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Recommended Tent Camping Sites for 2011 - GA, ID
Georgia Tent Camping Trip
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There are countless good reasons to keep Georgia on your mind. From gold mines and bluegrass to yellow peaches and white magnolias, a Georgia tent camping trip has all the right colors for a great vacation.
The northern part of Georgia is a mountainous maze of rich Appalachian heritage. Believe it or not, the first big rush for gold in America happened in here. Today, you can still pan for nuggets or tour a real mine at Dahlonega’s Consolidated Gold Mines or Cleveland’s Gold n’ Gem Grubbin’ Mine. How about hearing some bluegrass, gospel or country tunes? Traditional mountain music is still in the air at Dahlonega’s Folkways Center, Remember When Theater in Helen, off U.S. Highway 129, and the Bluegrass Express, in Hartwell.
Georgia’s north central region is dominated by the greater Atlanta area, where there’s a limitless supply of tourist venues. Atlanta’s 1926 Fox Theater was originally constructed as a shrine mosque, and its minarets and ornately decorated curtains still tell a tale of its religious beginnings. Woodruff Arts Center features top-rated theater, symphony performances and art exhibits, and the Fernbank Museum of Natural History is a favorite haunt among dinosaur hunters. Are you aware that Coca-Cola’s flavor formulas differ throughout the world? You can actually sample international variations at Atlanta’s World of Coca-Cola Museum. And if traditional southern barbecue sounds like an appealing accompaniment, sprint on over to Sprayberry’s, a 1926-era eatery that serves up good ol’ southern cookin’.
Outside the metropolis, train buffs will revel in the Southern Museum of Civil War and Locomotive History in Kennesaw, north of Atlanta via I-75. If recollections of “Gone with the Wind” make you smile (or cry), you’ll want to visit the museum of the same name in nearby Marietta or browse through the extensive “Gone” collection further south of Atlanta on I-85, at the Road to Tara Museum in Jonesboro.
Northeast of Atlanta, take US-23 to Duluth where you can actually board an old-time steam-powered train at the Southeastern Railway Museum.
For many moons, Stone Mountain Park, east of Atlanta off U.S. Highway 78 has been Georgia’s granddaddy of attractions, and it’s no wonder! From the mountainside sculpture of Civil War heroes and dazzling laser show to the recreated 1870’s town of Crossroads, Stone Mountain brims with family fun. Stone Mountain Family Campground is also a great Florida tent camping to check out in the area.
East central Georgia is a land with a colorful past patched together by charming southern towns. South of Interstate 20, Augusta’s restored riverfront is alive and well. Check out the Riverwalk Antique Depot (set in an old train station), learn about local legends at the Augusta Museum of History, and take a nostalgic paddleboat cruise on the Savannah River. On the two-block-long Craftsmen’s Row in Rutledge, you can observe local folks engaged in traditional skills such as quilting, rug hooking, and woodcarving. You’ll gain a greater understanding of Civil War influences at the Brown House Museum in Sandersville or Macon’s Cannonball House and Confederate Museum off Interstate 75.
The southwestern region of Georgia is graced by rivers and woodlands, with pecans, peaches and cordial hospitality in plentiful supply. President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Little White House and therapeutic, spring-fed pool, preserved as they were at the time of his death in 1945, are open for tours in Warm Springs. Just take I-85 southwest from Atlanta, then Alt 27 south. East of there, in nearby Pine Mountain, folks have been awed by botanic wonders at Callaway Gardens Resort Preserve Community. Expansive, rolling grounds, a Butterfly Center, and showcase gardens of vegetables and azaleas are just part of a day’s tour of Callaway.
If you’re driving south on US-19 from Atlanta you’ll eventually arrive in Plains, where a short detour west on US-280 will take you to the boyhood farm and 1976 campaign headquarters of President Jimmy Carter. The Carter Farm is presently a National Historic Site complete with reconstructed 1930’s-era barn and blacksmith shop.
Driving south on US-19, nearly to the Florida state border, Thomasville harbors a different sort of home - the Melhana Grand Plantation, an historic masterpiece from the 1820’s. One of Thomasville’s original inhabitants is the famous Big Oak, a 323-year old tree that’s 68 feet tall with a horizontal limb span of 162 feet.
Southeastern coastal Georgia has barrier islands, hushed swamps, oak-shaded downtown districts and lots of compelling history.
Can you imagine what it was like flying an American bomber over Nazi-occupied Germany during World War II? At Pooler’s Mighty Eighth Air Force Museum, just north of Savannah, you can pilot a simulated B-17 bombing mission. Yes, you can! Once you’re grounded, drive south on I-95 into Savannah where Skidaway Island State Park is located, one of the great Georgia tent campgrounds to check out in the area. By foot, trolley or carriage, tour the restored Greek Revival homes in historic downtown, and breeze through the galleries and shops at Riverfront Plaza and City Market. Don’t miss seeing the “Waving Girl” statue of Florence Martus, an intrepid woman who reportedly waved every ship into Savannah’s port for 44 years running, from 1887 to 1931. As legend has it, Florence was searching (and searching) for a lost love.
In Brunswick off Highway 17, stroll through an 1850’s antebellum home and sniff magnolias at Hofwyl-Broadfield Plantation Historic Site. Georgia tent camping is also plentiful here. To name a few, Blythe Island Regional Park Campground, Coastal Georgia RV Resort and Golden Isles RV Park are a few great Georiga tent camping sites. While you’re near the coast, better visit a picturesque lighthouse or two at Tybee, Sapelo, St. Simons, or Little Cumberland Islands. And as you travel south on I-95 on your way out of Georgia, go for a ride on a restored 1950’s train on the Historic St. Mary’s Railway.
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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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