Best of Fulltime RVing in 2016 (& Why These Places Belong on Your Bucket List)

It is that time of year when as we are making plans for the new year, we also like to take a look back over the past year at some of our favorite experiences as fulltime RVers. As RVers, we can certainly cover a lot of ground in the course of a year, and looking back at the diversity of our experiences from surfing to Cajun food, from mountains to the Pacific Ocean, from dry deserts to the Gulf of Mexico; we are reminded of how grateful we are for this lifestyle of change, newness, exploration and opportunity.

Over the past year, our life as fulltime RVers took us to 23 different states and Victoria, British Columbia. While we do believe that every state has outstanding, unique experiences to offer; we also like to evaluate the events of our lives before filing them away in our memories to be pulled out again years from now with a smile.  This article is written with the intention to not only remind us later of our adventures, but to inspire you and help you to add places to your own bucket list.

Best Destinations for Fulltime RVing

Our Best of 2016 as Fulltime RVers (in no particular order)…
#1 Glacier NP, Montana – This is America the Beautiful: a national park with remote glaciers, alpine meadows, crystalline turquoise water, the Rocky Mountains, aquamarine lakes, mountain goats, roads more like roller coasters, and need I say more? Its name “Crown of the Continent” sums it up. In addition to all that Glacier boasts, it is also a “less” crowded national park due to the treacherous roads that large tourist buses can not use. Don’t get me wrong – it is crowded in the summer, but still much more reasonable to visit than Yosemite, Yellowstone or even Utah’s Mighty 5.

#2 Monterey, California – California is cunning. It entices you with its jewels of Sequoia NP, Yosemite & the Pacific Ocean while quickly siphoning your travel budget behind your back. Since you will be paying more for your experiences in California, you may want to be a little more selective. Monterey was one of our favorite places due to the fact that we could kayak in Monterey Bay for free! We viewed the Pacific all over California, Oregon and Washington; but the best place for us to kayak with seals, sea otters and sea lions along the kelp beds was Monterey Bay.

#3 Yosemite & Sequoia/Kings Canyon NPs, California – While you are visiting California, head inland to these three national parks to get the best of the Sierra Nevada mountain range, the largest living trees on the entire planet, and Yosemite – the granddaddy of all national parks first set aside by President Lincoln. Yosemite is typically found on bucket lists, so this shouldn’t be a surprise, but do make time for Sequoia and Kings Canyon during your visit.

#4 Gulf Shores, Alabama – I think all RVers need a place like Gulf Shores on the road; a place where you feel like a part of a great community. Being RVers can sometimes make you miss your sense of community, so finding it on the road can help balance your experience. Gulf Shores is a pleasant experience from beginning to end where some of the best southern hospitality meets delicious oysters and beautiful beaches with warm Gulf waters. While the Florida Gulf coast can at times feel overly commercial and touristy, Gulf Shores feels like Alabama – tradition, friendliness, southern accents and alligators.

#5 Laguna Atoscosa Wildlife Refuge, Texas – If you want to go on an African safari without the expense of the plane ticket, then this is the place for you. Inland from South Padre Island, this refuge is home to neo-tropical birds, nilgai, ocelots, alligators, chacalacas, cara caras, and I am just getting the list started. Have no idea what I am referring to? Then, click here to see Laguna Atoscosa for yourself!

#6 Big Bend NP, Texas – Staying in Texas, make sure that you add Big Bend to your bucket list if you are interested in national parks that are remote, enormous, and have very few visitors. I like to think that Big Bend represents what the creators of national parks envisioned years ago. Big Bend features extreme remoteness allowing the best night sky in the lower 48; the biodiversity of the Chisos Mountain range, the Rio Grande River, and the Chihuahuan Desert; and its “out-of-the-way” location have kept it unspoiled and allow visitors to take in its beauty quietly and in solitude.

#7 Crater Lake NP, Oregon – The water. Enough said.

#8 Florence, Oregon – This was our favorite spot on the Oregon coast for multiple reasons: 1. it was a great location for adventures specific to the Oregon coast such as tidepooling and sandboarding, 2. the town is an authentic, small fishing town, 3. it had a friendly, neighborly atmosphere (not as good as Gulf Shores, but somewhat similar) that is appealing as long-term travelers. This is the type of place that you can visit but still feel like it would be easy to call home.

