Your Most Anticipated RVing Destinations

your-favorite-rv-destinationThe prospect of heading out West this fall has got me thinking about all of the neat places I want to visit while I’m out that way: the Rockies, the Grand Canyon, redwood forests, the northwest coast, boondocking in the Southwest desert and checking out Quartzsite, and just about every National Park in Utah.

I find that when life gets hectic, like right now when I’m in a car something like 18 hours every weekend for rehearsals up in Atlanta, and then doing my homework for renaissance festival stuff, getting in my volunteer hours, cleaning my RV, scheduling truck maintenance, taxes, keeping up with this blog and the online RVing community, keeping up with my non-RV related social engagements, applying to seasonal jobs for later this year, and trying to squeeze in a visit to the dentist for a cleaning, it’s great to do things to remind myself why I’m living this lifestyle.

The rest of you working full-timers out there have no doubt experienced days or weeks like this too. And for those of you getting ready to go RVing, I remember what it was like, trying to pull all of the pieces together for your big on the road debut. It’s a lot of effort, and sometimes the rewards seem so far away.

Especially this time of year, when in most parts of the US the arrival of March heralds the first hints that winter is on the way out and cabin fever can drive a person mad. Why can’t the weather hurry up and change so we can get out and do things?

Sadly, mother nature seems not to have gotten the memo yet in many states this year, which makes waiting all the more difficult. So to help drive those March doldrums away, lets think about some of the great places we’re going to go see once the weather clears, the work is all done, and the road is ours once again (or for the first time!). Besides what I listed above, I’ve discovered that Lake Tahoe is quite close to Fernley. I would be a fool to miss that while I’m working out there. What place or places are at the top of your to-see list?

Image of Lake Tahoe courtesy of David Berkowitz

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45 Responses to Your Most Anticipated RVing Destinations

  1. Thomas Fuller March 8, 2014 at 11:36 am #

    This summer, we’ll be going out west in our RV for 7 weeks. We are not full-timers, but my wife and I both teach, so we are able to take the family on long summer trips.

    We have the Grand Canyon booked for 4 days and I’m really looking forward to this. We enjoy hiking and biking so I think this will be a great place. I’ve been to the Grand Canyon 25 years ago, but just long enough to look at it and say “Wow.” This is at the top of my “To See” list for this trip.

    We also have several days planned at Lake Tahoe. I’ve skied there in the winter, but haven’t seen it in the summer. The lake is beautiful and I think you will find countless miles of beautiful wilderness to explore since I know you like walking.

    I was fortunate enough to be able to book 4 nights at a campground inside Yosemite. I say “fortunate” because the sites book up within SECONDS of becoming available. No joke. I’ve heard it’s crowded in the summer, but beautiful and worth it. You have the luxury of going during off-season times.

    Thanks for your journal. I live vicariously through all the full-timers I follow online. We get to travel quite a bit and I have a Facebook page devoted to our travels, but man, I’d love to full-time. Maybe one day.

    Be safe…

    • Becky March 9, 2014 at 11:28 pm #

      Sounds like a wonderful summer ahead Thomas! I always thought that must be one big perk of being a teacher. When my family took our out west road trip the summer before I entered high school we didn’t make it as far south as the Grand Canyon or as far west as Lake Tahoe, so while I got a taste I saw just a fraction of it really.

      And it’s kind of funny you bring up Yosemite. I received an e-mail from a gentleman who worked at YARTS a couple weeks ago, the Yosemite Area Regional Transportation System. As the name implies they run a bus transport system through Yosemite with multiple stop points. The gentleman asked for tips for how to promote their service to RVers, because like you mentioned in the summer that area gets very crowded and the roads congested, and it can be a long process to get a RV, particularly a large one, through there in a timely fashion. I don’t know what kind of RV you have, but after you get settled in at your campground you might want to peek in at the routes they have, maybe it’d save you the trouble of having to drive around in there yourself.

