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Old 11-30-2003, 06:52 AM   #1
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Lightbulb Suggestion for next summer vacation planning

With winter coming on (and for some, it already being here) how about thinking of some ultimate vacation trips for next summer?

If there’s enough post, perhaps we could put them in categories such as 3 day weekend trips, one week trips, 2 week trips, etc.

It appears that trailer camping is getting more popular and more and more people are purchasing RV’s. I some times wonder if those new to the hobby realize just how much time it takes and perhaps a discussion like this would be helpful in planning a successful vacation trip without having it spoiled by not allowing enough time to get to destinations, etc. Nobody wants to spend the majority of their vacation behind the wheel, getting to a place only to not have that much time, once there, before it’s time to start moving again.

I had friends that spent 3 weeks trying to tour the western states. When they returned, they said they had a great time but, wished they had realized or planned better, so they could have seen more once they got somewhere and not had to be worried about moving on to make their next reservation at another camp site.

Those of you that are the older more experienced campers will provide the best input as you’ve been there and done that.

What I was thinking of, was known campsites in area’s that allow the most to be seen in that area, within reasonable driving distance, as to allow the minimum amount of moving from campsite to campsite to see the sites in a few different states. Make sense?
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Old 11-30-2003, 08:10 AM   #2
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I'm one who normally likes to find a spot and make that the base for exploration. One vacation we did encompassed a couple of weeks, which included travel time to and from St. Louis was to Colorado. We spent a few days in Colorado Springs which made an excellent kick off to the attractions in that area some of which were Garden of the Gods, Pikes Peak, and Royal Gorge. Next up to Denver where we camped in Golden and took in the attractions in that area. Then on to Estes Park, where you have Rocky Mtn. Park as your attraction. It was a great trip and the drive between each base site was minimal.

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Old 11-30-2003, 09:00 AM   #3
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Winter planning

We are now beginning to plan a 4-6 week trip next late Spring. A tour of the Southwest is as specific as we have now. From Tennessee to The Grand Canyon along I-40. With detours anywhere we choose. The challenge will be to not have a schedule or any reservations that are made more than a couple of days in advance. Any suggestions?
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Old 11-30-2003, 09:05 AM   #4
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The longest planned trip we took was 2 1/2 weeks form Milwaukee out west. Our goal was a wedding in Golden Co.

I planned the trip with the outbound leg through South Dakota, see Rushmore, go to Devils Tower, and then to make Yellowstone for 3 days. Then go to the Tetons for 3 days and finally to Golden for a 4 day stay for the wedding. We had reservations all the way out and back. Once we got to the RV park (outside Yellowstone) and spent a day in the park we lucked out and got a spot in the Fishing Bridge campground, so we moved. Never did make it to the Tetons, and on our way back we just stopped wherever we were for the night.

Same thing on our trip back from Vancouver with the new MH. Got on the road early and stopped when we had 8\10 hours in. As long as it was early we always found a park with a space. The only time I see a real need of reservations is when you are traveling around the big holidays or are planning on staying a while and want to be sure you will have a spot for the duration. Or your plan is to get in late and you want to be sure there is a spot for you.

Some of the laid back attitude I have regarding this is that we fulltimed. I almost never had a reservation and was able to find a park near where I wanted to be without fail.
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Old 11-30-2003, 09:43 AM   #5
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We will typically plan a couple of days of hard driving followed by 2-3 days stay in an area to see the sights. We will make reservations for the "stay" areas, during driving days we will call ahead to where we think we are going to be for the night and make a reservation. But full campgrounds are usually the exception. But we usually travel in the "off" seasons, like after the big Labor Day rush. BUT in some resort areas campgrounds can be hard to come by on a holiday weekend. Myrtle Beach, SC was full this weekend. (no I wasn't there but my friends were)

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Old 11-30-2003, 10:34 AM   #6
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The 2 weeks are the best. I have camped all my life. My family usualy planned a 2week right after school let out and just before. Plan 2 day's driving then stay put for 3-4 days then move to the next location. Usuually tried to make the longest drive to the farthest destination and worked our way back towards home. That made the return trip easier.

Head out west. Colorado is awsome. hit places like the Painted desert, The Cliff dwellings, Royal Gorge, Grand canyon etc.

For a Southeast trip if your looking for quiet and great beaches I highly recomend St. George Island. The whole east end of the island is state part. The eastern most section you either have to walk to or they have a road but you have to have a 4x4 to go on the road. It is a very quiet place with minimal tourist junk. 2 better resturants and a couple small sandwich shops and a pizza joint. You can always find a quiet section of beach. Only down side is the campground is on the bay/intercoastal side of the island. It's about a 5 minute ride to the really nice gulf side beaches.

From your location you could do a 4-5 day extended weekend at St. George. It's close enough you can make it in one long drive. It's 6.5 hours from North of Atlanta if your taking it easy about 7.5 from the GA TN line on I 75. The last 1/4 once you hit the FL line takes the longest. Lots of 2 lane. You could hit the redneck rivera (Panama city) for a day as well. It's about 1 hour drive.

We are also planning theme vactions. Our first "Theme vaction" we are planning is a Architecture tour. We want to hit D.C. and a 2-3 other big attractions including The Biltmore and Falling Water. We will also visit family for a couple days up near D.C. part of our trip. Hope to hit Savanna GA on that trip.

We are talking about a lighthouse tour for another "Theme vacation". Hit the coast in NC and work our way down to Key west or vice versa. Visit a new light house every 2-3 days and enjoy the beach or local attraction for a day between travel days. Keep thr travel days with easy hops so we can make camp in late afternoon.
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Old 11-30-2003, 11:50 AM   #7
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I tell everyone who comes out our way that the one thing here worth seeing, above all else, is the Mt St Helens Volcanic Monument. If you come to the Portland - Seattle area on a day clear enough to see the mountains, it is a spectacular drive, and the devastation caused by the volcano is something you just can't appreciate in pictures.

