How To Plan A Trip With Friends: 9 Easy Steps

How To Plan A Trip With Friends: 9 Easy Steps

How To Plan A Trip With Friends: 9 Easy Steps

 ****This article may contain affiliate links.  By clicking and using these links we may make a small commission at NO extra cost to you!

Traveling with a group?  This easy step-by-step guide on How To Plan A Trip With Friends will take the guesswork and frustration out of your next adventure.  Trip planning can be overwhelming and stressful. Traveling with friends can lead to anger or even lost relationships when preparation is neglected.

Let us help you make the most out of your next vacation with friends.

 

1. Why Do I Need A Guide For How To Plan A Trip With Friends?

 

Traveling itself can be stressful.  However, traveling with a group can bring stress to a whole new level.  I learned this lesson the hard way and vowed I would never travel with a group again, that is until I discovered some simple steps to ensure we all have a good time.

Group travel can either make or break our relationships.  Unfortunately, sometimes we don’t really know our companions until we spend several solid days and nights vacationing with them.  Tensions can rise and moods change, so a game plan is necessary to assure us our adventure will be enjoyable.

Nobody wants to have to tread carefully or be on their best behavior while on vacation.  We want to relax, have fun, enjoy our friends and be free to do our thing.  These steps will help you to be organized, and ensure that everyone is on the same page. In turn, this guide will alleviate frustration and missed opportunities.

Preplanning will help to eliminate wasted time deciding “what should we do now”.  This will allow everyone to better enjoy their time together.

 

 

 Start With Why: Planning a Trip

 

 

 

2. Intention and Overall Vibe of the Trip: The Big Why.

 

Stating the intent of the trip is the most important step.  Every other step in planning a trip with friends revolves around this step.   A trip without a purpose or stated intent can easily lead to boredom, missed opportunities, guest rumblings, and frustration.

Every trip will have a different purpose.  Relaxing, gambling, hiking, meditation, spa experience, wine tasting, and tearing up the town have a particular purpose or vibe you want to experience.  Solace and meditation will be a completely different type of trip than a bachelor party of shots and strippers.

A simple statement of intent or purpose to your invitees allows them to easily accept or decline the travel opportunity.  More importantly, it allows you to prepare your invite list, knowing that your guests are in agreement with your overall plans.

Here are a couple of examples.

  • This is a spa retreat.  A completely relaxing trip: no bus tours and no shopping.
  • We are going to craft all weekend at the annual Make a Craft Convention.  This means “bring your soft pants and craft supplies”, not we’re going on a catamaran whale watching tour.

Imagine, being invited to a mountain cabin with your best friend, only to find out that it is a mastermind of entrepreneurs like herself.  You unknowingly accept the invite because it’s the mountains. This sounds like a great time to spend sipping wine, reading magazines, and watching movies.  Where you thought you and your friend would sit around bonding, gossiping, and eating junk food the trip has turned into whiteboards, think tanks, and misery.

This may sound a little far-fetched but worse trips have happened.  Each time you plan a trip with friends it will have a different vibe and intention.

 

What vibe will you create

 

3. Identify The Group Of Friends Traveling

 

Remember, not everybody is suited for every trip.  Likewise, not everyone wants to participate in every getaway opportunity.

Intention, finances, and length of the trip are defining factors.  Be clear with the intent of the trip so that your travel partners can make a decision, as to whether or not they really want to go.  Choosing the right travel partners for the right adventure will add to your overall enjoyment.

Likewise, some trips easily cater to large groups while others are best experienced by a smaller more intimate guest list.

Simply stated:

  • Who is going?
  • How many are going?

Who is going on this trip?

Some friends want to hike while others want to booze it up.  There are weekend shopping trips, Big City Christmas Lights Displays, and relaxing spa trips.

A couples retreat will differ from that of a girl’s or a guy’s weekend trip.  Your church group friends’ interests might differ from your mastermind group of friends.

Identify who is going on the trip.  Collect names, emails, and phone numbers for easy communication.

How many people are going on this trip?

 

The number of people may significantly impact the experience you want to create for your group.  Every single decision from this point forward depends on this step.  From transportation to having meaningful conversations your group size will dictate every opportunity.

STROTIP:  For groups larger than 8, consider an all-inclusive destination.  Resorts are designed to cater to larger groups as well as small groups.  Seating at meals is easy, as well as the in-house entertainment. There is always plenty of room to relax, party, and explore. 

Whereas, a smaller group of 2-8 people, can generally find seating in clubs, restaurants, and other entertainment venues.   Transportation between venues is much easier with fewer people.

Leaving this step to chance causes frustration on every end. Members of the group may feel left out, or irritated, and will not enjoy the trip if the destination is difficult to maneuver.  (Have you ever seen the Bride Train of 15 girls parading through the casino?  Nobody looks happy)

Identify the group, get a commitment and begin the planning.

Who is going on the trip

4. The Pre-Travel Planning Meeting

 

The Pre-Travel Planning Meeting is necessary and creates a foundation for the trip.  It should cover 4 main topics:

  • Designate a point person
  • Set the budget
  • Agree on expectations
  • Pick a location

For large group trips, it is advisable to consult a travel professional.  However, you can easily plan your trip with friends, yourself, or by consulting with your pack of travelers.   Be warned though, too many voices can lead to indecision and overwhelming choices.

Designate A Point Person

The Pre-Travel Meeting is the perfect time to designate a point person for the trip.  The Point Person and Host of the trip do not need to be the same person.

The main job of the point is to help with travel arrangements, make necessary reservations, help develop an itinerary and ensure that the trip remains within the agreed budget.  The Point Person will need to communicate with travelers on a regular basis and be detail oriented.

This may sound a little overboard as far as the delegation of duties, but which is worse:

A.  All reservations and daily itineraries are organized.

or

B.  Standing around asking “Where do you want to go to dinner” or, “What’s the plan for the day”?

Set a Realistic Budget

For many travelers, budget is a big concern.  While some may have an unlimited resource of money, others may have more limited finances.  There may be times the host may need to adjust the trip itinerary to accommodate their comrade’s financial ability.  Other times, the itinerary, adventure, and cost dictate your travel partners.

At any cost, never money shame travel companions into overspending their budget.  Friendships are often lost over disputes involving money.  Developing a realistic budget for the trip can help to alleviate any surprises and undue stress.

STROTIP:  As a travel agent and personal trip planner, I often ask my clients and friends to tell me where their comfortable budget lies.  Building an itinerary around realistic cost expectations is much easier.  Of course, you can easily add in splurges and eliminate less important experiences. 

For instance, when we travel to Las Vegas with friends, we might opt to splurge on an over-the-top dining experience rather than overpriced bottle service at a club.  Your group might be the exact opposite.  Money and experiences all boil down to personal preferences. 

Consider these costs when making a budget:

    • Airfare
    • Lodging
    • Transportation
    • Meals
    • Entertainment
    • Special Clothes
    • Incidentals

You, the Host, need to weigh the options and set a budget that is affordable for the group that you want to travel with on this trip.  There might be excursions during the trip that are optional as well.  We will cover this more in the itinerary section.

The Pre-Travel Planning Meeting is a good time to discuss payment responsibilities and commitment.  Stating upfront costs, as well as the incidental cost is important.  Confusion and frustration often set in when one member of the group starts buying dinner one night and expects everyone else to pick a night to treat.  This is an unnecessary burden UNLESS discussed ahead of time.  Unfortunately, uneven or undefined financial responsibility has the ability to break a friendship

Timelines and commitment deadlines can also be discussed in the budget session.  Unavoidable circumstances happen all the time, however, does that mean the rest of the group should have an increase in financial burden if someone has to cancel?

It is always best to state the terms upfront.  There is nothing worse than someone dropping out at the last minute and your price just jumped $1000.  How you handle this situation is completely up to you but it needs to be defined and stated.

Every trip comes with a personal expectation from each individual.  Maybe you expect to explore every part of this new city, from sun up to sun down, yet your friends are late risers and have no desire to sightsee.  Likewise, you might be expecting to indulge in a spiritual journey and your friends want to go to a club.  Don’t ever assume you know what your group is expecting.  Have everyone share their expectations with each other.

This is a good point to discuss possible venues and locations for the trip.  There will be times when you, the host, will have a particular destination in mind.  Other times, you may want to have your group throw some ideas into the ring and discuss the possibilities.

Set a Budget

Pick a Location

The best opportunity to decide on a venue or at the very least, discuss possible destinations is during the Pre-Travel Planning Meeting.  Deciding on a location incorporates all of the preceding steps.  Aligning your intention, budget, and group dynamics will quickly help you narrow your destination focus.

In a perfect world, everyone will be able to attend the pre-travel planning meeting and add to the conversation.  Travelers not included in the discussion may have ideas or excursions that are important to them.  Communication is a key component when traveling with friends, especially when planning daily activities.

Location: Where will you go?

5. Develop An Itinerary

 

Now that the preliminary work and foundation are set, it is time to plan your trip with friends.  This is the most fun part of pre-planning!  Research and proper scheduling and timing will enhance your getaway experience immensely.

When your companions know the schedule and have contributed, however, loose it may be, everyone feels included.  Being organized will cut down on unnecessary texts, stress, and frustration in the group.

Whether you are using a professional tour company or arranging a small group camping trip, the principles are the same.  Let your people know where and when the activities or excursions are scheduled.

Here are some important steps in creating the itinerary for your trip with friends:

  • Research and suggest points of interest
  • Schedule breaks
  • Keep in mind group suggestions

Develop an Intinerary

Research and suggest points of interest

As the designated trip planner, you may need to research and suggest points of interest to your group.  Even a long weekend getaway to a cabin retreat may require some suggestions of things to do in the area, such as a local winery or restaurant.

Some in your group may want to hit the ground running, sightseeing and shopping, while others in the group may want to enjoy an afternoon lounging at the pool.  Since the possibilities are endless, a good trip planner covers all the basics and includes something for everyone.

Schedule breaks

Sometimes a group needs a time out, a refreshing moment, or just some alone time.  Allowing this in the itinerary provides a safe space for those that need some downtime.  Busy schedules and timelines can cause tensions to increase.

Scheduling activities later in the day allows individuals to sleep a little later or spend time in the hotel gym.  Likewise, taking a break in the afternoon, allows your friends to have an afternoon nap or schedule a massage in the spa.

Scheduled breaks or free time allows your friends to do something that didn’t make the itinerary list.  Shopping, browsing a nearby art gallery, or reading quietly on their own could be just the reset they need.

Breaks are important to any itinerary.

Everyone Has A Say

Including the members of the group in the planning can make or break a friendship.  Taking suggestions can help ensure everyone’s trip needs are met, especially on multi-day vacations.  Their differing ideas can add to the overall experience of the trip.

Simply ask the group to submit 3 suggestions they would like to do or see on the trip.  Make a list and the most popular and feasible suggestions for the group as a whole go on the itinerary.  The least popular or more individualized items might be accomplished during the scheduled free time.

StroTip:  A well-designed itinerary considers the proximity of daily activities such as sightseeing, meals, and other entertainment.  Leaving ample time for your travelers to enjoy their visit while considering transit times is super important to the overall experience.  Relying on ride-share and mass transit can impact your travel plans.  Likewise, not everyone moves at the same speed and ease.  Make sure your itinerary and timeframe are realistic.

6. Travel Arrangements and Reservations

 

Any How to Plan a Trip with Friends guide would be incomplete without this step.  As the trip planner, you are going to have to keep track of arrivals, departures, and any other reservations.

Travel

Travel arrangements can be tricky, especially if your group is scattered around the globe.  Allowing your companions to make their own arrangements can help reduce your workload and potential financial obligations.

However, it is wise to give your friends some parameters, such as “arrive by” and “depart by” times.  Otherwise, you could be making multiple trips to the airport or train station.

Hotels, rental units, and campgrounds have stated check-in and out policies.  Likewise, you should incorporate these details into your itinerary.

Reservations

In our post-pandemic world, you will find that you are going to need reservations in most touring destinations and eateries.  Piling six people into a winery on a Saturday afternoon without reservations might result in being turned away.  Likewise, waiting for a table to come available might cut into a tour time.

Reservations will ensure that your group is able to experience everything the trip was designed to bring without frustration and lost opportunities.

Reservation form

7. Communication

 

Communication is imperative during the trip planning process because it will:

  • Alleviate Stress
  • Promote unity

Alleviate Stress

Make sure everyone has a copy of the Itinerary.

Why leave your guests in the dark, unless of course, the trip is designed to be that type of adventure?  A simple spreadsheet or document with the details of the trip, contact information, and any other important information should be able to be easily accessed by all.

Promote Unity

The unity of the group before departure can be fun and helpful.  Whether you use an email chain, messenger app, or a social media private group to talk, the guests will feel included.  This also builds excitement and expectation for the trip.  For those who may not know each other as well, it will help them start to bond and build a rapport.

Ask questions like:

    • Will any of the dinners be dress-up?
    • We have free time on Tuesday and I was thinking about going to the Farmers Market, would anyone like to come with me?
    • Hey, I’m looking for a new weekend bag, does anyone have some suggestions?
    • Questions open dialogue and dialogue gels the group.

8. In Case of Emergency

Even the best-laid plans sometimes develop a hiccup.  Missed or canceled flights, illness, weather, and travel restrictions occur every day.

