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

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How To's and Why Not's, RV Camping, RV Tips, Tricks & Lessons, Travel Destinations & Stories

Top 20 Phone Apps For RV Travel

LETS TALK APPS!

As full-time RVer’s who travel, we rely on a lot of different apps and websites to give us all the information we want or need. From weather to boondocking. And dump stations to gas stations. There is so much more to just getting in your RV and driving to your next location. New apps are coming out all the time, so I’ll try to update this often!

Our Top Weather Apps

There are a lot of great apps out there for the weather. We don’t care what you use, but please use a couple of them. They can literally save your life.

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This is really above all the most important part of your planning. Weather can make traveling in an RV very unsafe if you aren’t careful. We actually use several different apps to check the weather. Remember to check them all! They can be different. Predicting the weather is known to be quite the guessing game. 

Boondocking / Campground Apps

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Free Campsites – This is actually our first go-to. But our rule of thumb is we always check more than one app when looking for boondocking places. All the apps have very different information. Plus, we read the reviews, and those are also different on each app. We love all the different filters you can use on this app. Very helpful. 

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Allstays – This is another top choice. Allstays also lists other information. Check your filters on the app. You can find water, dump stations, propane stations, etc. (This is the only app we pay for. I believe it’s still about $10 to purchase. Well worth it)

Campendium – Another very highly recommended app. We use these top 3 more than any other apps. Using more than one source of information means you won’t be stuck somewhere you aren’t comfortable. We find there really is a lot of different information from one app to another. 

We also use the following if we find the need to dig a little deeper.

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Useful RV Life Apps

After 5 years of full-time travel now, we have discovered some amazing apps. But there are even more! So if you find one not on our list, please let us know! Good thing our phones hold a lot of apps, right?

Gas Buddy

This app can help you find the type of gas/fuel you need and will show you prices. Very useful app for any sort of travel, but especially RV traveling. 

The Best RV Apps

Sanidumps RV Dump Locator

I love this app!  With the Sanidumps RV Dump Station Locator app, you’ll be quickly directed to the nearest dump station, or you can locate one at your next stopping point. We personally try to find free places to dump our tanks and this is a great resource. 

Google Maps

You probably already have this app on all of your phones and tablets, but if not, be sure you have it before your next trip. I personally love it for “pinning” my location and sending the GPS coordinates to someone who might be meeting us later. I also love the live traffic conditions. 

Roadtrippers

This app accesses your location and provides you with a list of nearby attractions you may be interested in. There are sections such as hotels, shopping, restaurants, entertainment, etc. Check it out! It’s a great tool!

iExit

I think this is one of our most-used apps when on the highways. They make it so easy to find what’s coming up ahead and make plans to stop. If you’re looking for something in particular, you will know well in advance what is coming up. Restaurants, hotels, rest areas, or gas stations just to name a few. 

Now, let’s have some fun! What are your favorite travel activities? We have a few favorites.

Geocaching

Here’s a fun one! Who loves Geocaching? If you don’t know what Geocaching is, check out my blog about that.Geo-What? What is Geocaching, and How Does it Work? Bringing Free and Family Fun Together. It’s basically a world wide scavenger hunt. Gets you out there hiking and walking and you’ll look at the world a little different after you start playing this game. And the kids will love it! Our kids grew up playing with us, and still play to this day!

UDisc

This is somewhat a new one for us. This last Christmas our daughters got us Disc Golf sets and we’ve really enjoyed playing. This app lets you find places to play around where you are.

Ingress

Our friends got us completely hooked on this game. Why? Because it takes you to places you wouldn’t have ever noticed. Murals on walls, hidden historical finds and so much more! Explore the mysterious world around you with the Ingress Scanner. Interact with real-world landmarks to collect valuable resources from Portals to empower your Faction.

We hope you found some of these apps helpful! And we’d love to know what apps help you get out there and stay out there.

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

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!

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. 

