Lower Gulf Coast RV Getaway

Are you hoping to get away from ice, sleet and snow when you hit the road this winter? Florida’s Lower Gulf Coast offers fabulous weather, fascinating attractions and top-notch RV camping.

Ft. Meyers, Smuggler's Cove

Smuggler’s Cove

The southwestern coast of Florida centers on the sunny islands of Sanibel and Estero and the cities of Fort Myers and Naples. Whether you choose to add to your seashell collection, soak up the sun on a white sand beach or kayak down a tree-lined paddling trail, there’s a place to do it when you get here.

Ride along as we unveil the joys of RV camping on Florida’s Lower Gulf Coast!

Places to Enjoy

With more than a dozen amenity rich RV parks in the Fort Myers/Estero Island area, there’s no reason not to go right now. Find the park closest to your favorite attractions and call today for reservations.

Here are just a few of the reasons RV travelers love the laid-back beauty of the region:

    • Beaches: This sun-drenched region is a haven for beach-loving motorhome travelers. With calm seas and gentle slopes underwater, you can safely enjoy your time in the water. Just a few of the family-friendly beaches you’ll want to explore are Bowditch Point Park, Lovers Key State Park, Lynn Hall Memorial Park and Pier and Lighthouse Park Beach on nearby Sanibel Island.
    • Wildlife: Grab a kayak and paddle the Great Calusa Blueway to spot dolphins and manatees within an oar’s reach of your watercraft. Hike the trails at Estero Bay Preserve State Park for a full day of bird watching in an unspoiled setting. If you have the time, make the jump to Sanibel Island’s J.N. ‘Ding’ Darling National Wildlife Refuge. That’s where thousands of migratory birds arrive each winter, to make their home with the resident shorebirds. And did we mention the alligators?
    • Golf: Did you know that one of the biggest draws to Florida’s southwestern coast is the availability of excellent golfing? Thrill your golf playing campers with world-class opportunities to play. Here’s a useful link to golf courses in the region—reserve your tee times before you go and don’t forget the sunscreen!
    • History: Like to visit historic sites? Then Florida’s Lower Gulf Coast is your perfect winter vacation spot, with attractions like Henry Ford and Thomas Edison’s winter homes in Fort Myers, Sanibel Island Lighthouse and Estero’s Koreshan State Historic Site that includes the remnants of a 19th century utopian compound. From early Native American burial mounds to a museum of railroad history, you’ll find your history fix in the Fort Myers area.
    • Shopping: If someone in your RV camping family likes to shop, they’ll have to pace themselves, because there are literally too many outlet malls and upscale shopping districts to count. Top recommendations are legendary Miromar Outlets, the scenic Coconut Point mall in Estero and Fort Myer’s exciting River District.                        

Ready to roll your RV toward fascinating southwest Florida? We’re ready to help with RV rentals and information on local attractions. Don’t wait—experience Florida’s Lower Gulf Coast this year.

 Monty the MotorhomePhoto credit:  Smuggler’s Cove, Ft. Meyer’s by Jason Helle, licensed under Flickr Creative Commons

Posted in East Coast RV Travel, Family RV vacations, Florida, florida rv vacation, florida vacation, RV Camping Resources, RV coastal trip, RV destination, RV Destinations blog, RV Rental, RV Rentals, RV Sales, RV Vacation, RV Vacation Ideas, RV Vacations Southern States, RV Winter Vacations, United States RV Vacation, USA travel, Vacation Adventures, Vacation Planning | Leave a comment

Plan Now for RV Camping at the Florida Folk Festival

Smart camping fans know that November is the perfect time to start planning for early summer RV camping excursions. The Florida Folk Festival, held Memorial Day Weekend each year at the Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center State Park in White Springs, Florida, is one place you’ll want to plan to attend in 2015.

Why go? We thought you’d never ask!

Here are five exciting reasons to plan your RV camping trip to the 2015 Florida Folk Festival.

Reason #1: The Music!

The folks who put on this three day festival promise the best the Sunshine State has to offer in a wide range of musical traditions. Come listen, dance and sing along as these artists play in concerts, workshops and jam sessions. They provide the perfect backdrop for a festival that celebrates the cultures that keep Florida fascinating. With hundreds of performances over the weekend, you’re sure to hear just what you came for.

Reason #2: The Folk Culture Experience!

