Does your family love the great outdoors? Are you fascinated by natural landforms and unusual plants? Carlsbad Caverns might be the destination for you. Spring is a great time to visit Carlsbad Caverns National Park.
Carlsbad Caverns National Park
Summer brings temperatures in the mid-90’s, but the temperature in spring averages from 72 to 79 degrees. If you are wanting to escape the cold weather, pack up the RV and head to Carlsbad, New Mexico. When you arrive you will be awed by the natural beauty of the landscape, both above ground and beneath the surface. The 119 underground caves are located in the Chihuahuan Desert and will be sure to impress young and old alike.
Things to explore:
Speleothems – Check out the online activity that your kids can do before arriving at the park. It’s a great way to get a head start on their educational experience in the caves. They will learn about speleothems or ‘cave decorations’, such as stalactites and stalagmites by playing a matching game.
The Desert – Amazingly the ocean once covered this area that is now a desert and you will discover remnants such as sea ledges. Check out the beautiful and unusual plants that are native to the Chihuahuan Desert. You might think that the desert is just a dry, hot no-man’s land. In reality, many animals and plants live and thrive in this desert environment.
Hiking – Pack your hiking shoes and gear and get ready to enjoy the breathtaking desert landscape. Hiking is very popular in the park. Check out this link by the Hiking Project for a list of numerous hiking trails. Trails are ranked from easy to difficult.
Carlsbad Caverns National Park does not offer overnight RV parking or campgrounds.
White’s City located 7 miles from the visitor center offers camping. The city of Carlsbad, 20 miles northeast of the park offers even more options for camping. Carlsbad RV Park is one of the many full service campgrounds and is located a short drive from the park. Bring along your furry friends since this campground is pet friendly.
Wherever you decide to stay when you visit Carlsbad Caverns National Park, call ahead to make reservations since this area has become very popular with tourists.
If sandy beaches are not your idea of the perfect vacation, then you may be more inclined to spend your time in the beautiful Smoky Mountains. The Smokies are located in the southern end of the Appalachian Mountain Range. The Cherokee called them “shaconage” which means “place of the blue smoke”. A beautiful blue, hazy mist always seems to shroud the valleys and peaks of the Smoky Mountains. Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, Tennessee are located within 10 miles of one another in the heart of the Smoky Mountains. Visitors fondly call this tourist mecca “Myrtle Beach of the Mountains”. You will find many of the same types of entertainment here as you would along the coastal area of South Carolina.
Smoky Mountains National Park
Camping & Hiking
Camping is a blast in the Great Smoky Mountains and you will be sure to find something to engage every member of the family, young and old alike. There are numerous hiking trails which range in difficulty. Check out the Gatlinburg Welcome Center to plan your mountain adventure. When you are not out exploring hiking trails and the majestic mountain views you can shop, explore, and taste the local southern cuisine – you can even sample the area’s famous moonshine!
Theme Parks, Festivals and More
Dollywood Theme Park has something for the entire family. You will find rides, restaurants, shows, and demonstrations throughout the park. Spring is the perfect time to visit Dollywood. There are three festivals scheduled for spring 2018.
Festival of Nations – March 16 – April 9 If you are interested in exploring other world cultures without leaving the U.S. then you will not want to miss the Festival of Nations. You can experience live performances by an Irish bluegrass group, German stilt dancers, Caribbean steel pan orchestra, and a Mbube vocal group. These are just some of the highlights of this festival.
Spring Mix Music Festival – April 11 – 29 You can hear live performances by well-known artists from a wide musical genre – country to Christian to Southern rock. T.G. Sheppard, Crystal Gayle, Amy Grant, Chonda Pierce, Marshall Tucker Band, and Atlanta Rhythm Section are a few of the artists who will be showcased.
Barbeque and Bluegrass – May 25 – June 10 Bluegrass bands and barbeque…experience a true southern tradition at Dollywood. You will not be sorry you did.
Local Mountain Arts & Crafts
If exploring local shops is more your speed then you will want to be sure to check out the area in Gatlinburg known as Gatlinburg’s Historic Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community Trail. The Tennessee Heritage Arts & Crafts Trail was established in 1937 and is the largest group of independent artisans in North America. This is an easy walking route that is an 8 mile loop of local artisans who demonstrate their crafts, answer questions, and sell their handmade goods. You will find artisans whittling, painting, sewing, weaving, carving, creating pottery, and stained glass, among other types of handmade crafts. You may discover a unique collectible to take home to remind you of your visit to the Great Smoky Mountains.
Spring is the best time to plan a trip to the Great Smoky Mountains in Tennessee. There is something for everyone in the whole family: amusement parks, shopping, arts and crafts, hiking trails and much more.
