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Category: State & National Parks

Click and Explore North America

March 15, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Click and Explore North America

Use Good Sam Camping’s Explore tool for travel itineraries, tourism info and great destinations in every state and province in North America. Select your destination on our handy interactive map and start planning your adventure today! From the Explore Tab home page, find your desired state or province on the interactive map and click (you can also choose a state from the list on the right-hand side). Each state/province page gives you three ways to learn about your destination: • The Welcome section provides an overview of the state you’re visiting. Learn about each state’s regions and get a sense of your destination’s climate and character. The Arizona Welcome section, for example, covers the state’s northern region, popular snowbird roosts and Native American heritage. • The RV Trip of a Lifetime section suggests itineraries to some of the most compelling attractions in each state and province. Check out great steaks along the Oklahoma leg of the Chisholm... [Read more...]

New Orleans—Visit the Audubon Zoo & Aquarium!

March 6, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

New Orleans—Visit the Audubon Zoo & Aquarium!

As we continued our much-too-short tour of Louisiana, our final stop was New Orleans (also known as NOLA).  We spent a couple of days in town visiting destinations that were new to us. Our first stop was the Audubon Zoo, where we spent a lovely day touring the well-laid-out grounds.  The Audubon Zoo is part of the Audubon Nature Institute, which has three separate locations in New Orleans; those include the Zoo (which also includes an IMAX theater) an Aquarium, and a newly opened Butterfly Garden and Insectarium.  While we were at the zoo, we enjoyed seeing the wide variety of animals that the zoo had on display.  We were able to see everything from engaging sea lions to an orangutan that was working the crowd in an attempt to acquire forbidden handouts. We especially enjoyed the Louisiana Swamp area of the park with it’s fun Cajun restaurant and baby gator tank with a viewing tube; of course there were big alligators here also. This zoo is great for adults and children alike.... [Read more...]

Alabama Gulf Coast Named Top Tourism Attraction

March 4, 2014 by · 2 Comments 

Alabama Gulf Coast Named Top Tourism Attraction

Alabama’s Gulf beaches and Gulf State Park are the largest tourism attractions in the state, overwhelmingly so, according to the new attendance figures released last week by the Alabama Tourism Department. Sparkling turquoise Gulf waters and stunningly white sand await the RVer on the Alabama Gulf Coast. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved The state’s largest stand-alone festival events, located about 20 miles apart, are also located in the Gulf Coast region. The Fairhope Arts and Crafts Festival (March 14-16, in 2014) and National Shrimp Festival (October 9-12, in 2014) in Gulf Shores come in at the top two spots among event promotions staged over a single weekend. The relatively new Gulf Coast Hot Air Balloon Festival (June 13-14, in 2014), which takes place in between the other two in Foley, is also rising up the state’s annual top 10 festival list. According to the 2013 annual report, Mobile’s three-week long Mardi Gras celebration draws the largest attendance... [Read more...]

Baton Rouge, Louisiana, home of the USS Kidd…

February 24, 2014 by · 2 Comments 

Baton Rouge, Louisiana, home of the USS Kidd…

While we were checking out Louisiana, we wanted to stop in Baton Rouge to see what they had to offer for fun and interesting stops. While we didn’t have much time to  explore, we did find a couple of fun stops that fit into our schedule and interests. Our first stop was at the Bluebonnet Swamp, which is a county park located in the eastern part of the city of Baton Rouge. This 103-acre park is an ideal location to get out and explore the swamp, and it’s an exceptional stop if you are a “bird nerd.” Located just a short walk from the parking lot is a 9,500-square-foot exhibit building that houses a small gift shop and numerous animal habitats including many snakes and other reptiles.  Outside are several walking trails that lead along the swamp edge and through woods; the walks vary in length from 1/3 of a mile to 1 and 1/2 miles long.  Bluebonnet is a great place to spend an hour or so learning about and exploring, Louisiana swamp habitats.  It’s also... [Read more...]

Valley of Fire State Park: Simply WOW!

February 12, 2014 by · 1 Comment 

Valley of Fire State Park: Simply WOW!

The lights! The glitz! The shine! Sculpted, chiseled, and twisted red rock formations more dramatic than most others we have seen dominate the park’s 42,000 acres. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved From the bizarre to the beautiful, Las Vegas has it all: New York, NY, The Venetian, Caesars Palace, and Paris—and the Bellagio water fountain show. When the neon of Vegas becomes too much, head out to Valley of Fire, Nevada’s first state park, so designated in 1935. With its blood-red sandstone cliffs and weird rock formations, there’s an other-worldly feeling here. Valley of Fire State Park is 55 miles—and a few light-years—northeast of Las Vegas via Interstate 15 and on exit 75. Sculpted, chiseled, and twisted red rock formations more dramatic than most others we have seen dominate the park’s 42,000 acres. We felt as though we had been transported to the alien surface another planet. The Valley of Fire derives its name from red sandstone formations, formed from great... [Read more...]

