Southern RV Comfort—Three Trips You’ll Want to Take

Visiting the American South by RV always delivers the unexpected. Whether you’re chasing warmer temps in winter or a balmy lakeshore in July, there’s a southern RV adventure with your name on it.

To whet your appetite for sweet tea and southern RV comfort, we’ve chosen three special places that welcome campers with the attractions, amenities and authentic southern charm.

Auburn, Alabama

Travel south on I-85 from Atlanta, Georgia, and you’ll find a place where farmer’s markets offer abundance year-round, waterfalls splash into crystal clear pools and Auburn Tigers football reigns supreme.

Even more enticing are the options for RV camping in this eastern Alabama playground. From a cozy, farmstead campground beneath the trees to a large, first-class resort with every amenity an RV camper could want, there’s a place for every style camper in Auburn. You’ll also have the chance to visit one of the prettiest state parks in the South. Just a short drive from Auburn, Chewacla State Park offers a full-service campground, picturesque swimming beach and a rocky waterfall worth the hike to discover.

While in the town of Auburn, be sure to visit the many farmer’s markets for a taste of natural Alabama. RV travelers also list the vintage town of Opelika as a must-see attraction while in the Auburn area. And don’t miss the live music venues that keep the nighttime sizzling downtown in both Auburn and Opelika.

Give yourself the gift of visiting the Auburn area by RV. Here’s a link to Alabama RV campgrounds to assist your planning.

Bay St. Louis, Mississippi

RVers who travel the South frequently are familiar with a vibrant town on the Mississippi coast where historic sites, casinos and Gulf Coast outdoor recreation deliver the best in vacation fun.

Bay St. Louis is surrounded by scenic blueways where you can paddle through the bayous and along the Pascagoula River. Nature trails dot the landscape on public lands preserved for future generations. The coastal plain makes a fascinating classroom, filled with plant life, animals and birds in stunning varieties. Local outfitters can plan a tour by land or water that will suit the interests of your entire group.

Prefer to spend your days in town? In Old Town Bay St. Louis, you’ll find the perfect place to enjoy a jazz brunch, to purchase unique gifts made by local artisans and to soak up the charm and culture of the Mississippi Gulf Coast. There’s even a self-guided walking or biking tour that celebrates the town that’s stood the test of three centuries.

We can’t discuss the attractions of the Gulfport-Biloxi area without mentioning casinos, two, in fact right in city of Bay St. Louis. Casinos don’t just mean gambling, either; they feature world class entertainment, upscale shops and luxury spa services, as well. Check with your campground hosts about the local shuttles that ferry gaming enthusiasts to area casino action.

Speaking of campgrounds, when it’s time to set up camp in Bay St. Louis, you won’t be disappointed. There are hundreds of campsites within easy driving distance of Bay St. Louis attractions, in the city itself as well as in surrounding towns like Gulfport, Pass Christian and Kiln. Use this handy list of Mississippi RV campgrounds, and be sure to make reservations…this region is famous with RV campers.

Blairsville, Georgia

If a tiny mountain town surrounded by national forest sounds like the ideal place to go RV camping in the South, it’s high time you came to Blairsville, Georgia. An hour and a half north of Atlanta in the Blue Ridge Mountains, this alpine hamlet is the hub for a wide variety of outdoor recreation.

Cabin in Vogel State Park

Cabin in Vogel State Park

Camp in nearby Vogel State Park in Chattahoochee National Forest, and then find the trails that lead past mountain peaks, quiet hollows and hidden lakes rich with wildlife. Be sure to experience the views from Brasstown Bald, the highest point in Georgia. Keep your eyes open for waterfalls along the way, as well.

When you’re ready for a bit more civilization, take a trip into the towns of Blairsville and Suches, where year-round festivals add even more flavor to your Blue Ridge Mountain experience. One more note for paddling enthusiasts—three lakes in surrounding Union County give plenty of blue water possibilities.

RV camping in the South is a different experience everywhere you stop and every time you come. If you’re looking for authentic Southern RV comfort and charm, you can’t go wrong by choosing one of these three destinations. And, because we’re here to help, be sure to let us know if an RV rental will help make the trip your reality.