  2. Richard Myers March 8, 2014 at 5:08 pm #

    Hi Becky,

    First trip of the year will likely be Gettysburg, PA which will also take in Hershey, Philadelphia, and Valley Forge. There will also be a trip to Washington, DC a bit later in the summer.

    I have traveled extensively in the West and know you will have a great time.

    But first, there is still a foot of snow around the Casita…


    • Becky March 9, 2014 at 11:30 pm #

      Still a foot, yikes Rick! Still, at least you have this wonderful trip ahead to help get through the cold nights until then.

      I haven’t gotten that far east either in the states. That’s alright though, it means I won’t be running out of places to see anytime soon. πŸ˜‰ Take care and enjoy!

  3. jonthebru March 8, 2014 at 6:01 pm #

    North America, but probably not until next year. Thomas Fuller has the best idea: many of the best campsites are booked many months on advance, plan now!
    Ya know Becky, your life may be hectic, but its YOUR hectic!

    • Becky March 9, 2014 at 11:44 pm #

      I tend to fall somewhere in the middle when it comes to my site booking. I’ll book popular campgrounds well in advance if I’m visiting in their peak, but to be honest I like visiting scenic places in the off season when there are less vacationers around and the campgrounds are quieter. The Badlands was amazing in the spring and fall, you had the whole place to yourself and it was so quiet and peaceful – and also not scorching hot.

      But yeah, for the big destinations that never really see an off season I can understand the value of advanced planning.

      And yes you bring up a good point, I’ve said it before but not real recently so I’ll say it again: full-time RVing if you’re still pre-retirement is not an endless vacation. It has its ups and downs like any lifestyle, and for me the crazy multitasking while setting up the next stage of the journey can be hectic at times…. but it is still infinitely superior, in my case, to my old way of life.

      I try to present my life on this blog as it is without sugar coating things to show people that full-time RVing is not a holy grail that will solve all of life’s problems, in fact it creates some new ones. It’s not the right life for everyone, and so I mention the bads as well as the goods to keep people from getting the wrong impression. For me, the goods of the lifestyle far outweigh the bads, and as long as that is still the case, you can find me on the open road.

  4. Hazel March 8, 2014 at 6:40 pm #

    Add Canada to your list for the summer months. From Newfoundland to Vancouver Island to Iqaliut…so many amazing places to explore up here!

    • Becky March 9, 2014 at 11:45 pm #

      Oooh, good point Hazel! I love nature and wilderness, and I bet Canada has that in abundance.

  5. Rob March 8, 2014 at 7:57 pm #

    It sounds like you have some serious sightseeing planned. I’m sure you’ll enjoy it all!

    I plan to see some of what goes on during the ‘spring break’ season down by Padre Is (at Whataburger this morning they told me their “spring break rules” have started & will go for the next 2 weeks).
    The next thing will be 1st Monday Trade Days in Canton Texas followed by a night at the Choctaw casino in Oklahoma.
    After that I’ll mosey up to Altoona Iowa to work the Adventureland season. That takes me to October….

    You mentioned taxes… how does the money you get from Amazon for stuff ordered through your blog get reported? Some type of 1099?
    I’m just curious…
    Rob recently posted..Looking for work?My Profile

    • Becky March 9, 2014 at 11:59 pm #

      Sounds like a good year ahead Rob!

      And I received a W-2 from Amazon for my stint at at Coffeyville, but I’m pretty sure that didn’t contain the affiliate income, I received nothing else form Amazon. Taxes are still on my to-do list. When I get into Turbo Tax I might report it like that or just put it under the miscellaneous income category depending on where I think it fits better. I do have a spreadsheet with all my affiliate earnings nice and proper month by month so if heaven forbid I get audited, I can prove that I claimed it all on my taxes – my goal isn’t to stick it to the Man, that’s just asking for trouble.

