Monthly Archives: August 2011

Touring Wisconsin’s Northwoods by RV

Thousands of lakes, a half million acres of forest and exciting places to indulge in a dozen kinds of outdoor recreation – that’s what RV travelers will find in Wisconsin’s Northwoods region. Come along as we map a scenic RV route through the Northwoods.

We start our tour in Rhinelander, Wisconsin, about six hours north of Chicago. It’s surrounded by lakes (1,100 in Oneida County alone!) filled with muskie, trout and northern pike. The fishing fans in your RV aren’t going to want to leave. Why not camp at least a couple of days at West Bay Camping Resort on the shores of Lake Thompson, or Lake George Campsite on the shores of George Lake? Both are minutes from the amenities of Rhinelander, and located beside two excellent Northwoods lakes.

Once you’ve experienced Oneida County Northwoods fishing, travel north on WI-47 along the Wisconsin River into North Highland-American Legion State Forest. The scenery along the way is thrilling, with huge expanses of forest revealing bright blue lakes through every window. This Wisconsin Northwoods paradise has the distinction of having “one of the highest concentrations of lakes in the world.”

What that means for RV camping outdoors enthusiasts is the chance to play both on the water and in the woods, as well as enjoying state forest campsites. A favorite activity in the “NH-AL” is canoeing. The headwaters of the Wisconsin, Flambeau and Manitowish Rivers are protected within the state forest, creating dozens of scenic canoe trails to follow. There are also swimming beaches, bike and hiking trails and the wild beauty of Powell Marsh State Wildlife Area to enjoy.

One spot you’ll want to slow down and savor is Lake Tomahawk, “The Queen of the Northwoods Lakes.” The lake’s crystal clear waters invite visitors to fish, swim and play in a beautifully wooded setting. You’ll also find the town of Lake Tomahawk a happy diversion, especially if you have the chance to catch a summer “snowshoe baseball” game!

We continue our scenic drive through Wisconsin Northwoods Country on WI-47 to the town of Woodruff, WI. Not only is Woodruff right in the heart of Northern Wisconsin forest and lake country, it’s also home to the Dr. Kate Newcomb Museum. It’s worth the stop to learn more about the “Angel on Snowshoes” whose dream of building a hospital in Woodruff inspired the Million Penny Parade in 1953. Patricia Lake Campground and RV Park in nearby Minocqua is the perfect spot to stop for the night.

And then it’s time to make the loop up WI-51, circling Trout Lake (the name says it all, fishermen!), Ike Walton Lake, and a dozen more pristine bodies of water. Make a stop at scenic Manitowish Waters, WI to tour the cranberry marsh and then fish, hike, swim and boat on the fabulous Chain of Lakes. You can also see where the Dillinger Gang fought the FBI at Little Bohemia Lodge!

We finish our RV journey through Wisconsin’s Northwoods by heading south again along WI-47, through verdant state forest, past sparkling lakes to the lively town of Lac du Flambeau, WI. Enjoy learning more about the town’s Ojibwe Indian heritage and the Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa. Try your hand at Lake of the Torches Casino and spend the night at Lac du Flambeau Tribal Campground before continuing your journey back to Woodruff.

From Woodruff, you can follow WI-47 back to Rhinelander or blaze a trail past a whole new set of picturesque lakes along US-51 to Wausau before returning your Chicago RV rental. Let the call of the loon lure you to explore the scenic byways of Wisconsin’s Northwoods by RV. When you do, you’ll truly wonder why you waited so long.

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The Lewis & Clark Trail through Missouri by RV

Ready for more RV camping adventures on the Lewis and Clark Trail? The pair’s epic journey included a jaunt across Northern Missouri on the Missouri River. Here’s our suggested itinerary for following those intrepid explorers’ path through Missouri by RV.

Stop #1: Museum of Westward Expansion, St. Louis
Located at the base of the iconic “St. Louis Arch”, the Museum of Westward Expansion is part of the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial Complex. An impressive collection of Lewis and Clark memorabilia is housed in the museum, as well as fascinating video presentations and interactive exhibits highlighting the lives of Native Americans, miners and farmers during the time of westward expansion.

