Finding America by RV—New Mexico’s Billy the Kid Trail

Chasing down legends of the Old West doesn’t have to be a rugged journey, thanks to modern RV comforts.  Our next installment in our Finding America by RV series takes us to east central New Mexico, where Billy the Kid National Scenic Byway loops through Wild West towns, a frontier fort and enough outdoor experiences to keep you busy for weeks. 

How Do We Get There?

Billy the Kid Trail is easy to reach by RV.  From Albuquerque, travel south on I-25 to the ghost town of San Antonio, NM and then southeast on US-380 to Capitan (about a three-hour journey). It’s also an eight-hour drive from Denver using the same interstate.

The Trail itself is the loop formed by NM-48, Hwy-70 and Hwy-380, with a dash across the middle to Fort Stanton NCA on NM-220. On your way you’ll pass through Ruidoso, Hondo, Lincoln and Capitan, NM.

What Can We See and Do There?

Billy the Kid Trail takes you through the pine forests, mountains and mesas of Lincoln National Forest, with two rivers—the Rio Bonito and Rio Ruidoso, providing scenic and recreation possibilities. You’ll begin to understand why the Trail’s namesake, that infamous teenage gunslinger, was able to hide so well here with his Regulators following the bloody Lincoln County War in the late 1870s.

The Sierra Blanca Range will surround you throughout your journey, with the highest peak in southern New Mexico, Sierra Blanca Peak, visible to your southwest on the Mescalero Apache Reservation. Besides the Southwestern wilderness through which you’ll travel, you’re also going to discover some fascinating Wild West locations.

Starting with the town of Ruidoso, at the intersection of Hwy-70 and NM-48, you’ll get a sense of the many cultures who built the region. This mountain town with a scenic river flowing through it is also surrounded by adventure, with Ski Apache on Sierra Blanca Peak offering excellent skiing in winter (and views from New Mexico’s only ski gondola year-round) and world-famous horse racing just down the road at Ruidoso Downs.

Plunge into New Mexico’s outlaw history by traveling east on Hwy-70 to Hondo and then north on Hwy-380 to Lincoln, NM, scene of the two-year skirmish known as the Lincoln County War. Lincoln State Monument is a well-preserved collection of 1870s structures that tell the story of two ranchers who once owned the only store in immense Lincoln County and kept a stranglehold on supplies for nearby Fort Stanton, as well as neighboring ranches.

Billy the Kid

Billy the Kid

The museums, buildings and exhibits bear witness to the bloody struggle that erupted when a second store was opened in the region, supported by Billy the Kid and his ‘Regulators’. They also tell the story of the arrest, escape and murderous exploits of the Kid following the Lincoln County Wars, before being gunned down by Pat Garrett in 1881.

And that’s not all you’ll find along this national scenic byway that tells the tale of this region’s history. Fort Stanton-Snowy River Cave National Conservation Area, in the middle of your loop, is a national treasure. From the Rio Bonito Petroglyph National Trail, bearing witness to the Jornada Mogollon people who lived in the region from 1 AD to 1500 AD, to artifacts from the days African American Buffalo Soldiers were based at the fort, the story will be fascinating.

Besides the Petroglyph Trail, more than ninety miles of trails invite hikers and mountain bikers to discover the secrets of the NCA’s desert mountain terrain. Keep your eyes open for mule deer, elk and black bears as you drive, hike or ride within the National Conservation Area. Speaking of conserving wildlife, Snowy River Cave isn’t open to non-scientific exploration at the present time, in order to eradicate a disease threatening area bat populations.

Where Can We Camp Near Billy the Kid Trail?

You may have already guessed that this national byway is a favorite of RV travelers to New Mexico. Because it is, you’ll discover every style RV campground along your route. In Lincoln National Forest, for example, fans of boondocking are allowed to camp along forest roadways, as long as they observe certain guidelines.

There are also two developed campgrounds with inexpensive campsites within the national forest. For those who prefer a little more comfort when RV camping in New Mexico, private campgrounds near Ruidoso and Alto are waiting to welcome you on your visit.

There you have it, one more reason to rent an RV or take your own motorhome out of storage when camping season calls. Billy the Kid Trail—a journey to find history, beauty and adventure in New Mexico.

