Stop in St. Augustine on your Florida RV Vacation

One of the oldest settlements in the U.S. is historic St. Augustine, Florida. The rich heritage here is worth some time spent devouring the sights and sounds, the fascinating ambiance and the landmarks. Of course the beaches are also a major attraction any time of year. And there is a lot more than just history to bring you here! Read on!

Flagler College St. Augustine College

Flagler College St. Augustine College

You will have a wide choice of RV parks so you can remain for a time to explore. One that comes highly recommended is the Stage Coach RV Park.

This park is close to all the places you have on your itinerary for St. Augustine. You’ll find full hookups and a relaxing atmosphere.

Check out Ponce de Leon’s Fountain of Youth while here. Get a tour and discover the area that Juan Ponce de Leon found in 1513. This area has such a rich history.  The Archaeological Park is an entertaining sight for the whole family. This is the spot where America began, settled years before Jamestown and even before the Pilgrims landed.

The oldest structure in St. Augustine is the Castillo de San Marcos National Monument. See some re-enactments of history as people dress in the costumes of days gone by and show you what life was really like in those early days. Be sure to allow at least one or two hours for your visit so you can see everything possible. Enjoy exhibits and walk through the fortress. There are also Ranger Programs where you can learn so much of the history connected with this most fascinating place.

Next comes the St. Augustine Lighthouse & Museum where you may wish to get some exercise and climb the steps to the top. Fabulous views can be enjoyed from the top of the lighthouse. Learn the story of this nation’s oldest port. This lighthouse is now in the spot where a Spanish watchtower once stood. The watchtower was the first lighthouse in Florida, protecting ships beginning in 1824.

The outdoors beckons at Anastasia State Park. There are so many activities here, such as hiking, walking self-guided nature trails or watching all the wildlife. The tidal marshes are home to a wide variety of life. Theses marshes are also a great place to paddle. RV camping is available, close to the beach and all the fun.

If you are a real history buff, you’ll love the Lightner Museum with the amazing collections of costumes, furnishings and more from the 19th century. See beautiful cut glass and some wonderful samples of Tiffany stained glass.

Naturally, you want to see an alligator farm and you can experience all the magic of this part of our animal kingdom at St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park. Not just alligators, but tropical birds, crocodiles and lemurs will be there. You can see it all from the tree tops if you opt to ride the zip line. See a show or two. The fun is truly never-ending.

If you’re interested in booking an RV trip in St. Augustine, FL, El Monte RV has an RV pick-up location in Orlando, FL.

Picture credits: The picture of a Flagler College in St. Augustine, FL is from the Wikimedia Commons. It is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

 

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A Spring Adventure to North Carolina Outer Banks

NASA Picture of the Outer Banks

NASA Picture of the Outer Banks

A wonderful adventure for those who love the ocean, history, cultural exhibits, and gardens – the list goes on. An RV vacation to the North Carolina Outer Banks provides it all. Relax to the sound of the Atlantic Ocean pounding the shore, the quiet nights and the calm sunny days. The northern beaches of the coast and the fascinating islands all give a visitor an experience that can be found in no other place. RV Camping is plentiful, too, on the Outer Banks, and you have a wide choice of campgrounds that will accommodate RV motorhomes.

The outdoors enthusiast will love checking out Cape Hatteras National Seashore. You can beachcomb for shells of incredible variety, birding is the best, and paddling the inlets is an opportunity to see all sorts of wildlife. The Cape Hatteras Lighthouse is a must-see while you are here. You can climb to the top if you are ready for an extremely strenuous climb, much like climbing the stairs in a twelve-story building. Within the boundaries of Cape Hatteras National Seashore you’ll find four campgrounds, all accommodating RV motorhomes.

Learning about wildlife is always a great thing, and you can find out so much about our natural world at the Outer Banks wildlife refuges. At Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge in Nags Head, you can wander the trails and see upland, wading and shore birds. Salt Flats Trail and North Pond Wildlife Trail are ideal to get into the natural environment and watch wildlife in their normal habitat. Would you like to see larger wildlife? At Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge you may spot some black bears, wolves and you will definitely see some alligators.

Jockey's Ridge State Park

Jockey’s Ridge State Park

Jockey’s Ridge State Park is a wonderful destination for hiking on some self-guided trails. You can witness some of the tallest sand dunes in the U.S. here. A wonderful place to get away from it all! Try your hand at hang gliding here as well! Now is your chance! Kite fliers, here is the ideal place to practice your hobby!

