The Rose Bowl and Tournament of Roses—An RV Traveler’s Guide

College football fans and RV campers who love a good parade are already making plans to be in Pasadena, California on January 1. Are you planning to join them for the must-watch, hotly contested Rose Bowl Game and the Tournament of Roses Parade?

Marching Band

Marching Band

For one hundred twenty six years, the Tournament of Roses Parade has thrilled parade watchers with flowered fantasy floats, newly-crowned parade royalty and skillful marching bands. The beautiful city of Pasadena opens its doors to hundreds of thousands of parade-goers each year and is more than up to the task.

And if you’re planning to attend the 101st Rose Bowl Game, going by RV makes it comfortable and affordable. If that sounds like a dream come true, there’s still time to make your RV rental reservation and get tickets for all the events.

Here’s what you need to know to plan your trip. Get started now!

Need-to-Know Basics for the Tournament of Roses Parade

    • When? January 1 from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. PST
    • Where? Colorado Boulevard, Pasadena, CA
    • Where Can I Camp? Because Pasadena is part of the larger Los Angeles metro area, you may not find an actual RV campground close by the parade route. Here’s the good news: the vendor-regulated parking areas (see Where Can I Park below) and many of the area businesses allow some form of ‘boondocking’ or camping without services. Here’s also a link to a list of campgrounds within 30 miles of Pasadena.
    • Will I Need Tickets? Grandstand seating is reserved and requires tickets. Purchase them here. You can also view the parade for free curbside. The curbside area opens for seating at noon December 31.
    • Where Can I Park? If you’re planning to camp outside the parade route, you may want to reserve parking closer in. The vendor who provides grandstand seating for the parade also makes available car or RV parking adjacent to the seating areas, for up to three days. Here’s the link to purchase parking space for the Rose Parade.
    • Anything Happening Before and After the Parade?  Plenty! Watch the marching bands in action before the parade by attending Band Fest either December 29 or December 30. If you’d love to see the magic that transforms thousands of flowers and natural items into award-winning floats, schedule time to watch float decorating at one of three official venues during parade week. There’s also a showcase of floats following the parade. Here’s a link to pre- and post- parade event details.

Need-to-Know Basics for the Rose Bowl Game

    • When? January 1 – Pre-game activities begin at 1:30 p.m. PST. Don’t miss any of the excitement!
    • Where? Rose Bowl Stadium, 1001 Rose Bowl Drive, Pasadena, CA. The chance to see this historic, one-of-a-kind stadium is worth the trip. Home to the oldest bowl game in America!
    • Who’s Playing in 2015 Rose Bowl? Oregon vs. Florida State

      Rose Bowl Game

      Rose Bowl Game

    • Where Do I Buy Tickets? Rose Bowl tickets are selling out fast, so click the link for contact information and make the call today.
    • Where is RV Parking Allowed? Along with a special lot for RV and bus parking at the stadium, you can also reserve parking at the off-site lots, some of which run shuttles to the stadium. Here’s a link for more info on RV parking at the Rose Bowl.  Every RV traveler to California should see the Rose Bowl at least once. Choose your events, buy your tickets, rent your RV and reserve a space at the 2015 Tournament of Roses Parade and the Rose Bowl Game. You’ll be so glad you did!

We’ve tried to answer most of your questions about RV camping at the Rose Bowl this year, but if we’ve missed one, here’s how to reach the Visitor Hotline for the Rose Bowl and Tournament of Roses Parade.

Photo Credits: Marching Band photo: Prayitno, Flickr Commons License ; Rose Bowl Game photo: Keith Skelton, Flickr Commons License

Posted in Big City RV Excursions, Big City RV trips, blog, CA, CA RV Camping, CA RV Vacation, CA Vacation, California local trips, California vacations, California winter vacation, Coastal RV Vacation, College Football Tailgating, Cost effective RV Vacation, family travel, family trips, football, Football and RV's, Football Fun, Football RV Rental, Football Tailgating, holiday, Holiday travel, Los Angeles Camping, Los Angeles RV camping, Motor Home Camping, Motor home vacation blog, motor home winter vacations, Motorhome, Parades, Rose Bowl Game, Rose Bowl Parade, RV, RV blog, rv comfort, RV destination, RV Destinations blog, RV Rental, RV Rentals, RV Tailgating, RV Tailgating Blog, RV Vacation, Tailgating info, Tailgating Travel, Tailgating Vacation, Tournament of Roses Parade, United States RV Vacation, USA travel, Vacation Adventures, Winter Fun | Leave a comment