  6. Pleinguy March 8, 2014 at 9:56 pm #

    I’m heading to the northwest for this summer. The most anticipated place is Glacier NP, but there will be other fantastic stops along the way. Hope your plans work out.
    Pleinguy recently posted..StreakingMy Profile

    • Becky March 10, 2014 at 12:00 am #

      Oh, Glacier was one of the places my family did hit when we went out west. The drive on Going to the Sun Road really stood out to me as being gorgeous, we also took a couple hikes out to glaciers and went horese back riding. It was good times. You’ll love it!

  7. Kim March 8, 2014 at 10:39 pm #

    I’ll be spending the summer in the Pacific Northwest. The last big hole in my travel resume.

    • Becky March 10, 2014 at 12:02 am #

      Awesome Kim! So many bloggers I follow have talked about that region, the pictures make me drool a little. I’ll be getting out there eventually too.

  8. Dave March 8, 2014 at 11:40 pm #

    Alaska, we leave in May going through North Dakota along the way giving me 49 out of 50 states that I have traveled in during my lifetime. When they get the tunnel to Hawaii finished, well I will then hit 50. And if they indeed split up California, I can claim each area since I have been to each area of California more than once. –Dave (
    Dave recently posted..Bubba Shave – Seafood DiveMy Profile

    • Becky March 10, 2014 at 12:09 am #

      Neat Dave! Alaska is on my to see list some day. I have a feeling when I go it’ll be to work at some park up there for the summer, going to need to bring in some money to offset the travel costs. Enjoy!

  9. SamG March 9, 2014 at 9:39 am #

    Going west on I-70, right along the interstate, when you enter Glenwood springs, colorado, Take a soak in the city block size hot spring pool. It’s on the net and there’s a webcam somewhere too. Plenty pictures. 1 or 2 campsites claim free admittance if you stay at the campground. On my bucket list. Also Rocky Mtn. Nat’l Park has bison. Steamboat Springs is an interesting town from what I remember. A break from mountain driving. If you’re near Flagstaff, Az, Northwest of Flagstaff is Red Mountain. Free attraction. A small parking lot but a great hike (2 miles? one way) to an extinct volcanic cinder cone. It was April? and 70 degrees when I was there but it was an otherworldly landscape experience. A crater with few pine trees, hills and walls of orange brown containing marble like nodules. Holes in the walls containing ice. The hills are rounded and climbable. I’ll send you pics if you want. Not many on the net. Then somewhere in that area is Lava River cave. There’s also 1 in Oregon. Haven’t been to either. Free. But documented on the net. And pictures. Take flashlights. Head protection? Dress warm.

    • Becky March 10, 2014 at 12:20 am #

      Yes yes yes to hot springs! I have to say I’m a bit more interested in finding the natural non-commercialized ones that I hear are hidden out in Colorado. They usually require a hike or back road drive to get to but the novelty of your own private hot spring amuses me.

      The Badlands had a bison herd, they are such majestic animals. I got to see them out in the Black Hills too. But mountains, real mountains – such an exciting concept.

      Thanks for your other suggestions too! I’ll keep them in mind when i get out there. I hope you have some good summer traveling planned.

      • JimS March 10, 2014 at 10:50 pm #

        Colorado has some very nice hot springs, though I suspect all have been “opportunized”.

        Strawberry Park hot springs just outside Steamboat Springs is natural, remote, and lovely. Just bring a (small) flashlight if you go at night (the best time to go, IMO). Last time I was there, you relied on starlight to navigate your way. But it’s been awhile. A quick look at their website looks like it may have become a little more commercialized. πŸ™

        There’s another just north of Durango, which I’ve been told is very nice as well. Can’t remember the name, but remote and ~10,000 ft in elevation.

        I enjoy reading your blog.

        • Becky March 11, 2014 at 2:11 pm #

          Glad you like it Jim, thanks for the tips!

  10. Mike LeBlanc March 9, 2014 at 9:42 am #

    For the 2014 season (May-September) I’ll be working for a private company at the east gate of Glacier National Park in Montana. Shortly I’ll begin my travels there from east Texas. While my route is not written in stone I am planning to pass through Santa Fe, Taos, The Grand Canyon, and through Yellowstone. Prior to beginning my trek north, I plan to visit Mexico for some dental work. Since I’ll only be 18 miles from the Canadian border while in Montana there may be a trip into Canada.

