5 Michigan Getaways For RVers

5 Michigan Getaways for RVers

Traverse City, Michigan

The beauty of Michigan ranges from sand dunes and beaches to farmlands and forest, to thousands of lakes, some that contain islands where horses and bicycles are the only means of transportation. In fact, in Michigan, you are never more than a few hours far from a Great Lake, of which Michigan has four.

Blueberry farms, cherry festivals, and apple trees are notorious in Michigan. Now, if you happen to be an RVer planning to visit Michigan, here are five places perfect for RVing. When visiting, be sure to give yourself ample time to explore in each location. You’ll be glad you did. We lived in Charlevoix and Petoskey a combined total of almost 40 years. It was difficult to narrow it down to 5 areas. Northern Michigan is simply gorgeous!

5 Michigan Getaways for RVers

Downtown Petoskey Michigan

Downtown Petoskey Michigan

5 Michigan Getaways For RVers 

 

1. Petoskey

Petoskey Michigan is nestled along the little traverse bay. Surrounded by historical homes, and with an amazing downtown full of locally owned businesses Petoskey is a year-round destination. So if you’re an RVer looking to visit Petoskey this summer, here are a few campgrounds and places to visit during your trip to Petoskey.

RV Campgrounds –

 

Petoskey KOA Campground

Endless blue water is everywhere, wildlife can be found on the shores, boaters can be found on the waves, and there is no limit to the fun you can have here. This is the beauty of Lake Michigan and this is the beauty of the Petoskey KOA campground.

This vacation location is located to a destination of 30-miles south of Mackinac city, and the Mackinac Island. This campsite has over 185 RV campsites of which are all paved with concrete patios and each site is groomed every day to make sure that the grass is green.

This campsite has a site for tents and cabins that ranges from rustic versions with bunk beds to sofas to models that offer comfortable couches, spacious kitchens, and private bathrooms.

Facilities and amenities available are a swimming pool, hot pool, hot tubs, café, volleyball and basketball court, golf, tennis, playground, WIFI, laundry room, a store and a lot of sightseeing places. It is no wonder that campers keep coming back for more.

Hearthside Groove Luxury Motorcoach Resort

Thinking about an RV park that will bring you close to nature? In the lush countryside of Northern

Michigan, you will find a resort that is rich in luxury and craftsmanship as it is in natural beauty- Hearthside Groove. A luxurious motor-coach resort resting on a secluded 140 acre of land in Petoskey Michigan, Hearthside is a popular tourist destination.

Most people come here to get away from the hot steamy weather of the south. And this resort is known for its million-dollar sunset. Beyond that, it is surrounded by three beautiful communities including Bay Harbor, Harbor Springs, and Mackinac Island, offer motorhome owner a perfect reflection of the surrounding areas.

The facilities and activities at this park include a clubhouse with spa, private bungalows, pool, fitness room, business center and laundry facilities, state of the art hookups, full irrigation, and complimentary WIFI.

If you’re bored during your stay at your campground, below are a few places you can visit.

Places to Eat in Petoskey:

Roast and Toast

Looking for a way to kick start your morning with a cup of coffee? Well, the place everyone visits when they want to start their day right with a cup of coffee is Roast and Toast. Being in business for 25 years, Roast and Toast offer the best house-roasted coffee in Petoskey. In addition, they offer a variety of foods for breakfast, lunch and supper from 7 am till 7 pm. Feel free to get yourself the ” Autumn Sunset Coffee” and tell me how it tastes.

5 Michigan Getaways for RVers

Roast & Toast Resturant in Petoskey Michigan

Johan’s Bakery

Just as Roast and Toast is known for its home-brewed coffee, Johan’s bakery is known for their doughnuts. Being in business since 1958, this bakery prides itself on using the best ingredients they can and that’s where their quality comes from.

All doughnuts are handmade and made with the equipment that has been used for years, giving the doughnuts the perfect finger licking taste. Everyone goes to Johan’s whether you’re a local or a traveler. When you pass by during your RV trip do not forget to try my favorite doughnut which is the “Long John”.

Shopping in Downtown Petoskey;

If you love shopping then the best place to be in Petoskey is downtown. Downtown Petoskey is so vibrant and fun with its wide variety of stores. With shops like Bear Cub Outfitters, Lake Street Dry Goods and Grandpa Shorter’s Gifts (which is one of my favorites), you have all the shops you need to purchase your favorite clothing, food or gift. Make sure you get yourself a Petoskey stone.

Petoskey Michigan Downtown

Petoskey Stones – a treasure for rock enthusiasts. Petoskey stones are a fossil of a coral that lived in the sea that covered the Great Lakes Area approximately 350 million years ago. When the rock is dry it looks like ordinary limestone. Only when the surface is wet can you see the six-sided rays of the rising sun. The Petoskey Stone was named after the Ottawa Chief of Pe-to-se-ga, which means Rising Sun.

2. Traverse City

One city in Michigan which might surpass your imagination is Traverse city. Who could have thought that right in America’s heartland in the mid-west, you could have some of the best beaches and clear water in the world? There are so many activities in Traverse City, and if you’re an RVer looking to visit Traverse city, here are a few campgrounds and places you can visit.