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

Full-Time RVing and Haircuts ~ How To Find A Hair Stylist While Traveling

“How do you find a hairstylist if you’re never in the same area?” This is a question we get asked a lot. After over 4 years on the road, I won’t say it’s always been easy for sure. We’ve done the big chain places, and frankly have been pretty let down. No offense to the big chain places, but personally I’ve not visited one where I thought they were confident in what they were doing, and I’ve never walked out feeling it was a very good haircut. AND … I’m not even picky! 

Tips & Ideas

Meet up or ConvergenceAsk in a group setting about hair stylists. It’s possible you may be sitting right next to a professional hairstylist who also happens to be a full-time RVer. 

Aveda Salons – Aveda Salons – I’ve heard this over and over again from RVers. Aveda Salons are always completing updated training, and I’ve not heard of one person getting a bad haircut at the Aveda Salons.

Google – I think this one is pretty obvious, but look up and read the reviews of the local hair stylists. See if you can find names of stylists at the local places that might seem to be the best according to the reviews.  I actually did this in West Virginia for my daughter. She hadn’t had a chance to get back to Pennsylvania to our hairstylist last summer and was in need of a haircut. We did find a very good hairstylist in her college town. I have to say for the small trim she received, and the $80 (plus tip) price tag, it might have been better to do a bit more research. But this place had great reviews! We just weren’t expecting the price tag for a trim. Literally a wash and trim! 

Book a Blowout – These are relatively new places that have popped up over the last few years. That’s when you just make an appointment for a wash and style. This is the safest way to get a feel for a salon without making any major commitments. If you’re going to be there a bit, and love the style you just got, make an appointment for a cut and style the following week. 

Ask a Stranger – Sometimes this can be awkward! But can also make someone feel really great. If you see someone in the grocery store or laundromat who has a similar style hair cut you’re really wanting? Ask them who their hairstylist is. People are always willing to share that information. And not only did you make that person’s day because you obviously loved their haircut, but you might have made a new friend. 

Social Media

We’re almost always learning from Facebook groups or Instagram. If you see someone with a similar style you like, ask them where they got it done. If you’re in a large RV Facebook group, ask if anyone has any suggestions in or close to the town you’re in, or the one you’ll be going to in a few weeks. 

Let’s not even mention what happened in 2020! How many of you went a year or more without a haircut? It was tough! I’ve been cutting my husband’s hair for about 3 years now, but he’s even less picky than me.

We would love to hear how you solve this dilemma and what tips you have for finding haircuts on the road.

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

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!

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. 

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Our Life Before Full-Time RVing

We’re Live! Our House Went on The Market Today!

October 17, 2016 – We’re Live! 

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Today both our home and our rental property went live on the market. I didn’t know  what that meant until it was explained to me. It’s the act of  the listing being publicly published on the internet. Wow have things changed since we sold our home in Chesapeake in 2002. Now there is an app on my phone I can confirm my own showings, see comments people make after walking through my home, and many other features. Last week when the sign went up outside I had just a few fleeting moments of panic, or regret, or questioning if I’m making the right decision. I do love our home. We’ve put an awful lot of money into it thinking we’d stay forever. Now we are willing to take a loss on it and walking away? Am I crazy? I asked for a simple sign to let me know I’m making the right decision. I look hard for those signs to reassure myself in most of my life. I think if I’m on the right path spiritually or otherwise, things won’t be too hard. They will fall into place easier than if I’m on the wrong path. That sign came today when my manager at work told me an old co-worker of ours called her this weekend, and her own 42 year old manager passed away while running a 5k. Healthy, in shape, always very concerned about his health and eating right and keeping in shape. Tomorrow is never promised no matter how old, young, in shape or healthy you are. Don’t get me wrong, money is great, but it is just money. It’s life, and the memories you make that are truly soul filling. Funny how LIVE and LIVE are spelled the same way but pronounced different. So today we went live, so we can go live! 

Live Simply ~ Give More ~ Expect Less