Slip Away to Santa Cruz for an Early Winter RV Trip

When the Thanksgiving crowd goes home and winter is settling in, wouldn’t it be fun to slip away to Santa Cruz, California for an early winter RV trip? If you’ve never been to this city on the north shore of Monterey Bay, it’s time you did. Mild winter temperatures, beautiful natural attractions and exciting wintertime events make it the perfect place for winter RV travelers to relax and regroup.

Natural Bridges State Park

Natural Bridges State Park

The beauty of nature in the Santa Cruz area welcomes visitors to come enjoy. Natural Bridges State Beach,   for example, holds a wonderful surprise for winter travelers, in the form of thousands of Monarch butterflies migrating to its eucalyptus groves. Stroll the boardwalk and photograph these fluttering beauties to your heart’s content. What a peaceful way to spend an afternoon!

To truly let go of your stress and strain, take a day to hike the beaches and shoreline along the California Coastal National Monument. Created to preserve the diverse ecosystems both on and offshore, CCNM encourages wildlife watching, nature photography and simply soaking in the wonder of the coast as it unfolds along Hwy 1.

Man-made beauty, in the form of boats bedecked with Christmas lights and decorations, will be the star attraction for families, if you’re in town the first Saturday in December. The Lighted Boat Parade in Santa Cruz Harbor kicks off the holiday season with a splash. The kids will love it!

If you’re still having trouble getting into the holiday spirit, there’s a train for that! The Santa Cruz Holiday Lights Christmas Train departs from and returns to the Santa Cruz Boardwalk for an hour long journey through the city. Sing along with carolers, sip a little cocoa and allow yourself to believe in Santa for an hour!

And what’s a trip to Santa Cruz without exploring Monterey Bay? Whale watching tours abound, with particular interest to December visitors as thousands of Grey Whales migrate south along the Bay. Back on shore, be sure to visit the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary Interpretive Center adjacent to Santa Cruz Wharf.

Doesn’t a trip like this sound like the perfect antidote to early winter doldrums? It’s easy to plan, thanks to Santa Cruz RV rentals and an abundance of RV campgrounds in the Santa Cruz and Monterey area.

So, why not do yourself the favor of slipping away to a stunning city by the sea, where whale and butterfly watching are the most stressful things you’ll do? Santa Cruz, with miles and miles of pristine coastline to wander and plenty of tempting winter events, can become your refuge from holiday stress and the grey days of winter elsewhere.

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Lower Gulf Coast RV Getaway

Are you hoping to get away from ice, sleet and snow when you hit the road this winter? Florida’s Lower Gulf Coast offers fabulous weather, fascinating attractions and top-notch RV camping.

Ft. Meyers, Smuggler's Cove

Smuggler’s Cove

The southwestern coast of Florida centers on the sunny islands of Sanibel and Estero and the cities of Fort Myers and Naples. Whether you choose to add to your seashell collection, soak up the sun on a white sand beach or kayak down a tree-lined paddling trail, there’s a place to do it when you get here.

Ride along as we unveil the joys of RV camping on Florida’s Lower Gulf Coast!

Places to Enjoy

With more than a dozen amenity rich RV parks in the Fort Myers/Estero Island area, there’s no reason not to go right now. Find the park closest to your favorite attractions and call today for reservations.

Here are just a few of the reasons RV travelers love the laid-back beauty of the region:

    • Beaches: This sun-drenched region is a haven for beach-loving motorhome travelers. With calm seas and gentle slopes underwater, you can safely enjoy your time in the water. Just a few of the family-friendly beaches you’ll want to explore are Bowditch Point Park, Lovers Key State Park, Lynn Hall Memorial Park and Pier and Lighthouse Park Beach on nearby Sanibel Island.
    • Wildlife: Grab a kayak and paddle the Great Calusa Blueway to spot dolphins and manatees within an oar’s reach of your watercraft. Hike the trails at Estero Bay Preserve State Park for a full day of bird watching in an unspoiled setting. If you have the time, make the jump to Sanibel Island’s J.N. ‘Ding’ Darling National Wildlife Refuge. That’s where thousands of migratory birds arrive each winter, to make their home with the resident shorebirds. And did we mention the alligators?
    • Golf: Did you know that one of the biggest draws to Florida’s southwestern coast is the availability of excellent golfing? Thrill your golf playing campers with world-class opportunities to play. Here’s a useful link to golf courses in the region—reserve your tee times before you go and don’t forget the sunscreen!
    • History: Like to visit historic sites? Then Florida’s Lower Gulf Coast is your perfect winter vacation spot, with attractions like Henry Ford and Thomas Edison’s winter homes in Fort Myers, Sanibel Island Lighthouse and Estero’s Koreshan State Historic Site that includes the remnants of a 19th century utopian compound. From early Native American burial mounds to a museum of railroad history, you’ll find your history fix in the Fort Myers area.
    • Shopping: If someone in your RV camping family likes to shop, they’ll have to pace themselves, because there are literally too many outlet malls and upscale shopping districts to count. Top recommendations are legendary Miromar Outlets, the scenic Coconut Point mall in Estero and Fort Myer’s exciting River District.                        

