RV Vacation – Late August Music and Other Festivals and Fairs

Late August is packed with exciting events all around the country. Here are just a few to consider for your late summer vacation plans, Whatever you choose,  include getting out on the road in your RV or ours to enjoy some of these exciting music and other festivals and fairs!

We feature a few here but please check our EVENTSpage for many other possibilities.

Music happens across the country from the east coast in Virginia and Pennsylvania to the west in Utah and to the southeast gulf coast in Panama City, Florida. Here are some highlights of some of the top upcoming music and other festivals in late August.

Lockn’ Music Festival– Infinity Downs & Oak Ridge Farm, Arrington, VA – August 22-25th– According to Ed Williams from The Revivalists, “LOCKN’ is one of those festivals that is extremely good at getting so much talent in one place, that meld so well together, so you never know what’s going to happen.” This festival is so packed with bands you should check their website – 2019 Lockn’ Schedulefor the full talent schedule.

Reggae Rise Up Music Festival– August 23rd– 25th, Heber City, UT, River’s Edge Campground. This festival is also filled with immensely talented performers from Rebelution to Dispatch and too many others to list out here. Find all the performers and their scheduled performance times at Reggae Rise Up – Lineup.

Gulf Coast Jam-Country on the Coast, August 30th– September 1st, 2019, Panama City Beach, FL features this year’s headliners, Tim McGraw, Jason Aldean and Kid Rock among many other country top-billed singers. Be sure to catch their Country on the Coastwebsite to see the full schedule and all the activities that will be featured.

Another fun festival for the last weekend in August (the 31stto September 1st) is the Pocono Garlic Harvest Festival, now in its 25thyear. This festival promises to fill the Poconos with a garlic aroma over Labor Day weekend. Food and craft vendors will be offering everything from garlic vinegar and garlic ice cream to garlic-themed pottery and paintings. There will also be live music featured on the main stage as well as strolling musicians on the festival grounds, educational demonstrations, the 6th Annual Garlic Eating Contest and plenty of children’s activities! This event takes place in East Stroudsburg, PA, near the Shawnee Mountain Ski Area. For more information about the entertainment schedule and full details, see their Pocono Garlic Harvest Festivalwebsite.

Travel to theColorado Balloon Festival, August 31st– September 2nd, in Colorado Springs, CO. Colorado Springs Labor Day Lift Off is only a few weeks away and this is one festival you won’t want to miss. Admission to the park is FREE, so bring the whole family for a day of fun!

Start your morning off right with a hot air balloon mass ascension of over 70 balloons accompanied by breakfast and drinks. Activities continue throughout the day with skydiving demonstrations, wakeboarding exhibitions, paddle boarding, live entertainment, chainsaw carving and donut eating competitions. Wrap up your visit at Memorial Park over the Labor Day weekend with a hot air balloon glow at dusk.

Where to camp:

Check all the links to these individual activities for information on where to park your RV. Camping is allowed at most of these festivals but not all accommodate RV’s. Check each site for what is available at your destination.

State Fair Season

Don’t forget that there are plenty of State Fairs from August 22nd and 23rdto Labor Day, September 2nd. The first is the Washington State Fairin Monroe, Washington; the second is near Baltimore in Timonium, Maryland, the Maryland State Fair; and the third is the Colorado State Fairin Pueblo from August 23rdto September second. Each one has a unique lineup of entertainment, horse races, rodeos, etc. Check out their websites for details. Plan well in advance to go to these as many of them offer great entertainment and will likely be very crowded.

Utah’sand New Mexico’s State Fairscome up in early September from the 5thto the 15th. Check their websites for all the details. The Utah State Fairwill feature entertainment by Foreigner and Prince Royce as well as Old Dominion and many other well known groups. And New Mexico’s will feature Aaron Watson & PRCA Xtreme Bulls, as well as Mitchell Tenpenny, the Eli Young Band among others. Be sure to look at the New Mexico State Fairsite to get all the details.

Need an RV?

Don’t have an RV? You can rent an RV for your July RV adventure from one of our numerous El Monte RV Rental Locations. Check out the Where You Can Rent RV’spage to see the location closest to where you want to start your adventure.

Wherever you decide to adventure, be sure to take your family and camera to capture the memories of this exciting summer.

