Best USA Travel
Boondocking / Dry Camping, Off the Beaten Path Series, RV Camping, Travel Destinations & Stories

Summer Bliss: A Detailed, Ultimate 21 Destinations Across the USA for Your Ultimate Adventure

Are you ready to hit the road and experience the best summer in the USA? Traveling in an RV opens up a world of possibilities, allowing you to explore stunning landscapes, iconic attractions, and hidden gems at your own pace. However, even if you’re not in an RV, you’ll find this list quite detailed with favorite places and definite “do not miss” destinations. Whether you’re seeking sandy beaches, mountain adventures, or cultural immersion, we’ve compiled a list of the top 21 places to visit in the USA during the summer. Get ready to make memories that will last a lifetime!

Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming:

This was absolutely one of our very favorite places to visit.

Yellowstone National Park

Witness the geysers, hot springs, and wildlife that make Yellowstone a must-visit destination for nature lovers.

Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming:

It is a great summer destination! Grand Teton National Park, in northwestern Wyoming, is a captivating wilderness sanctuary renowned for its towering mountain peaks, pristine alpine lakes, and abundant wildlife. Encompassing over 300,000 acres of rugged terrain, the park boasts the iconic Teton Range, which dominates the skyline with its jagged summits and dramatic vistas.

Visitors can explore many outdoor activities, including hiking, wildlife viewing, fishing, and scenic drives along the park’s picturesque roads. With its stunning landscapes and rich natural diversity, Grand Teton National Park offers an unforgettable escape into the heart of the Rocky Mountains.

Acadia National Park, Maine:

Spanning over 49,000 acres on Mount Desert Island and surrounding areas, this coastal gem is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers. Visitors can explore scenic trails that wind through lush woodlands, leading to panoramic viewpoints such as Cadillac Mountain, the highest peak on the East Coast. Dramatic cliffs and pristine beaches along the park’s coastline offer opportunities for leisurely strolls and breathtaking ocean views. With its rich biodiversity and stunning natural beauty, Acadia National Park promises an unforgettable adventure in the heart of New England. Here are some more amazing things to see in Maine!

Cape Cod, Massachusetts:

Here are our top 3 places you shouldn’t miss in Cape Cob:

  1. Cape Cod National Seashore: Stretching 40 miles of pristine coastline, Cape Cod National Seashore is a natural treasure, offering sandy beaches, rolling dunes, and picturesque lighthouses. Visitors can explore hiking trails, enjoy swimming and sunbathing, and marvel at the breathtaking vistas of the Atlantic Ocean. Don’t miss iconic spots like Race Point Beach, Marconi Beach, and the Highland Light.
  2. Provincetown: Known for its vibrant arts scene, eclectic atmosphere, and stunning natural beauty, Provincetown is a must-visit destination on Cape Cod. Stroll down Commercial Street, lined with art galleries, boutiques, and restaurants. Explore the historic Provincetown Museum and climb the Pilgrim Monument for panoramic views of the town and surrounding landscape. Enjoy whale-watching excursions and sunset cruises, or relax on the town’s beautiful beaches.
  3. Chatham: With its quaint downtown area, historic architecture, and picturesque harbor, Chatham is a charming seaside town that encapsulates the quintessential Cape Cod experience. Visit Chatham Lighthouse Beach for stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean and the iconic lighthouse. Explore Chatham’s Main Street, which has boutique shops, art galleries, and seafood restaurants. Don’t miss the Chatham Fish Pier, where you can watch fishing boats come and go while enjoying fresh seafood straight from the ocean.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee & North Carolina:

Discover cascading waterfalls, scenic hiking trails, and historic homesteads in the Smokies. Definitely make plans to stay longer than one or two days, but there are our two favorite destinations if you only just have a day or two:

  1. Clingmans Dome: Standing 6,643 feet (2,025 meters), Clingmans Dome is the highest peak in the Great Smoky Mountains and offers unparalleled panoramic views of the surrounding mountain ranges. Visitors can drive or hike to the summit, where a half-mile paved trail leads to an observation tower. From the tower, you can marvel at the vast expanse of forested mountains stretching as far as the eye can see. Clingmans Dome is particularly breathtaking at sunrise or sunset when the misty mountains are bathed in golden light.
  2. Cades Cove: Nestled in a picturesque valley surrounded by mountains, Cades Cove is a historic and scenic area within the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Visitors can explore the cove via an 11-mile loop road, which offers opportunities for wildlife viewing, picnicking, hiking, and exploring historic homesteads and churches dating back to the 19th century. Cades Cove is renowned for its abundant wildlife, including white-tailed deer, black bears, turkeys, and various bird species. It’s also a popular spot for capturing stunning sunrise and sunset views against the backdrop of the Smokies.

Glacier National Park, Montana:

We spent the entire summer in Montana in 2018. What an incredible state. Drive the Going-to-the-Sun Road and soak in the breathtaking beauty of glaciers, mountains, and lakes. Make sure you do some research. The year we were there, this scenic drive didn’t even open until July 4th weekend.

Pacific Coast Highway, California:

I was born and raised just a minute outside of Malibu, and the PCH was something I took for granted until I was older. Embark on a coastal road trip, winding through rugged cliffs, sandy beaches, and charming coastal towns. I highly recommend the northern drive of PCH, but it’s all beautiful!

Lake Tahoe, California & Nevada:

Swim, hike, or simply relax by the crystal-clear waters of this stunning alpine lake. Here are our top 3 places to see near Lake Tahoe:

Sand Harbor State Park
  1. Emerald Bay State Park: Emerald Bay is one of the most photographed and iconic spots in Lake Tahoe, famed for its brilliant turquoise waters and stunning scenery. Visitors can hike the Rubicon Trail for panoramic views of the bay and surrounding mountains or explore the historic Vikingsholm Castle, a Scandinavian-style mansion nestled along the shoreline. For a truly unforgettable experience, take a kayak or paddleboard out onto the tranquil waters of Emerald Bay and soak in the beauty of this natural wonder.
  2. Heavenly Mountain Resort: Whether visiting in winter for world-class skiing and snowboarding or in summer for hiking and mountain biking, Heavenly Mountain Resort offers year-round adventure and breathtaking views of Lake Tahoe. Ride the Heavenly Gondola to the summit, where you’ll be treated to panoramic vistas of the lake and surrounding peaks. In winter, hit the slopes on over 97 trails spanning two states, while in summer, visitors can enjoy hiking, zip-lining, and mountain coaster rides.
  3. Sand Harbor State Park: Located on the northeastern shore of Lake Tahoe, Sand Harbor is renowned for its pristine sandy beaches, crystal-clear waters, and towering rock formations. Relax on the beach, swim in the cool waters, or explore the underwater world while snorkeling or scuba diving. The park also offers picnic areas, hiking trails, and paddleboarding, kayaking, and boating opportunities. Don’t miss the annual Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival, held at Sand Harbor each summer, featuring outdoor theater performances against the backdrop of the lake.

Outer Banks, North Carolina:

Enjoy endless beaches, historic lighthouses, and fresh seafood on these barrier islands.

One favorite thing not to miss when visiting the Outer Banks, North Carolina, is witnessing the majestic wild horses that roam freely along the beaches and dunes of the area. These feral horses, known as the Corolla wild horses, are believed to be descendants of Spanish mustangs brought to the Outer Banks by early explorers in the 16th century. Seeing the wild horses of the Outer Banks is an unforgettable experience that captures the spirit of this coastal paradise and provides a glimpse into its rich natural heritage.

Cape Flattery, Washington:

We made a 15-minute decision to change our plans and head here with some friends. Best decision ever!

Cape Flattery, located in the northwesternmost corner of the contiguous United States in Washington State, is a rugged and enchanting promontory that offers breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean. As the northwesternmost point of the Olympic Peninsula, Cape Flattery is renowned for its dramatic sea stacks, pristine coastal scenery, and abundant wildlife.

Visitors to Cape Flattery can follow a short, well-maintained trail that winds through lush coastal forest and emerges onto wooden boardwalks and viewing platforms overlooking the rugged coastline. Visitors can admire the crashing waves, towering sea stacks, and expansive ocean vistas that characterize this remote and wild landscape from these vantage points.

One of the highlights of a visit to Cape Flattery is the opportunity to see the Tatoosh Island lighthouse, perched on a rocky islet just offshore. Built in 1857, this historic lighthouse adds to the allure of the rugged coastline and reminds visitors of the area’s maritime heritage.

Cape Flattery is also a prime spot for wildlife viewing, with opportunities to spot sea birds, seals, and even whales offshore. The area is rich in Native American history and culture, with interpretive signs along the trail providing insights into the traditions and significance of the Makah Tribe, who have inhabited the region for thousands of years.

For those seeking adventure and natural beauty, Cape Flattery offers a truly immersive experience in the wild and untamed beauty of the Pacific Northwest.

Sedona, Arizona:

Watch the summer temps, but this is such a spiritual and beautiful place to visit! Immerse yourself in Sedona’s stunning red rock landscapes, vibrant arts scene, and spiritual energy.

Adirondack Mountains, New York:

Here are our top 3 must-see places:

  1. Adirondack High Peaks: The towering peaks of the Adirondack High Peaks offer some of the most breathtaking vistas in the region. Hiking to the summits of peaks like Mount Marcy, Algonquin Peak, and Cascade Mountain rewards visitors with sweeping panoramic views of the surrounding mountains, valleys, and shimmering lakes. The rugged beauty of the High Peaks Wilderness Area is truly awe-inspiring and provides ample opportunities for outdoor adventure and exploration.
  2. Mirror Lake: Nestled in the heart of the village of Lake Placid, Mirror Lake is a serene and picturesque body of water surrounded by verdant forests and the majestic Adirondack Mountains. The lake’s calm waters create a perfect mirror-like reflection of the surrounding scenery, making it a popular spot for photography, boating, and strolls along the scenic shoreline. Visitors can also enjoy swimming, paddleboarding, and kayaking in the crystal-clear waters of Mirror Lake, taking in the stunning views of the surrounding mountains.
  3. Adirondack Scenic Railroad: For a unique and memorable way to experience the beauty of the Adirondack Mountains, hop aboard the Adirondack Scenic Railroad. This historic railroad offers scenic train rides through the pristine wilderness of the Adirondacks, passing by sparkling lakes, dense forests, and charming mountain towns along the way. Whether you’re enjoying a leisurely ride on the open-air car or dining in style aboard the luxury dome car, the Adirondack Scenic Railroad provides an unforgettable journey through some of the most scenic landscapes in the region.