About five hours south of El Monte RV Rentals in Chicago, you’ll find this city on the banks of the Mississippi filled with cultural, historic and just plain fun attractions. Campgrounds like St. Louis RV Park will help keep luxurious RV camping affordable.

Stop #2: Bellefontaine Cemetery, St. Louis
After making his way to the Pacific Ocean with Meriwether Lewis, Captain William Clark returned to St. Louis, where he died in 1838. Historic Bellefontaine Cemetery on Florissant Avenue is home to the granite obelisk that marks his passing.

Stop #3: Lewis and Clark Boathouse and Nature Center, St. Charles
Less than thirty miles west of St. Louis on I-70, the quaint Missouri river town of St. Charles is home to the Lewis and Clark Boathouse and Nature Center. Created by the Discovery Expedition, a non-profit group dedicated to commemorating the journey of Lewis and Clark, this historical treasure is a must-see for RV camping American history buffs. You’ll find a museum, a riverside nature walk, and a boat house with exact replicas of the watercraft Lewis and Clark used to navigate the Missouri.

Once you’ve explored this excellent resource on the Lewis and Clark expedition, stay and visit other St. Charles attractions. Katy Trail State Park gives access to the scenic trail that follows reclaimed railroad bed along the Missouri River for more than two hundred miles. Hiking or biking a section of the trail is a favorite pastime for RV travelers to St. Charles.

Stop #4: Arrow Rock State Historic Site, Arrow Rock, MO
Now you have a choice to make as you follow Lewis and Clark’s journey west through Missouri. You can either travel I-70 west to Arrow Rock, Missouri, or follow the Missouri River along MO-94 to Stump Island Park in Jefferson City. Jefferson City, the state’s capitol, is noteworthy as Clark noted passing ‘Stump Island’ (there’s an historical marker there) in June of 1804.

If you’re short on time, make the direct trip to Arrow Rock from St. Charles. The town of Arrow Rock on the Missouri River is a living history installation with historic structures, a visitor center and re-enactments of life in a river town. Lewis and Clark noted the area’s salt water streams and the rock from which Indians made many arrows. You’ll also find a campground there, so why not spend some time enjoying this town’s vintage charm? By the way, Arrow Rock is in the heart of “Boone’s Lick Country”, where Daniel Boone’s sons once extracted and sold salt.

We owe an enormous debt to those early travelers, Lewis and Clark, for their amazing journey to the Pacific. Indulge your love of history and enjoy the comfort of RV camping by following the Lewis and Clark Trail through the Show Me State soon.

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Some Western National Parks Worth an RV Visit

FindTheBest created a US National Park comparison that allows users to find and compare all the US National Parks based on acreage, activities offered, location, and more! Let’s take a look at some RV worthy national parks in the western United States:

  • Yellowstone National Park: This Wyoming national park is one of the biggest in the nation spanning over two million acres. Known for its geothermal activity, the park is home to many different hot springs and geysers including the world famous geyser Old Faithful. Upon your arrival at the park be prepared to pay a per vehicle fee of $25. Once inside the park be ready for a full day or weekend of fun! In the winter you can ski, cross-country ski, snowmobile, and more. In the warmer months explore the park’s beautiful waterfalls and rivers.
  • Grand Canyon National Park: Grand Canyon National park is home to the Grand Canyon. This world wonder is a continuous natural canvas showcasing the layers of our world’s life. At its apexes the canyon is 15 miles wide and 227 miles long. The creator of the canyon, the Colorado River, also provides visitors with rafting opportunities. If the water isn’t your thing consider taking a mule or donkey ride down the canyon – very fun!
  • Great Basin National Park: Located on the boarder of Nevada and Utah this national park is home to 5,000-year-old bristlecone pines, glacial moraines, and the limestone Lehman Caves. The park has some of the countries darkest night skies, so if your looking to find a galaxy far far away this is the spot to set up your telescope.
  • Zion National Park: This particular park houses four separate ecosystems so expect to see a variety of wildlife during your visit. The park’s high plateaus and rock towers will add provide prospective. Aside from its natural beauty the park also offers a variety of activities including camping, hiking, horseback riding, and much more!
  • Joshua Tree National Park: The Joshua Tree is a giant member of the lily family and was first used by Native Americans for basket weaving and eating – the trees roots are very notorious! This desert-based park in the summer can easily surpass a hundred degrees (F) and doesn’t let up in the evening with temperatures in the high eighties. The heat shouldn’t keep you from visiting though with hiking, rock climbing, scenic driving, and bird watching there is plenty to keep your mind off the heat.

