibits will awaken the candy-loving kid inside. For more on the history of Milton Hershey’s candy empire, tour Hershey’s Chocolate World and Founders Hall at the Milton Hershey School. Adventure Sports in Hershey keeps the good times going for families with extra energy to burn. Go-kart tracks, miniature golf and an arcade keep everyone busy.

Leaf Peep in the Poconos

Get your fall foliage fix in the Poconos in eastern Pennsylvania, where the abundant trees change hues from green to crimson, rust and yellow during October. A great place to see this spectacle is the Delaware State Forest,  which features the 82-acre Tarkill Forest Demonstration Area. A self-guided nature trail provides glimpses of a compelling ecosystem. Also on offer are boating, hunting and horseback riding along 26 miles of designated riding trails, along with biking and ATV trails (for all skill levels).

Stay here during your Pennsylvania visit:

Friendship Village Campground & RV Park, Bedford

Gettysburg Campground, Gettysburg

Tucquan Park Family Campground, Holtwood

Flory’s Cottages & Camping, Lancaster

Pinch Pond Family Campground, Manheim

Twin Grove RV Resort & Cottages, Pine Grove

Otter Lake Camp Resort, Stroudsburg

Source: 10 Awesome Mid-Atlantic Destinations for October

Temple View RV Park in the Heart of St. George, Utah

Temple View RV Park in the Heart of St. George, Utah

Temple View RV Park is in the heart of St George, Utah. It’s convenient to everything — 45 Minutes to Zion National Park and a short drive to Las Vegas!

A pool illuminated by soft lighting during the evening.

Pool at McArthur’s Temple View RV Park.

Enjoy the park’s year-round heated pool and hot tub, clubhouse, bathrooms, showers, laundry facilities, putting green, billiard tables and more…

Consistently ranked as one of the fastest growing cities in the nation, St. George, Utah provides an ideal mixture of big-city appeal and small-town feel. The city has become a popular retirement destination and a favorite getaway spot for those seeking pleasant weather, unrivaled scenery and year-round recreation. You will not be disappointed in your surroundings when you choose McArthur’s Temple View Southern Utah RV Park over other nearby RV parks.

A woman swings a golf club in a desert environment.

Golfing in St. George, Utah. Photo: Getty Images

Located in the southwest corner of Utah, St. George is the gateway to many spectacular scenic wonders, including Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon National Park, Cedar Breaks National Monument and the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. Closer at hand, visitors will find Snow Canyon State Park and Red Cliffs Recreation Area, two spectacles of southern Utah’s signature red rock scenery. In addition to its sandstone spectacles, St. George is near popular alpine recreation areas, including the Pine Valley Mountains and Brian Head Resort, the highest elevation ski area in Utah.

A view of a majestic valley with golden cliffs.

View from Angels Landing in Zion National Park. Photo: Getty Images

For families, the St. George Dinosaur Discovery Site at Johnson Farm and St. George Children’s Museum combine with a wildlife museum, nature center, aquatic center and multiple local hikes to petroglyph sites for a complete family getaway.

Aerial view of cityscape with temple in midst of small town.

Saint George at sunset. Photo: Getty Images

Before your visit, consult this list of the Top Ten Things to See & Do while in St. George.

Make Temple View RV Park your next destination. Call 800-776-6410.

Good Sam Camping

Good Sam Camping

Good Sam provides everything you need to have a good trip. From savings on accessories and services to finding a campground, roadside assistance, insurance and specialized products and services designed to enhance RV and outdoor lifestyle.

Source: Temple View RV Park in the Heart of St. George, Utah

3 Small Beach Towns to Escape the Big Crowds

RVing makes it so easy to try on different lifestyles. When I feel like being a surf bum, I just head to cute small beach towns with RV resorts and campgrounds. Great destinations like Jacksonville, North Carolina, Rockport-Fulton, Texas and California’s seaside San Luis Obispo County make it easy to reap the rewards of oceanfront real estate—at a fraction of the cost! Playing in the sun and sand with my home on wheels in tow allows me to enjoy waterfront real estate on my terms.

First stop, Jacksonville, North Carolina

Five young kayakers paddle on a placid lake.

Photo: Visit Jacksonville NC

There are 23 U.S. cities named Jacksonville, but only Jacksonville, North Carolina, has plenty of sun and sand for RVers. Located in the state’s Crystal Coast region and nestled along the New River, this fun beach town is currently ranked as one of North Carolina’s fastest-growing small cities. It’s adjacent to Camp Lejeune, the East Coast’s largest Marine Corps base, giving it youthful energy that welcomes visitors into this vibrant community with so much to do.

Life begins on the Jacksonville Landing

Every day, you’ll find anglers, kayakers, boaters, and bird watchers gathering at fishing piers and boat launches to enjoy the day on calm, clear water. Back on land, Jacksonville’s 19 miles of multi-use paths and greenways meander through fun and interesting places like the old train depot at Riverwalk Crossing Park, or Lejeune Memorial Gardens, the second largest Vietnam Memorial in the United States.

Anglers cast a line on a boat during sunset.

Photo: Visit Jacksonville NC

For more of that classic coastal experience, it’s an easy jaunt to the Atlantic at popular beaches like Emerald Isle, Bear Island, or North Topsail Beach. And if you happen to know a Marine at Camp Lejeune, ask them to take you to Onslow Beach. This gorgeous, fun oceanfront destination has its own coastal RV park just for authorized military members with visiting friends and family.

A variety of great RV parks makes it above average

Online reviews by RVers show that Jacksonville is one of North Carolina’s best RV destinations. You’ll find it tough to choose just one. The area has four highly rated parks all within 30 minutes of downtown. Waterway RV Park in Cape Carteret, Lanier’s Campground in Surf City, White Oak Shores Camping & RV Resort in Stella, and Deep Creek RV Resort & Campground in Hubert. All of Jacksonville’s RV resorts give you that country getaway feel, without sacrificing any of the cute small beach town vibes you’re after.

Gulf Coasting at Rockport-Fulton, Texas

I once met a Texas snowbird RVer who wintered in the Rockport-Fulton area. When she told me about her resort, I pictured a tired enclave of canasta clubs, elevator music, and Bermuda short-wearing retirees. I was so wrong! Rockport and Fulton have so much to do for RVers of all ages, the area rivals any coastal destination in the country.

Three paddleboarders crossing a bay.

Photo: Rockport-Fulton

Rockport Beach is one of the cleanest in the country.

Both in the water and on the shore, beaches don’t get any nicer than Rockport’s. Experts test the water twice weekly for bacteria, and the results are posted on the TexasBeachWatch.com website. Local efforts to keep it clean have granted Rockport a “Blue Wave Beach” status as part of a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) program. Unlike some other small beach towns, you can feel really good about swimming, surfing and lounging at this beach.

Anglers casting a line at sunset.

Photo: Rockport-Fulton

One way that Rockport and Fulton do feel like other small beach towns for RVers is that life is lived on the water. You can’t truly experience this area without casting a fishing line into the Gulf. Don’t know how? Dozens of charter guides are ready to help! Bird watching is also big, especially between November and March when North American whooping cranes return to Aransas National Wildlife Refuge. Paddlesports are wildly popular, too, in places like the calm waters in the south end of Little Bay. The nearby dog park and the canine-friendly beach also make it fun for RVing dogs. And if the weather isn’t the greatest, which sometimes happens, a choice selection of art galleries and coffee shops lets you experience Rockport and Fulton’s funky, artsy side.

The hardest part is choosing where to camp in Rockport-Fulton

Few great beach towns cater to RVers the way this place does. Nine of the Gulf Coast’s best RV parks are in Rockport and Fulton. Most have monthly rates for winter snowbirds and an endless list of fun things to do that will keep you so busy, you might never want to leave.

Take it SLO in San Luis Obispo County, California

Uncrowded cove on a sunny day.

Photo: Visit SLO CAL

The Golden State’s central coast is a throwback to my Southern California childhood. That’s when camping and dune buggying on the beach was allowed almost everywhere, and farm stands dotted the countryside with fresh-picked produce. California has changed a lot since then, but not so much in the region dubbed “SLO CAL” – and rightfully so. Having fun doing what you love (preferably outside) is a way of life for locals and visitors alike, whether it’s putting pedal to the metal in an all-terrain vehicle or winery hopping on the weekends.

SloCal has California’s best beach fun

From the county’s northernmost town of San Simeon, where the glitzy Hearst Castle stands like a sentinel over the coastline, to cool the beach towns of Pismo and Oceano where off-roading is allowed and encouraged. Dune buggy and UTV enthusiasts are welcome to play at Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area, one of the last stretches of California coastline that allows motorized vehicles. If that’s your scene, you can park your RV on Pacific Coast Highway to camp, then take off for a day of adventure right from your front door.

Cyclists coast down a steep trail.

Photo: Visit SLO CAL

SloCal isn’t just about beaches, however. Culinary fans can head inland to quaint communities like Paso Robles and Edna Valley. Both are agritourism meccas where farmers and ranchers enthusiastically share their love for local agriculture production with foodies and wine aficionados. With so many great food destinations, it’s tough to choose just one. Thankfully several food and wine tour operators are ready to help with guided trips to SloCal’s best food and drink producers. In the surrounding hills, bike trails give cyclists a chance to explore the stunning countryside.

Two Cute Small Beach Towns, Two Great RV Parks

Four young women riding horses on the beach as green hills rise on the horizon.

Pacific Dunes Ranch RV Resort

Pismo and Oceano have the best choices for parking the RV and playing in the sand; Pismo Sands RV Park and Pacific Dunes Ranch RV Park. Both offer year-round beach camping with oceanfront fun just steps away. Fill your day with off-road adventure in the dunes, leisurely bike riding, and scenic coastal hikes right from your doorstep in the region’s best beach camping destinations.

With 95,471 miles of coastline in the United States, these three great coastal destinations for RVers barely scratch the surface of bucket list RV destinations. No matter which cute small beach town you decide to explore, the ever-shifting sands and surf is guaranteed to give you the adventure of a lifetime.

Source: 3 Small Beach Towns to Escape the Big Crowds

Hiking Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Hiking Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Great Smoky Mountains National Park is one of the best hiking destinations in eastern Tennessee and western North Carolina. While it can be quite busy during the summer, many people believe that the changing colors and cooler temperatures make fall the best time to hike in the park.

Because the park covers a total of more than 522,000 acres, you will have many routes to choose from if you want to hike in the Smokies. Today, we are going to highlight five very different options for hiking Great Smoky Mountains National Park that will give everyone from beginners to experts something to enjoy during their trip.

Mountains shrouded by white mist.

View from the Appalachian Trail Loop. Photo: Getty Images

Appalachian Trail Loop From Newfound Gap to Charlie’s Bunion

  • Distance: 8.1 miles
  • Trail Type: Out and back
  • Elevation Gain: 1,640 feet
  • Difficulty: Hard

While you might not initially like the idea of making a bunion your primary hiking destination, no visit to the Smoky Mountains is complete without setting foot on the Appalachian Trail. The trailhead for this hike is located at Newfound Gap on the border of Tennessee and North Carolina.

Be prepared for a nice climb to start the first two miles of this hike, but make sure you lift your head up to appreciate the foliage from time to time. During the spring and summer, wildflowers line the trail and the changing colors of fall are definitely a sight to see.

You will find the spur to the doorway to Charlie’s Bunion at mile 4, which is definitely worth it for the views. If you want to turn this hike into an overnight trip, you can even get a permit to stay at the Ice Water Spring Shelter and then get up early to catch sunrise views from the bunion!

An observation tower accessible by winding walkway.

Clingman’s Dome observation tower. Photo Kirk Thornton/Unsplash

Clingman’s Dome

  • Distance:  1.2 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 334 feet
  • Trail Type: Out and back
  • Difficulty: Easy

Clingman’s Dome is easily the most popular attraction in the park. It is the highest point in the park and the observation tower that has been built there offers 360-degree views of the mountains. It is a great option for a quick sunrise or sunset hike between other park activities.

Be prepared to share the views with plenty of other visitors during your visit to Clingman’s Dome. Because of the views and the relatively easy hike required to get there, this trail is often quite crowded and you may not get to hike at your regular pace.

Still, this hike is worth a quick stop if you haven’t been to the park before and there is even a visitor’s center at the trailhead if you want to grab a ranger’s attention to answer any questions. You can also do the Clingman’s Dome hike and then hop on the Appalachian Trail in either direction from here if you want to extend your day.

A veil like cascade of water tumbles down jagged rocks.

Ramsey’s Cascade. Photo: Andrea Walton

Ramsey Cascades

  • Distance:  7.8 miles
  • Elevation Gain:  2,190 feet
  • Trail Type: Out and back
  • Difficulty: Hard

Ramsey Cascades is the tallest accessible waterfall in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. While there may be others that top the 100-foot height of these cascades, this waterfall is the largest that you can comfortably reach on foot using a developed trail.

The hike to get there is both lengthy and quite strenuous, but you can usually cool off in the small pool at the bottom of the falls once you get there. The strength of the falls will depend on the time of year that you visit and the amount of seasonal snow and rainfall that the park has experienced recently.

The spring months are usually the best time to see the waterfall in its most powerful form. However, this hike is absolutely magnificent in the fall as well. The leaves of the diverse trees along the trail (silverbells, yellow birch, tulip, and basswoods) turn the typically green forest into a warm landscape of reds and oranges in the fall months.

Sunlight sparks on the surface of a stream that races between boulders.

