Visiting the National Parks by RV

Seeing a Show While Visiting the National Parks

There’s no better way to see the beauty of our country’s national parks than with an RV vacation. In an RV, you can make yourself at home on the road, to chart your own course and stray off the beaten path to see parks up close and personal. When the sun sets on an amazing day in the national park, head to a nearby city to enjoy a game, performance or concert. We’ve listed a few of our favorite national parks, as well as nearby towns where you can catch a show and be ready to get back to nature the next day.

The Park: Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Escape the hustle and bustle of the east coast and spend some time in Great Smoky Mountain National Park. Before the arrival of European settlers, the park was once the home to the Cherokee people, and it was officially dedicated a national park by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1940. Explore the pristine beauty of over 500,000 acres of woods, rivers and historic settlements. With its convenient location and beautiful surroundings, it’s easy to see why Great Smoky Mountains is the most frequently visited national park in the country.

The Venue: The Orange Peel, Asheville, N.C.

After you’ve hiked, fished and relaxed in the wilderness, head just 40 miles east to the city of Asheville, N.C. Nestled in the mountains, Asheville has long been a destination for friendly people, great food and fantastic music. While you’re in town, catch a show at The Orange Peel, which has been recognized as one of the top music venues in the country. The intimate space only holds about 1,000 people, but it has drawn musical acts such as Bob Dylan and Smashing Pumpkins. You can even catch a great comedy show there; comedian Tig Notaro will be performing at the Orange Peel on December 12, 2017.

The Park: Yosemite National Park

On the other side of the country is Yosemite National Park, an iconic American gem in Northern California. The park makes up more than 1,200 square miles of mountain vistas, valleys and breathtaking waterfalls, including Yosemite Falls, the highest waterfall in North America. Much of the land making up Yosemite National Park has been protected since the mid-19th century, and the plants and animal life in the park are incredibly diverse.

The Venue: Save Mart Center, Fresno, Calif.

Yosemite is just over an hour from Fresno, where you’ll find the Save Mart Center on the California State University campus. This multipurpose arena hosts everything from UFC fights and comedy shows to concerts from the likes of Miranda Lambert, Pink and Bruno Mars. It’s also home to the Fresno State men’s and women’s basketball teams. Pair an exciting event with a trip to Yosemite for a vacation that checks all the boxes.

The Park: Grand Canyon National Park

They say there’s no way to prepare yourself for seeing the Grand Canyon. No photo or description can do it justice; you just have to stand on the edge of its walls and see it for yourself. It was officially declared a national park in 1919, and more than 5 million Americans head to the northwestern corner of Arizona to see it every year. Whether you walk from one side to the other, fly over it on a helicopter tour, or just take it all in from the visitor’s center, a visit to Grand Canyon National Park is an experience you and your family will be talking about for years to come.

Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon

The Venue: The Orpheum Theater, Flagstaff, Ariz.

The Orpheum Theater was originally built in 1911 as a movie theater, and has been transformed into a state-of-the-art venue for film, live music and stage performances. Flagstaff is about an hour from Grand Canyon National Park, and a great home base for your Grand Canyon adventure. The theater is in Flagstaff’s beautiful downtown, close to restaurants, shops and surrounded by the area’s natural beauty. Visit the Orpheum to see rock shows, singer-songwriters or even a classic film on the big screen.

The Park: Mt. Rainier National Park

Mount Rainier is an active volcano southeast of Seattle that rises over 14,000 feet above sea level. The highest mountain of the Cascade Range, it’s also the most glaciated peak in the contiguous U.S., and it spawns six major rivers. Visitors can skip through wildflower meadows, marvel at powerful waterfalls and hike on well over 100 trails in this massive park.

The Venue: The Gorge Amphitheatre, George, Wash.

With stunning views over the Cascade Mountains and the Columbia River, this outdoor amphitheater is known as one of the most scenic in America. It seats nearly 30,000 fans, and although it’s located in a fairly rural area, there are several campgrounds nearby.

