Nine State Park Campgrounds to Kickstart RV Camping Season

What plans have you made for camping on Memorial Day Weekend and beyond? With the beauty of America’s state parks just waiting to be enjoyed, there’s no time like the present to find your favorites in the comfort of a motorhome or travel trailer.

If you need some help deciding where to go first, why not use our list below of nine state park campgrounds that RV campers love to visit? Then build your own list and be sure to let us know in the comments section where you plan to go RV camping this season.

Nine State Park Campgrounds for RV Camping

  1. Salt Point State Park – California

“Camping by the rocky Pacific shore, just off iconic Highway 1 north of San Francisco”. Doesn’t that sound like a splendid way to kick off camping season? With coastal trails, an underwater park for divers and coves just waiting to show you the best views of the summer, there’s no reason not to add Salt Point State Park to your camping itinerary.

  1. Pocahontas State Park – Virginia

Fishing, paddling and more bring RV camping families to this state park near Chesterfield, VA. Besides the many miles of hiking, mountain biking and multi-use trails, you’ll find an Aquatic Center for swimming with the kids, Beaver Lake where you can rent canoes, kayaks and paddleboats and Swift Creek Lake, where the largemouth bass can be legendary. It’s just three hours north of Roanoke, VA and easy to access from Richmond and Norfolk, too, so why not make this park a goal for this summer?

  1. Grayton Beach State Park – Florida

Sugar sand beach, a scenic coastal dune lake and a pleasant RV campground—that’s what you’ll find at Grayton Beach State Park on Florida’s Gulf Coast. Not only can you play on the beach and hike the trails through coastal forest and dunes, you’ll also enjoy Western Lake, a prime spot for paddling and fishing.

  1. Golden Gate Canyon State Park – Colorado

Why not kick off the summer camping season by picking up your Denver RV rental and then heading west (and a little north) just thirty miles to Golden Gate Canyon State Park? Your camping party will find twelve-thousand-acres of rocky, tree-lined trails, be surprised by clear mountain lakes and, in the midst of all that, enjoy modern, convenient RV campsites.

  1. Elk Neck State Park – Maryland

About an hour and a half northeast of Baltimore, jutting out into Chesapeake Bay, is a wonderful place where hiking, lighthouse viewing, swimming and RV camping are just the beginning of the adventure. Elk Neck State Park, on the peninsula between Chesapeake and the Elk River, offers a whole vacation full of interesting things to do. Bonus: Nature photographers are going to love the trails, the seaside cliffs and the wealth of wildlife this gorgeous state park promises.

  1. Mills Norrie State Park – New York

What if you could pick up your RV rental near New York City and then drive north a couple of hours to a wooded paradise on the Hudson River? Would that help you jump into summer RV camping season? Then a visit to Mills Norrie State Park is in order! Wooded, no-hookups campsites with views of the river, trails through forests and to state historic sites, a legendary public golf course, a river marina and an on-site environmental center round out the perfect spot for a summer vacation on the Hudson.

  1. Clear Lake State Park – California

Just a couple of hours northwest of Sacramento is the chance to camp on the shores of California’s largest freshwater lake. Clear Lake State Park is a bass angler’s dream that also promises shaded campsites, hiking and interpretive trails and a visitor’s center. Bring the boat and plan to stay awhile!

  1. Shabbona Lake State Park – Illinois

Drive an hour straight west from our Glen Ellyn El Monte RV Rentals location and you’ll find Shabbona Lake, the “Muskie Capitol of Illinois”. Besides great fishing, your crew can rent kayaks and discover the lake’s scenic shoreline, hike the woodland trails and enjoy the amenities at the state park’s well-managed campground.

  1. Palisade State Park – Utah

A place to play for everyone—that’s the best way to describe the playground two hours south of Salt Lake City. Palisade State Park, home to Palisade Reservoir (great trout fishing here!), is also home to a public golf course, an expansive campground, miles of hiking trails and OHV trails in a high desert canyon. What could be better for kicking off summer camping season?

