These Travel Quotes Will Inspire You to Hit the Road

Looking for inspiration to hit the road? I have put together 65 of the best road trip quotes to inspire you to get in your RV and drive!

Expanding your horizons! A desire to explore the unknown! Connection! Adventure! These are the tenets that unite travelers in that shared experience so many of us know and love.

Maybe you’re the kind of traveler who likes to throw away the map and get lost or perhaps you’re the type that prefers to have an itinerary with a carefully curated list of things to see and do. In any case, dreaming up future trips is half the fun, and allowing your imagination to run wild with fantasies of backcountry drives or long walks through cobblestone streets is always a joy.

Whether RV travel has been a regular part of your life or you’re just now itching to explore, there is no shortage of inspiration to help fuel that wanderlust. Here are 65 quotes about travel to inspire your next road trip.

Alabama Gulf Coast © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Adventure is worthwhile.

―Aesop (620-564 BC)

To travel is to live.

—Hans Christian Andersen (1805-1875)

Travel in the younger sort is a part of education; in the elder, a part of experience.

—Sir Francis Bacon (1561-1626)

If you think adventure is dangerous, try routine, it’s lethal.

— Paulo Coelho

A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving.

—Lao Tzu (6th century BC)

We travel, some of us forever, to seek other states, other lives, other souls.

—Anaïs Nin (1903-1977)

Canyon de Chelly National Monument, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

I was here, I saw this, and it mattered to me.

—Alain de Botton, The Art of Travel

Half the fun of the travel is the esthetic of lostness.

—Ray Bradbury

My favorite thing is to go where I’ve never been.

—Diane Arbus

Our happiest moments as tourists always seem to come when we stumble upon one thing while in pursuit of something else.

—Lawrence Block

Get your motor runnin’
Head out on the highway
Lookin’ for adventure
And whatever comes our way
Yeah Darlin’ go make it happen
Take the world in a love embrace
Fire all of your guns at once
And explode into space.

Born To Be Free, words and music by Mars Bonfire

Joshua Tree National Park, California © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving.

—Terry Pratchett

To get away from one’s working environment is, in a sense, to get away from one’s self; and this is often the chief advantage of travel and change.

—Charles Horton Cooley

Wandering re-establishes the original harmony which once existed between man and the universe.

—Anatole France (1844-1924)

One doesn’t discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time.

—Andre Gide

Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.

—Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

A journey is like marriage. The certain way to be wrong is to control it.
—John Steinbeck (1902-1968)

Travel isn’t always pretty. It isn’t always comfortable. Sometimes it hurts, it even breaks your heart. But that’s okay. The journey changes you; it should change you. It leaves marks on your memory, on your consciousness, on your heart, and on your body.
—Anthony Bourdain

Sometimes you have to travel a long way to find what is near.
—Paulo Coelho

When we get out of the glass bottle of our ego and when we escape like the squirrels in the cage of our personality and get into the forest again, we shall shiver with cold and fright. But things will happen to us so that we don’t know ourselves. Cool, unlying life will rush in.

—D.H. Lawrence (1885-1930)

Kennedy Space Center, Merritt Island, Florida © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Slow down and enjoy life. It’s not only the scenery you miss by going too fast—you miss the sense of where you’re going and why.

—Eddie Cantor

“Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?”
“That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,” said the Cat.

—Lewis Carrol (1832-1898)

For the born traveler, travelling is a besetting vice. Like other vices, it is imperious, demanding its victim’s time, money, energy and the sacrifice of comfort.

—Aldous Huxley (1894-1963)

Because the greatest part of a road trip isn’t arriving at your destination. It’s all the wild stuff that happens along the way.

—Emma Chase

Life is like a road that you travel on
When there’s one day here and the next day gone
Sometimes you bend, sometimes you stand
Sometimes you turn your back to the wind

Life is a highway
I wanna ride it all night long
If you’re going my way
I wanna drive it all night long
Come on. Give me give me give me give me yeah

—recorded by Tom Cochrane from his second studio album, Mad Mad World (1991)

Savannah, Georgia © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

The journey not the arrival matters.

—T. S. Eliot (1888-1965)

The road goes on forever the party never ends…

—Joe Ely, musician

Experience, travel—these are as education in themselves.

—Euripides (480-406 BC)

However one reaches the parks, the main thing is to slow down and absorb the natural wonders at leisure.

—Michael Frome

Now more than ever do I realize that I shall never be content with a sedentary life,
and that I shall always be haunted by thoughts of a sun-drenched elsewhere.

—Isabelle Eberhardt

Once you have traveled, the voyage never ends, but is played out over and over again in the quiestest chambers. The mind can never break off from the journey.

—Pat Conroy

Once a year go somewhere you have never been before.

—Dalai Lama

Georgetown, Kentucky © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Traveling is almost like talking with men of other centuries.

—René Descartes (1596-1650)

Two roads diverged in a wood, and

I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

—Robert Frost, The Road Not Taken (1873-1963)

The minute I step foot in the motorhome, I feel at ease. I don’t have anything else to think about except taking care of my family.

—Actress Jennie Garth

It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters in the end.

—Ursala K. Guin

Traveling tends to magnify all human emotions.

—Peter Hoeg

Every perfect traveler always creates the country where he travels.

— Nikos Kazantzakis

“Where are we going, man?”

“I don’t know, but we gotta go.”

—Jack Kerouac, On the Road (1922-1969)

The open road is a beckoning, a strangeness, a place where a man can lose himself.

—William Least Heat Moon

St. Martinsville, Louisiana © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

My travels led me to where I am today. Sometimes these steps have felt painful, difficult, but led me to greater happiness and opportunities.

—Diana Ross

I travel not to go anywhere, but to go.

I travel for travel’s sake.

The great affair is to move.

—Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894)

The Road goes ever on and on

Down from the door where it began

Now far ahead the Road has gone,

And I must follow, if I can,

Pursuing it with eager feet,

Until it joins some larger way

Where many paths and errands meet

And whither then, I cannot say.

—J.R.R. Tolkien (1892-1973)

Your road is everything that a road ought to be…

And yet you will not stay in it half a mile, for the reason that little, seductive, mysterious roads are always branching out from it on either hand, and as these curve sharply also and hide what is beyond, you cannot resist the temptation to desert your own chosen road and explore them.

—Mark Twain (1835-1910)

One of the great things about travel is that you find out how many good, kind people there are.
—Edith Wharton (1862-1937)

Mount Washington Cog Railway, New Hampshire © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Afoot and light-hearted I take to the open road,

Healthy, free, the world before me,

The long brown trail before me leading wherever I choose.

—Walt Whitman (1819-1892)

People travel to wonder at the height of the mountains, at the huge waves of the seas, at the long course of the rivers, at the vast compass of the ocean, at the circular motion of the stars, and yet they pass by themselves without wondering.

—Augustine of Hippo (354-430)

Travel and change of place impart new vigor to the mind.

—Seneca, Roman Stoic philosopher (4 BC-AD 65)

The journey is my home.

—Muriel Rukeyser (1913-1980)

Travel does what good novelists also do to the life of everyday, placing it like a picture in a frame or a gem in its setting, so that the intrinsic qualities are made more clear. Travel does this with the very stuff that everyday life is made of, giving to it the sharp contour and meaning of art.

—Freya Stark (1893-1993)

Journeys, like artists, are born and not made. A thousand differing circumstances contribute to them, few of them willed or determined by the will—whatever we may think.

—Lawrence Durrell (1912-1990)

The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.

—Dr. Seuss (1904-1991)

The Breakers, Newport, Rhode Island © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

On the road again, goin’ places that I’ve never been, seein’ things that I may never see again, and I can’t wait to get on the road again.

—Willie Nelson, On The Road Again

Why I travel: to learn and grow, to challenge myself, stretch my limits and foster an appreciation of both the world at large and the chair waiting in front of the woodstove back home.

—Tim Patterson

The time to prepare for your next expedition is when you have just returned from a successful trip.

—Robert Peary (1856-1920)

The impulse to travel is one of the hopeful symptoms of life.
—Agnes Repplier (1855-1950)

When you travel you experience, in a very practical way, the act of rebirth. You confront completely new situations, the day passes more slowly, and on most journeys you don’t even understand the language the people speak….You begin to be more accessible to others, because they may be able to help you in difficult situations.

—Paulo Coelho, The Pilgrimage

Arches National Park, Utah © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Roads were made for journeys, not destinations.

—Confucius (551-479 BC)

Travel makes one modest. You see what a tiny place you occupy in the world.

—Scott Cameron

May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds.

—Edward Abbey (1927-1989)

Life’s an open road.

—Bryan Adams, Open Road

Stuff your eyes with wonder…live as if you’d drop dead in ten seconds. See the world. It’s more fantastic than any dream made or paid for in factories.

—Ray Bradbury (1920-2012)

All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware.

—Martin Buber (1878-1965)

Canyons of Senora © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

A journey is best measured in friends, rather than miles.

—Tim Cahill

One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.
—Henry Miller (1891-1980)

Certainly, travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living.

—Miriam Beard (1876-1958)

Canadian Border Crossing in an RV: What You Need to Know

Now that the border has been open for some time since COVID, restrictions for crossing the Canadian border in an RV have relaxed

Planning an RV road trip across the border from the United States into Canada (or vice versa) and wondering what to expect? Whether you’re a seasoned traveler or a first-time visitor, it’s important to know the rules and regulations for a Canadian border crossing ahead of time. From documents to inspections for pets, plants, people, food, and firearms there are many things you need to consider and plan for before you leave. 

Over the years, we’ve done numerous border crossings from Canada to the U.S. and back again with our motorhome and toad. 

Banff National Park, Alberta © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Like all countries, Canada and the U.S. both have specific rules and regulations around border protection. Rules about what you can and even more importantly what you CANNOT bring into the country. And when traveling in an RV you are much more likely to have those items on board compared to say boarding a plane with just a suitcase or two.

As you might expect, the information shared in this post may be subject to change by the Canadian and U.S. border agencies at any time without notice.

Land border crossing between Canada and the United States was closed for 19 months during the pandemic and highly restricted shortly after borders reopened.

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

Crossing the Canadian border by land has been reopened and Canada has since relaxed their restrictions. They’re now similar to what they were pre-pandemic.

However, there are still some things you need to be aware of that will make your trip to Canada much easier.

In this article, I’ll provide you with helpful tips and insights as well as the questions you’re likely to be asked and how to handle them. By planning ahead and following these guidelines, you can ensure your border crossing is as quick, smooth, and stress-free as possible. 

