This two-mile-long sandy strip is the oldest nude beach in the United States, dating back to 1967.
Besides the soft sand, it also features a lagoon, tide pools, and a lava tube. It is particularly popular with the Bay Area gay community, who tend to flock to the northern side while other visitors tend to head south.
Try to stay late enough to watch the sunset. It’s glorious from these shores.
A former U.S. Army outpost, Sandy Hook is now part of the Gateway National Recreation Area and home to the only legal nude beach in New Jersey. Considered the best nude beach on the East Coast, it’s clean, supersafe, and community-supported. Just one caveat:
While the beach next door is family-friendly, the two respectfully coexist. About 75 percent of visitors to Collins feel free to show off what their mamas gave them. And with Portland not that far away, Sauvie is one place to see hipsters without their flannels.
Located on the far eastern tip of Hawaii’s Big Island, along Highway 137, is one the best clothing-optional beaches in the state. It’s quite a hike to get down to the black-sand beach from the main trail, which helps keep tourists and gawkers at bay and provides the privacy one might want. Bonus: It’s like a party on Sundays—music, dancing, and a fun time had by all.
The best thing about this beach, set below the Presidio and shielded by rocky crags, is that you don’t have to worry about creepy gawkers because everyone’s too busy checking out the awe-inspiring views of the Golden Gate Bridge.
Nestled below the 300-foot, mansion-topped bluffs of Torrey Pines is this secluded gem. While nude beaches are illegal in San Diego, authorities tend to turn a blind eye to Black’s because it’s so difficult to access.
Enthusiastic sunbathers have to hike down a rugged, steep path to reach the sand or take a 20-minute walk along the beach from La Jolla Shore (an almost impossible fete during high tide). But it’s worth the trek. There’s nothing quite like seeing the naked surfers.
White sand, sky-blue water, and no looky-loos make it “one of the greatest success stories in North American nudism.”
According to the American Association of Nude Recreation. With certified lifeguards and organized group activities such as swimming and volleyball, it’s no wonder the place attracts more than 1.4 million visitors a year.
Off the coast of Massachusetts lies the island of Martha’s Vineyard—a vacation spot to presidents and old-moneyed aristocrats. While MV tends to be a conservative, preppy type of town, there is one place that is a bit more, well, liberal. Moshup Beach, located on the island’s southwestern tip, has been a naturalist hot spot since the 1960s.
The lake scene is where it’s at in Austin. So it makes perfect sense that there would be at least one lakefront beach dedicated to birthday-suit bathers. Lake Travis, a 109-acre recreation park located 30 minutes from downtown, is that spot. For those who want to escape the hustle and bustle of city life—and their clothes—this is the best beach to do just that.
As Americans, most of us don’t have a ton of experience with nude beaches. Yes they do exist in the U.S, and there is definitely and unwritten playbook. Here are a few “don’ts” you should know before you go.
Failing to read the posted rules – Forgetting a towel –
Sand + bare butt = bad.
Forgetting to sunscreen everywhere –
Especially on parts that don’t usually see the sun.
As you get close to Yellowstone National Park things can tend to get a bit expensive, but they need not be. I have listed various ways to make for a fun, exciting, affordable vacation in and around Jackson Hole, Wyoming.
Snuggled at the base of the mighty Teton Mountain Range in Northwest Wyoming, the valley of Jackson Hole offers an exhilarating taste of the Wild Wild West in more ways than one.
At the southern edge of the valley, the little town of Jackson (population 9,577) is an authentic Old West town, where moose and mule deer roam the streets, and ranchers rub shoulders with ski bums and jet-setters from around the globe.
The valley is also home to Grand Teton National Park and Bridger-Teton National Forest, with some of the most spectacular alpine scenery in the world, as well as an impressive array of wildlife, from marmots and mountain lions to elk, bison, and grizzly bears.
And if all this isn’t wild enough, skiers and snowboarders can carve up the slopes of Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, frequently voted North America’s number one ski resort thanks to its more than 2,500 acres of precipitous and often powder-packed ski terrain.
Born in the trickles of melting snow high in the Teton Wilderness, the Snake River is America’s 10th-longest river, running roughly 1,000 miles from its origins in the Wyoming high country to its confluence with the Columbia River near Pasco, Washington.
The Snake’s whispering riffles and roaring rapids provide a haven for wildlife and recreation and the 69 miles that wind through Jackson Hole comprise one of the most scenic and pristine stretches of river in America.
Close to 300,000 folks float, fish, and paddle the Snake each summer.
Floating on the Snake River can begin at the northern end of Grand Teton National Park, just below Jackson Lake. From here, there are more than 70 navigable river miles, offering something for everyone.
The first 60-plus miles consist of swift yet smooth water and one fun, eight mile whitewater stretch for the finale. Not many rivers flow from a valley to a canyon and head north on the continent before merging with an ocean—yet another testament to the uniqueness of Wyoming’s Snake River.
Across the border in Wyoming, gold prospectors can be found hard at work panning for gold during the summer. Most days you can see them along public stretches of creeks and streams in the South Pass Area near Lander.
During South Pass City State Historic Site’s Gold Rush Days, held every year in mid-July, you can take gold-panning lessons along the banks of Willow Creek. For more information: www.windriver.org
Travelers who are interested in gold panning should stop at local sporting goods or hardware stores along their route to purchase gold-panning supplies. When you find them, it’s a good bet there’s gold to be found nearby.
In Montana, you can see gold panning demonstrations in several locations.
At the Kootenai National Forest near Libby, an entire area has been dedicated for gold panning. You can also try your luck at Alder Gulch, in Nevada City. For more information:www.virginiacitymt.com.
Grand Teton National Park
Spanning more than 310,000 acres, Grand Teton National Park is one of the most beautiful mountain wilderness areas in the world. Tourists arriving in Jackson Hole for the first time often gape in awe at the jagged peaks of the park’s towering Teton Mountain Range (Grand Teton is the highest peak at more than 13,770 feet.)
If you arrive into the valley on a commercial flight, you’ll actually land in Grand Teton National Park at Jackson Hole airport — one of the few airports in the world within the borders of a national park.
Nature lovers and photographers will be in heaven here with more than 200 miles of hiking trails and breathtaking vistas that range from dense pine forests and fields of colorful wildflowers, to sparkling lakes, and the winding Snake River. Among the diversity of flora and fauna are more than 900 species of flowering plants, 300 species of birds, and 60 species of mammals including moose, black bears, and grizzly bear.
A great place to begin a tour of the park is the Craig Thomas Discovery and Visitor Center in Moose, which provides an excellent overview of the park’s ecology. The popular Laurance S. Rockefeller Preserve serves as the starting point for one of Jackson Hole’s best hiking trails.
Other trail highlights include hikes to Signal Mountain, Taggart Lake, String Lake, and Leigh Lake, and the boat trip on Jenny Lake is also a favorite.
Photographers and anyone who loves gorgeous scenery should take the scenic drive to Antelope Flats between Moose and Kelly. Along the way, you can photograph the Mormon Row historic homes, one of the iconic images of Jackson Hole, as well as herds of bison and pronghorn antelope.
After exploring the park, stop by Dornans in Moose for a delicious lunch or snack on the outdoor deck with magnificent mountain views.
Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, Teton Village
Frequently voted the number one ski resort in North America, Jackson Hole Mountain Resort is legendary among powder hounds for its long runs and challenging in-bounds and backcountry terrain.
The resort boasts a reputation as the birthplace of extreme skiing, however beginners and intermediate skiers will also find plenty of suitable terrain.
In the winter, skiers and snowboarders can carve up more than 2,500 acres of ski trails on two mountains, and expert skiers can take the plunge into the spine-tingling Corbet’s Couloir, a steep and narrow chute with a 10 to 20-foot drop-in (depending on snow conditions) from the cornice above.
But the fun doesn’t stop when the snow melts. In summer, you can ride the 100-person Jackson Hole Aerial Tram to 10,450 feet for incredible views and high alpine hiking trails, or hop aboard the high-speed gondola and enjoy a meal with panoramic views over the entire valley.
Other fun things to do in the summer include mountain biking, hiking, frisbee golf, and a ropes course catering to climbers of all abilities.
Teton Village, at the base of the ski mountains, offers excellent resort amenities including shops selling outdoor gear and clothing, as well as popular Jackson Hole restaurants and hotels. The free summer concert series staged here is a hit with locals and tourists alike.
Jackson Town Square
Cowboys and cashed-up globetrotters feel equally at home in the funky Old West town of Jackson. Sitting at the south end of the valley at an elevation of 6,237 feet, the town is a popular jumping-off point for visiting the geothermal wonders of Yellowstone National Park, a mere one-hour drive away, and the rugged mountain wilderness of Grand Teton National Park.
A great place to start a sightseeing tour of popular Jackson attractions is the Town Square. Tourists love to snap photos here standing under the famous elk antler arches or gliding around on the tiny ice-skating rink in winter.
From the square, you can enjoy an Old-West-style horse and carriage ride around town or stroll along the boardwalks lined with boutique shops, art galleries, and popular Jackson Hole restaurants.
If you want to do some souvenir shopping in Jackson Hole, you’ll find plenty of options here, from gem shops to Lee’s Tees, with an array of Jackson Hole T-shirts.
During the summer, don’t miss the Old West-style Jackson Hole Shootout demonstrations in the town square, held Monday through Saturday from Memorial Day to Labor Day.
Also nearby, Jackson Hole Historical Society and Museum is a great place to visit to learn more about the area’s history.
It features exhibits on Jackson Hole, Grand Teton National Park, and Yellowstone National Park.
Snow King Mountain
A five-minute drive from the town square in Jackson, Snow King Mountain is the steepest north-facing FIS (International Ski Federation) racing course in the continental US. This beautiful pine-cloaked mountain rises above the streets of Jackson on the south edge of town, and its summit sits at 7,808 feet.
Established in 1938, the mountain was the valley’s first ski resort. Today, it offers an affordable ski or snowboarding experience for those who don’t mind the relatively limited terrain.
In winter, skiers and snowboarders can access 400 acres of trails, serviced by three lifts. One of the lifts provides access to five beginner trails and six intermediate trails, complementing the steep and often icy expert terrain. Night skiing is also offered, and kids will love the tubing course at the base.
Not a skier or snowboarder? No problem. Hop aboard the Cowboy Coaster, an exhilarating, almost-mile-long mountain roller coaster, which is open year-round — even in winter.
In summer, the mountain hosts horseback rides and the valley’s only alpine slide, while the steep hiking and mountain biking trails give the calf muscles a great workout.
At the base of Snow King, the climbing walls and children’s playground are a hit with the little ones in the warmer months.
A highlight at Snow King is the stunning view from the summit (some say the best in the valley) of Jackson, the Elk Refuge, and the snow-capped Tetons in the distance. The hike up to the summit is one of Jackson Hole’s top hiking trails and a popular lunchtime workout for locals.
The Snake River: Scenic Floats and White Water Adventures
An exciting way to explore the Jackson Hole wilderness from a different perspective is a rafting trip on the Snake River. This famous waterway slithers through the valley from its headwaters in Yellowstone National Park.
