Ultimate Checklist: 20 Summer Experiences

Twenty Ideas for Summer Fun

Summertime is a fantastic time to collect new life experiences while enjoying the RV lifestyle. The longer days, the warmer nights, and the magical hours at dusk make summer ideal for exploring more of the expected and unexpected, from coast to coast.

There’s no shortage of ways to spend your summer in the US and Canada. Here are just a few ideas. How many can you check off the list?

1. Oak Creek Canyon, Arizona

Oak Creek Canyon © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

This gorgeous gash in the landscape has a spectacular feature: you can drive through it! The forested canyon floor ranges from a mile wide at the top end to 2.5 miles at the mouth, and up to 2,000 feet deep from the creek to the top of the sheer red cliffs.

2. Scenic Byway 12, Utah

Highway 12 Scenic Byway © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

One of the most beautiful stretches of road in the US, Scenic Byway 12 spans 124 miles in Utah’s red-rock country.

3. Gulf Shores, Alabama

Alabama Gulf Coast near Gulf Shores © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Gulf Shores is a coastal, resort community known for miles of sparkling turquoise waters and stunningly white sand beaches. Seafood markets offer shrimp, oysters, and crab.

4. Custer State Park, South Dakota

Custer State Park © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Custer State Park in the Black Hills encompasses 71,000 acres of spectacular terrain and is home to an abundance of wildlife including a herd of 1,300 bison, pronghorns, mountain goats, bighorn sheep, deer, elk, wild turkeys, and a band of friendly burros.

5. Ajo, Arizona

Ajo © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

A century ago, fortune seekers flowed into Ajo to dig copper, then stayed and built a lovely company town. Though the mine has gone bust, Ajo still shines—with Spanish colonial architecture, easy access to nature, and a growing arts scene.

6. Cedar Breaks National Monument, Utah

Cedar Breaks National Monument © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

At an elevation of over 10,000 feet, Cedar Breaks National Monument looks down into a majestic geologic amphitheater, a three-mile long cirque of eroding limestone, shale, and sandstone.

7. My Old Kentucky Home State Park, Kentucky

My Old Kentucky Home © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Federal Hill is the centerpiece of My Old Kentucky Home State Park. Built between 1795 and 1818, Federal Hill was the home of Judge John Rowan.

8. Mesilla, New Mexico

Mesilla © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Although the town of Mesilla is home to a mere 2,196 people, it’s a fascinating place to visit. Here you’ll find well-preserved architecture, history worth delving into, and high quality restaurants.

9. Newport, Rhode Island

Ocean Drive at Newport © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

There are plenty of things to do in Newport but the seaside city really shines brightest during the summer. After all, the million-dollar mansions that Newport is known for were built as warm-weather retreats, for those perfect days spent on yachts and lawns.

10. Okanagan Valley, British Columbia

Okanagan Valley at Penticton © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Framed by desert hills, lakes, vineyards, and orchards, the Okanagan Valley is considered Canada’s only true desert.

10. Shiner, Texas

Shiner Brewery © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Speaking of beloved beverages… Shiner is home to 2,069 people, Friday’s Fried Chicken, and—most famously—the Spoetzal Brewery where every drop of Shiner beer is brewed.

11. Buccaneer State Park, Mississippi

Buccaneer State Park © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Located on the beach in Waveland (adjacent to Bay St. Louis), Buccaneer is in a natural setting of large moss-draped oaks, marshlands, and the Gulf of Mexico.

12. Canadian Rockies, Alberta

Jasper Mational Park in the Canadian Rockies © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

The Canadian Rockies stretch 900 miles northwest from the Montana border. The lakes and peaks combined create gob-smacking scenery for summer travel.

13. New River Gorge, West Virginia

New River Gorge © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

A rugged, whitewater river flowing northward through deep canyons, the New River is among the oldest rivers on the continent.

14. Mesa Verde National Park, Colorado

Mesa Verde National Park © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Mesa Verde National Park protects some of the best-preserved archaeological sites in America, including cave dwellings of the Ancestral Pueblo people.

15. Joshua Tree National Park, California

Joshua Tree National Park © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Joshua Tree National Park is an amazingly diverse area of sand dunes, dry lakes, flat valleys, extraordinarily rugged mountains, granitic monoliths, and oases.

16. Fort Ticonderoga, New York

Fort Ticonderoga © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

From living history to behind-the-scenes programs, battle re-enactments, workshops, seminars, and seasonal activities, there is always something happening.

17. Bretton Woods, New Hampshire

Mount Washington Cog Railway © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Take a scenic train ride to the summit of Mount Washington, the highest peak in the Northeast, on the Mount Washington Cog Railway.

18. Longfellow-Evangeline State Historic Site, Louisiana

Longfellow-Evangeline State Historic Park © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Longfellow-Evangeline State Historic Site explores the cultural interplay among the diverse peoples along the famed Bayou Teche.

19. Helena, Montana

Helena © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Helena was founded in the gold rush of 1864. Visit the Pioneer Cabin, hop on the Last Chance Tour Train, or wander historic downtown Helena.

20. Corning, New York

Corning © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Known as America’s Crystal City, Corning has long been at the forefront of all things glass, from innovative technology and science to the remarkable creations found at The Corning Museum of Glass. But artisan glass is just one of the reasons Corning is so fun.

Worth Pondering…

It’s not just a drive in your RV.

It’s an experience.