Winter RV Trip: Five Stunning National Parks

Feeling the shorter days and colder temperatures creeping up on you? Would you like to plan to get away, have fun and stay warm while you enjoy some of our national treasures? Here are five stunning National Parks you can visit during the coming months to lift your spirits and allow you to commune with nature.

If time allows, combine a few of these adventures while traveling in your RV so you have everything you need with you.

  • You can enjoy dog sledding at Snow Mountain Ranch, near Rocky Mountain National Park in Winter Park, CO. What an unusual experience and so much fun! See more information about it here.
  • Visit Olympic National Park and watch a winter storm travel across the Pacific from a luxurious hot tub. Olympic National Park has 73 miles of coastline that turns into a wave-crashing show in the winter. From November through February, storms coming in from the Pacific Ocean have wind gusts up to 60 miles-per-hour, not to mention the rain, sometimes accumulating six inches in 24-hours. The wind and rain combined can make it look like it’s raining horizontally.  The best time to watch a storm is when the tide is coming in and at high tide. In between storms, use the sunny time to explore the beach with its tide pools and tossed, teetering wood.
  • And at Yosemite, try and experience the Winemaker Weekend- Jan. 25-27, 2019, where you can join Napa’s Elizabeth Vianna, winemaker and general manager of Chimney Rock, at Rush Creek Lodge. Vianna is well-known for her estate-grown wines from Chimney Rock’s green-certified Napa Valley winery. Here you can sip wine paired with a gourmet prepared meal with one of Napa Valley’s renowned winemakers.
    Yosemite Valley

    Yosemite Valley

    Or come and visit the Yosemite landscape by going on a guided excursion. Winter provides a whole different view at Yosemite.

  • Go to the Grand Canyon on the Polar Express! Yes, really! Families looking to capture the awe of the holiday spirit in their children’s eyes will love Grand Canyon Railway’s Polar Express. Chris Van Allsburg’s classic book, The Polar Express, comes to life starting annually in November and ending in early January. Families board the special 1930s-era train at the depot in Williams, Arizona for a roundtrip-ride that lasts about 90 minutes. Passengers will ride through dark and quiet wilderness to The North Pole, where Santa and his reindeer wait. Aboard the Polar Express the spirit of Christmas is passed on to every boy and girl from Santa himself with their own special gift. The train departs at 5:30, and 7:30 p.m., and on some days at 3:30 p.m. Tickets sell fast, so don’t wait to book.
  • The Olympic Park in Utah is a wonderful place to fight the winter blues. Take part in this epic experience and feel more energized after you do it. Have you ever wondered how it would feel to climb on a bobsled and race down the track? In winter, the bobsled travels on ice, just as the Olympians do. You can head to Olympic Park in Park City for this ride on the 2002 Olympic Sliding Track.

Each of the National Parks has RV campgrounds for your accommodations. Check the one(s) you will be visiting for schedules due to inclement weather, but most have some winter operating times and there will be fewer people visiting, so winter can be an ideal time for a quiet getaway.

You can start your RV camping trip near Salt Lake City and rent an RV from El Monte RV there, or if you wish to rent at another location see our Where to Rent RV’s page here. And to make planning your trip even better, check out our RV Rental Deals page for current specials to help you get on your way!

Posted in Arizona RV Camping Vacation, Colorado RV Camping Vacation, Utah RV Camping Vacation, Washington RV Camping Vacation | Leave a comment

RV’ing For Thanksgiving Holiday Special

You may already be thinking about Thanksgiving… is it going to be the same old thing with way too many sweet potatoes and too much food in an atmosphere of gluttony with your family? Why not make it a special holiday this year by taking advantage of El Monte RV’s special Thanksgiving offer? Check out all the details of our RV rental special and how you can save money on the rental of an El Monte RV at all our nationwide locations.

To help make your Thanksgiving special, this is an RV rental special for rentals with pickup dates between November 1 and November 30. Rent for 4 nights or more and get double the miles free!  That’s 100 free miles per night!

Go out of town in an RV and take your ready-made accommodations with you so you don’t need to crowd into your relative’s house. Or make it a longer trip and enjoy some picturesque fall scenery and changing leaves on your way to or from your destination.