Scenery along the Little River Trail. Photo: Brian Stansberry

Little River Trail

  • Distance:  4.8 miles
  • Elevation Gain:  412 feet
  • Trail Type: Out and back
  • Difficulty: Intermediate

The Little River Trail is a great intermediate hike for the entire family. If you aren’t able to explore the full length of this trail, you can still enjoy hunting for salamanders on the banks of the river or documenting wildflowers lining the trail.

The trailhead for this hike is located in the Historic Elkmont District, which used to be a very popular vacation spot for Appalachian visitors. The town has lots of history, which is another great reason to put it on your list before the remnants of the resort degrade and fade away.

The hike itself is a great choice throughout the summer and fall, but it actually attracts many visitors during the spring as well. If you visit from late May to early June, you can bear witness to the world-famous synchronized fireflies of Elkmont.

Sun sets over mist-shrouded mountains under a golden sky.

View of the Sunset over the Appalachian Mountains from Rocky Top. Photo: Getty Images.

Thunderhead Mountain and Rocky Top

  • Distance:  17 miles
  • Elevation Gain:  3,639 feet
  • Trail Type: Loop
  • Difficulty: Hard

No trip to the Great Smokies would be complete without summiting Thunderhead Mountain and good-ole Rocky Top along the way. The latter is actually a sub-peak (aka ‘false summit’) of Thunderhead Mountain, which sits at an elevation of 5,527 feet.

The cool part about this trail is that it makes a complete loop so you can continue to enjoy new scenery along the entire route. The longer length of this trail also makes it a popular choice for a multi-day backpacking trip in the park.

Thunderhead Mountain is coined for the often unpredictable weather that is common to the Smokies. So if you do opt for this trail for a backpacking trip, just make sure you are equipped with rain gear and have permits to camp at a location like Spence Field Shelter.

Good Sam RV Parks Near Great Smoky Mountains National Park

While there are options in the park for multi-day backpacking trips, every hiker enjoys coming home to a comfortable base camp at the end of the day. So here are a couple nice Good Sam RV Resorts close to the park.

Twin Creek RV Resort

RVs and camping cabins against a background of crimson and gold fall foliages.

Twin Creek RV Resort.

Twin Creek RV Resort is the best option if you want to be close to downtown Gatlinburg. It boasts a total of 85 full-hookup sites and offers WiFi throughout the park. Some of the park’s best amenities include a heated pool and hot tub, laundry services, and a camp store. But this park’s best attribute is its proximity to town and the main entrance to the national park.

Stonebridge RV Resort

Horseshoe pits on a green grassy meadow with background of green trees.

Horseshoe pit at Stonebridge RV Resort.

Stonebridge RV Resort is located on the other side of the park in Maggie Valley, North Carolina. It sits right on the banks of Jonathan Creek and offers a total of 130 full-hookup sites with WiFi. Aside from being able to swim in the creek, the park also offers a swimming pool, recreation hall, and outdoor games for evening activities. It is also just under 40 minutes from Asheville and 35 minutes from the Oconaluftee Visitor Center at the south entrance to the national park.

Misty Mountain Hikes

If you have never visited this area, it is definitely worth adding to your bucket list. The terrain can be demanding, but the views are worthwhile and the nearby towns of Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge provide fun for the whole family between your hiking excursions.

We hope that you have enjoyed this brief guide to hiking Great Smoky Mountains National Park. If you have any other hikes that you would highly recommend and weren’t included on our list, we would love to hear from you!

Source: Hiking Great Smoky Mountains National Park

3 Small Beach Towns to Escape the Big Crowds

RVing makes it so easy to try on different lifestyles. When I feel like being a surf bum, I just head to cute small beach towns with RV resorts and campgrounds. Great destinations like Jacksonville, North Carolina, Rockport-Fulton, Texas and California’s seaside San Luis Obispo County make it easy to reap the rewards of oceanfront real estate—at a fraction of the cost! Playing in the sun and sand with my home on wheels in tow allows me to enjoy waterfront real estate on my terms.

First stop, Jacksonville, North Carolina

Five young kayakers paddle on a placid lake.

Photo: Visit Jacksonville NC

There are 23 U.S. cities named Jacksonville, but only Jacksonville, North Carolina, has plenty of sun and sand for RVers. Located in the state’s Crystal Coast region and nestled along the New River, this fun beach town is currently ranked as one of North Carolina’s fastest-growing small cities. It’s adjacent to Camp Lejeune, the East Coast’s largest Marine Corps base, giving it youthful energy that welcomes visitors into this vibrant community with so much to do.

Life begins on the Jacksonville Landing

Every day, you’ll find anglers, kayakers, boaters, and bird watchers gathering at fishing piers and boat launches to enjoy the day on calm, clear water. Back on land, Jacksonville’s 19 miles of multi-use paths and greenways meander through fun and interesting places like the old train depot at Riverwalk Crossing Park, or Lejeune Memorial Gardens, the second largest Vietnam Memorial in the United States.

Anglers cast a line on a boat during sunset.

Photo: Visit Jacksonville NC

For more of that classic coastal experience, it’s an easy jaunt to the Atlantic at popular beaches like Emerald Isle, Bear Island, or North Topsail Beach. And if you happen to know a Marine at Camp Lejeune, ask them to take you to Onslow Beach. This gorgeous, fun oceanfront destination has its own coastal RV park just for authorized military members with visiting friends and family.

A variety of great RV parks makes it above average

Online reviews by RVers show that Jacksonville is one of North Carolina’s best RV destinations. You’ll find it tough to choose just one. The area has four highly rated parks all within 30 minutes of downtown. Waterway RV Park in Cape Carteret, Lanier’s Campground in Surf City, White Oak Shores Camping & RV Resort in Stella, and Deep Creek RV Resort & Campground in Hubert. All of Jacksonville’s RV resorts give you that country getaway feel, without sacrificing any of the cute small beach town vibes you’re after.

Gulf Coasting at Rockport-Fulton, Texas

I once met a Texas snowbird RVer who wintered in the Rockport-Fulton area. When she told me about her resort, I pictured a tired enclave of canasta clubs, elevator music, and Bermuda short-wearing retirees. I was so wrong! Rockport and Fulton have so much to do for RVers of all ages, the area rivals any coastal destination in the country.

Three paddleboarders crossing a bay.

Photo: Rockport-Fulton

Rockport Beach is one of the cleanest in the country.

Both in the water and on the shore, beaches don’t get any nicer than Rockport’s. Experts test the water twice weekly for bacteria, and the results are posted on the TexasBeachWatch.com website. Local efforts to keep it clean have granted Rockport a “Blue Wave Beach” status as part of a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) program. Unlike some other small beach towns, you can feel really good about swimming, surfing and lounging at this beach.

Anglers casting a line at sunset.

Photo: Rockport-Fulton

One way that Rockport and Fulton do feel like other small beach towns for RVers is that life is lived on the water. You can’t truly experience this area without casting a fishing line into the Gulf. Don’t know how? Dozens of charter guides are ready to help! Bird watching is also big, especially between November and March when North American whooping cranes return to Aransas National Wildlife Refuge. Paddlesports are wildly popular, too, in places like the calm waters in the south end of Little Bay. The nearby dog park and the canine-friendly beach also make it fun for RVing dogs. And if the weather isn’t the greatest, which sometimes happens, a choice selection of art galleries and coffee shops lets you experience Rockport and Fulton’s funky, artsy side.

The hardest part is choosing where to camp in Rockport-Fulton

Few great beach towns cater to RVers the way this place does. Nine of the Gulf Coast’s best RV parks are in Rockport and Fulton. Most have monthly rates for winter snowbirds and an endless list of fun things to do that will keep you so busy, you might never want to leave.

Take it SLO in San Luis Obispo County, California

Uncrowded cove on a sunny day.

Photo: Visit SLO CAL

The Golden State’s central coast is a throwback to my Southern California childhood. That’s when camping and dune buggying on the beach was allowed almost everywhere, and farm stands dotted the countryside with fresh-picked produce. California has changed a lot since then, but not so much in the region dubbed “SLO CAL” – and rightfully so. Having fun doing what you love (preferably outside) is a way of life for locals and visitors alike, whether it’s putting pedal to the metal in an all-terrain vehicle or winery hopping on the weekends.

SloCal has California’s best beach fun

From the county’s northernmost town of San Simeon, where the glitzy Hearst Castle stands like a sentinel over the coastline, to cool the beach towns of Pismo and Oceano where off-roading is allowed and encouraged. Dune buggy and UTV enthusiasts are welcome to play at Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area, one of the last stretches of California coastline that allows motorized vehicles. If that’s your scene, you can park your RV on Pacific Coast Highway to camp, then take off for a day of adventure right from your front door.

Cyclists coast down a steep trail.

Photo: Visit SLO CAL

SloCal isn’t just about beaches, however. Culinary fans can head inland to quaint communities like Paso Robles and Edna Valley. Both are agritourism meccas where farmers and ranchers enthusiastically share their love for local agriculture production with foodies and wine aficionados. With so many great food destinations, it’s tough to choose just one. Thankfully several food and wine tour operators are ready to help with guided trips to SloCal’s best food and drink producers. In the surrounding hills, bike trails give cyclists a chance to explore the stunning countryside.

Two Cute Small Beach Towns, Two Great RV Parks

Four young women riding horses on the beach as green hills rise on the horizon.

Pacific Dunes Ranch RV Resort

Pismo and Oceano have the best choices for parking the RV and playing in the sand; Pismo Sands RV Park and Pacific Dunes Ranch RV Park. Both offer year-round beach camping with oceanfront fun just steps away. Fill your day with off-road adventure in the dunes, leisurely bike riding, and scenic coastal hikes right from your doorstep in the region’s best beach camping destinations.

With 95,471 miles of coastline in the United States, these three great coastal destinations for RVers barely scratch the surface of bucket list RV destinations. No matter which cute small beach town you decide to explore, the ever-shifting sands and surf is guaranteed to give you the adventure of a lifetime.

Source: 3 Small Beach Towns to Escape the Big Crowds

Campfire Recipes to Optimize Your Next Trip Out

Campfire Recipes to Optimize Your Next Trip Out

Last Updated on September 13, 2021 by Christina

Nature enthusiasts often cherish the time they get to spend around a campfire. While you don’t have to be a world-class chef to make delicious campfire recipes, a bit of preparation, the right equipment and little bit of innovation can go a long way.  That could include using recipes and a cooking style that you already know and are familiar with making at home. Many meals are easily transferable to the outdoors, while others may require a few adaptations.

A pair of foil-packet meals cooks on a grill grate over a campfire. Foil packet meals are simple campfire recipes that are as easy as throwing all the ingredients into a piece of foil, folding the foil into a rectangular shape and cooking over a campfire.

Paige Lackey, a Huron Pines AmeriCorps member serving with the DNR, is putting her campfire cooking skills and recipes to the test as part of Project Rustic, a statewide RV tour of Michigan’s rustic campgrounds. While living in and working from an RV provided by General RV, Paige put together a basic meal plan and some of her favorite campfire recipes that anyone can enjoy.

A selfie of Paige, the explorer behind Project Rustic, as she walks along a Michigan beach.

Paige’s favorite campfire recipes and daily meal plan

The last thing you want to do while camping is spend time inside your camper, slaving over a hot stove. You’re camping to enjoy the outdoors and mealtime should not take up hours of your day! Many of my favorite go-to meals while camping are one-pot meals that can be made over a fire. One-pot meals are easy to prep, cook and clean-up and honestly, what’s better than cooking over a fire?

A man stirs a meal in a pot while it cooks over a campfire. One pot meals are ideal for camping cooking recipes because they mean less cleanup afterward.

Fuel Up for Your Day with these Campfire Recipes for Breakfast

For breakfast, I like to stick to the basics and make a big, scrambled egg skillet loaded with veggies and lots of flavor. My personal favorite veggies to add are sweet potato, onion, spinach and bell pepper. Once the veggies and eggs are cooked, I like to top the dish off with avocado and salsa.

Camping Recipes for Lunch: On the go options are best

For lunch, I keep it simple. No need to disrupt an adventure-filled day by preparing a five-course meal. I always keep wraps or tortillas on hand to throw together a simple meat and cheese sandwich wrap. They’re quick to make and easy to take on-the-go. Let your creativity flow by combining different veggies (spinach, cucumber, bell pepper, kale, tomato), fruits (apple or banana with peanut butter) or spreads (hummus, avocado, cream cheese).

Enjoy these Campfire Recipes for Dinner

Typically, dinners are when I like to indulge myself a bit more, and spend time preparing a meal. I still prefer simplicity and one-pot meals are easy prep and easy clean-up. Some of my favorites are:

Pork tacos with onion and bell peppers

A cast iron skillet filled with chopped bell peppers and other vegetables cooks on a grill grate positioned over a campfire. In the background, an RV and vehicle are parked at a campsite. Two camp chairs are positioned near the fire.

Chicken and kale salad with red onion, avocado, cherry tomato, shredded carrots, broccoli and feta with a poppy seed dressing

Stir fry with lots of veggies, tofu and stir fry sauce

One-Pot Protein Pasta

Campfire Nachos

A large cast iron pot sits on a grill grate over a campfire. The pot is filled with fixings for Campfire Nachos - tortilla chips are covered with beans, cilantro, melted cheese, avocado, onions, and more.

Which one of our campfire recipes will you enjoy on your next trip? Let us know on our Facebook page or tag us in a photo on Instagram!