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina is famous for its sub-tropical weather and sandy beaches. The “Grand Strand” as it is fondly called, welcomes an estimated 14 million visitors annually. Many families consider this sandy strip of heaven to be the best vacation spot on the east coast. Winter and early spring is a great time to visit Myrtle Beach. You will avoid the major tourist season during the busy summer months. The average winter temperatures are pleasant with highs of 50℉ and lows of 40℉.
Need a break from winter’s chilly grasp? Then pack up the RV and head toward the east coast to warm your toes in the sand. Here are some of the many attractions you will not want to miss:
The Gay Dolphin Gift Cove is a landmark on Ocean Boulevard in Myrtle Beach. Adults will remember visiting this eclectic gift shop when they were children. Founded in 1946, this multi-level, glass front building has not changed much over the years. If you are looking for a souvenir of your trip or just want to browse the unbelievable amount of “goodies” then you are in luck. The Gay Dolphin is open year round.
The Myrtle Beach Sky Wheel is one of the largest ferris wheels in America reaching a towering height of 187 feet. You will be seated in a climate-controlled, enclosed gondola that holds up to 6 adults. This exciting and dramatic arial trip is a great way to view the beach and attractions along the sandy shoreline. It is especially popular around sunset and you are sure to be rewarded with a magical, twinkling view of Myrtle Beach as it gears up for the night life.
If you are planning on trying one of the local restaurants during your stay, then the Sea Captain’s House is a must. This restaurant is far from the typical “beach” restaurants found on every corner. Housed in a 1930’s cottage, the atmosphere is more like dining in a friend’s home than a popular, local restaurant. While you wait for a table you can sit in a cozy den and have a drink in front of the fireplace. Each section of the restaurant is a “room” in the house, but the favorite of guests is the glass enclosed porch that parallels the ocean. The Sea Captain’s House has been a landmark in Myrtle Beach for more than 50 years, so they must be doing something right!
The Myrtle Beach Boardwalk was completed in May 2010. It consists of 1.2 miles of boardwalk that meanders from the 14th Avenue North Pier to the southernmost point at the 2nd Avenue Pier. The boardwalk itself is divided into 3 sections. The northernmost part is more for walking and viewing the ocean while the middle section has more of an amusement park atmosphere
Myrtle Beach, SC
with oceanfront dining and businesses. The southernmost section has a large oceanfront park. The entire family will enjoy walking down the boardwalk and discovering endless treasures. The ocean views are breathtaking.
Native South Carolinians are proud of their little piece of paradise. Wouldn’t you like to visit and find out why?
We’ve all been there. You’re driving down the road in your RV and all of a sudden you are “hangry” (angry because you’re so hungry). Never mind that you just ate a few hours earlier. To make matters worse you’re miles from the nearest fast food restaurant or quick mart.
These hunger attacks always seem to happen when – A. you don’t have time to stop or B. you’re in the middle of nowhere. Then there is the wad of cash you need in order to purchase the fast food, snacks, candy, chips, and drinks – on the road. Here are some tips to help you tame the Hangry Monster before you head out on your next RV adventure.
Planning Ahead is Key: Take advantage of the convenience of your RV!
Purchase a special cup with a built in straw and spill proof lid for each member in the family. This will also prevent spills in the RV.
Let each member of the family pick out their own unique cup design. Make sure none of the cups are identical. This will save a lot of headaches on the road trip when you have a rogue cup that several family members try to claim as their own.
Take a poll of everyone’s favorite drinks and buy enough to last until you reach your destination. It is always less expensive to buy these in bulk before you leave on your trip. On the road you can pour your favorite drink and enjoy the passing scenery.
Get a sturdy, roomy cooler for your drink storage.
Stay hydrated with non-sugary drinks. Pack plenty of bottled water. Freeze some bottles to use in the cooler to chill your drinks. Then you will also have plenty of cold water to drink.
Salty, sweet and crunchy cravings will be satisfied with delicious trail mix. You can make your own and add or delete ingredients to suit your taste buds.
Mix up a big batch of trail mix. Package in individual plastic baggies or keep the trail mix in a large plastic tub. Use plastic cups to dip out mix and also as a serving cup. This will keep the RV neat and tidy and make clean up a snap.
If you don’t have time to make trail mix or other snack mixes, buy individual bags of prepackaged pretzels, peanuts and chips. This way you will have everyone’s favorites on hand.
Clean up –
Use a small, sturdy plastic trash can with a locking lid for collecting trash. That way if it gets knocked over during the trip it won’t make a mess.
Pack large kitchen trash bags to collect trash and don’t forget to pack extra bags.
Recycle plastic, glass, and aluminum in a separate bag.
Mix well in the ratios you choose. Store in an airtight container.
Nuts – almonds, peanuts, pecans
Raisins or dried cranberries
Chocolate chips or candy covered chocolate pieces
Cereal squares (rice, wheat, corn)
Dried apricot, banana, or coconut pieces
Easy meals on the road.