Posted in Alabama RV Camping Vacation, Georgia RV Camping Vacation, Mississippi RV Camping Vacation | Leave a comment

RV Camping on Georgia Grown Trail 301

Are you the kind of RV traveler who enjoys stopping along the way to visit farmers markets, fruit stands and other local agribusiness attractions? If you are, Georgia Grown Trail 301, a 150-mile journey to discover Georgia’s farming heritage, is a trip you’ll want to make soon.

An added bonus on this scenic route is that you’ll discover historic sites you might not find in the guide books, places that speak of local color and flavor and Georgia’s Civil War history. Interested? Then follow along as we make a quick trip along the highlights of Georgia Grown Trail 301.

You can start your journey in the town of Sylvania, GA, in the state’s Magnolia Midlands region.  A stop at the Georgia Visitors Center on Highway 301, your route for the entire journey, will supply more information about battlefields, historic structures and the farms and vineyards that bring thousands of agritourists to Screven County each year. Save time to stroll through downtown Sylvania to absorb the town’s serene beauty.

As you make your way south along the Georgia Grown Trail 301 toward Statesboro, you’ll notice vineyards and farms in abundance, so slow down and enjoy local farm stands and gorgeous scenery. If you like planning your campsites in advance, check the campgrounds in Brunswick, a coastal gem just east of your route, as well Magnolia Springs State Park west of Sylvania and private RV resorts in towns like Guyton and Folkston.

While enjoying the college town energy of Statesboro, be sure to save time for a side trip to Hunter Cattle Company, twenty minutes east near the town of Brooklet. You’ll find a vibrant family farm dedicated to sustainable, pastured beef, pork and poultry, with a farm store, tours and plenty of Southern charm.

Another Georgia Grown Statesboro favorite is Braswell Food Company, where nationally-famous preserves and condiments have been made and sold since the 1940s. The factory store is open Monday through Friday, so don’t miss the chance to experience their creative collection of products.

If you happen to be in Statesboro on Saturday morning, make your way to the Statesboro Main Street Farmers Market. Besides plenty of local produce, you’ll be able to purchase products like grits, cornmeal and whole wheat flour from nearby Freeman’s Mill.

One more stop well worth your time as you’re leaving Statesboro is Meinhardt Vineyards, east of Hwy 301 on GA-46. Their fabulous Muscadine varieties can be sampled and purchased while you’re there, and the vineyard is a picture perfect place to spend an hour or two.

If you’re a fan of both RV travel and scrumptious, freshly-baked fruitcake, you’re going to want to make a stop in Claxton, GA, just down Hwy 301 from Statesboro. Two local companies deliver their fruit-filled goodness to visitors in this little town. Claxton Fruit Cake has been a holiday staple in American homes since 1910, and Georgia Fruit Cake Co. offers not only the town’s signature pastry but also gourmet coffees and other fine foods from a quaint corner storefront.

Traveling south through Tattnall County on Hwy 301, you’ll begin to see evidence that the county grows more Vidalia Sweet Onions than any other place in Georgia. Along with this world-famous delicacy, the town of Glennville and surrounding area offers agritourist RV travelers an amazing number of ways to explore local flavor.

Watermelon Creek Vineyards is just such a place, offering tastings of wines made from Georgia Grown muscadine grapes and other tempting treats. Another Glennville favorite of RV travelers is a stop at DC Durrence Farm, north of town on Hwy 301. This family farm offers u-pick vegetables or a farm stand where picked vegetables are available for sale.

If you’ve got a fishing fan on-board your RV, you’re going to want to make a reservation to tour Armstrong Cricket Farm while in Glennville. Selling brown crickets and bait worms all over the country has made this locally-owned concern famous with anglers.

Where else can you find natural goodness on the Georgia Grown 301 Trail near Glennville? Check out Folsom Farms Country Store for dressings, pickles and, of course,

Gordonia Alatamaha State Park

Gordonia Alatamaha State Park

fresh Vidalia Sweet Onions. By the way, if you plan to stay a day or two in the Glennville area, check out the RV campsites at Gordonia-Alatamaha State Park.  It’s an easy drive and a pleasant place to set up camp.

We’ve got a trio of burgs to explore on the road toward Folkston that you won’t want to miss. Morgan Lake between Jesup and Ludowici is a fisherman’s paradise, as well as home to a nice, family-owned RV campground. The countryside surrounding Jesup is filled with outdoor recreation venues on the Altamaha River, as well as side trips to spots like Poppell Farms, Growing Green Plant Nursery & Farm in Screven and the Jesup Train Depot, built in 1903 and still operating as an Amtrak station.

