10 Amazing Places to RV in June 2024

If you’re dreaming of where to travel to experience it all, here are my picks for the best places to RV in June

Genius, like humanity, rusts for want of use.

—William Hazlitt

English essayist William Hazlitt is best known for his humanist writings which stress free will and self-actualization. In 1826, he published On Application to Study, an essay discussing how staying engaged keeps us moving forward. With this line, Hazlitt suggests that the drive for knowledge keeps our minds sharp—that genius is a muscle that can be exercised.

He wrote that “by continuing our efforts, as by moving forwards in a road, we extend our views, and discover continually new tracts of country.” In other words, we will always learn something new when we’re out looking for it with an open mind.

Planning an RV trip for a different time of year? Check out my monthly travel recommendations for the best places to travel in April and May. Also check out my recommendations from June 2023 and July 2023.

Grand Canyon National Park © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

1. Grand Canyon Star Party, June 1-8

Grand Canyon National Park is known for its breathtakingly beautiful rugged terrain. But did you know it also hosts some of the most beautiful night skies around? 

You can take in those skies in early June at their annual Star Party. The event is free but you must still pay to enter the park. The park fee is good for the North and South rims for seven days. 

The event starts at sunset and the best viewing time is after 9 pm. Most telescopes will be taken down at 11 pm although some folks still share theirs after that when the skies are crisp and clear.  

Find my Ultimate Guide to Grand Canyon National Park here.

If you plan on visiting multiple national parks, you can save a lot of money by getting an America the Beautiful Pass.

Bryce Canyon National Park © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

2. Bryce Canyon Astronomy Festival, June 5-8

Bryce Canyon National Park is located in southern Utah. This park has such excellent night sky viewing that it earned its dark-sky designation in 2019!

Come view the reddish-colored hoodoos during the day and then return for its spectacular nighttime views.

Their Annual Astronomy Festival includes lectures, star stories presentations, and guided stargazing sessions. Last year, they had a performance by an Arizona string quartet called Dry Sky Quartet and other family-friendly activities. 

Find my Ultimate Guide to Bryce Canyon National Park here.

By the way, there will be more national parks with stargazing festivals in 2024. That’s why I wrote Look to the Stars! National Parks Stargazing Festivals (2024).

Reedy Falls in Greenville © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

3. Greenville, South Carolina

Located just over the border from North Carolina in the northwest corner of South Carolina, Greenville is a gorgeous city at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Greenville is equal parts natural escape, walkable downtown, foodie haven, and caffeine capital of South Carolina. Greenville is the biggest city in Upstate South Carolina but it’s not too big to where it’s overcrowded and not too small to limit your dining, drinking, and entertainment options.

Greenville strikes a balance between a bustling city and a quaint, small Southern town. Enjoy lunch and dinner at any one of the incredible restaurants located across the downtown area. From there, take a stroll through downtown and absorb the natural landscape with sights such as Falls Park on the Reedy River.

Falls Park on the Reedy is certainly one of the reasons for the town’s relaxing atmosphere. The park features riverside gardens, a suspension bridge, and beautiful waterfall views. Again, all of this is located in the immediate downtown area. If you’re feeling extra adventurous, take a hike or a bike ride around the 22-mile Swamp Rabbit Trail which connects parks and the downtown area with nearby Travelers Rest, South Carolina.

Arches National Park © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

4. Arches National Park

Arches National Park is a breathtaking destination in southeastern Utah renowned for its awe-inspiring collection of over 2,000 natural sandstone arches. June 2024 promises to be an extraordinary time to visit as the park unveils its vibrant beauty against the backdrop of a blooming desert landscape. With warm temperatures and extended daylight hours, you’ll have ample opportunities to explore the park’s iconic landmarks and hidden gems.

Here are a few more articles to help you do just that:

Wall Drug © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

5. Wall Drug

A few minutes north of Badlands National Park in western South DakotaWall Drug is what kitschy roadside dreams are made of. It evolved from a frills-free pharmacy in 1931 to a requisite pitstop for passing roadtrippers, following the success of a guerrilla billboard campaign that advertised free ice water to Badlands-goers.

