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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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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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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Northern California Tailgating can be an RV Adventure

Tailgating is a great way to spend some time. Celebrating your time away at a big game offers the opportunity of getting together with friends and meeting new folks who share your sense of fun. Northern California has some great tailgating parties coming up and you won’t want to miss one of them. Going in an RV is more than half the fun, too!

Bulldog Stadium

Bulldog Stadium, Fresno CA

The first place to head is Candlestick Park or “The Stick” as it is affectionately called. As the seats begin to fill, you’ll discover waiting for kickoff is a big part of the experience. Since Candlestick Park is likely to be replaced by a new stadium soon, it might be good to get out here for a game or two before the move. You will want to make memories at this park so you can brag later to your friends about how wonderful fun you had at this 49ers stadium.

The 49ers will play the Carolina Panthers on the 10th of November, the St. Louis Rams on the 1st of December, the Seattle Seahawks on the 8th and finally the Atlanta Falcons on 23 December. First hit the Grand Plaza for all sorts of entertainment and food, and then begin your tailgating in the parking lot. If you have a traditional space, get there early to claim your spot.

Then in Berkeley, you can visit Memorial Stadium and head nearby to Maxwell Field for the tailgating. It is called Tailgate Town and starts three hours prior to the big kick-off. You will find a beer garden adds to the celebration! This is one big event, and be sure to note the times of the games – 2 November for Berkeley vs. Arizona and 9 November for Berkeley battling USC.

The California Bears will make your wait for kickoff worthwhile, but what the real entertainment is – tailgating. You won’t find much tailgating right next to the stadium but Maxwell Field is just north and offers the best in fan parties.

Tailgating at O.oc Coliseum takes place until right after kickoff. At that point there is no more consumption of food or beverages. You won’t be able to sneak a peek at the action via television or any other electronic device. So resign yourself to seeing the game live! You could have a worse fate!

Watch the Oakland Raiders vs. the Eagles on 9 November and against the Titans on 12 November. The Raiders play the Chiefs on 15 December and the Denver Broncos on 17 December.

It’s time for college football at AT&T Park. This is an exciting place to come for fall tailgating parties. Pac-12 vs. BYU is happening on the 27th of December. Bring your jackets and sweats and enjoy some drinking and partying with friends and neighbors. Don’t spend it at home watching everything on ESPN. Get out there and join in the celebrations. Park an RV in the Bus Lot and walk over to lot C or D to tailgate with your buddies.

If you head Fresno way, you’ll find more tailgating opportunities at the Bulldog Stadium where Fresno will challenge Nevada on November 2 and New Mexico on November 23. Traveling around and becoming part of the tailgate tradition in Northern California is something you definitely want to have on your list of great things to do this year.

Picture credits: The picture of Bulldog Stadium 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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An RV Trip to Aroostook County Maine for Autumn Foliage

The fall foliage reports for Maine have indicated that right now is the ideal time to head to the North Woods and the lovely wilderness of Maine’s northernmost region. In Aroostook County you have the unique opportunity to enjoy some of the most beautiful fall colors, with between 50 and 75 percent color change at this time. It is only going to get better. What a great time to drive an RV through the county and enjoy the blazing reds, oranges, golds and yellows, as well as some outdoor recreation.

This marvelous county also has more than 1,000 miles of ATV trails, so bringing your ATV along with you may be a smart move. Fishing gear is a must as well. There are thousands of lakes, ponds and streams where you can cast a line and come up with a catch.

The unspoiled Allagash Wilderness Waterway invites you to take a guided canoe trip through an exciting landscape, 92 miles from start to finish. Bird watchers are always fascinated by the wide variety of feathered creatures and wildlife lovers can’t get enough of watching animal life in their native habitat. With the changing colors of autumn, your trip is all that more enjoyable.

Saco River Maine

Saco River Maine

A visit to Presque Isle should be top on your list. This is the largest town in Aroostook County and provides points of interest you won’t want to miss. There is a monument honoring the first hot air balloon flight across the Atlantic which departed from here. Outdoor fun includes hunting, fishing and hiking. If you bring along a mountain bike, you’ll find plenty of trails through the forests of colorful maples.

Nearby you can discover Aroostook State Park, with trout fishing, camping and much more. Try a hike on the North Peak Trail for a little over one mile of beauty, or a shorter trail to enjoy is the South Trail. Rent a kayak or canoe and fit in some paddling on Echo Lake.

When you visit Caribou you will discover another spot in Maine where you may wish to stay for a while. Salmon and trout fishing is at its best here, and hiking, biking, or jogging can be a real adventure on either the Aroostook Valley Trail or the Bangor & Aroostook Trail. Learn some history by stopping by the Ashland Logging Museum. If you want to see what lived in this region millions of years ago, see the fossil and mineral specimens at the Nylander Museum of Natural History.

More outdoor recreation and marvelous fall colors await you in Eagle Lake. This lake is at the south end of a whole chain of lakes where fishing for salmon and trout is a very popular activity. In the winter snowmobiling is the big thing, but in the autumn, hiking can take you through landscapes of pure beauty.

Bordering Canada, the Maine town of Fort Fairfield lies along the Aroostook River with a charming atmosphere and friendly folk. It is fun to explore the Fort Fairfield Railroad Museum to learn of the railroad history of this area. Get a taste of what it was like to go to school here in the mid-1800s by visiting the McIntosh one-room schoolhouse. And of course, get out and about to witness the blazing beauty of the changing fall colors.

The gateway to the North Woods is at Fort Kent. This was originally an outpost for lumbering and a region very rich in history. You will certainly find some festival going on when you arrive as they occur throughout the year. Then in Houlton travelers discover more outdoor recreation to keep them busy all day with hiking and ATV trails to explore. Browse the streets and see Victorian homes and stop at the farmers market to stock up on good food for the rest of your RV trip.

In Island Falls there are four surrounding lakes where you can go boating or fishing, and you can even play golf at the 18-hole Va-Jo-Wa Golf Course surrounded by scenic views of mountains. There is nothing like a visit to Island Falls, Maine!

Although the time to return home is rapidly approaching, you’ll know that this autumn vacation was certainly one of the best ever. You can always extend your stay and see the ever-changing autumn colors deepen and reach their peak quickly. Maine is a wonderful spot for an RV vacation in the fall.

Picture credits: The picture of Fall Foliage in Maine 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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