Several outfitters offer two different styles of trips: a relaxing scenic float trip through Grand Teton National Park (or the South Park section of the river), and an adrenaline-infused white water trip on Class III rapids.
Both offer the chance to admire stunning scenery, including steep limestone canyons, the craggy peaks of the Teton Mountain Range, and thick pine forests.
Along the way, you might spot some of the local wildlife such as deer, bald eagles, osprey, moose, marmots, and beavers.
The Snake River is also one of Wyoming’s top fly fishing destinations. If you’re looking for things to do in April and May in Jackson Hole, it’s one of the best times of year to fly fish, as long as you time it before the runoff. Guided fly fishing float trips can be arranged in season.
Part of Grand Teton National Park, but administered by the Rockefeller Foundation, the Laurance Rockefeller Preserve offers a one-stop immersive wilderness experience. In 2001, Laurance S. Rockefeller followed in his father John D. Rockefeller’s footsteps and donated 1,106 acres of private ranch land to the National Park Service.
Today, it is one of the jewels of the park. If you can only make one quick visit to the park, make it here.
Some of Grand Teton National Park’s best hiking trails radiate from here, but your first stop should be the excellent visitor center.
Awarded a Platinum Leed Certification, the unassuming building sits in a serene sagebrush meadow and houses a series of sensory experiences.
Sunlight streams through the large windows, poetry peppers the walls, large screens display images of the park’s passing seasons, and a soundscape with recordings from the park offers a peaceful space for meditation.
After you’ve explored the visitor center, head out for a hike. Of the 16 miles of trails here, the Phelps Lake Trail Loop is one of the most popular. Make sure you pack bear spray, though — hikers frequently spot black bears on this trail.
Before you head out into the wilderness, you can chat to rangers at the center about recent sightings and organize guided walks.
A trip to the wild west town of Jackson wouldn’t be complete without seeing the famous Jackson Hole Rodeo. Barrel-racing, bull-riding, bareback bronc-riding, and calf-roping are just some of the exciting activities on the lineup here, and even the local little tykes participate with nail-biting bareback rides.
The rodeo is held twice weekly during summer with extra performances during peak visitor times. Another popular event held at the Rodeo Grounds, usually in July, is the Teton County Fair with fun games, farm animals, and dizzying rides.
Address: 447 West Snow King Avenue, Jackson, Wyoming
National Museum of Wildlife Art
Overlooking the Elk Refuge, the National Museum of Wildlife Art is worth visiting as much to admire the building’s environmentally sensitive design as for what’s inside.
Composed of natural stone, the building blends beautifully with a rocky hillside, and the art exhibits begin before you even enter the building on the Sculpture Trail, with life-size wildlife sculptures.
Inside, the museum’s superb collection of wildlife art ranges from 2500 BC to the present day, with a focus on European and American painting and sculpture.
The more than 5,000 artworks span a variety of genres and media, from Romanticism to Realism and lithography to photography. Impressive temporary exhibitions complement the permanent collection.
After gazing at all the wildlife art, visitors can admire real wildlife on the Elk Refuge through the museum’s spotting scope. The museum is also home to an excellent restaurant, Palate.
For a fun dose of cowboy culture, sign up for a covered chuck wagon ride followed by a sunset cookout in the wilderness.
After dinner, you’ll be treated to tall tales, singing, and performances by local talent.
Several outfitters in the area offer packages: Bar T Five Covered Wagon Cookout & Wild West Show takes visitors into beautiful Cache Creek Canyon for an authentic Dutch-oven dinner, while Bar J Chuckwagon also includes a visit to a western-style village.
Teton Wagon Train and Horse Adventure offers four-day trips by horseback or covered wagon. The scenery is exceptional, and wildlife sightings are frequent.
The chuck wagon rides usually run from Memorial Day through September and are a huge hit with families.
For such a small town, Jackson is big on culture, and the Center for the Arts is a modern and intimate venue for an impressive lineup of events.
The center comprises the Arts & Education Pavilion, as well as the Jean Louise and Mike Thieme Performing Arts Pavilion with a 500-seat theater, music center, and rehearsal space.
Among the many events staged at the center are ballet, opera, international music acts, films, dance performances, and the excellent Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival, held every two years.
Classical music fans will also love the summertime Grand Teton Music Festival at Teton Village, while those who lean more towards musical theater will enjoy the delightful Christmas show at the western-style Jackson Hole Playhouse.
Address: 240 South Glenwood Street, Jackson
CAMPING IN THE JACKSON HOLE AREA
Spring, Summer, Fall, (and for the most hardy, Winter) all offer unique camping experiences.
Whether in tents, trailers, RV’s, camping let’s you experience the sights, sounds, and smells of nature.
Jackson Hole offers sites in Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks, the Bridger-Teton National Forest, and even in the town of Jackson. Campsites range from the simplest backcountry sites to campgrounds with fire-rings and restrooms, all the way to full service RV parks with hook-ups, creek side sites, picnic tables, and more.
NOTICE: Due to extreme demand, campsites in the National Parks, front country and dispersed campsites on the National Forest land and other commercial campsites are filling up in the early morning in this region. There is extremely limited camping for Motor Vehicles in the Town of Jackson. If you are camping please plan accordingly and either make pre-arrival camping reservations, arrive early in the morning or camp in other regions and make day trips to this area.
Just because our need to get outside is in overdrive, we need not forget about the reality of our situation: COVID.
Camping: a peaceful grounding escape for all who partake. We, like most everyone in and around Jackson Hole, love to camp. We do it to escape. We do it to come together.
We do it to get a little closer to the things that are so often out of reach. This blog contains some essential resources and tips to maximize your ability to enjoy the restoring trip you’ve been dreaming of since March, safely.
*HERE are comprehensive maps and lists of developed and undeveloped campgrounds in the Bridger-Teton National Forest, Jackson/Moran area along with other helpful camping information.
Developed campsites include tables, campfire grills, restrooms, food storage boxes, garbage service water, and more while undeveloped regions do not and require additional preparations.
We always recommend campers for a destination like Jackson Hole and it’s magnificent neighbors, but if you must fly here are some options.
Salt Lake City International Airport
The Salt Lake City International Airport is located roughly 6 hours south of Jackson Wyoming, and serves less expensive flights from a number of domestic and international airports. Location: Salt Lake City Airport is located about 4 miles west of downtown Salt Lake.
That’s right: free RV camping. RVing has long been seen as a way to travel cheaply, but with private resorts charing per-night rental prices as high as $100 (or even more), the cost of being on the road can add up quickly. Free campgrounds allow you to save money on your accommodations, which gives you extra cash to spend where it matters: fuel, food, and fun!
Why spend insane amounts of cash just to park your RV when you’re not even going to be there for most of your vacation? Free campgrounds are a great way to lower your overall travel budget and focus on the experiences you really value.
So why not try to find a cost-free option no matter where you’re planning to spend your next vacation.
Many full-time RVers retreat to Lake Havasu during the harsh winter months, and even if you’re just a weekender, a quick trip will show you why the spot is so popular. Nestled along the California border with access to hiking, biking, and water-based outdoor activity opportunities, Lake Havasu is an amazing desert destination.
There are a variety of free campgrounds for boondockers in the area — which is one reason it’s such a popular winter spot. But perhaps the best is the stretch of BLM-owned land known as Craggy Wash, which is located an easy drive from the city and offers clean, gravel-lined spaces and decent data coverage for Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint users.
Sedona may be a popular hiking destination, but it’s as well-known for its expense as its expansive views. Good thing there’s a great free campground in the area nestled right along National Forest Road 525, also known as The Main Drag.
Along with its proximity to all the Sedona attractions that drew you to the area in the first place, this campground is also quite expansive, offering space for up to 15 rigs or more according to some campers’ estimates. However, keep in mind that as you progress deeper into the campsite, the access road becomes rougher, so if you’re traveling with a large or burdensome rig, you’d do well to find a spot as close to the highway entrance as possible.
Although it’s a bit of a hike from the national park gates, this northern Arizona town offers a charm all its own, including lots of shopping, restaurants, and live music thanks to its collegiate vibe.
Flagstaff also offers close proximity to Sedona, home to some of the very best hiking opportunities in the southwest. And the U.S. Naval Observatory campground is a great free camping option, offering beautiful forested paths, tree cover for shade and temperature control, and close proximity to all the attractions of town. Many campers who have stayed there report finding good data connectivity with their devices, though your mileage may vary depending on the type of service you have. Of course, with all the beauty of the natural landscape in this area, you may find yourself wanting to disconnect completely, regardless!
Formerly known as Karmack, Winterhaven is a small town in California situated just across the state line from Arizona and only a few minutes from the Mexican border. It’s an expansive desert vista and a great place to camp if you’re looking for a free boondocking site that makes international travel easy.
As if its great location weren’t already enough of a draw, the free campground along American Girl Mine Road has the additional benefit of being a great beginner boondocking site. It’s easy to access even for larger RVs, and just 15 miles away from the city of Yuma, where you can stock up on supplies if you forgot anything.
Located in a surreal and remote landscape in the south-central section of the state, this national park is a hidden gem, and certainly one you’ll be glad you took the time to get to.
If you’re looking for free camping in this part of Colorado, one great option is the BLM campground at Sacred White Shell Mountain. Campers rate it five stars overall, citing its stunning views, solitude and great location. It also has decent data coverage from all of the major service providers and can accommodate even large rigs, like a 39-foot fifth wheel trailer.
Jackson Mountain Road – Pagosa Springs, Colorado
Looking to enjoy all Colorful Colorado has to offer? Pagosa Springs is a Rocky Mountain paradise, complete with hot springs and a river perfect for tubing. And although the free campground at Jackson Mountain Road doesn’t have many amenities, it does offer totally free camping in close proximity to this well-loved destination.
Given the elevation, this campground is only open seasonally, and some larger RVs may have difficulty navigating the access road. Those who make it will find a beautiful and clean campground with lovely surrounding views, forest cover, low noise levels, and even passable data connectivity for those who need to get work done even when they’re off-grid.
Cherry Creek Road – San Juan National Forest, Colorado
Another southwestern gem off the beaten path, Durango, Colorado is a destination worth adding to your list, even if it’s not there yet. The town itself has an array of shopping and dining options to offer, and San Juan National Forest is easily one of the most beautiful places on earth, with snow-capped mountains in the distance year round over a foot of dense, green trees and alpine lakes.
As far as free camp grounds go in the area, the location on Cherry Creek Road is hard to beat. Although it’s not right in town, you get all the silence and solitude of one of the most beautiful landscapes in America while still having access to the urban adventures of Durango. Some connectivity is available, depending on your carrier, though if you’re serious about staying connected, a cell booster may be helpful.
Miami Beach may get all the glory, but the southwestern portion of Florida is, by our account, a whole lot nicer. You’ll notice a more laid-back pace and quieter waterfronts less ravaged by rampant tourism, nestled into woodland communities where southern hospitality is still a thing. Deep Creek Preserve is a campground offered by the Southwest Florida Water Management District, and it’s free to camp in for up to seven days.
Because the campground is immediately adjacent to the highway, there is some noise, according to Campendium reviewers… but given the price and the fact that it’s less than a half hour’s drive to the gulf, we feel like it might be a worthy trade! (Please keep in mind that reservations are still required, even though the accommodations are free.)
