Good Sam RV Travel Guide & Campground Directory
Recommended Tent Camping Locations - CO, CT, DE
Colorado Tent Camping Trip
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Colorado’s scenery is dramatic, diverse and downright beautiful. Towering mountains, exquisite wildflowers, rivers, streams, forests, snow-blanketed hills and bright blue skies overwhelm the senses. So pack a camera and a pair of binoculars for close-up views of the "Centennial State’s" abundant scenery and wildlife. Then set off on a slow and easy drive through remarkable, memorable Colorado. Stay at fantastic Colorado tent campgrounds along the way.
Pack a camera and a pair of binoculars for close-up views of the "Centennial State’s" abundant scenery and wildlife.
In northwest Colorado, and extending over the border into Utah, Dinosaur National Monument is near the town of Dinosaur. The park’s Dinosaur Quarry is in Utah and is most definitely worth the trip. Experience the exhibit of more than 1,500 dinosaur bones plus life-size reproductions of prehistoric beasts. There’s even an observation window that lets visitors peek inside the park’s active paleontology lab. There are engaging automobile tours to wonders like Tilted Rocks and Echo Park, where the Green and Yampa Rivers merge. Guests can inspect petroglyphs carved by prehistoric American Indians or they can walk along nature trails that lead to waterfalls or glorious, western vistas of mountain crests and sandstone canyons. The fishing is fine on the Yampa and Green Rivers; rafters find amazing adventures on local whitewater excursions.
Mesa Verde National Park is a World Heritage Site and a notable archaeological center in southwestern Colorado near Mancos. The name translates as "green table." But its primary attraction is the ample evidence of mechanical engineering that originated between 600 A.D. and 1300 A.D. The park preserves pueblos or villages skillfully carved into the existing walls of Mesa Verde’s rocky canyon. Fortunately for today’s tourists, these pueblos were constructed so well that curious visitors are permitted to climb on up and check them out without compromising their structural integrity. From an archaeological perspective, it’s interesting to note that twenty four, modern day, southwestern native tribes trace their ancestry to the ancient, pueblo-building people who once lived and thrived at Mesa Verde. Besides individual house tours and visits to the Mesa Museum, park guests explore the preserve’s hiking trails or drive Mesa’s Top Loop Road. The roadside displays and panoramic stops on this automobile trail are well worth the extra time required. There are a number of great Colorado tent camprounds in the area.
In the west central part of Colorado near Gunnison, Curecanti National Recreation Area includes the Blue Mesa, Morrow Point, and Crystal Reservoirs. Besides preserving the state’s biggest waterway and the nation’s prime Kokanee salmon fishery, Curecanti contains archaeologically significant dinosaur bones and the remnants of aged dwellings dating back six millenniums. The scenic drives, horseback rides and an impressive variety of hiking trails where Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep, bobcats and great blue heron might be seen, aren’t too shabby, either. Curecanti’s guests also find good hunting grounds and top-notch fishing with likely catches of trout and Kokanee salmon. Boating, sailing, windsurfing, and skiing are popular summer activities and the winter season attracts guests who are ready for snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, ice fishing or skating. There is also great Colorado tent camping in this area.
Colorado’s north central region is the home of Rocky Mountain National Park, a Biosphere Reserve located between Estes Park and Grand Lake. Dozens of Colorado line the park, for close proximity to hiking and biking the great trails. The park is a land of fabulous contrasts – rugged, frosty summits; eerie, windswept tundra; rushing waters; woodlands; and meadows of vibrant wildflowers. Visitors should treat themselves to the 50-mile driving tour of Trail Ridge, which is both an All-American Road and National Scenic Byway. Trail Ridge takes visitors across the Continental Divide and on a 400-feet ascent to the alpine tundra. Up above the timberline, the tundra is an arctic-style zone of miniature plants and treeless terrain that looks more like a lunar exploration site than a national park byway. After the Trail Ridge experience, guests may choose to hike to a waterfall, ramble past Bear Lake, or attend a ranger-guided "Full Moon Walk" where a moose or tuft-eared squirrel might be encountered along your path.
