RV Camping to the Panorama Music Festival

When you’re ready for a Coachella–like music festival but find yourself on the East Coast, take your RV and head for New York! You’ll find the third year of the Panorama Music Festival July 27 – 29 at Randall’s Island Park.

Consider taking a week-long trip centered on this weekend to really enjoy some of the sights in addition to the sounds of New York City.

Panorama Music Festival

Panorama Music Festival

Aside from great lineups each year, this event also includes unique art installations and amazing local New York food selections to delight the foodie in you. This might be THE music festival for you.

Major headliners for the 2018 3 day concert lineup include: Janet Jackson, The Killers, and The Weeknd. Other notable acts include Migos, Cardi B, SZA, David Byrne, St. Vincent, The xx, Father John Misty, Fleet Foxes, The War on Drugs, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Gucci Mane, Greta Van Fleet, Mount Kimbie, Daniel Caesar, Dua Lipa, Jay Som, Jhené Aiko, Floating Points, Japanese Breakfast, Downtown Boys, and more. See more details of the schedule and lineups here: Panorama (New York, NY). For more information about travel and other details on getting there, click here.

ABOUT RANDALL’S ISLAND PARK:

Randall’s Island Park is one of New York’s City’s most unique and multi-faceted public parks. Located in the middle of the City, the park comprises most of an island in the East River that is situated between Manhattan, The Bronx, and Queens. Featuring a wide array of fields and spaces, Randall’s Island is home to a world class Tennis Center, a full service Golf Center, an IAAF-certified track and field facility (Icahn Stadium), over 60 playing fields, miles of waterfront bike and pedestrian pathways, and a newly renovated Event Lawn where concerts and festivals are held.  The Randall’s Island Park Alliance (RIPA), which oversees and governs the island, is celebrating 25 years of progress in transforming Randall’s Island Park into an innovative and exciting destination for sports, recreation, environmental exploration and cultural events.

Camping Spots Nearby:

Here are a few choices for RV campgrounds nearby to scope out before you embark on your trip to New York.

1) Liberty Harbor RV: Located in Jersey City, NJ, this park is billed as the closest RV Park to New York City. It is 15 minutes from the city, just across the East River and is open year round, offering specials for stays of 6 days or longer, Wi-Fi, 50 sites with water and electric, and more. It is located close to the PATH train, Ferries and Light Rail, and is right next to the Liberty Harbor Marina.

2) Camp Gateway – Brooklyn, NY is operated by the National Park Service and is part of the Gateway National Recreation Area, which is located within one of the most urbanized areas of the country, covering 26,000 acres of New Jersey and three New York City boroughs. Amidst the urban environment, the park boasts grasslands, woodlands, sand dunes, beaches, ponds, salt marshes and forests.

Camp Gateway –Brooklyn, is in the woodland habitat of Floyd Bennet Field, facing the salt marshes of Jamaica Bay. You can take advantage of their biking trails that weave through Fort Tilden, with a military history that dates back to the War of 1812.

Birders would enjoy the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge host of 300 species of migratory birds, with willets and green herons in spring and summer, or osprey and black crowned night herons year-round.

When you are ready to get into the City, head to Riis Landing for ferry rides to Manhattan. Check out their website for more details.

More Sites to See

Take time to visit other notable sites while you visit New York. One truly notable spot is called Castle Clinton, located at the southern tip of Manhattan by The Battery, and landing point of the New York Ferries to Ellis Island or the Statue of Liberty.

If you find a photograph of Manhattan taken from anywhere in or near the harbor, whether taken from a ship, helicopter, or skyscraper, you’ll notice that Castle Clinton National Monument is one of the most instantly recognizable landmarks in a city full of recognizable landmarks. That’s not to say Castle Clinton has always looked the same. Visit their visitor center for a full view of how it has looked over the last 200 years.

To rent an RV for your next New York trip, check our New York/New Jersey RV Rentals location. Click here for more details.

Posted in Music Festivals, New Jersey RV Camping Vacation, New York RV Camping Vacation | Leave a comment

Summer in the Rockies: A 3-5 Day RV Vacation to Rocky Mountain National Park

Colorado’s high country has a lot of territory to cover. But even if you don’t have much time, a Grand County, Colorado three to five day summer getaway can introduce you to the best of the Rocky Mountains. RV camping in this area reveals exotic views, plenty of water activities and horseback riding or even rodeos if you like.

Here’s a suggested three – five day trip itinerary:

Day 1: Arrival at High Altitude

If you’ve arrived from the lowlands, be smart and take a day to acclimate while getting an introduction to the area. Remember to drink plenty of water and take it easy—you are on vacation, after all.