Having a kitchen in your RV makes meals and snacks a really convenient and inexpensive way to eat while travelling. With a refrigerator, stove and microwave all on-board, eating is easy and enjoyable!
New Braunfels is a historical city near San Antonio, Texas, which has German roots dating back to the 1800s. It is a smaller city nestled in Texas Hill Country with a population of just over 70,000. There are many things to do and see in New Braunfels and it is a sure bet that you will find something for everyone in the family to enjoy. Camping resorts are plentiful and many are close by. Check out one you would like to try and head to the Lone Star State. While you are visiting this historic city there are many fun and educational places to visit.
Here are a few you can check out while you are camping in New Braunfels, Texas.
Let’s visit the Big Easy, better known as NEW Orleans…
The beginning of the new year is a great time to hop in the RV and head to New Orleans. Mardi Gras is a huge tourist draw for many first time or repeat visitors to this Louisiana city surrounded by a swampy bayou on the Mississippi River, near the Gulf of Mexico.
This year Mardi Gras is on Tuesday, February 13th. Every year Mardi Gras, or “Fat Tuesday”, falls on a different date depending on the observance of Ash Wednesday, which begins the religious season of Lent. However, Mardi Gras is most famous for its costume parties, parades, rich foods and famous “beads” which give it more of a carnival atmosphere.
Mardi Gras mask
There are 70+ parades scheduled this year. So… you should be able to see a few or many, depending on your time and interests. There are even family parades that are much more low key so everyone in the family, young and old alike, can experience Mardi Gras.
MARDI GRAS parades begin in January, so if you want to avoid the most crowded time and still see some spectacular floats check out the earlier scheduled parades. The peak Mardi Gras time is the weekend prior to Fat Tuesday. This is when you will see the most elaborate floats built by different krewes. A krewe is a social organization whose main purpose is to plan, design and build a float for a Mardi Gras parade.
One cannot attend Mardi Gras without indulging in the delicious cuisine from different cultures. How about trying some sinful beignets (pastry introduced by French immigrants), gumbo (a spicy Creole stew), Po’Boy (sandwich invented to feed striking streetcar workers in 1929) or just some good old red beans and rice.
There are numerous campgrounds near the city, but plan ahead to be sure of availability during this busy tourist event. Visit our page on Louisiana RV Campgrounds for ideas on places to camp.
The White Mountain National Forest in eastern New Hampshire and western Maine features Mt. Washington, the highest peak north of the Smokey Mountains and east of the Mississippi River. Established in 1918 as part of the National Parks System after years of unregulated logging and forest fires ravaged the landscape, this park has grown to almost 800,000 acres of pristine forest land. The park is open is open year round and hosts up to 6 million visitors annually.
Mt. Washington in New Hampshire
Hike to the peak of Mt. Washington on a clear day and you may be rewarded with a panoramic view of 100 miles of beautiful hardwood forests, sparkling mountain lakes, and wandering streams.
What to see/do while you are visiting:
Are you a history buff or just fascinated by the way people lived a hundred years ago?
visit a 19th century farmhouse
The Russell-Colbath House is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Step back in time as a docent guides you through this historical museum. You will learn about life in the Passaconaway Valley, examine artifacts, and view furnishings from this time period. Located on the Kancamagus Highway in Albany, NH. Contact the Saco Ranger District for hours and more information. (Open seasonally)
Touring a house/museum not your idea of learning about history?
explore the wilderness-
Then you will want to explore the great out of doors and visit the backwoods along the many hiking trails. Here you can discover the crumbling remains of a logging camp or an old mill dam. You may stumble across some railroad tracks. What would it have been like to ride a logging train? Perhaps you will find the remains of a wilderness family’s home. Can’t you just imagine what life might have been like a hundred years ago for these people?
Would you rather explore by vehicle?
take a drive-
Hop in the RV with the family and take a leisurely drive down the Kancamagus Scenic Byway, which locals refer to as the “Kanc”. This route is considered by many to be one of the most beautiful routes through New Hampshire’s White Mountains. It is very popular during the autumn “leaf season” so make plans now for next fall or perhaps you would want to explore in the winter wonderland.
Winter Recreation your passion?
bundle up for some outdoor fun-
If you are not afraid of the arctic weather and speed excites you, then check out snowmobiling, snowboarding, sledding, tubing, or alpine skiing which are all available at White Mountain National Park. If you prefer a somewhat slower pace, but the chill factor is still mandatory, check out cross country skiing or snowshoe hiking. Whatever route you choose, bundle up and stay warm!
After a day exploring White Mountain National Park in scenic New Hampshire, head back to your comfy home away from home and curl up with a good book and a mug of hot tea or chocolate. There is always something new to explore the next day.
Stay tuned for our next “NEW” adventure! Where will we explore next?
