RV Adventure – 5 Best National Parks for Winter Camping

In winter, the drop in temperatures and some snowy landscapes will mean different preparations for national park trekking but is cabin fever getting to you? Well while it may take a bit of extra effort the adventure is well worth it.

We highlight just five of our most scenic winter national park picks here. Some take you to a warmer climate like Arizona or Nevada and others take you up north to enjoy the snow.

Opinions vary about what constitutes “comfortable weather,” so check the current forecast before you hit the road for the following parks.

That said here’s a sampling of several parks where winter is prime time for outdoor activity.

The park website has details about each campground, including the number of sites, elevation, and perhaps most important in a desert park, locations where water is available. You’ll also find information about which campgrounds accept advance reservations, and which are first come, first served.

  • Lake Mead National Recreation Area, on the Arizona-Nevada border south of Las Vegas, includes two large lakes and seven developed campgrounds: five on Lake Mead and two on Lake Mohave.

Although campgrounds in the park are open all year, the climate is much more pleasant in the fall and spring. NPS campgrounds offer restrooms, running water, dump stations, grills, picnic tables and shade; RV’s, trailers and tents are welcome. Concessioner-operated campgrounds with recreational vehicle hook-ups are also available within the park.

  • Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument is located in southern Arizona, right on the border with Mexico. The Twin Peaks Campgroundhas 208 sites, can accommodate RVs up to 40 feet in length, and reserves some sites for tent camping only. It’s a clean, comfortable campground, with water spigots every few campsites. There are solar showers in the restrooms, but be cautious, as the water can get searing hot on hot days.
  • Mount Rainier National Park, WA – At Mount Rainier you will find all the snow one could ever ask for in winter. One area known as Paradise averages 54 feet of snow each year and held the world record for most annual snowfall in the 1970s at 93.5 feet. Mount Rainier also has all the winter recreation you could wish for with sledding, skiing, sliding, snowboarding, snowshoeing, climbing and camping. Just be certain you prepare well for the weather and definitely check local conditions before your trip. Note: All vehicles, including 4WD and AWD vehicles, must carry tire chains in the park during the winter season (November 1 – May 1) and be prepared to use them when tire chain requirements are posted.
  • Crater Lake National Park, OR – Winter is the reason that Crater Lake exists. The high elevation and proximity to the Pacific make climatic conditions that cause Crater Lake to receive more than 44 feet of snow on average each year. Without all that precipitation the lake would not exist. If you would like to explore this snowy wilderness, it’s recommended that you try skiing or snowshoeing, plus there are ranger-led interpretive hikes each weekend.

Crater Lake was formed when a violent eruption of a volcano triggered the collapse of a tall peak. Native Americans witnessed this formation 7700 years ago. Scientists still marvel at its purity: fed by rain and snow, it’s the deepest lake in the US and probably the most pristine on earth. Artists, photographers, and sightseers gaze in wonder at its blue water and stunning setting atop the Cascade Mountain Range.

Winter camping in the National Parks will be far less crowded than summertime, but check with each park before you go to see what’s available. There are also other RV Campgrounds nearby.

HOLIDAY SEASON SPECIALS:

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Rent any Class C or Class A model motor home for a minimum of 6 nights and get 2 extra nights FREE!  Get 8 nights for the price of 6! Use Coupon Code: HOLIDAY.

And, you can take advantage of our RV RENTAL – FREE MILEAGE OFFER!

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Need to Rent an RV?

You can easily rent one of our RV’s at our various rental locations from Las Vegas to Denver or Ferndale, WA to any number of locations in California. Please check out our Where you can Rent RV’s page.

Posted in California RV Camping Vacation, National Parks, Oregon RV Camping Vacation, RV Vacation Ideas, Washington RV Camping Vacation | Leave a comment

NHRA Racers Start Their Engines This February

This February, NHRA racing fires up again starting in Pomona, California and then moves to Chandler, Arizona. Racers will travel to Auto Club Raceway at Pomona for the Lucas Oil NHRA Winternationals from February 6th-9th. This will be followed two weeks later by the NHRA Arizona Nationals at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park in Chandler, AZ, the weekend of February 21st – 23rd.  Don’t miss the action of RV camping and watching drag racing at these exciting spots! What could be more fun than driving to an NHRA race in an RV? Camping out in one for the entire race!

First, February 6th to 9th the Autoclub Raceway of Pomona hosts the opening event for this new year. Fans have flocked to Southern California since 1961 for one of drag racing’s grandest traditions. The season opener brings with it new cars, drivers, teams, and sponsorships, where teams begin their chase for a spot in the Countdown to the Championship at Lucas Oil Raceway at Pomona. The fabled Pomona facility is known for its outstanding traction, smooth surface, and record performances.

