Nine State Park Campgrounds to Kickstart RV Camping Season

What plans have you made for camping on Memorial Day Weekend and beyond? With the beauty of America’s state parks just waiting to be enjoyed, there’s no time like the present to find your favorites in the comfort of a motorhome or travel trailer.

If you need some help deciding where to go first, why not use our list below of nine state park campgrounds that RV campers love to visit? Then build your own list and be sure to let us know in the comments section where you plan to go RV camping this season.

Nine State Park Campgrounds for RV Camping

  1. Salt Point State Park – California

“Camping by the rocky Pacific shore, just off iconic Highway 1 north of San Francisco”. Doesn’t that sound like a splendid way to kick off camping season? With coastal trails, an underwater park for divers and coves just waiting to show you the best views of the summer, there’s no reason not to add Salt Point State Park to your camping itinerary.

  1. Pocahontas State Park – Virginia

Fishing, paddling and more bring RV camping families to this state park near Chesterfield, VA. Besides the many miles of hiking, mountain biking and multi-use trails, you’ll find an Aquatic Center for swimming with the kids, Beaver Lake where you can rent canoes, kayaks and paddleboats and Swift Creek Lake, where the largemouth bass can be legendary. It’s just three hours north of Roanoke, VA and easy to access from Richmond and Norfolk, too, so why not make this park a goal for this summer?

  1. Grayton Beach State Park – Florida

Sugar sand beach, a scenic coastal dune lake and a pleasant RV campground—that’s what you’ll find at Grayton Beach State Park on Florida’s Gulf Coast. Not only can you play on the beach and hike the trails through coastal forest and dunes, you’ll also enjoy Western Lake, a prime spot for paddling and fishing.

  1. Golden Gate Canyon State Park – Colorado

Why not kick off the summer camping season by picking up your Denver RV rental and then heading west (and a little north) just thirty miles to Golden Gate Canyon State Park? Your camping party will find twelve-thousand-acres of rocky, tree-lined trails, be surprised by clear mountain lakes and, in the midst of all that, enjoy modern, convenient RV campsites.

  1. Elk Neck State Park – Maryland

About an hour and a half northeast of Baltimore, jutting out into Chesapeake Bay, is a wonderful place where hiking, lighthouse viewing, swimming and RV camping are just the beginning of the adventure. Elk Neck State Park, on the peninsula between Chesapeake and the Elk River, offers a whole vacation full of interesting things to do. Bonus: Nature photographers are going to love the trails, the seaside cliffs and the wealth of wildlife this gorgeous state park promises.

  1. Mills Norrie State Park – New York

What if you could pick up your RV rental near New York City and then drive north a couple of hours to a wooded paradise on the Hudson River? Would that help you jump into summer RV camping season? Then a visit to Mills Norrie State Park is in order! Wooded, no-hookups campsites with views of the river, trails through forests and to state historic sites, a legendary public golf course, a river marina and an on-site environmental center round out the perfect spot for a summer vacation on the Hudson.

  1. Clear Lake State Park – California

Just a couple of hours northwest of Sacramento is the chance to camp on the shores of California’s largest freshwater lake. Clear Lake State Park is a bass angler’s dream that also promises shaded campsites, hiking and interpretive trails and a visitor’s center. Bring the boat and plan to stay awhile!

  1. Shabbona Lake State Park – Illinois

Drive an hour straight west from our Glen Ellyn El Monte RV Rentals location and you’ll find Shabbona Lake, the “Muskie Capitol of Illinois”. Besides great fishing, your crew can rent kayaks and discover the lake’s scenic shoreline, hike the woodland trails and enjoy the amenities at the state park’s well-managed campground.

  1. Palisade State Park – Utah

A place to play for everyone—that’s the best way to describe the playground two hours south of Salt Lake City. Palisade State Park, home to Palisade Reservoir (great trout fishing here!), is also home to a public golf course, an expansive campground, miles of hiking trails and OHV trails in a high desert canyon. What could be better for kicking off summer camping season?

These are just nine of the places people like to play when they go state park RV camping in America. Let us know where you like to go, and as always, let us know if we can help with an RV rental.

Posted in State Park RV Camping, State Parks | 1 Comment

Oregon’s Honeyman State Park-Four Tips for RV Camping Fun

School may be starting, but there’s still plenty of time for a weekend of R&R on the Central Oregon Coast. Load up the family and go RV camping to Jessie M. Honeyman Memorial State Park. This coastal wonderland offers dozens of ways to relax and enjoy the weekend. We’ve narrowed it down to four top tips for making the most of your Honeyman State Park RV camping vacation.

