RV Adventure – Two Florida Festivals Not to Miss!

February in West Central Florida is often a bit cooler than other months but it is usually warmer than any other part of the country. This is an ideal time to head south and enjoy some family-friendly fairs including lots and lots of entertainment.

These two favorite events are the Florida State Fair – February 7th –18th, and the Florida Strawberry Festival from February 28th – March 10th. There is no shortage of fun and entertainment at both venues.

First, come and enjoy the Florida State Fair in Tampa – now in its 116th year! Here’s a little bit of its history. The original Florida State Fair began in 1904 as the South Florida Fair on the grounds of the Tampa Bay Hotel, owned by railroad baron Henry Plant. That first fair had simple attractions and was held in a single building on a 27-acre plot adjoining Plant’s Tampa Bay Hotel, where the University of Tampa stands today. This event soon became known as the Florida State Mid-Winter Festival and was the place to be! Families from near and far would come to the festival to play games, eat fair food and win bragging rights for their prized Bull, best pie, or most beautiful quilt.    Florida State Fair

In 1915, the South Florida Fair and Gasparilla Carnival were officially incorporated with the Secretary of State office in Tallahassee. This new Fair became known as the Florida State Fair. Fast forward to 1975 when the Florida State Legislature created the Florida State Fair Authority and designated the Tampa event as the official Florida State Fair. In February of 1977, the first Fair was held at its current location, near Interstate 4 and U.S Highway 301 in eastern Hillsborough County. The 330-acre site sits just seven miles from its original downtown Tampa location. Once it moved to the East Tampa location, new buildings, barns and even the Mildred W. and Doyle E. Carlton, Jr. Cracker Country living history museum were established. The Fair grew – and continues to grow – each year.

This year’s entertainment lineup is incredibly diverse from Amazing Acrobats of China to truck and tractor pulling, to a show featuring Draft Horses, including majestic Draft Horse performances, breath-taking competitions, and seeing a Draft Horse “up-close”.

There’s also a rodeo, several concerts of different music genres, and even an Alligator Show and a giraffe visiting tent. Visit the Entertainment part of their website to see all the featured 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, attracting about 500,000 visitors each year, sometimes even more than those who attend the Florida State Fair.

Central to its focus, the Festival continues to preserve and enhance the agricultural and historical legacy of the Florida strawberry.

But lest you think all there is to this festival is incredible strawberry shortcake, their entertainment schedule features world-class entertainers each year. This year, the 2019 festival begins February 28th, with performances every day of the 11 day long festival with at least two to three shows on many days. In addition to plenty of free performances, you can schedule your trip to the Festival to see Willie Nelson and Family, The Oak Ridge Boys, Alabama, and the Brothers Osborne, Kool & the Gang, and Chicks with Hits, and that is just the first few days they are open.

After that, Pat Boone will perform, followed by Martina McBride on March 4th, and a host of other top-shelf entertainers. Be sure to check out their full entertainment schedule on the Strawberry Festival website.

Wondering how to travel to these two Fairs? Come and bring your RV so you’re already set up for staying as long as you wish in either locale.

You can easily rent one of our RV’s at our Florida El Monte location in Orlando. It is only an hour from there 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.

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NASCAR Season Kicks Off with the Daytona 500

NASCAR racing starts again this February – on the 17th with the famous Daytona 500 as the kickoff race. Florida welcomes drivers from all over the country for the start of the 2019 season the weekend of the 16th to 18th of February.  For a sneak preview of the next few NASCAR events following the Daytona weekend, March 2nd-4th will feature the Pennzoil 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Then on March 9th-11th, ISM Raceway (formerly the Phoenix International Raceway) will be home for the TicketGuardian 500 race. The next scheduled weekend, on the 30th of March to April 1st is the O’Reilly Auto Parts 500 at the Texas Motor Speedway.

Daytona will feature the 61st running of the Daytona 500 race when the NASCAR season begins, with this showcase of speed, skill and determination as the drivers battled the famed 2.5 mile tri-oval track with its 31 degree banking to earn the title of Daytona 500 Champion.

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.   

