Create an RV Camping Classroom for the Kids!

Smart families start planning their spring RV camping trips early to get the best reservations and discounts. There’s another reason to plan early for your next camping vacation with the kids—you’ll have time to create a fun ‘RV camping classroom’ to keep them entertained, educated and challenged as you travel.

Family Fun in an El Monte RV

Family Fun in an El Monte RV!

We’ve got lots of ideas for teaching young campers as you travel—and they won’t even mind the homework!

RV Camping Classroom Ideas

  • Catch the Camping Bug:  Bring along a magnifying glass (or load a magnifying app on your cell phone) and plastic containers with lids and go on an insect safari. Have youngsters look up ahead of time what kinds of bugs live where you’ll be camping. Give a small prize (gummy bugs?) for each kind they find, and ask them  to write about, draw or make up a story about the insects they catch. Tip: Accompany younger kids to avoid insect bites!
  • Create a Colorful Campground: When it’s time to take a break from swimming, hiking and other outdoor activities, set up watercolors and sturdy paper on the picnic table. Encourage young artists to interpret nature on paper, and take along fishing line and bag clips to make a campground art gallery.
  • Vacation Memories in a Box: Another artistic way to encourage campground learning is to bring a shoebox for each child, along with a collection of art supplies. Have each young artist create a diorama that represents their favorite memories of the trip—natural wonders, campground antics, animals in the wild—you may be surprised by what they want to remember! Pack their creations carefully to display back home.
  • Camping Finance Challenge: RV camping makes vacations affordable, but do the kids know what it costs to take your trips? Give each child a ledger (paper or app) where they can record expenses along the way (here’s a great sample ledger.) Give them a head start by taking them shopping for camping trip groceries and supplies. Point out where to see the cost of gas on a pump and how to figure tips at roadside cafes. Up the ante by giving each child a budget for their own camping expenses like souvenirs and snacks. Award the best budget hound for keeping accurate track of the most expenses.
  • Look to the Skies! One of the things we love most about camping in the great outdoors is the ability to see stars and constellations invisible in the city. Teach your kids about the heavens by taking along a telescope, using a helpful astronomy app like Pocket Universe or just laying on a blanket and looking up. There are lots of ways to expand this RV classroom exercise—draw, paint or sculpt what they see in the sky, write a story about space travel or challenge them to make up their own planets, complete with occupants!
  • Animal Arithmetic: Create a simple set of miniature playing cards on paper, with a photo or picture of common birds or animals on each and a numeric value assigned. Have the youngsters cut them out and put a set for each of them in envelopes. As you travel and camp, instruct them to watch for those birds and animals, look them up on their cards and track the numeric value on the outside of their envelopes. Decide how much you’ll let them score for spotting unusual species. On the last day of your RV camping vacation, have them add their totals and award a prize to the child with the highest score.
  • Camp Captain: Teach your children leadership skills on vacation by telling them ahead of time they’ll be in charge of one family activity.
  • Assign them a campground meal to plan and enlist others to help them cook.
  • Let them decide what hiking trail the family will take and then ask them to plan how long it should take and what they’ll need to take along (water, snacks, sunscreen, first aid kit, etc.).
  • If you’re camping near historical sites, have them choose one as a day trip and then prepare a preview for the family.

Any kind of activity families can do while camping can be turned into a fun and educational experience. Remember to allow young campers to do things to their own ability and don’t expect perfection—you’re on vacation, after all!

Let us know what types of RV camping classroom ideas you’ve tried while traveling with the kids. Share your epic successes (and your funny failures) below so other camping families can learn from your experience. And don’t forget to let us know if you need help planning an RV rental

Photo Credit:  An El Monte RV customer photo, permission granted.