Nowadays, it’s a sprawling complex of quirky attractions and eateries where dinosaurs and jackalope figurines share turf with a pint-sized chapel, an arcade, saloons, a cafeteria-style restaurant (as seen in Nomadland) slinging frosted cake doughnuts, and an operating pharmacy whose storefront is a replica of the original Wall Drug store. 

Stephen C. Foster State Park © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

6. Among the stars

Anyone who grew up watching Video Soul on BET remembers host Donnie Simpson encouraging us to shoot for the moon but at Stephen C. Foster State Park you actually can be among the stars. Designated as one of the best places to stargaze in the world, this South Georgia Park was the first place in Georgia to be accredited by the International Dark Sky Places Program as a gold-tier International Dark Sky Park recognizing its stewardship of the night sky through responsible lighting policies and public education.

There’s very little light pollution here so views of the stars, comets, and planets are crystal-clear making it an unforgettable getaway for your starry-eyed family particularly if you choose to spend the night in one of the park’s campsites or platform cabins.

If you prefer a more solid roof over your head, Newell Lodge & Resort offers comfortable campgrounds and cabin rentals for families of five or less along the tranquil Okefenokee Swamp Park.

7. Winchester’s Beer Cheese Festival

The Annual Beer Cheese Festival held in historic downtown Winchester, Kentucky is the ONE and ONLY festival in the world dedicated to the celebration of beer cheese!

So, what happens at the Beer Cheese Festival? Well, obviously there are lots and lots of beer cheese. And that’s a good thing!

Dare you ask “What is Beer Cheese?” Well, in case you’ve never heard of it or tasted it… Beer cheese is a cheese spread that is predominantly found in Kentucky. Even though there are various recipes throughout Kentucky most commonly it is a spicy, smooth concoction that was originally created with the intent of making customers more thirsty—therefore buying more beer. Great for local bar owners! You can eat it with crackers, put it on burgers, use it in soups, etc.

The possibilities are endless but the most common uses are served as a dip with pretzels, celery, carrots, etc. Beer cheese is usually made with cheddar cheese, spices, and beer. It can vary from very mild to spicy hot.

So, there you have it. Beer Cheese 101. Join the good folks in Winchester for their annual Beer Cheese Festival on Saturday, June 8, 2024. In addition to many delicious Beer Cheese samples from local vendors there’ll be music, games, food, and fun for the entire family.

There’ll also be downtown events the night before the Festival on Friday’s “Rock the Block” event on June 7.

Jerome © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

8. Wickedest Town in the West

For a truly special adventure, you’ll want to visit Jerome. This former mountain mining town earned the nickname The Wickedest Town in the West during its heyday when rich copper ore deposits attracted miners, merchants, madams, and more to Yavapai County.

At its peak, Jerome was an early 20th-century copper mining town. Several mines operated in the area and as the money flowed out, people flowed in. At one point, Jerome had its own school, two churches, and an opera house. But when the markets crashed during the Great Depression the once-vibrant village became a ghost town.

However, thanks to local artists and historians, Jerome is lively again. The well-preserved buildings serve as mini-museums, exhibits, vintage shops, restaurants, and art galleries. You can even tour the Douglas Mansion where one of the village’s bigwigs lived.

There are tons of ways to spend a day in Jerome. You can grab a glass of wine at Caduceus Cellars owned by rock musician Maynard James Keenan. Check out the Mine Museum to learn how the village began then chow down at Bobby D’s BBQ, the oldest restaurant in Arizona. And don’t forget to partake in a haunted tour to really get that ghost town feel.

Carlsbad Caverns National Park © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

9. Carlsbad Caverns

Descend into the cool cave climate at Carlsbad Caverns, the iconic national park known for its cave systems which are laced with remarkable pinnacles and spires of rock.

There’s a chemistry lesson to be had here—acidic groundwater takes credit for dissolving the limestone former ocean floor into fantastical forms. Stalagmites emerge from the floor and the walls are adorned with speleothems in the form of columns, soda straws, draperies, and popcorn. Or set aside the science and focus your attention on the hunt for the fairies and giants for which these caves now take their names.

The caves also house 17 species of bats which take off en masse each evening. Peak season is May through October and ranger talks precede the sunset launch. 

