RVING FOR HISTORY BUFFS: 10 MUST SEE PLACES

When many people think about RVing they think of parking next to the lake for a weekend of fishing or heading to the mountains for hiking, but RVing is also the perfect way to get out and explore North America’s rich history.

We spent four years touring the United States in our RV. Much of that time was dedicated to visiting historical sites from Key West to Alaska and San Francisco to New York City and hundreds of places in between. Narrowing down my list to 10 places was next to impossible. It would have been much easier to write 100 Must See Places but for the sake of length and your time I whittled the list down to ten. I chose RV-friendly places in a variety of locations around the country and most have the added benefit of natural beauty for outdoor enthusiasts.

 

 

Boston, MA

For early American history, it doesn’t get much better than Boston. Boston is home to the Freedom Trail, a 2.5 mile marked path through downtown that passes by 16 historical significant locations. It starts at the Boston Commons and winds its way down to Bunker Hill. While not a part of the Freedom Trail, the Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum offers an

in- depth look at an event that changed the course of history. Not far from Boston you’ll also find Plymouth Plantation, a living history museum about the early settlement of Plymouth Colony. Campgrounds are limited to the outskirts of Boston. We’d recommend camping at one of the numerous campgrounds between Boston and Cape Cod so you can experience Boston’s history and spend a day or two experiencing the beauty of Cape Cod.

 

 

Charleston, SC

The history of Charleston, South Carolina is one of the most enduring in the country. Founded by the English in 1670, Charleston began as a small seaport settlement. By the 18th century it had grown into a wealthy city. The bloodiest four years in America began in April of 1861 when Confederate soldiers opened fire at Union-occupied Fort Sumter in the Charleston Harbor. The Civil War devastated Charleston but the lack of funds forced the city to repair instead of replace buildings thus preserving a large array of significant architecture. Start your visit at the Charleston Visitor Center for suggestions from their friendly and helpful staff and be sure to watch, Forever Charleston, to get an overview of the city’s history. Must-sees include Fort Sumpter National Monument, a walking tour of historic downtown self-guided or otherwise, Battery Park, and Charleston City Market. A handful of campgrounds are on the outskirts of the city including Edisto Beach State Park where you can camp on the coast. Or consider staying further south and add a day trip to Savannah, Georgia to your history tour.

 

 

Dearborn, MI

Located just outside Detroit, MI, Dearborn is a haven of history in the Midwest. The must-see attraction is The Henry Ford. The Henry Ford Museum of Innovation is nothing short of spectacular. Step onto the bus where Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat, see past presidential cars, learn about manufacturing, and even see early RVs. Head over to Greenfield Village where you can ride in a Model T, explore Thomas Edison’s lab, and see the workshop where the Wright brothers thought to reach for the sky. There are a number of campgrounds located outside the Detroit area. If you want to spend some time enjoying Lake Erie, we suggest Sterling State Park Campground located south of Dearborn on the lake.

 

 

New Orleans, LA

In 1803 the United States bought approximately 827,000 square miles of land for 15 million dollars from France. Known as the Louisiana Purchase, this territory located west of the Mississippi included New Orleans. New Orleans’ history is as rich and varied as its food. Stroll the famous French Quarter and visit the St. Louis Cathedral. Built in 1724, St Louis is the oldest continuously active Catholic cathedral in the United States. Ride one of the continuously operating streetcars in the world. You’ll also find museums galore including The New Orleans Jazz National Historic Park and The National World War II Museum. As for places to camp you’ll find RV parks within walking distance to the French Quarter or pick one of the many nearby campgrounds located and drive in for the day. For more tips on visiting New Orleans with kids check out RVing in New Orleans.

 

 

Philadelphia, PA

A history trip isn’t complete without a visit to our nation’s first capitol city, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The main course is Independence National Historic Park. Independence NHP is an urban park that contains historical delights like the Liberty Bell, the Benjamin Franklin Museum, Carpenter’s Hall, and Independence Hall, where both the Declaration of Independence and Constitution were signed. In addition, there are many other smaller sites that commemorate the people and places of our rich history. Consider visiting nearby Valley Forge located northeast of the Philadelphia to learn more about place where the American Continental Army spent the harsh winter 1777 and 1778. Campgrounds are speckled all around the city, including one in downtown.

