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.

Posted in California RV Camping Vacation, RV Beach Vacation, State Parks | Leave a comment

How to Plan the Perfect RV Camping Family Reunion

Does your family need new ideas for making your family reunions fun for all ages? Why not plan a reunion in the great outdoors, complete with RV comfort and convenience? We’ve pulled together the perfect plan for bringing your family together for an RV camping reunion.

Step 1: Family RV Inventory

Start floating the idea to one and all that you’d like to go camping for this year’s reunion. Once your relatives have agreed that camping together sounds like a blast, your next step is to find out how many motorhomes your extended family already has. You might be surprised to learn that Cousin Jerry regularly camps in a fifth-wheel and Uncle Joe has driven his Class A ‘bus style’ RV from New York to LA.

Once you’ve taken inventory of available motorhomes, you can do the next two steps—pick your location and rent RVs for the overflow.

Step 2: Pick Your Location

Asking what style motorhomes are already in the family helps you choose the right location and type of campground. Some larger RVs, for example, require 50amp hookups, so you’ll need to look for a campground with that amenity.

But the biggest consideration is what reunion activities will the family enjoy? Will your relatives want to fish, boat and swim? A lakeside campground at a scenic state park would be a great choice. If the goal is to camp close to hiking and biking trails, investigate state parks, national parks or national recreation areas with plenty of room to roam. Remember to check for on-site or nearby campgrounds that can accommodate your size of group and reserve the sites you’ll need before you go.

More thoughts on location—if your relatives love the idea of mountain camping, consider Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado or Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming. For a gathering of sun-worshipping siblings, why not book several campsites at Doheny State Beach in Dana Point, CA? We’re blessed in the USA to have national parks, state parks and camper-friendly lakes and rivers all over the map. Email some location ideas to your clan and reserve your campsites based on their top picks.

Step 3: Rent RVs for the Overflow

Some families will find that there are plenty of motorhome beds to accommodate their gathering. If you determine, however, that you’re short an RV or two, don’t panic! We’re happy to help set up RV rentals, either in your loved ones’ home cities or near your family camping destination.

Use this quick link to access the types of motorhomes we offer and where you can rent them.

Step 4: Deal with the Details

The success of any family reunion is in the details, and an RV camping reunion is no exception! With a place to gather chosen and accommodations reserved, all that’s left is to decide who will bring what and how much. Will one person purchase groceries for the group or each family bring their own? Potluck meals are always fun and give campers the chance to show off their outdoor cooking skills.

A rookie reunion camping mistake is assuming everyone will know what to bring! All it takes is a little communication to settle details such as who will bring groceries, camp stoves and utensils, what equipment is needed for group activities and any special regulations in place at your venue. If your location has a website with camping and activity information, send the link to your loved ones so they’ll know what to expect.

Planning your RV camping family reunion doesn’t have to be a full-time job. Plan together to pick a great spot, make sure you have the RVs you need and settle the details for meals and activities before you’re thirty miles from a Walmart. Because you’ve planned well, your RV camping family reunion is liable to become a cherished family tradition.

Posted in National Parks, RV Beach Vacation, RV Vacation Ideas | Leave a 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.

Photo credit:  Smuggler’s Cove, Ft. Meyer’s by Jason Helle, licensed under Flickr Creative Commons
Posted in Florida RV Camping Vacation, RV Beach Vacation | Leave a comment

An RV Camping Trip on the California Coast

There is no better time to explore the California coast than right now.  It may still be winter, but the crowds are gone and you are going to get some solitude and privacy on this western vacation.  Take an RV as your mode of transport and sleeping quarters.  You will quickly find out how thrilling a trip up the Pacific coast can be.  It is also very convenient.  Rent your RV at El Monte RV Rentals in San Diego and get ready to experience the California coast in style.

Start out in Southern California and head north.  This is going to be a trip of a lifetime, with beaches where the Pacific ocean crashes ashore, redwoods shade your picnic area in the afternoon and comfortable RV campgrounds exist all along the way.  It is great to begin your adventures in San Diego where you can take time to visit the San Diego Zoo.  If the weather is warm enough, which it most likely will be, you can beachcomb on Coronado Beach.

Entrance to San Diego Zoo

Entrance to San Diego Zoo

A little further north is a mecca of seaside amusement – Oceanside.  Take a boating tour, go jet skiing or fish from the pier.  You can play a round of golf on one of the golf courses here in Oceanside or you may enjoy visiting the California Surf Museum.  RV camping is recommended at Oceanside RV Park .  Here you’ll have easy access to all the attractions the area has to offer.

The next place on your itinerary for the California coast trip is beautiful Santa Barbara.  Besides the lovely ocean views, there are historic sites to see, shops where you can pick up unique gifts for those back home, and hiking trails to explore at El Capitan State Beach.