Pike’s Peak, towering a majestic 14,110 feet, is one of our country’s crown jewels. A round-trip drive along Pike’s Peak Highway to the summit provides breathtaking views of the Sangre de Cristo Range, and the Gold Rush town of Cripple Creek. Journey to Seven Falls and South Cheyenne Canon and take a look at the Pillars of Hercules, the spot where the canon narrows to 42 feet in width as 1,000-foot cliffs tower overhead. Because you can take a mountain elevator, everyone can enjoy a trip to this spectacular natural wonder.
Yet another "must-see" in the area is Royal Gorge Bridge & Park. Here you’ll find the world’s highest suspension bridge – soaring 1,053 feet above the Arkansas River. Enjoy an aerial tram ride as well as an incline railway. Other attractions include Gardens of the Gods, a park complete with beautiful scenery.
In south central Colorado, Great Sand Dunes National Park is just above Alamosa. The North American continent’s highest dunes are 700 feet tall and set against the contrasting backdrop of the jagged Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Great Sand Dunes encompasses 30 square miles of desert-like mounds, as well as spruce and pine forests, grasslands, and wetlands. The park has a number of 13,000-foot mountain peaks plus icy lakes and tundra. There are creeks, meadows, canyons, and cascades, a million nooks and crannies for wildlife and people to wander. It’s an exceptional range of terrain for one park to span, and fortunate Great Sand Dunes visitors have a chance to experience them all.
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Connecticut Tent Camping Trip
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Connecticut’s US-6, also known as the Grand Army of the Republic Highway, sneaks in over the New York border at the town of Mill Plain. But your first stop should be at Blue Jay Orchards in the town of Bethel. During the months of October and November, this 160-acre farm can be the consummate New England getaway location where you can pick your own bushel of apples, visit a pumpkin patch, or enjoy a hayride.
Continuing east, you’ll visit the town of Southbury, deep within hot-air balloon country. Take a voyage aboard one of these graceful craft at Gone Ballooning or Steppin’ Up Balloons and drift over the lovely rolling landscape of western Connecticut. There are one or two Connecticut tent campgrounds in this area. Down the road, in the town of Woodbury you’ll find the Glebe House & Gertrude Jekyll Garden. Set in the picturesque Litchfield Hills region, the Glebe House is the birthplace of the Episcopal Church in the New World. This 18th-century home remains intact and showcases a fine collection of period furnishings. Surrounding the house are the stunning gardens by Gertrude Jekyll, one of the finest garden designers in America.
Further east, stop in the town of Thomaston and tour the Railroad Museum of New England/Naugatuck Railroad Company. Here you can jump aboard an historic steam train and enjoy a 20-mile trek through the region’s green landscape, through a state forest, and along the Naugatuck River. There may be one or two Connecticut tent campgrounds in Thomaston for you to stay at.
In the town of Bristol, stop by the Lake Compounce Theme Park, affectionately known as “New England’s Family Theme Park.” With more than 50 rides and attractions (including a water park!), Lake Compounce provides a full day’s entertainment, and then some. Wooden roller coaster afficionados list the park’s Boulder Dash ride as one of the finest on the planet.
Down the road in Farmington, two rivers converge to create myriad opportunities for outdoor fun. Tubing and boat rides can be had on the Farmington or Housatanic rivers at Farmington River Tubing, Huck Finn Adventures, or Machias Adventures. For some tips on how to hook largemouth bass, carp, sunfish or perch on the Housatanic River, fishermen will want to stop by Housatanic Anglers. Farmington is also a hot-air balloon hotspot and there’s a good selection of outfitters to take you aloft.
In Hartford, take a historic trip to the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center, an 1871 Victorian cabin where the author of “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” penned her powerful abolitionists novel. The Old State House is another historic site, noteworthy as the oldest state house in the nation. Built in 1796, this restored house offers a dazzling display of Victorian decorations and showcases a brand new interactive exhibit. Keep on your historic house tour with the Mark Twain House and Museum, where the famed author spent 17 years during much of his later years when he was an international literary celebrity. Noah Webster also called Hartford home for some time. You can learn more about the lexicographer, and namesake for the famed dictionary, at his childhood home, now known as the Noah Webster House and West Hartford Historical Society. Hartford is also home to several interesting small museums such as The Trash Museum, useful for those needing to know about what you throw away and where it goes.
Before departing this Connecticut tent camping adventure and venturing into Rhode Island a quick stop in Hampton is in order, to see one of the state’s few remaining covered bridges, the Comstock Covered Bridge.