What If?

When you plan a trip with friends, consider and plan for the What If scenarios.  Discuss possible outcomes and develop a fail-safe procedure to keep everyone safe.

Possible What If Scenarios:

      • What will I do if I lose my passport?
      • What will we do if we miss the cruise ship departure?
      • Do you know if your companions have a food allergy?
      • What will you do if someone goes missing?  How long will you wait to notify the proper authorities?
      • How will you fix a flat tire on a lonesome desert road?

Sure this is a bummer to consider, but it is always better to be prepared.

Emergency Contact Form:

Provide an emergency contact form for your group.  Sure, we know our friends’ families, but do we know how to contact them in the event of an emergency?  This downloadable form should help you keep all of their emergency contact information readily available.

It is a good idea to have both a paper copy and an electronic copy of all Identification Cards and travel documents.  A little preparation can save hours of time, especially if you lose your passport or identifying documents.

9. Final Thoughts: How To Plan A Trip With Friends

 Travel with Friends and Have Fun

HAVE FUN!

 

Using this guide will help you step-by-step as you plan a trip with friends.  You will stay organized and reduce the frustrations of trip planning.

Whether it’s a 10-day Mediterranean Cruise or a 3-day Road Trip to Chase waterfalls, these principles are important to ensure you achieve the last step.

HAVE FUN!

More than anything, your friendships are important.  Have fun, laugh a little, and then some more!

Thanks for reading!  Now go forth and travel on!

32 Amazingly Weird Things To Do In Amarillo, TX 2022

32 Amazingly Weird Things To Do In Amarillo, TX 2022

32 Weird Things To Do In Amarillo, Texas

 ****This article may contain affiliate links.  By clicking and using these links we may make a small commission at NO extra cost to you!

Are you traveling through the Texas Panhandle soon?  Make time in your schedule to check out some of these 32 Weird Things To Do in Amarillo.  These quirky spots are well worth a visit.  Go ahead, give this article a read and discover how fun Amarillo can be.

 

32 Weird Things To Do In Amarillo 2022

 

If quirky roadside attractions are your jam, then you really should take a day or three to experience a few of these weird things to do in Amarillo.  Many of the attractions are located close to I-40 with ample parking.  Food, ice cream, photo ops, and hiking are easy to experience, even if you only have a few hours to visit.

Just passing through with only a few hours to spare, these attractions are for you.  Most have easy access from I-40 East/West with plenty of parking, even for RVs.

 

1.  Cadillac Ranch

 

Just a short walk from the road, you will find 10 Vintage Cadillacs buried in the field tail end up!

Why?

Because Texas millionaire Stanley Marsh 3 could.  Simple as that!

You know the saying, “everything’s bigger in Texas”, and yard art is no exception for eccentrics like Marsh.

Make sure to bring some spray paint and leave your mark.  Take a picture to remember it because your artwork won’t last long.  All day long, graffiti artists and tourists re-decorate this popular attraction.

 

Cadillac Ranch 38 Weird Things To Do In Amarillo

 

2.  Slug Bug City

 

If abandoned buildings and graffiti are your things, then make a quick stop here at the Slug Bug City.  Like many establishments of Rt 66, these once-thriving motels and trading posts are empty and in decay.

The owners of The Longhorn Trading Post and Rattlesnake Ranch buried 5 VW Bugs nose down to increase their roadside business.  Unfortunately for them, I-40 diverted traffic and their business failed.

They did however leave this quirky weird roadside attraction for all of us to visit.  Bring your spray paint and leave your mark.

STRO TIP:  In our opinion, this attraction is far more interesting than Cadillac Ranch.  Far fewer people visit this sight making this ghost town just a little bit weird!

Slug Bug City 38 Weird Things To Do In Amarillo

 

3.  Richard Daniel Baker Peace Park

 

Take a few minutes to stop, reflect, meditate or pray.

The Peace Park is a space dedicated to everyone who believes in peace.  From the words of John Lennon to the plaques dedicated to our Military, you will find hope and the dream of a better tomorrow.

This roadside attraction is quirky yet surreal.  Make the time to stop.

Richard Daniel Peace Park Unique Things to do in Amarillo, TX

 

4.  Ozymandias on The Plains

 

Fictional Historic Marker

Is that a pair of 24 ft tall legs in the middle of a field?

Is it an ancient artifact modeled after a statue in Egypt?

Were these legs the inspiration behind the poem Ozymandias by Percy Bysshe Shelley?

Was there a body to go with this pair of legs, perhaps destroyed before completion between rival football teams?

Or is it simply a weird pair of legs out in the middle of the field?

Only Artist Lightin’ McDuff can answer these questions!

Address:  I-27, W Sundown Ln, Amarillo

Weird legs in Amarillo, TX

5.  2nd Amendment Cowboy

 

Just down the road from Cadillac Ranch stands the 22 ft. tall 2nd Amendment Cowboy himself.  His charming, good looks with the traditional tipping of his hat make for a fun photo opp.

Before his residency at this location, the muffler man was used for target practice in the field.  His bullet holes have been patched, and his clothes are nicely pressed.

His starched yellow shirt is printed with the words 2nd Amendment Cowboy as a reminder of our right to keep and bear arms to maintain independence from anyone that would attempt to take that away from us.

At his feet are several Cadillacs and celebrities, making this stop one of the weird things to do in Amarillo!

2nd Amendment Cowboy Amarillo, TX

Weird Things To Do In Amarillo: Museums and Tours

6.  Bill’s Backyard Classics

 

If you like classic cars, hot rods, and works of beauty, this is the stop for you!  Take a tour through the showroom and be wowed at the sights.  From a 1920s Model A to Bob Segar’s Night Moves:  A 1961 Pontiac Cat, Bill’s has about 88 cars to woo over.

 

Perhaps you want a souvenir? Several of these beauties are for sale!  Bring your checkbook!

 

7.  Jack Sisemore Traveland and RV Museum

 

Take a step back in time with a visit to this place of wonder.  From vintage Air Streams to a Hippy VW Bus, these restored RVs have stories to tell.

Although we might not get to sleep overnight in these campers, we can imagine what camping along the Famous RT 66 was like to them.

I just wonder how some of these travelers fared on Historic RT 66 through Oatman, AZ?

 

8.  Helium Times Column Monument

 

Standing over 60 ft. tall is a Texas tribute to the discovery of Helium.  Within this structure are four-time capsules dating back to 1968.

Two of the four capsules have been opened while the other two seals will be broken in 2068 and 2968, respectively.

Among the contents of books, articles, and trinkets of 1968, there is a bank passbook with a deposit of $10.  If that bad boy continues to accrue interest, the account balance is estimated to be about $1 Quintillium.  Somebody’s going to be quite surprised!

You too can agree that this is one of the many weird things to do in Amarillo!

Helium Tower Time Capsule Amarillo, TX

9.  Don Harrington Discovery Center

 

While you are checking out the Helium Times Column, stick around and visit the Discovery Center.

When you are finished strolling the grounds and feeding the dinosaurs, visit the exhibits inside,

Discover what’s inside the time capsules, pet a tarantula or crawl through a super-sized ant farm.

Discovery Museum Amarillo, TX

10.  Museum of Art

 

There are plenty of things you would think Amarillo has to offer, but would you think art?

Take a few hours and discover the Amarillo Museum of Art.  From the outside sculpture gardens to the inside photography exhibitions, there are some unique pieces.

My favorite is a piece called It’s Hard to Stay on Top.  Although I am not an art enthusiast, I do like weird stuff, and this piece fits the bill.

 

11.  The Amarillo Historic Museum

 

This fun quirky museum pays tribute to everything Amarillo.  If something happened here, it got recorded and now holds its place in history inside the museum.

From the opening of the first Orange Julius in Amarillo to a Civil War-era collection of firearms, you can find out all of the History of Amarillo.

 

12.  Botanical Gardens

 

A lush green garden is something you would not think to find in the dusty plains, right?

However, back in 1929, a group of trailblazing women thought differently.  The ladies started the first garden clubs in Amarillo and the movement boomed.  Sure, it was hard work, but the beauty of colorful flowers and fauna rewarded them.

Amarillo The garden club craze caught on and in 1954 the Amarillo Botanical Gardens were created.

Take a walk through this colorful, serene garden.  You will be amazed at the beautiful oasis in the middle of this dusty dirty landscape.

 

13.  Amarillo Railroad Museum

 

Where else can you see the White Train and The Helium Train together?

These unique cars were part of the nuclear weapons transport system.

Come learn about the rich history of the railroad in the Panhandle

 

Weird Things To Do In Amarillo: Historic Route 66

14.  Rt 66, Historic District

 

No visit to Amarillo would be complete without getting your kicks on Rt 66.   Although there is only about a mile of the original highway preserved in Amarillo, visitors can still enjoy shopping and dining along the famous Rt 66.

It’s hard to imagine that Rt 66 spanned from Chicago to Santa Monica in its heyday.  Historians and civic groups continue to preserve and protect these gems for decades to come.

Stop in for an over-the-top Bloody Mary at The Handle Bar and Grill.  It truly is Breakfast or Lunch in a glass.

 

15.  The NAT Antiques Mall

 

Antique hunting is a common sport for many of us.  However, adding the possibility of a supernatural encounter brings this adventure to a whole new level of weird things to do in Amarillo.

This quirky shop has a fun history.

Originally, this building was an indoor pool for the locals in Amarillo.  Many enjoyed swimming and playing inside this Texas oasis.

In 1926, J.D.Tucker purchased the Natatorium and covered the pool with a dance floor.  Soon locals began partying and dancing to the Big Band Sound.

 

Names like The Dorsey Brothers, Duke Ellington, and Guy Lombardo passed through and entertained the crowds.  Times became tougher for this entertainment icon.  The Nat closed its doors in the 1960s and remained vacant for quite some time.

It has since then reopened as a popular Antique Mall.

Legend has it that the ghosts of past parties continued to haunt the hall dancing and twirling, living the days gone by.  I hear the top floor is especially prone to “cold spots”.

For more on the Nat, check out this video.

 

 

Weird Things To Do In Amarillo:  Restaurants  

Simply put, everything is bigger in Texas.  Whether it’s a local favorite or a tourist destination, these hotspots have something unique to offer.

 

16.  The Big Texan Steakhouse

 

If this is your first time through Amarillo, you have to stop at The Big Texan Steakhouse.  As they say, everything is bigger in Texas and The Big Texan has the steak to prove it.  You can eat for free IF you can finish a 72 oz. Ribeye with the fixings in 60 minutes.

While we did not accept the challenge, we did enjoy a lunch steak.  Be sure to save room for some fudge and ice cream while you are taking aim in the shooting gallery.

Big Texan Challenge Amarillo, TX

17.  The Coyote Bluff Café

 

Are you looking for the best burger in Amarillo?  Make your way to the Coyote Café.  From I-40, this little gem is just a few minutes away.  Be sure to try their queso and chips or the chili cheese fries with your burgers.  Come hungry though, their portions are huge!

The Coyote Bluff Café is quite small and oddly decorated.  The café closes between 3 -5 pm most days.  However, the dinner line starts to form at 4:30.  Don’t be late, because you might not get a seat!

 

Weird Things To Do In Amarillo: Downtown

 

 

18.  The Wall Mural Tour

 

Amarillo is booming in color with over 20 murals to visit throughout the city,   Thanks to the Hoodoo Mural Festival initiative, artists will continue to express messages of hope, love, peace, and food throughout the town.

The festival combines music, and food with artistic flair, bringing communities and families together.

You can check out this video!

 

19.  St. Anthony’s Hospital

 

Although this facility is not open to the public, St. Anthony’s Hospital is quite an attraction for ghost hunters and the curious.

From 1901 until 1996, St Anthony’s housed patients suffering both physically and mentally.  In the early days, mental illness was misunderstood and often treated badly through religious practices.

Between 1909 and 1939,  the hospital conducted 76 documented exorcisms on patients suffering from mental illness.

The hospital has sat abandoned since 1996.  Some of the rooms are said to be completely intact, with remnants left by patients and staff.  Transients and the homeless often kept quarters in the building, causing further destruction to the property.

Portions of the historic and haunted building are now being renovated into an Adult living community.

St Anthony's Hospital Amarillo, TX

 

More Weird Things To Do In Amarillo 

These attractions don’t really have a category, so we put them all together here.  You might find that you will see some of these sights as you wander through Amarillo and the surrounding areas.

Take a look!

 

20.  Amarillo Scavenger Hunt

 

One of the best ways to find the weird things to do in Amarillo is to join the Scavenger Hunt.  The game provides clues, trivia questions, and history while you seek the place of interest.

Rather than collecting safety pins or packing tape for the Scavenger Hunt, you collect selfies and a unique perspective of Amarillo.

book Your scavenger Hunt here

 

21.  Floating Mesa

 

What in the world is going on here?

From a distance, the top mesa appears to be floating in thin air!

Three stripes have been painted around the structure giving the illusion of the floating mesa.

Tascosa Rd, Bushland, TX 79012

Floating Mesa, Amarillo TX

22.  Tascosa Drive-In Theatre

 

Load up the car put the kids in their jammies and bring on the snacks.  The Tascosa Drive-In is home to the Double Feature!  The movie begins at dusk.