About the Author
This post was written by Kyle Espinola of FindTheBest, a site where you can find the best of anything from credit cards to cars.

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Ten Ways to Maximize Your Modesto RV Vacation

Halfway between the fabulous San Francisco Bay area and the lush beauty of Stanislaus National Forest, Modesto, California is a place all RVers should explore. To help Modesto RV rental customers plan their own vacations, we’ll share our list of ten ways to maximize your Modesto RV vacation.

  1. Camp at Turlock Lake SRA: Twenty miles east of Modesto, Turlock Lake SRA is a great place for your family to enjoy lakeside camping. Bring the boat and fish, or hike the trails for nice views of surrounding farms and ranches. A swimming beach and mild weather year-round make this Central Valley spot a favorite with RV campers.
  2. Celebrate Modesto’s History: Founded in 1870, Modesto has a rich agricultural and industrial history. Numerous historic landmarks are open to the public. Two special sites RV travelers will find interesting:
    • McHenry Mansion – One of the town’s most influential families built a beautiful home in the 1880s that still stands as a symbol of Modesto’s early history. The McHenry Mansion and nearby McHenry Museum give clues to the area’s settlement and growth.
    • The Modesto Arch has greeted visitors with the words “Water, Wealth, Contentment and Health” since 1912. A great photo op for Modesto RV campers!
  3. Discover Sausalito: Across the bay from San Francisco, Sausalito is filled with scenery, history and outdoor fun. Stroll the picturesque streets, rent a sea kayak and explore the waterways or take one of the city’s famed boat tours. You’ll love the time you spend in Sausalito!
  4. Explore Lodi Wine Country: Lodi, CA in the Central Valley is less than an hour north of Modesto and home to dozens of vineyards and wineries. Use this guide to plan your tour of Lodi Wine Country.
  5. Get to Know Sacramento: Travel Route 99 north from Modesto to California’s capitol, Sacramento. Once the heart of Gold Rush Country, Sacramento welcomes visitors with historic, cultural and outdoor attractions for everyone in your RV. Old Sacramento State Historic Park in downtown Sacramento features dozens of Gold Rush-era buildings and exhibits that will fascinate California history buffs.
  6. Go Nuts! The Modesto Nuts, farm team for the Colorado Rockies, play at John Thurman Stadium (formerly Del Webb Field). Baseball greats like Jose Conseco and Reggie Jackson spent time on this diamond, so why not watch this season’s stars while on your Modesto RV vacation?
  7. Into the Wilderness: Three wilderness areas within the Stanislaus National Forest offer Modesto RV campers the chance to get close to nature. Hundreds of miles of trails and waterways create a wonderland of outdoor recreation. Choose your favorite spots and outdoor activities and then plan to spend at least a day at this national forest a short drive from Modesto.
  8. Savor San Francisco! Only 1.5 hours away.
  9. Tour Stockton’s Historic Waterfront, a revitalized entertainment district fronting Stockton Channel. Stockton is about thirty minutes north of Modesto, making it easy for RV travelers to visit. You might even want to take a boat trip up Stockton Channel to San Francisco Bay!
  10. Visit Yosemite National Park, only 2 hours away. The waterfalls, trails and rock formations of Yosemite attract millions of visitors each year. Don’t miss this spectacular side trip to Yosemite while RV camping in Modesto.
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Jacksonville by RV – Top 10 Places to Go

Jacksonville, Florida, an RV-friendly city, is home to outdoor recreation, natural wonders and RV parks that demonstrate pure Southern hospitality. A Jacksonville RV rental is the beginning of fun in the sun, and here are ten exciting places you’ll want to go.

