Spend a summer day paddling the deep blue waterways along the US/Canadian border. Scan tall pines for eagles’ nests high above a granite shoreline. Hike cool, lush forest trails and stop to photograph a white-tailed deer just ahead. These are just a few of the ways your family can immerse itself in Voyageurs National Park in northern Minnesota, and camping in an RV will enhance your experience.

Ways to Spend Time at Voyageurs National Park

Four interconnected lakes form the heart of this hiking and paddling paradise—Kabetogama Lake, Rainy Lake, Namakan Lake and Sand Point Lake. RV campers who enjoy kayaking or canoeing will find hundreds of acres of sky blue water to travel. Within those waterways, plan to explore the many islands, bays and inlets once traveled by the French-Canadian trappers who gave the Park its name.

Prefer a little larger watercraft? Take a ranger-led boat tour to learn how the Ojibwe people helped early voyageurs navigate canoes filled with furs to Montreal. Cruise to an abandoned gold mine. Thrill the kids with a trip in the ‘big canoes’ used to ply the fur trade.  Find where the ghosts of those early travelers linger. You’ll find a tour to do it all, led by friendly, knowledgeable guides.

More than a dozen visitors’ centers through Voyageurs also offer the chance to learn the history, geography and culture of the Minnesota borderlands. From the magnificent Ellsworth Rock Gardens to the wonders of Kettle Falls Dam, every one of these discovery centers is reachable only from the water, so plan time for some paddling or book a boat tour before you come, through the Park website.

When you’re ready to come ashore within the Park, take a hike to find natural wonders. Trails accessible by land or water range from those navigable by disabled visitors to strenuous hikes meant for seasoned hikers.  Some of the most popular include the Beaver Pond Overlook at Ash River Visitor Center, the backcountry Kab-Ash Trail, the Oberholtzer Trail and the Anderson Bay Trail.

Where to Camp

It’s good to remember when coming by RV to Voyageurs National Park that travel to the most popular attractions is best done by boat. For that reason, motorhome campers take advantage of the campgrounds adjacent to the Park and rent or bring along their watercraft

Voyageurs National Park

Voyageurs National Park

Choose a spot in the towns of International Falls or Kabetogama or in one of the three state forests surrounding the national park. Book your campsites early, as this outdoor paradise is popular year-round. Here’s a directory to campgrounds surrounding Voyageurs, or use this guide to Minnesota campgrounds to start your search. If you don’t own an RV, here’s where to rent an RV for the trip.

Discovering the secrets of Voyageurs National Park can be a breathtaking experience for RV travelers. Whether in a quiet cove or along a sunlit trail, the beauty you’ll find will stay with you long after you’re home. Aren’t you ready to start planning your own trip north?

Every year, it seems there’s a hot new travel destination that beckons to RVers from the travel blogs. But what about the tried-and-true wonders of nature, the ones that have thrilled and amazed since the first North American inhabitants peered into a cave, over a canyon rim or across a vast expanse of water? One of the most famous of those American wonders is Carlsbad Caverns National Park in southeastern New Mexico.

Since a sixteen year old cowboy wandered into the cave’s entrance in 1898, visitors have been fascinated by the enormous underground chambers, intricate soda straws, curtains and other rock formations and the wildlife that calls the caverns home.

It’s time for a new generation of families to discover why Carlsbad Caverns National Park is an ideal destination for their next RV camping adventure.

Where Will You Go, What Will You See?Carlsbad Caverns National Park

If you’ve never come to Carlsbad Caverns, you may be surprised to find there are many ways to explore the caves. Guided tours led by park rangers show visitors the highlights of some of the major caverns. Two of the most popular—the King’s Palace and Left Hand Tunnel tours.

You can also venture on your own into some of the underground chambers. Here’s more detail on the self-guided tours.

Natural Entrance Tour

If you’re up for a demanding hike to the bottom (1.25 miles), this tour is the one for you. Active RV travelers will follow a twisting path down seven stories into the cave. Not a good choice for those with health issues, but there are plenty of other places to explore that don’t require such a hike. Good news—there are elevators at the bottom of the tour if trip down proves strenuous!

Big Room Tour

This mile-long circular route explores the largest underground cavern. A good choice for those with difficulty walking, this trip will take you past extraordinary sights like the Painted Grotto and the Giant Dome. Take the elevator to the starting point and be prepared to be thrilled at the colors and formations you’ll see.

