RV Travel for Thanksgiving-Three Reasons It’s a Win

Can’t quite convince the family that a long-distance trip for Thanksgiving will be fun? Making the trek to holiday festivities in the minivan is probably not on anyone’s list of favorite things. But what if you could ‘wow’ the whole clan with a comfortable home away from home to take you there? There are three reasons making holiday trips by RV is a win all the way around.

Win #1: No Hotels or Restaurant Meals Necessary

Let’s suppose you’re making the trip from your home in Boston to Grandma’s house in Denver. That’s just under two thousand miles, an average of twenty nine hours on the road. Sounds grueling in the average family vehicle, with squirming, crowded kiddos and stops to load and unload the gang at restaurants and hotels.

What if, instead, you could travel in RV comfort to campsites along the way in beautiful settings? When you’re done exploring your surroundings, you can cook a healthy family meal in your RV kitchen and sleep in comfort, away from the crowds. Sounds like a win, doesn’t it? 

Win #2: No Missed Flights and Long Lines at Airports

Except in the movies, most families don’t make it through airline travel unscathed over the holidays. Lost luggage, missed flights, long security check lines and trying to keep the kids amused through long flights and airport layovers. Not a stellar way to begin and end a holiday.

But if the kids could read, watch television and spread out in the comfort of a motorhome, wouldn’t that be a holiday tradition you’d like to start this year? With today’s motorhomes, equipped with seatbelts to keep the kids safe on the road, you can travel with confidence while the youngsters have enough room to avoid sibling squabbles. Win-win!

Win #3: RV Rental Specials Make Holiday Travel Affordable

Here’s the major win for holiday-traveling families—holiday RV rental specials help keep your travel budget intact. If you don’t own your own RV, be sure to check out these specials to save your family big money.

And that’s just the first part of the holiday savings win. Research year-round campgrounds along your route to learn which ones offer reduced rates over the holidays. You might just be pleasantly surprised to find that the cost of renting an RV, taking food along to cook at the campgrounds and camping in memorable settings could be much less than airline tickets or hotel rooms and restaurant meals. Win-win-win!

Traveling for the holidays doesn’t have to be a dreaded family tradition. Why not surprise your crew with an affordable, luxurious RV to make the trip? You may just find it’s the first of many family RV expeditions.

Posted in rv comfort, RV dining, RV Rental, RV Rentals, RV Road Trip, RV Vacation | 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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Take an RV Trip Through Napa Valley this Winter

The winter is mild in Napa Valley and there could be no better time to tour this fabulous wine country area.  You cannot imagine the beauty of this section of Northern California until you see it for yourself.  The picturesque landscape of rolling hills, vineyards, and quaint towns and villages is a perfect place to head in an RV for either a short trip or an extended vacation.

Napa Valley Region Welcome Sign

Napa Valley Region Welcome Sign

Besides some delightful wine tasting, you will want to see all the sights possible while you are here.  Make the best of your stay by camping at Napa Valley Expo RV Park.  Within close proximity to all Napa has to offer, this park has great amenities.  You can also use it as your home base as you visit Sacramento, Six Flags in Vallejo, Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco, or Infineon Raceway.

Hiking in this area is wonderful, and you’ll find plenty of opportunities for outdoor fun throughout Napa Valley.  For instance, hike among the pines in Bothe-Napa Valley State Park.  The coastal Redwoods also offer shade for some of the best hikes.  Quiet streams run through the woods and trails allow you to stroll peacefully as long as you desire.

Another popular stop is Robert Louis Stevenson State Park, named after the famous author of “Treasure Island.”  You can hike to the top of Mt.  St.  Helena and catch glimpses of the San Francisco Bay area and even Mt.  Shasta in the far distance.  This is a five-mile hike, but certainly well worth it.

Even in winter months, it’s fun to go horseback riding in Skyline Wilderness Park.  Study nature and hike along more than 16 miles of trails.  If you prefer, you can bike the trails through the oak woodlands.  It’s great to get outdoors and breathe that fresh, clean air and enjoy nature to the fullest.  Napa Valley is one perfect spot in which to do that!

Napa Valley Wine Train - All Aboard!

Napa Valley Wine Train – All Aboard!

Stop by the historic landmark of Bale Grist Mill State Historic Park where you can see how early settlers ground their wheat and corn into flour and meal.  There are milling demonstrations on most weekends that the whole family will enjoy.  Then from downtown Napa, take the Napa Valley Wine Train to enjoy a scenic ride with lunch or dinner.

Right in Napa Valley you can have an African safari experience at Safari West.  It is quite a treat to get close to so many wild animals.  In fact, this could very well be one of the highlights of the whole trip to Napa Valley.

Safari West's Giraffe with a Personality

Safari West’s Giraffe with a Personality

Before leaving to go back home, be sure to take one of the scenic drives around the area to drink in the real flavor of this famous wine country.  The Sonoma-Napa Valleys Scenic Drive brings you from Santa Rosa all around this historic valley.  Most of the highways in this area provide incredible views, including Silverado Trail and Highways 12 and 128.

