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!

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Visiting the National Parks by RV

Seeing a Show While Visiting the National Parks

There’s no better way to see the beauty of our country’s national parks than with an RV vacation. In an RV, you can make yourself at home on the road, to chart your own course and stray off the beaten path to see parks up close and personal. When the sun sets on an amazing day in the national park, head to a nearby city to enjoy a game, performance or concert. We’ve listed a few of our favorite national parks, as well as nearby towns where you can catch a show and be ready to get back to nature the next day.

The Park: Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Escape the hustle and bustle of the east coast and spend some time in Great Smoky Mountain National Park. Before the arrival of European settlers, the park was once the home to the Cherokee people, and it was officially dedicated a national park by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1940. Explore the pristine beauty of over 500,000 acres of woods, rivers and historic settlements. With its convenient location and beautiful surroundings, it’s easy to see why Great Smoky Mountains is the most frequently visited national park in the country.

The Venue: The Orange Peel, Asheville, N.C.

After you’ve hiked, fished and relaxed in the wilderness, head just 40 miles east to the city of Asheville, N.C. Nestled in the mountains, Asheville has long been a destination for friendly people, great food and fantastic music. While you’re in town, catch a show at The Orange Peel, which has been recognized as one of the top music venues in the country. The intimate space only holds about 1,000 people, but it has drawn musical acts such as Bob Dylan and Smashing Pumpkins. You can even catch a great comedy show there; comedian Tig Notaro will be performing at the Orange Peel on December 12, 2017.

The Park: Yosemite National Park

On the other side of the country is Yosemite National Park, an iconic American gem in Northern California. The park makes up more than 1,200 square miles of mountain vistas, valleys and breathtaking waterfalls, including Yosemite Falls, the highest waterfall in North America. Much of the land making up Yosemite National Park has been protected since the mid-19th century, and the plants and animal life in the park are incredibly diverse.

The Venue: Save Mart Center, Fresno, Calif.

Yosemite is just over an hour from Fresno, where you’ll find the Save Mart Center on the California State University campus. This multipurpose arena hosts everything from UFC fights and comedy shows to concerts from the likes of Miranda Lambert, Pink and Bruno Mars. It’s also home to the Fresno State men’s and women’s basketball teams. Pair an exciting event with a trip to Yosemite for a vacation that checks all the boxes.

The Park: Grand Canyon National Park

They say there’s no way to prepare yourself for seeing the Grand Canyon. No photo or description can do it justice; you just have to stand on the edge of its walls and see it for yourself. It was officially declared a national park in 1919, and more than 5 million Americans head to the northwestern corner of Arizona to see it every year. Whether you walk from one side to the other, fly over it on a helicopter tour, or just take it all in from the visitor’s center, a visit to Grand Canyon National Park is an experience you and your family will be talking about for years to come.

Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon

The Venue: The Orpheum Theater, Flagstaff, Ariz.

The Orpheum Theater was originally built in 1911 as a movie theater, and has been transformed into a state-of-the-art venue for film, live music and stage performances. Flagstaff is about an hour from Grand Canyon National Park, and a great home base for your Grand Canyon adventure. The theater is in Flagstaff’s beautiful downtown, close to restaurants, shops and surrounded by the area’s natural beauty. Visit the Orpheum to see rock shows, singer-songwriters or even a classic film on the big screen.

The Park: Mt. Rainier National Park

Mount Rainier is an active volcano southeast of Seattle that rises over 14,000 feet above sea level. The highest mountain of the Cascade Range, it’s also the most glaciated peak in the contiguous U.S., and it spawns six major rivers. Visitors can skip through wildflower meadows, marvel at powerful waterfalls and hike on well over 100 trails in this massive park.

The Venue: The Gorge Amphitheatre, George, Wash.

With stunning views over the Cascade Mountains and the Columbia River, this outdoor amphitheater is known as one of the most scenic in America. It seats nearly 30,000 fans, and although it’s located in a fairly rural area, there are several campgrounds nearby.

