Nothing gets the kids more excited than a trip to the amusement park, and America’s got some great ones. But that kind of vacation can get very expensive, really fast. The good news is that an easy way to save money is to skip the hotels and restaurants and stay in your RV instead. Even more good news is that many theme parks actually have their own campgrounds, or are at least located near one. This is a list of some of our greatest campground-friendly amusement parks.


Wisconsin Dells Mt. Olympus Water and Theme Park & Noah’s Ark


Image Credit here


Wisconsin Dells isn’t the name of a park; it’s a city. And it’s on this list because it has the highest concentration of water parks anywhere on the planet, making it the self-entitled “Waterpark Capital of the World.” There are seven water parks in the city, both indoor and outdoor, which makes this a viable option for any time of year. And in case you get tired of playing in the water, there’s adventure parks, mega-arcade centers, lots of outdoor attractions and a vibrant downtown. There are plenty of campgrounds in the area, including many RV parks. We love Bonanza Campground, with its secluded forest campsites and awesome deals on passes to parks with 2-night stays, and Holiday Shores, which is almost a waterpark in and of itself, with its lake complete with jet skis and a floating playground.




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Antelope Canyon is a part of Navajo Nation in Arizona, and has been described as one of the most photogenic places on earth. Although it’s not nearly on the scale of the Grand Canyon, it’s arguably just as beautiful and impressive in its own way. It’s a slot canyon, with walls as high as 4,000 feet, notable for the beautiful “flowing” appearance of the Navajo Sandstone, an impression created by the running rainwater that floods it annually during monsoon season. Many slot canyons are too narrow for the light to really reveal the vibrant colors of the stone, but Antelope Canyon is a very fortunate exception to the rule. The shapes and colors of the canyon, as well as the light, can create some truly stunning photographs. Antelope once roamed freely there, eliciting its name. There are really two canyons, the Upper and the Lower.


Image Courtesy of Mark Byzewski


Upper Antelope Canyon is also known by its Navajo name, Tsé bighánílíní, meaning “the place where water runs through rocks.” It’s such a photographer’s dream that photography tours are available for professionals and serious amateurs. There are camera requirements for the tour, so don’t think you can just show up with your iPhone. Guides will show you the best angles and how to capture the best light. The play of light, shadow, shape and color all come together here, so be sure to follow guide recommendations on the best time of day to visit.


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There’s nothing as liberating as roughing it in the wilderness. And for those of you who just load up a tent, grab some firewood, and stroll into the woods, more power to you. But for those of us who prefer a little less “rough” in our roughing it, here are a few tips and tricks to make the great outdoors a little more comfortable.


Keep the bugs away

Mosquitoes are the worst part of any camping trip. The whining, the itching, the constant slapping at yourself when all you wanna do is just sleep… Well, we’ve got your back. There are actually a lot of things you can do to keep the pests to a minimum!

Choose unscented hygiene products. Yup, bugs love all that nice-smelling perfume, vanilla hand soap, and cherry-scented body lotion. Also, make sure you choose a waterproof bug spray, especially since you’ll be relying on it almost exclusively on a long hike or while spending time outdoors with the family, so the last thing you want is to sweat or splash it off your skin. Waterproof is the way to go.

You’re gonna want to choose a campsite that’s generally unappealing to mosquitoes. We’re talking high and dry, my friend. Mosquitoes love a wet environment, so stay away from any boggy, misty or swampy areas.



Invest in a bug net that works for you. James Menta from Eagle’s Nest Outfitters recommends the Guardian Bugnet since it’s pretty lightweight, easy to put together, and comfortable to breathe under. Lastly, bring some fresh sage to throw on the fire. The scent should keep the mosquitoes away for hours.

Bring fresh sage like these smudge sticks to throw into the fire. This old camping trick should help keep your whole site bug-free.


Stay warm and dry

It’s a well-known fact that the campfire is the heart of every campsite. Don’t be left out in the cold because you’re unprepared. Keep a few household items handy so you can start your fire under any circumstances.

If you’re staying at a campground, only use the designated fire ring or fireplace, and if you’re camping in backcountry, make sure you have a fire permit.

Always have dry tinder in your pack to get your fire going on wet days. Dryer lint tucked into empty egg cartons with paraffin wax is a classic fire starter. Vaseline worked into cotton balls is another great lightweight alternative. To keep a fire going, if you have an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, squeeze some onto damp wood to keep it burning long enough to dry out. And if you’re really in a pinch, duct tape or Doritos are also highly flammable.

To dry your shoes overnight, stuff them with newspaper or dry clothing. The moisture will be absorbed and you can start fresh in the morning!


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Americans love to memorialize their history with impressive monuments. Sometimes we preserve an artifact, build a statue, or even carve an entire mountain out of a sense of national pride and sentimentality. Regardless of its form, many of our most impressive monuments and memorials have become icons in their own right. Here are just a few that deserve a place on everyone’s bucket list!


Bunker Hill Monument


Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons


The Battle of Bunker Hill was the first major battle of the American Revolution. 1,200 American troops rallied to prevent British soldiers from taking control of Boston Harbor. Although the colonists ultimately lost the battle, they inflicted so much damage against the better-trained and better-equipped British soldiers that they inspired hope amongst American rebels everywhere. As British General Clinton would later write in his diary, “A few more such victories would have shortly put an end to British dominion in America.” Although Boston locals are quick to point out that most of the fighting actually took place on the adjacent Breed’s Hill, the battle became known as “The Battle of Bunker Hill”, and so that’s where the monument stands today. A 221-foot granite obelisk stands in memory of the bloody battle. After you’ve visited, be sure to follow the Freedom Trail through Boston to see other significant sites from the American Revolution.


Mount Rushmore


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National Parks such as YellowstoneYosemite, or the Grand Canyon are rightfully some of the most famous destinations in the U.S. They’re iconic and beautiful, and deserving of their formidable reputations. But there are more than 400 parks, preserves, reserves, seashores and other units under the protection of the National Park System. Iconic park sights such as Old Faithful are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the natural beauty of the United States. Here are eight other national parks you don’t want to miss.
Great Basin National Park, Nevada


Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
Best known as home to the stunning Lehman Caves, Great Basin National Park is a glacier-carved natural wonder. Take the Wheeler Peak Scenic Drive 10,000 feet up, then hike to the summit to see the only glacier in Nevada, the Wheeler Peak Glacier​. While you’re there, be sure to examine the bristlecone pines, some of the world’s oldest trees, the last remnants of a Pleistocene forest… some of the trees are 3,000 years old, before Rome was even established as a city! Once you’ve admired the views, head underground to see Lehman Caves, a marble cavern ornately decorated with cave formations and 1.5 miles of underground passages. The park averages about 80,000 visitors a year and is a must-visit on a southwest road trip.


Congaree National Park, South Carolina


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