Can I just say the concession stand has Frito pies, pixie stix, and frozen pickle juice, plus the regular stuff?  I understand the snacks, but what is up with frozen pickle juice?

 

23.  Pantex Plant

 

Just 17 miles outside of Amarillo is one of our nation’s most unique facilities.  The Pantex Plant is the only plant that disassembles, tests, and evaluates nuclear weapons.  At one time, the plant did construct nuclear bombs, however, the last one was built in 1991.

The Pantex Plant serves as an interim storage facility for plutonium.

As you can imagine, security is quite high in the area.  Before “dropping in” for a visit, you will need to call and ask permission.

If you do visit, you can find Freedom, one of the 100 painted quarter-horse statues of Amarillo.

 

24.  The Alibates Flint  Quarries National Monument

 

Put on your walking shoes and take a hike out to the Alibates Flint Quarries.  These colorful quarries date back 13.000 years.  The discovered artifacts and petroglyphs give us a look into the days of our ancestors.

Be amazed at the different colors in the rocks: grey, pink, white, purple, and blue.  Historians believe that the stones were once used to make projectile weapons, spears, and knives to hunt the great mammoths of the ice age.

25.  Dynamite Museum

 

The Dynamite Museum is definitely of the super weird things to do in Amarillo.  This roadside attraction isn’t actually a museum, but an art installation comprised of thousands of crazy road signs.  Some are original and some have been painted over, the placement is totally random.

This particular sign might have one wandering, where did their underpants go?

Keep a look out as you tour Amarillo, the artists have placed them around the area with some in the North Heights neighborhood.

 

Dynamite Museum Amarillo TX

 

26.  Mariposa Eco- Village

 

Not far from downtown, is the Mariposa Eco-Village.  Committed to sustainability, artistry, and community the village is something to experience.

Take part in volunteering and building the gardens, or visit during an event.  The community desires to teach conservation and sustainable living practices.

Consider staying the night glamping in a yurt or even in your own RV.  Campsites are available through Harvest Host and Hip Camp.

 

27.  Painted Horses of Amarillo

 

Throughout the city, there are over 100 painted quarter horses scattered.  Each horse is hand-painted by local artists and has a name.  How many can you find?

Salty, Blaze, and the rest of the herd make for some colorful photo opportunities.

 

Painted Horses of Amarillo

 

Weird Things To Do In Amarillo: Canyon, TX

Want to explore some more? Just 20 minutes from Downtown Amarillo you will find Canyon, TX a must-do, especially if you love hidden surprises.

 

28.  Palo Duro Canyon

 

What makes Palo Duro Canyon one of the weird things to do in Amarillo?

For one, traveling through the great plains, you would not expect to drive up to the edge of the 2nd largest canyon in the US!

Drive and descend 800 feet to the canyon floor to explore the 16-mile paved loop or the many dirt trails.  Whether you are hiking, biking, or chilling with a picnic, you will agree that the scenery is spectacular.  Spend the day and watch the colors reflect off the canyon wall and change from pink, to orange and then to purple.

Spend the night inside the canyon in the spacious big rig-friendly campground or make a reservation in the convenient glamping area.  Enjoy an evening with a campfire and smores.  If you are lucky, you can hear the call of the wild as the coyotes stalk the terrain, looking for their dinner.

Weird Things to Do in Amarillo Palo Duro Canyon

 

29.  Combine City

 

What do you do with combines that are no longer operational?

The story suggests that a local farmer, Orville Ladehoff asked that question.  Lovingly and jokingly his wife, Gracie, said “bury them”.

What a thought!

With the blade side up, Orville began planting his Combine City.

Address: FM 1151, Canyon, TX

Combine City

 

30.  Cowboys and Cowgirls of the West

 

Join the expert riders as they take you on a one-of-a-kind Texas Trail ride.  Your tour will take you along the rim of Palo Duro Canyon with breathtaking views.

Be sure to check out their Chuck Wagon experience with all the fixins.  This might be just the thing that you and your group have been tasting!

 

31.  Bar Z Winery

 

Are you feeling parched yet?  Stop into the Bar Z Winery daily from 3-9 and enjoy a glass, flight, or bottle of wine.  The outside porch is spacious, and their red wines are bold.

What makes Bar Z Winery one of the weird things to do in Amarillo?  Their wine of course.  Texas is known for its sweeter wines from the Hill Country.  Bar Z however has some AMAZING bold reds, something you would not expect!

 

32.  The Honey Buzz Winery

 

Is mead more your style?  The Honey Buzz is the stop for you.  Mead slushies, Mead on tap, and Mead to go as well as an assortment of craft beer and mimosas.  Grab a bite to eat with a cool mead cocktail and pull up a rocking chair.  Slow down and sip a little.

 

33.  Tex Randall, The Big Texan

 

Tex Randal stands over 45’ tall, sporting Levi’s, boots, and cowboy charm.  Take a selfie with him or blow him a kiss.  Tex Randal is proof that everything is bigger in Texas.

 

Big Tex Canyon Texas

 

Weird Things To Do In Amarillo:  That’s a Wrap

After a long desolate drive on 1-40, east or west, Amarillo is a welcoming stop.  From the highway, you see a collection of truck stops and chain restaurants.  Fueling, grubbing down and Wal-docking are all easy, but as you see,  there are plenty of unique attractions in Amarillo.

Whether you are just driving through or have a few days to burn, you can find plenty of weird things to do in Amarillo!  Eat, Drink, Wander and Take lots of pictures!

 

If you are still wondering if you should take a road trip, well here are a few reasons.

8 Great Reasons To Take A Roadtrip!

Do you need some help designing that perfect road trip?  We like to use RV Trip Wizard to design our routes.   Point-to-point routing, costs, and rerouting options are available.  Don’t be caught without it!  You can purchase your membership right here.

 

RV Trip Planner Wizard Affiliate Link The Stromads

 

 

We hope you enjoy your stay in the Texas Panhandle!  Visiting just a few of these weird things to do in Amarillo, Texas will help break up the drive and give you a few laughs as you continue your journey.

Travel Safe and Adventure Often!

Best RV Camping Near Philadelphia, PA 2022

Best RV Camping Near Philadelphia, PA 2022

Best RV Camping Near Philadelphia

**We use affiliate links and may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. 

Traveling to big can be extremely frustrating when you travel in a motorhome or camper. Exploring these urban playgrounds is fun, and this article will help you find the best RV camping near Philadelphia so that you too can explore the city with ease.

Whether you are exploring the touristy side of Philly or the quirkier side of the city, we have you covered.

As full-time RV’ers and constant travelers, exploring while driving the lower 48 and Mexico, is our passion.  Having family and friends in the Mid-Atlantic region brings us to the Philadelphia area often.  Like you, we were concerned with finding campgrounds in such an urban area. 

Surprising as it seems, RV camping near Philadelphia is fairly easy.  Although you can’t camp in the city, we have found 7 RV campgrounds nearby.

Don’t Take Your RV Into The City!

 

The reason this article is titled RV Camping near Philadelphia is that there currently is no RV Camping in the city.   Unless your unit is small, you will have a difficult time finding adequate parking.

Although Vanlife and stealth campers may beg to differ, the city can be quite sketchy if you don’t know your way around.  Your best bet?  Find RV camping Near Philadelphia, not in the city.

Think twice about taking your rig into the city. 

Why?

Philadelphia’s traffic is congested even on the major interstates and highways.  Once off the interstate, Philly becomes a driving nightmare.  

Being such an old city, many of the streets are the size of alleys with cars parked on all four corners.  Coupled with sketchy neighborhoods and severely limited RV-friendly parking, you will be exiting the city before you even say Liberty Bell! 

 

RV Camping Near Philadelphia

Rather than pass through the City of Brotherly Love, spend a few nights camping near Philadelphia.

We have put together a list and details of the Top 7 RV Campgrounds near Philadelphia, along with some fun sights to see in the city.

 

These campgrounds are less than an hour away from Center City and all of the attractions.  After a long day exploring, you can come home and relax in the comfort of your RV.  Interestingly you may find yourself in a different state when RV camping near Philadelphia.

 

Delaware:

1.  Lums Pond State Park:   Located less than an hour from Center City, Lums Pond is a quiet retreat.  Fishing, kayaking, hiking, and zip-lining are just some of the amenities you can enjoy.  The campground is big rig friendly, as well as comfortable for tent campers.  The drive to the city is an easy shot straight up Interstate 95.

Lums Pond State Park

Be sure to make your reservations early as Lums Pond and most of the RV campgrounds near Philadelphia stay full all year round.

2.  Delaware Park Casino: Conveniently located in Stanton, DE only 40 minutes from Philadelphia.  This is not a campground and there are NO facilities.  Delaware Park is strictly boondocking and you will need to ask permission from security before planning your overnight stay.

For the privilege of staying, the casino appreciates your patronage.  Eat, drink and gamble as DE Park is a full-service casino with live table games, slots, sports betting and live horse racing, and a lot of family-friendly events.  The Security Team is very accommodating and the last time we were there allowed multiple nights’ stays.

 

New Jersey:

 

3.  Philadelphia South/ Clarksboro KOA Holiday: Located just 26 minutes from Center City.  As you would expect, this KOA has great amenities like a pool, wifi, and a K-9 park.

Our grandson loved fishing in the pond and of course hanging out at the fire making smores at night.  Whether you have a big rig RV, a tent, or want to rent a cabin, you will find comfort and ease here while visiting Philadelphia.

Clarksburg KOA, Camping Near Philadelphia

Pennsylvania:

 

4.  Philadelphia/West Chester KOA:  Located 52 minutes from downtown Coatesville, PA.  Complete with a pool, cabins, mini-golf, a gem sluice, and fun activities this KOA provides a great camping experience.  Our grandkids loved the playground and canoeing.  All styles of camping are welcome here.  

Canoeing West Chester KOA, camping near Philadelphia

 

5.  Tohickon Family Campground: This campground is truly a hidden gem about an hour outside of Center City.  Nestled in the forest beside a creek, you will feel miles away from the hustle and bustle of the city.  

Tohickon Family Campground, Camping Near Philadephia

 

A nice large pool, onsite store, restaurant, playground with giant legos, swings for the grown-ups, and weekend family activities make this a nice respite.  Big rigs and tent campers, there is room for everyone!

When you’ve seen enough of the fast lane there are many local attractions in Bucks County.  You can take a leisurely tour of the 12 covered bridges in the area with the first being right at the campground entrance.  

 

Check out our YouTube Video: Covered Bridges of Bucks County Part 1

 

 

 

6.  Village Scene RV Park:  Just a couple of miles off of the PA Turnpike this campground combines permanent residents in traditional double and single-wide mobile homes with self-contained RV units.   Village Scene does accommodate both seasonal and transient RVers.  

Only 45 minutes from Center City in Hatfield, you will find all of the amenities of big-city living with a small-town feel.  The park is clean and very well-maintained.  Pads are concrete and asphalt.  For those not needing a “camping” experience, this park is perfect for you.  It’s like living in a neighborhood rather than a campground.

Village Scene RV Park Camping near Philadelphia

 

7.  Oak Grove RV Park:  This unexpected RV park brings the camping experience together with urban living in Hatfield.  Tucked in the trees lies this highly coveted campground.  Many of the residents are seasonal with long-term commitments.  

 

 

 

The park is clean, and well maintained with fairly level RV spots.  Although it might seem tight, it is big rig friendly.  It has a small playground and does allow campfires.  Drive time to the city is about 45 minutes.  

 Oak Grove RV Park and Sales, Camping near Philadelphia

Additional RV Camping Resources

 

Of course, there are plenty of other resources you can check for RV Camping near Philadelphia.  

RV Trip Wizard is reliable for route planning.  Avoiding low-clearance roads and weight restrictions while traveling in an RV is crucial.  RV Trip Wizard will help you do both, plus it will reroute you and provide you with more efficient routes.   Although some of the reviews are outdated, the app does provide links to most of the campgrounds.  

RV Trip Planner Wizard Affiliate Link The Stromads

 

HipCamp is another great resource.  You may find a great location close to the city, perhaps even in someone’s driveway.  The locals always have a favorite cheesesteak haunt.  Use the code robbsed72e4 when you sign up to save $10 on your first stay.  Don’t discount HipCamp for urban camping.

 

Harvest Hosts.  For those not familiar with the program, Harvest Hosts is a membership program.  Hosts such as wineries, farms, and museums offer a FREE overnight boondocking spot on their property.  In turn, campers agree to buy a bottle, take a tour or otherwise support the establishment.  

These spots are a nice alternative to rest areas, Walmarts, or other quick overnight stays.  Harvest Hosts also make a great overnight getaway for the weekend warrior!

A short distance from the city, you will find some wonderful wineries.  Although it might be difficult to snag a weekend or multi-day stay, you can always ask.

Harvest Host Affiliate Link

 

Travel Into Center City Philadelphia

So if you are in your RV camping near Philadelphia, how do you get into the city? 

The regional rail commuter train, drive, and rideshare are all great ways to come into the city. 

 

One of the best aspects of big cities is the ease of mass transit.  Philadelphia is no exception.  Traffic can be rough, and navigating the city streets for the first time can be intimidating.  