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Summer RV Adventure in Washington’s National and State Parks

Washington offers many National and State parks to choose from plus a great climate for summer RV enthusiasts. Get out in your RV or ours and see some sights of the Pacific Northwest this summer. Here are some of the most popular but not necessarily really crowded spots.

If you are starting out near Bellingham, at El Monte’s RV Rentals, you could travel south to Seattle to begin your adventure. Here take a few hours to explore the Wing Luke Museum. This unique place is described as an experience more than a museum that reveals what it is and was to be Asian American in the Pacific Northwest. Visitors explore thought-provoking exhibitions of real stories, including that of actor and martial arts master Bruce Lee.

If you wish to travel east from Ferndale and Bellingham, you can treat yourself to the views of a true alpine landscape in the North Cascades National Park. Here you can find communities of life that have adapted to moisture in the west and recurring fires in the east. Jagged peaks are crowned by more than 300 glaciers. Here you can listen to cascading waters in forested valleys. This is truly a unique experience.

There are 15 National Parks and Places in Washington. First, check out the blog on this site for Monty’s Musings, RV Trip to Wild, Wonderful Washingtonwhich covered the 3 main national parks, Mt. Rainier, the San Juan Island and Olympia National Park. The current blog focuses more on the State parks that are available and some of the National parks and historic places not covered before.

Ebey’s Landing, in Coupeville, WA also offers a stunning view at the gateway to Puget Sound. This is just a short drive south from Ferndale. Ebey’s Landing National Historical Reservepreserves the historical, agricultural and cultural traditions of both native and Euro-American – while offering spectacular opportunities for recreation.

One thing you should also note: there is also a Free Admission Day to many national parks on Sunday, August 25th to commemorate the National Park Service Anniversary, and on September 28thto celebrate National Public Lands Day. So try to plan your trips to take advantage of those days, or purchase a National Parks Pass. See the webpage, National Park Service Passesfor more details.

 

State Parks in Washington

Washington has 154 State Parks, 5 State Recreation Areas, 2 State Forests, and 1 State Wildlife Area in addition to all the national parks and historic places.

These parks are divided into ten regions: The Islands, in the northwest corner of the state, North Cascades, going east from there, and Rocky Mountain Gateway, on the eastern edge of Washington. The Columbia River Plateau is south and west of the Rocky Mountain Gateway and the Palouse is southeast of that. The Wine Country is on the southern border of the state until you get to Volcano Country, west of the Wine Country. Wrapping up this amazing state are The Coast (west southern coast, north of that is Olympic and Kitsap and east of that region is King Country, which is around Seattle. To see all the recreation destinations in Washingtoncheck out their website.

Nine of their state parks have interpretive centers where visitors can experience the catastrophic Ice Age floods at the Dry Falls Visitor Center or retrace the journey of the Corps of Discovery at the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center. You can peer through one of the largest amateur built telescopes in the country at Goldendale Observatory or step inside a historic lighthouse at Cape Disappointment State Park. There are so many that one could spend a month or more just exploring all the State Parks Washington has to offer. For more information on Washington’s State Parks with interpretive centers,see their website.

Camping Spots

You can discover some of America’s best outdoor experiences in Washington. To find which parks will reserve spaces for camping in your RV, go to Washington Campgrounds and Camping provided by ReserveAmerica.

Camp in the National ParksWith reservations for many spots, you may have to book early to get one. But, our national park system is very sophisticated and they purposely leave many sites first-come, first-served. You can get full details including which sites filled yesterday at any of the park’s websites.

To make the most of your Washington parks trip, easily rent an RV at El Monte RV Rentals in Ferndale, near Bellingham.

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Four Easy Ways to Save Big on RV Travel

Love to travel by RV but don’t have a big travel budget? Lucky for you, we’ve found four easy ways to save big money on every RV camping trip. Use these ideas on your next RV vacation and watch your travel budget stretch in surprising ways.

  1. How to Save Money at Campgrounds

Most private campgrounds offer special rates, especially if you’re traveling ‘off-season’ or planning an extended stay. Do a little research on campground websites to learn when peak season ends, if they offer multi-day discounts and whether midweek campers save on the regular campsite rate.

Another way to save money on campsites is to camp in state or national forests. Many offer water and electric sites at minimal cost, and the proximity to outdoor recreation can save travel dollars, as well. Oh Ranger park finder app can help you locate state and national forests and other recreation areas across the US.

