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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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

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!

Posted in blog, CA, CA RV Camping, CA RV Vacation, CA Vacation, CA Wine Country, California local trips, California vacations, Family RV vacations, family trips, family vacations, February Vacation Ideas, honeymoon vacation ideas, horseback riding vacation, Motor home vacation blog, motor home winter vacations, Motorhome, Motorhome Camping, RV blog, RV Campgrounds, RV Camping, RV Camping Resources, RV destination, RV Destinations blog, RV dining, 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, United States RV Vacation, Vacation Adventures, Vacation Planning, weekend RV trips, wildlife, wildlife RV vacation, wildrife preserve vacation, Wine Country RV Vacations, Winter Fun, Year-Round RV Parks | Leave a comment

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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Head to Redwood National Park for an RV Adventure

Whether you are in Southern California or in its northern counterpart, the current weather should be very cooperative for a little getaway up the coast.  You may run into some rain, but since you’ll be travelling in an RV on this adventure, finding a beautiful place to pull over and stop to wait out the storm will not only be very easy but cozy as well!  Pull out your favorite cold-weather movie, warm up the hot chocolate on the RV stove, start popping that tasty microwave popcorn and you’re all set!  There’s hardly any travelling setbacks due to weather while vacationing in a motorhome.

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

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

You can rent your RV in San Francisco and start out driving up Pacific Coast Highway.  This is one drive that has some of the best scenery in the country.  Stay alert for curves and take your sweet time if the highway is wet, knowing that the drive itself is the best part of the trip and is well worth any effort made due to the amazing sights you will be seeing.  The best thing about traveling up through Northern California is viewing the beautiful Redwood trees.  Some of these trees are the largest and tallest trees anywhere.  You are going to have a true nature experience on this trip!

The Humboldt Redwoods State Park has thousands of acres of trees and many of them are the coastal redwoods.  You will discover fascinating exhibits at the visitor center and you can get directions on taking the auto tour (or we should say RV tour) which is 32 lovely miles.  Don’t miss Avenue of the Giants and don’t fail to get out and do your own exploring of these forests.

When you reach Humboldt Bay, stop and visit Humboldt Bay Maritime Museum and learn a lot about maritime history.  Do you love birds and wildlife?  You’ll also want to stop at Humboldt Bay National Wildlife Refuge.  This is a great place to fit in some bird watching and see many ducks, geese, swan and other birds.

As you move closer to your destination at Redwood National Park, you will come upon a coastal town called Eureka.  You can enjoy many galleries, the boardwalk along the waterfront and the restored homes.  Then continue on to Big Lagoon in Dry Lagoon State Park where you might want to fish.  You can get more bird watching done here too, with lots of osprey and herons.  Throw in a line and catch some fish as well.

Exploring Humboldt Lagoons State Park is the next adventure on your itinerary.  You’ll discover this marshland is a wonderful place to see wildlife of all kinds.  Hike and get some exercise in.  You’ll want to be in shape so you can hike throughout Redwood National Park when you arrive.

Family of Redwood Trees

Family of Redwood Trees

So when you reach Redwood National Park you will be in an ideal location for whale watching, believe it or not!  Although migration was over in December, you could still spot a whale or two off the coast.  The forests here are some of the most gorgeous anywhere in California.

Spotting a Redwood National Forest Elk

Spotting a Redwood National Forest Elk

You may spot some black bears or elk in this area.  For the perfect hike, take off along Lady Bird Johnson Grove.  You will love checking out all that Mother Nature offers you here at Redwood National Park.   Take your family on this California road trip not only once, but go back again and again in an RV to maximize this amazing awe-inspiring vacation experience!

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

El Monte RV

El Monte RV

Picture credits:  El Monte RV in San Francisco is a company media stock photo and the photos of Redwood trees and Redwood elk by Arkansas shutterbug and Jeffery Delfiscio respectively are licensed under the Flickr Creative Commons Attribution license.

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Take Off Through Texas Hill Country in an RV

An RV trip through the rugged landscapes of the Texas Hill Country will put a refreshing twist on your vacation.  This is not just the colorful hills of the Lone Star State but an enchanting land of palm trees, cowboys, and German culture to explore.  Texas Hill Country isn’t just a vacation; it is an experience!

Natural Bridge in Texas Hill Country

Natural Bridge in Texas Hill Country

Starting out in Austin is the best plan, and there are many sights to see in that city, too.  But you will want to move on as there is a lot to see on this Hill Country tour.  Stop at Johnson City, Texas with its fascinating history and attractions for young and old.  The grownups might enjoy a guided hunt.  The whole family will love the Exotic Resort Zoo.  There are more than 500 types of animals to see here, many endangered.

Next stop can be beautiful Fredericksburg with its historical heritage, lovely galleries and delicious German food.  Drink up the great beer and then arrange a tour of the Admiral Nimitz Museum and the National Museum of the Pacific War.  The kids and adults will find the Japanese midget submarine an awesome exhibit indeed.

Then move on to Enchanted Rock State Natural Area, the ideal place to have a picnic and hike to the top of a pink mountain.  The granite is pink, and yes, you’ll need your camera gear so you can take a photo.  You might catch a shot of some of the wildlife that make this area their home.