This blog post is part of our Project Rustic series. Paige, the explorer behind Project Rustic, helped put together these helpful tips while RV camping with her dog Willow. Paige and Willow are traveling and working in a Nexus Triumph Class C motorhome provided by General RV Center while they collect data about rustic campgrounds in Michigan. Stay tuned for more Project Rustic posts on our blog. And follow General RV Center on Facebook and Instagram for more exclusive content from Paige’s adventure across Michigan!

Source: Campfire Recipes to Optimize Your Next Trip Out

Los Angeles RV Resort is Now Open

Los Angeles RV Resort is Now Open

The Los Angeles RV Resort (formerly Acton / North LA KOA) is now open as a Good Sam Park for guests in historical Acton’s beautiful Soledad Canyon. Located just 45 miles from Los Angeles, Action Camp has all you need for the ultimate camping getaway or as a base camp for your SoCal explorations. The fun family-friendly campground offers lots of amenities.

Enjoy the swimming pool, volleyball & basketball courts, convenience store, outdoor café-style area, indoor lounge and more. Perfect as a large group retreat center with wide open fields for family reunions, school groups, clubs and nonprofits. There are full hookup RV sites but if you don’t have an RV, reserve our Woody tents, cabins or teepees or maybe a deluxe tent site with power. Camp with a touch of glamour… Glamping! This lovely canyon area has limited cellular signal but there is Wi-Fi available for those times you do need to stay connected. There are plans to add educational programs and more, so checkout our website often for activities.

Local area attractions include Universal Studios, Hollywood, Disneyland, Six Flags Magic Mountain, Dodgers Stadium, museums and more! Enjoy day trips to Santa Monica, Malibu and Venice Beach. AND it’s a must-stop base camp for hikers on the Pacific Crest Trail. Stay for a night, a week, a month or more!

Book your travel today at LARVResort.com or call (661) 268-1214

Good Sam Camping

Good Sam Camping

Good Sam provides everything you need to have a good trip. From savings on accessories and services to finding a campground, roadside assistance, insurance and specialized products and services designed to enhance RV and outdoor lifestyle.

Source: Los Angeles RV Resort is Now Open

3 Small Beach Towns to Escape the Big Crowds

RVing makes it so easy to try on different lifestyles. When I feel like being a surf bum, I just head to cute small beach towns with RV resorts and campgrounds. Great destinations like Jacksonville, North Carolina, Rockport-Fulton, Texas and California’s seaside San Luis Obispo County make it easy to reap the rewards of oceanfront real estate—at a fraction of the cost! Playing in the sun and sand with my home on wheels in tow allows me to enjoy waterfront real estate on my terms.

First stop, Jacksonville, North Carolina

Five young kayakers paddle on a placid lake.

Photo: Visit Jacksonville NC

There are 23 U.S. cities named Jacksonville, but only Jacksonville, North Carolina, has plenty of sun and sand for RVers. Located in the state’s Crystal Coast region and nestled along the New River, this fun beach town is currently ranked as one of North Carolina’s fastest-growing small cities. It’s adjacent to Camp Lejeune, the East Coast’s largest Marine Corps base, giving it youthful energy that welcomes visitors into this vibrant community with so much to do.

Life begins on the Jacksonville Landing

Every day, you’ll find anglers, kayakers, boaters, and bird watchers gathering at fishing piers and boat launches to enjoy the day on calm, clear water. Back on land, Jacksonville’s 19 miles of multi-use paths and greenways meander through fun and interesting places like the old train depot at Riverwalk Crossing Park, or Lejeune Memorial Gardens, the second largest Vietnam Memorial in the United States.

Anglers cast a line on a boat during sunset.

Photo: Visit Jacksonville NC

For more of that classic coastal experience, it’s an easy jaunt to the Atlantic at popular beaches like Emerald Isle, Bear Island, or North Topsail Beach. And if you happen to know a Marine at Camp Lejeune, ask them to take you to Onslow Beach. This gorgeous, fun oceanfront destination has its own coastal RV park just for authorized military members with visiting friends and family.

A variety of great RV parks makes it above average

Online reviews by RVers show that Jacksonville is one of North Carolina’s best RV destinations. You’ll find it tough to choose just one. The area has four highly rated parks all within 30 minutes of downtown. Waterway RV Park in Cape Carteret, Lanier’s Campground in Surf City, White Oak Shores Camping & RV Resort in Stella, and Deep Creek RV Resort & Campground in Hubert. All of Jacksonville’s RV resorts give you that country getaway feel, without sacrificing any of the cute small beach town vibes you’re after.

Gulf Coasting at Rockport-Fulton, Texas

I once met a Texas snowbird RVer who wintered in the Rockport-Fulton area. When she told me about her resort, I pictured a tired enclave of canasta clubs, elevator music, and Bermuda short-wearing retirees. I was so wrong! Rockport and Fulton have so much to do for RVers of all ages, the area rivals any coastal destination in the country.

Three paddleboarders crossing a bay.

Photo: Rockport-Fulton

Rockport Beach is one of the cleanest in the country.

Both in the water and on the shore, beaches don’t get any nicer than Rockport’s. Experts test the water twice weekly for bacteria, and the results are posted on the TexasBeachWatch.com website. Local efforts to keep it clean have granted Rockport a “Blue Wave Beach” status as part of a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) program. Unlike some other small beach towns, you can feel really good about swimming, surfing and lounging at this beach.

Anglers casting a line at sunset.

Photo: Rockport-Fulton

One way that Rockport and Fulton do feel like other small beach towns for RVers is that life is lived on the water. You can’t truly experience this area without casting a fishing line into the Gulf. Don’t know how? Dozens of charter guides are ready to help! Bird watching is also big, especially between November and March when North American whooping cranes return to Aransas National Wildlife Refuge. Paddlesports are wildly popular, too, in places like the calm waters in the south end of Little Bay. The nearby dog park and the canine-friendly beach also make it fun for RVing dogs. And if the weather isn’t the greatest, which sometimes happens, a choice selection of art galleries and coffee shops lets you experience Rockport and Fulton’s funky, artsy side.

The hardest part is choosing where to camp in Rockport-Fulton

Few great beach towns cater to RVers the way this place does. Nine of the Gulf Coast’s best RV parks are in Rockport and Fulton. Most have monthly rates for winter snowbirds and an endless list of fun things to do that will keep you so busy, you might never want to leave.

Take it SLO in San Luis Obispo County, California

Uncrowded cove on a sunny day.

Photo: Visit SLO CAL

The Golden State’s central coast is a throwback to my Southern California childhood. That’s when camping and dune buggying on the beach was allowed almost everywhere, and farm stands dotted the countryside with fresh-picked produce. California has changed a lot since then, but not so much in the region dubbed “SLO CAL” – and rightfully so. Having fun doing what you love (preferably outside) is a way of life for locals and visitors alike, whether it’s putting pedal to the metal in an all-terrain vehicle or winery hopping on the weekends.

SloCal has California’s best beach fun

From the county’s northernmost town of San Simeon, where the glitzy Hearst Castle stands like a sentinel over the coastline, to cool the beach towns of Pismo and Oceano where off-roading is allowed and encouraged. Dune buggy and UTV enthusiasts are welcome to play at Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area, one of the last stretches of California coastline that allows motorized vehicles. If that’s your scene, you can park your RV on Pacific Coast Highway to camp, then take off for a day of adventure right from your front door.

Cyclists coast down a steep trail.

Photo: Visit SLO CAL

SloCal isn’t just about beaches, however. Culinary fans can head inland to quaint communities like Paso Robles and Edna Valley. Both are agritourism meccas where farmers and ranchers enthusiastically share their love for local agriculture production with foodies and wine aficionados. With so many great food destinations, it’s tough to choose just one. Thankfully several food and wine tour operators are ready to help with guided trips to SloCal’s best food and drink producers. In the surrounding hills, bike trails give cyclists a chance to explore the stunning countryside.

Two Cute Small Beach Towns, Two Great RV Parks

Four young women riding horses on the beach as green hills rise on the horizon.

Pacific Dunes Ranch RV Resort

Pismo and Oceano have the best choices for parking the RV and playing in the sand; Pismo Sands RV Park and Pacific Dunes Ranch RV Park. Both offer year-round beach camping with oceanfront fun just steps away. Fill your day with off-road adventure in the dunes, leisurely bike riding, and scenic coastal hikes right from your doorstep in the region’s best beach camping destinations.

With 95,471 miles of coastline in the United States, these three great coastal destinations for RVers barely scratch the surface of bucket list RV destinations. No matter which cute small beach town you decide to explore, the ever-shifting sands and surf is guaranteed to give you the adventure of a lifetime.

Source: 3 Small Beach Towns to Escape the Big Crowds

Campfire Cooking Tips to Optimize Your Next Trip Out

Campfire Cooking Tips to Optimize Your Next Trip Out

Last Updated on September 10, 2021 by Christina

Nature enthusiasts often cherish the time they get to spend around a campfire. While you don’t have to be a world-class chef to make delicious meals over a campfire, a bit of preparation, the right equipment and little bit of innovation can go a long way.  That could include recipes and a cooking style that you already know and are familiar with making at home. Many meals are easily transferable to the outdoors, while others may require a few adaptations.

http://www.generalrv.com/

Paige Lackey, a Huron Pines AmeriCorps member serving with the DNR, is putting her campfire cooking skills to the test as part of Project Rustic, a statewide RV tour of Michigan’s rustic campgrounds. While living in and working from an RV provided by General RV, Paige put together a basic meal plan and some of her favorite campfire recipes that anyone can enjoy.

Paige Lackey
Paige Lackey

Paige’s favorite campfire recipes and daily meal plan

The last thing you want to do while camping is spend time inside your camper, slaving over a hot stove. You’re camping to enjoy the outdoors and mealtime should not take up hours of your day! Many of my favorite go-to meals while camping are one-pot meals that can be made over a fire. One-pot meals are easy to prep, cook and clean-up and honestly, what’s better than cooking over a fire?

http://www.generalrv.com/

For breakfast, I like to stick to the basics and make a big, scrambled egg skillet loaded with veggies and lots of flavor. My personal favorite veggies to add are sweet potato, onion, spinach and bell pepper. Once the veggies and eggs are cooked, I like to top the dish off with avocado and salsa.

For lunch, I keep it simple. No need to disrupt an adventure-filled day by preparing a five-course meal. I always keep wraps or tortillas on hand to throw together a simple meat and cheese sandwich wrap. They’re quick to make and easy to take on-the-go. Let your creativity flow by combining different veggies (spinach, cucumber, bell pepper, kale, tomato), fruits (apple or banana with peanut butter) or spreads (hummus, avocado, cream cheese).

Typically, dinners are when I like to indulge myself a bit more, and spend time preparing a meal. I still prefer simplicity and one-pot meals are easy prep and easy clean-up. Some of my favorites are:

Pork tacos with onion and bell peppers

Chicken and kale salad with red onion, avocado, cherry tomato, shredded carrots, broccoli and feta with a poppy seed dressing

Stir fry with lots of veggies, tofu and stir fry sauce

One-Pot Protein Pasta

Campfire Nachos

Campfire Nachos
Campfire Nachos

This blog post is part of our Project Rustic series. Paige, the explorer behind Project Rustic, helped put together these helpful tips while RV camping with her dog Willow. Paige and Willow are traveling and working in a Nexus Triumph Class C motorhome provided by General RV Center while they collect data about rustic campgrounds in Michigan. Stay tuned for more Project Rustic posts on our blog. And follow General RV Center on Facebook and Instagram for more exclusive content from Paige’s adventure across Michigan!

Source: Campfire Cooking Tips to Optimize Your Next Trip Out

Campfire Cooking Hacks for RVers

Campfire Cooking Hacks for RVers

Last Updated on September 10, 2021 by Christina

Enjoying a great meal around a campfire with friends is one of the best parts about camping. But the last thing you want to do while camping is spend hours cooking inside your RV. Instead, read our campfire cooking hacks and learn how to make tasty meals in the great outdoors.

S’mores and hot dogs probably come to mind when you think of campfire food, but don’t limit yourself! You can cook just about anything over a campfire with the right tools.  Start by reading our camp cooking tips, and then click here for easy and delicious recipes that will have everyone coming back for second helpings!

http://www.generalrv.com/

Tips for cooking outdoors or in your RV

Plan your campfire meals

Meal planning takes a little work up front but it’s well worth the effort.  The more prep work you do at home, the less chaotic your camping trip will be.  After all, no one wants to tear down camp for an unexpected run to the store when you realize you’re out of a key ingredient. Plus, you’ll save money and waste less food by creating a meal plan.

Choose easy recipes over complicated or labor-intensive meals

While a hot meal prepared over a campfire is a cherished camping pastime, no one wants to spend their entire trip in the kitchen. Choose simple recipes that can be cooked in one pot or grilled together, and select foods that require less effort to prep.

Prep as much as possible at home

Whether on a weekend getaway, or a week-long excursion, the less chopping and mixing that needs to happen on site the better off you’ll be. Less food prep onsite also means less gear being hauled out, as well as fewer opportunities for cross contamination or foodborne illness.  Stews and soups are easy to prep beforehand and then cook onsite, for example. Just be sure to keep prepared food chilled until it is cooked.

Only pack what you need

A common household product that comes highly recommended for campfire cooking is aluminum foil. You can use aluminum foil over your grate grill for less greasy grilling, minimize dirty dishes, or make endless (and easy) tinfoil packet meals. Need some spice in your life, but you don’t want to bring the whole spice rack? Use a lighter or pinch, fold and tape the end of a drinking straw, and fill with your desired spice. Seal the other end of the straw, label it, and snip it open when you’re ready to get cooking. It’s a simple and easy cooking hack that will save you time, space and money!