Mount Robson Provincial Park, British Columbia © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Crossing the Canadian border after COVID

When Canada reopened its borders there was specific procedures and documentation (i.e., proof of vaccination) you were required to show. I’ll notate those changes but also explain the current restrictions as of the writing of this article.

Shortly after Canada reopened its borders it was required to use an app called ArriveCAN to cross the Canadian border. Using this app is no longer required; however, it can still be used. 

ArriveCAN is available for iOS, Android, and web. If you’ve already downloaded it, be sure to check for updates before you reach the border or leave for your road trip. The app is free to use. 

Wells Gray Provincial Park, British Columbia © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

You no longer need to prove COVID-19 vaccination

When the border first reopened, Canada required proof of COVID-19 vaccination to enter the country. However, this is no longer the case. The same is true for pre-entry and arrival testing.

Proof of COVID-19 vaccination and pre-entry COVID-19 testing is no longer required at the Canadian border.

The government’s website, however, does state “If you have symptoms of COVID-19, you shouldn’t travel to Canada.”

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

What Else You Need to Know About Crossing the Canadian Border

Aside from the above changes in travel requirements following COVID, there are numerous other things you need to be aware of before you go RVing to Canada.

No firearms or fireworks

For one, you cannot bring a firearm (handgun, hunting rifle, etc.) into Canada unless you’ve gone through the (usually lengthy) process to get approval. Canada does not honor your concealed carry permit and trying to take an unapproved firearm into the country can result in serious jail time. The same is true for fireworks or explosives.

Jasper National Park, Alberta © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Pet vaccination records

Second, you need to make sure to bring all vaccination records for your pets that are traveling with you. It also helps to bathe your pets before reaching the border if they’ve been playing outdoors a lot because they can deny sickly pets from crossing the border, too. Of course, if your pet is actually sick, you shouldn’t try to take them across the border.

No cannabis products

Third, you cannot take cannabis or any products containing cannabis (including CBD) across the border in either direction. It doesn’t matter whether it’s legal at your point of entry or exit on either side of the border.

Consent forms for children

Fourth, if you’re traveling with children who are not your own, even if they are your grandchildren, you need letters of consent from the parents allowing you to take them across the border. If you are a divorced or separated parent with your children, you must bring a letter of consent from the other parent. It’s also a good idea to have a letter authorizing you to seek and consent to medical treatment for each child from the parents.

Columbia Icefield, Jasper National Park, Alberta © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

How to plan ahead for a border crossing

  • There are 26 border crossing locations from the 4,000 miles spanning east to west U.S.-Canada. Plan your route in advance by finding your nearest border crossing point
  • Wait times, rules, and restrictions may vary from point to point. So be sure to check the rules relating to your preferred border crossing point in advance via the website or CanBorder app
  • Stay in the car/RV lanes (not truck lanes)
  • Avoid stocking up on groceries in the days leading up to a border crossing. Consume as much of your fresh food as you can especially fresh produce and animal products (meat, milk, eggs)
  • Drink up! Whittle down your stash of alcohol so you stay within the alcoholic beverage product limit to avoid paying duty and taxes. You’re allowed 2 x 750 ml bottles of wine, 1.14L of liquor, and 24 bottles/cans of beer/ale (355ml each) per adult
  • For smokers your tobacco limit is 200 cigarettes and 50 cigars
  • Offload all firewood in advance
  • Don’t bring any live plants or herbs with you
  • Ensure your RV is within its safe legal weight rating
  • Locate (or ask your vet for) copies of your pet vaccination certificates (in particular, rabies shots) for dogs and cats 3 months or older
  • Keep your stash of cash (and cash equivalents such as stocks, bonds, bank/traveler’s checks, gold, silver etc.) under $10,000 (CAN/USD) to avoid having to declare it. You can carry more, but prepare for more questions
  • If you travel with firearms, weapons, and ammunition, you generally cannot bring these into Canada. However there are exceptions and you’ll need to pay close attention to the rules around what you can and cannot bring. Be prepared to either store, ship, or declare firearms. DO NOT just show up at the border with firearms
  • Check and potentially avoid significant delays by checking border wait times via the CanBorder App or website
  • Visit the websites for Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) and USA Customs and Border Protection (CBP) for the latest updates and info
Glacial Skywalk, Icefields Parkway, Jasper National Park, Alberta © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Are Canadian border crossings stressful?

Even if you’ve done border crossings before, they can be unnerving. You never quite know what to expect and each time can be a different experience. It’s another country after all. You could face anything from long delays to difficult border agents to an interrogation. Others might experience confiscation of food, duties charged on goods, or even an inspection of your RV and/or car. To us, the latter feels like the worst scenario of all and we do everything to try and avoid it! 

Over the years, we have crossed the border and back many times in our RVs. Overall, we have found our border crossings to be fairly quick and incident-free in both directions. But it’s not always the case.

When you know what to expect and plan ahead, you can increase your chances of a quick and easy border crossing. Of course, I cannot personally guarantee this. But following my tips and suggestions will get you off to a good start.

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

10 tips for a smooth border crossing in your RV

1. Have the Passport for all passengers ready in advance and hand them to the driver

2. Stop using cell phones. Turn off radios/music on approach to the border control area

3. Roll down windows so agents can clearly see all passengers

4. Keep your seatbelts buckled

5. Remove your sunglasses so the agents can see your eyes

6. Stay calm, relaxed, and look the border control agent in the eye

7. Answer ALL questions truthfully while maintaining eye contact

8. Be polite, cooperative, and courteous

9. Be prepared to report goods you are bringing including food, plants, and any animal products

10. Only answer questions you are asked

Rocky Mountain Sheep, Jasper National Park, Alberta © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

What kind of questions will they ask?

U.S. and Canadian border control agents can ask you just about anything. Following is a list of the questions they have asked us plus a few other common questions we’ve heard from others. This will give you an idea of what to expect.

  • Where do you live? (Simply share the domicile on your driver’s license. Don’t over-complicate things by saying you live full-time in an RV!)
  • What is the purpose of your visit?
  • Where are you staying and for how long?
  • What is your citizenship/residency status?
  • Do you have any alcohol on board?
  • What do you do for a living?
  • Do you have any pets on board?
  • Who is traveling in the vehicle?
  • Do you have any firearms?
  • Any plants or restricted foods on board?

Other questions you may be asked include:

  • What is the length, height, and license plate of your RV and tow vehicle?
  • Do you have proof of vehicle insurance?
  • Are you bringing any goods or gifts?
  • Are you conducting any commercial business?

Again, remember to stay calm, maintain eye contact, and be honest. They are just doing their job and trying to determine that you are a trustworthy person that doesn’t pose a threat to the safety of their country. If they have any concerns, they can send you to a secondary inspection for further questioning or search your vehicle.

Fort Assiniboine National Historic Site, Alberta © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Tips for Canadian speed limits and fuel fills

Once you’ve safely crossed the border into Canada, you can finally take a deep breath. Congratulations, you made it! Now, to avoid speeding fines, missed turns, or sticker shock at the pump, here are just a few more things to keep in mind.

Speed limits in Canada are measured in kilometers not miles. So once you cross the border, you will start to see signs that say 100. Keep in mind that 100 kilometres per hour = 62 miles per hour. Sticking to 60 mph is easier to remember and your safest bet.

If using a GPS that is set to give distance in miles you’ll need to get used to seeing/hearing it in the metric system ie. meters instead of feet (1 meter = 3 feet approximately)

Fuel prices in Canada are charged by the liter, not gallon. There are 3.78 liters in a gallon, so don’t be fooled at the pump. Gas is more expensive in Canada than the U.S. So those prices aren’t as exciting as they appear at first glance!

Elk Island National Park, Alberta © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Crossing the U.S.-Canada Border is totally worth it!

Finally, yes, we know, this may sound like a LOT of hassle to go through just to drive across the border into Canada. But I’m here to say that it really is worth it. Canada is such a beautiful country with friendly people. And it really does do us all good to get out and experience another country. Even if it is still part of the same continent, speaking (mostly) the same language!

One of the things we love most about our RV lifestyle is the freedom and ability to visit new places, cultures, and countries while taking our home with us. We also love not having to deal with airports and air travel. 

So grab your passports. Get out there and drive as far and wide as you can. Canada is waiting for you! We have barely scratched the surface of the Great White North and we definitely look forward to returning many more times. We hope you get there too. Happy travels!

Worth Pondering…
My truck tore across Montana
Ian Tyson sang a lonesome lullaby
And so I cranked up the radio
Cause there’s just a little more to go
For I’d cross the border at that Sweet Grass sign
I’m Alberta Bound.

—Lyrics and recording by Alberta born Country Music singer, Paul Brandt, 2004

Welcome to the 1,500th RVing with Rex Article!

My schedule has evolved around our RV lifestyle and writing about it

My schedule has revolved around our RV lifestyle and preparing a daily article relating to the RV lifestyle. And now, here I am with 1,500 posts under my belt.

In the process my hair has gone from brown to gray and my energy level decreased by 30 percent―maybe more―due to my advancing age. No complaints, though.

Vista del Sol, a RV resort in Bullhead City, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

If I were a race horse I’d be around the final curve, headed to the finish line.

When we began our RV snowbird lifestyle back in 1997, I had no idea that over 25 years later we would still be at it. Amazing!

I cannot express how wonderful the last 25 years have been.

I would love to be around for another 20 years but I’m not counting on it. But I vow that I won’t abandon this amazing online project until I’m no longer able to put intelligible words on a blank page.

The Barnyard RV Park in Lexington, South Carolina © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Thank you for being such a loyal reader of I appreciate you very much!

You may not know this but I produce with a staff of only one. Yes, just one! And that would be me. I work seven days a week to get everything done, not because I need to but because I want to. It’s a labor of love!

RVing with Rex is a dream, come true for me. Decades in the making but now being lived out like one giant movie, seen through the wide expanse of our RV windshield as North America rolls on by. We can stop anytime, and explore anywhere. And I share it all with you on this blog.

That would be my workspace at Christmas © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

I have posted 1,500 articles on my website and each year I publish 365 RVing articles, one each day of the year including New Years, Christmas, and my birthday.

The goal then and now is to share our RV lifestyle. I have to admit, I am not very mechanical. This blog is only partially aimed at tinkerers and mechanics. It’s about the RV lifestyle and the great things to see and do out there on the open road—and how to stay safe.

Hiking Clingmans Dome in Great Smoky Mountains National Park © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

In addition to RVing, I enjoy photography, hiking, and birding—and writing about it.

By background, I’m an educator. I love learning and delving into history, and seeing new things, enjoying God’s awesome creation. Taking pictures and using said photos to tell a story. I’ve written for a Western Canadian-based RV magazine and Good Sam blog and annual North America Campground Directory.