As always, fans will have the opportunity to interact with their favorite drivers, as Every Ticket’s a Pit Pass® at the most powerful and sensory-filled motorsports attraction on the planet! Get direct access to the teams, see firsthand as the highly-skilled mechanics service their hot rods between rounds, and get autographs from your favorite NHRA drivers.

Check out the schedule for this fired up weekend of drag racing at the Autoclub Raceway of Pomona page.

Camping for Pomona: There are many options for camping near the Autoclub Raceway, which is located about 25 miles east of downtown Los Angeles. Here are just a few suggestions:

  • Bonelli Bluffs RV Resort and Campground
  • Fairplex RV Park
  • Autoclub Raceway At Pomona (if you can get reservations)

 

Then, from February 21st – 23rd the action moves to Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park in Chandler, AZ for the NHRA Arizona Nationals. NHRA’s annual duel in the desert continues in its traditional spot as the year’s second event. The facility, a Southwest fixture since 1985, is also known for record performances, such as Tony Schumacher’s historic 330-mph quarter-mile blast in 1999 and his record-setting run in 2018. These races are fast! Due to its warm climate, it is a popular winter testing spot for NHRA and Indy Car teams. After 30 years of hosting, this track is home to an array of auto enthusiast events like the NHRA Arizona Nationals, Mello Yello Drag Racing, the Checkered Flag Run and Monster Truck Shows. Get there early and enjoy the whole weekend of non-stop action if you can.

Camping for NHRA Racing in Chandler: Campgrounds abound near this spot just south of Scottsdale, AZ. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Apache Palms RV Resort is closeby
  • Sun Life Vacation Resort
  • Hacienda Solano Resort (for those 55+)
  • Five Star RV Park
  • The Motor Coach Resort – at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park (if you can get a reservation)

Need to rent an RV? Find your ideal recreational vehicle at one of our El Monte RV Rental locations. See our Where to Rent an RV page for all our El Monte Rental locations in Southern California and in Phoenix, AZ. Please check early with the nearest one for available rentals.

And be sure to check out our NHRA RV Racing Vacations page for more suggestions and information about the NHRA and NHRA vacations.

Posted in California RV Camping Vacation, NHRA Races RV Vacation, RV Vacation Ideas | Leave a comment

RV Adventure: Winter in State and National Parks of Southern California

This winter, take a trip around Southern California and within just a few hours’ drive you’ll be able to see oceans and beaches, islands, snowcapped mountains for skiing or snowboarding and lots of unique scenery in between, with infinite variety of Southern California landscapes.

State Parks of Southern California:

With 280 state parks, over 340 miles of coastline, 970 miles of lake and river frontage, 15,000 campsites, and 4,500 miles of trails, California contains the largest and most diverse recreational, natural and cultural locations of any state in the nation.

In Los Angeles County alone, there are more than 30 state parks to choose from. Orange County offers visitors another 6 state parks and San Diego County has about 15 more state parks to visit. Visitors can choose to visit the Tijuana Estuary, the largest coastal wetland in Southern California, located on the international border between the US and Mexico.

The estuary, often called an “intermittent estuary” is primarily a shallow water habitat, which is prone to extreme changes in stream flow at different times of the year. With extended periods of draught, many parts of the estuary are left dry, while at other times, it can be subject to flooding. For that reason, the Tijuana Estuary is considered a unique part of the National Estuarine Research Reserve System. The Tijuana River Estuary is one of the few salt marshes remaining in Southern California, where over 90% of wetland habitat has been lost to development. The site is an essential breeding, feeding and nesting ground and key stopover point on the Pacific Flyway for over 370 species of migratory and native birds, including six endangered species.

The Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve offers another spectacular view in Los Angeles County. Blooming poppies blanket the reserve in spring with their bold orange color. Every bloom is quite amazing. If you plan your trip in advance, you may catch this phenomenon. If you are looking to find the exact location of a particular flower or plant, the park ranger staff can point you to the right trails when you arrive.

Check each of the California State Parks for camping availability and to determine which allow RV Camping before you arrive.

California National Parks:

Within just a few hours’ drive of Los Angeles, you can find Pinnacles National Park, the Channel Islands National Park, Cabrillo National Monument and Joshua Tree National Park. Named for its founder, Juan Rodgriguez Cabrillo, the first European to set foot on what is now the west coast of the United States, Cabrillo National Park is home to a wealth of cultural and natural resources.

