What plans have you made for camping on Memorial Day Weekend and beyond? With the beauty of America’s state parks just waiting to be enjoyed, there’s no time like the present to find your favorites in the comfort of a motorhome or travel trailer.

If you need some help deciding where to go first, why not use our list below of nine state park campgrounds that RV campers love to visit? Then build your own list and be sure to let us know in the comments section where you plan to go RV camping this season.

Nine State Park Campgrounds for RV Camping

  1. Salt Point State Park – California

“Camping by the rocky Pacific shore, just off iconic Highway 1 north of San Francisco”. Doesn’t that sound like a splendid way to kick off camping season? With coastal trails, an underwater park for divers and coves just waiting to show you the best views of the summer, there’s no reason not to add Salt Point State Park to your camping itinerary.

  1. Pocahontas State Park – Virginia

Fishing, paddling and more bring RV camping families to this state park near Chesterfield, VA. Besides the many miles of hiking, mountain biking and multi-use trails, you’ll find an Aquatic Center for swimming with the kids, Beaver Lake where you can rent canoes, kayaks and paddleboats and Swift Creek Lake, where the largemouth bass can be legendary. It’s just three hours north of Roanoke, VA and easy to access from Richmond and Norfolk, too, so why not make this park a goal for this summer?

  1. Grayton Beach State Park – Florida

Sugar sand beach, a scenic coastal dune lake and a pleasant RV campground—that’s what you’ll find at Grayton Beach State Park on Florida’s Gulf Coast. Not only can you play on the beach and hike the trails through coastal forest and dunes, you’ll also enjoy Western Lake, a prime spot for paddling and fishing.

  1. Golden Gate Canyon State Park – Colorado

Why not kick off the summer camping season by picking up your Denver RV rental and then heading west (and a little north) just thirty miles to Golden Gate Canyon State Park? Your camping party will find twelve-thousand-acres of rocky, tree-lined trails, be surprised by clear mountain lakes and, in the midst of all that, enjoy modern, convenient RV campsites.

  1. Elk Neck State Park – Maryland

About an hour and a half northeast of Baltimore, jutting out into Chesapeake Bay, is a wonderful place where hiking, lighthouse viewing, swimming and RV camping are just the beginning of the adventure. Elk Neck State Park, on the peninsula between Chesapeake and the Elk River, offers a whole vacation full of interesting things to do. Bonus: Nature photographers are going to love the trails, the seaside cliffs and the wealth of wildlife this gorgeous state park promises.

  1. Mills Norrie State Park – New York

What if you could pick up your RV rental near New York City and then drive north a couple of hours to a wooded paradise on the Hudson River? Would that help you jump into summer RV camping season? Then a visit to Mills Norrie State Park is in order! Wooded, no-hookups campsites with views of the river, trails through forests and to state historic sites, a legendary public golf course, a river marina and an on-site environmental center round out the perfect spot for a summer vacation on the Hudson.

  1. Clear Lake State Park – California

Just a couple of hours northwest of Sacramento is the chance to camp on the shores of California’s largest freshwater lake. Clear Lake State Park is a bass angler’s dream that also promises shaded campsites, hiking and interpretive trails and a visitor’s center. Bring the boat and plan to stay awhile!

  1. Shabbona Lake State Park – Illinois

Drive an hour straight west from our Glen Ellyn El Monte RV Rentals location and you’ll find Shabbona Lake, the “Muskie Capitol of Illinois”. Besides great fishing, your crew can rent kayaks and discover the lake’s scenic shoreline, hike the woodland trails and enjoy the amenities at the state park’s well-managed campground.

  1. Palisade State Park – Utah

A place to play for everyone—that’s the best way to describe the playground two hours south of Salt Lake City. Palisade State Park, home to Palisade Reservoir (great trout fishing here!), is also home to a public golf course, an expansive campground, miles of hiking trails and OHV trails in a high desert canyon. What could be better for kicking off summer camping season?

These are just nine of the places people like to play when they go state park RV camping in America. Let us know where you like to go, and as always, let us know if we can help with an RV rental.