Bird watching (green jay) in Bentsen- Rio Grande Valley State Park & World Birding Center in Texas © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Typically, we’re on the road six to seven months a year. We’re not fulltimers. We return to our Alberta home (Go Oilers Go) for the summer.

We also like to attend RV rallies and events. While Alberta directors of the Newmar Kountry Klub we hosted club rallies and caravan tours.

I truly enjoy being immersed in something I love. The blog is a labor of love. It is all my own work. No one tells me what to say or what not to say.

Photographing sandhill cranes in Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

As I said, I love to travel and write about our experiences. It’s in my DNA, I guess.

The RVer in me is upset at all the bad information being published today about RVing by websites, blogs, videos, and on social media.

It’s bad because we have entered the era of writers who write to fill space strictly for money. The more sensational or controversial their story (click bait works great), the more valuable they become to publishers.

Mount Rushmore National Memorial in the Black Hills of South Dakota © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Some publishing experts predict that by 2025 more than 90 percent of the content on the Internet will be written using Artificial Intelligence (AI). It’s already happening (but not with me). 

Keeping my content relevant is increasingly challenging. I do not hire content creators—freelance writers who crank out articles by formula. The best way I can set myself apart from such fluff is to write the most valuable, useful, informative, accurate, educational (and sometimes entertaining) articles available anywhere—written by a real RVer (that would be me!), not pretenders.

Arches National Park in Utah © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

We should all be grateful that Mark Twain, John Steinbeck, Ernest Hemingway, Jane Austen, Henry David Thoreau, and William Shakespeare didn’t aim so low.

And now, along come the robots—inexpensive online services where writers with only minimal talent and subject knowledge can crank out articles all day long. An article that once took a real writer a few hours to write can be written in a few minutes. The results are sometimes accurate but they are very often superficial and just plain wrong. Read my article, Ghost Wright: On the Future of AI and you will see what I mean.

I will NOT post articles written by AI!

Alabama Gulf Coast © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

My pledge is to provide readers with the very best, most accurate information available anywhere about RVing.

All that said, I hope you are safe and making the best of our challenging times. Be wise. Be careful. Don’t take needless chances. Be kind to others because right now that goes a long way to comforting people who are nervous, scared, or otherwise emotionally hurting over the dramatic upheaval in their lives. Design your life in a way you enjoy your days and you will have a good life.

Lover’s Key State Park in Florida © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

And thank you for reading.

Be healthy. Be safe. Have fun. Enjoy the RV lifestyle. Keep reading.

Worth Pondering…

I think, therefore I am.

I listen, therefore I know.

I travel to discover, therefore I grow.

RVshare: 2023 Travel Trend Report

RVShare just released their 2023 Travel trend report

RVshare has released its 2023 Travel Trend Report, chock full of stats on how people are looking to travel in the next year, what kind of trips they’re taking, and what age demographics seem the keenest to take an RV vacation in the next 12 months. Want a glimpse into the travel scene in the New Year to see how your plans stack up? Read on.

The report predicts another major year for travel. According to new research conducted by Wakefield Research, nearly all Americans (99 percent) are planning leisure travel in 2023. The RV travel boom continues to press on with 61 percent planning to take a road trip or vacation in an RV. Travelers are still seeking relaxation and time with family and friends, and work flexibility continues to evolve and become a more permanent lifestyle for many Americans ultimately affecting their travel decisions.

Canyon de Chelly National Monument, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

RV travel is mainstream travel

Gone are the days of RVs only being for snowbirds and touring rock bands. More and more people are seeing the appeal of a good old-fashioned road trip and booking an RV is part of many travel plans. RV interest has continued to grow with 62 percent likely to consider renting an RV for a trip in the future, a 9 percent jump from 2022. What are some reasons travelers prefer an RV road trip over other travel options? Not only are they more affordable with no charges for baggage and an onboard kitchen to prepare food on your terms but they make for a more pleasant travel experience allowing you to stop along the way, sit where you’d like, and avoid travel delays.

Old Town Temecula, California © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Other benefits of RV travel that survey respondents found valuable include:

  • Greater ability to change the schedule (59 percent)
  • Lower costs by avoiding fees for extra luggage (52 percent)
  • Allows them to budget around predictable travel costs (47 percent)
  • Helps to avoid loud and unruly passengers (47 percent)
  • No need for secondary transportation at destination (45 percent)
  • Fewer travel delays (44 percent)
  • The ability to have no assigned seating (42 percent)
Utah Scenic Byway 12 © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Who is actually renting RVs?

So we know RVing is more popular than ever and spans more demographics, but who is really renting and traveling in them?

Related article: The Expanding Camping Community

One big group that spans across generations is parents. Eighty-one percent of parents are likely to consider renting an RV for a trip in the future. And who could blame them, an RV parked in the driveway alone is pure excitement for kids and it makes for a smooth travel experience. Having a kitchen and bathroom on board, a living space, and cozy beds means your hotel is built right into your vehicle making any stops much more pleasant.

Padre Island National Seashore, Texas © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

RV enthusiasts span age demographics, with Millennials being the most interested age group followed by Gen X and Gen Z.

Among those who plan to take a trip in an RV in the next 12 months:

  • 75 percent are millennials
  • 65 percent are Gen X
  • 58 percent are Gen Z
  • 41 percent are Boomers
Bison at Custer State Park, South Dakota © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

2023 travel plans

After the frustrations of travel the past couple of years, people are equally divided in how they want to make up for it with 50 percent planning on keeping things simple and the other half going big and finally hoping to check out some bucket list trips they’ve been putting off. Many travelers are still seeking time in nature and enjoying wildlife (47 percent), prioritizing the importance of enjoying peace and quiet (49 percent), and placing importance on catching up with friends (34 percent).

Camping at Buccaneer State Park, Waveland, Mississippi © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Hush trips

Another way many are planning to travel is in the New Year? Enter hush trips. Hush trips are enjoyed by remote employees who are leaning heavily into the remote aspect of their jobs by taking vacation time while continuing to work—maybe from a lounge chair by the pool or at a campground with strong Wi-Fi. These employees are still putting in the hours but working from an alternative location where they plan to enjoy leisure activities in their off-hours and don’t feel the need to disclose their location.

Related article: Are New Campers Really Interested in Camping?

Savannah, Georgia, a bucket trip destination © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Other 2023 travel plans include:

  • Annual trips with family and friends (49 percent)
  • Laid-back trips focused on relaxation (48 percent)
  • Local trips (44 percent)
  • Big trips to bucket list destinations (29 percent)
  • Cross-country road trip (28 percent)
Boondocking at Quartzsite, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

RVs go beyond camping

While the classic way to take an RV trip is to park it at a campground, there are other places that lend themselves well to an RV.

Related article: RV Sales Continue to Soar and Here Are the Reasons Why

Wakefield Research reveals that travelers are seeking to experience RVs in new ways—beyond the typical road trip. According to RVshare insights, 20 percent of rentals are booked for event purposes like tailgating, auto and aviation shows, music festivals and more.

  • 63 percent say they are likely or 100 percent likely to stay in an RV for multi-day festivals, a 10 percent increase from 2022
  • 52 percent say they are likely or 100 percent likely to stay in an RV for tailgating events, a 10 percent increase from 2022
  • 68 percent say they are likely or 100 percent likely to stay in an RV for trips to national parks, a 10 percent increase from 2022
  • 55 percent say they are likely or 100 percent likely to stay in an RV for hobby events, a 10 percent increase from 2022
Camping on Jekyll Island, Georgia © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Delivery is still in demand

First-time RV renters account for one-third of bookings on RVshare. A factor that can deter those inexperienced renters is the thought of having to physically drive the RV. RVshare provides the option for RV delivery, which continues to increase in popularity. Our report found that 79 percent of people think a delivery option would make them more likely to consider an RV trip and 71 percent of parents say they’re much likelier to consider an RV trip if the RV is delivered to their destination.

Related article: Why RV?

Nearly half of RVshare rentals were delivered in 2022 and RV rental deliveries are up increasingly compared to prior years:

  • +48 percent since 2021
  • +150 percent since 2020
Bay St. Lewis, Mississippi © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Top delivery destinations include:

  • Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort, Lake Buena Vista, Florida
  • Camperland on the Bay, San Diego, California
  • Ginnie Springs Outdoors, High Springs, Florida
  • Daytona International Speedway, Daytona Beach, Florida
  • Georgia National Fairgrounds, Perry, Georgia
  • Lazy L & L Campground, New Braunfels, Texas
Camping at Arches National Park, Utah © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

The economy isn’t stopping travelers

Survey results reveal that the economy won’t be stopping vacationers anytime soon. Inflation is unavoidable but just 2 percent are likely to cancel their vacation because of it. In fact, 88 percent of Americans are planning to travel as much or more in 2023 compared to last year. Instead, travelers are considering cost-cutting options.

  • Would look to cook some of their own meals instead of dining out (57 percent)
  • Would travel during the off-season (49 percent)
  • Would partake in fewer fee-based activities (43 percent)

Worth Pondering…

Road trips have beginnings and ends but it’s what’s in between that counts.

Are You Ready to Live the RV Lifestyle? 11 Tips for Getting Started

An RV Lifestyle can be very rewarding for those who are prepared

You’re ready to live that RV life? How exciting! There are many things to know before you hit the road, so I’ve rounded up a few essential tips to get you started.

Camping at Tom Sawyer RV Park, West Memphis, Arkansas © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Go old school

While we’re all pretty used to having Wi-Fi and phone service everywhere we go, you might find yourself in some off-the-gird situations. So, I suggest you go old school. Take photos and screenshots of all of your necessary documentation that can only be found online. In addition, it’s never a bad idea to have photocopies and printouts.

The same goes for your maps and reservation information. Those hard copies could be your saving grace if you find yourself in a pinch, either out of service or with a dead or broken phone. Imagine making the whole trip without internet or access to your devices. Round up everything you’ll need. If you don’t need those hard copies, no problem. But if you do, you’ll never regret having them.

Camping at Capital City RV Park, Montgomery, Alabama © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Checklists for everything

Before you go, make sure you have everything you’ll need during your trip with an RV camping essentials checklist. Just like pilots have a pre-flight checklist it’s important to have pre-departure checklists for your RV.

Every checklist will differ depending on the RV type and gear. The important thing is to make comprehensive lists and check them EVERY time you leave.

There are certain RV camping essentials you need to take with you such as your RV paperwork (insurance, registration details, roadside assistance documents, and road maps). You also need to make sure you pack other RV essentials such as electrical or battery equipment, a tool kit, and a first aid kit. 