Pinnacles National Park was formed about 23 million years ago from the eruption of various volcanoes and a unique landscape still remains. Travelers can journey through chaparral, oak woodlands, and canyon bottoms. Hikers enter rare talus caves and emerge to towering rock spires, teeming with life including prairie and peregrine falcons, golden eagles, and the inspiring California condor. Bird watchers and hikers alike will find amazing treasures in Pinnacles National Park.

The Channel Islands are near Ventura, encompassing five remarkable islands in their ocean environment. This park preserves and protects a wealth of natural and cultural resources. Isolation over thousands of years has created unique animals, plants, and archeological resources found nowhere else on Earth. The Channel Islands has helped preserve a place where visitors can experience coastal southern California as it once was.

Named for its founder, Juan Rodgriguez Cabrillo, the first European to set foot on what is now the west coast of the United States, Cabrillo National Park is home to a wealth of cultural and natural resources. At the southern tip of San Diego, this is a part with unique views of the Pacific Ocean and more. Visitors can climb to the statue of Cabrillo and see natural plant and animal life of Southern California here.

Two distinct desert ecosystems, the Mojave and the Colorado, come together in Joshua Tree National Park. About 3 hours east of Los Angeles, Joshua Tree displays a fascinating variety of plants and animals that make their homes in a land sculpted by strong winds and occasional torrents of rain. Dark night skies, a rich cultural history, and surreal geologic features

add to the wonder of this vast wilderness in southern California. Joshua Tree is located in southern California between I-10 and Hwy 62; its headquarters is in Twenty Nine Palms, CA.

And the hottest, driest and lowest National Park is Death Valley National Park, bordering Nevada and California. Here you will see a below-sea-level basin, which steady drought and record summer heat have made this park a land of extremes. These extremes make Death Valley a rare picture of contrasts: towering peaks are frosted with winter snow. Rare rainstorms bring vast fields of wildflowers. Lush oases harbor tiny fish and refuge for wildlife and humans. Despite the name, there is a great diversity of life surviving in Death Valley.

 

Need to Rent an RV?

If you’d like to rent an RV for your southern California adventure, start by checking our California El Monte RV Rental locations. There are 5 southern California rental locations to choose from. This page also contains much more information about traveling by RV in California so be sure to check it out when planning your next RV adventure.

Posted in California RV Camping Vacation, RV Vacation Ideas | Leave a comment

RV Adventure – February and March Florida Festivals!

Florida is home to so many exciting festivals while the rest of the country is freezing that it is hard to resist the call to come south for the winter! If you have been in the Sunshine State before in late February and early March, you will know that there are many things to do – enough to keep you happily occupied with lots of food, music and fun. Here are a few of the upcoming festivals to mark on your calendar.

Florida Strawberry Festival from February 27th – March 8th. There is no shortage of fun and entertainment at this annual event, now in its 85th year! The Florida Strawberry Festival is an 11-day community event celebrating the strawberry harvest of Eastern Hillsborough County. Each year, over 500,000 visitors enjoy the festival’s headline entertainment, youth livestock shows, rides, commerce exhibits and, of course, its famous strawberry shortcake.

The 2020 Battle of the Bands has been whittled down to the Top Ten, who will be performing there. There are a variety of free entertainment options at the Festival in various locations around the park.  In addition, some top headline artists will include Reba McEntire, The Oak Ridge Boys, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Patti LaBelle, Rascal Flatts and many others. Check the Florida Strawberry Festival website for the full lineup of entertainment. The Florida Strawberry Festival was started in 1930 by the local Lions Club to help promote the local strawberry crop. Despite a few years off due to World War II, it is still flourishing in eastern Hillsborough County, about a half hour east of Tampa.

If you are a sea-foodie, come and enjoy the Grant – Valkaria Seafood Festival, February 29th and March 1st at the Grant Event Grounds – located between Melbourne and Sebastian Inlet State Park, off US 1 in Grant. For more information about this festival that is special to all the wonderful families and individuals, crafters and cooks, sponsors and performers who support it, see the link above for their website.

Okeechobee Music and Arts Festival – March 5th to March 8th, Sunshine Grove, Okeechobee, FL – The Okeechobee Music + Arts Festival is back this year for a full weekend of music, camping, art, and unique transformational experiences! The festival will take place amongst 800 acres of lush grasslands, lakes, woods, and jungle in Sunshine Grove, Florida, with nature-filled and lakeside camping options.

In addition to OMF’s three main stages, dance music lovers will gravitate towards Jungle 51, dusk till dawn dance party nestled in the heart of the jungle that has hosted some of the biggest names in house and techno in recent years. From dawn till dusk, OMF attendees will again be able to experience Aquachobee Beach, situated in the scenic background where Sunshine Grove’s jungle meets the white sand beach, which will give Okeechobeeings the chance to catch daytime live music sets while swimming and sunbathing.

