RV’ing For Thanksgiving Holiday Special

You may already be thinking about Thanksgiving… is it going to be the same old thing with way too many sweet potatoes and too much food in an atmosphere of gluttony with your family? Why not make it a special holiday this year by taking advantage of El Monte RV’s special Thanksgiving offer? Check out all the details of our RV rental special and how you can save money on the rental of an El Monte RV at all our nationwide locations.

To help make your Thanksgiving special, this is an RV rental special for rentals with pickup dates between November 1 and November 30. Rent for 4 nights or more and get double the miles free!  That’s 100 free miles per night!

Go out of town in an RV and take your ready-made accommodations with you so you don’t need to crowd into your relative’s house. Or make it a longer trip and enjoy some picturesque fall scenery and changing leaves on your way to or from your destination.

Or, consider, as host of the Thanksgiving feast, having an extra private space for your guests. Either way, an RV provides the perfect accommodation for you, your friends and family.

Ideas to Help Celebrate Thanksgiving

Here are some ideas to help you celebrate being together with your family and giving thanks for all you have to be thankful for.

Traditional Thanksgiving feast

Traditional Thanksgiving feast

Check out these award winning menus if you happen to be the host (and the cook) for your family’s gathering. Choose from 28 easy-to-make complete Thanksgiving menus here. Or try a vegan Thanksgiving feast; see suggested vegan menus and shopping list here.

Possible Touring Destinations

If you want to get out on the open road, consider traveling during Thanksgiving to these destinations.

Mid-Atlantic States: What about a visit to the Gettysburg Battlefield? This is a picturesque place to visit and experience a huge history lesson before the weather gets too cold to stroll on the battlefield. If it’s cold, you can drive through a self-guided tour of most of the key sites of this historic location. You can rent an RV from our Baltimore rental location which is only about one and a half hours from Gettysburg.

Northwest States: Try a visit along the trail first traveled by Lewis and Clark as they led American explorers across the country. Leaving from the mouth of the Missouri River, the Corps of Discovery made it all the way to the Pacific Ocean and back. Their journey was almost 8,000 miles long and took them two years to make. Wherever you may be, you can find parts of the Lewis and Clark Trail in Omaha, Nebraska, where the Trail Headquarters is located, all the way to the mouth of the Columbia River in Oregon. See more details about their amazing journey and trail maps and locations of visitor centers and museums here.

To rent from our Ferndale, Washington location, click here.

Enjoy your Thanksgiving wherever you spend it and be grateful for all you have. Take advantage of our Thanksgiving special at all our nationwide locations.

Happy Thanksgiving from El Monte RV!

Posted in Food RV Vacations, Historical RV Vacation, Maryland RV Camping Vacation, Washington RV Camping Vacation | Leave a comment

Let’s explore some “NEW” places to visit during 2018!

Our first adventure takes us to “NEW” Hampshire…

 White Mountain National Forest 

The White Mountain National Forest in eastern New Hampshire and western Maine features Mt. Washington, the highest peak north of the Smokey Mountains and east of the Mississippi River.   Established in 1918 as part of the National Parks System after years of unregulated logging and forest fires ravaged the landscape, this park has grown to almost 800,000 acres of pristine forest land. The park is open is open year round and hosts up to 6 million visitors annually.

Mt. Washington in New Hampshire

Mt. Washington in New Hampshire

Hike to the peak of Mt. Washington on a clear day and you may be rewarded with a panoramic view of 100 miles of beautiful hardwood forests, sparkling mountain lakes, and wandering streams.


What to see/do while you are visiting:

Are you a history buff or just fascinated by the way people lived a hundred years ago?

  • visit a 19th century farmhouse

The Russell-Colbath House is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  Step back in time as a docent guides you through this historical museum. You will learn about life in the Passaconaway Valley, examine artifacts, and view furnishings from this time period. Located on the Kancamagus Highway in Albany, NH. Contact the Saco Ranger District for hours and more information. (Open seasonally)

Touring a house/museum not your idea of learning about history?

  • explore the wilderness-

Then you will want to explore the great out of doors and visit the backwoods along the many hiking trails. Here you can discover the crumbling remains of a logging camp or an old mill dam. You may stumble across some railroad tracks. What would it have been like to ride a logging train?  Perhaps you will find the remains of a wilderness family’s home. Can’t you just imagine what life might have been like a hundred years ago for these people?