Practice food safety

Maintain food safety by keeping harmful bacteria at bay. If your RV does not have a working refrigerator, pack a cooler with both ice and bags of cold water for any meat, dairy or other items that must remain below 41 degrees F. The bags of water help keep the temperature cooler for longer.  If you’re uncertain about the doneness of food, an instant read thermometer can help ensure that foods are cooked through to between 145–165 degrees F, as suggested by the FDA.

Keep things clean

Due to COVID-19, access to park facilities may be limited, so ensure that you plenty of clean, potable water and soap for washing anything that touches raw foods, as well as hand sanitizer to help kill any harmful pathogens.

Store food properly

Be wary of outdoor critters, both big and small. It’s best to keep food stored away inside your RV. If food has to be stored outdoors, make sure you pack it in tightly sealed containers. If you’re camping in areas where bears are present, follow these additional tips from the National Park Service about storing food and bears.

Practice fire safety

Choose a site at least ten feet away from bushes or anything flammable, including tents or RVs.  A general rule is to have three times the height of the fire in clear overhead space.  Always keep a bucket of water or sand nearby to extinguish the fire. Once the flames die down, stir the ashes and pour more water or sand to cover the ashes completely.

Bring the right equipment

Cast iron is a necessity if you are cooking over a campfire. It will never get ruined, and if you season it well the flavor of cooking on cast iron is amazing. You can cook anything on it and cleanup is a breeze.  Grabbing food from the campfire grill grate or from the coals with your bare hands is a bad idea. You’ll only make that mistake once, and then you’ll get yourself a good pair of grilling tongs.  The item most highly recommended by campfire cooking experts is an oven mitt, since the last thing you want on a camping trip is a bad burn.

Helpful products for cooking while camping

For many, some of the best camping memories are made while enjoying a meal together.  General RV has a huge selection of equipment and accessories to simplify your camp cooking experience – whether you’re feeding one or a crowd.  Some of our favorite products from General RV’s Parts Department include:

Camco Sink Kit

It’s a universal truth that those who eat must also do dishes. Having a consolidated set for washing and drying dishes is a must. It helps you feel organized and makes dish washing efficient!

http://www.generalrv.com/

Progressive Microwavable rice and pasta cooker

Rice and pasta are simple and filling which makes them great for chow time after a day of exploring. The Prep Solutions Microwave Rice and Pasta Cooker is designed specifically for cooking and reheating your favorite starchy dishes in the microwave. It features an easy-locking lid that secures tightly and prevents spills and messes while preparing your food.

http://www.generalrv.com/

Rome Extension Fork

Perfect for cooking brats, hotdogs and marshmallows over a roaring fire. The fork extends a good length so you’re not burning your hands by reaching too close to the flames.

Pudgy Pie Revolution cookbook

This cook book is filled with 81 unique pie iron camping recipes that will inspire campers and backyard cooks to bring their campfire cuisine to the next level.

http://www.generalrv.com/

Rome Double Pie Iron

It’s no secret that we love a good pie iron recipe, and this is the big daddy of pie irons. Perfect for cooking two pies at the same time over the fire. Get your creative juices flowing to make delicious sandwiches, pizzas, mountain pies and more!

http://www.generalrv.com/

Stromberg Carlson Stake & Grill cooking rack

Some fire pits at campgrounds have a built-in rack, but they don’t reach far enough over the fire or they’re not positioned correctly once the fire is burning. This adjustable cooking rack solves that problem.

http://www.generalrv.com/

Nesting bowls

These nesting bowls are great multi-taskers and can be used for preparing ingredients, serving meals, and storing leftovers. The space-saving design allows individual pieces to be stacked neatly together, making it a great addition to any camper or small kitchen.

Omelet maker

As much as we love breakfast over the campfire, sometimes the weather isn’t ideal for building a fire. That’s where microwave cookers become lifesavers. This Omelet Maker makes the perfect omelet, filled with all your favorite ingredients, quickly and easily! The pan does the flipping for you; simply flip the pan and your omelet is folded!

Campfire cooking doesn’t have to be intimidating

Anyone can cook a great meal over a campfire. All it takes is a little know-how, the right tools, and a recipe. General RV is here to help. Stop by the Parts Department at your local General RV Supercenter before your next adventure and start enjoying mouth-watering meals wherever you go.

Source: Campfire Cooking Hacks for RVers

3 Camping Cocktails for Outdoor Happy Hour

3 Camping Cocktails for Outdoor Happy Hour

You’ve had a great day exploring, the crickets are chirping, and you’re kicking back around the campfire in the evening. It’s time for camping cocktails! But what are your options when you’re parked away from civilization? Limited space in your RV means you’re probably not bringing along an entire home bar, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a mixed drink.

With a little planning and preparation ahead of time, you can easily make cocktail bases that save space and time for your camping trip. From slushy margarita mix to fruity sangria, we have three recipes that can be easily made ahead of time and transported to your campsite in a cooler or an RV fridge/freezer. They all have less than four ingredients and only take minutes to assemble. And they all make between 4-8 servings, so they’re perfect for group camping and campsite happy hours.

Camping Cocktails — three cocktails in diagonal pattern, each with fruit.

Sarah Cribari

So whether you’re heading to the woods or parking your rig next to a lake, try mixing up one of these summer camping cocktails for your RV trip. And of course, always drink responsibly and never drink and drive.

Prep at Home Camping Cocktails

These three cocktail bases are easy to prepare before your trip. Then just mix and pour at the campsite!

Simple Fruit Sangria

Making the sangria base at home means you don’t need to pack all the ingredients for your trip. You’ll save space by only needing to bring the container of sangria mix and the soda. This recipe is a great way to use up any leftover fruit, but you can also use frozen fruit.

Jar with strawberries, oranges and blueberies

Sarah Cribari

Tips on picking a wine to use: If you like sweeter sangria try a sweet Riesling or Moscato wine. For less sugar use a dry wine like Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc, or Vino Verde. More of a red wine drinker? You can swap out the white wine for a red. Try a Pinot Noir, Merlot, or Garnacha.

Ingredients:

4 oz vodka

2 cups white wine

1 cup of fruit such as sliced strawberries, oranges, peaches, blueberries, or raspberries

1 liter of Fresca, Sprite, or 7-Up

Equipment:

Quart size mason jar with cover, or a resealable container

Makes 4 drinks

Jar with strawberry slice on rim surrounded by other fruit.

Sarah Cribari

Directions:

  1. Slice and chop any fruit into small pieces for the sangria.
  2. To make the drink base add the fruit, vodka, and 2 cups of white wine to a quart-size mason jar or a container with a resealable cover.
  3. Cover and refrigerate for a few hours or overnight so the flavors have time to mix.
  4. Bring the sangria base and the soda to the campsite in a cooler or your RV fridge.
  5. When ready to enjoy, fill individual glasses 1/3 full of the sangria and spoon some of the fruit into each glass. Top each glass with the soda and serve.

Camping Margaritas

This easy frozen margarita recipe can be stored in a releasable freezer bag until you’re ready to enjoy. If you like your margaritas slushy, these will be best right out of the freezer. They will keep all weekend in a cooler, but as the mixture melts, you’ll have to drink them on the rocks. If there’s room in your RV freezer, pop the freezer bag back into it to keep it slushy. You can also make the margaritas several days before your trip; the mix will keep in your freezer.

Mixing bag with limeade and limes

Sarah Cribari

Tip: for even less clean-up, use the 12 oz frozen limeade can to measure all the ingredients.

Ingredients:

1 can (12 oz) frozen limeade concentrate

2 cans (12 oz)  water (use the limeade can to measure)

1/2 can (6 oz) Triple Sec

1 can (12 oz) of tequila

Optional ingredients:

Salt for riming the glasses

Lime slices for garnish

Equipment:

2 Resealable gallon size freezer bags

Makes 8 drinks

Hands mixing yellow liquid in a bag.

Sarah Cribari

Directions:

  1. Pour the limeade, water, Triple Sec, and tequila into a resealable gallon size freezer bag and put it in the freezer overnight. For extra protection against leaking, double bag the mixture before freezing. The alcohol will keep the mixture from freezing solid.
  2. Keep the bag in the freezer or put it in a cooler with ice until you’re ready to serve.
  3. If you’d like to rim the glasses with salt, rub a lime wedge around the edge of the glass and dip it in salt to coat.
  4. Spoon or pour the margarita mix into the glasses and enjoy!

An icy margarita with limes.

Sarah Cribari

Easy Sparkling Gin Lemonade

Using frozen lemonade concentrate packs more of a lemon punch. If you like your drinks sweeter, use a white soda like Sprite or Fresca for the mix. To keep it on the citrusy/sour side, stick with unflavored seltzer or sparkling water.

Lemons, jar and lemonade concentrate.

Sarah Cribari

Ingredients:

1/2 can (6 oz) frozen lemonade concentrate

1 cup gin

1 liter seltzer/sparkling water/white soda such as 7-Up, Sprite, or Fresca

Glass with lemon slice and lemons.

Sarah Cribari

Optional ingredients:

Lemon slices or mint for serving

Equipment:

Quart size mason jar with cover, or a resealable container

2nd pic of glass with lemon slice and lemons.

Sarah Cribari

Directions:

  1. To make the base, mix 1/2 can of the frozen lemonade concentrate with the gin in a quart-size mason jar or resealable container. Let sit in the fridge for a few hours.
  2. Bring the base mixture and a liter of white soda or sparkling water to the campsite in a cooler or your RV fridge.
  3. When ready to serve, pour the lemonade base into a pitcher and add the seltzer. You can also serve this directly in cups. Fill individual cups 1/3 of the way with the lemonade base and fill the rest of the cup with seltzer. Top with mint or lemon slices if desired.

Source: 3 Camping Cocktails for Outdoor Happy Hour

Cherokee Casino Grove, Oklahoma, Offers World-Class Gaming and More

Cherokee Casino Grove, Oklahoma, Offers World-Class Gaming and More

If you’re planning to visit the beautiful Grand Lake, Oklahoma, area, be sure to stop into Cherokee Casino Grove during your stay. This stunning new casino is the new Number One Choice for Grand Lake nightlife. Nestled near Tom Cat Corner and Shangri-La Golf Club Resort & Marina at Monkey Island, Cherokee Casino Grove is the crowned jewel by Grand Lake. The casino is located 8 miles north of Grove on Highway 10, just 1 mile from the Grand Lake O’ the Cherokees.

When you’ve enjoyed your day on the water and want to have some adult fun to round out your vacation, Cherokee Casino Grove offers everything you need for a great night out. The 39,000-square-foot casino offers more than 490 of the newest electronic games, a full-service bar, a live music venue, a dance floor, complimentary nonalcoholic drinks, and a restaurant offering breakfast, lunch, dinner and late-night options.

Whether you LOVE GAMING or this will be your First Gaming Experience, we have everything at your fingertips to LIVE YOUR LIFE GRAND.

Guests who walk in our doors have come to expect EXCELLENCE. We opened our doors in January 2017 and offer a clean, new and exciting place to play. Our gaming floor features many of the MOST POPULAR GAMES IN THE INDUSTRY. Some of our fan-favorites include our theme-based options, such as “Walking Dead,” Red Ruby and Harley Davidson’s Cycles.

Take Your Gaming to the Next Level

Brightly lit interior of casino with rows of slot machines

Photo Courtesy: Cherokee Casino

GET EVEN MORE from your gaming experience by joining the One Star Rewards program, where you can earn rewards for complimentary dining, Rewards Play and more, along with access to EXCLUSIVE PROMOTIONS and GIVEAWAYS.

Going Beyond Gaming For Your Enjoyment

Our full-service bar and nightspot, 1897 Bar, features free weekly live music. Boogie out on our dance floor, or simply relax in our posh booths while enjoying a brew from our craft beer selection or a cocktail mixed by our friendly mixologists. We have extra-large TV screens surrounding the bar so you always know the score.

Cherokee Casino Grove offers a range of delicious dining options, no matter your mood. Grove Springs Restaurant offers a variety of traditional options, including breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as a special late-night menu. Our dinner menu features high-end steak options, fresh seafood and chef-crafted desserts. You can always add your favorite fine wine or mixed cocktail to complete the meal. Enjoy your dinner in our fabulous restaurant or in our peaceful patio setting with covered tables to continue to take in the sights.

Cherokee Casino Grove has changed the game on Grand Lake. We offer everything at your fingertips to make the perfect weekend getaway. Start living life grand — we have exactly what you’re craving.

Cherokee Casino Grove is located north of Grove on Highway 59 and East 250 Road. For more information, visit www.cherokeecasino.com or call 918-786-1300. All guests must be at least 21 years of age.

Source: Cherokee Casino Grove, Oklahoma, Offers World-Class Gaming and More

Exploring Southern Oregon’s Wine Country

Although the Willamette Valley is often regarded as Oregon’s wine capital, over the past several years, Southern Oregon has emerged as a world-class viticultural region, known for its unique ability to grow a wide variety of grapes due to its complex geology, soil and mesoclimates. This region, which is actually the birthplace of Oregon’s wine industry, saw its first grapes planted in the mid-1800s and today boasts over 88 vineyards and numerous tasting rooms across four river valleys. Compared to popular wine regions like Napa and Sonoma, here, wine enthusiasts will escape the crowds and find prices more accommodating. With stunning views of the valley and surrounding mountains, wine aficionados can revel in world class-wine without an air of pretension at this underrated wine destination.

Oregon Wine Country: A Region That Has Aged Well

Southern Oregon — Wine glass with Valley View inscription filled with red wine.