 

 

Santa Fe, NM

Santa Fe is the oldest capitol city in the United States and the oldest European community west of the Mississippi. Explore ancient Native Americans petroglyphs or visit the Palace of the Governors, one of the nation’s oldest government buildings. Currently, the Palace of the Governors serves as New Mexico’s History Museum. Just outside of the city, you’ll find Pecos National Historical Park where the remains of Indian Pueblos teach us about the ancient peoples who once thrived in this high desert. History, art, and culture are rich in Santa Fe and there are plenty of outdoor adventures to be had as well. All of this makes it a wonderful stop for RVing history buffs.

 

 

St. Augustine, FL

Along the sandy shores of the Atlantic in northern Florida, lies the oldest permanent European settlement in the United States, St Augustine. St. Augustine was founded in by Spanish conquistador, Don Pedro Menendez de Aviles, in 1565. St. Augustine has been the home to a wide array of cultures from Native Americans, Spanish settlers, British soldiers, and unconventional millionaires, all who have left their mark on this beautiful coastal city. Visit the Castillo de San Marcos, a 17th-century Spanish fortress, walk through the historic district, and spend time at the beach. If you can get a spot (reserve early), stay at Anastasia State Park located across Matanzas Bay from downtown St. Augustine.

 

 

Washington DC

Of course, no list of best places for history buffs is complete without our nation’s capital city, Washington D.C. It might surprise you that Washington D.C. is very RV friendly. Well, you won’t be parking on the National Mall, but there are plenty of options nearby making an RV trip to Washington D.C. educational and affordable! The list of attractions in D.C. is long and ever growing so plan accordingly. For an in depth look at our favorite places to visit while RVing Washington D.C. check out this post.

 

 

Williamsburg, VA

Known as the Historic Triangle, Williamsburg, Virginia is where American history comes alive. You’ll be able to walk through and touch hundreds of years of history in the living history museums. From the Native Americans who first called this area home to the first settlers founding Jamestown in 1607 to the Battle of Yorktown, history is thick around Williamsburg. Plan on spending multiple days to tour Historic Jamestown, Jamestown Settlement, Colonial Williamsburg, American Revolutionary Museum at Yorktown, and Yorktown Battlefield. There are a number of campgrounds to choose from in the area. I promise you won’t be disappointed.

 

 

Yellowstone National Park, WY, ID, MT

National parks and RVing are like ice cream and cake. They just fit together. Established in 1872, Yellowstone National Park is America’s first national park and, depending on who you ask, the second oldest in the world. This history with its unmatched geological wonders makes it a must see for RVers. Be sure to attend a ranger program or two discussing the history of the park. It’s fascinating to hear how conservancy and culture has changed over the years. Today you wouldn’t think of intentionally feeding bears but back in the 1900s it was a common occurrence and there are pictures to prove it! You’ll find numerous campgrounds located in and around the park. If possible plan a visit early or late in the season to avoid crowds.

Are you a history buff? Where are some of your favorite places to Go RVing?

 

 

20 TIPS FOR NEW RVERS FROM 20 YEARS OF GO RVING

Our 20th Anniversary celebration continues! Written by Go RVing fans, check out our top 20 tips for first time RVers.

Have any additional tips? Leave a comment below!

 

RV on the road

 

