Good Sam RV Travel Guide & Campground Directory
Recommended Tent Camping Locations - VA, WA
Virginia Tent Camping Trip
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History buffs, thoroughly modern shoppers- amusement park devotees, Virginia tent camping fans and folks who’d rather go caving find a common ground for fun in the "Old Dominion" state.
Today’s Virginia offers lots and lots of shopping options, so plan your travel itinerary accordingly. Here are a few suggestions to warm up your consumer instincts.
Home of the Great Strasburg Emporium with more than 100 active dealers, the town of Strasburg earns converts as the “Antique Capital of Virginia.”
Dayton’s Old Farmers Market contains 20 gift shops and food booths that reflect the simple, traditional Mennonite lifestyle.
Alexandria, Occoquan, and Fredericksburg
Look for downtown boutiques selling arts, handicrafts and unusual bric-a-brac.
Giant malls with trendy shops carrying everything under the Virginian sun may be found at Tysons Corner Center and Tysons Galleria in McLean.
Merchant’s Square in Colonial Williamsburg encompasses more than 40 shops and restaurants in a vintage village atmosphere where most goods on display are colonial reproductions. Williamsburg, also known as the “Outlet Store Capital,” hosts an impressive list of outlet centers. Beth Page Camp-Resort and Newport News Park Campground are two Virginia tent campgrounds located near Williamsburg.
For genuine handicrafts from the Blue Ridge Mountains, visit the Cave House Craft Shop, an inviting place stocked with homespun wares such as baskets and quilts from Holston Mountain Crafts Guild.
Thrills, chills, water wonders, crazy coasters and European flair are all part of the trip to Virginia’s amusement park scene.
Paramount’s Kings Dominion is a family-friendly recreation center with a notable collection of 12 themed roller coasters, an on-site WaterWorks park and special amusement areas designed for children.
Busch Gardens Williamsburg certainly earns its long-standing title as “World’s Most Beautiful Theme Park.” With it’s old world Euro-style accents, rousing rides, quality stage shows, shops, and restaurants, Busch Gardens offers something appealing for everyone. The vintage surf-themed Water Country USA, also a Williamsburg attraction, treats guests to cool rides, slides and free-form river float trips with geyser action and speeding toboggans, plus a radical surf shop and a good selection of food-stuffs. Grey's Point Camp is another Virginia tent camping location not too far away from Williamsburg.
Practically everyone’s heard about the exquisite natural beauty of Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, but did you know that the area’s underground cave systems are every bit as engaging as the above-ground scenery? Shenandoah National Park is one of the great Virginia tent camping sites located in the city of Elkton.
Luray Caverns is the largest, most-visited cave system in the eastern United States. Colossal chambers, colorful formations, winding tunnels, underground pools and the music from the one and only “Great Stalacpipe Organ” make a trip here unforgettable. Nearby, the History of transportation in America comes alive at an exhibit that includes 140 items ranging from carriages to coaches.
Endless Caverns may be found on the side of Massanutten Mountain. After your underground cave adventure, come up to the surface to take in sweeping views of the Shenandoah Valley.
Explore the visual wonders of the caves at Dixie Caverns, purchase antiques or pottery, and browse through the extensive Rock and Mineral Shop, all in one friendly location.
Experience more of the Shenadoah’s Valley underground attractions with a visit to the remarkable Shenandoah’s Caverns, located just off I-81.
For more information, contact (800) VISIT-VA;
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Washington Tent Camping Trip
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Like the rest of the Pacific Northwest, Washington’s biggest draw is its breathtaking coastline. If this is your cup of tea, too, consider taking US-12 around the Olympic Peninsula as it travels from Aberdeen east to Olympia. In Aberdeen, enjoy the life along Gray’s Harbor. There you’ll find the Lady Washington, the state’s largest and finest tall ship. Keeping heading east towards Olympia, where you’ll navigate your rig through several charming towns. We highly recommend the town of Montesano, a little village well-known for its heritage and food, especially their razorback clams. Olympic National Forest has Washington tent camping sites available between May and September. Be sure to call ahead for more information.