Consider taking the SEPTA train into the city and exploring Philadelphia on foot, an electric bike, or grab an Uber/Lyft to the further away spots.  

 

Septa (Regional Rail, Commuter Train, Trolley, and City Bus)

By far, the train is the easiest way to get into the city.  Most depots have standard-size parking available. 

Download the easy-to-read Septa Map and plot your destination.  

If you are concerned about switching trains, or buses, then take the regional rail from your closest location into the city and get off at the most convenient location for the attractions you want to see.  

Because there are so many options and routes available, it is far easier for you to download the easy-to-read Septa Getting Around Philly maps and schedules to plan your downtown trip.  Make a plan of what you would like to see, then consult the map for the best drop-off point on Septa.

 

Driving And Parking In Center City Philadelphia

 

With a city as large as Philadelphia, you would think there would be plenty of easy parking.  Well, this is partially true, however, parking can be very expensive depending on where you park.  Especially if you ignore the rules.

Before you park, be sure to follow the instructions carefully.  Garage access may be limited after a certain time.  Likewise, you may or may not have in and out privileges.  

Meters may have a maximum time limit.  Don’t go over it or you will most likely be fined.

 

Street parking may be prohibited during certain hours of the day.  If this is the case, expect your car to be towed if you park during that time.

Spot Hero is an excellent app to help find parking.  This app will identify the spots available as well as the cost.  In most cases, you can reserve a spot ahead of time.

Once you are in the city, you can easily walk or ride share to many of the sights.  

 

Fun Things To Do In Philadelphia

 

So you have learned the ”how to’s” of RV camping near Philadelphia, now what do you do?

Surely in deciding to come to Philadelphia you have some ideas of things to do and see. Being founded in 1681, this city is rich in both history and pop culture.  Where else can you find the Liberty Bell, a great cheesesteak, and the “Rocky Balboa” statue? 

 

First-time visitor?

It is important to know that you cannot possibly see all of Philly in one day.

You can, however, get a good feel for the city if you take a self-guided tour like the Hop On/Off Big Red Bus.

PhilPhiladelphia, PA Hop on Hop Off Tour Bus, Affiliate Link

CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE

HOP ON/HOP OFF BIG RED BUS AND OTHER PHILADELPHIA TOURS

The tour is affordable and easy to board at any of their regular stops.  Ride in comfort as the tour drops at 24 different places of interest including:

  • Liberty Bell
  • Famous Art Museum Steps
  • The Rocky Statue
  • Love Park
  • Betsy Ross House
  • Penn’s Landing
  • China Town
  • Reading Terminal Market
  • And MORE!

With knowledgeable tour guides, you can’t go wrong.  The guide can help you find the best roast pork sandwiches and cannoli on the route.  They are quick to answer your questions and always hospitable.

Let someone else fight the traffic and parking.

 

Fun museums in Philadelphia

For those who prefer something a little more quirky or mysterious this city features plenty of off-the-beaten-path attractions.

There are about 100 museums to choose from when visiting Philly.  Check out these quirky, weird, and even fun museums in Philadelphia

 

Mummers Museum:  One of Philly’s most iconic symbols, The Mummers.  The parade continues to be a New Year’s Day tradition dating back to 1901 when the city government endorsed the celebration.  

Donned in feathers, sparkles and crazy costumes three divisions compete for notoriety and bragging rights.  It cannot be explained, it has to be experienced.  Once you see it, you won’t be the same.

Eastern State Penitentiary It’s hard to believe that this notable structure is located in Center City, only a few blocks from the Philadelphia Art Museum.  Whether you are a history buff, a ghost hunter, or just plain curious, the tour is well worth your time.

Wander through the partially restored prison, on a self-guided audio tour.  Take in the eerie quiet and the shadows cast by the setting sun.  

During Halloween, ESP is transformed into a Haunted Attraction.  Since the Penitentiary is one of the 5 most haunted places in the US, it only makes sense.

Eastern State Penitentiary

Mutters Museum:  Dedicated to medical history, this museum showcases oddities, abnormalities, and medical instruments throughout the decades.  It’s not for everybody, but it might just be for you!

 

Pennhurst Day School and Hospital Located in Spring City, PA, just 33 miles northwest of Center City is a spine-chilling look into early care of the disabled and those that were deemed feeble-minded. 

The semi-restored property holds memories, history, and even some haunts.  Tour the wards, the hospital, and maybe the hidden tunnels.  You will not be the same.

Pennhurst Hospital offers ghost hunter shut-ins and during Halloween, the Hospital transforms into one super scary haunted attraction.  

Penhurst Day School

 

Are you hungry yet?  No trip to Philly would be complete without a sample of its food offerings:

 

Philadelphia is known for its cheesesteaks, roast pork sandwiches, and soft pretzels.  Beyond these local favorites, Philly is a smorgasbord of delectable treats.   

Of course, there are well-known touristy joints: Geno’s and Pat’s Steaks.  These are ok, but any local will tell you there are far better cheesesteaks to eat.  Just remember to order it “wit” or “witout”..(fried onions of course)!

Reading Terminal Market:  Located near the convention center and train depot, RTM is a foodie paradise.  From fresh fish and decadent deserts to Amish specialties, you can find just about anything in the RTM.

Throughout the market, there is ample seating at the tables and counters.  Whether you prefer to dine in or take out, the possibilities are endless.  The market itself is 78,000 square feet and houses over 80 vendors.  

Here is a quick guide to Reading Terminal Market.

Philly Food

 

The Italian Market:  This open-air market spans just over 20 blocks in South Philly.  From fresh flowers to homemade pasta and specialty cheeses, you will find something of pleasure.  With over 200 businesses in the area, the Italian Market is worth the visit.  Plan to come early as many of the specialty stores close around 4 pm.  

Here is a convenient link to the Italian Market website.

The streets are very crowded and small.  Parking can be difficult so be patient.  

These are our favorite stops:  

  • Isgro: Cannolis 
  • Villa di Roma: Shrimp Scampi
  • Claudios: Specialty meats and cheese

 

Trendy Restaurants and Secret Speakeasies

 

Philadelphia is a foodie paradise.  With over 400 pizza joints and 3000 restaurants, you will be hard-pressed to not find what you want.  

From chic white linen tablecloths to picnic tables there is something for everyone.  The city is ever-changing and new restaurants appear on the scene daily.  It would be unfair to give our favorites.

Like you, we enjoy different venues.  Depending on the neighborhood you are exploring, you will find something fantastic.  There will be dim sum days, while other days warrant a medium-rare steak. 

Still not sure?  Ask a local!  

 

Wait!  Did you say Secret Speakeasy?

The modern-day speakeasy is a “thing”, both trendy and relaxing.  Modeled after the blind pig of prohibition, these hidden gems are worth exploring.  It’s fun to wander off the beaten path, as long as you know where you’re headed.

One of our favorite things to do while in the city is to relax and have a top-shelf craft cocktail in one of the many hidden speakeasies tucked away in alleys and back rooms throughout the city.  After a day of sightseeing, it’s nice to duck into a less crowded establishment and relax with quiet conversation.

Although Philadelphia has many members-only bars, the over 21 crowds can visit several speakeasies in the city.  There’s even a kid-friendly not-so-secret “speakeasy”.

Even though we can’t give away all the secrets, we can share a few of our favorites.

Most speakeasies are unmarked, and you may need reservations.  Unknowingly you might just walk past the door.  Keep your eyes open and take notice.  

 

Randstead Room:  If you like small and intimate, this is the place for you.  Don’t be deceived by the dumpsters.  This is a first-class cozy establishment.  Enjoy a fine cocktail and quiet conversation with your squeeze.  Sorry kids, this is adult-only and no pictures are allowed.  

Ranstead Room Speakeasy Philadelphia

Tippling Place Without knowing, you will walk right by this speakeasy.  Its eclectic decor and comfortable seating make this establishment a great place for an after-dinner cocktail.

1 Tippling Place, Speakeasy Philadelphia

 

Franklin Mortgage and Investment Company:  Craft cocktails, comfortable seating, and a secret address.  There is no sign, and yes it is down an alleyway.  What else can we tell you?  Franklin Mortgage and Investment Company has nothing to do with banking.  It is however named after the infamous ring of moonshiners during prohibition.  Well played!

 

The Cauldron:  Looking for something kid-friendly and quirky.  Check out this magical establishment.  With a magic wand in hand, you can mix a potion, have a light bite and enjoy the show.  Kids are welcome to join in the fun.  

 

Entertainment is everywhere!

Being a multicultural city you will find many ethnic festivals and celebrations in addition to state-of-the-art concert venues with top performers from around the world.  From intimate theater performances to open-air stadiums and casinos, Philadelphia has it all. 

It’s hard to talk about Philadelphia without talking about sports and sports fans.  Some of the most passionate (we’ll phrase it like that) sports fans in the world are here.  Be sure to check the schedule and see what teams are playing if that’s what you like.

If not, check the schedule and keep in mind on a game night several thousand extra people come into the city which really compounds transportation issues and wait times.

 StroTip:  A word to the wise, if you are not comfortable with large crowds, do yourself a favor and steer clear of the city when those events are in swing.    

 

 

 

That’s A Wrap!

 

Philly is a wonderful city to visit. It is easy to see why so many call Philadelphia home!   Although you might not be able to bring your rig into the city,  there are 7 easily accessible RV Campgrounds near Philadelphia.  Less than an hour away from the hustle and bustle of the city, your campsite waits.  

Eat, drink, play, and camp near Philadephia!   Enjoy your visit!

Thanks for reading.

Travel Safe and Adventure Often!

 

 

These are some other places you might want to explore:

Finger Lakes Region, NY

Amarillo, TX

 

 

21 Spectacular Finger Lakes Waterfalls For The Non-Hiker Hiker 2022

21 Spectacular Finger Lakes Waterfalls For The Non-Hiker Hiker 2022

21 Spectacular Finger Lakes Waterfalls for the Non-Hiker Hiker 2022

****TheStromads.com contains affiliate links and is a member of the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program.  If you click and use these links we may receive compensation at NO extra cost to you!  For more information read our Disclaimer.

The Finger Lakes Waterfalls are OUTSTANDING and if you love falling waters, then you too must see them!

Recently, Robb and I ventured to Upstate New York for a little downtime.  Little did we know, we would be completely blown away by what we found.  In fact, we had no idea that the Finger Lakes Waterfalls were going to be so spectacular.

Our itinerary was pretty simple to start.  Most of the waterfalls we ventured out to see are close to the parking area and less than a mile roundtrip hike. They are mostly hikes for the non-hiker.

These are 21 Spectacular Finger Lakes Waterfalls for the Non-Hiker Hiker

These 21 Finger Lakes Waterfalls are listed in no particular viewing order.  For navigational ease, the waterfalls are grouped together by the town in which they are located.

Montour Falls, NY

  1. Chequaga Falls-165ft Cascade
  2. Aunt Sarah Falls- 90ft Ribbon
  3. Hector Falls- 100ft Cascade

Ithica, NY

  1. Ithaca Falls- 150ft Cascade
  2. Cascadilla Gorge Trail- 8 Waterfalls ranging from 8ft-80ft in height Cascades and Tier
  3. Endfield Falls- 30ft Cascade
  4. Triphammer Falls-55ft Cascade
  5. Taughannock Falls- 215 Single Drop Plunge
  6. Toughannock State Park Upper Falls- 100ft Cascade

Pen Yan, NY

  1. Seneca Mills Falls-40ft Tier
  2. Cascade Mills Falls- 20ft Cascade

Castile, NY

  1. Letchworth State Park Upper Falls- 40ft Horseshoe Cascade
  2. Letchworth State Park Middle Falls-107ft Cascade
  3. Letchworth State Park Lower Falls-70ft Cascade

Watkins Glen, NY

  1. Entry Cascade at Sentry Bridge -Watkins Glen State Park-41ft Cascade
  2. Cavern Cascade – Watkins Glen State Park-52ft Cascade
  3. Central Cascade -Watkins Glen State Park-60ft Cascade
  4. Rainbow Falls – Watkins Glen State Park-101ft Triple Cascade
  5. Pluto Falls -Watkins Glen State Park-9ft Tiered

Holley, NY

  1. Holley Falls-35ft Cascade

Niagra Falls, NY

  1. American Falls-190Ft Tall and 1060ft Wide Cataract

 

Finger Lakes Waterfalls near Montour Falls, NY

 

1. Chequaga “SheQuaGa” Falls

109 S Genesee St, Montour Falls, NY 14865

In the middle of town, you can see the stunning SheQuaGa Falls.

If waterfalls and picnic areas are your thing, then SheQuaGa Falls may be your new top favorite destination.

The park is easily accessible complete with walking trails, a pavilion, and benches.  The main attraction is the 156-foot cascading waterfall.  Visitors can walk around the pool and feel the spray of the falls.

This serene setting and accessibility make SheQuaGa Falls a perfect destination or backdrop for a photo shoot.

Shequaga Falls Montour Falls, NY

2. Aunt Sarah Falls

307 N Catherine St, Montour Falls, NY 14865

Just ½ mile away from SheQuaGa Falls is Aunt Sarah Falls.  This towering 90-foot ribbon falls is another waterfall photo opportunity.

Parking is tight, so be mindful when crossing the street.