These are just nine of the places people like to play when they go state park RV camping in America. Let us know where you like to go, and as always, let us know if we can help with an RV rental.

Posted in Colorado RV Camping Vacation, Illinois RV Camping Vacation, Maryland RV Camping Vacation, New York RV Camping Vacation, State Parks, Utah RV Camping Vacation | 1 Comment

Six Spectacular RV Camping Trips to Find Fall Color

Chase a splash of red up a mountain road, and be rewarded by an endless valley filled with autumn colors. Wake up in your RV campground to the blaze of red and gold glory all around. That’s the beauty of an RV camping trip to find fall color.

These six spectacular trips offer a banquet of autumn beauty to RV travelers. It’s not too late to plan your itinerary!

  1. Gatlinburg, Tennessee:  Located on the northern boundary of Great Smoky Mountains National Park and half a day’s drive from Louisville, KY, Gatlinburg is one of our favorite autumn destinations. Use it as your starting point for one of the many scenic drives through the National Park to net a camera full of autumn color.
  1. Bristol, Rhode Island:  There’s never a bad time of year to drive Rhode Island’s coastal highways, and autumn there is particularly memorable. From the grounds of the Blithewold Mansion to the autumn wonders of Colt State Park on Narragansett Bay, RV travelers will find their fill of fall color in Bristol. RV vacation bonus—it’s a short drive via I-95 from Boston!
  1. Park City, Utah:  If you find yourself RV camping near Salt Lake City this autumn, take the time to visit Park City, less than an hour east on I-80. That’s where to start your journey through miles and miles of golden aspen as you follow the Provo Canyon Scenic Byway, with a side trip up the Alpine Scenic Loop “Backway” through Sundance. Don’t miss this Western wonder of nature!
  1. Grand County, Colorado:  The county and forest roads around the Rocky Mountain towns of Granby, Grand Lake, Winter Park and Fraser reveal some of
    Fall Foliage

    Fall Foliage

    Colorado’s best fall foliage. About an hour and a half from Denver, Grand County RV campers can find hours of autumn color along byways like County Road 50 (Church Park Rd) west of
    Fraser and Hwy 34 from Grand Lake to Granby. Autumn travel extra—keep an ear open for elk bugling during fall mating season!

  1. Tioga County, Pennsylvania:  Here’s an RV traveling family’s chance to see the PA Grand Canyon, as well as unforgettable autumn vistas! Tioga County, PA, a couple hours’ west of Kingston, boasts charming towns like Wellsboro, where quaint shops and homes are surrounded by glorious hardwoods in full autumn blaze. Follow the county roads between Ansonia, Wellsboro and Colton Point State Park for your best fall camping trip photos.
  1. Galena, Illinois:  As your motorhome rolls into Galena, Illinois, be prepared to be charmed! This Mississippi River town along the Great River Road blends abundant autumn leaves, streets winding up scenic hillsides and Victorian homes and shops galore. About three hours west of Chicago, Galena is one of the finest places to find fall foliage in the Midwest.

Admit it, you’re hoping to make an RV trip into the countryside to witness the beauty of autumn foliage. Use these suggested itineraries to start your trip planning, and don’t forget to give us a call if you’re in need of an RV rental. This autumn promises to be spectacular! Don’t miss the chance to see it for yourself with an RV camping trip to find fall color.

Posted in Colorado RV Camping Vacation, Fall Foliage, Illinois RV Camping Vacation, Pennsylvania RV Camping Vacation, Rhode Island RV Camping Vacation, Tennessee RV Camping Vacation, Utah RV Camping Vacation | Leave a comment

Four Relaxing Spots to Visit near Glen Ellyn, Illinois

Glen Ellyn, Illinois, a quick forty minutes west of Chicago, is centrally located for getting back to nature. By all means, enjoy the attractions of Chicagoland, but if you like your RV camping in more natural settings, here are four relaxing spots to visit near Glen Ellyn, Illinois.