Here are some helpful resources:

Bison in Elk Island National Park © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

10. Elk Island National Park 

Just a stone’s throw away from Edmonton, Elk Island National Park is a sanctuary for all things wild and is one of the best places in Alberta to see wildlife in their natural habitat. From the impressive bison roaming the prairie meadows and woodlands to playful beavers building dams and showcasing over 250 bird species this park is a nature lover’s dream.

Designated as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, Elk Island plays an important role in the conservation of prairie ecosystems and the plains and woods Bison. It remains Canada’s only completely fenced National Park.

Worth Pondering…

It is the month of June, The month of leaves and roses, when pleasant sights salute the eyes and pleasant scents the noses.

—Nathaniel Parker Willis

Summer 2022: 11 Best Things to Do in Western Canada

Your Canada bucket list just got (a lot) longer…

We could all use a break this summer. The last two summer travel seasons have been especially challenging for everyone—travelers, destinations, and small businesses alike. But 2022’s summer could be the biggest one yet for travel within Canada and I’m here to help you experience the absolute best of it.

Rocky Mountain sheep in Jasper National Park © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

The best things to do this summer in Western Canada include many hidden gems and unique experiences. You’ll find plenty of tried-and-true staples too. But, I tend to embrace under-the-radar spots as well as famous attractions. You’ll likely find things to do that you didn’t even know existed!

Believing the most authentic recommendations derive from personal experiences, the list highlights the places I’ve discovered and explored on one or more occasions. But, no matter where you plan to travel you’re bound to find something unique and fun to do this summer!

Jasper National Park © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

1. Hit all seven of the Rocky Mountain Parks

Renowned for their scenic splendor, the Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks are comprised of Banff, Jasper, and Waterton Lakes national parks in Alberta, Kootenay and Yoho national parks in British Columbia, and Mount Robson, Mount Assiniboine, and Hamber provincial parks in British Columbia. The seven parks of the Canadian Rockies form a striking mountain landscape. With rugged mountain peaks, icefields and glaciers, alpine meadows, lakes, waterfalls, extensive karst cave systems, and deeply carved canyons, the Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks possess an exceptional natural beauty that attracts millions of visitors annually.

Banff National Park © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

2. Snap postcard-worthy photos of Banff National Park

Explore pine forests, glacier-carved valleys, and snow-capped peaks in Alberta’s Banff National Park. 

Banff National Park © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

If you Google “Canada nature,” you’ll see pictures of Banff National Park in the Rockies—and for good reason. Canada’s oldest and most popular national park is Mother Nature’s best. Anywhere you look, there are jagged peaks sprinkled with fluffy powder, bluer than blue glacial lakes, and majestic wildlife including bears (black and grizzly), elk, wolves, big horn sheep, and foxes.

Related: Doctors Can Prescribe Year-Long Pass to Canada’s National Parks

Banff National Park © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Despite being busy year-round, Banff is big enough that you can find something to do without being shoulder-to-shoulder with tourists (well, except perhaps if you’re waiting for that photo of Lake Louise).

Banff National Park is a hiker’s playground with more than 1,000 miles of trails. Following these trails up ridges leads to impressive viewpoints of craggy peaks, surprise waterfalls, and massive glaciers. The higher you go, the more you’ll see of the 1.6 million acres that make up the park.

Jasper National Park © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

3. Immerse yourself in nature at Jasper National Park

Jasper has been named one of the 30 best national parks across the globe. Outside, an online publication has included the picturesque spot on its list of must-see destinations. Jasper is the only Canadian entry.

Elk in Jasper National Park © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Jasper can sometimes be overshadowed by its cousin to the south, Banff, but the park is the definition of “wild and scenic.” It’s the largest park in the Canadian Rockies as it has one million-plus more acres than Banff.

Jasper is also host to a robust population of wildlife including black and grizzly bears, elk and moose, and big horn sheep and Rocky Mountain goats, making it a popular tourist destination for travellers to explore.

Icefields Parkway © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

4. A scenic drive of a lifetime

Linking Lake Louise with Jasper is one of the most beautiful journeys on the planet—the Icefields Parkway (Highway 93). Rated as one of the top drives in the world by Condé Nast Traveler, the Icefield Parkway is a 145 mile stretch of double-lane highway winding along the Continental Divide through soaring rocky mountain peaks, icefields, and vast sweeping valleys

Columbia Icefield © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

The Icefields Parkway is dotted with more than 100 ancient glaciers, cascading waterfalls, dramatic rock spires, and emerald lakes set in huge valleys of thick pine and larch forests.

