Places to Visit

Road Trip – My Lifelong Addiction

Last spring I decided I had to see the Great Plains again, so I took a road trip and drove the 1,500 miles out there from New Jersey. Actually, it was more like 3,000 miles, as I ricocheted along an indirect route, from the famous Natural Bridge in Virginia, a beautiful, high stone arch, created by erosion, that Thomas Jefferson once owned, to the Tina Turner Museum, in Tennessee, which is in the one-room schoolhouse she attended as a girl, to a museum in New Madrid, Missouri, devoted to the earthquake that caused the Mississippi River to run backward in 1812. I took a break to visit friends in Little Rock, Arkansas. Then I cut across into Oklahoma and continued on to Kansas; I pictured myself as a tiny icon moving on a map. Mountains In Colorado, I decided to follow a two-lane road stretching to the western horizon beyond a …

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Our Favorite Camping Near Cedar Rapids

This article about Camping near Cedar Rapids, Iowa is brought to you by Wenzel. Their pop-up shelter will keep you comfortable no matter where you decide to camp. These campgrounds near Cedar Rapids, Iowa have it all – from gorgeous caves to prairies to lakes. Choose between modern or primitive campgrounds at the same location, or go deep into Iowa wilderness for dispersed camping. Furthermore, most of these parks have lakes and boat rentals, and a few have amenities on site. Climb the Devil’s Backbone near Strawberry Point, descend into the breathtaking Dancehall Cave at Maquoketa State Park, or lazily drift around Lake Macbride. Both native and restored prairies are a fascinating snapshot of Iowa’s ecological history, and you can learn about them at F.W. Kent Park, right off the interstate near I-80. So then, with no further ado, here’s our favorite camping near Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Our Top 4 …

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South Carolina’s Congaree National Park

Located in South Carolina, just a half-hour’s drive from the capital city of Columbia, Congaree National Park preserves the largest remaining old-growth bottomland forest in North America. Congaree isn’t exactly a swamp, because most of the time no standing water covers the floor. However, the Congaree River floods the area about 10 times per year. This lesser-known and uncrowded park combines the watery environment of the Everglades with the towering old-growth forests of the West. It’s a small 41 square miles, but you can’t explore it by driving. Hiking and canoeing are the only ways to immerse yourself in the primeval forest. Congaree National Park Located Near Columbia, SC Starting from the visitor center, the flat, easy 2.4-mile Boardwalk Loop Trail is the obvious introduction to the park. The first section is elevated as much as 6 feet. While the second section rests directly on the forest floor, offering a …

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Luxury RV Resorts Across the Country

Even if you’re normally into boondocking or extended stays at barebones RV parks, you may enjoy taking it up a notch at one of these luxury RV resorts. Why rough it when you can have all the amenities usually only associated with five-star hotels like golf courses, spas, private beach access, concierge services, and a jam-packed social activities calendar. These luxury RV resorts feature immaculately landscaped sites, often with panoramic views of the mountains, desert, or oceanside landscapes. All are privately-owned resorts and have both rental and owning options. Although rates are all a bit pricey, they’re often less than the average hotel room in the area, and with all the included amenities, can actually be a fantastic deal. 1. Hilton Head Island Motorcoach Resort The sprawling 50-acre resort on South Carolina’s Hilton Head Island is one of the most luxurious resorts in the country. It’s just a short bike …

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Hike To The Secluded Cibecue Falls

  Located on the eastern edge of the Tonto National Forest is the spectacular Cibecue Falls. The hike brings visitors to a waterfall situated in a charming desert canyon along Cibecue Creek, a small river that eventually feeds into the larger Salt River. When To Hike Cibecue Falls Late spring, summer, and early fall are best for hiking Cibecue Falls. Although situated in a desert environment, much of the hike is shaded by brush and canyon walls, so warmer weather is the best time to visit. The hike also presents plenty of opportunities to swim along the way. Although the hike provides plenty of shade and river to wade in, bring more than enough water. This is always an essential tip to follow, but especially important when hiking in a desert environment. Getting to Cibecue Falls From Phoenix, simply hop on the US-60 East. Stay on this road for a …