Related article: Why RV?

If you plan to prepare meals in your RV (and why wouldn’t you?), you’ll need to ensure you have all the equipment and supplies you need. For example, you’ll require bowls, plates, cutlery, cups, pots and pans, knives, chopping boards, and matches. You’ll also need to pack products to clean these items once you’ve used them such as sponges, detergent, and trash bags.

Camping at Arizona Oasis RV Park, Ehrenberg, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Seize the opportunity

If you come across a fuel station, a place with a clean shower, or a grocery store with RV parking, take the opportunity to stop. You never know when you might find yourself in a pinch, so grab those opportunities when they arise.

Camping at The Springs at Borrego RV Resort and Golf Course, Borrego Springs, California © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Start with your needs

As you’re packing, consider what you need rather than what you want. You can expand your packing list as you gain experience but starting with the essentials will help you pack efficiently and save space. Packing the non-essentials makes it easier to forget the things you really need. Aim to have as little clutter as possible and keep it simple.

Camping at Ramblers Rest RV Park, Venice, Florida © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Ask for advice

Remember the community that surrounds you. Get involved! Don’t go it alone. Your fellow RVers are your friends. Networking with them will produce a more successful experience for everyone. They can provide moral support, maintenance help, babysitting for your pets and belongings while you’re away, and guidance when planning your routes. Ask about the best places to go, stop, and stay. Reviews can be misleading and you can only learn so much online. Personalized recommendations are ideal when possible.

Related article: 11 Ways RVing Beats Flying

Consider following some RV bloggers online and on social media to get an idea of how they live their lives and get recommendations for the can’t-miss places. Join a forum to get started and don’t be afraid to keep an open mind.

Camping at Creek Fire RV Resort, Savannah, Georgia © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Know your RV inside and out

You need to know everything there is to know about your RV from the exact exterior measurements to your plumbing and electrical systems. You need to be the expert.

Each RV we’ve owned has come with a suitcase of user manuals. There is an instruction booklet on everything from operating the furnace and air conditioner to cleaning and servicing the RV and awning and everything in between. There is even a manual on RV tires.

Read through every manual. There are also build sheets, diagrams for each fuse box and information on proper tire inflation. We’ve referenced all the information many times throughout our years of RVing.

When a fuse goes out at 1 a.m. you’ll want to know which fuse box to check. Our current motorhome has three fuse/breaker boxes and one of them is outside. When it’s pouring rain outside, it’s not fun to run around wondering which breaker box to check.

Gather all documentation and study it as much as possible before heading out. It’s always a good idea to do a few shorter practice trips before you drive into RV living.

Camping at Whispering Hills RV Park, Georgetown, Kentucky © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Save money on camping

Of course, RVing comes with its own expenses and also certain sacrifices; like anything in life, it’s a give and take. But if you do it right—by, for example, joining a discount camping club like Passport America to save 50 percent on your campground accommodations—this unique traveling life can give you physical as well as financial liberation. In fact, many RVers are drawn to the small life in order to pursue minimalistic, debt-free living.

Camping at Poche’s RV Park, Breaux Bridge, Louisiana © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Everything has a place

Just like the cupboards in a house, everything has a place in an RV. The difference is, when the RV is going down a bumpy road and that bottle of vinegar gets loose because it was put back in the wrong place, you might end up with a mess on your hands.

Related article: Why are RVs So Popular?

It also makes packing up a much faster process because you know where all the pieces of the puzzle go—and where they are when you unpack.

Camping at Buccaneer State Park. Waveland, Mississippi © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Make sure you’re insured

You’ll want to talk to your insurance provider and learn about all the types of insurance you might need. From RV insurance to medical insurance, you don’t want to find yourself in a sticky situation without proper coverage.

Boondocking along Scenic Utah Byway 24 © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Budget for RV living

As mentioned before, one of the advantages of RV living—or at least one of the reasons people most frequently site for taking on this lifestyle—is its affordable nature. But it’s not always that simple.

RVing does include many costs and they’re quite variable so there’s no way to really talk about the average cost of RV living. For example, you might spend $85 a night at a posh RV resort with all the amenities or absolutely nothing for a great boondocking site on public lands. Your fuel cost will vary depending on the model of rig you purchase, your speed, weather conditions, the terrain, and how often and far you drive.

Related article: 7 Confessions of a Snowbird Living the RV Lifestyle

With careful planning, RVing can be a viable way to save on your living expenses. For one thing, you simply can’t buy as many new items when you don’t have very much room to store them in.

You can create a budget either through the many budgeting apps or the old fashion way. Be sure to include major camping expenses such as campsite fees and fuel and also food, license and registration, maintenance and repairs, and entertainment. Don’t forget about regular expenses like cell phone bills and the occasional purchase of new clothing and supplies.

Camping at Seabreeze RV Park, Portland, Texas © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Enjoy the Journey

Most importantly, enjoy the journey. There are headaches associated with RV living but there are many more pleasures.

Worth Pondering…

By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.

—Benjamin Franklin

13 Essential Stops on an RV Tour across Utah

The marvelous range of sights in Utah attracts many campers every year and with good reason

The freedom and solitude of RV travel has vaulted this form of recreation to new heights of popularity and with cutting-edge rental platforms on the market, there’s no better time to set out on your very own RV adventure than the present.

When it comes to destinations, the spacious highways and spectacular natural beauty of Utah make it a perfect match for an extended RV road trip. There are a huge number of RV trips in Utah just waiting to be had! From deserts to snow-capped mountains, from red sandstone arches to endless blue skies, there’s beauty and adventure high and low, attracting hikers, nature lovers, and plain old sightseers alike.

While there’s no shortage of gorgeous attractions to see across the Beehive State, check out the list below for some must-visit highlights during your adventure.

Bryce Canyon National Park © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Bryce Canyon National Park

Utah is no stranger to incredible natural beauty but if you only have time for one national park during your RV trip, make sure it’s Bryce Canyon. Officially established in 1928, this preserve contains the world’s largest concentration of hoodoos, a jagged rock spear formed by erosion.

Bryce Canyon National Park © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

The park is a true paradise for hikers equipped with a wide array of options ranging from the 1.5-mile Queen’s Garden Loop Trail to the challenging 8.2-mile Fairyland Loop. Not a huge fan of outdoor adventure? No worries—the park is equipped with spectacular vista points like Sunrise Point and Sunset Point with each spot offering a world-class view with minimal amounts of walking required.

Bryce Canyon is home to two campgrounds both of which are open to RV traffic. North Campground offers 49 RV-only sites and Sunset Campground offers 50, though there are no hookups. 

Get more tips for visiting Bryce Canyon National Park

Zion National Park © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Zion National Park

True wilderness is a hard thing to find nowadays—a retreat from civilization into a place that is seemingly untouched by man may seem like a fairy tale. But that is exactly what Zion National Park can offer.

It may be one of Utah’s most famous tourist attractions but visitors will soon discover it’s popular for good reason. Zion has many hiking trails that allow you to experience what the wilderness is truly like. More populated trails are perfect for beginners who still want to see the beauty of the West. And beauty there is! Sandstone cliffs swirled with reds, pinks, and creams reach high into the sky making a wonderful contrast against the bright blue horizon. The narrow slot canyons are a wondrous sight and the unique desert plants and animals will keep you enthralled in the environment.

Zion National Park © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

What’s the best part of a visit to Zion National Park, you ask? You never have to leave the beautiful surroundings! The park has three campgrounds, two of which are located right in Zion Canyon. South campground has primitive sites available and Watchman Campground has sites with electric hookups available.

Get more tips for visiting Zion National Park

Arches National Park © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Arches National Park

Arches National Park embodies everything that Utah is famous for—a desert landscape filled with natural beauty. There’s plenty to experience in this “red-rock wonderland”—the most famous, of course, being the arches. There are over 2,000 of these natural stone arches in the park and each one is unique.

Arches National Park © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

You’ll be able to spend your days exploring the trails that wind through the arches, pinnacles, and giant balanced rocks. Ranger programs are available as well to help you get the most out of a visit. There are daily guided walks, hikes, and evening programs that will teach you all about the park and let you take in as much of the beauty as possible.

Devil’s Garden Campground is 18 miles from the entrance to Arches National Park. Being surrounded by the stunning desert throughout your trip certainly helps you appreciate the park even more.

Get more tips for visiting Arches National Park

Canyonlands National Park © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Canyonlands National Park

While you’re in the Moab area to visit Arches, don’t forget to see the other major attraction: Canyonlands National Park. At over 337,000 acres, this park dwarfs the more popular Arches to the north and it has a wide variety of wonders for any eager adventurer to explore.

Canyonlands National Park © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

The park is divided into four distinct areas each offering a unique perspective on this stark desert ecosystem. Island in the Sky is a flat-topped mesa while the Needles are tall, sharp spires; the Maze is a seemingly-endless system of crevasses and canyons, and finally, visitors can see where the Colorado and Green rivers intersect at the Colorado Plateau. The park also boasts some original Native American rock paintings inside its iconic Horseshoe Canyon.

Canyonlands offers two developed campgrounds: Island in the Sky (Willow Flat) Campground and The Needles Campground. While both are open to RVs, no hookups are available,

Get more tips for visiting Canyonlands National Park

Capitol Reef National Park © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Capitol Reef National Pak

Tucked into the heart of Utah’s south-central desert, Capitol Reef National Park surrounds a wrinkle in the earth’s crust known as the Waterpocket Fold. The Fold’s unique geological features include the Chimney Rock pillar, the Hickman Bridge arch, and the Capitol Reef formation itself which is renowned for its white sandstone domes. Like other Utah national parks, Capitol Reef is an International Dark Sky Park and thus a great place for stargazing.

Capitol Reef National Park is also home to over 2,700 fruit-bearing trees situated in its historic orchards; cherries, peaches, apricots, plums, mulberries, and more are seasonally available for fresh picking.

Capitol Reef National Park © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

There is one developed campground open to RV traffic inside Capitol Reef National Park: Fruita Campground. Although there are no hookups, a dump station and potable water are available. Be sure to double-check the size limits as each individual space is different and some of them are quite small.

Get more tips for visiting Capitol Reef National Park

Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument

Established as a protected natural landscape in 1996, Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument is a one-of-a-kind site and certainly worth an RV trip if you’re making your way to Utah. The site is the size of Delaware and the erosion it’s seen over time has made it into what’s basically a giant, natural staircase—one that’s seen more than 200 million years of history. It’s all there for you to walk through and discover yourself!

The Monument is home to two campgrounds: Deer Creek and Calf Creek. Both are small, primitive, and apt to fill up quickly.