Traverse City Michigan

RV Campgrounds –

 

Traverse City Bay Resort

If you’re looking for that RV park that is more like a community then Traverse city bay resort is the right place for you. For an RV park, there is so much to do here in this resort and every day is different. From happy hours to big crowds on the patio, clubhouses for a group meeting, social life never gets boring at this resort.

In addition, some of the amenities available at the park include paved streets, cement patios, swimming pools, Cable TV, hookups, WIFI, and a laundry room. Besides these, some activities available at the park include boating, golf, knitting groups, Margarita nights, and a lot of activities available to encompass everyone at the park.

Beyond the fact that there is a lot of green nature and activities, this park actually has an area for Class A motorhomes, and also another area for Class C motorhomes and fifth wheels.

Traverse City KOA Park

Being in business since 1998, the Traverse city KOA park has a 119 sites including anything from rustic tent sites, all the way to deluxe camping site that includes full hookups, and a concrete patio, free WiFi for those of you who might want to work whiles camping, laundry service and free cable at all deluxe cabins.

Some services offered include wood delivery to your site, free trash picks up on your site so you do not have to worry about going to the dumpster, you’re escorted to your site when you check in for the first time, and upgraded mattress in the deluxe site together with free toiletries.

Campers will appreciate daily activities with the kids, along with amenities like a sand volleyball court, bike runnels to tour the campground, and a pet playground for your four-legged friends, swimming pool, miniature golf course.

Must Visit While In Traverse City –

 

Sleeping Bear Dunes

Do you like hiking? Then visiting sleeping bear dunes is the perfect recreation for you when in Traverse City. It takes 30 to 45 minutes for you to get to the top of the dunes, and there is a great pay off to those that make it to the top. And that is you get to see a clear view of the beautiful Lake Michigan. Hiking

5 Michigan Getaways for RVers

Sleeping Bear Dunes in Traverse City

Moomer Ice Cream

The best way to reward yourself after a long day of visiting the Sleeping bear dunes and having a great view of Lake Michigan is to get yourself some homemade ice cream. This shop is an iconic ice cream parlor that is known all around the city for having the best ice cream. And it is actually voted the number one ice cream place in the US. So, if you find yourself in traverse city and you have a sweet tooth then the Moomer Ice cream parlor is the right place to be.

3. Leland

5 Michigan Getaways for RVers

Leland Michigan

 

RV Campgrounds- 

Lake Leelanau RV Resort

Beyond the fact that this resort is close to the lake, it is known for its clean and serene environment. Some activities available on this resort includes a private sandy beach, boat and jet ski rentals, a visit to Leland by water from the docks on Lake Leelanau, kayak and water bikes, and numerous social activities. And during the summer, there is a free pipe organ concert.

Amenities available include WIFI, lodge, playgrounds, tennis and basketball courts, laundry facilities, private shower and restroom, and full-service sites.

Places to Visit-

Fish Town

As the name suggests, this is a little town in Leland where you can go to get fresh fish from fishermen. Besides that, you can sit next to the waterfall available and get yourself some food to eat. There is also a little village where you can get to do your shopping of artifacts and dresses inspired by this small fishing city.

4. Pictured Rocks

5 Michigan Getaways for RVers

Pictured Rocks

RV Campgrounds-

Pictured Rock RV Park

One feature about this park that I like is that they have trash cans everywhere to make the disposal of trash as easy as possible. At this particular Rv park too they also allow tent camping, which might be something you might want to do as a group since you have to pay for the full hook up spot.

For those of you who like to have an outdoor experience, we highly recommend this park. The surrounding sites are more wooded if you want that woodsy feel, and you’re pretty much going to be under the sun the entire time where ever you go.

As far as amenities, this park offers clean bathrooms, swimming pool, WiFi, sewer, and that’s about it.

Places to Visit-

Pictured Rocks Lakeshore

This place has a lot to offer, from a beautiful forest to hiking trails, beach, and Lake Superior nearby. This is the perfect place to get off your RV world and connect with nature. The water at lake superior is crystal clear, where you’re treated with awesome views of the water and sand dunes at the east. However, there are a lot of cool places such as a lighthouse, lake, beach, and waterfall nearby you can visit.

5. Charlevoix

They say beauty is in the beholder, that it comes from the inside out, well some will say it lives in a small town in Northern Michigan where petunias blossom by the thousands, and manicured streets leads to stunning views. This is the beautiful city of Charlevoix, where nature’s stones have been carved into one of a kind home, and a magnificent castle stands tall beyond its era.

Charlevoix Michigan

RV Campgrounds-

 

Fisherman Island State Park

Sitting 6 miles away from Lake Michigan’s shoreline on 2678 acres of land is Fisherman Island state park. Amenities offered by this park include pull-through site, electric hook up service, clean restrooms and bathrooms, and an area for tents.

Some activities you can engage in include rock hunting, and fishing.

Young State Park

If you have a big rig, then it should fit perfectly in this park. Found along the lake, this park offers some amenities such as pull-through site, electric hook up for 50 amp service, clean restrooms and bathrooms, and an area for tents.

Places to Visit-

Castle Farms

Owned by a dairy farmer, castle farm was built to keep equipment of this dairy farmer. Not until 2005 this castle was renovated into a tourist destination, event space for family events and weddings, and a gift shop. First-time visitors are taken on a guided tour and briefed about the history of this magnificent building. Also, this castle can boast of the largest outdoor model railroad in Michigan, and a beautiful garden.