Glen Ellyn Area Attraction #1: Moraine Hills State Park

Moraine Hills State Park

Moraine Hills State Park

Just an hour north of Glen Ellyn, near the town of McHenry, you’ll find Moraine Hills State Park, where a pristine glacier lake, a vast marsh and the chance to see a lock on the Fox River make this our first pick for your trip. Hike the trails for an intimate look into nature and bring your fishing equipment, too. There’s no camping at the state park, but there’s plenty of camping nearby at Chain O’Lakes State Park or in Union, IL campgrounds.

Glen Ellyn Area Attraction #2: Chain O’Lakes State Park

We mentioned great camping at this next state park, also just an hour north of Glen Ellyn, but there’s so much more to draw RV camping fans! Chain O’Lakes State Park gives campers access to no less than ten lakes, making this a top pick for camping families who plan to fish, paddle or water ski while on vacation. Four lakes within the park’s boundaries, as well as the scenic Fox River that leads to six more, open up endless possibilities for fun on the water. Tip: fishing for walleye, muskie and crappie is particularly good, so bring along your favorite lures, an Illinois fishing license and your fishing boat of choice to navigate the Fox Waterway.

Glen Ellyn Area Attraction #3: Burnidge Forest Preserve

Does the thought of camping in a lush forest, with plenty of trails and stocked fishing ponds nearby, appeal to your family? If so, add the Burnidge Forest Preserve, an hour north of Glen Ellyn near Elgin, IL, to your itinerary. A nicely developed campground that doesn’t take away from its forest surroundings makes this beautiful area a favorite of local campers, so make your reservations early!

Glen Ellyn Area Attraction #4: Big Rock Forest Preserve

Once you’ve picked up your RV rental in Glen Ellyn, head west on I-88 forty miles to discover Big Rock Forest Preserve. That’s where you’ll enjoy not only excellent RV camping in a woodland setting, but catch & release fishing in Siegler Lake, as well. Give the kids a lesson in geology with a hike along the lake trail or to the sandy bluffs formed by ancient glacier movement. With hardwood forests, meadows filled with birds and wildlife and a rock quarry turned lake to explore, the whole family can relax and celebrate nature year-round. Tip: bring your clubs if golf is a passion—an excellent public course is right next door!

Glen Ellyn, Illinois may seem like a gateway to Chicago, and it truly is a great place to start that visit. But if you’re hoping to enjoy RV camping in a natural setting, try these four spots next time you’re in the area. And let us know if we can help with an RV rental!

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Five Summer Food Festivals to Tempt RV Travelers

A weekend food fest is the perfect excuse to head down the road in an RV. Today’s post is a delicious concoction of food fest and camping info from five of the best summer fests. Read on for what you need to know to plan your next RV camping trip to US food festivals.

Vintage Virginia Wine & Food Festival – Centreville, VA – May 30-31

Who knows what kind of fun RV campers could get into when two dozen Virginia wineries, a cavalcade of top-notch food trucks and a whole lot of food and wine lovers converge on Bull Run Regional Park? Great food, sassy music and the best of Virginia wines are featured at this fabulous outdoor festival just down the road from Manassas Battlefield. Get your tickets here and make it a weekend to remember!

Here’s a link to Virginia RV campgrounds. El Monte RV Rentals in Manassas is happy to help with the right RV for your trip.

Great Chowder Cook-Off – Newport, RI – June 6

If you love a good cuppa chowda, Rhode Island’s world-famous chowder fest is the place for your next RV camping trip. Heated competition for the chowder crown blends with spicy local bands and fun family activities at Fort Adams State Park.

Camp near Newport and make it a long weekend as you discover the mansions, beaches and local charm that make Newport an A-1 tourist destination. 

