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 (], 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!

Posted in Georgia RV Camping Vacation, New York RV Camping Vacation, Virginia RV Camping Vacation, Washington RV Camping Vacation | Leave a comment

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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An RV Trip to Whidbey Island in Washington

An RV trip around Seattle is good for the soul, and now is the ideal time to visit before the tourist crowds hit the road to this nice city.  You will find one of the favorite adventures in the Seattle area is to drive from the bottom to the top of Whidbey Island for cultural outdoor recreation and sights to see.  As you ride the ferry over, you’ll feel the anticipation of your landing build.

Camping and Picnic Area near Keystone Ferry in Washington

Camping and Picnic Area near Keystone Ferry in Washington

Once you land on the island, you may want to drive right over to Deer Lake and try your hand at fishing.  If the sun is out, you’ll want to catch some rays and soak it up while it lasts.  Then stop at the Earth Sanctuary, a little further up the road.  The wildlife and birds here will restore your faith in the goodness of nature.

When you move on and come to the South Whidbey State Park, you will love to get out and hike through old-growth forest.  You will also find a beach where you can walk by the water and enjoy this scenic shoreline.  This is a place to come for inspiration and solitude.  Take it all in before moving on.

One detour you’ll enjoy is taking Highway 20 over to Fort Casey State Park.  Stop to visit the lighthouse which was fully restored and is a great example of a ship warning system. Explore the fort and see early-day battlements and glean some history from this area. Keystone State Park is also nearby where you can get in some more fishing if you’d like.

Next on your itinerary is Fort Ebey State Park.  This is a great place to get into the out-of-doors and enjoy this northwest region, Puget Sound and some history as well.  The best hiking trail to take is the Kettles Trail.  If you love to watch birds, you will be thrilled to see some soaring bald eagles here.  Of course there are other species of birds too, so be sure to bring along your binoculars.

At Oak Harbor, turn to the west where you can get to Joseph Whidbey State Park.  It is always fun to walk along the beach, look out over the Strait of Juan de Fuca and view the San Juan Islands.  In winter, the birds are migrating making this RV trip the perfect chance to watch plenty of birds flying overhead.

Your last stop on this Whidbey Island trip is Deception Pass State Park.  This park also provides a great opportunity to gaze at all kinds of birds who like to spend the winter here. Cranberry Lake is a fishing hole for visitors and locals alike.  Pull on those hiking boots and get out there and hike some of the trails in Deception Pass State Park.  The RV park here is open all year.

Yes, an RV trip on Whidbey Island can be quite the experience.  You ought to prepare yourself for a time filled with a lot of nature, many outdoor activities, and lovely scenery.  It is a trip you will remember for years to come!

For information on renting a motor home CLICK HERE!

Picture credits:  Photo of campground by Roseanna Dana is licensed under the Flickr Creative Commons Attribution license.  Thank you!
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Drive the Mountains to Sound Greenway for a Unique RV Adventure

Mountains to Sound Greenway in Snoqualmie Pass

Mountains to Sound Greenway in Snoqualmie Pass

Discover an amazing number of things to do and see along the Mountains to Sound Greenway in Washington State. This drive is perfect for those traveling on an RV vacation, a scenic journey through the landscapes of the Pacific Northwest. Begin your trip in Seattle, Washington where plenty of sights await you, and attractions for all ages. Be sure to visit the Seattle Aquarium. Take a tour with a trained naturalist along the beach and explore the sea life exposed at low tide.

As you leave Seattle on Interstate 90, prepare yourself for some amazing adventures. Not far into your trip you will come upon Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park, one of the largest located in an urban area. An ideal place to hike or ride on horseback, this park’s network of wonderful trails invites you into the forest and through the wetland terrain. Bird watching and viewing wildlife is great here too!

Stop for a picnic at Lake Sammamish State Park. This lake is perfect for swimming, fishing and water skiing. If you have a boat, launch it into the lake and soak up the sun for a summer afternoon. Just minutes away is the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery where the family can learn about salmon and can even watch them swimming against the currents on the way to lay their eggs at the right time of the year.

Continue east and you will become familiar with a new landscape that you don’t often see, with beautiful valley vistas and scenic forests. If you love to hike, you can take the John Wayne Pioneer Trail (PDF) south of North Bend, Washington and move across the mountains and through a tunnel boring under the summit of Snoqualmie. This is a long trail and you can just hike a portion, or if ready for a long trek, can hike all the way to Canada!

More hiking is available at Squak Mountain State Park, with popular trails through a wildlife habitat beyond compare. This park remains in its natural state thus is an exceptional place to experience the pristine beauty of nature. Nearby the Tiger Mountain State Forest offers numerous trails where you can hike through 13,000 acres of incredible Washington woodlands.

Don’t miss a stop at Rattlesnake Lake while you are in the area. Catch trout while you relax by the water. There is a boat launch on the east side of the lake for your convenience. Take an exciting hike on the Rattlesnake Ledge Trail to take in the views. You will be able to see the Central Cascades and the Snoqualmie Valley. Don’t forget your camera gear!