A third option is boondocking on public lands. You may wonder, if you normally camp in RV parks, what, exactly, ‘boondocking’ means.  The term boondocking in its most basic form means camping on public lands with no amenities or defined campsites. With some preparation (filling the RV water tanks, using solar or some other alternative form of power) you can camp free in some wild and gorgeous places.

To find free, dispersed campsites on public lands, check the BLM website and locate wilderness areas you’d like to visit. Call the closest BLM regional office (on the website) to make sure an area is accessible by RVs. The camping app Campendium is also a good source of information on dispersed camping areas. 

Palisade State Park

Palisade State Park

  1. How to Find Free Overnight Parking

Ever need somewhere to park the RV and sleep before moving on down the road? Wondering if you can park an RV anywhere? The big answer is ‘No’, but there are places where RVs are welcome to park overnight for no charge. Some Walmart stores allow RVers to park in specific areas of their parking lots overnight, but you need to check with the store first. Highway rest stops and casino parking lots may also allow free overnight parking. You can use a travel app such as AllStays to search for ‘Overnight Parking’ or ‘Walmart Ask to Park’.

  1. How to Save Money on Meals While Camping

One reason RV travel saves money is that you have an on-board kitchen to cook meals. Come up with standard menus that are RV-travel friendly. Stock your RV kitchen with staples like pasta, rice, canned sauces and beans. Buy meat in bulk if there’s significant savings and make meals ahead to freeze. Heating premade chilis, soups, sloppy joe mix, homemade pasta sauces, pre-cut stir-fry veggie and meat mixes and so forth will help you save big dollars over restaurant meals.

  1. How to Save Money on Fuel for RVs

Every RV traveler likes to save money on fuel. With today’s handy travel apps, it’s easy to find the stations with the cheapest gas along your route. Here are just a few of the top fuel price tracking apps to try.

GasBuddy provides user-based reports on the latest gas prices in each area. RV travelers who help other drivers by posting gas prices have a chance to win a $100 gas gift card each month.

Gas Guru posts prices provided by the Oil Price Information Service, and offers directions from your location to the cheapest gas in the area.

Fuelio is a way to track mileage, fuel consumption and maintenance costs. It also displays the cheapest fuel prices based on your GPS location. If you’re one of those RVers who loves to keep a log of all costs connected to your vehicle, this is an app to consider.

MapQuest app is well-known for giving travelers directions from point-to-point, but did you know if you click the ‘Nearby’ button and the gas icon, it displays current price per gallon along your route? 

What if I Don’t Own an RV?

RV rental companies often offer specials based on season, number of days you’ll be traveling or membership in travel-related clubs. Before you rent an RV for your next trip, be sure to ask what specials are currently available.

Saving money while RV camping is easy, once you learn the apps and hacks that smart RVers use. Whether it’s discounted campsite rentals or feeding your fellow campers economically, you’ll soon be saving big money on your RV camping excursions.

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RV Camping Destinations—Where to Get Great Ideas

So many things to see! So many campsites to discover! But how in the world do we decide where our RVs will take us when we next go camping?

For some of us, the answer is simple—we go to the places we’ve always gone, those special campgrounds where we know what to expect, which old friends are likely to be there and what adventures are just around the bend.

But for other RV travelers, anticipation is the thing—that tingle of excitement when we turn the key in the ignition and go out in search of something new. And we’re here to help you get started!  We’re constantly collecting new resources to assist our readers who are ready to set up camp at someplace new.

Fasten your seatbelts for our quick list of places you can go right now to find info on campgrounds, camping activities and unforgettable camping destinations.

Where will the road take you?

El Monte RV Rentals: Every once in a while, we like to remind our readers about the fantastic travel resources we’ve gathered on the way to becoming one of America’s top RV rental firms. Here are just a few of the pages you might find helpful as you look for new reasons to travel:

  • RV Camping Guide: Tons of information on places to go, things to do and how to make it easy to get there by RV. From air shows to NCAA football tailgating, we’ve got the goods right here on your next reason to go camping.
  • State by State Campground Guide: Our list of exceptional campgrounds waiting to host your next vacation.
  • Camping Opportunities Calendar: Month-by-month calendar of special events that are custom-made for a camping adventure.
  • RV Camping Itineraries: Step-by-step journeys mapped across America to provide maximum camping satisfaction.
  • RV Trip Planning Resources: Our collection of special helps for RV campers, from green camping information to how-to guides for newbie campers.