Wilkes-Barre, PA has plenty to offer vacationers, but what if you’d like to leave the city behind? Four RV road trips within easy driving distance from Wilkes-Barre offer a whole summer of vacation fun. Here’s what you need to know to plan your trips.

RV Road Trip #1: Wilkes-Barre to Delaware Beaches

The beaches of southern Delaware offer not only sun, sand and ocean views, they present a wide range of other choices for outdoor recreation, too. Your major highways south from Wilkes-Barre will be I-81 and DE-1, all the way to Rehoboth Beach in Delaware (about a four hour drive.) From there, camp and play in beach towns like Rehoboth Beach, Lewes, Dewey Beach and Bethany Beach.

From the vibrant nightlife to quiet paddling trails, there’s something here for every kind of beach-loving RV traveler. Abundant state park and private campgrounds along the shore hold their own attractions, so why not choose more than one and make your way down Delaware’s Atlantic Coast at your leisure?

RV Road Trip #2: Wilkes-Barre to New York’s Finger Lakes Region

Three and a half hours north of Wilkes-Barre, PA, New York’s Finger Lakes Region is an awesome RV road trip destination for families, adventure-seekers and anyone longing to spend time in the great outdoors.

Eleven narrow lakes, spread across nine-thousand square miles, create the backdrop for hiking, boating, fishing, paddling and a dozen other outdoor activities. State parks throughout the region highlight the stunning beauty of waterfalls, gorges and the Finger Lakes themselves.

Favorite spots for road tripping RV travelers include

Watkins Glen State Park

Watkins Glen State Park

Watkins Glen State Park,  Robert H. Treman State Park, Finger Lakes towns like Corning and Seneca Falls and the wineries of the Finger Lakes region.

RV Road Trip #3: Wilkes-Barre to Burlington, Vermont

Tucked between the Green Mountains and Lake Champlain, Burlington, VT is the perfect spot for campers who like a blend of outdoor fun and urban comforts. Burlington’s city-run North Beach Campground can be the center of your Burlington experience, with wooded campsites, a beach on Lake Champlain and easy access to the city’s attractions.

From Wilkes-Barre, PA, it’s about a six hour drive through Albany and then either straight north through Saratoga Springs or with a scenic side trip on US-7 near Green Mountain National Forest.

By either route, you’re driving toward Burlington’s lakeside charm, complete with picturesque municipal dock, a quartet of beaches on Lake Champlain, charter schooner or shoreline cruises and a vibrant city filled with museums, marketplaces and historic sites.

RV Road Trip #4: Wilkes-Barre to Monongahela National Forest, West Virginia

Drive six hours southwest of Wilkes-Barre through Harrisburg, PA and you’ll find yourself amidst a million acres of rugged forest land in the Allegheny Mountains. Wilderness sports enthusiasts will find prime spots to play there, with dozens of day hiking trails through diverse landscapes, eight designated wilderness areas for extended backpacking and four species of trout to chase in the cold water streams throughout the forest.

Add in the Highland Scenic Highway, climbing opportunities at Seneca Rocks and a half dozen RV camping districts and you’ve got a wild and rugged vacation for as long as you care to stay.

Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania is the hub of hundreds of possible road trips to beaches, mountains and urban energy. Pick up your RV in nearby Kingston, PA and head down the road to adventure; the possibilities are endless.

Photo attribution:  By Flickr user: Peter Rivera Stamford, Connecticut http://www.flickr.com/people/riverap1/ – Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/riverap1/4001930205/, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=22596460

If you’re new to RV camping and aren’t sure it can fit into your active, adventure-seeking lifestyle, you’re in for a surprise. Coming back to RV comfort after a long day spent climbing, canyoneering, trail running or whatever it is you do to get the adrenaline pumping makes adventure vacations even more enjoyable. Here’s an idea for your maiden RV camping voyage—why not take a trip to Colorado’s Great Sand Dunes National Park?  great_sands_natl_park_shutterstock_349793624

It’s an amazing place filled with plenty of outdoor recreation possibilities. Imagine the tallest sand dunes in North America (some as tall as 700’), surrounded by snow-capped mountains, alpine forests and mountain lakes, and you’ve got an idea why adventure seekers flock to Colorado’s Great Sand Dunes.