If your RV camping crew enjoys hands-on cultural experiences, this is definitely the place to go. In the finest folk culture tradition, the Florida Folk Festival offers an amazing array of food, craft and artistic workshops, demonstrations and exhibits that showcase the diverse peoples of Florida.

Unplug the kids from their screens and challenge them to learn how to make something with their own hands. Enjoy talented storytellers spinning tales that will entertain everyone in the family. Forget what you thought you knew about Florida and be surprised by the cultural influences that have played a part in the state’s history.

Plan to immerse yourselves in all the Festival has to offer and go home enriched by the experience!

Reason #3: Abundant RV Camping Nearby

One of our favorite reasons to attend this annual festival is the abundance of friendly RV campgrounds close by. Whether you plan to stay right there in White Springs or a little farther out, you’ll love the small town hospitality that’s offered. Here’s a well-written guide to camping close to the Florida Folk Festival (just click the Accommodations link for complete details.) Be sure to make your reservations early!

Reason #4: Plenty to Do Before You Head Home

First time visitors to Florida’s Suwannee River Valley will be thrilled to discover all the area has to offer. Crisscrossed with rivers and natural springs, the Valley offers some of the best tubing, paddling and scuba diving venues in Florida.

Spots like Ginnie Springs on the Santa Fe River, Ichetucknee Springs State Park in Fort White and Wes Skiles Peacock Springs State Park offer water-loving visitors the chance to explore the blue-green, spring-fed, pristine waters of north Florida.

Like your RV adventures a little less on the wild side? Be sure to visit the Valley’s many antiques stores, battlefields and historic sites in lovely spots like Lake City and High Springs. We’ve also heard rave reviews about the area’s bird and wildlife watching opportunities.

Reason #5: Affordable, Family Friendly Event

At $50 per adult weekend pass (purchase tickets in advance here) and free or reduced fees for the youngsters, the Florida Folk Festival is a real bargain! Combined with the benefits and affordability of RV travel, you won’t find a more budget-friendly way to spend Memorial Day Weekend in north Florida.  Florida Folk Festival

We’ve given you just five of the many reasons to plan an RV camping trip to next year’s Florida Folk Festival. You’ll find your own reasons to return once you’ve attended!

Don’t forget, you don’t have to own an RV to camp near the festival in motorhome luxury. We’re happy to help you reserve the perfect RV for your festival weekend in Florida. White Springs is just two and a half hours north of Orlando, so give us a call when you’re ready to reserve your RV.

Picture credits: The photo of Florida Folk Festival was found on Flickr Commons. It is licensed under the Explore/Creative Commons license.

Posted in Florida, florida rv vacation, florida vacation, Music Festivals | 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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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

Visiting Jacksonville on a Florida RV Adventure

A winter vacation in Jacksonville, Florida can put new meaning into “vacation.”  The Florida coast offers a marvelous combination of seaside beauty and southern hospitality.  With so many sights to see and so much to do, the whole family will be busy constantly, with very little downtime (unless some is desired, of course).  Florida has some wonderful weather, too!  Jacksonville has lovely beaches and plenty of historical and scenic spots.

Boy at Seaside Playing with Seagulls in Jacksonville, Florida

Boy at Seaside Playing with Seagulls in Jacksonville, Florida

You can easily pick up an RV rental at El Monte RV Rentals and Sales in Orlando and head up to Jacksonville for your vacation.  You’ll discover some great RV campgrounds with lots of amenities, such as the Flamingo Lake RV Resort or the Fleetwood RV Park.  Either is conveniently located to give you easy access to enjoy all the sights and touristy things there are to do in Jacksonville.

One of the first stops in the city will be the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens, a thrill for those of any age.  Animal exhibits are always fun to tour, and the animals love your company!  It’s an experience you won’t want to miss.  Another popular place to visit is the Veterans Memorial Wall  on East Adams Street.  This is a memorial honoring all veterans from all branches of the service.

Flamingos in Jacksonville Zoo, Florida

Flamingos in Jacksonville Zoo, Florida

If you want to enjoy a little outdoor recreation, you can drive a bit north of the city to the Timucuan Ecological & Historic Preserve.  Here is your chance to see coastal wetlands and the animal life that makes their home here.  As you wander the dunes and absorb the seaside ambiance, you’ll realize how relaxing it is to breathe that wonderful sea air.  Stop at the Visitor Center so you can get well-informed about how to make the most of your visit to this preserve.