Yes, Napa Valley is a wonderful change of pace for a pleasurable RV vacation in Northern California.  Enjoy a winter respite soaking up the sunshine, the wine, and all the  comforts of an El Monte RV!

El Monte RV

El Monte RV

To book an RV rental in CALIFORNIA – CLICK HERE  or to book an RV rental outside the state of California   CLICK HERE !

Picture credits: photo of Napa Valley Welcome Sign by Weinakademieerlin, photo of Napa Valley Wine Train by Bill Stanley, and photo of Safari West’s Giraffe by Donnaphoto are all licensed under the Flickr Creative Commons Attribution license.  Thank you for allowing us to share your photos!

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A Monterey RV Vacation is Perfect This Time of Year

An RV vacation to Monterey, California is great any time of year, but winter is really perfect.   Besides Monterey being a lovely and serene place, outdoor recreation is marvelous and nature shows its beautiful side.

Monterey Coastline, California

Monterey Coastline, California

You could say that Monterey and nearby Big Sur have picture-postcard beauty, and you would be spot on!  There are plenty of sights to see, so bring along your bike, your hiking boots, and your camera gear.  You have a wide choice in RV campgrounds so you can settle in and have a comfortable home base.

Anyone coming to Monterey needs to put the Monterey Bay Aquarium on their list to see.  It’s the pinnacle of attractions in the area to view fascinating marine life, such as a giant Pacific octopus, sea otters, and sea horses.   Ride in a submersible craft and sink down into the watery depths to view deep-sea creatures.   Catch the daily shows and learn about ocean life – facts you never before knew!

Cannery Row  -  Monterey, California

Cannery Row – Monterey, California

Whether or not you’ve ever read John Steinbeck, you will learn a lot of history by visiting Cannery Row.   In Steinbeck’s novel of the same name, he made this waterfront famous.   You will also want to visit the Old Fisherman’s Wharf and fit in whale watching.   You could also charter a fishing expedition.   Dine, shop, and browse —  there really is a lot to see!

Humpback Whale Monterey California

Humpback Whale Monterey California

Coming up a little later in January is the Whalefest Monterey which will be held on Old Fisherman’s Wharf.   Recently hundreds of dolphins, humpback whales, and orcas have come to  Monterey Bay to feast on anchovies.   Whale watchers are in seventh heaven with this special experience and  you will be too.  And, of course, there are many exhibits and educational opportunities during the Whalefest Monterey.   The kids will love attending, but the adults won’t want to miss a second either!

There are a wide variety of other things to do outdoors in the area.   You can hike the trails in Toro Park or Lake San Antonio.   Boating is also great at Lake San Antonio.   Biking trails are fun at Laguna Seca Recreation Area with miles of bike trails.   Take a wonderful drive in your RV on the 17 Mile Drive for expansive scenic views.

Naturally, you can’t miss Big Sur which is so close by.  Drive on this memorable coastal highway.   The views are thrilling, to say the least.  If you are lucky, you’ll spot a rare California condor with its wide wing span soaring over the crashing waves.   This section of coast is part of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary that stretches along the coast for 276 miles.

Sea Otter in Monterey, California

Sea Otter in Monterey, California

Sea otters live in this region and thrive.  They are able to find the 15 pounds  of food they need to survive each day.   In the 1930s sea otters had almost vanished, but from a small group of sea otters along the Big Sur coast they increased in numbers until they have reached more than 2,000 currently.

Learn more about the life along the Monterey and Big Sur coast.   Come and visit on your next RV vacation!

El Monte RV Official Logo

El Monte RV Official Logo

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

Picture credits: The photos (top) of Monterey Coastline and Cannery Row (middle) by Jimg944, the photo of  the humpback whale by Fred von Lohmann, and the photo of the Sea Otter by Tim Parkinson, were found on Flickr Commons. They are licensed under the  Explore/Creative Commons license.

Posted in Art Vacations, bird watching destinations, blog, CA, CA Fishing, CA RV Camping, CA RV Vacation, CA Vacation, CA Wine Country, California vacations, Coastal RV Vacation, educational trips, family trips, family vacations, Fishing, Fishing Vacation, January RV Vacations, Motor Home Camping, motor home winter vacations, Motorhome, Motorhome Camping, National Scenic Byways, Pet Friendly Vacation, RV, RV Beach Vacation, RV Campgrounds, RV Campgrounds, RV Camping, RV Camping Resources, RV coastal trip, RV destination, RV dining, RV educational trips, RV Rental, RV Rentals, RV Road Trip, RV Travel Tips, RV Vacation, RV Vacation Ideas, RV Vacation News, RV Winter Vacations, United States RV Vacation, Vacation Adventures, Vacation Planning, Whale watching Vacation, wildlife, wildlife RV vacation, wildrife preserve vacation, Winter Fun, Year-Round RV Parks | Leave a comment

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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