RV Camping folks are a diverse crowd, with many different interests. Your satisfaction with a campsite depends largely on your expectations and interests. One camper’s dream is another camper’s nightmare! With that in mind, here a few not-so-cliche suggestions to try something a little different.
Black Bart’s Steakhouse and RV Park – Flagstaff, AZ
Although still a little “touristy”, it’s a great spot to spend the night as you pass through to other destinations. After being closed for quite some time, Black Bart’s Steakhouse is finally rescheduled to open on May 7th, 2021. The restaurant is set up like an old Wild West saloon, featuring a stage with a piano player and wait staff dressed in old west costumes. Each of the staff members, including the bartenders, take their turns on stage to sing a number with the pianist, and occasionally the entire staff will stop in their tracks, set down their serving trays, and join in on a choreographed performance. This is a great place for dinner and entertainment!
The Salt River Crossing, US-60, AZ
As you make your way through Arizona, regardless which direction you’re headed, you can add some great scenery to your journey by following US-60 between Globe and Show Low. This is a very remote area, so top off your tank before departing the interstate. A paper map is also recommended, as you will likely lose cell service in tlop0his mountainous region. The crossing is about 90 miles east of Phoenix, nearly halfway between Tucson and Flagstaff. The drive through this area is truly majestic, and the view you get as you make that last turn at the top of the peak overlooking the river is literally breathtaking. You’ll be glad you took this detour!
The Ponderosa Sun Club – Roselawn, IN
A quick word of caution on this one; this is a nudist camp! While generally a family-friendly nudist campground, there are certain adults-only dates on the calendar each year, so you’ll want to check with the staff before traveling there. Most of the campground is clothing-optional, allowing you to remain clothed if you wish. The swimming pool, however, is nude only. There are tennis courts, badminton and volleyball courts, playground, nature trails, scenic pond, and a pavilion for evening meals and dancing. The members there are very friendly and welcoming towards guests. The campground is only seasonal, however, generally open mid-May through mid-September. Whether you’re a veteran nudist or just considering checking out the nudist lifestyle, this is a great place, with 30 and 50 amp RV lots at a reasonable rate.
Benbow KOA, Garberville, CA
Located in Northern California, just off the famous 101 Pacific Coast Highway, this is a small, quiet campground nestled in the woods. They have 30 and 50 amp full hookup sites and can accommodate full-length campers and motor homes. The amenities are fairly standard, including a pool and gift shop, and a golf course as well. This area of the country is especially unique, especially during a time known as “Trim Season”, which occurs in the fall. Trim season is basically harvest time for marijuana plants. Garberville is part of the “Emerald Triangle” of Humboldt County, known for its high quality cannabis yields. During trim season, this normally small town gets unusually busy, and you’ll feel like you’ve wandered into a Grateful Dead concert. If you’re into cruising, motorcycling, or bicycling, there are some beautiful roads to ride in the Redwood Forest. Many flock to this region to ride CA-36, a winding, narrow highway that cuts across the Sierra Nevada mountains. There are some size restrictions to consider, however. Certain sections of the 101 have a 30 foot Kingpin to Rear Axle limit, and most of the region has an overall length limit of 65 feet. You may want to contact CHP to assist with your route planning. If you’re looking for a different experience that’s packed with scenery, this is it!
The Oregon Outback – Lakeview-Burns Highway, OR
In northwest Oregon, between the towns of Burns and Lakeview, is a long stretch of road through an area known as the Oregon Outback. This approximate 140 mile section of US-395 runs through one of the most remote areas in the nation. You will want to top off for this drive! For over 100 miles, there are no homes, no businesses, and no street lights, and in most cases you’ll be able to complete the drive without seeing another human along the way. There’s also absolutely no cell service, so you’ll want to make sure to check the weather before attempting this drive, as your ability to summon emergency assistance is non-existent and you could be stranded for several hours or more before seeing another motorist. But, if you’re willing to take the risk, the scenery is worth it! The combination of flat plains and red rock mountains is not only a sight to behold, but leaves you feeling like you’re literally in another world–namely, Mars! For an added bonus, time your drive to coincide with sunrise or sunset.
At the end of the day, there are many, many little-known RV campgrounds situated near unique, low-cost attractions. As is often said in the motorcycle culture, it’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey. Happy motoring!
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