  1. Beaches Town Center, at the heart of Atlantic and Neptune Beaches, is the gateway to days of adventure. Restaurants, shops and, of course, the beautiful Northeast Florida beaches offer your RV camping crew the chance to do it all.
  2. Boating the Intracoastal Waterway is a wonderful way to get to know Jacksonville. The Intracoastal actually runs from Norfolk, VA all the way to Miami, with plenty of ways to experience the southern Atlantic Coast if you’d like to venture beyond Jacksonville. For Intracoastal angling action, charter a Jacksonville fishing excursion and get ready to reel in the big ones!
  3. Cumberland Island National Seashore – Run across the state line to historic St. Mary’s, Georgia and take the ferry to Cumberland Island. Much more than just a scenic island, this site offers RVers the chance to bike, hike, visit historic sites and photograph a wide variety of wildlife. May we suggest a stay at Jacksonville North/St. Mary’s KOA?
  4. Daytona Speedway Racing – An hour and a half down the road in Daytona, race fans will find the home of the Daytona 500. Daytona International Speedway hosts blazing NASCAR action, thrilling bike racing events and some of the top IMSA events in the country.
  5. Gamble Rogers Memorial State Recreation Area, seventy miles south of Jacksonville at Flagler Beach, is a delightful place to play in the waves. Fish, surf, swim or sit in the sun at this beautiful park tucked between the Atlantic and the Intracoastal Waterway.
  6. Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge is located just north of Jacksonville at the Georgia State line. The granddaddy of all marshland preserves, it is a four hundred thousand acre wonderland of cypress forests, canals and wildlife-studded prairies. Come watch for alligators and sandhill cranes on a boat tour, hike the boardwalks that wind through the park or put a canoe in the water and paddle through unforgettable scenery. This is a “must-see” when you come to Jacksonville!
  7. Osceola National Forest – The bright blue waterways winding through this national forest west of Jacksonville set the stage for hiking, paddling or fishing. Camp at Ocean Pond Campground and slow down the pace to experience the cypress swamps and other unusual ecosystems that combine to create Osceola.
  8. Pecan Park Flea & Farmer’s Market – Love to shop for a bargain? Your North Florida shopping excursion isn’t complete without a stop at Pecan Park. Open weekends, this 700-plus vendor marketplace is North Florida’s largest. Stay right next door at Pecan Park RV Resort!
  9. Riverside Avondale District is an historic Jacksonville neighborhood filled with vintage architecture, the Riverside Arts Market, Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens and many other charming attractions throughout the district. Take the podcast guided walking tour to get the flavor of “Old Jacksonville.”
  10. Timucuan Ecological and Historical Preserve is a National Park Service site celebrating the coastal wetlands of Northeast Florida. You’ll find hiking trails, historic sites and places to paddle, swim and learn about Native American, early Florida and Civil War history. Campsites can be found within the Preserve’s boundaries at Little Talbot Island State Park. Don’t miss the beautiful beach at Huguenot Memorial Park, also part of the Timucuan complex.

All this and more are waiting for you in Jacksonville, Florida. Affordable RV camping makes this trip one we recommend to all our readers!

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Discovering the Black Hills Parkway by RV

Towering rock spires, pine-studded hillsides and dramatic canyon vistas are the things for which South Dakota’s Black Hills are famous. Traveling the Black Hills Parkway by RV combines luxurious comfort with history, outdoor recreation and, above all, scenery. We’d like to share our guide to a Black Hills Parkway RV vacation with our readers.

Black Hills Parkway Stop #1: Custer, South Dakota

Our RV tour of discovery will follow US-385 from Custer, SD to Deadwood. Six hours north of Denver in the heart of the Black Hills, the historic town of Custer, South Dakota is surrounded by magnificent scenery and historic sites. From the prehistoric treasures at The Mammoth Site, to the granite peaks of Custer State Park, there’s plenty to enjoy near Custer.