Valley View was first established by Peter Britt in the mid-1800s. Today you can visit another winery that bears its name in the Applegate Valley. @CateBattles

Beginning in the 1840s, early pioneers who made the trek West along the Oregon Trail planted roots in the newly established territory, and soon afterward, the region’s first grapes. One of these early settlers was Peter Britt, a Swiss photographer who left the east coast in search of gold in Southern Oregon and who’d later become Oregon’s first commercial wine producer. Britt began growing grapes in the mid-1800s and established Valley View Winery, Oregon’s first official winery, near present-day Jacksonville. By 1870, his 20-acre commercial vineyard and orchard had experimented with over 200 varieties of American and European grapes, producing between 1,000-3,000 gallons per year. With his extensive horticultural knowledge and innovative practices, he installed an underground irrigation system by 1855 and used techniques like smudging to prevent frost and raised bees to improve pollination. By the time Britt died in 1905, there were dozens of vineyards in Southern Oregon, many of which were shipping grapes across the country and down to California.

Oregon’s wine industry took a turn for the worst when Prohibition was enacted in the state 1915 — five years before Prohibition became nationwide. Wineries closed, vines were dug up and replaced with orchards, and the wine business was out of business for nearly half a century. During the 1960s, the wine industry began to recover when California winemakers headed North in search of cooler climates and launched the first post-Prohibition wineries in the state. In 2005, the Southern Oregon AVA (American Viticultural Area) was established, covering 2.2million acres stretching south of Eugene to the California border. This region encompasses the Umpqua Valley, Rogue Valley, Applegate Valley and Illinois Valley and is separated by 4 major rivers and 3 different mountain ranges. Today, there are over 8,000 acres dedicated to grape production within the Southern Oregon AVA and the number is growing rapidly!

It’s the Climate and Geology!

Mist hangs over rows of vines in a vineyard.

Mist settles in the mountains that surround the vineyards @CateBattle

Southern Oregon would not be the versatile grape-growing region it is today without the help from Mother Nature. Its unusually diverse array of grape varieties can be directly attributed to the unique geology and climate of the region. Around 200 million years ago, the area between Southern Washington and Northern Oregon experienced tectonic activity, which resulted in volcanic fissures that unleashed upwards of 42,000 cubic miles of lava across the region. Towards the end of the last Ice Age, the landscape was further shaped by a series of giant floods that buried hundreds of feet of rich sediment on top of the basalt rock. This rich sediment made its way down the Columbia River and covered what’s now the Willamette Valley. However, Southern Oregon was spared the impact from these ancient floods, as it narrowly avoided getting covered up by this same ultra-rich sediment. Instead, it retained a complex montage of nearly 50 different metamorphic, volcanic, and sedimentary derived soils throughout the region.

From a climate perspective, the Southern Oregon AVA offers the most diverse growing conditions in the state, and even the country. Much of this can be credited to the Klamath, Coastal, and Cascade mountain ranges that provide cool maritime to warm Mediterranean climates in the valleys. Additionally, the brisk coastal air that’s funneled inland through the river basins creates varying temperature differences and weather patterns between the Rogue, Umpqua, Applegate and Illinois valleys. While the Umpqua and Illinois Valleys have a marine-influenced climate, the Rogue and Applegate valleys are more Mediterranean. While all sub-regions within the Southern Oregon AVA produce the state’s signature grape, pinot noir, the cooler climates are better at growing high-quality Burgundian and German varieties like Riesling, Gewürztraminer, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. In the warmer climates akin to Bordeaux or Portugal, varietals like Tempranillo, Malbec, Albarino and Merlot thrive.

Touring the Southern Oregon Wine Country

Table set with sliced meats, cheeses and a flower.

Enjoy delectably crafted offerings while you’re wine tasting. @CateBattles

To get the best flavor of Southern Oregon, explore the different wine trails in the region.

Umpqua Valley

Starting south of Eugene, enjoy the 30+ family-owned and operated wineries and tasting rooms in the Umpqua Valley, where you’ll find anything from small boutique wineries to sprawling estates. Besides wine, the area offers plenty of activities, especially for those who enjoy outdoor recreation. Spend an afternoon rafting or fly fishing along the Umpqua River in the heart of the lush Cascade Mountains. Wake up early in the morning and take a relaxing soak in natural hot springs and hike to the nearby Toketee Falls. For those wanting some family-friendly fun, take a driving tour at Wildlife Safari where you can see animals from six different continents up close.

Applegate Valley

Man holds wine glass up to goat's snout.

Many wineries are pet-friendly, including Wooldridge Creek Winery @CateBattles

Nearly 50 miles long, the valley stretches north from the California border along the pristine Applegate River. Beautiful farmland is nestled between forested mountains providing stunning views in every direction. The valley is home to over 19 unique wineries that produce a wide array of wines. Starting in historic Jacksonville, follow HWY 238 that winds its way through the valley and taste your way through the Applegate. When you’re not wine tasting, take advantage of the other great things to do in the area. In the summer, drop by one of the many lavender farms in the area or book a boat trip down the Rogue River. Just 20 minutes down the road near the town of Grants Pass is the renowned Rogue Creamery, where you can enjoy the “World’s Best Cheese’, who’s Rogue Blue took the top honor at the 2019 World Cheese Award in Bergamo, Italy. For those who love live music, Jacksonville’s Britt Festival happens every July-October, bringing in acts from all over the world.

Rogue Valley

People stomp grapes in wooden barrels

Guests participate in grape stomping to produce wine. @CateBattles

The southernmost, and by far, the largest area within the greater Southern Oregon AVA is the Rogue Valley. Extending from the foothills of the Siskiyou Mountains along the California border north to the Rogue River, this region bears the distinction of having the highest elevation in Oregon for grape growing. Planted on rugged hillsides between 1,200-2,000 feet, the grapes escape the scorching summer heat on the valley floor. Similar to the Bordeaux region, the Rogue Valley is known for its Cabernet, Merlot, Malbec, and Syrah grapes that thrive in dry, warmer climates. Medford, a city of roughly 80,000 people, serves as s a great launching point while exploring the neighboring towns of Ashland, Talent, Central Point, Gold Hill, and White City. While visiting the area, spend a day at Crater Lake National Park, the deepest lake in the country that was formed when Mount Mazama erupted 7,700 years ago. For those who love theatre, book tickets at the Allen Elizabethan Theatre, home of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in the charming artsy town of Ashland.

Where to Camp

View of painted airstream through a row of vines.

Cate and her husband’s painted Argosy between the vines. @CateBattles

Several wineries in the area are affiliated with Harvest Host, which is a great way for RVers to support local growers while saving money while traveling. For those who are looking for RV parks, there are many Good Sam campgrounds in the region including:

Jack’s Landing RV Resort, Grants Pass

Moon Mountain RV Resort, Grants Pass

Holiday RV Park, Phoenix

Source: Exploring Southern Oregon’s Wine Country

Exploring Southern Oregon’s Wine Country

Although the Willamette Valley is often regarded as Oregon’s wine capital, over the past several years, Southern Oregon has emerged as a world-class viticultural region, known for its unique ability to grow a wide variety of grapes due to its complex geology, soil and mesoclimates. This region, which is actually the birthplace of Oregon’s wine industry, saw its first grapes planted in the mid-1800s and today boasts over 88 vineyards and numerous tasting rooms across four river valleys. Compared to popular wine regions like Napa and Sonoma, here, wine enthusiasts will escape the crowds and find prices more accommodating. With stunning views of the valley and surrounding mountains, wine aficionados can revel in world class-wine without an air of pretension at this underrated wine destination.

Oregon Wine Country: A Region That Has Aged Well

Southern Oregon — Wine glass with Valley View inscription filled with red wine.

Valley View was first established by Peter Britt in the mid-1800s. Today you can visit another winery that bears its name in the Applegate Valley. @CateBattles

Beginning in the 1840s, early pioneers who made the trek West along the Oregon Trail planted roots in the newly established territory, and soon afterward, the region’s first grapes. One of these early settlers was Peter Britt, a Swiss photographer who left the east coast in search of gold in Southern Oregon and who’d later become Oregon’s first commercial wine producer. Britt began growing grapes in the mid-1800s and established Valley View Winery, Oregon’s first official winery, near present-day Jacksonville. By 1870, his 20-acre commercial vineyard and orchard had experimented with over 200 varieties of American and European grapes, producing between 1,000-3,000 gallons per year. With his extensive horticultural knowledge and innovative practices, he installed an underground irrigation system by 1855 and used techniques like smudging to prevent frost and raised bees to improve pollination. By the time Britt died in 1905, there were dozens of vineyards in Southern Oregon, many of which were shipping grapes across the country and down to California.

Oregon’s wine industry took a turn for the worst when Prohibition was enacted in the state 1915 — five years before Prohibition became nationwide. Wineries closed, vines were dug up and replaced with orchards, and the wine business was out of business for nearly half a century. During the 1960s, the wine industry began to recover when California winemakers headed North in search of cooler climates and launched the first post-Prohibition wineries in the state. In 2005, the Southern Oregon AVA (American Viticultural Area) was established, covering 2.2million acres stretching south of Eugene to the California border. This region encompasses the Umpqua Valley, Rogue Valley, Applegate Valley and Illinois Valley and is separated by 4 major rivers and 3 different mountain ranges. Today, there are over 8,000 acres dedicated to grape production within the Southern Oregon AVA and the number is growing rapidly!

It’s the Climate and Geology!

Mist hangs over rows of vines in a vineyard.

Mist settles in the mountains that surround the vineyards @CateBattle

Southern Oregon would not be the versatile grape-growing region it is today without the help from Mother Nature. Its unusually diverse array of grape varieties can be directly attributed to the unique geology and climate of the region. Around 200 million years ago, the area between Southern Washington and Northern Oregon experienced tectonic activity, which resulted in volcanic fissures that unleashed upwards of 42,000 cubic miles of lava across the region. Towards the end of the last Ice Age, the landscape was further shaped by a series of giant floods that buried hundreds of feet of rich sediment on top of the basalt rock. This rich sediment made its way down the Columbia River and covered what’s now the Willamette Valley. However, Southern Oregon was spared the impact from these ancient floods, as it narrowly avoided getting covered up by this same ultra-rich sediment. Instead, it retained a complex montage of nearly 50 different metamorphic, volcanic, and sedimentary derived soils throughout the region.

From a climate perspective, the Southern Oregon AVA offers the most diverse growing conditions in the state, and even the country. Much of this can be credited to the Klamath, Coastal, and Cascade mountain ranges that provide cool maritime to warm Mediterranean climates in the valleys. Additionally, the brisk coastal air that’s funneled inland through the river basins creates varying temperature differences and weather patterns between the Rogue, Umpqua, Applegate and Illinois valleys. While the Umpqua and Illinois Valleys have a marine-influenced climate, the Rogue and Applegate valleys are more Mediterranean. While all sub-regions within the Southern Oregon AVA produce the state’s signature grape, pinot noir, the cooler climates are better at growing high-quality Burgundian and German varieties like Riesling, Gewürztraminer, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. In the warmer climates akin to Bordeaux or Portugal, varietals like Tempranillo, Malbec, Albarino and Merlot thrive.

Touring the Southern Oregon Wine Country

Table set with sliced meats, cheeses and a flower.

Enjoy delectably crafted offerings while you’re wine tasting. @CateBattles

To get the best flavor of Southern Oregon, explore the different wine trails in the region.

Umpqua Valley

Starting south of Eugene, enjoy the 30+ family-owned and operated wineries and tasting rooms in the Umpqua Valley, where you’ll find anything from small boutique wineries to sprawling estates. Besides wine, the area offers plenty of activities, especially for those who enjoy outdoor recreation. Spend an afternoon rafting or fly fishing along the Umpqua River in the heart of the lush Cascade Mountains. Wake up early in the morning and take a relaxing soak in natural hot springs and hike to the nearby Toketee Falls. For those wanting some family-friendly fun, take a driving tour at Wildlife Safari where you can see animals from six different continents up close.

Applegate Valley

Man holds wine glass up to goat's snout.

Many wineries are pet-friendly, including Wooldridge Creek Winery @CateBattles

Nearly 50 miles long, the valley stretches north from the California border along the pristine Applegate River. Beautiful farmland is nestled between forested mountains providing stunning views in every direction. The valley is home to over 19 unique wineries that produce a wide array of wines. Starting in historic Jacksonville, follow HWY 238 that winds its way through the valley and taste your way through the Applegate. When you’re not wine tasting, take advantage of the other great things to do in the area. In the summer, drop by one of the many lavender farms in the area or book a boat trip down the Rogue River. Just 20 minutes down the road near the town of Grants Pass is the renowned Rogue Creamery, where you can enjoy the “World’s Best Cheese’, who’s Rogue Blue took the top honor at the 2019 World Cheese Award in Bergamo, Italy. For those who love live music, Jacksonville’s Britt Festival happens every July-October, bringing in acts from all over the world.

Rogue Valley

People stomp grapes in wooden barrels

Guests participate in grape stomping to produce wine. @CateBattles

The southernmost, and by far, the largest area within the greater Southern Oregon AVA is the Rogue Valley. Extending from the foothills of the Siskiyou Mountains along the California border north to the Rogue River, this region bears the distinction of having the highest elevation in Oregon for grape growing. Planted on rugged hillsides between 1,200-2,000 feet, the grapes escape the scorching summer heat on the valley floor. Similar to the Bordeaux region, the Rogue Valley is known for its Cabernet, Merlot, Malbec, and Syrah grapes that thrive in dry, warmer climates. Medford, a city of roughly 80,000 people, serves as s a great launching point while exploring the neighboring towns of Ashland, Talent, Central Point, Gold Hill, and White City. While visiting the area, spend a day at Crater Lake National Park, the deepest lake in the country that was formed when Mount Mazama erupted 7,700 years ago. For those who love theatre, book tickets at the Allen Elizabethan Theatre, home of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in the charming artsy town of Ashland.