As with most waterfalls, Aunt Sarah Falls is best viewed after rain or in the spring when the flow is heavier.  Unfortunately for us, this waterfall was bone dry when we visited.

3. Hector Falls

NY 414, Burdette, NY

When traveling along Route 414, keep your eyes open or you will miss it.  Though this massive roadside waterfall towers at 165 feet, traffic may prevent you from snapping a picture.

The road is busy, so proceed with caution.  There are a few parking spots on the road near Hector Falls.

The roadside viewing area gives a view of only 50 feet of this cascading waterfall.  From the overlook bridge, you can almost touch the cascading waters and see the waters fall below you.

Boating on Seneca Lake may give you a view of the other 100 feet of Hector Falls.

 

Hector Falls Finger Lakes Waterfalls

 

Finger Lakes Waterfalls Near Ithaca, NY

4. Ithaca Falls

Lake Street, Ithaca, NY

Ithaca Falls is a jaw-dropper.  Even though you can see Ithaca Falls from the roadway, the best views are found inside the gorge.

Parking for Ithaca Falls is ample, yet the lot itself is very steep. With two levels available, it is very easy to find a parking spot.

From the highway overlook, you can see the falls up through the gorge.  However, taking the short 10-minute hike into the gorge changes everything.

The terrain is rocky and uneven, yet relatively flat once you are down on the riverbed trail.  The walls of the gorge reach heights of 100 feet.

As you come to the clearing, you will be captivated by the full view of this stunning 150-foot cascade.  This is a beautiful place to sit and experience the wonders of waterfalls.

Despite the fact the pool looks inviting, swimming is not allowed.  Loose shale and underwater currents make these waters incredibly dangerous.

Ithica Falls Finger Lakes Waterfalls

5. Cascadilla Gorge Waterfall Trail

Lower Trailhead Access:  Treman Triangle Park,  Intersection of Linn St and East Court Street, Ithaca, NY

Upper Trailhead Access: Cornell University Campus, behind Schwartz Center for Theatre Arts, Intersection Oak Ave and College Avenue, Ithaca, NY

The 1.3-mile gorge trail leads its visitors from the Cornell University Campus to downtown Ithaca.  The trail can be a strenuous walk for some as there are stair steps and plenty of them.

The hike along Cascadilla Creek is gorgeous with the towering gorge walls and 8 flowing waterfalls.  Along the way, there are plenty of resting spots, benches, and sturdy walls to view the waters.

The Cascadilla Gorge Trail is closed during the winter months as it becomes extremely dangerous.

For non-hiker hikers like us, we started at the bottom and hiked up the gorge.  The last 2 sets of steps up to the Campus are knee killers.

Unless you are planning to ride-share back to the bottom, of the gorge, these 200+ uneven stairs are not necessary.

Reward yourself at this last beautiful waterfall and take a break.

Cascadilla Gorge Trail Finger Lakes Waterfalls

6. Enfield Falls

105 Enfield Falls Rd, Ithaca, NY

Treman State Park is a double treat for visitors.  With both a waterfall and a swimming hole, you can easily spend the entire day relaxing in the grove.

The walk from the parking lot is very easy, flat, and paved.  Just the way non-hikers like us prefer hiking paths.

From a height of 30 feet, Enfield Falls cascades into the cold water pond below.  Adventurous swimmers jump from the diving board into the 20 ft deep swimming hole.

For those that are a little less adrenaline fed, the shallow end of the pool is the perfect area to take a dip on a hot afternoon.

Enfield Falls Finger Lakes Waterfalls

7. Triphammer Falls

Cornell University Campus: University Ave & East Ave, Ithaca, NY  

Cornell University houses a stunning 55-foot cascading waterfall hidden within the campus.

Metered parking is available at the top of the steep walking path, not far from the viewing bridge.

There is a small lot at the bottom of the path reserved for Cornell University Maintenance.  Although parking here is neither encouraged nor permitted, however, a quick peek at the falls probably won’t hurt.  Use your discretion.

Triphammer Falls Finger Lakes Waterfalls

8. Taughannock Falls  

Taughannock State Park1740 Taughannock Blvd, Trumansburg, NY

Taughannock Falls is New York’s highest single-drop waterfall.  This spectacular 215-foot plunge waterfall is worth a visit.

Just a short drive from the entrance to the viewing area there is plenty of parking.  Visitors can see this magnificent waterfall from a convenient overlook.

For those that are more agile, there is a staircase down to the riverbed.  However, there is no elevator back to the top.  A short .75-mile hike will bring you to the base of this huge plunge.

Together, the 400 feet gorge walls and stunning waterfall makes this a must-do on your next Finger Lakes Waterfalls adventure.

Taughannock Falls State Park 20 Spectacular Finger Lakes Waterfalls

9. Upper Falls

Just a short drive up through the park is the Upper Falls.  The small parking lot is convenient and the walk to view the falls is short.  Less than a ¼-mile round trip will give you a fantastic view of the Upper Falls.

Standing on the bridge, you can see this beautiful cascade drop 100 feet into the narrow gorge below.

For those more adventurous, both the north and south rim trails are accessible from here.

Taughannock Falls State Park Upper Falls Finger Lakes Waterfalls

Finger Lakes Waterfalls near Pen Yan

 

The Keuka Outlet Trail and Waterfalls

The Keuka Outlet Trail and Waterfalls hike is 6.8 miles long with 2 powerful waterfalls.  Don’t worry, you can drive to both or at least get close enough to the action.

 

10. Seneca Mills Falls

2019 Ridge Rd, Penn Yan, NY 

From the parking area, the walk is mostly uphill but easy.  You can walk right up to the edge and see the 3 tiered cascading waterfalls, or hike up to the top of the hill just a few yards further.

The view from the mill ruins is beautiful as you can view the river bed looking both upstream and downstream over the 40-foot waterfall.

Seneca Mills once a vibrant paper mill is now a distant memory.  The ruins of the mill and pump house give visitors a glimpse into its heyday.

A nearby pavilion and benches make Seneca Mills Falls a relaxing place to spend the afternoon.

Seneca Mills Falls Finger Lakes Waterfalls

11. Cascade Mills Falls

Outlet Rd, Penn Yan, NY 

Cascade Mills Falls is about a ¾-mile round trip walk through the lush green forest and winding along the river.  The path is flat and easy, even for non-hikers like us.

Once you get to the old mill there is a nice bench to rest and listen to the powerful tiered waterfall.

The ruins consist of an old post office and the Cascade Mill, which closed in 1966. Although there are “no trespassing” signs posted around the vacant mill, the graffiti shows something different.

Several buildings are scheduled for demolition to make the area safer for visitors, hikers, and waterfall seekers.

The massive green space and trails make Cascade Mills Falls a quiet retreat.

Cascade Mills Falls, spectacular Finger Lake Waterfalls

Waterfalls in Letchworth State Park

1 Letchworth State Park, Castile, NY

WOW and WOW is the only way to describe Letchworth State Park.  It is very easy to stay in this State Park for days exploring the many trails, overlooks, and 30 waterfall hikes.

Visitors quickly understand why Letchworth State Park is Often referred to as “The Grand Canyon of the East”.

Stretching 17 miles, along the Genesee River, visitors are treated to breathtaking views of the nearly 600 ft walls of the gorge.  This is a spectacular park!

Our hike included only 3 waterfalls.   These are the big ones, in other words, the main attractions.

Some of the hikes can be brutal, so consult your Letchworth Park Map before attempting something beyond your ability.

 

12. Upper Falls

From the entry at Portageville, it is just a short drive to the upper falls viewing area. The iconic Letchworth State Park photo is right here in front of you!

For the more agile, there is a path and stairs that lead you down to the walkway toward the middle falls.

Letchworth State Park Upper Falls

13. Middle Falls

To view the Middle Falls you can walk down the steps at the Upper Falls and walk along the river walkway.  The hike is 1.5 miles and fairly easy, or, you can drive down to the next parking area.

The walkway leads to a spectacular view of the middle falls.  This is NOT to be missed.

Follow the stone wall around to the Middle falls viewing area for stunning views of this powerful 107-foot cascading waterfall.  The sound alone is mesmerizing.

Letchworth State Park Middle Falls 20 Spectacular Finger Lakes Waterfalls for The Non-Hiker Hiker

14. Lower Falls

The Lower Falls is a little more difficult to visit.  For those more adventurous and fit, the hiking trail continues from the Upper Falls through the Middle Falls and deep into the Lower Falls.

The Gorge Trail is 7 miles long making it a 14-mile round trip.

For non-hikers like us, the drive through the park is just as stunning and there is convenient parking to the Lower Falls.

The “easy view” of the Lower Falls is about ½ mile hike from the parking lot.  This vantage point gives you an ok view of the falls.  You won’t be disappointed if you decide not to take this walk.

However, if you are comfortable with stair steps, there are 127 of them leading down to the Lower Falls Platform.  From here, you will have the best view of the 70-foot-tall cascade.  Remember though, there is no elevator back up to the top!

 

Waterfalls of Watkins Glen State Park

100 N Franklin St, Watkins Glen, NY

Watkins Glen is home to 19 waterfalls, but that’s not all.  In addition to the flowing waters, there are over 800 stone steps, trails, and views that will leave you breathless.

Before you begin your hike into the gorge, prepare yourself.  The Gorge trail is about 1.5 miles and you will have to decide where you want to start: Up or Down.

Start in the main parking lot, and climb up 400 feet to the top of the gorge, or park in the Upper Lot to descend 400 feet to the bottom of the gorge.  Either way, there are a lot of stairs (832) to tackle.

For the fit and industrious hiker, you can take one of the other trails such as the Indian Trail back around the top of the gorge.  This will allow you to explore the area, gorges, and waterfalls from a different vantage point.

Of course, you can always hike the gorge trail in the opposite direction.  For us non-hiker hikers, it is a one-way trip and there is a convenient $6 shuttle back to the parking lot.  There is no shame in our game.

The best waterfalls are located near the main parking lot entrance.  Depending on which direction you are hiking, you can call this waterfall the Grand Finale, or A Preview of what’s to come:

 

15. Entry Cascade at Sentry Bridge

The waterfall cascades down 41 feet into the pool below.  Should you decide not to hike the Gorge Trail, you can still see this waterfall.  It’s just a short walk from the Visitor Center on cement.  There is a small incline, but there is also plenty of seating.  Take a few minutes and listen to the beautiful sound of the water.

Entry Cascade at Sentry Bridge Finger Lakes Waterfalls

16. Cavern Cascade

Have you ever walked behind a waterfall?  When you come here, you will.  Cavern Cascade is a breathtaking 52-footer.  From every angle, the falling water will leave you mesmerized.  There is plenty of viewing room from both sides.  However, it is wet and can be slippery.  Proceed with caution and watch your electronics!

Cavern Cascade Waterfall Watkins Glen State Park

STRO TIP:  In our opinion, this waterfall is the most spectacular sight in Watkins Glen.  If you are coming up from the bottom and considering turning around, walk up just a little further until you reach this waterfall.  It’s worth it!

17. Central Cascade

Dropping 60 feet makes Central Cascade the tallest waterfall in Watkins Glen.  From the bridge, you can peek over and down into the pools.  And if you are hiking DOWN, make sure you turn around to get your perfect view.

Central Cascade Falls Watkins Glen Finger Lakes Waterfalls

18. Rainbow Falls

Outstanding is the word to describe this waterfall.  The view looks like something out of a magical fairytale.  The walls of the gorge are high, while the waterfall cascades down to the emerald pools below.  But wait, watch out! You will walk under another waterfall as you ascend!  Take a few minutes here.  After all, this is what you came to see!

Rainbow Falls Watkins Glen Finger Lakes Waterfalls

19. Pluto Falls

Mysterious and captivating are what comes to mind with this view.  Although Pluto Falls is only about 9 feet tall, it is extraordinary.  The emerald pool below will have you wanting to scale the walls.  However, don’t try.  Swimming is not allowed in the falls and pools in Watkins Glen.

Pluto Falls Watkins Glen Finger Lakes Waterfalls

Throughout the hike, you will see plenty of smaller waterfalls, tunnels, jaw-dropping views, and stairs.  Keep in mind, that the Gorge Trail closes for the season in late October because of the freezing temperatures.  The walkways become extremely dangerous.

In mid-May, the trail will once again open and the streams and waterfalls will be flowing freely.  With the melting snow, the water is likely to be fast and furious!

 

Stro Tip:  If you are planning to hike UP and turn around and go back DOWN, you may want to skip the 120 steps at Jacobs Ladder.  Unless you are taking a different trail or need to use the restroom, save yourself the climb.  You will have seen the best parts of the trail already and you will save a lot of huffing it!

Watkins Glen is NOT to be missed.  Whether you are camping in a nearby state park,  at a hotel, or at a VBRO, make sure you schedule some time to see this gorge!

 

RV Trip Planner Wizard Affiliate Link The Stromads

 

Waterfalls in Holley, NY

20. Holley Canal Falls and Trail

Village of Holley, NY

Holley Canal Falls is an unexpected treat.  Located just 30 minutes from Rochester and nestled in the tiny Village of Holley is this 34-foot cascading beauty.  From the comfort of your car, you can view Holley Canal Falls in the spacious parking lot.