We suggest camping in one of the state park’s scenic campgrounds and then spending at least a day hiking area trails, enjoying the frontier charm of downtown Custer and fishing at the state park’s pristine creeks and lakes. If underground wonders appeal to you, be sure to visit one of the area’s many caves, including Wind Cave National Park, Rushmore Cave and Jewel Cave National Monument.

Top marks from our clients go to the Crazy Horse Memorial, a long-time work in progress honoring the region’s Native American heritage. We’ll talk about Badlands National Park on another post, but if you’re itching to explore the stark beauty of the badlands on this trip, it’s just two hours east of Custer.

Black Hills Parkway Stop #2: Mount Rushmore

As you travel north on the Black Hills Parkway through the Black Hills National Forest, your RV will meander past towering granite peaks and dense pine forests. Slow down to enjoy scenic overlooks and by all means make the side trip on Hwy 244 to that most iconic of all South Dakota landmarks, Mount Rushmore.

The awe-inspiring beauty of this epic granite monument is worth spending the day discovering. Both the ranger-led and audio tours are excellent ways to view Mount Rushmore. Your RV camping crew should also visit the Lakota, Nakota and Dakota Heritage Village along the Presidential Trail.

Black Hills Parkway Stop #3: Hill City

Just fifteen minutes north of Mount Rushmore is a small town filled with both the history and natural beauty of the Black Hills. Hill City, South Dakota is home to the Black Hills Central Railroad, an 1880s train that takes visitors on a two-hour tour of some pretty amazing scenery.

If you like to hike your way into the hills, why not pick up the George S. Mickelson Trail at Hill City? This 100-mile trek through rock tunnels and the heart of the Black Hills National Forest actually stretches from Edgemont to Deadwood, but the trailhead near Hill City is a good place to start a shorter hike. Surrounded by national forest, Custer State Park and the Black Elk Wilderness, there’s no shortage of outdoor spaces to hike, bike or photograph near Hill City. A first-rate place to stay overnight while exploring the Hill City area is Horse Thief Campground and RV Resort.

Black Hills Parkway Stop #4: Lead and Deadwood, SD

We should slow down and state at this point that simply driving the Black Hills Parkway is an unforgettable experience. Watch all along your route for big horn sheep, elk and bison and keep your camera ready for amazingly beautiful sights like Harney Peak. The colorful striations, rock spires and pine forests add layers of beauty you’ll want to explore.

We’re on the final stretch of our journey, to two towns three miles apart filled with Wild West charm and significance. Lead (as in “lead the way”) is an historic gem worth getting to know. Founded during the 1870s Black Hills Gold Rush, the tiny town of Lead is big on history and outdoor recreation. Surrounded by ski runs, trails, rivers and forests, the active RV traveler will find a dozen marvelous ways to spend time while in Lead, SD. Campers interested in history will enjoy the Homestead Gold Mine Surface Tour and the Black Hills Mining Museum.

Deadwood, SD, once home to Wild Bill Hickok and Calamity Jane, offers South Dakota RV travelers the chance to experience the Old West with modern amenities! Play at the town’s three casinos, pan for gold at the Broken Boot Mine or take the Deadwood Trolley to visit historic sites like Mount Mariah Cemetery. No less than a dozen Deadwood area campgrounds offer a full range of options for RV campers.

It’s a wild and glorious ride along the Black Hills Parkway by RV, and one all RV travelers should experience. Let us help you with a Denver RV rental and then head for the Black Hills for a memorable RV vacation.

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Ten Places RV Travelers Like in Salt Lake City