Get more tips for visiting Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument

Monument Valley © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Monument Valley

You might recognize it from Forrest Gump, Mission: Impossible 2, Back to the Future Part III, or National Lampoon’s Vacation—but chances are, you will recognize it. A Navajo Tribal Park, Monument Valley is one of the most iconic landscapes anywhere in the world let alone in the state of Utah and it’s well worth passing through and even stopping to discover more.

Monument Valley © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Monument Valley boasts sandstone masterpieces that tower at heights of 400 to 1,000 feet framed by scenic clouds casting shadows that graciously roam the desert floor. The angle of the sun accents these graceful formations providing scenery that is simply spellbinding. The fragile pinnacles of rock are surrounded by miles of mesas and buttes, shrubs and trees, and windblown sand all comprising the magnificent colors of the valley.

The View Campground includes 30 RV spots and 30 wilderness campsites which attract outdoor enthusiasts who want to capture the essence of rustic living and dust of authentic Navajo history.

Get more tips for visiting Monument Valley

Valley of the Gods © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Valley of the Gods

The beautiful Cedar Mesa sandstone monoliths, pinnacles, and other geological features of this enchanting area are often referred to as a miniature Monument Valley. These sandstone sentinels were eroded by wind and water over eons of time.

The 17-mile Valley of the Gods Road stretches between US-163 north of Mexican Hat and Utah Route 261 just below the white-knuckle Moki Dugway. The massive red rock formations are a geology fan’s dream. Hoodoos, spires, buttes, buttresses, forming and collapsing arches, and towers are all visible along the drive. 

Valley of the Gods © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

There are many places to stop along the scenic drive and numerous locations suitable for FREE camping as the valley lies on BLM land and is completely undeveloped. Since hardly anyone seems to pass by, the area provides a much more relaxing and isolated experience than the famous valley (Monument Valley) 30 miles southwest, and without any of the restrictions on hiking or camping. 

Get more tips for visiting Valley of the Gods

Natural Bridges National Monument © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Natural Bridges National Monument

Natural Bridges National Monument covers a relatively small area in southeastern Utah. It is rather remote and not close to other parks and as a result, is not heavily visited. A nine-mile one-way loop drive connects pull-outs and overlooks with views of the three huge multi-colored natural bridges with Hopi Indian names—Sipapu (the place of emergence), Kachina (dancer), and Owachomu (rock mounds). Moderate hiking trails, some with metal stairs or wooden ladders, provide closer access to each bridge.

A 13-site campground is open year-round on a first-come, first-served basis.

Get more tips for visiting Natural Bridges National Monument

Cedar Breaks National Monument © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Cedar Breaks National Monument

Hidden within the mountains above Cedar City is the brilliant geology of Cedar Breaks National Monument. The geologic amphitheater and surrounding areas are home to hiking trails, ancient trees, high elevation camping, and over-the-top views along the “Circle of Painted Cliffs.”

Cedar Breaks National Monument © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Cedar Breaks’ majestic amphitheater is a three-mile-long cirque made up of eroding limestone, shale, and sandstone. Situated on the western edge of the Markagunt Plateau, the raised area of earth located in Southern Utah between Interstate 15 and Highway 89, the monument sits entirely above 10,000 feet. The Amphitheater is like a naturally formed coliseum that plunges 2,000 feet below taking your eyes for a colorful ride through arches, towers, hoodoos, and canyons. Stunning views are common throughout so keep your camera nearby.

Point Supreme Campground is surrounded by meadows of wildflowers in the summer. At 10,000 feet elevation, it is a comfortable place to camp during the hotter summer months. Point Supreme has 25 campsites and accommodates both tents and RVs. Camping is available from mid-June to mid-September.

Get more tips for visiting Cedar Breaks National Monument

Hovenweep National Monument © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Hovenweep National Monument

Just across the border from Colorado’s Canyon of the Ancients, Hovenweep National Monument is a can’t-miss destination for anyone interested in America’s prehistoric origins. The site includes the ruins of six villages dating back to A.D. 1200 and 1300 and these stunning structures include multistory towers perched on canyon rims and balanced on boulders. A true testament to time, Hovenweep National Monument is as educational as it is awe-inspiring!

Hovenweep National Monument hosts a 31-site campground that can accommodate RVs up to 36 feet in length. The campground is available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Get more tips for visiting Hovenweep National Monument

Glen Canyon National Recreation Area © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Glen Canyon National Recreation Area

Glen Canyon National Recreation Area offers more than 1.2 million acres of unparalleled opportunities for land- and water-based recreation. Within the recreation area, Lake Powell is the second largest human-made lake in the United States and is widely recognized as one of the premier boating destinations in the world. Stretching from the beginning of the Grand Canyon at Lees Ferry in Arizona to the Orange Cliffs of southern Utah, Glen Canyon National Recreation Area is graced with scenic views, unique geology, and evidence of 10,000 years of human history.

Glen Canyon National Recreation Area © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

In terms of campgrounds, there’s a lot to choose from including many primitive sites operated by National Park Service. These campgrounds do not take reservations and do not have phone numbers. There are also park concessioner-operated campgrounds with full-service sites available. Campgrounds operated by park concessioners include Wahweep RV Park and Campground, Bullfrog RV Park and Campground, Halls Crossing RV Park and Campground, and Antelope Point RV Park.

Get more tips for visiting Glen Canyon National Recreation Area

Scenic Byway 12 © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Scenic Byway 12

A 121-mile-long All-American Road, Scenic Byway 12 winds and climbs and twists and turns and descends as it snakes its way through scenic landscapes ranging from the remains of ancient sea beds to one of the world’s highest alpine forests and from astonishing pink and russet stone turrets to open sagebrush flats.

Scenic Byway 12 has two entry points. The southwestern gateway is from U.S. Highway 89, seven miles south of the city of Panguitch near Bryce Canyon National Park. The northeastern gateway is from Highway 24 in the town of Torrey near Capitol Reef National Park.

Scenic Byway 12 © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Other major attractions include Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Escalante Petrified Forest State Park, Kodachrome Basin State Park, Hell’s Backbone, Hole-in-the-Rock, Cottonwood Canyon, Burr Trail, Box-Death Hollow Wilderness Area, and The Hogsback, a narrow ridge barely wider than the two-lane roadway with cliffs falling away on either side.

Mile for mile, few of America’s national scenic byways can compete with the diverse scenery and number of natural attractions along Scenic Byway 12. Recognized as one of the most beautiful drives in America, the byway showcases some of Utah’s uniquely scenic landscape.

Get more tips for driving Scenic Byway 12

Worth Pondering…

As we crossed the Colorado-Utah border I saw God in the sky in the form of huge gold sunburning clouds above the desert that seemed to point a finger at me and say, “Pass here and go on, you’re on the road to heaven.

—Jack Kerouac, On the Road

The Ultimate Guide to Planning a Cross-Country Road Trip

Plan a route from sea to shining sea—without breaking the bank

Road trips have always been part of America’s DNA and despite skyrocketing gas prices there’s still never been a better time to see just what those amber waves of grain are all about. For many remote work has left the door wide open for new methods (and longer timelines) for exploration.

Whether by motorhome, travel or fifth-wheel trailer, camper van, or whatever trusted stagecoach you’ve got sitting out in the driveway, pulling off a cross-country road trip is incredibly rewarding—but it does take planning. From trip planning to money-saving, here are some tips I’ve picked up along the way.

Rawhide Western Town in Chandler, Arizona along I-10 © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Planning the route: north, south, or a little of both

Arguably the most important part of planning a cross-country road trip is to decide how to get from coast to coast. You’ll hear people talk about the “north” route, I-90 from Seattle to Boston, or the “south” route, I-10 from Los Angeles to Jacksonville. I don’t like having to choose so my road trip route incorporates a little bit of both. Also, consider the season; I don’t recommend either I-90 or I-80 during winter.

Black Hills of South Dakota © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

The most important thing is to design the road trip around what inspires you (more on this later). For me, that means the Grand Canyon, the Black Hills, the Smoky Mountains, Charleston and Savannah, and the Southwest which dictated that we drive the northern route and then pivot straight south before turning east again and then zig-zagging a few more times and taking the southern route to the Southwest.

Gatlinburg, Tennessee in the Smoky Mountains © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Write down the following numbers:

  • How many days do you have for your road trip?
  • Approximately how many miles do you intend to cover?

Start by making a list in Google Maps of all the places you want to see. You may be surprised at how naturally a route forms. You also may be surprised at how little time it takes to get from one place to the next, especially in the East.

Related article: Life Is a Highway: Taking the Great American Road Trip

Charleston, South Carolina © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

What are the most miles you’d be comfortable driving in one day? Start by considering how many hours you’d feel comfortable behind the wheel then convert that into miles.

How many days do you want to do zero driving? Consider days spent exploring towns or in national and state parks. Likely, you won’t want to drive every single day of your trip.

These numbers should give you some clarity on what your itinerary will look like.

Savannah, Georgia © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Sometimes following a pre-planned itinerary takes a lot of the guesswork out which many people prefer. Everyone’s tolerance for driving is different, too; you’ll need to gauge your threshold. Don’t plan to cross the country in six days if you can only handle four hours of driving at a time.

Amish Country in northwestern Indiana © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Create your itinerary

Now, start plotting days out so you can see them. You can use whatever works best for you. There are also road trip planning apps out there.

Once you have a basic itinerary drafted, run through it and see how it feels. Is it too rushed? Are you trying to cover too many miles? Do you think you could squeeze more stops in?

Kentucky Bluegrass Country © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Make any tweaks you feel are necessary. Even though this will hopefully be a pretty solid plan my advice is to always think of it as a guide rather than something that needs to be followed 100 percent.

Here are a few more questions to ask yourself as you’re making alterations to your itinerary:

  • Does it feel balanced?
  • Do you have all your long drives at the beginning of the trip?
  • Will you feel exhausted when you reach your final destination or will you be ready to rock?
  • Do you have time in your schedule to be spontaneous?
  • What would happen if you don’t get home on the exact date that you planned?
Bryce Canyon National Park © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Plan ahead for national parks

Part of the adventure of a cross-country road trip is leaving room for improvisation. We don’t book RV parks and campgrounds until a day or two before our planned arrival which is great because we can be on our timetable. But this can become an issue around the national parks where campgrounds can often be booked months in advance.

Zion National Park © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

As badly as you want to see Zion and Bryce Canyon, well… so does everyone else in America. It’s vitally important to plan and know each park’s entry restrictions. Consider springing for the $80 America the Beautiful National Park pass which provides access to all National Park Service sites as many times as you want in 12 months. In short, if you plan to go to more than three National Parks in one year, this is a good investment. If you plan to spend considerable time in one state or a region, look into those state or local passes too.