Mushroom House

There are 28 of them, and these houses are made of special stones throughout the Northern Michigan area. Most people call them gnome homes or hobbit houses, but there is one in particular that looks like a button mushroom, so that is how they got their name mushroom houses. The locals refer to it as Boulder Park.

Links –

Charlevoix Venetian Festival

Charlevoix Earl Young Mushroom Houses

Traverse City Cherry Festival

Traverse City RV ParksKOA CampgroundTraverse City Bay Resort

Petoskey RV ParksHearthside Groove Resort  – Petoskey KOA

Petoskey Stones

Leland

Sleeping Bear Dunes

Pictured Rocks

Here are the 5 beautiful places to visit in Michigan and I hope you have a great time.

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RV Groovin Life,

Bonnie

10 Budget Friendly RV Parks in Texas

  Even though there is no BLM (Bureau of Land Management) campsites or Public Land in Texas for boondocking like New Mexico and Arizona, reason being dates back to history. However, there are a couple of national forest and national monuments now in Texas. Meaning, it is possible to find free camping in Texas, but they are far fewer options than in some states. Also, the free land most RVers go to in Texas are managed by the corps of engineers.

10 Budget Friendly RV Parks in Texas

10 Budget Friendly RV Parks in Texas that can Accommodate Big Rigs

1. Colorado Bend State Park

In the rugged Texas hill country, when the Colorado River runs free, lies a park full off wonder and hidden beauty. Colorado bend state park sits two hours away from North of Austin. And worlds away from city life. The park is relatively undeveloped however it is a chance for you to go out there and experience nature, and see what Texas used to look like.

10 Budget Friendly RV Parks in Texas

The park starts with a windy 8-mile road, that like every good journey, leads to unexpected discoveries. Gorman falls, spills 65 feet, as pure spring water makes its way to the river, making every visitor a special witness to their splendor. A series of caves, honeycomb the area, waiting to be explored. Through the parks cave tour. The park is a good place for hiking, paddling, swimming, biking, and camping. This park only allows for rigs up to 30′. Click here for more info…

2. Garner State Park

Located in the southern edge of the hill country, the Garner state park is one of the most popular destinations in the state of Texas, and there are lots of reasons why. There is the spring-fed Frio river, there is hiking, there is camping and also, nightly dances.

10 Budget Friendly RV Parks in Texas

During the summer the Garner state park is one of the busiest places in Texas. But beyond the summertime crowd, especially during the fall, you can see the if you go up the hills, you can see the complete outline of the Frio river because of the colorful bald cypress trees. And also experience the softer, and quieter side to the park. Click here for more info…

3. Galveston Island State Park

Galveston island park is a popular place to get away from it all. All the nature in the park makes it easy for you to relax. The main attraction at Galveston is the beach. Also, there is the Strand historical district, a county museum, and a lot of historic homes. There is a lot of history in Galveston and people do go there for that.

However, for that peaceful island getaway, Galveston state park is the only natural area left on the island that spans from the Gulf of Mexico to Galveston Bay. Most people that go there want the campsite close to the beach, however, there are campers that come there for the birds and fishing and those stay in the bay side of the park. Click here for more info

4. Pedernales Fall State Park

This park is about 35 miles to the west of Austin, just off of highway 290. What makes this park unique is the clear blue-green water, cascading over the twin falls. This is also the biggest attraction in the park. The water running over the rock is very peaceful and tranquil. Another popular feature is that the park has stations which provide a wide view for bird and wildlife viewing. Pedernales falls features a scenic hill terrain country, perfect for picnicking, swimming, horse riding, biking, camping, and hiking. This Park only has 30amp hookup. Click here for more info…

10 Budget Friendly RV Parks in Texas

5 .Tyler State Park

Located in East Texas and right of i-20, the Tyler State Park is about an hour and a half from Dallas, and an hour and a half from Shreveport. Because of it’s proximity to Tyler Shreveport, it has a lot of traffic, and people have to book in advance.

One trademark of the Tyler State Park is it’s mountain biking trails, which people from both far and near come to ride. From grocery stores on the lake to a convince store just outside the park, the Tyler State Park has pretty much all you need. It has a 64-acre dam with extremely clear water, with a ton of aquatic vegetation, and fishing, which can be a place of pleasure for people who love to swim, or fish. For more info click here…

6. Enchanted Rock State Natural Park

Enchanted Rock State Natural Park is not for RVs, but still worth mentioning because of the things to see and do. If your up to roughing it, this is the park for you. A very popular park. The Enchanted Rock State National Park with its massive pink granite namesake is also a favorite of hikers. Campers can also take in the surrounding flora and fauna, and do not forget to head up summit trail for a breathtaking panoramic view of the hill country at the ripe age of a billion years. Enchanted Rock is a perennial destination for outdoor enthusiasts. Click here for more info…

10 Budget Friendly RV Parks in Texas

7.Big Bend State Natural Area

I put this in the list because this park has been designated as an International Dark Sky Park , the Ultimate Stargazing Park. Also not for RV’s. It ‘s as secluded and remote as it gets for wilderness in Texas. The Big Bend State Natural area, is the largest of the state parks, as it has something for each and every one. Campers can bike, hike, canoe, and fish, at different settings. However, if activities aren’t your aim, there is also a good old fashion nature viewing to the tune of some 300,000 acres of land. Click here for more info…