  1. Antelope Island State Park, located on the Great Salt Lake, is beloved by RV campers for its sandy beaches, salt water swimming, wildlife viewing and excellent hiking trails. Dry camping at the island’s campsites allows you a ringside seat to watch for bison and antelope.
  2. Heber Valley Railroad, about an hour south in Heber City, skirts scenic Deer Creek Reservoir and offers a day of fun for RV campers. Take advantage of activity packages for adventures such as “ride and raft”, the zip line adventure, “reins and trains” and whole host of other possibilities for outdoor fun.
  3. Jordanelle State Park – An excellent place to camp, fish or hike less than an hour from Salt Lake City. Bring the boat to this bright blue lake near Heber, UT. Surrounded by the Wasatch Range, it’s the perfect place to spend an extended outdoor vacation.
  4. A visit to Park City Utah will remind you why the Olympics were once held here! Miles of biking and hiking trails, an ice center, golf courses and just about any kind of outdoor activity you desire can be found in Park City.
  5. Rockport State Park – A quick forty-five minute drive from Salt Lake City on I-80 and you’re in angler’s heaven! Fish for bass and rainbow trout and take advantage of comfortable camping at Juniper Campground.
  6. Southern Utah National Parks! When you go RV camping in Salt Lake City, don’t miss the chance to visit Southern Utah’s outstanding national parks. A half day’s drive from SLC, you’ll find Capitol Reef National Park, where scenery, outdoor recreation and historic sites are more than worth the drive. Close by you’ll also find Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, where hundreds of miles of turquoise blue water winds through rocky canyons and invites visitors to boat, fish and explore. Two more extraordinary national parks are well within easy driving range of Salt Lake City. Canyonlands National Park offers not only breathtaking redrock canyon scenery, but also the Green and Colorado Rivers for rafting, fishing and riverside trail hiking. Arches National Park near Moab, UT will have your camera shutters clicking as you hike and drive a landscape that reveals two thousand sandstone arches.
  7. Temple Square – RV travelers will definitely want to spend a day at Temple Square, where the world headquarters of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is located. The magnificent Salt Lake Temple and Tabernacle, the historic Beehive House and a whole host of other significant structures are open for guided tours.
  8. This is the Place Heritage Farm is the perfect place to take the kids on your Salt Lake City RV camping trip. Watch demonstrations and join in as farm chores are done. Tour Heritage Village and Native American Village for an excellent view of early Utah history.
  9. Utah Governor’s Mansion, located in Salt Lake City, is an exquisite example of turn-of-the-century architecture. Learn how the people of Utah and some world-class restoration experts brought this beautiful home back to life after a major fire in 1993.
  10. Wendover, UT on the Nevada border is home to several exciting casinos. One hour west of Salt Lake City you’ll find the Wendover Nugget Casino and the Wendover Resorts, including the Peppermill, Rainbow and Montego Bay Hotels and Casinos.
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RV Journey through Cajun Country

Traveling by RV through the heart of Louisiana’s Cajun Country allows travelers to enjoy the sights in luxurious comfort. All along the way, historic and cultural places of interest will keep RV campers fascinated. Come along as we add some spice to your vacation itinerary with an RV trip through Cajun Country.

If you’re coming from the west, Breaux Bridge, Louisiana is about six and a half hours southeast of Dallas, TX and the ideal spot for starting your RV Cajun journey. Built on the shores of Bayou Teche, this bayou town is famous for the Breaux Bridge Crawfish Festival held each May. If Cajun music, food and fun sound like a great time to you, be sure to reserve an RV camping spot at next year’s fest. Definitely plan time to take a swamp tour and also enjoy the town’s historic buildings.

Travel south to Lafayette, the heart of Cajun and Creole Louisiana (otherwise known as “Acadiana”), for a delicious journey through sounds, flavors and sights that you won’t soon forget. Not only are the streets of Lafayette filled with spots offering succulent Cajun and Creole specialties, the city’s location on the Vermillion River, on the bayou and near Cypress Island Preserve at Lake Martin make it easy for RV travelers to experience life, Cajun style. Local outfitters offer swamp tours and fishing charters and the local plantations simply must be seen.

Now it’s time to head east on I-90 to New Iberia, where even more Cajun delights await. World famous Avery Island, where Tabasco sauce has been made since 1868, is a must do for New Iberia visitors. History lovers will want to walk the quaint streets of downtown historic district and visit Shadows on the Teche, an antebellum historic site. Hope to spend some more time in the great outdoors? The Atchafalaya National Heritage Area winds through Cajun Country, so try one of the many tours that highlight different kinds of interests.

Before continuing east toward New Orleans, we suggest a side trip to Abbeville, deep in the heart of Southern Louisiana. This lovely town will charm your shoes off, so get ready to relax! Only thirty minutes west of New Iberia, Abbeville RV Park is centrally located to all area attractions.

