RV Camping—Where Will 2015 Take YOU?

Are next year’s RV camping hopes already dancing in your head? The ease and comfort of camping in a motorhome may be lighting up vacation dreams for you and your family. So we’d like to know—where will 2015 take YOU and your family RV camping? saguaro national park, az

Will you go somewhere new this year or continue a camping tradition? Is there somewhere on your ‘bucket list’ that’s calling you to come explore? Please share your plans in the comments section below and, in the meantime, we’ll share some favorite RV camping spots from previous years.

Favorite Lakeside Camping Locations

There’s nothing quite like camping near a sky blue lake to breeze away everyday stresses. Here are some of the top picks among RV travelers for lakeside camping vacations:

Grand Haven State Park (Michigan): Located on a scenic beach between Lake Michigan and the Grand River, this state park’s beachside RV campground gets top marks. Walk the beach at sunset for spectacular views of the lighthouse and Grand Haven Pier.

Island Pond, Vermont: Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom, just south of the Canadian border, is home to breathtaking mountain views, charming rural villages and RV camping next to crystal clear ‘ponds’. Island Pond is a favorite for trout fisherman, wildlife photographers and hikers.

Land between the Lakes National Recreation Area-Kentucky/Tennessee: Imagine two huge lakes divided by a one-hundred-seventy-thousand acre peninsula filled with trails, campgrounds and historic sites and you’ve got Land Between the Lakes. Fish, boat and explore both Kentucky Lake and Barkley Lake and then take to the trails and scenic drives for first-rate 2015 RV camping.

Favorite Mountaintop Camping Experiences

Klamath River, California

Klamath River, California

High Sierra CampingCalifornia: Motorhome campers have found the campgrounds near the Oregon border in California’s High Sierras to be among their favorites. As you’re planning your 2015 RV camping itinerary, consider a stay on the banks of the Klamath River at Blue Heron RV Park, where you can kayak, hike, or fish for steelhead released from the nearby hatchery.

Ridgway State Park-Colorado: If you haven’t experienced the magnificent San Juan Mountains of southern Colorado, a trip to this state park near Ouray is in order. A mountain reservoir adds even more recreation possibilities to a stunning setting surrounded by some of the tallest mountains in America.

Favorite National Park RV Camping Spots

RV camping in America’s national parks is one of the best reasons to hit the road next year. Here are three top-ranked national park camping possibilities.

Gulf Islands National Seashore, Florida/Mississippi: Taking a motorhome vacation with kids in 2015? The barrier islands near Pensacola hold enough adventure to keep them busy all summer! Historic forts, quiet bayous, perfect, white sand beaches and a wide variety of outdoor recreation makes this a top pick among motorhome campers.

Redwood National and State Parks, California: The North Coast has drawn California RV campers for decades. Visitors will find not only the giant coast redwoods that give these five interconnected parks their name, they’ll also have the chance to experience wild, rocky beaches and meadows filled with wildlife. Likely to become a family favorite!

Gulf Island National Seashore

Gulf Island National Seashore

Hudson Valley National Heritage Area, New York: Hoping to plan an extended RV camping vacation in New York? The unforgettable Hudson River Valley has everything you’re looking for—hiking, biking and paddling trails, excellent fishing, scenic drives, quaint villages and lots of local history. Use this site to find the best motorhome camping in the Hudson Valley National Heritage Area.

Ready to start planning? We’re excited to hear where you’re going camping in 2015, and we’re always ready to help with an RV rental. Get in touch today, and don’t forget to add your ideas in the Comments!

 

Photo Credits: Klamath River – ((brian)) flickr commons; Gulf Island National Seashore – faungg’s photo flickr commons

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What to Pack When You’re RV Camping

Are you planning for your first-ever RV camping trip and aren’t sure what to pack?  No worries! We’ve created an RV packing checklist to help ensure your motorhome camping premier is a success.

Get Away as Far as the Road will Take You in an El Monte RV!

Get Away as Far as the Road will Take You in an El Monte RV!