Of course, if you love to get into the backcountry, you can explore Alpine Lakes Wilderness, with thousands of acres of forest. No matter what activity you choose on the Mountains to Sound Greenway, you are going to love this RV adventure!

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Take an Excursion in an RV along White Pass Scenic Byway

Mount Rainier from the White Pass Scenic Byway

Mount Rainier from the White Pass Scenic Byway

Driving the White Pass Scenic Byway offers vacationers all the outdoor recreation and scenery that could possibly be desired in a Washington State vacation. An RV is the perfect mode of travel, too. You are roughing it but at the same time you’re not. After a full day of exploring the rivers, lakes and waterfalls, the woods and the wildlife, you have a place you can go to relax and unwind, preparing for the next day of excitement.

Begin your trip on the White Pass scenic drive in Mary’s Corner and get ready for some breathtaking adventures. The entire drive is about 120 miles and you should allow plenty of time to see everything. As you drive through Gifford Pinchot National Forest, stop and admire the fields of wildflowers and the tall trees of mixed greens. Striking views and fresh air are hallmarks of this drive.

Naturally, the Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument is a place of enchantment and some geographical education. Volcanos are the attraction and scenic wonders come fast and furious. Outdoor recreational opportunities abound. Mount St. Helens brings people from around the world to see this famous active volcano in the Pacific Northwest. RV camping is available in the area as well. You can visit Mount Adams while here and see the alpine meadows in the upper region as well as the glaciers and icecap at the summit.

For the fishermen, heading to the Cowlitz River provides some of the best fishing anywhere. This is a wonderful fishery for hooking steelhead and cutthroat trout. The summer is the best time to enjoy fishing this river, as the temperatures are perfect. You can find places where others don’t wander and get some privacy.

Explore the millions of acres of the Wenatchee National Forest as your next adventure. Hundreds of miles of trails give you the chance to get out into the wilderness on foot, on a mountain bike or on an off-road vehicle. Drive the forest roads to get away from it all and experience nature the way it should be experienced.

East of Seattle you discover the beauty of Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest with the lovely mountain meadows and forests where wildlife wander. View the glacier-covered peaks and take some amazing shots with your camera (which you dare not forget to bring with you on your Pacific Northwest trip).

Now for the most popular destination on the entire trip – Mt. Rainier National Park! Mt. Rainier is a dormant volcano surrounded by a natural environment in which a wide diversity of wildlife lives. You can experience the thrill of seeing bald eagles soaring high above you, mountain goats climbing where no living things should be able to climb. Rocky Mountain elk graze freely and black bear inhabit the woods.

After you visit Oak Creek Wildlife Area head for Naches Washington – your final stop on this scenic byway. Find RV camping in Naches, perhaps staying at the Rimrock Lake Resort where you can enjoy many water activities on Rimrock Lake. The perfect ending to a perfect vacation!

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Take an RV Trip around the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State

The Coast in Olympic National Park

The Coast in Olympic National Park

The Olympic Peninsula is a place of beauty, culture and outdoor recreational opportunities you won’t want to miss. What a perfect trip for this summer! The valleys, peaks and wildlife provide scenery that will take your breath away momentarily, until you get the idea that your days here will be filled with these lovely views. You still will never get used to the beauty, however.

Stop and drive through the major attraction on the Olympic Peninsula, Olympic National Park. There are numerous things to do for the whole family, including heading for Hurricane Ridge for the incredible views. You can look out over the Strait of Juan de Fuca and drive all the way up to the summit, approximately 18 miles. Lake Crescent is also a lovely place to stop and enjoy the blue waters in many ways, from paddling to hiking around the lake. A whole gamut of trails is available from this spot.

You will certainly love the views of the Olympic Mountains as you tour this amazing peninsula. The Pacific Ocean is nearby and the fresh sea breezes highlight your visit to the magnificent peaks. Nature will take you by surprise here in this Washington region, as the wildlife is abundant and birds flock everywhere.

While in Olympic National Park, visit the Hoh Rainforest where the rain falls in high quantities each year. The lush green, the mosses and the pure enchantment will have you at the get-go. Another popular rainforest is the Quinault Rain Forest with its Quinault Rain Forest Loop Drive that will enthrall you with more gorgeous scenery. You will also get glimpses of bald eagles, cougars and perhaps a black bear if you keep a sharp eye. It is a 31-mile loop and an opportunity for a terrific drive you should not pass up.

On the east of the Olympic Peninsula you’ll find Hood Canal, the variety of outdoor fun almost endless. Here in Mason County you’ll find scuba diving, hiking, kayaking and more. Perhaps you would like to fish a bit before moving on. Well, you can fish in the Hood Canal as well as do some crabbing or shrimping if you can find the time.

To the north is the Strait of Juan de Fuca which provides the chance to fit in some whale watching. Take a boat charter and get out on the water. You will also see more stunning views surrounding you. Off in the distance is Vancouver Island, inviting you to come see some of Canada.