And now it’s a run to the delta along I-90 through towns like Jeanerette and Morgan City, where Victor Guarisco Lake End Park welcomes RV travelers with campsites on the shores of Lake Palourde. Morgan City offers travelers access to a number of bayous and lakes, so if you’re planning to fish on your Cajun Country RV trip, this is the place!

Continue east on I-90 to Terrebonne Parish and the city of Houma, Louisiana. The restaurants and cafes of this lively parish offer the best in Cajun cuisine, so come hungry and plan to experience more than one! Historic homes and cemeteries and a local favorite activity, swamp cruises, will make this stop memorable.

We recommend finishing your trip at Jean Lafitte National Historic Park and Preserve, a collection of regional treasures. Ranging from the French Quarter in New Orleans to the Barataria Wetlands Preserve outside Marrero, the sites under this park’s umbrella are a vacation in themselves. Choose a couple of spots you haven’t visited so far on your Cajun Country RV Tour and immerse yourselves in the joys of this region’s heritage and culture.

It’s time to spice up your RV travel! Take an RV trip to Louisiana’s Cajun Country for the seasoning your travel schedule needs.

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Ten Places RV Campers Love in Birmingham

Take a trip to the heart of Alabama and you’ll find Birmingham, gateway to a wide range of outdoor recreation. All it takes for weeks of outdoor activity is a cleared calendar and a Birmingham RV Rental. Here are ten place RV campers have told us they love to visit near Birmingham:

  1. Birmingham Zoo – A favorite of RV camping families, the Birmingham Zoo features more than one hundred acres of animals, birds and reptiles. Ride the carousel, enjoy the sea lion show and photograph dozens of species of birds in their exciting aviary environment.
  2. DeSoto Caverns – An hour south of Birmingham in Childersburg, DeSoto Caverns delights visitor of all ages. With tours of the giant underground caverns as well as a wide variety of family-friendly attractions, this is a must-do for campers with kids. Pan for gemstones, play Wacky Water Golf, watch the laser light show and, by all means, plan to spend the day discovering the wonders of DeSoto caverns.
  3. Weiss Lake in Northeast Alabama is just an hour and a half from Birmingham and a thirty-thousand acre water wonderland. Fishermen in your RV camping crew will soon find out why this is the “Crappie Fishing Capital of the World.” Hikers and mountain bikers will also want to hit the trails around this lake in the Southern Appalachians. Surrounded by waterfalls, streams and other mountain wonders, a stay at Weiss Lake RV Park in Leesburg is the key to an exciting outdoor adventure.
  4. Little River Canyon National Preserve, just north of Weiss Lake, should definitely earn a spot on your Birmingham RV camping itinerary. Follow this river from its start at the top of Lookout Mountain through a canyon filled with such scenic wonders as Little River Falls and Eberhart Point Overlook (there’s a scenic drive in between for those who’d rather not hike!)
  5. Oak Mountain State Park, just twenty miles south of Birmingham, offers enough outdoor activity to keep RV travelers busy for days! A ten-thousand acre day use area includes two fishing lakes, hiking and biking trails and a larger lake with boat rentals and a swimming beach. There’s also a very nice, full-hookups campground if you’d like to stay and play longer.
  6. Point Mallard Park – Decatur – Where have you visited lately where a golf course, indoor ice rink, waterpark and campground are all found in the same complex? Point Mallard Park in Decatur draws RV travelers from all over, thanks to the amazing variety of outdoor play possible. Don’t forget to book a campsite reservation for your active family—they won’t want to leave Point Mallard Park!
  7. Rickwood Caverns State Park, just thirty minutes north of Birmingham, is another Alabama wonder offering excellent activities for the entire family. Tour an underground mile of caverns, pools and even cave wildlife and then stay to camp, swim and picnic at this nicely-planned family attraction.
  8. Russell Cave National Monument – Definitely take the time to travel two hours north to the Alabama/Tennessee border to Russell Cave National Monument. This prehistoric cave shelter was an important center of life for Alabama’s ancient inhabitants, and there’s so much to learn on the Ranger-guided tour, in the museum and through fascinating interpretive activities.
  9. Sloss Furnaces National Historic Landmark, an enormous complex of stacks and furnaces tells the story of the industry that built Birmingham after the Civil War. Take one of the self-tours or cell phone tours to learn how the pig iron furnaces at this historic treasure made Birmingham one of the centers of American industry.
  10. Vulcan Park and Museum – Travel to the top of Red Mountain in Birmingham to see one of the wonders of the South, the five-story statue that sparked a civic movement. Built in 1904, this awesome cast iron statue inspired local volunteers to not only restore the statue to its former glory but also create a complex that includes a museum and park.