8. Palo Duro Canyon State Park.

Located in the Panhandle, this rugged stretch of terrain lies at the northern end of the canyon and features some of the best scenic views in the Lone Star state. The best time to visit it during the summer, where visitors can venture over the pioneer amphitheater and watch a dazzling performance of a musical play, Texas, which is completed with a barbecue dinner. Click here for more info…

9. Fort Anahuac Park

This park has a three-day stay limit, and you would have to register for free at the commissioner’s office which is a mile away from the park. There are a lot of amenities available, such as restrooms, and tons of trash cans. Besides that, the place has a great cellular signal, which makes streaming possible with no interruptions. Anahuac is surrounded by a large lake which makes it the perfect place for those obsessed with kayaking. Click here for more info…

10. Junction City Park

This park is next to a river and a dam, giving you a serene and calm environment. For those of you interested in sports, there is a nice little baseball field, a Frisbee golf, and things of such. There are tons of water spigots to fill up water, across the park, and also there are sites for any size rig, so if you have a class A, a trailer, or any type of rig, you can definitely get a waterfront spot at Junction, Texas. And not forgetting the park has great cell coverage. Click here for more info…

10 Budget Friendly RV Parks in Texas

 

Here are Some Tips If You Are Planning to Camp in Texas.

  • When planning your trip through Texas, you need to make reservations even if you plan on going to a commercial RV park.
  • You can stay in State parks. There are a lot of state parks in Texas. And even though you will have to pay, it is still an option. The good thing about State parks is that you probably wouldn’t need reservations.
  • Another tip for state parks in Texas is that, in addition to the camping fee, you will have to pay a daily entrance fee in addition to your nightly stay fee. However, if you have a state park annual pass, veteran pass or a disabled pass, you are exempted from paying the daily entrance fee.

The annual Texas state park pass can go for $70. This waives the daily pass and you also get a discount on everything you buy at the state park. So, if you’re doing more than 4 or 5 nights in Texas, the state park pass is worth it.

  • Another thing you might want to consider is, most of the state parks do not have full hookups. There are a

few of the state parks that do. So, you will have to go to the dumping ground when you need to or when you’re leaving.

  • Well, if you do not want to make reservations, and you do not need full hookups, what you can do is to stay at a roadside rest area. But you should note that the State only makes the roadside rest areas available for only one night of staying. However when staying at a roadside area, make sure not to set up your grill, put your slides out and do not leave a mess.
  • Finally, there are city and county parks you can camp at. These might be free, on a donation basis, or maybe you might be required to pay a fee of $10-$20 per night, with various degrees of services. This could be an option for you if you need a place to spend the night when driving through Texas.

How Do You Save Money When Camping in Texas?

In the above tips, we mentioned the state park pass, and this is something a lot of people do not know about. If you’re looking to save money when camping in Texas, then this is the most recommended way to save money. If you haven’t heard about all of its benefits, I will give you detailed information about the state park pass.

To begin with, the Texas state park pass is an annual pass you can get at any Texas State Park. You can get one by going to the headquarters and telling them you want to acquire the state park pass. Currently, the price is $70 per year. Some of the benefits of the Texas State Park Pass includes:

  • Free entry to every Texas State Park for everybody in your rig. On average, parks charge $5 per person daily, as an entry fee or day-use fee on top of your camping fee. So if you have a family of five and you’re staying in Texas for five days you can do the math. However, the entry fee is free for children under 12.
  • You also get 4 discount coupons off of camping. So what happens is, when you renew your annual pass, you get 4 coupons for half-price camping for the second night of your camping trip. So meaning if you camp in four state parks, over the course of the year, you can save 50% on your second night of camping, either a shelter, an RV spot, a tent site, 4 times during the course of the year.
  • As a Texas State Park pass holder, you get discounts in the gift shop, and even on equipment rentals. Saving you a lot of money.

One tip you might need when purchasing a Texas membership is that, when you go to the Texas State Park website, and you look at information about the pass, it will tell you that you can order the pass via the phone and it will be mailed to you. If you want to do that, great. However, you should know that the membership of the card begins, immediately when you order or buy the card. So, to get the maximum benefit of the pass, I recommend you buy it when visiting your first state park.

Most people complain about how expensive staying in state parks in Texas is, so I hope to throw more light on the State Park Pass, to help you save some cash.

10 Budget Friendly RV Parks in Texas

Another suggestion I will like to make is if you are visiting the National parks, or the U.S forest service parks, you might want to look into their annual pass called an America the Beautiful pass. This is what we have. This also gets you free entry into all the US forest service parks, national parks, and all federal parks across the country.

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RV Groovin Life

Bonnie

Texas State Parks

 

Our Winter Escape to Navarre Beach RV Park in Florida

Wintertime in Florida is my version of heaven

Jackets, heated pool, cool sand, and just sunny enough to warm your skin. We spent last winter at Navarre Beach Campground and we cannot wait to return this year!

Our winter escape to Navarre Beach RV Park in Florida

It was an escape to paradise. We chose the Navarre Beach Campground as our wintertime getaway and we could not have made a better choice! The campground is just a hop from the ocean and is as pretty as a picture.

