FIVE ROAD TRIP IDEAS THAT REALLY SHOWCASE THE SPRING

Now that spring is officially here, America’s travel options really bloom. There are so many amazing places to visit in the RV that it’s hard to know where to start. Here are a few places that really shine in springtime.

Carlsbad Caverns National Park

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Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico is home to more than 119 limestone caves. If you don’t mind getting a little dirty and you don’t have a problem with heights or tight spaces, these caves can offer all kinds of adventure. Narrow passages and free climbing are all part of the package as you explore the “The Bat Cave,” “The King’s Palace,” “The Big Room,” and many other whimsically named caves.

While the cacti are in bloom and before the summer heat becomes too intense, spring is a great time to visit the desert. During this time, travelers are able to see the swarms of Mexican free-tailed bats that corkscrew up into the sky from the caves each day at sunset. Have lunch in the underground cafeteria and be sure to check out the educational exhibits in the Carlsbad Cavern visitor center.

Historic Garden Week in Virginia

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Nothing says spring like gardens bursting into life. The Garden Club of Virginia agrees, which is why they put together a garden tour every year. This year 191 beautiful private gardens and homes will be participating in 31 tours during Historic Garden Week, “America’s Largest Open House,” from April 26 to May 3. All proceeds go towards the restoration and maintenance of Virginia’s public gardens.

If you’re looking for inspiration for your own home, these gardens are the best of the best in the state. In addition, garden club members volunteer to create 2000 floral arrangements (using over 5,000 tulips in the process!) to decorate the houses that are open to the public. If gentle walks through beautiful surroundings are your scene, you can’t do better than Historic Garden Week.

Photo courtesy of http://www.vagardenweek.org/

Memphis in May International Festival

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If it’s a down-home shindig you’re after, Memphis in May is a month-long festival full of music, BBQ, and even a little bit of education.

The festival is broken up into four main events: The Beale Street Music Festival (BSMF), May 2-4; Salute to Panama, May 5-11; World Championship BBQ Cooking Contest, May 15-17; and the Sunset Symphony on May 24.

Musical guests lined up for the BSMF include such diverse acts as Joan Jett, Snoop Dogg, Foster the People, Dropkick Murphys, and many, many more. The Salute to Panama will include exhibits, food, lectures, and films and performances all around town devoted to, well, Panama. You can even sign up to be a judge for the BBQ contest, although there will be plenty of food vendors if you miss your chance. The festival is capped with a spectacular musical finale, courtesy of the Memphis Symphony Orchestra.

There’s something for everyone in Memphis in May.

Vancouver, British Columbia

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Vancouver has a lot to offer year-round, but the locals love to brag about their spring. Cherry blossoms without the crowds of DC, the beginning of whale-watching season, and multiple family-friendly spring festivals means there will be plenty to do and see.

Vancouver is full of restaurants, markets, and specialty shops for the foodies and the shoppers, but it also boasts beautiful public parks, golf courses, and the English Bay for kayaking and rowing.

Springtime means the Vancouver International Dance Festival, the Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival, the Vancouver Sun Run, International Children’s Festival, and EAT! Vancouver. Not to mention the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival with events running through April. The pop culture nerd in your family will love spotting film locations from the many movies shot in Vancouver. And if all this still isn’t enough, it’s just a short drive in the RV to Canadian country for camping, scuba diving, and hiking.

Kentucky Derby

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Place your bets, ladies and gentlemen; the Kentucky Derby is almost here. Admittedly, seats with a clear view can cost a pretty penny, but general admission prices can get you into one of America’s favorite events. Indulge in mint juleps, let “My old Kentucky home” bring a tear to your eye, and play a rousing game of “spot the celebrity” while the most exciting horse race in the country takes place around you – and if you win a little money, all the better.

If you’re traveling with the kids, there is a family-friendly picnic setting. No matter your age, the Derby is always an exciting moment in history. Who knows, maybe this year will be a record-breaker!

What are some of your favorite destinations to travel during the spring? Let us know in the comments below.