  1. “Whatever you can afford, doesn’t matter if you’re towing a pop up tent camper or driving a diesel motorhome or anything in between. Load up your family, or your friends and head out. Nothing is like RVing with friends or family and enjoying the amazing things this beautiful country has to offer with your home with you.” – Dave R.
  2. “The first time, go within 45 miles of home and preferably near a store. Keep a list of items you run out of so that you will be well stocked for the next trip.” –Christine K.
  3. “Just go! Don’t be one of those people who lets their trailer sit on the side of their house…that’s just sad.” – Valerie H.
  4. “Remember, it’s the journey, not the destination, that counts. Stop and smell the roses– they are NOT on the Interstates.” – Rhonda K.
  5. “Get a system in place. Everyone has a job, from chocking wheels to opening cabinets to making sure nothing will fall out. We also use walkie talkies for communication upon arrival.” – Jennifer E.
  6. “Stay flexible. Don’t lock yourself into a schedule if possible. Stop if something unplanned interests you. You never know when you will be back that way and returning later will always be more expensive than stopping now.” –William T.
  7. “Don’t be afraid to ask fellow RVers questions. Most are very helpful and happy to share their experiences!” – Crystal L.
  8. “Keep the RV dealer’s number handy! On your first trip go somewhere with full hook ups. Our first RV trip we had no idea what we were doing.” – Chris C.
  9. “Drive slow, always check your tire pressure, and top off the propane!” – ScenicRouteTravelers 
  10. “Always remember that in a trailer the black battery cable is the hot lead, which goes against everything we grew up knowing about car batteries…black was always ground!” – David T.
  11. “Make sure you are handy and remember to have money saved for regular maintenance and unexpected repairs.” – Joe D.
  12. “Make yourself a checklist for setting up and breaking down.” – Jeannette S.
  13. “Take a spare long sleeve shirt, short sleeve, summer/winter pjs, a raincoat and a jacket. Leave them in the RV. You will never be able to predict the weather on an outing, so always be ready to be dressed right. Leave them in the RV all year ‘round.” – Karen C.
  14. “Get a camping diary. They usually have a “form” to fill out about the campground and a space to write notes, likes and dislikes, spots to try for next time, etc. Very useful for planning to come back to the same place.” – Jeff G.
  15. “Renting before you buy is a great idea. If you buy, do all you can to buy new/next to new from a dealership.” – Cynthia Z.
  16. “Take extra time flushing your grey and black water tanks. 10 more minutes spent is hours and $$ saved later. The most glamorous part of RVing!!” – Jeff G.
  17. “Practice driving with the RV. When you first get it, take the RV to an empty parking lot. Practice making turns and backing up. Take some cones (like the ones they use for soccer practice) and set them up as if it was a curb at an intersection. Be sure you can make left and right turns around the cones without hitting them. Also set them up and learn to back up without hitting the cones.” – Chuck R.
  18. “Plug in and set up before you Go RVing and learn about everything then 😉” – Liz S.
  19. “Kitchen appliances! If you’re camping at Thanksgiving time and don’t want to be a slave to the camper kitchen, buy a turkey breast and bring a crockpot! Then, you have time to go look at fall foliage while your juicy, tender turkey is cooking! Also, bring a waffle iron! It cooks in minutes and there are other things you can make in it on the go like an omelette or waffle iron cinnamon rolls!” – Kristi P.
  20. “Take your time, and slow down. Unlocking the joy of RVing can cause you to try to do too much too fast. You never know when the force will grab you.” – Soulful RV Family

GOING-TO-THE-SUN-ROAD

When I was a kid my parents had a book on the shelf – “The Most Scenic Drives in America” by Reader’s Digest. I used to take it down and look at it all the time. I don’t remember a specific drive that I longed to take, but I remember the whole idea of road trips and going places that were so different from where we lived. Somehow I got possession of that book and it is still in my office today. I pulled it down recently and was surprised by how many of those scenic drives I had already taken, mostly on the east coast. This summer I had the opportunity to travel to what has often been listed as one of the top ten scenic drives not only in the USA but in the world, Going-to-the-Sun-Road in Montana.

 

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10 BEST RV RESORT FEATURES

10 Best RV Resort Features for Those Who Love to Camp in Comfort

When you hear the word ‘campground’, do you picture a rustic setting in the forest, far away from the hustle and bustle of daily life, where you can relax and commune with nature? If so, there are certainly hundreds of campgrounds like that throughout the United States.

But there’s another kind of campground that is winning the hearts of many RVers: the resort campground.

 

(Jellystone Maryland)

Resort campgrounds are becoming more prevalent and more popular with each camping season. These campgrounds offer the opportunity for RV owners to experience the benefits of all-inclusive vacations while also enjoying the comfort of their own RVs.

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COOK UP SOME ADVENTURE: BEST APPLIANCES FOR YOUR RV KITCHEN

I’m at once a homebody and an adventurer. Can you relate? Nothing fits these dual sides of the adventurous homebody better than an RV. Wheels to satisfy the wanderlust and all the comforts of home while out on the road. Perfection.

 

 

My husband, Brent, and I both enjoy cooking and we find that meals together as a family complete our RV travels. During our 13+ years of RV ownership, more than four of those spent as full time RVers, we’ve experimented with a number of space and propane saving appliances. We are happy to share with you what we’ve found to be the best appliances for the RV kitchen.

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