The Nature Conservancy at Nags Head Woods Preserve is a maritime forest where you can hike on a trail that fits your level of ability. There are hikes that are easy and some that are strenuous. Choose the best one for you. This barrier island contains some unusual animal and plant life. Then be sure to stop at the Wright Brothers National Memorial to discover where Wilber and Orville Wright had their first successful flight. At the visitor center you can see some historic displays and other exhibits and educational movies.

The Fort Raleigh National Historic Site is one spot that visitors make it a point to see when traveling the North Carolina Outer Banks. At the north end of Roanoke Island, this park illuminates the early drama of the Lost Colony, and you will love to see all the many sights available here. The mystery of these lost colonists is still not solved, but perhaps you may get an idea as you tour this park.

Explore Elizabethan Gardens in Manteo if you love the Elizabethan period, or even if you don’t really know what that is. This 16th century garden commemorates the lost colonists. In fact, this is where those colonists lived before they disappeared forever. Enjoy the beautiful camellias, hydrangeas and other native plants.

Now for a unique time at Roanoke Island Festival Park. This is a family attraction which lies on the island and provides a view into what life was like for the early settlers. Be sure to see the Island Adventure Museum and the Elizabeth II sailing vessel which shows how those settlers traveled to this land. The ship is a representation of one of the seven ships that traveled from England to the New World in the late 1500s.

Another fascinating attraction is the George Washington Creek Boat Shop, a working boat shop where you can see for yourself how boat construction is accomplished. You must also stop by the Roanoke Marshes Lighthouse and gaze out to sea as the early light keepers did so long ago.

An RV trip along the Outer Banks is certainly something to experience. It is an adventure those of all ages can enjoy. The sparkling Atlantic Ocean, the sandy beaches and crashing waves are only one small part of North Carolina’s coastal wonders. You will want to come back again to enjoy all the Outer Banks has to offer.

Picture credits: The picture of the Outer Banks is from the Wikimedia Commons. It is in the public domain. The picture of Jockey’s Ridge State Park is from the Wikimedia Commons. It is in the public domain.

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An RV Trip to Big Sur Should be at the Top of Your List

The Big Sur coast including the Bixby bridge

The Big Sur coast including the Bixby bridge

Traveling on an RV vacation to Big Sur, California is an amazing experience. You’ll see panoramic views of the Pacific, magical vistas of mountains and valleys and wildlife galore. Enjoy the gray whales swimming off shore, the California Condors flying overhead and sea otters relaxing in kelp beds. This is a stunning getaway and a paradise of wonders.

A Big Sur trip will take you from the Carmel coast all the way down Highway 1 to San Simeon. This area is designated a scenic byway, which becomes obvious as soon as you start your journey. The spectacular coastline of Big Sur offers plenty of outdoor recreation as well. So get your hiking boots ready. You will also discover plenty of RV camping.

Sightseeing and hiking are the top-most attractions along this Pacific Ocean coast. Beaches on one side, mountains on the other. The beauty never ends. Throw in a little history by stopping at Point Sur State Historic Park. Take a walking tour, and be sure to visit the Point Sur Lighthouse. This is a light station that has been an important part of the mariner world since 1899.

Further along the route north to south, you’ll find Andrew Molera State Park, offering lots of hiking and some great beach combing opportunities. There are miles of trails which take you through meadows, along beaches and across hilltops. With the area being relatively undeveloped, you will find the solitude very attractive.

In Andrew Molera State Park you will discover great hiking. You can hike from Creamery Meadow to Molera Beach on an easy two-mile round trip trek. Pick up some driftwood on the beach before returning. Many of the trails here are also wonderful for mountain biking. Old Coast Road is a favorite.

Further along you will come to Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park. Don’t forget your camera as you’ll want to capture the beauty of those redwoods, oaks, maples and willows. You are sure to find wildlife wandering this area, such as black-tail deer, raccoons and lots of birds. There is a self-guided nature trail that you’ll simply love. At the trail head to Pfeiffer Falls you can visit the Information Center to find out more about this lovely region. The easy hike to the falls is one you shouldn’t miss. Kids find this a great trail so the whole family can enjoy it.