And that brings us to the end of the Trail, in Folkston. Tucked between the St Mary’s River and Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, Folkston is a place where you’re going to want to spend a lot of time outdoors. Explore the swamp, paddle the river and camp in lush, green places where birds and wildlife abound. Don’t leave Folkston without experiencing the Folkston Funnel Viewing Platform for a one-of-a-kind opportunity to watch more than sixty trains pass through each day.

There are dozens of fascinating places to explore as you make your way by RV along the Georgia Grown Trail 301. Plot your itinerary today and get started; we’re here to help with an RV rental and can’t wait to hear about your adventures.

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Exciting RV Camping at Georgia’s Crooked River State Park

Why wait for warm weather to take an RV camping trip to Coastal Georgia? Just downstream from Cumberland Island National Seashore, Georgia’s Crooked River State Park has plenty to keep active RV campers busy.

Crooked River State Park

Crooked River State Park

Three hours north of Orlando, FL via I-95, this beautiful park at St Mary’s, GA offers large state park campsites as well as a private RV campground adjacent to the park. You’ll also find easy access to Cumberland Island by private boat or ferry. But before you head for the National Seashore, why not discover the outdoor adventures at Crooked River?

Hiking trails for every ability encourage Crooked River State Park campers to explore the area’s coastal marshes and maritime forests. Whether you choose to follow the Bay Boardwalk Trail to enjoy two species of bay trees, wax myrtle and sweet gums in a lush forest or choose the hardwood forest beauty of the Sempervirens Trail, you’ll be accompanied by plenty of birds and wildlife. Keep your camera ready for gopher tortoises, osprey and great blue herons.

Like to fish while on your RV camping trips? The intracoastal waters, as well as the tidal creeks and streams that make up Fancy Bluff Creek, are prime fishing territory for Whiting, Trout, Sheepshead and Black Drum. Paddle out into the waterways with your fishing gear or hike the bank to find the big ones. Here’s a link to current fishing reports for Crooked River State Park.

And speaking of paddling—there are several challenging water trails in this area, including the four-mile Cherry Point Trail through the salt marsh, and the paddling tour of magnificent St. Mary’s Harbor. Unless you’re well-seasoned as a paddler, it’s probably best to connect with a local outfitter, as the complex network of waterways surrounding the state park are not recommended for novices. A bonus for paddlers—you’re liable to see not only gators but sand sharks, stingrays and river otters on your journey.

Don’t forget the proximity of St Mary’s, worthy of at least a day trip while you’re in the area. Rich with history, from the Submarine Museum that details the role of nearby King’s Bay Naval Submarine Base to the town’s antebellum historic district (complete with guided golf cart tours!), this picturesque harbor town is also a stop along the Colonial Coast Birding Trail.

Doesn’t the thought of waking up to seabirds, bald eagles and abundant marine life, all while camped in a lush, coastal forest sound delightful? Pack the RV and make your way to Coastal Georgia and Crooked River State Park, and let us know if we can help with an RV rental. It’s all there waiting for you!

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Five Waterfalls to Add to Your RV Travel List

The rush of water down the face of a mountain is a sight worth travelling to see, especially when you’re travelling in motorhome comfort. We’ve done the homework to create a ‘must-see’ list of five waterfalls worth adding to your RV travel list. Let us know in the Comments section which ones you’ve visited.

Long Creek Falls – Chattahoochee National Forest, Georgia

On your RV trip to northern Georgia, combine a chance to hike the Appalachian Trail with a visit to Long Creek Falls for an unforgettable excursion. A 2-mile round trip trek down the “AT” through the Three Forks Valley will reward you with views of this beautiful waterfall rushing down the rocks more than fifty feet into a tree-lined pool. There’s plenty more to see and do in Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest, so bring the RV and plan to camp awhile in Georgia.

Falling Spring – Alleghany Highlands, Virginia

This famous falls is just north of Covington, Virginia, in the spectacular Allegheny Highlands area of the Shenandoah Valley. Follow Route 220 to this special place, where high rock ledges frame the eighty-foot falls. It’s the kind of place nature photographers fall in love with, so bring your favorite camera equipment and plan to hike down to the bottom for even more breathtaking views.