Here’s how to get started:

    1. If you haven’t called to rent an RV for the trip, do that now for best selection.
    2. Buy storage containers with lids in several sizes (check your local thrift store for bargains on both containers and basic camp supplies.)
    3. Pack these basics inside and stow them in your RV for quick access when you set up camp.  You’re going to love the convenience and economy of cooking meals in your RV kitchen.  Plan your menu first, with an eye to using the same pots, pans and serving dishes to save space.  There are plenty of excellent RV cookbooks to help you plan.  Here’s a basic packing list for your RV kitchen:

Essential RV Camping Supplies – Kitchen Essentials

  • We’ve divided the things you’ll need to pack into several categories, to make your planning simpler.  The list may seem overwhelming at first glance, but once you’ve checked off the list for your first trip, you’ll be ready every time you go camping!
  • Dutch oven with lid
  • Skillet with lid
  • Smaller sauce pan with lid
  • Microwaveable bowls
  • Spatulas and spoons
  • Basic dish set – plates, bowls, cups, glasses, eating utensils
  • Serving dishes
  • Camp percolator or teapot, coffee, tea and filters
  • Water Pitcher
  • Small cutting board
  • Pot holders and dish towels
  • Dishpan, dish soap and scrubbers
  • Food storage supplies – foil, sealable plastic bags, containers, plastic wrap
  • Small utensils – potato peeler, measuring cups/spoons, corkscrew, paring and chopping knives, can and bottle openers
  • Food items from your menu (don’t forget the spices!)

Essential RV Camping Supplies – Cleaning

  • Keeping your motorhome clean throughout the trip means a safe, enjoyable vacation, so be sure to pack these basic supplies. Use a plastic trash container with a lid to stow these essentials.
  • All purpose cleaner
  • Toilet brush
  • Sponges
  • Disinfectant spray ( make sure RV is well-ventilated or it may set off the carbon alarm.)
  • Dual purpose mop/sweeper & pads
  • Trash bags
  • Plastic trash containers – large & small
  • * NOTE that many RV rental companies such as El Monte RV offer housekeeping and kitchen kits that provide some of the aforementioned items for an additional fee.  Check website for exact details.  This makes sense for many RV renters who wish to save time.  (Please note:  these are not available at all locations.)

Essential RV Camping Supplies – Safety/First Aid

  • Basic first aid kit –
    • adhesive bandages
    • antiseptic wipes
    • tweezers
    • antibiotic ointment
    • insect repellant
    • sunscreen
    • aloe skin lotion
    • saline eye drops
    • gauze pads and white tape
    • daily and emergency medications
    • pain reliever
  • Battery-powered radio
  • Flashlights
  • Small kitchen fire extinguisher

Essential RV Camping Supplies – Miscellaneous

  • These are the things you’ll wish you’d packed!
  • Duct tape
  • Small tool kit with screwdrivers, hammer, wrenches
  • Jumper cables
  • Bungee cords with hooks
  • Extra batteries
  • Cellphone chargers
  • Lanterns – battery or gas
  • Power strip
  • Lawn chairs (bagged, collapsible ones pack best)
  • Doormat
  • Sun glasses
  • small ice chest for keeping drinks close at hand while outside.
  • firewood and matches – if you’ll being enjoying campsite camping as well.

Essential RV Camping Supplies – Comfort

  • Bedding – sheets, pillowcases, comforters, pillows
  • Small electric or battery powered fan
  • Toilet paper & tissues  that are designed for septic tanks.  It will prevent clogging issues!
  • Wash cloths & towels
  • Hand sanitizer & liquid hand soap.
  • DVDs for the DVD player.  It’s nice to remember that the kids enjoy watching movies while travelling on the road.

Once you’ve gathered and packed the items above, all that’s left is clothing and toiletries and you’re ready to hit the road. Remember – you can buy many of these things (and the storage containers) at second-hand stores.  If you purchase separate kitchen, cleaning and safety items for camping, you can store them in their labeled containers between trips for a quick grab & go vacation and they will work double-duty as Emergency KIts as well.  You really are setting yourself up for a great camping experience as well as  being prepared for an unexpected emergency!   You can get a jumpstart on all of this prep work way in advance of your trip and enjoy the peace of mind that you’re prepared to handle just about any situation on the road or at home.  Camping in RV comfort takes planning, but the ease of living on the road in a motorhome makes the preparation worthwhile!  What’s your #1 essential item you pack for every RV vacation?

El Monte RV

El Monte RV Rentals and Sales

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

Photo credit:  photo is an El Monte RV stock photo.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

El Monte RV

El Monte RV Rentals and Sales

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

 

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Harvest Hosts Upgrades the Way RVers Travel in the U.S.