Daytona International Speedway

Daytona International Speedway

Whether you’re in a decked-out motorhome or a tent is more your style, DAYTONA offers several camping options that put you right next to all 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 when the race is sold out, check out these other camping options in the Daytona area.

  1. Daytona Speedway RV
  2. Finishline Park
  3. Daytona Racetrack RV
  4. South Daytona RV Park & Tropical Gardens

Other things to do near Daytona

If you have a little free time, there are many other attractive places to see near Daytona that will make you appreciate this gem of a location on the Atlantic. You can take your 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.

As you travel along 1A you should stop and see the Ponce Inlet with its iconic Ponce De Leon Inlet lighthouse and museum, great for stretching your legs and more if you choose to climb the 203 steps of the 175 foot tower lighthouse. This lighthouse, the tallest one in Florida and the second tallest masonry lighthouse in the US, is second only to Cape Hatteras Lighthouse on North Carolina’s Outer Banks.

There are Sugar Mill Ruins just west of New Smyrna Beach and Edgewater and just an hour south is the NASA Kennedy Space Center.

If you want to take in some nature close to Daytona Speedway, check out the Bulow Creek State Park near Flagler Beach, one of the largest remaining stands of southern live oak forests along Florida’s east coast.

Tomoka State Park is nearby in Ormond Beach, where Native Americans once dwelled and now a bird-watchers’ paradise. And, stop by the Gamble Rogers Memorial State Recreation Area at Flagler Beach or the Sunglow Fishing Pier to enjoy a bit of fishing. For more information about camping in any of the 175 award-winning Florida State Parks, check out their website.

Need to Rent 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.

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Florida State Parks and Everglades National Park – Go South for the Winter

Want to get out in nature, watch some birds and enjoy some lovely winter weather this year? Escape that cold, blustery snow and ice of the north and fly or drive south for the winter. The birds know enough to get out of the cold and so could you! Enjoy some of the best bird watching the Sunshine State has to offer in these parks that welcome winter visitors.

To help you plan RV camping activities in Florida this year, here are some of our recommended state parks – including Everglades National Park, to round out the  mix.

Starting at the southern end of Florida, in the Florida Keys, Here you can find abundant places to stay with your RV – and beautiful weather to enjoy while you watch plentiful dolphins as well as sea birds and even the amazing roseate spoonbills. Each winter, along US 1, while driving down the Keys Highway, watch these beautifully colored birds as they treat visitors to a spectacle in pink.

Places to Camp in the Florida Keys:

From Key Largo at the northeast tip of the keys and John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park to Long Key State Park in Layton, there are abundant places to stop and see the sights and many where you can camp overnight. If you drive all the way southwest to Key West, you can enjoy amazing sunsets and street performers on the pier as well as visits to such historical icons as the Ernest Hemingway House and the Truman House. This is well worth the 4 hour drive south of Miami.

Places to See Near Miami:

If you haven’t walked out on a jetty to see a real lighthouse, then Miami has just the thing for you. Only minutes from downtown Miami, the Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park is just such a lighthouse, surrounded by water and amazing sights to see from atop. While not an overnight campground, this park contains the oldest structure in Miami-Dade. The lighthouse is a time capsule containing an immense amount of Florida history. First erected in 1825, the Cape Florida Light has survived nearly 200 years of erosion, dozens of hurricanes, an attack by native Seminole Native Americans, and an explosion of lantern oil and gun powder. Well worth the drive for the amazing view. There are also wonderful other attractions around Miami such as the Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science and Space Transit Planetarium, Fairchild Tropical Botanical Garden and the Vizcaya Museum and Gardens. Visit the 1920’s-era Charles Deering Estate and if you wish to go a bit farther afield, there is Parrot Jungle and Monkey Jungle, both unique places to see these birds and animals.

Places to Stay Near Miami:

Florida’s state parks have many options for camping throughout the state. Full-facility campsites for tents as well as RVers include water, electricity, a grill and picnic tables, along with centralized showers, restrooms and a dump station in most parks. In the Miami area, there are several, including the Oleta River State Park and Greynolds Park in North Miami Beach, the Historic Virginia Key Beach Park, and Larry and Penny Thompson Park. Check the Florida State Parks website for more information.