Bridal Veil Falls – Provo Canyon, Utah

Follow Hwy 189 north from Provo toward Heber and watch for the pullout for Bridal Veil Falls, one of Utah’s most photographed wonders. Motorhome campers with kids, in particular, love this waterfall because it’s easy to access and there’s a shallow pool at the base where young ones can wade. A two-tiered falls that travels more than six hundred feet to the bottom, Bridal Veil Falls should definitely be on your itinerary if you’re traveling through southern Utah. Tip: It’s a short drive to Wasatch Mountain State Park, where campgrounds with full hook-ups wait to welcome you.

Watkins Glen State Park – Watkins Glen, New York

Follow the steps carved into this rocky gorge in New York’s Finger Lakes Region and you’ll be rewarded with views of nineteen waterfalls! Follow the Gorge Trail over, around and under these falls for exceptional scenery at every turn. The State Park has a convenient campground, so plan to stay awhile and explore additional waterfalls at nearby Finger Lakes state parks.

Wallace Falls – Wallace Falls State Park, Gold Bar, Washington

Wallace Falls, WA

Wallace Falls, WA

The trails in this Central Cascades state park promise views of no less than nine waterfalls, including the 265-foot wonder that gives the park its name. Old growth forests, clear, rock-lined streams and a wide variety of wildlife make hiking here a delight. Come for the waterfalls and stay to discover outdoor recreation at its best on the shores of two rivers and three backcountry lakes. RV campgrounds in nearby Mt Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest makes it easy to stay!

From Yosemite to Niagara, America has more than its share of magnificent waterfalls. Chase views of at least one of them this RV camping season and let us know what other falls should make our list. Happy trails!

Posted in Georgia RV Camping Vacation, New York RV Camping Vacation, Virginia RV Camping Vacation, Washington RV Camping Vacation | Leave a comment

RV Adventure to Cumberland Island National Seashore

Georgia’s Atlantic Coast can be your RV camping playground year-round.  One of the best places to experience the wild beauty and unspoiled nature of the area is with a visit to Cumberland Island National Seashore.

Cumberland Island Shoreline

Head out on this inviting boardwalk to the Cumberland Island shoreline!

As Georgia’s largest barrier island, this paradise is just two hours north of the El Monte RV Rental location in Orlando, Florida.  With fifty miles of hiking trails, an amazing collection of wildlife and a wide range of historical sites to discover, isn’t it time you took a trip to Georgia’s island treasure?

We’ve put together a guide for RV travelers planning to visit Cumberland Island, with answers to your most frequent questions.

Where Can We Camp Near Cumberland Island National Seashore?

The National Seashore itself is undeveloped, with no paved roads and access only by the Cumberland ferry system.  Plan to camp nearby and take advantage of the ferry for an authentic wilderness experience.

Here are some suggestions for RV parks near Cumberland Island:

Crooked River State Park, located in St. Mary’s, GA, is just seven miles from the Cumberland Island Ferry landing.  It features campsites with electricity in a beautiful setting worth discovering after your day on the National Seashore.

Fort Clinch State Park in Fernandina Beach, FL, is right across the Cumberland Sound from St. Mary’s GA.  Enjoy their full-service campsites in a scenic setting, with quick access to the Cumberland Ferry.

A Big Wheel RV Park adjacent to Crooked River State Park is a privately run campground that receives rave reviews.  It accommodates any size RV!

Incredible Path on Cumberland Island

Incredible Path on Cumberland Island

How Should We Prepare for our RV Camping Trip?

Glad to hear you’re the kind of RV camping enthusiast who plans ahead!  It’s especially important, when visiting a natural, undeveloped setting, to know what to expect.  Here are some things to consider when making your plans:

    • You can only reach the Island by ferry (passengers only, no vehicles) so be sure to make reservations in advance.
    • Only 300 people are allowed on the island each day.
    • Ferry passengers not on dock at least 30 minutes ahead of departure lose their reservations, so arrive early!
    • Pets are not allowed on the ferry.
    • If you’d like to rent a bike to travel around the island, be sure to tell the ferry concessionaire when you call.
    • There are no services on the Island other than water to refill bottles.  Bring your own food, water and normal hiking necessities like hats, sunscreen and insect repellant.
    • Take along a trash bag, as this wilderness island has a ‘pack in, pack out’ policy for all visitors.
    • If you plan to fish while visiting Cumberland Island, purchase a Georgia fishing license and make sure you have the required Saltwater Informational Program Permit attached.