More hiking trails in Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park include the Valley View Trail (two miles round trip), Oak Grove Trail (three miles round trip) and Buzzard’s Roost (4.8 miles round trip). If you want to climb to the top of Manuel Peak, take the Mount Manuel Trail. This is a steep four-mile climb and a four-mile hike back.

Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park is named after a pioneer woman from the Big Sur area. The park has beautiful redwood, oak, and chaparral as well as an 80-foot waterfall that falls into the ocean. You can enjoy more hiking here on the McWay Waterfall Trail which will take you to the waterfall overlook. Ewoldsen Trail is a 4.5-mile loop trail that is considered moderate to strenuous, but provides some gorgeous views.

Take a short side trip to Los Padres National Forest, although it may end up being not so short. This forest offers so many things to do and see. There are over 1,200 miles of trails here, all maintained, which give you the chance to do some backpacking in the true sense of the word.

The Ventana Wilderness Area is where the mountains meet the sea. It is another perfect hiking destination, with many thousands of acres of incredible landscapes to explore. A little less wild is the Limekiln State Park, with amazing views of the coast, gorgeous redwoods and camping.

You have reached the end of your Big Sur adventure when you come to San Simeon. But your fun doesn’t have to stop here. Visit the Hearst Castle, one of the top attractions in California. Get yourself and your family to the observation deck on the east end of the property so you get a wonderful view of the Castle as it perches on the crown of the mountain.

Hearst Castle also has a gift shop where you can pick up some souvenirs to take home with you. Your family and friends who didn’t get to experience this amazing trip will appreciate it. You can even find art reproductions and more unique treasures in the museum gift shop. When you return home, you will have many pleasurable RV vacation experiences to share with everyone and adventures to relive in memory for ages to come.

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Pure Pleasure with a Montauk Long Island Fall RV Trip

Montauk Point Lighthouse

Montauk Point Lighthouse

Traveling to Long Island and enjoying all the sights and sounds of beautiful Montauk is a great RV vacation idea for the fall season. Although Montauk is mainly considered a beach resort, you will find a lovely place here to enjoy outdoor recreation and fall colors along the south shore of the island.

Luckily, in the autumn, the summer crowds have all gone home, and you will find some real pleasure in a little solitude. The weather isn’t bad, and the peak foliage lasts until around the first week in November.

Don’t miss the seashore, however, by exclusively searching out the fall colors. There are other autumn adventures. The Picture of Montauk Point Lighthouse is a must-see, with amazing views of the coastline and magnificent Atlantic Ocean. This lighthouse is the fourth oldest in the U.S. Climb the 137 steps to the top to take in the view.

You won’t go swimming this time of year but at the Montauk beaches you CAN learn to surf. People come here year round to ride the waves. Additionally, fishing couldn’t be better than during Montauk’s Fall Run, with a frenzy of striped bass just waiting to be reeled in. Get ready to practice your surf casting and make some trophy catches.

Hiking the Montauk wilderness is bound to get you up close and personal with some wonderful fall colors. There are six state parks where you can explore, enjoy the sea coast, wetlands and foliage. The first park to visit is the Hither Hills State Park. You can take to the trails and bridle paths to marvel at the woodlands. Walk the beach and fish. Endless opportunities await you!

Really have an adventure along the shoreline at Shadmoor State Park. There are thousands of feet of beach to wander. Hike along the bluffs and wetlands and watch the birds. The black cherry trees have turned yellow and red and present a gorgeous backdrop. Of course, if you love playing golf, head over to Montauk Downs State Park for 18 holes. You can also play tennis or have breakfast or lunch in the grill room.

Amsterdam Beach Preserve is a wonderful place to spot rare and endangered species in the tidal and freshwater wetlands. You may catch a glimpse of the Cooper’s hawk or a spotted turtle. Next stop? Camp Hero State Park! This is a historical military installation with a whole system of trails for biking, horseback riding and hiking. If you have a fishing permit, you will find this park has some of the best surf fishing spots around.

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RV Trip to Find Lake Ontario Lighthouses

Whether you’re reading this post on a balmy Spring day or on a day best spent indoors, it’s time to start planning this year’s RV camping trips. May we make a suggestion for something out of the ordinary? Why not go in search of the many lighthouses that ring Lake Ontario, and enjoy some RV camping along the way?