Alligator in the Everglades
Alligator in the Everglades

Don’t forget to stop in and visit alligators and numerous water birds and other unique animals in Everglades National Park while you are in South Florida. While you should check in advance for campground reservations, there are many unusual sights to see in this gem of a park, also known as the River of Grass. You can easily rent one of our RV’s at either of our Florida El Monte locations, in Miami or Orlando. Check out both of them and more suggested Florida vacation ideas on our Where you can Rent RV’s page.

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RV Adventures – Fairs and Festivals in Florida

Take a road trip in your RV or ours to sunny south Florida this winter and escape the cold weather while basking in sunshine. The South Florida Fair takes place in West Palm Beach starting on January 18th and runs through February 3rd. There are 5 performance stages of continuous entertainment featuring bands such as Building 429, The Outlaws, Frankie Ballard and The Pat Travers Band, just to name a few. For more details check out the South Florida Fair.

Since 1912 each January, over a half million visitors have enjoyed 17 fun-filled days at the South Florida Fair, one of Florida’s oldest and largest community events. Fairgoers are entertained by first class stage shows, national concert performances, sensational midway rides, unique shopping and the best of fair food.

The Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington is home to the Winter Equestrian Festival from January 9 to March 31 this year. This largest and longest running horse show is the world’s premier winter equestrian event and offers competition for children, junior, adult amateur and professional equestrians in 70 unique divisions over 12 weeks. Featuring riders from more than 42 countries, more than 6000 horses compete with their riders for total prizes of over half a billion dollars.

You can even celebrate Everglades Day Festival on February 9th at the Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge in Boynton Beach. This eco-adventure is dedicated to having fun while learning in a unique ecosystem. Free admission gives a full day of wildlife presentations, interactive games, guest speakers and more. To learn more about this amazing Florida Everglades ecosystem, see their website.

If you love garlic, there is even a South Florida Garlic Festival from February 9th to 10th.  The South Florida Garlic Fest celebrates its’ 20th Anniversary this year! This event is the epitome of homegrown talent and a cultural showcase providing an outlet for local artists and chefs to express themselves. In a variety of mediums, Garlic Fest serves as a gathering festival focal point for musicians, artist of every genre and culinary artists. Each year over 40,000 local South Floridians attend to enjoy the premier food and entertainment event in South Florida. And the event raises money for non-profit organizations that support arts and/or education for youth.

On the following weekend from the 16th to 18th of February is ArtiGras – billed as the premier fine arts festival of the Palm Beaches. This event is held over President’s Day weekend and showcases top artists in all media types along with live music and incredible food to tempt your palate. This local art show has grown into a nationally recognized arts festival and ranked in the top 50 of America’s Best Art Fairs.

And that’s just in Palm Beach County.

Farther south in Dade and Broward Counties, you will find such festivals this winter as the famous Coconut Grove Arts Festival. Now in its 56th year, this arts festival started when in 1963, a local theatre maven named Charlie Cinnamon, asked a handful of locals to recreate an outdoor Parisian exhibition as a publicity stunt for the Coconut Grove Playhouse’s production of Irma la Douce. Held this year on President’s Day weekend from the 16th to 18th of February, all art lovers are invited to attend. Get more information at their website.

Florida State Fair

In Hillsborough County, just a few hours’ drive north, check out all the action in Tampa at the Florida State Fair, starting on February 7th and running through the 18th. This long-running official state fair features everything you would hope to see at a State Fair. There are photo contests, aquarium and horticulture contests, tons of baking and preserved foods contests and everything from arts and crafts to Fairy Garden competitions, as well as competitions in Succulents in Alternative Planters; Cracked Pot Garden and Largest Green Cabbage competitions, to name just a few. For all the entertainment schedules, see their website.

These are just a few ideas of sunny south Florida Fairs and Festivals to keep you having fun in the sun this winter.

Rent an RV for your trip:

For this sunny winter travel experience, you can rent from either of our El Monte RV Rental locations in Florida. You can find our rental locations in Miami (only a 2 hour drive from West Palm Beach) or Orlando (about an hour drive from Tampa).

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Holiday Fun – A Florida RV Adventure

Don’t suffer with freezing temps and snow and ice this holiday season. Take a tropical jaunt (ok, semi-tropical) through Florida and enjoy lots of Holiday events and attractions in the Sunshine State.