What Kind of Weather Can We Expect? 

Like any well-prepared RV adventurer, you’ll want to know what kind of weather to expect when you go.  The weather in November at Cumberland Island National Seashore is magnificent, with highs in the 70s and lows in the 50s.  Even in December, expect to enjoy 60 degree weather, with nighttime temps in the high 40s.

Wild Horse on Cumberland Island Coast

Wild Horse on Cumberland Island Coast

What Will We See on Cumberland Island?

History!  The Island was once mostly owned by the Carnegie family, and the ruins of their mansion, Dungeness, are just one part of its historic appeal.  Reserve a seat before you come on one of the Lands and Legacies Van Tours if you’d like to learn about the Native Americans who once inhabited the island, the large slave population who built the First African Baptist Church and, of course, the Carnegies and their opulent island lifestyle.  If you’re up to a lengthy hike or ride through variable terrain, you can also travel to these sites on foot or by bicycle.

Nature! Not only has the Atlantic formed a sixteen-mile stretch of perfect beach for you to explore, you’ll also find lush maritime forests, salt marshes and picturesque dunes here.  Stay on the marked trails to help preserve the wilderness for future generations and be sure to bring your camera!

Wildlife!  From feral horses to armadillos and alligators, this island has plenty to appeal for wildlife lovers.  No domesticated creatures call this island home, so keep that in mind while hiking or biking the area.  Keep a sharp eye out for the island’s famous wild horses, the sea turtles that nest here in early autumn and a surprising variety of shore birds.  Have we convinced you it’s time to visit Georgia’s barrier island paradise?  Here’s a link to more information, courtesy of the National Park Service.  We don’t often find unspoiled beauty that’s open for everyone to explore.  Let us know if we can help with an RV rental.  Please don’t miss the chance to discover Cumberland Island National Seashore and all it has to offer!

El Monte RV

El Monte RV Rentals and Sales

For more information on renting or buying a motor home CLICK HERE! or call 1-888-337-2208

Photo credits: Cumberland Island Path by db rolenrock, Cumberland Island Boardwalk by Jon Dawson, and Wild Horse Along Shoreline by Doug Anderson; all are licensed under Flickr Commons
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October and November RV Tailgating in the Southeast

Partying has never been better and it is particularly spectacular when you enjoy some tailgating parties in Florida and Georgia during October and November. Hit up the best football games and make this a time to meet up with like-minded folks and go wild. Tailgating includes such activities as grilling or barbecuing, consuming plenty of good food and drinking. Don’t forget your paraphernalia, such as team tokens and flags.

At EverBank Field in Jacksonville, Florida, drive into Lot Q Drive which is known as the tailgating lot, but is restricted to those with season tickets. RV parking is at the Fairgrounds. Another lot is called Tailgaters Parking and opens up four hours before kickoff time. It is on Talleyrand Avenue.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers flag

Tampa Bay Buccaneers flag

So now that you are in Jacksonville, it’s time to watch the Jacksonville Jaguars at work. They play the Chargers on October 20th, and there will be a huge block party at the Arena as well, with live music and fireworks. On November 17th the Jaguars will play the Cardinals and this is certainly a game you won’t want to miss.

The sun seems to always be shining in Miami and thus this is a perfect place to go for a tailgating party. The Sun Life Stadium is in Miami Gardens and there is a lot on the west side of the stadium which is especially for RVs. Tailgating is wonderful in an RV motorhome and you will join in fun and celebrations with others as you wait for the game.

There is a long list of games to look forward to and you’ll have time to gather together your family and friends so you can arrive in plenty of time. The Miami Dolphins are playing the Cincinnati Bengals on 31 October. Of course, you can also go to watch the Miami Hurricanes battle the Virginia Tech Hokies on the 9th of November. More games you might wish to attend are the Miami Dolphins versus the San Diego Chargers on the 17th of November and the Dolphins against the Carolina Panthers on the 24th.