Daytona Bike Week – March 6th – 15th – Daytona Beach, FL – Daytona Bike Week, the world’s largest motorcycle event, is celebrating 79 years in 2020!

It’s an event you won’t want to miss. This year’s 10-day event proves it’s high-octane with street festivals, concerts, motorcycle races, bike shows, rallies, manufacturer showcases and more. Motorcycle enthusiasts from around the world enjoy spring riding in Daytona Beach along historic Main Street to Midtown, Scenic A1A Highway and through the best of old Florida, the Ormond Beach Scenic Loop. The celebration continues at Daytona International Speedway, Bruce Rossmeyer’s Destination Daytona, and the U.S. 1 corridors in Daytona Beach and Ormond Beach.

Wondering how to travel to these Festivals? Come in your RV so you’re already set to stay as long as you wish in either locale.

Need to Rent an RV?

You can easily rent one of our RV’s at one of our Florida El Monte locations. It is only an hour from Orlando to Tampa and just 40 minutes from Orlando to Plant City. Check out availability for your travel dates on our Where you can Rent RV’s page.

Posted in Florida RV Camping Vacation, RV Vacation Ideas | Leave a comment

NASCAR Season Races to California, Arizona, Georgia and Florida in March

NASCAR racing excitement started again this February as Denny Hamlin won the famous Daytona 500, followed by Ryan Blaney and Chris Buescher in 2nd and 3rd places at the kickoff race. Now, the energy continues at the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, CA on the weekend of February 28th to March 1st, ISM Raceway in Phoenix the next weekend, Atlanta Motor Speedway on March 14th-15th, followed by the Dixie Vodka 400 race at the Homestead-Miami Speedway on March 22nd. Don’t miss the exciting action at the track when you go in your RV to any of these NASCAR events.

The Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, CA will host the Auto Club 400 on Sunday March 1st, but before that highlight, there is a whole weekend of qualifying and practice races as well as lots of fun for fans in the Fan Zone. Check all the details and see how to purchase your tickets at the Auto Club Speedway website.

The Phoenix Raceway  is the site of the next weekend’s NASCAR action. Here is the lineup for the FanShield 500 main event which happens at 3:30 pm on Sunday, March 8th. Preceding that race is the NASCAR LS Tractor 200 on Saturday, March 7.  race on Saturday at 2 pm. And before that, the NASCAR Weekend kicks off on Friday, March 6, 2020 with the ARCA Menards Series Race at 5:00 pm. Don’t miss practice sessions for both the Gatorade NASCAR Cup Series and NASCAR Xfinity Series before the starting line-up is set for the FanShield 500. You can even sign up for the INfield, an all-new experience that lets you watch driver’s meetings, see your favorite teams, or even get in on the kudos in Victory Lane.

Next, the action moves to the Atlanta Motor Speedway on March 14th-15th, for the Folds of Honor QuickTrip 500 on that Sunday. Before that race starts on Sunday, however, there are several other events featured here, beginning with the NASCAR Cup Series Fast Friday race and the Legends ¼ mile oval race on Saturday, followed by the Atlanta 250 and Georgia 200 double header races on Saturday night. There are various camping options available as well for race fans throughout the Speedway property. Check the Camping Page on the Atlanta Motor Speedway website for more details on how to book your spot!

The excitement doesn’t end there for NASCAR fans as the very next weekend you can travel to South Florida for the Dixie Vodka 400 race at the Homestead-Miami Speedway on March 22nd. Come celebrate Homestead-Miami Speedway’s 25th Anniversary Spring Break style this March for the Dixie Vodka 400! NASCAR’s biggest stars visit the South Florida oval with a chance to clinch a spot into the NASCAR Playoffs.

Camping at NASCAR Tracks:

Visit Monty’s Musings blog topic – NASCAR RV Camping – The Ultimate Racing Experience. We review for you the top ten things to know before you go.

Traveling to a NASCAR race in RV comfort, camping close to the action with a bunch of race-friendly fans brings excitement and fun for your family. Pick a race, get tips from motorhome camping NASCAR fans and reserve your campsite. Pick a location and reserve your RV for any race week you want.

Need to Rent an RV?

You can rent an RV from El Monte RV for your trip to Southern California from any of our 5 locations there. In Phoenix, see our El Monte RV rentals location.

For Atlanta and Homestead you can rent from one of our closest locations, in either Orlando or Miami. The Miami location is only about 15 minutes from the Homestead-Miami Raceway track. Check availability and rental rates on their pages.