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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.

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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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Rent An RV for Viewing the Perseid Meteor Shower

Attention RV camping fans who also love a good meteor shower! The summer of 2016 promises to be one of the best times in recent history for North Americans to see the “Perseids”, that group of meteors following the Swift-Tuttle Comet. This year will be exceptional because conditions are right for us to see twice as many meteors as normal!

This year’s viewing time, when the Earth passes through this ‘tail’ of meteors, begins this week and will last through August 24. That’s great news for you, because there’s still time to rent an RV or dust off the one in your driveway and find the best campsite for prime Perseid Meteor Shower viewing.

How to Rent Your ‘Meteor Shower Chase Vehicle’

Let’s get the practical part out of the way first…if you don’t own a motorhome or travel trailer for watching this summer’s performance, renting one has never been easier. El Monte RV Rental locations across the country are stocked and waiting with a wide range of models for your expedition. Choose your favorite, book your best dates and start planning the rest of your adventure!

When and Where to Go for Best Perseid Meteor Shower Viewing

The Smith-Tuttle Comet ‘tail’ of meteors is predicted to peak on August 12 (that’s when we’re right in the middle of the most meteor “debris”). Plan your RV camping trip to chase the Perseid Meteor Shower for August 11, 12 and 13 to see the most meteor action.

But where can you go to see the meteor shower without interference? The key is darkness—finding a place where the lights of the city won’t diminish the show. Finding the perfect campsite with an unobstructed, front-row-seat to 2016’s biggest meteor shower may take a bit of scouting ahead of time, depending on your location.   Meteor Showers

If you’re living in a large city, check online maps for county, state and national forests or parks out away from urban illumination. Look for campsites that have an unobstructed view to the sky. If possible, reserve your campsite so you won’t be disappointed on the night of the big show.

The night of your meteor shower viewing party, be prepared to spend several hours outdoors. Your RV’s kitchen is perfect for preparing snacks and beverages for the party, so bring along supplies and make a night of it. From 10 pm to dawn you’ll have the best chance of seeing those amazing streaks of light that occur when the Perseids hit our atmosphere. Blankets or lawn chairs, insect repellant and your fellow amateur astronomers will help make the party a happy memory.

Get More Information on the Perseid Meteor Shower

Scientists have done all the work to help us plan for 2016’s viewing of the Smith-Tuttle Comet meteor shower. Several websites can furnish you with more information as you plan your own RV camping and meteor shower gazing expedition:

The freedom of RV camping is never more enjoyable than when it allows you to witness the wonders of nature. Setting up camp to watch 2016’s celestial phenomenon, the Perseids, is no exception. Make plans now to share this spectacular show with friends and family this August!

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RV Camping While Hiking and Climbing Kentucky’s Red River Gorge

About two hours east of Louisville, Kentucky is a place all RV travelers who enjoy hiking and rock climbing should explore. Red River Gorge Geological Area is tucked within the high ridges, riverfront cliffs and green expanses of Daniel Boone National Forest.

Camping there is easy, thanks to private and state park campgrounds throughout the forest, and miles of hiking trails and climbing routes are waiting to be traversed.

What RV Travelers Will Find at Red River Gorge

RV travelers have an easy route to the Gorge from the west, following I-64 east from Louisville into the national forest. If you’re coming from the east, follow I-81 W out of Roanoke, VA about five hours, to where the Red River meanders through an awe-inspiring limestone gorge.

Once you reach Daniel Boone National Forest, you’ll find a variety of natural wonders Daniel Boone National Forestworth exploring both in and around Red River Gorge. Picture a place where limestone arches and stunning, windswept cliffs rise up out of dense hardwood forest and you’ve got an idea what awaits you on your trip.

A favorite spot of Kentucky RV campers is Natural Bridge State Resort Park adjacent to the Gorge. The park is named for an enormous sandstone arch that’s easy to discover via well-maintained hiking trails. Motorhome travelers will also find electric campsites, a small lake perfect for paddling and plenty of family friendly activities there.