National Park Service: No doubt about it, America’s national parks are some of the finest legacies we’ve preserved for future generations. Mountain-top to shining sea, our country has set aside magnificent landscapes, historical sites and cultural treasures to be camped, hiked, studied and treasured by each new generation.

The National Park Service website does an excellent job of sharing what you’ll need to know. Simply click on the map to start searching for the kinds of places your family will enjoy and then click on Plan Your Visit to locate camping opportunities. Get out there and find America this year!

StateParks.com: Here’s another gem for campers mining the internet in search of travel destinations. Maps, abundant details on facilities and reviews by other campers make this site another go-to place for planning your next itinerary.

Private Campground Resources: Click here and scroll down to Other Camping Resources to locate links to sites like Kampgrounds of America (KOA.com), Passport America and Thousand Trails. You’ll also find a wealth of information on where to find free campsites and how to reserve campsites at most state and national parks (ReserveAmerica.com and Recreation.gov.)

We challenge each one of you to make it through this list without finding a place you’ve never been! Don’t stay home this camping season simply because you can’t decide where to go.

Let us help you find your next RV camping experience, the one you might have missed if your friends at El Monte Motorhome Rentals hadn’t lent a hand.

Posted in RV Rentals, RV Vacation, RV Vacation Ideas | 2 Comments

Get the Jump on Planning Spring RV Camping

The winter months aren’t kind to many parts of the US, where motorhomes and trailers sit tucked away in storage. Those cold winter months, however, are the best time to plan for camping once the snow thaws. We’ve collected some helpful tips that smart RV campers use to get the jump on planning spring RV excursions.

Tip #1: Save the Date!

While there’s virtue in being spontaneous, many popular campgrounds fill quickly with the first hint of spring. They may also take reservations for campsites months in advance.

If there’s a special place that beckons you to set up camp, check the website or give them a call and find out when the campground opens (if not year-round), how far in advance you can book campsites and, if you’re planning to go on a holiday weekend, whether there’s a minimum number of days for reservations.

By mapping out your spring camping season in advance, and booking your campsites early, you’ll avoid disappointment and have more time to enjoy the places you love to camp.

Here’s a quick list of ideas to get more information on popular RV camping venues in America:

  • State-by-State private campground list at ElMonteRV.com.
  • Access to info on US Forestry Service, National Park Service, Army Corps of Engineers and Bureau of Land Management campgrounds at recreation.gov.
  • Campgrounds on State and Federal public lands at reserveamerica.com.
  • Kampgrounds of America listings at koa.com.
  • Information on National Park seasons, campgrounds and activities at nps.gov.
  • Also check individual RV campground and resort websites

Tip #2: Do Your Homework on Special Event Camping

For spring RV camping that’s connected to a festival or sporting event, it pays to do your homework months in advance.

You might, for instance, be planning to go RV camping to the legendary South by Southwest festival in Austin next March. If you are, this link to Austin area campgrounds is a good place to start. By booking early, you’ll have a better chance of scoring campsites close to the SXSW events you plan to attend.

Baseball fans, on the other hand, might be planning to travel by RV to the final round of the 2017 World Baseball Classic in Los Angeles. Pick a Los Angeles area campground and book your campsite now for the best experience next March. Double your California camping fun by planning to camp near San Diego and attend Round Two games for the Classic the week before.

Or you may love traveling by RV to Cactus League spring training baseball games in Arizona, or Grapefruit League pre-season match-ups in Florida. Either way, you’ll want to reserve your campsites early near your favorite ballparks.

The bottom line to optimum spring RV camping at sporting events and festivals: buy your tickets and book your campsites early. You’ll be glad you did.

Tip #3: Reserve Your Trailer or Motorhome Rental

If owning a motorhome isn’t on your horizon, you can still plan to camp next spring. Renting an RV is an affordable way to experience camping at your favorite locations. Use this RV rental link to get in touch with helpful El Monte RV staff who can help you reserve the RV you need.

Find out how early you can book reservations, especially surrounding special events or near popular camping venues such as national parks. It’s easier than you think to rent an RV, and we’re happy to help with the planning.        Spring Camping Planning

Spring’s Coming Sooner Than You Think!

It may be hard to imagine camping at your favorite campground when the snow’s piling up outdoors. Spring, however, waits for no camper and it’s going to be here before you know it. Pick a place where you can play outdoors, watch exciting sports action or hear live music close to your campground and start planning. Spring RV camping season will be here sooner than you think!