For those that prefer to get up closer, there are trails and walking paths right up to the waterfalls.  It’s not unusual to see families enjoying the park with a pavilion and benches to rest on while taking in the sights.

Stro Tip:  Grab a cone or a milkshake at the Ice Cream parlor before coming down the hill to the park.  Sweet treats always taste better in beautiful locations.

 

Holley Falls, Holley NY a gorgeous waterfall in the Finger Lakes Region

Niagara Falls, NY

 

21. American Falls

 

No Finger Lakes Waterfalls list would be complete without a mention of Niagara Falls.

The roaring rapids and powerful waterfalls make Niagara Falls one of the top travel destinations in the United States and Canada.  Niagara Falls is a tourist town, with plenty of shops, restaurants, and things to do.  However, we want to talk about the Falls.

From the parking area, it is a short walk to the roaring rapids of the Niagara River.  Walking along the paved path allows for some beautiful pictures.  Just when you didn’t think it could get any better, BOOM, there it is, just an arm’s length away.

Spanning a width of 1050 ft and dropping 188 ft is the iconic American Falls.

Between the roar of the American Falls and the breathtaking views waterfall chasers will agree that Niagara Falls is not to be missed.

Where are the Finger Lakes?

 

By now, you are probably packing your bags and planning your Finger Lakes Waterfalls tour.  However, you might need a little more clarity on where this scenic region is located.

The Finger Lakes region encompasses 11 long narrow lakes in Western New York State.  More specifically the Finger Lakes region is located west of Syracuse and east of Canandaigua Lake while Lake Ontario borders north and Pennsylvania to the south.

Roughly 9900 square miles make up this New York treasure.  Here you will find over 100 wineries, breweries, and distilleries complete with some of the most beautiful views of the lakes.

With over 2 dozen state parks, there is ample camping, hiking, boating, and of course plenty of Finger Lakes Waterfalls.

This area provides the perfect getaway from the city.  Hometown charm, lake views, and deep gorges await your arrival.

Whether you are a seasoned hiker or prefer parking lot views with ice cream, you can find some of the most beautiful scenery in this area including the Finger Lakes waterfalls.

 

Weather Conditions Change The Finger Lakes Waterfalls

 

When planning a tour of the Finger Lakes waterfalls, be sure to consider the weather.

 

❄️Winter

Winter months pose several considerations.  Often the waterfalls are frozen giving a unique photo opportunity.  However, many of the trails and gorges are closed for the season.  The snow and ice are extremely dangerous for hikers, especially novices.

 

😎 Summer

Even though the temperatures heat up in the summer, the humidity in the Finger Lakes region is low.  The colors are bright green and lush, while the lakes are blue and refreshing.

Depending on the rain, a few waterfalls or streams may be dry.  However, don’t fret, there are plenty of beautiful Finger Lakes waterfalls with plenty of water to chase.

 

🌷 Spring

Late Spring could be the perfect time for the fast-flowing waters, as well as budding trees and blossoms everywhere.  While the nights are chilly, you will find mild temperatures during the day.

 

🍂 Fall

Fall can be the most magical time in the Finger Lake region.  Experience the foliage as it turns from green to an array of reds, yellow, and even purples.  Unfortunately, you must time this season just right, because it only lasts for a short time, before the leaves fall to the ground.

11 EASY Steps to Prepare yourself for your Finger Lakes Waterfalls Adventure

 

Weekends tend to keep the trails crowded.  However, you may find yourself completely alone during weekday hikes.  Whether you are a skilled hiker or a non-hiker hiker like us always prepare yourself BEFORE setting out on your waterfall escapade.

Easy Preparation for Non-Hiker Hikers

 

Check out these great hiking picks from Amazon below.

Amazon Picks for The Hiker

More Things To Do In the Finger Lakes Waterfalls Region

 

 

Tour Niagara Falls, Toronto, 1000 Islands
Finger Lakes Brewery Tour
Finger Lakes Wine Tour

3- Day Tour: Niagara Falls, Toronto, and 1000 Islands

Leaving New York City, you can sit back and relax as your tour bus transports you to these fabulous destinations.

Enjoy the Finger Lakes Waterfalls,  Niagara Falls, Boldt Castle, and more!

Click To Read More!

 

Finger Lakes Brewery Tour

Visit some of Finger Lakes’ finest breweries.

Learn from local hop farmers and brew meisters.  Share their passion for craft beer, while enjoying a cold one.

This guided tour allows you to sit back and relax while being driven from brewery to brewery.

Click Here To Learn More

 

Seneca Lake Wine Tasting Tour

Visit and explore 4 of the best wineries along Seneca Lake.

Leave the driving to your guide.

Learn, tour, and sip your way around beautiful Seneca Lake.

Click Here To Learn More

Let’s wrap it up: 21 Spectacular Finger Lakes Waterfalls for the Non-Hiker Hiker!

 

Waterfalls bring magic and beauty to our landscapes.  Whether the water is free falling, cascading, or flowing into ribbons and tiers, the sounds are mesmerizing.

The Finger Lakes Region is vast and colorful with many more waterfalls to chase.

We’ve brought you 21 Finger Lakes Waterfalls hikes for the non-hiker.  There is so much more to behold in this region.

Go Forth And Travel Finger Lakes Waterfalls and More!

The Finger Lakes Region has so much more to offer.  With 11 lakes, 50+ Finger Lakes Waterfalls, hundreds of walking trails, so many gorges, your adventure is waiting to happen. (Even for non-hiker hikers like us).

Thanks for reading!

Travel Safe and Adventure Often…..

 

Heading to Philadelphia, PA?  Check out this article!

Looking for something to do in Amarillo, TX?  Here are 32 Weird Suggestions!

Want Stress-Free Road trips? Use these 8 Important Tips.

Want Stress-Free Road trips? Use these 8 Important Tips.

Want Stress-free Road trips? Use these 8 Important Tips.

**We use affiliate links and may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.    While not everyone hits the road like us, most people will take some variation of a road trip. After 20 years of driving and exploring, we have had our share of mishaps along the way.  One could say that we learned about traveling the hard way.  This article gives light to some important lessons from an experienced road tripper.   These tips will help you have a better chance of stress-free road trips.   Whether you are planning on a leisurely Sunday afternoon drive or a six-month road trip, there is a lot to consider before jumping in the car.  Road trips are not all snacks and playlists. So, before you load up the car and head for the highway, there are a few things to keep in mind.  After all, you do want tips for stress-free road trips!   Traveling by auto can be so much fun as there is a lot of flexibility to your itinerary.  It can also be the most miserable experience.  Unfortunately, many road trips end in anxiety, frustration, and missed opportunities.  As experienced Road Trippers, we want to help you make the most out of your adventure.  These are some important lessons we learned along the way, and these tips have helped us have more stress-free road trips.

1. Be Prepared:

Get your vehicle prepared.  Check your vehicle over to make sure your lights and turn signals work.  Look at the tires and check for wear.  Make sure they are in good shape and properly inflated.  Check your fluids. Be sure to have some basic tools, a jack, inflated spare tire, lug wrench, and a can of Fix-A-Flat.  Check your insurance and registration to make sure it is up to date and current cards are in your vehicle. While this sounds elementary, it is better to double-check than be stranded on the side of the road.  Waiting for roadside assistance can cost you hours and may prevent you from seeing the sights or getting to your destination.  Likewise, being fined for expired tags can be costly. As you might guess, we’ve had some frightening road mishaps.  From losing trailer tires to flashing check engine lights we have had some nightmare situations.  Most times, car troubles happen at the most inopportune time.  Prepare ahead of time!  

2. Be Flexible

Sometimes there will be situations that are out of our control.  Wildfires, changing weather patterns, and sickness are all possible at any time.  Making a flexible plan will increase your ease of travel. Unfortunately, most times pre-paid reservations are non-refundable.  Be sure to know what the terms are for canceling your room.  If for some unforeseen reason you do have to cancel, speak to a manager.  Often they are willing and able to make considerations. Has this happened to us?  Yes, many times and very unexpectedly.  Over Labor Day weekend a few years ago, a freak blizzard shut down the highways through Colorado.  We had to sit for 2 nights AND reroute our trip. Likewise, wildfires had much of the Sequoia National Park blocked off.  Through the pandemic, the Native Lands and Reservations did not allow through traffic.  For experienced road warriors, situations like these are common. Know how to enact a Plan B, C, or D if the situation calls for it.  Check highway patrol, obey chain laws, and watch for ever-changing weather.  

3. Make A Plan

Planning is necessary for travel these days.  Like it or not, the pandemic has changed travel for many destinations.  From Disney World to Glacier National Park, you will probably need advanced reservations. Some destinations, like the Wave and Angels Landing work on a Lottery System, where you have to apply for a permit and hope to be picked.  Only a limited number of passes are awarded each day.  A little bit of preplanning can prevent a lot of heartaches if you know ahead of time.  

4. Understand Weather Patterns and Climates

Contrary to belief, there are better and worse times to visit certain places.  Traveling to Yosemite National Park during the winter may not be for you.  Chain laws are in effect from November through March.  With the high elevation, many of the roads are impassible. Likewise, Death Valley is hot, but from April through October, you can expect temperatures of 100 degrees or more.  Traveling by car can be miserable in the intense heat.  The extreme heat can wreak havoc on our bodies and our vehicles.  

5. Consider Traveling In The Shoulder Season

The Shoulder season refers to the travel time a few weeks before or a few weeks after a particular season.  For instance, winter sets in quickly and stays longer in the higher elevations.  For those who want a winter experience without the crowds, the shoulder season, early April, and late November would be perfect.  Likewise, if you are more of a warm-weather person and want to encounter smaller crowds consider Late April or Late October. In-Season rates, as well as holiday travel, are always more expensive.  Hotels, airlines, and rental cars all increase their rates during prime travel time.  Holidays, long weekends, and seasonal travel all come with a premium price tag.  

6. Understand the Lay Of The Land  

Logistics can be your best friend or your worst enemy.  Pick your destination and research what’s on the way.  Route your travels accordingly.  It is that easy, as long as you actively plan your trip. Leaving those quirky roadside attractions to chance means you will probably miss them.  Very few are located in rest stops or on the side of the highway.  Honestly, imagine you are the biggest Eagles Fan ever and you roll right on past Winslow, AZ, and never stand on the corner.  Me, I would be so disappointed. Likewise, after hearing about the beautiful Palo Duro Canyon, you have your heart set on seeing it as you travel from Chicago to Seattle.  Our well-meaning and ever so helpful Facebookers would have you think that is a great stop.  Unless you are going to make a strong left-hand turn, hundreds of miles out of the way, chances are you are not going to travel through Texas to go to Washington. Grouping your points of interest by location is a more efficient way to see the sights.  Know where they are and plan accordingly.  Make the most out of your trip.

7. Strike A Pose

Take pictures and lots of them.  Strike a crazy pose, steal a photo kiss, and capture that memory.  This is your road trip and your journey.  There will be a day when you look back and say, boy I wish I had a picture of that place.

8. Enjoy The Journey

It’s easy to get caught up in preparing, packing, and logistics.  Sometimes we are exhausted before we even pull out of the driveway.  Driving for 8 hours can easily add stress to an already tense situation.  Slow down, stay hydrated and rest when you start to feel tired. You are prepared and understand that you may have to adjust your plans.  You are flexible and understand the logistics.  Take a breather, get out and stretch.   Most of all enjoy your journey.  You deserve it! Now, go forth, travel, and share the important tips for stress-free road trips you learned as an experienced road tripper!   Do you need a reason to take a road trip?  Here are 8 good reasons!  
Top FIVE Favorite Campgrounds of 2021.

Top FIVE Favorite Campgrounds of 2021.

Campground reviews are a good resource to use.  What’s even better is finding a trustworthy source that explains their subjective opinion.  In this article, you will understand our criteria for determining our top five favorite campgrounds of 2021.

****This article does contain affiliate links.  By clicking them we may make a small commission from the company, at no extra cost to you.

For us, traveling full-time means we often move from campground to campground.  We are the first ones to tell you about fantastic experiences we had, in hopes that you will benefit.  Reviewing every campground stay would become time-consuming.  Instead, we break down our top 5 favorite campgrounds of 2021.

Let’s Go!

With so many wonderful places to see, how do you find just the right campground?  For starters, decide what you want in YOUR camping experience.  Everyone is different.  Some enjoy RV resorts with amenities while others want to be in total seclusion.  Robb and I enjoy both and we believe that our Top 5 Favorite Campgrounds of 2021 are inclusive of all types.

While some desire longer seasonal stays, Robb and I prefer to be on the move.  It is rare that we stay longer than 4 weeks stationary, and sometimes we only stay for 2 nights.

Because we move so frequently, we can stay in a lot of different types of campgrounds and RV parks.  From boondocking in the desert to a 1st class RV resort we have seen a few and want to share 5 of our Favorite Campgrounds of 2021.

With over 35,000 miles driven this year, we spent all but 6 weeks sleeping in our RV.  Those statistics alone show that we have some pretty good experience in evaluating RV campgrounds.

As mentioned in a previous article 5 Great Campgrounds You Should Check Out, we have developed a particular criterion for our favorite picks.