Related article: Epic Road Trips for this Summer and Beyond

Arches National Park © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Design the road trip around what inspires you

Don’t miss out on great parks like Arches because you forgot to get reservations. If summer’s come to an end, you may get lucky—many parks, like Yosemite, do away with the reservation system after September 30. On the flip side, other parks like Glacier National Park or the Grand Canyon North Rim close their scenic drives in the colder months when snow is expected. It pays to do your research.

Catalina State Park, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Beat the crowds by going in the off-season—fall is an especially great time to visit—or opt for less-visited national parks that everyone seems to forget about. Get creative: America is full of gorgeous state parks, national forestsnational monumentshistoric parks, roadside attractions, and much more.

Gettysburg National National Military Park, Pennsylvania © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Set a road trip budget

Unless you’ve got a bottomless bank account (wouldn’t that be nice?!) you’ll probably want to set some sort of road trip budget. Now, this will vary from person to person. For some, it might be more or less a target to aim for but you’ve got flexibility. And for others, it’s a strict number that you’ll need to be very mindful of the entire trip. Whichever sounds like you, setting a budget is important. 

Truth BBQ in Brennan, Texas © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

If you can, skip traveling to popular places over holiday weekends and possibly the week before and after as prices will be inflated (plus, it’ll be extra crowded).

Road trip costs to consider include:

  • Fuel: This category is pretty straightforward
  • Accommodation: RV parks and campgrounds
  • Food: Restaurants AND groceries; also, the cost of snacks, coffee, alcohol, ice cream… ALL the good stuff
  • Entertainment: Fun things you plan to do along the way—hiking permits, entry fees, tours, rental equipment
  • Miscellaneous: The little expenses that don’t fit elsewhere—like propane, parking fees, tolls, medicine, paying for Wi-Fi, toiletries, souvenirs, gifts
  • Emergencies: We all hope to avoid unforeseen circumstances but, they do happen. This might include RV repairs, medical expenses, etc.
La Posta in Historic Mesilla, New Mexico © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Don’t get gouged on fuel prices. I secretly get excited when we save money on diesel fuel. One great app to save money on gas is Gas Buddy. Simply input your location and Gas Buddy shows you the cheapest gas around you. This app alone can save you hundreds of dollars when traveling across the US. Independent truck stops often offer diesel fuel at 50 to 60 cents per gallon cheaper than the majors like Pilot/Flying J and Loves.

Related article: The Ultimate Guide to Planning the Best Summer Road Trip

Mount Washington Cog Railway, New Hampshire © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Also, driving the speed limit will help you stretch your fuel—not to mention, it’s kind of the law. Speeding can lower your fuel economy by as much as 30 percent. When you get up to places like Montana where the speed limit is 80 mph you’ll see how quickly your tank drains.

Turning off toll roads is another money saver. It never adds that much extra time and you can score substantial savings. There are some cities where tolls are unavoidable but in others, these are only slightly faster and the tolls can add up quickly. Driving from New York to Washington, DC, for example, can cost as much as $35 in tolls—each way. In cities that are infamous for their tolls, like Chicago, do a little pre-planning so you find the best route for your trip and don’t get stuck paying unnecessary fees for tolls.

Avery Island, Louisiana © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Have meals “on deck”. You can make some epic meals on the road but not every meal has to be fancy or overly planned out. Have some meals on hand that are just that—super simple to make.

We always have several “reserve meals” that don’t require much preparation for travel day.

Wild Turkey Distillery in Kentucky Bourbon Country © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Dining out can be one of the biggest money sucks. It may seem like sacrilege to not be seeking out the best thing to eat in each town along your route but whittling your list down to the absolute can’t-miss spots will be lighter on your wallet. Texas BBQ joints are pretty high on my must-do list.

Eat out for lunch instead of dinner. If there’s a restaurant you just have to try, plan to go there for lunch instead of dinner. Restaurants often have items that are similar to their dinner menu with smaller portions sizes and smaller price tags. This is a great way to try a specific restaurant while still sticking to your budget.

Blue Ridge Parkway © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Find free things to do

No matter where your road trip may take you there should be a ton of free (or inexpensive) activities to do. Simply Google “free things to do in (enter city name here)” and you should find enough to get you started.

Alternatively, you could replace “free” with “cheap” for some more options.

Galt Farmers Market in Central Caliroenia © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Free activities that to seek out include:

  • Hiking and walking trails
  • Farmers markets
  • Local parks
  • Beaches
  • Visitor centers
The Okefenokee in southern Georgia © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Before you hit the road…

Make sure everything on the RV and toad/tow vehicle is in good working order. This means checking the tire pressure, lights, oil, transmission fluid, and all the features before heading out each day. Don’t forget preventative maintenance.

Related article: Road Trip Planning for the First Time RVer

World’s Largest Roadrunner, Las Cruces, New Mexico © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Be prepared for things you didn’t prepare for

Even with the most detailed and extensive planning, things happen. But being open and flexible to mishaps is how to not let them ruin your day. If and when something goes wrong, remember to not panic. Trust that you’ve prepared yourself as best as possible and you’ll get back on track in no time.

Inconveniences are also exacerbated by exhaustion, so remember to take care of yourself on the road. Eat plenty of healthy food, drink water, and get a good night’s sleep before a long driving day. Leave the windows open for airflow, especially if you’re feeling sleepy. If you need to take a power nap, find a well-lit, safe area. This should not be a chore. Driving at your best is going to make the trip infinitely better.

Other than that, fire up your best road trip playlist, buckle up and enjoy the ride.

Worth Pondering…

If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there.

—George Harrison, Any Road

The Summer Travel Season Begins with Memorial Day

Memorial Day kicks off the summer travel season that will surely test American’s resilience for inflation

Observed on the last Monday in May, Memorial Day is a major remembrance day that deserves our attention. It is a day where we come together to remember the sacrifice of many for the freedom all of us enjoy today. Many will attend events to commemorate the men and women of our armed forces who made the ultimate sacrifice to secure our freedom.

The National D-Day Memorial, Bedford, Virginia © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Memorial Day was originally referred to as Decoration Day. Shortly after the Civil War, General John A. Logan called for a “Decoration Day” to honor those who died during the bloody struggle by decorating the graves of comrades who were lost in defense of their country.

Appomattox Court House National Historic Park, Virginia © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Over time, Decoration Day became known as Memorial Day. For a long time it was observed on May 30. It wasn’t until Congress passed the Uniform Holiday Act in 1968 that Memorial Day was officially recognized on the last Monday in May. This law went into effect in 1971.

Related Article: Honoring Memorial Day the Revolutionary Way

The Alamo, San Antonio, Texas © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Red poppies are traditionally worn on Memorial Day, inspired by the poem In Flanders Fields:

We cherish too, the Poppy red

That grows on fields where valor led,

It seems to signal to the skies

That blood of heroes never dies.

Fort Davis National Historic Site, Texas © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Memorial Day is also the official beginning of the summer season and that includes camping, picnics, and parades. With many celebrating the holiday out of town, the roads are typically filled with people traveling. According to USA Today, Memorial Day is one of the 10 most traveled days of the year.

Nearly 60 percent of American adults shared that they have plans to travel during Memorial Day Weekend versus 27 percent in 2021, according to a recent survey by The Vacationer.

Gettysburg National Military Park, Pennsylvania © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

“This is a clear indicator that summer travel is going to be up significantly. In a general summer travel survey not related to Memorial Day, we saw more than 42 percent—180 million people—said they intended to travel more this year than last year so it’s not surprising that there is a significant increase in Memorial Day travel,” said Eric Jones, co-founder of The Vacationer.

Related Article: Memorial Day: Honoring Those Who Served Their Country

“People said that last year was gonna be the revenge travel year, but now that everyone’s much more comfortable with COVID and restrictions have loosened, this’ll really be that year.”

Saratoga National Historic Park, New York © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

More than half of the survey’s respondents confirmed that they would be traveling by car (or RV) this Memorial Weekend. And despite nearly 54 percent confirming that high fuel prices will affect their travel plans in one way or another this Memorial Day, almost 57 percent said they were still going to take some sort of road trip, a form of domestic travel that has grown in popularity during the pandemic.

Cowpens National Battlefield, South Carolina © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Amongst road trip types, traveling somewhere closest to home was, naturally, most popular. Thirty-two percent of respondents said they would be going to a destination within 100 miles of their home, 13 percent said they were going to a destination within a 250 mile radius, and nearly 11 percent are headed somewhere within or over 500 miles from their home.

Fort Adams State Park, Rhode Island © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

These numbers follow several reports of American travelers saying that they are planning to spend more on travel this summer than that of last year. While higher fuel prices may fail to deter many from still traveling, it will most likely force travelers to spend less elsewhere in their travel expenses.

Related Article: Remembering D-Day

Boston Freedom Trail, Massachusetts © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Memorial Day Weekend of 2022 will be a “test run” of sorts as the first US holiday of this summer which is already recording tremendous leaps in the travel industry since the start of the pandemic. Travelers will be testing the waters and looking to see whether these long-awaited travels are worth the higher fuel prices they’re paying for. 

Old Ironside (USS Constitution) © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

This is the beginning of summer, so travelers will have to watch their money. There are still a lot of people out there who are still cautious—they might travel for the first time, say Memorial Day, and then realize “Okay, inflation and fuel prices are still going up, maybe we’ll reconsider for Fourth of July.”

Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

If gas prices go down, people who were on the fence and leaning towards no might say yes, which could also increase overall travel.

Related Article: Memorial Day 2021: Best Arizona Road Trips for the Long Holiday Weekend

We wish all of you a Memorial Day weekend filled with peace and remembrance and safe travel.

Worth Pondering…

As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.

—John F. Kennedy

10 Inexpensive Outdoor Activities for Spring

Not everything comes with a massive price tag in the spring and these activities are affordable and fun

This is the moment we’ve been waiting all winter for! Spring is finally here! Spring means outdoor activities and often it means travel.

Spring is the perfect time of year for outdoor activities. Not too cold, not too hot, and in many cases not yet crowded with summer travelers.

Tulips in blossom is a sure sign of spring © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Believe me, the older one gets, the more we feel the cold! So, with winter behind us, it’s time to open up the windows and feel that warm spring air.

Look around you and you’ll notice that everybody seems to have an extra spring in their step with those glum winter moods now lifted. There’s a lot to love about spring including RV travel. Spring might just be the best time to travel. Why? Read on.