The United States has 58 National Parks, which means you may never run out of sights to see and beautiful roads to drive. Get creative on your next National Park adventure and add in some evening entertainment. An RV adventure gives you the flexibility to make the most of your vacation, no matter where the road takes you.

About the Author

Adam Young enjoys exploring the country’s national parks when he’s not serving as the CEO of Event Tickets Center. His home state of Florida offers a range of parks that are perfect for visiting via RV.

Posted in Arizona RV Camping Vacation, California RV Camping Vacation, National Parks, North Carolina RV Camping Vacation, Tennessee RV Camping Vacation, Washington RV Camping Vacation | Leave a comment

Holiday RV Travel—Christmas on the Road

Travel over Christmas break isn’t something new—but it doesn’t have to mean a crowded ski lodge or peak-season-priced hotel rooms. If your family’s ready to try something new, why not pack the RV and find the magic of Christmas on the road? For regions where weather conditions don’t favor RV travel, consider flying to a warmer spot and picking up a rental RV for your adventure.

We’ve collected some tips for keeping Christmas merry and bright while traveling by RV with the family. Pick one or try them all—these ideas are handpicked to bring holiday cheer to RV camping families.  We’ve even got a Holiday Special to help with your RV rental!

Christmas TreeRV Holiday Travel Destinations 

What RV camping destinations are popular at Christmas? Let’s narrow that answer down a bit. What does your family enjoy doing together? Where have you dreamed of going to get away for the holidays? Combining the winter holidays with activities everyone will enjoy is the key to an unforgettable holiday RV road trip.

Here are just a few suggestions for holiday RV travel destinations.

Ski Resorts with RV Parks combine winter sports, beautiful mountain settings and affordable accommodations. An excellent example of a year-round campground is the Fireside Resort near the ski slopes in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Many ski resorts allow boondocking, or dry camping, in self-contained motorhomes in their parking lots, so be sure to ask what’s available.

Theme Park Christmas Getaways are perfect for RV camping families who want to keep the fun going over the holidays. A big plus—theme parks dress up in their holiday best and host special events to add excitement to your family’s winter break.

Many RVers are familiar with Fort Wilderness Camping Resort at Disney World in Orlando, Florida, but did you know there are plenty of other options for holiday camping near theme parks? Check out Paradise by the Sea Resort in San Diego. You’ll be within easy driving distance of Legoland and San Diego Sea World. Arlington KOA is minutes away from Six Flags Over Texas. When you’ve chosen your theme park destination, look for on-site campgrounds or campgrounds within an easy drive.

Christmas Camping in the Beauty of Nature

Discovering natural wonders is one more way families who camp together get the most from their winter breaks. Think of the memories you’ll make sharing Yuletide delights surrounded by desert vistas (Mojave National Preserve in Southern California), discovering trails along a rocky riverbank (Colorado Bend State Park north of Austin, TX) or exploring Jekyll Island off the coast of Georgia.

RV Holiday Travel Tips 

No matter which holiday RV travel destination you choose, it’s easy to keep the excitement building along the way. Try these tips: 

Twelve Days of RV Christmas: Pick a theme and plan small gifts for everyone to enjoy each day as the holiday approaches. Time together as a family is the goal as each person unwraps the day’s gift. You could also draw names for ‘Secret Santa’ gifts to be purchased along the way or before you begin your trip.

Take Holiday Traditions on the Road: Bring along the holiday traditions that mean the most to your family. Pack the holiday books or movies you always share as a family. Sing along with Christmas music on the radio. Make each youngster a travel bag with holiday-themed coloring or puzzle books. Let older kids choose an audiobook of a Christmas classic to share.

Bring the ingredients for favorite cookies and candies, and spend the day baking together at the campground. Stock your RV kitchen with cocoa mix, marshmallows and candy canes for a shared treat while watching for Santa. Buy Command™ hooks to hang stockings without damaging the walls of your motorhome. Do you always have chili for Christmas Eve dinner? Is there a special cookie plate to set out with Santa’s goodies? All it takes is a little planning to transform your winter RV trip into a holiday to remember.