Posted in Arizona RV Camping Vacation, California RV Camping Vacation, Georgia RV Camping Vacation, NASCAR RV Vacation | Leave a comment

NASCAR Season Fires Off at Daytona

NASCAR fans missing the fun at their tracks for the past few months will be happy to know that racing starts again this February, with several races at Daytona, culminating on February 16th with the famous Daytona 500. Before that however, there are more Daytona events, notably the 24 hours of Daytona (now called the Rolex 24 at Daytona) on January 25th and 26th, followed by the ARCA Menards Series race on February 8th, the Daytona 500 Qualifying, presented by Kroger on February 9th, as well as the Busch Clash at Daytona on that same date.

Drivers from all over the country will arrive in Florida for the start of the 2020 season this February, ready to compete in what promises to be a very exciting NASCAR Season. On February 13th there will be a NASCAR Cup Series race called the Bluegreen Vacations Duel at Daytona, followed the next day (Valentine’s Day) by the NextEra Energy Resources 250, NASCAR Gander RV and Outdoors Truck Series race. On February 15th the NASCAR Xfinity Series starts with the NASCAR Racing Experience 300, leading up to Sunday the 16th for the 62nd running of the Daytona 500.

Daytona will feature the 62nd running of the Daytona 500 race as the 2020 NASCAR season begins, with this showcase of speed, skill and determination as elite drivers battle the famous 2.5 mile tri-oval track, known for its 31-degree banking, to earn the title of Daytona 500 Champion.

And, to preview just a few upcoming NASCAR events following the Daytona weekend, February 23rdwill feature the Pennzoil 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. On March 1st the Auto Club 400 will take place at the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California, followed by the FanShield 500 NASCAR Weekend, held at the Phoenix Raceway from March 6th – 8th, 2020.

Camping at Daytona

Any Daytona veteran will tell you that you haven’t truly experienced the “World Center of Racing” until you’ve loaded up the RV, called up your closest friends and set up camp somewhere in the 180-acre infield.

Surrounded by Daytona’s famous track, you’ll find that there’s far more happening at Daytona than just three-wide racing. Devoted race fans from all over the world descend upon every inch of the infield, creating a rich communal atmosphere from campsite-to-campsite.

Whether you’re in a decked-out motor coach or a tent is more your style, camping at DAYTONAplaces you right in the middle of the history and heritage that’s made this place world-famous.

Infield campgrounds and GEICO Park West campgrounds also include FREE Wi-Fi.

If the International Speedway happens to be full – which sometimes happens, there are other camping options in the Daytona area. Here are just a few:

  • Daytona Speedway RV
  • Finishline Park
  • Daytona Racetrack RV
  • South Daytona RV Park & Tropical Gardens

Other things to do near Daytona

There are many other attractive places to see near Daytona that will make you appreciate this gem of a location on the Atlantic.

Spend some time visiting the Dunlawton Sugar Mill Gardens with free admission, or the Marine Discovery Center in New Smyrna Beach. Here, you can tour the Indian River Lagoon, North America’s most diverse estuary that has been designated as an Estuary of National Significance. Here, salt and fresh water mingle, and more than 4,000 species of plants and animals co-habit, some of which are endangered or threatened and some that are found here and nowhere else on earth. Mangrove trees line shorelines and provide habitat for many species of animals and invertebrates. Birds such as osprey, pelicans, ibis, heron, roseate spoonbills or even bald eagles are commonly seen. In the estuary, bottlenose dolphins chase schools of baitfish, and manatees charm visitors with their slow-moving, gentle ways as they swim with their newborns.

For some more nature close to the Daytona Speedway, check out Bulow Creek State Park near Ormond Beach, one of the largest remaining stands of southern live oak forests along Florida’s east coast.

If you need more information about camping in any of the 175 award-winning Florida State Parks, check out their website.

 

Need an RV?

You can rent an RV from El Monte’s Orlando Location for your trip to Daytona, only an hour away. See availability and rental rates on their page, or better yet, call them to reserve your RV as the Daytona races are very popular.

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

RV Adventure: Winter in State and National Parks of Southern California

This winter, take a trip around Southern California and within just a few hours’ drive you’ll be able to see oceans and beaches, islands, snowcapped mountains for skiing or snowboarding and lots of unique scenery in between, with infinite variety of Southern California landscapes.

State Parks of Southern California:

With 280 state parks, over 340 miles of coastline, 970 miles of lake and river frontage, 15,000 campsites, and 4,500 miles of trails, California contains the largest and most diverse recreational, natural and cultural locations of any state in the nation.