Posted in educational trips, Family RV vacations, family trips, family vacations, Motor Home Camping, Motor home vacation blog, Motorhome Camping, RV blog, RV Camping, RV Camping Resources, RV Rental, RV Rentals, RV Road Trip, RV Sales, RV Travel Tips, RV Vacation Ideas, RVing with kids, Vacation Planning | Tagged | Leave a comment

RV Adventure to Cumberland Island National Seashore

Georgia’s Atlantic Coast can be your RV camping playground year-round.  One of the best places to experience the wild beauty and unspoiled nature of the area is with a visit to Cumberland Island National Seashore.

Cumberland Island Shoreline

Head out on this inviting boardwalk to the Cumberland Island shoreline!

As Georgia’s largest barrier island, this paradise is just two hours north of the El Monte RV Rental location in Orlando, Florida.  With fifty miles of hiking trails, an amazing collection of wildlife and a wide range of historical sites to discover, isn’t it time you took a trip to Georgia’s island treasure?

We’ve put together a guide for RV travelers planning to visit Cumberland Island, with answers to your most frequent questions.

Where Can We Camp Near Cumberland Island National Seashore?

The National Seashore itself is undeveloped, with no paved roads and access only by the Cumberland ferry system.  Plan to camp nearby and take advantage of the ferry for an authentic wilderness experience.

Here are some suggestions for RV parks near Cumberland Island:

Crooked River State Park, located in St. Mary’s, GA, is just seven miles from the Cumberland Island Ferry landing.  It features campsites with electricity in a beautiful setting worth discovering after your day on the National Seashore.

Fort Clinch State Park in Fernandina Beach, FL, is right across the Cumberland Sound from St. Mary’s GA.  Enjoy their full-service campsites in a scenic setting, with quick access to the Cumberland Ferry.

A Big Wheel RV Park adjacent to Crooked River State Park is a privately run campground that receives rave reviews.  It accommodates any size RV!

Incredible Path on Cumberland Island

Incredible Path on Cumberland Island

How Should We Prepare for our RV Camping Trip?

Glad to hear you’re the kind of RV camping enthusiast who plans ahead!  It’s especially important, when visiting a natural, undeveloped setting, to know what to expect.  Here are some things to consider when making your plans:

    • You can only reach the Island by ferry (passengers only, no vehicles) so be sure to make reservations in advance.
    • Only 300 people are allowed on the island each day.
    • Ferry passengers not on dock at least 30 minutes ahead of departure lose their reservations, so arrive early!
    • Pets are not allowed on the ferry.
    • If you’d like to rent a bike to travel around the island, be sure to tell the ferry concessionaire when you call.
    • There are no services on the Island other than water to refill bottles.  Bring your own food, water and normal hiking necessities like hats, sunscreen and insect repellant.
    • Take along a trash bag, as this wilderness island has a ‘pack in, pack out’ policy for all visitors.
    • If you plan to fish while visiting Cumberland Island, purchase a Georgia fishing license and make sure you have the required Saltwater Informational Program Permit attached.

What Kind of Weather Can We Expect? 

Like any well-prepared RV adventurer, you’ll want to know what kind of weather to expect when you go.  The weather in November at Cumberland Island National Seashore is magnificent, with highs in the 70s and lows in the 50s.  Even in December, expect to enjoy 60 degree weather, with nighttime temps in the high 40s.

Wild Horse on Cumberland Island Coast

Wild Horse on Cumberland Island Coast

What Will We See on Cumberland Island?

History!  The Island was once mostly owned by the Carnegie family, and the ruins of their mansion, Dungeness, are just one part of its historic appeal.  Reserve a seat before you come on one of the Lands and Legacies Van Tours if you’d like to learn about the Native Americans who once inhabited the island, the large slave population who built the First African Baptist Church and, of course, the Carnegies and their opulent island lifestyle.  If you’re up to a lengthy hike or ride through variable terrain, you can also travel to these sites on foot or by bicycle.

Nature! Not only has the Atlantic formed a sixteen-mile stretch of perfect beach for you to explore, you’ll also find lush maritime forests, salt marshes and picturesque dunes here.  Stay on the marked trails to help preserve the wilderness for future generations and be sure to bring your camera!