Use your first day to take a drive on the Colorado Headwaters Scenic and Historic Byway. Begin on U.S. Highway 34 in Grand Lake. Follow the Colorado River south for 80 miles, through the towns of Granby, Hot Sulphur Springs, Parshall and Kremmling.

A short drive from the town of Grand Lake, Kawuneeche Visitor Center is located just past the entrance to the park. Here, you’ll find an unforgettable drive through pine meadows, up rugged slopes, and out into the open alpine highlands, Shadow Mountain Reservoir, and Lake Granby. End with the spectacular view of the rugged Upper Gore Canyon.

After your brief exploration, you may want to check in at your RV Campsite.

Camping Spots

If you’re looking to camp in or near the park, see suggestions below, or view the National Park Service’s Rocky Mountain National Park campgrounds  page, which offers five in-park campgrounds, 3 of which are available for reservations, and two on a first come, first served basis.

Nearby also find Elk Creek Campground and RV Park located in Grand Lake, Red Mountain RV Park and Wolford Campground in Kremmiling, and Snow Mountain Ranch in Granby near Winter Park. There is a US Forestry Service location near Winter Park and Granby as well where you can discover some of the best American outdoor experiences. See their official site for more details.

Remaining Day 1 or Day 2:

Once you’re settled in, enjoy taking your time visiting the Pioneer Village Museum in Hot Sulphur Springs – see the town’s original courthouse, a blacksmith shop, a 150-year-old ranch house, and several antique rail cars. Other local historical sites and museums are open for visitors in Fraser, Grand Lake, and Kremmling. Use the evening to relax at Hot Sulphur Springs Resort. Kick back with a soak in the ancient area hot springs, and enjoy your beautiful surroundings.

Day 2-3: Rocky Mountain Memories

The Rockies are what it’s all about up here!  Although Rocky Mountain National Park is one of the top 10 most visited national parks in the United States, its Western side is less frequented, less crowded, and much quieter.

Rocky Mountain National Park

Rocky Mountain National Park

Plan ahead and pack a picnic. With 35 trailheads in the park and several picnic spots, your family can spend all day in the wilderness, getting up close and personal with the wildlife.

Looking for a family-friendly excursion? Go on a hunt for secret places in Rocky Mountain National Park, which includes hidden lakes, hiking trails, and abandoned mining towns.

Day 4-5: The Western Experience

First settled in the 1880s as a ranching, farming and lumber center, Grand County has maintained many of its original buildings and sites as museums. Use the day or even 2 days to get the full western experience!

If you’re lucky to be here during rodeo season, experience traditional cowboy skills like roping, barrel racing, and bull riding. Watch the West come alive on Saturdays during the summer at Fraser’s High-Country Stampede Rodeo and Granby’s Flying Heels Rodeo. Continue your western experience with a horseback ride into the sunset. For a true hands-on western experience, contact one of the local outfitters who offer half-and full-day horseback rides.

When you’re heading back into Grand Lake, take a stroll along the boardwalk for some last-minute shopping and a leisurely dinner, visit the Kauffmann House Museum to learn more about the area’s history, and make sure to take advantage of some water recreation on Grand Lake.

More of a thrill-seeker than a history buff or shopper? No problem! Grand County is home to over 600 miles of hiking and biking trails. Visit Winter Park or Fraser to take advantage these elaborate trail systems and bike parks. Reach new heights with a challenging mountain trail or stay in town on a family-friendly route, the choice is up to you!

To make the most of your trip, you can easily rent an RV at El Monte Denver RV Rentals.

Posted in Colorado RV Camping Vacation, National Parks | Leave a comment

NASCAR RV Tailgating Vacation at Chicagoland

Chicagoland Hosts 6 Solid Days of NASCAR Racing Fun

Been dreaming about watching not one but four NASCAR races in one long weekend? How about 4th of July weekend in Chicago?

If you are a NASCAR fan anywhere in the Midwest, you can experience Chicagoland Speedway’s NASCAR weekend (for almost a week) from June 27th to July 2nd. Get up close and personal to your favorite drivers; experience a pre-race drivers’ meeting as if you were a racer, and enjoy the 400 Pre-Race Concert, featuring Randy Houser.

NASCAR Tailgating Party

NASCAR Tailgating Party

Not only that, but you can actually camp at the Speedway for the whole long weekend. RV campers can park for the full four race dates from June 28th to July 1st or stay the whole long weekend from the 27th of June to the 2nd of July.

CAMPING

Camp Wednesday through Monday morning and enjoy four races as NASCAR’s stars come to this magnificent mile and a half.

With over 1,800 campsites in four different campgrounds, you will find easy camping within earshot of the world’s greatest drivers leaving their best on the track.  Plus, don’t miss the camper-only parties, music, giveaways and so much more!