Would you rather explore by vehicle?

  • take a drive-

Hop in the RV with the family and take a leisurely drive down the Kancamagus Scenic Byway, which locals refer to as the “Kanc”. This route is considered by many to be one of the most beautiful routes through New Hampshire’s White Mountains. It is very popular during the autumn “leaf season” so make plans now for next fall or perhaps you would want to explore in the winter wonderland.

Winter Recreation your passion?

  • bundle up for some outdoor fun-

If you are not afraid of the arctic weather and speed excites you, then check out snowmobiling, snowboarding, sledding, tubing, or alpine skiing which are all available at White Mountain National Park. If you prefer a somewhat slower pace, but the chill factor is still mandatory, check out cross country skiing or snowshoe hiking. Whatever route you choose, bundle up and stay warm!

After a day exploring White Mountain National Park in scenic New Hampshire, head back to your comfy home away from home and curl up with a good book and a mug of hot tea or chocolate. There is always something new to explore the next day.

Stay tuned for our next “NEW” adventure!  Where will we explore next?

There are many different campgrounds in White Mountain National Park, but Hancock Campground is one that is open year round.

Hancock Campground

  • Exit 31 off Interstate 93. (Route 112); 5 miles East of Lincoln, NH.
  • Open year round
  • Plowed for winter use
  • Near Lincoln Woods Visitor Center

Before you leave for your trip:

Be sure to check out the Alerts and Notices tab on the White Mountain National Park’s  web page https://www.fs.usda.gov/main/whitemountain/home  to check for trail closings and any other important park information.

Posted in Historical RV Vacation, New Hampshire RV Camping Vacation | Leave a comment

National Historic Sites to Visit by RV—Birmingham Civil Rights and Freedom Riders Monuments

In a previous post, we mentioned that four new National Historic Sites had been recognized by the National Park Service this year. That earlier post offered RV campers the details for visiting Harriet Tubman National Historical Park in Maryland. This week, we’ve got the details on two new historic sites that tell the story of the American Civil Rights Movement. An important lesson in history and excellent RV camping nearby—isn’t it time you took the trip?

Birmingham Civil Rights National Monument

Both RV travel stops in today’s post are in Alabama, at the heart of the American Civil Rights movement. Challenge your fellow campers to read ahead of time about the role Birmingham, Alabama played in the early days of the struggle for racial equality in America.

The new Birmingham Civil Rights National Monument isn’t yet fully developed, but there’s plenty to explore when you visit. These sites are currently designated within the Monument:

  • G. Gaston Motel where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and other early leaders in the Civil Rights Movement met to plan non-violent protests and other actions to end segregation.
  • Birmingham Civil Rights Institute is located adjacent to the AG Gaston Motel. This museum and interpretive center can give you the background you’ll need to begin your tour to the other sites that make up the national monument.
  • 16th Street Baptist Church, the site of the horrific bombing in 1963 that killed four young girls and lit the spark for the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
  • Bethel Baptist Church, a short drive from the other sites, was bombed three times during the early years of the struggle for racial equality and served as the home of the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights.
  • Kelly Ingram Park, captured in history by photographers at the non-violent protests that were disrupted by violent police action.
  • 4th Avenue District, an historic neighborhood once the site of blacks-only restaurants and shops during the days of segregation. 

Freedom Riders National Monument

Two hours east of Birmingham on I-20 in Anniston, Alabama you’ll find another newly-designated National Historic Site. The Freedom Riders National Monument is dedicated to the integrated group who boarded a bus bound for the Deep South in 1961, intent on testing a court decision that had found segregated transportation unconstitutional.

In Anniston, AL, you’ll find the Greyhound Bus Station where the group was attacked by segregationists, as well as the site six miles down the highway where the bus was stopped and firebombed by a mob.

While visiting these two designated sites within the National Monument, take the time to follow the Anniston Civil Rights Trail, a walking tour that highlights the importance of this small Eastern Alabama town during the Civil Rights Movement.