French Market Creole Tomato Fest – New Orleans, LA – June 13-14

Did you know a tomato imported from the West Indies is at the heart of many Creole culinary treats? The Creole tomato is so important to cuisine in New Orleans that a festival is held in its honor every June! Bring the family on this weekend RV trip and let the kids play in Dutch Alley, watch cooking demonstrations and, of course, sample savory dishes featuring the star of the festival.

Louisiana RV camping venues can be found here.

Arcata Bay Oyster Festival – Arcata, CA – June 20

Here’s the chance to visit California’s magnificent Redwood Coast and enjoy boatloads of fresh oysters as a bonus! The Arcata Bay Oyster Festival celebrates the bivalves that fuel this area’s aquaculture, and it’s a whole lot of fun for oyster lovers, too. Come sample oyster creations from talented chefs, watch cooking demonstrations and get in on family-friendly festival fun.

Eight national forests nearby supply unforgettable scenery as you camp, so plan to stay awhile after the festival. Here’s a list of California campgrounds, including those in the Arcata area. Bon appetit!

Fiestas Puertorriqueñas – Chicago, IL – June 18-21

Scenic Humboldt Park is the setting for this enormous celebration of Puerto Rico and its culture, music and cuisine. Come and sample, play and people watch with thousands of festival goers and don’t miss the parade on Saturday!

Camping in the Windy City is simple—just use our guide to point you in the right direction.

There’s so much to taste, see and do this summer in cities across America! Get started now making your RV camping plans to visit food festivals. Grab your knives and forks and be sure to let us know which ones you can’t wait to visit again next year.

Posted in Food RV Vacations, Illinois RV Camping Vacation, Louisiana RV Camping Vacation, Rhode Island RV Camping Vacation, Virginia RV Camping Vacation | Leave a comment

Springfield, Illinois RV Adventures for the Whole Family

Travel to the Land of Lincoln on an exciting Springfield, Illinois RV vacation! This is the perfect way to understand some of the historical aspects of the founding of our great land, as well as enjoy the sights and outdoor activities available. You can discover the true America by exploring Route 66 and visit the neighborhoods that made this country what it is today. And of course, there are many RV campgrounds around Springfield where you can stay. You may really enjoy the Double J Campground & RV Park just outside of town.

First stop is the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library & Museum where you can see collections all about this most famous President. An audio-visual collection is one that will truly lend a realistic feel to the history you will absorb. There are over 400,000 photos which visually portray life through the decades. An experience you shouldn’t pass up.

Another spot where you can find the past becoming a thing of the present, the Clayville Historic Site. The Clayville Trader General Store will fascinate young and old. If you are visiting in May, the Clayville Spring Festival will show you what the pioneer experience is all about. At the Lincoln Home National Historic Site you will want to tour the Lincoln Home, explore the exhibits in the historic neighborhood of the Lincoln era, and see the film which highlights Abraham Lincoln’s life and home.

Visit the final resting place of our great past President at the Lincoln Tomb. His wife and three of his sons are also buried there. This tomb is 117 feet tall and was placed on the National Register of Historic Places. It is a marvelous memorial to a great man.

No visitor to Springfield can pass up an opportunity to see the Illinois State Capital, or stop in across the street at the Capitol Complex Visitors Center. Grab some brochures of other sights to take in around the city, and perhaps have a picnic at one of the picnic tables available to the public.

Now it is time to get outside and really soak up some of that summer sun. Walk the trails at Adams Wildlife Sanctuary where you can see the beautiful wooded home to many small animals and a wide variety of birds. This was once a farm now abandoned to nature. Make a trip to Henson Robinson Zoo to see an amazing variety of native and exotic animals.

Of course, the Washington Park Botanical Garden is a must-see for all nature lovers. In this lovely oasis, you will find incredible displays of color. Stroll through the gardens to enjoy the tranquility. Once leaving here, you can get over to Lake Springfield for some boating. If you haven’t brought your own boat, you can always rent one. You can also enjoy windsurfing or water skiing. Try your luck at fishing in the sparkling waters.

A Springfield RV vacation provides many adventures, from historical events to outdoor fun. It is a place you will want to return to again and again for a special getaway.