Camping at Chicagoland Speedway offers:

  • Complimentary community Wi-Fi hot spots
  • Campground entertainment
  • Campground concessions and convenience store
  • Welcome party and campground activities
  • Dedicated guest parking and shuttle service
  • Close to the track and Champions Park with on-site shuttle service
  • Campground amenities including complimentary shower facilities
  • Free tow vehicle parking (One vehicle per parking spot)
  • Group areas

Below is a brief outline of your RV Camping options at the Speedway. For all pricing and details please see their website.

INFIELD CAMPING OPTIONS

Never want to miss a second of the action from the comfort of your campsite?  Then Gecko RV Park is for you!  Be in the middle of the action with a trackside or non-trackside Infield RV campsite, with one of the best views at Chicagoland Speedway.  Your Infield RV space gives you a 360 degree view of racing action from right atop your camper!  Get one of the best NASCAR Camping Experiences available now.

GECKO PARK LOWER RIDGE

Stay in Lower Ridge, Chicagoland Speedway’s backstretch campground! Complete with 30-amp electric, experience an exciting NASCAR atmosphere in this RV campground.  Never miss a moment of all the racing action by staying on property. Plus you are just feet away from the nearest tram stop to get you to and from your seats for every race!

GECKO PARK LAKESIDE

If you want to watch the racing from the grandstands but stay on property, GEICO Park Lakeside is a great option for you!  Never have to worry about traffic and enjoy all the best aspects of this NASCAR race weekend.  Have easy access to the shuttle stop, convenience store, post-race concerts and so much more!

GECKO RIDGE, AKA SPEEDWAY RIDGE

So close you can smell the burning rubber! This is Chicagoland Speedway’s premier camping option. GECKO RIDGE (Speedway Ridge) is located between Turns 2 & 3 on the backstretch.  Each space provides the ultimate race fan a panoramic view of the racing action over the entire race weekend. You get all the convenience of camping without ever missing the cars on track.

FAMILY CAMPING

If you want to bring your family to the track and be a part of a fun, family-friendly atmosphere, this is the spot for you. Located in the quiet corner of the GEICO Park Lakeside campground, you’ll never have to worry about traffic and enjoy all the best aspects of this NASCAR race weekend. Have easy access to the shuttle stop, convenience store, post-race concerts and so much more! 

More family camping amenities will be announced soon. Check their website for updates and details.

Billed as the ultimate pre-race experience, this long weekend includes a cold garage pass, which means you get access to the pits, except when the cars are hot; usually this is up to a half-hour before the race.

If you and your family are racing fans, what better way to spend your 4th of July weekend than watching NASCAR races with other fans? This could be an experience you and your family will remember for a long time to come.

Need an RV to experience the fun? To find out about renting an RV from our Chicago West RV Rentals, El Monte RV location, please click here.

Posted in Illinois RV Camping Vacation, NASCAR RV Vacation | Leave a comment

Music Festival RV Camping – Destination Warped Tour – Final Tour

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.

Posted in Music Festivals | Leave a comment

Summer Everglades National Park RV Vacation

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!

Posted in Florida RV Camping Vacation, National Parks | Leave a comment

Memorial Day Racing RV Vacation

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.

Posted in NASCAR RV Vacation, North Carolina RV Camping Vacation | Leave a comment

An RV Vacation in Search of the World’s Longest Yard Sale

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.

Posted in RV Rentals, RV Vacation Ideas, Tennessee RV Camping Vacation | Leave a comment

Flower Power for a Bloomin’ RV Vacation

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 one of the beaches along the South Carolina coastline, then plan a trip to this beautiful paradise.

Brookgreen Gardens-  Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Brookgreen Gardens, SC

Brookgreen Gardens, SC

Brookgreen Gardens is comprised of  9,127 acres located along the South Carolina coastline. In the 1700s, the present botanical gardens were home to four rice plantations. The coastal climate provides the ideal growing environment for a wide variety of plants and trees. The garden is divided into themed sections allowing you to explore uniquely landscaped areas throughout the garden.

Stroll down Live Oak Allee lined with 250-year-old majestic live oak trees. Close your eyes and let yourself be transported back in time. Imagine these very trees lining the drive leading up to a stately plantation. History comes alive at Brookgreen.

The Butterfly Garden is divided into five distinct gardens:

During the spring and summer, butterflies flit and flutter around the blooming plants that attract them.

  • The Huntington Sculpture Garden is home to many beautiful and intriguing sculptures that complement the foliage in the garden.
  • The Dorothy P. Peace Garden Room for Children will delight the younger crowd, as well as adults.
  • The Kitchen Garden is home to a variety of herbs and vegetables that are as beautiful as they are tasty.
  • The Brenda W. Rosen Carolina Terrace Garden has an array of perennials, roses, shrubs and mature trees.
  • The Palmetto Garden was completed in 1950. South Carolina’s state tree, the Sabal palmetto, is used extensively throughout this garden.