As much as we all love RV vacationing, there are certain challenges that come with this method of travel.  For instance, where to spend the evening on the road when traveling far distances from one location to the next is a common challenge for every RV traveler!  Many RV vacationers may not be aware of their choices in overcoming this challenge of finding a convenient and beautiful place to stay the night while in transition from one destination to the next.  Even if there are amazing sites and attractions nearby, spending night after night in Wal-Mart parking lots can become less than desirable.  And during the peak vacation season, finding an available campsite is not always possible.  Discover another and far better over-night camping option you now have with Harvest Hosts!

HARVEST HOSTS Winery Participant in Nottingham, New York

HARVEST HOSTS Winery Partner

Harvest Hosts is changing all of that.  Harvest Hosts is a program where wineries, farms, and breweries from all over the country open their gates to you for overnight dry camping.  Seasoned RV travelers Kim and Don Greene started this luxury-style camping concept in the U.S. after driving over 200,000 miles by RV all over the world.  They found that it was common for wineries and farms in Europe to host travelers overnight, but nothing similar existed in the United States. In true entrepreneurial spirit, they started their own version of a European hosting association.

From their small and localized upstart with locations only in California, Oregon, and Washington, Harvest Hosts has expanded to include numerous locations across the continental United States, Canada, and even Baja California in Mexico!  The program requires a nominal $40 membership fee for the entire year, giving you money-saving access to travel across North America without paying a cent for camping or parking!

Taste and Experience the Pleasure of RV Road Traveler!

Taste and Experience the Pleasure of the RV Road Traveler!

In return, these small (usually family-run) businesses simply ask that you purchase a bottle of wine or some of their other homemade goods.  Sampling local vintages and farm produce is already on the to-do list for most RV vacationers, so it’s a small price to pay for the great company and amazing locations available.  Free overnight parking added into the activities that you were already planning on is too good to pass up!  There’s really nothing like watching a sunset and sharing a glass of wine with the people that made it.

Once becoming a member, you can search through interactive maps that show available hosts and the amenities that they provide.  It’s a good idea to call ahead to make sure that the farm or winery you have in mind actually has space for you, though.  Many of the hosts are small-time operations that may not accommodate a large number of vehicles at one time.  That’s part of the charm, however.  Instead of an endless sea of RVs, you get the experience of potentially being your host’s only guest!  There’s nothing like waking up to a beautiful morning and being greeted only by the sound of the wind in the trees and farm animals starting their day.

Another benefit to being a member is access to a handy app that helps you find locations along the routes you are planning to take.  You can also use online forums where you may ask questions of other travelers, read up on host reviews, and even share your own vacation experiences and photos.  It’s a valuable tool for selecting the very best spots for your trip.

Overall, Harvest Hosts is providing a valuable service for small-town agricultural businesses and the RV vacationers that love to visit them.  Get out of the parking lots and start making beautiful memories and having the best RV trips of your life!

Once you’ve experienced this pleasurable and memorable RV experience, send us a few photos and we’ll happily share them with our readers and on El Monte RV’s facebook page!

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: RV at Winery by Ray & Roxanne Nottingham courtesy of Harvest Hosts and the wine and food photo by Colleen Lane is licensed under Flickr commons.

Posted in blog, CA Vacation, CA Wine Country, Cost effective RV Vacation, Cross Country Trip, Family RV vacations, Green RV'ing, Motor home vacation blog, National Scenic Byways, North American RV Vacation, One-Way RV Rentals, Rural RVing, RV blog, RV Camping, RV Camping Resources, RV Destinations blog, RV Rentals, RV Road Trip, RV Sales, RV Summer Vacations, RV travel in the western states, RV Travel Tips, RV vacation dining, RV Vacation Ideas, RV vacations in the northwestern United States, Special Offer, United States RV Vacation, USA travel, Vacation Adventures, Vacation Planning, weekend RV trips, Wine Country RV Vacations | Leave a comment

From Seattle’s Sound to the Mountains

Most trips to Washington focus on Seattle and that certainly makes sense.  Seattle is the jewel of the Northwest, a fantastic city full of great food, delicious coffee, and one of the best professional football teams in the country!  What some people are not aware of, however, is that you will find some of the most beautiful wilderness in the country surrounding Seattle.  If you’re looking for a combination of city fun and outdoor adventure, consider a memorable RV trip that takes you from Seattle’s Puget Sound all the way up to the Cascade Range mountains!

After you pick up your RV in Seattle, your first stop is a short drive down Interstate 5 to the Wild Waves Water Park.  Wild Waves is the only outdoor water park in the Pacific Northwest, and it’s an awesome first-stop for the whole family as summer starts and the temperature begins to rise.  The park features tons of creative water slides and several roller coasters, so there’s something fun for everyone.   Even better, the lines are shorter than anything you’d find at more famous water parks in California or Florida.  Click on the link above to see this amazing water park that will  have your kids thanking you for years to come!  It really captures the “Wow-factor” for adults and kids alike!