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An RV Vacation to Chicago for Entertainment, Culture and a Load of Fun

Sights of Chicago

Sights of Chicago

Chicago attracts visitors from all over the world. It is a city that buzzes with energy and excitement. Chicago, Illinois is a perfect destination for a fun-filled RV vacation for you and your family. Summertime is the best time to go, since you won’t want to miss the water fun available along the shores of Lake Michigan.

RV camping is simple to find around Chicago. The closest campground to the city is the Chicago Northwest KOA, with lots of attractions right next door. Settle in and then get ready to explore Chicago and all the sights just waiting for you. You have the towering skyscrapers, waterfront walks, and plenty of festivals and events to keep you entertained.

Start out with a short trip to the Brookfield Zoo. This nature park covers 216 acres and offers incredible views of the animals that you will get no place else. To get there you just need to drive west of the city for about 12 miles. There is nothing like enjoying the antics of the bears and dolphins. See polar bears dive for fish through windows specially made so you can marvel at these marvelous animals.

Once getting your taste of the wild, you can return to the city and climb to amazing heights to take in the views. At Skydeck Chicago you will be at the top of the Western Hemisphere’s tallest building. In one sweeping view you will see four states and Lake Michigan’s lovely waters, as well as skyscrapers and parks and more. From there, head over to the Chicago Cultural Center where you can take in the many free exhibits and wander through the stained glass domes.

If you love a lively gathering spot where you can bike, listen to concerts, find activities for the whole family and meet other like-minded folk, be sure to stop at Millennium Park. There are festivals and music presentations going on at any given time, and you’ll end up allowing a bit of extra time to relax and explore. If you didn’t bring a bicycle, you can rent one and get some exercise during a bright sunny day.

Speaking of exercise, there is no better place to walk, jog, bike or skate than along the Lakefront Trail. Here you will find a wonderful 18-mile trail, paved and flat where you can move along the lakefront. Stop at one of the parks or beaches to rest and have a snack.

You don’t have to be visiting the coast in California or Florida to enjoy the beach, either. Chicago has lakeside beaches that offer plenty of water fun. At Calumet Park and Beach you will discover all sorts of things to do, including swimming, boating, picnicking and visiting the model train exhibit. Loyola Park is another favorite, and kids love all the various recreational activities offered here, as well as swimming in Lake Michigan.

The Shedd Aquarium is one of the largest indoor aquariums in the world. You should make it a point to stop here to view the more than 1,500 species of aquatic animals. You will see dolphins, sea lions, otters, beluga whales and penguins. It is an experience you really shouldn’t miss.

If kids are with you on this trip, you must go to the Field Museum. There is a wide array of interactive activities to keep even the most curious and active child entertained. Taking a tour of the museum is the best, so you can learn all about some of the amazing treasures on display. No kids with you on this trip? It doesn’t matter. This museum provides exhibitions, programs and events for all ages.

Another kid-friendly activity is visiting the Amazing Chicago’s Funhouse Maze. The young at heart also will enjoy this delightful fun house. Lose yourself in a wild labyrinth of tunnels, mirrors and more. Then make your way over to Navy Pier. This is one of the most popular attractions in Chicago. For those who love to get some culture, you can visit the Chicago Shakespeare Theater on Navy Pier and see some impressive productions from the Bard. The Navy Pier also has a six-story IMAX Theater where you can see some exciting movies in 2D or 3D.

There won’t be any other RV vacation that can quite match this one in Chicago. You will find you have been making memories that will linger many years after you get home. When you want to experience a city that has everything, it is no doubt that Chicago is the place to go.

Picture credits: The Chicago Montage is from the Wikimedia Commons. It is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

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The Fun of an RV Adventure along Illinois River Road

Take off in your RV come late spring for a wonderful adventure along the Illinois River Road. You can also enjoy the trip in the fall when the trees are turning color. But no matter the time you pick, this is a wonderful trip through some of the best of Illinois landscapes.

