RV Camping the Cajun Coast at Louisiana’s Lake Palourde

Are you ready to explore one of Louisiana’s largest inland lakes by RV?  Then it’s time to turn your motorhome to southern Louisiana and Lake Palourde.  This scenic lake is part of an enormous collection of swamps, streams and interconnected waterways that make up the Atchafalaya Basin.

Atchafalaya Basin, Louisiana

Atchafalaya Basin, Louisiana

Here’s how to get there: Travel US90 about one-and-one-half hours southwest from New Orleans to Morgan City, LA.  That’s where you’ll find the best access for RV campers to Lake Palourde.  Let the city’s Lake End Park be your home base, with affordable, full-service campsites adjacent to the water.

This stunningly scenic park also boasts fishing piers, a boat launch, plenty of hiking and biking routes and a sand beach.  Be sure to make reservations before you come, so you’ll have your prime camping spot secured.

What You’ll Find While RV Camping at Lake Palourde: Here are some of the first impressions RV travelers to Lake Palourde have shared, “Spanish moss hanging low on cypress trees,” “nature at its best, right at your camper’s front door” and “fishing like nowhere else in America.”

Fishing in Louisiana

Fishing in Louisiana

So let’s talk about the fishing first—the anglers in your crew aren’t going to want to leave the water when they realize just how many crappie, catfish and bass make this lake and the area’s canals and bayous their home.  Be ready to eat some of the freshest seafood imaginable, as oysters, crayfish and crabs are also plentiful on the Atchafalaya.

There’s also something here for history buffs, nature lovers and outdoor sports enthusiasts at Lake Palourde.  Brownell Memorial Park and Carillon Tower, just a half-mile down the road from the RV campground, is a delightful place to hike the trails, watch for unusual bird species and photograph one of the world’s tallest carillon towers (if you’re lucky, you’ll get to hear the bells ring!)

Another way to savor the character of Louisiana’s inland lakes is to understand their important role in history.  Take the time to ask a local about the Civil War battle in which a much smaller Confederate force came on small boats and then on foot through the swamps to attack and conquer a large Union encampment at Fort Brashear.

But let’s not forget about the outdoor sports enthusiasts who come to the shores of Lake Palourde.  There are plenty of ways for them to spend their time, from biking along the bayous and through picturesque small towns to looking for eagles’ nests from the water along one of the Cajun Coast Paddling Trails.

A beautiful Blue Heron

A beautiful Blue Heron

Speaking of birding, sections of the America’s Wetland Birding Trail can be found throughout the Atchafalaya Basin, including at Lake Palourde.  Keep your eyes open for great blue herons, double-crested cormorants and a multitude of both common and rare birds that make Louisiana’s Cajun Coast their home.

One more suggestion for getting back to nature in America’s favorite freshwater swamp—take a swamp tour!  Local outfitters like Cajun Jack’s are happy to introduce you to the alligators, backwoods trappers and Cajun lore of the Basin.

Coming to southern Louisiana is taking a step into Cajun hospitality and untamed beauty everywhere you look.  Bring your bikes, your hiking shoes and your cameras and set up camp on the shores of Lake Palourde.  You’re going to have a hard time leaving!

We’d like to hear about your Atchafalaya adventures by RV, especially if you’ve visited Lake Palourde.  What keeps you going back?  Share your tips for fellow travelers in the comment section below.  And be sure to let us know if you need an RV rental for the trip!

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: Top, Atchafalaya Basin, Louisiana photo by U.S. Army Corps of Engineer, unknown [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons; middle, Fishing in Louisiana by finchlake2000, and bottom, Blue Heron by Andrea Westmoreland are are licensed under Flickr Commons

Posted in bayous and RV vacationing, bird watching destinations, Bird watching vacation, blog, Fall Foliage, Family RV vacations, family trips, family vacations, Fishing, Fishing Vacation, Historical Museum RV Vacations, Historical RV Vacation, Louisiana fishing vacation, Louisiana RV Camping, Louisiana RV Vacation, Motor Home Camping, Motor home vacation blog, Motorhome, Motorhome Camping, National Parks, Nature travel, Nature/Sightseeing vacation, North American RV Vacation, Pet Friendly Vacation, Rural RVing, RV, RV blog, RV Campgrounds, RV Campgrounds, RV Camping, RV destination, RV Destinations blog, RV Fishing Trips, RV Lake Fishing, RV Lake Trip, RV Lake Vacation, RV Rental, RV Rentals, RV Sales, RV trail hiking trips, RV Vacation, RV Vacation Ideas, RV Vacations Southern States, Southern Hospitality, United States RV Vacation, USA travel, wildlife, wildlife RV vacation | Leave a comment

RV Adventure to Cumberland Island National Seashore

Georgia’s Atlantic Coast can be your RV camping playground year-round.  One of the best places to experience the wild beauty and unspoiled nature of the area is with a visit to Cumberland Island National Seashore.