To help you plan some holiday activities in Florida this year, here are some of our favorites.

Universal Orlando Resort, Orlando

It takes more work for some to get into the spirit of the season, and you can seethe heartwarming process in action with a live show of Grinchmas, as the Grinch tries to ruin the holiday for the Whos before finding the true meaning of Christmas. You can also see Macy’s Holiday Parade nightly,with balloons and floats straight from New York’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, along with music, entertainment, and a spectacular tree lighting display. Winter is also when The Wizarding World of Harry Potter comes alive,with sights, sounds, and even tastes straight from the books and movies! Learn more here. 

ICE! at Gaylord Palms, Orlando

For the most frigid attraction in Florida, look no further than ICE!, the award-winning display of millions of pounds of ice hand-carved into amazing sculptures by artisans from China. This year, the journey tells the story of how the beloved characters from DreamWorks’ Merry Madagascar saved Christmas after Santa and his reindeer crashed onto the island of Madagascar.There are also two-story-tall ice slides to take a ride on, truly a unique holiday experience in Florida! With the entire exhibit kept at a downright freezing 9 degrees, this is definitely the coolest event of the year. Click here to learn more.

The Holy Land Experience, Orlando

Fora more traditional take on the Christmas season, The Holy Land Experience provides a living museum and park that makes some of the most well-known stories of the Bible come to life. From the Garden of Eden to the birth of Jesus, experience the sights and sounds of the biblical world in a way you can’t find anywhere else. 

Walt Disney World Resort, Kissimmee

For the holidays, on select nights at the Magic Kingdom, the Walt Disney World Resort brings an extra holiday cheer with Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. Amid the spectacular decorations, enjoy a parade featuring several favorite Disney Characters, along with a special appearance by Santa Claus himself! There’s also a new fireworks show,complimentary cookies and hot chocolate, and even a wintry snowfall. Enjoy the magic of Disney at this enchanting time of year. 

Town of Christmas

What better place to explore than the town where it’s Christmas year-round? Just outside of Orlando, the quaint town of Christmas sees visitors flock to their post office yearly to have their cards and letters postmarked from “Christmas, FL” for a unique touch to their holiday mail. The town also features a historical park with a museum showing what life was like in the original settlement from the 1800s.  Let everyone else dream a white Christmas while you experience the real thing!  Find out more at their website. 

Mount Dora Events and The Polar Express

From early November through December 30th, you can ride on the officially licensed THE POLAR EXPRESS™ train ride from Tavares Union Train Station, bound for the North Pole. For tickets and more information on this and all their holiday events, see the Mount Dora website.

Busch Gardens, Tampa

Not to be confused with the Town of Christmas, Busch Gardens is being transformed into Christmas Town.  The theme park will have special holiday shows, Santa’s house, and an entire snow-filled playground! From snowmen to penguins to the Christmas Town Village,there’s an entire wintry wonderland just waiting to be explored. 

Gingerbread House Extravaganza, Jacksonville

You won’t believe your eyes or nose when you see what amazing creations people are able to make with gingerbread, icing, and imagination. For the 11th consecutive year, the Jacksonville Historical Society is hosting the Gingerbread House Extravaganza to raise money for children’s programs, but this is no ordinary bake sale. The artistry and detail of the edible creations are a real treat, providing enough awe to keep your sweet tooth in check. And if you’re feeling adventurous, you can submit your own masterpiece to be part of the fun.

Nights of Lights, St. Augustine

If you enjoy going to local houses to see their Christmas light displays, then St.Augustine has just what you’re looking for. Every year, literally millions of holiday lights decorate the nation’s oldest city, transforming it into a twinkling spectacle. With so much to see, you may be better off taking one of the several tour buses than trying to take it all in on your own. There are also a multitude of events coinciding with the brilliant display. See their website here to find out more details.

Santa’s Enchanted Forest, Miami

Though we all know that Santa makes his home in the North Pole, South Floridians know he also maintains a warmer wonderland. Santa’s Enchanted Forest at Miami’s Tropical Park lays claim to the title of world’s largest Christmas theme park, with more than 100 rides, shows, games, and attractions.