Our winter escape to Navarre Beach RV Park in Florida

Navarre Beach RV Park in Florida

In the winter, I love the well-heated pool. Swimming under the night sky is one of my favorite things to do while RVing.. Lucky for us the walk was not too far while staying at Navarre Beach Campground. It was all of twenty feet from our doorstep to the heated swimming pool.swimming pool

At night, once all the kiddos have gone to bed and their parents have fallen into exhausted slumber, we could usually get the pool all to ourselves.

Now, this, this is what I pictured when I pictured retirement: stars twinkling in the sky, beautiful, heated pool, Dean Martin singing gently in the background. During the day, we loved beachcombing and collecting sea shells from the Gulf of Mexico.beach

The sunsets over the emerald water, viewed from the fishing pier are absolutely stunning.sunset at Navarre Beach

Shopping is close by, but I never felt the need to leave the campground!

The campground has everything you could ever need for a perfect beach vacation. The campground is spacious and private. The landscaping is beautiful and updated. The showers are sparkling clean. There are two laundromats available for guest use. For your four-legged family members, there’s a dog walk.

There’s even a gym, game room, and a small camp store in the office. The entire campground has recently upgraded to high-speed WIFI, perfect for posting vacation pictures to Facebook.

There are nightly activities in the clubhouse, which is just all part of the friendly community atmosphere. The campground has a private fishing pier..

The three-hundred-foot pier is perfect for fishing or just doing a bit of ocean gazing.

We never had to worry about partiers or a dirty beach at the campground’s private beach area. There are patio sites and picnic tables for enjoying the fresh air. I love the beach and don’t want to be sitting inside all day. I want to be able to enjoy the sunshine, the breeze, and the sand between my toes!beach

I can do all of that right at  Navarre Beach Resort.

If you’re looking for a bit more adventure, there’s lots of other fun to be had nearby, too! The Naval Air Museum is close enough for a visit and has free admission! Fort Barrancas and Pensacola Lighthouse are by the museum for the history buffs to explore.

The Blue Angels practice nearby and you can watch them from a beach chair! If you are wanting to see a bigger beach, the Navarre Beach is just across the bridge, less than a ten-minute drive.

Our winter Escape to Navarre Beach RV Park in Florida

Navarre Beach in Florida

Pensacola Beach is also close.

Fabulous seafood restaurants are everywhere you look nearby. East Bay Crab House and Peg Leg Pete’s are two favorites.

Juana’s Pagoda has delicious drinks and live music that should not be missed.

I have been to so many RV parks that are just grubby and plain and Navarre Beach Campground puts them to shame. Navarre Beach Campground is clean and well maintained. It is geared toward retirees except during spring break.

The staff puts a lot of effort and care into keeping the grounds clean and it shows. The staff has integrity and pride in their work and they should.

The recently updated landscaping perfectly complemented the natural Florida elements. The shade is plentiful with lawn chairs and swings to enjoy the shade in.

This past winter, we stayed in our RV, as did many fellow winter residents. If you choose, there are tent sites available as well.

If you’d rather stay in a cabin, rental cabins at Navarre Beach Campground are adorable and painted in pastel colors. There are waterfront sites as well as Our winter escape to Navarre Beach RV Park in Floridalarger sized cabins available. The sites are pet-friendly, too! The staff at the campground is stellar—very picture of southern hospitality.

The young couple that manages the site is accommodating and helpful and very sweet.

Navarre Beach Campground a great campground for families, groups, and, those of us in our, ahem, better years. I can imagine that it would be fabulous for family events or girls’ weekend trips.

The staff had to assist us with parking our RV, some sites are very tight, folks with larger rigs should be cautious. During the summer, spaces could get a bit crowded, but we had plenty of room on our site during the winter.

Pricing is fair, especially on such wonderful campsites. RV sites start at $64 a day and tent sites start at $54 a day.

You will not find much better, especially access to waterfront views, spotless grounds, and the privacy that Navarre Beach Campground offers.

Looking back, January was my favorite month at the campground. I was never freezing, but I was not sweating either. February in Florida starts to get a bit warm, and by March, you can swim in the ocean.

March is when the spring break kids start making their way to the beaches, but most families on spring break showed up to Navarre Beach Campground while we were there. We were ready to go home in March, it was time and I knew we would be coming back.

If I knew this is what my retirement was going to look like, I would have retired years ago! I absolutely cannot wait to return. It is only 45 miles east of the Perdido Key between Pensacola and Fort Walton. The Navarre Beach Campground is perfect for long winter escapes or for quick trips.Navarre Beach in Florida

It’s a hidden treasure that I cannot hide!

I am so happy to be spending my retired winters or planning to anyways, at the Navarre Beach Campground.

When I show up this next winter, it will be just like I never left. Remind me, when does winter begin again?

 

gulf of mexico

This is one of our favorite RV Park in the spring – Haas Lake 

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Happy Camping!

RV Groovin Life

Bonnie

Haas Lake RV Park & Campground in New Hudson Michigan(Detroit & Ann Arbor)

Haas Lake RV Park

This summer we were really lucky. After a lot of searching, we finally found a wonderful RV Park that was close to where my son and daughter live.

This campground had everything we were looking for.