Driving up the west coast of Florida will bring you to Tampa Bay and the Raymond James Stadium on Dale Mabry Highway. On event days you can buy tickets at the office from 8 am to 5 pm and enjoy tailgating in Lot 8. You may also like a tailgating party at Al Lopez Park if you like the shade of some beautiful oak trees.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will be playing the Carolina Panthers on the 24th of October, so you better make your way there as soon as possible. Hang around until the 26th and you can see Louisville versus USF. Then the Miami Dolphins are challenging the Buccaneers on the 11th of November. More games are happening, but definitely put on your itinerary to see the Buccaneers battle the Atlanta Falcons on November 17.

Next stop will be the Georgia Dome in Atlanta. Head for Philips Lot on Foundry Street for the tailgating parking spot! The Atlanta Falcons will play the Atlanta Falcons on the 20th of October, the Seattle Seahawks on the 10th of November and the New Orleans Saints on the 21st of November. Make the rounds, enjoy the games, and most of all – have the tailgating time of your life!

Posted in Florida RV Camping Vacation, Georgia RV Camping Vacation, Tailgating RV Rental | Leave a comment

Travel through Georgia in an RV and Experience the Festivals and Fairs

Let’s have some good ole downhome fun with some festivals occurring around Georgia this fall. You can drive up from Florida to get some old-fashioned entertainment and meet up with happy folks who love to get out and visit with neighbors and newcomers. An RV is the perfect way to travel this route, as you will be moving along the Georgia highways in style and comfort.

Festival in Georgia

Festival in Georgia

About an hour north of Atlanta, you can join in at the Fall for Chatsworth’s Black Bear Festival in Chatsworth, Georgia. This is a family event which all ages will love. Arts and crafts is one of the favorite treats as there are so many artworks to see and some you may want to take home. Great music, yummy food and plenty of activities will keep you having fun and excitement. Take part in the pumpkin carving contest or put on your costume and try and win the grand prize. Be there from October 19 to the 20th for all festival activities with friendly townsfolk.

During the same time period from the 19th to the 20th of October, there is the Johns Creek Art Festival which may be to your liking. This is another wonderful festival where you can enjoy music from all manner of talented musicians.  The live music will have you tapping your feet. The dancers will entertain you and the jazz and gospel music will intrigue and enliven.  There is nothing quite like a wide variety of music to let you shed those workaday woes.

From October 25 through to November 3 you can take in the Georgia State Fair in Atlanta at the Atlanta Motor Speedway. This is a true Georgia event, with plenty of entertainment, foods, activities and shows. Does sword swallowing thrill you? When you see someone eat fire, do you cringe or do you yell for more? All these events are here for you and your family. Halloween offers more fun with a magic show and much more.  There is even a Sea Lion exhibit, fun for the whole family.

Travel a bit and head for the coast and Savannah, Georgia for the Savannah Food Day Festival. Held in Daffin Park on October 26, this festival is one not to miss if you like to eat your fill of the best food around. Then move on to Kingsland, Georgia where you can experience the Kingsland’s Fall Festival. Before or after the festival you can explore the pine forests and tour the town which is on the National Register of Historic Places. The theme of the festival this year is pirates! Kids will love to get their photos taken with Pirate Cut-Outs.

You can now head home or you can make your way back to Atlanta to attend the 4th Annual Festival and BBQ Competition on November 1st in Jonesboro.  If you are a BBQ master, you can enter the competition and see what kind of prize you can win.

What a fun RV trip this was – with good foods, great entertainment and lots of general fun! Come back again next year!

Posted in Festivals, Georgia RV Camping Vacation | Leave a comment

Take an RV Trip along the Russell-Brasstown National Scenic Byway

Anna Ruby Falls in the Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest

Anna Ruby Falls in the Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest

It is that time of year to head to Georgia and take a scenic drive in an RV. This is the ideal spring adventure, beginning your extensive travels planned for the year. The beauty of Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest awaits you. This is where you can enjoy those cool mountain streams, misty valleys and pristine forests. All manner of outdoor activities are right at your doorstep.

Start out in Helen, Georgia, a wonderful village tucked in the Blue Ridge Mountains. The rich history of the Native Americans who lived here is enough to take up considerable time to investigate. Wander the cobblestone alleyways and dine in fabulous restaurants. RV camping is plentiful and you will find a long list of RV campgrounds to choose from. Once you settle in, you can plan your 41-mile trip along the nearby scenic byway.