Birmingham Area RV Camping

Where to camp in this historically rich area? Oak Mountain State Park, just south of Birmingham off I-65, offers Alabama RV travelers a wonderful place to recharge. With both 30-amp water and electric sites and primitive campsites, you can choose your setting while enjoying the numerous amenities this park features. Two recreational lakes with cable skiing and boat rentals, a golf course and miles of hiking and biking trails are just the beginning of the ways you’ll find to unwind while camping in the Birmingham area. If you’re up for a climb, the state park’s Peavine Falls is a photographer’s dream.

Make an RV trip to Alabama to find the roots of the American Civil Rights Movement, and to enjoy the beauty and hospitality of Birmingham area campgrounds. We can help with an RV rental, and we hope our posts inspire you to seek out the places that tell the story of our nation’s past.

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Historic Sites to Visit by RV—Harriet Tubman National Historical Park

Traveling by RV to visit National Historic Sites is a wonderful way to introduce your family to American history. By combining the joys of RV camping with visits to sites preserved by the National Park Service for their historic significance, your RV camping trips take on a whole new level of meaning.

Speaking of new, the National Park Service has designated four new National Historic Sites in 2017 that are well-worth an RV camping trip to visit. In this post, we’ll visit the first and most northern of those sites—the Harriet Tubman National Historical Park in Auburn, NY.

Harriet Tubman

Harriet Tubman

The Harriet Tubman NHP is a collection of structures that tell the story of the amazing escaped slave who led other slaves to freedom along the Underground Railroad. Auburn, NY is located in the Finger Lakes Region, just south of the Canadian border. Traveling there by RV is easy, as Auburn is near the stretch of I-90 that runs between Buffalo and Albany.

What Will We See There?

In Auburn, you can visit the Harriet Tubman Residence where this extraordinary woman lived in her later life. Another important site within the National Historical Park is the Tubman Home for the Aged, established on land she donated, for the care of elderly and infirm people of color. Another historically significant site within the Harriet Tubman NHP is the Visitor Center, where you can learn more about this complex hero of both emancipation and the women’s suffrage movement.

Make a third stop at the Thompson Memorial AME Church within the grounds of the NHP to understand how a deep faith in God drove Tubman to incredible acts of bravery. A last stop RV travelers can make to complete their knowledge about Harriet Tubman is to her gravesite at Fort Hill Cemetery, outside the National Historical Park but nearby in the same town of Auburn, NY.

Bonus Tip for Families: Having trouble keeping kids interested on the road? Challenge ‘tweens and teens to dive deeper into Tubman’s story before you arrive at the NHP. They’ll soon learn she was the first woman to lead an armed raid during the Civil War. Come up with some kind of bonus for being able to tell the rest of the family about the remarkable night when seven-hundred slaves were set free.

Where Can We Camp?

Located on Lake Owasso, Auburn is centrally located for excellent RV camping possibilities. You could choose to stay close to the Finger Lakes by camping twenty minutes from Auburn at Twin Oaks Campground on Cayuga Lake. Another highly-recommended camping spot, Hejamada Campground & RV Park, is a fifteen minute drive away in Port Byron.

For RV travelers who love the beach, head north to the shores of Lake Ontario, about an hour away from Auburn, to find numerous private campgrounds as well as Fair Haven Beach State Park. In addition to two sandy beaches, RV campers there can enjoy hiking trails, boat rentals and a pleasantly-wooded campground with standard electric sites.

Traveling by RV to Auburn, NY can be your family’s best opportunity to understand the tenacious woman known as ‘Moses’ who lead slaves to freedom. The RV campgrounds in the area surrounding Harriet Tubman National Historical Park make the journey even more inviting, and an RV rental will help keep it affordable. Make this trip a part of your RV camping plans this year.

Posted in Historical RV Vacation, New York RV Camping Vacation, State Parks | Leave a comment

Charleston RV Camping – an Autumn Adventure

Have you experienced the Southern charm of Charleston by RV? South Carolina’s coastal gem is a wonderful place to visit in autumn. Why not use these travel tips to start planning your own RV camping excursion to Charleston?

What to Do on Your Charleston, SC RV Trip

Once you’ve arrived in Charleston, the hard part will be narrowing down the attractions you’ll have time to visit. Allow us to help you with advance planning by making a few suggestions.

Charleston Harbor offers RV travelers of all ages enough attractions to fill a vacation.