Rhododendrons in spring bloom © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Of course, the number one reason to travel in spring is the warmer weather. While you may not be guaranteed summer-like temperatures unless you head to Florida or Arizona or perhaps Texas, the weather in spring can be very pleasant especially the later in the season you travel.

Related: The 16 Best National Parks for Families to Explore this Spring

Summer heat can often be unbearably hot which is another reason spring travel is so appealing.

Mexican poppies along Pinal Parkway in Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

With the arrival of warmer weather, hiking trails reopen, parks become picnic grounds again, children are out playing, and we can start enjoying activities on the lakes and in the forests again.

Be it camping, boating, or hiking, springtime is the best time to enjoy the great outdoors.

An aromatic and visual delight, spring is a rainbow of colors and a bouquet of smells where flowers bloom, skies are blue, birds return from the north, and animals come out from their winter hibernation with newborns in tow.

Skagit Valley Tulip Festival © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

However, these can get costly. But, money is not necessary to enjoy the warm winds, beautiful flowers, and sunny days of springtime. There are many spring activities that are easy on the pocketbook and some are even free. Listed below are ten inexpensive outdoor activities for springtime in an RV.

Spring camping © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Spring camping

Talking about camping, America has so much to offer. It is a perfect way to enjoy a mixture of outdoor activities such as hiking, fishing, kayaking, picnicking, and birding.

Depending on where you live and when you go, spring can still be a chilly time of year for camping. But isn’t that what campfires and s’mores are for?

Related: Spring Is the Season to Hike Arizona State Parks

Spring camping © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved


Take your meals outside this spring. The prettier the setting is the better. Springtime is ideal for picnicking while surrounded by beautiful green fields, serene waters, and blooming flowers.

Local parks make an obvious option.

Rhododendrons in spring bloom © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

It is a great way to catch up with friends and talk about life with good food. Accordingly, it is also great to combine hiking with picnicking as trekking can create stunning views. There are many public parks in America for a less expensive picnic with breathtaking landscapes. Other parks also host live performances, especially at night.

Hiking Catalina State Park in Arizona Tulips in blossom is a sure sign of spring © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved


“Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt.” – John Muir

Hiking requires little in the way of equipment although you do need reliable hiking shoes and possibly a backpack or hiking poles. You get to enjoy the great outdoors while getting a little exercise.

Hiking Clingman’s Dome in Great Smoky Mountains National Park Tulips in blossom is a sure sign of spring © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Time to lace up your hiking boots! Maybe a strenuous trek up a mighty peak is what you’re after. Or maybe you see yourself walking along an ancient trail that our ancestors used. Perhaps meandering down a boardwalk is more your speed.

Related: Springtime in the Smokies

There are over 21,000 combined miles of trails for you to explore in the National Park Service. Whether you’re looking for rugged slopes or a flat, smooth boardwalk, there’s a national park trail for you. State parks also offer many opportunities to hit the trail. Get ready, adventure awaits!

Biking the Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved


Biking, like hiking, is a fantastic way to experience both easy and challenging trails throughout the spring season.

Biking through national parks and state parks is a great way to see beautiful scenery and discover new places. Cyclists can travel by roads (which are sometimes car-free) and, in some parks, on select trails. There are many places in parks where cars cannot go but you can cover more ground and visit new places on a bike. Some parks offer bike rentals and others provide guided biking activities.

Fishing Parker Canyon Lake in southern Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved


A wide range of people go fishing and if you ask different people why it is their favorite hobby, they will likely answer that fishing gives them relief from stress and they feel free. Freedom is what you experience when you go fishing. Whether you fish in a stream or lake, you experience and appreciate an environment that is entirely different from your ordinary life. When you interact with nature, you become a part of it.

Fishing is an excellent hobby for the whole family and people of all ages. It may appear to be a simple hobby, but the tactics mastered make it a delightful way to spend time in a beautiful setting.

Gambel’s quail in the Sonoran Desert © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved


If you’ve been considering joining the ranks of the 47 million birders in the U. S., there’s no better time than the present to take the plunge—or at least dip your toes in. You can find birds most everywhere: any green space or open water source will do.

Sandhill cranes migrate each spring and fall © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Spring and fall bird migration are ideal for observing rare bird species; it is also stunning to see large groups of birds congregating during these seasons. There are many areas in America where anyone can go bird watching, most are free.

Alabama Gulf Coast © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Beach trips

Beach trips in the spring offer a different experience than in summer. You probably won’t be riding waves or sunbathing depending on the temperature but beach towns offer more than just tanning and swimming.

Lovers Key State Park in Florida © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Most people enjoy walking on the beach. Dogs love it even more making a beach trip perfect for those with pals of the canine persuasion. You can play beach sports like volleyball, fly kites, go running, or pack a picnic lunch or dinner. Or of course, you can go kayaking or canoeing.

Beach towns tend to be quieter in the spring with lower costs. So skip the crowds and costs of summer beach trips and take your next beach vacation this spring.

Tulips in blossom is a sure sign of spring © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved


Whether you view your RV as holiday accommodation and transportation or as your snowbird or full-time home, growing your own food inside your vehicle is easier than you may imagine. Keeping a garden while traveling can be challenging but it also helps ground you and brings in wonders like fresh herbs and produce or simply beautifies and detoxifies a closed space like an RV. Continue reading for tips on RV gardening.

Related: Beautifully Bizarre Joshua Tree Has Springtime Written All Over it

Wildlife World Zoo in the Phoenix West Valley © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Visiting a zoo

Zoos frequently have lower admission rates during the off-season and lesser crowds than in summer. Visiting the zoo during springtime will allow people to experience seeing more newborn species and more interactive animals because there will only be a lesser audience. Top zoos in America include the San Diego Zoo, Lincoln Park Zoo (free admission), St. Louis Zoo, ZooAmerica (Hershey, Pennsylvania), and the National Zoo.

Spring wildflowers © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Create and fly a kite

One of the most fun and creative activities with kids is creating their kites from scratch through the materials available at home. Spring is considered a kite-flying season as the wind becomes steady and constant. Kites range in price from $14 to $85 depending on the model, but it gets much more exciting if the kite is handcrafted. After creatively making the kite, find a more expansive and steady wind spot with less crowds.

Spring wildflowers © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Final word

Every spring, most of us can’t wait to get outside for fresh air. But after an exceptionally cold and snowy winter, getting outdoors feels all the more urgent. You don’t have to spend a fortune to do it, either. Many spring outdoor activities are free or low-cost.

Worth Pondering…

Come with me into the woods. Where spring is advancing, as it does, no matter what, not being singular or particular, but one of the forever gifts, and certainly visible.

—Mary Oliver, Bazougey

Spotlight on Arizona: Most Beautiful Places to Visit

From alpine forests to saguaro-framed sunsets, the landscape is inescapable in Arizona—and the Grand Canyon is just the beginning

Few places in America offer such startling variety of natural features as Arizona. Deep canyons give way to rugged snow-capped mountains. The world’s largest contiguous forest of Ponderosa pines merges into the arid Sonoran Desert.

Arizona’s nickname may be the Grand Canyon State, and that namesake national park may draw more than six million visitors a year and rank as the second most popular in the country. But the canyon is just one of many natural wonders in a state unusually rich in them. In fact, with petrified forests, volcanic cinder cones, saguaro-studded deserts, and Anasazi cliff dwellings, no state in the country can boast as many National Park Service sites as Arizona.

Canyon de Chelly National Monument © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Land of sprawling burnt red and orange deserts and other-worldly rock formations that have to be seen to be believed, Arizona is seemingly made for lovers of the great outdoors and scenic road trips. It’s also home to villages dating back thousands of years of history, sacred sites, world-famous protected areas, and endless skies, yep this US state has soul! Here are the best—and most beautiful—places to visit in wonderful Arizona…

Grand Canyon National Park © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

The Grand Canyon National Park

I’d have to start my Arizona list with one of the most popular and famous national parks to visit in the country. This beautiful national park is the home to the majestic Grand Canyon which houses layers and layers of red rocks. These divulge in millions of years of geological history.

Some of the popular viewpoints which will give you a stunning and up-close view of the Grand Canyon are Mather Point, Yavapai Observation Station, and the renowned architect Mary Colter’s Lookout Studio and her Desert View Watchtower.

Sedona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved


If you delight in gazing at towering red rocks or driving through rugged canyons, then go to Sedona. If you admire exquisite art or are captivated by amazing architecture, then go to Sedona. If you want to see ancient cliff dwellings, hear tales of Hollywood cowboys or thrill to outdoor adventures, then (you guessed it) go to Sedona. Sedona is a must-stop.

Related Article: The Ultimate Arizona Road Trip: 16 Places to See & Things to Do

Monument Valley © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Monument Valley

One of the most iconic and enduring landmarks of the American Wild West, Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park has isolated sandstone mesas, buttes, and a sandy desert that has been photographed and filmed countless times. The landscape overwhelms, not just by its beauty but also by its size. The fragile pinnacles of rock are surrounded by miles of mesas and buttes, shrubs, trees, and windblown sand, all comprising the magnificent colors of the valley. All of this harmoniously combines to make Monument Valley a truly wondrous experience.

Mount Lemmon Highway © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Mount Lemmon Highway

Climbing more than 6,000 feet, Mount Lemmon Highway begins with forests of saguaro cacti in the Sonoran Desert and ends in a cool, coniferous forest in the Santa Catalina Mountains. Prepare yourself for breathtaking views and a climate change that would be similar to driving from Southern Arizona to Canada in a mere 27 miles. Every thousand feet up is like driving 600 miles north offering a unique opportunity to experience four seasons in one trip. This scenic drive begins at the northeastern edge of Tucson.

Navajo Bridge © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Vermilion Cliff National Monument

Easily one of the most beautiful places to explore in Arizona this wonderful national monument is located in Coconino County. It protects the Vermilion Cliff, Coyote Buttes, Paria Canyon, and Paria Plateau. You can drive by the U.S Highway 89A between Jacob Lake and Marble Canyon in the state to reach this picturesque location. Some of the top sights to check out include White Pocket, Buckskin Gulch, Waterholes Canyon, Navajo Bridge, and The Wave.

Cave Creek, a Maricopa County Park © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Maricopa County Parks in Arizona

Maricopa County Parks offer hiking and biking trails, picnicking and camping, educational programs, and guided hikes. Some parks also offer horseback riding, golf, boating, fishing, and archery. There are 11 parks in Maricopa County, which ring around the Phoenix metro area. 