Where to Camp

View of painted airstream through a row of vines.

Cate and her husband’s painted Argosy between the vines. @CateBattles

Several wineries in the area are affiliated with Harvest Host, which is a great way for RVers to support local growers while saving money while traveling. For those who are looking for RV parks, there are many Good Sam campgrounds in the region including:

Jack’s Landing RV Resort, Grants Pass

Moon Mountain RV Resort, Grants Pass

Holiday RV Park, Phoenix

Source: Exploring Southern Oregon’s Wine Country

Top 11 Kid-Friendly Camping Destinations in the U.S.

Top 11 Kid-Friendly Camping Destinations in the U.S.

Families from all across America are bound by tradition to go camping. There is nothing quite like hitting the road and having fun outdoors with your own folks.

Whether you want to experience cuddling your kids close to the campfire or sleeping soundly after staring up at the starry sky, there is always a sense of togetherness when exploring nature with your family. While you’re enjoying nighttime comfort and extra snacks, you can see it’s a different experience with kids in tow, especially when you need to slow down and look after them. We’ve listed the top 10 kid-friendly camping destinations in the U.S. Hopefully, the kids will enjoy them too!

Camping Destinations

Here is the list of a variety of kid-friendly camping destinations you can with your little ones. If you have an exclusive membership, you might get a discount and more from the campgrounds we’ve listed below.

Snake River Campground, Nebraska

At the lake, you can find sugar-white beaches to spend your days swimming and boating around. Every summer night, the campgrounds host a “star party,” so be sure to come in season or you’ll miss it.

Other stellar activities to pair with this is making rockets out of soda bottles, which is included in the program. Ride a canoe down the Niobrara River and try to spot the occasional blue herons and bald eagles.

Group of kids in innertubes splash.

Photo: Getty Images

Big Wills Creek Campground & Tubing, Alabama

This is something the whole family will enjoy, not just for summer. Come and play year-round and enjoy creek tubing, a sand beach, playground, canoeing, paddle-boats and a pool. The park is located in Wills Valley and is associated with some of the earliest historical events in northern Alabama. Today families and Friends enjoy coming to the creek for tubing, kayaking, canoeing, fishing, swimming, hiking and relaxing in the outdoors. Families can also rent a vacation cabin rentals with a mountain view located on the banks of Big Wills Creek.

Review: “Had an absolute blast. We floated down several times, swam, played human pool, and just enjoyed our kids, nature and the water. Super friendly staff, affordable, and laid back.”

Morro Dunes RV Park, California

Huge majestic rock looms over RV park.

Morro Dunes RV Park

From golfing to surfing, sunbathing to wine tasting, if you’re looking for excitement or relaxation it’s here in Morro Bay. Splash in the ocean, kayak across the bay, fly a kite over the sand on a perfect breezy day.The campground is steps away from nine miles of pristine Atascadero Beach coastline and the iconic Morro Rock, with lots of opportunity for sightseeing, beach-combing and relaxation. Rent a bicycle built for 4 or 6 and pedal around town on a Surrey Cycle; sunshine and salt air is what family memories are made of. Take a short drive to Hearst Castle.

Piñon Flats Campground, Colorado

Woman rides a board down a sandy slope.

Photo: WikiImages

Unlike the rest of the campgrounds on this list, you’ll be spending more time on the actual ground than anywhere else! As the only campground in Great Sand Dunes National Park, you can set up camp in the piñon pines and explore the sand dunes. Not only are they fun to hike — they’re also fun to sled down on sandboards!

Families can build sandcastles in the nearby creek, with the view of the Sangre de Cristos mountains, or spend hours looking up at the sky stargazing at the watchtower. Or, if you want to see some little jaws drop, take your folks out to see the alligators in the geothermal ponds.

Fort Yargo State Park, Georgia

Outdoor recreation activities and scenic lakeside views will greet you as soon as you step foot into Fort Yago. Originally built to exclude Native Americans from the community, it has now become a prime tourist destination for the family.

Test your endurance in the mountain trails riding your bikes, or by hiking up the path led by park rangers. The large lake offers a beach for swimming, fishing, and touring on a boat. This campground is also a participant of Georgia’s First-Time Camper Program, which lets the children experience sleeping in a tent under the stars and partake in Junior Ranger camps.

Jellystone Park Mammoth Cave, Kentucky

Lights reflect purple against cave walls and ceilings.

Mammoth Caves. Photo: Raychan/Unsplash

Right at the center of Kentucky’s Cave Country is Jellystone Park. One of the best family-focused campgrounds you will find in the country, this is one kid-friendly place you cannot afford to miss.

Feel free to bounce in the Jumping Pillow, slide down a 300-foot waterslide, and make a splash on Karst Beach. On the weekends, kids can join in on Olympic-style events like a water-balloon battle with other families. If you’re bringing an RV along, the sites offer full hookups and free Wi-Fi, and more.

With the first-rate amenities and the special events that they host specifically for children onsite, you’ll want to prolong your stay each time.

Witch Meadow Campground, Connecticut

Chairs lined up on a sandy lakeshore with house in background.

Witch Meadow Campground

Hundreds of acres of woodland contribute to the great variety of amenities in Witch Meadow Campground. Swimming, fishing, and boating are a few activities to name doing in the freshwater lake. As one of the most tranquil and serene camping grounds in the state, you can let your kids enjoy different outdoor sports and games onsite.

There’s a recreation center for playing as well, where you can play video games, read books in the library, and participate in sports indoors like basketball, badminton, and ping pong.

Clay’s Park Resort, Ohio

Colorful kayaks moored to a dock.

Clays Park Resort.

Welcome to Clay’ Park Resort, one of Ohio’s top outdoor camping, waterpark, and event destinations. As the resort enters its 72nd year of service to northeastern Ohio, we are proud to offer a huge selection of outdoor recreational activities and invite you to come visit soon.

A visit to Clay’s Park can be an activity-filled adventure or a laid-back and relaxing retreat. Splash around in a 10-acre adventure waterpark complete with tanning docks and a central island for sunbathing. Or you might want to swim indoors in the heated pool. The family can enjoy life-size foosball, kayaking, and beach sports.

Camp Gulf, Florida

A girl on a paddleboard rides a wave.

Camp Gulf

Looking for a family-friendly getaway near the beach and the city? Florida’s beachside RV Park, Camp Gulf, is the place for you! With white sand, clear waters, and a blue sky, you can do all kinds of outdoor activities under the sun.

Every cabin is within walking distance from the beach, where you can have fun swimming, boating, fishing, dining, and shopping. The property also has a waterslide, heated pools, and several onsite amenities. Enjoy pancakes and ice cream for breakfast, and watch programs like magic shows in this family-oriented campground.

Custer State Park, South Dakota

An adult bison lies on the ground with baby.

Bison at Custer State Park. Photo: Janathan Mast/Unsplash

Set in a forest of mature pine trees in the Blue Bell Campground, you can find granite spires hundreds of feet tall and prairies with a variety of vegetation. For a more nature-focused adventure, don’t let your family miss the opportunity of visiting Custer State Park.

Keep your eyes open for pronghorn antelope, bighorn sheep, and a thundering herd of a thousand bison. Let local naturalists help you catch, clean, and cook fish while you’re camping. While you’re here, come to the chuck-wagon cookout, where you can play cowboy with your kids as the staff offer you hats and kerchiefs.

Tranquil Timbers Camping Retreat, Wisconsin

The campground is sequestered by lovely tall trees shading the surrounding area, cooling down the forest. As this is near Lake Michigan, you can easily access boat landings and water channels full of fish. Along the shoreline, you can even find paths that lead up to hiking trails in the nearby mountains.

In Tranquil Timbers Camping Retreat, you can let your family in on the fun with their playground, swimming pools, and other onsite amenities like live bands, magic shows, and balloon artists. Nearby at Sturgeon Bay, you can take the kids out for in-season festivals and to museums.

Source: Top 11 Kid-Friendly Camping Destinations in the U.S.

Exploring Southern Oregon’s Wine Country

Although the Willamette Valley is often regarded as Oregon’s wine capital, over the past several years, Southern Oregon has emerged as a world-class viticultural region, known for its unique ability to grow a wide variety of grapes due to its complex geology, soil and mesoclimates. This region, which is actually the birthplace of Oregon’s wine industry, saw its first grapes planted in the mid-1800s and today boasts over 88 vineyards and numerous tasting rooms across four river valleys. Compared to popular wine regions like Napa and Sonoma, here, wine enthusiasts will escape the crowds and find prices more accommodating. With stunning views of the valley and surrounding mountains, wine aficionados can revel in world class-wine without an air of pretension at this underrated wine destination.

Oregon Wine Country: A Region That Has Aged Well

Southern Oregon — Wine glass with Valley View inscription filled with red wine.

Valley View was first established by Peter Britt in the mid-1800s. Today you can visit another winery that bears its name in the Applegate Valley. @CateBattles

Beginning in the 1840s, early pioneers who made the trek West along the Oregon Trail planted roots in the newly established territory, and soon afterward, the region’s first grapes. One of these early settlers was Peter Britt, a Swiss photographer who left the east coast in search of gold in Southern Oregon and who’d later become Oregon’s first commercial wine producer. Britt began growing grapes in the mid-1800s and established Valley View Winery, Oregon’s first official winery, near present-day Jacksonville. By 1870, his 20-acre commercial vineyard and orchard had experimented with over 200 varieties of American and European grapes, producing between 1,000-3,000 gallons per year. With his extensive horticultural knowledge and innovative practices, he installed an underground irrigation system by 1855 and used techniques like smudging to prevent frost and raised bees to improve pollination. By the time Britt died in 1905, there were dozens of vineyards in Southern Oregon, many of which were shipping grapes across the country and down to California.

Oregon’s wine industry took a turn for the worst when Prohibition was enacted in the state 1915 — five years before Prohibition became nationwide. Wineries closed, vines were dug up and replaced with orchards, and the wine business was out of business for nearly half a century. During the 1960s, the wine industry began to recover when California winemakers headed North in search of cooler climates and launched the first post-Prohibition wineries in the state. In 2005, the Southern Oregon AVA (American Viticultural Area) was established, covering 2.2million acres stretching south of Eugene to the California border. This region encompasses the Umpqua Valley, Rogue Valley, Applegate Valley and Illinois Valley and is separated by 4 major rivers and 3 different mountain ranges. Today, there are over 8,000 acres dedicated to grape production within the Southern Oregon AVA and the number is growing rapidly!

It’s the Climate and Geology!

Mist hangs over rows of vines in a vineyard.

Mist settles in the mountains that surround the vineyards @CateBattle

Southern Oregon would not be the versatile grape-growing region it is today without the help from Mother Nature. Its unusually diverse array of grape varieties can be directly attributed to the unique geology and climate of the region. Around 200 million years ago, the area between Southern Washington and Northern Oregon experienced tectonic activity, which resulted in volcanic fissures that unleashed upwards of 42,000 cubic miles of lava across the region. Towards the end of the last Ice Age, the landscape was further shaped by a series of giant floods that buried hundreds of feet of rich sediment on top of the basalt rock. This rich sediment made its way down the Columbia River and covered what’s now the Willamette Valley. However, Southern Oregon was spared the impact from these ancient floods, as it narrowly avoided getting covered up by this same ultra-rich sediment. Instead, it retained a complex montage of nearly 50 different metamorphic, volcanic, and sedimentary derived soils throughout the region.

From a climate perspective, the Southern Oregon AVA offers the most diverse growing conditions in the state, and even the country. Much of this can be credited to the Klamath, Coastal, and Cascade mountain ranges that provide cool maritime to warm Mediterranean climates in the valleys. Additionally, the brisk coastal air that’s funneled inland through the river basins creates varying temperature differences and weather patterns between the Rogue, Umpqua, Applegate and Illinois valleys. While the Umpqua and Illinois Valleys have a marine-influenced climate, the Rogue and Applegate valleys are more Mediterranean. While all sub-regions within the Southern Oregon AVA produce the state’s signature grape, pinot noir, the cooler climates are better at growing high-quality Burgundian and German varieties like Riesling, Gewürztraminer, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. In the warmer climates akin to Bordeaux or Portugal, varietals like Tempranillo, Malbec, Albarino and Merlot thrive.

Touring the Southern Oregon Wine Country

Table set with sliced meats, cheeses and a flower.

Enjoy delectably crafted offerings while you’re wine tasting. @CateBattles

To get the best flavor of Southern Oregon, explore the different wine trails in the region.

Umpqua Valley

Starting south of Eugene, enjoy the 30+ family-owned and operated wineries and tasting rooms in the Umpqua Valley, where you’ll find anything from small boutique wineries to sprawling estates. Besides wine, the area offers plenty of activities, especially for those who enjoy outdoor recreation. Spend an afternoon rafting or fly fishing along the Umpqua River in the heart of the lush Cascade Mountains. Wake up early in the morning and take a relaxing soak in natural hot springs and hike to the nearby Toketee Falls. For those wanting some family-friendly fun, take a driving tour at Wildlife Safari where you can see animals from six different continents up close.