Fort Sumter, South Carolina

Fort Sumter, South Carolina

Don’t miss a tour of Fort Sumter, scene of the Civil War’s beginning,
St. Michael’s Episcopal Church of Revolutionary War fame and the USS Yorktown, a WWII aircraft carrier docked at Patriot’s Point. Those are just three of the highlights of the city’s famed harbor tours.

Boone Hall Plantation, founded in 1681, is a magnificent example of Southern plantation life. Take the guided tour and stroll beneath the archway formed by two-hundred-seventy-year-old oaks. A ‘don’t miss’ for Southern history buffs.

Battery Park, a beautiful spot along Charleston Harbor, is rich with live oaks, war memorials and wide, graceful walkways. It also offers unforgettable views of the Harbor attractions.

Charleston City Market, housed in a fabulous Greek Revival Great Hall and connecting open air ‘sheds’, is considered the city’s cultural center. Hundreds of craftsmen, artisans and vendors offer their wares every day except Christmas, and weekend nights, as well. Eat, shop and otherwise immerse yourself in the best Charleston has to offer.

Sullivan’s Island, in Charleston Harbor, lures visitors to the area with its windswept beaches, a much-photographed lighthouse and a nice casual dining district sure to please anyone’s palate.

The Citadel, Charleston’s military college founded in 1842, is beloved local institution. Tour the school’s picturesque campus and don’t miss the stirring Friday afternoon parade. 

One more plus for motorhome travelers planning to stay in Charleston is the variety of convenient places to set up camp. From John’s Island to a scenic county park, you’re sure to love the location. Use this list to start your search for your perfect Charleston area RV campground.

With temperatures in the seventies well into November, there’s no better time to lose yourself in the Southern charm of Charleston. Enjoy the hospitality of a local RV campground and make time to stroll Battery Park and take a tour of harbor attractions. Indulge in the pleasures of the famed City Market and make a day of discovering Sullivan’s Island. And don’t miss the historical significance of the city’s many forts, the Citadel and beautiful Boone Hall and Gardens.

Let us know how we can help make your RV camping trip to Charleston, SC even better with an RV rental. We’d love to hear what you discover when you visit this coastal gem!

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Fort Sumter – An Autumn RV Camping Destination Charleston, South Carolina RV Camping

Charleston, SC hosts a wealth of historic attractions, and Charleston RV campers will definitely want to visit Fort Sumter, where the first shots of the Civil War were fired.

Autumn RV camping fans, in particular, are going to enjoy temperate weather as they explore fascinating Fort Sumter National Monument. Temperatures in the seventies are typical for October and November, allowing comfortable motorhome camping in the heart of Southern history.

Fort Sumter, SC

Fort Sumter, SC

You may not know, if you haven’t visited the Charleston area by RV, that the full historic military experience actually includes several locations. You’ll first want to visit Fort Sumter National Monument itself, accessible by tour boats departing from South Carolina Aquarium on Charleston’s Liberty Square or Patriots Point in Mount Pleasant, SC.

At the Fort, you’ll learn not only how this iconic fortress was built, but also the part it played first as a Union fortification and later as a symbol of Confederate might as the Civil War raged on.

And don’t miss the chance to visit Fort Moultrie on Sullivan’s Island. There’s plenty of history to be found there, since this fort, rebuilt several times, played a role from America’s first Revolution through both World Wars.

Charleston RV campers who want the full Fort Sumter experience should also visit the Fort Sumter Visitor Education Center in Charleston’s Liberty Square. It contains a treasure trove of information about why, how and when the Civil War and its battles were fought.

And as you’re soaking up all that Civil War history on your Charleston RV camping trip, take time to enjoy the beauty of South Carolina’s Atlantic Coast. A wonderful place to find both beauty and history in Charleston is Magnolia Plantation and Gardens. If you have the time to tour two plantations, be sure to visit Boone Hall Plantation, established in 1681.

The city of Charleston itself is a beautiful place to tour, on your own or on one of the many guided tours. You won’t know where to turn next, surrounded by eighteenth century homes, magnificent churches and public buildings and the historic City Market, open year-round.

