Jody Halsted is a freelance writer with a mad passion for Ireland, her RV, and 'off the beaten path' travel.
One of the benefits of RVing, especially for families, is the kitchen/campfire combination. Besides the convenience of putting together a meal in the middle of nowhere, you’re more likely to eat healthier foods and save money over dining out.
But, no matter how well you eat in that RV, there are some restaurants across the US that are worth the stop, or even the detour and extra driving to get there. Bon appétit!
Though my family didn’t do any camping when I was growing up, I have fond memories of days spent at 9 Eagles State Park. It wasn’t far from our southwestern Iowa home, so it was easy enough for us to take a fun day trip to picnic and play before my dad needed to be home to care for the animals on our farm.
When we purchased R’Velle I knew that I wanted to re-visit some of my favorite childhood memories and share them with my own family.
There are some places that just beg you to return to them year round. For my family, that spot is Eureka Springs, Arkansas.
A charming mix of Ozark Mountain town, Victorian Spa escape, and eclectic art community makes Eureka Springs a fun – and funky — getaway.
Eureka Springs is best explored on foot. Bring good walking shoes because this is no regular town! Paved sidewalks, steep stairs between buildings, and even forested pathways lead you up and down the steep Ozark hills. These paths take you past the small parks built where springs gurgle forth, to brightly painted store fronts with large shop windows where eclectic displays drew us through the doors. My tip: take the shuttle to the Crescent Hotel which overlooks the town and let your explorations take you downhill.
I am incredibly lucky to be close to my siblings, as well as my parents. It’s a blessing that not everyone has, and I love the time we can all spend together.
As a family we try to plan one big getaway each year that everyone can attend. And, to keep it affordable, we go camping.
This year our outing was to the KOA in Gretna, Nebraska, just west of Omaha. I almost feel like the poster child for KOA here on The Scenic Route… What can I say, these campgrounds just work for us – especially when traveling with family members who don’t camp. We know that the camping cabins, pool, and other activities will help our non-RVing relatives enjoy the getaway and not feel like they are ‘roughing it.’ Another great bonus of camping is that our dogs are welcome to join us, making this truly a vacation for the entire family.
If I had my way I would chase perfect weather across the country, moving my RV as the seasons changed, leaving behind bitter cold or melting heat and humidity.
Right now a house, job, and kids activities keep us stationary, allowing for long weekend getaways and extended trips.
While it seemed like my Midwestern home went from winter to summer, with barely any spring, our rains caught up in June, bringing intense humidity. By early July I was more than ready for our escape ‘Up North’ to Hayward, Wisconsin.
If you’re not familiar with Hayward, it’s a lovely northern Wisconsin resort town nestled in tall pine trees with a gorgeously clear river flowing through it. Only an hour from Lake Superior, the cool lake breezes filter through the forest, creating a perfect summer haven.
Before we purchased our motorhome we rented one, just to see if we would enjoy RVing as much as we thought we would. And, to no one’s surprise, we loved it. That trip took us to Yellowstone National Park and back, with an overnight stop in the Black Hills.
We made the obligatory visit to Mount Rushmore and the girls earned their Junior Ranger Badges, but we had time for little else, leaving us longing to return to southwestern South Dakota.
Fast forward a few years and we were back in our own RV. This time, we set up camp at the KOA in Hot Springs, the southern ‘Gateway to the Black Hills’.
Though I had a few attractions on our itinerary, this trip was more a ‘let’s explore and see what we find’ adventure, with plenty of pool time for my water babies in the evenings.
For adults it’s easy to see the freedom RVing offers. We are liberated, if only for a short time, from the discipline of everyday life. No grass waving in the breeze waiting to be cut, no honey-do list on the refrigerator, no office commute.
It’s the kind of freedom that begins in your shoulders, releasing the tension you didn’t realize you were holding, allowing your neck to relax perfectly against the pillow of your reclining camp chair, and ends with waving off the kids to explore and have their own adventure.
he big spring trip. It’s become a family tradition we all look forward to after our long Midwestern winter.
This year’s route took us more than 2000 miles in 10 days – from Florida, through southern Louisiana, into the heart of Texas, and back home to Iowa.
This is R’Velle. She’s 32 feet of Type C joy that transports our family of four plus two dogs from our central Iowa home to destinations far flung and nearby.