El Monte RV Holiday Special:

Whatever you do for the holidays, this is a special time to enjoy visiting with family and friends. To make the season even more fun, take advantage of this Holiday Special from El Monte RV.

This month we’re offering a free Monty Christmas night to help you with your holiday travel plans or accommodations! Whether you’re traveling to see relatives, needing extra beds for those visiting you or just getting away from the Christmas rush, get a free extra day!

Rent any Class C or Class A model motor home, pick up any day in December and rent for a minimum of 6 nights and get 1 extra night FREE! Plus you get 50 free miles per night! Get 7 nights for the price of 6!  
Use Coupon Code: HOLIDAY

You can easily rent one of our RV’s at either of our Florida El Monte RV locations, in Miami or Orlando. Check out both of them and some more suggested Florida vacation ideas on our Florida RV rentals page.

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RV Vacation Time – December Music Festivals

Music abounds in the month of December and what a great way to see and hear the best of the best in rock and hip-hop than to go to music festivals. We feature one on the west coast – the Rolling Loud Music Festival in Los Angeles on December 14-15th and two in Florida – Riptide 2018 in Fort Lauderdale from November 30 – December 2nd and Next Big Thing in Tampa – Saturday and Sunday, December 1st and 2nd. So take your pick: if you are on the west coast, check out Rolling Loud and if Florida is your destination (or home), you have two excellent choices.

Rolling Loud – Los Angeles 

Discerning hip-hop lovers will be treated to a panoply of performers at this two day long festival at the Banc of California Stadium Grounds and Expo Park in Los Angeles. Performances by Post Malone, Lil Wayne, Cardi B and Lil Uzi Vert headline while the rest of the lineup is filled with Wiz Khalifa, 21 Savage, Shoreline Mafia, Bali Baby, Young Thug and many, many more. Check out the full schedule here. The festival starts on Friday the 14th and goes through Saturday the 15th of December.

Riptide Music Festival – Ft. Lauderdale Beach, Nov. 30-Dec. 2

Starting on Friday, the 30th, this Alternative Rock music festival kicks off with four performers on Friday night- followed by a huge array of bands on Saturday and Sunday. These include Young the Giant and Dirty Heads, as well as Panic!  At the Disco and Alice Merton all performing on Saturday. On Sunday, the likes of Third Eye Blind, Everclear and Gin Blossoms will headline the entertainment. If you want to see the full lineup, check out their website.

Next Big Thing – Tampa, Dec. 1 – 2

If you prefer the west coast of Florida, check out Next Big Thing – which has some of the same Alt Rock performers as the Ft. Lauderdale Riptide Fest but they have an even larger lineup of 50 bands playing for 2 days. On the lineup for this year’s Next Big Thing, held at Tampa’s MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre: Bastille, Foster the People, Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness, Young the Giant, AJR, Chvrches, Elle King, Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats, LANY and more. Click here to see the full lineup and schedule.

Music Festival

Places to camp nearby:

There are lots of options for nearby camping in Southern California and close to either Ft. Lauderdale or Tampa in Florida.

Los Angeles RV Camping:

You can camp at Hollywood RV Park, the Dockweiler RV Park or Walnut RV Park, all of which have 4 or more stars. Check out the best rated RV Parks on Yelp or Google and you may be tempted to stay in Marina Del Rey at the Marina Boat and RV Storage location.

Ft. Lauderdale area Camping:

In the Ft. Lauderdale area, you can find an abundance of potential camping spots including: Aztec RV Resort, the Kozy Kampers RV Park, Yacht Haven Park and Marina and Easterlin Park in Oakland Park.

Tampa RV Camping:

Many campgrounds exist in Hillsborough and Pinellas Counties – close to this Tampa venue. You can choose to park your RV in Bay Bayou RV Resort, or Tampa RV Park Camp Nebraska, in Tampa (Hillsborough County). Or go west to Pinellas County and you’ll find a variety of other choices, some near the Gulf of Mexico such as St. Petersburg/ Madeira Beach KOA, Clearwater Travel Resort of Vacation Village RV Resort in Largo.