We can’t leave without mentioning the abundance of Charleston RV campgrounds, convenient to Fort Sumter and the wonders of Charleston Harbor. Here are just a few to consider:

RV Campground at the County Park at James Island

Lake Aire RV Park – Hollywood, SC

Oak Plantation Campground – John’s Island

Mount Pleasant/Charleston KOA

Coastal South Carolina RV camping is an experience all our readers should enjoy at least once. Come to Charleston by RV this fall and find out why Fort Sumter National Monument and this Southern city’s historic treasures continue to draw visitors from around the globe.

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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 motorhome 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 Connecticut RV Camping Vacation, Historical RV Vacation | Leave a comment

Time Travel: An Historical RV Adventure in Gettysburg, PA

Monument at Gettysburg National Battlefield Park

Monument at Gettysburg National Battlefield Park

Blue mountains float against a meadow sea, a split-rail fence marking the rolling hills. Hard to imagine that this peaceful site along the southern Pennsylvania border once witnessed the deadliest battle fought on American soil. But with Gettysburg’s grand collection of museums, monuments, and memorials, visitors easily come to understand the big history surrounding this small town. While the famous battle lasted three days, tourists could spend a week taking in all this destination offers (though you can see plenty in a weekend). So whether you’re looking for a full course on the Civil War story or seeking a summary of this chapter in our country’s history, point your camper towards the Keystone State (gain easy access to Gettysburg from interstates 81 and 83) for a fascinating trip into the past.


Before entering the 6,000-acre Gettysburg National Military Park, get some background knowledge at The Gettysburg History Center, where a nifty light and sound show narrates the epic 1893 battle. A scale diorama of the landscape also helps illustrate the full picture of this moment in the war. (For more 3D displays, also make your way to the Lincoln Train Museum and the Soldiers National Museum.)

Gettysburg National Military Park Visitors Center and Museum

Gettysburg National Military Park Visitors Center and Museum

It’s best to budget a full day to tour the battlefield park, which encompasses McPherson Ridge, Little Round Top, a Civil War house, the Soldiers’ National Cemetery, and more. Begin at the Museum and Visitor Center, where you can pick up a self-guided auto tour or purchase an audio tour to narrate your journey through the sites. For an up-close adventure, visitors can join a ranger-led walking tour or tackle the 40 miles of battlefield road by bike.

Each July brings the Annual Gettysburg Civil War Battle Reenactments, complete with live mortar fire demonstrations; an expansive living history village with family-friendly activities; and period costumes, shopping, and food. (With a quick calculation, you’ll realize that park is gearing up for its 150th anniversary celebration in 2013, which promises to be a grand commemoration, so plan accordingly.)

Continue your journey back in time in downtown Gettysburg, where you’ll discover two unique sites along Baltimore Street. Costumed docents at the Shriver House Museum guide patrons through one family’s experiences during the 1893 battle, with artifacts like live bullet cartridges and medical supplies to enhance their account. At the preserved Jennie Wade House and Museum, home to the battle’s one citizen casualty, authentic furnishings give visitors a look into city life during the war.

Not all of Gettysburg’s history is rooted in the Civil War, however. At the Eisenhower National Historic Site adjacent to the battlefield, take a self-guided tour of the 34th President’s house and farm, including the putting green, rose gardens, and skeet range. You can also screen a short video about Eisenhower’s life or a 30-minute program titled “Ike and the Men of D-Day.” And for a curious take on living history, stop into the Hall of Presidents and First Ladies, where a distinctive wax statue collection tells the tales of our country’s government leaders.


With so much to do, plan to stay in the area for at least two nights. Artillery Ridge offers drive-thru camping sites adjacent to Gettysburg National Military Park, along with a pool, paddleboats, and other recreational opportunities hookups, as well as full amenities. Round Top Campground and Gettysburg Battlefield Resort are also located at the southern end of the park. To stay nearer town, check into Drummer Boy Camping Resort (to the east on Hanover Rd.) or Gettysburg Campground (to the west on Fairfield Rd.)

If you prefer a more rustic setting, hit the roads outside Gettysburg. In about 30 minutes, you can reach York County’s Codorus State Park to the east or the mountainous Caledonia State Park to the west. Each offers plenty of sites and will immerse you in the lush landscapes for which the region is known.


For casual and quick eats, stop into one of the town’s best diners (I recommend Ernie’s, Lincoln Diner, and The Avenue). For a taste of history, try the Victorian tavern at the historic Farnsworth House Inn or the candlelit colonial Dobbin House restaurant.