Wildlife!  From feral horses to armadillos and alligators, this island has plenty to appeal for wildlife lovers.  No domesticated creatures call this island home, so keep that in mind while hiking or biking the area.  Keep a sharp eye out for the island’s famous wild horses, the sea turtles that nest here in early autumn and a surprising variety of shore birds.  Have we convinced you it’s time to visit Georgia’s barrier island paradise?  Here’s a link to more information, courtesy of the National Park Service.  We don’t often find unspoiled beauty that’s open for everyone to explore.  Let us know if we can help with an RV rental.  Please don’t miss the chance to discover Cumberland Island National Seashore and all it has to offer!

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 credits: Cumberland Island Path by db rolenrock, Cumberland Island Boardwalk by Jon Dawson, and Wild Horse Along Shoreline by Doug Anderson; all are licensed under Flickr Commons

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A Scenic Tour through the St. John River Valley

When you’re looking for a unique vacation idea, remember that some of the best picks will be the ones you’ve never heard about.  While tourists are packing into the most famous resorts and cities, a different breed of savvy traveler is seeking the roads less traveled.  If you’d like to find an out-of-the-way journey that you can enjoy at your own pace, you should plan your next vacation to be an RV tour through the St. John River Valley!

New Brunswick, King's Landing History in Living Color

New Brunswick, King’s Landing History Remade

The St. John River creates part of the border between Maine and New Brunswick, and it’s one of the longest rivers in the eastern portion of Canada.  Life is slower in the St. John River Valley, but that’s how the residents of the area like it.   And this is what makes it a great choice for an exciting RV vacation.  In order to get started on your trip, pick out your favorite RV at El Monte’s location in Boston, and then travel north on Interstate 95 through Maine.

When you cross the border into New Brunswick, head for Hartland and you’ll find yourself crossing the Hartland Covered Bridge.  If it doesn’t look like a normal covered bridge, that’s because it isn’t.  At 1,282 feet, it’s one of the world’s longest!  The bridge was originally built in 1901, but it wasn’t until twenty years later that the entire structure was covered.  It’s a beautiful local landmark that has been featured on national postage stamps, and it also had the honor of being crossed by a torchbearer before the 1988 Winter Olympics.  Called a “kissing bridge” by locals, it’s a great spot to stop for a moment and steal a smooch from your own loved one!

New Brunswick, Canada, History Brought Back to Life

New Brunswick, Canada, History Brought Back to Life

Drive further east and you’ll find the living history settlement of King’s Landing.  Actors in period-accurate costumes live out the lives of settlers in the 1800’s that called this area home.  It’s a rich mixture of French, English and native history that comes together in a fully explorable town.  Move from house to house and try your hand at frontier skills such as churning butter and spinning wool.  Your kids might just think that your RV has traveled back in time!

Next, head north to the town of Grand Falls where you will find the magnificent waterfall that it is named for.  At 75 feet high, Grand Falls Gorge waterfall is the biggest falls east of Niagara Falls.  You can walk down trails to the water’s edge and admire the sheer granite walls of the gorge, and it’s also a great spot for a picnic lunch.

If you want a much closer (and more exciting) view of the falls, head over to Open Sky Adventures.  This amazing adventure company will let you “deepell” (that means to do a forward facing rappel) 135 feet down the gorge walls, or you can zip line over the river itself!  Your family will never forget the experience of flying through the air over the gorgeous rushing waters.

When you drive home after your journey through the St. John River Valley in New Brunswick, you will have experienced a rare adventure through towns and villages that rarely get seen by outsiders.  It’s off the beaten path, but all the best vacations are!

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:   photos of King’s Landing, New Brunswick, by Michael Ignatieff are licensed under Flickr Creative Common license

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Journey to the North in Winnipeg

Even though it’s directly to our north, many Americans never visit Canada.  What a missed opportunity on so many levels because Canada is a country with unending natural beauty and the Canadian people are well-known for their warm hospitality and friendliness!  If you’re looking for a vacation that’s out of the ordinary, consider traveling northward and explore other parts of the North American continent.  It’s time for a journey to Winnipeg for starters!