Ready to roll your RV toward fascinating southwest Florida? We’re ready to help with RV rentals and information on local attractions. Don’t wait—experience Florida’s Lower Gulf Coast this year.

Photo credit:  Smuggler’s Cove, Ft. Meyer’s by Jason Helle, licensed under Flickr Creative Commons
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Take an RV Excursion through Cape Cod

This is the perfect time of year to take an RV trip through Cape Cod. The sea breezes are still relatively mild, the sands are warm and the crowds are beginning to thin. Take Route 6A along the Cape and enjoy the lovely landscapes, see some history and perhaps get your feet wet in Nantucket Sound or Cape Cod Bay.

Chatham, MA Cape Cod

Old Harbor Life Saving Station on Cape Cod.

Starting out in Sandwich, you will be embarking on a real adventure. Surrounded by hiking and biking trails, lovely fresh water ponds and sea, Sandwich is an ideal stop for some exploration. You will even find a golf course if you want to play a round. And you can do some whale watching or simply browse the town’s interesting shops.

Barnstable consists of a number of villages, and all are absolutely charming. There are lots of nooks and crannies to investigate, and you shouldn’t miss Centerville and Osterville for some quaint sights. While here visit the Coast Guard Heritage Museum, a former U.S. Custom House. Seeing a working blacksmith shop is a real bonus. And you should check out the oldest wooden jail in America.

Hyannis, Mass. is one of the villages of Barnstable and the largest. It is considered the hub of Cape Cod and is known internationally. This is the spot to pick up gifts for friends as it has some really unique shopping opportunities. Island ferries will take you on more adventures. Don’t miss the John F. Kennedy Museum for a look into history. Amazing photos of the Kennedy family are on display.

Yarmouth, MA will be your next stop. The Cape Cod National Seashore is waiting for you to do some beachcombing and see what small treasures you can find. The historic charm of this village will have you inspired and may even cause you to consider making your vacation longer. There is more than 350 years of history in this small location.

Next comes what may end up being your favorite beach stop, Dennis, Massachusetts. If it isn’t too cool, take a dip and fit in some time to watch for whales or other finny creatures off the shore. If you have brought a bicycle, now is your chance to take the Cape Cod Rail Trail which begins in Dennis. Ride for twenty-two miles through the many famous towns of Cape Cod.

Travel to Brewster and be sure to visit Nickerson State Park with its abundant outdoor recreation opportunities. An eight-mile bike path also connects to the Cape Cod Rail Trail. Swim, watch the birds, or hike throughout the 1900 acres. Then move on to the lovely town of Orleans, Massachusetts. The Atlantic and Cape Cod beaches are inviting, and the gorgeous views of the ocean will bring a peace and tranquility to your hectic days. If you are visiting in mid to late September, you may wish to take in some delightful film festivals while here.

Ready to turn back? We didn’t think so, but it is the end of this journey and you can enjoy the sights all over again as you head back to where you started. And you can always return again for more adventures in Cape Cod.

Picture credits: The picture of Old Harbor Life Saving Station is from the Wikimedia Commons. It is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

Posted in Massachusetts RV Camping, Massachusetts RV Camping Vacation, RV Beach Vacation, RV Vacation, RV Vacation Ideas | Tagged , | Leave a comment

RV to One of the Longest Beaches in the World

This is kindly provided by our friends at the Ocean Park Resort.

The Ocean Park Resort is located on the Long Beach Peninsula in Ocean Park Washington, just 4 blocks from the beach. The 28 mile beach on the west, Pacific Ocean, side of the peninsula is recognized as one of the longest beaches in the world.

For lighthouse lovers, the peninsula is home to two lighthouses – Cape Disappointment Lighthouse overlooking the Columbia River, which is the oldest lighthouse on the west coast, and North Head Lighthouse in Fort Canby State Park overlooking the Pacific Ocean.

The area around the resort has plenty to offer, including:

The Ocean Park Resort prides itself on friendliness. It is owner operated and customers can perceive the difference between dealing with an employee and dealing with the owner.

The park offers a motel, RV sites, guest houses, and tent sites. Other park amenities include: a seasonal heated outdoor pool, an enclosed spa, coin operated showers, restrooms, a coin laundry, a recreation hall, playground, basketball hoop, volleyball net, fish and clam cleaning area, and propane sales.

People who wish to go RV camping in the State of Washington can rent from our El Monte RV in Ferndale / Vancouver RV Rentals.

Other RV Campgrounds should feel free to share with us the wonders that may be found in and around their campground. Please send your article submissions to monty@elmonterv.com.

Posted in RV Beach Vacation, RV Campgrounds, RV Campgrounds, Washington RV Camping Vacation | Leave a comment