Door County, Wisconsin:

Experience the charm of this peninsula, with cherry orchards, lighthouses, and scenic shoreline. We highly recommend not missing these two places:

  1. Peninsula State Park: Covering over 3,700 acres of pristine wilderness along the shores of Green Bay, Peninsula State Park is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts. Visitors can explore miles of hiking and biking trails that wind through dense forests, along scenic bluffs, and past tranquil shoreline. The park also features a picturesque lighthouse, stunning viewpoints, and sandy beaches perfect for swimming and picnicking. Don’t miss the opportunity to catch a breathtaking sunset over the bay from the park’s Sunset Bike Trail or Eagle Tower.
  2. Fish Creek: Nestled along the shores of Green Bay, Fish Creek is a charming village known for its scenic beauty, historic buildings, and vibrant arts scene. Visitors can stroll along the town’s picturesque streets with quaint shops, art galleries, and cozy cafes. Don’t miss the chance to explore Fish Creek’s waterfront park, where you can enjoy stunning views of the bay, take a scenic boat tour, or relax on the sandy beach. Fish Creek is also home to the renowned Peninsula Players Theatre, one of the oldest professional resident summer theaters in the United States, offering top-notch performances in a stunning outdoor setting.

Columbia River Gorge, Oregon & Washington:

This is so far down on the list – but one of our favorite destinations when traveling in our RV. Discover waterfalls, hiking trails, and breathtaking views along the Columbia River.

I’m such a waterfall nut, and the amount of waterfalls you can experience is just incredible. Here are just a few of my favorites:

  1. Multnomah Falls: Multnomah Falls is the most iconic waterfall in the Columbia River Gorge and one of the most famous waterfalls in the United States. Plunging a total of 620 feet in two major steps, Multnomah Falls is a sight to behold. The upper fall drops 542 feet and the lower fall cascades 69 feet, creating a breathtaking scene surrounded by lush greenery and basalt cliffs. Visitors can enjoy views of the falls from the viewing platform or hike to the Benson Bridge, which spans the lower falls and offers a closer look at the cascade.
  2. Latourell Falls: Latourell Falls is known for its unique and striking appearance, with a single plunge that drops 249 feet over a basalt cliff. What sets Latourell Falls apart is the surrounding landscape, characterized by vibrant yellow lichen-covered rocks that contrast beautifully with the rushing waters. Visitors can view the falls from a platform just a short walk from the parking area, making it easily accessible for all visitors.
  3. Bridal Veil Falls: (I swear every state has a Bridal Veil Falls Ha!) Bridal Veil Falls is another gem of the Columbia River Gorge, with a delicate cascade that resembles a bridal veil as it tumbles 120 feet down a moss-covered basalt cliff. The falls can be viewed from a platform along the Historic Columbia River Highway, offering a picturesque vantage point of the cascade framed by lush vegetation. Visitors can also hike to the base of the falls for a closer look and enjoy the tranquil atmosphere of the surrounding forest.

Mackinac Island, Michigan:

Step back in time on this car-free island, known for its Victorian architecture, fudge shops, and horse-drawn carriages. Here are two things you shouldn’t miss:

  1. Mackinac Island State Park: Covering over 80% of the island, Mackinac Island State Park is a natural playground offering stunning scenery, hiking trails, and historic landmarks. Visitors can explore miles of hiking and biking trails that wind through lush forests, along rugged coastline, and past scenic overlooks with panoramic views of Lake Huron. Don’t miss the chance to visit iconic sites within the park, such as Arch Rock, Sugar Loaf, and Fort Holmes, which offer glimpses into the island’s rich history and natural beauty.
  2. Historic Downtown Mackinac: Step back in time as you explore the charming streets and historic buildings of downtown Mackinac. Stroll along Main Street, lined with quaint shops, art galleries, and Victorian-era architecture. Don’t miss the chance to visit historic sites such as Fort Mackinac, a military outpost dating back to the American Revolution, and the Grand Hotel, a historic luxury resort known for its iconic porch and sweeping views of the Straits of Mackinac. Be sure to indulge in some fudge, a local delicacy, at one of the island’s famed fudge shops.

Mount Rainier National Park, Washington:

Hike among wildflowers, glaciers, and towering peaks in this iconic national park. Just have a couple days to explore? We highly recommend not missing these two places:

  1. Paradise: Paradise is perhaps the most iconic destination in Mount Rainier National Park, renowned for its breathtaking views of the mountain, wildflower meadows, and alpine landscapes. Visitors can explore a network of hiking trails that wind through subalpine forests and meadows, offering opportunities to spot wildlife and marvel at stunning vistas of Mount Rainier and the surrounding peaks. Don’t miss the Paradise Jackson Visitor Center, where you can learn about the park’s geology, flora, and fauna through exhibits and ranger-led programs. In the summer, Paradise is a popular spot for wildflower viewing, while winter visitors can enjoy snowshoeing and cross-country skiing amid snow-capped landscapes.
  2. Sunrise: Situated on the eastern side of Mount Rainier, Sunrise is the highest point accessible by car in the park and offers spectacular views of the mountain, meadows, and surrounding valleys. Visitors can take in panoramic vistas from the Sunrise Visitor Center, explore a variety of hiking trails ranging from easy strolls to challenging ascents, and enjoy the tranquility of this alpine wilderness. Don’t miss the chance to hike to Shadow Lake or Burroughs Mountain for stunning views of the Emmons Glacier and surrounding peaks. Sunrise is also a prime spot for sunrise and sunset photography, with the mountain glowing in shades of pink and orange against the backdrop of the Cascade Range.

Asheville, North Carolina:

Explore the vibrant arts scene, craft breweries, and scenic beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Here are three of our top must see places while you’re there:

  1. Biltmore Estate: The Biltmore Estate is America’s largest privately-owned home and one of Asheville’s most iconic attractions. Built by George Vanderbilt in the late 19th century, this magnificent chateau-style mansion features 250 rooms, including a stunning banquet hall, library, and indoor swimming pool. Visitors can explore the meticulously landscaped gardens, stroll through the manicured grounds, and enjoy guided tours of the house and estate. Don’t miss the chance to sample award-winning wines at the Biltmore Winery, located on the estate grounds.
  2. Blue Ridge Parkway: The Blue Ridge Parkway is a scenic highway that winds through the Appalachian Mountains, offering breathtaking views of the surrounding landscapes, forests, and valleys. Visitors can drive along the parkway, stopping at scenic overlooks, hiking trails, and historical sites along the way. Don’t miss the chance to hike to waterfalls like Looking Glass Falls or take in panoramic vistas from spots like Craggy Gardens or Mount Pisgah. The Blue Ridge Parkway is also renowned for its fall foliage, with vibrant colors blanketing the mountainsides in autumn.
  3. Downtown Asheville: Downtown Asheville is a vibrant hub of art, culture, and culinary delights, with an eclectic mix of shops, galleries, restaurants, and breweries. Visitors can stroll along the streets lined with historic buildings, admire colorful murals and street art, and explore unique boutiques and artisanal shops. Don’t miss the chance to visit the Asheville Art Museum, which showcases contemporary and regional art, or take a guided walking tour to learn about the city’s history and architecture. Foodies will delight in Asheville’s diverse culinary scene, which features everything from farm-to-table restaurants to global cuisine and local craft breweries.

Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado:

Awww Colorado! It has such a special place in our hearts. Of all the states we visited during our seven years of RV travel, Colorado was on the top of the list. Discover alpine meadows, sparkling lakes, and towering peaks in this Colorado gem.

  1. Trail Ridge Road: Trail Ridge Road is one of the most scenic drives in the United States, traversing the high alpine terrain of Rocky Mountain National Park. Stretching for 48 miles between Estes Park and Grand Lake, this scenic byway offers breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains, valleys, and forests. Along the way, visitors can stop at overlooks, hiking trails, and visitor centers to take in the stunning vistas and learn about the park’s natural and cultural history.
  2. Bear Lake: Bear Lake is one of the most popular destinations in Rocky Mountain National Park, renowned for its crystal-clear waters, surrounding mountain peaks, and scenic hiking trails. Visitors can take a leisurely stroll around the lake on the Bear Lake Loop Trail, which offers stunning views of the surrounding landscape and opportunities for wildlife viewing. Don’t miss the chance to explore nearby trails like the Emerald Lake Trail or the Dream Lake Trail, which lead to other picturesque alpine lakes and waterfalls.
  3. Hiking to the Alpine Tundra: Rocky Mountain National Park is home to some of the most breathtaking alpine scenery in the United States, and hiking to the alpine tundra is a must-do activity for outdoor enthusiasts. Popular hikes include the Ute Trail, which offers sweeping views of the surrounding mountains and valleys, and the Flattop Mountain Trail, which leads to the summit of Flattop Mountain and offers panoramic vistas of the Continental Divide.
  4. Moraine Park: Moraine Park is a picturesque valley in the heart of Rocky Mountain National Park, known for its lush meadows, meandering streams, and abundant wildlife. Visitors can explore the valley on scenic drives or hiking trails, keeping an eye out for elk, deer, and other animals that frequent the area. Moraine Park is also a popular spot for picnicking, birdwatching, and photography, especially during the fall when the aspen trees turn brilliant shades of gold and orange.
  5. The Continental Divide: The Continental Divide runs through Rocky Mountain National Park, marking the line between the Atlantic and Pacific watersheds. Visitors can experience this iconic geological feature by hiking along trails like the Continental Divide Trail or driving to scenic overlooks like Milner Pass or the Alpine Visitor Center. From these vantage points, you can enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and valleys and marvel at the natural beauty of this pristine wilderness area.

