RVing RoadTrip: Exploring Lancaster PA

Lancaster PA Farmland

Horse drawn buggies, clip-clopping along country roads. Bonneted Amish girls tending garden by a roadside farmhouse. Bearded men in wide brimmed hats harvesting from rolling green fields.These sights are what many imagine they will come across as they pull into a campground in Lancaster Pennsylvania. These quaint snapshots of a simpler time can be found in this Southeastern Pennsylvania County, but the area has much more to offer to those visiting Lancaster and it’s surrounds by RV.  Let’s check out the History and Culture, Performing Arts, Foodie Finds, some of the interesting sights to see, and awesome shopping to be experienced.

History and Culture

The Amish and Mennonite Communities have shaped Lancaster, and their influences Amish community in PAare evident as you travel the country roads, past family farms, quaint schoolhouses and roadside farmers markets. The Amish have no cars, no phones, and no electricity  in their homes. To learn more about “The Plain People” take an Amish Buggy tour, and explore Amish Farmland. Enjoy some Shoofly pie or tangy chow-chow from the Bird in Hand Farmers Market. Visiting these places gives plenty of opportunity to talk with the people that live their life simply, and learn the storied history of the families that first settled the County.

Taking in some Performing Arts

Theater and music are alive and well in Lancaster. Whether you want a large scale show or something more intimate, enjoy comedy or drama, all can be found in Lancaster County. For large scale pageantry of biblical proportions, visit the Sight and Sound Theater with over 2000 seats, The American Music Theater features top country music and comedy stars. Rainbow Dinner Theater has offered Comedy Dinner Theater to families for over 30 years. For theater with local flair, the The Amish Experience at Plain & Fancy Farm is home to the only “experiential” theater on the East coast. Want to be interactive with your theater experience? Try the seasonal  Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire and become one of the Lords or Ladies of the Manor. Smaller, eclectic venues like PRIMA or Tellus360 offer folksy blues or funk rock vibe in a tavern setting. Click here for a list of Performing Arts venues.

Sights not to Miss

Besides Lancaster’s historic and artistic sides, there are other experiences to  take in. For young kids, check in at Dutch Wonderland Theme Park for kid friendly rides, shows, and adventures. Take a Steam train ride through the countryside at Strasburg Railroad and after, tour through the Pennsylvania Railroad Museum across the road. The National Christmas Museum keeps the holiday spirit alive throughout the year. Two motorsports venues offer either drag racing at Maple Grove Raceway or Buck Motorsports for tractor pulls, mud bogging, and demolition derbys.

Foodie Finds

There are plenty of choices for those who love to tantalize their taste buds. There is no reason to stop at one of the national food places, even though they are plentiful in the Lancaster area. Instead, Lancaster offers comfort food from family style buffets such as Shady Maple, Yoders, and Millers Smorgasbords all which feature plenty of local favorites.  Lancaster has a growing wine, brew and distilling industry. Stop into one of the great brew pubs like Lancaster, Spring House, or Iron Hill Brewing and sample a  local flight of robust stout or pale ale to complement a meal of flavorful ingredients locally grown.. For breakfast or dessert, indulge in some French influence with Rachel’s Cafe & Creperie or the delightful treats of Carmen & David’s Creamery. Check here for a comprehensive listing of foodie finds.

Foodie Tours include the Turkey Hill Experience, to learn how ice cream is made, Intercourse Pretzel Factory Tour, to see and taste a variety of pretzels, and Herr’s Snacks Factory Tour to see how potato chips are made, and taste them fresh off the line. Lancaster is the Land of Yum!

Shopping

Shopping in Lancaster, PALancaster is a mecca for those that love to “shop till they drop” Two shopping Outlets are only a mile or so apart from each other. Rockvale has more than 80 stores featuring high-end, premium brands, and  nine restaurants conveniently located right inside the outlet complex. Tanger though smaller, offers upscale retailers like Coach, Movado, and Talbots.