Because we know we just lit a spark in the hearts of lighthouse fans, we’ve put together some facts about Lake Ontario lighthouses and the RV camping available nearby. Our Lake Ontario lighthouse travelogue follows the New York shoreline, traveling northeast from Fort Niagara.

Niagara Falls Area

Charlotte-Genesee Lighthouse

Charlotte-Genesee Lighthouse

While visiting lighthouses near Niagara Falls, you’ll find convenient RV camping at Four Mile Creek State Park. Because this park is adjacent to Fort Niagara State Park, you’ll also be close to our first Lake Ontario lighthouse, part of Old Fort Niagara State Historic Site. Take time to enjoy this nicely-preserved fort, as well as the lighthouse that was decommissioned in 1975.

Just up the shoreline in Golden Hill State Park, be sure to visit the Thirty Mile Point Lighthouse, built in the 1870s. Traveling east on Lake Ontario State Parkway, you’ll also see Braddock Point Lighthouse, which is now a privately owned bed & breakfast.

Just down the road near Rochester, NY, picturesque Charlotte-Genesee Lighthouse is open for tours May to November. Camp at gorgeous Webster Park campground in Rochester, where you can hike, fish from the pier and enjoy stunning Lake Ontario views.

Rochester East to Cape Vincent
Continue east from Rochester along Hwy 104 to Sodus Bay, where two lighthouses stand guard. Tour Sodus Point Light, where you will also have a view of Sodus Outer Lighthouse, way out at the end of a pier.

From Sodus Bay, travel east to the H. Lee White Marine Museum in Oswego, NY for a fascinating trip into maritime history and a view of the Oswego West Pierhead Light. While in Oswego, take in a delightful sunset on the shores of Lake Ontario at Sunset RV Park.

Don’t leave the area without a trip to where the Salmon River meets the Lake at Selkirk. That’s where you’ll find Salmon River Lighthouse Marina, home to historic Selkirk Lighthouse.

Thousand Islands/St. Lawrence River Area
It’s a fast one hour trip along the lakeshore on NY-104 and NY-3E to where Lake Ontario meets the St. Lawrence River. Along the way, you’ll see signs that lighthouses man the shoreline at Horse Island, Galloo Island and East Charity Shoal on Henderson Bay, but they can only be viewed from the air or by boat. If you’re hoping for easier access to historic lighthouses, stop to view the small breakwater tower at Cape Vincent, as well as beautiful Tibbetts Point Lighthouse in the same town.

The Thousand Islands Area within the St. Lawrence River is home to our last group of Lake Ontario lights. The best way to see these lights is from one of the charter boat tours operating out of Alexandria Bay. Plan to see Rock Island Light, Sunken Rock Lighthouse, Sisters Island Lighthouse and Crossover Island Light. For a view of one more area lighthouse, travel upriver on NY-12 then NY-37 to Ogdensburg. A riverside park there gives views of the Ogdensburg Harbor Light. To help you make reservations for camping along the St. Lawrence, here’s a well-written guide to Thousand Islands area campgrounds.

Beginning to see the light about the joys of RV camping as you go in search of Lake Ontario lighthouses? It’s a fascinating way to spend your next motorhome camping trip, so don’t wait to start planning your Lake Ontario itinerary.

Photo credits: The picture of the Charlotte-Genesee Lighthouse is by Matthew D. Wilson from the Wikimedia Commons. It is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

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RV Road Trip to Lake Michigan Lighthouses Near Chicago

Without ever leaving the Chicago area, it’s possible to visit, photograph and learn more about four historic lighthouses. Your first order of business, before starting your road trip along the Lake Michigan shoreline, is to find comfortable RV camping. Staying in one of the many suburbs of Chicago is a great option; you’re outside the busy city but close enough to see all the attractions. Here are a few suggestions for RV camping within about an hour of the Chicago shoreline:

  1. Empress Casino/Hotel/RV Resort: Joliet, IL
  2. Jellystone Park/Resort Chicago: Millbrook, IL
  3. Chicago Northwest KOA – Union, IL

Chicagoland Lake Michigan Lighthouses
Now, to the Chicago area lighthouse itinerary – start by driving to Navy Pier in Chicago and getting a good look at the Chicago Harbor Light. On a clear day, you’ll be able to see it easily from the pier; you might also consider a cruise with one of the charter services that operates in the area.