The United States has 58 National Parks, which means you may never run out of sights to see and beautiful roads to drive. Get creative on your next National Park adventure and add in some evening entertainment. An RV adventure gives you the flexibility to make the most of your vacation, no matter where the road takes you.

About the Author

Adam Young enjoys exploring the country’s national parks when he’s not serving as the CEO of Event Tickets Center. His home state of Florida offers a range of parks that are perfect for visiting via RV.

Posted in Arizona RV Camping Vacation, California RV Camping Vacation, National Parks, North Carolina RV Camping Vacation, Tennessee RV Camping Vacation, Washington RV Camping Vacation | Leave a comment

AAA Members-Look Skyward! 2017 Eclipse RV Travel Savings

You may have noticed our earlier discussion about the singular celestial event that’s coming to America in 2017. To refresh your memories, we’ll be enjoying a total solar eclipse over America on August 21, 2017. A special reason we’re highlighting this opportunity for RV travel again is that AAA members can save big when renting an RV to view the solar eclipse.

AAA members always enjoy RV rental discounts through El Monte RV Rental & Sales as part of their active membership. For this year’s total solar eclipse experience, the nationwide auto club is encouraging members to hit the road in an RV to find the optimal eclipse viewing sites.

This article on the 2017 eclipse in AAA’s April member newsletter offers information on where, when and how to view the eclipse. If you aren’t currently a AAA member, this link offers you the opportunity to join so you can take advantage of the RV rental discounts.  

Solar eclipse

Solar eclipse

Haven’t started making plans to see the moon’s shadow completely block the sun from Earthly viewers? Here are the details you’ll need to plan your 2017 total solar eclipse RV vacation:

When Will the Eclipse Occur?

The shadow of the moon will align to blot out the sun from our view for approximately two minutes at 10:15 a.m. PDT on the Pacific Coast near Newport, Oregon. That will be the North American debut of the 2017 solar eclipse. The moon’s shadow will then block the sun from sight in an arc across the US, moving back over the Atlantic off the South Carolina coast at 2:48 pm EDT.

Where Will the Total Eclipse be Visible?

This excellent map of the eclipse trajectory shows the fourteen states (from Oregon to South Carolina) crossed by the “path of totality”. On that path, there’s a sixty-mile band of optimum viewing of the entire eclipse event. Outside that band, you won’t be able to see the total eclipse and will have to settle for partial eclipse memories.

To help you plan your eclipse-viewing RV vacation, here are some of the cities within the path of totality:

Oregon: Newport, Corvallis, Madras, Salem

Idaho: Stanley, McKay, Idaho Falls

Montana: No cities within optimum viewing band, eight miles of remote mountain terrain only

Wyoming: Grand Teton National Park, Casper, Thermopolis

Nebraska: Scott’s Bluff, Hastings, Grand Island

Kansas: Troy, Atchison, Leavenworth

Missouri: St. Joseph, Columbia

Illinois: Carbondale, Chester

Kentucky: Bowling Green, Hopkinsville

Tennessee: Nashville, Gallatin, Clarksville

Georgia: Blairsville, Clayton

North Carolina: Andrews, Clingmans Dome area of Great Smoky Mountain NP

South Carolina: Anderson, Orangeburg, Columbia

Why Rent an RV to View the Eclipse?

As any experienced RV traveler can tell you, weather changes occur when you least expect them. Viewing the eclipse in all its glory will require staying ahead of cloud cover or storms. Two planning steps can help you win the race:

  •         Watch local forecasts for the area where you plan to view the eclipse. If heavy cloud cover or storms are predicted, have a Plan B viewing location in mind.
  •         Traveling by RV allows you to change plans quickly. The flexibility to move to a better location as the event approaches may make the difference between awesome eclipse viewing memories and traveling home disappointed.

AAA and El Monte RV Rental & Sales can help you plan the perfect eclipse viewing RV vacation, but you’ll need to act fast. Campgrounds are filling rapidly, so don’t delay any longer making your plans.

Where will you be when the sun goes dark on August 21, 2017?