In Los Angeles County alone, there are more than 30 state parks to choose from. Orange County offers visitors another 6 state parks and San Diego County has about 15 more state parks to visit. Visitors can choose to visit the Tijuana Estuary, the largest coastal wetland in Southern California, located on the international border between the US and Mexico.

The estuary, often called an “intermittent estuary” is primarily a shallow water habitat, which is prone to extreme changes in stream flow at different times of the year. With extended periods of draught, many parts of the estuary are left dry, while at other times, it can be subject to flooding. For that reason, the Tijuana Estuary is considered a unique part of the National Estuarine Research Reserve System. The Tijuana River Estuary is one of the few salt marshes remaining in Southern California, where over 90% of wetland habitat has been lost to development. The site is an essential breeding, feeding and nesting ground and key stopover point on the Pacific Flyway for over 370 species of migratory and native birds, including six endangered species.

The Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve offers another spectacular view in Los Angeles County. Blooming poppies blanket the reserve in spring with their bold orange color. Every bloom is quite amazing. If you plan your trip in advance, you may catch this phenomenon. If you are looking to find the exact location of a particular flower or plant, the park ranger staff can point you to the right trails when you arrive.

Check each of the California State Parks for camping availability and to determine which allow RV Camping before you arrive.

California National Parks:

Within just a few hours’ drive of Los Angeles, you can find Pinnacles National Park, the Channel Islands National Park, Cabrillo National Monument and Joshua Tree National Park. Named for its founder, Juan Rodgriguez Cabrillo, the first European to set foot on what is now the west coast of the United States, Cabrillo National Park is home to a wealth of cultural and natural resources.

Pinnacles National Park was formed about 23 million years ago from the eruption of various volcanoes and a unique landscape still remains. Travelers can journey through chaparral, oak woodlands, and canyon bottoms. Hikers enter rare talus caves and emerge to towering rock spires, teeming with life including prairie and peregrine falcons, golden eagles, and the inspiring California condor. Bird watchers and hikers alike will find amazing treasures in Pinnacles National Park.

The Channel Islands are near Ventura, encompassing five remarkable islands in their ocean environment. This park preserves and protects a wealth of natural and cultural resources. Isolation over thousands of years has created unique animals, plants, and archeological resources found nowhere else on Earth. The Channel Islands has helped preserve a place where visitors can experience coastal southern California as it once was.

Named for its founder, Juan Rodgriguez Cabrillo, the first European to set foot on what is now the west coast of the United States, Cabrillo National Park is home to a wealth of cultural and natural resources. At the southern tip of San Diego, this is a part with unique views of the Pacific Ocean and more. Visitors can climb to the statue of Cabrillo and see natural plant and animal life of Southern California here.

Two distinct desert ecosystems, the Mojave and the Colorado, come together in Joshua Tree National Park. About 3 hours east of Los Angeles, Joshua Tree displays a fascinating variety of plants and animals that make their homes in a land sculpted by strong winds and occasional torrents of rain. Dark night skies, a rich cultural history, and surreal geologic features

add to the wonder of this vast wilderness in southern California. Joshua Tree is located in southern California between I-10 and Hwy 62; its headquarters is in Twenty Nine Palms, CA.

And the hottest, driest and lowest National Park is Death Valley National Park, bordering Nevada and California. Here you will see a below-sea-level basin, which steady drought and record summer heat have made this park a land of extremes. These extremes make Death Valley a rare picture of contrasts: towering peaks are frosted with winter snow. Rare rainstorms bring vast fields of wildflowers. Lush oases harbor tiny fish and refuge for wildlife and humans. Despite the name, there is a great diversity of life surviving in Death Valley.

Need to Rent an RV?

If you’d like to rent an RV for your southern California adventure, start by checking our California El Monte RV Rental locations. There are 5 southern California rental locations to choose from. This page also contains much more information about traveling by RV in California so be sure to check it out when planning your next RV adventure.

Posted in California RV Camping Vacation, RV Vacation Ideas, State Parks | Leave a comment

Ideas for February Festivals

With lots of music and other festivals, February is a great month to take to the road in an RV. There is always Mardi Gras – this year falling near the end of the month on Tuesday, the 25th, but prior to that is the huge Florida State Fair, followed by the Sea-Blues Festival in Clearwater. That may be a lot of dates to remember so we made it simple for you:

February Key Dates to Note:

Feb. 6 – 17th, Florida State Fair – Tampa, FL

Feb. 22nd-23rd – Sea-Blues Festival – Clearwater, FL

Feb. 25th Mardi Gras – New Orleans, LA

 

Florida State Fair: Feb. 6th-17th – Tampa – Florida State Fairgrounds

This year’s Florida State Fair will be something to remember. As usual the fair lasts 12 days, but this some new things have been added. There are season passes available at Publix stores for the entire fair – with unlimited rides, unlimited visits to the Fair. College students will get in free on Thursday, February 13th with a valid ID and there will be a 5K Race called the Deep Fried Dash on Saturday, February 15th. In addition to all that, the entertainment at the fair is endless with Sea Lion Splash, XPogo, Demolition Derbies, Dueling Pianos, Ripley’s Believe It or Not! and lots more. Live music happens all throughout the Fair schedule. Check out the Florida State Fair Website for more details.