Look south from the same pier and you’ll be able to see a good example of a “structural light,” the Chicago Harbor Southeast Guidewall Light. The still-functional light sits atop a metal structure on one of the breakwaters in Chicago Harbor. It is also visible either from the pier or by boat tour.

To experience picturesque Grosse Point Lighthouse, travel north from Chicago to the city of Evanston, IL. Near the campus of Northwestern University stands this tower built in 1873, as well as the keepers’ dwelling, in a beautifully-landscaped park operated by the city. Arrive for one of the summer-only tours and you’ll be challenged to climb the 141 steps to the top of the light!

One more Lake Michigan lighthouse on the western shore near Chicago can be found at the end of Government Pier in Waukegan, IL. According to Terry Pepper’s comprehensive Seeing the Light – Lighthouses of the Western Great Lakes, the original lighthouse installation included a keepers’ dwelling, but a fire in the 1960s destroyed much of the structure. What remains is a white iron tower topped with an acrylic lens, which can be reached by walking out onto the pier.

That covers the four lights found in Chicago Harbor and north to the Illinois/Wisconsin border. Immediately south across the Indiana border, you can easily visit a half dozen lights, from Calumet Lighthouse to the nicely-restored Old Michigan City Lighthouse, by adding just a couple more days to your Chicago-area RV trip. If you’re interested in ranging farther north, there are more than a dozen lighthouses along Lake Michigan’s western shore within Wisconsin’s borders.

You may soon start to see RV camping in Chicago in a whole new light, thanks to the abundance of lighthouses illuminating Lake Michigan. Use these tips to start planning your next RV camping vacation to Chicago; it just might be the beginning of a lifelong love affair with Lake Michigan’s historic lights.

Photo credits: The picture of the Chicago Harbor Light is by Richard C. Drew from the Wikimedia Commons. It is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

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RV Vacation to Visit Lake Superior Lighthouses

Did you know that Lake Superior, largest of the five Great Lakes, is home to nearly three dozen lighthouses? That should be enough to get your RV out of storage and headed north to explore beauty and maritime history on an RV vacation to visit Lake Superior lighthouses!

Michigan Upper Peninsula Lighthouses
One of the most scenic spots on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula is also the place to see a well-restored lighthouse built in 1871. Point Iroquois Light near Brimley features the original lighthouse tower and a picturesque two-story keeper’s dwelling. Just west down the shoreline, you can visit the site where the legendary Edmund Fitzgerald was lost. Skeleton-style Whitefish Point Lighthouse stands tall above the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum housed in the keeper’s quarters.

An additional thirteen lights have kept the shores of the Upper Peninsula safe over the years. Of special interest are Crisp Point Lighthouse, Au Sable Light Station on Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, and Marquette Harbor Lighthouse, also home to an excellent maritime museum. When you need a rest from lighthouse viewing, Whitefish Hill RV Park near Rapid River comes well-recommended.

And we haven’t even mentioned the amazing collection of lights on Michigan’s Keweenaw Peninsula! Many of these are on private property or in the process of restoration, and are best seen from the water via local charters. Two you can tour on land are Eagle Harbor Lighthouse and the Jacobsville/Portage River Light.

The truly intrepid RV traveler can park the RV for a bit and take a five-hour cruise from Houghton or Copper Harbor to Michigan’s Isle Royale National Park. This rugged park, known for its backcountry hiking, boating and wildlife viewing, includes views of four historic lighthouses.

Wisconsin Lake Superior Lighthouses
Where the waters of Lake Superior wash against the Wisconsin shoreline, you’ll find a collection of lighthouses standing guard over Apostle Islands National Lakeshore. Nine great lights stand in varying degrees of operation, restoration or restored glory and some are open to guided tours. On shore, you can also see Ashland Breakwater Light standing out in Chequamegon Bay. An important RV camping tip: the City of Ashland offers very affordable RV camping at Kreher Park.

Minnesota Lake Superior Lighthouses
In the Duluth, Minnesota area on Superior Bay, six lighthouses are clearly visible. From Canal Park Drive in Duluth, you’ll be able to see Duluth South Breakwater Inner Light, Duluth North Inner Breakwater Light, Duluth South Breakwater Outer Lighthouse and the ruins of Minnesota Point Light on the grounds of Sky Harbor Airport. As if that weren’t enough for lighthouse lovers, a short drive north to Two Harbors yields view of two more historic lights – Two Harbors Breakwater Light and the picturesque red brick Two Harbors Lighthouse.