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Six Spectacular RV Camping Trips to Find Fall Color

Chase a splash of red up a mountain road, and be rewarded by an endless valley filled with autumn colors. Wake up in your RV campground to the blaze of red and gold glory all around. That’s the beauty of an RV camping trip to find fall color.

These six spectacular trips offer a banquet of autumn beauty to RV travelers. It’s not too late to plan your itinerary!

  1. Gatlinburg, Tennessee:  Located on the northern boundary of Great Smoky Mountains National Park and half a day’s drive from Louisville, KY, Gatlinburg is one of our favorite autumn destinations. Use it as your starting point for one of the many scenic drives through the National Park to net a camera full of autumn color.
  1. Bristol, Rhode Island:  There’s never a bad time of year to drive Rhode Island’s coastal highways, and autumn there is particularly memorable. From the grounds of the Blithewold Mansion to the autumn wonders of Colt State Park on Narragansett Bay, RV travelers will find their fill of fall color in Bristol. RV vacation bonus—it’s a short drive via I-95 from Boston!
  1. Park City, Utah:  If you find yourself RV camping near Salt Lake City this autumn, take the time to visit Park City, less than an hour east on I-80. That’s where to start your journey through miles and miles of golden aspen as you follow the Provo Canyon Scenic Byway, with a side trip up the Alpine Scenic Loop “Backway” through Sundance. Don’t miss this Western wonder of nature!
  1. Grand County, Colorado:  The county and forest roads around the Rocky Mountain towns of Granby, Grand Lake, Winter Park and Fraser reveal some of
    Fall Foliage

    Fall Foliage

    Colorado’s best fall foliage. About an hour and a half from Denver, Grand County RV campers can find hours of autumn color along byways like County Road 50 (Church Park Rd) west of
    Fraser and Hwy 34 from Grand Lake to Granby. Autumn travel extra—keep an ear open for elk bugling during fall mating season!

  1. Tioga County, Pennsylvania:  Here’s an RV traveling family’s chance to see the PA Grand Canyon, as well as unforgettable autumn vistas! Tioga County, PA, a couple hours’ west of Kingston, boasts charming towns like Wellsboro, where quaint shops and homes are surrounded by glorious hardwoods in full autumn blaze. Follow the county roads between Ansonia, Wellsboro and Colton Point State Park for your best fall camping trip photos.
  1. Galena, Illinois:  As your motorhome rolls into Galena, Illinois, be prepared to be charmed! This Mississippi River town along the Great River Road blends abundant autumn leaves, streets winding up scenic hillsides and Victorian homes and shops galore. About three hours west of Chicago, Galena is one of the finest places to find fall foliage in the Midwest.

Admit it, you’re hoping to make an RV trip into the countryside to witness the beauty of autumn foliage. Use these suggested itineraries to start your trip planning, and don’t forget to give us a call if you’re in need of an RV rental. This autumn promises to be spectacular! Don’t miss the chance to see it for yourself with an RV camping trip to find fall color.

Posted in Colorado RV Camping Vacation, Fall Foliage, Illinois RV Camping Vacation, Pennsylvania RV Camping Vacation, Rhode Island RV Camping Vacation, Tennessee RV Camping Vacation, Utah RV Camping Vacation | Leave a comment

An RV Trip to Memphis Will be a Trip to Remember


Aerial Picture of Downtown Memphis

Aerial View of Downtown Memphis

Memphis, Tennessee is the perfect place to head in an RV this spring. This is, after all, the Home of the Blues! There is nothing like going to the birthplace of rock and roll to experience the music that makes us all tap our toes. There are plenty of other attractions and outdoor fun as well. Enjoy some of that downhome cooking. No time like the present!

Naturally, you can’t miss visiting Graceland while in Memphis. Elvis Presley’s home is a definite must-see, with its rich interior and eclectic displays. One convenient point is that you will find Graceland RV Park and Campground virtually next door. You can walk to the mansion to take in all the sights.