Rent an RV Guest House for the Holidays

Are friends and family coming in for the holidays and your house is full to the rafters? Instead of reserving hotel rooms for your visitors, why not rent an RV as your holiday guest house?

El Monte RV Premier Motor Home Rental 2014 Model

El Monte RV Premier Interior View of a Motorhome

Keep reading to learn why an RV rental is the perfect way to open your home to more visitors this holiday season.

  • RV Styles for Every ‘Guest House’ Need: With so many styles of motor homes to choose from, every holiday host can offer comfortable accommodations. From top-of-the-line ‘bus style’ Class A units to roomy cabover Class C motorhomes with convenient slide-outs, there’s an RV to accommodate your overflow housing needs. Whether it’s the newlywed cousins or a family of six coming to stay, there’s a style of motorhome to meet your needs.
  • RV Comfort to Pamper Your Guests: Offer your holiday season guests the luxury and comfort of today’s RVs. Separate bedrooms, modern kitchens for preparing midnight snacks and an amazing amount of storage keep holiday visitors comfortable without paying for pricey hotel rooms. Tips for even more holiday fun: use the extra space to organize late night card games, a grown-up girls’ slumber party or football night in the RV man cave!IMG_3856
  • RV Guest House Privacy and Convenience: Too many guests in one house can spell trouble over the holidays! Even the closest of friends or families can get on each other’s nerves when squeezed into cramped quarters. Let your guests enjoy the convenience of separate space in your “RV guest house”. For guests who need their privacy, even on a holiday trip, your guest house on wheels will become a favorite hideaway. No better way to keep your visitors jolly!
  • RV Holiday Rentals are Affordable:   All that comfort and they’re affordable, too! RV rentals, especially when you take advantage of special holiday rates, beat the price of hotel rooms hands-down. Check out rental pricing for a motor home that sleeps your number of extra guests comfortably and then compare it to local holiday hotel rates for the same number of guests. Amazing, isn’t it, how affordable RV accommodations can be? Factor in the convenience, comfort and flexibility of renting motorhome guest quarters and you’ll be booking a rental RV for every holiday!   Picture of Holly
  • Renting an RV for the Holidays is Easy: With convenient El Monte RV Rental locations across America, finding and renting the perfect RV guest accommodations is easy. Just let us know how many guests will be sleeping in the motorhome, how many nights you’ll need the extra space and when you’ll need to pick up the motorhome. Our helpful staff at every location will help you select just the right RV and check that holiday task off your list.Why send extra guests away to hotels when an RV guest house keeps them close to the holiday fun? Give your holiday visitors a special treat this year—the privacy, comfort and convenience of guest quarters just steps from your front door. Your home might just become their favorite holiday destination!
  • Santa's One RV Open Sleigh Saves the Day!

    Santa’s One RV Open Sleigh Saves the Day!

Posted in accommodations, blog, College Football Tailgating, East Coast RV Travel, Fall Foliage, family accommodations, Family RV vacations, family travel, family trips, family vacations, February Vacation Ideas, fifth wheel, holiday, holiday guest house, holiday tips, Holiday travel, Los Angeles Camping, Los Angeles RV camping, March vacation idea, Motor Home Camping, Motor home vacation blog, motor home winter vacations, Motorhome, Motorhome Camping, Pet Friendly Vacation, RV, RV Accessories, RV blog, rv comfort, RV Rental, RV Rentals, RV Road Trip, RV Sales, RV Tailgating, RV Travel Tips, RV Vacation, RV vacation dining, RV Vacation Ideas, RV Vacation Preparation, RV vacations in the northwestern United States, RV Vacations Southern States, RV Winter Vacations, RVing with kids, Vacation Adventures, Vacation Planning, vacation tips, weekend RV trips, Winter Fun | 1 Comment