The River Trail in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

The River Trail in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

To start your trip off right, pick up an RV in Chicago.  Make sure to bring some games, movies, audio books, or other entertainment for the kids as you drive to the north country while you get to enjoy the passing scenery as you head towards the border.  Once you cross into Manitoba, find a great RV park to serve as your base camp as you explore Winnipeg.  With its free hot showers and free wireless internet, Traveller’s RV Resort & Campground will serve your needs perfectly.

After you’re settled in, it’s time to head out and explore the city itself.  If you want to get your bearings right away, an excellent first stop is The Forks.  This spot, in the center of the city, is where the Assiniboine River flows into the Red River.  It has been a meeting spot for the residents of the area for over 6000 years.  With its parks, restaurants, and venues for shows and concerts, The Forks location continues to be the beating heart of this city.

What would a vacation to Canada be without strapping on some ice skates?  It’s a good thing that the world’s longest naturally-frozen skating trail winds 6.5 kilometers through the city.  Instead of having to skate around and around on an ice rink, you’ll warm up the leg muscles as you venture out and go on the equivalent of a long run when you skate down the Red River Mutual Trail.  When the weather warms up, it’s still a great path for walking and taking in views of the river and the city.

Canada is also home to some of the most magnificent animals on earth, as many Canadian species can’t be found anywhere else!   This alone warrants a trip at least once in your lifetime to take in the spectacular display of local creatures of our northern American counterpart.  The polar bear is one such creature, and you’ll have a chance to see one up close at the Assiniboine Park Zoo.  In addition to getting a look at one of the zoo’s polar bears, you can also visit the International Polar Bear Conservation Centre to learn about conservation efforts to protect this amazing animal.

Next up, you can visit Canada’s oldest public art gallery when you visit the Winnipeg Art Gallery.  WAG, as it’s called by locals, has an in-depth collection of Canadian and international art.  It  takes special care to focus on native artwork from members of Manitoba’s original population.  In addition to all the incredible art work on display, the gallery is also offering free admission to everyone 18 and under throughout the month of June.  So, there’s never been a better time for your family to visit!

It’s time to get in an RV and take your journey to the North.  It might be a bit chilly at times, but it will be a wonderful adventure that your family will never forget!

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:   The River Trail photo by A.J. Batac licensed under Flickr Creative Common license.

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Roll Through the Litchfield Hills in an RV

The northeast corner of our country has been populated for so long and by so many people that it can feel a bit crowded.  Many parts of New England can feel claustrophobic for travelers that want wide-open spaces.  Luckily, the Litchfield Hills of Connecticut are the perfect location to roll through while on an RV vacation!  Start out in Linden, New Jersey to pick up your RV rental at El Monte RV.  Once you’ve picked out the perfect motor home ride for your family, it’s time to hit the road!  You’ll get the chance to drive through the top of Manhattan Island, so take a good long look before you head out to the rural scenery of Litchfield Hills.  It’s a little piece of smaller-town America, not too far from all the noise and commotion of modern American cities.

Bull's Historic Covered Bridge

Historic Covered Bull’s Bridge

One of the best parts of traveling on the East Coast is reveling in the knowledge that you’re walking in the footsteps of dozens of interesting cultures, past and present.  At the Institute for American Indian Studies, you will learn about the early cultures that have lived in the Litchfield Hills over the past several thousand years.  Stroll through exhibits that show how American Indians lived or choose to participate in a dig with the Litchfield Hills Archaeology Club.  Whatever you decide to do, you’ll enjoy the experience of learning about the historical aspects of this part of the country!

Since you’re traveling by RV, your goal is to take it easy as you tour our great country.  A fantastic way to do so is by driving through some of the historic covered bridges spanning creeks and streams throughout the hills.  Some of the bridges were originally built as far back as the Revolutionary War!  As time has worn them down, the bridges have been rebuilt in the same style keeping the same look of the bridge as it was when it resupplied George Washington’s army.