You will want to check out Shelby Farms Park for some of the outdoor fun you’ve been waiting for in Tennessee. This is a huge park, with trails for walking, hiking or biking. You’ll even get the unique opportunity to see a herd of American Bison. Some of the trails include the new 6-Mile Horseback Riding and Hiking Trail, a short loop trail around Patriot Lake, and the Chickasaw Lake Trail from where you can see the bison.

If you have kids with you, be sure to stop by the Children’s Museum of Memphis so they can have fun with the interactive exhibits and learn more about our world. If they also love music, they can get up on a stage and be a star! Exploring the tree house and climbing in a real airplane cockpit are also at the top of the list of things to do here.

The Davies Manor Plantation takes you back to the early days with the lovely furnishings and ambience. All year there are a number of fascinating events going on here, and if you check the schedule, you may be just in time for one or two. Seeing how folks lived in the early 19th century gives you a new look at history.

Okay, now for some excitement! Eighteen miles north you will discover racing and sports events galore! The Memphis International Raceway provides family entertainment the year round. Spring is a great time to come. There is even RV parking for your convenience when the events run multiple days. What a great way to meet new people and experience one of the best racing facilities in this country.

A bit further north, discover the Alex Haley Museum and Interpretive Center. A museum with amazing exhibits beckons, teaching you much about a saga that will never be forgotten – “Roots.” Celebrate this individual’s accomplishments as you look over the artifacts of an inspirational life.

Of course, you can’t neglect some of the music that Memphis is famous for! Stop by the B.B. King’s Blues Club before you leave the city. Get captivated by the authentic blues music and delicious Southern dishes. This is his original club so there is no comparison! The perfect way to end a perfect RV vacation in Memphis!

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An RV Trip along the Natchez Trace Parkway from Nashville

The Birdsong Hollow Bridge

The Birdsong Hollow Bridge

Hopping in your RV for a winter trip along the Natchez Trace Parkway is something you need to plan in the coming months. This 444-mile drive offers unbelievable scenery and plenty of American history. The “Old Trace” is a path that involved Indians, settlers and presidents. Outdoor recreation is abundant too!

Start out in Nashville, TN and stay awhile to enjoy the sights to see in “Music City.” Before you begin your travels along the parkway, you will want to get caught up in all Nashville has to offer the visitor. There is always a huge calendar of events which showcases the best musical experiences you can imagine.

There is no doubt that your first stop should be the Grand Ole Opry House on Opryland Drive. Pick up a concert schedule and get tickets to see some of the best country music artists around. This spot has launched many careers. Then visit the Hermitage to see exhibits, a film about the history of President Andrew Jackson. This Antebellum plantation is now restored and is a fabulous museum.

More history is waiting for you at the Belle Meade Plantation where you get a true flavor of the historic American south. Then head over to 5th Avenue South to take in the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville’s entertainment district. You will find many treasures that will bring back memories of country music as it used to be. Then at the Tennessee State Museum experience a long list of historic displays that highlight periods in Tennessee from prehistoric times to the Civil War and Reconstruction.

In the evening, you will want to spend some time on the General Jackson Showboat. This 300-foot-long paddlewheel riverboat is styled just like those that moved up and down the waterways in the south in the 1800s. Have a delicious dinner, dance on the deck under the stars and relax. You can also enjoy a cruise in the daylight hours.

Now you are ready to take off on the Natchez Trace Parkway and travel south out of Nashville. This is a year round drive that is sure to please any RVer. However, you must make it a point to fill up before leaving Nashville as there is only one gas station on the Parkway. It is located at mile 193. Stop along the way to hike, fish or take part in special events. Rangers can give you schedules so you can plan your itinerary.

When you come to Birdsong Hollow, stop near the arched bridge and take in the view. You can see its innovative design from north of the bridge at the parking area, or taking the exit ramp just south of the bridge which takes you to Highway 96. From here you will be looking up at the entire length. Be sure to have your camera handy.