Snowqualmie Falls, Washington

Snoqualmie Falls, Washington

Next, head up Highway 18 to the town of Snoqualmie and take in the glory of Snoqualmie Falls.  You can watch the cascade from a viewing deck near the bottom if you wish, but we highly recommend taking a hike to the top of the 270 foot falls to enjoy the view.  With the weather warming up, make sure to dip your toes in the water!  On your way out, you can also pick up a package of the all-natural Snoqualmie Falls pancake mix.  It’ll make for a great breakfast on the next day of your trip after camping at the Snoqualmie River RV park.  It’s a good local choice for when you’re ready to turn in for the night.

Less than two hours to the south, you can find yourself at the foot of Mount Rainier.  This 14,410 foot peak is surrounded by a gorgeous national park.  The mountain and its park are home to over fifty species of mammals and 120 species of birds, so bring your camera for you’ll have ample opportunity for wildlife viewing.  Mount Rainier is also an active volcano and has twenty-five glacier.   You will also be able to explore geological features that are rarely found so close to a major metropolitan city.

The Bavarian Village in Leavenworth

The Bavarian Village in Leavenworth

For a last stop in the mountains of Washington, head for the world-famous town of Leavenworth.  This small town completely remodeled itself in the early 1960’s to create the image of a Bavarian village.  Every shop, hotel, and building front now presents the famous wood beam architecture that evokes the German Alps.  While you would have to wait till the winter to take in the local ski slopes, you can still enjoy a full springtime schedule of live music, art walks, and simply exploring a countryside that is covered in wildflowers.

Washington is full of wonders, and it’s worth your time to get out of the city to find them.  Whether it’s shooting down a water slide or hiking through the mountains, the best way to enjoy it is in an RV.  Pick one up today and let your adventure begin!

 

El Monte RV

El Monte RV Rentals and Sales

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

Picture Credits: Snoqualmie Falls by Allen Sheffield and the Barvarian Village by Todd Petit are licensed under Flickr Creative Commons

Posted in Art Vacations, bird watching destinations, Bird watching vacation, blog, City Fun and Outdoor Adventure RV Vacation, Coastal RV Vacation, Cost effective RV Vacation, Family RV vacations, family trips, honeymoon vacation ideas, Motor home vacation blog, Motorhome Camping, Nature travel, Nature/Sightseeing vacation, Pet Friendly Vacation, RV blog, RV Campgrounds, RV coastal trip, RV destination, RV Destinations blog, RV Rentals, RV Road Trip, RV Sales, RV Theme Park Vacations, RV trail hiking trips, RV travel in the western states, RV Vacation Ideas, RV vacations in the northwestern United States, United States RV Vacation, Washington vacation, wildlife RV vacation | Leave a comment

Through Utah’s Arches and Canyons on an RV Expedition

You haven’t seen true natural beauty until you’ve seen the arches and canyons of the American Southwest!  Years of erosion from wind and water have shaped the terrain of Utah into soft, flowing valleys and towering spires of rock.  Utah’s arches and canyons should be on your “must visit” vacation list, and you’ll need several days to take in every amazing sight.  In order to do this vacation right, pick up an El Monte RV in Salt Lake City or get an RV rental from a location closer to your home from one of the other numerous El Monte RV rental locations found throughout the U.S. and then get ready for the expedition of a lifetime!

Amazing Delicate Arch in Arches National Park, Utah

Amazing Delicate Arch in Arches National Park, Utah

Your first destination should be Dead Horse Point State Park.  Despite its name, the park is anything but dead!  The most famous feature of the park is the view from the top of a 2,000 foot prominence above a “gooseneck curve” in the Colorado River.  Over the millennia, the river has carved its way deep into the rock of the park, leaving layer after layer of fantastic, multi-colored rock.  The sight of the river’s slow and steady meandering journey through the landscape will take your breath away.

A short drive away you’ll find Arches National Park.  The name may be simple, but there’s a reason this is a world-famous destination for lovers of the great outdoors.  You have to see the natural arches to believe them.  The graceful arcs of stone look like they shouldn’t be able to stand on their own.  The longest, Landscape Arch, is an incredible 306 feet long!  After you’ve finished snapping pictures, take some time to sit back and simply enjoy the view!