Related: RV To Canada This Summer

Just as the name implies these glaciers or “fields of ice” is the largest south of the Arctic Circle. They are 90,000 acres in area and 100 to 360 feet in depth and receive up to 7 feet of snowfall per year.

Glacial Skywalk © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Glacier Sky Walk, opened in May 2014, is a unique experience that puts you on a glass-floored observation platform 280 feet over the Sunwapta Valley. The entire experience starts with a walk along the Discovery Trail. If you are not into heights, you can still view the Sunwapta Valley from a look-out point nearby.

Mount Robson Provincial Park © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

5. Reach new peaks at Mount Robson Provincial Park

“On every side the snowy heads of mighty hills crowded round, whilst, immediately behind us, a giant among giants, and immeasurably supreme, rose Robson’s Peak.”

—Milton and Cheadle, 1865

Mount Robson Provincial Park © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Mount Robson Provincial Park, the second oldest park in British Columbia’s park system, is truly one of the Canada’s crown jewels. The mountain for which the park is named guards the park’s western entrance. At 12,972 feet, Mount Robson, the highest peak in the Canadian Rockies, towers over the lesser surrounding peaks; this is one of the finest views in the Rocky Mountains. Just as the early trappers, hunters, and explorers felt in awe at the mountain’s magnificence, travelers today experience the same feelings.

Mount Robson © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

With Alberta’s Jasper National Park as its easterly neighbor, Mount Robson Provincial Park comprises a portion of one of the world’s largest blocks of protected areas. Designated as a part of the Canadian Rocky Mountains World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1990, Mount Robson provides everything from developed, vehicle-accessible camping to remote valleys that seldom see a human footprint. Mount Robson Provincial Park also protects the headwaters of the Fraser River.

First attempted in 1907, it was not until 1913 that humans finally stood on the summit of Mount Robson. On that clear, cold day guide Conrad Kain, W.W. Foster and A.H. McCarthy beheld a view no person had ever seen before.

Fort Langley National Historic Park © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

6. Stand in the spot where BC began

Experience the excitement of the early West Coast fur trade at Fort Langley and stand in the spot where British Columbia was proclaimed a British colony in 1858. Explore the scenic fort—built by the Hudson’s Bay Company in 1827—where fur traders once exchanged furs, salmon, and cranberries with Indigenous communities.

Fort Langley Farmers Market © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Fort Langley National Historic Site offers interactive displays and activities. Watch blacksmithing, barrel-making, or historic weapons demonstrations, take a guided tour and pan for gold. Additional experiences include overnight stays in a furnished oTENTik, audio tours available in seven languages, and Sxwimelə Boutique and Gifts. There is also free parking on-site for visitors.

Fort Camping © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Special events take place throughout the year such as Grave Tales walking tours, Brigade Days, Canada Day, the Cranberry Festival, Christmas events, and Vive les Voyageurs Winter Festival in January.

The Fort Langley National Historic Site is within walking distance of the Fort Langley Village where you can explore locally-owned shops, cafes, restaurants, museums, and beautiful walking trails along the Fraser River.

Okanagan Valley © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

7. Drink in the wine and sunshine in the Okanagan

Imagine a valley floor filled with a 120-mile-long lake, wildlife including bighorn sheep, cougars, and rattlesnakes, rainfall of fewer than 12 inches a year but with the greatest concentration of wineries and orchards, you can imagine. The Okanagan Valley is the heart of British Columbia’s grape-growing region and boasts more than 130 licensed wineries. An ever-changing panorama, the valley stretches over 150 miles, across distinct sub-regions, each with different soil and climate conditions suited to a range of varietals. 

Related: What you should know about Wine and Canada

Okanagan Wine Country © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Add to this the Okanagan’s natural beauty (it’s a hallowed summer-vacation spot for Western Canadians), its wide range of non-wine-related things for the whole family to do—from riding the century-old Kettle Valley Steam Railway and swimming in those pristine lakes to biking and hiking, and its lush orchards selling juicy peaches and cherries on the roadside—and you’ve got a wine-country experience like no other.