No matter which tours you choose to take, keep an eye out for the enormous cave swallow flock that calls these caverns home! Throughout this vast desert park in the Guadalupe Mountains, you’re likely to see a wide range of reptiles, amphibians, mammals and birds.

Additional Information on Visiting Carlsbad Caverns

  • Children under age four are not permitted on guided tours, strollers are not permitted on some routes. Be sure to check the link above for age restrictions.
  • What to wear in the cave: it’s cool underground, so bring a jacket or sweater. Also, leave the flip-flops in the RV and wear comfortable, rubber-soled walking shoes to avoid slipping on the paths.
  • If you’ve visited another cave recently, wear different shoes or be prepared for a quick cleaning process before you’re allowed into the cave.
  • Reserve your tickets in advance for guided tours to avoid delays.
  • Save time to take a hike on one of the Park’s nature trails surrounding the caverns—the Chihuahuan Desert is rich with secrets of its own!
  • Join the crowd in the natural amphitheater at the entrance to the cave at dusk from May to October to watch the evening bat flight, when great swarms of bats leave the cave to hunt for insects.

From the Hall of the White Giant to mysterious Spider Cave (seen only by those willing to crawl along a subterranean passage) Carlsbad Caverns National Park is an eye-opening adventure. Traveling there by motorhome will make your trip even more memorable, thanks to the luxury and convenience it provides.

Wherever you decide to pick up an El Monte RV rental, isn’t it time to start planning your trip? Become part of the new generation of RV travelers to New Mexico to discover the awesome beauty of Carlsbad Caverns.

 

Hersheys_Chocolate_World

For many the word “chocolate” can garner distinctly wonderful memories. A mug of hot chocolate sipped during a cold wintry night. A heart shaped box of candy for or from your Valentine. Warm, moist, brownies from mom’s secret recipe. But mention “chocolate bar” and one word comes to mind ~ Hershey.

The Hershey Company is headquartered in the town that bears its name, and where their confections are still made. But if you were to go to Hershey to only experience the chocolate, you would be missing an unbelievable amount of adventures and fun! Let’s take a look at why an RV trip to Hershey Pennsylvania can be about more than just chocolate.

Founding History of Hershey

If you enjoy a rags to riches story and have a love for history, take time during your visit to be inspired by the story behind Hershey Chocolates.

Milton Hershey at thirty years old was a failure. His first confectionery business was in Philadelphia in 1876. The business survived for only six years, before going bankrupt in 1882. His second confectioner shop in New York City, lasted only 3 years, closing in 1886. He moved to Lancaster Pennsylvania, and utilizing a caramel recipe he developed in his previous business ventures, was finally successful. It was the start of his Lancaster Caramel Company that established Milton as a candy maker, and set the stage for what is now known as The Hershey Company.  Milton_S._Hershey_c1905

If you want to know more about this man and how his chocolate empire rose, stop by the The Hershey Story ~ The Museum on Chocolate Avenue. The Museum allows old and young alike to interactively become an apprentice to Milton Hershey.

Participants discover where the key ingredient of chocolate, the cocoa bean, is grown and how the beans are harvested and processed into the world’s most popular candy bar. In the museum, you can learn about Milton Hershey’s family life, his amazing legacy of philanthropy and how he supported and built the town of Hershey PA. Be taken by Milton Hershey’s story and by the life of this uniquely American visionary.

Attractions and Sights

Just want to have fun? Hershey Pennsylvania offers adventurers and thrill seekers a multitude of attractions to enjoy.

  • Start your visit with the FREE Hershey Chocolate World Tour. Take this ride through an imaginary factory and learn how milk and cocoa beans are combined to make the chocolate known all over the world. At the end of your journey, get a sample of what’s being made on the factory line that day.
  • Get your thrill on riding one of twelve rollercoasters found in Hersheypark. This “disneyesque” amusement park features over seventy rides and has variety shows and other entertainment. You can even get pictures or have a breakfast with the Hershey Product Mascots.
  • Enjoy getting thrills on the wet and wild side? Head on over to The Boardwalk at Hersheypark for it’s Coastline Plunge tubes, East Coast Waterworks splash park and the crazy fast Tidal Force flume.

Hershey_Park_The_Boardwalk

There are plenty of other attractions worth a visit in Hershey Pa.