Lower Gulf Coast RV Getaway

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

Ft. Meyers, Smuggler's Cove

Smuggler’s Cove

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

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

Places to Enjoy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted in April vacation ideas, Beach RV Vacation, bird watching destinations, Bird watching vacation, blog, Coastal RV Vacation, Cost effective RV Vacation, Cross Country Trip, East Coast RV Travel, educational trips, Fall Foliage, Family RV vacations, family trips, family vacations, February Vacation Ideas, Fishing, Fishing Vacation, Florida, florida rv vacation, florida vacation, Georgia RV Camping, Georgia RV Vacation, ghost towns, Green RV'ing, Historical RV Vacation, horseback riding vacation, January RV Vacations, Lighthouses, March vacation idea, March Vacation Ideas, Motor Home Camping, Motor home vacation blog, motor home winter vacations, Motorhome, Motorhome Camping, National Parks, National Scenic Byways, Nature travel, Nature/Sightseeing vacation, New England Fall Foliage, North American RV Vacation, Pet Friendly Vacation, Recreational Vehicle, Rural RVing, RV, RV Beach Vacation, RV blog, RV Campgrounds, RV Campgrounds, RV Camping, RV Camping Resources, RV coastal trip, RV destination, RV Destinations blog, RV dining, RV educational trips, RV Fishing Trips, RV Lake Fishing, RV Lake Trip, RV Lake Vacation, RV Rental, RV Rentals, RV Resort, RV Resort Vacations, RV Road Trip, RV Sales, RV Summer Vacations, RV trail hiking trips, RV Travel Tips, RV Vacation, RV Vacation Ideas, RV Vacation Preparation, RV Vacations Southern States, RV Winter Vacations, Seaside beauty, Southern Hospitality, State Park RV Camping, State Parks, United States RV Vacation, USA travel, Vacation Adventures, Vacation Planning, weekend RV trips, wildlife, wildlife RV vacation, Winter Fun, Year-Round RV Parks | Leave a comment

Prince Edward Island

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

Confederation Bridge

Confederation Bridge

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

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

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

Prince Edward Island National Park

Prince Edward Island National Park

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

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

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

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

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

El Monte RV

El Monte RV Rentals and Sales

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

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

Posted in Anne of Green Gables Nostalgic vacation, Canada RV Camping, Canada RV Vacation, Coastal RV Vacation, Family RV vacations, Historical RV Vacation, Lighthouses, Motor home vacation blog, Nature/Sightseeing vacation, North American RV Vacation, Pet Friendly Vacation, Prince Edward Island, Rural RVing, RV blog, RV Camping, RV destination, RV Rentals, RV Road Trip, RV Sales, RV Vacation Ideas, Vacation Adventures | Leave a comment

Lakeside Drives to Toronto

The end of summer is only a month and a half away!  Have you made your plans to hit the road for an RV vacation before the kids go back to school and the leaves start falling?  If you’re looking for a great mid-summer trip, consider our friendly neighbors to the north.  Instead of sticking to the States, expand your RV vacation to the Great Lakes region around Toronto!

Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls

Start out by heading to Kingston, Pennsylvania (or clicking the link) to pick out and reserve your favorite RV.  Once you’ve decided on which RV will be the perfect ride for you and your family, make sure to read about the rules and procedures for crossing the US-Canada border in an RV.  You’ll want to be prepared and have any necessary paperwork in order before you get to the border crossing itself.

Once all of your ducks are in a row, start out your exciting road trip by heading for Niagara Falls!  These multiple waterfalls flow between the US and Canada, and they’ve been a classic vacation destination throughout the last century.  You can take a moment to re-create scenes from the many movies that have featured the falls.  Films as diverse as Superman II and Bruce Almighty had scenes set here!  The 167-foot falls also create a magical plume of drifting spray and we highly recommend you sail through it on a Maid of the Mist boat tour!