Taking it easy in Monroe, Louisiana…

January 28, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Taking it easy in Monroe, Louisiana…

We recently spent two weeks visiting Louisiana.  We were pleasantly surprised by how much there was to do there.  We spent a few days in Shreveport, where we stayed in a Louisiana state park, went bowling, visited a local nature center and a great science museum, and we found a yummy Cajun restaurant and even got to hold a gator! Next we took I-20 over to Monroe, where we found a few more fabulous stops! Monroe is home to the the Chennault Aviation and Military Museum. This free museum covers military history from WWI through Vietnam and specializes in covering aviation-related service members. The museum features displays on individual service members, including their story and memorabilia from their lives. The museum is small, but there is so much history packed into it! When we visited, there were two gentlemen there who acted as guides. They were very knowledgeable and had a passion for their topic! We spent about an hour and a half there but didn’t even visit all the exhibits... [Read more...]

Top 6 Birding Hotspots in Southeastern Arizona

January 27, 2014 by · 2 Comments 

Top 6 Birding Hotspots in Southeastern Arizona

Southeastern Arizona is an ecological crossroads, where the Sierra Madre of Mexico, the Rocky Mountains, and the Sonoran and Chihuahuan deserts all come together. Patagonia-Sonoita Creek Preserve is home to 260 species of birds including the vermilion flycatcher. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved The abrupt rise of mountains like the Huachucas from the surrounding arid grasslands creates “sky islands” harboring rare species and communities of plants and animals. If you are a birder, Southeastern Arizona is the place to go. Birding enthusiast are attracted to this unique region with many arriving in recreational vehicles. The following are our suggestions for where to find the best birding spots. Generally, they are located along streams and rivers or in forested mountain canyons. Some will have nearby RV parks or forestry campgrounds but will require a drive in your toad/tow vehicle. 6. Patagonia-Sonoita Creek Preserve Between the majestic Santa Rita and beautiful red Patagonia... [Read more...]

Shreveport, Louisiana – hold a gator!!!

January 18, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Shreveport, Louisiana – hold a gator!!!

For our last stop in Shreveport, Louisiana, we went to Gators & Friends.  G&F is a combo petting zoo and exotics park.  You purchase your admission in a cute gift shop that offers everything from stuffed alligators to dried alligator heads.  In the gift shop, you can also buy large cups of animal feed for $2. (the food is for hand feeding some of the domestic animals)  Immediately out the back door will be your first glimpse at gators.  Lots of gators.  The alligators are grouped based on size so they don’t eat each other! A little farther behind the gift shop, there is a big walking loop that is bordered by pens of animals.  Everything from ring tailed lemurs to kangaroos, camels to goats, chital deer to capibara.    The kids enjoyed feeding the geese, ponies, and goats (they had The Cutest new kids in there too!); personally, as a mom, I loved the container that the animal food came in! LOL!  The food came in large hot beverage containers, and the kids could just... [Read more...]

Shreveport, LA – full of good clean fun!

January 13, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Shreveport, LA – full of good clean fun!

We just finished up a visit to Shreveport, Louisiana.  While we have been through Louisiana several times, we have always taken I-10 and never really stopped and explored.  This is the first time that we have ventured north, and we sure are glad we did! During our 3 days in Shreveport, we found all sorts of fun things to do, so whether you are a snowbird, or a family on vacation, here are a couple of our favorite local picks… One of our very favorite destinations was Holiday Lanes – a fun, clean, smoke-free bowling alley in Bossier City (NE Shreveport)!  Not your typical RV destination to be sure, but definitely added a fun and memorable aspect to our Shreveport visit!  We loved Holiday Lanes! The lanes were very well maintained, and even the settee area was classy and comfy with leather couches!  The alley has an enclosed adult lounge complete with large screen tv and pool table, and a pro shop.  The alley is both adult, and family friendly! We were impressed by how... [Read more...]

Welcome the New Year with a New Tradition

December 31, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Welcome the New Year with a New Tradition

For most of us, New Year’s traditions revolve around indoor activities—eating and watching football. Catalina State Park near Tucson, Arizona, offers three First Day Hikes of varying length and difficulty. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved However, an outdoor activity could make your holiday rituals even more fun and an invigorating way to kick off the New Year. America’s State Parks First Day Hikes offer individuals and families an opportunity to begin the New Year rejuvenating and connecting with the outdoors. First Day Hikes offer a great way to get outside, exercise, enjoy nature, and welcome the New Year with friends and family. State parks nationwide have added First Day Hikes to their January 1 program schedule. All 50 states are participating in the third annual event that invites families and friends to celebrate the New Year amid the sights, sounds, and wonder of our natural world with fun, guided hikes. “Last year, First Day Hikes hosted 22,000 people, who covered... [Read more...]

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