If you are a fan of alternative rock music or even punk rock music, you’ve undoubtedly heard of Warped Tour. This year, it was announced by Kevin Lyman, founder of Warped Tour in 1995, will be its last full tour around the country.

What this means for RV enthusiasts who also happen to love rock music, is you should plan early if you want to catch at least one venue of this last and rather historic magical musical tour.  Music Festival RV Vacations

Warped built its brand of a “punk-rock summer camp” by bringing out scene staples like NOFX and Bad Religion numerous times. But it was also an early champion of bands like Blink-182, No Doubt, and Paramore — punkers eventually embraced by the pop world. And outside of punk entirely, Warped’s past lineups were riddled with pre-superstardom misfits who found an early home amongst the skate shows and merch tents: Katy Perry, Eminem, Kid Rock, the Black Eyed Peas. Their ranks were rarely favorites of critics, but they no doubt shaped culture.

This last tour will be studded with a variety of bands as usual but this time, according to Lyman, Warped icons will hop on to make the last hurrah extra special. “You’re gonna see a big mix of bands I felt really embraced the Warped Tour lifestyle,” he says. “I don’t want to say a ‘mature’ lineup, but bands that I think could use one more big push of Warped Tour to help further their careers.” (Lyman, quoted in Billboard Magazine).

The tour this year begins in Pomona, CA on June 21st, followed by a few other California dates: San Diego on June 22nd, Mountain View on the 23rd and Ventura on the 24th. They start traveling eastward from there to Phoenix on the 28th and Las Vegas on the 29th of June. June 30th will feature Warped Tour in Salt Lake City before they travel to Denver on the 1st of July.

If you have never seen the remarkable traveling tour, this represents an amazing collection of about 100 bands in their tour buses or vans and another 50 or so RV’s, trucks or buses that comprise the setup and take-down crews for each venue. This is probably the closest you’d come to a traveling circus in the 21st century and it truly is an experience. The music is blaring from about 6 different sound stages every day; which they pack up and drive to the next city and set up for the next day.

Each venue might have some variation in the performers, but the entire cavalcade of musicians is beautifully organized and really fun to watch and listen to in at least one of their many locations.

The full tour itinerary and ticket information is available on the Warped Tour Official Website.  It is an incredible journey from the west to the east coast, with stops all along the way in the Midwest and Nashville, before they hit the east coast with Virginia Beach and two New Jersey stops mid-July. Then it’s another jaunt north to Hartford and Burgettstown, PA before they go to Toronto for one night on July 17th (the only non-US stop on the tour).

Warped Tour returns to the Midwest in late July and then back to the east coast to start to wrap it up. July 25th will find the entire troupe in Darien Center, NY followed by stops in Scranton, PA, Mansfield MA and Wantagh, NY. Then they head south to Columbia, MD, Charlotte, NC and Atlanta in late July.

The tour will end in Florida in early August with their four final tour dates in Jacksonville on August 2nd, Orlando on August 3rd, Tampa on August 4th, and finishing in West Palm Beach on August 5th.

If you haven’t yet been, make this the summer to go to at least one city and consider camping in your RV near any of the tour locations. Just plan early and get your tickets so you will be sure to have the full Warped Tour experience before it is gone forever.

El Monte RV has rental locations near many of the tour destinations. See section: Where you can Rent RV’s at El Monte RV for all our RV rental locations.

Though this may sound like an inopportune time to visit the Everglades, there are several advantages to exploring this vast wetlands National Park in summer.

Everglades Wet Season – June – November

With plenty of room to explore without crowds, the Everglades are the perfect adventure during the wet season, when frequent rains and heat scare many people off. If you come prepared with sunscreen and a hat, you’re likely to see scores of alligators going about their business, making the Everglades thrilling for nature enthusiasts and wildlife photographers looking for the perfect picture. Transition periods – like late April to early May are always a busy time. Tours are popular on Memorial Day weekend. Plus, alligators experience an active mating period in the spring, and with summer months just ahead, the wetland is preparing to create new habitat for wildlife to thrive. In late August, you can actually hear the cries of new baby alligators getting ready to roam. In the Everglades, water levels change dramatically from month to month, creating unique differences between the wet and dry seasons.

Alligator in the Everglades

Alligator in the Everglades

Facts about the Everglades:

The Everglades is a natural environment that is truly unique to South Florida. Here are some interesting facts about it:

  • The Everglades is located on more than eight million acres in Florida, originating near Orlando and following the Kissimmee River down to Florida Bay at the southern end of the state.
  • The Everglades is the single-largest subtropical wetland ecosystem on the continent and is home to 36 threatened or protected species including the Florida panther, the American crocodile, and the West Indian manatee, and supports 350 species of birds, 300 species of fresh and saltwater fish, 40 species of mammals, and 50 species of reptiles.(Wikipedia).
  • Often thought of as a large swamp, the Everglades is actually a complex mix of landscapes including rivers, marshes, forests and marine environments.
  • More than seven million people – or one-third of the state – depend on the Everglades for their water supply.
  • The park is the most significant breeding ground for tropical wading birds in North America and contains the largest mangrove ecosystem in the western hemisphere.

