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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Prince Edward Island

Alright, RV travelers, the warm weather isn’t going to last much longer in the northern-most parts of Canada and the United States.  It’s time to head out on a trip to Prince Edward Island while the sun is still shining!

Confederation Bridge

Confederation Bridge

Many Americans know Prince Edward Island as the home of Anne Shirley in the beloved Anne of Green Gables series of books and films.  Similar to their fictional depiction, Prince Edward Island is full of farms and down-to-earth, hardworking people.  In addition to being one of the agricultural capitals of Canada, the island is also ringed with charming seaside villages that are well worth a stop for exploration.  This is the best time of year to visit the island, as the peak tourist crowds will be gone, but the weather will still be warm and bright.

Start your trip at the nearest El Monte RV rental location in Boston, Massachusetts.  Once you’ve picked out the rig you want to take on your vacation, you’re in for an awesome road trip through New Hampshire and Maine before crossing over into the Canadian province of New Brunswick.  From there, head on over to the Confederation Bridge and cross it to enter Central Prince Edward Island.

One of the best ways to travel the island is to make a large clockwise loop.  After entering the central portion of the island, you will make your way up the shore into Western Prince Edward Island to the village of Summerside and Spinnaker’s Landing.  This must-stop destination is designed as a small fishing village full of shops and authentic local restaurants.  Take a walk down the boardwalk and enjoy a boat ride or even a Segway tour of the area!  And the Visitor’s Destination Centre is conveniently located next door to Spinnaker’s Landing to help you get better acquainted with the area.

Prince Edward Island National Park

Prince Edward Island National Park

Continuing on around to the north shore of the island, visit Prince Edward Island National Park.  This is a great location for walking along protected sandy beaches and watching native wildlife like the Piping Plover.  If you love watching or photographing unspoiled wildlife and natural vistas, this is the place to go!  Taking a trip here is one that will forever remain as an all-time favorite!  Make time to put this on your travelling agenda for next year if time in running short this year.

Another great stop in Central Prince Edward Island is the Avonlea Village and the Anne of Green Gables Museum.  Lucy Maud Montgomery, the author of the Anne series, grew up here and based her worldwide bestseller on the area.  Watch as actors reenact the daily life of the characters as they go to school, have fun and even walk in the Avonlea Parade!  This vacation will make you a part of “real-life fiction,” if you will.   A unique adventure for the entire family!

When you’re ready to rest for the night, the Cymbria Campground is a wonderful RV park to camp your RV rental.  It has a fantastic view of the ocean, and your whole family will love the onsite heated pool, miniature golf course, and playground!

Continuing on into the small, seaside villages of Eastern Prince Edward Island, you should stop and sample the authentic seafood for which this area is famous.  The Clam Digger’s Beach House and Restaurant near Georgetown is a definite palate-pleasing choice for locally caught, fresh seafood of all kinds!

Summer is ending soon, but there is still time for some unforgettable trips while the warm weather lasts.  Head up to Prince Edward Island and discover one of the hidden jewels of Canada!

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:  Confederation Bridge by Dennis Jarvis and PEI National Park by David Wilson are licensed under Flickr Commons

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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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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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Stop in St. Augustine on your Florida RV Vacation

One of the oldest settlements in the U.S. is historic St. Augustine, Florida. The rich heritage here is worth some time spent devouring the sights and sounds, the fascinating ambiance and the landmarks. Of course the beaches are also a major attraction any time of year. And there is a lot more than just history to bring you here! Read on!

Flagler College St. Augustine College

Flagler College St. Augustine College

You will have a wide choice of RV parks so you can remain for a time to explore. One that comes highly recommended is the Stage Coach RV Park.

This park is close to all the places you have on your itinerary for St. Augustine. You’ll find full hookups and a relaxing atmosphere.

Check out Ponce de Leon’s Fountain of Youth while here. Get a tour and discover the area that Juan Ponce de Leon found in 1513. This area has such a rich history.  The Archaeological Park is an entertaining sight for the whole family. This is the spot where America began, settled years before Jamestown and even before the Pilgrims landed.