Holiday travel by RV can be whatever your family wants it to be. Carry on treasured traditions while traveling to a special destination, or explore the holiday traditions of other regions and cultures. Camp in extraordinary natural settings and spend the time bonding with your family. Traveling by motorhome gives you the freedom to shape your winter holiday celebrations into something remarkable.

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Fall Foliage RV Road Trips to Remember

The fall foliage forecasts for many US regions are calling for early, but spectacular, autumn color. Before you plan your autumn RV road trip, use these tips to find the most colorful displays of the season.   

Fall Foliage Viewing RV Trips

Fall Foliage Viewing RV Trips

What looks good for 2017?

We’re glad you asked, because this year, the shrubs and trees across America are slated to outdo themselves. Here are our top suggestions for 2017 RV road trips to find fall foliage.

  • Drive along Grand Traverse Bay in Michigan’s Lower Peninsula from Charlevoix to Northport via US-31. It’s less than one hundred miles total, but you’re going to want to explore the side roads and fishing villages, as well as historic sites, lighthouses and wineries around Traverse City. Orange and yellow blazes of color will delight the eye as oaks and maples turn through October. Here’s a list of Michigan RV campgrounds to help you start planning.
  • Cuyahoga Valley National Park in Ohio boasts thirty-thousand-plus acres of hiking trails and scenic drives custom-made for leaf peeping. Follow SR-303 across the park for especially lush fall color. There’s no RV camping within the park, but the National Park Service has created this helpful list of RV campgrounds near Cuyahoga Valley National Park.
  • Driving the Enchanted Circle Scenic Byway in Northern New Mexico is a magical way to spend an autumn weekend. A little less than ninety miles full circle, this route promises breathtaking autumn color late September to mid-October. You’ll circumnavigate Wheeler Peak from Taos north to Questa, then around the mountain down to Angel Fire. Plenty of wildlife, mountain passes and fall foliage combine for a drive you won’t soon forget.
  • Take a road trip to Quechee State Park, a few minutes west of I-89 at Hartford, Vermont, for outstanding leaf peeping opportunities. Quechee Gorge overflows with fall color, as well as views of the Outtauquechee River fall below. Park campgrounds are open through mid-October, allowing you to stay several days to explore the hiking trails.
  • If you happen to be in California’s Eastern Sierra this autumn, be sure to visit sites around Bishop, California to spy the luscious golds of aspens and cottonwoods against a backdrop of rugged mountains.  Owens Valley and the Lake Sabrina/Bishop Creek Canyon area, in particular, deliver autumn views worth slowing down to savor. Creekside RV Park west of Bishop is open through mid-October.

Where can I find more information on fall foliage?

There’s a wealth of information online to steer road trippers to the best fall color. One source often used by fall RV travelers is the Weather Channel’s annual fall foliage map. This map set reveals the forecasted peak of color for each region. There’s also a feature for uploading your own autumn foliage photos.

Be sure to visit local tourism offices or websites, as well, to learn where folks are seeing the best fall color. And don’t forget, this blog – Monty’s Musings – is searchable, so be sure to read through past blog posts on ‘leaf peeping’ and ‘fall foliage’ for more ideas.

It’s high time you hit the road for your own leaf peeping tour. You’ll enjoy cool weather camping and beautiful scenery on the same RV road trip. Who could turn down a chance to do that? We ramp up the enticement another notch with our Autumn RV Rental Special. Where will you go this year in search of fall foliage?

Posted in California RV Camping Vacation, Fall Foliage, Michigan RV Camping Vacation, New Mexico RV Camping Vacation, Ohio RV Camping Vacation, Vermont RV Camping Vacation | Leave a comment

Six Awesome Swimming Holes to Visit By RV

When experiencing the sweltering heat of summer, it’s natural to daydream about shady pools where the cool, clear water is waiting to offer relief. If swimming holes are in short supply near you, no worries! We’re going to share six swimming holes RV travelers love to visit.