Another campground offered by Florida’s Wastewater Management District, Hickory Hammock offers free camp sites just outside of Sebring, Florida, making it the perfect home base for your central Florida adventures. It’s dry camping, so you may want to plan your travels for fall or winter so as to avoid the hottest portion of Florida’s calendar year… but no matter when you come, it’s a convenient location with spacious campsites for rigs of up to 36 feet in length or so, with vault toilets, wooded walking trails, and fire rings available.
(Please keep in mind that reservations are still required, even though the accommodations are free.)
It’s a lot harder to come by free campsites in the midwest than it is in the far west. But still, if you do a little digging, you can occasionally find a hidden gem — which is exactly how we’d characterise Blackwell Horsecamp. This green spot in the Hoosier National Forest looks like something out of a magazine ad, with rolling green hills and picturesque fences, and yet it’s totally free to camp in and even offers pit toilets. The location is convenient to the city of Bloomington, so you can easily get to town if you need to — but given the solitude, silence, and scenery in the forest, chances are you’re going to want to stay put.
Maine’s coast the kind of place you have to see to believe — all waves crashing against granite rock faces, punctuated by lighthouses. Located just outside of Eastport along the Canadian border, Reversing Falls is a great home base for those looking to make serious inroads in their northeastern explorations.
The campground offers generously-sized spots with waterfront views and a secluded locale for quiet camping filled with solitude. Moose Island is the center of life in this area, so be sure to take the toad out for a visit and to discover some new shops, restaurants, and neighborhoods.
Just on the south side of the epic bridge into Michigan’s famed Upper Peninsula, French Farm Lake Campground gives you easy access to all of Michigan’s attractions, including Mackinaw City itself, for free. According to Campendium reviewers, there are 6 marked sites and approximately 6-8 unmarked sites to choose from, and the access road is a little rocky, so beware if you’re driving a large or sensitive motorhome or travel trailer
Glacier National Park is one of those places that’s so freaking pretty, it doesn’t even look real. It honestly feels like walking into a desktop background.
That said, it’s not surprising that the word’s out on exactly how gorgeous this location is… and given its very short window of opportunity (thanks to its extreme northern location), the nearby campgrounds can get very crowded — and very expensive — during the short Montana summer.
In most cases, there aren’t many ways around these problems. In all honesty, we recommend you make reservations well ahead of time and don’t make last-minute plans to visit Glacier. But if you do find yourself in the area with a few days to spare and you’re driving a very small RV or sleeper van, there is an option that we couldn’t resist putting on this list: a free camp site right outside of the gateway town of West Glacier on the Middle Fork Flathead River, right off of Blankenship Road.
Although it’s free and the views are generous, access to this campground is quite limited. Campers have reported success with trailers of up to 20 feet in length, but generally, the smaller and spryer your RV, the better your chances are of getting to this location.
Lake Mead is considered an outdoor playground for those who call this part of the desert southwest home, and even if you’re from further afield, one visit will show you why it’s so popular. Nevada is home to lots of wide open spaces, making it a great place to find BLM-owned land that’s friendly to dispersed campers, but Telephone Cove takes the cake when it comes to location and cleanliness.
The access road is more than four miles of dirt, and it can be a bit of a bumpy ride, but Campendium reviewers say that even larger motorhomes and fifth wheels can make it with patience. Just take it slow and don’t rush… which shouldn’t be a difficult task, given the beautiful surroundings.
Northern New Mexico is simply stunning — and the word is out. Maybe it’s partially Breaking Bad tourism or maybe it’s just plain old word of mouth, but no matter how you slice it, Taos, Santa Fe, and even Albuquerque are experiencing an influx of visitors.
Particularly around Santa Fe and the resort destination of Taos, prices can get pretty steep for campsites. Which is why we recommend the Cebolla Mesa Campground, where you’ll get all the stunning New Mexico skies and easy access to nearby attractions like the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument, the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge, and the ski slopes (and in summer, hiking trails!) of Taos.
Cebolla Mesa is located in a small town called Questa which is on the Enchanted Circle, an 80-mile scenic drive you absolutely have to take while in New Mexico.
Watkins Glen is a stunning segment of the Finger Lake area of upstate New York, home to what is sometimes referred to as the Grand Canyon of the east. And while the campgrounds in the state park fill up fast (and do still come with a nightly fee attached, even if it’s not as much as you’d pay at a resort), there is a free camping option in the area that’s so nice, Campendium reviewers agree that it’s hard to believe it’s actually free.
The free campsites under the Sugar Hill Fire Tower offer bathrooms and water spigots throughout the property, and while there are no showers, there is a designated area for dish washing. Reviewers say the campground is sparkling clean and the on-site staff are courteous and helpful, making this free campsite a no-brainer if you get there in time to find a spot.
Portland may be the best-known part of Oregon these days, but there’s so much stunning countryside to see outside of the city — including the alien-looking landscape outside of the Rufus Landing Recreation Area in the town of the same name. A couple hours east of the state’s major city, this smaller town offers outdoor recreational opportunities as well as much-needed solitude along with its epic scenery. Campendium reviewers say the site is easy to access and offers data connectivity for Verizon and AT&T users, and it’s nestled right along the mighty Columbia River. Stay for free for up to 14 nights!
If you think South Dakota is nothing but long, flat stretches, think again. This state is home to a wild diversity of sights and denizens, including Badlands National Park, Mount Rushmore National Monument, and roaming herds of buffalo along its rippling grasslands — which, even if they are flat, are certainly not boring.
The Nomad View dispersed camping area is aptly named; it offers some of the most stunning and surreal views in the entire country completely free of charge. RVers with rigs of up to 44 feet in length have reported success in accessing the campground, where you can set up for up to 14 days without paying a dime.
Yes, it does exist. These stunning waterfront sites in Port Lavaca, Texas will make you feel like you’ve taken an epic, tropical vacation without ever leaving the states — and you’re just a short drive from southern Texas comforts like barbecue as well as all the things to do and see in Houston and San Antonio.
This campground’s high camper ratings are thanks to its location, ease of access, and straight up beauty. Plus, it’s got data coverage with all major carriers, so you can stay connected while you disconnect from reality.
North Beach – Padre Island National Seashore, Texas
Padre Island is a popular vacation spot for Texans as well as folks from further afield, boasting a diversity of sea and avian life it’s hard to come across anywhere else in the country. It’s a barrier island about as close to a Mexican beach town as you can get without crossing the border… and if you stay at North Beach, you’ll get access to all of it without paying a dime in campground accommodation fees. Almost sounds too good to be true, right?
Although there’s very little cell phone service (which you may just consider a benefit rather than a drawback), North Beach does have dump station and water access, and it’s right on the water, close enough for the sounds of the surf to sing you to sleep. And it’s easy to access, which means that even big rigs can camp out in style, totally free of charge.
With five national parks and far more state parks, national monuments, and other sites of interest, Utah is a veritable dreamscape for the outdoorsperson — and as such, yes, it can be very expensive to camp there. That’s especially true during the most popular travel seasons in spring and fall, when the weather is just gorgeous and the crowds are flocking in.
Fortunately, all that empty space Utah boasts does equate to some great free campground options, including Wedge Overlook just outside of the community of Emery. In fact, the campsite is directly adjacent to a beautiful stretch of land that’s sometimes called the Little Grand Canyon of Utah — you might be able to camp right on the rim, in fact!
Separated from the highway entrance by 20 miles of dirt road, this free campground offers scenery and solitude in spades, which is probably why it’s earned five stars in almost every Campendium category. Stay for up to two weeks in this dreamlike vista completely free of charge — but there’s no water access, so be sure to bring in what you need.
Willow Springs Trail – Moab, Utah
This just in: Moab is awesome. Awesome enough that staying there can be pretty pricy, especially during the high season.
Which makes sense. This quirky Utah mountain town is the gateway to not one but two stunning national parks: Canyonlands and Arches.
Although it’s a little hard to find, the free campground at Willow Springs Trail is a total Easter egg. You’ll get quiet, star-filled nights and an incredible proximity to Arches (which helps you get in the gates early enough to actually enjoy your day) — and yes, it’s entirely free of charge. However, that kind of deal doesn’t stay a secret, which means that this free campground gets pretty crowded. You’ll want to roll up early to have the best shot of actually getting a site, and be sure you have a backup plan in place just in case.
– or the southwestern Utah towns of Hurricane or St. George? The BLM’s North Creek dispersed campground is a great retreat, with beautiful views and the wide-open southwestern skies that make this area so special.
RVs of up to 38 feet in length have successfully navigated into this free campground, which also boasts workable cell service for users of Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile.
The site is also popular with tent campers, so if you are planning on running your generator, please be courteous to your neighbors!
Forest Road 29 – Sappho, Washington
If you haven’t been to the Olympic Peninsula yet, boy, are you in for a treat. Within one (admittedly gigantic) landmass, you can travel from snow-capped alpine mountains to dense rainforest to coastal beaches lined with haystack rocks, all within the same day — if you’re dedicated.
You’ll find plenty of camping options along the way, but most of them will charge you a good deal for their services. But the campground off Forest Road 29 in the small village of Sappho, Washington is free for up to 14 days for the lucky few who get there in time… there are only three campsites!
The good news is, this location remains unknown to most, and some campers say they had the space entirely to themselves for nights on end.
An easy drive to the Bamforth National Wildlife Refuge, Curt Gowdy State Park, Medicine Bow-Routt National Forest and so many other destinations, Laramie, Wyoming is a great spot to set up camp while you’re wandering around the mountain west — and if you’d like to do so for free, don’t miss the Lake Hattie Public Access Area. Clean, level campsites are available right along the Lake Hattie waterfront, giving you great access for boating, fishing, or just plain drinking in the view.
While nights are quiet and starry-skied, the campground can fill up during the daytime, when visitors use the area’s boat launch to take to the waters. Keep in mind also that this boondocking site is quite remote, so you definitely need to pack in all the things you need for your adventure… and pack them back out afterwards, of course!
Yellowstone National Park is the absolute tip-top of many RVers’ to-travel-to lists — and we certainly understand why. After all, this landscape is so stunning and special it inspired legislators at the time to name it the first national park not only in America, but in the entire world.
For years, scientists have known that the Mississippi River Delta, a region that includes most of south Louisiana and part of Mississippi, is sinking.
The region consists of a vast area of dams and levees that, when working, keep the Mississippi River from flooding into places it shouldn’t. Those same dams and levees also prevent the river from replenishing itself by dumping the sediment it’s naturally dumped into the delta for centuries.
This, combined with the oil and gas pumped out of the ground, is causing the area to subside into the Gulf of Mexico.
Why so swampy?
Louisiana’s wetlands comprise about 40% of the U.S.’s continental wetlands and include the largest contiguous wetland system in the lower 48 states.
The state’s wetlands include swamps and marshes. Swamps are areas that hold water and have woody vegetation. In many Louisiana swamps, Cypress (Taxodium spp.)
Where are the wetland you may ask?
The Louisiana Coastal Wetlands extend along 300 km of the coast of the Gulf of Mexico and reach as far as 130 km inland from the barrier islands to upland swamps.