If the sun is already going down, head for an RV campground near Buffalo, New York.  You can find one near the shores of Lake Erie for an excellent view and then head into the historic city itself for a great dinner!

When you’re ready to continue north, continue around Lake Ontario and you’ll end up in Toronto itself.  One of the first sites to greet your eyes will be the iconic CN Tower that dominates the skyline.  This spire has been a famous piece of engineering since the 1970s, and it’s still the best way to get a bird’s eye view of the entire city.  If you get hungry, there’s even a revolving restaurant that will give you a slow panorama of the entire area.

After you’re done having fun in the clouds, head over to the mid-city Royal Ontario Museum.  It’s a world-leading natural history and cultural museum with incredible exhibits that range from examples of Chinese Forbidden City artifacts to textiles from ancient Egypt.  Toronto is a world-class city, and there’s no better place to get a taste of the whole world than at the “ROM.”

While you’re downtown, take a moment to travel underground!  Toronto is unique in that it has over 19 miles of tunnels and underground walkways in its PATH system.  While they are a welcome respite for downtown travelers during the city’s snowy winters, they are also a lot of fun to poke around during the summer.  The walkways are lined with coffee shops, stores, and all manner of potential souvenir purchasing locations, so give yourself a few hours to get lost in a maze of shopping fun!

Don’t wait until it’s too late: head north in an RV for an amazing lakeside drive to Toronto!

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:  Niagara Falls by Daniel Lewis licensed by Flickr Creative Commons

 

 

Posted in Art Vacations, Big City RV trips, blog, Canada RV Vacation, Family RV vacations, Historical RV Vacation, honeymoon vacation ideas, Motor home vacation blog, Motorhome Camping, National Scenic Byways, Nature/Sightseeing vacation, North American RV Vacation, PA RV Vacation, Pennsylvania RV Trip, Pet Friendly Vacation, RV blog, RV Camping, RV Destinations blog, RV Rentals, RV Road Trip, RV Sales, RV Summer Vacations, RV trail hiking trips, RV Vacation Ideas, Vacation Adventures, Vacation Planning | Leave a comment

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

A Scenic Tour through the St. John River Valley

When you’re looking for a unique vacation idea, remember that some of the best picks will be the ones you’ve never heard about.  While tourists are packing into the most famous resorts and cities, a different breed of savvy traveler is seeking the roads less traveled.  If you’d like to find an out-of-the-way journey that you can enjoy at your own pace, you should plan your next vacation to be an RV tour through the St. John River Valley!

New Brunswick, King's Landing History in Living Color

New Brunswick, King’s Landing History Remade

The St. John River creates part of the border between Maine and New Brunswick, and it’s one of the longest rivers in the eastern portion of Canada.  Life is slower in the St. John River Valley, but that’s how the residents of the area like it.   And this is what makes it a great choice for an exciting RV vacation.  In order to get started on your trip, pick out your favorite RV at El Monte’s location in Boston, and then travel north on Interstate 95 through Maine.

When you cross the border into New Brunswick, head for Hartland and you’ll find yourself crossing the Hartland Covered Bridge.  If it doesn’t look like a normal covered bridge, that’s because it isn’t.  At 1,282 feet, it’s one of the world’s longest!  The bridge was originally built in 1901, but it wasn’t until twenty years later that the entire structure was covered.  It’s a beautiful local landmark that has been featured on national postage stamps, and it also had the honor of being crossed by a torchbearer before the 1988 Winter Olympics.  Called a “kissing bridge” by locals, it’s a great spot to stop for a moment and steal a smooch from your own loved one!

New Brunswick, Canada, History Brought Back to Life

New Brunswick, Canada, History Brought Back to Life

Drive further east and you’ll find the living history settlement of King’s Landing.  Actors in period-accurate costumes live out the lives of settlers in the 1800’s that called this area home.  It’s a rich mixture of French, English and native history that comes together in a fully explorable town.  Move from house to house and try your hand at frontier skills such as churning butter and spinning wool.  Your kids might just think that your RV has traveled back in time!