Stop at any wineries you see along the way. The rich wine making traditions of this state will impress you with some of the finest. Your embarkation point will be in Ottawa, Illinois. Here the Illinois and Fox Rivers meet and Lincoln’s career began. Lots of natural beauty here and plenty of outdoor activities all around. You should remember that binoculars are to be included in your travel gear so you can get great views of river wildlife.

Buffalo Rock State Park is a must for your RV vacation itinerary. See two bison that make this their home, and visit the observation decks so you can look out over the river. Walk through the park on the Woodland Trail and just absorb that wonderful nature. Catlin County Park is another one not to miss. You can get out and stretch, taking in the amazing forest of hickories and maples. See if you can identify the many different species of trees and plants. Of course the wildlife is awesome, and if you love bird watching, you will be in your element here.

Princeton will be your next stop. This lovely place provides many activities for young and old. Woodlands you can visit nearby are Miller-Anderson Woods Nature Preserve and the Warnecke Woods. You’ll find RV camping at Condit’s Ranch Campground overlooking the Illinois River. Enjoy swimming, hiking and fishing at Condit’s Ranch.

If you like lakes, you’ll like Mautino State Fish & Wildlife Area, with more than a dozen lakes scattered throughout the area. This is prime habitat for birds of all kinds. Hike the trails to see the wide variety of aquatic vegetation along the shores.

When you reach Peoria, stop to take in the rich beauty of this area. Outdoor lovers won’t be able to resist hiking along the river, fishing or biking along a forest trail. Go to Peoria Zoo for a relaxing visit to the animals there. One must-see is the Apple Blossom Farm. When visiting in the fall, you’ll find it open from August through December. Stock up on apple cider, jams or doughnuts. Yes, the bakery is stupendous.

Visit the home of Abraham Lincoln at New Salem State Historic Site when you come to Havana, Illinois. Again, if here in the fall months, there is nothing better than driving along Spoon River Drive to marvel at the autumn colors. Then it is time to get over to Chautauqua National Wildlife Refuge. A paradise for bird lovers, this refuge boasts amazing numbers of species. Bald eagles come here because of the wetlands, and you’ll see everything from Great Blue Heron to songbirds and sandpipers.

Even if your journey along the Illinois River Road is done for now, this is a wonderful place to return again and again. There is always more to see and do, things you may not have had time for on this trip. So anticipate packing up that RV once again and taking off through the varied landscapes of Illinois again next year.

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Plenty to do in Galena and Jo Daviess Counties in Illinois

This post was kindly provided to us by the Galena/Jo Daviess County Convention & Visitors Bureau. All of the photos in this article were provided by them.

Experience the vintage charm and contemporary spirit of Galena and Jo Daviess County… the region’s natural beauty, charming farmsteads, well-preserved historic sites, first-class golfing, regional cuisines, eclectic shops and tranquil spas. Located in northwest Illinois, three hours from downtown Chicago and 90 minutes from Madison, Wis., the destination affords visitors plenty of opportunities to relax, rejuvenate and recharge.

Ulysses S. Grant Home

Ulysses S. Grant Home

The area’s 19th-century history and how it shaped the destination’s architecture continues to be a draw for visitors. The historic architecture here ranges from Greek Revival, Gothic Revival, Queen Anne, Italianate, Galena Traditional, and Vernacular. Galena also produced nine Civil War generals, including Ulysses S. Grant, who later became the country’s 18th president. Both his home and that of Grant crony Elihu B. Washburne are now state historic sites. If you want to learn without walking, let our world-famous trolleys point out the notable local points of interest.

The destination is also known for a wide variety of other attractions. Experiential, hands-on tourism continues to grow, with jewelry making, knitting, crocheting and cooking workshops regularly available. Moreover, art galleries and many studios throughout Jo Daviess County are open to the public and often feature free demonstrations.