US-12 ultimately delivers travelers to Olympia, simply one of Washington’s finest cities. A great place to start exploring Olympia is the area around the Capital, an historic and beautiful area for great walking and sight-seeing opportunities. Don’t miss the Tivoli Fountain reconstruction on the Capital lawn. Strongly consider a tour of the impressive Governor’s Mansion. Millersylvania State Park is one of the Washington tent campgrounds to stay at while in in Olympia. While in the area, a visit to the Mount Saint Helens National Volcanic Monument is a thoughtful diversion. Observe the effect of nature’s awe-inspiring power on the landscape as the site is still recovering from when the mountain blew its top in the early 1980s.
But Washington is hardly all craggy cliffs and pounding Pacific waves. The state is home to many treasures inland. One way to explore those wonders is to pick up US-97 near the town of Goldendale, in the lower-central part of the state near the Oregon border. This spirited route runs through some wonderfully diverse landscape as it heads north. Past Yakima, a major hub in this part of the state, stop by Thompson’s Fruit Farm. This centuries-old farm remains family-owned and operated (applause!). And yes, visitors can still sample a wide variety of natural treats or help themselves by picking some of the farm’s produce. After a stop to the fruit farm, get lost in downtown Yakima, a city full of old world charm and antique stores. Find your way to the impressive Capitol Theater. Erected in 1920 this art deco building was once the largest such venue in the Pacific Northwest. Today, it is home to the Yakima Symphony Orchestra. Also, don’t miss the charming Museum Soda Fountain, an art deco display that commemorates those fantastic soda shops of a bygone era. The Yakima Cultural Center is a great place to start when exploring this northwest treasure. Then pull over for a great bite to eat at the Heritage Inn, where you can sample some modern and traditional Native American fare.
After Yakima, US-97 north merges into Interstate 82. Just north of Ellensburg you can pick up US-97 once again and continue your adventure, straight towards the outskirts of the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest. Not only is this an excellent place for just about any recreational pursuit, but it’s also the nexus of US-97 and US-2 at the town of Leavenworth. One worthwhile stop here is the Leavenworth Fish Hatchery, an impressive facility used to protect salmon populations otherwise affected by the Grand Coulee Dam operations. If you’d prefer an alternative route from Ellensburg to take you back to the coast, follow US-90 west to Seattle/Tacoma and US-5 north to Everett and Bellingham.
Heading east on US-97, consider a visit to Pioneer Village in the town of Cashmere. The town is home to a stunning recreation of frontier life during the 1800s. Today, the town attracts kayakers who brave the waters of the Columbia River. Speaking of which, follow the river to the town of Wenatchee, one of the most authentic period towns in central Washington. Straight out of the past, you and your RVing crew will discover several historic inns, an old-time ice cream parlor (make mine a double!), and an impressive cultural center, all surrounded by marvelous landscape.
For another inland route, take US-395 to Spokane in the eastern region of the state near the Idaho border. A Spokane adventure requires a visit to the rather unusual Carr’s One of a Kind Museum. It’s a little nostalgic, a little historic, a little kitschy, and a lot weird. The museum is an odd mix, but the main attraction is an impressive collection of celebrity cars, including JFK’s 1962 Lincoln and Jackie Gleason’s 1968 limo. Riverside State Park is one of the Washington tent camping locations in the area that is open year round.
Are you a cat person? Don’t miss Spokane’s Cat Tales Zoological Park, an impressive zoo dedicated to the big cats, including jaguars, bobcats, tigers, and even a lion raised by a dog. Also while in town, don’t miss the Arbor Crest Winery, situated on one of the many hills that encircle Spokane.
From Spokane, continue north on US-395 until you reach the town of Colville, a little slice of Americana hidden away in Northeast Washington. If you decide to stop in town, check out the Keller Heritage Center which features old-time pioneer machinery, farmstead, blacksmith shop, lookout tower, and an impressive museum. Colville can also act as an excellent base camp as you prepare to explore the nearby Roosevelt Lake and Colville National Forest. Colville Fairgrounds RV Park is one of great the Washington tent campgrounds to check out in the area.
As you head north, stop at the town of Kettle Falls. In town you’ll find a sign that reads “1,225 Friendly people. 1 Grouch.” The grouch in question is elected each year in a town vote, and for just a quarter you can cast your own vote, beginning on April 1. The last leg along this route won’t disappoint, slowly elevating you to the highest point in the state at Sherman Pass at 5,575 feet.
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