Or, consider, as host of the Thanksgiving feast, having an extra private space for your guests. Either way, an RV provides the perfect accommodation for you, your friends and family.

Ideas to Help Celebrate Thanksgiving

Here are some ideas to help you celebrate being together with your family and giving thanks for all you have to be thankful for.

Traditional Thanksgiving feast

Traditional Thanksgiving feast

Check out these award winning menus if you happen to be the host (and the cook) for your family’s gathering. Choose from 28 easy-to-make complete Thanksgiving menus here. Or try a vegan Thanksgiving feast; see suggested vegan menus and shopping list here.

Possible Touring Destinations

If you want to get out on the open road, consider traveling during Thanksgiving to these destinations.

Mid-Atlantic States: What about a visit to the Gettysburg Battlefield? This is a picturesque place to visit and experience a huge history lesson before the weather gets too cold to stroll on the battlefield. If it’s cold, you can drive through a self-guided tour of most of the key sites of this historic location. You can rent an RV from our Baltimore rental location which is only about one and a half hours from Gettysburg.

Northwest States: Try a visit along the trail first traveled by Lewis and Clark as they led American explorers across the country. Leaving from the mouth of the Missouri River, the Corps of Discovery made it all the way to the Pacific Ocean and back. Their journey was almost 8,000 miles long and took them two years to make. Wherever you may be, you can find parts of the Lewis and Clark Trail in Omaha, Nebraska, where the Trail Headquarters is located, all the way to the mouth of the Columbia River in Oregon. See more details about their amazing journey and trail maps and locations of visitor centers and museums here.

To rent from our Ferndale, Washington location, click here.

Enjoy your Thanksgiving wherever you spend it and be grateful for all you have. Take advantage of our Thanksgiving special at all our nationwide locations.

Happy Thanksgiving from El Monte RV!

Posted in Food RV Vacations, Historical RV Vacation, Maryland RV Camping Vacation, Washington RV Camping Vacation | Leave a comment

RV Trip to Wild, Wonderful Washington

Two National Parks, One National Historical Park and One Awesome Recreation Area!

Washington offers some incredibly different scenery from the rest of the US, even the Pacific Northwest. Here, you can go from snow covered peaks on Mount Rainier to beaches covered with driftwood just asking to be carved or at least photographed. Whether you’re a hiker, a photographer or just a nature lover, Washington has a lot to offer.

Olympic National Park

Olympic National Park encompasses nearly a million acres of vast wilderness on the Olympic Peninsula, in the northwest corner of Washington. This park protects thousands of years of human history, and several distinctly different ecosystems, including glacier-capped mountains, old-growth temperate rain forests, and over 70 miles of wild coastline. It is diverse and beautiful with an incredible range of precipitation and elevation.

Designated as both a World Heritage Site and an International Biosphere Reserve by the United Nations, the park serves as a living laboratory for scientists and students, as well as an incredible natural playground for visitors. Millions of people visit Olympic each year to experience its beauty, diversity, and many opportunities for adventure, exploration, and recreation.

You can hike short (1/4 to 1 mile) ranger-guided trails or go off for much longer and more challenging hikes to view the vast peaks of Mount Olympus. Mt. Olympus (7,980 ft.), the highest in the Olympics, is one of the most spectacular areas in Washington. Climbing here is only for experienced glacial climbers with proper equipment.

However, for most people Hurricane Hill is 1.6 miles one way and begins at the end of the Hurricane Ridge Road. The rough paved trail gains about 700 feet in elevation, giving panoramic views. This trail is also close to the visitor center which offers a large menu for a reasonably-priced lunch and spectacular views right off their decks. For more information about things to do, including maps and current alerts due to forest fires, see their website. 

Mount Rainier National Park

Mount Rainier National Park offers a glimpse into glaciers where you can hear the ice of the glacier crack. Reaching 14,410 feet above sea level, Mount Rainier stands as an icon in the Washington landscape. An active volcano, Mount Rainier is the most glaciated peak in the contiguous U.S.A., spawning five major rivers. Sub-alpine wildflower meadows ring the icy volcano while ancient forest cloaks Mount Rainier’s lower slopes. Wildlife abounds in the park’s ecosystems. Plan a hike or a serious climb as you prefer. Check out all there is to do here.