You can’t miss the outdoor recreational opportunities that await you around every curve. Breathe the fresh air while hiking or biking our trails. There are a number of state parks and preserves throughout the county that offer hiking and nature trails; some offer fishing and camping. Challenge yourself on the greens of our 10 championship golf courses or take a hot air balloon ride to get a bird’s eye view of the treetops. Afterwards, gallop along on a horseback ride through wooded trails and deep valleys.

The region’s wineries, Galena Cellars Vineyard & Winery, Massbach Ridge Winery, and Rocky Waters Vineyard/Winery, offer tastings of their award-winning wines for a nominal fee. All three vineyards hold events throughout the year. For those who love to tickle their taste buds, visit the Galena Brewing Company on Galena’s Main Street. Their craft brews are manufactured on-site and tours are available for those interested in their operations.

Most importantly, you need a place to call home while in Galena and Jo Daviess County. Visitors who travel here by RV have four primary options to call home.

Apple River Canyon State Park is located in the northern part of Jo Daviess County near Apple River and the Wisconsin border. The park resides in a scenic canyon area that was formed by the winding waters of the Apple River. Limestone bluffs, deep ravines, springs, streams and wildlife populate this area which was once a part of a vast sea bottom that stretched from the Alleghenies to the Rockies. This state park has seasonal camping for roughly 25 RVs, but does not have any electrical or water hookups.

Blanding Landing Recreation Area is on the east bank of the mighty Mississippi River near Hanover. The weather in this area runs from warm and humid in the summer to dry in the fall. The Mississippi River draws crowds of anglers each year to Blanding. The most popular species to catch are channel catfish, bluegill, walleye, crappie and northern pike. Other activities include boating and nearby hunting. The area is open May through October and has 30 sites with electrical hookups and seven sites without any hookups.

Palace Campground was founded in 1848, therefore making it the oldest operating campground in the state of Illinois. Situated on 50 quiet, wooded acres just outside of Galena they are equipped to handle more than 100 RVs at any time between April and November. They have a heated swimming pool, playground, outdoor movies, hayrides, a miniature golf course, arcade building, free Wi-Fi and much more. Sites are all equipped with a variety of hookup combinations.

Vel Terra Ranch and Family Campground is based on more than 165 acres near Elizabeth. With rugged hills, picturesque scenery, abundant trees, wildlife and natural rolling terrain, their campground is a perfect launching pad for your expedition to Jo Daviess County and the surrounding area. They have electric and water hookups at their seven RV campsites, which are open April through November.

Those traveling by RV to Galena/Jo Daviess County should always be aware of the parking and traffic patterns as many of our streets can be difficult for large vehicles to comfortably pass through. For more information on visiting northwest Illinois, call the Galena/Jo Daviess County Convention & Visitors Bureau at 1.877.464.2536 or visit the Galena/Jo Daviess County Convention & Visitors Bureau Web site for information on lodging, events, tours, dining, historic sites and much more.

 

 

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An RV Trip to Visit Illinois Wineries

Here’s a delightful combination for an autumn RV vacation – Illinois’ fertile, scenic vineyards and friendly, affordable RV campgrounds! Why not take full advantage of Illinois’ gorgeous autumn vistas with an RV trip to the state’s award-winning wineries?

Here’s a sampling of Illinois RV itineraries to the state’s wine regions:

Northern Illinois Wineries include August Hill Winery at Utica, Famous Fossil Vineyard in Freeport and Galena Cellars Vineyard & Winery in Galena. These are only three of the picturesque vineyards located west of Chicago. As you plan which wineries you’ll visit, why not book a campsite at Illinois’ oldest campground, the Palace Campground in Galena? It’s within two hours of Northern Illinois’ entire collection of award-winning vineyards.