South Yuba River State Park – Bridgeport, CA

The dog days of summer are the perfect time to hike down this scenic waterway to one of the many swimming holes within the state park. Spring flows can be treacherous, but by late summer the river has calmed down and offers sweet relief in its cool, granite-lined waters. Be prepared to hike in the river, as no ‘drive-up’ access to these pools is available.  RV campgrounds in Camptonville and Browns Valley are a short drive from the state park.

Slide Rock State Park – Sedona, AZ

Slide Rock State Park, AZ

Slide Rock State Park, AZ

The cold, clear waters of Oak Creek slip along an eighty-foot groove over smooth sandstone boulders. Swimmers can travel down this natural water slide and beat the heat while enjoying the beauty of Sedona’s famed red rocks. Three tips for enjoying this swimming hole that’s consistently chosen as one of America’s favorites—wear water shoes to avoid falling on slippery rock, wear old shorts over your swimwear to avoid friction related malfunctions and call ahead to make sure the swimming hole is open in late summer (low water flows may close the attraction). Numerous private campgrounds between Flagstaff and Sedona are waiting to welcome RV campers.

Inks Lake State Park – Burnet, TX

The rocky terrain and cool blue waters of this Hill Country lake keep swimmers (and campers) coming back for more. Devil’s Waterhole is a sweet spot for adventurous souls brave enough to dive from the cliffs above. The large, on-site RV campground makes it easy to stay awhile and experience the rugged beauty of the area.

Kings River Falls – Witter, AR

Located in the northwest corner of Ozark National Forest, the Kings River Falls Natural Area is a sight to behold. Ozark Mountain beauty frames the Kings River as it flows over large slabs of rock to create the Falls that swimming hole fans rave about. The water is cold and pristine and so worth the two-mile round-trip hike from the parking area to reach the Falls. More than a dozen developed campgrounds within the national forest present plenty of possibilities for RVers.

Southside Quarry – Louisville, KY

This Louisville entertainment staple is an old-fashioned, quarry-turned-swimming-hole where the music is playing, the sun is shining and there’s a laid-back adults only atmosphere. The quarry is quite deep, so most folks bring along something to keep them afloat. Rocky cliffs along one side create visual interest (and a place to dive from, if you’re brave). The entrance fee goes to charity, so you can do something good while cooling off from Southern summer sizzle.

Madison Blue Spring State Park – Lee, FL

The turquoise waters of North Florida’s natural springs make for some of the best swimming imaginable. Madison Blue Spring on the Withlacoochee River flows up into a hardwood forest, creating an idyllic spot for a lazy, summer afternoon. Both swimmers and cave divers take advantage of the limestone ledges surrounding the pool to make their launch into the spring. Nearby campgrounds include Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park in Madison, just ten minutes away.

Pack the RV and grab your swim gear. There’s no better way to beat the summer heat than an RV camping trip to find awesome swimming holes.

Posted in Arizona RV Camping Vacation, Arkansas RV Camping Vacation, California RV Camping Vacation, Florida RV Camping Vacation, Kentucky RV Camping Vacation, Texas RV Camping Vacation | Leave a comment

Why You Should Take an RV on your Next Road Trip to Disney

Whether coming to America for a road trip to a Disney theme park, or heading out from your home base in the States, traveling there by RV makes sense. For lodging and travel, you can’t beat the comfort of a recreational vehicle. Traveling to your Disney destination by RV can also be a special time of family bonding, close enough to connect and roomy enough to prevent sibling squabbles.

Add that to the savings of renting a campsite versus staying in hotels and being able to cook some meals to stay on budget, and you’ll wonder why you’ve ever traveled any other way. Hold on as we share the details you’ll need to plan your next RV road trip to Disney. 