On one part of the preserve is the Kingsley Plantation, a place where you will discover some fascinating history.  There is no admission fee and you can explore the plantation and imagine you were there in an historic time lapse.  You’ll learn even more history of the time period of the slaves if you take the ranger program.

Museums provide a unique kind of education.  The arts should always be admired and studied, and the Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens will certainly engage your artistic sensibilities.  The gardens are a wonderful place to enjoy some solitude amid its natural beauty along the banks of the river.  You must also make your way over to the Museum of Science and History to learn even more about this amazing state of Florida.  More art is available to view at the Museum Of Contemporary Art Jacksonville.

If you can bear leaving Jacksonville even temporarily, you will have to head south to St. Augustine.  This will be a bonus to your trip to Jacksonville.  Stop and see Ponce de Leon’s Fountain of Youth and the St. Augustine Light.

Premier El Monte RV Rental Motor Home 2014  Model

Premier El Monte RV Rental Motor Home 2014 Model

You will certainly love this opportunity to explore some of the Florida coast and see the sights that Jacksonville offers.  It will be one motor home vacation that will go down in your books as one of the best!

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

El Monte RV

El Monte RV

Picture credits: photo of boy with seagulls by V2112 and the flamingos by Rob Bixby are licensed under the Flickr Creative Commons Attribution license.

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Planning an RV Vacation so All Goes Smoothly

You want your RV vacation to be the best that it can be for everyone.  After all, a vacation is supposed to relieve all the stress built up from living day-to-day in your workaday world.  But if you are not fully prepared, you will be adding stress to your vacation days.  Let’s see how we can prepare you for your RV vacation and have a worry-free getaway.

Florida Keys, Florida USA

Florida Keys,

First, you need to know your destination and how you’ll get there.  You will find El Monte RV Rentals all over the United States where you can obtain the ideal motor home for your trip.  We offer free “RV Camping Itineraries” that provide  mapped-out courses and destinations for your convenience.

You can either “fly-drive” to your destination or pick up your motor home locally and enjoy the drive and adventures along the way that only RV travel can offer!  Don’t forget that in many cases you can take advantage of our free airport shuttle service in major airport cities.  Check our website for availability.

Here’s a possible RV Travel Itinerary:  you can rent an RV from El Monte RV Rentals in Orlando, find a nice camping spot, visit some Orlando sights, and then head to the Keys for more fun.  On the way to the Florida Keys there are plenty of sights to see and you’ll want to allow time to stop and enjoy them all.  You may want to refer to previous postings on our Monty’s Musings blog to learn about many exciting destinations to visit in Florida in your RV.

From Orlando, you could head east to Fox Lake Sanctuary, then south on Interstate 95 to the Florida Keys and beautiful Key Largo.  For a winter vacation, you really can’t beat the Keys.  You will meet creative types who spend their time making unique art, beachcomber types who relax all day along the sandy beaches, and swim with the dolphins.  Use Google and maps on the Internet to plan your route and everything you want to see on the way.

If you don’t want to bring your pets along, you can contact a pet-sitter or the kennel in advance to ensure they have an opening for your time away.  But if you prefer keeping Fido with you, it’s good to know that El Monte RV is a “Pet-Friendly” company and supports taking the family pets along!  Also remember to check out the weather forecast for that area for the time you will be there.  It is surprising how accurate these weather forecasts can be.  You will then know what to pack, or even if you should put off your vacation for a few days to miss a storm.

You will want to prepare your smartphone and laptop for the trip.  Download some apps to make your vacation more exciting.  You can find apps online and pick the ones you’ll use the most.  Perhaps you’ll choose the one which forecasts weather down to the hour or perhaps the one which identifies animal tracks.  There are many to choose from.

Now begin to pack for your trip.  First make a detailed list of every item you want to bring and as you pack them, mark them off.  This way you’ll forget nothing.  Remember, when packing clothes, roll them instead of folding.  This prevents wrinkles.  There’s lots of storage in motor homes, so taking “it all with you” is usually not a problem!

When you prepare and plan out your trip, you will find everything less stressful and more enjoyable.  Have a great RV vacation!

El Monte RV Official Logo

El Monte RV Official Logo

For information on renting an RV in or near Orlando, Florida – CLICK HERE or if you need to rent a motor home outside the state of Florida,  -CLICK HERE

Picture credits: The photo of Florida Keys was found on Flickr Commons. It is licensed under the Explore/Creative Commons license.