Cumberland Island, Georgia:

Camp on pristine beaches, hike through maritime forests and spot wild horses on this secluded barrier island. Our top must-see places are:

  1. Dungeness Ruins: The Dungeness Ruins are the remnants of a once-grand mansion built by Thomass Carnegie, brother of industrialist Andrew Carnegie, in the late 19th century. The mansion was destroyed by fire in 1959, but the ruins remain a haunting reminder of the island’s Gilded Age past. Visitors can explore the ruins, which are surrounded by lush maritime forests and overlook the Cumberland River and salt marshes. Don’t miss the chance to stroll along the trails near Dungeness Beach and spot wild horses grazing in the nearby fields.
  2. Cumberland Island Beaches: Cumberland Island is home to over 17 miles of pristine beaches, making it a paradise for beach lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. Visitors can relax on the soft white sand, swim in the warm waters of the Atlantic Ocean, and explore the shoreline for shells, driftwood, and other treasures. Some of the most popular beaches on Cumberland Island include Sea Camp Beach, which is accessible via ferry from the mainland, and Stafford Beach, which offers stunning views of the island’s dunes and maritime forests. Beachcombing, birdwatching, and wildlife viewing are popular activities on Cumberland Island’s beaches, where visitors can spot dolphins, shorebirds, and sea turtles in their natural habitat.

Newport, Rhode Island:

Tour historic mansions, stroll along the scenic Cliff Walk, and indulge in fresh seafood in this coastal New England town. One top place to see in Newport, Rhode Island, is the historic Newport Mansions, particularly The Breakers. The Breakers is a stunning Gilded Age mansion built by the Vanderbilt family in the late 19th century. This magnificent mansion features opulent architecture, lavish interiors, and breathtaking ocean views. Visitors can explore the grand rooms, manicured gardens, and grounds, gaining insight into the luxurious lifestyle of America’s wealthiest families during the turn of the century. The Breakers offers guided tours and self-guided audio tours, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the fascinating history and architectural splendor of this iconic Newport landmark.

Olympic National Park, Washington:

Explore rainforests, rugged coastlines, and alpine meadows in this diverse national park. It was hard to gather a list of favorites, but here are a few things that made our top list:

  1. Hurricane Ridge: Hurricane Ridge is one of the most popular destinations in Olympic National Park, offering breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and valleys. Visitors can drive or take a shuttle bus to the Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center, where they can enjoy panoramic vistas, hike scenic trails, and observe wildlife such as deer, marmots, and Olympic marmots. In winter, Hurricane Ridge is a popular spot for snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, and sledding.
  2. Hoh Rainforest: The Hoh Rainforest is one of the largest temperate rainforests in the United States and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visitors can explore moss-draped trees, lush ferns, and cascading waterfalls along the Hoh River Trail, which offers a glimpse into this unique and pristine ecosystem. Don’t miss the Hall of Mosses Trail, a short loop trail that winds through ancient trees covered in vibrant green mosses and ferns.
  3. Ruby Beach: Ruby Beach is one of the most iconic and picturesque beaches in Olympic National Park, known for its rugged sea stacks, tide pools, and stunning sunsets. Visitors can explore tide pools teeming with marine life, stroll along the sandy shoreline, and marvel at the towering rock formations and sea stacks rising from the surf. Ruby Beach is also a popular spot for beachcombing, photography, and wildlife viewing, with opportunities to spot offshore seabirds, seals, and even whales.
  4. Lake Crescent: Lake Crescent is a stunning glacially carved lake known for its crystal-clear waters, scenic beauty, and outdoor recreation opportunities. Visitors can swim, kayak, paddleboard, or fish in the lake’s pristine waters, which are surrounded by lush forests and towering peaks. Don’t miss the chance to take a scenic drive along Highway 101, which winds along the shores of Lake Crescent and offers breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape.

Whew! If you’re still here – Thank you! With this detailed list of summer travel destinations, you’re all set to plan the ultimate summer adventure in the USA. Whether you’re chasing outdoor thrills, coastal bliss, or cultural experiences, these 21 places offer something for every traveler. So pack your bags, hit the road, and get ready to create memories that will last a lifetime. Happy travels!

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Organizing your RV
How To's and Why Not's, RV Organization, RV Tips, Tricks & Lessons, RV Upgrades & Mods

The Best Tips for Organizing Your RV Stuff

Are you new to the full-time RV lifestyle? We have hit our 6-year mark of living and traveling in our RV! It has taught us so much about what works, and what doesn’t work in an RV. Below are some really helpful organizing tips and hacks of things we use, and some things that were a total fail. We hope you find some great items you might not have thought of. The things that worked and things that definitely did not! Please understand these are all our personal choices and preferences. What worked (or didn’t) for us. It will, undoubtedly, be different for everyone.  This might be a lot to take in, but I promise, these are some items we truly value as full-time RVers.

Travel or Stationary?

Do you travel full-time, or are you stationary? Do you have a home base where you store or “switch out” things from time to time? The answers to these questions make all the difference in our opinion. Yes, you still want your RV to be organized when you’re out on the road, but if you have a sticks and bricks house that you return to here and there, you may not need every inch of your RV maximized for optimal space. Either way, we hope you find our ideas useful. 

How Do We Travel?

Our advice comes from the way we travel. We are full-time RV “travelers”. Owning our dream home was a beautiful experience. Deciding to sell it was a choice we made. There are no regrets! Even seven years later. Everything we have fits inside 39 feet, which takes a lot of organizing and hoping that you don’t have a mess to clean up when you get to your new destination

Here Are Some Top Suggestions

Always have a First Aid KitEven if you decide to put one together yourself, please make sure you have one!

Tension rods are your best friends!

I use these for everything!                                                                       

  • Tension rods hold things from falling out in our refrigerator
  • They hold our wine and our wine glasses
  • They keep our medicine cabinet organized and keep things from falling out
  • Double RodsThese are supposed to be used for a refrigerator?! They were not wide enough for me, but I did find them very useful in some of my cabinets! 
  • THESE tension rods are what I used the most! These are small and fit in most cabinets. Order more than one set! You’ll use these for so much!

Stackable can organizer

Adjustable chrome shelves in the pantry – LIFESAVER for storage! See the picture below!  

Bungee cords to hold food in place. See the picture below! This keeps my stuff stored on top from coming out during traveling. 

Pantry

LED Lights Stick-on anywhere – 2022 Update. We have purchased more of these in different sizes. We use them in cabinets, under cabinets, in our closets, etc. We couldn’t be happier with these.

Refrigerator deodorizer. No explanation is needed. You will need this! Small spaces ya know! You can easily buy a box of baking soda, but it’s big compared to these, and if every inch is a concern, you’ll love these.

Let’s talk RV mattress’ — Ok, so everyone complains about the RV mattress. In our sticks and bricks house, we had a mattress that was just over 15 years old. YES, time to replace anyway. So when we first checked out our RV mattress, we thought it was pretty nice! So we decided to keep it and just do a few upgrades to it. After a year of sleeping on it with the below 2 upgrades, it’s one of the most comfortable beds I have ever had! We highly suggest if you are keeping your RV mattress, think about adding these two items. We love them! Click on the links below to view and purchase.

Mattress Topper

Quilted Mattress Pad

2024 UPDATE: Look at this! We purchased these two items above for our bed back in 2016. We still use them today! Our bed is so comfortable!

Bed Band sheet holderThese have saved us so much money! RV mattresses are just a tad different in size, and our sheets kept coming off. I didn’t want to buy new sheets, as the ones I had bought were super high quality, which came with super high prices. I was happy to find something that works to keep them in place. And a year later, we still love them!

Let’s talk vacuums! I have a Labrador. That should answer everything if you’ve ever owned one. Oh, she’s cute alright! And she sheds only when she’s breathing. I sweep up “puppies” almost daily, and so I needed a vacuum that would really work well on dog hair, but also be really small and easy to store. I got online and researched, and asked in groups of fellow RVers, and I’m so happy to say this is seriously the best vacuum I’ve ever owned. Hands down! Even better than the one I had in my sticks and bricks house.    Shark Rocket Vacuum

We’ve used this vacuum for over seven years now. TIP: We blow it out (filters and all) often with an air compressor. We still have that same yellow Lab, and she sheds beyond belief. You can’t go wrong with this vacuum, but I highly recommend keeping it clean.

Speaking of dogs, why do they have to take a bite of food and then look around? Letting it all drip on the floor! YUCK! The best thing I ever bought for this dog of mine was the below mess-proof dog feeding system!

Another 2024 Update – We still use this. What we love best is that on travel days, her water isn’t all over the floor when we arrive at our destination. If it splashes out, it’s contained.

Neater Feeder      

Dog/Cat food storage containersNo mice! No ants! And in bear country, no bears! Even if you stay in RV parks 100% of the time, you’ll eventually get a mouse. It’s not fun! But these containers mean that mice and critters will not be able to get in your pet food. Ants are not something I’ve had to deal with (yet), but I see them all over our RV groups. These will save your life! Ha Ha! You can certainly buy cheaper, non-airtight containers, but you’ll regret it the first time you get ants or a mouse in there. 

Padded car seat cover for pets. Did I mention our dog sheds? This really helps keep the hair off the seat. 

Command Strips (please click the link below) Pretty sure I need to own stock in this company. I use these for everything. Here is a sampling of what I have used. We all know about Command Strips so get a bunch! You’ll need them!

Collapsible Dish Drainer – let’s talk about this for a moment. I have seen those super cool little drying pads out there. Small, and easy to fold or roll up and put away! Right? Well, the first time I used one, my coffee pot (which I balanced on a spoon) rolled off and completely shattered on the ground. So unless you have amazing Tetris skills, get this awesome collapsible dish drainer! It has been very convenient and I put it right between my back couch and the wall. 