  • Visit the Chocolate Spa, where you can indulge in signature chocolate-themed treatments.
  • The botanical beauty of Hershey Gardens overlooks the town of Hershey. These historical gardens feature a breathtaking assortment of flowering annuals, deciduous shrubs and a stately collection of rare trees.
  • ZooAmerica features over 200 native North American animals in recreated natural habitats.
  • Hit the links and choose from three distinctive greens with a round of Hershey golf.

For these and more attractions click the link here.

Shopping

Hershey has plenty of opportunities to “shop till you drop.” Some outstanding possibilities include:

  • For anything with the Hershey logo on it, there’s no better store than in Hershey World. Get your fill of favorite Hershey candy, or interesting gifts and souvenirs featuring Hershey products.
  • For Outlet shopping check the Tanger Outlets at Hershey for major brand discounts.
  • The Hershey area also has a variety of antiquing, boutique and consignment shopping to be discovered listed here.

Dining

There are plenty of dining experiences to try in Hershey. Here are a few of our favorites:

  • If you enjoy eating like a local, or a good local brew. be sure to try Tröegs Brewing Company. Though they call their eatery a “snack bar,” don’t be fooled – this local hotspot offers unique and tempting appetizers to share, and mouthwatering entrees of great locally grown, farm fresh,
  • Another great local eatery is the Hershey Pantry. Available for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, the atmosphere of this restaurant is trendy urban eatery combined with the cozy warmth of a small-town diner.
  • Travelers who favorite the comfort of a national chain will find them plentiful and available. For a comprehensive list of restaurants in the area, click here.

Hershey RV Show

If you’re interested in taking the next step, every September, Giant Center in Hershey becomes the site of “America’s Largest RV Show.”  Widely recognized as one of the nation’s premier consumer RV shows, it is typically the event at which RV manufacturers will debut new models or features to the public. In addition to RVs on display, the show features over 100 vendors along with seminars for the RVing public, RV dealers, and  technicians. Topics featured include training, and service advising clinics, showcasing RVing experts and travel writers to help in planning your next step in the RVing lifestyle.  Lean more about the RV Show here.

Campgrounds – Where to Stay

Staying at the official camping resort of Hersheypark has it’s advantages for RVing families. Hersheypark Camping Resort features a free shuttle to the amusement park, and offers the best prices on Hersheypark tickets. There are also discounts to be had for admission to many favorite Hershey area attractions. Other campground possibilities close by can be found here.

Other Destinations Nearby

Hershey Pennsylvania has lots to offer and fun to get involved in. Other Destinations in Pennsylvania worth checking include:

Whichever way you head though Hershey and the surrounding landscape of Pennsylvania, – it’s better when you take family and friends and go RVing!

Mike Karl guest blogging for Monty’s Musings -The Motorhome Travel Blog – El Monte RV

About Mike Karl – Also known as RoadAbode, Mike is a ten year RVer and writer of all things dealing with the RV Lifestyle. He is a regular contributor to the RV.net and Reddit GoRVing Forums. Serving as a Contributing Advisor for the TripAdvisor website, others can share in his insights into destinations throughout the Eastern United States. His blog “The Adventures and Travels of RoadAbode” relates personal travel experiences with friends and family in RoadAbode, his Class C RV – previously a rental. Other topics include RV updates, and reviews of RV resorts, products and destinations. Go to www.roadabode.us to read more, or contact Mike. Subscribe to the RoadAbode newsletter for a link to a FREE downloadable RVing LifeStyle Cookbook!

Photo Attribution:

  • Chocolate World By By Paulo Ordoveza from Washington, DC (Chocolate World  Uploaded by clusternote) (derivative image) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
  • Milton Hershey By unknown (original image); Centpacrr (derivative image) (Hershey Community Archives (original image)) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
  • Boardwalk at Hersheypark [Public domain], via Wikipedia
  • America’s Largest RV Show Image by Pennsylvania RV and Camping Association (PRVCA)

The parades! The jazz! The Creole and Cajun culinary delights! February 2015 is the time to travel by RV to New Orleans, Louisiana to join the non-stop celebration known as Mardi Gras. Culminating on Fat Tuesday, this legendary street party draws visitors from all over the globe. Isn’t it time you joined the crowd?