San Juan Island National Historical Park

San Juan Island is well known for its splendid vistas, saltwater shore, quiet woodlands, orca whales and one of the last remaining native prairies in the Puget Sound/Northern Straits region. San Juan Island National Historical Park is composed of 2,141 acres of woodland, prairie and saltwater shoreline in two units on San Juan Island, one of the 172 named islands and reefs in San Juan County, Washington State.

But it was also here in 1859 that the United States and Great Britain nearly went to war over possession of the island, the crisis ignited by the death of a pig. The dispute is perhaps the best-known period in island history.

But the park also encompasses a rich and diverse environment that cannot be separated from the island’s 3,000-year human history. Long before the arrival of Europeans, the island sheltered a thriving culture attracted by its temperate climate, rich soil, abundant timber and marine resources. These same attributes lured Spain, Great Britain and the United States. Each explored, charted and named the islands while staking overlapping claims to the Oregon County– the present states of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, portions of Wyoming and Montana and the province of British Columbia.

You can learn all the details of this fascinating chapter in history and more about the park on their website.

Round out your trip by visiting Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area

A jewel in northeast Washington, this park is worth the 5½ to 6 hour drive east from Seattle if you can make the time.

In 1941 the Grand Coulee Dam was built on the Columbia River as part of the Columbia River Basin project, creating a 130-mile long lake. Named for President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area provides opportunities for boating, fishing, swimming, camping, canoeing, hunting and visiting historic Fort Spokane and St. Paul’s Mission.

San Juan Island, WA

San Juan Island, WA

Where to Camp:

  • Olympic National Park: There are 16 campgrounds in Olympic National Park, although they do not have water or electrical hookups. Those amenities are offered at the two concession-operated campgrounds: Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort and the Log Cabin Resort. Check the websites for more details.
  • Mount Rainier National Park: There are four campgrounds in Mount Rainier National Park, as follows: Cougar Rock in the SW section of the park; Chanapecosh in the SE section; White River in the NE section and Mowich Lake in the NW section of the park. Check the park’s website for details.
  • San Juan Island: Both park units–American Camp and English Camp–despite their names, are day-use only. For an up-to-date list of lodging properties check the San Juan Islands Visitors Bureau website.
  • Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area: To find out more about camping here and all the activities that abound in eastern Washington’s beautiful jewel, check their website.

You can rent an RV from El Monte RV in Vancouver/Bellingham, WA and drive to the Olympic Peninsula to start your adventure.

Posted in National Parks, Washington RV Camping Vacation | Leave a comment

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

RV Road Trip Nirvana: Stalking Seattle’s Grunge History

“RV camping” and “Grunge” may not click at first glance, but if you still miss the ‘90s and the glory days of Grunge, it will all soon make sense. Seattle, the birthplace of flannel-wearing, electric guitar slamming garage bands, also happens to be an awesome RV camping venue. If your vintage vinyl honors Pearl Jam, Stone Temple Pilots and Nirvana, your next RV road trip should be to Seattle.

Where Can I Find Seattle Grunge Landmarks?

Your Seattle pilgrimage can take you to the places where the bands played, recorded and hung out in the late ‘80s and ‘90s. Expect some of the locations to be under different names now; as with every city, businesses come and go. You can, however, map the trail of places important during the Grunge movement without much trouble.

As you pay homage to the Grunge Movement in Seattle, you’ll want to visit the unofficial Kurt Cobain memorial in Viretta Park. This unassuming little spot directly across the street from the house where Kurt Cobain died includes a park bench covered with graffiti from Cobain fans. Feel free to photograph the house from a distance, remembering that it’s private property.

Check the website for London Bridge Studio before you come to find out when they’ll be open for tours. Some of the biggest names in Grunge recorded here, including Soundgarden and Pearl Jam. Buy your tour tickets online before you come to Seattle on your RV road trip.

Grunge may be gone, but Seattle still has a five-star indy and live music scene. Plan to visit The Crocodile, a live music venue where Nirvana and Pearl Jam were known to play. Check their concert schedule; you might just get lucky and be in Seattle when one of the Grunge tribute bands is performing.