Cumberland Island Shoreline

Head out on this inviting boardwalk to the Cumberland Island shoreline!

As Georgia’s largest barrier island, this paradise is just two hours north of the El Monte RV Rental location in Orlando, Florida.  With fifty miles of hiking trails, an amazing collection of wildlife and a wide range of historical sites to discover, isn’t it time you took a trip to Georgia’s island treasure?

We’ve put together a guide for RV travelers planning to visit Cumberland Island, with answers to your most frequent questions.

Where Can We Camp Near Cumberland Island National Seashore?

The National Seashore itself is undeveloped, with no paved roads and access only by the Cumberland ferry system.  Plan to camp nearby and take advantage of the ferry for an authentic wilderness experience.

Here are some suggestions for RV parks near Cumberland Island:

Crooked River State Park, located in St. Mary’s, GA, is just seven miles from the Cumberland Island Ferry landing.  It features campsites with electricity in a beautiful setting worth discovering after your day on the National Seashore.

Fort Clinch State Park in Fernandina Beach, FL, is right across the Cumberland Sound from St. Mary’s GA.  Enjoy their full-service campsites in a scenic setting, with quick access to the Cumberland Ferry.

A Big Wheel RV Park adjacent to Crooked River State Park is a privately run campground that receives rave reviews.  It accommodates any size RV!

Incredible Path on Cumberland Island

Incredible Path on Cumberland Island

How Should We Prepare for our RV Camping Trip?

Glad to hear you’re the kind of RV camping enthusiast who plans ahead!  It’s especially important, when visiting a natural, undeveloped setting, to know what to expect.  Here are some things to consider when making your plans:

    • You can only reach the Island by ferry (passengers only, no vehicles) so be sure to make reservations in advance.
    • Only 300 people are allowed on the island each day.
    • Ferry passengers not on dock at least 30 minutes ahead of departure lose their reservations, so arrive early!
    • Pets are not allowed on the ferry.
    • If you’d like to rent a bike to travel around the island, be sure to tell the ferry concessionaire when you call.
    • There are no services on the Island other than water to refill bottles.  Bring your own food, water and normal hiking necessities like hats, sunscreen and insect repellant.
    • Take along a trash bag, as this wilderness island has a ‘pack in, pack out’ policy for all visitors.
    • If you plan to fish while visiting Cumberland Island, purchase a Georgia fishing license and make sure you have the required Saltwater Informational Program Permit attached.

What Kind of Weather Can We Expect? 

Like any well-prepared RV adventurer, you’ll want to know what kind of weather to expect when you go.  The weather in November at Cumberland Island National Seashore is magnificent, with highs in the 70s and lows in the 50s.  Even in December, expect to enjoy 60 degree weather, with nighttime temps in the high 40s.

Wild Horse on Cumberland Island Coast

Wild Horse on Cumberland Island Coast

What Will We See on Cumberland Island?

History!  The Island was once mostly owned by the Carnegie family, and the ruins of their mansion, Dungeness, are just one part of its historic appeal.  Reserve a seat before you come on one of the Lands and Legacies Van Tours if you’d like to learn about the Native Americans who once inhabited the island, the large slave population who built the First African Baptist Church and, of course, the Carnegies and their opulent island lifestyle.  If you’re up to a lengthy hike or ride through variable terrain, you can also travel to these sites on foot or by bicycle.

Nature! Not only has the Atlantic formed a sixteen-mile stretch of perfect beach for you to explore, you’ll also find lush maritime forests, salt marshes and picturesque dunes here.  Stay on the marked trails to help preserve the wilderness for future generations and be sure to bring your camera!

Wildlife!  From feral horses to armadillos and alligators, this island has plenty to appeal for wildlife lovers.  No domesticated creatures call this island home, so keep that in mind while hiking or biking the area.  Keep a sharp eye out for the island’s famous wild horses, the sea turtles that nest here in early autumn and a surprising variety of shore birds.  Have we convinced you it’s time to visit Georgia’s barrier island paradise?  Here’s a link to more information, courtesy of the National Park Service.  We don’t often find unspoiled beauty that’s open for everyone to explore.  Let us know if we can help with an RV rental.  Please don’t miss the chance to discover Cumberland Island National Seashore and all it has to offer!