How to Get There

The park is located two hours southwest of Pueblo, CO. Get there by following I-25 south and then I-60 west. You’ll turn north on CO-150 to access the park’s visitor center and interior roads. From the west, follow I-60 from Durango to the national park.

What to Do There

You might just be surprised at the range of outdoor sports visitors to Great Sand Dunes National Park enjoy. Here’s a quick list of five to whet your appetite.

  • Sand Boarding and Sand Sledding are favorites of park visitors, using specially built boards and sleds that safely slide the dunes. Area outfitters rent the equipment so you don’t need to lay out cash to buy your own.
  • Fat Biking on Medano Pass is another way to find adventure while at the Dunes. Mountain bikes are pretty tightly restricted within the national park and fat tire bikes made for riding in sand are restricted to Medano Pass Primitive Road (sorry, no dune riding), but there’s plenty to experience along the route. Hint: keep your eyes open for wildlife!
  • Hike the Dunes: With thirty square miles of dunes to hike, you can discover some totally spectacular views! Test your ‘sand legs’ by setting out for the summit on any dune you’d like. This is the original ‘find your own trail’ adventure venue.
  • Hike Mt Herard: Adventure seekers with mountain hiking experience will want to make the climb up this 13er. You’ll have to make the trip by high-clearance 4WD vehicle (no ATVs) to Medano Pass to reach the trailhead to the summit. Once you’ve made the summit, the view of the dunes, lakes and tundra surrounding Mt Herard is unforgettable.
  • The Dunes After Dark are a whole new world waiting for your nocturnal exploration. Plan a hiking party by the light of a full moon and enjoy a midnight picnic at the summit of a dune (don’t forget to pack out your trash!) The darkness at this national park is so intense, the stars will pop out in ways city dwellers may never have experienced. 

Where to Camp There

Once you reach Great Sand Dunes National Park, you’ll want to set up camp quickly so that you can get out on the dunes, mountain trail or in the middle of Medano Creek. There’s a campground that can accommodate RVs right inside the park entrance, so if that’s where you’d like to stay, jump on the NPS website and book a campsite before you come.

There’s also plenty of camping at private campgrounds within forty miles of the national park, and also at San Luis State Park just down the road. No matter which campground you pick, you’ll be close to the action and in some of the most scenic country you can imagine, right in the shadow of the Sangre de Cristo Range. If you haven’t taken the plunge to purchase an RV, you’re still in luck. You can pick up a Denver RV Rental and enjoy RV camping comfort for less than you think.

It’s going to be a great trip, so start packing your adventure gear and be sure to share your experiences in the Comments section below. Colorado’s Great Sand Dunes National Park—it’s got to be seen to be believed.

If you’ve shied away from RV camping with the kids, this is a great time to take a second look. Getting your youngsters away from home, in an outdoor space that’s extraordinary, can be a winning formula for families. From building life skills to nurturing a love of nature, RV camping offers dozens of reasons for bringing the kids along. Here are just five to help you start thinking about a family RV camping vacation.

Camping Can Teach Your Kids Skills

It’s tempting, especially when traveling with cranky kids or teens, to pull into the campground and rush about doing everything yourself. But what if, instead, you assigned a skill-building chore to each youngster?

Learning how to cook over a fire ring, how to hook up a campground water line and check for leaks or how to plan for and pack essential supplies are all skills their peers may never learn. Those types of skills promote independence and a sense of accomplishment, especially if they’re taught by a patient adult who knows they might burn a few burgers before they get things right.

One more bonus: you’ll be bringing up another generation of able campers who might just invite you along when they take their own kids camping!