As you continue your lighthouse tour of Minnesota’s “North Shore,” plan time for a stay at Lamb’s Resort in Schroeder, MN, right on the shores of Lake Superior. That positions you perfectly for a visit to breathtakingly scenic Split Rock Lighthouse State Park. You can then venture a little farther north to visit Grand Marais Lighthouse before turning back for home.

Three states, three dozen lighthouses and many excellent RV camping adventures… it’s the perfect formula for some serious travel fever! An RV vacation to visit at least some of Lake Superior’s lighthouses should be on the agenda of every maritime-history-loving RV camper.

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Wisconsin’s Lake Winnebago – Your Summer RV Camping Guide

Sprawling across Central Wisconsin is one of America’s largest freshwater lakes and a marvelous place for RV camping. Lake Winnebago, stretching thirty miles long and ten miles wide, is just two hours north of RV Rentals Chicago IL. Its shoreline hosts such cities as Oshkosh, Neenah and Fond du Lac, giving RV campers even more to do when they come in off the water.

In addition to the cities ringing the lake, there are two parks which make visiting even more enjoyable for RV travelers. Calumet County Park on Lake Winnebago’s eastern shore offers RV campers not only easy boat launching, it also has well-equipped RV campgrounds and access to numerous biking and hiking trails.

We also recommend a trip to High Cliffs State Park for RV camping near the limestone bluffs that give the park its name. It’s a picturesque setting for camping, hiking, biking and wildlife watching.

On the Water at Lake Winnebago
Another lure of Lake Winnebago for many motorhome campers is the fishing to be found there. Our clients report great walleye, northern pike, lake sturgeon and crappie fishing. If you’ve never been on the water at this huge inland lake, sites such as WinnebagoFishing.com offer detailed information on where and how to catch the most fish.

You might also be planning to take your boat when you make your RV journey to the lake. It’s a popular pleasure boating destination, due in part to easy access to the water. If you love to skim the coastline in a kayak, Winnebago offers days of coastline exploration. Powerboating, sailing or pulling skiers across the waves-this enormous lake has a place to do it all. Here’s a website with useful information about the many boat launches around Lake Winnebago.

One more way to spend some time getting to know Lake Winnebago is by visiting its lighthouses. Four lights can still be seen on this lake, beginning with the Fond du Lac Lighthouse at the south end. Asylum Point Light on Lake Winnebago’s western shore was never used for navigation, but has long been a landmark for lake visitors. In Oshkosh, Bray’s Point Light sits on private land, although it can be photographed from the city’s Bayshore Drive. One more much-photographed lighthouse on Lake Winnebago is at its northern tip in the city of Neenah, where Kimberly Point Lighthouse has been an attraction since 1945.

RV Camping at Lake Winnebago
This beautiful lake is also a natural for RV camping. Here are some of our favorite facilities:

This is just a taste of what RV camping at Lake Winnebago can be for your family. Let us help you with a comfortable RV rental and then get started on your own exploration of Wisconsin’s Lake Winnebago.

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RV Camping to California’s Bay Area Lighthouses

Fabulous San Francisco Bay is the focus of today’s RV camping exploration of America’s lighthouses. Numerous lights, both preserved and dismantled, line the rocky shores of this Bay surrounded by San Francisco, Oakland, Berkeley and a whole host of other scenic cities. We’d like to offer an itinerary for seeing three of the most famous lighthouses that guard San Francisco Bay.

Fort Point National Historic Site is a great place to begin your journey. Although the lighthouse here can’t be toured, you can visit the historic fort and see an excellent presentation on the three lights that have guarded this entrance to San Francisco Bay. Adjacent to the Golden Gate Bridge, this site yields one photo opportunity after another.

Alcatraz Island Light is another lighthouse nestled in the midst of history. The lighthouse on Alcatraz was the first light activated on the West Coast, and served to warn ships away from the Island for more than one hundred years. The light’s remaining cement tower can be viewed as part of the tours offered by Alcatraz Cruises, the only transportation to the Island.

In case we forget to mention it later, our El Monte RV Rental office  in Dublin, California offers pickup and drop off service to the Dublin Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) station, making it super simple to pick up your RV!

