The Rose Bowl and Tournament of Roses—An RV Traveler’s Guide

College football fans and RV campers who love a good parade are already making plans to be in Pasadena, California on January 1. Are you planning to join them for the must-watch, hotly contested Rose Bowl Game and the Tournament of Roses Parade?

Marching Band

Marching Band

For one hundred twenty six years, the Tournament of Roses Parade has thrilled parade watchers with flowered fantasy floats, newly-crowned parade royalty and skillful marching bands. The beautiful city of Pasadena opens its doors to hundreds of thousands of parade-goers each year and is more than up to the task.

And if you’re planning to attend the 101st Rose Bowl Game, going by RV makes it comfortable and affordable. If that sounds like a dream come true, there’s still time to make your RV rental reservation and get tickets for all the events.

Here’s what you need to know to plan your trip. Get started now!

Need-to-Know Basics for the Tournament of Roses Parade

    • When? January 1 from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. PST
    • Where? Colorado Boulevard, Pasadena, CA
    • Where Can I Camp? Because Pasadena is part of the larger Los Angeles metro area, you may not find an actual RV campground close by the parade route. Here’s the good news: the vendor-regulated parking areas (see Where Can I Park below) and many of the area businesses allow some form of ‘boondocking’ or camping without services. Here’s also a link to a list of campgrounds within 30 miles of Pasadena.
    • Will I Need Tickets? Grandstand seating is reserved and requires tickets. Purchase them here. You can also view the parade for free curbside. The curbside area opens for seating at noon December 31.
    • Where Can I Park? If you’re planning to camp outside the parade route, you may want to reserve parking closer in. The vendor who provides grandstand seating for the parade also makes available car or RV parking adjacent to the seating areas, for up to three days. Here’s the link to purchase parking space for the Rose Parade.
    • Anything Happening Before and After the Parade?  Plenty! Watch the marching bands in action before the parade by attending Band Fest either December 29 or December 30. If you’d love to see the magic that transforms thousands of flowers and natural items into award-winning floats, schedule time to watch float decorating at one of three official venues during parade week. There’s also a showcase of floats following the parade. Here’s a link to pre- and post- parade event details.

Need-to-Know Basics for the Rose Bowl Game

    • When? January 1 – Pre-game activities begin at 1:30 p.m. PST. Don’t miss any of the excitement!
    • Where? Rose Bowl Stadium, 1001 Rose Bowl Drive, Pasadena, CA. The chance to see this historic, one-of-a-kind stadium is worth the trip. Home to the oldest bowl game in America!
    • Who’s Playing in 2015 Rose Bowl? Oregon vs. Florida State

      Rose Bowl Game

      Rose Bowl Game

    • Where Do I Buy Tickets? Rose Bowl tickets are selling out fast, so click the link for contact information and make the call today.
    • Where is RV Parking Allowed? Along with a special lot for RV and bus parking at the stadium, you can also reserve parking at the off-site lots, some of which run shuttles to the stadium. Here’s a link for more info on RV parking at the Rose Bowl.  Every RV traveler to California should see the Rose Bowl at least once. Choose your events, buy your tickets, rent your RV and reserve a space at the 2015 Tournament of Roses Parade and the Rose Bowl Game. You’ll be so glad you did!

We’ve tried to answer most of your questions about RV camping at the Rose Bowl this year, but if we’ve missed one, here’s how to reach the Visitor Hotline for the Rose Bowl and Tournament of Roses Parade.

Photo Credits: Marching Band photo: Prayitno, Flickr Commons License ; Rose Bowl Game photo: Keith Skelton, Flickr Commons License

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Short on Time, But Want to Experience Long-Distance RV Adventures?

Taking an RV vacation has many advantages over staying night after night in various hotels.  For instance, you can’t beat the convenient mobility perk of motor homes by taking all your possessions with you, in addition to the privacy and comfort of having your own “home” away from home at any vacation destination you’re visiting.  The convenience that RVing affords families with children and pets is well worth the effort, time, and money spent on experiencing an RV rental vacation!  Some people never consider renting an RV for long-distance vacations, like going to the Grand Canyon from New York, believing they would have to drive the entire distance in the RV.  Fortunately for the vacationers who enjoy convenience and luxury, El Monte RV offers a wonderful solution to make that kind of a trip possible!