Camping Nurtures a Love of Nature

What better way to protect our nation’s natural resources than to raise kids with a love of nature? Kids who go camping are exposed to the splendor of mountain lakes, tree lined trails and desert sunsets. It may take a while, if they’ve been glued to screens all winter, to get them to look up and notice the beauty around them, but by sharing your own enthusiasm for America’s natural wonders, you can nurture an avid nature lover.

Don’t just point them to natural wonders while camping, get out there with them and hike, fish or watch for wildlife. Show them the secrets of the desert at night, the wonder of sunrise over a misty lake or trails that lead to surprising places. Not sure how to start? America’s national parks are well-equipped to encourage a kid’s love of nature, with fascinating ranger-led hikes and talks, Junior Ranger discovery programs and visitor centers that explore the sights and science of each park.

Camping Encourages Outdoor Activity

This may be the number one reason parents take kids camping! They’re tired of seeing their kids parked on couches and hope to encourage more physical, outdoor activity.

The range of ways your kids or grandkids could be active outdoors while camping is staggering. Hiking, biking, climbing, trail running, paddling, water or snow skiing, swimming and simply walking from the campground to the beach are just a few of the ways young campers can enjoy being outdoors.

Plan vacations around outdoor recreation and then set the example by joining in. Here are some ideas to help you plan:

  • Arches National Park in southern Utah is custom-made for camping families, with plenty of trails that won’t wear out the young ones. Challenge the kids to count the arches as you hike, and encourage them to get up close and explore the geological mysteries that make up this awesome landscape.
  • Go RV camping in Wyoming’s Grand Teton National Park and join the ranger-led hikes to lakes, forests and mountain lookouts.
  • Introduce the youngsters to Yellowstone National Park, first with a scenic drive to get your bearings in this vast space, and then with hikes planned to see waterfalls, wildlife, geysers and more.
  • Not a lot of time for a camping vacation? Even a trip to a local lake offers places to get outdoors and be active.

Camping Builds Family Connections

Whether you’re RV camping with grandkids, nieces and nephews or your own brood, being out in nature can connect your family in ways that might surprise you. Build memories for a child to cherish by sharing your love for outdoor spaces.   kids_campfire_shutterstock_212954773

Teach them the activities and skills you learned as a child. They’ll remember years from now the day they caught their first sunfish with the help of Auntie Jane or the campfire cuisine Grandpa helped them create for the family.

Being away from familiar surroundings and exploring, learning and doing things they might never get to do at home can connect your family more deeply. Keep things simple and relaxed around the campsite and plan activities with the kids in mind to promote a camping vacation that strengthens family ties.

Camping Can Kindle Creativity

Imagine the things that might capture the attention of a budding artist or writer while surrounded by forests, sand dunes, waterfalls or mountain peaks. Giving kids the gift of an RV camping vacation might just light the spark of lifetime creativity.

Encourage creative camping by bringing along cameras, sketch pads, watercolors, journals and craft supplies. Give your kids or grandkids the freedom to create what the beauty around them inspires, and then be sure to applaud their efforts. Who knows…you could be nurturing the next Ansel Adams!

Being outdoors with young ones opens our eyes to things we may have missed. It allows us to pass along cherished camping traditions, a love of nature and the skills they’ll use for years to come. Most of all, it connects us in ways that might not be obvious, and every family RV camping vacation can be a new adventure turned memory.

Take the kids camping soon, it’s an experience every family should discover.

Five Reasons Why Electric Bikes Are Amazing for RVers

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Along the Texas Hill Country Wine Trail by RV

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RV travelers who enjoy good wines simply must make the trip to Texas Hill Country. That’s where you’ll discover more than two dozen wineries that call this scenic region home. You’ll also find warm Texas hospitality waiting at RV resorts …

 

RV Camping While Hiking and Climbing Kentucky’s Red River Gorge

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Celebrate National Parks Week with an RV Camping Trip!

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RV Camping on California’s Highway 99

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Looking for a new way to spend a weekend in the Sacramento area? RV camping fans will find two Northern California towns, each with its own vintage charm, along historic Hwy 99E. The towns of Chico and Red Bluff are …