Summer 2021 has some big shoes to fill. After all, things appear to be trending more towards normal than the previous summer season and people are ready to get out and enjoy their vacation time like never before – or at least much differently than Summer 2020! 

The dilemma now becomes what to do. Everyone experienced the same 2020 when it came to closures and quarantines, so that means everyone has been dreaming of what they would do once they were sprung from the four walls of home for some time now. That can make for a wide range of ideas so we narrowed it down to a few destination ideas and perhaps these will serve you well when planning this summer’s itinerary. 

BEACHES

Summer and beaches go together like, well, summer and beaches! Any beach anywhere in the country is going to be full of sunbathers, volleyballers, sandcastle architects, and sunrise and sunset lovers. According to U.S. News and World Report, the beaches listed below are ranked as the best beaches in the U.S.

Cannon Beach: Oregon’s Cannon Beach, which is less than 10 miles from Seaside RV Campground, comes in at number seven on the list. And while the water here is a bit chilly, Cannon Beach offers the opportunity to see Haystock Rock, the 235-foot sea-stack rising from the ocean just offshore. There are four miles of sandy beach to enjoy, and the beach is dog friendly in case your furry companion is barking for a selfie with a Haystock Rock backdrop! The town of Cannon Beach is also worth a look-see with many shops and eateries. 

Cannon Beach, Oregon

Cape May: To be clear here, there is not just one beach but many beaches on the Cape May Peninsula, located in southern New Jersey. They all offer sand and the opportunity to dip your toes (or more of yourself, if you prefer) in the Atlantic Ocean but each offers something a bit different. If you’re looking for small, head to Sunset Beach; if you’re looking for bird watching and a beautiful lighthouse, head to the beach at Cape May Point State Park. For a family-friendly spot with plenty of surfing, head to Cove Beach, which is part of the Cape May City Beaches. Check out Sea Pines RV Campground or Lake & Shore RV Campground for great camp locations while you enjoy the many beaches of Cape May. 

Cape Cod: Like Cape May, Cape Cod is not just one beach. The Cape Cod National Seashore stretches 40 miles along the warm waters of the Cape Cod Bay and has more than 100 beaches. Cape Cod has scenic dunes, quaint towns, and plenty of biking trails. As for beaches – Mayflower Beach in Dennis offers a boardwalk, is family friendly and is noted for great sunsets; Old Silver Beach in Falmouth offers views of Buzzards Bay and is popular for fishing, and Bass Hole Beach offers a boardwalk, glimpses of wildlife in the nearby marshes, and a picnic pavilion. Gateway to Cape Cod RV Campground and Old Chatham Road RV Campground are two options for a Massachusetts camping and beach-filled vacation. 

Miami Beach

Miami Beach: This famous beach on Florida’s Atlantic coast is a people-watcher’s dream. Of course, it’s great for sunbathing and water fun, as well, but the people provide the entertainment here. Again, there’s not just one beach, but many beaches in the area, including a nudist beach (Haulover Beach, just so you know)! Sunny Isles Beach is very family-friendly and less crowded, and Crandon Park Beach is great for water sports with rentals for kiteboarding, stand-up paddling, and kayaking. For more beach information, visit miamiandbeaches.com

NATIONAL PARKS

America’s National Park System has 423 national parks! That’s an awful lot of natural beauty combined in over 84 million acres in each U.S. state, plus the U.S. territories. No matter how organized you are, it’s doubtful you’d be able to visit every single one, but you never know! We do know that if you’re camping with us this summer, you’re close to several.

Yosemite National Park, California

California’s Yosemite National Park is considered one of the most beautiful of the national parks in the U.S., thanks to its soaring granite cliffs, waterfalls, and giant sequoias. Most people know about the Park’s El Capitan and Half Dome, but there’s so much more to see in this 750,000-acre natural treasure. Yosemite Lakes RV Campground in nearby Groveland is just five miles from the Park. Don’t miss the display of wildflowers in Tuolumne Meadows, where blooms begin in earnest in late July. 