El Monte RV motor home at the Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco

El Monte RV motor home at the Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco

For this type of traveler, a “Fly and Drive” RV trip might be the perfect solution.  In a nutshell, travelers looking into this manner of vacation will fly to an El Monte  RV rental location near their destination in order to pick up an RV before staring on their adventure.   There is an upward trend building in this “Fly and Drive” travel experience for several good reasons.

Probably the top and most obvious reason at hand is not having enough time to drive the entire distance just to get to your final destination.   Depending on the kind of trip you have in mind, this aspect of the “Fly and Drive” option is a win-win!   While road trips are a lot of fun and enhance the RV trip, it may not fit into your time schedule.  It serves a better purpose for some people to get there quickly so that they can start using their RV the way they want to.  Another reason to fly and drive is that it can be the most economical way to visit a national park or other destination on the other side of the country.  Instead of paying for all of the gas just to get to your destination, a plane ticket may be a cheaper alternative.

If you decide to fly and drive to your destination, there are a few simple steps to follow to make your trip a success!  Early planning is the best policy; it is usually the cheapest way to go, as well as having the increased availability for campsites and RV selections!   After deciding where you want to go,  you’ll need to do a little research first.  You will want to locate the nearest RV campgrounds or other sites that allow overnight RV parking before making your RV reservations.  Especially when considering a stay in a national or state park, you’ll want to know the size of your RV rental first because the RV size can make a difference in whether or not there will be site availability.  Before reserving your camping spot, find the closest El Monte RV location to reserve and book the RV that will be perfect for you, remember to take note of the size of your motor home.  Then make a call to the campground and reserve your RV camping spot!

Next, you’ll need to book your flight tickets!   El Monte RV offers shuttle service at their larger store locations.  You will want to verify upon booking your RV rental whether or not that particular location provides shuttle service.  An alternate choice for a low-cost way to get from the airport to your El Monte RV location is using a car transport service such as Uber.  This modern and popular alternative to taking taxis is usually the cheapest and easiest way to get to your El Monte RV location, and you’ll be able to use it to get back to the airport at the end of your vacation as well.  Make sure to download the app to your smart phone before you leave on vacation, as this will allow you to hail an Uber car as soon as you walk out of the airport!

If you’re thinking about taking an RV vacation this year, don’t hold yourself back from anywhere in the U.S. that you’ve thought about going in an RV.  If the nearest El Monte RV location isn’t within easy driving distance, consider doing a Fly and Drive vacation instead!

El Monte RV

El Monte RV Rentals and Sales

For more information on renting or buying a motor home CLICK HERE!  or call 1-888-337-2208


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Lakeside Drives to Toronto

The end of summer is only a month and a half away!  Have you made your plans to hit the road for an RV vacation before the kids go back to school and the leaves start falling?  If you’re looking for a great mid-summer trip, consider our friendly neighbors to the north.  Instead of sticking to the States, expand your RV vacation to the Great Lakes region around Toronto!

Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls

Start out by heading to Kingston, Pennsylvania (or clicking the link) to pick out and reserve your favorite RV.  Once you’ve decided on which RV will be the perfect ride for you and your family, make sure to read about the rules and procedures for crossing the US-Canada border in an RV.  You’ll want to be prepared and have any necessary paperwork in order before you get to the border crossing itself.

Once all of your ducks are in a row, start out your exciting road trip by heading for Niagara Falls!  These multiple waterfalls flow between the US and Canada, and they’ve been a classic vacation destination throughout the last century.  You can take a moment to re-create scenes from the many movies that have featured the falls.  Films as diverse as Superman II and Bruce Almighty had scenes set here!  The 167-foot falls also create a magical plume of drifting spray and we highly recommend you sail through it on a Maid of the Mist boat tour!