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Northern California’s Rugged Lost Coast Trail

When most of us picture California, we think of Hollywood movie stars, desert landscapes, Yosemite, sunny beaches, and amusement parks. Seldom visited, California’s mountainous north coast provides a stark contrast to everything else you may know about the state including the Lost Coast Trail. There are towering sea cliffs, rough hills, and tranquil beaches that are hemmed by vast redwood forests, miles of wilderness, and frequent fog. Furthermore, it is populated mainly by sea lions and hauntingly remote, you’d be hard-pressed to find movie stars or even road access along much of the rugged northern coastline. Hiking The Lost Coast Trail At 56 miles long, the Lost Coast Trail provides you with a thru-hike straight to the heart of California’s north coast. Whether you want to power through in three days or roam for a week, pack your bags and get ready to experience California in a new way. The …

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Motocamping: What to Know and Where to Start

First of all, you may be asking what is “Motocamping?” Motorcycle camping combines two all-American pastimes. The freedom of the open road can be daunting and uncertain, but exhilarating all the same. So then, if you are ready to channel your Easy Rider and hit the open road, check out these tips to help your motocamping trip run as smoothly and safely as possible. Get the Gear: Figuring Out Your Camping Style When you’re traveling and living out of your motorcycle, you need the right gear. Light, compact gear alleviates any hassle or headache from lack of space. The gear you’ll need depends entirely on the adventure goals you have. For example, are you a rock climber? A hiker? Do you love the simplicity of just cruising all day and camping each night in a new spot? Simply, decide what you’ll need based on your dream itinerary. Furthermore, if you …

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East Coast Getaway – The Ultimate Road Trip Guide

Hit I-95 this summer and explore some of the spectacular natural and historical attractions that the East Coast has to offer. We have rounded up the best attractions, highlights, and campgrounds from Maine to Florida to get the most out of your East Coast Getaway road trip. East Coast Getaway – Maine First, no camping road trip to Maine is complete without a stay at Acadia National Park. Home to some of the most stunning granite cliffs, lush forest hiking trails and tranquil New England beaches in the country. Furthermore, there are plenty of campgrounds to choose from across the 47,000-acre recreation area. So then, the Blackwoods Campground down at Otter Creek is a short drive from charming Bar Harbor, which offers historical walking tours and cruises. The campground is shadowed by Cadillac Mountain, which you can climb for an unforgettable panoramic view of the bay. Although smaller than some …

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Your Guide to Planning a Perfect Florida Road Trip

A road trip in the Sunshine State sounds like a slice of heaven. A lot goes into planning a Florida Road Trip, which holds doubly true if you are planning on RVing or camping your way through Florida. Since the state is long and skinny, you can plan your Florida road trip based on the direction you want to go. Drive either north-to-south or vice-versa. This may depend on how you’re initially getting to Florida and how much time you’ll have on the road. Road Trip through the Sunshine State One of the ways to decide on where your route leads you is by considering where the end will be. Have you always dreamed of watching the sun go down on the Gulf of Mexico? Maybe you want to end your road trip at the very tip of Florida, gazing across at Cuba. Either way, you’re in for a memorable trip! …

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Take a Trip to Colorado’s Lost Creek Wilderness

Tucked into the foothills, between Denver and Colorado Springs, lies a mighty expanse of wilderness. Named for the perennial stream that empties into the South Platte River, the Lost Creek Wilderness has largely escaped development projects, due to its rocky and rugged landscape. This 119,790-acre wilderness area is unlike your typical Colorado natural area of jagged 14,000-foot peaks and high alpine meadows. Instead, Lost Creek is a wonderland of rounded granite domes, natural arches, and other interesting rock formations that make it well worth a visit. How To Get To Colorado’s Lost Creek Wilderness The Lost Creek Wilderness is located south of the town of Bailey and can be reached via Highway 285 South, from Denver. The Goose Creek Trailhead is a common entry point into the wilderness area and is located 38 miles south of Bailey. The dirt roads leading to the trailhead are generally accessible with a standard …