The Russell-Brasstown National Scenic Byway attracts travelers from all over. They love to see the gorgeous cascades of numerous waterfalls and get lovely views of the valley. This byway is the way to see it all. There will be lots of places to stop and go for a hike or cast a line into a bubbling stream.

If you want to go hiking, you will have access to the Appalachian National Scenic Trail. This trail travels through dense forests and moves over ridges with amazing views. You will also have the ability to reach some wonderful places to fish. There is nothing quite like fishing a mountain stream in Chattahoochee National Forest.

A perfect trip is the famous Russell-Brasstown Waterfall Tour where you can get the full tour of all the best spots in the area. This is the greatest time of year for this tour, too. The mild temperatures make for cool hiking and sightseeing. You can take in the sights, hike, fish or do whatever else your heart desires.

Brasstown Bald is another must-see. This is the tallest mountain in Georgia. Getting to the top will provide you with some incredible 360-degree views from 4,784 feet above sea level. The road is very winding and steep, so be sure to get weather reports and more road information before driving your RV motorhome up there.

Into the wilderness you go and you will soon discover the Chattahoochee River’s Headwaters with the forests surrounding and the wildlife peeking around every corner. Perhaps you will see some deer, turkey and quail. There is so much territory to explore. And all of it is accessible from the byway. Just pull over, get out and the world is at your feet!

Nearby is Unicoi State Park. You will find campsites for an RV here too, and best of all tons of outdoor recreation. You can rent a boat for a paddle on the lake, take a mountain bike along the trails, swim or even play tennis. It is all here for you!

It is great fun visiting Anna Ruby Falls, a beautiful scenic area where two creeks meet. Each creek forms one of the twin waterfalls and falls over the rocks into Smith Creek. Grab your camera to get a shot to take home. You’ll want to share these sights with friends who couldn’t be there. The picnic areas make a wonderful respite from traveling around. Bring some food and spread out a feast. Check out the visitor center too!

Be sure to stop at Raven Cliff Falls and Wilderness Area so you can take in another fantastic waterfall and have more opportunity to see nature at its finest. Raven Cliff Falls tumbles 100 feet in a series of three lovely waterfalls. Again, a time to have your camera at the ready! There are other waterfalls around too.

Another state park which offers some natural beauty is Vogel State Park. Spring is the perfect time to hike the trails with wildflowers blooming all along the way. RV camping is available here and you may just want to stay awhile. Swimming and fishing are great here. You have over 200 acres you can explore.

Yes, you will be really happy you brought an RV on this trip so you can relax in a homey environment in between adventures. You can sit with the rest of the family over a cool drink or a hot cup of coffee and relive your day’s journeys and discoveries. You will get a good night’s sleep and be right there, ready to go the next morning and see what else Russell-Brasstown National Scenic Byway has to offer.

Picture credits: The picture of the Anna Ruby Falls is from the Wikimedia Commons. It is in the public domain.

Posted in Georgia RV Camping Vacation, State Parks | Tagged | Leave a comment

An RV Trip to Okefenokee Swamp for a Unique Adventure

Okefenokee Swamp

Okefenokee Swamp

Visiting the Okefenokee Swamp is truly a unique adventure. The landscapes are in a constant fluctuation, with marshes, lakes and islands taking on a special beauty. Travelling there in an RV motorhome makes it all the better, as you will have a perfect place to retire at the end of the day to tell the tales of the day’s adventures. The Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge is in southern Georgia and extends into northern Florida. This area has forests and wetlands that give you all the space to explore you could imagine.

Once you arrive, you’ll want a home base from which to operate. The Okefenokee Pastimes Campground is a great place to stay in your RV motorhome while visiting Okefenokee Swamp. Located at the Okefenokee’s East Entrance, this campground has free WiFi, nature trails to explore and even a pond for fishing. You will find water, 30 amp electrical service, sewer hookup and dump station. Then after you are settled, you can decide what form your exploration will take. You can enjoy guided tours on boats through canals, forests and prairies. Or you can do your own self-guided tour and use the convenient observation towers and boardwalks to experience the park.