Reserve an Awesome Campsite

With the second largest camping area in Oregon, Honeyman State Park has plenty of options when it comes to scenic campsites. Close to the park’s famous dunes, Lakes Cleawox and Woahink and plenty of hiking trails, the campground becomes the center your Oregon RV camping weekend.  Book one of more than three hundred campsites before you come, to make sure you have the services you prefer.

Jump, Boat or Fish in a Lake

Not only will your campsite be a quick drive to the beach, you’ll also be just down the road from two breathtaking, tree-lined lakes. Cleawox Lake is a highly-praised swimming spot, with tall, Pacific Ocean dunes on one side and a forest of pines on the other. It’s a great place to paddle the shoreline in a kayak and watch for wildlife, as well.

Woahink Lake is also within Honeyman State Park’s boundaries, and offers a different experience for Oregon RV travelers. Much larger than Cleawox, Woahink is the perfect spot to enjoy a day on jet skis or behind a ski boat. Fishing here for largemouth bass and yellow perch is also popular among anglers, so don’t forget your gear!

Hike the Dunes!

Did we mention the presence of two-mile-wide sand dunes that lead to the Pacific while providing a backdrop for Lake Cleawox?

Many park visitors spend a day or two learning the joys of dune hiking, or for more adventurous souls, sandboarding, up and down these windswept formations. Either way, the views are awesome, so you’ll be glad you reached the summit. Don’t own sandboards? Look for local outfitters in nearby Florence, OR who’ll be happy to supply what you need.   shutterstock_57728056_Oregon_coast

Take an OHV Adventure

One of the main reasons people come to the Central Oregon Coast is to embark on an off-highway vehicle (OHV) adventure at Honeyman’s dunes and adjacent Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area. With miles of dunes designated for OHV use, you’re sure to find an area suited to your level of riding skill.

Just off Highway 101 and filled with possibilities, Honeyman State Park is ready to help your family relax and rejuvenate before school is back in full swing! Take time right now to book your campsite, pack your RV or set up an RV rental and get ready to unwind at Oregon’s Jessie M. Honeyman Memorial State Park.

Posted in OR RV Vacation, RV Vacation, State Park RV Camping, State Parks | 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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Winter RV Camping in Natural North Florida

What if you had the chance to travel by RV in Florida this winter, away from the crowded theme parks and beaches?  Here’s the scoop on Natural North Florida, a perfect winter RV camping getaway.

Orlando. Florida, El Monte RV Location

Orlando. Florida, El Monte RV Rental and Sales Location

Plan to pick up your RV rental at the El Monte RV location in Orlando and drive north to Gainesville on I-75.  Head west toward the Gulf and you’ll find three North Florida counties filled with rivers, trails, and the towns that have offered hospitality since long before South Florida exploded.   When looking for campgrounds to stay at while on the road, you’ll find a good selection from which to choose listed at this link: Campgrounds in Northern Florida.

There’s a winter RV camping activity for absolutely everyone to enjoy in Natural North Florida! Here’s a sampling:

Natural North Florida’s Rivers and Coastline   

Five scenic rivers roll to the Gulf in this wild and natural section of North Central Florida. Whether you plan to paddle a canoe or kayak, you’re going to find a trail to follow. A regional favorite is the Suwannee River Wilderness Trail, 170 miles from White Springs, FL to Suwannee on the Gulf.

Here’s a link to more information about Natural North Florida’s water trails. While you’re exploring this area’s rivers, don’t miss the fishing opportunities! Fish the Steinhatchee, Santa Fe, Withlacoochee and Ichetucknee Rivers for unforgettable scenery and angling adventures.

Florida Gulf Coast Setting Sun

Florida Gulf Coast Setting Sun

Florida RV travelers can also explore dozens of hiking and biking trails along swamps, coastal wetlands and riverside habitats. And did we mention the Gulf Coast? Whether it’s conquering the Big Bend Saltwater Paddling Trail by kayak or watching for dozens of bird species in spots like Cedar Key, this Coast still boasts uncrowded, peaceful shores to savor.

Natural North Florida’s Laid Back Beauty

Winter visitors to beautiful North Central Florida have learned to love the towns and villages that seem to defy time. Towns like High Springs, Old Town, and Trenton offer RV campers plenty of charm, without the crowds.