 

Ease of Parking:

How easy is it to park?  Why is this important to us?  Traveling in our 2018 Renegade Verona has perks.  It is a luxury coach, and it is comfortable.  Our rig is also huge at 40 ft long and 13 ft tall, with very low clearance.  Low hanging branches cause scratches, the soft ground can cause us to get stuck, and rocky, uneven terrain can easily damage the undercarriage.  Plus, who wants to make a 37-point turn into their camping spot while the lurkers pretend not to watch you struggle.

Scenery:

Of course, we want to gaze into the night sky, celebrate beautiful sunrises and sunsets, and hug a few trees.  Who doesn’t?  The landscape and the surrounding scenery are our most important rating factors.

Amenities:

Here’s a little secret.  Robb and I don’t care much about amenities and activities.  Chances are we are not coming to the weekly potluck or the next corn hole tournament.  While others enjoy these popular campground amenities, they are just not our thing.  Fire pits and sites with full hookups are our jam.  An occasional hot tub is a bonus.

Site size:

Size does matter, at least when it comes to site size.  Face it; nobody wants to be crammed into a campground.  While it is nice to meet your neighbors, we don’t love having our breakfast next to our neighbor’s sewer hook-up.  YUCK.  Would it be worse to have your new neighbors facing your front door?  Yea, I think not.

Location:

Traveling can be quite tiresome and sometimes we need a reset.  Finding a campground that makes you think, I never want to leave here is HUGE.  However, we do like to get out and explore the area as well.  So, if a campground is somewhere we can chill and get away from it all but also convenient for us to check out the cool sites in the area it ranks high for us.

 

For a park to make our favorite list, they must rate high in most of these categories, with scenery and ease of parking being at the top of the list.

 

Dive in with us as we drop our top 5 Campgrounds of 2021

 

Hobson Park State Beach, Ventura, CA September 2021

Imagine a picturesque Pacific Ocean sunset, followed by an evening campfire and hearing the crash of the waves as you drift into slumber.  Hobson Park State Beach will give you this experience without breaking the bank.  You may never want to leave.

Big Sur Campground, Big Sur, CA September 2021

Located directly off Hwy 1, this gem is close to many of the beaches, overlooks,  and hiking trails of Big Sur.  Nestled between Giant Redwoods and the California Coast lies this heavenly campground.  Big Sur Campground is quiet and comforting to the soul.  Go ahead, hug a tree.

Big Sur Campground Big Sur Campground

Quartzite, BLM Land , Quartzite, AZ  October -December 2021

Desert camping at this location is full of wonder and amazement.  From the moment the desert opens her eyes until the last blink, the colors will amaze you.  Bright pinks, orange, blue, and reds fill the sky, finally shifting into monochrome after sunset.  Imagine complete peace and quiet, except for the occasional coyote is what you can expect here, early in the season that is.

Quartzite Camping Quartzite Camping Quartzite Camping

Oxbow Regional Park, Gresham OR June 2021

Camping here made us feel like we were in a deserted forest.  The lush green foliage and stillness of nature make for a perfect retreat.  You are going to have to be comfortable with your party and the solace because there is no internet or cell service.  A word of caution, check your brakes before descending into this canyon park, and take it easy, as the drive down is a 7% grade.

Oxbow Regional Park Oxbow Regional Park Oxbow Regional Park

Palo Duro Canyon State Park

Located just 20 miles from 1-40, Amarillo, Texas is the spectacular Palo Duro Canyon.  Dubbed the Grand Canyon of Texas, the views are spectacular.  Rather than driving at the top of the gorge, you will experience a drive down to the bottom of the canyon where you can camp, explore, hike, and relax.  Be amazed at the canyon walls as they change color with the setting sun.  Listen quietly and you will hear the coyotes in the distance.

Palo Duro Canyon Campground Palo Duro Canyon Campground Palo Duro Canyon Campground

RV life can be both exciting and exhausting depending on your method of travel.  Staying in campgrounds can be expensive as well.  We have some money-saving tips that have been pocketbook savers for us.  Would you like them?  YES, of course, you would.  Just follow this link and we will send them right out to you!

As you are planning your travel this year, remember, fuel prices are higher and campground reservations are less available.  We have put together a list of necessary apps that we use all the time.  We rely on these apps to plan our travel, so we are confident they will help you too.  You can read all about them right here:  Twelve Essential Road Trip Resources

Out of all the possible ways to travel, RVing is by far our favorite.  Seeing the country by road is as good as it gets.  Take some time this season and go RVing.  You will never be the same.

Travel Safe and Adventure Often!

Don’t Gamble?  Here Are 21 Las Vegas Attractions That Will Interest You.

Don’t Gamble? Here Are 21 Las Vegas Attractions That Will Interest You.

Don’t gamble?  Here are 21 Las Vegas attractions that will interest you.

Not everyone enjoys the casino experience.  Crowds of people, smoke, gambling, and barely dressed cocktail waitresses may not be your thing.  The good news is there are a lot more options for you to discover in Sin City.  Don’t gamble?  Here are 21 Las Vegas Attractions that will interest you.

Fremont Street Experience:

Located Downtown away from the Strip is the world-famous Fremont Street.  You have to see it to believe it.  From nightly concerts to an overhead hourly light show, you are sure to remember your Fremont Street Experience.  Casinos, street performers, shopping, dining, and ziplining are all within walking distance in this five-block historic area.  Looking for something more intimate, like a speakeasy?  You bet you can find a few here if you know where to look….

7 Magic Mountains:

How did they stack them?  What started as a temporary art installation in 2016 draws over 1000 visitors a day.  Unfortunately, their permit expires at the end of 2021, so without a new extension, this could be your last chance to see it.  We are hopeful for a new permit because it is a fun spot to visit.

Railway Pedal Cars:

Pedal your way down the abandoned train tracks on an 8 mile round trip tour in the desert!  This gem is located in Boulder City, just 30 minutes from the Strip, and is fun for the entire family!  Daytime is excellent as you can see the sights and the desert colors.  But for a super creepy experience, ride the rail car at night as you pedal into the darkness of the desert.  Be met at the end of the line for a special treat before pedaling back to the station.  We won’t ruin it for you; it is too special to miss.

Check out this video:  On a Dark Desert Railroad

Hoover Dam Tour:

Take a ride out to the Hoover Dam, only 45 minutes from the Strip.  This massive construction is a sight to see.  Walk across the Dam or go down under in the Dam Tour.  You won’t easily forget the Hoover Dam.

Red Rock Canyon and Valley of Fire State Parks

Although they are in opposite directions, both state parks are within a 30-minute drive of the Strip.  Wander in nature, drive the scenic loop or take a picnic lunch and enjoy some fresh air in the desert.  Both parks are worth visiting.

Zip Lining

Zipline over the street crowds on Freemont Street or the LINQ promenade.  For the ultra zip line enthusiast, you can Zipline between buildings at the Rio Casino.

Check out this quick video: Zipline over Freemont Street

Shop until you drop

You can find something for everyone, from super cheap t-shirt shops to the ultra-exclusive designer boutiques at The Forum Shoppes.  Are you looking for a cute pinup dress?  Check out the Miracle Mile Shoppes.  Las Vegas has something for everyone, even outlet shopping.  Don’t like to gamble, but you do want to shop?  Well, Vegas is your Mecca!

Walk the famous Las Vegas Strip

The Strip is a lot longer than you think.  Don’t bite off more than you can chew.  Take a few hours and wander through a casino or two each day.  Visit the Brooklyn Bridge at New York, New York, or the largest Chandelier in the world at the Cosmopolitan.  If the Eiffel Tower is more your fancy, take the tour to the top.  Remember the Stratosphere on this tour.  Have a drink at the top as the bar rotates 360 degrees.

Check out this quick video: Viva Las Vegas

Roller Coasters and Thrill Rides

The Las Vegas Strip has these attractions as well.  New York, New York, The Stratosphere, and Circus Circus all have something for the thrill-seekers in your group.

Eat, Drink and Be Merry

With over 2200 restaurants to choose from, you are going to have to make some decisions.  From In and Out Burger to Dine in the Dark Experience, you owe it to yourself to plan ahead for your meals. The Strip casinos house many celebrity chef restaurants.  While these creative masters may inspire the food, don’t think you will catch them plating your dinner entrée.

Be selective, be adventurous and try something new.  Gone are the days of the $2.99 buffet.  Although most casinos offer this popular dining option, not all buffets are created equal.  Dining prices can range from $19.99 to $60 a person, depending on the venue.  Sure, these lavish buffets can be expensive, the quality of food and selection are worth every cent.

You can check out our lists of favorite restaurants.

Speakeasies

Absolutely Las Vegas has speakeasies.  There are several exclusive small establishments hidden inside larger bars and clubs.  Our favorites are Mas Por Favor and Ghost Donkey, but there are a few more.  Maybe a hidden pizza joint is more your style.  We can tell you about that as well.

Mas Por Favor Speakeasy Las Vegaas

Museums

When you think of Las Vegas, do museums come to mind?  Mine either, but maybe we should!  Las Vegas has at least 20 different museum experiences.  You can find something interesting from the interactive Meow Wolf to the super scary Zak Bagans Haunted Museum.  Looking for something a little naughty?  Try the Museum of Erotica.  When we are lucky enough to show new friends our favorite city, we always suggest the Neon Museum at dark.  Wander through the lit-up neon signs and glimpse into the days of old Vegas.  Pinball machines, exotic cars, art, and special exhibits are just the tip of what Las Vegas museums have to offer.

 

Cannabis Dispensaries

Now is your chance to visit a retail cannabis dispensary.  These are not your back alley dealers; these stores have everything imaginable and the staff to help you make the right purchase.  Don’t be nervous, do ask questions, and only buy something if you want to use it.  For those that don’t want cannabis products, you might find a souvenir t-shirt or hat.  Just go….

Concerts, professional sporting events, and free entertainment

From Lady Gaga to the Las Vegas Raiders, Vegas entertainment has something for everyone.  Free lounge music, concerts on Fremont Street, UFC and pro boxing, football, hockey, magic, and burlesque. Indeed there is a show to tickle your fancy.

Extreme Experiences

Machine guns, exotic cars, kayaking, and bungee jumping

Yes, indeed, Las Vegas is an adrenaline-junky haven.  Take a helicopter to the Grand Canyon or over the Strip.  Bungee off the Stratosphere.  Shoot machine guns in the desert.  Drive exotic cars at speeds over 180mph.

Take recommendations from people that know!

With so much to see and do in Sin City, you can easily see why this city is one of our favorite places to visit.  Although we are not locals and probably not experts, we consider ourselves very Las Vegas savvy.  For over 15 years, we have been touring this fun city and always find something new to do.

We hope you will find this information helpful as you plan your next Las Vegas vacation.  If you would like some recommendations or help with your itinerary, please reach out with a comment or an email.  Also, look for our upcoming articles and insider tips.  If you haven’t done so already, please subscribe to our mailing list and stay tuned!

Until next time,

Travel Safe and Adventure Often!

 

 

8 GREAT Reasons To Take a Road Trip.

8 GREAT Reasons To Take a Road Trip.

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8 GREAT reasons to take a road trip!

Road trips are not for everyone.  Legs get cramped, traffic is overwhelming, and fuel prices are skyrocketing.  Even with all of those factors, here are 8 great reasons to take a road trip.

 

1. Roadside Attractions.  These quirky, often weird roadside attractions aka tourist traps are what make traveling by vehicle part of the allure.  While most of these places are not destination-worthy, they make for a fun photograph along the way.  Stop and see them.

 

2. Connection:  Whether you are cruising with your besties or your family, road trips provide a space for communication.  Play road games, ask open-ended questions or sing your favorite songs together.  Driving in a car allows more fluid conversations and the connections alone are a great reason to take a road trip.

 

 3. Snacks:  Bring your snacks, pack a cooler, and pull over for a roadside picnic.  Have you ever had PB&J at 12,000 ft overlooking the most incredible blue lake?  It is a memory that will stick with you far beyond the airline biscotti.

4. Comfortability:  Face it, airplanes are not the most comfortable chairs for any length of time.  Unless you are flying first class, you are going to be crowded, cramped, and uncomfortable.  Roadtripping allows the passenger a little more space to kick off their shoes, throw the seat back and cuddle in with a blanket.  No more kids kicking the seat behind you or a stranger falling asleep on your shoulder.  You ride in comfort!  What better reason to take a roadtrip than this?

 

5. Schedule:  You decide how fast or slow you want to take your next adventure.  Setting your schedule to see and do what you desire is one of the best reasons to take a road trip.  No more TSA lines, missing a flight, or rerouted itineraries.  You are in control of your destination.

 

 6. Detours:  Most of the time along the route, you can get off that congested highway and drive the road less traveled.  Take a winding mountain pass or a drive up the coast.  There are always alternative routes, and you owe it to yourself to try one.

 

 7. Packing:  No more overweight luggage fees.  Packing for a road trip is way easier and less stressful.  Do you want to take hiking boots, sneakers, and stilettos?  It is close to impossible to pack them in a carry-on suitcase.  You can, however, stash your hiking boots in the cubby holes of your car, right?  No more worries that TSA will confiscate your hair care products.  Pack what you want and think you will need.  You have room!