Again check out the ratings on Yelp or Google and decide for yourself what the best fit is for you and your family.

Rent an RV for your trip:

For the Los Angeles event, you can rent an RV from one of our 4 nearby El Monte RV California locations. Click here to see all of the California locations and perhaps get some other ideas for your California RV Vacation.

For Florida shows, you can take your choice to rent an RV from El Monte rental locations in Miami or Orlando. Our Miami location is a one hour drive from Ft. Lauderdale while the Orlando Rentals and Sales location is about a one hour drive from Tampa’s Mid-Florida Credit Union Amphitheatre.

Whatever you decide for your December RV trip, we hope you enjoy some great music while creating memories with your friends or family.

Posted in California RV Camping Vacation, Florida RV Camping Vacation, Music Festivals | 1 Comment

NASCAR Playoffs & RV Tailgating: A November to Remember

NASCAR racing culminates in November with racing locations in the west as well as three championships in one weekend in Florida. Check out these upcoming NASCAR weekends: the AAA Texas 500 NASCAR race at Texas Motor Speedway on November 2nd-4th.  The next weekend, on the 9th-11th, the Can-Am 500 NASCAR Race will be happening at Phoenix International Raceway in Avondale, Arizona. The following weekend, in Homestead, Florida, the Homestead-Miami Speedway is host to the championship weekend including the Ford EcoBoost 400 NASCAR race on the 18th of November and the championship races of the NASCAR Camping World Truck series and the NASCAR XFINITY Series.

NASCAR racing

NASCAR racing

Texas Motor Speedway and the AAA Texas 500:

The green flag flies on a triple-header NASCAR Playoff weekend with Camping World Truck Series Practice on Thursday, November 1st, followed up on Friday, November 2nd by Salute to Veterans Qualifying Fueled by Texas Lottery for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series and the Camping World Truck Series, leading up to the JAG Metals 350. Saturday, November 3rd includes Salute to Veterans Qualifying Fueled by Texas Lottery for the XFINITY Series plus the O’Reilly Auto Parts 300 XFINITY race. Sunday, November 4th features the weekend’s main event the AAA Texas 500, the eighth race in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs. Don’t miss this exciting weekend of NASCAR fun.

Camping at Texas Motor Speedway:

There are many options for camping at the Texas Motor Speedway. Check out their website for more details on the seven campground options they offer. You can even rent an RV from our nearby El Monte RV location in McKinney, Texas.

Phoenix International/ISM Raceway for the Can-Am 500 NASCAR Race:

First of all, to avoid confusion, the Phoenix International Raceway is known as ISM Raceway due to a first-ever naming-rights sponsorship by Ingenuity Sun Media. ISM’s Connect network will provide digital display screens, interactive fan experiences, a mobile app and social-media integrations throughout the facility, including in the new pedestrian tunnel connecting the infield and grandstands.

So, don’t miss this exciting venue for the weekend of November 9th-11th. Here’s the lineup of NASCAR races coming up. On Friday, start your weekend with the Lucas Oil 150, NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Semi-Final Playoff Race under the lights. Prior to the Lucas Oil 150, don’t miss practice sessions for both the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series and NASCAR XFINITY Series before the starting line-up is set for the Can-Am 500 during Gatorade Qualifying. Then, watch the future stars of NASCAR battle during the NASCAR XFINITY Series Semi-Final Playoff Race on Saturday, November 10. The crowning event on Sunday is the Can-Am 500, where eight drivers will compete for a Championship 4 spot in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.

Camping at ISM Raceway:

There are nine options for camping at ISM Raceway’s Zoomtown, U.S.A.® Check out all of their options and camping reservations at this link. To rent an RV nearby, visit our El Monte RV location in Peoria, Arizona.

Homestead-Miami Speedway – Ford EcoBoost 400: Three Championship Races

On Friday, November 16th, the Ford Championship Weekend will begin with the Ford EcoBoost 200 race – which tops off the playoffs for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series title, as four drivers will battle for the division crown.

The NASCAR XFINITY Series race on November 17th will decide the champ of the top up-and-coming driver in the Ford EcoBoost 300.