Applegate Valley

Man holds wine glass up to goat's snout.

Many wineries are pet-friendly, including Wooldridge Creek Winery @CateBattles

Nearly 50 miles long, the valley stretches north from the California border along the pristine Applegate River. Beautiful farmland is nestled between forested mountains providing stunning views in every direction. The valley is home to over 19 unique wineries that produce a wide array of wines. Starting in historic Jacksonville, follow HWY 238 that winds its way through the valley and taste your way through the Applegate. When you’re not wine tasting, take advantage of the other great things to do in the area. In the summer, drop by one of the many lavender farms in the area or book a boat trip down the Rogue River. Just 20 minutes down the road near the town of Grants Pass is the renowned Rogue Creamery, where you can enjoy the “World’s Best Cheese’, who’s Rogue Blue took the top honor at the 2019 World Cheese Award in Bergamo, Italy. For those who love live music, Jacksonville’s Britt Festival happens every July-October, bringing in acts from all over the world.

Rogue Valley

People stomp grapes in wooden barrels

Guests participate in grape stomping to produce wine. @CateBattles

The southernmost, and by far, the largest area within the greater Southern Oregon AVA is the Rogue Valley. Extending from the foothills of the Siskiyou Mountains along the California border north to the Rogue River, this region bears the distinction of having the highest elevation in Oregon for grape growing. Planted on rugged hillsides between 1,200-2,000 feet, the grapes escape the scorching summer heat on the valley floor. Similar to the Bordeaux region, the Rogue Valley is known for its Cabernet, Merlot, Malbec, and Syrah grapes that thrive in dry, warmer climates. Medford, a city of roughly 80,000 people, serves as s a great launching point while exploring the neighboring towns of Ashland, Talent, Central Point, Gold Hill, and White City. While visiting the area, spend a day at Crater Lake National Park, the deepest lake in the country that was formed when Mount Mazama erupted 7,700 years ago. For those who love theatre, book tickets at the Allen Elizabethan Theatre, home of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in the charming artsy town of Ashland.

Where to Camp

View of painted airstream through a row of vines.

Cate and her husband’s painted Argosy between the vines. @CateBattles

Several wineries in the area are affiliated with Harvest Host, which is a great way for RVers to support local growers while saving money while traveling. For those who are looking for RV parks, there are many Good Sam campgrounds in the region including:

Jack’s Landing RV Resort, Grants Pass

Moon Mountain RV Resort, Grants Pass

Holiday RV Park, Phoenix

Source: Exploring Southern Oregon’s Wine Country

Experience Maine Magic in Bar Harbor and Acadia

Experience Maine Magic in Bar Harbor and Acadia

The coast of Maine shows off New England’s rugged side, and Acadia National Park is the place where mountains spectacularly tower over the Atlantic Coast. The entry point is the town of Bar Harbor, which has been a resort destination for almost 200 years. Here, painters and writers came as far back as the 1850s to soak up the ambiance of sea and sky surrounded by craggy coastline. “Rusticators” was the term to describe summer visitors and residents who built quaint cottages that grew into elegant mansions.

A Crown Jewel

Raise wooden trail snakes through forest.

Trail through Jordan Pond. Getty Images

Acadia National Park is the “Crown Jewel of the North Atlantic Coast.” With more than 48,000 acres and close to 3 million visitors each year, this is one of the top 10 most visited parks in the country. Cadillac Mountain at 1,527 feet above sea level, is one of the highest points on the East Coast, with spectacular views of the sunset over Bar Harbor and Frenchman’s Bay. Anglers can cast for 30 types of fish including lake trout, land-locked salmon and white perch in nearly 30 lakes. Set out on 120 miles of trails in the park, including the walkway through Jordan Pond.

Desert Island

Sunlight illuminates rugged cliff face.

Sunrise illuminates Otter Cliffs in Acadia National Park. Getty Images

Explore the barren beauty of Mount Desert Island, where much of Acadia is located, along Ocean Trail with massive spruce trees perched upon two granite cliffs and Sand Beach wedged between. The craggy pink face of Otter Cliff belies beautiful views of the coastline, and the heart-jolting roar of Thunder Hole are just a few of the natural gems tucked along Park Loop Road.

Marine Mammals Await

A lone sailboat sails out of a bay.

Sailing off the coast of Bar Harbor in Frenchman’s Bay. Getty Images

Cast anchor on a nature tour with views of coastal Maine and Frenchman’s Bay. Take binoculars for eagle, seal, puffin and porpoise sightings. Set sail for a sunset cruise showcasing the rocky shoreline of Bar Harbor, misty views of the outer islands and the light of Egg Rock Lighthouse guarding the Bay. Head out into the Gulf of Maine in search of humpback, pilot and sperm whales – the largest mammals on earth. Prefer to go it alone? Frenchman’s Bay has several marinas that rent fishing boats, sailboats, pontoons, even houseboats, cruisers and yachts. Don’t miss Jordon Pond, the deepest lake, and second-largest, in Acadia National Park.

Rugged Fun

This Down East shoreline’s rugged beauty consists of verdant mountain forests and giant granite cliffs scattered along the rocky Maine coastline. Lace up your sneaks for an easy stroll along Ocean Path winding along the coastline between Sand Beach and Otter Point. Meander down memory lane on the Bar Harbor Shore Path past historic cottages, graceful inns and picturesque summer homes. Be a daredevil and head across the sandy “land bridge” to Bar Island in search of dainty shells and water-worn stones. But keep your eye on the rising water; high tide washes the route away.

Like No Other

A man takes an ax to a log.

Getty Images

Swing on in to the Great Maine Lumberjack Show every summer and watch as Jacks and jills compete in “The Olympics of the Forest.” The agility and skill required for 12 events, including log rolling, speed climbing and Hot Sawing is amazing. Prefer ocean-related thrills? Learn the history of whaling and view a whale skeleton at the Bar Harbor Whale Museum. All exhibits are from the coastal Maine waters and are collected by students and staff of the College of the Atlantic.

Major Mansion

Brick mansion with two chimneys overlooks the coast.

La Rochelle Mansion in Bar Harbor. Photo: Jerrye & Roy Klotz MD

La Rochelle Mansion, now a 13,000 square foot museum with iconic Greek Revival architecture, reflects the architecture of manors of the past. Stroll through time and admire a repository of furniture, photos, artwork, documents and books relating to the city’s past.

Maine’s Premier Musical Event

At the Bar Harbor Music Festival, you’ll experience an abundance of sounds; everything from classical to jazz from aspiring singers, instrumentalists and composers to jam sessions and offbeat compositions. This local event takes place several nights a week over one month and includes pop, brass, jazz, string orchestras along with opera, solo pianists, flutists and a New Composers series. The outdoor concerts are free and held in Acadia National Park.

The Sentinels

A lighthouse perched on a cliff overlooks the ocean

Bass Harbor Lighthouse in Acadia National Park. Getty Images

Bar Harbor’s history is tied to the sea and its lighthouses guard its rugged coast. Egg Rock Lighthouse, with its 40-foot tower, still aids in navigation at the entrance of Frenchman’s Bay. Great Duck Island sports a 42-foot brick tower that can only be viewed from the water.

Bass Harbor Head Light Station perches 56 feet high on the rugged granite coastline at the entrance to Bass Harbor and is possibly the most photographed lighthouse in New England.

Rock Lighthouse

Mount Desert Rock Lighthouse sits on barren rock and boasts a 48-foot granite tower. Though not open to the public, it is used as a research station by College of the Atlantic’s Allied Whale program. Baker Island Lighthouse was first built in 1828 and replaced in 1855 and viewing is best from the water. Bear Island Head Light Station is under the care of Acadia National Park. Constructed in 1853, the lighthouse stands 31 feet tall and protected the south entrance to Northeast Harbor.

Good Sam Parks in the Region:

Mt. Desert Narrows Camping Resort, Bar Harbor

Narrows Too Camping Resort, Bar Harbor

Meadowbrook Camping Area, Bath

Lake Pemaquid Campground, Damariscotta

Old Orchard Beach Campground, Old Orchard Beach

Source: Experience Maine Magic in Bar Harbor and Acadia

Top 11 Kid-Friendly Camping Destinations in the U.S.

Families from all across America are bound by tradition to go camping. There is nothing quite like hitting the road and having fun outdoors with your own folks.

Whether you want to experience cuddling your kids close to the campfire or sleeping soundly after staring up at the starry sky, there is always a sense of togetherness when exploring nature with your family. While you’re enjoying nighttime comfort and extra snacks, you can see it’s a different experience with kids in tow, especially when you need to slow down and look after them. We’ve listed the top 10 kid-friendly camping destinations in the U.S. Hopefully, the kids will enjoy them too!

Camping Destinations

Here is the list of a variety of kid-friendly camping destinations you can with your little ones. If you have an exclusive membership, you might get a discount and more from the campgrounds we’ve listed below.

Snake River Campground, Nebraska

At the lake, you can find sugar-white beaches to spend your days swimming and boating around. Every summer night, the campgrounds host a “star party,” so be sure to come in season or you’ll miss it.

Other stellar activities to pair with this is making rockets out of soda bottles, which is included in the program. Ride a canoe down the Niobrara River and try to spot the occasional blue herons and bald eagles.

Group of kids in innertubes splash.

Photo: Getty Images

Big Wills Creek Campground & Tubing, Alabama

This is something the whole family will enjoy, not just for summer. Come and play year-round and enjoy creek tubing, a sand beach, playground, canoeing, paddle-boats and a pool. The park is located in Wills Valley and is associated with some of the earliest historical events in northern Alabama. Today families and Friends enjoy coming to the creek for tubing, kayaking, canoeing, fishing, swimming, hiking and relaxing in the outdoors. Families can also rent a vacation cabin rentals with a mountain view located on the banks of Big Wills Creek.

Review: “Had an absolute blast. We floated down several times, swam, played human pool, and just enjoyed our kids, nature and the water. Super friendly staff, affordable, and laid back.”

Morro Dunes RV Park, California

Huge majestic rock looms over RV park.

Morro Dunes RV Park

From golfing to surfing, sunbathing to wine tasting, if you’re looking for excitement or relaxation it’s here in Morro Bay. Splash in the ocean, kayak across the bay, fly a kite over the sand on a perfect breezy day.The campground is steps away from nine miles of pristine Atascadero Beach coastline and the iconic Morro Rock, with lots of opportunity for sightseeing, beach-combing and relaxation. Rent a bicycle built for 4 or 6 and pedal around town on a Surrey Cycle; sunshine and salt air is what family memories are made of. Take a short drive to Hearst Castle.

Piñon Flats Campground, Colorado

Woman rides a board down a sandy slope.

Photo: WikiImages

Unlike the rest of the campgrounds on this list, you’ll be spending more time on the actual ground than anywhere else! As the only campground in Great Sand Dunes National Park, you can set up camp in the piñon pines and explore the sand dunes. Not only are they fun to hike — they’re also fun to sled down on sandboards!

Families can build sandcastles in the nearby creek, with the view of the Sangre de Cristos mountains, or spend hours looking up at the sky stargazing at the watchtower. Or, if you want to see some little jaws drop, take your folks out to see the alligators in the geothermal ponds.

Fort Yargo State Park, Georgia

Outdoor recreation activities and scenic lakeside views will greet you as soon as you step foot into Fort Yago. Originally built to exclude Native Americans from the community, it has now become a prime tourist destination for the family.

Test your endurance in the mountain trails riding your bikes, or by hiking up the path led by park rangers. The large lake offers a beach for swimming, fishing, and touring on a boat. This campground is also a participant of Georgia’s First-Time Camper Program, which lets the children experience sleeping in a tent under the stars and partake in Junior Ranger camps.

Jellystone Park Mammoth Cave, Kentucky

Lights reflect purple against cave walls and ceilings.

Mammoth Caves. Photo: Raychan/Unsplash

Right at the center of Kentucky’s Cave Country is Jellystone Park. One of the best family-focused campgrounds you will find in the country, this is one kid-friendly place you cannot afford to miss.

Feel free to bounce in the Jumping Pillow, slide down a 300-foot waterslide, and make a splash on Karst Beach. On the weekends, kids can join in on Olympic-style events like a water-balloon battle with other families. If you’re bringing an RV along, the sites offer full hookups and free Wi-Fi, and more.

With the first-rate amenities and the special events that they host specifically for children onsite, you’ll want to prolong your stay each time.

Witch Meadow Campground, Connecticut

Chairs lined up on a sandy lakeshore with house in background.

Witch Meadow Campground

Hundreds of acres of woodland contribute to the great variety of amenities in Witch Meadow Campground. Swimming, fishing, and boating are a few activities to name doing in the freshwater lake. As one of the most tranquil and serene camping grounds in the state, you can let your kids enjoy different outdoor sports and games onsite.

There’s a recreation center for playing as well, where you can play video games, read books in the library, and participate in sports indoors like basketball, badminton, and ping pong.

Clay’s Park Resort, Ohio

Colorful kayaks moored to a dock.

Clays Park Resort.

Welcome to Clay’ Park Resort, one of Ohio’s top outdoor camping, waterpark, and event destinations. As the resort enters its 72nd year of service to northeastern Ohio, we are proud to offer a huge selection of outdoor recreational activities and invite you to come visit soon.

A visit to Clay’s Park can be an activity-filled adventure or a laid-back and relaxing retreat. Splash around in a 10-acre adventure waterpark complete with tanning docks and a central island for sunbathing. Or you might want to swim indoors in the heated pool. The family can enjoy life-size foosball, kayaking, and beach sports.