RV Camping to Disney World

One of the many reasons RVers love Disney World in Orlando, Florida is Fort Wilderness, Disney’s beautiful on-site resort and campground. Park among the trees in one of four levels of campsites, depending on your preferred camping style. You’ll be saving plenty to spend on Disney souvenirs, with campsite rental rates below $100 for the most premium amenities.

When you return from a thrilling day at Disney World, the kids won’t want to retire to the camper. Fort Wilderness offers more than seven-hundred wooded acres filled with hiking trails, swimming pools, a lake with boat, canoe and kayak rentals as well as fishing excursions, arcades, outdoor sports courts and many more ways to play back at the campground. This is one place the kids will beg to return to, thanks to the care Disney takes to make your camping experience memorable.

RV Camping Trip to Disneyland

The original Disney theme park, located in Anaheim, is a beloved destination for families traveling to California by RV. The Disneyland park doesn’t have on-site camping, but there’s no reason not to travel there by RV, thanks to several RV parks within a short drive.

Disneyland Castle

Disneyland Castle

Anaheim RV Park is directly across I-5 from Disneyland, offering camping within a shuttle ride or short walk to the park. Anaheim Harbor RV Park is just north of Disneyland, two blocks from I-5. Orangeland RV Park is about fifteen minutes east of the theme park, close to shopping and entertainment districts. One more choice for visitors who hope to enjoy the great outdoors while camping is Canyon RV Park, a thirty-minute drive from Disneyland via CA-91.

These RV parks close to Disneyland offer different levels of amenities, so be sure to check their websites for more information before making reservations. A quick check of hotels within the same proximity to Disneyland will let you know the rates can be hundreds of dollars per night, compared to an average rate of $75 per night for these campgrounds. By the way, if you’re arriving in a motorhome without a towed vehicle, there’s parking available in the ‘oversized vehicle’ lot right on the Disney property.

No matter which Anaheim campground you choose, the convenience and camaraderie of traveling together, having the option of preparing some of your meals and saving money while enjoying the legendary thrills of Disneyland make RV camping your best travel and lodging choice.

Ready to head for Orlando or Anaheim on your next RV camping vacation? We’re here to help with RV rentals! RV camping and Disney…it’s going to be one of your best vacation memories.

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Spring RV Travel in Search of Desert Wildflowers

North American desert landscapes will host lavish displays of color this spring, thanks to heavy winter rains. In parts of California, they’re actually calling 2017 the year of the ‘Super Bloom’.

It’s time to take the RV out of winter hibernation for a trip to the desert in search of wildflowers. We’ve got all the information you’ll need to hike, camp and thoroughly enjoy the desert’s flashiest season.  

RV Wildflower Viewing Trips

RV Wildflower Viewing Trips

RV Desert Wildflower Itineraries

According to DesertUSA.com, there are several desert locations in America where wildflowers are either blooming right now (last minute RV road trip, anyone?) or will be in full bloom in the next thirty days.

Some of the best places to enjoy desert wildflowers are on BLM preserves. This year has promised to bring such abundant color that the Bureau of Land Management has set up a special hashtag, #TracktheBloom, and is asking desert visitors to share their wildflower photos on social media sites such as the BLM California Facebook page.

That last-minute location we mentioned, where cacti and other desert plants are showing their best colors this month is Carrizo Plain National Monument in California’s Central Valley. Here’s what you need to know to plan your RV trip:

What’s Blooming? Plenty! Expect to see lupine, delphinium, goldfield, hillside daisies and poppies through April in the immense valley that’s home to Soda Lake.

How to Get There? Carrizo Plain NM can be reached via several major highways. From Van Nuys, drive north on I-5 (four-hour trip.) From Las Vegas, it’s nearly a straight shot west eight hours via I-15, same distance from Phoenix via I-10.

Where to Camp? There are two improved campgrounds within this two-hundred-thousand-acre preserve, if you’re up for primitive camping (vault toilets, no utilities). If you prefer developed campsites, there are dozens of RV campgrounds near Carrizo Plain NM in Bakersfield, Santa Margarita or San Luis Obispo.