Before we move on to one more wonderful Bay Area lighthouse, let’s talk about RV camping in the area. Two RV resorts, in particular, get great reviews. San Francisco RV Resort in Pacifica is right on the water and centrally-located for your lighthouse tour. San Francisco Candlestick RV Park is situated in front of Candlestick Stadium, home of the 49ers. Talk to the hosts at either campground for ideas for enhancing your San Francisco motorhome vacation.

Don’t leave the Bay Area without seeing Yerba Buena Lighthouse, located on an island halfway across the Bay Bridge’s span. Although this beautifully preserved lighthouse, still operating as an automated light, isn’t accessible for tours, there are several ferry tours across the Bay that offer excellent views of this lighthouse.

Several more lighthouses dot the shores of San Francisco Bay, but many are modern “skeleton” lights set on historic settings. Try sampling the three listed above to get a sense of Bay Area maritime history. It just might inspire you to head up or down the California coast for yet another California lighthouse RV journey.

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RV Camping to America’s Gulf Coast Lighthouses

America’s Gulf Coast is rich in history, fascinating cultural traditions and scenic RV campgrounds. We can’t think of a nicer motorhome tour of the Gulf Coast Region than to visit its historic lighthouses. Allow us to shed some light on the great lights of America’s Gulf Coast.

Texas Lighthouses
Although many of the lighthouses along Texas’ Gulf Coast have been destroyed by hurricanes, RV travelers can still visit a handful with fascinating pasts. A perfect photo opportunity awaits the tourist who is willing to take a ferry trip across Galveston Bay from Galveston to Point Bolivar. Bolivar Point light is not open for public tours, but dramatic photos of this pre-Civil War era lighthouse can definitely be taken from the deck of the ferry.

Port Isabel Light

Port Isabel Light

Take a trip to the entrance of Queen Isabella Causeway in Port Isabel, Texas to tour Port Isabel Light. Sitting high on a bluff, this light looks across to Padre Island. Built in 1853, it is now part of Port Isabel Lighthouse State Historic Park.

While you’re there, plan to stay at Port Isabel Park Center, where you can fish from their private dock and enjoy a picture-perfect view of the lighthouse. By the way, this website by the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill has detailed information on Texas lighthouses.

Mississippi Lighthouses
Another great RV road trip lighthouse lovers should take is to Biloxi, Mississippi, where they’ll find a wonderfully restored lighthouse right in the median of a four-lane highway! Biloxi Lighthouse was completely refurbished following Hurricane Katrina and is even featured on a US postage stamp. Fox’s RV Park is close to the lighthouse, and all the attractions of this Gulf Coast city.

Florida Lighthouses
A number of lighthouses dot the shoreline of Florida, on both the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts. Pensacola Lighthouse is the perfect place to travel by RV with children, because they’ll love the history exhibits, moonlight tours and ghost hunts! Park your RV at Playa del Rio RV Resort and Yacht Club, then visit the lighthouse and come back to the white sand beach adjacent to this Pensacola campground.

Boca Grande Lighthouse

Boca Grande Lighthouse

Gasparilla Island State Park, on a barrier island off Florida’s Gulf shore, is home to Boca Grande Lighthouse. This unusual “lighthouse on stilts” has been completely restored by a local historical society and offers tours and events year-round.

One more fascinating Florida Gulf Coast lighthouse to visit is on Egmont Key, accessible only by private charter boat. Having been struck by lightning, pounded by hurricanes and fought over by Union and Confederate forces, this quiet monument now stands as a reminder of Florida’s early history.

Louisiana Lighthouses
Now on the grounds of the University of New Orleans, the Port Pontchartrain Lighthouse is closed for tours, but you can hike the shoreline and photograph to your heart’s content. On the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain, you’ll also find historic Tchefuncte River Lighthouse, best reached by lake excursion boat. Beautiful Tchefuncte RV Campground, on the banks of the river is right in the heart of New Orleans area attractions.

Feeling enlightened? It’s never too early to start planning your next Gulf Coast lighthouse RV trip. Go to El Monte RV Rentals to find the most convenient RV rentals location. It’s time to follow America’s great lights to the perfect RV camping vacation.

To find more lightouses check out this great resource: The Lighthouse Directory.

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