The oldest structure in St. Augustine is the Castillo de San Marcos National Monument. See some re-enactments of history as people dress in the costumes of days gone by and show you what life was really like in those early days. Be sure to allow at least one or two hours for your visit so you can see everything possible. Enjoy exhibits and walk through the fortress. There are also Ranger Programs where you can learn so much of the history connected with this most fascinating place.

Next comes the St. Augustine Lighthouse & Museum where you may wish to get some exercise and climb the steps to the top. Fabulous views can be enjoyed from the top of the lighthouse. Learn the story of this nation’s oldest port. This lighthouse is now in the spot where a Spanish watchtower once stood. The watchtower was the first lighthouse in Florida, protecting ships beginning in 1824.

The outdoors beckons at Anastasia State Park. There are so many activities here, such as hiking, walking self-guided nature trails or watching all the wildlife. The tidal marshes are home to a wide variety of life. Theses marshes are also a great place to paddle. RV camping is available, close to the beach and all the fun.

If you are a real history buff, you’ll love the Lightner Museum with the amazing collections of costumes, furnishings and more from the 19th century. See beautiful cut glass and some wonderful samples of Tiffany stained glass.

Naturally, you want to see an alligator farm and you can experience all the magic of this part of our animal kingdom at St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park. Not just alligators, but tropical birds, crocodiles and lemurs will be there. You can see it all from the tree tops if you opt to ride the zip line. See a show or two. The fun is truly never-ending.

If you’re interested in booking an RV trip in St. Augustine, FL, El Monte RV has an RV pick-up location in Orlando, FL.

Picture credits: The picture of a Flagler College in St. Augustine, FL is from the Wikimedia Commons. It is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.


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RV Trip to Find Lake Ontario Lighthouses

Whether you’re reading this post on a balmy Spring day or on a day best spent indoors, it’s time to start planning this year’s RV camping trips. May we make a suggestion for something out of the ordinary? Why not go in search of the many lighthouses that ring Lake Ontario, and enjoy some RV camping along the way?

Because we know we just lit a spark in the hearts of lighthouse fans, we’ve put together some facts about Lake Ontario lighthouses and the RV camping available nearby. Our Lake Ontario lighthouse travelogue follows the New York shoreline, traveling northeast from Fort Niagara.

Niagara Falls Area

Picture of the Charlotte-Genesee Lighthouse

Charlotte-Genesee Lighthouse

While visiting lighthouses near Niagara Falls, you’ll find convenient RV camping at Four Mile Creek State Park. Because this park is adjacent to Fort Niagara State Park, you’ll also be close to our first Lake Ontario lighthouse, part of Old Fort Niagara State Historic Site. Take time to enjoy this nicely-preserved fort, as well as the lighthouse that was decommissioned in 1975.

Just up the shoreline in Golden Hill State Park, be sure to visit the Thirty Mile Point Lighthouse, built in the 1870s. Traveling east on Lake Ontario State Parkway, you’ll also see Braddock Point Lighthouse, which is now a privately owned bed & breakfast.

Just down the road near Rochester, NY, picturesque Charlotte-Genesee Lighthouse is open for tours May to November. Camp at gorgeous Webster Park campground in Rochester, where you can hike, fish from the pier and enjoy stunning Lake Ontario views.

Rochester East to Cape Vincent
Continue east from Rochester along Hwy 104 to Sodus Bay, where two lighthouses stand guard. Tour Sodus Point Light, where you will also have a view of Sodus Outer Lighthouse, way out at the end of a pier.

From Sodus Bay, travel east to the H. Lee White Marine Museum in Oswego, NY for a fascinating trip into maritime history and a view of the Oswego West Pierhead Light. While in Oswego, take in a delightful sunset on the shores of Lake Ontario at Sunset RV Park.

Don’t leave the area without a trip to where the Salmon River meets the Lake at Selkirk. That’s where you’ll find Salmon River Lighthouse Marina, home to historic Selkirk Lighthouse.

Thousand Islands/St. Lawrence River Area
It’s a fast one hour trip along the lakeshore on NY-104 and NY-3E to where Lake Ontario meets the St. Lawrence River. Along the way, you’ll see signs that lighthouses man the shoreline at Horse Island, Galloo Island and East Charity Shoal on Henderson Bay, but they can only be viewed from the air or by boat. If you’re hoping for easier access to historic lighthouses, stop to view the small breakwater tower at Cape Vincent, as well as beautiful Tibbetts Point Lighthouse in the same town.