 

Clearwater Sea-Blues Festival – Feb. 22nd-23rd – Coachman Park

The Clearwater Sea-Blues Festival is a two-day open air blues music and seafood festival. Located in the heart of downtown Clearwater, you can find our Coachman Park venue next to the inter-coastal waterway that runs parallel with the number one beach in America. Attendees are serenaded by five musical acts each day. In concert with the incredible artists on stage is a smorgasbord of seafood dishes. A stroll through the food village will surround you with aromas of fresh grouper, Cajun shrimp, large dishes of paella, and that’s only the beginning. There are also other options for our non-seafood loving friends. This Festival is free for the public to enjoy and there are also VIP and reserved seating packages available as well. Check out the City of Clearwater’s Website for more information.

Mardi Gras – Feb. 25th – New Orleans, LA

The 2020 Mardi Gras promises to fulfill all your expectations and then some.

This year also introduces some new features like the Mardi Gras Photo Contest and the 2020 Theme & Throw Updates: What’s New With Your Favorite Krewes? Lots of fun and information about the krewe history and more can be found on the 2020 Mardi Gras Website.

Despite what you might think this event is famous for, this is a great place to come with your children to enjoy outdoor picnics and watch the Greatest Free Show on Earth! You and your family will enjoy watching marching bands, amazing floats in the parades, listening to music throughout the city, and catching free toys, doubloons and beads as you catch the excitement in the air!

 

Need an RV?

You can rent an RV from El Monte’s Orlando Location for your trip to Tampa or Clearwater, or even New Orleans. See availability and rental rates on their page, or better yet, call them to reserve your RV soon.

If you happen to be coming from the west or southwest, you can also rent an RV at our El Monte RV Rentals and Sales location in Dallas, TX. The drive to New Orleans is less than 8 hours but you can see some lovely country along the way.

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RV Vacation – Taking Advantage of One-Way Travel plus Three Suggested Itineraries!

Let’s say you live somewhere near Chicago and you would like to rent an RV to see the Wild West – maybe venturing to Nevada, Arizona or Southern California. Or you are in DC area and want to take in some colonial American history. How could you do this and maximize your experience RV’ing? The idea of One-Way Travel isn’t new but have you considered the advantages?

You can rent in Illinois, for example and drive to Vegas, return your RV there and fly back. Or, rent an RV in Reno or San Francisco and drive to San Diego and return it there. On the east coast, rent one of El Monte RV’s in Baltimore and drive it to New York. Any of these trips would make an interesting itinerary and minimize your driving time by only driving one way.

Suggested One – Way itineraries:

  • Midwest to Vegas Journey
  • West Coast Tour – San Francisco to Southern Cal
  • East Coast Visit – Baltimore to New York/New Jersey

Places to visit on your way:

  • Chicago area to Las Vegas Journey: You can stop at a variety of National Parks and other scenic locations along your way when you rent an RV from El Monte. Visit some of the National Parks out west on your way to Las Vegas and then check into a Vegas hotel after you return your RV and maximize your trip there before flying back to Chicago.

 

  • West Coast Tour: Starting in San Francisco, drive down the Pacific Coast Highway all the way to San Diego, stopping as long as you wish to see mountains, oceans and seashore along the way. Try a trip to Long Beach and see the Aquarium of the Pacific, the Queen Mary, or go dolphin spotting on your way to Catalina Island. Other Southern California attractions such as Disneyland and Universal Studios, Hollywood are nearby. Ending your trip in San Diego opens up all kinds of possibilities from the San Diego Zoo to Sea World, or you might like to visit the huge sea lions and seals on the rocks at La Jolla Cove.

 

  • East Coast Visit: Starting in Baltimore, be sure to visit such sights like the historic Fort McHenry in Baltimore, the site of the inspiration for Francis Scott Key’s “Star Spangled Banner”; then tour the Baltimore Harbor on a Water Taxi, stopping to dine at any number of restaurants along the way. When you are done dining and walking around the harbor front, just jump back on board the Water Taxi to go back to where you started. You can travel up the east coast in comfort and enjoy the scenery whatever time of year you travel. Other sights to see include Catoctin Mountain in Thurmont, which is a tribute to President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Works Progress Administration and the Civilian Conservation Corps. This park and mountain has 25 miles of hiking trails as well as campgrounds and plenty of programs and events for adults and kids alike.

