9 NATIONAL PARKS (NOT ONE OF THE MAJOR 59) YOU SHOULDN’T MISS

Did you know that there are 412 national park areas out there? A lot of people have a bucket list item of visiting the 59 main national parks like Yellowstone, Great Smoky Mountains, and Yosemite, but ever since learning that there are so many more, we’ve decided to upgrade that bucket list item to visiting all 412.

We are still a long way off, but we’re starting to chip away at the list. We’ve enjoyed exploring some of the lesser known parks because they are typically far less crowded and you can easily see most of them in a day or two. Here are 9 that we’ve visited that you shouldn’t miss.

 

White Sand Dunes National Monument, New Mexico

 

This is easily one of our favorites. Walk, hike, or sled on what seems to be endless rolling hills of white sand. It’s a great site for photographers and you can see more about our visit here.

Pro Tip: Avoid visiting in the summer, since it gets brutally hot.


Cabrillo National Monument, California

While living in San Diego for a year, we had a lot of fun exploring Cabrillo National Monument. You can go tide pooling, check out the lighthouse, or enjoy amazing views of the city.

 

Tide pooling at Cabrillo National Monument in California

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SAY GOODBYE TO SUMMER IN STYLE WITH THESE 3 RV DESTINATIONS

 

With September just around the corner, the pressure’s on to make the most of summer. But don’t worry: we’ve got you covered. We’ve scoped out the country’s best RV destinations for jam-packing the last few weeks before the school bell rings with good old-fashioned fun.

 

Lakewood Camping Resort

 

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FUN ALONG THE SHORES OF LAKE ERIE

There are very few things in life as fun and exciting as seeing new things. After four years of full time RVing, we’ve started visiting places a second or even third time. Of course, we are always finding new things to do in areas we’ve visited before like going to the Canadian side of Niagara Falls a few weeks ago. However, the past few weeks have been filled with entirely new-to-us places as we’ve been making our way along the Pennsylvania and Ohio coastlines of Lake Erie.

 

 

Our first new-to-us stop was Presque Isle, a peninsula located in Erie, Pennsylvania. It’s name in French means “almost an island.” It became a state park in 1921.

 

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ANOTHER EPIC JACKSON FAMILY TRIP FROM TENNESSEE TO COLORADO FOR THE GOPRO GAMES

I have always had the desire to travel. I remember the 4 and 1/2 hour, 222.5-mile trip from my childhood house in Woolrich, Pennsylvania, to my parents’ hometown of Leetonia, Ohio, starting in the old Appalachian Mountains and twisting through to the open farms and rolling hills to my grandparents’ house.

As I got older, whitewater kayaking became my primary passion. By the time I was 20, I had moved to Bethesda, Maryland and was training full time with the USA Team in hopes of becoming a team member myself. The kayaking events we competed in took me to Europe and around the mountain areas of the US. I was beginning to see parts of the US and the world I never knew existed and my passion for travel was fueled once again.

At 24 I married my wife Kristine (then 18) and made the USA Team for slalom kayaking and the following year my daughter, Emily, was born. Traveling around the country started getting harder as the long drives in a car were more taxing with a young child and two Dalmatians. Kristine started staying home for more of the training camps and other trips that we enjoyed so much together just a year or two before. I made the Olympic Team in 1992 and did much of my training in Barcelona without my young family.  In 1993, we had our second child, Dane, and I also won my first World Championships. It was becoming increasingly more difficult to keep the family together and truly enjoy the trips that I planned for kayak training, racing, and pleasure.

A good kayaker friend of mine had an RV that he traveled in and recommended that I consider RVing. I hadn’t really thought much about it at the time. However, in 1997, when the kids were 4 and 7 years old, Kristine brought up the RV option as a better way to travel and keep the family together and happy. After a few long discussions about it, we both agreed that it was worth a try. We didn’t dabble, however, we went “all-in”.  We had a yard sale and sold everything we owned over a weekend in October of 1997. We purchased a Type A motorhome and planned on spending a year or two in it to try it out. We realized that we could cut our monthly expenses by about $1,100/month if we lived in an RV and that was precious cash for a full time kayaker. That was the beginning of being spoiled….

 

 

We had no idea how awesome traveling in an RV was going to be. From the moment we pulled out of our suburban neighborhood in Bethesda, we felt free and like we were on an adventure. Life was simple. We had less stuff, less stress, and more freedom than ever before.

 

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GIRL CAMPERS: COMING TO A CAMPGROUND NEAR YOU

Who are the girl campers, glampers, and women who are filling Pinterest with pictures of their tricked out trailers and girlfriend adventures? Well, they are a new generation of campers, many of whom are finding the RV lifestyle for the first time. They are a new demographic of small trailer owners and park hoppers who have reached a point in life where they are going places and doing things and having the time of their lives. Pssst…they are also doing it in high style!

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