It’s another one of those “I still use it today” items! This dish drainer is perfect for us. It fits between our couch and a little side table on travel days!

Coffee filter dispenser – Works like a charm! I love it!

Coffee Cup holder – It works great! Please measure the area you’re putting this in, to make sure you can still get them out of the top, or it won’t work for you! You might want to try this if stacking doesn’t work for you.

Silicone Cup Lids – Who would have thought? I love these things. When we were in Montana, I couldn’t sit outside without flies or mosquitos hovering. These saved my drinks 100 times, if not more, from bugs in my drinks. 

Onion Keeper – This does much better than I even expected. Not only does it keep the smell in, but it keeps the cut onion fresh for a very long time. 

Cutting Mats – When we left on our full-time journey, I had cutting boards. I wasn’t going to spend the money on something new. I quickly learned how valuable these cutting mats are and how much more efficient and easy to store and use they are. 

Collapsible salad spinner – We just didn’t have the storage for the salad spinner we had in our house. When I found this, I was more excited than anything! I had planned just to eat wet salad all the time!  

Collapsible laundry basket – Aside from the obvious of it being a laundry basket, I also use this for washing hand wash items. It holds water well, and I liked the square one vs. the oval one. The oval one is hard to store in a square closet. Yes, I use every inch of storage.  

Dinner plate holder – Love this! This is truly one of our most loved items. It allowed us to use the space well! And as you can see, we purchased this back in 2016 and still use it today! We are lucky enough to have a small section in our trailer that is made for storing dishes separately. But they only gave us enough separators for three plates. Strange … I know. And believe me, I tried to buy more from the maker. I ended up getting this, and it also holds all my paper plates as well. 

Magazine holder for foil, plastic wrap, baggies, etc. I have 4-5 of these that I use for the storage of these types of items. There are other typical foil/baggie holders you can get to fit your space as well! I always find going vertical is the way to go in most RVs. But you may have a short long area that would be better for the 3rd one below.

Shelf liner – I struggled with this stuff until Justin came up with a genius idea! So these shelf liners are great, but they do not stay in place as you would think. We would drive, and I’d come in and open a cabinet, and everything that was on the shelf was shifted. Usually slid forward, and we’d have the liner all bunched up in the front. So I got frustrated because I bought this stuff to keep everything in place. Justin mentioned putting velcro dots on each corner. It worked!!! We use velcro dots often. They also hold our remote to the bedroom wall! 

Here are the before and after of my liners with and without the velcro dots. And we tested it … travel day was great! Nothing moved! 

Ice Genie  – Have you seen these great things? PERFECT for the RVer!

2024 Update: We finally bought an ice maker! We love it! It doesn’t use a lot of power when we’re boondocking and it’s been awesome to have. Here is the one we have!

Silicone Ice Tray  I have 2 of these, and they do exactly as they say! I can turn them any which way, and water does not leak out. I’ve used these for over three years, and they are still working perfectly!

Luci Lights  & Luci Lights in Color  –  These are so perfect for the RVer! If you’ve never heard of Luci Lights, you’re missing out! They are on the pricy side, and even though I’m a very thrifty person, I found these lights really worth the money, and the space-saving is wonderful! Tip: On travel day, collapse them and set them up on your truck/RV dash, and they’ll charge while you drive.

USB Charging Ports – These are SUPER easy to install! Let us know if you need some advice and help, and we can certainly help answer questions. Justin put these in 3 places in our bedroom to charge our devices. Super helpful! I don’t think RVs come with enough of these.   

Do you boondock? If so, I found this very helpful! It sits in my bathroom, and in the middle of the night, I can have a nice soft light! And the colors are fun for kids too. Easy for them to use to see! Dimmable LED Nightlight  

Water Bladder  – If you boondock, this will be very convenient for you! Who doesn’t always need a little more water? We’ve been using this now for over five years and have never had any problems. Make sure you rinse it with a couple of caps of bleach/water mixture before storing it. It keeps it clean.

Plastic bins – I would highly recommend getting sets of these all in the same size. We use these for all of the below items.  I used these labels to also write on each bin even though they were see-thru (you can call me an organization freak … I’m ok with that, HaHa) Measure … measure …. measure. Get the most of your space with the sizes you can. 

Magma nesting pot set – Ok RVers … these right here will change you! We had the hardest time making this purchase because of the price, and after six years on the road, I couldn’t be happier with these pans. My only complaint is they didn’t somehow incorporate a pancake pan. Ha Ha Keep in mind, that there are several options, so purchase the ones best for your cooking style. The ones we got were the exact link I sent. They are the non-stick ones. These are the best pans we’ve ever owned and take up such a small amount of space. 2022 update – We are still using this same set. We cook at home every night, and they are fantastic!

De-humidifier – I would never have thought I needed this! Never! Our goals were to spend our time in 70* year-round. Well, the first time it rained for five days straight, our pictures were falling off the wall, and we had so much moisture on the inside of our windows, that it was literally dripping. Of everything we bought for our RV, this was one of the top things I have enjoyed having. It makes living in a small space more comfortable when it’s humid outside. This is the one we bought. It works very well and has been very easy to store when we aren’t using it. You may not need one this large, but we have the room for it. There are much smaller options out there.

Foldable step stool – I’m short! I always need an extra 11 inches! 

Plastic container for dry goods #1 and Containers #2 – You know when you order a set of storage containers, and they send you one normal size one and ten that you might be able to fit a grape into? Well, after our mice fiasco, I put most of our food in plastic containers and was determined to find some that real food could fit in. I was not disappointed with either of these purchases! 

Something that did NOT work for usthe spice racks everyone seems to use. I did buy them. I did not like them. First off, we are spice hoarders. So taking up the room for 6 or 12 spices wasn’t going to work. They did not stay on the wood finish I have. I tried the alcohol wipes, gorilla 2-sided sticky tabs, velcro, everything I could think of. Fifteen minutes and they were falling off. I threw them away. If they work for you, great! I have my spices just in my cabinet by the microwave. We do ok with them just like that. 

Peppermint essential oil – I do diffuse oil as well. However, I defuse the high-quality, brand-named oils. I do not diffuse this brand of peppermint oil. Did you know Peppermint oil is a natural disinfectant? Mice/critter repentant? It is! And after having an issue with five little field mice, and lots of food of mine they thought they deserved to rummage through, I now am a firm believer in Peppermint Oil. I use it for many things.

  • In a spray bottle, mix two tsp of peppermint oil with two drops of liquid dish soap, and fill the rest with water. Spray under your trailer all around. By the way, this is natural, so you can use this in a National Park or National Forest. I recommend once a week or so. Using often keeps spiders and ants away as well! And everyone around will wonder where the nice Xmas smell is coming from. 
  • Peppermint-wicking pots can be made really easy. I bought a package of the wicks for tiki torches and cut them to about 4 inches (depends on the container you’re using. I used an old potato salad container). Cut an X on the top of your container. Insert the wick touching the bottom, and mix two tbs of peppermint oil with about half a cup of water. You can also add a drop of soap and stir. The soap keeps the oil and water from separating. Put these wicking pots in your food cabinets. Or under your bathroom/kitchen sink. 

Whew! Did you take all that in? If you aren’t too tired – check out part 2 of this list here. We hope it was helpful. I understand there are so many more things out there and so many more things for us to add to this list. Share your favorite tips! We would love to hear them! Thank you again for your support, and we appreciate you using our links. 

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Off the Beaten Path Series, Travel Destinations & Stories

Off the Beaten Path in Oregon – Our Top Hidden Gems!

As full-time RV’ers, we travel and see a lot. This is part of our Opting Out of Normal series where we explore the “Off the Beaten Path” of every state. We love the big popular stuff like everyone else, but there is just something incredible about discovering something unique, different, and maybe a little “off the beaten path”. We certainly can’t explore them all, but we’d love you to include your favorites below too. Each series will include at least 1 epic boondocking area, some complete with pictures and all with GPS coordinates. 

Oregon is … simply put … EYE CANDY. If you blow through Oregon fast, this is one state you’re really missing some phenomenal things. Spend some time here! You won’t regret it. The Oregon Coast is one of the most amazing drives in itself. Make sure you spend some time driving the coast if you can. 

Some of the popular things in this state, I still have to highly recommend. Have you seen Thor’s Well or hike around Crater Lake? The Columbia River Gorge with the Multnomah Falls looks so picture-perfect, it’s almost fake! Cannon Beach and Mt. Hood National Forest are definitely the more popular things not to miss. But that’s not why you’re here! Let’s get to the Off the Beaten Path stuff!


Here are our pick’s for the unique and different finds.


Sea Lion Cave

Located 11 miles north of Florence on U.S. Highway 101 – The Sea Lion Caves along the Pacific coast in Oregon are a connected system of caverns where Steller’s sea lions (also known as northern sea lions) gather every spring and summer to breed and give birth to a new generation.

If you arrive and see no sea lions, it’s still a really cool place to see. At sea level, the ocean continually washes into the main chamber of the caves. The walls of the cavern are stained with a rainbow of colors because of the lichens and algae that grow in the dark, wet space.

Painted Hills

An unusual combination of a brutal high-desert climate mixed with the gentler lowland environment creates a setting for one of the most scenic landscapes in Oregon. Turn north to Burnt Ranch Road from Route 26 in Oregon, and it is impossible to miss them. This reminded us of South Dakota’s “Bad Lands” area. 

Octopus Tree of Oregon

Located in Tillamook – The Octopus Tree is believed to be around 300 years old. The tree itself extends from a central base that is nearly 50 feet around, and instead of shooting straight up with a central trunk, the body of the tree splits into a number of smaller trunks. The bizarre arbor has long been an attraction but the origins of its odd shape are up for debate.  

The Wreck of Peter Iredale

100-year-old shipwreck you can walk up to at low tide. The Peter Iredale was a four-masted steel barque sailing vessel that ran ashore on October 25, 1906, on the Oregon coast en route to the Columbia River. It was abandoned on Clatsop Spit near Fort Stevens in Warrenton about four miles (6 km) south of the Columbia River channel.