Last year, the sold-out crowd on hand for the Ford EcoBoost 400 saw Martin Truex, Jr. cap his historic 2017 season by winning the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series championship. With the championship being decided at Homestead-Miami Speedway once again in 2018, can Truex, Jr. defend his title? Or will someone dethrone the champ? That question will be answered on November 18.

Camping at Homestead-Miami Speedway:

There are three campgrounds to park your RV at this Speedway, as well as a number of camping options nearby. To rent an RV, you can get one from our El Monte RV Miami location which is only 30 minutes away.

With all these races, it will certainly be a NASCAR November to remember!  Get your final fix now, as it’s a long time until next year’s season begins!

And remember our November special: For rentals with pickup dates between November 1 and November 30, rent for 4 nights or more and get double the miles free! That’s 100 free miles per night!

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

RV Camping and NASCAR Racing – Destination Daytona

A fun and fast way to spend your holiday: come to Daytona for the Daytona Coke Zero Sugar 400 NASCAR race, July 5th-7th at the Daytona International Speedway. One of NASCAR’s most anticipated events, the Coke Zero Sugar 400, brings together NASCAR racing under the lights with pageantry and patriotism to make for an Independence Day weekend celebration unlike any other.

This fan-favorite event includes some of the most exciting racing of the season as drivers battle three-wide for a coveted DAYTONA victory. Pack up your cooler, swimming pool and RV, and be sure to bring your family and friends as the holiday weekend and friendly prices truly make this a family event.

You could build a week-long vacation around this exciting event to take time to enjoy some of the sights in addition to the race at the Space Coast.

First, here are a few of the highlights of this exciting three day racing event:

On July 5th, you can enjoy NASCAR XFINITY Series practice, the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series practice as well as the NASCAR Racing Experience Ride-Along Program at Daytona. All this week the University of Northwestern Ohio (UNOH) offers its Fanzone hands-on racing experience.

On Friday the 6th, there is more Ride-Along time as well as the Midway and the UNOH Fanzone. Then the NASCAR XFINITY Qualifying race, followed by Monster Energy Cup Series Qualifying race and then in the evening is the Coca-Cola Firecracker 250 race.

And finally on the 7th, (the Big race day), you can enjoy a concert by Josh Turner, multi-platinum, Nashville-based singer before the race. The big race starts at 7 pm: the 60th Annual Coke Zero Sugar 400, followed by evening fireworks after the race is complete.

For more details about the race schedules, the entertainment and the venue of Daytona International Speedway, see their website.

Daytona International Speedway

Daytona International Speedway

 Camping Spots Nearby:

1) You can camp right in the middle of the track if you book early enough: 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. You can camp from the 4th of July to the 8th right in the track.

Surrounded by DAYTONA’s famous 31-degree banked turns, 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, DAYTONA offers a camping option that puts you right next to all the history and heritage that’s made this place world-famous. For more details, see their website.

If Daytona Speedway is all booked, you can still park your RV nearby at a number of campgrounds in the Daytona area or just a bit south at New Smyrna Beach.

You can also check these out:

2) Daytona Racetrack RV- closest campground to the Speedway – located just across the street.

3) Finishline Park

4) International RV Park and Campground of Daytona Beach

5) Daytona Speedway RV

Other Sights to See Around Volusia County

While here, take time to enjoy some of the other sights and natural beauty of Florida’s Space Coast.

1) Lighthouse Point Park

Lighthouse Point Park is at the southern tip of Ponce Inlet. The natural beauty of the undisturbed land has been preserved for all to enjoy. Dolphins frequent the shoreline, gopher tortoises can be found in sandy areas, and other wildlife (including raccoons, possums, skunks, armadillos, shore birds and birds of prey) can be observed. Lighthouse Point Park is one of the few County parks where man’s best friend may enjoy the amenities. However, pets must be leashed at all times.

2) Smyrna Dunes Park

Visitors to Smyrna Dunes Park may arrive by land or by sea. Perched on 73 acres of pristine land at the northern tip of the New Smyrna Beach peninsula, the area is surrounded by water on three sides. Waters from the Indian River flow through Ponce Inlet and into the Atlantic Ocean providing a variety of fishing or swimming venues for park goers.