After your own leisurely drive through the bridges, it’ll be time to catch a glimpse of a few fast-moving vehicles at Lime Rock Park.  This historic venue for races of all types have seen some of the greatest drivers in history pass through, including Mario Andretti and Paul Newman.  You may catch a race at the track, take racing school lessons, or simply walk around and enjoy the beautiful scenery where racing history has been made!

Another way to get out and exercise your legs is by heading over to a local road race!  June is approaching, so you’ll want to get out now and start jogging for a little pre-conditioning warm-up.  The Litchfield Hills Road Race will take you through the historic town of Litchfield and up and down several elevation changes.  Get ready, because it’s guaranteed to get your blood pumping!

After a race, you might want to sit back and listen to some great music (and have some great food while you’re at it.)  The Infinity Music Hall and Bistro is a 300-seat theater built in 1883.  It’s a fantastic venue that showcases a variety of music genres.  Catch a country music show or even an open-mic night.  Whether it’s a big ticket show or locals showing the world what they’ve got, you’re guaranteed to have a lot of fun and end your trip on a high note.

Pick up an El Monte RV motor home and roll through the Litchfield Hills!  The Northeast is calling!

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:  Bull’s Bridge by David Smith under Flickr creative common license.

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It’s Time for a Gulf Coast Getaway in Texas!

You probably don’t think of the coast when you first think of Texas, and that’s understandable.  The state is better known for its cowboys, cacti, and barbecue than it is for its sand, beaches, and boardwalks.  But when you realize that the state claims over 600 miles of gorgeous coastline ripe for exploration, there’s no reason not to saddle up in an RV rental and set out!

A Beautiful Beach in Galveston, Texas

A Beautiful Beach in Galveston, Texas

If you’re ready for a Lone Star State adventure, start your journey in McKinney to pick up your RV.  After you’ve got your rig, head down Interstate 40 towards the coast.  Before you get there, however, stop off in Ennis for a trip to the Galaxy Drive-In.  The Galaxy is a throwback to the good old days of double features projected on a giant, outdoor screen (after all, everything is bigger in Texas; right?)  With six screens to choose from at one low price, you can choose exactly which movie-going experience is right for your family.  Will it be back-to-back super hero flicks, or are two kids’ movies more your speed?  It’s your call, but make sure to hit the snack bar in between features to re-fill the popcorn.

Once you get through Houston and arrive at the coast, you may want to make Brazoria National Wildlife Refuge your next stop.  This refuge has more than 44,000 acres of tidal flats teeming with wildlife.  On any given day, you might be able to spot beautiful birds such as migrating Canadian geese or delicate Sandhill cranes.  If you’re lucky (and brave), you can even come face-to-face with alligators; however, we don’t recommend getting too close!

After a full day of site-seeing, head to the Sand Piper RV Resort in Galveston.  This RV campground is situated on a slice of barrier island with incredible views of the Gulf.  Not only does it have 36 beachfront spots for your RV, the resort also has a coffee bar, infinity poo,l and a hot tub awaiting you at the end of the day.  You won’t find a better location for Texan relaxation!

You’ve probably walked along a number of beaches, but if you want a completely new way to get some sand in your hair, travel a few miles down to S & G Horseback Riding.  S & G offers rides along the beach or a nearby bay, and you can even try out a sunrise or moonlight beach ride.  There’s really nothing like riding by the gentle waves on a starry night to make an unforgettable RV vacation memory!

Travel further down the coast to Corpus Christi and you’ll be able to make two great day trips, a visit to the USS Lexington and the Texas State Aquarium.  The USS Lexington is a retired aircraft carrier from World War II, but it has been refurbished into a floating museum.  At the aquarium, you can satisfy your curiosity by watching (and even touching!) some of the Gulf Coast’s thousands of native aquatic species.  In one day, you can learn more about the region’s natural wildlife and an important part of its history!