If the sun is already going down, head for an RV campground near Buffalo, New York.  You can find one near the shores of Lake Erie for an excellent view and then head into the historic city itself for a great dinner!

When you’re ready to continue north, continue around Lake Ontario and you’ll end up in Toronto itself.  One of the first sites to greet your eyes will be the iconic CN Tower that dominates the skyline.  This spire has been a famous piece of engineering since the 1970s, and it’s still the best way to get a bird’s eye view of the entire city.  If you get hungry, there’s even a revolving restaurant that will give you a slow panorama of the entire area.

After you’re done having fun in the clouds, head over to the mid-city Royal Ontario Museum.  It’s a world-leading natural history and cultural museum with incredible exhibits that range from examples of Chinese Forbidden City artifacts to textiles from ancient Egypt.  Toronto is a world-class city, and there’s no better place to get a taste of the whole world than at the “ROM.”

While you’re downtown, take a moment to travel underground!  Toronto is unique in that it has over 19 miles of tunnels and underground walkways in its PATH system.  While they are a welcome respite for downtown travelers during the city’s snowy winters, they are also a lot of fun to poke around during the summer.  The walkways are lined with coffee shops, stores, and all manner of potential souvenir purchasing locations, so give yourself a few hours to get lost in a maze of shopping fun!

Don’t wait until it’s too late: head north in an RV for an amazing lakeside drive to Toronto!

El Monte RV

El Monte RV Rentals and Sales

For more information on renting or buying a motor home CLICK HERE!  or call 1-888-337-2208

Photo Credit:  Niagara Falls by Daniel Lewis licensed by Flickr Creative Commons



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Take an RV Excursion to Philadelphia’s Freedom Trail

Few parts of our country are as rich in history and fun as Philadelphia.  “Philly” is a major tourist destination because it was the original capital of our country, but it’s also a major metropolitan area packed with fascinating attractions.  Situated halfway between New York City and Washington, D.C., Philadelphia is the perfect location for a family trip in an RV.  First, go to Linden, New Jersey to pick up your RV rental.  Then, head for the city!

Philadelphia -  Benjamin Franklin's Parkway

Philadelphia – Benjamin Franklin Parkway

In order to get your bearings, make your first stop the Philadelphia Freedom Trail.  Modeled after Boston’s Freedom Trail, Philadelphia’s walking tour will take you past several important landmarks that celebrate the founding of our nation and its colorful history.  You’ll see landmarks such as the First Bank of the United States, a controversial institution that inspires debate about our basic Constitutional freedoms to this day.

Then, no trip to Philadelphia can possibly be considered complete until you visit the Liberty Bell.  The Liberty Bell is a landmark synonymous with Philadelphia itself – you’ll see it on everything from t-shirts to postage stamps!  The Bell is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day, and you don’t even need tickets to take a look.  It’s the perfect opportunity to view a major American landmark that doesn’t cost you a penny!

For another fun stop, drive across town to the Betsy Ross House.  You can watch a re-enactment of Betsy sewing the first American flag, and you can also ask this patriot about her life and motivation for getting involved in the Revolutionary War.  A perfect souvenir for the trip would be taking home your own 13-star American flag!

After you’re done visiting with Betsy, take your RV to the waterfront where you’ll find the Independence Seaport Museum.  The Delaware River has always been important to Philadelphia’s economy and the lives of its citizens, so the Museum is the best way to learn about the city’s maritime traditions.  Explore exhibitions devoted to the Titanic and the experience of immigrants in Philadelphia.  Also, head outside and take a look at the submarine and historic ships tied up along the pier!  If you plan on an extended vacation, the Museum even has a summer camp where you can learn boating skills on the river.

Philadelpia Authentic Cheesesteak

Philadelphia Authentic Cheesesteak

When you’re ready to grab some food, there’s really only one choice for a Philly classic.  If you’re not on a diet, swing by one of the top ten best cheesesteak joints in the city.  You’ll have to be able to handle the grease (and probably a liberal dose of Cheese Wiz), but these sandwiches are a true American invention, and they’re loved by tourists and locals alike.