Visit the town of Kerrville for an introduction to some wonderful home cooking and plenty of live music.  Continue on and loop around to Bandera, Texas.  This is another spot where you can find great country home cooking and a lot of country music to boot.  Relax and enjoy the ambience of the Texas Hill Country.  You’ll want to visit the Frontier Times Museum for another view of the history of this region.  You may be surprised to also see a shrunken head.  Wait a minute!  How did that get here?

At the Hamilton Pool Preserve you can go hiking and study nature, then drive to the Guadalupe River State Park to paddle on the river.  The next stop on your trip is New Braunfels, a German community that welcomes visitors and shows everyone a wonderful time.  This town was founded by a German prince and the town has followed German culture throughout the years.  Ride a miniature train, take a paddle boat on the river, and shop for creative gifts to take back home.  The Hill Country RV Resort is a great place to stay.

Grounds at the Alamo in Texas

Grounds at the Alamo in Texas

Final stop on this RV trip in Texas Hill Country is San Antonio.  Naturally, you’ll want to experience the River Walk and take in the beauty of the Alamo, but you will also love visiting the San Antonio Zoo.  There are always things happening in San Antonio.  Plan ahead by checking online for dates of fun-filled events going on during your RV trip in town so you won’t miss a thing.  This would be the proper ending to a well-planned, well-executed RV Texas Hill Country trip!

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

Picture credits:  Top photo of the natural bridge by Nick Cobb and the bottom photo of the grounds at the Alamo by C. Thomas Caldwell are licensed under the Explore/Creative Attribution Commons license on Flickr.

Posted in Art Vacations, blog, Cost effective RV Vacation, Dallas, educational trips, family trips, family vacations, Motor Home Camping, Motor home vacation blog, motor home winter vacations, Motorhome, Motorhome Camping, Pet Friendly Vacation, RV, RV Camping Resources, RV destination, RV educational trips, RV Road Trip, RV Sales, RV Travel Tips, RV Vacation, RV vacation dining, RV Vacation Ideas, RV Vacation News, RV Vacation Preparation, RV Vacations Southern States, RV Winter Vacations, texas, Texas Museums, TX, TX RV Camping, TX RV Vacation, United States RV Vacation, Vacation Adventures, Vacation Planning, weekend RV trips, wildlife, wildlife RV vacation, Winter Fun, Year-Round RV Parks | Leave a comment

A Winter RV Vacation in Louisiana

The natural beauty of Louisiana attracts people from all over the country – those who love the wildlife of the bayous and rivers, the scenic forests and marshes and the many miles of trails and paths.  Enjoying the diversity of landscapes is just one aspect of experiencing a Louisiana vacation.  There is also outdoor recreation that can’t be beat!  And driving an RV to this vacation destination makes the entire getaway one of ease and comfort.

Bayou

Down by the Bayou

A visit to the Kisatchie National Forest offers the opportunity to explore some of nature in its purest form.  The bayous are alive with flora and fauna and wildlife is hugely abundant.  This is the only national forest in the entire state, and most definitely worth a trip.  Within the boundaries of the forest is the Kisatchie Hills Wilderness and a scenic drive on the Longleaf Scenic Byway.  Numerous trails take you in the back country for a real wilderness experience.

Fishing is always a great vacation activity and you can catch some catfish or bass at Kincaid Lake Recreation Area.  You can camp with your RV at Kincaid Lake Campground and find shower facilities, full hookups, and a dump station.  They also have a boat dock, ramps, hiking trails, and much more.  Nearby attractions include Tunica-Biloxi Indian Museum, Louisiana Cowboy Town and Hodges Gardens.

Swimming Bass

Swimming Bass

Find some great fishing also at Fullerton Lake.  There are crappie, catfish, largemouth bass, and other game fish for you to hook.  Between fishing expeditions, you can get in some hiking.  The favorite trails are Big Branch Trail and the Ouiska Chitto Trail.  The outdoor fun in this region is something exciting for the whole family to experience.  From horseback riding and hiking, to fishing, and boating or kayaking – there is a favorite kind of fun for everyone!

Ensure you put the Grand Cote National Wildlife Refuge on your list to see.  The forest wildlife is thrilling to see, particularly if you happen across a black bear or catch a glimpse of a bald eagle soaring across the sky.  Specifically this is waterfowl habitat so you can expect to see wood ducks, mallards, teal, and plenty of geese.

Next should come the Catahoula National Wildlife Refuge, a huge refuge at 25,000 acres of lowland forest.  Regular flooding creates the ideal environment for many birds and wildlife species.  This is the perfect time of year to visit as migratory waterfowl are wintering here.  You will witness wildlife in their natural habitat such as raptors, reptiles and amphibians.  Nearby you might like to see the Dewey Wills Wildlife Management Area where raccoon, rabbits, mink, bobcat, and beaver roam.

You will never seem to be able to get enough of wildlife refuges or forest areas when in Louisiana.  Don’t leave out Bayou Cocodrie National Wildlife Refuge or the Tensas River National Wildlife Refuge.  So many species of birds, fish, and mammals live in these regions, and you can add to your list of sightings as you travel through this amazing state.  An RV trip to Louisiana –  a complete adventure and one you shouldn’t pass up.

El Monte RV

El Monte RV

For information on renting an RV near Louisiana, CLICK HERE.

Picture credits:  Top photo of the bayou by Pop Top Lady and the swimming bass by Jprime84 are both licensed under Explore/Creative Attribution Commons license on Flickr Creative Commons.

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