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Travel to Orlando for a Wide Array of Things to Do

There are many fun things to do around Orlando.  Taking an RV motorhome and using it as the home base for your Orlando vacation is probably the best way to spend your getaway time in Central Florida.  Once you settle down in a comfortable RV campground, you can begin your adventures.  Retiring to your RV campground in the evening enhances your vacation experience.  Your family takes in all the city-life attractions by day and soaks in the outdoor camping experience by night.  Kids love to camp!  It’s a win-win vacation!   Here are just a few attractions you will love.

  • Sea World Orlando – This is a great attraction for family members of all ages.  Just at Sea World alone there is a long list of things to do.  Get a behind-the-scenes tour to learn about what goes on in the background every day at Sea World.  Then there are the up-close tours of dolphins, penguins, and sea lions.  Visit Shamu’s Happy Harbor®.  Try one of the paddle boats for a tour of the beautiful lake.  Be sure to see Dolphin Cove with the interactive dolphin pool.  Shark Encounter® is one of the most popular Sea World exhibits.

    Sea World - Orlando, Florida

    Sea World – Orlando, Florida

  • Universal Studios – It is really time to cut loose and experience some adventures in Orlando.  This is what Universal Studios Orlando offers – adventures!  This is a real working studio and film production facility that is unlike any other.  You will get on rides that will take your breath away, become a part of a major movie, and even enjoy some special dining options.  Shopping is great here too!
  • Universal’s Islands of Adventure – If you thought Universal Studios was exciting, wait until you see Universal’s Islands of Adventure!  The rides are more thrilling than you could ever imagine, and the most popular shows are on every day.  Some of the most
    Universal Islands of Adventure - Orlando, Florida

    Universal Islands of Adventure – Orlando, Florida

    popular adventures here are the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and Marvel Super Hero Island.  Ever wish you could see the dinosaurs of Jurassic Park up close and personal?  Now is your chance!

 

  • Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park  Encounter many exotic animals as you explore six different lands, including Discovery Island and DinoLand.  The animals number more than 1,700 and you can visit every single one if you wish. This is Disney’s Animal Kingdom and you will love it!

    Disney's Animal Kingdom - Orlando, Florida

    Disney’s Animal Kingdom – Orlando, Florida

  • Magic Kingdom Park – is another place for the family to come when visiting Orlando.  You will see fireworks, enjoy music parades, and get to shoot photos of you right beside one of the beloved Disney characters.  Visit Fantasyland and ride the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad!  This will be remembered as one of the best times of your life!  Walk Main Street and experience all the happiness that this spot provides.  Let the kids thrill to the Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin.  Magic Kingdom is just that – magic!
  • Epcot – More attractions at Epcot for the family.  Here you will share in the cultures of eleven different countries.  Entertainment is big here too, and all ages will find something to love.  Epcot’s visitor rating ranks as the third most visited theme park in the United States, and the sixth most visited theme park in the world; it fascinates both adult and child alike!

In between all the exciting activities, you will have a place to retire and relax before the next adventure – your RV.  Save money by fixing your own meals, collecting easy recipes before you leave for your time in Orlando.

This can be a vacation of a lifetime.  With so much to do and see, Orlando provides a destination that everyone must see at least once in their lifetime.

For information on renting an RV in or near Orlando, FLorida – CLICK HERE or if you need to rent a motor home outside of the state of Florida,  - CLICK HERE

Picture credits: The photo of Sea World Orlando (top) by Ricymar, the Island’s of Adventure photo by Avrene, and the photo of Disney’s Animal Kingdom by Kellyv are from Flickr Commons. It is licensed under the Explore/Creative Commons Attribution license.

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The Best Way to Visit Orlando – in an RV

Everyone loves an Orlando vacation, no matter their age.  The number of attractions in the area is enough to keep an entire family busy for well over a month!

Disney World, Orlando, Florida

Disney World, Orlando, Florida

Yes, Orlando, Florida, is a wonderful vacation destination.  And even better – an RV vacation!    Rent an RV at the Orlando El Monte RV location to experience the convenience that comes with  having an RV vacation.  It can end up costing a lot less, too!  We are only 20 minutes from Walt Disney World.  And for those in the market to purchase a well-maintained motor home, our Orlando RV location has a nice selection from which to choose as well!   RV rentals and sales has been our business for over 40 years!