The Pontchartrain Landing campsite, located just outside of New Orleans on Seabrook Harbor, has fully equipped RV campsites. Amenities at the campsite include electric and water hookups, Wi-Fi access, cable TV, showers, a laundry center and a boat ramp.
Yellow Cotton Bayside in Boothville has fully equipped cedar cabins for rent. These cabins come furnished and have free cable television.
Louisiana’s wetlands have defined its natural character and rich culture. Over the centuries, Louisiana has lost significant portions of it wetlands due to farming, development, oil and gas exploration and hurricanes.
Public and private preserves are working to protect and restore Louisiana’s wetlands. Remaining wetlands continue to attract tourists for birdwatching, nature exploration, photography, hunting, fishing and environmental education.
BELOW YOU WILL FIND THE MOST POPULAR WETLAND AREAS EACH DESERVING A HATS OFF IN THEIR OWN SPECIAL WAY!
The Terrebonne Basin
The Terrebonne Basin contains nearly 730,000 acres of marsh and swamp, including nearly 200 square miles of cypress forests. Visitors to the area enjoy hunting, fishing and birdwatching.
Cajun Man’s Swamp Tours and Adventures leads boat tours through Terrebonne Basin at Bayou Black. Tours embark from Gibson, located a few miles from Houma, and take passengers through cypress swamps, where they can see alligators, red-tail hawks and blue herons.
During fall and winter, visitors can see migratory birds, including bald eagles, geese and ducks. Tours cost around $25 for adults and $15 for children ages 2-11.
Plaquemines Parish has more than 1,500 square miles of water, including swamps, marshes and lakes.
The parish lies at the southernmost point in the state and attracts hordes of anglers casting for freshwater and saltwater fish. Freshwater species include catfish, largemouth bass, crappie, bluegill and sunfish.
April through June are the best months to fish in Plaquemines Parish.
Located 25 miles west of New Orleans, the Maurepas Swamp Wildlife Management Area encompasses nearly 100 square miles. Most of the refuge consists of cypress swampland, home to white-tailed deer, alligators, raccoons, nutria and rabbits.
The park’s waters provide a habitat for crappie, largemouth bass and perch. From late autumn to early spring, the refuge also hosts bald eagles.
Louisiana Lost Lands Environmental Tours conduct kayak tours through the Maurepas swamps.
Tours begin in New Orleans with a presentation about Louisiana’s threatened wetlands. Afterwards, passengers travel to Maurepas, where they paddle through the swamps for about 3-4 hours. Tours cost around $95-175 per person, depending on group size.
The Atchafalaya Basin, America’s largest swamp, is located 30 miles northeast of Lafayette.
Each year, commercial fishers harvest more than 20 million pounds of crawfish from the area, which also is home to roseate spoonbills, alligators and water moccasins.
Atchafalaya Basin Landing and Marina in Henderson offers airboat tours of the swampland seven days per week. Tours cost around $50 for adults and $35 for kids five years of age and younger.
Jean Lafitte National Park and Preserve: Barataria Preserve
The Barataria Preserve, located 25 minutes south of New Orleans, encompasses 36 square miles of wetlands that are home to hundreds of bird species, wildflowers and alligators.
The park offers a cellphone tour, which guides visitors along trails and boardwalks.
Jean Lafitte Swamp Tours conducts pontoon boat tours of the preserve, which run just under two hours. Tours start at around $29 for adults and $12 for kids 3-12 years of age.
Pearl River Wildlife Area
Located just a few miles from Slidell, the Pearl River Wildlife Management Area is home to wild boars, turkeys, minks, bobcats, nutria and deer. The preserve covers more than 30,000 acres and is a nesting ground for golden and bald eagles.
The park allows fishing, boating and canoeing in its ponds, streams and bayous and has several boat ramps.
Dr. Wagner’s Honey Island Swamp Tours offers boat tours of the preserve for around $25 for adults and $15 for children.
Located just outside New Orleans, Bayou Sauvage National Wildlife Refuge is a habitat for hundreds of bird species.
The area sits behind levees designed to withstand hurricanes, which helps to protect the marshland and the animals that make their home in the refuge.
The refuge allows sport fishing, for species such as catfish, crappie, largemouth bass and bluegill.
White Lake Wetlands Conservations Area
White Lake Wetlands Conservations Area is located in Vermilion Parish, about one hour southwest of Lafayette. About 80 square miles of marshland occupy the preserve, which is home to a large population of black-crowned herons and other bird species.
The park also is home to a flock of the endangered whooping crane.
White Lake Wetlands is open year round and has a 2-mile trail that meanders through the bird sanctuary.
Biloxi State Wildlife Management Area
Situated between the Chandeleur Sound and Lake Borgne, the Biloxi State Wildlife Management Area is home to waterfowl, fish, crabs and shrimp.
The park lies 40 miles east of New Orleans on 36,000 acres of sloughs and bayous, covered with widgeon grass, black rush and salt grass.
The park is a popular spot for commercial and sport fishing, as well as hunting. Wildlife in the area include snipe, ducks, rabbits and deer, and the area’s waters are home to crabs, shrimp, flounder, redfish and speckled trout.
Bogue Chitto National Wildlife Refuge
The Bogue Chitto National Wildlife Refuge encompasses 57 acres of sloughs, lakes, swamps and bayous along the Louisiana-Mississippi state line. The topography of the park changes throughout the year, as the river floods and subsides with the seasons.
Bogue Chitto provides a habitat for an abundance of wildlife, including alligators, swallow-tailed kites, gopher tortoises and ringed-sawbacked turtles. The park is also home to the Gulf sturgeon, an imposing-looking fish that can grow up to nine feet long.
Sturgeon can live in fresh and salt water and are on the federal endangered species list. The park allows hunting and fishing, and has a limited number of areas designated for primitive camping.
Louisiana is divided into east and west alligator hunting zones. The east zone opens the last Wednesday of August; the west zone opens the first Wednesday in September.
Each zone remains open for 60 days from the opening date. An alligator hunter must posses alligator CITES tags to harvest alligators. These tags are issued by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries on property containing sufficient alligator habitat capable of sustaining an alligator harvest.
Alligator hunters apply for alligator tags prior to the season.
People not possessing or having permission to hunt alligators on property can harvest alligators as an alligator sport hunter while accompanied by a guide. A guide must be an alligator hunter possessing tags.
Alligator Sport Hunter License cost $25 for Louisiana residents and $150 for non-residents. Below is a list of potential guides for alligator sport hunters.
Louisiana serves up a lot more memorable experiences than just bowls of its famed gumbo.
To experience an indelible part of the state’s past, present and future, visit the mysterious and exquisite swamps throughout south Louisiana, home to one of the planet’s richest and most diverse ecosystems.
Perceived as beautiful and menacing, south Louisiana’s ancient swamps have long captivated writers, historians and travelers.
Airboat, kayak or cruise through some of the country’s most fascinating landscapes on a guided swamp tour.
Modern-day explorers still have an intense curiosity about the beauty found in Louisiana swamps—the untouched nature and groves of gnarled cypress trees dripping with lush Spanish moss.
Voyagers encounter indigenous critters such as alligators peering just above the waters and hundreds of species of birds, and hear colorful lore about pirates and other inhabitants of the vast, winding waterways.
One of the best ways to experience the intricate network of Louisiana’s scenic swamps is by hopping on a guided tour.
And the ways to get up close and personal with the wildlife are as varied as swamp life itself. Airboats, kayaks, tour boats accommodate sightseers’ desire to explore the swamp.
Embark on a paddle through our swamps, rivers and bayous with the team at New Orleans Kayak Swamp Tours.
You’re sure to see plenty of wildlife as you kayak among the moss-draped cypress trees during your exploration.
First time paddling? Don’t worry, most of the tours are beginner-level to ensure fun for the entire family.
Atchafalaya Basin Landing & Marina, located in Henderson, offers airboat trips at the gateway to the expansive Atchafalaya wilderness, America’s largest river swamp—perfect for photographers, birders or anyone wanting an unforgettable glimpse into swamp life.
Licensed captains who live on the water narrate these exhilarating swamp tours.
The 108-square-mile Honey Island Swamp, a wild and pristine river swamp, has breathtaking scenery and its flora and fauna include alligator, deer, turtles and sweet-smelling azaleas.
The people living in southern Louisiana must grapple with two kinds of natural disasters: the slow ones, such as coastal erosion, that chip away at the state over years, and the fast ones, such as hurricanes, that destroy homes and engulf chunks of land in a matter of hours.
Great boat tours through Terrebonne Basin at Bayou Black. Tours embark from Gibson, located a few miles from Houma, and take passengers through cypress swamps, where they can see alligators, red-tail hawks and blue herons. During fall and winter, visitors can see migratory birds, including bald eagles, geese and ducks. Tours cost around $25 for adults and $15 for children ages 2-11.
Plaquemines Parish has more than 1,500 square miles of water, including swamps, marshes and lakes.
The parish lies at the southernmost point in the state and attracts hordes of anglers casting for freshwater and saltwater fish. Freshwater species include catfish, largemouth bass, crappie, bluegill and sunfish. April through June are the best months to fish in Plaquemines Parish.
Blaize Charters guides anglers to fishing spots in local lakes and ponds, along the Mississippi River, around oilrigs and along oyster reefs. Blaize’s all-inclusive packages include meals, lodging, charter services and fishing gear, starting at around $550 per person, per day.
Maurepas Swamp Wildlife Management Area
Located 25 miles west of New Orleans, the Maurepas Swamp Wildlife Management Area encompasses nearly 100 square miles. Most of the refuge consists of cypress swampland, home to white-tailed deer, alligators, raccoons, nutria and rabbits. The park’s waters provide a habitat for crappie, largemouth bass and perch. From late autumn to early spring, the refuge also hosts bald eagles.
Louisiana Lost Lands Environmental Tours – conduct kayak tours through the Maurepas swamps. Tours begin in New Orleans with a presentation about Louisiana’s threatened wetlands. Afterwards, passengers travel to Maurepas, where they paddle through the swamps for about 3-4 hours. Tours cost around $95-175 per person, depending on group size.
The Atchafalaya Basin, America’s largest swamp, is located 30 miles northeast of Lafayette. Each year, commercial fishers harvest more than 20 million pounds of crawfish from the area, which also is home to roseate spoonbills, alligators and water moccasins.
Atchafalaya Basin Landing and Marina in Henderson offers airboat tours of the swampland seven days per week. Tours cost around $50 for adults and $35 for kids five years of age and younger.
Jean Lafitte National Park and Preserve: Barataria Preserve
The Barataria Preserve, located 25 minutes south of New Orleans, encompasses 36 square miles of wetlands that are home to hundreds of bird species, wildflowers and alligators. The park offers a cellphone tour, which guides visitors along trails and boardwalks.
Jean Lafitte Swamp Tours – conducts pontoon boat tours of the preserve, which run just under two hours. Tours start at around $29 for adults and $12 for kids 3-12 years of age.