Next, head north to the town of Grand Falls where you will find the magnificent waterfall that it is named for.  At 75 feet high, Grand Falls Gorge waterfall is the biggest falls east of Niagara Falls.  You can walk down trails to the water’s edge and admire the sheer granite walls of the gorge, and it’s also a great spot for a picnic lunch.

If you want a much closer (and more exciting) view of the falls, head over to Open Sky Adventures.  This amazing adventure company will let you “deepell” (that means to do a forward facing rappel) 135 feet down the gorge walls, or you can zip line over the river itself!  Your family will never forget the experience of flying through the air over the gorgeous rushing waters.

When you drive home after your journey through the St. John River Valley in New Brunswick, you will have experienced a rare adventure through towns and villages that rarely get seen by outsiders.  It’s off the beaten path, but all the best vacations are!

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:   photos of King’s Landing, New Brunswick, by Michael Ignatieff are licensed under Flickr Creative Common license

Posted in blog, Canada RV Camping, Canada RV Vacation, educational trips, Family RV vacations, family trips, Historical RV Vacation, Maine RV Vacation, Maine/Canada RV vacation, Motor Home Camping, Motor home vacation blog, Native American History, North American RV Vacation, RV blog, RV educational trips, RV Rental, RV Rentals, RV Road Trip, RV Sales, RV Summer Vacations, RV Vacation, RV Vacation Ideas, Vacation Adventures, Vacation Planning | Leave a comment

Journey to the North in Winnipeg

Even though it’s directly to our north, many Americans never visit Canada.  What a missed opportunity on so many levels because Canada is a country with unending natural beauty and the Canadian people are well-known for their warm hospitality and friendliness!  If you’re looking for a vacation that’s out of the ordinary, consider traveling northward and explore other parts of the North American continent.  It’s time for a journey to Winnipeg for starters!

The River Trail in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

The River Trail in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

To start your trip off right, pick up an RV in Chicago.  Make sure to bring some games, movies, audio books, or other entertainment for the kids as you drive to the north country while you get to enjoy the passing scenery as you head towards the border.  Once you cross into Manitoba, find a great RV park to serve as your base camp as you explore Winnipeg.  With its free hot showers and free wireless internet, Traveller’s RV Resort & Campground will serve your needs perfectly.

After you’re settled in, it’s time to head out and explore the city itself.  If you want to get your bearings right away, an excellent first stop is The Forks.  This spot, in the center of the city, is where the Assiniboine River flows into the Red River.  It has been a meeting spot for the residents of the area for over 6000 years.  With its parks, restaurants, and venues for shows and concerts, The Forks location continues to be the beating heart of this city.

What would a vacation to Canada be without strapping on some ice skates?  It’s a good thing that the world’s longest naturally-frozen skating trail winds 6.5 kilometers through the city.  Instead of having to skate around and around on an ice rink, you’ll warm up the leg muscles as you venture out and go on the equivalent of a long run when you skate down the Red River Mutual Trail.  When the weather warms up, it’s still a great path for walking and taking in views of the river and the city.

Canada is also home to some of the most magnificent animals on earth, as many Canadian species can’t be found anywhere else!   This alone warrants a trip at least once in your lifetime to take in the spectacular display of local creatures of our northern American counterpart.  The polar bear is one such creature, and you’ll have a chance to see one up close at the Assiniboine Park Zoo.  In addition to getting a look at one of the zoo’s polar bears, you can also visit the International Polar Bear Conservation Centre to learn about conservation efforts to protect this amazing animal.

Next up, you can visit Canada’s oldest public art gallery when you visit the Winnipeg Art Gallery.  WAG, as it’s called by locals, has an in-depth collection of Canadian and international art.  It  takes special care to focus on native artwork from members of Manitoba’s original population.  In addition to all the incredible art work on display, the gallery is also offering free admission to everyone 18 and under throughout the month of June.  So, there’s never been a better time for your family to visit!

It’s time to get in an RV and take your journey to the North.  It might be a bit chilly at times, but it will be a wonderful adventure that your family will never forget!

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:   The River Trail photo by A.J. Batac licensed under Flickr Creative Common license.