El Monte RV

El Monte RV Rentals and Sales

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

Photo credits: Cumberland Island Path by db rolenrock, Cumberland Island Boardwalk by Jon Dawson, and Wild Horse Along Shoreline by Doug Anderson; all are licensed under Flickr Commons

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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.

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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

It’s Time for a Gulf Coast Getaway in Texas!

You probably don’t think of the coast when you first think of Texas, and that’s understandable.  The state is better known for its cowboys, cacti, and barbecue than it is for its sand, beaches, and boardwalks.  But when you realize that the state claims over 600 miles of gorgeous coastline ripe for exploration, there’s no reason not to saddle up in an RV rental and set out!

A Beautiful Beach in Galveston, Texas

A Beautiful Beach in Galveston, Texas

If you’re ready for a Lone Star State adventure, start your journey in McKinney to pick up your RV.  After you’ve got your rig, head down Interstate 40 towards the coast.  Before you get there, however, stop off in Ennis for a trip to the Galaxy Drive-In.  The Galaxy is a throwback to the good old days of double features projected on a giant, outdoor screen (after all, everything is bigger in Texas; right?)  With six screens to choose from at one low price, you can choose exactly which movie-going experience is right for your family.  Will it be back-to-back super hero flicks, or are two kids’ movies more your speed?  It’s your call, but make sure to hit the snack bar in between features to re-fill the popcorn.

Once you get through Houston and arrive at the coast, you may want to make Brazoria National Wildlife Refuge your next stop.  This refuge has more than 44,000 acres of tidal flats teeming with wildlife.  On any given day, you might be able to spot beautiful birds such as migrating Canadian geese or delicate Sandhill cranes.  If you’re lucky (and brave), you can even come face-to-face with alligators; however, we don’t recommend getting too close!

After a full day of site-seeing, head to the Sand Piper RV Resort in Galveston.  This RV campground is situated on a slice of barrier island with incredible views of the Gulf.  Not only does it have 36 beachfront spots for your RV, the resort also has a coffee bar, infinity poo,l and a hot tub awaiting you at the end of the day.  You won’t find a better location for Texan relaxation!

You’ve probably walked along a number of beaches, but if you want a completely new way to get some sand in your hair, travel a few miles down to S & G Horseback Riding.  S & G offers rides along the beach or a nearby bay, and you can even try out a sunrise or moonlight beach ride.  There’s really nothing like riding by the gentle waves on a starry night to make an unforgettable RV vacation memory!

Travel further down the coast to Corpus Christi and you’ll be able to make two great day trips, a visit to the USS Lexington and the Texas State Aquarium.  The USS Lexington is a retired aircraft carrier from World War II, but it has been refurbished into a floating museum.  At the aquarium, you can satisfy your curiosity by watching (and even touching!) some of the Gulf Coast’s thousands of native aquatic species.  In one day, you can learn more about the region’s natural wildlife and an important part of its history!

What are you waiting for?  It’s time to get to the Gulf on your next RV vacation adventure!

El Monte RV

El Monte RV Rentals and Sales

Picture Credit:  Wildflowers on beach in Galveston, TX, is  licensed under the Wikimedia commons attribution license.

Posted in Beach RV Vacation, blog, Coastal RV Vacation, Cost effective RV Vacation, educational trips, Family RV vacations, family trips, family vacations, Historical Museum RV Vacations, Historical RV Vacation, horseback riding vacation, Motor Home Camping, Motor home vacation blog, Motorhome, Motorhome Camping, Nature travel, Pet Friendly Vacation, RV, RV Beach Vacation, RV blog, RV Campgrounds, RV Camping, RV coastal trip, RV destination, RV Destinations blog, RV educational trips, RV Rental, RV Rentals, RV Road Trip, RV Sales, RV Travel Tips, RV Vacation, RV Vacation Ideas, RV Vacations Southern States, Seaside beauty, TX RV Camping, TX RV Vacation, United States RV Vacation, Vacation Adventures, Vacation Planning, weekend RV trips, wildlife, wildlife RV vacation, wildrife preserve vacation, Year-Round RV Parks | 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!