The wreckage is still visible. Take SW 9th Street West from Warrenton proper and turn north on NW Ridge Road. Turn left/west onto Peter Iredale Road and follow it all the way to the beach, where there is a lot of parking about 200 yards from the wreck.

Crack In The Ground

MEcrackrock

I’m guessing coming up with a name wasn’t top on the priority list for this. Ha! This volcanic fissure is over two miles long and up to 70 feet deep – Simply called Crack in the Ground. There are 2 places in my travels I have found where I feel the most peace. Peace with everything and a calmness comes over me that it’s just hard to explain. Those two places are walking through a slot canyon, and next to a waterfall. Some people love the beach, I’m more of a waterfall girl. This crack in the ground is really amazing to walk through. It’s like a slot canyon and really is something to see. It’s over two miles long and up to 70 feet deep. If you can’t walk the whole thing, at least step inside a few feet of it if you can. It is located in the Deschutes National Forest. Hikers can walk the length of the main crack and explore its tributaries.

Airplane Home

Airplane

If you’ve followed along, you know how much I love strange homes and mystery castles with a story. Well … how about Airplane Home in the Woods? This man lives in a converted Boeing 727 parked out back. The aircraft’s owner, Bruce Campbell has been living in the airplane for six months each year since purchasing the plane in 1999 for $100,000. Equipped with water, electricity, and sewage plus 1,066 square feet of interior space, Campbell’s airplane home is pretty plush for all its eccentricities. This private residence is on private property, so check out his website for a tour if you’re interested. Campbell is happy to offer tours of his airplane in the woods.  Email: bruce@AirplaneHome.com

Elowah Falls Bridge

Elowah Falls (also called McCord Creek Falls). This reminds me of The Hobbit. Ha! I am sure you’ll feel the same way when you check it out. It’s on our list of places to see! So if you get there first, send me a picture or 5. Ha! If you allow us to post the pictures, I’ll give you credit!

2021 Update! One of our readers sent us this beautiful picture of Elorah Falls Bridge. Thank you to Holly for this picture, and you can follow her on Instagram @adventureswithholly. I highly recommend following her. She has some amazing and beautiful places to explore, not to mention incredible photography!!

Photo By Holly – IG: @adventureswithholly

Pillars of Rome

Located in Malheur County you will find these awesome and unique rock formations. Driving on Highway 95 South to Rome, then go west from Rome station the south for a little over a mile and you can’t miss this. Millions of years of weather erosion have given us an amazing sight to see. 

Natural Bridges Cove

Located on Hwy 101 along the southern Oregon coast, it holds many interesting natural wonders, including Natural Bridges Cove. Just before the CA border, there is the town of Brookings. This cover is just a couple of miles north of that. Just breathtaking. 

Salt Creek Falls

I mentioned my love of waterfalls, right? Salt Creek Falls is one of 7 Waterfall Wonders in the Eugene, Cascades & Coast Region. Cascading 286 feet, Salt Creek Falls is one of Southern Oregon’s most powerful falls. A steep trail from the platform to the waterfall’s base is short but is not wheelchair accessible due to numerous stairs. The best viewpoint is halfway down this path. Salt Creek Falls Observation Site is 23 miles southeast of Oakridge and approximately 5 miles west of Willamette Pass. From Highway 58 look for the signs, turn onto Forest Service Road 5893, and follow the signs.

UPDATE! We visited the Oregon Coast this summer and found more for you!

Yaquina Bay Lighthouse

Have you been to the Yaquina Bay Lighthouse? We visited this really unique lighthouse, with a really great story! Take the tour! It’s free! The beautiful scenery around it, is just as amazing.

Oh … A little advice!! Traveling down the Oregon Coast? Don’t feed the sea birds. Even if he or she looks you in the eyes, begs and promises to be alone. Don’t ask us how we know that!! If you decide your story will be different, don’t say we didn’t warn you! Ha!!!

Looking for RV camping in Oregon? Click the button below where we share all our free boondocking plus paid campground and membership camping areas.

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Boondocking / Dry Camping, Off the Beaten Path Series, Travel Destinations & Stories

Off the Beaten Path in Wyoming. Our Top Hidden Gems!

As full-time RV’ers, we travel and see a lot. This is part of our Opting Out of Normal series where we explore the “Off the Beaten Path” of every state. We love the big popular stuff like everyone else, but there is just something incredible about discovering something unique, different, and maybe a little “off the beaten path”. We certainly can’t explore them all, but we’d love you to include your favorites below, too. Each series will include a link to all the amazing free places we have stayed. And there is no shortage in Wyoming!

Hell’s Half Acre

Located 40 miles west of Casper. This geologic curiosity comprises of deep crevasses, caves, rock formations, and hard-packed eroded earth. Even though it’s called Half Acre, it’s actually over 300 acres of mysterious beauty. 

Travertine Terraces at Mammoth Hot Springs

This place is incredible! I know I say that a lot, but our country just amazes me, and though this place is possibly on the border of being popular if you go at the end of summer, it’s quiet and peaceful.

mammoth-50102_1280

  It’s ever-changing and one of those things that make you feel you’re on another planet. 

Smith Mansion

Ok, so you all know I love castles or strange houses, but mostly I love the history behind them, which is usually kind of mysterious and bizarre. This is no exception. Wyoming’s Smith Mansion has many rumors surrounding it, but the truth is that it is simply the work of a man who could not stop building.

Smith1me

I’ll let you read this interesting, strange story and the myths surrounding it today. Location: 2902 North Fork Highway, Cody, Wyoming, 82414 TIP: There is a RV Park so close to Smith Mansion, you could probably walk. 

Buford, Wyoming

Buford

Buford is the smallest town in the United States. Just fun to drive through to take a picture of the sign. Don’t forget to check out “Tree in the Rock”. The population is 1. 

Intermittent Spring

Located at the foot of a mountain just outside of Afton, Wyoming, Intermittent Spring (otherwise known as the Periodic Spring), is one of only three springs of its kind in the world that start and stop every few minutes for a reason science can only speculate on.

Researchers have not pinpointed exactly what causes the surprisingly regular ebb and flow of the spring, but they believe it has to do with an underground siphon effect. The water at the spring site is said to flow for 18 minutes straight before stopping for another 18 minutes. TIP: Follow the signs to the gravel road and drive 5 miles up. Hike an amazing 3/4 mile hike to the spring. Wear comfortable walking shoes.

Don’t forget to explore the more popular things too. They are never less beautiful or less amazing. We love to travel to these more popular places, too. But we tend to do it more off-season and during the weekdays because we can! Wyoming has endless beauty. 

Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area

Highly recommend exploring The Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area. And of course the National Parks! Our country is breathtaking. This is a more popular place, but it was worth a mention!

World’s Largest Hotsprings

Thermopolisme

Located in the town of Thermopolis, you can find the breathtaking hot springs. The Hot Springs are located at 168 Tepee Street.

Wind River Canyon Scenic Byway

Yes, you can drive through the three tunnels with your RV in tow. The tunnels are 14 feet high. So know your height, but most RV’s can make just fine! It’s definitely worth the drive! The Wind River Canyon Scenic Byway begins in the town of Shoshoni at milepost 100. Following U.S. 20 north through Wind River Canyon and the Wind River Indian Reservation, the route ends just north of the city of Thermopolis at milepost 134. Without stopping, the total drive time is about 40 minutes. 

Thank you for visiting our little corner of the internet. Let us know some of your favorite hidden gems in Wyoming! We’d love to hear from you!

Check out our amazing free camping in Wyoming! Click the button below!

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Boondocking / Dry Camping, Off the Beaten Path Series, Travel Destinations & Stories

Off the Beaten Path in South Carolina. 8 Hidden Gems you Shouldn’t Miss!

If this is your first time here – WELCOME! If not, welcome back!! As full-time RV’ers, we travel and see a lot. This is part of our Opting Out of Normal series, where we explore the hidden treasures in every state. Exploring the big popular attractions is something we love too! But there is something incredible about discovering something unique and different and taking that road less traveled. We certainly can’t explore them all, so we’d love you to share your own stories off the beaten path with us. Each blog will include at least one epic boondocking area with GPS coordinates.

CHECK OUT OUR VIDEO BELOW OF THE SANTEE COASTAL RESERVE!

Tunnel-Vision – Columbia

Inspired by a dream, an artist in South Carolina created the mural known as Tunnel-Vision to create the illusion of a road to another world. It is painted on a large blank wall that joins a downtown Columbia parking lot. At 50 X 75 feet large, the painting shows a portal to a world under a different moon, which, if it were real, would be large enough to drive a large car through. The painting creates an optical illusion of depth, and thanks to repeated additions and touch-ups by the artist over the years, the scene does not seem to fade but actually improves.

The Busted Plug – you can turn around from the Tunnel-Vision wall of art and see this. “Busted Plug Plaza” is among Sky’s most widely recognized and impressive works. And was created by the same artist. Four stories in height and weighing 675,000 pounds, it is located on Taylor St., between Marion and Bull St. If you like interesting art as much as we do, check these out. In the picture here, you can see the Tunnel Vision on the right. They share a parking lot. So you get to see both within a short walk across the parking lot.

Location for both: Taylor and Marion Streets

Caesars Head State Park – Cleveland (Devil’s Kitchen)

Are you visiting Cleveland? Head over to this beautiful state park. Nestled on the Blue Ridge Mountains, Caesars Head State Park is known for its spectacular views of the Mountain Bridge Wilderness Area and is named for a granite rock formation located at the top of a long, steep slope. Caesars Head rock passes through another intriguingly named geological curiosity, a narrow passageway between two giant rocks called “Devils Kitchen.” When the trail reaches Devil’s Kitchen, a set of stairs descends deep down into the rocky gap, which is just wide enough for a person to pass through.