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Gila National Forest – Enchanted Hidden Gem

With relatively warm winters, cool summers, and millions of acres of forests, rangelands, and mountains, there is truly something for everyone in the Gila National Forest. Furthermore, Gila’s versatility made an impression on the Mogollon people 800 years ago when they decided to leave their nomadic lifestyle and call the caves of the Gila River home. They moved in, carved out rooms, and lived exclusively in these caves for 20 years. Ultimately, they did move on to other homesteads, but they left behind plenty of evidence of their two-decade habitation in the caves. Then today, this National Forest is a prime destination for those interested in natural history, wildlife, and outdoor activities on land and water. In total, the Gila National Forest encompasses 3.3 million acres of wildland; made up of mesas, rivers, deep canyons, and forest. Here are our tips and suggestions for how to get the most out …

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10 Waterfall Hikes in the U.S. to Start your Summer

10 Waterfall Hikes in the U.S. to Start your Summer Wanderlust There’s something magical and soothing about watching water pour over a cliff. And what better way to kick off your summer vacation than by spending some time recharging alongside some of the most gorgeous waterfalls in the U.S. Many of these waterfall hikes are easily accessible to all ability levels. However, a few, like Havasu Falls, require an overnight hike, making the waterfall payoff even more special and rewarding. Cumberland Falls, Kentucky Often referred to as The Niagara of the South, Kentucky’s Cumberland Falls is one of the few places in the world where you can see a “moonbow”. A “moonbow” is a rainbow formed by the water of the falls but is only visible on clear nights, two days before and after a full moon. From the parking lot, several viewpoints at the top, base, and downstream of …

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The Best Florida RV Parks on the Beach

Here you will see the best Florida RV Parks to stay at if you’re planning a trip to Florida for your next camping vacation, getting to the beach is likely your primary goal. Who doesn’t love waking up to the sound, smell, and sight of the ocean? With these six Florida RV parks on the beach, just open your door to enjoy a walk at sunset, beachcombing, or a swim in the warm water. Beverly Beach Camptown RV Resort Image from The Dyrt camper Emily J. This RV resort is on the Atlantic Ocean between St. Augustine—32 miles north—and Daytona Beach—30 miles to the south. The sites are on a seawall, and the park boasts an impressive 1,500 feet of beach. All 64 shoreside sites have full hookups, including water, sewer, Wi-Fi, and electric with 50-amp service. Depending on the site you get, you either have to back in or …

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RV Road Tripping Along Route 66

Traveling the historic route between Chicago and Los Angeles is the quintessential American road trip—and a great cross-country trip to do in an RV. It’s not America’s longest or oldest highway. Yet, it stands out in American history as a symbol of freedom; from the time the automobile became accessible to all, and how it transformed society during the 1930s and 1940s. Today, much of the original Route 66 is still navigable, with hundreds of historic landmarks, tourist attractions, old-time diners, natural wonders, and campgrounds lining the route. The entire 2,400-mile route makes for an epic RV trip, or you can tick off one segment at a time, in any of the eight states that the route passes through. Either way, an RV trip is a nostalgic journey through America’s early days of westward travel. What is Route 66? Also known as the Mother Road or the Main Street of …

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The Appalachian Trail Hostels That Will Not Close

David Magee is not so sure how much he should say about running a hostel along the Appalachian Trail. This year when the coronavirus pandemic has dashed all but a few thru-hiking dreams. For three years, Magee has owned The Station at 19E, a compound-like hostel along the Tennessee-North Carolina border. He begins, off the record, with a litany of grievances. For example, how the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) caused a panic when it told hikers to go home. How people in the wider trail community lampooned him for staying open and putting his financial health over public health. How townspeople have called to threaten his business. After a few minutes, Magee decides he wants everything to be on the record; he reckons his renegade actions warrant documentation. “I am doing what I have to do to protect my community—and the hikers who aren’t leaving,” he says. “I’m going to …

