What Is Your Idea of Away?
Today’s RV parks are often referred to as “the last small towns in America.” The friendliness of RVers, the sense of community from relationships with fellow RVers and the wealth of amenities that many parks provide offer RV travelers a feeling of a hometown on the road. In many cases, the RV parks themselves have become destinations for vacationers, not merely a place to sleep en route to other tourist locations. No matter whether you are a family looking for an action-packed trip, an empty nester seeking relaxation and pampering or somewhere in between, there’s an RV resort just right for you.
Candy-bar bingo, old-fashioned sack races or late-night flashlight tag…whatever your child’s idea of fun, RV parks go beyond the standard swimming pools and camp stores. Parks also boast splash yards for the youngest members of the families, full-scale water parks complete with lazy rivers, arts and craft classes, lakes with canoes and kayaks, miniature golf fun for the whole family, outdoor movie theaters, live weekend entertainment, game rooms, nature hikes and organized children’s games and activities with park activity directors on staff, all designed to keep families entertained without needing to leave the campground property. Some parks offer spa services where Mom and Dad can sneak away for a few moments of pampering while the kids are entertained.
Mature travelers looking to socialize with other adults in a more relaxed atmosphere can find RV resorts with spa amenities, 18-hole golf courses, clubhouses, restaurants, cappuccino bars, wine rooms, resort-style boutiques and salon services, as well as organized social activities and craft/art classes for an adult-only crowd. Some like to call amenity-laden RV parks, Glamping Resorts!
Larger RV parks publish special event calendars with celebrations and themed weeks or weekends throughout the year so RVers can make reservations in advance for the more popular festivities and can plan their getaways. Friendships forged at campgrounds often bring groups of RVers together throughout the year. Others plan their stays because of how a park’s staff make them feel so welcomed and at home with each returning visit.
RV campgrounds can be as small as a few dozen sites to booming resorts with hundreds of sites, catering to RVs of every type and size. Some RVers prefer the simple solitude of campgrounds that provide just the basics of electricity and fresh water at the site. Others prefer full-service options with electricity, water and sewer hookups for every RV. Electronically dependent travelers appreciate the Wi-Fi service provided at many of today’s campgrounds, as well as cable hookups. Campgrounds located near popular tourist destinations frequently offer shuttle transportation to and from town.
A growing vacation trend, RVers are opting for destination camping. By renting a site at a favorite campground within driving distance from home for several weeks, a month or the entire season, RVers are able to leave their RV completely set up on the site and travel back and forth to it for long weeks or an extended vacation without having to pack the RV and head out on the road each time. This saves owners both time and money and makes frequent RV getaways even easier and more convenient. Campgrounds in colder climates also offer off-season storage when the parks are closed for the winter months.
Where to Go?
For a link to campgrounds nationwide, click here.
Camping on America’s Public Lands
Millions of acres of the country’s most pristine locations have been preserved as public access lands for the enjoyment of all Americans. RVs are an ideal way to visit these wilderness areas in comfort.
National Park Service offers 29,000 campsites in 440 campgrounds. Many in-park RV campgrounds have limited or no hookups, but are set in breathtaking surroundings. To find out more or to reserve a site, visit http://www.nps.gov/index.htm or http://www.reserveamerica.com/marketing.do?goto=nrrsgeneralrules.html.
America’s 7,800 State Parks can be found in all 50 states and boast more than 221-thousand campsites. You’re sure to find a park that’s close enough to home for spur-of-the-moment RV getaway where you can discover local natural wonders. To find a State Park near you, visit http://www.americasstateparks.org/Find-A-Park.
National Forest Service has more than 4,300 campgrounds in its 155 forests. To locate a national forest near you or to make reservations to camp in a national forest, visit http://www.forestcamping.com/ or http://www.reserveamerica.com/marketing.do?goto=nrrsgeneralrules.html.
Bureau of Land Management Recreation Sites
The Bureau of Land Management oversees 264 million acres of scenic outdoor recreation sites in the western United States, including Alaska. For camping and recreation area information, visit www.blm.gov or http://www.reserveamerica.com/marketing.do?goto=nrrsgeneralrules.html.
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Projects
There are campgrounds in 2,375 parks located mostly near lakes created through Corps projects. For information, log on to http://www.usace.army.mil/CECW/Operations/Pages/Recreation.aspx or http://www.reserveamerica.com/marketing.do?goto=nrrsgeneralrules.html.
National Wildlife Refuges
National Wildlife Refuge System, managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, is the world’s premier system of public lands and waters set aside to conserve America’s fish, wildlife and plants. The system has grown to more than 150 million acres, 555 national wildlife refuges and other units of the Refuge System, plus 38 wetland management districts. Camping is allowed only when it’s compatible with conservation efforts. For reservations, go to http://www.reserveamerica.com/marketing.do?goto=nrrsgeneralrules.html.