The Thousand Islands Area within the St. Lawrence River is home to our last group of Lake Ontario lights. The best way to see these lights is from one of the charter boat tours operating out of Alexandria Bay. Plan to see Rock Island Light, Sunken Rock Lighthouse, Sisters Island Lighthouse and Crossover Island Light. For a view of one more area lighthouse, travel upriver on NY-12 then NY-37 to Ogdensburg. A riverside park there gives views of the Ogdensburg Harbor Light. To help you make reservations for camping along the St. Lawrence, here’s a well-written guide to Thousand Islands area campgrounds.

Beginning to see the light about the joys of RV camping as you go in search of Lake Ontario lighthouses? It’s a fascinating way to spend your next motorhome camping trip, so don’t wait to start planning your Lake Ontario itinerary.

Photo credits: The picture of the Charlotte-Genesee Lighthouse is by Matthew D. Wilson from the Wikimedia Commons. It is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

Posted in Lighthouses, RV Vacation, RV Vacation Ideas | Tagged | 1 Comment

RV Road Trip to Lake Michigan Lighthouses Near Chicago

Without ever leaving the Chicago area, it’s possible to visit, photograph and learn more about four historic lighthouses. Your first order of business, before starting your road trip along the Lake Michigan shoreline, is to find comfortable RV camping. Staying in one of the many suburbs of Chicago is a great option; you’re outside the busy city but close enough to see all the attractions. Here are a few suggestions for RV camping within about an hour of the Chicago shoreline:

  1. Empress Casino/Hotel/RV Resort: Joliet, IL
  2. Jellystone Park/Resort Chicago: Millbrook, IL
  3. Chicago Northwest KOA – Union, IL

Chicagoland Lake Michigan Lighthouses
Now, to the Chicago area lighthouse itinerary – start by driving to Navy Pier in Chicago and getting a good look at the Chicago Harbor Light. On a clear day, you’ll be able to see it easily from the pier; you might also consider a cruise with one of the charter services that operates in the area.

Look south from the same pier and you’ll be able to see a good example of a “structural light,” the Chicago Harbor Southeast Guidewall Light. The still-functional light sits atop a metal structure on one of the breakwaters in Chicago Harbor. It is also visible either from the pier or by boat tour.

To experience picturesque Grosse Point Lighthouse, travel north from Chicago to the city of Evanston, IL. Near the campus of Northwestern University stands this tower built in 1873, as well as the keepers’ dwelling, in a beautifully-landscaped park operated by the city. Arrive for one of the summer-only tours and you’ll be challenged to climb the 141 steps to the top of the light!

One more Lake Michigan lighthouse on the western shore near Chicago can be found at the end of Government Pier in Waukegan, IL. According to Terry Pepper’s comprehensive Seeing the Light – Lighthouses of the Western Great Lakes, the original lighthouse installation included a keepers’ dwelling, but a fire in the 1960s destroyed much of the structure. What remains is a white iron tower topped with an acrylic lens, which can be reached by walking out onto the pier.

That covers the four lights found in Chicago Harbor and north to the Illinois/Wisconsin border. Immediately south across the Indiana border, you can easily visit a half dozen lights, from Calumet Lighthouse to the nicely-restored Old Michigan City Lighthouse, by adding just a couple more days to your Chicago-area RV trip. If you’re interested in ranging farther north, there are more than a dozen lighthouses along Lake Michigan’s western shore within Wisconsin’s borders.

You may soon start to see RV camping in Chicago in a whole new light, thanks to the abundance of lighthouses illuminating Lake Michigan. Use these tips to start planning your next RV camping vacation to Chicago; it just might be the beginning of a lifelong love affair with Lake Michigan’s historic lights.

Photo credits: The picture of the Chicago Harbor Light is by Richard C. Drew from the Wikimedia Commons. It is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

Posted in Illinois RV Camping, Illinois RV Vacation, Lighthouses | Tagged | 1 Comment

RV Vacation to Visit Lake Superior Lighthouses

Did you know that Lake Superior, largest of the five Great Lakes, is home to nearly three dozen lighthouses? That should be enough to get your RV out of storage and headed north to explore beauty and maritime history on an RV vacation to visit Lake Superior lighthouses!