The formation was created thousands of years ago as water on the mountain froze and expanded, causing the rock to crack open from the pressure. Shortly after passing through the Devil’s Kitchen, the trail arrives at a small overlook offering a panoramic view of Caesar’s Head rock formation. The trail through Devils Kitchen is an easy hike just a short distance from the Visitor Center to the Caesars Head overlook, however, walking through the crack in the rocks requires descending a fairly steep set of stairs.

Horseback Waterfall Tour

This is a one-of-a-kind experience. You can make arrangements for the Horseback Waterfall Tour out of Pickens, SC, on their website. You will be amazed and delighted to tour South Carolina’s incredible waterfalls on horseback. Because you will be so close to the border, you will also see waterfalls just over the state line in North Carolina! A photographer is along every ride to capture priceless moments, too. This is the only horseback waterfall tour in South Carolina. It books up way in advance, so reservations are a must. Must be age ten and over to ride. We didn’t take this tour, but so many people talk about it! Did you go on this tour? If so, share your experience with us! We’d love to hear about it!

Canopy Walk at Lynches River – Coward, SC

Take a walk on a raised boardwalk that takes you through the treetops at the county park. You will cross over a couple of swinging bridges. This fun county park offers 676 acres of outdoor activities, including this canopy walk. Parts of the walk are suspended more than 50 feet above the ground. Grab the kids and the teenagers alike! Really fun. 

Reedy River Falls – Greenville County

Reedy River Falls

This might be a pretty popular place, depending on the time of the year. Though I had not heard of it before researching the area.  Visit Falls Park and you’ll see some amazing views. Take the scenic walk over the Liberty Bridge. So beautiful. 

Hampton Plantation – McClellanville

What a gorgeous property this is. We decided not to do the house tour and just walk around the grounds. It was Winter, and the trees in the garden area were all full of beautiful flowers. It was breathtaking! We checked out the history, the stories, the property, and even the geocache. Want to learn more about Geocaching? Check out our blog here: Geo-What? What is Geocaching, and How Does it Work? Bringing Free and Family Fun Together.

Blood Moon Kayak Tour

What a fun time we had. We booked a Blood Moon Nighttime Kayaking trip. After the trip, there was a campfire, with hotdogs, and smores, and a lot of laughing and storytelling. If you’re looking for a great place to get out on the inner coastal waterway and do some kayaking, this is your place! Click here to check out their website!

Boondocking

Santee Coastal Reserve – Near McClellanville – GPS: 33.154569, -79.367734. Eight very large camping spots. There is enough room for 2 large RVs if you have friends. Great cell service, close to town, but only a maximum of 4 days allowed to stay.

If you go in the off-season, you can ask to stay longer. When we were staying, there was only 1 other camper who was camping. A few vans came and went but it was never full.

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Boondocking / Dry Camping, Off the Beaten Path Series, Travel Destinations & Stories

Off the Beaten Path in Maine. Our Top Hidden Gems!

Lighthouses, beaches, and seafood come to mind when most people think about Maine. Of course, Maine is where you will also find the world’s largest telephone. I mean, who knew? 

By all means, go check out Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park. WOW! Unbelievable beauty! But with that being said, take a look at our list of unique things to see in Maine. 

Did you know that we traveled full-time in our RV for over 7 years? And did you know we’ve put together a list of hidden gems in every single state? So check out some of our other top picks and great places to explore in another state!

Monhegan

Monhegan is a small, rocky island ten miles from the nearest mainland and scarcely a square mile in area. It is accessible only by boat and there are no cars or paved roads on the Island.

Since long before the explorer John Smith visited it in 1614, it was known to Native Americans as a prime fishing area, though today its economy is more invested in tourism than it is in lobstering or fishing. The year-round population has seldom exceeded 65 in recent times. No drones. No smoking outside the village. It’s a very protected island, and when you visit, you’ll see why! To get there, take a nice relaxing ferry ride and with the entire island being only one square mile, you can wander around quite a bit before taking the ferry back. 

Don’t forget to check out the D.T. Sheridan Shipwreck while exploring this island. The steel hull of a wrecked tug rests on Lobster Cove on Monhegan Island’s rocky southeastern shore. 

State Parks! We love them. We have found the most amazing things to see in the virtually unknown, off-the-beaten-path state parks.

Wolfe’s Neck Woods State Park

wolfes-neck-park-2033099_1920

Wolfe’s Neck Woods State Park is a five-minute drive from the center of Freeport’s bustling shopping district. Definitely check out the Casco Bay Trail.

Small Falls

Located in Rangeley. Can you imagine a typical rest area that has a waterfall? And I mean a real, beautiful, backcountry type of waterfall area. Well, you’ve found one! Smalls Falls, with its scenic waterfall, colorful gorge, and fine swimming holes, welcomes all, often including visitors from all over New England. This may well be the most epic rest area ever!

Moxie Falls

The trail to Moxie Falls is fairly easy, but it will make you feel like you’re deep in the woods, surrounded only by nature.

It’s a 2-mile round trip trail. That’s the beauty of getting away from the tourist traps on the coast. You’ll see the beauty in its natural state, away from the crowds.

Moose Point State Park

We will repeat it – State Parks don’t get enough attention. This is a peaceful park that many people don’t know about; those who do can spend a day enjoying long walks on beautiful trails along the coast or woods and wildlife spotting.

The tide pools appeal to kids especially, where they can poke around and find small marine creatures under the rocks. It goes without being said, I’m sure, but please respect our beautiful nature and be kind and easy to our tide pool creatures.

Wire Bridge

Do you like Bridges? We do! The elaborate, the new, the old, the abandoned, and the unique and different ones. Wire Bridge in New Portland is no exception. This bridge may be the last wire-supported bridge of its type in the world. New Portland is about halfway between Bangor and the Canadian border. Only about 725 people live there, and every one of them could probably point you to their showpiece – the old Wire Bridge. 

Cutler Bold Coast Preserve

Cutler Coast Public Lands is a gorgeous place to visit with very few tourists. Many people love the quiet hiking trails with incredible views.  I’d venture to say that most hikers who come to visit Maine have never heard of the Cutler Coast. Their loss. And that’s why it’s one of our favorite hidden gems!

Rattlesnake Flume and Pool

from the wild

Plan for a hot day of hiking Blueberry Mountain in Evans Notch, and make sure you stop off at Rattlesnake Flume and Pond near the end. The crystal clear pool is located just off Stone House Trail. You’ll see a marker showing you the way via a small detour.

Giant’s Stairs (or Staircase)

giants staircase

Another beautiful lava-made scene. When the hot magma met the sea.  Over several million years the seam of basalt rock eroded into an oceanside cascade of ledges now known as the Giant’s Stairs.

In the town of Harpswell, the Giant’s Stairs are at the midway point of a fantastic, easy half-mile trail. You just gotta do this! You most likely will be all alone on the trail unless it’s a weekend. But still, this is a very unpopulated area. You’ll love it! 

Wild Blueberry Land

Did you read that twice? Ha! Yes – More of an unusual gem than a hidden secret, Wild Blueberry Land is dedicated to the state’s official fruit: the tangy blueberry. This small theme park is located in Columbia Falls, filled with blueberry-shaped statues.

The main dome-snapped building is filled with tasty treats, including freshly baked blueberry pies, muffins, cakes, sweets, loaves of bread, and more. There are fun things to do for kids, including mini-golf. Plus, there are some views of Acadia NP.

Stephen King’s House

If you’re a long-time fan of the author Stephen King, you’ll want to take a drive-by. He was born in Maine and has used the state as the setting for many of his stories.

Despite his fame and wealth, we are told that he still lives in his home state, in a rather distinctive mansion just outside of downtown Bangor. But don’t just go to Bangor to see King’s home! Bangor is really a great little town to visit too!

Boon Island Lighthouse

Boon Island lies approximately 6 miles off the coast of York, Maine, and is the tallest lighthouse in New England. Take a personal vessel from York Harbor on a clear day and simply aim for the tall lighthouse on the island, which is visible for miles. There is a darker, sad history of this island before the lighthouse was built in 1855. It’s well worth a day trip!

Here are a few other blog posts we think you’ll love!

Boondocking

Boondocking can be tough to find on the east coast. We know! But if you’re flexible in the location, you can certainly find some pretty epic places. 

  • Jewett Cove – Near Greenville, Maine. GPS: 45.687199, -69.551319 The road is gravel, and long (about 5 miles) but pretty well maintained. Beautiful lake you can launch a kayak or canoe from the boat launch. Sites are on the smaller side but you can still get a big rig in the areas if others are not parked strange. Cell service ok with Verizon. 
  • Big Eddy – Dead River – Long Falls Dam Road New Portland, Maine GPS: 45.230921, -70.195401 Another beautiful place that has recently been updated and looks fantastic. Big rig friendly
  • Another big rig friendly area, but beware of the low hanging trees. If at all possible, scout the road first!! Lakeside sites, beautiful and quiet. Bigelow Preserve – Stratton, Maine. GPS 45.173465, -70.411772

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Small Footprint ~ Big Impressions, Travel Destinations & Stories

Unveiling Tennessee’s Treasures: An 8-Day Adventure Itinerary

Tennessee is renowned for its diverse landscapes and rich cultural heritage, beckoning travelers to embark on a captivating journey. From the vibrant music scene of Nashville to the serene beauty of the Great Smoky Mountains, an 8-day adventure in Tennessee promises an unforgettable experience. In this carefully crafted itinerary, we’ll guide you through the state’s highlights, ensuring you make the most of your visit.

Day 1-2: Nashville – Music City Melodies

  • Day 1: Explore the Country Music Hall of Fame, then stroll along Broadway to savor live music and Southern cuisine.
  • Day 2: Immerse yourself in history at the Johnny Cash Museum and the Ryman Auditorium. Enjoy an evening show at the Grand Ole Opry.

Day 3-4: Memphis – Rhythms of the River

  • Day 3: Discover the legacy of Elvis Presley at Graceland. Head to Beale Street for live music and BBQ delights.
  • Day 4: Visit the National Civil Rights Museum and explore Sun Studio, where legends like Elvis and Johnny Cash recorded their hits.