Besides the outlets, there is Central Market, the country’s oldest continuously operating farmers market. Kitchen Kettle Village offers unique shoppes with local, handcrafted items. Goods Store offers a genuine Pennsylvania Dutch shopping experience – where locals shop for great prices and good service. For those that enjoy thrifting one of the best is Re-Uzit whose mission is to support charity and is operated by the Mennonite Community. The multi-level building is more like shopping in a small department store than a thrift store. For a list of Lancaster’s shopping experiences, click in here

Where to Stay

Lancaster has some beautiful campgrounds to settle into while visiting the area. To stay surrounded by Amish farmland, Country Acres open year round offers sites right next to a working Amish farm. They also offer FREE area bus tours to campground guests. Flory’s is a quaint campground nestled between a working farm and local homes. Local farmers regularly visit to sell fresh produce. Lake-in-Wood Resort is “Home to the Gnomes” with a woodland gnome theme the resort is family friendly, includes a full service cafe, and well stocked camp store. To really feel pampered, check in to Spring Gulch, which has a full service Day Spa. There are plenty of other campgrounds to stay close to your favorite attractions. Here is a current list of RV resorts and campgrounds.

Other Destinations Close by

Head North to take in the sights, tastes, and smells of Hershey Pennsylvania, home of the famous chocolate still made there. Point your RV South to experience the beauty of the Brandywine Valley. If you’re travelling East you will come across Valley Forge and learn of the Colonies Revolutionary War for independence, West toward the setting sun to see Civil War History come alive at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Which ever way you head – it’s better when you are going RVing!

 

Mike Karl guest blogging for Monty’s Musings -The Motorhome Travel Blog – El Monte RV

About Mike Karl – Also known as RoadAbode, Mike is a ten year RVer and writer of all things dealing with the RV Lifestyle. He is a regular contributor to the RV.net and Reddit GoRVing Forums. His blog “The Adventures and Travels of RoadAbode” relates personal travel experiences with friends and family in RoadAbode, his Class C RV – previously a rental. Other topics include RV updates, and reviews of RV resorts, products and destinations. Go to www.roadabode.us to read more, or contact Mike. Subscribe to the RoadAbode newsletter for a link to a FREE downloadable RVing LifeStyle Cookbook!

Photograph credits:

The picture of Amish Farmland  is from Wikipedia and is in the public domain.

The picture of Amish Children is from Wikipedia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

The picture of Central Market in Lancaster PA is from Wikipedia and is in the public domain

 

 

Posted in Pennsylvania RV Camping Vacation, Pennsylvania RV Trip, RV Destinations blog, RV Vacation, RV Vacation Ideas | 1 Comment

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.

 Monty the MotorhomePhoto credit:  Smuggler’s Cove, Ft. Meyer’s by Jason Helle, licensed under Flickr Creative Commons

Posted in East Coast RV Travel, Family RV vacations, Florida, Florida RV Camping Vacation, florida vacation, RV Camping Resources, RV coastal trip, RV destination, RV Destinations blog, RV Rental, RV Rentals, RV Sales, RV Vacation, RV Vacation Ideas, RV Vacations Southern States, RV Winter Vacations, United States RV Vacation, USA travel, Vacation Adventures, Vacation Planning | Leave a comment

Long Beach RV Camping Idea – A Week of Golf

Admit it, you’re ready to hit the road for Autumn RV camping!  Well we’ve got just the idea if your plans are taking you to Long Beach, California.  Why not spend a week playing golf at this SoCal city’s excellent public golf courses, with comfortable RV camping as a bonus?

Golfing Vacation via an RV:  A Novel Idea

Golfing Vacation via an RV

Here’s how to start: pack your clubs and your favorite golf apparel, rent an RV if you don’t own your own and make reservations at one or more Long Beach area RV campgrounds.  Need suggestions?  Here are just a few of the RV parks close enough to be home base for your Long Beach RV golf week:

Golden Shore RV Resort – Long Beach, CA

Anaheim Harbor RV Park – Anaheim, CA

Orangeland RV Park – Orange, CA

 

Long Beach Golf Courses

Now that you’ve found a place to camp for the week, let’s get started on mapping a week of awesome Long Beach golf!  Lucky for you, the city of Long Beach is blessed with no less than five public golf courses.