Climbing and Hiking at Red River Gorge

For campers hoping to put in some time rappelling or climbing, there’s no place better than Red River Gorge. Rock climbing opportunities abound among the ‘knobs’, cliffs and crags of ‘The Red’. Areas like The Motherlode, Torrent Falls and Military Wall offer dozens of climbing routes for a range of experiences.

Bring your own equipment or book the services of an area climbing guide to make the most of sport and traditional climbing opportunities while camping near Red River Gorge.

Need a little more incentive to pack the RV and head for Kentucky? The hiking available around the Red River Gorge is unparalleled, thanks to the Sheltowee Trace National Recreation Trail that acts as the central hub of the area’s trail system.

Whether you plan to make several day hikes on your RV camping trip to Red River Gorge or follow the entire three-hundred-mile length of the Sheltowee Trace Trail, the scenery found along the ridges, waterways and gorges of central Kentucky will find a place among your favorite vacation memories.

So, what’s holding you back from taking your own RV trip to Kentucky’s Red River Gorge? Affordable RV rentals, easy access by interstate and excellent private and state park campgrounds make this trip one that’s perfect for rock climbing groups, adventurous families and nature-loving campers alike. Take the trip soon, and be sure to let us know in the Comments Section what you loved most about RV camping at Red River Gorge.

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Three Spring Break RV Camping Itineraries

Kids out of school soon and still haven’t picked your Spring Break vacation spot? Why not take the family RV camping this year? We’ve put together three camping destinations perfect for families on Spring Break.

Spring Break RV Camping & Fishing Trip: Lake Texana, Edna, Texas 

Have a houseful of eager young anglers looking forward to catching the big ones? Take the RV southeast from Austin to Edna, Texas and the wonders of Lake Texana.

Brackenridge Park and Campground and Texana Park and Campground, both part of the Brackenridge Recreation Complex on the lake, offer Texas Spring Break RV Campers plenty of choice for accommodations. Not sure how to please everyone in your crew? Whether it’s hiking the trails, photographing wildlife or enjoying legendary Texas bass fishing, we think you’ll find something for everyone to enjoy on your stay.

With a fishing pier, perfect bass habitat, canoe and kayak rentals and six hundred acres of shoreline to enjoy, this South Texas lake is an excellent place to entertain the youngsters on Spring Break. Don’t forget to reserve your Texas RV rental. Spring Break is right around the corner!

Spring Break in the Heart of California Gold Country – Columbia, CA 

Hoping to surprise the youngsters with a little gold this Spring Break? Why not camp in the heart of California’s Gold Country and spend some time in the town that’s also a State Historic Park? Columbia, California, home to an impressive collection of Gold Rush-era structures, has plenty for young prospectors to explore.

Stroll the boardwalks with the family and soak up 1850s ambience, then stop to enjoy a meal, shop for souvenirs and enjoy the living history presentations. There are enough historic structures, museums and exhibits to keep everyone busy. Be sure to let the kids try their luck at gold panning, too; it’s a favorite activity for Columbia visitors.

You’ll also enjoy camping in the beauty of the Sierra Nevada foothills. Private campgrounds in Columbia help keep family RV camping convenient.

Spring Break in the Pacific Northwest – Bellingham, Washington 

Families who want to divide their Spring Break time between urban adventures and outdoor recreation will find no better place than Bellingham, WA. Just south of the Canadian border and a couple of hours north of Seattle, this coastal city has plenty to discover.

Start your time RV camping in Bellingham by challenging the young ones to completeLarrabee State Park at least part of the six-mile Interurban Trail. They’ll be rewarded with views of Bellingham Bay, the San Juan Islands and waterfalls in a dense urban forest. Plan to play awhile at Larrabee State Park  at the trail’s southern end, where gorgeous Samish Bay and trails into the Chuckanut Mountains are just part of the outdoor splendor.

While in Bellingham with kids, you’ll also want to visit the city’s exciting museums. One of the best is the Spark Museum of Electrical Invention, where you’ll find thrills for the entire family. Another don’t miss—Mindport, where art and science come together in a fun, interactive environment.

Two more ideas for active families hoping for the full Bellingham experience on Spring Break:

  • Spend a day in the city’s Historic Fairhaven District enjoying shops, coffee houses and vintage charm.
  • Take an hour’s drive east to Mount Baker Ski Area for a day on their world-famous slopes.