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Visit Florida Winter Festivals for Family Fun

Florida winter festivals can fill winter days with music, art and friendly faces. Traveling throughout the state for fun-filled events can make the colder months pass quickly and pleasantly. Below are some festivals held in Florida that provide a unique opportunity to get out of the house and enjoy the mild Florida weather.

Sunset in Sarasota, Florida

Sunset in Sarasota, Florida

West Palm Beach is the place to be on November 16. The Palm Beach Jazzfest will be held in the Meyer Amphitheater downtown, right on the waterfront. One major national headliner will close the show, so stick around for the whole musical event! On top of the music, there will be art, foods galore and plenty of excitement. This all day event goes from noon until 10 pm with many shows worthy of toe-tapping and applause.

If you love fairs, then the Broward County Fair is the go-to spot on the 21st of November. The fair runs from 21 November until 1 December in Pembroke Pines, Florida. Of course the rides are the favorites of the kids, but everyone loves the games and shows. Don’t forget to get a funnel cake! Stop by and see all the animals, too. There will be sheep, cows, goats, rabbits and many more! The live entertainment will enliven your day.

It is time for giving thanks on the 28th of November and what better way to celebrate Thanksgiving than by attending the Thanksgiving Bluegrass Festival! A delicious dinner will be served on the grounds in Brooksville. All day music will make this visit worth your while. This event actually runs through the 30th, so stay awhile and visit with the new friends you are sure to meet. There is even RV camping nearby with hookups.

Travel to Harmony, Florida for the 6th Annual Harmony Winter Festival on the 6th of December. There will be caroling, music, face painting, visits with Santa and snow slides. Yes, snow in Florida! Harmony is a real winter wonderland this time of year. You may be amazed by the Ice Frozen T-shirt Contest, and it is definitely a must-see! The kids will love the bounce house and hot cocoa.

Sarasota is a great place to spend some time around the holidays. From 13 December to 22 December, the Snow Fest Sarasota provides fun for the whole family. Activities include snow slides, ice skating, and reindeer rides! Now, who wouldn’t thrill to riding a reindeer? Yes, it is all happening at the Snow Fest – pony rides, circus performers, caroling and even a Magic Workshop. Don’t miss this!

After your own Christmas celebrations, head for the Keys for the Florida Keys Celtic Festival on January 10th and 11th. There is nothing like a live Celtic band to inspire or pipes and drums to thrill. Discover an entirely new culture in Marathon Florida this winter. Then in January from the 16th to the 26th, stop and enjoy the 16th Annual Coral Gables Bluesfest in Coral Gables.

The festivals in Florida during the winter months are just what you need to get a break from the hectic workaday world. Enjoy!

Picture credits: The picture of the sunset in Sarasota, Florida  is from the Wikimedia Commons. It is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

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Experience Vineyards Fall Color on an RV Trip to Oregon

A top pick for an RV trip this fall is getting up to Newberg, Oregon to see the autumn leaves turning. Beginning in mid-October, you’ll see great colors as the leaves change to amazing displays of different hues. Only about 25 miles southwest of Portland, you will be in the rural forests of Yamhill County and get to view the region’s fall color glory.

Autumn Driveway in Newberg, Oregon

Autumn Driveway in Newberg, Oregon

All around Newberg is the gorgeous Willamette Valley, with more than 170 wineries. The best part of spending time touring this valley is that the leaves in the area’s vineyards add to the color as their leaves also change color during the fall. In addition to the vineyard colors, you will also be able to discover other great things to do on this Oregon vacation.

Willamette Valley Wineries offer many opportunities for special wine tasting experiences, as well as fall celebrations with music and food. Wine country fun awaits you here – the perfect place to get away and enjoy nature, delicious food and lots of friendly folk.

Now to get into the outdoors and get some scenic views that are enhanced by autumn colors. Bald Peak State Park is only nine miles north of Newberg and offers some outdoor fun for the whole family. On those fall days that are clear, you will be able to see Mt. St. Helens, Mt. Hood and other magnificent peaks in the distance. Have a picnic and let the kids play in the play areas.

Champoeg Park is another spot where you can hike among fall brilliance on the banks of the Willamette River. There are many hiking and biking trails and picnic sites. Visit and learn more at the visitor center and see an 1860-style garden right next door. A guided walk is always fun so you can learn all about the pioneers who settled this region.