If you’re ready to find an even more hands-on approach towards examining the arches, check out the Moab Adventure Center to sign up for some rock climbing and canyoneering.  At the Adventure Center, expert guides will help you suit up and scramble over hundreds of feet of red rock.  You can even rappel down into chasms or off a giant arch!

After getting up close and personal, the next best way to see the parks is from up high.  The best way to do that is by way of a hot air balloon!  Canyonlands Ballooning will take your group up, up and away over Moab, Utah, and all of the incredible surrounding countryside.  The expansive view of the landscape can’t really be comprehended until you take it all in slowly from the sky.

Incredible Capture of the Double Arches and MIlky Way, Arches National Park, Utah

Incredible Capture of the Double Arches and MIlky Way, Arches National Park, Utah

Another view you can’t get anywhere else isn’t just from the sky – it’s of the sky itself.  Far from bright city lights, take your RV out at night to meet up with Redrock Astronomy.  After arriving at a designated “dark sky site,” Redrock Astronomy will regale you with tales of how early Native Americans understood the universe and their relation to the stars.  You’ll get to examine those stars through a high-powered telescope and see them with a level of clarity that’s impossible to attain near towns and cities.

The arches and canyons of Utah are like a whole different world.  Pick up an El Monte RV motor home today and you can head out on an expedition you’ll remember for your entire life!   Remember to plan ahead and reserve your camp site inside the Arches National Park HERE!   For information on locating other RV campground locations CLICK HERE.

El Monte RV

El Monte RV Rentals and Sales

For information on renting a motor home CLICK HERE!

Picture Credits: Panoramic Arches National Park by Bruno Monginoux and Double Arches under Milky Way by John Fowler, both licensed under Flickr Creative Commons

Posted in Arches National Park, Balloon Festivals, blog, Family RV vacations, family trips, family vacations, honeymoon vacation ideas, Motor Home Camping, Motor home vacation blog, Motorhome, Motorhome Camping, National Parks, National Scenic Byways, Native American History, Nature travel, Nature/Sightseeing vacation, North American National Preserve vacation, Pet Friendly Vacation, RV blog, RV Camping, RV destination, RV Destinations blog, RV educational trips, RV Rental, RV Rentals, RV Road Trip, RV Sales, RV travel in the western states, RV Travel Tips, RV Vacation, RV Vacation Ideas, RV Vacation News, RV vacations in the northwestern United States, Salt Lake City Vacation, United States RV Vacation, UT Color Country, UT RV Vacation, Vacation Adventures, Vacation Planning, weekend RV trips | Leave a comment

The Perfect Time for an RV Trip to San Diego

There is an early spring everywhere it seems and San Diego is no exception.  It is the ideal time to head to southern California and the coastal city of San Diego for a little getaway.  The ocean is a brilliant blue, the sky mirrors the depth of color with added highlights of soft white clouds, and the sun is shining overhead spreading its health-invigorating affects all around.  Traveling in an RV to experience this early spring weather is a grand choice as you will have a wonderful place to relax while on the road and in between adventures.

San Diego

San Diego Seaside

When coming to San Diego in an RV, there are many RV campgrounds from which to choose.  You should take your time to pick your favorite before leaving home.  You might like La Pacifica RV Resort or Campland on the Bay.  Perhaps Santa Fe Park RV Resort or Paradise by the Sea RV Resort would be your top choice.  Whichever you pick, you’ll discover great amenities and easy access to all San Diego sights.

Perhaps the first thing you’d like to do is get out into nature and enjoy the great fishing and hiking that this area has to offer.  At Lake Cuyamaca the crappie and sturgeon are biting.  When you visit Lake Morena you can fish between hiking adventures.  Catch some bluegill and native trout at Lake Jennings.

There are always wonderful things to do and see at Balboa Park.   This is where you’ll find San Diego Zoo and the animals that are waiting just for you to stop by.  The lions, giraffes, tigers, and monkeys are such fun to see.  Hike the trails, bring your pets out to play, and tour the gardens in Balboa Park.  This is the best spot to spend an entire weekend.

Sea World in San Diego, California

Sea World in San Diego, California

Of course, you realize that Sea World is nearby!  This is one attraction you simply can’t miss when in San Diego.  Besides the fascinating marine life and fun shows, like Blue Horizon, there are plenty of great rides – different kinds for different members of the family.  Explorer’s Reef is a new exhibit and you’ll want to be one of the first to see it.