When you come to Tennessee Valley Divide you will be at milepost 423.9 and can stop for some fresh air, stretch your legs and take in the views. Then you will want to visit the Phosphate Mine for a real treat. You can hike for five minutes to a railroad bed and collapsed mineshaft for a unique experience. As you drive on and move south of the Tennessee State line, there are opportunities for short walks, stops at prehistoric mound sites and other historical points of interest. At Colbert Ferry in Alabama you can park in the parking area and walk a short distance up a small path to see Colbert’s stand where travelers stopped for shelter. Add on another twenty minutes of walking and you will come to a bluff overlook.

You will come to the Bear Creek Mound and Village Site before leaving Alabama and entering Mississippi. This was a ceremonial site in 1100 to 1300 A.D. This is at milepost 308.8 and is free of charge to view. Another great stop is the Twentymile Bottom Overlook. You may see other places to pull over and enjoy the Mississippi weather.

Tupelo, Mississippi is a wonderful place to stop off to do some shopping and to see the birthplace of Elvis Presley. You will also like to visit the Tupelo Buffalo Park & Zoo. You will find the Natchez Trace RV Park is just south of Tupelo and offers wonderful RV camping.

You will finally reach Natchez, Mississippi which is the end of your trip. This is the oldest settlement on the Mississippi. Be sure to allot some time to stay here a while so you can wind down from your drive and enjoy some browsing in the shops and grab some incredibly good food.

Posted in Mississippi RV Camping Vacation, National Parks, National Scenic Byways, Tennessee RV Camping Vacation | Tagged | 2 Comments

Take the Mississippi Blues Highway on a Festive RV Vacation

Take a musical journey on a stretch of highway made famous for the Mississippi Delta music that has filled the air along this byway. The Mississippi Blues Highway will take you from Memphis, TN and through Mississippi and the historic towns that were written about by many memorable blues artists. You will experience the thrill of the legendary junction of Highways 61 and 49 where a blues master sold his soul. Allow enough time to stop at the blues spots and enjoy many incredible performances along the way.

While in Memphis, you should stop by the Stax Museum of American Soul Music to marvel at the more than 2,000 exhibits, including photos, instruments and costumes for stage performances. When you want the real thing, you can take a tour of the Memphis nightclubs in

Beale Street Music Festival

Beale Street Music Festival

the evening and a trip down the delta during the day. Hit the famous Beale Street and don’t forget to try some of the amazing barbecue in town.

Travel south on Highway 61 until you reach Tunica. Go to the visitor center to find out all available for you here, because there is a lot to do and see. Tour the Blues Markers for a feel for all the musical endeavors that went down in the area. Visit the Tunica Museum for more history of a bit different nature. Admission is free, and who can pass that up?

Clarksdale, a bit further down the road, offers more live music. Plenty of blues joints to visit, and a historic cotton farm to see – the Hopson Plantation. It is a pleasure to sample some of Mississippi hospitality here, and visit with other like-minded souls. The delta has its own flavor and culture which gives you a wider view of our world today.

While in Clarksdale, be sure to visit the famous nightclub Ground Zero Blues Club, owned by actor Morgan Freeman. Next door you can stop by the Delta Blues Museum for another taste of history and to explore our musical heritage. Stay a while and park your RV at Coahoma County Expo Center – reasonable rates and great amenities.

Taking Highway 49 south from Clarksdale, you will reach Greenwood with its wide variety of blues culture. There are three museums that display many historical artifacts. The Museum of the Mississippi Delta may not focus on the blues, but you can see many original paintings, drawings and a collection of items on the animals, antiques and agriculture of the Mississippi Delta. If you are in the area during October, don’t miss the Cotton Capital Blues Festival, a must for any blues lover.

Whether you take 49 or go back to Highway 61, the rest of your trip is a pleasant one, until you get to Vicksburg, when it takes on new meaning. This is a town of importance on the Mississippi Blues Highway, but also for its part in the Civil War. You can visit Vicksburg National Military Park to discover the past. Blues clubs are abundant and you can still find a lot of toe-tapping music, as well as plenty of festivals and events that happen all year long. What an RV vacation! You will have to do this again!

