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John Briley, Travel Channel
RVs keep getting snazzier -- automatic leveling, patio attachments, ever more enveloping home entertainment systems. The bells, whistles and kazoos on modern RVs can make the open road a lot more comfortable, but when it comes time to park and unwind you want an RV park that will make you feel at home. As any experienced camper can attest, not all RV parks are created equal – and not every camper puts the same value on a given set of amenities. Campers seeking vast open space and views may lean towards state and national parks, while those in search of ISO-reliable business facilities and a choice of good restaurants might prefer a privately-owned campground just outside a town. Even across those generalities quality varies from budget to swanky. Here's our list of some of the top RV parks in the US today.
Mill Creek Ranch Resort Canton, Texas Consistently rated among the top RV reports in Texas, Mill Creek sits some 60 miles east of Dallas on 200 acres of rolling hills dotted with trees and crossed by streams. Premium sites are lakeside or surrounded by trees and have stand up grills, patio table and chairs, and lighted pedestals. The park is also just across the road from the world-famous First Monday Trade Days, a market with hundreds of vendors. Regularly scheduled shuttles take guests to nearby attractions.
Springs at Borrego Borrego Springs, California Two hours from San Diego, the Springs at Borrego RV resort is in the largest state park in California - 600,000-acre Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. That means you’ll have room to move around on the resort’s 9-hole championship golf course, driving range and putting greens; in the 35-foot-wide sites; and in the astronomy park: Borrego Springs is an official Dark Sky community and hosts frequent ‘star parties,’ featuring dinner, drinks and speakers. Other amenities include a saltwater swimming pool, hot mineral baths, tennis court, state-of-the-art fitness room, a dog park and a wellness center offering massage, acupuncture and acupressure.
Oak Grove Campground/Resort Holland, Michigan Oak grove is within walking distance to the sandy beaches of Lake Michigan and Lake Macatawa, where stunning sunsets over the water earned the park a “Top 10 Most Romantic” rating from Motor Home Magazine. The resort has many trimmings of a high-end RV park - free WiFi, heated pool, whirlpool, playground and basketball court – plus onsite bike rentals and a slate of summer weekend activities (hula hoop contest, anyone?) reminiscent of a cruise ship. Attractions outside the park include dune rides, dinner cruises on the lake and the galleries, shops and cafes of Holland.
Zion River Resort Virgin, Utah Just 13 miles from the south entrance to Zion National Park, the Zion River Resort is popular with tourists and extended-stay snowbirds, along with music fans: The 2,000-seat Tanner Amphitheater in nearby Springdale hosts premier symphony, vocal, brass and other concerts. This RV resort has full hook-ups, concrete parking pads, grills and free Wi-Fi. After exploring the red sandstone cliffs at Utah's first national park, you can also use this campground as a base for day-trips to explore Bryce Canyon National Park and the north rim of the Grand Canyon.
Durango RV Resort Red Bluff, California The Durango RV Resort is a high-end escape with 174 sites on the Sacramento River. All sites are equipped with Powerhouse Pedestals that provide electricity, high-speed Wi-Fi and cable television. Meet fellow travelers by the Olympic-sized pool or spa, in the clubhouses or at the outdoor fireplaces. Pamper your pooch with a run at the 45-acre dog park followed by a scrub down at the self-serve automatic dog-washing station. Durango touts its green credentials too, including drought-resistant plants and instant hot water in the bathrooms.
Camp Gulf Destin, Florida Every site at Camp Gulf is within walking distance of the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico, undoubtedly one reason the resort consistently wins high honors from RV rating groups. That doesn’t mean all sites are beachfront – many are tucked into grassy, tree-shaded areas – but every site is convenient to Destin, a fishing village-turned-bustling vacation town that traces its history to 7th-century settlement by American Indians. This is Florida, of course, so you’re never far from golf, tennis, beachfront bars and gentle, coastal living.
Remember, no matter how nice your RV is do get out and meet the neighbors. Life, even on the road, is all about the people.
MotorHome Magazine, July 2009
If your romantic sentiments are sparked by natural wonders, then the following parks can provide the perfect backdrop for your next vacation getaway:
1 Oak Grove Campground/Resort, Holland, Michigan located within walking distance of the Macatawa lakes and Michigan beaches, features romantic sunsets, a heated swimming pool and grassy shaded sites. Only seven miles away from the Veldheer’s Tulip Gardens, this resort is the perfect destination in early May when guests can see more than four million colorful flowers in bloom.
2 Wine Country RV Resort, Paso Robles, California surrounded by more than 100 wine-tasting rooms within a 10-mile radius, is the perfect place for wine connoisseurs. Kaleidoscopic flowers and colorful sunsets frame this vineyard paradise that also includes a pool and spa. Special wine-tasting events are offered and sell out fast.
3 Hershey Highmeadow Campground, Hershey, Pa. is owned by Hershey Entertainment and Resorts and features the natural scent of chocolate aromatherapy and the quaint old-fashioned Hershey town where the street lights are shaped like Candy Kisses.
4 At the Spa at Pagosa Springs Destination Spa & RV Resort, Pagosa Springs, Colorado guests have access to the mineral-water swimming pool, hot tub and indoor baths -- the natural hot springs are the deepest in the world. Luxurious massages, herbal wraps or salt glows are also available, along with couples’ massages. This location comes with a catch; there are only seven RV spots available.
5 East Shore RV Park, San Dimas, California features the Puddingstone Hot Tubs Resort, right outside its entrance. The resort offers private soaking rooms with cedar hot tubs amid beautiful hilltop and sunset views. Weddings are also popular and take place at the property’s hilltop gazebo.
6 The Beverly Beach State Park, Newport, Oregon which combines cabins, yurts, tents and full RV hook-up sites, also offers a beautiful panoramic beach. Located only a short walk away, the beach is the perfect location to fly a kite and enjoy a picnic for two while viewing the Yaquina Head Lighthouse.
7 Petoskey RV & Cabin Resort, Petoskey, Michigan is among the highest-rated RV resorts in North America. Overflowing with towering trees and flowers amid private RV sites, this destination also features a Honeymoon Suite, site 71, that includes its own fire pit and courting bench.
8 The Winchester Bay RV Resort is located on the Oregon Coast peninsula. Every RV site offers a waterfront view of the harbor, the Umpqua River or the Pacific Ocean. Moored boats light up the evening sky and provide the perfect backdrop for a late night walk with your beloved.
9 Yosemite National Park, Yosemite Valley, California provides breathtaking views of giant sequoias, amazing waterfalls and snowcapped mountains. Unique to this destination, is the fabulous “moonbow” a rare nighttime rainbow that splashes on canyon walls when the moon is full and the falls are flowing at their fullest.
10 Riverview RV Park and Campground, Loveland, Colorado. This nature lover’s destination is nestled in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains along the Thompson River and includes breathtaking waterfalls. A popular destination for weddings and honeymooners, this destination is also located near horseback trails and riding lessons, as well as wine tasting tours.
Trends for romantic get-aways come and go, and with only ten days left before Valentine's Day, opinions for romance are flying! The trend this winter has been to embrace the cold, instead of shunning it. Snow does make for one romantic backdrop in isolated places like Alberta, Canada, or wooded cabins in Alaska. Let us know what your favorite romantic escape is!