It is a little more expensive than other campgrounds in the area, but for us, we choose to be closer to our kids, which saved us both on fuel/gas to visit one another.

My Top 6 Reasons for choosing this RV Park:

Number 1, it is only 30-40 minutes from our kid’s house.

2. All the campsites are very level ! (Yeah!).

3. Spacious lots.

4. A lakefront site (one happened to be available, we lucked out).

5. Full-hookup w/50amp! We booked it for a month (cheaper by the month).

6. FREE WIFI !!!! Happy Dance!

Location:

Haas Lake RV Park Campground, 25800 Haas Road, New Hudson, Michigan

swan at Haas Lake Campground

Places Near By:

The famous Bell Isle is barely an hours’ drive away. We haven’t been there yet but hope to soon.

The renowned Detroit Zoo is just a thirty-minute drive away. Haas Lake RV Park is only 21 miles from Wayne County Airport. Detroit is only 40 minutes away.

It is a little more expensive than other campgrounds in the area, but for us, we choose to be closer to our kids, which saved us both on fuel/gas to visit one another. And you get all the amenities

Rates:

There are 494 sites, the charges range from $55 for daily accommodation, $330 for weekly and $860 for those who opt to stay for a month.

These charges are for the full hook up. However, for electricity and water only, the daily fee drops to $36, $216 for weekly use and $566 for monthly stay.

If you need power less than 50 Amps, the charge can even drop further.

They have a lot of seasonal RVers here and are usually booked full unless you’re a weekend camper.

I suggest booking early if you plan on staying longer than a week or wanting a lakefront site which I love!

Summary:

The serene lakes, the wildlife, everything from seeing beautiful swans right out your RV window, ducks, geese, turtles that we literally have to stop our vehicle, get out and put the little turtle back in the water (how great is that?).

Not to mention blue hearing and sandhill cranes.

We have been to quite a few campgrounds since we started RVing full-time almost a year ago and this park is definitely one of my favorites.

Each park has its own unique qualities. I think the best feature for me is the wildlife and the lakes. Bill loves to fish, he really enjoys the lakes (even though he hasn’t caught a fish, he’s only been out fishing once and not for long, it has been way too hot.

Since we were searching for a campground we could visit every summer, we will definitely be coming back to this campground.

Amenities:
Haas Lake RV campground

1. Haas RV Park has a total of 4 lakes. The lakes’ water flows from the springs which ensure that the water is always fresh. It is so transparent you can practically see the fish.

2.Wonderful beach with a play area for kids.

3. Basketball court.

4.Wildlife, swan, geese, ducks, turtles, sandhill crane, blue hearing…

5. There is also a two-hole golf course.

6.Volleyball Pits

7.Pavilions and arcade games facilities.

8 The ever-smiling staff. They are always there to assist you.

9.Pet-friendly.

10.Well maintained laundry facility. Everything is neat and tidy.

11.Propane and air compressor to pump up your RV tires. Gift store located in the office which offers Ice cream, water, pop, toilet paper etc.…a little bit of everything.

12. WIFI – FREE! And it WORKS!! Yes, I am Happy!

This is a great Campground if you have a big rig, our fifth wheel is 36ft. and we have more than enough room. We see big motorhomes 40ft and bigger towing trailers and they have no problem parking.

fifth wheel Haas Lake Campground

If you’re in the area you should definitely check it out. The only negative I have is that Haas road (long straight road) that leads into the park, off of Grand River, needs serious attention. You don’t have trees or turns to deal with, just bumpy, bumpy! It’s fine if you just take it slow.

Bonus:

I forgot to mention, its also close to shopping, Wal-Mart and Meijer are only minutes away.  Be sure to say hello if coming this way, we’ll be in a 36ft. fifth wheel, Mobile Select Suite with a Silver Ford Dually.

Please Share and Subscribe!

Bonnie

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Visiting Amish Country in Shipshewana Indiana

Have you ever taken a trip to Shipshewana Indiana, Amish Country? If not you are missing out. Amish country is a world of amazing history, culture, and contradictions.

Amish Country in Shipshewana Indiana

Very few places in the US where roads are still populated with horses and buggies.

In the 21st century; a place famous for its Flea markets, a flourishing countryside with breathtaking farms and a people so religious that taking a photo is out of the question?

Amish Country in Shipshewana Indiana

Anyone looking for a great getaway that is out of the ordinary should sample what we experienced last fall.

Bill and I needed to take our fifth wheel in for its first checkup in Lagrange Indiana at Cross Enterprises that specializes in Mobile Suite RV’s.

Lagrange Indiana Service RV Repair Shop

Cross Interstate RV Service in Lagrange Indiana

Since we would be there a few days we were able to explore the area. Shipshewana Indiana is a beautiful place, so many things to see and do. You could easily spend a week to enjoy all that Amish Country has to offer. We thought it was worth sharing with fellow travel-enthusiasts.

Why travel during the fall?

Something that any traveler might like about fall is that the prices are lower, the crowds fewer and the weather is milder in most of the popular destinations around the globe.

About Amish Country in Shipshewana

Shipshewana is a tiny town with an area of about 3.06 km sq has a small population. The 2010 census placed the population at 658 people. Tourism plays an important role in the economy of this area.