#9 Superstition Mtn. & Sonoran Desert, Arizona – Superstition Mountain is for adventure-lovers. The rich history and mystery surrounding the mountain, along with the spectacular sky and views are what beckon hikers and fortune-seekers to this part of Arizona. What really enhanced our visit was our RV park, which was in the Sonoran desert and where we experienced coyotes and other wildlife from the comfort of our home on wheels. Chris and I learned that we have a big place in our hearts for the desert that we did not know about prior to RVing. The still heat, blazing sunsets, unique plant life, hard-living wildlife, and Wild West reminiscences have set up lodging in our hearts continuously drawing us back to the deserts we have visited. The Sonoran resides in us.

#10 Victoria, B.C. – And to wrap up our list, I give you Victoria, British Columbia. This was our only trip outside of the U.S., which is part of the reason that it made the list. Victoria is a case-in-point that just by being an American RVer, you can visit Europe! Well, at least a place that reminds you of Europe. Victoria is a beautiful city where you can enjoy wild caught salmon to your hearts content while strolling through the historic British buildings. We left our RV in Washington and took the ferry to Victoria for an overnighter and our only stay in a hotel on the road!

Overnight in Victoria, British Columbia - How to, Cost & Video

We hope our list inspires you in your travels for this new year!

 

About Jen

I love travel, which led me to become a fulltime RVer. I love wellness, which I can talk about 'til the cows come home. I love being self-employed, which means I get to dabble in what interests me from essential oils to RV planners. But most importantly, I love my husband and our life together on the road!

7 comments on “Best of Fulltime RVing in 2016 (& Why These Places Belong on Your Bucket List)

  1. We’ve been following you since the beginning and are looking forward to a short trip (3-4 weeks) this summer, then an early retirement in 2018. Your videos have helped us get an idea of the joys and pitfalls of full-time RV living. We started off this past summer with an almost disaster of a blown tire on the trailer in a construction zone on the interstate. It was an expensive lesson, but could have been much worse. We were thankful to have purchased the Good Sam Roadside Assistance plan the week prior. I think that fortune was a God-thing.
    We look forward to what you’ll share this year. God bless!

    • Hi, Jayna! We are so glad you stopped by, and that you have been with us from the start! I am sorry to hear about the blowout – they can certainly make for a dangerous situation. I love instances like this where you can directly see how God has provided to pull you through a situation before you even know about the problem – thank, God for Roadside Assistance! 🙂 Thanks so much for following along with us, and we are looking forward to sharing the new year with you! Abundant blessings on you, and hopefully we will see you on the road!

  2. With Jen’s wonderful writing skills, I feel like I am at some of these places all over again, and the others I can close my eyes and feel like I am there. Love the input on the native people and their friendliness like the Southerns. Thanks Jen for the mini vacation.

  3. Hi Jen thanks for the calendar. Mike here in Fl. First time with the trailer and the adventure began. Stuck in an ice storm in Paducah Ky. For two days! Finally in Fl. After four days. Retired a year ago thinking of selling the house and living on the road with Slick my bird dog! Quail hunted today. Posted a pic on Facebook if your interested. The calendar will be cool to keep up with stuff! Thanks. Mike Butler

    • So glad to hear that you are enjoying the calendar – and the hunting! 🙂 Safe travels to you, and we hope to meet you on the road some day!

  4. Hey Chris and Jen. Mike Butler from last winter. My almost three month adventure to Fl. To hunt and fish with my brother then to south Texas to judge bird dogs at a field trial and visit dog trainer friends then on to Tn. All the while looking for property in Texas where I lived for 17 years and Tn. I found the hill and acreage over looking a valley about 12 miles from Shilo battlegrounds. Born in Tn. I’m a civil war buff. Loved your video on Andersonville Prison never thought about going there will definitely visit. Hope to meet someday. Loved RVing so much traded trailer in on a new one. After building a little ranch home will be hitting the road again!
    Keep the videos coming love them! Mike, ps. Still using the calendar.

    • Hey, Mike! We are so glad to hear that you enjoyed the RV – and now you have an upgrade! Awesome! Best wishes on your home building – that is a big accomplishment. And it sounds like the perfect location for you. We are also so glad to hear that you are using the calendar! That is great! We are actually in the design phase for the 2018 version. Thank you for reaching out to us again – we love to hear about your travels!

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