Day 5-6: Chattanooga – Scenic Delights

  • Day 5: Experience the awe-inspiring Ruby Falls and Lookout Mountain. Take a leisurely stroll through the Chattanooga Riverfront.
  • Day 6: Discover the enchanting Rock City Gardens and ride the Incline Railway. Explore the Tennessee Aquarium for a glimpse of marine wonders.

Day 7-8: Great Smoky Mountains – Nature’s Haven

  • Day 7: Drive to Gatlinburg and explore its charming downtown area. Visit the Gatlinburg Space Needle for panoramic views. If you have kids, Discover the Magic of Anakeesta in Gatlinburg, TN: A Unique Adventure Park. You and your kids will love it!
  • Day 8: Hike through the serene beauty of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Choose from the top hiking trails below:

Top 6 Hiking Trails in Tennessee:

  • Alum Cave Trail: A moderate 4.4-mile trail leading to Alum Cave Bluffs, offering stunning views and interesting geological features.
  • Rainbow Falls Trail: A challenging 5.4-mile hike to the majestic 80-foot Rainbow Falls, where rainbows often form in the mist.
  • Clingmans Dome Trail: Reach the highest point in Tennessee on this paved, accessible trail leading to a panoramic observation tower. It’s worth the climb!
  • Laurel Falls Trail: An easy 2.6-mile trail leading to a picturesque 80-foot waterfall, perfect for a family-friendly hike.
  • Andrews Bald Trail: A 3.6-mile trail with a gradual ascent, leading to a grassy bald, offering breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains.
  • Charlies Bunion Trail: A challenging 8-mile hike along the Appalachian Trail, culminating in stunning vistas at the iconic Charlie’s Bunion.

If exploring the roads less traveled is more your style, check out a couple of our other blogs!

Tennessee’s beauty and vibrancy extend far beyond its famous music scene. With this 8-day itinerary, you’ll dive into the heart of the state, exploring its rich history, natural wonders, and diverse culture. From the melodies of Nashville to the tranquility of the Great Smoky Mountains, your Tennessee adventure promises memories that will resonate long after your journey ends. Embrace the rhythm, flavors, and landscapes that make Tennessee an unforgettable destination.

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Travel Destinations & Stories

The Ultimate 1-Day Yellowstone National Park Itinerary: Exploring Nature’s Wonderland

Are you ready to embark on a whirlwind adventure through the stunning landscapes and geothermal wonders of Yellowstone National Park? Even if you have just one day to spare, you can experience what this iconic national park offers. In this meticulously crafted itinerary, we’ll guide you through a day packed with breathtaking sights, unique geothermal features, and glimpses of diverse wildlife. So grab your camera and hiking shoes and dive into the ultimate 1-day Yellowstone experience!

Itinerary Overview:

  • Duration: 1 day
  • Best Time to Visit: Spring through Fall (May to October)
  • Entrance Gate: West Yellowstone Entrance
  • Exit Gate: South Entrance

Morning: Geothermal Marvels at West Thumb Geyser Basin

7:00 AM: Start your day early by entering Yellowstone through the West Yellowstone Entrance. I can tell you firsthand that the earlier you can enter (When we visited, 7 am was the opening time), the better! Fewer tour buses during the 7 am hour for sure.

As the sun rises, the glistening waters of Yellowstone Lake will welcome you to the park. Your first stop is the West Thumb Geyser Basin, located conveniently near the entrance. Explore the boardwalk trails that wind around hot springs, geysers, and pools, offering a mesmerizing display of colors and geothermal activity.

Mid-morning: Grand Canyon of Yellowstone and Artist Point

9:00 AM: Head north towards the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone, an awe-inspiring sight that showcases the park’s geological wonders. Stop at the Artist Point overlook to take in the breathtaking view of the Lower Falls and the vibrant canyon walls. Capture the beauty of the roaring falls against the backdrop of the colorful rock formations.

Late Morning: Mammoth Hot Springs Terraces

11:00 AM: Drive to the Mammoth Hot Springs area, located in the northern part of the park. This was my favorite place in the whole park. Explore the terraces, a surreal landscape created by the interaction of hot water with limestone.

The intricate formations resemble cascading steps and terraces, making for a truly unique sight. Don’t miss the opportunity to capture the contrast of white mineral deposits against the surrounding greenery.

Lunch Break: Roosevelt Arch and Picnic Area

1:00 PM: Enjoy a relaxing picnic lunch at the Roosevelt Arch and Picnic Area near the North Entrance. This historic arch is a gateway to the park and a great spot to snap photos and stretch your legs.

Afternoon: Wildlife Encounters at Hayden Valley

2:00 PM: Drive south towards the Hayden Valley, a prime location for wildlife viewing. This expansive meadow is home to a variety of animals, including bison, elk, wolves, and grizzly bears. Keep your binoculars handy and scan the landscape for these magnificent creatures as you drive through the valley.

Late Afternoon: Old Faithful and Upper Geyser Basin

4:00 PM: Head towards the iconic Old Faithful area in the southwestern part of the park. Everyone comes here to see this. Personally, for me, it was the least of my favorites. I’m including it because it is an iconic thing to do. Arrive in time to witness the renowned Old Faithful geyser erupt, sending a powerful jet of steam and water into the air.

Afterward, explore the nearby Upper Geyser Basin, home to an array of geysers and hot springs. Take a stroll on the boardwalks and marvel at the otherworldly features.

Evening: Grand Prismatic Spring and Exiting the Park

6:00 PM: Your last stop of the day is the mesmerizing Grand Prismatic Spring. As the sun begins to set, the vivid colors of the spring create a surreal and almost ethereal atmosphere. Capture the vibrant blue, green, and orange hues as steam rises from the hot spring. Everyone wants to do this first, but I highly recommend that it is last on your list. The sunset really makes the colors pop. I also highly recommend viewing it from above. It’s a short hike up a clearly marked path, where you can see all three pools.

7:00 PM: Finally, exit the park through the South Entrance as the day comes to a close. Reflect on the incredible sights you’ve seen and the memories you’ve made during your whirlwind journey through Yellowstone.

BONUS: If you didn’t run out of time, I highly recommend the Bubbling Mud. The pictures don’t do this attraction justice, but it is unique and extraordinary to see.

This 1-day Yellowstone National Park itinerary is designed to offer a comprehensive experience of the park’s diverse attractions, from geothermal wonders to wildlife encounters and breathtaking vistas. While a more extended stay is recommended to fully immerse yourself in Yellowstone’s beauty, this itinerary ensures that even a single day can be packed with unforgettable moments and photo-worthy opportunities. So, pack your curiosity and enthusiasm, and let Yellowstone’s natural wonders leave an indelible mark on your adventure-seeking spirit!

Here are some more blogs to check out!

So – You’re shopping on Amazon? I mean who doesn’t, right? Please consider using our link. It doesn’t cost you anything extra, and it gives us a few extra pennies. Click below to use our link and then just shop like normal. Don’t forget ~ check out within 24 hours so we get credit! Thank you!! It really means a lot to us!

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Boondocking / Dry Camping, Off the Beaten Path Series, Travel Destinations & Stories

Off the Beaten Path in Arizona

Top Hidden Gems We Bet You Didn’t Know About in Arizona.

Arizona is just packed full of popular, fantastic things to see. Of course, The Grand Canyon, Antelope Canyon, and the Wave. Not to mention Horseshoe Bend, Havasupai Falls and The Petrified Forest National Park. If you’ve never been to these places, don’t miss them! But we’d like to share some unique and different places you might not have heard of. 

The Mystery Castle

What a crazy, sad, unique, and finally happy ending story. I’m not going to spoil it, but we did make a video that touched on the story a little bit. We loved this tour and the eclectic mind of the man who built it for his daughter. Not only is it really odd and interesting, but the story behind it is fascinating. We were lucky enough to have Juankarlo Gastelum as a tour guide. His father was a groundskeeper for over 40 years, and he basically grew up in and around the castle. It was really fun listening to his personal stories. If you have kids, bring them! They will love this quirky place! Check out our short video below. 

Hole in the Rock

This is a natural geological formation in Papago Park, a municipal park of Phoenix and Tempe, Arizona. This is a fun, short day trip. We took lunch and enjoyed a small hike to the top. Then we hiked a little more to do some geocaching. If you don’t know what Geocaching is, check out our blog here. The views from The Hole are beautiful!

HoleinRockAZ1

Kartchner Caverns

This is a beautiful state park located in Benson. After their discovery in 1974, these limestone caverns were kept secret for more than a decade as a way to preserve their untrammeled beauty. Seeking undiscovered caves in the mid-70s, Gary Tenen and Randy Tufts discovered evidence of a secret cave: the two felt warm air emanating from a crack at the bottom of a sinkhole they found in the Whetstone Mountains of southern Arizona. The men slipped through the crack and discovered a network of pristine caverns with spectacular rock formations, including massive stalagmites and stalactites. They would return on several occasions over four years, discovering 2.5 miles of passageways and chambers while keeping their find secret. I don’t know about you, but this is the kind of stuff I think is fascinating. Can you imagine finding something like this and having it all to yourself for years?

Kartchner Caverns

Tonto Natural Bridge

Driving near Pine, AZ? Tonto Natural Bridge is the largest natural travertine bridge in the world is nestled in a small canyon in central Arizona.

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This 183-foot-high bridge is beautiful from every angle. The three hiking trails in the area bring you all the way down to the 400-foot-long tunnel. If you are not afraid of slipping on some algae, you can make your way through the tunnel to one of the other trails. Tonto Natural Bridge will not disappoint any visitor. There are viewing points from above so those not in the hiking mood can still enjoy the beautiful scenery.

Lake Havasu’s London Bridge

The old London Bridge was carefully dismantled, and each of the stones was numbered. Once it was broken down to its pieces, they were shipped to California through the Panama Canal, and then driven down to Arizona. The bridge was then just as carefully put back together again, and Arizona’s own London Bridge was opened in 1971. Near the bridge is a little walkway. Past some little shops, ice cream stores, and a few others. We found walking down the path pretty far was actually more thrilling to us than the bridge itself. Of course, we stopped for ice cream, so maybe that was more of our thrill. Ha! 