So once you have your RV, the opportunities just expand for your Orlando vacation.  When visiting Walt Disney World (probably THE most popular attraction in the Orlando region), you will discover the best place to camp is Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort.  You can hike the surrounding trails, go horseback riding, or do some beachcombing.  You are close enough to Walt Disney World that you can easily access all the fun!  Even if you have been here before, it is always a unique and memorable experience.

Disney World's Fort Wilderness Campground, Orlando, Florida

Disney World’s Fort Wilderness Campground, Orlando, Florida

You won’t want to miss the sea animals at SeaWorld either.  The shows are fascinating with whales and dolphins and many other sea creatures, all being extraordinarily entertaining.  If you have a video camera, you will want to ensure the battery is charged because there are a lot of things to film.  Once you have your fill of Sea World (if that is even possible), visiting Universal Studios Orlando should be next on your list.  This is where you will get the flavor of the world of movies.  You make your way behind the scenes to discover what it is like to make cinema thrillers.

By the way, you will find a number of great RV campgrounds where you can stay for different segments of your vacation.  There is the Lake Whipporwill KOA with full hookups that also offers  a pool and hot tub.  Two others include the Tropical Palms Resort and Campground and the Orange Blossom KOA.  You can RV-camp in your top choice the entire vacation or move around as the mood strikes.

El Monte RV Orlando, Florida, Location

El Monte RV Orlando, Florida, Location

If you have kids along, you’ll want to add Legoland Florida to your itinerary.  The rides are a huge thrill for the younger set and the older set too!  Adults and children from all over love the Orlando Museum of Art, enjoying the beautiful array of inspiring artworks.  The Bok Tower Gardens gives you the chance to see lovely gardens and a fascinating mansion, the Pinewood Estate.

Of course, there are even more things to do around Orlando.  Don’t forget to stop in and see Ripley’s Believe It Or Not where you will be enthralled with the various facts and stories that are VERY hard to believe until you see them with your own eyes.  And no trip to Florida is complete without seeing the alligators at Gatorland.

Gatorland near Orlando, Florida

Gatorland near Orlando, Florida

Enjoy the attractions and retire to your RV rental to reflect on the day’s adventures.  This is one RV vacation that can’t be beat – Orlando with its many attractions.  You will discover just how easy and inexpensive this type of getaway can be!

For information on renting an RV in or near Orlando, FLorida – CLICK HERE or if you need to rent a motor home outside of the state of Florida,  - CLICK HERE.

Picture credits: The photo of Disney World (top) was taken by Jeffrey Zeldman, the photo of Disney’s Fort Wilderness Campground by Darren Wittker, and the photo of Gatorland by “makelessnoise” were found on Flickr Commons.  They are all licensed under the Explore/Creative Commons Attribution license.  Monty would like to extend his appreciation for the license to use these pictures to promote RV traveling and vacationing in Florida.  Thank you!

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An RV Vacation to Miami for the Complete Dining Experience

If you have ever dreamed of the ultimate culinary dining experience, now is your chance to make that dream come true.  You can hit the road and head for Miami on an RV vacation to enjoy the rewards of eating some of the best-tasting food in the country!   Miami, Florida, is a culinary paradise with many ethnic food offerings from all over the world — from Peruvian to Cuban and beyond.

Dining in South Beach, Miami

Dining in South Beach, Miami

In no particular order, let’s look at some of the best places to eat in Miami.  Once you get settled in a lovely RV camping spot, you can start your eating adventure.  If you love Italian food, your first choice should be Casa Tua in South Beach.   Order some delicious stone crab or try the lamb chop.  You won’t be disappointed!

For some incredible Mexican delights, try the fare at Los Tres Amigos.  They have some take-out too.  You might like the Mexican herbs used on the tripe and beef dishes.  Order Pollo a la Parrilla, which is simply grilled chicken with rice and beans.

If your appetite is demanding Greek dishes, Mykonos on Coral Way is the perfect destination.  Those who eat the Chicken Gyro Platter rave about how delicious it is.  The Vegetarian Mousaka is the ideal dish to order to avoid meat for this meal.

Now let’s do a dinner over at El Meson del Paraiso, a completely unique experience in Peruvian food.  Their seafood is “to-die-for” and they offer some lucuma ice cream to top off the meal.  Don’t expect very fancy dining, but expect great food and a satisfied appetite.