Posted in April vacation ideas, Beach RV Vacation, blog, CA, CA RV Camping, CA RV Vacation, CA Vacation, California local trips, California Spring Vacations, California vacations, Coastal RV Vacation, Cost effective RV Vacation, Family RV vacations, family trips, family vacations, Motor Home Camping, Motor home vacation blog, Motorhome, Motorhome Camping, Pet Friendly Vacation, RV, RV Beach Vacation, RV blog, RV Camping, RV Camping Resources, RV coastal trip, RV destination, RV Destinations blog, RV Rental, RV Rentals, RV Resort, RV Resort Vacations, RV Road Trip, RV Sales, RV Theme Park Vacations, RV travel in the western states, RV Travel Tips, RV Vacation, RV Vacation Ideas, San Diego weekend trips, Seaside beauty, United States RV Vacation, Vacation Adventures, Vacation Planning, weekend RV trips, Whale watching Vacation, wildlife RV vacation, Year-Round RV Parks | Leave a comment

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!

Posted in Bird watching vacation, blog, educational trips, Family RV vacations, family trips, family vacations, Fishing Vacation, honeymoon vacation ideas, Lighthouses, Motor Home Camping, Motor home vacation blog, motor home winter vacations, Motorhome Camping, Nature travel, Nature/Sightseeing vacation, Pet Friendly Vacation, RV blog, RV Campgrounds, RV Camping, RV coastal trip, RV destination, RV Destinations blog, RV educational trips, RV Fishing 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 Winter Vacations, State Park RV Camping, State Parks, United States RV Vacation, WA RV Camping, WA RV Vacation, Washington vacation, weekend RV trips, wildlife RV vacation, Winter Fun | Leave a comment

Visit a National Preserve Park for a Great RV Vacation

An RV vacation to a unique national preserve site can provide a great getaway for the whole family.  And this one in Florida, is a perfect winter destination all by itself.  The preserve that we recommend you visit is the Big Cypress National Preserve.  An easy drive from Miami, this park has a great mix of climates that is comfortable any time of year.  This is the place to go for wildlife viewing, paddling fascinating waterways, and RV camping.  El Monte RV Rentals in Miami will provide the ideal RV for your trip!

View of the Big Cypress National Preseve in Florida

View of the Big Cypress National Preseve in Florida

In Big Cypress National Preserve you will find a couple of RV campgrounds which are open all year.  The Midway Campground is first-come, first-served and has twenty-six separate RV sites.  There is also a dump station.  This is a great place to make your home base while you explore the rest of the preserve.

Before you get completely settled in, you may want to take some of the scenic drives in the area.  There are plenty of pull-offs where you can stop and watch wildlife, as well as, take in some wonderful views.  Loop Road is 27 miles of forests with pines and dwarf cypress trees and, of course, numerous animals and birds.  The Turner River / Wagonwheel / Birdon Roads Loop is a favorite of birders as there are a wide variety of wading birds that come to feed along this route.

You are going to be experiencing Alligator Alley in real-time and must bring your camera in order to not miss a shot of one of the most popular sights in southern Florida – alligators! And, of course, hiking is always something that will get you out there, up close and personal with nature here at the preserve.  The Kirby Storter Boardwalk is a great path for those with young ones with them.  Short and sweet, this route will take you into the heart of the Big Cypress swamp.  You will find a whole network of hiking trails in the preserve so you can really see all the corners of this most fascinating swamp area.

One of the best trails in Big Cypress National Preserve is the section of the Florida National Scenic Trail that stretches across Florida.  Three parts of this trail are within the park’s boundaries.  There is the northern boundary to Interstate 75, then the section of Interstate 75 to Highway 41, and Highway 41 to the Loop Road.  The latter is best in the winter season as there is no flooding as there is during rainy season.

Canoeing Fun in Big Cypress National Preserve

Canoeing Fun in Big Cypress National Preserve

If the weather permits, you will be lucky because you can follow the canoeing trails and really experience the swamp as it should be experienced.  Newbies to paddling should take the Lefthand Turner River Trail.   More experienced paddlers can take more difficult paddling trails like the Turner River or the Halfway Creek Loop.  Right now is the paddling season.  It goes from November through March.

Yes, a winter vacation to Big Cypress National Preserve is a wonderful trip to take in an RV.  You will be happy to get out of the cold winds, blizzards, and freezing temperatures.  Book your RV rental today!

El Monte RV

El Monte RV Rentals and Sales

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

Picture credits: Big Cypress National Preserve and Canoeing Fun are both by BigCypressNPS and 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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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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