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Take Time to Smell the Roses (and Other Wildflowers)

If you’re looking for an ideal way to see the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, consider

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

driving along the Newfound Gap Road, also known as US Route 441. This 33-mile road  traverses the entire park, and is the only road that does so. You can drive the length of the road in one hour as part of a longer vacation, or you can stop at all of the points of interest for many hours of enjoyment. When you do this, your motorhome really comes in handy, as you can make dinner, decide to stay for the night, or just be in the comfort of your RV rental while enjoying the scenery.

Be aware that the park’s busiest season is the summer tourist season in June through August, as well as leaf peepers who come to view the spectacular fall foliage in October. However, the wildflowers are in bloom as early as mid-March, and are abundant in April making for excellent motorhome vacations while the other tourists are still scarce.

You can drive the route from either end, starting at Gatlinburg or Cherokee. The Sugarlands Visitor Center is located less than one mile from Gatlinburg. The visitor center can provide you with maps of the park, displays of the park’s natural history, and well-informed park rangers that can answer any of your questions regarding the best sights to see on that particular day.

If it’s a warm day, you may spot other RVs on the pull-offs beside the road. Join them and splash in the crystal waters of the Little Pigeon River. After just a few miles, you’ll reach the best view in the entire park, the Campbell Overlook, where you can see Mt. LeConte, the third highest mountain in the Smoky Mountain range.

If you want to leave your motorhome and walk around, you can take a “quiet walkway” that lets you see the remains of a number of homesteads that used to occupy this area of the Smokies. Look at the remnants of foundations and chimneys, and imagine what it was like to live there.

Large parking areas at the trailheads allow tourists to park and either take the two mile hike to admire the ever-changing views of the Smokies, including a view of Mt. Mingus, or take the challenging five mile hike up to the LeConte Lodge and intersection with the Appalachian Trail. You can also get out and walk a short distance on the Appalachian Trail as you pass through Newfound Gap itself.

An easy hike is the half mile to the observation tower on top of Clingmans Dome. From this highest point in Tennessee, you can see seven different states on a clear day. There is also a 4.2-mile round-trip hike to Andrew’s Bald, which contains truly amazing displays of flowers in June.

There are also two picnic areas in the park, although you can stop and eat in the kitchen of your RV at any of the pull-offs or parking areas.

Finally, you can stop at the Oconoluftee Visitor Center before leaving the park, and see the Mountain Farm Museum. This remarkable museum consists of buildings of the original pioneers that have been relocated from throughout the park.

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Ten Great Things to Do in Goodlettsville, Tennessee!

Strategically located for fishing and hiking, fall leaf peeping tours and easy access to Nashville’s attractions, there’s always something great to do near Goodlettsville, TN! RV travelers will find dozens of historic, cultural and natural attractions within two hours’ drive of Goodlettsville. Here are ten great things to do near Goodlettsville to get you started.

  1. Belle Meade Plantation, a glorious representative of the state’s antebellum past, offers tours and educational opportunities for visitors. Relax in the slower pace as you absorb the beauty of one of Tennessee’s finest residences.
  2. Goodlettsville Antiques District is a favorite with Tennessee RV campers. Quaint shops and cafes line Main Street, tempting shoppers to spend a day hunting for treasure. Plan your day with this handy Goodlettsville Antiques District Guide.
  3. Grand Ole Opry Museum in Nashville is the heart of Music City, with performances, tours and special events sure to thrill country music fans. Check their website while making your Nashville RV campground reservations and reserve tickets to see your favorite Opry stars.
  4. Golf in Nashville – With more than two dozen golf courses in Music City and the surrounding area, you’re sure to find one that suits your style. From the Hermitage Golf Course in Old Hickory, TN to Two Rivers in Nashville, it’s a natural for RV travelers to play golf in the Goodlettsville area.
  5. Leaf Peeping in Tennessee draws millions of visitors each year, with brilliantly colored hardwood forests, fall festivals and special foliage tours. Nashville RV camping visitors can take the train to see some of the nicest foliage, thanks to the Tennessee Central Railway Museum’s vintage train tours.
  6. Kentucky Lake, Lake Barkley, and the Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area

    Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area

    Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area stretches across the Kentucky/Tennessee border two hours northwest of Goodlettsville. A lush reserve between two picturesque lakes, Land Between the Lakes is the kind of place RV campers won’t want to leave. Reserve your spot at one of the many campgrounds and then hike, fish, swim, ride horses, photograph wildlife and learn about this inland peninsula’s history to your heart’s content.