Pearl River Wildlife Management Area
Located just a few miles from Slidell, the Pearl River Wildlife Management Area is home to wild boars, turkeys, minks, bobcats, nutria and deer. The preserve covers more than 30,000 acres and is a nesting ground for golden and bald eagles. The park allows fishing, boating and canoeing in its ponds, streams and bayous and has several boat ramps.
Located just outside New Orleans, Bayou Sauvage National Wildlife Refuge is a habitat for hundreds of bird species. The area sits behind levees designed to withstand hurricanes, which helps to protect the marshland and the animals that make their home in the refuge.
White Lake Wetlands Conservations Area is located in Vermilion Parish, about one hour southwest of Lafayette. About 80 square miles of marshland occupy the preserve, which is home to a large population of black-crowned herons and other bird species. The park also is home to a flock of the endangered whooping crane.
Situated between the Chandeleur Sound and Lake Borgne, the Biloxi State Wildlife Management Area is home to waterfowl, fish, crabs and shrimp. The park lies 40 miles east of New Orleans on 36,000 acres of sloughs and bayous, covered with widgeon grass, black rush and salt grass.
The park is a popular spot for commercial and sport fishing, as well as hunting. Wildlife in the area include snipe, ducks, rabbits and deer, and the area’s waters are home to crabs, shrimp, flounder, redfish and speckled trout.
The Bogue Chitto National Wildlife Refuge encompasses 57 acres of sloughs, lakes, swamps and bayous along the Louisiana-Mississippi state line. The topography of the park changes throughout the year, as the river floods and subsides with the seasons.
Bogue Chitto provides a habitat for an abundance of wildlife, including alligators, swallow-tailed kites, gopher tortoises and ringed-sawbacked turtles. The park is also home to the Gulf sturgeon, an imposing-looking fish that can grow up to nine feet long. Sturgeon can live in fresh and salt water and are on the federal endangered species list. The park allows hunting and fishing, and has a limited number of areas designated for primitive camping.
This predominantly agricultural town also has a small industrial economic base but despite archaeological evidence that indicates civilization in Buñol goes back over 50,000 years, the town itself has limited historical sights although it’s charm and unique structures make it worth a visit.
The Parque de San Luis is a fantastic place to spend some time in the western section of town.
The views of the river are spectacular, and it is the perfect place for a picnic lunch or an afternoon siesta. There is a decorative chapel nearby, as well as the open-air auditorium, Auditorio Municipal San Luis.
This auditorium is tucked into the trees, so that the natural setting adds to the ambiance of all the events.
The Castillo de Buñol is full of history and it can be found in the center of town on a hill between the Borrunes ravine and a moat. The castle was constructed during the 13th century and there are now two museums on the grounds.
The walk along the Buñol River from the park will eventually see you reach Cueva Turche.
This cave is unique and interesting to explore, and many locals enjoy bathing in the water of the river pool. Get thrown back in history with the gentle splashing of of a beautiful waterfall.
The nearest airport and the cheapest airport to Buñol is Valencia (VLC) Airport which is 28.2 km away. Other nearby airports include Alicante (ALC) (127.5 km), Ibiza (IBZ) (195.7 km), Madrid (MAD) (267 km) and Palma Mallorca (PMI) (302.5 km).
Bring out your inner child, La Tomatina is known as the world’s largest food fight. This is when massive crowds of people throw hundreds of thousands of pounds of tomatoes at each other.
The event draws visitors from across the globe, often quadrupling the local population of around 9,000. Held on the last Wednesday of August every year in Bunol. It’s been a local tradition for nearly 80 years, and while it lasts for only an hour, it’s something you’ll never forget.
This popular festival began by accident on the last Wednesday in August in 1945 during a parade in People’s Square.
There was a parade taking place with musicians, giants, and large heads, and a few youngsters made one of the participants fall, hitting everything that got in his way.
The crowd became angry and began throwing tomatoes that they found on a nearby vegetable stand.
If you are still confused, La Tomatina (Spanish pronunciation: [la tomaˈtina]) is basically the most ridiculous, obnoxious, insane, activity you may ever experience.
You’ll need to get up early & do some waiting around before the La Tomatina festival begins
If you’re feeling at all nervous like we were about getting thrown into the craziest festival you’ve ever been to with thousands of hyped up strangers – then it might be a good idea to chug back a sangria or two.
Leave your good stuff at home but definitely find a way to take a camera.
Take it all in, every moment!
This crazy food fight is insane (the biggest on the planet), highly questionable in terms of hygiene, but incredible fun. Make sure you drink it all in (not literally) and just live for the moment from the second you hop off the bus to the second you step back on it.
It’s a blur of red, and a cacophony of noise. Tomatoes are flying everywhere, you’re crushing them in your hands for safety reasons and firing at the nearest target.
Let the tomato obsessed Buñol locals rinse you off
You’ll start as clean as a whistle and by the end of the festival you’ll look like you’ve surfaced from the red lagoon – especially if you found the heart of the action like we did.
The port city of Valencia lies on Spain’s southeastern coast, where the Turia River meets the Mediterranean Sea. It’s known for its City of Arts and Sciences, with futuristic structures including a planetarium, an oceanarium and an interactive museum.
Valencia also has several beaches, including some within nearby Albufera Park, a wetlands reserve with a lake and walking trails.
Though probably most famous for its ultra-modern City of Arts and Sciences, Valenciais a treasure trove for lovers of old and new architecture. It has remains of both its Roman foundations and its Moorish history to explore.
Yes, Valencia is worth visiting for at least 2 nights. One day you can see the City of Arts and Sciences, and the other day you can see the sights such as the Cathedral. Read Best Sights of Valencia in TA.
Valencia is a Mediterranean city and it gets its share of petty crime. However, violence is extremely rare in Valencia. Generally, Valencia is a very safe city, surprisingly so – for its size.
Paella. One of the most well-known Spanish dishes on the Iberian Peninsula and beyond, paella has its roots in Valencia. …
Fideuà Paella’s seafood-and-noodles cousin has its origins as a humble fisherman’s dish. …
All i pebre. …
Arròs a banda is a dish of rice cooked in fish stock, typical of the coastal area of Alicante, Spain, and distinct from the paella of Valencia. It is popular up to Garraf, Barcelona and down to Murcia.
Arròs a banda. …
Arròs a banda is a dish of rice cooked in fish stock, typical of the coastal area of Alicante, Spain, and distinct from the paella of Valencia. It is popular up to Garraf, Barcelona and down to Murcia.
Esgarraet is a typical dish from the Valencian community in Spain. It consists of grilled red pepper salad, cured cod, garlic, olive oil and sometimes black olives. The name derives from the preparation technique that requires to rip both the peppers and the fish in fine strips. Wikipedia
A buñuelo is a fried dough fritter found in Southwest Europe, Latin America, and parts of Africa and Asia
Horchata and fartons. …
Horchata (called ‘Orxata’ in Valencian language) is a popular soft drink from Valencia and fartons is a kind of bread, together are so good. Horchata is made from ‘chufa’ (it’s a root). Note horchata from Valencia is not the same as in Mexico (made from rice). …
Turrón, or torrone, is a southern European nougat confection, typically made of honey, sugar, and egg white, with toasted almonds or other nuts, and usually shaped into either a rectangular tablet or a round cake.
Castellano is Spain’s main language and the principle tongue in Valencia. It is advisable to learn what you can before you arrive as, although more Valencians speak English than English people speak Spanish, few have enough English to hold a proper conversation and you certainly cannot rely on them to get you by.
Loved Valencia and definitely found it cheaper than where we live in Dallas, Texas. Much cheaper than where we often stay in Mallorca but more expensive than other parts of Spain. It was possible to eat well for a reasonable price. Transport is affordable too.
Gandia, which is located in the province of Valencia, has a coastline which is longer than 7 kilometres and 700,000m2 of beach. The little city is known for its excellent climate, wide beaches and delicious paella dishes, of which fideuà is the most typical for Gandia.
It’s a summer destination loved by many, also by Spanish tourists. The beaches are of high quality which has been recognised by several certificates like the famous Blue Flag. Besides the big amount of space, you will also find many services and activities without any problem.
In Gandia you have the luxury to choose among 4 beaches, and other water activities that are perfect for enjoying the sunny weather. Below you will find information about the 4 beaches and our recommendations!
La Playa Norte is the most important beach of Gandia, since it probably has the most facilities and services. It is a lovely, big beach which is more than 3 kilometres long and 150 metres wide. Along the whole length of the beach you will also find a beautiful promenade.
Most of the tourists stay close to this beach in Hotels, and Vacation Rentals
The golden sand is perfect for both sun bathing and being active. The quality of this clean beach and water have been rewarded with a Blue Flag. You can find areas for, for example, beach volleyball and lots of activities like aerobic during summer.
This is also the perfect beach for doing activities and sports in the water. For kids you can find play grounds and animation programs, while for grown-ups there are nice chiringuitos (beach bars) to have a refreshing drink on a warm summer day. Besides all this, the beach is also perfectly accessible in a wheelchair. So basically, this beach is great for everybody!
Playa de l’Ahuir – Swim Naked Here With Your Pets
This beach is the most northern one of Gandia, it’s located between the urban part and the Vaca river.
It is very spacious and its sand is in perfect condition. The beach is more than 3 kilometres long and alongside the whole length you will find beautiful dunes. At the beginning of the beach you can find a surf school, in this school you can also rent kayaks, catamarans and more equipment for water activities.
A little bit of beach for nudists
On the northern side of La Playa de l’Ahuir you can find a separated part where nudists are allowed to stay. Since a couple of years there are also beach watchers on this part of the beach.
Playa Can, a beach where your dog also can have a great time
Playa Can is a part of the Playa de l’Ahuir that has been adapted for your pets. This is the perfect place to enjoy the beach and the sea together with your dog!
Playa de Venecia: small but lovely…
This sand beach is located on the southern side of the harbour and the Club Náutico of Gandia. It’s a quiet, little beach with a length of 330 metres and it is just 50 metres wide. Even though it is smaller, all the facilities for a nice beach day with the whole family are present.
This is the place where the Serpis River flows into the sea and the beach is surrounded by dunes with green vegetation, which gives a pleasant feeling of being outdoors and relaxation. There is also a breakwater to defend the beach against the northern wind.
Playa Rafalcaid: an Excellent Beach for Kite Surfing
This golden, sand beach is located on the southern side of the river mouth of the Serpis, and is also surrounded by dunes with Mediterranean vegetation.
You can also find some old and more recently constructed fisherman houses, which make this beach more attractive and picturesque.
The Harbor Area
In the southern part of the Playa Norte you can find the harbour, for small boats and yachts, or the “real Club Náutico”. After the harbour of Valencia this is the most important one the autonomous community Valencia, and it has room for about 400 boats.
On warm summer nights there is great atmosphere. Besides this, it is nice to go to the promenade which leads to the lighthouse or “faro”, from where you have an amazing view over the coastline of Gandia and you can see the boats entering the harbour. Between 4:30PM and 5:30PM the fishermen enter. We also definitely recommend you to visit the “Grao de Gandia”, there you can find the authentic fisher- and beach neighbourhoods.
Playa Varadero, it might not be a real Beach, but you will Have Fun!