Michigan Upper Peninsula Lighthouses
One of the most scenic spots on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula is also the place to see a well-restored lighthouse built in 1871. Point Iroquois Light near Brimley features the original lighthouse tower and a picturesque two-story keeper’s dwelling. Just west down the shoreline, you can visit the site where the legendary Edmund Fitzgerald was lost. Skeleton-style Whitefish Point Lighthouse stands tall above the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum housed in the keeper’s quarters.

An additional thirteen lights have kept the shores of the Upper Peninsula safe over the years. Of special interest are Crisp Point Lighthouse, Au Sable Light Station on Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, and Marquette Harbor Lighthouse, also home to an excellent maritime museum. When you need a rest from lighthouse viewing, Whitefish Hill RV Park near Rapid River comes well-recommended.

And we haven’t even mentioned the amazing collection of lights on Michigan’s Keweenaw Peninsula! Many of these are on private property or in the process of restoration, and are best seen from the water via local charters. Two you can tour on land are Eagle Harbor Lighthouse and the Jacobsville/Portage River Light.

The truly intrepid RV traveler can park the RV for a bit and take a five-hour cruise from Houghton or Copper Harbor to Michigan’s Isle Royale National Park. This rugged park, known for its backcountry hiking, boating and wildlife viewing, includes views of four historic lighthouses.

Wisconsin Lake Superior Lighthouses
Where the waters of Lake Superior wash against the Wisconsin shoreline, you’ll find a collection of lighthouses standing guard over Apostle Islands National Lakeshore. Nine great lights stand in varying degrees of operation, restoration or restored glory and some are open to guided tours. On shore, you can also see Ashland Breakwater Light standing out in Chequamegon Bay. An important RV camping tip: the City of Ashland offers very affordable RV camping at Kreher Park.

Minnesota Lake Superior Lighthouses
In the Duluth, Minnesota area on Superior Bay, six lighthouses are clearly visible. From Canal Park Drive in Duluth, you’ll be able to see Duluth South Breakwater Inner Light, Duluth North Inner Breakwater Light, Duluth South Breakwater Outer Lighthouse and the ruins of Minnesota Point Light on the grounds of Sky Harbor Airport. As if that weren’t enough for lighthouse lovers, a short drive north to Two Harbors yields view of two more historic lights – Two Harbors Breakwater Light and the picturesque red brick Two Harbors Lighthouse.

As you continue your lighthouse tour of Minnesota’s “North Shore,” plan time for a stay at Lamb’s Resort in Schroeder, MN, right on the shores of Lake Superior. That positions you perfectly for a visit to breathtakingly scenic Split Rock Lighthouse State Park. You can then venture a little farther north to visit Grand Marais Lighthouse before turning back for home.

Three states, three dozen lighthouses and many excellent RV camping adventures… it’s the perfect formula for some serious travel fever! An RV vacation to visit at least some of Lake Superior’s lighthouses should be on the agenda of every maritime-history-loving RV camper.

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RV Camping to California’s Bay Area Lighthouses

Fabulous San Francisco Bay is the focus of today’s RV camping exploration of America’s lighthouses. Numerous lights, both preserved and dismantled, line the rocky shores of this Bay surrounded by San Francisco, Oakland, Berkeley and a whole host of other scenic cities. We’d like to offer an itinerary for seeing three of the most famous lighthouses that guard San Francisco Bay.

Fort Point National Historic Site is a great place to begin your journey. Although the lighthouse here can’t be toured, you can visit the historic fort and see an excellent presentation on the three lights that have guarded this entrance to San Francisco Bay. Adjacent to the Golden Gate Bridge, this site yields one photo opportunity after another.

Alcatraz Island Light is another lighthouse nestled in the midst of history. The lighthouse on Alcatraz was the first light activated on the West Coast, and served to warn ships away from the Island for more than one hundred years. The light’s remaining cement tower can be viewed as part of the tours offered by Alcatraz Cruises, the only transportation to the Island.

In case we forget to mention it later, our El Monte RV Rental office  in Dublin, California offers pickup and drop off service to the Dublin Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) station, making it super simple to pick up your RV!