Park Entrances

Everglades National Park has three entrances in Homestead, Miami, and Everglades City. Please note, these entrances do NOT interconnect.

Homestead Entrances

  • Main Entrance: This entrance connects visitors to the Royal Palm and Flamingo areas of the park. It is open 24 hours a day. There is an entrance fee collected. If you are interested in taking a boat tour or renting a canoe, kayak or other boat at Flamingo, a separate fee applies.

Miami Entrance

  • Shark Valley Area: Open daily from 8:30AM to 6:00PM. There is an entrance fee collected at the gate. Separate fees apply for tram tours and bike rentals. The park remains open 24 hours, but vehicles do not have access after 6:00PM.

Everglades City / Naples Entrance

  • Gulf Coast Area: Open 24 hours a day. There is no entrance fee collected at this entrance; however there are fees for boat tours and canoe rentals.

The above are all National Park locations. In addition, there is another attraction west of Ft. Lauderdale at Griffin Rd and US 27. Everglades Holiday Park features gator shows, airboat rides and fantastic bird watching. In this park, you also see creatures in their natural habitat. The park is a working rescue operation and an educational park that is raising awareness of the importance of conserving natural wetlands.

Places to Camp in the Everglades:

Long Pine Key Campground, near Florida City near the Homestead entrance to the Everglades. It features 108 individual drive-up sites for tents and RVs available first-come, first-serve for $20/night. Reservations are not accepted for individual sites. However, they are closed during the wet season so save this one for November through April.

Flamingo Campground: Camping on the edge of Florida Bay offers spectacular sunrises and sunsets. Camping is available year-round!  No reservations are needed during off-season months between April 16 – Nov.19. During the summer wet season, portions of the campgrounds may be closed due to flooding.

RV Sites: Camping fees at the 41 sites in T-Loop in Flamingo with electrical hookup are $30.00 a night per site or $15.00 per site for Senior and Access pass holders. (This fee applies to anyone using these sites, regardless of whether they use electric or not.)

Amenities and Activities:
Flamingo campground is in a big open field with few trees and strong breezes can be felt from winds coming from Florida Bay. The campground features solar-heated showers, two dump stations, picnic tables, grills, and an amphitheater for winter programs.

Flamingo has several hiking trails and canoe trails, and opportunities for saltwater fishing are plentiful. More than 300 species of birds spend the winter in Everglades National Park, and there is ample opportunity to see crocodiles and manatees in the marina area where you can find services, boat rentals, tour boats and the Buttonwood Café.

Bring your kayak or canoe to explore backcountry trails, and small motorboats (5 HP and under) are allowed in many areas.

Flamingo Campground is located 38 miles south after entering the main park entrance in Homestead.

If you prefer to camp outside the park grounds, there are several other RV campgrounds nearby in Homestead and Florida City.

Check out Miami while you’re here:

Driving north from the Everglades, you are only about an hour away from Miami where you will want to take advantage of some extensive sightseeing. Visit Monkey Jungle, where humans are caged and monkeys run wild. Or if you are in the humor for more culture, tour Vizcaya Museum and Gardens (an Italian palace said to have been constructed using real, imported Italian marble) take a walking tour to plenty of art museums. Dine along South Bayshore Drive in Coconut Grove and spend the day where Crockett and Tubbs made Miami famous.

And, El Monte RV’s Miami location is right nearby, about 10 miles south of Coral Gables, if you need to rent an RV for your Everglades adventure!

The Charlotte Motor Speedway is home to some of the best auto racing in the Carolinas. Located outside Charlotte, North Carolina the racetrack was built in 1959 and has been hosting NASCAR races since 1960. The racetrack is 1.5 miles long. A revolutionary lighting system installed in 1992 allowed Charlotte Motor Speedway to become the first modern speedway to host night racing.

NASCAR Tailgating Party

NASCAR Tailgating Party

There is much more to do besides watch the race. The speedway has a Fan Zone which is a 10-acre area just outside the main entrance. Racing fans can play interactive games and purchase NASCAR merchandise. Kids will enjoy the bounce houses, petting zoo, and face painting located in the Play Zone.

The Coca-Cola 600 race is part of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. Tickets are on sale now for the May 27th event. This year the Eli Young Band will be the pre-race concert and is included when you purchase race tickets.