Are you not a person who likes going to the beach every day? Then do not worry. The Valencian people like to be elegant and they love to enjoy the Mediterranean climate in style. Playa Varadero is called beach, but it is more like a big sun porch, and thanks to its location, facing the south, it can be used all year around.
Both during the days and at night you can relax at this sun porch in the harbour. You can either take it easy in a sun bed, have a drink in the chiringuito (beach bar), or you can even take sailing classes!
A UNIQUE, AFFORDABLE FAMILY VACATION DESTINATION, GREAT FOR FAMILIES OR ROMANTIC WEEKEND GETAWAYS
Eureka Springs was founded on July 4, 1879 and named by the Indians that lived around the area believing the springs had healing powers. Dr. Alvah Jackson had come across the Basin Spring in 1856. He sold Dr. Jackson’s Eye Water” that he collected from the springs, claiming it had restored site to his son’s life long vision ailment. The rumors of the healing waters spread rapidly.
The population exploded with shanties developed rapidly. Many more healing springs were found running from the side of the mountain and the wealthy built lavish properties within feet of the flowing springs.
Consequently, the poor people lived up on the hills and looked down on the wealthy!In 1882 Investors gathered rapidly in hopes of instant success and poured what would be millions today into resorts, hotels, and cottages.
Most people think of New England when they picture the breathtaking colors of fall, but the Midwest region of the country offers a surprising number of amazing fall foliage getaways too, including these especially stunning options.
Eureka Springs, Arkansas
Some of the best views of fall color can be found in the Arkansas Ozarks, with the little mountain town of Eureka Springs considered one of the primary spots.
Soak up the views from places like Inspiration Point and Lover’s Leap, and enjoy all sorts of fun in town, with the streets lined with restaurants, gift shops and galleries.
Tiny parks also protect natural springs, hence the town’s name, while spas echo its history as a mecca for healing.
Every now and then you need a break. A time for you, a time to reflect, a time to experience. Eureka Springs, Arkansas is the place that beckons your soul and renews your spirit.
We invite you to bask in our natural beauty and share in our timeless treasures. A Victorian secret hidden amid the rolling Ozark mountains, Eureka Springs is cradled between two mountains of lush, hardwood forests.
We’re not your average tourist town, we’re the experience for your senses you’ve been seeking.
Eureka Springs is closer to major airports than many destinations you may choose. Isn’t it time for you to go beyond a destination and choose a journey instead? Eureka Springs, Arkansas is that journey.
Famous for its world-class trout fishing, Bull Shoals–White River State Park lies along the shores of both Bull Shoals Lake and the White River.
The scope of the park can first be experienced from the 15,744-square-foot visitor center set high above the Bull Shoals Dam. Its state-of-the-art visitor exhibit hall and theater share the history of the area and tell the fishing stories from these waters.
Venturing down into the park along the White River, visitors are greeted with 113 campsites (63 class AAA, 30 Class B, and 20 tent sites with no hook ups) plus three Rent-An-RV sites.
The riverside marina and store offer boat rentals, bait, tackle, and supplies. Besides being the state’s premier park for trout fishing, the park also offers great hiking and mountain biking.
Interpretive programs include campfire-cooking demonstrations, trout fishing workshops, and nature walks.
The Crescent Hotel and Spa is a landmark offering a travel back in time with amenities of today.
Much more than just a place to stay!
Located in downtown Eureka Springs, this spa hotel is a 10-minute drive from Holiday Island Golf Course. Known for being a haunted hotel.
It features an outdoor pool and rooms with free Wi-Fi.
New Moon Spa offers massage and body treatment services.
A daily breakfast buffet is served, Fine dining is prepared at the Crystal Dining Room Restaurant and Doctor Baker’s Bistro. In the evening. Cocktails and live music is offered at the Sky Bar.
Couples particularly like the location — they rated it 9.0 for a two-person trip.
Celebrating over 130 years on a hilltop overlooking the city, this historic hotel provides day visitors and overnight guests with activities ranging from full moon yoga to spooky haunted tours, as well as great places to eat, socialize, and indulge in spa treatments.
Gourmet pizza is served on the hotel’s balcony, with great views overlooking the Ozark landscape.
Extraordinary Beauty and a Rich Cultural Experience
Visit the historic bluff shelter, now on the National Register of Historic Places. Walk on ground that nurtured the Cherokee people during the Trail of Tears.
Connect with the natural beauty of our many native gardens. See the power and wonder of Blue Spring, pouring 38 million gallons of cold, clear water each day into its trout-filled lagoon.
Come discover the land of blue skies and laughing waters
Each day, 38 million gallons of water pours from the center of Blue Spring into its trout-filled lagoon. The lagoon overflows into the White River, replenishing the area with some of the purest water in the region according to a recent study.
In 1993, 33 acres were transformed into the Eureka Springs Gardens. And in, 2003, the rich history of the land was blended with the beauty of the Gardens to become the Blue Spring Heritage Center.
Artifacts, old photos, a new historic film spanning the significance of the Blue Spring site, and the walkways through the natural world all await visitors.
CAMPING AND CAMPGROUNDS IN EUREKA SPRINGS, ARKANSAS
Campsite Map / Eureka Springs
(Upper Buffalo Wilderness to Carver) The upper or western end of the park includes 5 campgrounds. Fees for sites in four of these developed campgrounds are $16 – $20 per site per night with 6 people permitted on each site. Camping fees are charged during the season (March 15 through November 14) when water is available. Camping fees are not charged November 15 through March 14 when flush restrooms and water systems are shutdown.
Steel Creek Campground is about 3 miles east of Ponca, Arkansas, off of Highway 74. The tent campground has 26 campsites and the horse campground has 14 sites. All sites are $20 per site, per night. Each site has a picnic table, fire ring, and lantern hook provided. The campground is open year round on a first come, first served basis and starting in 2019 reservations will be available March 15 – November 14 for tent sites 1 – 13 and horse sites 27 – 32. The flush restroom and water system in the tent campground and at the Steel Creek launch will be closed November 15 to March 14 and no fees are charged during this time. The vault toilet in the tent campground will be open but with very limited servicing during the winter. Trash pick up provided. No RVs allowed. GPS Coordinates: 36.0407758, -93.3440483
Kyles Landing Campground is about half way between Ponca and Jasper, Arkansas, off of Highway 74. The entrance road into Kyles is gravel and very rough, so a 4 wheel drive, high clearance vehicle is recommended. The campground has 33 sites and is open year round on a first come, first served basis. All sites are $20 per night. Each site has a picnic table, fire ring, and lantern hook provided. Trash pick-up provided. The water system and flush restroom will be closed November 15 to March 14 and no fees are charged during this time. The vault toilet will be open with limited or no servicing during the winter. No RVs allowed. GPS Coordinates: 36.0557563, -93.2812997
Erbie Campground is located 7 miles down a gravel road off of Hwy. 7 north of Jasper, AR. The campground has 14 drive-in campsites and 2 walk-in campsites, each with a picnic table, fire ring, and lantern hook. The drive-in sites are suitable for RV or tent camping but the campground has no hookups, no running water, and no dump station. All sites are available on a first come, first served basis. There is a vault toilet at the boat launch. This is a pack in/pack out facility with no trash service provided. Five group sites are available. Group sites #1 and #5 are first-come, first served, while sites 2, 3, and 4 can be reserved by calling the Tyler Bend Visitor Center at (870) 439-2502. No fees are charged. GPS Coordinates: 36.0734394, -93.2177326
Erbie Horse Camp is located 7 miles east of Compton and is reached via gravel and dirt roads and is north of the Buffalo River. Open year-round, no water available, vault toilet with limited or no servicing. This is a pack in/pack out facility with no trash service provided. Use is limited to those with horses only on a first come, first served basis. Campsites allow a maximum of 6 persons and 4 horses per site. No fees charged. GPS Coordinates: 36.0800929, -93.2342205
Ozark Campground is located 3 miles down a graded gravel road off of Highway 7 north of Jasper, Arkansas. The campground is open year round and has 31 campsites available on a first come, first served basis. All sites are $20 per night. Each site has a picnic table, fire ring, and lantern hook provided. The flush restroom is closed November 15 to March 14 and no fees are charged during this time. A vault toilet will be available throughout the winter. Trash pick-up provided. RVs allowed, but the campground has no hookups and no dump station. GPS Coordinates:36.0621317,-93.1597244
Carver Campground is located near the bridge crossing the Buffalo River along Hwy 123. The campground has 8 campsites and is open year round on a first come, first served basis. All sites are $16 per night. Each site has a picnic table, fire ring, and lantern hook provided. Drinking water and a vault restroom is available. Fees are not charged November 15 to March 14. This is a pack in/pack out facility with no trash service provided.
GPS Coordinates: 35.98518232 -93.03818673
The majestic forests and hills and hundredes of miles of paved roads surrounding Eureka Springs make northwest arkansas a motorcycle enthusiests dream.
The Pig Trail was recently voted one of the top ten motorcycle rides in America! Eureka Springs is a biker’s paradise! Many of our hotels offer Motorcycle Packages and Specials to make your stay perfect.
Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge is one of the largest big cat sanctuaries in the United States. The non-profit USDA licensed refuge, founded in 1992, has grown to become one of the Top 10 attractions in Arkansas and the most popular in Eureka Springs. Lions, cougars, leopards, tigers, and bears are displayed in large natural habitats surrounding the main enclosures and gift shop.
Each animal has its own story/history plaque for self-guided tours and over night accommodations are available via the Safari Lodge, RV park, and camping facilities.
Guided tours are available from 10am until 4pm (Summer) or 3pm (Winter). The refuge is open year round (except Christmas Day) from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m..”
Spotted Lake during the summer, most of the water evaporates from the lake, leaving the vibrant spots of minerals. The lake bottom round the spots dry and harden forming natural paths throughout the lake.
The colours of spots amendment with the time of day and seasons.
The most predominate mineral found within the spots is magnesium salt. There are masses of Ca and metallic element sulphates too. Scientists have identified eight alternative minerals gift in some of the spots.
The land used to belong to the family of Ernest Smith but when a few years of bargaining, the First Nations tribe was able to purchase the land. is to preserve it as a sacred healing place.
Spotted Lake currently what I wish to grasp is, has Big foot ever been quick-sighted around the lake area? Canadian province could be a hotbed of huge foot sightings; therefore I was thinking it’d be so cool for somebody to seek out his or her tracks within the areas round the healing spots. Perhaps sooner or later.
It also contains extraordinarily high concentrations of eight alternative minerals as well as some little doses of 4 others like silver and atomic number 22. Most of the water in the lake evaporates summer days and leaves, all the minerals behind. Large “spots” on the lake seem and relying on the mineral composition at the time, the spots will be totally different colors.
The spots are created principally of atomic number 12 salt, which can only seen in the months summer. In the summer only the minerals within the lake stay, create natural “walkways “after being hard on the surface around and between the spots.
Originally known to the 1st Nations of the Okanagan depression as Khiluk, they considered it a sacred web site, primarily as they regarded the lake’s waters as Possessing therapeutic value. The lake’s minerals were also place to use in the manufacture of ammunition for warfare.
Osoyoos is located at the southern end of the Okanagan Valley in British Columbia, butting up against the US border.