Or, you could drive farther south to where Anza-Borrego Desert State Park is also in full bloom through late April.

What’s Blooming? Ocotillos, desert sunflowers, many kinds of blooming cacti and spectacular indigo bush are just a few of the species waiting to delight the eye.

How to Get There? The State Park is two hours northeast of San Diego on Montezuma Valley Road, about an hour-and-a-half southeast of Temecula or a six-hour drive west from Tucson, AZ via I-8.

Where to Camp? Lots of options, but be sure to call ahead, as wildflower season may fill campgrounds. Borrego Palm Canyon Campground, The Springs at Borrego RV Resort and Tamarisk Grove Campground, an hour south in Julian, CA are three campgrounds to consider for your RV trip to Anza-Borrego.

We’ll leave you with a trio of other RV road trip ideas to find desert wildflowers. Pick one that sounds fun and get packing!

Have a four-wheel drive towed vehicle? Bounce along the 25-mile Quebradas National Backcountry Byway in southern New Mexico. You’ll find beautiful blooming cacti and desert plants in a rugged, undeveloped setting. Take I-25 south from Albuquerque, follow the Byway signs from Escondida, NM to Escondido Lake and beyond. This is on BLM land, and you can find developed campgrounds nearby in Magdalena, NM.

Valley of Fire State Park in Nevada is another stunningly scenic landscape that’s especially nice when brittle bush and cactus species are abloom. Find it forty miles north of Las Vegas on I-15 (northern end of Lake Mead), with campsites both primitive and developed within the park, or Las Vegas campgrounds close enough to make it a day trip.

Poppies, lupine and globe mallows dominate the slopes of Picacho Peak State Park in southeast Arizona. Located midway between Phoenix and Tucson off I-10, this wildflower haven is easy to access and features hiking trails surrounding the peak that gives the park its name. There are eighty electric-only campsites within the Park (fill those water tanks before you arrive) as well as a private RV resort near the I-10 park entrance.

What better reason to travel by RV in spring than to seek the desert places abloom with wildflowers? Pick one or more of these amazing desert settings and bring your hiking shoes. You’re going to want to get close to nature when you see what she’s offering this spring!

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Hiking and RV Camping in Joshua Tree National Park

Camping in the surreal landscape of Joshua Tree National Park is unlike any other American camping experience. The huge, uniquely shaped boulders, the distinct silhouette of thousands of Joshua Trees marching along the desert floor and the abundance of desert plant and animal life make coming to this place where the Mojave and Colorado Deserts meet fascinating. It also provides an amazing place for hikers to explore, stretching twelve-hundred square miles through Southern California near Palm Springs.

Where to Camp at Joshua Tree

RV Camping at Joshua Tree National Park

RV Camping at Joshua Tree National Park

Camping at Joshua Tree NP is fairly easy, if you prepare ahead for ‘dry camping’ conditions. There are actually five developed campgrounds within the park, with two equipped for RVs. There aren’t any electrical, water or sewer hook-ups at these campsites, but two campgrounds—Black Rock and Indian Cove—have drinking water available within the campground. Reservations are highly recommended from October to May, as the mild winter temperatures in this desert national park make it a popular place with campers.

Here are some tips to help make your Joshua Tree National Park camping experience a good one.

* Generator use is limited to 7-9 a.m., 12-2 p.m., and 5-7 p.m., so plan electrical use accordingly.

* Pets must remain leashed at all times outside your RV.

* Only small campfires, within fire rings or grills provided by the park, are allowed. * If no campsites are available on your desired dates, use this link from NPS.gov to locate other local options.

* Always practice Leave No Trace camping etiquette.

Where to Hike at Joshua Tree NP

You’ve set up camp and you’ve laced up your hiking boots, but which way to go? You could start at one of the park’s three visitor centers to get an overview of the unique ecosystems and the trails that wind through them.