If you’re camping at Chehalis RV Campground, not only will you have spectacular views of Mt. Rainier, but you’re about 70 miles from Mt. Rainier National Park. This beautiful Washington state national park has plenty to do with hiking, biking, scenic drives, fields of wildflowers, and fishing and boating opportunities. During summer, the fields on the slopes of Mt. Rainier (which is an active volcano) are covered with wildflowers and the waterfalls are flowing. A few hikes to consider could include the paved, 1-mile round trip loop to Myrtle Falls or the 1.5-mile walking trail that is the Grove of the Patriarchs Trail and home to some of the oldest trees in the Park. 

Lyndon B. Johnson National Historic Park

Texas is home to the Lyndon B. Johnson National Historic Park, which is part of the National Park system. If you want to combine a history lesson with a national park visit, this is the place to be. Visitors to the Park can learn all about Lyndon B. Johnson, our 36th president and a native Texan. In fact, the Park includes Johnson’s boyhood home. Guided tours of his home as well as self-guided driving tours of his ranch (which is also part of the Park) are available. Visit nps.gov/lyjo for more information on hours, admission, and Park details. Medina Lake RV Campground is less than 80 miles from the Lyndon B. Johnson National Historic Park. 

How about a trail walk on the same trails once roamed by mammoths and saber tooths? Head to Ice Age, a National Scenic Trail just outside Madison, Wisconsin, and you can do just that! Campgrounds in Milton are a great home base for this trail trek (check out Lakeland RV Campground or Blackhawk RV Campground). While Ice Age is primarily a hiking trail, it is also great for bird watching, fishing (license required), wildlife viewing, and biking. The trail itself is 1,200 miles long but there are many trailheads and access points along the route. Stay with us and camp while you explore the trail!

ODDITIES AND ONE OF A KINDS

Looking for the world’s largest ball of twine? Or maybe a giant lumberjack? America sure has many roadside attractions that are at once unique and odd. Here are a few that may leave you awestruck or just wondering – why?

Luggage Tower Sculpture

If you’re visiting Hidden Cove RV Campground in Alabama, you’re about 2 hours from the Unclaimed Baggage Center. “What is that?” you might ask. The Unclaimed Baggage Center is where unclaimed airline baggage goes and where about 1/3 of any items in those bags is then sold to the public, resulting in about 7,000 new items daily. Last year, the store celebrated 50 years in business, and you wouldn’t believe what they’ve found over the years. Visit the store (unclaimedbaggage.com) and see what treasures await. 

Outdoor concerts are definitely a cool summer event. But what about a concert played by the ocean? Head to San Francisco and check out the Wave Organ, a wave-activated acoustic sculpture and when the tide rolls in, just listen! Located on a jetty in the San Francisco Bay’s Marina District, this is one unique musical event. For information, visit exploratorium.edu/visit/wave-organ. Plan a stay at the San Francisco RV Campground if you’re planning to see the Wave Organ – it’s less than 20 miles away. 

Cape Meares, Oregon

Do you believe in Sasquatch? If you’re into the legend and lore behind not only Sasquatch but other unexplained creatures like the Loch Ness Monster or the New Jersey Devil, definitely make it a point to visit the International Cryptozoology Museum in Thompson’s Point Maine, which is about a half-hour’s drive from Moody Beach RV Campground. Cryptozoology is the study of hidden or unknown animals and the museum is the only one of its kind in the world. Visitors can expect a wide range of exhibits and artifacts and won’t want to miss the newest exhibit, Sasquatch Revealed 2020! Info can be found at cryptozoologymuseum.com.

Oregon has many beautiful woodlands and one of them holds a unique oddity – a 250-year-old Sitka spruce whose limbs extend up and out making the tree look more like an octopus than just any old conifer! The Octopus Tree can be found in the Cape Meares Scenic State Viewpoint in Tillamook, which is about 30 minutes north of Pacific City RV Campground

So, what will it be: beaches, national parks, or oddities this summer? With a little planning, you may be able to experience all three!