Given its population of only 4,845 people, it is quite possible that you haven’t even heard of Osoyoos, British Columbia.
“Canada’s Warmest Welcome”,is the town motto, which is clever because it suggests that it is home to some of the warmest average temperatures in Canada (which it is) and that it claims to have the best customer service in Canada.
Osoyoos Lake is divided into northern and southern portions, divided by what the Okanagan First Nations people called S’oo-yoos, which means The Narrows. Here, a dam of sticks called a weir was used to catch salmon running north through the lake.
Do you love horses? Then you should definitely make an appointment to go for horse riding in the beautiful hills of Osoyoos.
Sun Hills Riding Center, located on the foot of the hills is one of the several centers offering this service. This is a wonderful family activity that you can enjoy as a family and spent time together exploring the picturesque scenery.
Climb the hills on horseback as you admire the beautiful creations of God.
You can also opt to visit Indian Grove Riding Stables. This is a good spot offering the horseback riding services too.
Osoyoos Golf Club is a well-established golf course located in the hillside of Osoyoos town.
The golf course features two elaborate 18-hole courses offering a great and satisfying golf experience. This is the perfect place to spend time with your family over your vacation because you will get the opportunity to participate in various different levels of play.
Other beautiful social attractions you will find nearby include the Park Meadow and Desert Gold where you can have fun and enjoy yourselves.
In case you need to grab something to eat or drink, just head to the Greenside Bar and Grill and eat outdoors on the patios overlooking the course.
Are you and your family looking for fun activities that you can do together? Then your vacation is bound to get even more exciting.
Pack your hiking gear without forgetting a camera and head to the Golden Mile Stamp Mill Trail. This is a picturesque nature trail that is located north of Osoyoos and southwest of Oliver British Columbia.
At the site, there is a wine shop where you can park your car before you embark on a thrilling hiking experience.
Traverse through the beautiful vineyards as you go uphill up to the plateau ahead. Make sure to visit the Stamp Mill ruins.
When it comes to planning a trip outdoors, camping offers some of the most affordable options.
Not only that, but you’re closer to nature from the moment you wake up to when you crash, of course after a hearty campfire with some s’mores.
Camping is proven to have an impact on reducing stress and contributes to emotional and physical health (depending on how many s’mores you’re eating, of course).
Some campers joke that stress can be caused by not camping enough. Who wouldn’t want to camp when it offers an opportunity to be entrenched in nature with easy access and more time to be able to explore.
Nowadays, more and more people are expressing interest in camping in all of its forms – from back-country to adventure camping and, of course, glamping.
ENJOY THE DRIVE WITH FLEXIBILITY RENT A CAMPER AT DEVIL’S DEN
South Dakota can’t seem to get a bad rap. you can’t get a rap if you suffer from non-recognization, if recognition we’re a liquid no one would care because it’s South Dakota. it’s a state where everybody thinks folks commune with cows and don’t know what an internet is. this is actually a good thing. here you will find one of the most beautiful. affordable, relaxing family vacation spots in America.
It’s also one of the most underrated states period, and you need only to visit the west side of the state’s Black Hills for proof.
The name “Black Hills” is a translation of the Lakota Pahá Sápa. The hills were so-called because of their dark appearance from a distance.
Deadwood offers the chance to relive the days of the Wild West. One of the most famous Old West towns, thanks to the HBO series with the same name, this gold rush town was certainly the real deal.
Thousands arrived in the 1870s, seeking to strike it rich or to make money off those who did, including the legendary Wild Bill Hickok who was shot in the back by Jack McCall during a poker game in the summer of ’76.
While the return of legalized gambling in 1989 transformed the town into a popular tourist destination, it still offers a number of historic attractions.
Tour the lavish Adams House, a Queen Anne-style mansion, view interesting exhibits at Adams Museum, pan for gold at the Lost Boot Mine and even watch a good ‘ol fashioned shootout, with a cast of talented entertainers reenacting the historic events on Main Street throughout the summer each year.
The third-longest cave in the world, with 173 miles of explored passageways, offers a variety of tours, allowing you to go below the surface, as well as featuring a 1,279-acre park with nature trails above ground.
Hell Canyon Trail, a 5.3-mile trek, will bring you to limestone cliffs with amazing views of the canyon and surrounding area.
The underground environment showcases brilliant color and fragile rocks in an ecosystem that can’t be seen anywhere else. You’ll be mesmerized by its calcite crystals, stalagmites, stalactites, frostwork, boxwork, draperies, flowstone and hydromagnesite balloons.
SWIMMING IN THE BLACK HILLS SOUTH DAKOTA
Several areas of Spearfish Canyon’s base are potential fishing and swimming areas. This acclaimed canyon is home to Spearfish Creek, hugging alongside the canyon walls in the Black Hills National Forest, as well as a locally famous swimming hole, the Devil’s Bathtub.
The canyon is home to about 1,250 of South Dakota’s 1,585 plant species. Bobcats, porcupine, and mule deer have been spotted exploring the canyon sides during the summer seasons.
This is truly a spectacular place to be, and it gets better when you feel the crisp water for yourself. Visitors can both be found swimming in the creek waters during the peak summer season while they visit Mount Rushmore and other attractions.
There is no official sanction, no fee, and no readily-maintained facilities. Spearfish Canyon is outside the town of Spearfish and accessed through the Spearfish Canyon Scenic Byway.
Devil’s Bathtub In Spearfish Canyon
The Devil’s Bathtub in Spearfish Canyon necessitates a short hike, but it is well worth the trip for the swimming, amazing canyon scenery, and nearby waterfall leading to the swimming hole.
To get to it, head south on the Spearfish Canyon Scenic Byway from Spearfish.
Find a road sign for Cleopatra Place a few miles after Bridal Veil Falls. Park in a small gravel area before the bridge and follow the creek and trail down to Devil’s Bathtub, about a one-mile round trip.
A large picnic area and a clear water access point make Deerfield Lake one of the finest places to hit the water. Across 435 acres, you are bound to find a quiet swimming hole between the craggy rocks.
The Deerfield Lake Loop Trail encircles the lake at a total of 11.8 miles and connects to the North Shore, Gold Run, Custer Trail, and Hill Top Trailhead. The trail predominantly ventures through meadows and pines, offering a nice balance of open landscape and thick foliage.
Custer State Park
Across 71,000 acres of pristine natural land, Custer State Park has far more than one swimming locale with five lakes in the park.
Amazing hiking trails and picnic areas populate this extensive nature park. Swimming is allowed at any of the lakes.
Horsethief Lake is just outside Mount Rushmore. This spot is popularly-known for its stunning cliff side drops as well as some particularly enthusiastic cliff jumpers.
Use extreme precaution as the area is free-roaming and wide open for you to explore.
This swimming hole near Mount Rushmore is popular among locals and features a waterfall and incredible rock walls.
Cliff jumping is a popular activity here, but it should only be performed by those with experience.
It’s one of the top “hidden” destinations for swimming, picnicking, sunbathing and wildlife viewing.
The easiest way to access it is by hiking along Battle Creek from a small parking lot area off South Rockerville Road.
EVEN’S PLUNGE HOT SPRINGS
Evans Plunge is an indoor and outdoor natural spring-fed mineral water pool that stays at a pleasant 87 degrees.
Located in the small town of Hot Springs at the southern end of the Black Hills, it’s been one of the region’s most popular attractions for over 127 years.
It features a 164-foot indoor water slide, an aqua jet speed slide, kiddie slide and traveling rings. The facility also includes hot tubs, a sauna and steam room, as well as a gift shop and concessions.
MAMMOTH SITE HOT SPRINGS
The Mammoth Site, also located in Hot Springs, in an active paleontological dig site that’s home to the world’s largest concentration of mammoth remains.
Most of the fossils found here are from the North American Columbia mammoth, though evidence of three wooly mammoths have also been discovered, making this the only site where both species have been found together. Scientists estimate that over 100 mammoths accumulated here in this small area, with the animals found right where they died.
A wealth of other Ice Age animal fossils have been found in this now-dry 26,000-year-old sinkhole, including the giant short-faced bear, camel, wolf, llama, coyote and prairie dog. Admission includes an introduction video, a 30-minute guided tour and entrance to the Exhibit Hall which features full-size replicas of mammoths and a giant short-faced bear.
Spearfish Canyon is one of the most beautiful locations in the Black Hills – so stunning, in fact, that cinematographers chose it as the setting of the final scenes in “Dances with Wolves.”
One of its highlights is Roughlock Falls, which offers a picturesque place to enjoy a picnic or to cast your line.
There are also a number of hiking trails throughout the canyon, and in the fall, it’s an ideal place for photographers to capture the vibrant gold and red aspen leaves.
Reptile Gardens, Rapid City
Reptile Gardens holds the Guinness World Record for the largest reptile collection. It also features a spectacular botanical garden with 50,000 flowers as well as tropical birds and gorgeous minerals.
Be sure to bring your camera, as you may be able to get close enough to one of the three giant tortoises (Orville, Tank and Quazi) to take a great selfie. Up close and personal animal encounters are possible with one of the snakes, a baby gator and some of the other photogenic critters.
At Bewitched Village, an Old West ghost town, you can go gemstone and Arrowhead sluicing and more, and, visitors can also take in a variety of shows.
The Gator Show features crocs, caimans, and alligators, while the Exotic Bird Shows offer the chance for intimate interaction with a variety of exotic birds, including a falcon, macaw, parrot and owl.
Take a trip to Devils Tower, just over the border in Wyoming, which will make you kind of sympathize with Richard Dreyfuss in Close Encounters in all its weird, free-standing glory.
The name Devil’s Tower originated in 1875 during an expedition led by Colonel Richard Irving Dodge, when his interpreter reportedly misinterpreted a native name to mean “Bad God’s Tower“.
Why South Dakota Is the Most Underrated State in America
The words “South Dakota” don’t exactly conjure up images of an Instagrammable vacation the same way, say, the phrase “fruity drinks by a pool in Miami” does. No, your first thought of South Dakota is probably of a cold, windy prairie full of snow and yaks.
And that’s because the only time you’ve ever seen the state was probably while either speeding through it on a road trip to somewhere else or from above at 30,000ft.
Much more than just Mount Rushmore and the Badlands, South Dakota is the most scenic, mesmerizing, and dare we say, cosmopolitan place you know nothing about.
It’s Not North Dakota
Not that South Dakota’s neighbor to the north isn’t beautiful in its own right, but people tend to lump the two together and automatically assume it’s where that show Blood and Oil is set.
The people there define “Midwest nice”
Which states are in the Midwest?
You probably think that South Dakota is full of people with Coen-brothers accents who pack guns and wear cowboy hats? Well, you’re kind of right.
But damned if they’re not among the friendliest folks in the country.
Lost? They’ll be able to tell before you even ask, and will help you get where you’re going. Car spun out in the middle of nowhere because you absolutely had to drive 50 miles to the nearest Five Guys during a snowstorm?
Somebody’s going to give you a hand, also, they’ll do it with a smile. It’s just that kinda place.
Buffalo actually do roam… and they occasionally stampede
As cool as it was seeing that one bison moping around a paddock at your local zoo, that’s obviously not their natural habitat.