One last travel tip for Bellingham RV campers—March will be cooler in Washington than in Southern Spring Break destinations, so pack plenty of cool weather clothing for the kids. Aren’t you glad you’ll be traveling in the roomy comfort of an RV?

And there you have it, three fantastic ways to spend Spring Break RV camping with the kids. Whether you decide to travel to Texas, California or Coastal Washington, you’re sure to bring back memories that only camping with the family can deliver.

Photo attribution: By Cody Logan (clpo13) (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
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Oregon’s Honeyman State Park-Four Tips for RV Camping Fun

School may be starting, but there’s still plenty of time for a weekend of R&R on the Central Oregon Coast. Load up the family and go RV camping to Jessie M. Honeyman Memorial State Park. This coastal wonderland offers dozens of ways to relax and enjoy the weekend. We’ve narrowed it down to four top tips for making the most of your Honeyman State Park RV camping vacation.

Reserve an Awesome Campsite

With the second largest camping area in Oregon, Honeyman State Park has plenty of options when it comes to scenic campsites. Close to the park’s famous dunes, Lakes Cleawox and Woahink and plenty of hiking trails, the campground becomes the center your Oregon RV camping weekend.  Book one of more than three hundred campsites before you come, to make sure you have the services you prefer.

Jump, Boat or Fish in a Lake

Not only will your campsite be a quick drive to the beach, you’ll also be just down the road from two breathtaking, tree-lined lakes. Cleawox Lake is a highly-praised swimming spot, with tall, Pacific Ocean dunes on one side and a forest of pines on the other. It’s a great place to paddle the shoreline in a kayak and watch for wildlife, as well.

Woahink Lake is also within Honeyman State Park’s boundaries, and offers a different experience for Oregon RV travelers. Much larger than Cleawox, Woahink is the perfect spot to enjoy a day on jet skis or behind a ski boat. Fishing here for largemouth bass and yellow perch is also popular among anglers, so don’t forget your gear!

Hike the Dunes!

Did we mention the presence of two-mile-wide sand dunes that lead to the Pacific while providing a backdrop for Lake Cleawox?

Many park visitors spend a day or two learning the joys of dune hiking, or for more adventurous souls, sandboarding, up and down these windswept formations. Either way, the views are awesome, so you’ll be glad you reached the summit. Don’t own sandboards? Look for local outfitters in nearby Florence, OR who’ll be happy to supply what you need.   shutterstock_57728056_Oregon_coast

Take an OHV Adventure

One of the main reasons people come to the Central Oregon Coast is to embark on an off-highway vehicle (OHV) adventure at Honeyman’s dunes and adjacent Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area. With miles of dunes designated for OHV use, you’re sure to find an area suited to your level of riding skill.

Just off Highway 101 and filled with possibilities, Honeyman State Park is ready to help your family relax and rejuvenate before school is back in full swing! Take time right now to book your campsite, pack your RV or set up an RV rental and get ready to unwind at Oregon’s Jessie M. Honeyman Memorial State Park.

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Some of the Best RV Camping on a Vacation in Florida

Where else can a traveler find a lovely seaside climate to explore during the winter months but beautiful Florida? Taking an RV camping excursion in this southeast state may be one of the best yet, particularly when everyone else in the United States is experiencing snow and sleet conditions. Let’s begin our journey in the panhandle of Florida and travel south all the way to the southernmost tip of the US.

Bridge in Key Largo

Bridge in Key Largo

Pensacola is the ideal start to an RV trip through Florida. The Portofino Boardwalk has all sorts of activities for all ages, including shopping for unique gifts to take home. Pensacola Beach is great any time of year. Biking is a favorite pastime at the Gulf Islands National Seashore. Stop by one of the free concerts for some entertainment. Make your home base at the Perdido Cove RV Resort and Marina with all the amenities you could need, and then take off to visit the National Museum of Naval Aviation in town.

Discover more of fascinating Florida attractions in Jacksonville. Walk the beaches, see what events are happening at EverBank Field and explore the city. You can stay at Flamingo Lake RV Resort in North Jacksonville while you take your time to see everything this northern Florida destination has to offer. This park is rated highly by RVers the country over. They have a laundry, a great pool and even a beach on the lake to enjoy.