Shawnee National Forest isn’t the only attraction in the southernmost tip of Illinois! There’s also a marvelous selection of wines awaiting your palate. Owl Creek Vineyard in Cobden, IL is just one of the delights of the Shawnee Hills Wine Trail, highlighting twelve distinctively American wineries. Taste not only the wines but also the unique grapevine-smoked barbeque at Von Jakob Vineyard in Pomona. Enjoy a delicious boutique wine in the beauty of StarView Vineyards. And when you’re ready to step off the Wine Trail for the night, watch the sun set over the lake at Little Grassy Lake Campground near Makanda, just minutes from these Southern Illinois wineries.

Just up the road in South Central and Southeastern Illinois are nearly two dozen vineyards ready to tempt your tastebuds. Lasata Wines near Westport is a member of the Wabash Valley Wine Trail, a collection of five lush vineyards in a thirty-mile span. Orchard View Winery on a century-old farm near Alma offers a day of relaxation in the country. To continue your back-to-nature experience, enjoy a night or two camping at Stephen A. Forbes Recreation Area near Kinmundy, IL.

One more highly-suggested journey for wine lovers is an autumn jaunt through Central Illinois’ wine country. Plan your trip to coincide with Harvest Fest at Hill Prairie Winery in Oakford. Sip wines with names like “Jasmine’s Moonlight” and “Edelweiss” at Mackinaw Valley Vineyard near Mackinaw. Because you’ll find so many wineries throughout this area, you’ll want to plan several days in Central Illinois. RV campgrounds like Evening Star Camping Resort near Havana make the trip comfortable and affordable. By the way, IllinoisWine.com offers a complete itinerary of Central Illinois wineries, as well as information on all other wine regions in the state.

Are you ready to discover the wines that are making Illinois famous? Map your autumn trip to Illinois wineries for a journey into great wines, amazing scenery and some of the friendliest RV campgrounds anywhere.

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Bird Watching and RV Camping

Love to watch our feathered friends in their natural habitats? RV camping is the perfect companion to an extended bird watching expedition. Here’s why: you can set up camp in the comfort of your RV, close to the forests, meadows and mountain hideaways where you’re likely to find your favorite species. It’s also an affordable way to travel, thanks to well-equipped RV kitchens that allow you to cook your meals rather than finding restaurants along the way.

How to get started planning your next RV camping and bird watching road trip? First, you’ll need to know where to get information on each region’s bird watching hot spots. Here are four places to look online for clues:

The second step to planning the perfect bird watching road trip is to find RV campgrounds near your destination. We can help with that! Our RV Campgrounds page lets you search US campgrounds by state.

Then all you need to do is grab your binoculars, pack the RV and get ready for great bird watching action. Don’t own an RV? Don’t forget, we have dozens of RV rental locations ready to serve.

We thought we’d share just a few destinations where bird watching is hot and the RV camping is excellent. Use our clues or map your own avian adventure soon!

Bird Watching Itinerary #1: Three Lakes Wildlife Management Area, South and East Osceola, FL
Central Florida According to Central Florida Bird Watchers, this eight-thousand-acre refuge promises sightings of bald eagles, red-headed woodpeckers and other rarely-seen species! Just an hour north of Orlando near Kenansville, FL, this bird watching haven also offers campsites in three lakeside areas.

Bird Watching Itinerary #2: Malibu Lagoon State Beach – Malibu, CA
Located on Pacific Coast Highway just west of Los Angeles, this state park gives bird watchers the chance to see brown pelicans and a wide variety of other shore birds. Camp at the only RV campground in the City of Malibu, Malibu Beach RV Park, and enjoy premium beachside campsites close to first-rate bird watching.

Bird Watching Itinerary #3: Fermilab Preserve – Chicago, IL
The US Department of Energy’s Fermilab Preserve facility in Chicago’s western suburbs plays host to a surprising variety of birds. By hiking through the site’s ecological reserve (open to the public) birders may sight bay-breasted warblers, osprey and Cooper’s hawks, just to name a few of the species that call this six-thousand-acre, ecologically diverse habitat home. Consider traveling north one hour to Burnidge Forest Preserve for even more birding opportunities, as well as scenic RV camping!

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