Camp Gulf, Florida

A girl on a paddleboard rides a wave.

Camp Gulf

Looking for a family-friendly getaway near the beach and the city? Florida’s beachside RV Park, Camp Gulf, is the place for you! With white sand, clear waters, and a blue sky, you can do all kinds of outdoor activities under the sun.

Every cabin is within walking distance from the beach, where you can have fun swimming, boating, fishing, dining, and shopping. The property also has a waterslide, heated pools, and several onsite amenities. Enjoy pancakes and ice cream for breakfast, and watch programs like magic shows in this family-oriented campground.

Custer State Park, South Dakota

An adult bison lies on the ground with baby.

Bison at Custer State Park. Photo: Janathan Mast/Unsplash

Set in a forest of mature pine trees in the Blue Bell Campground, you can find granite spires hundreds of feet tall and prairies with a variety of vegetation. For a more nature-focused adventure, don’t let your family miss the opportunity of visiting Custer State Park.

Keep your eyes open for pronghorn antelope, bighorn sheep, and a thundering herd of a thousand bison. Let local naturalists help you catch, clean, and cook fish while you’re camping. While you’re here, come to the chuck-wagon cookout, where you can play cowboy with your kids as the staff offer you hats and kerchiefs.

Tranquil Timbers Camping Retreat, Wisconsin

The campground is sequestered by lovely tall trees shading the surrounding area, cooling down the forest. As this is near Lake Michigan, you can easily access boat landings and water channels full of fish. Along the shoreline, you can even find paths that lead up to hiking trails in the nearby mountains.

In Tranquil Timbers Camping Retreat, you can let your family in on the fun with their playground, swimming pools, and other onsite amenities like live bands, magic shows, and balloon artists. Nearby at Sturgeon Bay, you can take the kids out for in-season festivals and to museums.

Source: Top 11 Kid-Friendly Camping Destinations in the U.S.

Top 11 Kid-Friendly Camping Destinations in the U.S.

Families from all across America are bound by tradition to go camping. There is nothing quite like hitting the road and having fun outdoors with your own folks.

Whether you want to experience cuddling your kids close to the campfire or sleeping soundly after staring up at the starry sky, there is always a sense of togetherness when exploring nature with your family. While you’re enjoying nighttime comfort and extra snacks, you can see it’s a different experience with kids in tow, especially when you need to slow down and look after them. We’ve listed the top 10 kid-friendly camping destinations in the U.S. Hopefully, the kids will enjoy them too!

Camping Destinations

Here is the list of a variety of kid-friendly camping destinations you can with your little ones. If you have an exclusive membership, you might get a discount and more from the campgrounds we’ve listed below.

Snake River Campground, Nebraska

At the lake, you can find sugar-white beaches to spend your days swimming and boating around. Every summer night, the campgrounds host a “star party,” so be sure to come in season or you’ll miss it.

Other stellar activities to pair with this is making rockets out of soda bottles, which is included in the program. Ride a canoe down the Niobrara River and try to spot the occasional blue herons and bald eagles.

Group of kids in innertubes splash.

Photo: Getty Images

Big Wills Creek Campground & Tubing, Alabama

This is something the whole family will enjoy, not just for summer. Come and play year-round and enjoy creek tubing, a sand beach, playground, canoeing, paddle-boats and a pool. The park is located in Wills Valley and is associated with some of the earliest historical events in northern Alabama. Today families and Friends enjoy coming to the creek for tubing, kayaking, canoeing, fishing, swimming, hiking and relaxing in the outdoors. Families can also rent a vacation cabin rentals with a mountain view located on the banks of Big Wills Creek.

Review: “Had an absolute blast. We floated down several times, swam, played human pool, and just enjoyed our kids, nature and the water. Super friendly staff, affordable, and laid back.”

Morro Dunes RV Park, California

Huge majestic rock looms over RV park.

Morro Dunes RV Park

From golfing to surfing, sunbathing to wine tasting, if you’re looking for excitement or relaxation it’s here in Morro Bay. Splash in the ocean, kayak across the bay, fly a kite over the sand on a perfect breezy day.The campground is steps away from nine miles of pristine Atascadero Beach coastline and the iconic Morro Rock, with lots of opportunity for sightseeing, beach-combing and relaxation. Rent a bicycle built for 4 or 6 and pedal around town on a Surrey Cycle; sunshine and salt air is what family memories are made of. Take a short drive to Hearst Castle.

Piñon Flats Campground, Colorado

Woman rides a board down a sandy slope.

Photo: WikiImages

Unlike the rest of the campgrounds on this list, you’ll be spending more time on the actual ground than anywhere else! As the only campground in Great Sand Dunes National Park, you can set up camp in the piñon pines and explore the sand dunes. Not only are they fun to hike — they’re also fun to sled down on sandboards!

Families can build sandcastles in the nearby creek, with the view of the Sangre de Cristos mountains, or spend hours looking up at the sky stargazing at the watchtower. Or, if you want to see some little jaws drop, take your folks out to see the alligators in the geothermal ponds.

Fort Yargo State Park, Georgia

Outdoor recreation activities and scenic lakeside views will greet you as soon as you step foot into Fort Yago. Originally built to exclude Native Americans from the community, it has now become a prime tourist destination for the family.

Test your endurance in the mountain trails riding your bikes, or by hiking up the path led by park rangers. The large lake offers a beach for swimming, fishing, and touring on a boat. This campground is also a participant of Georgia’s First-Time Camper Program, which lets the children experience sleeping in a tent under the stars and partake in Junior Ranger camps.

Jellystone Park Mammoth Cave, Kentucky

Lights reflect purple against cave walls and ceilings.

Mammoth Caves. Photo: Raychan/Unsplash

Right at the center of Kentucky’s Cave Country is Jellystone Park. One of the best family-focused campgrounds you will find in the country, this is one kid-friendly place you cannot afford to miss.

Feel free to bounce in the Jumping Pillow, slide down a 300-foot waterslide, and make a splash on Karst Beach. On the weekends, kids can join in on Olympic-style events like a water-balloon battle with other families. If you’re bringing an RV along, the sites offer full hookups and free Wi-Fi, and more.

With the first-rate amenities and the special events that they host specifically for children onsite, you’ll want to prolong your stay each time.

Witch Meadow Campground, Connecticut

Chairs lined up on a sandy lakeshore with house in background.

Witch Meadow Campground

Hundreds of acres of woodland contribute to the great variety of amenities in Witch Meadow Campground. Swimming, fishing, and boating are a few activities to name doing in the freshwater lake. As one of the most tranquil and serene camping grounds in the state, you can let your kids enjoy different outdoor sports and games onsite.

There’s a recreation center for playing as well, where you can play video games, read books in the library, and participate in sports indoors like basketball, badminton, and ping pong.

Clay’s Park Resort, Ohio

Colorful kayaks moored to a dock.

Clays Park Resort.

Welcome to Clay’ Park Resort, one of Ohio’s top outdoor camping, waterpark, and event destinations. As the resort enters its 72nd year of service to northeastern Ohio, we are proud to offer a huge selection of outdoor recreational activities and invite you to come visit soon.

A visit to Clay’s Park can be an activity-filled adventure or a laid-back and relaxing retreat. Splash around in a 10-acre adventure waterpark complete with tanning docks and a central island for sunbathing. Or you might want to swim indoors in the heated pool. The family can enjoy life-size foosball, kayaking, and beach sports.

Camp Gulf, Florida

A girl on a paddleboard rides a wave.

Camp Gulf

Looking for a family-friendly getaway near the beach and the city? Florida’s beachside RV Park, Camp Gulf, is the place for you! With white sand, clear waters, and a blue sky, you can do all kinds of outdoor activities under the sun.

Every cabin is within walking distance from the beach, where you can have fun swimming, boating, fishing, dining, and shopping. The property also has a waterslide, heated pools, and several onsite amenities. Enjoy pancakes and ice cream for breakfast, and watch programs like magic shows in this family-oriented campground.

Custer State Park, South Dakota

An adult bison lies on the ground with baby.

Bison at Custer State Park. Photo: Janathan Mast/Unsplash

Set in a forest of mature pine trees in the Blue Bell Campground, you can find granite spires hundreds of feet tall and prairies with a variety of vegetation. For a more nature-focused adventure, don’t let your family miss the opportunity of visiting Custer State Park.

Keep your eyes open for pronghorn antelope, bighorn sheep, and a thundering herd of a thousand bison. Let local naturalists help you catch, clean, and cook fish while you’re camping. While you’re here, come to the chuck-wagon cookout, where you can play cowboy with your kids as the staff offer you hats and kerchiefs.

Tranquil Timbers Camping Retreat, Wisconsin

The campground is sequestered by lovely tall trees shading the surrounding area, cooling down the forest. As this is near Lake Michigan, you can easily access boat landings and water channels full of fish. Along the shoreline, you can even find paths that lead up to hiking trails in the nearby mountains.

In Tranquil Timbers Camping Retreat, you can let your family in on the fun with their playground, swimming pools, and other onsite amenities like live bands, magic shows, and balloon artists. Nearby at Sturgeon Bay, you can take the kids out for in-season festivals and to museums.

Source: Top 11 Kid-Friendly Camping Destinations in the U.S.

Top 11 Kid-Friendly Camping Destinations in the U.S.

Families from all across America are bound by tradition to go camping. There is nothing quite like hitting the road and having fun outdoors with your own folks.

Whether you want to experience cuddling your kids close to the campfire or sleeping soundly after staring up at the starry sky, there is always a sense of togetherness when exploring nature with your family. While you’re enjoying nighttime comfort and extra snacks, you can see it’s a different experience with kids in tow, especially when you need to slow down and look after them. We’ve listed the top 10 kid-friendly camping destinations in the U.S. Hopefully, the kids will enjoy them too!

Camping Destinations

Here is the list of a variety of kid-friendly camping destinations you can with your little ones. If you have an exclusive membership, you might get a discount and more from the campgrounds we’ve listed below.

Snake River Campground, Nebraska

At the lake, you can find sugar-white beaches to spend your days swimming and boating around. Every summer night, the campgrounds host a “star party,” so be sure to come in season or you’ll miss it.

Other stellar activities to pair with this is making rockets out of soda bottles, which is included in the program. Ride a canoe down the Niobrara River and try to spot the occasional blue herons and bald eagles.

Group of kids in innertubes splash.

Photo: Getty Images

Big Wills Creek Campground & Tubing, Alabama

This is something the whole family will enjoy, not just for summer. Come and play year-round and enjoy creek tubing, a sand beach, playground, canoeing, paddle-boats and a pool. The park is located in Wills Valley and is associated with some of the earliest historical events in northern Alabama. Today families and Friends enjoy coming to the creek for tubing, kayaking, canoeing, fishing, swimming, hiking and relaxing in the outdoors. Families can also rent a vacation cabin rentals with a mountain view located on the banks of Big Wills Creek.

Review: “Had an absolute blast. We floated down several times, swam, played human pool, and just enjoyed our kids, nature and the water. Super friendly staff, affordable, and laid back.”

Morro Dunes RV Park, California

Huge majestic rock looms over RV park.

Morro Dunes RV Park

From golfing to surfing, sunbathing to wine tasting, if you’re looking for excitement or relaxation it’s here in Morro Bay. Splash in the ocean, kayak across the bay, fly a kite over the sand on a perfect breezy day.The campground is steps away from nine miles of pristine Atascadero Beach coastline and the iconic Morro Rock, with lots of opportunity for sightseeing, beach-combing and relaxation. Rent a bicycle built for 4 or 6 and pedal around town on a Surrey Cycle; sunshine and salt air is what family memories are made of. Take a short drive to Hearst Castle.

Piñon Flats Campground, Colorado

Woman rides a board down a sandy slope.

Photo: WikiImages

Unlike the rest of the campgrounds on this list, you’ll be spending more time on the actual ground than anywhere else! As the only campground in Great Sand Dunes National Park, you can set up camp in the piñon pines and explore the sand dunes. Not only are they fun to hike — they’re also fun to sled down on sandboards!

Families can build sandcastles in the nearby creek, with the view of the Sangre de Cristos mountains, or spend hours looking up at the sky stargazing at the watchtower. Or, if you want to see some little jaws drop, take your folks out to see the alligators in the geothermal ponds.

Fort Yargo State Park, Georgia

Outdoor recreation activities and scenic lakeside views will greet you as soon as you step foot into Fort Yago. Originally built to exclude Native Americans from the community, it has now become a prime tourist destination for the family.

Test your endurance in the mountain trails riding your bikes, or by hiking up the path led by park rangers. The large lake offers a beach for swimming, fishing, and touring on a boat. This campground is also a participant of Georgia’s First-Time Camper Program, which lets the children experience sleeping in a tent under the stars and partake in Junior Ranger camps.

Jellystone Park Mammoth Cave, Kentucky

Lights reflect purple against cave walls and ceilings.

Mammoth Caves. Photo: Raychan/Unsplash

Right at the center of Kentucky’s Cave Country is Jellystone Park. One of the best family-focused campgrounds you will find in the country, this is one kid-friendly place you cannot afford to miss.

Feel free to bounce in the Jumping Pillow, slide down a 300-foot waterslide, and make a splash on Karst Beach. On the weekends, kids can join in on Olympic-style events like a water-balloon battle with other families. If you’re bringing an RV along, the sites offer full hookups and free Wi-Fi, and more.

With the first-rate amenities and the special events that they host specifically for children onsite, you’ll want to prolong your stay each time.

Witch Meadow Campground, Connecticut