If you haven’t booked your campground and RV rental yet for Mardi Gras, there’s still time! What better way to enjoy the sights, sounds, flavors and people of New Orleans than by attending the biggest party of them all. Here’s how!

Choose Your Mardi Gras Activities

 Family Friendly Option: Bringing the kids on your Mardi Gras RV adventure and looking for family friendly activities? Why not opt for Family Gras—a free, family-centered celebration in Metairie (Jefferson Parish) just west of NOLA? From February 6 to Febuary 8, 2015, you’ll find concerts, art fairs, Mardi Gras parades and an enormous food court to keep young ones occupied all weekend long.

Mardi Gras Parades: The creative and colorful Krewes of New Orleans have presented Mardi Gras parades for decades, each with their own special style. From the magnificent Krewe of Endymion Parade to the fun-loving women of the Krewe of Iris, each procession adds unique color and excitement to Mardi Gras.  Pick the parades that suit your fancy and purchase grandstand tickets in advance for the ultimate viewing experience.

Mardi Gras Tours: Learn about the art and pageantry behind the festivities by booking tours at Mardi Gras World, where breathtaking floats and street displays are designed and built year-round. Hoping to learn even more about the city while you’re there? Schedule a New Orleans walking, Segway or bike tour led by local hosts who know the secrets of the past and the special neighborhoods of the Crescent City.

Hesitant about coming to Mardi Gras because of something you’ve seen online? Relax! There’s plenty of good-natured fun to be had beyond the French Quarter rowdiness. You’ll find families, senior citizens and locals enjoying the annual extravaganza with picnics, parade watching and non-stop sampling of the city’s many cuisines. The visual splendor provided by parading Krewes, the sound of jazz at all hours and the hospitality for which this city is famous are not-to-be-missed experiences.

 Book Your New Orleans Campsite

 Take advantage of affordable motorhome camping and save your vacation dollars for beignets, café au lait and Mardi Gras souvenirs. Book your campsite today using our handy list of Louisiana RV campgrounds. Note: campgrounds may have a minimum stay requirement during Mardi Gras due to high demand.

Don’t have an RV but love the idea of traveling and camping in motorhome comfort? Let us know when you’re going and we’ll have an RV rentalMardi_Gras_boxes_yellow ready.

Come to the party in NOLA! You’ll come home with a camera-full of spectacular vacation photos. You’ll finally understand what makes New Orleans unlike any other city in America. And you’ll do it all affordably, thanks to RV travel options. “Laissez les bon temps rouler” let the good times roll!

Picture credits:  “Mardi Gras boxes yellow” by Wikid77 – Own work. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons – http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Mardi_Gras_boxes_yellow.gif#mediaviewer/File:Mardi_Gras_boxes_yellow.gif

RV Camping to 2015 Grapefruit League Spring Training

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Are you pacing the floor, anxious for Major League Baseball to begin? While you’re waiting, why not take an RV camping trip to Central Florida, where Grapefruit League stadiums host fifteen MLB teams in pre-season play during March? That’s right—your …

 

RVing RoadTrip: Exploring Lancaster PA

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Horse drawn buggies, clip-clopping along country roads. Bonneted Amish girls tending garden by a roadside farmhouse. Bearded men in wide brimmed hats harvesting from rolling green fields.These sights are what many imagine they will come across as they pull into …

 

RV to the Super Bowl This Year

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Planning to attend the Feb. 1, 2015 Super Bowl but need help finding accommodations? Here’s an idea—why not RV to the Super Bowl this year? Renting a motorhome offers football fans flexibility, comfort and affordability as they travel to enjoy …

 

Scottsdale, AZ—So Much More than Desert RV Camping

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Does cold weather have you camped out in your living room, when you’d much rather be RV camping? Take a trip to Scottsdale, Arizona, where you’ll find so much more than desert RV camping. An entertainment and cultural center that’s …

 

California RV Camping Idea – Yuba Donner Scenic Byway

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Does the thought of clear mountain lakes, national forest camping and the chance to play in an unforgettable northern California playground sound like the perfect vacation? If your answer is “Yes!” start planning now for an RV trip along the …

 

RV Camping—Where Will 2015 Take YOU?

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Are next year’s RV camping hopes already dancing in your head? The ease and comfort of camping in a motorhome may be lighting up vacation dreams for you and your family. So we’d like to know—where will 2015 take YOU …