Good Sam RV Travel Guide & Campground Directory

Recommended Tent Camping Locations - ID, IL, IN

Idaho Tent Camping Trip

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The state of Idaho offers two nostalgic routes, US-95 and US-30. Pick up US-95 near the town of Payette in the Southwest region of the state. There, you’ll find the Payette County Historical Society, housed in an impressive Episcopal Church, designed in a Gothic Revival style. The town’s pride and joy is the exhibit of Payette’s favorite son, Harmon Killebrew, the baseball Hall of Famer who racked up 573 home runs (6th all time) in his 21-year career.

If you are in the mood for Idaho tent camping during the third week of June, take a little jog north of Payette to the town of Weiser. There one simply can’t avoid the world famous National Old-Time Fiddlers’ Contest and Festival. The town is also famous for its impressive English Tudor-style architecture. From Weiser, head north ‘til you reach the town of Grangeville. It not only serves as the county seat but this town with a population of just over 3,000 people, has an old-time charm that goes with it. An interesting stop nearby is the Monastery of St. Gertrude, just north of Grangeville. This ornate chapel was built in 1925 and displays two impressive 97-foot towers, both easily seen from US-95. There are several Idaho tent campgrounds in this area for you to check out.

Continue north until you come upon the Nez Perce Indian Reservation, home to a proud and unique cultural that once ruled this region. Here’s where your US-95 tour ends, but before it does, a visit to St. Joseph’s Mission is recommended. It’s a little oasis in an otherwise open, rolling agricultural landscape, and still offers regular religious services.

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Illinois Tent Camping Trip

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There are plenty of Illinois tenting campgrounds in this wonderful state. Where we begin this trip, the Illinois portion of Highway 51 splits the state more or less down the middle as it runs from the Wisconsin border south to Cairo at the very southern tip of the state along the banks of the Ohio River. As US-51 picks up in Illinois, the city of Rockford is the first stop.

Visit the town of Oglesby, known as the “Shortcut to Starved Rock,” a geological oddity located right in Northern Illinois. Starved Rock State Park is one of most wonderful Illinois tent camping scenic spots, full of opportunities for wandering among this impressive landscape carved from the glaciers that receded from this area eons ago.

Heading south, you’ll soon find yourself in the mini twin cities of Bloomington and Normal. The area hosts a bevy of outlet shops that aren’t too hard to find, especially if you’re driving on the highway since nearly every billboard advertises some outlet or another.

One quirky stop nearby is the Oliver P. Parks Telephone Museum, where you can glimpse dozens of early specimens of the telephone era from 1900 to present. For those seeking a little more adventure, try out Upper Limits, where you can test your rock climbing skill at the world’s tallest indoor climbing facility. Finally, take a stroll through the charming and historic downtown district of Bloomington where you can end the day with a stroll through Miller Park Zoo.

There’s a unique town south of there that’s worth a visit. Centralia enjoys a rich railroading heritage. One thing you don’t want to miss in town is a visit to the Centralia Carillon. This 165-foot tower hosts an arrangement of bells played each day by a professional carrilloneur. The tower hosts regular concerts throughout the summer.

Heading south, the landscape changes as you begin to enter the Ohio River Valley. Soon you’ll find yourself in the town of Carbondale. Located along the edge of the impressive Shawnee National Forest, Carbondale has put together several “trail” ideas for tourists visiting the area. Two of the finest are the orchard and wine trails, which take visitors on a tour of the finest offerings from the respective categories. Crab Orchard Campground is one of the great Illinois tent campgrounds in the area to check out.

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Indiana Tent Camping Trip

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Indiana’s Highway 31 could be one of the most quaint roads in America. Start at the town of South Bend, work your way through Amish Country, stop by the biggest small town in the Midwest, and finish with the rolling, lush farmlands of southern Indiana. Hoosiers are fiercely proud of their state, and from a trip down this highway you will soon find out why.

Much of Indiana was borne out of great traditions and your first stop along US-31 is one of the finest examples. South Bend is home to the University of Notre Dame and the tradition of college football must have originated here. There are also several Indiana tent campgrounds nearby South Bend. Visit the College Football Hall of Fame to brush up on the legends of the game, from the Fighting Irish to all the other gridiron teams from around the country. Don’t pass up a chance to take a leisurely stroll inside the campus and glimpse the steeples of the Basilica of the Sacred Heart and the legendary Golden Dome.

For nostalgia, pure and simple, head on over to the Studebaker National Museum, also in South Bend. The facility houses dozens of automotive specimens and traces the history of some of the industry’s most unique autos, from the company’s inception as a wagon builder in 1835, to the unveiling of their “cars of the future” at 1956 World’s Fair.

Travel east on US-20, stop by the town of Elkhart. There you’ll find the RV/MH Heritage Foundation, a hall of fame, library, and museum dedicated to the RV lifestyle! Take a tour through more than 90 years of RV history and experience life as it was when American families hit the road with the very first RVs – some of which were called “spam cans”, for obvious reasons. Oh, how far we’ve come.

Back on Hwy 31, keep going until you near the town of Peru for some interesting Indiana tent camping. Consider heading a few miles east on Route 124 until you reach the International Circus Hall of Fame and Museum. This sleepy little town was, for years, the wintering grounds of the famous Hagenbeck-Wallace Circus. Today, the land has been turned into a temple for the circus and carnival crowd. Inside is housed one of the most unique collections of artifacts, photos, stories, and memorabilia from those nomadic troupes that traveled around the country capturing the imagination of generations of children and adults. Mississinewa Lake is one of the great Indiana tent campgrounds to check out in this area.

Keep driving south until the town of Kokomo comes into view and its impressive Automotive Heritage Museum. More than 100,000 square feet of exhibits and displays showcase dozens of classic automobiles and the rich history of Indiana’s automobile industry. Those up for a little side trip east of here are rewarded by the birthplace of American legend, James Dean, in the city of Fairmont. Today the town hosts regular events honoring their favorite son, James Dean.

Your next stop is Indianapolis, where your US-31 tour comes to a close. Indy is a big city with a small town feel. Make a point to visit the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame and Museum to walk through 80 some years of racing history and heroes. If you happen to be in town during the Indiana State Fair, don’t miss a visit to Hook’s American Drugstore Museum. Only open during the fair weeks (mid-August), the museum takes you back to yesteryear when the thing to do on Saturday night was to gather at the drug store, knock back a malt, and catch up with the neighbors.

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