The park also provides a unique opportunity to see a wide variety of animals, birds, reptiles, marine life and vegetation in their natural habitat. The surrounding waters provide excellent fishing, boating and swimming opportunities.

3) Cape Canaveral National Seashore

Located about 30 miles south of Daytona is this unique national treasure. You can even enjoy backcountry camping here if you like, just in view of the launching pad of Kennedy Space Center. Check out their website for more details.

4) Daytona Beach

Don’t forget the beach! Daytona is one of the prettiest beaches on Florida’s east coast and one of the only ones that still allows motorists to drive right on the sand. Sunbathers and swimmers can park their vehicles within 30 yards of the surf, enjoying the convenience of having their car parked nearby.

Need an RV?

To rent an RV for your trip, check our Orlando RV Rentals location.

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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

Your Guide to RV Campgrounds for Adults Over 21

From glamping weekends for ladies only to summer camp for adults, the adults only camping craze is catching on. RV campgrounds have led this trend, with over-21 and over-50 campgrounds located across the country. If you long to find an RV camping destination where the kiddies can’t come along, our guide to adults only RV campgrounds is a good place to start.

Camping for adults only comes in a variety of styles. Let’s look at the most common options available for adults who prefer to camp without kids around.

Over-21 RV Resorts

The first type of adults only campground is the over-21 RV resort, where activities and amenities cater to adult campers. A quick check of the what’s offered at Edge-O-Dells Resort in Wisconsin will give you a good idea of what’s out there. Guests there enjoy an on-site restaurant and bar with live music, a large pool with hot tub and quick access to the local casino. Special events like weekly Bike Nights keep the party atmosphere humming, a common theme for campgrounds that cater to the over-21 crowd.

Over 21 rv camping

Over 21 rv camping

If you’re hoping to find a more peaceful adults only setting,  Wild Duck Campground and RV Park in Maine’s Scarborough Marsh is a good example of an over-21 campground for nature lovers. This type of campground tends to be situated in pristine natural settings where outdoor recreation is easy to access.

No matter which style camper you are, you should be able to easily locate a no-kids-allowed campground to suit your fancy.

Over-50 RV Resorts

With so many seniors choosing full-time RV living, there’s been an explosion of over-50 campgrounds to meet their needs. From long-term campsites for snowbirds in states with mild winter weather to overnight camping for older campers on the move, RV resorts for seniors understand the needs of the over-50 set.

One of the ways these campgrounds attract a steady stream of RVers is by offering a range of amenities to appeal to active seniors or older campers who prefer to stay close to the campground, as well as retired campers who’ve chosen to pursue an ‘encore career’ while on the road. Cable television and wireless internet, exercise classes or facilities and venues for outdoor recreation such as golf, fishing and hiking nearby top the list of features seniors look for in an RV resort.

Need an example of what might be available if you’re one of the flood of older campers hitting the road?  Winterset RV Resort on Florida’s Gulf Coast keeps campers happy with an on-site wood shop, fitness center, business center and a full schedule of planned activities. They welcome both long-term ‘snowbirds’ and overnight campers fifty-five and over.

Where to Find Adults Only RV Campgrounds

Where can you find a campground that doesn’t allow kids? An easy way to start your search is by checking the online directories of RV clubs. Passport America and Good Sam members, for example, can search for adults only RV resorts and then add additional search filters to find the amenities they prefer.

A simple internet search for “RV campgrounds for adults only” or a similar search phrase will also yield many pages of options to explore. You can narrow down your search online by adding the state or city you’d like to visit.

Once you’ve found the place that sounds perfect for your next RV camping vacation, be sure to read their Rules and Regulations page so you’ll know if there are restrictions on things like pets and under-age visitors. Check their schedule of activities and outdoor recreation options. You may find you can enjoy a well-rounded vacation taking advantage of what’s available free for RV park visitors.

Camping without kids can be a nice break for parents or an RV-lifestyle choice. Whatever your reason for choosing a child-free campground (or seniors-only resort), we think you’ll be pleasantly surprised at what’s available near your chosen destination.

Posted in Florida RV Camping Vacation, Maine RV Camping Vacation, RV Campgrounds, Wisconsin RV Camping Vacation | 2 Comments