So, start your planning by checking for tee times at Skylinks at Long Beach Golf Course, an 18-hole links style course designed by Cal Olson.  Located just off the 405, it’s easy to reach from your RV campground.
For another memorable Long Beach golf experience, book a tee time at El Dorado Park Golf Course.  Beautifully landscaped, this is a highly rated, full service facility.  Definitely a great play in autumn, but equally enjoyable year-round!

You should also check out the greens at Heartwell Golf Course, easy to reach from three major highways.  Get there early and take advantage of the driving range, then get in 18 holes with tee times from 5 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Getting excited yet?  RV camping in Long Beach is always enjoyable, with so many interesting activities close by.  From cruising on the Queen Mary to exploring the fascinating Aquarium of the Pacific, visitors to Long Beach are never bored.

But this time we’re focusing on golf, so let’s keep going on what this city has to offer golfers!

Before you leave Long Beach, don’t miss the chance to play a classic course that’s challenged golfers for more than a century. Play 18 holes on a course designed in 1910, Recreation Park 18. And don’t forget to visit the pro shop!

One more place you’ll want to get in some golf which visiting Long Beach is Recreation Park 9. Also known as “Little Rec”, this 9-hole course offers $10 twilight play, making your RV golf week incredibly affordable!

It’s going to be a great week, playing golf in beautiful Southern California.  Getting there by RV, no matter where you start, makes the time even more memorable.

It’s time to get going!  Rent a luxurious RV, book your dates at a Long Beach area campground and reserve your tee times for any or all of these five public courses.  We have a feeling Long Beach RV golf is going to become one of your favorite Fall and Winter camping activities!

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 credit:  by Chispita_666 licensed under Flickr Commons

Posted in CA, CA Vacation, California RV Camping, California vacations, California winter vacation, Golf, Golf RV Vacation, Green RV'ing, RV destination, RV Destinations blog, RV Golf Resort Vacation, RV Golf Resorts, RV Rentals, RV Resort Vacations, RV Sales, RV Vacation Ideas, Vacation Planning | Leave a comment

Harvest Hosts Upgrades the Way RVers Travel in the U.S.

As much as we all love RV vacationing, there are certain challenges that come with this method of travel.  For instance, where to spend the evening on the road when traveling far distances from one location to the next is a common challenge for every RV traveler!  Many RV vacationers may not be aware of their choices in overcoming this challenge of finding a convenient and beautiful place to stay the night while in transition from one destination to the next.  Even if there are amazing sites and attractions nearby, spending night after night in Wal-Mart parking lots can become less than desirable.  And during the peak vacation season, finding an available campsite is not always possible.  Discover another and far better over-night camping option you now have with Harvest Hosts!

HARVEST HOSTS Winery Participant in Nottingham, New York

HARVEST HOSTS Winery Partner

Harvest Hosts is changing all of that.  Harvest Hosts is a program where wineries, farms, and breweries from all over the country open their gates to you for overnight dry camping.  Seasoned RV travelers Kim and Don Greene started this luxury-style camping concept in the U.S. after driving over 200,000 miles by RV all over the world.  They found that it was common for wineries and farms in Europe to host travelers overnight, but nothing similar existed in the United States. In true entrepreneurial spirit, they started their own version of a European hosting association.

From their small and localized upstart with locations only in California, Oregon, and Washington, Harvest Hosts has expanded to include numerous locations across the continental United States, Canada, and even Baja California in Mexico!  The program requires a nominal $40 membership fee for the entire year, giving you money-saving access to travel across North America without paying a cent for camping or parking!

Taste and Experience the Pleasure of RV Road Traveler!

Taste and Experience the Pleasure of the RV Road Traveler!

In return, these small (usually family-run) businesses simply ask that you purchase a bottle of wine or some of their other homemade goods.  Sampling local vintages and farm produce is already on the to-do list for most RV vacationers, so it’s a small price to pay for the great company and amazing locations available.  Free overnight parking added into the activities that you were already planning on is too good to pass up!  There’s really nothing like watching a sunset and sharing a glass of wine with the people that made it.