Or you could use this handy guide to Joshua Tree NP hiking trails at NPS.gov. Either way, you’ll find plenty of information about popular destinations within the park. Here are just a few suggestions for places to discover from the park’s nearly three dozen trailheads.

Keys View is a rocky promontory with views of the Coachella Valley. The short loop trail is accessible via a twenty-minute drive from Park Boulevard.

The seven-mile hike into Lost Palms Oasis leads to a palm-filled canyon.

Making the hike up to Mastodon Peak is a must if you’re in good condition, as you’ll never forget those views of the Salton Sea.

Older kids would love the one-mile hike into Hidden Canyon, where enormous boulders are said to have once hidden cattle rustlers.

These are only a few of the dozens of trails that you’ll encounter as you begin to explore Joshua Tree National Park on foot. Keep in mind that, even in winter, this is a place of sudden weather changes, so always be prepared. You’ll also want to carry plenty of water in this desert environment and respect the plant and animal life that makes this place so special.

Consider hiking and camping at Joshua Tree National Park on your next visit to Southern California. If lack of an RV is keeping you at home, give us a call and we’ll help you find the rental location and RV model that suits your plans. It’s going to be a trip you’ll talk about for years!

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

Southern San Diego County Surf & Camp Vacation

Did we whet your appetite with ideas for surfing and RV camping your way through Northern San Diego County? Well hold on, because we’re just getting started. This week, we’re going to keep moving south and talk about the places where the breaks bring big waves and camping keeps you near the beach.

Where to Camp Near San Diego Surfing

As we move down the shoreline into San Diego surf territory, the prime surf spots stretch to the Mexican border. Before we highlight the best surf beaches in San Diego, let’s talk about where to camp in your RV. Coming from the north in San Diego County, your next opportunity to camp where there’s surfing nearby is San Elijo State Beach near Encinitas. There’s a large campground with standard electric campsites and views to blow you away at sunset.

Farther south, on a spit of sand extending out into San Diego Harbor, Silver Strand State Beach is another option for RV campers who love to surf. Surrounded by both San Diego Harbor and the Pacific Ocean, you can’t beat the scenery and with more than one hundred campsites, the chances of getting a campsite are good.

One more possibility for camping near San Diego surf beaches is to stay at Campland on the Bay, a huge private campground on Mission Bay. It has every amenity you can imagine, so if you’re not able to book or find a site near a state beach, consider camping here instead.

Where to Surf Near San Diego

San Diego, CA Vacations

San Diego, CA Vacations

There’s no shortage of good surfing near San Diego, with natural features like reefs and beachbreaks and several piers to keep things interesting. You’ll remember in our last post that we ended the ride at South Carlsbad State Park. If we pick up our journey to find great surfing by heading south on I-5, our first stop will be the surf beaches near Encinitas.

If you’re camping at San Elijo State Beach (see above) you’ll be just north of Pipes, an area popular with beginning to advanced surfers, depending on which breaks they choose. Continuing south, the twin breaks at Cardiff State Beach, near the iconic SoCal surf town of Cardiff-by-the-Sea, combine with the endless waves at Cardiff Reef to make this town a spot where you’ll want to stay awhile.

When you’re ready to continue south in search of San Diego surfing, plan a stop at Del Mar Beach. With reef and beachbreaks, swells and tricky river mouth currents to add a challenge, this is another SoCal beach worth spending more than one day surfing. Just south of Del Mar, the wicked beachbreaks at Blacks are best left for highly-experienced surfers.

And that brings us south to Scripps Pier at La Jolla, a good place to test your skills on the ledges formed on the pier’s south side. Farther south, La Jolla Shores promises consistent waves that can be conquered by less-experienced surfers, making it popular with local surf schools. A less predictable surf beach can be found at La Jolla Cove, but the waves aren’t always breaking there. If you have the time to wait, you might find yourself in the ride of your life off this beach.