  7. Muddy Pond Mennonite Community, an hour and a half east of Nashville in Monterey, TN, is a step back in time. Visit the sorghum mill, shop at the mercantile for homemade goods and learn more about this close-knit community with no modern technology.
  8. Old Hickory Lake, twenty five miles up the Cumberland River from Nashville, has four hundred miles of shoreline and promises plenty of outdoor fun. Fantastic bass and crappie fishing, several full-service marinas and three Old Hickory Lake RV parks make this a wonderful way to spend your Nashville-area RV camping vacation.
  9. Study Tennessee’s Civil War History as memorialized by the Tennessee Civil War National Heritage Area in Murfreesboro. Whether you hike one of the Tennessee Civil War Trails or tour one of Tennessee’s many Civil War battlefields, you’ll soon learn why the Volunteer State was so pivotal in the War Between the States.
  10. Take a Cruise on the General Jackson! One of the country’s largest paddlewheel riverboats, the General Jackson cruises the Cumberland to delight Nashville visitors. Take a dinner cruise or join a Tennessee Titans tailgate cruise to the game and back (tickets are included!) No matter which riverboat cruise you select, this attraction is top-ranked by our RV camping friends.

This is just a small sampling of what’s in store for you when you go RV camping in Goodlettsville, Tennessee. Contact an RV rental location to book your motorhome and get ready for a terrific time in Tennessee!

Posted in Tennessee RV Camping Vacation | Tagged | 2 Comments

Southwest Tennessee RV Itinerary

All along mighty I-40 in Southwest Tennessee, RV travelers will find interesting attractions and unforgettable scenery. Combine that with RV parks brimming with Southern hospitality, and you have the makings of a great springtime adventure! Follow along with us as we map a Southwest Tennessee RV itinerary.

Memphis to Hatchie National Wildlife Refuge
Memphis, of course, is a rollicking Mississippi River town and home to all things Elvis. Start your trip with a stay at Graceland RV Campground, next door to the late superstar’s estate. Once you’ve toured Graceland, eaten a little barbecue and absorbed the blues on Beale Street, plan time for a stop at Shelby Farms Park, just east of the Memphis metro area off Germantown Parkway. More than four thousand acres of well-planned parkway, including thirty bodies of water, will give active campers the chance to hike, bike and fish in a beautiful setting.

Then it’s on down the road (I-40) about an hour east of Memphis to Hatchie National Wildlife Refuge, where an incredible variety of songbird species fill the spring skies with song and color. You might also have the good fortune to see bald eagles, river otters and dozens of other wildlife species along the park’s scenic drives.

If you’re ready to rest for the night, we’ve heard good things about Joy-O RV Park at Denmark, TN. It’s just off I-40 in a beautiful country setting.

Alamo, Bell and Jackson
The next morning, you’re in for a treat. Two great attractions can be found just sixteen miles north of I-40 on Hwy 412. Located between the towns of Bells and Alamo, Green Frog, Tennessee is a quaint village determined to preserve the state’s great past. Be sure to visit the Cotton Museum of the South before heading one more mile up the highway to the entrance of the Tennessee Safari Park. Endangered species share the rolling pastures of Hillcrest Farm, owned by the same family since the days of Andrew Jackson.

Once you’ve absorbed the beauty and history of the Tennessee countryside, turn back toward I-40 and the multiple attractions of Jackson, Tennessee. One of the most popular is Casey Jones Village and Museum, where history, entertainment and great southern hospitality blend to create a day-long destination for RV travelers.

Have more time to spend in Jackson? Old-time music fans will love a trip to the International Rockabilly Hall of Fame. We’ve also heard rave reviews about Century Farm Winery near Jackson, where the Spivey Family has farmed since 1830.