    • Becky March 11, 2014 at 2:25 pm #

      Sounds great Mike, have fun! As I commented above, I loved Glacier when I went through there as a teenager.

  11. ibrich March 9, 2014 at 11:12 am #

    Check out Kodachrome Basin State park in SW Utah. Off the beaten path. delightful little quail are nearly tame.

    Trail Ridge road in Colorado is pretty cool – highest highway in US I think, about 12,000 ft.

    Cape Lookout state park in Oregon is a hidden beach stop you should check out. Pacific City has a nice beach, small town feel with a cool bluff to climb over.

    Look forward to reading your adventure out our direction.

    • Becky March 11, 2014 at 2:28 pm #

      Sounds like some neat places rich, thanks for the tips. πŸ™‚

  12. Ken Howitt March 9, 2014 at 3:25 pm #

    Big Bend in south west Texas.

    • Becky March 11, 2014 at 2:29 pm #

      I came so close to working out there this past winter, getting in with the concession company wasn’t a problem because it’s the same folks who do the Badlands, but alas they wanted me out there earlier in the fall, and Amazon is better money. Enjoy!

  13. JimS March 9, 2014 at 4:56 pm #

    Colorado’s all about the drive. Start in Rocky Mtn Nat’l Park and work your way south and west toward Durango. And you could always get a concession job at the Pikes Peak summit, and work at 14’000 ft every day. You might have to endure the occasional mid-summer snowstorm, but the views are amazing! πŸ™‚

    • Becky March 11, 2014 at 2:31 pm #

      I bet the views are great out there Jim. Briefly made it to the Rockies as a teenager but by then we were running short on time so we didn’t stay long. I’m going to go see more of it when I get back out there.

  14. Judy E March 9, 2014 at 8:38 pm #

    You’ll also be close to Virginia City, and Carson City, when you are here in Fernley (I’m in Reno). Reno is closest, and you’ll go through it to get to most places you want to go to. A lot to do in these areas, but you may be working so much you won’t get to sight see a lot. Hope you do!

    • Becky March 11, 2014 at 2:33 pm #

      Yeah I won’t get to see a lot while at Fernley, but I believe once I get out West I’ll be out that way for a while, winter down in AZ and then head farther north again the next summer and do some more exploring while I work. We’ll see how it all works out.

  15. Furry Gnome March 9, 2014 at 10:57 pm #

    You’re one busy lady by the sound of it! We’re thinking of either some gardens in France, or the outer islands of Scotland, along with a bunch of littler trips closer to home.

    • Becky March 11, 2014 at 2:35 pm #

      International travel, fun Gnome! Enjoy. πŸ™‚

  16. John Pontsler (Ol Ponts) March 10, 2014 at 12:16 am #

    We are headed North on April 1st if the weather in Rapid City has warmed by then, but on the way plan to hit Arches National Park near Moab Utah. If the weather is still too cold in South Dakota, it’s the southern route via San Antonio then onto the Gulf Coast before a grand kid fix in late April in Tennessee. Then onto Rapid City and Mount Rushmore before heading back to SoCal for a college graduation in late May. With a stop at Arches too.

    I’ll putter around SoCal until heading to Fernley for a solo fall position. The tough thing about Fernley is there are only 2 campgrounds in town, the next closest is Fallon, 22 miles away. A 45 mile round trip commute is going to cut into the bottom line with Diesel running at near $4 a gallon.
    John Pontsler (Ol Ponts) recently posted..You want to do what?My Profile

    • Becky March 11, 2014 at 2:37 pm #

      Yeah, I have to say John that staying right across from work at Coffeyville made a huge difference, more down time. At least Fernley workers make the most money, I imagine they have to pay their workers more for the inconvenience of the drive.