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Delaware Tent Camping Trip
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The state of Delaware might be small in size, but it’s big on providing visitors with a full spectrum of old-fashioned fun with some relaxing Delaware tent camping. If sedate scenes like historic tall ships, operas, cobblestone streets, vintage trains, and ferryboats pique your interest, Delaware is prepared to please you. And if rousing Broadway tunes, bustling beachfront boardwalks, and rollicking amusement parks are more your speed, Delaware has what it takes to delight you, too.
Streaming into Delaware from Maryland on Hwy. 40, Wilmington, founded in 1638, is your first major stop in the northern part of the state. The city’s colonial-style Kalmar Nyckel Shipyard is home port of Delaware’s like-named Tall Ship ambassador–the Kalmar Nyckel. The original boat was built and launched at today’s shipyard site. These days the replica is available for tours, commemorating the vessel that carried the first wave of adventurous European settlers into Delaware Valley more than three centuries ago. Early boat-building methods and colonial occupations such as blacksmithing are demonstrated at the shipyard.
If a night at the opera is your cup of tea, add Opera Delaware to your “First State” itinerary. Founded in 1945, the company has provided greater Wilmington with an impressive 58 seasons of operatic entertainment. Should you prefer a Broadway beat performed by top-name musical celebrities, check out the Playhouse Theatre. Acknowledged as America’s oldest, continuously-running stage company, the Playhouse currently produces several professional Broadway shows each year.
Are you ready for an authentic antique train escape? The Wilmington & Western Railroad offers steam locomotive tours of the picturesque Red Clay Valley. Dinner rides and holiday excursions are part of the railway’s schedule if you’d like to try something extra special.
The city of New Castle, off Hwy. 40, has quaint cobblestone streets and a rich political heritage to its credit. The circa 1732 New Castle Court House hosted colonial representatives and early Delaware assemblymen. And the state’s eventual signers of the Declaration of Independence first convened at New Castle’s Court House. For today’s visitors, museum exhibits tell the detailed story of the courthouse’s memorable beginnings.
In 1683, William Penn plotted the original design for what would later become the state capital city of Dover. Included in the heart of the town, a market and meeting place for the inhabitants of Kent County, Dover Green, was eventually constructed in 1717. As time marched on, the momentous vote to ratify the U.S. Constitution and the ceremonial 1776 recitation of America’s Declaration of Independence both took place on here. Dover Green is still a popular place to visit today, featuring Delaware’s Old State House and surrounded by a number of 18th-century residences.
Seaford is located in southern Delaware off Hwy. 13 on State Highway 20. The town’s claim to fame is Burton Brothers Hardware, established back in 1893, and still going strong today. The original tin ceilings, cash register, and main counter remain, as well as an old wringer-washer standing side-by-side with modern electrical appliances, tools, and painting supplies. Although the store’s present-day stock reflects the passage of time, one thing that hasn’t changed at Burton Brothers is a steadfast policy that the customer always comes first.
For another boost of nostalgia, drive on over to Woodland (just southwest of Seaford) for a visit to the Days Gone By Museum. You’ll see antique versions of carpenter’s tools and tractors and learn about the 1793 Woodland Ferry that still carries folks across the Nanticoke River today.
Lewes is the home port of yet another commuter boat, the Cape May-Lewes Ferry. Cars, RV’s, and pedestrians are all permitted on the vessel, which first started transporting passengers and vehicles across Delaware Bay between Lewes and Cape May, New Jersey in 1964. The pleasant 80-minute, one-way cruise covers 17 miles on scenic Delaware Bay. Tall Pines is one of the great Delaware tent campgrounds to check out in the area.
Take State Highway 1A to Rehoboth Beach for more adventure. Funland is a family-owned amusement park that’s been entertaining summer patrons here since 1962. It’s conveniently located on the boardwalk in the center of all the Rehoboth Beach action. Each ride is reasonably priced on a “pay-as-you-go” basis, meaning old-timey amusements like bumper cars, “Gravitron” and “Sea Dragon” rides are affordable, even for thrifty families. In addition to 18 popular rides, Funland has a shooting gallery, arcade, and a baker’s dozen of midway games. If Funland doesn’t tickle your nostalgia bone, maybe nothing can. Check out Delaware Seashore SP for a great Delaware tent camping location.
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