Before we move on to one more wonderful Bay Area lighthouse, let’s talk about RV camping in the area. Two RV resorts, in particular, get great reviews. San Francisco RV Resort in Pacifica is right on the water and centrally-located for your lighthouse tour. San Francisco Candlestick RV Park is situated in front of Candlestick Stadium, home of the 49ers. Talk to the hosts at either campground for ideas for enhancing your San Francisco motorhome vacation.

Don’t leave the Bay Area without seeing Yerba Buena Lighthouse, located on an island halfway across the Bay Bridge’s span. Although this beautifully preserved lighthouse, still operating as an automated light, isn’t accessible for tours, there are several ferry tours across the Bay that offer excellent views of this lighthouse.

Several more lighthouses dot the shores of San Francisco Bay, but many are modern “skeleton” lights set on historic settings. Try sampling the three listed above to get a sense of Bay Area maritime history. It just might inspire you to head up or down the California coast for yet another California lighthouse RV journey.

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RV Camping to America’s Gulf Coast Lighthouses

America’s Gulf Coast is rich in history, fascinating cultural traditions and scenic RV campgrounds. We can’t think of a nicer motorhome tour of the Gulf Coast Region than to visit its historic lighthouses. Allow us to shed some light on the great lights of America’s Gulf Coast.

Texas Lighthouses
Although many of the lighthouses along Texas’ Gulf Coast have been destroyed by hurricanes, RV travelers can still visit a handful with fascinating pasts. A perfect photo opportunity awaits the tourist who is willing to take a ferry trip across Galveston Bay from Galveston to Point Bolivar. Bolivar Point light is not open for public tours, but dramatic photos of this pre-Civil War era lighthouse can definitely be taken from the deck of the ferry.

Port Isabel Light

Port Isabel Light

Take a trip to the entrance of Queen Isabella Causeway in Port Isabel, Texas to tour Port Isabel Light. Sitting high on a bluff, this light looks across to Padre Island. Built in 1853, it is now part of Port Isabel Lighthouse State Historic Park.

While you’re there, plan to stay at Port Isabel Park Center, where you can fish from their private dock and enjoy a picture-perfect view of the lighthouse. By the way, this website by the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill has detailed information on Texas lighthouses.

Mississippi Lighthouses
Another great RV road trip lighthouse lovers should take is to Biloxi, Mississippi, where they’ll find a wonderfully restored lighthouse right in the median of a four-lane highway! Biloxi Lighthouse was completely refurbished following Hurricane Katrina and is even featured on a US postage stamp. Fox’s RV Park is close to the lighthouse, and all the attractions of this Gulf Coast city.

Florida Lighthouses
A number of lighthouses dot the shoreline of Florida, on both the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts. Pensacola Lighthouse is the perfect place to travel by RV with children, because they’ll love the history exhibits, moonlight tours and ghost hunts! Park your RV at Playa del Rio RV Resort and Yacht Club, then visit the lighthouse and come back to the white sand beach adjacent to this Pensacola campground.

Boca Grande Lighthouse

Boca Grande Lighthouse

Gasparilla Island State Park, on a barrier island off Florida’s Gulf shore, is home to Boca Grande Lighthouse. This unusual “lighthouse on stilts” has been completely restored by a local historical society and offers tours and events year-round.

One more fascinating Florida Gulf Coast lighthouse to visit is on Egmont Key, accessible only by private charter boat. Having been struck by lightning, pounded by hurricanes and fought over by Union and Confederate forces, this quiet monument now stands as a reminder of Florida’s early history.

Louisiana Lighthouses
Now on the grounds of the University of New Orleans, the Port Pontchartrain Lighthouse is closed for tours, but you can hike the shoreline and photograph to your heart’s content. On the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain, you’ll also find historic Tchefuncte River Lighthouse, best reached by lake excursion boat. Beautiful Tchefuncte RV Campground, on the banks of the river is right in the heart of New Orleans area attractions.

Feeling enlightened? It’s never too early to start planning your next Gulf Coast lighthouse RV trip. Go to El Monte RV Rentals to find the most convenient RV rentals location. It’s time to follow America’s great lights to the perfect RV camping vacation.

To find more lightouses check out this great resource: The Lighthouse Directory.

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