If you can come to it from the East, through the Yakima area, you are treated to the effect of driving through a beautiful forest, and suddenly coming around a curve into a scene of devastation that stretches out to the horizon.

I'm amazed at all the people who come to visit and skip it, and even all the locals who've never been to it. There's a lot of wonderful things to see and do out here, beautiful forests, mountains, and beaches, big cities and artsy small towns, but this is the one that gets missed. We try to go at least once a year.

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Old 11-30-2003, 12:32 PM   #8
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Thumbs up Mount St. Helens


I have to agree. Mount St. Helens was nature humbling humankind. It is difficult to comprehend unless you've been there. We visited 11 years after the eruption. It totally laid waste to the land for over 20 miles. Unlike the forest fires Yellowstone endured it didn't look like it was coming back as fast because of the total destruction. I certainly would like to see it again to see how it has changed.
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Old 11-30-2003, 12:48 PM   #9
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Next Summer (Spring actually), we promised the kids a trip to Disney World. We're looking forward to it also, but talk about a budget drainer.

There'll be mini three day vacations throughout the year, as usual. I hope to visit a small town in Cajun Louisiana and a secluded beach in Georgia and Knoxville, TN where much of my family hails from. I'd also like to squeeze in a bluegrass festival in there.

Summer 2005 a two week trip out West is in the planning stages.

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Old 11-30-2003, 12:56 PM   #10
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It depends on time of year....

I think it all depends on time of year, how much time you have to be gone, and how far you are having to travel.
I just got back from Big Bend National Park. It is wonderful from October to April, and hotter than hell from May to September. Big Bend is extremely remote from most of the is even remote from Lubbock TX....this was a 1000 mile roundtrip weekend.
We did Death Valley, Bryce, and Zion National Parks last March without the Airstream and based in Vegas with a rental 4x4...a little cold at Bryce (18 degrees) but was 85 degrees at Death Valley, and about 60's at Zion.
In Summertime Colorado is hard to beat for mountains and cool weather, but South Texas, Arizona, Florida, Southern California is hard to beat in Winter.
Maybe the best bet would be to put out a feeler on the area you desire to travel to and label the thread NEED TRAVEL TIPS to _________________(destination)....and let the advice come in.
Just my 2 cents.....
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Old 11-30-2003, 01:58 PM   #11
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We intend to take in the Door County area of WI this summer. We are going in August. A little wine tasting, salmon fishing. As part of the trip we will attend the WBCCI Region 7 rally. We like to get to one club event per year.
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Old 11-30-2003, 03:06 PM   #12
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I can't speak to what might constitute another person's ultimate vacation, and since taking early retirement just over 2 years ago, I guess I'm now on permanent vacation so time and distance aren't an issue.

Anway, here's what constitutes my ideal "vacation" place.

Incomparable scenery. Scented pine filled forests. Snow capped mountains. Crystal cleal, cold flowing rivers. Salt water beaches to explore with just a few other people. Elk and Eagles in the campground. Super pods of Orcas and Seals to be spotted from the camp site. Fresh caught salmon BBQ'ed for dinner. Daytime temperatures in the 70"s, with nights in the 50's. Low humidity. Comparatively inexpensive.

Vancouver Island, BC.

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Old 12-01-2003, 10:31 AM   #13
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I probably should have requested this in the original post. But, could you include the the name of the camp site and what accommodations were offered (hook ups)? Then, people can use this thread for a reference for planning their trips, should they want to do a similar trip. Thanks.
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Old 12-03-2003, 08:12 PM   #14
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To 63Wind. . .Gulf camping. . .

Your mention of isolated beaches and Cajun Louisiana makes me share a favorite of ours: Dauphin Island, a barrier island near Mobile Bay. From your description of places to go, I think you might enjoy this place. We first saw it 30 years ago after a major hurricane (buried in sand, so sad) and again last year for spring break when we spent a week. When everywhere else we passed along the Gulf drive was a chaotic mass of moving humanity, this island was laid back, quiet, beautiful. The island has a campground (we visited with an AS owner staying there!) within walking distance of a lovely beach, an incredible Audubon Bird Sanctuary, Gulf-estuary museum, fantastic cajun food, nearby Bellingrath Gardens to meander, seabirds, dolphins, wave music, on and on and on. If you should go, do take time to explore the little town of Bayou la Batre and stop at the High Tide for lunch! Explore the shrimping industry--and especially enjoy the shrimp! Anyway, I just wish we could pass on our traditional Christmas and head back down to Dauphin for all of Christmas break. Whereever you go, safe travel, and happy camping!
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Old 12-03-2003, 09:08 PM   #15
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Max and Georgia,

Dauphin Island does sound enticing. I've only lived in AL for five years and that's another spot I've heard about, but haven't visited. Thanks for the suggestion.

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Old 12-04-2003, 10:49 AM   #16
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In the same vicinity, check out Ft. Pickens (Pensacola Beach).

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Old 12-04-2003, 12:50 PM   #17
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If you're going to the southwest to see the Grand Canyon, then you should see Chaco Canyon in northwest NM and Mesa Verde in southwest CO. While you're in CO, go to Durango and ride the steam train between Durango and Silverton. The drive between Silverton and Ouray is incredible (but make sure your brakes and power train are in good order).

If you go to Chaco, there are no close-by parks - nearest is in Bloomfield NM. There is a campground in the park, but DO NOT, under ANY circumstance, take your Airstream. The road is 25 miles of terrible (but Chaco is worth it).

Just outside Mesa Verde is an excellent campground. Highly recommended.
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