Now it’s time to take it easy, get out of the sun, and visit some of the area museums.  The first one to see is the Museum of Contemporary Art.  No matter the age of your family members, everyone can enjoy this museum.  For the younger ones, include a stop at the New Children’s Museum.

With so many museums around San Diego, you can pretty much choose the ones that are a fit for your interests.  There is the San Diego Model Railroad Museum for model railroad lovers, the San Diego Air & Space Museum for air and space lovers and, naturally, the San Diego Museum of Art for art lovers.  Once you have taken in these museums, perhaps, it is time to get outdoors again.  Why not at the beach?

Before you end your visit to San Diego, be sure to get to the beach for some relaxing fun.  One of the favorites is Ocean Beach with options to play volleyball or to take a hike in the area.  Yes, a trip to San Diego in an RV offers all sorts of interesting activities for the whole family.  Don’t miss it this spring!

El Monte RV

El Monte RV Rentals and Sales

For information on renting a motorhome CLICK HERE!

Picture credits:  San Diego Seaside by Truyen Nguyen is licensed under the Flickr Creative Commons Attribution license  and Sea World by svabo (http://creativecommons.org/licenses)via Wikimedia Commons Thank you!

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An RV Trip to Whidbey Island in Washington

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

Camping and Picnic Area near Keystone Ferry in Washington

Camping and Picnic Area near Keystone Ferry in Washington

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

El Monte RV

El Monte RV Rentals and Sales

For information on renting a motor home CLICK HERE!

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

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An RV Trip to Death Valley

An ideal winter vacation is to head for Death Valley in an RV.  You avoid the crowds and find incredibly hot weather.  You can enjoy the desert landscape with the natural phenomena you’ll only discover in these desolate spots here on our great planet Earth.  Explore and explore some more.  There is nothing quite like Death Valley for a unique experience!

Death Valley is a Winter-time Wonder to Warm Up the Body

Death Valley is a Winter-time Wonder to Warm Up the Body

Don’t forget to carefully pack for your adventure.  You’ll want to ensure you bring the following items:

• Sunscreen

• Sunblock

• Sunglasses

• Wide brimmed hat

• T-shirts, tank tops, shorts

• Light jacket or sweater

• Hiking boots

Get to Death Valley National Park by starting out in Olancha, California and driving to the Death Valley Junction.  It should take around three hours for this section of the trip depending on how many stops you make along the way.  This is a huge park with more than 3 million acres with plentiful wildlife. There are numerous RV campgrounds in the area which will give you a comfortable and convenient home base from which to operate.

Don’t miss Darwin Falls in the Panamint Springs area and stop to see ten kilns which were built in the late 1800s to help in the processing  of silver and lead ore.  These are called the Wildrose Charcoal Kilns.  All while you venture into these desert landscapes you will be making fascinating memories to share with those back home.

There are three other areas of Death Valley National Park, each with their own unique attractions.  The next one to see is the Furnace Creek area.  This area has a number to things to do and places to see, such as the scenic drive called Artist’s Drive, hiking in the Golden Canyon, and a terrific overlook at Dante’s view.  You’ll also want to learn of the history of Borax in the valley at the Borax Museum. Another famous view is available at Zabriskie Point.

When you make time to see the Stovepipe Wells area you will discover some amazing sights. See the Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes at night with the moon shining down for a very eerie view.  Marvel at the shiny marble walls of beautiful Mosaic Canyon.  Enjoy a stroll along the wood boardwalk when you go to Salt Creek.

Head on over to the Scotty’s Castle area where you can explore a Spanish-style mansion at Scotty’s Castle & Visitor Center.  Also be sure to visit the highest and most colorful dunes in California, the Eureka Dunes.  You may have heard about the mysterious sliding rocks.  This occurs at the Racetrack, and you’ll want to stop here and see if you can be the one who solves this mystery.

Natural Bridge in Death Valley

Natural Bridge in Death Valley

Remember, hiking in this area can be quite rigorous, but winter is probably the best time as the weather is cooperative.  Some trails to take while here are the Natural Bridge Canyon, the Desolation Canyon and Gower Gulch Loop.  One great trail is the Golden Canyon Interpretive Trail, an easy two-mile hike.

The desert is always a fascinating place, and you can enjoy the best of it in Death Valley.  Make your trip the best of all in an RV and stay awhile!

El Monte RV

El Monte RV Rentals and Sales

Picture credits:  Death Valley with suntanning feet by Brainsik and Natural Bridge by Mike Baird are licensed under the Flickr Creative Commons Attribution license.  Thank you!

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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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