When you finally reach the city of San Diego, you haven’t run out of good surfing. Ocean Beach, out on the point on San Diego Harbor, has all those features that keep the surfing consistent. A reef, pier and two beaches produce breaks in both directions for waves that will keep all levels of surfers busy.

Our final destination, just five miles north of the border with Mexico, is Imperial Beach, a city where surfing is a treasured pastime. Spend time on the south side of Imperial Beach Pier for a lineup to challenge your best moves. Not as busy as other surfing hot spots near San Diego, Imperial Beach is worth making a stop as you near the end of your camping and surfing vacation.

There you have it, our best tips for camping and surfing your way through San Diego County from Encinitas to Imperial Beach. Keep it easy by picking up a San Diego RV rental, booking campsites ahead where you can and planning lots of time to get to know the beachbreaks, reefs and other secrets that make Southern California surfing so exciting.

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Northern San Diego County Surf & Camp Vacation

San Diego County, California, stretches along I-5 from the border with Mexico north to the Orange County line at San Clemente. All along the way are legendary surf beaches, waiting to be explored by RV travelers. There are also exceptional places to camp by RV along the entire route.

We’ve broken up our itinerary into northern and southern San Diego County surf and camp destinations. This week, we’ll be talking about the northern beaches, from Trestles at San Onofre State Beach down to Carlsbad State Beach. As you read, use this handy surf cam/surf report link to see how the waves are breaking at each point.

Surf & Camp Stop 1: San Onofre State Beach

San Clemente, CA

San Clemente, CA

Two surfing beaches worth a visit, no matter when you come to San Diego County, can be found at San Onofre State Beach, just south of San Clemente   and adjacent to Camp Pendleton North. Reserve a campsite before you come at San Mateo Campground, about a mile and a half inland from Trestles Beach.

Make your way along the trail that crosses under I-5 to Trestles and Old Man Beach just to the south, where you’ll find distinctly different surfing conditions, both courtesy of the break at San Mateo Point. (Hint: “Old Man” refers to the long board surfers who once flocked to the rollers here. Trestles offers three areas—Uppers, Middles and Lowers—each with its own signature brand of swells.)

Non-surfers in your camping crew will appreciate the windswept trails along the bluffs and three-plus-miles of beaches to enjoy.

Surf & Camp Stop 2: Oceanside Harbor

The natural and manmade breaks found in the harbor at Oceanside, CA make for consistently good surfing year-round. Situated to receive desirable southwest swells, Oceanside offers challenges for beginning to advanced surfers.

Come RV camping and surfing to Oceanside to experience such hotspots as the jetties on the harbor’s north side, as well as the waves on both sides of the pier. Surfers will also appreciate the steady break action caused by sandbars throughout the harbor.

Where to camp while in Oceanside? There are two beachside parking lots that allow overnight RV parking (no hook-ups, but couldn’t be closer to the water). If you miss those parking spots, there are numerous private RV parks near Oceanside, or you can head for our next Northern San Diego County Surf & Camp Spot—South Carlsbad State Beach.

Surf & Camp Spot 3: South Carlsbad State Beach

South Carlsbad State Beach offers spectacular views from its bluff-top campground, where you can relax each night after a long day of surfing. The continuous break of waves rolling toward Tamarack Surf Beach attracts surfing enthusiasts year-round. An added bonus: you’re a short drive from surfing action at Oceanside as well as the challenges farther south at Cardiff, Del Mar and La Jolla (more about those in the next post).

While at Carlsbad/Tamarack Beach, take the time to walk the four-mile seawall for views of the beach, the ocean and sunsets that will take their place in your top vacation memories.

Whether you decide to RV camp and surf your way through northern San Diego County in the golden days of summer or when winter’s Santa Ana winds kick up a whole new breed of waves, there’s no time like the present to start planning. Pick your next surfing challenge. Rent the RV that suits your style, reserve your campsites and pack your wetsuits and board shorts. That’s really all you need; San Diego County is ready to supply the rest of your epic surf and camp vacation.

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