The Fountain of the Muses Garden boasts a sculptured fountain that is a whimsical delight.

 What’s in bloom?

Check out the seasonal blooms list to find out when your favorite flowers are in bloom. The garden’s hours are from 9:30 to 5:00 with extended hours until 7:00 during the month of April. Admission runs from $10 – $18 per person

Sculptures

Brookgreen Gardens are not only home to living plants, but to the figurative sculptures that reside among them. There are over 2,000 pieces of art displayed in the garden.

What’s not to love?…flowers and art in a beautiful setting that is steeped in history!

Posted in South Carolina RV Camping Vacation | Leave a comment

Zootastic Spring Break

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 24 to April 8, 2018. This famous landmark has been rated the #1 zoo in America. Flowers will be blooming and you are sure to experience some exciting animal antics.

San Diego Zoo

San Diego Zoo

Animals

Before visiting the zoo, do a little homework about the animals you will encounter. All of the animals in the zoo are pictured alphabetically for easy viewing. From the majestic African Penguin to the Zany Zebra and a plethora in between, you are sure to find an animal to delight you. Crazy about monkeys? Click on the picture of the monkey in the list and the link will take you to a fact sheet about that animal. You are also able to sort through the animal list by categories, such as animal type, conservation status, or region.

Plants

If you thought the zoo was just about animals you may be surprised to learn that plants are an important part of zoo life. Plants play an import role in creating a healthy habitat for the animals housed in the zoo and are also used to teach visitors about biodiversity and habitat preservation. Approximately two million plants can be found at the Safari Park, as well as the zoo grounds. Gardens are maintained by zoo horticulturists and garden volunteers. The San Diego Zoo’s plant collection is considered as a ‘rescue’ center for rare and endangered plants. The zoo offers a special ‘plant day’ the third Friday of every month. The mild California climate provides a suitable habitat for a wide variety of plant species.

Live Cams

If you can’t make it to San Diego Zoo this spring you can still check out the live feed videos of zoo animals. Apes, condors, elephants, koalas, pandas, penguins, polar bears, and tigers all currently have live cams. Of course, it would be so much more fun to experience these animals in person on your trip to the zoo.

Camping

The county of San Diego Parks and Recreation offers numerous campgrounds. You are sure to find one that suits your family.

There is so much to experience and learn about through the educational programs in the San Diego Zoo that you will want to make several trips to the zoo while you are camping in the area. A visit to the beautiful San Diego Zoo is a great way to begin the spring season.  El Monte RV makes it easy with an rv rental location right in San Diego!

Posted in California RV Camping Vacation | Leave a comment

Spring Break in the Caverns

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.

Carlsbad Caverns National Park

Carlsbad Caverns National Park

Summer brings temperatures in the mid-90’s, but the temperature in spring averages from 72 to 79 degrees. If you are wanting to escape the cold weather, pack up the RV and head to Carlsbad, New Mexico. When you arrive you will be awed by the natural beauty of the landscape, both above ground and beneath the surface. The 119 underground caves are located in the Chihuahuan Desert and will be sure to impress young and old alike.

Things to explore:

  • Speleothems –   Check out the online activity that your kids can do before arriving at the park. It’s  a great way to get a head start on their educational experience in the caves. They will learn about speleothems or ‘cave decorations’, such as stalactites and  stalagmites by playing a matching game. 
  • The Desert –  Amazingly the ocean once covered this area that is now a desert and you will discover remnants such as sea ledges. Check out the beautiful and unusual       plants that are native to the Chihuahuan Desert. You might think that the desert            is just a dry, hot no-man’s land. In reality, many animals and plants live and thrive          in this desert environment.
  • Hiking –  Pack your hiking shoes and gear and get ready to enjoy the breathtaking desert landscape.  Hiking is very popular in the park. Check out this link by the Hiking Project for a list of numerous hiking trails. Trails are ranked from easy to difficult.

Camping:

Carlsbad Caverns National Park does not offer overnight RV parking or campgrounds.

White’s City located 7 miles from the visitor center offers camping. The city of Carlsbad, 20 miles northeast of the park offers even more options for camping. Carlsbad RV Park is one of the many full service campgrounds and is located a short drive from the park. Bring along your furry friends since this campground is pet friendly.

Wherever you decide to stay when you visit Carlsbad Caverns National Park, call ahead to make reservations since this area has become very popular with tourists.

Posted in New Mexico RV Camping Vacation | Leave a comment