Posted in Art Vacations, bird watching destinations, Bird watching vacation, blog, Canadian RV Travel, City Fun and Outdoor Adventure RV Vacation, Cost effective RV Vacation, Cross Country Trip, educational trips, Family RV vacations, family trips, Historical Museum RV Vacations, Motor Home Camping, Motor home vacation blog, Native American History, Nature travel, Nature/Sightseeing vacation, North American RV Vacation, Pet Friendly Vacation, RV blog, RV Campgrounds, RV Camping, RV Destinations blog, RV educational trips, RV Rentals, RV Road Trip, RV Sales, RV trail hiking trips, RV Vacation, RV Vacation Ideas, Vacation Adventures, Vacation Planning, wildlife, wildlife RV vacation | Leave a comment

Roll Through the Litchfield Hills in an RV

The northeast corner of our country has been populated for so long and by so many people that it can feel a bit crowded.  Many parts of New England can feel claustrophobic for travelers that want wide-open spaces.  Luckily, the Litchfield Hills of Connecticut are the perfect location to roll through while on an RV vacation!  Start out in Linden, New Jersey to pick up your RV rental at El Monte RV.  Once you’ve picked out the perfect motor home ride for your family, it’s time to hit the road!  You’ll get the chance to drive through the top of Manhattan Island, so take a good long look before you head out to the rural scenery of Litchfield Hills.  It’s a little piece of smaller-town America, not too far from all the noise and commotion of modern American cities.

Bull's Historic Covered Bridge

Historic Covered Bull’s Bridge

One of the best parts of traveling on the East Coast is reveling in the knowledge that you’re walking in the footsteps of dozens of interesting cultures, past and present.  At the Institute for American Indian Studies, you will learn about the early cultures that have lived in the Litchfield Hills over the past several thousand years.  Stroll through exhibits that show how American Indians lived or choose to participate in a dig with the Litchfield Hills Archaeology Club.  Whatever you decide to do, you’ll enjoy the experience of learning about the historical aspects of this part of the country!

Since you’re traveling by RV, your goal is to take it easy as you tour our great country.  A fantastic way to do so is by driving through some of the historic covered bridges spanning creeks and streams throughout the hills.  Some of the bridges were originally built as far back as the Revolutionary War!  As time has worn them down, the bridges have been rebuilt in the same style keeping the same look of the bridge as it was when it resupplied George Washington’s army.

After your own leisurely drive through the bridges, it’ll be time to catch a glimpse of a few fast-moving vehicles at Lime Rock Park.  This historic venue for races of all types have seen some of the greatest drivers in history pass through, including Mario Andretti and Paul Newman.  You may catch a race at the track, take racing school lessons, or simply walk around and enjoy the beautiful scenery where racing history has been made!

Another way to get out and exercise your legs is by heading over to a local road race!  June is approaching, so you’ll want to get out now and start jogging for a little pre-conditioning warm-up.  The Litchfield Hills Road Race will take you through the historic town of Litchfield and up and down several elevation changes.  Get ready, because it’s guaranteed to get your blood pumping!

After a race, you might want to sit back and listen to some great music (and have some great food while you’re at it.)  The Infinity Music Hall and Bistro is a 300-seat theater built in 1883.  It’s a fantastic venue that showcases a variety of music genres.  Catch a country music show or even an open-mic night.  Whether it’s a big ticket show or locals showing the world what they’ve got, you’re guaranteed to have a lot of fun and end your trip on a high note.

Pick up an El Monte RV motor home and roll through the Litchfield Hills!  The Northeast is calling!

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:  Bull’s Bridge by David Smith under Flickr creative common license.

Posted in blog, Connecticut RV Vacation, educational trips, Family RV vacations, family trips, family vacations, Historical RV Vacation, Motor Home Camping, Motor home vacation blog, National Scenic Byways, Native American History, 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 Summer Vacations, RV Travel Tips, RV Vacation, RV Vacation Ideas, RV Vacation News, United States RV Vacation, USA travel, Vacation Adventures, Vacation Planning, weekend RV trips | Leave a comment