Once becoming a member, you can search through interactive maps that show available hosts and the amenities that they provide.  It’s a good idea to call ahead to make sure that the farm or winery you have in mind actually has space for you, though.  Many of the hosts are small-time operations that may not accommodate a large number of vehicles at one time.  That’s part of the charm, however.  Instead of an endless sea of RVs, you get the experience of potentially being your host’s only guest!  There’s nothing like waking up to a beautiful morning and being greeted only by the sound of the wind in the trees and farm animals starting their day.

Another benefit to being a member is access to a handy app that helps you find locations along the routes you are planning to take.  You can also use online forums where you may ask questions of other travelers, read up on host reviews, and even share your own vacation experiences and photos.  It’s a valuable tool for selecting the very best spots for your trip.

Overall, Harvest Hosts is providing a valuable service for small-town agricultural businesses and the RV vacationers that love to visit them.  Get out of the parking lots and start making beautiful memories and having the best RV trips of your life!

Once you’ve experienced this pleasurable and memorable RV experience, send us a few photos and we’ll happily share them with our readers and on El Monte RV’s facebook page!

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: RV at Winery by Ray & Roxanne Nottingham courtesy of Harvest Hosts and the wine and food photo by Colleen Lane is licensed under Flickr commons.

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Roll Through the Litchfield Hills in an RV

The northeast corner of our country has been populated for so long and by so many people that it can feel a bit crowded.  Many parts of New England can feel claustrophobic for travelers that want wide-open spaces.  Luckily, the Litchfield Hills of Connecticut are the perfect location to roll through while on an RV vacation!  Start out in Linden, New Jersey to pick up your RV rental at El Monte RV.  Once you’ve picked out the perfect motor home ride for your family, it’s time to hit the road!  You’ll get the chance to drive through the top of Manhattan Island, so take a good long look before you head out to the rural scenery of Litchfield Hills.  It’s a little piece of smaller-town America, not too far from all the noise and commotion of modern American cities.

Bull's Historic Covered Bridge

Historic Covered Bull’s Bridge

One of the best parts of traveling on the East Coast is reveling in the knowledge that you’re walking in the footsteps of dozens of interesting cultures, past and present.  At the Institute for American Indian Studies, you will learn about the early cultures that have lived in the Litchfield Hills over the past several thousand years.  Stroll through exhibits that show how American Indians lived or choose to participate in a dig with the Litchfield Hills Archaeology Club.  Whatever you decide to do, you’ll enjoy the experience of learning about the historical aspects of this part of the country!

Since you’re traveling by RV, your goal is to take it easy as you tour our great country.  A fantastic way to do so is by driving through some of the historic covered bridges spanning creeks and streams throughout the hills.  Some of the bridges were originally built as far back as the Revolutionary War!  As time has worn them down, the bridges have been rebuilt in the same style keeping the same look of the bridge as it was when it resupplied George Washington’s army.

After your own leisurely drive through the bridges, it’ll be time to catch a glimpse of a few fast-moving vehicles at Lime Rock Park.  This historic venue for races of all types have seen some of the greatest drivers in history pass through, including Mario Andretti and Paul Newman.  You may catch a race at the track, take racing school lessons, or simply walk around and enjoy the beautiful scenery where racing history has been made!

Another way to get out and exercise your legs is by heading over to a local road race!  June is approaching, so you’ll want to get out now and start jogging for a little pre-conditioning warm-up.  The Litchfield Hills Road Race will take you through the historic town of Litchfield and up and down several elevation changes.  Get ready, because it’s guaranteed to get your blood pumping!

After a race, you might want to sit back and listen to some great music (and have some great food while you’re at it.)  The Infinity Music Hall and Bistro is a 300-seat theater built in 1883.  It’s a fantastic venue that showcases a variety of music genres.  Catch a country music show or even an open-mic night.  Whether it’s a big ticket show or locals showing the world what they’ve got, you’re guaranteed to have a lot of fun and end your trip on a high note.

Pick up an El Monte RV motor home and roll through the Litchfield Hills!  The Northeast is calling!

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 Credit:  Bull’s Bridge by David Smith under Flickr creative common license.