Wildlife in the Okefenokee Swamp will hold you enthralled. February will offer a wide variety of birds such as wild turkeys, red-tailed hawks and ospreys. In March you will see alligators sunning on the banks of the riverways, sandhill cranes dipping for fish and ducks who stayed for the winter.

Hiking in Okefenokee Swamp offers treks through amazing habitats and you’ll have a special view of the areas so popular here. The Phernetton Trail is a short hike on a loop trail and the Longleaf Pine Interpretive Trail is a bit longer, at four miles, which takes you through the upland forests. If you love birds, you’ll want to hike the very short loop trail, Upland Discovery Trail, where you can observe the endangered red-cockaded woodpecker. There is a whole colony here.

Visit Chesser Island to see the Chesser Island Homestead. This is where a family settled in the late 1800s and made a living from the land by fishing, growing crops and trapping animals. The forests here held a wide variety of wildlife, and still do. You can see the Chesser home looking as it did when they lived in it and raised their family. The last family members left in 1958 and the maintenance of the property makes it a place where others can see what life was like in the swamp.

You can actually hike to the island on Ridley Island Trail from Swamp Island Drive. Once on the island you can enjoy a short loop trail, the Chesser Island Homestead Trail, which will give you the opportunity to get a feel for the area and how it must have been to live here. Don’t miss the other trail nearby called Deer Stand Trail.

Driving through the swamp is possibly the best way to see everything. You should take the full Swamp Island Drive before you leave Okefenokee Swamp. There are a number of stops along the way where you can view wildlife, hike or get some history of the region. What a great trip this has been!

Picture credits: The picture of the Okefenokee Swamp is from the Wikimedia Commons. It is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license.

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An RV Trip down the Georgia Coast from Blackbeard Island to St. Marys

The second leg of a trip down the Georgia coast is an extension of the good times you had coming from Savannah, Georgia to Blackbeard Island (see An RV Trip down the Georgia Coast from Savannah to Blackbeard Island for the first leg of this trip). Of course, it will be just as much fun if you start out at this national wildlife reserve. Whatever your point of origin, moving down the coastline of this marvelous state is wonderful for a winter vacation.

Of course, you must stay a while at the Blackbeard Island National Wildlife Reserve. There is no choice but to enjoy nature here. It is suspected that the name came about due to rumors that the famous pirate had buried treasure here on the coast. Nothing has ever been found, however. The wildlife is abundant and you may catch sight of a loggerhead sea turtle, deer or even an alligator or two.

Heading south, you will come to a small barrier island called Sapelo Island. Enjoy the visitor center on the mainland first to learn all about the island’s history, then take a ferry ride over to the island. Stop at Reynolds Mansion and visit the restored lighthouse, originally built in 1820. After you are finished your visit, back on the mainland you’ll head south once again and make your way to Wolf Island National Wildlife Reserve. This started out as a migratory bird sanctuary in 1930, and now is a designated National Wilderness Area. Marinas in Darien, Georgia offer transportation to the saltwater areas of the refuge.

Next you’ll come to the Golden Isles, a wonderland of Georgia coast fun. Little St. Simons Island is fun to explore by grabbing a map and going off on your own. Stroll the surf line, pick up shells and just breathe in that fresh salt air. Hiking and biking is great on this island, and if the weather is nice, you may be able to hire a canoe for a short tour. Then on to St. Simons Island for more fishing, a look at the St. Simons Lighthouse and Maritime Center at the historic Coast Guard Station.

On to Brunswick, Georgia! Watch the shrimp boats put out to sea. This stunning city will inspire you with its Victorian-style homes and old oak and magnolia trees lining the streets. The local Farmer’s Market will provide you with delicious fruits and vegetables you can whip up into a fantastic meal right in your RV kitchen.

Of course, no visit to the Golden Isles would be complete without visiting Jekyll Island. If you love golf, you will find a place to play, and of course, everyone loves the Georgia beaches. There are lovely ones here. Then on to Cumberland Island National Seashore with its pristine forests, hiking trails and gorgeous undeveloped beaches. Another place you’ll want to see is the Crooked River State Park with its nature trail and nature center. There is RV camping here too!

Finally you have made it to St. Marys, Georgia, a picturesque spot on the Georgia coast. Stopping here is like entering a fairytale town. Once you are done seeing the fine museums, it might be time to head home. Georgia was happy to have you visit and hopes you return again soon!

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