Further south you’ll come to St. Augustine. The attractions here are numerous. The St. Augustine Wild Reserve offers tours by appointment. Since St. Augustine is one very historical spot, you won’t want to miss the Ximenez-Fatio House which is within the city’s oldest settlement. Other places of interest include the St. Augustine Lighthouse & Museum, Fort Matanzas and the St. Augustine Alligator Farm. There are all sorts of beaches where you can enjoy beachcombing. The Bryn Mawr Ocean Resort is a full service RV camping resort with full hookups and is the perfect place to stay.

After your visit in St. Augustine is done, head south to Daytona Beach. If you are a racing fan, you certainly can’t miss a stop at the Daytona International Speedway. The family will also love the Daytona Beach Pier and all the fun amusements available here. Recommended is the new resort for RVs, the Daytona RV Park. It is close to everything, including the Ponce Inlet Lighthouse, fishing piers beyond compare and fine dining. Many of their sites are pull-through and can accommodate very large RVs. Get free WiFi and basic television service.

Pop inland for a visit to Orlando next. When you come to Florida it is a large mistake to pass by all the fabulous sights in this vacation destination. Even if you have been there a million times before, Walt Disney World can be enjoyed again and again. Sea World and Universal Studios are big must-see spots. Play golf or simply enjoy your RV site at Lake Whipporwill KOA. They have a pool and hot tub, big rig camping with full hookups and a lake right there where you can boat or fish.

Only 120 miles southeast and you are at Port St. Lucie. Discover parks, lovely beaches, golf courses and museums to explore. Be sure to stop by the Port St. Lucie Botanical Gardens and in Fort Pierce see the amazing display of tropical bonsai trees at the Heathcote Botanical Gardens. Fishing is wonderful here too. You can do a deep sea fishing excursion and perhaps catch a swordfish, tuna or sailfish. RV camping is available at the Port St. Lucie RV Resort with paved sites, a solar-heated pool and laundry room.

Next stop is Ft. Lauderdale where you can enjoy many varied events and art exhibitions. Get exercise along Riverwalk, then return to your spot at the Yacht Haven Park and Marina surrounded by water canals and boardwalks. Although you could spend days just exploring this city, you will want to head to the Florida Keys as soon as possible. Key Largo is waiting, with so much to see and do. Stay at the Point Of View Key Largo RV Resort and sit to enjoy the sunset as the cool ocean breezes blow.

Finally, the end of your trip at Key West, where the swaying palms make you forget it is winter. The Bluewater Key RV Resort is close enough to Key West to make it easy to access all the attractions. This is one Florida vacation that will stay in memory for years to come.

If you are interested in booking an RV Vacation in Florida, El Monte RV  has rental pickup locations in  Miami and Orlando.

Picture credits: The picture of a bridge in Key Largo  is from the Wikimedia Commons. It is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

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Enjoy Sacramento Events this Winter on a Northern California RV Trip

Sacramento is not just a place to put on your itinerary because it is the capital of California, although that is a good reason to visit. There are numerous family-friendly events happening in the area this winter, too, which makes it a great city to have as a home base for a Northern California RV trip. An RV trip to Sacramento means convenient lodging, ease of travel and lots more. Camp at the CalExpo RV Park to be close to everything and enjoy plenty of amenities during your stay.

One event you won’t want to miss is the Sacramento Harvest Festival Original Art & Craft Show at the California Expo Center. Make RV Park reservations right away as it opens on the 22nd of November. This is an awesome affair and gives you the opportunity to get some incredible handmade Christmas gifts. On top of that, you will find live entertainment, foods that are mouth-watering, and a high energy ambiance. You’ll want your camera to take photos of loved ones and the strolling entertainers.

Sacramento Skyline

Sacramento Skyline

At the California Automobile Museum, stop on the 24th of November and take part in the Festival of Trees featuring A Taste of Northern California. Music is provided by a holiday band and there are many activities for the kids. Delicious hors d’ oeuvres will be available for those attending, local restaurants providing these treats.

From 28 November through 1 December, you can welcome in the New Year in a unique way. The Sacramento Hmong New Year will be at the California Exposition and State Fair   at Cal Expo and offers a special celebration with traditional song and dance.