Another venerable music venue that should be on your list is The Showbox near Pike Place Market. Grunge gods often played here, and it’s still a good place to catch live music, with every genre music you can imagine playing here since the ‘30s.

One more stop Grunge fans will want to make before leaving Seattle is Re-Bar, the legendary club where Nirvana was bounced for starting a food fight during the release party for Nevermind. Not your run-of-the-mill art/music/comedy venue, Re-Bar offers edgy shows and often features regional bands.

What RV Campgrounds Are Near Seattle?

It is possible to find a campsite close-in to the city, but drawing a circle in a forty-mile radius around Seattle will give you lots of amazing options. You’ll find private camping resorts and campgrounds from Everett to Tacoma. We’ll highlight just a few.

Eagle Tree RV Park in Poulsbo, WA, is on the Kitsap Peninsula, just across Puget Sound from downtown Seattle and served by the Seattle-Bremerton Ferry.  Lake Pleasant RV Park, north of Seattle in Bothell, WA, has lakeside campsites and easy access to bike trails that will take you to downtown Seattle.  Blue Sky RV Park, twenty miles west of Seattle on I-90, has a nice, park-like feel with plenty of green space.

National park campgrounds near Seattle are another option. The Seattle/Puget Sound area is ringed by national parks with picturesque RV campsites. You’re going to have to drive a little farther to reach those Seattle Grunge landmarks, but the view will make it worth the trip.

Mount Rainier National Park, in the shadow of that mighty peak, has three campgrounds that accommodate RVs. (Check the website for RV length limits.)   

Mount Rainier

Mount Rainier

Olympic National Park & Forest west of Seattle also accommodates RVs in three of its campgrounds.

North Cascades National Park, where the glaciers rule, has RV-ready campsites in its main campground. Here’s one more resource to help you find the right campground in Washington State.

Where’s Seattle’s Best Coffee Shop?

Admit it, when I said “Seattle”, your brain said, “coffee”. And what would a Grunge-seeking, coffee-loving RVer do when visiting Seattle except search for the city’s best coffee shops? It’s going to take some time to visit the espresso options in this java-centric city, but here are a few suggestions to get you started.

  •         Milstead & Co. in the Fremont neighborhood ranks high in hipster chic, but Grunge fans will still love the coffee.
  •         Storyville Coffee in the famed Pike Place Market never lacks in espresso-scented charm.
  •         Voxx on Eastlake comes with the bonus of mid-century modern décor.

If Grunge music never died, as far as you’re concerned, and you’ve learned how comfortable RV travel can be, it’s time to put tires to pavement and get to Seattle. Walk the streets, visit the venues and experience the coffee of your dreams in the town where the best bands of the nineties got their start.

Posted in Washington RV Camping Vacation | Leave a comment

Five Northwest Lake Destinations to Discover

Out of RV Travel Ideas?

If you camp by RV often, you may find the same old campgrounds losing their luster. We’ve got five enticing lake destinations in America’s rugged Northwest to help restart your RV camping hearts. Pick one from our list below and get back on the road to camping fun.

  1.   Washington – Lake Chelan

Located in the mountainous forests of Central Washington, Lake Chelan is a developed lake ringed by resort properties, quaint villages and abundant RV camping options.

Sunset at Lake Chelan, WA

Sunset at Lake Chelan, WA

Winding its way through Lake Chelan National Recreation AreaLakeshore RV Resort, operated by the city of Chelan, features full-service amenities paired with a swimming beach and easy access to services in town.the lake is custom-made for outdoor recreation. Boating, fishing, swimming, hiking and camping are popular ways to enjoy the bright blue waters of Lake Chelan and the surrounding Cascades. Campers are also within an easy drive of wineries, galleries, restaurants and shops in two lakeside villages – Chelan and Manson. A must-do day trip idea—hike or take the passenger ferry to the rustic village of Stehekin to enjoy unspoiled beauty.    

  1.   Oregon – Lake of the Woods

If you’ve been RV camping in Oregon, you’ve probably camped at magnificent Crater Lake. We’d like to offer Oregon travelers another possibility—RV camping at Lake of the Woods, a smaller, more intimate setting with plenty of woodsy charm.

