Good Sam Camping Blog
TEST Header
Category: Historic Places & Landmarks

Charlotte Harbor and the Gulf Islands: Florida Gulf Coast Paradise

January 12, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Charlotte Harbor and the Gulf Islands: Florida Gulf Coast Paradise

Charlotte Harbor & the Gulf Islands is nestled along Florida’s Southwest Gulf Coast, between Sarasota and Naples, about 100 miles south of Tampa. Palm Island Resort marina (Source: charlotteharbortravel.com) The area covers a diverse landscape of cities and towns. Choose from four island escapes: the barrier island community of Boca Grande; Palm Island, with its serene beaches accessible by ferry; secluded Don Pedro Island; and Little Gasparilla Island. Set on Gasparilla Island, the historic village of Boca Grande offers old world charm, quaint shops and restaurants, and gorgeous beach views. Seven miles of white sandy beach and crystal clear water await you on this retreat away from the world. A car ferry to get there adds to the remote feel of this island getaway. For a small city experience, visit historic Punta Gorda, Englewood, or Port Charlotte. The city of Punta Gorda is a historic town that lies along beautiful Charlotte Harbor. Streets lined with huge royal palms,... [Read more...]

Havasu Balloon Festival Partners With Good Sam

January 3, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Havasu Balloon Festival Partners With Good Sam

Join Good Sam Club for high-flying fun at the fourth annual Havasu Balloon Festival and Fair, January 17-19, 2014. Good Sam members can join tens of thousands of spectators watching hot-air balloons soar high above London Bridge, the crystal-clear waters of Lake Havasu, and beautiful desert landscaping. Like Albuquerque’s renowned Balloon Fiesta, the Havasu Balloon Festival turns the Southwestern sky into an airborne parade with the world’s oldest flight technology dressed up in fanciful colors and contemporary shapes. Beyond experiencing the thrill of more than 60 thermal-powered aircraft aloft above Lake Havasu, members will get a lift knowing their camping fees support deserving charities. One of the biggest events in the region, the Havasu Balloon Festival was launched by the Lake Havasu City London Bridge Lions Club and the London Bridge Rotary Club as a way to fund local charitable groups. Four years later, that’s still the mission, with the 2014 festival operated by volunteers... [Read more...]

RVing ’round Texas

December 9, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

RVing ’round Texas

Even those of us who visit Texas frequently and spend a big chunk of our time traversing it leave most of the Lone Star State untouched. Our Texas RV Travel Bucket List continues. Goliad At Goliad State Park, tour the beautiful reconstructed Franciscan Mission Espíritu Santo, home of the largest ranching operation in Texas in the 18th century © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved Goliad is one of the few places in North America where you can visit both an 18th-century Spanish-Colonial mission and presidio (fort) complex, to understand the roles of the Catholic Church and the Spanish military in settling the New World. At Goliad State Park, tour the beautiful reconstructed Franciscan Mission Espíritu Santo, home of the largest ranching operation in Texas in the 18th century. Enjoy the serenity of this Spanish colonial church and view exhibits that explore the history and daily life of the missionaries and Indian converts—including some of the original artifacts they used. Across the river,... [Read more...]

Put Your Passion on Your Plate

November 24, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Put Your Passion on Your Plate

When Hank Williams wrote Jambalaya in 1952, he captured the essence of the Cajun self-proclaimed passion for good food and good friends. Longfellow-Evangeline State Historic Site in St. Martinsville explores the cultural interplay among the diverse peoples along the famed Bayou Teche. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved The Acadians who settled in the bayous and swamps of Southern Louisiana developed a unique and authentic cooking style. Louisiana has an appetite for food, music, and fun that is best summed up in the Cajun phrase laissez les bons temps rouler—let the good times roll. Based on a survey of 1.3 million people across the country, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ranked Louisiana as the nation’s happiest state. Many reasons likely led to this distinction, but I’m certain that the Bayou State’s incredible cuisine played a major role. Bite into boudin and see if a smile doesn’t break out. Here, you don’t just eat. You dine with gusto. Cajun Country Cajun... [Read more...]

Petroglyphs of Chaco Canyon

November 24, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Petroglyphs of Chaco Canyon

My two previous posts have discussed our August, 2013 visit to Chaco Canyon, a World Heritage Site in northern New Mexico. This post will discuss some of the images these ancient ancestors of modern Pueblo, Navajo and Hope peoples left behind on the walls and rocks of this ancient village in an attempt to communicate with each other. The spiral, a common petroglyph drawing A self guided trail from Pueblo Bonito to Chetro Ketl, two previously discussed Great Houses in the Chaco Canyon settlement, takes visitors past some of the more unique and impressive petroglyphs. Most likely intended as visual communications to symbolize clans, record important events during migrations and act as memory aids for recalling stories and ceremonies, petroglyphs  memorialize clan migrations for descendants of the canyon peoples. Rock images can give us great insight into the lives and culture of ancient peoples and tell us about their homes, tools, foods and other tangible possessions. Even though the meanings... [Read more...]