Also in Champoeg Park you can get a taste of history. See the Historic Butteville Store which was founded in 1863. There is also camping for RVs in the park, with more than 67 sites with water and about 8 full hookup sites. They also have an RV dump station.

Roger’s Landing is the place to go if weather will permit boating. You don’t have to get out on the water in a boat however. You can just explore the docks or engage in some bird watching. Fish for salmon or go hiking. There is plenty to do here!

When you are an aviation buff, you will want to travel ten miles to McMinnville to visit the Evergreen Aviation Museum. They have a world class collection of various aircraft, including the famous Hughes flying boat. Enjoy a show at the IMAX Theater while you are here.

Yes, Oregon has it all in the fall or at any time of year. But when you want a fascinating and colorful autumn trip in an RV, you will find it all south of Portland at Newberg and the surrounding valley.

Picture credits: The picture of a driveway in Newburg, Oregon is from the Wikimedia Commons. It is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

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A Fall Foliage RV Adventure in Minnesota

Minnesota offers the traveler some special treats as far as fall foliage is concerned. What better way to see the brilliant autumn colors than to take an RV trip! In this way you can relax and drive comfortably through the countryside, taking in the sights. The red and orange leaves will just be starting to turn in September and they will peak between late September and early October in the central part of the state.

Mississippi River, Minnesota

Mississippi River, Minnesota

For a Central Minnesota fall foliage trip, there is nothing much better than taking the Otter Trail Scenic Byway in Otter Tail County. This is 150 miles of pure pleasure. Follow the signs containing a happy otter. Delight in the maples, oaks and birch trees’ lovely hues and watch the lakes sparkle in the sunlight. Plenty of outdoor recreation is available along the way. Allow yourself enough time to take in all the wonders this Minnesota route will provide.

Start your adventure in lovely Fergus Falls. While in town, you will find many museums to visit, great concerts or plays at the town’s Center for the Arts and of course, great shopping. If you love hiking, you’ll have access to the Pine to Prairie Birding Trail where you can get out and become one with nature. Visit the nearby lakes and fish for a trophy catch.

Fall is the best time to stop at Maplewood State Park, because the trees are magnificent. A maple forest shows gorgeous colors in the autumn and it is something you won’t want to miss. Have a picnic on the shore of Lake Lida or hike into the woods and catch some glimpses of wildlife. Fishing is wonderful for walleye, bass and perch.

Pelicans are the big thing at Pelican Rapids.  This is an art scene and a real introduction to western Otter Tail County. Friendly folk will welcome you with open arms, and you will find plenty of outdoor fun all around. Easy access to over a thousand lakes is only one advantage to coming to Pelican Rapids. While here, a definite must-see is the Phelps Mill, a truly historic site.

The History Museum of East Otter Tail is in Perham and is a must to put on your itinerary. You’ll view historic photos, interpretive exhibits and see some early motion pictures. The stories are memorable. There is also a fascinating doll museum located in the Chamber of Commerce building.

You will now follow your route and drive past Rush and Otter Lakes and finally come to Glendalough State Park, a unique spot where you will see the fall’s changing grasses on a wet meadow. Take Beaver Pond Trail to see the best the park has to offer.

Continuing on your drive, when you come to Battle Lake you may want to stop and admire the artistic work of regional artists and grab a tea in one of the coffee and tea shops. Fall festivals are likely going on too, so don’t miss that. Then you will shortly be back in Fergus Falls and at the end of your trip. What a wonderful fall adventure this has been!

Picture credits: The picture of Fall Foliage in Minnesota is from the Wikimedia Commons. It is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

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An RV Drive through Iowa’s Autumn Beauty

Bridge in Madison County, Iowa, Autumn

Holliwell Bridge, Madison County, Iowa, and was taken on October 16, 2001, by Lance Larsen. This bridge crosses the North River about 40 miles southwest of Des Moines, Iowa.

An RV trip through Iowa is a marvelous way to experience the beauty of autumn in the Midwest. The yellow and red leaves lend a very pleasant atmosphere to your trip and the changing colors of the landscape make picture-taking a great pastime during your journey. Northeast Iowa is the best choice currently to experience some color changes, particularly with the walnut trees, sumac, Virginia creeper and others. Peak colors will occur around October 10th.