Lake of the Woods, in Oregon’s Southern Cascades, is a high mountain lake kept full year-round by snow runoff and natural springs. Kokanee salmon, German Brown and Rainbow Trout thrive in the cold, clear waters at five-thousand-feet elevation.

Lake of the Woods Resort operates the camping concession within Fremont-Winema National Forest. Their small, nicely wooded campground features full hook-up and electric & water sites and is close to the marina.

Plan to spend many hours outdoors at this lush mountain paradise, where trails wind through old-growth forests, around the lake and beyond to nearby mountains. Views of Mt. McLoughlin frame your journey as you paddle a canoe or kayak along the lake’s shoreline.

  1.   Idaho – Lake Coeur d’Alene

Lake Coeur d’Alene in Northern Idaho is famous for its bright blue waters and first-class outdoor recreation. Camp in one of several RV campgrounds and resorts near the city of Coeur d’Alene and enjoy tour boat cruises, guided fishing excursions for chinook and bass, and golf on one of ten courses that ring this stunningly scenic lake.

Trails in and around the city (be sure to try Tubbs Hill), as well as a section of the seventy-mile Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes, cater to hikers, trail runners and mountain biking enthusiasts. Adjacent Coeur d’Alene National Forest is also home to hundreds of miles of trails.

  1.   Montana – Flathead Lake

Been promising your camping companions a fishing charter experience? There’s no better place in Montana to fish than Flathead Lake, the largest natural lake west of the Mississippi.

Situated in the valley adjacent to Glacier National Park, Flathead Lake is fed by two cold, clear rivers. Local outfitters can guide you to where the forty-plus-pound Lake Trout (Mackinaws) feed.

If you’re not into fishing, never fear. The lake is surrounded by hiking trails, two scenic highways that skirt the lake’s thirty-mile length and plenty of places to enjoy wildlife watching, swimming, water sports and comfortable Montana RV camping.

Speaking of camping, Finley Point State Park Campground and a half-dozen private RV parks ring the lake, offering a variety of amenities. Most are on the water or in the lakeside towns of Polson, Bigfork and Rollins.

  1.   Wyoming – Jackson Lake

One of the star attractions of Grand Teton National Park is the collection of alpine lakes within the park’s boundaries. Several of these mountain lakes are remote, accessible to hikers and tent campers. There are, however, RV camping options near the chilly, pristine waters of Jackson Lake.

Colter Bay RV Park, five minutes from Jackson Lake, is a full-service campground with full-hookups and easy access to services in Colter Bay Village. Colter Bay Campground is a large, wooded campground suitable for dry camping in an RV. Showers, laundry facilities and a dump station are close by.

Why camp at Jackson Lake while visiting Grand Teton National Park? It’s centrally located for access to all the park has to offer. The lake itself is famous for cutthroat, brown trout and lake trout fishing, and is also perfect for launching your sailboat or kayak. Boat tours are offered throughout the summer to give campers an up-close view of Mt. Moran and other jagged peaks that border the lake.

Pick a lake that appeals to your heart and plan to go RV camping soon in America’s glorious Northwest. Be sure to let us know which lakeside camping adventure you’ll be repeating!

Posted in Idaho RV Camping Vacation, Montana RV Camping Vacation, Oregon RV Camping Vacation, RV Campgrounds, State Parks, Washington RV Camping Vacation, Wyoming RV Camping Vacation | Leave a comment

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.

Larrabee State Park

Larrabee State Park

Start your time RV camping in Bellingham by challenging the young ones to complete 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 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
Posted in California RV Camping Vacation, State Parks, Texas RV Camping Vacation, Washington RV Camping Vacation | Leave a comment

Five Waterfalls to Add to Your RV Travel List

The rush of water down the face of a mountain is a sight worth travelling to see, especially when you’re travelling in motorhome comfort. We’ve done the homework to create a ‘must-see’ list of five waterfalls worth adding to your RV travel list. Let us know in the Comments section which ones you’ve visited.