For the last stop on your trip, it’s best to visit long after eating.  If you visit before, you might lose your appetite!  The Mutter Museum is famous for its collection of medical oddities.  One major part of the collection includes Civil War medical tools.  Further along on your trip, everything from a collection of human skulls to slides of Albert Einstein’s brain are available for public viewing.  It’ll be one of the stranger stops on your trip, but it’s also one you’ll never forget!

If you’re looking for an eccentric RV adventure, head to the heart of America.  Philadelphia is ready to entertain and astound you!  For a list of RV Campgrounds in the state of Pennsylvania CLICK HERE.

El Monte RV

El Monte RV Rentals and Sales

For information on renting or buying a motor home CLICK HERE!

Picture credits:  Benjamin Franklin’s Parkway by Jim, the Photographer, and the Philly Sandwhich by N1NJ4 are licensed under the Flickr Creative Commons Attribution license.  Thank you!

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An RV Trip to Seattle is Great for the Whole Family

The Pacific Northwest is a wonderful place to vacation in a motor home, with friendly folk, gorgeous scenery, and  lots of good food.  Seattle is one of the main tourist destinations at all times of the year; however, winter is especially desirable for a family vacation as you will be avoiding the crowds!  Lake Pleasant RV Park is one camping spot that comes highly recommended.  Make the park your home base and begin your Seattle adventure.

Lovely Seattle, Washington

Lovely Seattle, Washington

The first place in Seattle to see is the Space Needle.  This is likely the biggest attraction for those visiting for the first time (and the second and the third…).  Once you are 520 feet above sea level and are observing the city from the Observation Deck, you will see why this is the place to visit first in this Washington city.  You’ll see Elliott Bay sparkling in the sun, the  gorgeous mountains in the distance, and enjoy watching the hustle and bustle of downtown from high above.  An amazing panoramic overview indeed!

Seattle's Space Needle Lookout City Tower

Seattle’s Space Needle – the City’s Lookout Tower

Next you should head for Olympic Sculpture Park and nine acres of artwork to take in.  It is definitely an inspiring place to visit.  Right on the waterfront, this park has unique views of Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains, as well as the opportunity to enjoy this great outdoor art.  Also, in visiting the Valley next to the Gates Amphitheater, you will see tall fir and cedar trees, lovely blooming shrubs, colorful flowers, and ferns.  There is much, much more to explore to your heart’s content!

Naturally, the Woodland Park Zoo can’t be missed, particularly if you have kids with you on your trip.  It is a place of wonder for kids and adults alike.  The children will love riding on the Carousel and then heading over to get up close to and feed the penguins.   At Willawong Station, the family can experience an aviary where many colorful birds are flying free.  Don’t miss the grizzly exhibit while you are here!

The Lake Union Area of Seattle offers some interesting sights, including the Museum of History and Industry and its awesome Art Deco-style features.  Tour the museum for a view of almost four million photos and historic artifacts.  All through the Lake Union neighborhood you’ll see art displayed by local artists.

Another thrill for young and old alike is the Seattle Aquarium!  Besides sea life, there is a wide array of shows and exhibits to enjoy.  Watch the divers submerge into the water and still be able to answer your questions.  Watch the marine animals being fed.  The giant Pacific octopus is also waiting to meet you and yours.  After your visit here you can go to see the Pacific Science Center where a huge diversity of things await you.  For instance, you can learn a lot about the world of espionage and see collections from the CIA and FBI.

An RV trip to Seattle can fulfill the wildest vacation dreams.  Allow enough time to see everything when you come to this fascinating Pacific Northwest city.  Seattle has it all!

El Monte RV

El Monte RV Rentals and Sales

For information on renting or buying a motor home CLICK HERE!

Picture credits:  Seattle overview by Elias Daniel, the space needle by Frank Kovalcheck “Alaskan Dude” are licensed under the Flickr Creative Commons Attribution license.  Thank you!

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