RV camping in Birmingham, Alabama will be the start of an exciting outdoor adventure. Use these tips for ten places RV campers love in Birmingham and then chart your own Birmingham RV camping experience.

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An RV Journey through Indiana’s Amish Country

Longing to relax in a beautiful place that harkens back to another time? Indiana’s Amish Country is just such a place – abounding in cultural attractions, farm tours and quaint, historic villages. Take a trip with us as we tour this wonderful region by RV.

What You’ll Find in Indiana’s Amish Country
We suggest you start your trip in Elkhart, Indiana (the RV Capitol of the World!), two hours east of Chicago. Before leaving Elkhart be sure to visit Island Park where the St. Joseph and Elkhart Rivers meet and the premier celebration of RV travel, the RV/MH Hall of Fame. History buffs will also want to visit Ruthmere, the glorious 1908 home of the Beardsley family, early leading citizens of Elkhart.

From Elkhart, you’ll travel through towns and villages that celebrate relaxed rural living and the Amish heritage for which the area is famous. Here’s a sample itinerary:

  1. Take IN-19 from Elkhart to Wakarusa, where Schmidt Furniture offers tours of its heritage furniture building operation. From Wakarusa, continue south on IN-19 to Nappanee, IN, home of Amish Acres Historic Farm. Take a buggy ride, enjoy demonstrations of 1830s farm life and enjoy a “Threshers Dinner” at the Restaurant Barn. By the way, if it’s your first trip to Amish country, here’s a helpful guide to respectful travel among the Amish.
  2. From Nappanee, it’s a twenty minute drive past the hillside Amish farms on IN-119 to Goshen, Indiana, a 19th century village rich with Amish history. Shop and dine in historic buildings throughout the downtown district and explore the works of area artisans at the Old Bag Factory. One more tip for family-centered fun in Goshen: visit Knollbrook Farm, where rural delights such as corn mazes and the afternoon “cow parade” are sure to delight the kids.
  3. Your trip now follows bucolic country highways from Goshen to Shipshewana, IN, where we suggest RV travelers stop for the night at Shipshewana RV Park and Flea Market, just off US-20 on IN-5. It’s a marvelous stop for RV travelers, offering front-row access to the Midwest’s largest flea market every Tuesday and Wednesday from April to November. Shipshewana is also the site of a number of Amish country attractions. Here are some you’ll want to visit:
    • Yoder’s Red Barn Shops offers delights at shops like Wana Cabinets and Furniture and Red Bud Gourmet Coffee.
    • Menno-Hof Information Center takes visitors through a number of experiences including a “Quilt Garden” (one of many in the region) and fascinating exhibits that explore the history of the Anabaptists (Mennonites and Amish) from before the Reformation to modern times.
    • Hostetler’s Hudson Auto Museum, “the world’s largest collection of Hudson products.”
  4. On the way back to Elkhart, be sure to stop in the village of Middlebury, where another excellent area RV campground, Elkhart/Middlebury Exit KOA, greets travelers to Amish Country. Middlebury is also home to Das Dutchman Essenhaus, an Amish-style eatery in a picturesque setting.

All along your route from Elkhart through Indiana’s Amish Country, you’ll be surrounded by heritage farms, quaint villages and excellent cultural attractions. For information about travel in the region, be sure to visit AmishCountry.org. A favorite with our readers, this is one of El Monte RV Rental’s recommended routes for Indiana RV travelers.

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