Long Creek Falls – Chattahoochee National Forest, Georgia

On your RV trip to northern Georgia, combine a chance to hike the Appalachian Trail with a visit to Long Creek Falls for an unforgettable excursion. A 2-mile round trip trek down the “AT” through the Three Forks Valley will reward you with views of this beautiful waterfall rushing down the rocks more than fifty feet into a tree-lined pool. There’s plenty more to see and do in Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest, so bring the RV and plan to camp awhile in Georgia.

Falling Spring – Alleghany Highlands, Virginia

This famous falls is just north of Covington, Virginia, in the spectacular Allegheny Highlands area of the Shenandoah Valley. Follow Route 220 to this special place, where high rock ledges frame the eighty-foot falls. It’s the kind of place nature photographers fall in love with, so bring your favorite camera equipment and plan to hike down to the bottom for even more breathtaking views.

Bridal Veil Falls – Provo Canyon, Utah

Follow Hwy 189 north from Provo toward Heber and watch for the pullout for Bridal Veil Falls, one of Utah’s most photographed wonders. Motorhome campers with kids, in particular, love this waterfall because it’s easy to access and there’s a shallow pool at the base where young ones can wade. A two-tiered falls that travels more than six hundred feet to the bottom, Bridal Veil Falls should definitely be on your itinerary if you’re traveling through southern Utah. Tip: It’s a short drive to Wasatch Mountain State Park, where campgrounds with full hook-ups wait to welcome you.

Watkins Glen State Park – Watkins Glen, New York

Follow the steps carved into this rocky gorge in New York’s Finger Lakes Region and you’ll be rewarded with views of nineteen waterfalls! Follow the Gorge Trail over, around and under these falls for exceptional scenery at every turn. The State Park has a convenient campground, so plan to stay awhile and explore additional waterfalls at nearby Finger Lakes state parks.

Wallace Falls – Wallace Falls State Park, Gold Bar, Washington

Wallace Falls, WA

Wallace Falls, WA

The trails in this Central Cascades state park promise views of no less than nine waterfalls, including the 265-foot wonder that gives the park its name. Old growth forests, clear, rock-lined streams and a wide variety of wildlife make hiking here a delight. Come for the waterfalls and stay to discover outdoor recreation at its best on the shores of two rivers and three backcountry lakes. RV campgrounds in nearby Mt Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest makes it easy to stay!

From Yosemite to Niagara, America has more than its share of magnificent waterfalls. Chase views of at least one of them this RV camping season and let us know what other falls should make our list. Happy trails!

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From Seattle’s Sound to the Mountains

Most trips to Washington focus on Seattle and that certainly makes sense.  Seattle is the jewel of the Northwest, a fantastic city full of great food, delicious coffee, and one of the best professional football teams in the country!  What some people are not aware of, however, is that you will find some of the most beautiful wilderness in the country surrounding Seattle.  If you’re looking for a combination of city fun and outdoor adventure, consider a memorable RV trip that takes you from Seattle’s Puget Sound all the way up to the Cascade Range mountains!

After you pick up your RV, your first stop is a short drive down Interstate 5 to the Wild Waves Water Park.  Wild Waves is the only outdoor water park in the Pacific Northwest, and it’s an awesome first-stop for the whole family as summer starts and the temperature begins to rise.  The park features tons of creative water slides and several roller coasters, so there’s something fun for everyone.   Even better, the lines are shorter than anything you’d find at more famous water parks in California or Florida.  Click on the link above to see this amazing water park that will  have your kids thanking you for years to come!  It really captures the “Wow-factor” for adults and kids alike!

Snowqualmie Falls, Washington

Snoqualmie Falls, Washington

Next, head up Highway 18 to the town of Snoqualmie and take in the glory of Snoqualmie Falls.  You can watch the cascade from a viewing deck near the bottom if you wish, but we highly recommend taking a hike to the top of the 270 foot falls to enjoy the view.  With the weather warming up, make sure to dip your toes in the water!  On your way out, you can also pick up a package of the all-natural Snoqualmie Falls pancake mix.  It’ll make for a great breakfast on the next day of your trip after camping at the Snoqualmie River RV park.  It’s a good local choice for when you’re ready to turn in for the night.