Their natural habitat is blocking your car and causing a traffic jam in the middle of nowhere.
Also, wandering the prairies of the American West. Visit in September during the governor’s annual Buffalo Round-Up and you can see entire herds rumbling through Custer State Park at terrifying speeds.
The Black Hills boasts the best scenery you didn’t know existed, picture hundreds of quartz formations with pristine rivers.
Hidden tropical waterfalls.
The tallest mountains between the Rockies and the Pyrenees.
Moon-like rock formations.
If you wake up early enough in South Dakota, you can see all of that in one day and still visit Mount Rushmore, if you time it right.
The Weather is Crazy
On a summer day in Spearfish, you might literally have a snowball fight in the morning before… temps hit the mid-80s by afternoon.
You’ll see thunderstorms that look like laser-light shows, hail the size of a St. Bernard’s head, and blizzards that would keepSanta away.
For weather nerds, there’s no better place to see it all… again, like the scenery, often in the same day.
South Dakota cooks exotic meat with amazing skills…
People in South Dakota know how to cook…
And every other local meat, offering diners a totally different culinary experience.
Wanna try said local game at two of the best restaurants in South Dakota? Head to Parker’s Bistroor M.B. Haskett in Sioux Falls, a city that is home to not only one of the 21 best bakeries in America but a downtown that’s exploded over the past few years with craft cocktail bars, a sculpture walk, and a waterfall park right in the middle of it all. Throw in TWO state-of-the-art, 8,000-13,000-seat arenas built for their hockey and basketball teams and this is by far best small city in America you haven’t been to. And only a short drive to the quartz-stone river gorge at Palisades State Park, which is amazing.
Italy’s got nothing on its sculptures
Did Michelangelo carve the faces of four people into the side of a friggin’ mountain?
Or sculpt anything using dynamite? No, and no. And nobody EVER has even attempted a sculpture on the scale of the Crazy Horse Memorial, inside the head of which you could fit all of MOUNT RUSHMORE.
If you’re alive in 2150 and happen to be driving by the finished version of this privately financed tribute to Native Americans, it will be the largest stone sculpture in the world.
It’s like a mind-blowing spectacular color changing living portrait.
Other-worldly peaks and valleys of the Grand Canyon, minus the busloads of tourists because of it’s distance to Vegas.
A sunrise here is a religious experience, if you’ve ever wanted to do one of those crazy vision quest things, this is the place to go.
One of the not-so-scenic drives, is the trip across I-90 between the Badlands and Sioux Falls. While the 80mph speed limit is nice, the roadside attractions are even better; they include the aforementioned Wall Drug.
A giant dinosaur statues.
A ghost town from the 1880s.
And the famous Corn Palace in Mitchell which, as the name might imply.
Located just 20 minutes from downtown Phoenix, Camelback Mountain is a Phoenix icon and popular outdoor destination for thousands of visiting hikers each year. It is also very popular with lovers, young and young at heart! Although the room rates can get a bit pricey, everything else in the area is quite reasonably priced to make for a great last minute trip or affordable family vacation.
SANCTUARY ON CAMELBACK MOUNTAIN, PARADISE VALLEY, ARIZONA
A LOVERS PARADISE
“Top 15 Resort Hotels in the West” – Travel + Leisure World’s Best 2020
“Top Resorts in The Southwest” Condé Nast Traveller Readers’ Choice Awards 2018
Experience relaxation and renewal among the stylish tranquility of Scottsdale’s finest luxury accommodations–Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain.
Retreat to ultimate comfort within a spacious casitas, suites or Sanctuary’s exclusive villas, each offering the most spectacular views of the famed Paradise Valley.
Refresh your spirit as you indulge in the award-winning cuisine of Food Network star and Executive Chef Beau MacMillan.
Relax your mind and reconnect at one of the top destination spas in the Continental U.S. and most award-winning luxury resorts in Scottsdale.
A luxury mountainside resort just outside of Scottsdale, the Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain is the ultimate desert sanctuary for couples who want to enjoy rest and relaxation.
An private bathroom with a hairdryer and bathrobes is provided.
Elements, the on-site restaurant offers breakfast, lunch and dinner prepared by Chef Beau MacMillan at Paradise Valley Sanctuary Camelback Mountain. Several bars, including edge, serve beer and cocktails each evening.
The Camelback Mountain Sanctuary spa offers indoor and outdoor treatment rooms. A fitness center with Pilates, meditation and Yoga classes is available.
Both Echo Canyon Trail and Cholla Trail are rated extremely difficult, challenging hikers with exposed rock, strenuous climbs and sections of hand-over-hand climbing. Dogs are prohibited at all Echo Canyon and Cholla Trail areas.
Echo Canyon Trail
Distance: 1.2 miles out-and-back
Trailhead: 4925 E McDonald Dr, Phoenix. This trailhead has restrooms, benches and water. The parking lot is busy and will typically remain full from early morning throughout the day on weekends
What to expect: This steep and rocky ascent requires assistance of handrails and climbing to reach the top, but the 360-degree views from the summit are worth it.
What to expect: Cholla Trail is a slightly longer and steadier climb than Echo Canyon, but that doesn’t mean it’s not tricky. Lower portions are easier to follow, but the last third of the climb is a challenging scramble over large boulders.
CAMPGROUNDS NEAR CAMELBACK MOUNTAIN
With A collection of family-friendly Camelback Mountain camping rentals, you and your kids will never have a dull moment! From the Children’s Museum of Phoenix to the Phoenix zoo, your little ones’ faces will light up with joy when you tell them the next fun activity you’ll be doing time and time again. If you and your family are up for a little adventure, spend the day hiking Camelback Mountain and take the best family picture ever at the peak. With a vacation to one of these family-friendly camping sites in Arizona, your loved ones are bound to talk about this vacation for years to come.
Ocean City is a resort town in the U.S. state of Maryland between the Atlantic Ocean and Isle of Wight Bay.
It features miles of beach and a wooden boardwalk lined with restaurants, shops and hotels.
At the boardwalk’s southern end, Trimper’s Rides has hosted theme-park attractions for decades.
The surrounding waters are active with kayaks and tour boats, some of which journey to popular Assateague Island nearby.
History & Heritage
From those first, brave settlers stepping off the Ark & Dove to the men and women in the control room of the Hubble Space Telescope who first peered so deep into the heavens, Maryland has always been a place where history is made.
General George Washington gave up his command of the Continental Army in Annapolis, cementing our fledgling democracy.
Francis Scott Key penned The Star-Spangled Banner, our national anthem, in Baltimore. Maryland was the starting point of The National Road and America’s first great railroad.
Maryland was the home of great leaders like Frederick Douglass and Harriet Tubman who led the drive for equality.
On Maryland soil, the crossroads of the Civil War, the North and South clashed in some of their most important battles. Come see where it happened; come to Maryland.
Near shore wreck fishing is a staple of the industry in Ocean City. Anglers on “head boats” venture out daily to catch tautog, seabass, flounder and trigger fish. … Public fishing is allowed on the bulkhead from 2nd–4th Street. Anywhere you fish you’ll need a Maryland fishing license.
Maryland is a land where many waters meet, making it a perfect playground for boaters and water sports enthusiasts of all types.
CAMPING IN OCEAN CITY, MD
Camping in the Ocean City, Maryland Region
There’s really nothing like enjoying all the entertainment and fun that Ocean City has to offer while also basking in the sights and sounds of the great outdoors. Soak up some sun on the beach during the daytime, then come back to your tent at night to sleep under the stars–nothing’s better than that. While there aren’t any campgrounds in Ocean City proper, there are a number of sites nearby that allow easy access to the town of OC.
One of the closest campsites to Ocean City is in Berlin, Maryland, on the way to Assateague on Route 611. Camping at Frontier Town allows you to take part in traditional camping activities like fishing and walking the nature trails, while also providing access to their western theme park and water park. That’s right–your tent or cabin will be within walking distance of a Wild West show, a lazy river and a mini golf course, among other things. Open April – November
Frontier Towns sister campsite, Fort Whaley, is located along Route 50 just outside Ocean City in Whaleyville. Fort Whaley features 200 sites catering to everyone from tent campers to those in luxury RVs, and offers free mini golf and a campers-only swimming pool. Open March – November
Like Frontier Town, Castaways is located off of Route 611 on the way to Assateague, along the shores of the Sinepuxent Bay. At Castaways, you’ll have a view of the Assateague National Seashore, as well as the beautiful Ocean City skyline. Their shuttle that goes into Ocean City is free, and they also offer a private beach, two pools, dog parks and a waterfront tiki bar. Open March – October
The Shad Landing campground at Pocomoke River State Park in Snow Hill, Maryland is a bit farther away from Ocean City than the other campgrounds (about a 40 minute drive), but it is closer to other destinations including Pocomoke City and Chincoteague. Plus, you’ll have the chance to fully immerse yourself in nature at the State Park, and also enjoy an outdoor pool, boat rentals and a nature center. Open year-round
Assateague Island is an exceedingly popular camping destination, and not just for its proximity to Ocean City. In fact, many families camp on Assateague without even making a single trip to the boardwalk (although it is always a fun summer night excursion). Pitch your tent or park your RV among the wild ponies at Assateague’s National or State Park, which offer bayside and oceanside camping for big and small groups, as well as easy access to paddle boarding, kayaking, scenic hiking and bike trails and other recreational activities.
Annapolis is the home of the Naval Academy for a reason: it’s the “Sailing Capital of the World” and home to the Annapolis Sailboat Show, the largest in-water boat show in the world.
History, culture, food and fun mingle on the bricked streets of this colonial capital.
The state’s capital and center of the sailing world—built on a pleasant strip of land nestled where the Severn River meets the Chesapeake Bay—Annapolis is a friendly, walkable town at home atop any travel bucket list.
Tour the state capital with its soaring dome and walk the halls where George Washington and the founding fathers ended the Revolutionary War.
Stroll the grounds of the United States Naval Academy, dotted with plebes in their dress whites, and tour its beautiful chapel and the great tomb of John Paul Jones. Or just find a seat in a café along Ego Alley and watch the yachts, and your cares, sail away.
CATCH A CHEAP FLIGHT TO OCEAN CITY, MARYLAND
Closest Airport to Ocean City, MD. Baltimore International Airport (BWI) would be the best option for flights to Ocean City, it is closest international airport to Ocean City, the closest local airport to Ocean City, MD is Ocean City Municipal Airport.
Graduation at the U.S. Naval Academy means white-suited midshipmen and the jubilant hat throw.
While all schools like to show off for graduation, the U.S. Naval Academy takes it to another level (literally!) with the Blue Angels—the U.S. Navy’s famous fighter jet demonstration team performs a fly-over and airshow at every graduation.
The rivers of Western Maryland have long been a destination for white water fanatics and even Olympic level kayakers, and the new artificial rapids at the Adventure Sports Center International near Deep Creek have just upped the game.
Dip a paddle, raise a sail or get your motor started on the waters of Maryland!
Have you ever dreamed of exploring the ocean depths one day and going on safari the next?
How about gazing through the eye of the Hubble Space Telescope
then staring through the giant jaws of a prehistoric megaladon shark? It’s possible, with The National Aquarium,