Gettysburg also sits directly below the Pennsylvania “Fruit Belt,” which is ripe with orchards and vineyards. Travel Route 30 west to find the seasonal Historic Round Barn and Farm Market, which sells a variety of apples, peaches, and nectarines, along with other gifts and goodies, inside a 1914 Shaker barrel barn.

Nearby, Adams County Winery produces award-winning vintages in the South Mountains. Here you can take in apple, peach, and pear orchards; walk through the vineyards and winery tucked inside a 19th-century Pennsylvania bank barn; and enjoy free samples. Just up the road at the Hauser Estate Winery, sit back and sip inside the glass-enclosed tasting room that overlooks orchards, forests, and farmland.


On your way out of town, consider cruising east into Lancaster County to explore Pennsylvania Dutch Country. Learn about the Amish way of life, make way for horse-drawn carriages, and shop for handmade quilts and wares.

If you prefer a faster pace and the conditions are cool, try Liberty Mountain Resort in Carroll Valley for powdery snow skiing, boarding, and tubing.

And for a larger picture of Civil War history, point your RV north to Harrisburg and visit the National Civil War Museum, which studies the events and emotions surrounding the battles of Bull Run, Shiloh, Vicksburg, Chancellorsville, Wilderness, Antietam, and Gettysburg.

Picture credits: The picture of the Monument at Gettysburg National Battlefield Park is from the Gettysburg National Military Park. It is in the public domain. The picture of the Gettysburg National Military Park Visitors Center and Museum is from the National Scenic Byways Program website. It is by Bill Dowling and courtesy of Gettysburg National Military Park. It is in the public domain.

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

Travel the Ohio River Scenic Byway on an RV Vacation

Ohio River in the Fall

Ohio River in the Fall

Take off through the beautiful state of Ohio on the Ohio River Scenic Byway for an RV vacation to remember. You can travel the entire 943 miles through Ohio, Indiana and Illinois, or you can start out just exploring Ohio. Rich in history and full of marvelous views, this drive will allow you to enjoy the rural landscapes and small towns in a unique trip across our lovely American land.

Begin your trip in North Bend, Indiana as you won’t want to miss seeing the Harrison Tomb with its beautiful design of marble and limestone. Views are spectacular here of the Ohio Valley. Move on to Cincinnati where you simply must stop at the Harriet Beecher Stowe House. This is a taste of history regarding the abolitionists, the Underground Railroad and much more. You will discover plenty to do in downtown throughout the summer with various cultural events occurring.

While in Cincinnati there are more extras as far as attractions go, like the Carew Tower and the Museum Center at Union Terminal. But you are going to want to move on to enjoy the remaining sights along the Ohio River Scenic Byway. Next stop will be Georgetown, Ohio, the spot where you can see Ulysses S. Grant’s boyhood home.

In Ripley, the Rankin House is a must-see for history buffs. Around 2,000 slaves were hidden as the Underground Railroad moved them to freedom. This National Historic Landmark is definitely worth a stop. Other places you may want to visit are Carolyn’s House of Mini Rooms Museum with tiny rooms based on various themes and the famous Ripley Museum.

Next stop – Portsmouth. Pick up some antiques while here because this town undoubtedly has some of the best. Browsing the shops is just as much fun as buying, but once you get started you won’t want to stop. Drive out and have a picnic at Alexandria Point where two rivers meet. Forest land is all around for outdoor recreation.

When you reach Gallipolis, visit Our House State Memorial for an education on the rich history of this region, and experience this French Art Colony by walking the streets and absorbing the ambience. After a relaxing time here, move on to Marietta. This city offers many interesting sights but top among them are the Mounds of Marietta, ancient Indian earthworks.

You are reaching the end of this phase of your Ohio River adventure, but take time to enjoy Steubenville and tour Historic Fort Steuben. There are many murals on the walls of this town’s buildings which may provide some memorable photos. Then in Wellsville, stop at the Wellsville River Museum and a short distance from town, see the Museum of Ceramics in East Liverpool. You have had quite a trip, but a fulfilling one. You can return again to enjoy the beauty of Ohio or you can continue your journey into and through other states. The choice is yours!

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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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