Some go wild for Indonesian cuisine — but, whether you go wild or are simply ready to try a bit of this original taste, Indomania is the place to go.  The menu is translated for easy ordering.  The traditional meals and the special treats are enough to make you want to come back again before leaving town.

The Akashi Japanese Restaurant and Sushi Bar is not just known for its excellent food but is also respected for its amazing artistic presentations.  Order salmon, yellowtail, or shrimp or go for the sushi boat or a tempura dish.  The lighting sets the mood; the food brings it all together for a tantalizingly memorable dining experience.

Visit and dine in Coconut Grove at Le Bouchon du Grove.  This is French cuisine in a warm Franco atmosphere.  You’ll think you are in France as you savor the French onion soup.

The next meal will need to be in Little Havana.  Eating Cuban food can mean more than just a meal; it can also mean making some local Cuban friends.  You will love the authentic menu at Versailles.  Everyone loves the plantains and the double fried tostones, as well as the Cuban bread.

Naturally, you may prefer traditional fare and should head to Brickell for dining at Tobacco Road.  You see, in Miami, no matter what your preferred dining pleasure is, you can find any food choice you want to satisfy the most discerning of appetites!  Choose restaurants with live music or quiet nooks to relax and enjoy a meal.  Come back often on an RV vacation to savor Miami’s array of cuisine.

For information on booking an RV Trip in or near Miami, FLORIDA,  –CLICK HERE or if you need to rent a motor home outside of the state of Florida, CLICK HERE.

Picture credits: The photo of South Beach, Miami, was taken by Phillip Pessar on Flickr Commons.  It is licensed under the Explore/Creative Commons Attribution license.

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Travel from Sarasota, Florida, to the Everglades this Winter

Florida beckons to take the chill out of winter with its mild weather, gorgeous beaches, and great attractions.  It is the perfect time to take an RV winter vacation and get away from the hustle and bustle of the daily grind.  Getting out on the open road offers a needed break, an adventure that clears the mind and boosts inspiration.  The west coast of Florida is a good place to start your getaway.

Sarasota, Florida

Sarasota, Florida

While in Sarasota, Florida, there are many things to do, so you should consider spending some time here.  If you have children with you, you will most definitely want to stop and see the Children’s Garden & Art Center.  Both boys and girls have a wonderful time playing here.  There is a fairy garden where the little ladies can engage in make-believe and a tree fort for the young men to let their imagination run wild.

Both kids and adults love the Crowley Museum and Nature Center because you learn all about the early settlers in Florida, and there is nothing quite like getting that taste of history to make your trip all the more interesting.  Prior to continuing down the coast, also visit the Big Cat Habitat and Gulf Coast Sanctuary.  It is wonderful to see the lions, tigers, and other animals that were rescued and can now live happy lives.

The weather in Florida during the winter months can vary greatly; but more often than not, you’ll find very mild weather conducive to a visit to the beach.  At Fort Meyers there are some wonderful beaches, and you can also enjoy plenty of shopping and fine dining.  Marvel at the amazing sunsets over a glass of wine.  You will find more shopping at Cape Coral, just a hop, skip, and a jump away.

Two more places to stop before you reach the Everglades – the Matlacha Pass National Wildlife Refuge with a wide array of wildlife, sea life, and birds and Collier-Seminole State Park with one of the largest mangrove swamps anywhere.  But be prepared for the Everglades, as there is no other park that matches the wonders of this one!

Everglades National Park gives you the opportunity to enjoy so much of nature.  You will, perhaps, glimpse a Florida panther.  You might come face-to-face with a gentle manatee or see an American crocodile in action.  You can learn more about the park and what to look for by stopping by the Ernest F. Coe Visitor Center Gallery.

Of all recreational activities available in Everglades National Park, hiking is one of the favorites. There are numerous hiking trails where you can traverse the unique landscapes.  If you love birding, the Bear Lake Trail is the one to take; and if you want to see mangroves and open coastal prairie, take the Christian Point Trail.

You will find this Florida winter RV vacation to be fabulously relaxing.  It is going to be one that will stay in memory as one of your favorites!

For information on booking an RV Trip near Sarasota, Florida, – CLICK HERE or if you need to rent a motor home outside of the state of Florida, CLICK HERE.

Picture credits: The picture of Sarasota, Florida, is from Flicker Commons by Jim Brickett.  It is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution license.

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