The ideal RV route this time of year is the Driftless Area Scenic Byway through Allamakee County, Iowa. This is a zigzag route that starts in Postville and ends far in the northwest corner of the county. Follow the map for the easiest path and through the most scenic regions. This is one hundred miles of gorgeous forests, valleys and hills in the Mississippi River country.

When you reach Harper’s Ferry you will be in one of the oldest settlements in the county and discover a charming town to wander and shop for gifts for family and friends. Outdoor recreation is abundant here too! It is the perfect time of year – not too hot and not too cold. The Mississippi River invites you to cast a line and see what sort of fish you can reel in. Boating is also great on this mighty river.

Take a side trip now to the Yellow River State Forest. It is only three miles to the west and offers a lot for outdoor lovers. Miles and miles of trout streams give you more of a chance to snag a trophy catch. You will discover exceptional hiking too, with plenty of trails that lead to overlooks and panoramic views.  This is your opportunity to get away from it all and get back to nature.

Stop in the old river town of Lansing which is not far from two other state borders. You can explore further if you wish and head into Minnesota or Wisconsin. The world is at your fingertips! Drive through town, but be aware that Main Street dead-ends at the Mississippi. This is where the steamships would pick up travelers. Drive across the historic Lansing Bridge and complete your visit to this town by getting into conversation with any of the friendly residents.

While in Lansing, be sure to make your way to Mt. Hosmer Park  where you can get a lovely view of the Mississippi Valley and the entire tri-state area. On a clear day you can see forever – well, at least fifty miles! Lansing is also a notable stop on the Great River Road. You may want to continue your journey and head south as far as Dubuque on this wonderful byway. If so, be sure to visit the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium while in Dubuque.

If you liked this autumn adventure, stay tuned for more. This fall’s beauty is just getting started!

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A Fall Foliage RV Trip to New Hampshire

Driving to New Hampshire this time of year is one of the best times to go. The leaves start turning in mid-September and carry on displaying gorgeous colors through the end of October. Start your trip in an RV at North Conway, NH where you can enjoy all sorts of recreational activities along with fall foliage sights on all sides.

Berlin, NH in Autumn

Berlin, NH in Autumn

Twenty miles south on Highway 153, you’ll discover a great place for RV camping – the Danforth Bay Camping Resort in Freedom, New Hampshire. Many of their sites are lakeside and all of them are spacious. This RV campground has two outdoor pools and overlooks Danforth Bay. You can make it your home base and easily reach all the attractions surrounding.

Of course, you are also surrounded by the White Mountain National Forest and the natural beauty of this region. The forests are filled with old covered bridges which make it an inspiration to photographers everywhere. The scenery is truly breathtaking and you won’t want to miss a side trip to the tallest peak in the Eastern U.S. – Mt. Washington.

If you want an experience to remember while in North Conway, visit Diana’s Baths Waterfalls on West Side Road. It is an easy hike from parking to the waterfalls, and you can bring along your dog as well. If you look over toward the end of the falls you’ll see remains of a sawmill and further on you will be able to have a picnic at one of the picnic tables. Hiking is great here, and the trail gets rougher but you can continue to hike along the trail towards Moat Mountain. This is a wonderful way to get some time in the outdoors.

It might be too chilly for a swim this time of year, but it is not too far into the season to have a picnic by the lake in Echo Lake State Park. Hike the scenic trail around the lake and even to the top of Cathedral Ledge. The views here are marvelous! If there are rock climbers in your midst, they will enjoy climbing either Cathedral Ledge or White Horse Ledge.

Take your RV on an inspirational drive along the Kancamagus Scenic Highway for one of the best views of autumn foliage anywhere. Although it isn’t quite peak season yet, the leaves are turning and colors are still apparent. This is 34 miles of pure loveliness. More waterfalls to see too, like Sabbaday Falls and Lower Falls. Camping isn’t a problem here. There are a number of campgrounds along the way which take RVs.

Another great way to view the area’s colorful foliage is to take the Conway Scenic Railroad. An old-fashioned train ride is just the thing to really feel like you are stepping back in time and feeling the same joy the early settlers did as they moved through these landscapes.

Don’t’ neglect a visit to Crawford Notch State Park, north on Highway 302. Stop at the historic Willey House to learn the legend and some interesting history. All this will give you some extra treats before heading home. And remember, if you missed anything this trip, you can always return some other time.

Picture credits: The picture of Fall Foliage in Michigan is from the Wikimedia Commons. It is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

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