You can start off in Port Angeles, Washington by enjoying the fresh air and some wonderful eateries, and then take a side-trip to Canada aboard a ferry. When you reach Vancouver Island, you will have the opportunity to do a little shopping and sightseeing in Victoria, British Columbia. Discover the mildest climate in the entire country. Victoria is a premiere destination for those wishing to go home and tell their friends that they visited another country. And the charm and ambience are such that you will feel completely at home. Salt Spring Island is also in British Columbia and worth a visit! Besides a lot of people, this island is the home of a few thousand sheep and many deer. Bears even make their way here. Enjoy this very artistic community!

Back in the States, make time for a trip to Dungeness National Wildlife Preserve to explore the tide flats and relax by the bay. This became a national refuge way back in 1915 and people have come here ever since to view the wide array of wildlife. Birders find a wealth of bird species here too! Don’t neglect to bring your camera and binoculars.

Now hit the Olympic Discovery Trail, go biking or hiking for as long as you like. This is a long, long trail, but you don’t have to cover all 130 miles of it. You can take it in sections. The forests, views of the Pacific, rivers and lakes you come upon as you move along this trail will have you wishing to spend more time here.

With so much to do and see on and nearby the Olympic Peninsula, you should plan your trip so you have time to take it all in. The diverse landscapes and natural beauty everywhere you look inspire you as no other place. Before you return home, make plans to come again to experience the best of the Pacific Northwest.

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Island Hopping in Washington on an RV Vacation

Map of the San Juan Islands

Map of the San Juan Islands

Pack up your gear and gather your family for an RV jaunt to Washington State and a fun experience at island hopping. The San Juan Islands north of Seattle are a gorgeous and unique place where you can get back your basic sense of nature and beauty. Start with a few days in Seattle, Washington, seeing the sights. There are so many fabulous places to go in the city. Don’t miss the famous Space Needle.

As you head north up Interstate 5, stop off in Langus Riverfront Park and get in some hiking. An easy, paved trail takes you over bridges, along dikes and through wetland environments where you will catch glimpses of animals and birds abound. This is the perfect opportunity to stretch your legs before continuing on north to the intersection of I-5 with Highway 20, taking you to the islands.

On Highway 20 head west until you arrive at Anacortes, Washington, the gateway to the San Juan Islands. Visit Old Town, watch the whales or engage in some great shopping. Perhaps a dinner out would be just the thing, so you can go at least one night without fixing your own dinner. Orca watching is best from May through June. You will find RV camping at Fidalgo Bay RV Resort in Anacortes, or you can go ahead and take your RV over to Friday Harbor. The Lakedale Resort at Three Lakes offers RV camping four miles north of Friday Harbor.

Now that you have arrived at the heart of the San Juan Islands, be prepared for a wide variety of things to do and see. Beautiful views, amazing outdoor activities, island life that is tranquil and inspiring – all this awaits you. Explore the seas on a kayak trip, fly around the islands on a biplane or go horseback riding. Pedal a bike around the perimeter of San Juan Island. The choices are incredible.

Cattle Point Lighthouse is a favorite. You can hike to the lighthouse and sit as the sun goes down to really experience a peaceful setting like no other. Eagle Cove Beach is also the spot to go when you love water sports. Swim until your heart’s content. Who can resist the beach in the summer? Certainly not one vacationer! Wander the broad expanse of sand to find tide pools with many colorful sea-life inhabitants.

While in Friday Harbor, be sure to go to the Whale Museum to learn all about these magnificent marine animals. You will find out many fascinating details of the pods that live in these island waters specifically. Stop at Whale Watch Park and enjoy a hike to the Lime Kiln Lighthouse. From here you might see the Olympic Mountains if the day is clear. If you listen very carefully, you may hear the song of the whales.

You will never experience flowers like you will at Pelindaba Lavender Farm. As you tour, you will be amazed at the beauty of lavender and the aesthetics of these marvelous flowers. Then on to San Juan Island National Historical Park! Explore the shoreline, hike the trails and do some birding. There are more than 200 species of lovely migratory birds.

Friday Harbor is quite the place to enjoy island life, even if only for a while. Stroll along the docks, get a whale charter and head out to sea to do some real whale watching. In the summer on Wednesdays you will find Music on the Lawn is relaxing and entertaining. If you brought a bicycle, you will enjoy a bike ride to Shaw Island. This is the smallest of the islands, but not lacking in history or beauty. Check out the Shaw Island Historical Museum and stop at a unique country store that is run by Franciscan nuns. This is a very isolated and pristine spot to get a feel of island life in early days.

If you are visiting San Juan Islands in August, you simply can’t miss the San Juan County Fair. The fairground fun consists of four days of exhibits, horse and dog shows, baking contests, carnival rides and of course, some amazing local foods. RV sites are available for those who have brought their homes along with them, and you should make RV reservations well in advance.

A San Juan Island RV vacation is such a treat for anyone of any age. The islands are filled with history, marine life and tons of outdoor recreational opportunities. There is something for everyone here in northwestern Washington.

Map credits: The map of the San Juan Islands is from the Wikimedia Commons. It is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

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