Less than two hours to the south, you can find yourself at the foot of Mount Rainier.  This 14,410 foot peak is surrounded by a gorgeous national park.  The mountain and its park are home to over fifty species of mammals and 120 species of birds, so bring your camera for you’ll have ample opportunity for wildlife viewing.  Mount Rainier is also an active volcano and has twenty-five glacier.   You will also be able to explore geological features that are rarely found so close to a major metropolitan city.

The Bavarian Village in Leavenworth

The Bavarian Village in Leavenworth

For a last stop in the mountains of Washington, head for the world-famous town of Leavenworth.  This small town completely remodeled itself in the early 1960’s to create the image of a Bavarian village.  Every shop, hotel, and building front now presents the famous wood beam architecture that evokes the German Alps.  While you would have to wait till the winter to take in the local ski slopes, you can still enjoy a full springtime schedule of live music, art walks, and simply exploring a countryside that is covered in wildflowers.

Washington is full of wonders, and it’s worth your time to get out of the city to find them.  Whether it’s shooting down a water slide or hiking through the mountains, the best way to enjoy it is in an RV.  Pick one up today and let your adventure begin!

For more information on renting or buying a motor home CLICK HERE!

Picture Credits: Snoqualmie Falls by Allen Sheffield and the Barvarian Village by Todd Petit are licensed under Flickr Creative Commons
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An RV Trip to Seattle is Great for the Whole Family

The Pacific Northwest is a wonderful place to vacation in a motor home, with friendly folk, gorgeous scenery, and  lots of good food.  Seattle is one of the main tourist destinations at all times of the year; however, winter is especially desirable for a family vacation as you will be avoiding the crowds!  Lake Pleasant RV Park is one camping spot that comes highly recommended.  Make the park your home base and begin your Seattle adventure.

Lovely Seattle, Washington

Lovely Seattle, Washington

The first place in Seattle to see is the Space Needle.  This is likely the biggest attraction for those visiting for the first time (and the second and the third…).  Once you are 520 feet above sea level and are observing the city from the Observation Deck, you will see why this is the place to visit first in this Washington city.  You’ll see Elliott Bay sparkling in the sun, the  gorgeous mountains in the distance, and enjoy watching the hustle and bustle of downtown from high above.  An amazing panoramic overview indeed!

Seattle's Space Needle Lookout City Tower

Seattle’s Space Needle – the City’s Lookout Tower

Next you should head for Olympic Sculpture Park and nine acres of artwork to take in.  It is definitely an inspiring place to visit.  Right on the waterfront, this park has unique views of Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains, as well as the opportunity to enjoy this great outdoor art.  Also, in visiting the Valley next to the Gates Amphitheater, you will see tall fir and cedar trees, lovely blooming shrubs, colorful flowers, and ferns.  There is much, much more to explore to your heart’s content!

Naturally, the Woodland Park Zoo can’t be missed, particularly if you have kids with you on your trip.  It is a place of wonder for kids and adults alike.  The children will love riding on the Carousel and then heading over to get up close to and feed the penguins.   At Willawong Station, the family can experience an aviary where many colorful birds are flying free.  Don’t miss the grizzly exhibit while you are here!

The Lake Union Area of Seattle offers some interesting sights, including the Museum of History and Industry and its awesome Art Deco-style features.  Tour the museum for a view of almost four million photos and historic artifacts.  All through the Lake Union neighborhood you’ll see art displayed by local artists.

Another thrill for young and old alike is the Seattle Aquarium!  Besides sea life, there is a wide array of shows and exhibits to enjoy.  Watch the divers submerge into the water and still be able to answer your questions.  Watch the marine animals being fed.  The giant Pacific octopus is also waiting to meet you and yours.  After your visit here you can go to see the Pacific Science Center where a huge diversity of things await you.  For instance, you can learn a lot about the world of espionage and see collections from the CIA and FBI.

An RV trip to Seattle can fulfill the wildest vacation dreams.  Allow enough time to see everything when you come to this fascinating Pacific Northwest city.  Seattle has it all!

El Monte RV

El Monte RV Rentals and Sales

For information on renting or buying a motor home CLICK HERE!

Picture credits:  Seattle overview by Elias Daniel, the space needle by Frank Kovalcheck “Alaskan Dude” are licensed under the Flickr Creative Commons Attribution license.  Thank you!
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