Posted in blog, Connecticut RV Camping Vacation, educational trips, Family RV vacations, family trips, family vacations, Historical RV Vacation, Motor Home Camping, Motor home vacation blog, National Scenic Byways, Native American History, Pet Friendly Vacation, RV blog, RV Camping, RV destination, RV Destinations blog, RV educational trips, RV Rental, RV Rentals, RV Road Trip, RV Sales, RV Summer Vacations, RV Travel Tips, RV Vacation, RV Vacation Ideas, RV Vacation News, United States RV Vacation, USA travel, Vacation Adventures, Vacation Planning, weekend RV trips | Leave a comment

5 Best RV Camping Vacations for the Family

An RV camping vacation is the ideal get away for the entire family. You can enjoy the comforts of home as you travel and explore this great country together. RV parks can be wonderful destinations in themselves, while supplying you with a home base when visiting area attractions. Parks range from the basic rustic camp grounds to full blown luxury resorts. Whether you’re remodeling an RV, taking yours out of storage, or purchasing a new model, any one of these five vacations will be just what your family has been wanting to do!

Family Fun in an El Monte RV

Family Fun in an El Monte RV!


Florida’s Key West

Boyd’s Key West Campground offers ocean front sites that are only minutes from the action of downtown Key West and Duvall Street. This is where adults can enjoy a night out. During the day families can spend time together on the beach playing in the sand while soaking up the sun or by going for a swim in Boyd’s onsite pool. The marina opens up many more opportunities to have fun on the water. Try fishing or just simply taking in the beauty of the ocean.

California’s Red Bluff

The Durango RV Resort sits along the Sacramento River and offers high end amenities. Each site is paved and has conveniences such as high speed Wi-Fi, electricity, and cable TV. The pool and clubhouse is a great place for all ages to hang out and make new friends. Even the pets will have a great vacation with the 45 acre dog park.

South Dakota’s Hill City

Horse Thief Lake Campground is conveniently located near South Dakota’s greatest natural wonders. See the herds of buffalo roaming Custer State Park or watch the wild mustangs at the Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary. Crazy Horse, Mammoth, and Mount Rushmore are all just a short drive away. Back at the RV Park, enjoy campfires in the rings at each site or take a dip in the pool to relax. A basic goods shop makes this a convenient spot for families.

Utah’s Zion National Park

The Zion River Resort is a favorite of tourists. Many decide to stay all winter. Each site consists of a concrete pad with hook ups, Wi-Fi, and a grill. Guests can go exploring in Zion National Park as the RV resort is located at the south entrance. The red sandstone cliffs are the featured attraction here, but a short day trip to nearby Bryce Canyon National Park places you at the rim of the Grand Canyon.

Alaska’s Fairbanks

Rivers Edge RV Park in Fairbanks is a spacious and peaceful resort for families who adventure north. Alaska has much to offer families who love nature. The RV Park itself has many walking and bicycle trails that those of all ages can enjoy. A shuttle is available to take you into Fairbanks to visit the historic downtown and other top attractions such as the Alaska Pipeline. Take a Riverboat Discovery Cruise for an up close look at the Alaskan way of life or explore Pioneer Park on your own.

This post was written by Karleia Steiner, a writer for Basic Components Inc.

 

El Monte RV

El Monte RV Rentals and Sales

For more information on renting or buying a motor home CLICK HERE!

Photo Credit:  El Monte RV customer photo 2014

Posted in blog, Cost effective RV Vacation, Family RV vacations, family trips, family vacations, Motor Home Camping, Motor home vacation blog, Motorhome Camping, National Parks, National Scenic Byways, Nature travel, Nature/Sightseeing vacation, Pet Friendly Vacation, RV blog, RV Campgrounds, RV Camping Resources, RV destination, RV Destinations blog, RV Rental, RV Rentals, RV Road Trip, RV Sales, RV trail hiking trips, RV Travel Tips, RV Vacation Ideas, United States RV Vacation, Utah RV Camping Vacation, Vacation Adventures, Vacation Planning, weekend RV trips, Year-Round RV Parks | Leave a comment