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Find Stillness at Carlsbad Caverns

It was quite the adventure on my way to Carlsbad Caverns. Driving through West Texas oil country at night felt like stumbling into some dark occult ritual uninvited. Huge fireballs dotted the horizon in every direction. Each one surrounded by a semicircle of big chrome machinery. Floodlights blinded me in the pitch-black. My tires screeched to avoid hitting a lone coyote in the chilly 28-degree winter air. It was a rough entry into New Mexico. The next morning, I drove through the Chihuahuan Desert in southern New Mexico to pay a visit to Carlsbad Caverns. I was immediately struck by how developed the entrance was. Unlike most other parks on my list, the main attraction here is the central cave itself. This means that the ticketing window, restrooms, gift shop, restaurant, and elevator to the cave are all housed together in one giant building. It feels more like a scene …

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Slightly Cultured Traveler – Middle East Edition

The Middle East isn’t on top of anyone’s bucket list right now because of all the violence. And honestly, if I weren’t in the military, I wouldn’t have ever considered going there myself. But, with that said, I did get to spend quite a bit of my life over there seemingly. Their way of life is entirely different from ours, and at first, it is a bit of culture shock. I like to describe visiting the Middle East as going back in time, because of the primitivities of necessary infrastructure within a city. Plumbing in Iraq is something to be desired. Often there were streets filled with sewage, and who knows what else. Israel I got the opportunity to visit Israel for work-related travel. My trip was scheduled to be there for at least three weeks, but maybe longer if the job needed it. However, I spent the first week …

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COVID-19 Nationwide State Park Closures

Campground Closures in the U.S. Due to COVID-19 First, we are actively compiling tips from our community on the latest campground closures, limitations, and re-openings for campers due to COVID-19. Submit a suggestion below.   Open and Closed Campgrounds due to COVID-19: Overview National Parks and Forests Firstly, park officials at all major NPS sites are taking precautions to avoid the spread of COVID-19 at parks, and a majority of parks have closed visitor operations, including welcome centers, ticketing offices, and more. Several parks, listed below, are entirely closed to visitation for the time being. Subsequently, these parks do not permit visitation for day-use or overnight stays. There are a majority of national forests, managed by the US Forest Service, are operating on a case-by-case basis for day-use and overnight stays remaining open. Check your state below for more information on national forests open or closed due to COVID-19. Update …

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Chimney Rock – A Midwest Treasure

If you happen to find yourself traveling through the Heart of America, sometimes referred to the Heartland or Midwest, be sure to stop and look at one of Nebraska’s famous landmarks and historic sites, Chimney Rock. I know that to some, the Midwest is dull and flat, lots of cows, and corn. Being from Nebraska, I’ve learned to appreciate the cows and corn, but I do like to share some of the hidden beauties the Heartland has to offer! It’s no secret how this rock formation got its name, but what is interesting is the number of times the name has changed. Early on, the Native Americans, Lakota Sioux, referred to the landmark as “Elk Penis.” And underwent several euphemisms similar to that before finally, Chimney Rock stuck. Nobody is entirely sure who should be credited for the name, but many speculate that Fur traders were the ones to coin …

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The Grand Canyon – Best Place to Visit in US

The Grand Canyon National Park is truly one place to put on your bucket list! There is so much to do, and the views are incredible. You can spend months in the park and not see everything. In some instances, you can sit in the same area from dawn to dusk and slowly watch the scenery change right before your eyes. The way that the sun shines through at different angles changes the colors of the rocks. You can’t help but let your mind wander to our perception of time and how we are living in just a blink of an eye in the grand scheme of the Universe. It’s tough to fathom the billions of years that glaciers and the Colorado River has been cutting into the Earth and slowly eroding the land into what you see today. Once you see it for yourself, you will see precisely why …

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