We approached Amish country from Chicago a one and half hour’s drive. The first thing that struck us was the beautiful farms and countryside. It was simply breathtaking.farm in Indiana

We had heard about Cook’s Bison Ranch, we decided to pass by to see them up close. Our minds were fed with the sights and sounds of country life and the enormous but beautiful bison.

The farms are also home to some of the best horses compared to what we have ever come across. The value Amish people attach to the horse is evident from the great care they give to their animals. It’s not only horses they raise but a blend of farm animals as well but most noticeable were the cows. We made a brief stopover in one of the farms and were impressed by the hospitality of the Amish. Here we were served with some great tasting milk and ice cream before proceeding with our journey.

As soon as we started entering the city we started seeing the trademark horses and buggies on the road. Due to their religious beliefs, Amish people do not drive cars but they still need to get from point A to point B and back. The most popular mode of transportation to members of this community is the horse and buggy. The Amish use this combination for travel to church, and to meet their daily transport needs such as excursions to town.

Though Amish businesses use vehicles for their transport needs such vehicles are driven by non-Amish drivers.

Well, horses, buggies and modern 21st-century automobiles jostling for space on modern highways is not a thing you will encounter anywhere in this part of the world. But here it is the norm; you will see this intriguing blend of old and new even in gas stations and restaurants.

Any time you get into a dollar store parking lot you expect nothing but conventional motorized traffic. Well, not in Shipshewana. For the first time in my life, I came face to face with a dollar store parking lot full of horse and buggies and of course some horse droppings.

The RV phenomenon

Talking of transport we cannot forget to mention something we noted about Recreational Vehicles in Shipshewana. Despite the fact that the Amish do not drive vehicles, we still noted an impressive number of RVs in the area. This was surprising. Our curiosity got the better of us especially after noting the diversity of RVs around, from motorhomes and campers to fifth wheelers like ours.Amish Country in Shipshewana Indiana

It soon became clear why this is, 80% of the RVs in the US are manufactured in Northern Indiana and overtime this industry has become a leading employer of Amish men. The high number of RVs partly accounts for one of the leading attractions in Amish County, the Shipshewana RV Parks.

Why is the Amish Community is such an attraction?

Refusal to drive cars and use horses and buggies is just is not the reason why this community and its way of life is such an attraction. One has to understand and appreciate what motivates this otherwise old fashioned way of doing things. The best way to do this is not just textbook knowledge you need to get there and interact with them. Why?

The third largest Amish community in the US is in Shipshewana and LaGrange County. Our own background research revealed interesting facts about the Amish Community. For instance, did you know that this community, in general, traces its routers back to the 17th century among staunch followers of Jacob Amman in Switzerland?

A schism between within some two groups led to a separation with one group following Ammann and finally becoming the Amish Church. Members of this religious outfit started migrating to North America sometime in early 18th Century first settling in eastern Pennsylvania. A large settlement still remains there to date.

It’s the religious beliefs and way of life that make these communities a great attraction. During our stay, we saw first-hand the practical application and implications of these beliefs. The first thing we noted is that citizens of Amish Country are best known and identified by their plain and mostly self-made clothing, nonconformist lifestyle.

These people place a high premium on family, community, humility, and separation from the world as the main cornerstones of the Amish way of life. The implication of this lifestyle was plain to us. it’s important for visitors to respect the beliefs and practices of these uniquely religious people.horse and buggies in Amish Country

In summary, we noted the following:

  • Upon arrival, we quickly noted the need to take extra caution as we traveled; we had to slow down since the roads are almost always filled with bikes, horses and buggies and people walking as well as kids riding pony carts. With this kind of scenario, visitors have to take extra caution on the roads
  • Honking is largely out of question. The sound easily spooks the horses.
  • The Amish in this area knows that visitors come here to know them but this is not a blank check to you as a visitor. Understand that within limits they will visit some area with you but if they decline a request, that’s okay. Though some will not get into a conversation with you they still will smile and nod at you.
  • Photographs are considered graven images by the Amish. So as much as you would want to take a memoir photo with them, you have to honor their culture and wad off the impulse of taking such photos.
  • Sundays are the wrong days to go shopping here. Most shops are closed on this day to allow the Amish to honor the Sabbath and spend time with their families. So factor this in your travel arrangements.

Places to go and Things to do in Amish Country

We landed in Shipshewana on a Tuesday after checked in at the Shipshewana Trading Place – RV Park. Our online research had indicated this park is close to the Flea Market which was to be our starting point the next morning. Our plan was to visit at least or two major attractions every day.

i) Flea Marketcandy store in Shipshewana Indiana

This Flea Market with its nearly 900 vendors, is the largest in Midwest. With that many sellers, we were sure we would find something for each member of the family. True, the market didn’t disappoint.

The Flea Market is open every Tuesday and Wednesday between 1st May and 26th September from 8:00 a.m to 5:00 p.m. Special holiday openings include 4th of July, Memorial Day and Labor Day same time.

Its main season comes during spring when on average of more than 12,000 people come to shop here each week.

As planned, our itinerary took us there on a Wednesday. Due to its proximity to the RV Park we just took a stroll and in a few minutes, we were at the market.

farm in Indiana

The range of products available was amazing. Our Wednesday visit coincided with the Miscellaneous and Antique auction which offered a broad spectrum of hard-to-find items.