 

There are also other National Parks like Gettysburg National Memorial Park only about an hour and a half from where you will pick up your El Monte Motorhome. Try taking in some scenery you haven’t seen before, like the mountains in western Maryland at Deep Creek Lake Natural Resource Management Area, which lies just west of the Allegheny Front on a large plateau known as the Tablelands or Allegany Highlands.

Continue your visit north through historic Delaware to Pennsylvania and New Jersey. You can spend a couple of days or a week or even two weeks if you have the time. There is a lot to see of Colonial America on our Eastern Seaboard.

Need to Rent An RV?

El Monte RV rents RV’s in a variety of locations all around the country. See our Where You Can Rent RVs page for all locations. And, depending on the type and length of your trip you may want a pick-up location that is close to where you live or one that is close to your destination of choice. Please check with the location you choose to make sure they allow one-way rentals.

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RV Vacation – South Florida Fair – Visit in January and Great Recipes to Cook When Going RV’ing!

Here is a special blog for this time of year. How to cook quality food while RV’ing? How to make your meals special and not feel like they are “canned” or pre-made?  We have some timely tips for your RV cookery! And a great suggestion for a January RV Adventure destination.

Here are some links to some of the most popular roadworthy recipes:

Ingredients

  • 1 can refrigerated crescent rolls, room temperature
  • 1 cup sausage, cooked and drained
  • 1 cup thawed hash brown potatoes or shredded potatoes
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • Diced onion (optional)
  • 5 eggs
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • Pepper to taste

Directions

Grease a pizza or jelly-roll pan. Press rolls out with fingers onto pan. Layer top of dough with sausage, potatoes, cheese and onion. Beat eggs and milk. Place pan on oven rack and pour egg mixture over the toppings, tilting pan to evenly distribute mixture. Season with pepper. Bake at 375 degrees F for 25 minutes.

  • Another is 2X4 Soup, sort of like chili, but easier and great for cold winter evenings:

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds hamburger
  • 2 cans minestrone soup
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes and green chilies
  • 2 cans ranch-style beans 

Directions

Brown hamburger, drain and add tomatoes and chilies, ranch-style beans and minestrone soup. Simmer until hot and eat.

Ingredients

  • 12 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • (2) 14 oz. sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 stick of butter at room temperature
  • 1 cup of finely chopped walnuts

Directions

Combine the chocolate chips and butter in a microwavable bowl. Add the two cans of sweetened condensed milk. Cover the bowl with wax paper and microwave for about 3 minutes stirring every minute until everything is melted and smooth. Stir in the cup of walnuts. Spread the mixture evenly into a greased 9 x 13 pan. Cover and let the pan sit overnight in the fridge. Voilá, 3 minute fudge!

 

Where to go RV camping in January?

How about heading south and taking in some sunny days for your January excursion? Head to West Palm Beach for the South Florida Fair. Taking place between January 17th and February 2nd, you can take your time about getting there and see some of south Florida’s sights along the way. As for the fair, this is Palm Beach County’s largest and oldest outdoor event.

Since 1993, the themed expositions produced each year during the South Florida Fair are one of the most popular attractions of the 17-day event. The 2020 South Florida Fair will be a celebration of popular sports in the south Florida community. Experience the essence of sports – competition, fair play, and the zeal to win – at this year’s themed exposition!

Interactive and educational sports exhibits will pave the way as you stroll through the Expo Center. The Hometown Teams: How Sports Shape America exhibition, in partnership with the Smithsonian Institution and the Florida Humanities Council, will teach our visitors the cultural impact and importance of the different sports in American communities. The National Baseball Hall of Fame’s “Picturing America’s Pastime” offers a snapshot of the photograph collection in the Museum’s photo archive, spanning almost 150 years.

And, don’t miss the exhibit at the Fair of the Highwaymen, a legendary group of African American artists who have been selling their colorful works of art along the road for 60 years. The Highwaymen, who developed a rapid style of painting that captured a romantic vision of Florida, still lives on to this day. For more information about them see Highwaymen Art Specialists.

 

Need to Rent an RV?

If you need to rent an RV for your holidays or January Camping Adventure, go to our Where to Rent an RV page and find one near you or near your destination.

And use our Promo Code “HOLIDAY” to rent for 6 nights and get the 7th and 8th nights free. (Based on availability. Valid on new reservations only and must be returned by March 31, 2020.)

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