What are you waiting for?  It’s time to get to the Gulf on your next RV vacation adventure!

El Monte RV

El Monte RV Rentals and Sales

Picture Credit:  Wildflowers on beach in Galveston, TX, is  licensed under the Wikimedia commons attribution license.

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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!

Posted in Art Vacations, Big City RV Excursions, Big City RV trips, blog, Cost effective RV Vacation, Cross Country Trip, East Coast RV Travel, educational trips, Family RV vacations, family trips, family vacations, Historical Museum RV Vacations, Historical RV Vacation, Motor Home Camping, Motor home vacation blog, motor home winter vacations, Motorhome, Motorhome Camping, Nature/Sightseeing vacation, PA RV Vacation, Pennsylvania RV Trip, Pet Friendly Vacation, RV, RV blog, RV destination, RV Destinations blog, RV educational trips, RV Rental, RV Rentals, RV Road Trip, RV Sales, RV Travel Tips, RV Vacation Ideas, RV Vacation News, United States RV Vacation, Vacation Adventures, Vacation Planning, weekend RV trips | 1 Comment

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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An RV Trip to Whidbey Island in Washington

An RV trip around Seattle is good for the soul, and now is the ideal time to visit before the tourist crowds hit the road to this nice city.  You will find one of the favorite adventures in the Seattle area is to drive from the bottom to the top of Whidbey Island for cultural outdoor recreation and sights to see.  As you ride the ferry over, you’ll feel the anticipation of your landing build.

Camping and Picnic Area near Keystone Ferry in Washington

Camping and Picnic Area near Keystone Ferry in Washington

Once you land on the island, you may want to drive right over to Deer Lake and try your hand at fishing.  If the sun is out, you’ll want to catch some rays and soak it up while it lasts.  Then stop at the Earth Sanctuary, a little further up the road.  The wildlife and birds here will restore your faith in the goodness of nature.

When you move on and come to the South Whidbey State Park, you will love to get out and hike through old-growth forest.  You will also find a beach where you can walk by the water and enjoy this scenic shoreline.  This is a place to come for inspiration and solitude.  Take it all in before moving on.

One detour you’ll enjoy is taking Highway 20 over to Fort Casey State Park.  Stop to visit the lighthouse which was fully restored and is a great example of a ship warning system. Explore the fort and see early-day battlements and glean some history from this area. Keystone State Park is also nearby where you can get in some more fishing if you’d like.

Next on your itinerary is Fort Ebey State Park.  This is a great place to get into the out-of-doors and enjoy this northwest region, Puget Sound and some history as well.  The best hiking trail to take is the Kettles Trail.  If you love to watch birds, you will be thrilled to see some soaring bald eagles here.  Of course there are other species of birds too, so be sure to bring along your binoculars.

At Oak Harbor, turn to the west where you can get to Joseph Whidbey State Park.  It is always fun to walk along the beach, look out over the Strait of Juan de Fuca and view the San Juan Islands.  In winter, the birds are migrating making this RV trip the perfect chance to watch plenty of birds flying overhead.

Your last stop on this Whidbey Island trip is Deception Pass State Park.  This park also provides a great opportunity to gaze at all kinds of birds who like to spend the winter here. Cranberry Lake is a fishing hole for visitors and locals alike.  Pull on those hiking boots and get out there and hike some of the trails in Deception Pass State Park.  The RV park here is open all year.

Yes, an RV trip on Whidbey Island can be quite the experience.  You ought to prepare yourself for a time filled with a lot of nature, many outdoor activities, and lovely scenery.  It is a trip you will remember for years to come!

El Monte RV

El Monte RV Rentals and Sales

For information on renting a motor home CLICK HERE!

Picture credits:  Photo of campground by Roseanna Dana is licensed under the Flickr Creative Commons Attribution license.  Thank you!