DK Eyewitness Travel Florida

November 22, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

DK Eyewitness Travel Florida

Florida – a destination for numerous snow birds (i.e. Canadians) during the winter time. For us the name represent a dream – bringing our kids for an extended field trip experience in Orlando. But Florida is much more than just Orlando and Theme Parks. It’s a state to discover and to experience. I wish we could stay for six months when we are there because there is so much I would like to do. But we have to be realistic and one month is more in our budget. But what can you visit while in Florida. Well to get a better idea of the things to do, the places to stay, and the restaurants to visit, I decided to check out the DK Eyewitness Travel Guide Florida. This book will highlight all the fun places to visit and much more. The book is divided in four sections – each of them dedicated to a specific aspect of Florida. Introducing Florida: Discovering Florida, Putting Florida on the Map, A Portrait of Florida, Florida through the year, The History of Florida. Miami Area by Area: Downtown... [Read more...]

Happiness is a Texas Bucket List

November 18, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Happiness is a Texas Bucket List

From West Texas to the Panhandle to the Gulf Coast, El Paso to Texarkana to Brownsville, from outdoor enthusiasts to foodies to culture buffs, there’s always something to see and do in Texas. Our Texas RV Travel Bucket List continues. Monahans Sandhills State Park Monahans Sandhills State Park is only a small portion of a dune field that extends about 200 miles from south of Monahans westward and north into New Mexico. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved Monahans Sandhills State Park consists of 3,840 acres of wind-sculpted sand dunes, some up to 70 feet high, in Ward and Winkler Counties, about a half-hour’s drive west of Odessa. These sand hills once presented an enormous problem for pioneers and their wagon trains as they moved through the state. The Native Americans of the area, however, frequently camped in the area after discovering that pure, fresh water could be obtained by digging a trench between dunes. This water has also been the source of nourishment for one of the... [Read more...]

Chaco Canyon’s Main Attraction: Pueblo Bonito

November 17, 2013 by · 2 Comments 

Chaco Canyon’s Main Attraction: Pueblo Bonito

In my previous post, I outlined a recent visit we took (finally!) to visit Chaco Canyon, the center of trade, culture and civilization in the southwest United States during the years of 800-1100. While fascinated with this World Heritage Site, we came away with more questions than answers, such as why the entire population of the community packed up and moved on abruptly after 300 years. This question is even more perplexing when looking at the main attraction: the incredible Pueblo Bonito. Named Pueblo Bonito, or Beautiful Town, by Lt. James Simpson who discovered the site in 1849, the site also has Pueblo, Hopi and Navajo place names. The Hopi and Pueblo peoples of New Mexico see Pueblo Bonito as an important part of their ancestral homeland; a place where clans stopped and lived during their sacred migrations. Traditional stories from many of the pueblo tribes as well as the Navajo know Chaco Canyon as the home of the Great Gambler who came from the south, enslaved the pueblo people... [Read more...]

Good Times Happen in Kentucky

November 14, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Good Times Happen in Kentucky

Thousands of snowbirds pass through Kentucky every year and miss out on some of the most incredible natural wonders and cultural treasures anywhere. Kentucky Welcome Center, I-65, Exit 114 © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved From horse racing and Bourbon Country, to the culture of Appalachia, Civil War significance, and Abraham Lincoln, Kentucky is a state enriched with deep traditions, important history, and authentic heritage. Every mile we’ve traveled along the highways and byways of the Bluegrass State has led us to new discoveries: National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Mammoth Cave National Park in Cave Country, Grand Ole Opry of Kentucky in Renfro Valley, Cumberland Gap, Red River Gorge, Natural Bridge, folk arts and crafts in Berea, Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill, horse farms, and Bourbon Country. Once an Indian hunting ground where Native American civilizations flourished as early as 13,000 years ago, Kentucky is bounded in the north by the great Ohio River and in the west... [Read more...]

The Mysteries of Chaco Canyon

November 10, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

The Mysteries of Chaco Canyon

In the past few posts, I have been outlining some places you may want add to your list of sites to visit next summer when you take to the road again. Chaco Canyon, NM is a place I had wanted to visit since almost the first time I set foot in New Mexico. One thing or another always seemed to get in the way of our making the trip. Our son Ryan’s visit this past August provided just the opportunity I had been waiting for. An Environmental Science major, with an avid interest in Anthropology, Ryan was only too happy to give us the purpose for making the trip. We set out early as it was a four hour drive to Chaco. The drive was uneventful, except that the last 13 miles of road, just before we reached the Chaco Culture National Historical Site, were the worst dirt and gravel road I have ever experienced. It was, essentially, a washboard with ditches. Our Dodge Durango was bouncing so wildly, I was sure my door would pop open. We finally arrived safely and were greeted by the exceptionally helpful... [Read more...]

« Previous PageNext Page »