Many people who attend the race make a week of it and camp while they are there. Check out the speedway’s camping rules here. 

There are different campgrounds to suit your family’s needs: 

Turn 4 Family Campground:

This is a popular, family-friendly campground. It is perfect for families of all sizes and is especially suitable for children. Quiet time is observed daily. The campground is located near the Turn 4 grandstands and is a standard, no-hookup facility. However, there are modern restrooms/showers located nearby.

Tim Flock Campground:

This is a centrally located, standard no-hookup campground. It is located near a convenience store and gas station. Campsites are on a first-come-first-serve basis.  Extra tow vehicle passes can be purchased.

Morehead Farms Camp:

This standard, no-hookup campground is located on the backside of the speedway. It is a short 15-minute walk to the track and trams also run before and after the race. If you like a more secluded campsite, this will suit you.

Rock City Campground:

Located less than a mile from the front stretch, this is the best campground for partying with family and friends. It is a standard, no-hookup campground. A tram runs from Rock City to the speedway before and after the race.

Infield Camping:

If you would like to be in the middle of the action, then this is the place for you. There are premium RV sites that offer electric only. You can view the race on the huge HDTV in the infield. These campsites are ideal for entertaining clients or visiting with family and friends.

The Charlotte Motor Speedway’s philosophy is to make a fan’s visit the experience of a lifetime, whether it be watching the race, playing in the Fan Zone, looking through NASCAR memorabilia, viewing the race on the world’s largest HDTV, or camping right in the middle of all the action.

The old saying “someone’s trash is someone’s treasure” certainly holds true for the World’s Longest Yard Sale, also known as The 127 Corridor Sale. Everybody loves to find a bargain. Imagine a five-state, 690-mile yard sale stretching along highway 127 from Gadsden, Alabama to Addison, Michigan. Individual families, groups of people and communities set up tables and booths to participate in the yard sale. Vendors lease fields and open spaces along the corridor to sell their wares.

Yard Sale offerings

Yard Sale offerings

The event officially begins the first Thursday in August and ends the following Sunday. This year’s dates are- August 2 – 5. The massive yard sale was the brainchild of Mike Walker, a local Fentress County, Tennessee official. He envisioned the yard sale as a way to get people off the major interstates and onto America’s backroads. The first yard sale took place in 1987 along highway 127 in Fentress County, Tennessee. The Fentress County Chamber of Commerce currently serves as the yard sale’s headquarters.

It would be impossible to travel the entire stretch of highway 127 in the four days, much less visit each vendor or sale. You could make this an annual trip, visiting a different section of the corridor each August. Some of the major cities along the route are:

  • Gadsden, AL
  • Chattanooga, TN
  • Jamestown, TN
  • Frankfort, KY
  • Cincinnati, OH
  • Addison, MI

An excellent starting point would be where it all began – in the state of Tennessee. The Edgetrekker is a website that helps plan and organize your trip along the 127 Corridor Sale.

Reserve a campsite as a home base in Crossville, which is about midway on the TN section. From there you can travel north or south checking out yard sale bargains during the weekend. You can explore local attractions the days before and after the big sale.

The local Tennessee scenery is worth the trip even if you don’t buy a thing.

Flower Power for a Bloomin’ RV Vacation

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If you love blooming things and the great outdoors, head to Brookgreen Gardens. Visitors from around the world have walked the paths of this famous botanical garden. Many return year after year. If your vacation plans include a trip to …

 

Zootastic Spring Break

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Spring is the ideal time to load up the RV and get ready to experience a ‘Yaycation’ at San Diego Zoo in San Diego, California. The zoo is hosting a Yaycation sponsored by National University. The event runs from March …

 

Spring Break in the Caverns

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Does your family love the great outdoors? Are you fascinated by natural landforms and unusual plants? Carlsbad Caverns might be the destination for you. Spring is a great time to visit Carlsbad Caverns National Park. Summer brings temperatures in the …

 

RV Vacations to the Great Smoky Mountains

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If sandy beaches are not your idea of the perfect vacation, then you may be more inclined to spend your time in the beautiful Smoky Mountains. The Smokies are located in the southern end of the Appalachian Mountain Range. The …

 

The Grand Strand

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Myrtle Beach, South Carolina is famous for its sub-tropical weather and sandy beaches. The “Grand Strand” as it is fondly called, welcomes an estimated 14 million visitors annually. Many families consider this sandy strip of heaven to be the best …

 

The “Hangry” Monster

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We’ve all been there. You’re driving down the road in your RV and all of a sudden you are “hangry” (angry because you’re so hungry). Never mind that you just ate a few hours earlier. To make matters worse you’re …