From bags to jewelry, cell phone accessories, sunglasses, leather goods, vintage items, party supplies, silk flowers and anything in between was on sale.

ii) The Blue Gate Restaurant and theater

A modern and highly welcoming facility, The Blue Gate Restaurant and theater it proved to be the cream of our visit. The rich restaurant menu featuring American & Amish. Upon our arrival here we found a warm and soothing atmosphere; the kind that you need after a long but exciting day. The home-style cooking is simply great.

Though we had to wait briefly for our dinner table to be set we spent this time shopping in the numerous Riegeckert family shops within the facility’s marketplace. The good thing is all the shops use the same paging system so we were able to hear our names read though we were a number of shops from our table.

Once you are through with your meal do not forget to visit the famous Blue Gate Bakery for freshly baked yummies like cookies and bars, home-made bread, pies and much more.

The Blue Gate theater features over 280 shows annually with 75 different performers, three hit musicals and much more. Why should you miss concerts by multiple Grammy-winning artists, Southern Gospel favorites, hilarious comedians and other family-friendly entertainment? The Blue Gate Restaurant and theater is the best place for your evening entertainment in Amish Country.

iii) Amish in-home dining

For an authentic Amish dining experience, there are several arrangements you can make. You can book a meal with Miller’s Buggy which offers Amish dining experiences catering to groups of people.

iv) Heritage Ridge Creamery

Our next stop major stop was at the Heritage Ridge Creamery. Here we took time to taste delicious, fresh cheeses made at the creamery. Some of them included Colby Jack, Colby, garden vegetable cheese cheddar Amish cream and siracha cheese. This visit gives you an opportunity to watch the cheese-making process right in the creamery.

v) Menno-Hof Amish- Mennonite Information Center

If you want to learn more about the intriguing history and origins of the Amish this is the place to be. The multi-image presentations, colorful displays, and historical environments are used in this center to drive the point home leaving visitors with a clear picture of how and why Amish and Mennonites ended up in the US.

vi) Dutch Creek Farm-Animal Park

Here we joined other guests in not only feeding the animals but also petting and touching them in the process. This is a great stopover for families. But you might be wondering about a few other issues as you plan your trip. How are the restaurants, can we get good campgrounds and so on. Let’s share some insights with you.yoders store in Indiana

Restaurants

Just to be sure about Shipshewana we decided to spend our one-week sampling various restaurants in this tiny town. Of course, lunch break provided the most convenient time to satisfy our stomachs and curiosity.

We realized Shipshewana is home to some fine restaurants catering for all budgets and appetites. You can sample Amish as well as your usual diet in most of these restaurants. In case you are looking for pricey dinner restaurants you can try out the following:

  • 5 and 20 Country Kitchen
  • East of Chicago Pizza
  • Pumpkin Vine Café
  • Subway
  • El Zorito 2 .among other

For cheap eats, you can try out

  • Jojo’s Pretzels
  • Shipshewana Trading Place
  • Ben’s Soft Pretzels
  • Wana Cup Restaurant
  • Red Bud Gourmet Coffee and Tea

Shipshewana RV parks and campgrounds

If you are planning to use an RV don’t scratch your head too much about the availability of convenient RV parks and campgrounds in Amish Country. Like many other visitors before us, we were impressed by the fact that Shipshewana Indiana is home to numerous RV parks and campgrounds. Thus we hardly had a problem locating an ideal park for our overnight stays.

All the campgrounds and RV Parks here have reasonable but varying offers ranging from park features hookups, connectivity, amenities and recreational facilities.

Here’s a list of the most popular parks and their respective rates.

RV Park / Campground and the average rate per person per day

  • Shipshewana Campground, South Park at $47.00

Local history museums, as well as the RV/MH museum, are nearby. There’s a number of Amish restaurants ideal for a family outing.

•Shipshewana Campground, North Park at $40.00

It’s quite close to Amish and RV makers. The Menno-hof visitor center nearby offers a multi-media tour with valuable hands-on of the Mennonite and Amish story.

•Shipshewana Trading Place – RV Park at $39:00

The Flea Market is just next door; in fact, most RVers staying here opt to walk to the market rather than drive there. Across the street, you find Menno-hof Museum and lots of interesting shops

•Elkhart Co / Middlebury KOA at about $50.00

The hamburger joint at the top of the hill is quite addictive. You can easily make RV plant tours from this location. Within reach is Meadow valley which is a reasonable golf course.

•Eby’s Pines Campground at about $41:00

Lots of RV dealers are located nearby so one can walk around and see different makes of RVs. Raber golf course is just about 5 miles away.

•Twin Mills Resort at about $165 – $203

Close to the RV manufacturers in Amish Country and the RV museum. On weekends plenty of Amish pastry items and ice cream are available for sale right at the front of this park.

Our one week trip to Amish Country was hardly enough to cover all that was there to be covered. Just like us, you too might never get enough of this country. The best thing is to plan ahead for your trip. Make sure your RV is in top-notch condition and you have all the necessities for the journey.

Most importantly remember you are visiting a unique community. As earlier said, visitors do well to respect the values of the Amish people; do not take photos of them if they don’t want, do not honk at the horses and most importantly remember to have the best of times at Amish Country, Shipshewana Indiana.

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Happy Camping!

RV Groovin Life

Bonnie