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Visit a National Preserve Park for a Great RV Vacation

An RV vacation to a unique national preserve site can provide a great getaway for the whole family.  And this one in Florida, is a perfect winter destination all by itself.  The preserve that we recommend you visit is the Big Cypress National Preserve.  An easy drive from Miami, this park has a great mix of climates that is comfortable any time of year.  This is the place to go for wildlife viewing, paddling fascinating waterways, and RV camping.  El Monte RV Rentals in Miami will provide the ideal RV for your trip!

View of the Big Cypress National Preseve in Florida

View of the Big Cypress National Preseve in Florida

In Big Cypress National Preserve you will find a couple of RV campgrounds which are open all year.  The Midway Campground is first-come, first-served and has twenty-six separate RV sites.  There is also a dump station.  This is a great place to make your home base while you explore the rest of the preserve.

Before you get completely settled in, you may want to take some of the scenic drives in the area.  There are plenty of pull-offs where you can stop and watch wildlife, as well as, take in some wonderful views.  Loop Road is 27 miles of forests with pines and dwarf cypress trees and, of course, numerous animals and birds.  The Turner River / Wagonwheel / Birdon Roads Loop is a favorite of birders as there are a wide variety of wading birds that come to feed along this route.

You are going to be experiencing Alligator Alley in real-time and must bring your camera in order to not miss a shot of one of the most popular sights in southern Florida – alligators! And, of course, hiking is always something that will get you out there, up close and personal with nature here at the preserve.  The Kirby Storter Boardwalk is a great path for those with young ones with them.  Short and sweet, this route will take you into the heart of the Big Cypress swamp.  You will find a whole network of hiking trails in the preserve so you can really see all the corners of this most fascinating swamp area.

One of the best trails in Big Cypress National Preserve is the section of the Florida National Scenic Trail that stretches across Florida.  Three parts of this trail are within the park’s boundaries.  There is the northern boundary to Interstate 75, then the section of Interstate 75 to Highway 41, and Highway 41 to the Loop Road.  The latter is best in the winter season as there is no flooding as there is during rainy season.

Canoeing Fun in Big Cypress National Preserve

Canoeing Fun in Big Cypress National Preserve

If the weather permits, you will be lucky because you can follow the canoeing trails and really experience the swamp as it should be experienced.  Newbies to paddling should take the Lefthand Turner River Trail.   More experienced paddlers can take more difficult paddling trails like the Turner River or the Halfway Creek Loop.  Right now is the paddling season.  It goes from November through March.

Yes, a winter vacation to Big Cypress National Preserve is a wonderful trip to take in an RV.  You will be happy to get out of the cold winds, blizzards, and freezing temperatures.  Book your RV rental today!

El Monte RV

El Monte RV Rentals and Sales

For information on renting an RV in Florida  – CLICK HERE or to rent a motor home outside of the state of Florida  – CLICK HERE.

Picture credits: Big Cypress National Preserve and Canoeing Fun are both by BigCypressNPS and are licensed under the Flickr Creative Commons Attribution license.  Thank you!

Posted in bird watching destinations, blog, Cost effective RV Vacation, educational trips, Family RV vacations, family trips, family vacations, Florida, Florida National Parks, florida rv vacation, florida vacation, March Vacation Ideas, Miami, Motor Home Camping, Motor home vacation blog, motor home winter vacations, Motorhome, Motorhome Camping, National Parks, National Scenic Byways, North American National Preserve vacation, Pet Friendly Vacation, RV, RV blog, RV Campgrounds, RV Campgrounds, RV Camping, RV destination, RV Destinations blog, RV educational trips, RV Rental, RV Rentals, RV Road Trip, RV Sales, RV trail hiking trips, RV Travel Tips, RV Vacation, RV Vacation Ideas, RV Vacation News, RV Vacations Southern States, RV Winter Vacations, United States RV Vacation, Vacation Adventures, Vacation Planning, weekend RV trips, wildlife, wildlife RV vacation, wildrife preserve vacation, Winter Fun, Year-Round RV Parks | Leave a comment