Everyone must visit Monterey and Big Sur at least once in their life.  Driving Big Sur is a breathtaking trip along some of the most beautiful coastline in the United States.  With lots to do in Monterey, you can stay here for some days.  Bird watchers come to try and catch a glimpse of the rare California condor.  Others come specifically to tour the Monterey Aquarium.

Big Sur Coast

Big Sur Coast

A spectacular view of ocean and coastline is available at Point Reyes National Seashore.  As you watch the waves crashing against the headlands and see the sandy beaches and lighthouse, you know you have come to the right place to get inspiration for whatever your big dream is.  It’s a place of beauty and solitude.

After visiting Eureka and absorbing some area history in Old Town, you can head to Redwood National Park to walk among the redwoods.  This is a truly unique experience if you’ve never been to the coastal redwood forests before.

This is just a taste of what awaits you on the California coast.  Pack up the kids, your friends, neighbors and relatives and head off for one super RV trip.  You will love every second.

Picture credits: photo of the San Diego Zoo and Big Sur are all licensed under the Wikimedia Creative Commons.
Posted in California RV Camping Vacation, National Parks, RV Beach Vacation, Theme Park RV Vacations | 1 Comment

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.

Old Harbor Life Saving Station on 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 Vacation, RV Beach Vacation, RV Vacation Ideas, State Parks | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Travel to Martha’s Vineyard on a Summer RV Vacation

State Beach, Oak Bluffs, Martha's Vineyard

State Beach, Oak Bluffs, Martha’s Vineyard

A summer vacation should be full of outdoor recreation, family sights and activities and lovely scenery. An RV vacation is an added bonus as your family has a great opportunity for bonding and spending quality time together. On Martha’s Vineyard you can have it all. This quaint island off of Cape Cod, Massachusetts is a wonderful destination for a family vacation.

Discover miles of beaches, a thriving art culture, outdoor fun and natural beauty. Explore the little New England villages and browse antique shops, boutiques, and enjoy delicious food. You can camp at the only campground on the island – Martha’s Vineyard Family Campground – where there are full hookups and spacious wooded sites.

Sailboat Crossing in Front of Edgartown Lighthouse

Sailboat Crossing in Front of Edgartown Lighthouse

In the seaside village of Edgartown, the shopping and harbor views simply cannot be beat. The homes date back to the early 19th century and the days of whaling. Visit South Beach and the Edgartown Lighthouse while here to get the real feel of this island paradise.

Take the Chappy Ferry from Edgartown to Chappaquiddick. The ferry is called “Chappy” because that is the shortened version of Chappaquiddick, a tranquil and isolated spot to the east where you can ride a bicycle on the many sand tracks which crisscross the island. You will need some small mode of transport to really get around, such as traveling to Cape Pogue Wildlife Refuge, but you can also hike it if you don’t mind longer distances.

Picture of the Flying Horses Carousel in Oak Bluffs, MA

Flying Horses Carousel

Next hit the beach town of Oak Bluffs and experience an old-fashioned merry-go-round, the Flying Horses Carousel, operating continuously since 1876 it is the oldest platform carousel in the United States! This National Historic Landmark is the pride and joy of the town and anyone of any age will enjoy this marvelous ride.

Gorgeous coastal views are available at Chilmark and roads lead to fishing villages where you can get seafood fresh from the sea. Be sure to have your camera ready to shoot some photos of the peaceful scenery where stone fences line the hills. Take Middle Road to get some views of the farm lying along the Atlantic shoreline.

Aquinnah Cliffs on Martha's Vineyard

Aquinnah Cliffs on Martha’s Vineyard

Aquinnah Cliffs is another must-see. Take a bus to get to these amazing cliffs and Gay Head Lighthouse. Aquinnah’s isolation makes it a great place to go to avoid any crowded tourist areas. An inspiring town to say the least!

Vineyard Haven, part of the Town of Tisbury, also boasts a lighthouse, the West Chop Lighthouse, with magnificent views. Again, be sure to have your camera ready as you’ll want to share these moments with friends back home.

Yes, Martha’s Vineyard is a place of beauty, inspiration and lots of history. This is where you can explore by foot, on a bike, or take the public transportation system to get where you want to go. At night you can settle down in your RV motorhome with the family and relive the fun you had during your day of adventures. You won’t want to leave to go home once you arrive. But you can always return once again to experience the unique and serene Martha’s Vineyard.

Picture credits: All pictures in this post are courtesy of Travel New England.

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

A Winter RV Adventure to Myrtle Beach South Carolina

Oceanfront View, Myrtle Beach Alongside Ocean Boulevard

Oceanfront View, Myrtle Beach Alongside Ocean Boulevard

Who would have thought that Myrtle Beach, South Carolina would be a wonderful winter destination for an RV adventure? It is all about the beach, right? And who is going to swim in the ocean in the wintertime? Well, Myrtle Beach is most definitely a great winter vacation spot, with plenty of attractions and fun to keep the entire family entertained for hours and days on end.