The Desert Bar

Located in Parker – and yes, it’s the Desert Bar, not the Dessert Bar!

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So we don’t really hang out in bars much, but this is more than a bar. The road to get there is an experience in itself. You just have to visit this really neat, unique, and totally run on solar power bar in the middle of the desert. It’s only open on weekends. Most people drive off-road vehicles to get there, which is half the fun, but you can certainly take your regular vehicle. We drove our dually. It’s just one of those interesting and unique places, and I have to say, though on the expensive side (because they can … there is nowhere else to go Ha) the food is actually really good. Humor yourself and get the gigantic pretzel. But ensure you have someone (or 5 someones) to share it with. Read the story of how the owner created this, and why he decided to go forward with it. Super fun place!! 

“The” Corner in Winslow AZ

Everyone who loves The Eagles needs to go stand on the corner in Winslow Arizona. Just sayin’! (Now you can thank me! The song will be stuck in your head for hours. In my case, days! Ha Ha!)

Slide Rock State Park

Located in Oak Creek Canyon just seven miles north of Sedona.

Slide Rock State Park is home to a smooth, natural water slide. It offers a fantastic place for cooling off on a hot summer day. Visitors can slide down the slickwater chute, wade in the cool waters, or soak up the sunshine along the creek.

Grand Falls

Grand Falls after monsoon rains

Located in the Navajo Nation, this seasonal waterfall flows a rich chocolate color after the annual snowmelt or after any significant rain! Most of the time, this is a dry river bed. So if you want to see the flowing water, make sure you are close by and schedule your time to go right after a monsoon. If you can get to this in March or April that is the best time to see it. The snowmelt will give you more opportunities to see it. There is also a short period in the summer that you can see the falls due to the monsoon season, but the window is short and is highly dependent on the weather patterns that year. FYI, this is on Navajo land, and you need to obtain a permit to be on it. 

The Town of Oatman

oatman5

The town of Oatman, AZ – OH what fun!! This is a quirky, fun place. Unique shops, and wild donkeys roaming the town. I mean ruling the town. While we were there they would often try to get into the shops because some of the shop owners have favorites they feed on a regular basis, and the donkeys know this. Also, the gunfighter wild west show happens every day in the middle of town at noon. The street is blocked, and it’s about a 15 minute, very humorous thing to see. The area close to the town of Oatman to boondock is also stunning (Boondocking information below). 

Sitegreaves Pass

Don’t miss this beautiful overlook near Oatman. The views are amazing. And the drive is even better!

Hiking

If you love hiking, you just have to check out the Arizona Hot Springs.

The hike is 7 miles round trip, and it pretty much kicked my butt with the rock scrambles. I am thankful for friends who didn’t mind pushing my butt up (literally) when I needed a little help on the rock scrambles. But we did it, and it was so worth it! After we completed the hike, we ran into some other friends a few months later who told us we could have kayaked right up to the short trail to the hot springs. Well … that would have been nice. But I wouldn’t trade that day for anything. We saw some beautiful sights and spent some amazing time with some friends. 

Another amazing find is Lake Powell. We haven’t made it there yet, but it’s on our list for next time! 

Boondocking / Free Camping

There is no lack of boondocking in Arizona. Here are our top picks in Arizona. What are your favorites?

SEE PICTURES FOR GPS COORDINATES

  • Sedona AZ – Forest Road 525. 
  • Oatman, AZ – Topic Dispersed. We loved this place. Beautiful area. 
  • Table Mesa Rd Boondocking near New River, AZ. 
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droneaz1-copy-2gps

Thank you for stopping by our little corner of the internet! We truly appreciate each and every person who takes the time to read our blogs. We’re honored you spent the last few minutes with us!  If you aren’t signed up to follow us, please do! You’ll be notified of our new blogs when they go up. We’d love to hear your unique finds in Arizona. What hidden gems have your found?

So – You’re shopping on Amazon? I mean who doesn’t, right? Please consider using our link. It doesn’t cost you anything extra, and it gives us a few extra pennies. Click below to use our link and then just shop like normal. Don’t forget ~ check out within 24 hours so we get credit! Thank you!! It really means a lot to us!

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How To's and Why Not's, RV Tips, Tricks & Lessons

Boondocking – Our Top 10 Tips on Free Camping

Boondocking is defined as: Camping without hookups. Also referred to as dry camping. Boondocking means staying in a completely undeveloped area. Often Free.

Why is it that before we started boondocking, we were so afraid of it? And I know we aren’t alone. Well, I can tell you, it’s because of the unknown. Let’s go back over 4 years ago. We decided to sell our two homes, quit our jobs, and live simply, debt-free. But we wanted our new home to be a nice place that was comfortable for us. We decided on a 39-foot Grand Design Solitude. This wasn’t our first RV or even our 2nd. We raised our two kids by spending weekends and holidays camping and roasting marshmallows over open campfires for years. Though, living in it would be different. So the research began. And continued.

Vandalia.jpg

So we are here to share all our information.  The good. The not-so-good. The secrets from talking to the locals (we love our locals! And we talk to them a lot) We want you to know that it’s ok to be apprehensive and a little scared. But the way to get over that is to try! Free camping is perceived as camping in a location right out of an old horror movie. We have found some of the most amazing places that we’ve both agreed that we would have even paid to stay there it was so incredible. 

Tip #1

Be flexible. Do your research before you go. We sat one day at McDonald’s for 3 hours doing research on their free wi-fi so we could be prepared for the next place. Especially having a larger RV, make sure you read the reviews, check out Google maps and follow the road in, ensure you can get in … and more importantly, OUT!

Tip #2

Have a plan B (and C). This is so important!! We always have 2 places plus a local Walmart scoped out. Just in case! We can always find out some information, but sometimes it’s very limited. So many people are out there boondocking nowadays, and there is a lot of helpful information to read. But always take it for what it’s worth. Remember, this is their opinion. For example – we once read 3 out of 10 reviews on a place where they said it was the worst place they had been, trashy, terrible, and unlevel. They wouldn’t recommend a rig over 15 feet and on and on. We decided to try it and it ended up being very clean, very level, and the best place we had been in a long time.

Tip #3

Always travel during the day. Our rule on drive days is, that we are on the road by 9 (ok, we say 9, but that’s never happened. We are slow early morning movers since we quit our O’dark 30 alarm clock jobs. But we are always on the road for sure by 10 am).

Youngs Creek

And off the road by 3. We almost exclusively stick to this. That way it gives us time if there is an emergency or we get lost or we arrive and don’t feel comfortable or don’t fit (did we mention we are almost 40 feet long?). 

Tip #4

Don’t rush! If you’re reading this and you are a full-time RV-er, don’t drive 8-10 hours in one day. If you need to get from CA to FL, don’t give yourself 2 days to do it. We drive about 3-6 hours at the most. And we always find a rest area to stretch, pull the slides out, eat lunch, or do internet research. There is so much to see in those few hours. Don’t pass the beauty right in front of you. 

Tip #5

Never ever arrive in the dark. We’d rather arrive and stay in a Walmart Parking lot if an emergency arises than try to get into a boondocking area in the dark. Even if we’ve been there before, we wouldn’t recommend arriving in the dark. Weather changes things, as we’ve already seen with the flooding this year.

Check out our 10 Myths about Boondocking – Debunked here

Tip #6

Join social media lists This can be so helpful. Most people are willing to help and give advice on places to boondock. Join a boondocking list or full-time RV travel list. You’ll get some great help most of the time!

Tip #7

Talk to the locals. Whether it is the guys coming out of the lake after an afternoon of fishing or the local hardware store owner. The locals are valuable resources for everything local. I once was lucky enough to be filling my truck at a fuel station when the local mail carrier pulled up and was able to give me directions on where I could get a propane cylinder refilled for cheap and right around the corner.

Free camping

Tip #8

Arriving early allows you to make choices. In Missouri, there are a lot of conservation areas to boondock, and we found a very nice one. After unhooking and exploring the area just down the road, we found a better spot near the lake we wanted to be in. So we went back and got our RV and moved it. Had we arrived later in the day or in the dark, that wouldn’t have been possible.

Boondocking in Florida

Tip #9

Don’t utilize only one app or one website. Some popular ones are fantastic, but some of the information isn’t reliable, up-to-date, or complete. Cross-check, recheck, and triple-check. It’s not as time-consuming as you think. It takes us about 30 minutes to do our “plan A and plan B” and then scope out the closest Walmart for the last resort plan. We use at least 7 different resources. Apps on our phones and websites.

Tip #10

Watch your days of the week! People who work hard want to get away on the weekend. We’ve been there! Maybe you have also. The best time to find a boondocking spot is Monday-Thursday.  We recently didn’t think about this and pulled into our location on a Friday. With everyone else who was just there for the weekend. We were quickly reminded of why this tip is important. Holiday weekends …. get in no later than Wednesday and plan to stay through the whole weekend. You will be frustrated if you try to get in on Thursday or Friday and expect to find a place to boondock.

We will be continuously updating our list of boondocking areas. We are sure you can find your own, but if you need any help, email us, and we’ll be able to share our information with you. 

AppList

In the end – You got this! Don’t be afraid of what you don’t know. Boondocking is an amazing, safe, and great way to travel around the USA. Did you know in 2018 we traveled and spent a total of $48 on camping fees for the whole year? Want to read how we did it? Click the link below, and we’ll share lots of information with you.

Boondocking in Texas

Here are a few other blogs we think you’ll love!

Thank you for coming to our little corner of the internet! We hope you found value and helpful information and we’d love to hear from you! Send us any questions you might have! We’re here to help!

So – You’re shopping on Amazon? I mean who doesn’t, right? Please consider using our link. It doesn’t cost you anything extra, and it gives us a few extra pennies. Click below to use our link and then just shop like normal. Don’t forget ~ check out within 24 hours so we get credit! Thank you!! It really means a lot to us!