Red Rock Scenic Byway © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Red Rock Scenic Byway

Just outside of Sedona, the Red Rock Scenic Byway boasts everything from breathtakingly beautiful rock formations to ancient Native American cliff dwellings. If you’re a believer in the supernatural, you’ll find the Byway is sprinkled with what like-minded folk refers to as “vortexes” of spiritual energy—two of the biggest are Bell Rock and Cathedral Rock, formations which are stunning regardless of your personal beliefs.

Related Article: What Makes Arizona Such a Hotspot for Snowbirds?

Organ Pipe National Monument © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument 

Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument celebrates the life and landscape of the Sonoran Desert. This is a showcase for creatures who have adapted themselves to the extreme temperatures, intense sunlight, and little rainfall that characterize this Southwest region. Twenty-six species of cactus live here including the giant saguaro and the park’s namesake. This is the only place in the U. S. where the organ pipe cactus grows wild.

Tuzigoot National Monument © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Tuzigoot National Monument

The Sinagua people began building the limestone and sandstone hilltop pueblo around the year A.D. 1000. They expanded the settlement over the next 400 years to involve 110 rooms housing more than 200 people. Then, in the late 1300s, the inhabitants began to abandon the pueblo. By the time the first Europeans arrived, Tuzigoot had been empty for nearly 100 years. It’s believed the citizens joined what are now the modern Hopi and Zuni tribes or stayed nearby and became the ancestors of people now belonging to the Yavapai-Apache Nation.

Petrified Forest National Park © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Petrified Forest National Park

While many national parks around the country are home to vast forests this preserve comes with a twist—the trees here have all been dead for hundreds of millions of years transformed into colorful slabs of stone. A broad region of rocky badlands encompassing more than 93,500 acres, the Painted Desert is a vast landscape that features rocks in every hue—from deep lavenders and rich grays to reds, oranges, and pinks.

Courthouse Plaza, Prescott © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved


Prescott is surrounded by ponderosa pine forests and enjoys a cooler climate that’s perfect for experiencing all four seasons in the outdoors. This is a nature lover’s paradise with lots of opportunities for camping, horseback riding, fishing, kayaking, and mountain biking. Check out the downtown historic area as well as Watson Lake, the Lynx Lake Recreation Area, and Whiskey Row.

Red Rock State Park © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Red Rock State Park

Red Rock State Park in Arizona offers a classic Southwestern outdoor experience for visitors around Sedona. The beautiful red rocks and local wildlife can be viewed and enjoyed as you hike the 5-mile trail network around the park. You can arrive at this 286-acre park in less than 20 minutes driving from downtown Sedona which makes for a convenient stop when in the area. Nearby attractions include Slide Rock State Park, Oak Creek Canyon, Coconino National Forest, and Prescott National Forest.

Saguaro National Park © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Saguaro National Park

Warm days and cool nights make winter an ideal time to visit Saguaro. The park has two areas separated by the city of Tucson. The Rincon Mountain District (East) has a lovely loop drive that offers numerous photo ops. There’s also a visitor’s center, gift shop, and miles of hiking trails. The Tucson Mountain District (West) also has a scenic loop drive and many hiking trails, including some with petroglyphs at Signal Mountain.

Related Article: The Most Beautiful Places in Arizona (That Aren’t the Grand Canyon)

Oak Creek Canyon © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Oak Creek Canyon

This gorgeous gash in the landscape has a spectacular feature: you can drive through it! A wonderful road built in 1929 runs the entire 13-mile length of the canyon. During the 2,500-foot elevation drop into Sedona, the pine trees fade in your rearview mirror as brilliant orange-and-red sandstone bluffs and steep canyon walls appear on your right. 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 tops of the highest sheer red cliffs.

Tombstone © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved


The spirits of Wyatt Earp, Doc Holliday, and the Clanton Brothers live on in the authentic old west town of Tombstone, home of Boothill Graveyard, Birdcage Theatre, and O.K. Corral. After getting its start as a silver mining claim in the late-1870s, the settlement grew along with its Tough Nut Mine becoming a bustling boomtown of the Wild West. From opera and theater to dance halls and brothels, Tombstone offered much-needed entertainment to the miners. The “Town Too Tough to Die” town contains many preserved buildings from the 1870s and 80s.

Globe © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved


In the foothills of the Pinal Mountains, sits the former mining camp known as Globe. Founded in 1876 and incorporated in 1907, this lovely town is brimming with century-old buildings, cottages, and hillside houses. The Besh-ba-Gowah Archeological Park features stunning partially restored ruins of a Salado pueblo along with an accompanying museum. The historic downtown area is perfect for leisurely strolls and shopping for antiques while the Cobre Valley Center for the Arts is a great spot to explore and experience the talent of some incredible artists.

Verde Canyon Railway © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Verde Canyon Railroad

Park the RV and board the train as you embark on a spectacular journey accessible only by rail. Keep your eyes on the scenery as the engineer takes you on a four-hour, 40-mile round-trip excursion between two national forests through a 680-foot tunnel and past ancient ruins and towering red rock buttes. Gaze at the remote wilderness through large windows as you sit comfortably in climate-controlled passenger cars complete with restrooms. Or choose to enjoy the open-air viewing car for fresh canyon air and an amazing 360-degree panorama.

Related Article: Snowbirding in Arizona’s Sonoran Desert

Bisbee © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved


For a few years, Bisbee was the “it” destination, named Arizona’s prettiest small town by a number of travel sites. That level of attention may have dwindled but the former mining town is as beautiful as ever. A stroll down Main Street reveals buildings that look much as they did a hundred years ago, now occupied by restaurants and boutiques rather than miners and speculators. If you head 3 miles south to Lowell, you’ll find a strip of former service stations and garages repurposed as stores and restaurants.

Apache Trail © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Apache Trail

A National Scenic Byway, the 44-mile paved and gravel Apache Trail crosses the rugged northern part of the Superstition Mountains offering access to three reservoirs and gorgeous desert scenery. Just off U.S. Highway 60 near Mesa, designate a driver to keep their eyes on curves and hairpin turns while passengers “ooh” and “ahh” over the lakes, mountains, and canyons in Tonto National Forest’s wilderness areas. The road begins near Goldfield Ghost Town, a re-created Wild West town, complete with gunslingers. You’ll pass Canyon Lake, where you can cruise on the Dolly Steamboat.

Oatman © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved


Once a gold-mining boomtown, Oatman hunkers in a craggy gulch of the Black Mountains. Rising above the town is the jagged peak of white quartz known as Elephant’s Tooth. A shadow of its former self this living ghost town offers a handful of historic buildings and photo opportunities, costumed gunfighters, and 1890s style ladies. Burros from the surrounding hills wander into Oatman daily and mosey around town blocking traffic, greeting visitors, and chomping alfalfa cubes sold by the local shop owners.

Picacho Peak State Park © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Picacho Peak State Park

Visitors traveling along I-10 in southern Arizona can’t miss the prominent 1,500-foot peak of Picacho Peak State Park. Enjoy the view as you hike the trails that wind up the peak and, often in the spring, overlook a sea of wildflowers. Enjoy the beauty of the desert and the amazing views.

Montezuma Castle National Monument © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Montezuma Castle National Monument

An ancient civilization carved clever dwellings into the sturdy rock of what is now a famous monument. A lot more than Montezuma attracts people to the site—Wet Beaver Creek, a flourishing spring and interesting wildlife are just a few things to put on the list when stopping through.

Lost Dutchman State Park © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Lost Dutchman State Park

Named after the fabled lost gold mine, Lost Dutchman State Park is located in the Sonoran Desert, 40 miles east of downtown Phoenix. Several trails lead from the park into the Superstition Wilderness and surrounding Tonto National Forest. Take a stroll along the Native Plant Trail or hike the challenging Siphon Draw Trail to the top of the Flatiron.

Related Article: Why Arizona is the Ultimate Road Trip Destination

Chiricahua National Monument © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Chiricahua National Monument

Situated in southeastern Arizona, Chiricahua National Monument spans an elevation of 5,124 feet at the visitor center to a peak of 7,310 feet at the top of Sugarloaf Mountain. That elevation makes it a cool mountain getaway where you can hike amid wildly eroded rock formations.

Tubac © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved


Colorful architecture and mountain backdrops define Tubac’s Southwest scenery. See both at Tumacácori National Historical Park, where O’odham, Yaqui, and Apache people once dwelled. Tubac Presidio State Historic Park offers a glimpse at 2,000 years of Arizona history. Tubac features over 100 eclectic shops and world-class galleries situated along meandering streets with hidden courtyards and sparkling fountains.

Boyce Thompson Arboretum © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Boyce Thompson Arboretum

See just how lush the desert can be at this oasis of more than 3,000 types of Sonoran Desert vegetation. At 392 acres, Boyce Thompson is Arizona’s largest and oldest botanical garden founded in the 1920s. There are 3 miles of trails and the most popular is the 1.5-mile main loop that offers a perfect overview. 

Jerome © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved


A charming National Historic Landmark on Cleopatra Hill, Jerome is a former mining town. Meandering around the hilly, winding streets, visitors will discover galleries and art studios. Not forgetting its past, Jerome offers history buffs a wealth of experience through the Mine Museum, displaying artifacts representing the town’s past and present, and the Jerome State Historic Park, home to the Douglas Mansion.

Whitewater Draw © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved


This up-and-coming town in southeastern Arizona is attracting visitors who come for its wineries and tasting rooms, but you’re here to hike in Chiricahua National Monument and see the sandhill cranes. The majestic birds winter in the Sulphur Springs area and Willcox is the perfect hub. Thousands of cranes roost in Whitewater Draw Wildlife Area, a shallow lake that is a flurry activity at sunup and sundown when birds depart and return in a swirling cloud of feathers.

Catalina State Park © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Catalina State Park

To experience the magic of the giant saguaro cacti up-close, look no further than Catalina State Park near Tucson. There are easy nature trails here and also longer and more challenging trails for experienced hikers. The park spans 5,500 acres of foothills, streams, and canyons and is home to over 150 species of birds. RV camping is available.

Canyon de Chelly National Monument © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Canyon De Chelly National Monument

From the mesa east of Chinle in the Navajo Nation, Canyon de Chelly is invisible. Then as one approach, suddenly the world falls away—1,000 feet down a series of vertical red walls. You can drive along the rim and take in the views from above, but the best way to experience Canyon de Chelly is to take a guided tour of the canyon. You’ll learn the history of the canyon, from the Anasazi who left behind cliff dwellings to the current Navajo residents who still farm there.

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Worth Pondering…

The trip across Arizona is just one oasis after another. You can just throw anything out and it will grow there.

—Will Rogers