Lesser Slave Lake © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

8. Travel off the beaten path in Lesser Slave Lake Provincial Park

As you dig your toes into warm, soft sand and watch the setting sun reflect off the glassy surface of the lake, you may feel like you are far away in some tropical locale. At nearly 450 sq mi, it isn’t hard to mistake Lesser Slave Lake for an ocean. Its white sand beaches are some of the finest in Alberta and when the west wind blows across the vast waters, you can get wave action big enough to surf on—though most people choose to ride the big breakers in kayaks.

Lesser Slave Lake Provincial Park © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

The unique microclimate that encompasses the lake and rich habitat of the surrounding boreal forest has created a haven for nesting and migratory birds—particularly songbirds—which is why the area has been dubbed the continent’s bird nursery. Built to study them, the Lesser Slave Lake Bird Observatory and Boreal Centre for Bird Conservation are fascinating to visit. You’ll learn that nearly half of all North American bird species nest and raise their young here and billions of birds pass through during the spring and fall migrations. Tour the Boreal Centre and take a walk along the Songbird Trail pausing in the middle to stand quietly and listen to the natural symphony created by songbirds in the towering aspen-poplar forest.

Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

9. Travel back in time to Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park

The unusual landforms of Writing-on-Stone / Áísínai’pi resulted from the dynamic interaction of geology, climate, and time. In a dramatic landscape of steep-sided canyons and coulees, sandstone cliffs, and eroded sandstone formations called hoodoos, Indigenous peoples created rock art in what is today Southern Alberta. Thousands of petroglyphs and pictographs at more than 138 rock art sites graphically represent the powers of the spirit world that resonate in this sacred landscape and chronicle phases of human history in North America including when Indigenous peoples first came into contact with Europeans.

Wells Gray Provincial Park © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

10. Search for Well Gray’s breathtaking waterfalls

Wells Gray is not as highly acclaimed as Mount Robson or the national parks in the Canadian Rockies. And having been there, I have no idea why. I mean… this place is awesome!

Wells Gray Provincial Park © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Wells Gray has something to offer every outdoor interest: lush alpine meadows, excellent birding and wildlife viewing opportunities, hiking, boating, canoeing, and kayaking. Guiding businesses offer horseback riding, canoeing, whitewater rafting, fishing, and hiking. The history enthusiast can learn about the early homesteaders, trappers, and prospectors, or about the natural forces that produced Wells Gray’s many volcanoes, waterfalls, mineral springs, and glaciers.

Wells Gray Provincial Park © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Many people head to Wells Gray for the lakes, but there are also over 40 named waterfalls in the park. Many of them are in remote corners of the park, but eight of them are easy to reach from Clearwater Valley Road.

So you might be wondering: Why are there so many waterfalls in the same small area? And how did they form? It turns out the waterfalls in Wells Gray use the same secret formula as another favorite waterfall destination, Iceland: volcanoes + glaciers = waterfall magic.

Elk Island Provincial Park © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

11. Explore the natural wonders at Elk Island National Park

Elk Island National Park played an important part in the conservation of the plains bison. This “island of conservation” is 30 miles east of Edmonton along the Yellowhead Highway which goes through the park. Watch for wood bison to the south and plains bison to the north.

Elk Island Provincial Park © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Explore the park by foot, bike, or car, and be on the lookout for wildlife. Bison and other mammals are most active at dawn and dusk when females travel with their young. Beyond bison be ready to glimpse deer, elk, coyotes, and the countless birds that call Elk Island National Park home. Many animals shelter in the trees during the warmest parts of the day.

Elk Island Provincial Park © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Elk Island has several trails of varying lengths winding through the different habitats found within the park. Since the park is not mountainous, the trails have very few steep inclines. Each trail contains many wildlife viewing opportunities from two different subspecies of bison to a multitude of songbirds. Whether you’re out for a leisurely hike or a longer adventure, make your trip a safe one by checking the latest conditions.

Read Next: Plan Your Travels around a UNESCO World Heritage Site

Worth Pondering…

I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order.

—John Burroughs