On November 29th, you will have to decide among a couple of options for holiday fun. Perhaps you can do both! The Indian Arts & Crafts Holiday Fair will take place at the California State Indian Museum. You may choose this affair if you love looking at (or perhaps wish to purchase) Native American baskets, pottery, ornaments and jewelry. These make amazing gifts for the season – ones to get for those who “have everything.” You will also have access to the rest of the museum, as you will pay regular admission fees.

If you would rather browse California artists’ displays, then you may wish to head to the Crocker Art Museum Holiday Art & Craft Festival. This is also on the 29th and offers numerous craft arts like wood, jewelry, ceramics and glass. The start is at 10 am at the Scottish Rite Masonic Center in Sacramento.

To hear some Christmas music that can’t be beat, head south to Modesto and Mannheim Steamroller Christmas by Chip Davis at Gallo Center for the Arts. It takes place on 4 December at 7 pm. This is electronic music extraordinaire! This world-famous music will certainly get you in the mood for the holidays, if you aren’t feeling it already.

Once Christmas Day is past, get ready for one of the most memorable New Year events yet. The Sacramento New Year’s Eve River Cruise is the ideal way to see the New Year in, with fireworks, music and toasting with champagne. The greatest way to end your winter RV tour of Sacramento events.

Picture credits: The picture of the skyline of Sacramento  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 Trip for some Festival Fun in Arizona

Arizona is wonderful for winter travel. The highways are clear, the skies are blue, and the air is fresh. It’s time to hop in that RV motorhome and explore the festivals that happen across the state during November and December. There is a wealth of music, food and unique experiences awaiting you.

You have a few options around the 22nd and 23rd of November. For instance, in Yuma, the 23rd Annual Colorado River Crossing Balloon Festival happens on the 22nd through the 24th. Balloons, balloons and more balloons, with fireworks and great entertainment. Best of all, it is free! From the 23rd to the 24th you can go to Queen Creek and discover the 11th Annual American Heritage Festival. What is the best about this festival? The battle reenactments and living history demonstrations!

Hot Air Balloon Festival

Hot Air Balloon Festival

In Phoenix on 23 November, the 8th Annual Native Now is a celebration of art and culture of Native Americans. There will be music, performances, great food, and some short films put on by Arizona filmmakers. This free event goes from 10 am to 3 pm. Be sure to arrive early so you can get right in to ASU Deer Valley Rock Art Center.

If in Phoenix for Thanksgiving, you will love to spend it with friends and family at the Thanksgiving Day Harvest Feast on 28 November at the Heard Museum. A traditional feast will be prepared with chefs combining American Indian culture with expertise. Then join in the fun at Ahwatukee Foothills at the 18th Annual Festival of Lights. This will be held from 28 November to the 30th. Enjoy wine tasting, hayrides and an artistic display of over a million white lights that light up the desert.

From 29 to 30 November, be sure to head to Sedona for the Festival of Trees at the Tlaquepaque Arts & Crafts Village. The displays of gingerbread houses and trees will be both indoors and outside, decorated in different themes with a wide variety of materials. In Lake Havasu City the entire month of December offers the excitement of the holidays with the 19th Annual Festival of Lights. You will love seeing London Bridge (the real one, honest!) while there. So many lights and so many friendly faces!

Of course, in Tucson, from 7 to 8 December, the Celebration of Basketry and Native Foods Festival is quite a hit with locals and visitors. Taste delicious tribal foods, watch cooking demonstrations and traditional dance and song. Then head to Tombstone! From December 13 to the 14th you must experience Christmas in Tombstone for an event never to be forgotten. The kids will love it, particularly the fireworks and light parade.

In Somerton on the 21st of December there is the 7th Annual Somerton Tamale Festival. Now here is something unique for the whole family! Yum! The foods will make your mouth water. Includes live music and plenty of great entertainment, and all free!

Yes, you will discover Arizona in a special way – on a trip around the state to take in some of the best festivals!  We have an rv rental location in Phoenix that makes travel to this event convenient or call us toll free at 888-337-2208.

Picture credits: The picture of a Balloon Festival  is from the Wikimedia Commons. It is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

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