  17. Susan March 10, 2014 at 3:44 am #

    Stayed at Quartzsite this winter as well as Yuma and Temecula CA and now in Las Vegas. Full-timing so working more than sightseeing. I have met people from Europe and they talked of van camping Europe and Australia. Definitely on my list to try both. Also New Zealand and Hawaii. Met a gentleman from Alaska who encouraged looking at jobs up there for the summer outside of the campgrounds, such as on the tour boats! Also friends winter in San Felipe MX so adding a visit to Baja Mexico to my list. Will summer in Yellowstone this year before Fernley in the fall.

    • Becky March 11, 2014 at 2:39 pm #

      Sounds like a good year ahead Susan! Seems like quite a few of us are going to be at Fernley this fall, that’ll be fun.

  18. Cindy Hampton March 12, 2014 at 9:56 am #

    Custer State Park is at the top of my list.

    • Becky March 13, 2014 at 7:54 pm #

      I went there on a couple occasions last summer while I was working in the Badlands. The black hills are so close and yet so very different from the Badlands, it was such an amazing contrast. There is a lot to see and do out there, you’ll enjoy it. πŸ™‚

  19. TuT March 12, 2014 at 4:01 pm #

    Big year ahead for me. Finally pulled the trigger on a Travel Trailer! So far have Ohio, Tennessee, South Carolina and back home to Florida planned. Two weeks in the Keys, then thanksgiving week in Kissimmee (have family there). It is all pretty exciting to see my fulltime dreams start to take shape. I should be fulltiming in a year or less. Then I plan to do Carlsbad Caverns, Monument Valley, Sturgis and Laconia, any place with cool Roller Coasters, and I may just travel around chasing my retirement hobby… but that is a secret for now πŸ™‚

    • Becky March 13, 2014 at 7:56 pm #

      Sounds like an amazing year TuT! Congrats on the purchase and you get out there and have some fun. I’m a little jealous of your Keys visit, I’ve been in Florida for months and don’t think I’ll manage to get down there this trip with everything else I have going on. I guess that’s okay though, because it means I’ll still have exciting new stuff to see when I come back. πŸ˜‰

      Chasing your retirement hobby, I like that, haha.

  20. ROSEMARY R. March 13, 2014 at 8:20 pm #

    I have been very lucky to have seen a lot of our Country. When my hubby and I hit the road as full timers nxt year we will of course be stopping in S. Dakota first to do the residence stuff. Then on east to N. Dakota (Mom’s family), Minnesota,(Dad’s family), Wisconsin, (more of Dad’s family). Then East and South to follow the footsteps of Great GrandDad who fought in the Civil War and wrote a first hand account of his experience.

    Becky, be sure and spend time in Arizona and New Mexico, truly beautiful states. (when its cool)

    • Becky March 16, 2014 at 8:39 pm #

      Sounds like fun Rosemary, congrats on your impending departure. It must great to have that record your grandfather left behind, a piece of history that you can trace how exciting. Safe travels and happy trails, I am definitely heading to Arizona and New Mexico when I go out West!

  21. Rebecca April 13, 2014 at 2:38 pm #

    Tahoe is beautiful as are the surrounding forests… but keep heading west to stay a couple nights in the Redwoods and dip your toes in the mighty pacific!

    • Becky April 14, 2014 at 5:15 pm #

      That’ll be a bit far while I’m working at Amazon, won’t have a ton of free time. But the Redwoods has been on my List since I started thinking about traveling and I’ll make it out there sometime while I’m out west. Maybe before Amazon starts or after it gets out.

      As for the Pacific. I dipped my toes in the Atlantic before I left the east coast this year, and after Amazon gets done I might be making a detour to Los Angeles before heading down to Quartzsite. If I do I’m definitely going to stick my toes in the Pacific no matter how cold it is in December just to say I’ve done both in the same year. πŸ™‚

  22. David May 8, 2014 at 6:23 am #

    Thanks for writing this – good stuff!
    David recently posted..Can You & How Do You Live in an RV Full Time? : The Complete GuideMy Profile

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