Be sure to enjoy the area’s many natural springs as you wander from town to town! Clear, blue water bubbles up to offer winter campers the chance to take a refreshing dip in unspoiled Florida beauty.

And save time to visit the region’s extraordinary wilderness areas. Prime spots to be immersed in natural wonder are Cedar Keys National Wildlife Refuge on the Gulf, Lower Suwannee National Wildlife Refuge and numerous locations along the Great Florida Birding and Wildlife Trail.

The most difficult part of planning your trip will be deciding what to save for next time! With magnificent Gulf Coast scenery, inland freshwater rivers and delightfully unspoiled rural Florida towns to capture your interest, you’ll wonder why it took so long to try winter RV camping in Natural North Florida.

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:  The Florida Gulf Coast sunset is licensed under Wikimedia Commons and the RV photo is an El Monte RV customer 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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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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Visiting Jacksonville on a Florida RV Adventure

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

Boy at Seaside Playing with Seagulls in Jacksonville, Florida

Boy at Seaside Playing with Seagulls in Jacksonville, Florida

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

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

Flamingos in Jacksonville Zoo, Florida

Flamingos in Jacksonville Zoo, Florida

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

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

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

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

Premier El Monte RV Rental Motor Home 2014  Model

Premier El Monte RV Rental Motor Home 2014 Model

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

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

El Monte RV

El Monte RV

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

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Planning an RV Vacation so All Goes Smoothly

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

Florida Keys, Florida USA

Florida Keys,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

El Monte RV Official Logo

El Monte RV Official Logo

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

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

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Travel from Sarasota, Florida, to the Everglades this Winter

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

Sarasota, Florida

Sarasota, Florida

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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An RV Fishing Vacation to Austin, Texas

The weather in Texas is so mild this time of year that an RV fishing vacation is in order!  There is nothing quite as enjoyable as getting away from it all for a little fishing, and the Austin area is perfect for such an adventure.  La Hacienda RV Park can be your home base while you explore all the fishing opportunities around Austin.  Get your fishing license from a retailer or online and then get started on a great vacation.

Lady Bird Lake, Austin, Texas

Lady Bird Lake, Austin, Texas

First stop is Lake Austin.  Huge bass are the attraction at this body of water, with its weed beds along the shore where they quietly hide.  You might catch one that weighs around eight or ten pounds!  Now that would be an exciting “first catch” of your trip!  Besides bass, you may hook some flathead or blue catfish, some bluegill or redbreast.

Now when you arrive at Walter E. Long Reservoir, you can have a picnic outdoors as long as the weather cooperates.  You will enjoy pulling in largemouth or striped bass, sunfish or a beautiful catfish.  For the channel catfish, use stinkbait and for sunfish you can use meal worms or crickets.

Another spot fishermen love is Lake Kyle, offering a wonderful place to catch perch, catfish, and bass.  There is a play area for kids too.  So if your little ones are with you and get tired of fishing, they can play while you carry on fishing for that trophy catch.

Although it gets a bit cooler at night, the night fishing at Lady Bird Lake provides an opportunity to hook largemouth bass, catfish, carp, and sunfish.  Access is particularly great along the banks, especially at Festival Beach.

Driving up to Round Rock will give you and your fishing partners even more options for fishing within the park system.  At Meadow Lake the bass and catfish are good sized, and the shoreline is relatively undeveloped, providing a relaxing atmosphere for fishing all day.  Then head over and fish from the bank or the pier at Bright Lake.  There are a number of hiking trails that will please the outdoors enthusiast.

Another place to get in some fishing time is south of Austin in Bastrop State Park.  There are all sorts of outdoor recreation here which the whole family will enjoy.  This is one popular place for bass, channel, and blue catfish, as well as flatheads.  Lake Bastrop is perfect for shore fishing or renting a canoe and getting out on the water.  You may not catch a trophy bass but can usually count on one weighing around two to five pounds.  Advice has it that plastic worms are the best when using colors like watermelon, tequila sunrise, and june bug.  Doesn’t hurt to try, that is for sure!

Experiencing the fishing around Austin is really a wonderful way to spend a winter RV vacation.  The mild weather, the friendly folks you meet, and the great locations – you can’t beat Texas and fishing!

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

Picture credits: The picture of Lady Bird Lake is from the Flicker Commons by notevenathing. It is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution license.

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