There are many different campgrounds in White Mountain National Park, but Hancock Campground is one that is open year round.
Exit 31 off Interstate 93. (Route 112); 5 miles East of Lincoln, NH.
With the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, don’t let the need for extra sleeping accommodations add to your worry. An RV rental can make providing extra beds for visiting relatives or friends easy! You can set them up in your driveway, or find a nearby campground, but either way, it’s comfortable and convenient. Going out of town for the holidays instead? Renting an RV makes your trip easy with plenty of storage for you and your presents!
El Monte RV not only has sizes from 22′ to 37′ that sleep up to 8, but we currently have a rental special that makes your holidays a little more bright! Rent any day in December for at least 6 nights, and get an additional night free, along with 50 free miles per night! Be sure to use Coupon Code: HOLIDAY when making your reservation, either online or from our Reservations Call Center.
Santa’s One RV Open Sleigh Saves the Day!
No matter what your plans have in store for you, we wish you and your loved ones a very happy holiday season! Let us help make it a little more merry!
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.
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.
Travel over Christmas break isn’t something new—but it doesn’t have to mean a crowded ski lodge or peak-season-priced hotel rooms. If your family’s ready to try something new, why not pack the RV and find the magic of Christmas on the road? For regions where weather conditions don’t favor RV travel, consider flying to a warmer spot and picking up a rental RV for your adventure.
We’ve collected some tips for keeping Christmas merry and bright while traveling by RV with the family. Pick one or try them all—these ideas are handpicked to bring holiday cheer to RV camping families. We’ve even got a Holiday Special to help with your RV rental!
RV Holiday Travel Destinations
What RV camping destinations are popular at Christmas? Let’s narrow that answer down a bit. What does your family enjoy doing together? Where have you dreamed of going to get away for the holidays? Combining the winter holidays with activities everyone will enjoy is the key to an unforgettable holiday RV road trip.
Here are just a few suggestions for holiday RV travel destinations.
Ski Resorts with RV Parks combine winter sports, beautiful mountain settings and affordable accommodations. An excellent example of a year-round campground is the Fireside Resort near the ski slopes in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Many ski resorts allow boondocking, or dry camping, in self-contained motorhomes in their parking lots, so be sure to ask what’s available.
Theme Park Christmas Getaways are perfect for RV camping families who want to keep the fun going over the holidays. A big plus—theme parks dress up in their holiday best and host special events to add excitement to your family’s winter break.
Many RVers are familiar with Fort Wilderness Camping Resort at Disney World in Orlando, Florida, but did you know there are plenty of other options for holiday camping near theme parks? Check out Paradise by the Sea Resort in San Diego. You’ll be within easy driving distance of Legoland and San Diego Sea World. Arlington KOA is minutes away from Six Flags Over Texas. When you’ve chosen your theme park destination, look for on-site campgrounds or campgrounds within an easy drive.
Christmas Camping in the Beauty of Nature
Discovering natural wonders is one more way families who camp together get the most from their winter breaks. Think of the memories you’ll make sharing Yuletide delights surrounded by desert vistas (Mojave National Preserve in Southern California), discovering trails along a rocky riverbank (Colorado Bend State Park north of Austin, TX) or exploring Jekyll Island off the coast of Georgia.
RV Holiday Travel Tips
No matter which holiday RV travel destination you choose, it’s easy to keep the excitement building along the way. Try these tips:
Twelve Days of RV Christmas: Pick a theme and plan small gifts for everyone to enjoy each day as the holiday approaches. Time together as a family is the goal as each person unwraps the day’s gift. You could also draw names for ‘Secret Santa’ gifts to be purchased along the way or before you begin your trip.
Take Holiday Traditions on the Road: Bring along the holiday traditions that mean the most to your family. Pack the holiday books or movies you always share as a family. Sing along with Christmas music on the radio. Make each youngster a travel bag with holiday-themed coloring or puzzle books. Let older kids choose an audiobook of a Christmas classic to share.
Bring the ingredients for favorite cookies and candies, and spend the day baking together at the campground. Stock your RV kitchen with cocoa mix, marshmallows and candy canes for a shared treat while watching for Santa. Buy Command hooks to hang stockings without damaging the walls of your motorhome. Do you always have chili for Christmas Eve dinner? Is there a special cookie plate to set out with Santa’s goodies? All it takes is a little planning to transform your winter RV trip into a holiday to remember.
Holiday travel by RV can be whatever your family wants it to be. Carry on treasured traditions while traveling to a special destination, or explore the holiday traditions of other regions and cultures. Camp in extraordinary natural settings and spend the time bonding with your family. Traveling by motorhome gives you the freedom to shape your winter holiday celebrations into something remarkable.
Read Full Article
Read for later
Articles marked as Favorite are saved for later viewing.
Scroll to Top
Separate tags by commas
To access this feature, please upgrade your account.