 

8. The Journey:  Often, we plan our vacations with the destination in mind.  I’m going to Europe or the Caribbean.  Road trips are a journey.  What will we see along the way, what will we talk about, and what’s up around that corner are common questions we have.  Road trips grow people, provide for bonding and lifelong memories.

 

Whether you are taking a 3-hour drive, or a 3-month vacation, road trips are fun.  Turn on some tunes, eat some snacks and take a detour.  You never know what’s up around the next bend, unless you go!

 

Travel Safe and Adventure Often!

 

OH!!!  And if you are looking for a new campground, here are our TOP 5!  

14 Orlando Area Attractions That We Enjoyed Beyond The Mouse.

14 Orlando Area Attractions That We Enjoyed Beyond The Mouse.

      Monument Ave, Kissimee                                 842 N Mills Ave, Orlando                                    927 N Mills Ave, Orlando

 

14 Orlando area recommendations that we enjoyed beyond the Mouse

What is the first vision that comes to your mind when somebody mentions Orlando?  The Mouse, theme parks galore, crowded restaurants, I-4 congestion, maybe all this, right?  Sure, Orlando does offer all of these experiences and so many more.  The good news is there are so many other places in the area to explore.  Next time you are in Orlando, take some time and explore the many diverse neighborhoods and surrounding areas.  Here are 14 Orlando area recommendations that we enjoyed beyond the Mouse.  Let’s get started.

Winter Park: 

Winter Park, founded as a resort destination for the wealthy, is a true gem.  Spend the day shopping in the many boutiques and specialty shops throughout the town.  Take a walk in one of the 70 parks, have lunch in a sidewalk café, or treat yourself to a luxury spa treatment.

Scenic Boat Tour:  Take a relaxing boat tour through the canals that connect Lake Osceola with Lake Maitland and Lake Virginia. Enjoy the views, the water, and the Florida sunshine.

Winter Park

 

The Wine Room:  Take some time for the Vine at the Wine Room.  With over 150 wines to sample, this unique experience is perfect for date night.  Buy the wine card and start your tour.  You pick and sample what you desire.  Make sure you visit the Vault Room downstairs.  StroTip: Check Groupon for a Deal

Downtown:

The City of Orlando is often overlooked by visiting tourists.  Downtown offers everything from major sporting events, world-class entertainment venues, and trendy nightspots.

Wall Murals:  The Orlando area is home to over 45 art murals.  Located throughout the city and nearby neighborhoods, these are a few of our favorites.

You Matter Wings

1336 N Mills Ave                                                                 1200 E Colonial Ave                                            912 N Mills Ave

SpeakEasies:

Mathers Social Gathering:  Not only is this a super cool speakeasy, but it also offers Happy Hour prices between 4 -7.  Are you looking for something a little sexier?  Try Tuesday night Burlesque.  What a show! Mathers Social Gathering is perfect for date night.

Hanson’s Shoe Repair:  Located inside the Original Hansons Building, one of the oldest in the city, this secret speakeasy is towards the back of the main bar, up the red stairs, and through the black door, which is opened once you ring the buzzer and give the password.  StroTip: To get the password check their social media or call them.

Mills 50:

Mills 50 is a hidden gem of a very eclectic community near Lake Ivanhoe with a lot of small bars, restaurants, and hangouts and murals.

Santiago’s Bodega:  Hands down, this restaurant is your next favorite brunch.  Unlimited mimosas, house-made Sangria, and an unlimited tapas-style buffet brought to your table!   Wait until you try the hash brown casserole and the toffee cake.  Reservations are a must!

Dr. Phillips:

Located close to International Drive hotels and the Orange County Convention Center, Dr. Phillips is worth checking out.  If you enjoy upscale dining without the touristy crowds, this area is for you.  With over 20 eateries in this area, “Restaurant Row” has everything from steaks to tacos.  We opted for tequila and tacos on our visit.

Rocco’s Tacos and Tequila Bar:  Rocos offers lite bites, happy hour, and a very impressive tequila menu.  Outside seating is available as well as inside and four great bars.  With its crazy décor and fantastic food, Rocco’s is a hit.roccos tacos

Kissimmee:

Again, more than the mouse up and down 192, you will find a lot of cool stuff to do and eat.

Shingle Creek:  Kayak or canoe down Shingle Creek.  Enjoy the serenity as you paddle through the forest.  There are bike trails and walking trails as well.  Take water; you’re going to need it!

World Food Trucks:  Are you looking for something a little different?  Try World Food Trucks, located on Hwy 192.  Behind the building, you will find over 50 food trucks offering everything from empanadas to smoothies.  There is plenty of seating available.

Sunset Walk:  You can find plenty of dining establishments here at Sunset Walk.  There is often live music in the square.  The crowds are minimal compared to the more popular City Walk and Disney Springs.  From pizza to seafood, you can find something you like here.

The Wharf:  Great seafood, oyster bar, and the very best Smoked Chocolate Old Fashioned ever.

El Jefe Tequilas:  With over 100 quality tequilas to drink, is there anything more to say?  How about some fajitas or a burrito?  With live music on the weekends, El Jefe is perfect for date night.

Old Town Kissimmee:

Kissimmee Lake Front Park:  Take a relaxing bike ride or a walk along the lakefront.  This quiet open area is easily accessible and has plenty of parking and picnic tables.  Make sure you check out the Monument of States before you leave.

Monument of States

Wall Murals:  Historic Kissimmee has several beautiful murals.  Take an early evening away from the crowds and see them.  You can grab some dinner at one of the local restaurants on Broad and Main Streets.

Kissimmee art

Celebration:

As a master-planned community, Celebration is a town within a town.  Complete with shopping, restaurants, and magnificent homes, you will have a wonderful time exploring this area.  Take a stroll down by the lake, or let the kids play in the spouting water park.  Ice cream and macaroons are sure to please your sweet tooth.  There several restaurants in Celebration, and one, in particular, gets our vote every time.

Columbia:  Whether you are having lunch, dinner, or a late-night bite, Columbia is a must.  Start with their world-famous Columbia 1905 salad and a pitcher of Sangria.  Whatever you decide for the entree, you will be pleased.  Save room for white chocolate bread pudding.  It is over the top!

As you can see, there is more to Orlando than most people ever get to know.  We hope the next time you visit, you take some time and explore the city.  These 14 Orlando area recommendations will help you navigate beyond the Mouse.

Thanks for reading!

Travel Safe and Adventure Often,

Maureen & Robb, aka The Stromads

Going Camping Soon?  Read this first!

Want to save money?  Check this article for details..

5 Great Campgrounds You Should Check Out

5 Great Campgrounds You Should Check Out

5 Great Campgrounds You Should Check Out

When you are looking for an RV park or a camping spot, how much research do you do?  How do you find the right place without breaking the bank?  How do you know it will work for you?

To get started finding your Perfect Campground it is important that you establish some criteria and try to find spots that meet them.  It will greatly increase the odds that you will have a great experience instead of a frustrating one.

It’s ok that we have different opinions on campground amenities and styles.  Just because we like a campground you may hate it or vice versa.  That’s alright there are plenty of different types of campgrounds.  

The main point is that you take time to establish your personal criteria, select spots that meet as many of those as possible, so you can live your perfect RV life.

For instance, we have five main questions we ask to establish our criteria. 

Ease of Parking: 

How easy is it to park?  Why is this important to us?  Traveling in our 2018 Renegade Verona has perks.  It is a luxury coach and it is comfortable.  Our rig is also huge at 40 ft long and 13 ft tall, with very low clearance.  Low hanging branches cause scratches, the soft ground can cause us to get stuck, and rocky uneven terrain can easily damage the undercarriage.  Plus, who wants to make a 37 point turn into their camping spot while the lurkers pretend not to watch you struggle. 

Scenery: 

Of course, we want to gaze into the night sky, celebrate beautiful sunrises and sunsets, and hug a few trees.  Who doesn’t?  The landscape and the surrounding scenery is one of our most important rating factors.

Amenities:

Here’s a little secret.  Robb and I don’t care much about amenities and activities.  Chances are we are not coming to the weekly potluck or the next corn hole tournament.  While others enjoy these popular campground amenities, they are just not our thing.  Fire pits and sites with full hookups are our jam.  That being said, an occasional hot tub is a bonus.

Site size:

Size does matter, at least when it comes to site size.  Face it; nobody wants to be crammed into a campground.  While it is nice to meet your neighbors, we don’t love having our breakfast next to our neighbor’s sewer hook-up.  YUCK.  That being said, would it be worse to have your new neighbors facing your front door.  Yea, I think not.

Location:

Traveling can be quite tiresome. Sometimes this calls for a reset.  Finding a campground that makes you think, I never want to leave here is HUGE.  However, we do like to get out and explore the area as well.  So, if a campground is somewhere we can chill and get away from it all but also convenient for us to check out the cool sites in the area it ranks high for us.     

So let’s dive in and let us tell you what makes the campgrounds on our list stand out along with some StroTips. 

Skidaway Island State Park, Skidaway Island, Georgia: December 2020

Skidaway Island Camping

Nestled in between lush green palms and giant mossy oak trees, this campground feels like a hidden paradise.  This park is unbelievably beautiful.  The sites are spacious and well thought out.  Rather than facing the roadways, the park design allows your RV or camper to be set with your door facing the woods.  For me, this means no need to wave at every driver coming by your campsite.  The serenity though is only a short drive to the beautiful and incredible city of Savannah.  You can’t go wrong either way, chill, explore or do both. 

Crystal Crane Hot Springs, Burns, Oregon:  September 2020

Crystal Crane Campground Sunset

This desert oasis is a keeper.  Pulling into this park, one might think, wow, this is weird and desolate.  Both of these descriptions are true, and yet there is so much more.  Have you ever had a hot spring experience?  Soaking in the mineral-rich waters under a dark starlit sky can seem a little creepy at first.  But once you enter the naturally heated pool, you won’t want to leave. 

The sites are relatively level, spacious, and have picnic tables.  Experience desert sunsets as the skies fill with hues of pinks and purple.  Listen carefully as the coyotes call to one another.  This is an oasis to take time and chill.  If you don’t mind driving a little more there are some great sites to explore in the high desert country. 

StroTip:  The lower level is less windy. 

Silver Slipper Casino, Waveland, MS: February 2020

Silver Slipper Casino RV Park

Located just an hour outside of New Orleans, this small gem of a park is one we are happy to put on the list.   Maureen says “I have to admit; sunrise is my most favorite time of the day.  However, I rarely see it because I also love to sleep.”  Our waterfront site allowed us to witness the most beautiful sunrises out of the calm gulf waters. 

The sites are level, spacious, and easily navigated.  However, you must be fully contained because there are no bathhouses or facilities, just full hookups.  There is (or at least there was before COVID-19) a fantastic seafood buffet at the Silver Slipper Casino that is discounted during the week, even better.  You can stay put and enjoy the gulf view or you can enjoy the casino and its infinity pool and hot tub which is included with your site fee.  Explore the area by driving around the gulf to the quaint towns of Bay St. Louis and Pass Christian or even NOLA.

StroTip: Get directions from the Casino Do Not use your GPS or you may get stuck and bottom out on a railroad crossing.  Also, get a players card at the Casino and get $25 off your stay. 

Orangeland RV Park, Orange CA: September 2020

Orangeland RV Park

Complete with a hot tub and pool, this park is well maintained and accessible and almost like staying in an Orange Grove.  Although Orangeland is urban camping, you will feel secluded from the hustle and bustle.  The pads are level and spacious enough.  The premium sites are equipped with patio furniture, and most areas have a fruit tree.  Depending on the time of year, you can pick lemons, limes, and oranges right off the tree!  Chill in the middle of Orange county or drive to Newport Beach and see a most incredible sunset.  This is an urban oasis with a ton of stuff to do in the area.

Trap Pond State Park, Laurel, DE: November 2020

Trapp Pond State Park

Who would have thought paradise was only an hour’s drive from our old hometown.  Located in Southern Delaware, this campground easily makes our great list. Trapp Pond State Park allows for a variety of camping styles.  Whether you are a full-size luxury coach or tent camping, this park has something to offer.  You will also find fully furnished yurts and cabin rentals.

The sites are relatively level, spacious, and equipped with a fire ring and picnic table.  Enjoy a leisurely walk around the pond, ride a 5-mile bike loop, play some disc golf, or paddle your kayak in the very large pond.  

We opted for long walks through the woods and daytime fires.  We just wanted to relax but if you are looking to explore, there are some quaint eastern shore towns and Bethany Beach is only about 45 minutes away. 

StoTip: There are water and electric hookups, no sewer.  There is a convenient dump station, but a word to the wise: Sunday checkouts can cause a backup at the dump. 

Are you ready to go?   

These are just 5 Great 5 Campgrounds you should check out.  We have many more we will share in the future.  As full-time RVers, nomads and travelers, we have the pleasure of visiting lots and lots of destinations.   Our travels take us coast to coast, north to south, and most places in between.  We have had some fantastic experiences and are happy to share them with you and we hope you will share yours with us.

As you plan your destination we hope to provide you with some valuable information and again ask you to let us know your favorites as well in the comments.  Be sure to check back with us and let us know your thoughts on our suggestions and how you enjoyed these campgrounds!

Travel safe and Wander Often!

Maureen & Robb