Of course, the beach is one of the best parts of Myrtle Beach. There are sixty miles of sand with the crashing waves of the Atlantic an inspiring sight. Beach combing is always fun, finding those gems among the sandy stretches. This time of year the daytime temperatures get up in the 70s and nights sink into the 50s. Ideal weather to get outside and get some sun during the day without getting too hot!

First find your RV camping spot so you can get settled in and prepare for days of fun. You may like to stay directly on the beach at Ocean Lakes Family Campground, winner of National RV Park of the Year awards over and over again. Then you should meander over to the boardwalk to get your first introduction to this marvelous place. At the long Oceanfront Boardwalk and Promenade you will truly get to discover the coastline and true beauty of this South Carolina gem.

A great treat for the kids, the Children’s Museum of SC has an abundance of exhibits that inspire the imagination. There are interactive programs that invite the little ones (and the adults) to touch explore and play. Get a little more serious about the history of our navel heroes as you explore the Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum. Learn some historic stories of honest and brave men and women.

Once done absorbing the past of this region, you may be ready for a little excitement. At Myrtle Beach Adrenaline Adventures you will never experience zipline fun like you will find here. This will get the blood flowing and the limbs nimble. Start with a 600-foot trip from one tower to another and finish off with a free-fall from the top of a 60-foot tower. A little less heart-pounding but fun nevertheless is the Myrtle Beach Skywheel. Get ready for breathtaking views.

Check out Myrtle Beach Speedway to see what events are happening during your stay. You wouldn’t want to miss any super NASCAR races or other thrilling shows. Then head over to the Wheels of Yesteryear where you can see some impressive collections of classic cars. And to get the flavor of even earlier times, explore all there is to see at the Hopsewee Plantation, built forty years before the Revolutionary War.

More outdoor fun awaits at the Brookgreen Gardens with an incredible zoo and gardens and at the Huntington Beach State Park where you can fit in some bird watching. And before you leave to go home, drive over to Myrtle Beach State Park and say so long to the ocean and to the long days of relaxation. It has been an incredibly satisfying RV vacation!

Picture credits: The oceanfront picture of Myrtle Beach is by Phil Guest and is from the Wikimedia Commons. It is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.

Posted in NASCAR RV Vacation, RV Beach Vacation, South Carolina RV Camping Vacation, State Parks | Tagged | Leave a comment

How to Enjoy RV Camping at Edisto Beach State Park

Edisto Beach in the Morning

Edisto Beach in the Morning

We love finding those special places where our RV rental clients can relax in the beauty of nature. One such place is South Carolina’s Edisto Beach State Park. Whether you camp on the ocean or along a scenic salt marsh, an RV journey to Edisto Beach can be delightfully healing.

Traveling from the Intercoastal Waterway to South Carolina’s coast can be an awesome beginning to your trip. Edisto Beach Scenic Byway, otherwise known as SC-174, leads the way from the much-photographed Dawhoo (McKinley Washington, Jr) Bridge to Edisto Beach and the mysteries of the Lowcountry. This byway leads RV travelers past farms, marshes and plantations, with the scent of salt air becoming stronger by the minute. Treat yourself to the incomparable splendor of Edisto Beach Scenic Byway as the first stage of your South Carolina RV camping vacation.

Crossing the island, you’ll find Edisto Beach State Park on the island’s eastern shore, wrapped around the village of Edisto Beach. No crowded beachfront here; the entire island is dedicated to maintaining a peaceful, laid back atmosphere.

This oceanside state park greets visitors with an excellent interpretive center that educates about the island’s Native American history, the development of agriculture in the area and the efforts to preserve the unique environment of Edisto Island.

Camping at one of Edisto Beach State Park’s two campgrounds will make your visit even more enjoyable. The state park’s campsites are both affordable and convenient to plenty of outdoor recreation opportunities, year-round.

The warm summer months mean swimming in the waves and enjoying the crabbing for which the island is famous. Edisto’s mild winters allow RV campers to hike, bike and watch for a wonderful variety of wildlife along the interpretive trails. Venture beyond the boundaries of the state park and you’ll find Edisto Island Serpentarium in the village of Edisto Beach. Home to snakes and reptiles native to the island, it’s a fascinating way to spend an afternoon.

If you like surf fishing, Edisto Beach State Park is also an excellent playground. Edisto Island also offers excellent river fishing, especially along the north and south branches of the Edisto River. Charter a fishing guide while on the island; all you’ll need to bring is your sense of adventure!

Speaking of outdoor adventures, we need to share one more tip; kayaking the waterways surrounding Edisto Beach State Park will challenge your talents and allow you to bring back some pretty exciting vacation memories.

In winter or summer, Edisto Beach State Park opens the door to a coastal RV adventure you’ll long remember. We encourage our RV camping friends to consider a trip soon to Edisto Island. Talk to our staff;  we’ve got the RV rental you’ll need to thoroughly enjoy your camping trip to the South Carolina coast.

Posted in National Scenic Byways, RV Beach Vacation, South Carolina RV Camping Vacation, State Parks | Tagged | Leave a comment