A railroad museum, a movie car museum and Civil War Salem Cemetery Battlefield add to the appeal for RV campers lucky enough to find Jackson, Tennessee. Hoping to enjoy some baseball while on vacation? Be sure to check the schedule for the Jackson Generals, minor league team for the Seattle Mariners.

The natural beauty and historical significance of Southwest Tennessee shouldn’t be missed by RV travelers. Start planning your springtime itinerary now, and be sure to let us know if we can help with an RV rental.

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RV Travel Along the Natchez Trace Parkway

Natchez Trace Parkway

Natchez Trace Parkway

Did you know there’s a road RV travelers can follow, from Natchez, MS to Nashville, TN, that beautifully brings to life American history and a wide range of natural wonders? The Natchez Trace Parkway starts in the Mississippi River town of Natchez and rolls four hundred forty four miles north across the northwestern corner of Alabama on its way to Tennessee. Drive the entire route and you’ll come home with a deeper knowledge of early American history and the beauty of the South.

Places to See Along the Natchez Trace Parkway
So what, exactly, is there to see along this legendary Southern parkway? You won’t see flashing signs and the clutter of commerce, thanks to great planning by the National Park Service. But just off the road there’s everything an RV camper might need.

Because there are absolutely dozens of attractions along the way, let’s break the route highlights down into two types – natural and historical:

Natchez Trace Parkway Natural Attractions

We mentioned the beauty of the South along the Natchez Trace Parkway, and you’ll discover it in every season. Here are some highlights along the route:

  • Rocky Springs Trail north of Port Gibson, MS, where horseback riders and hikers will find themselves challenged by steep ridges and rocky outcroppings in a gorgeous forest setting.
  • Ross Barnett Reservoir in Central Mississippi offers some of the nicest RV campgrounds around, plus the chance to fish for the lake’s legendary catfish.
  • Tombigbee National Forest south of Tupelo, MS is a great place to stop and hike, bike or visit historic Owl Creek and Bynum Burial Mounds
  • Freedom Hills Overlook in Alabama is worth a stop, to see the sights from the highest point along the Trace.
  • Alabama’s Tishomingo State Park is a photographer’s dream, with gigantic boulder formations and a scenic drive through the heart of the Appalachian foothills.
  • Cross the mighty Tennessee River into Tennessee and find prime hiking spots like Sweetwater Branch and favorite fishing holes such as Laurel Hill Lake.
  • Continue north through southern Tennessee mining country to Devil’s Backbone State Natural Area for a chance to hike along the Highland Rim.
  • If you’re up for a strenuous hike, by all means visit Jackson Falls and Baker Bluff Overlook north of the Meriwether Lewis Memorial.

This is by no means an exhaustive list of the splendid scenery to be found along the Natchez Trace Parkway! Plan time in your itinerary to follow side roads and make spontaneous detours as the sights unfold.

Natchez Trace Parkway Historical Attractions
Here are some of the historic places our readers highly recommend along the Parkway (from south to north):

All along the Natchez Trace Parkway, you’ll be offered the chance to visit historic colleges, plantations and a number of burial mounds sacred to Native American tribes. NPS visitor centers in spots like Tupelo, MS feature special events such as Dulcimer Day, Pioneer Day and living history re-enactments of early river travel and exploration.

Immerse yourself in the time of trappers and traders in towns like Pigeon Roost and French Camp, Mississippi. Make a stop at Tupelo National Battlefield for a better understanding of the war that changed the South forever. There’s literally an historic place waiting to be explored around every bend in the Parkway.

So, are you ready to follow the Natchez Trace in your RV? You’ll be happy to know the National Park Service has provided a helpful list of private and public campgrounds near the Natchez Trace Parkway (PDF). Whether you choose to camp at Elvis Presley Lake Campground near Tupelo, MS or Many Cedars Trail Ride & Campground near Hohenwald, TN, you’re sure to find a friendly, scenic campsite waiting.

Posted in Historical RV Vacation, Mississippi RV Camping Vacation, State Parks, Tennessee RV Camping Vacation | 2 Comments