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California Camping | Things to Do

Fun and Funky Things to Do | California

The great state of California is not only full of beautiful sights, but it is also full of fun and quirky places to stop during your journey. Here are a few spots you may want to stop and see during your visit to California.

Great Statues, Auburn
Within the town of Auburn there are a few amazing giant statues. The largest of these is over 40 feet tall and weighs over 120 tons. These statues include Amazon archers, a nude man wrestling with chains, and a coolie pushing a wheelbarrow. The statues in Auburn were created by Ken Fox, a dentist in the town. Some of the statues are placed in the parking lot for his dentists office. The more minimally clad statues are located closer to Ken Foxes home, rather than right in town.

Calistoga's Old Faithful Geyser
One of Calistoga's attractions is California's Old Faithful Geyser. This geyser is one of the few in the world that erupts with regularity. Old Faithful of California erupts approximately every half hour. The geyser erupts steam and scalding water, which sprays 60 to 100 feet in the air. Visitors can learn all about the unique geological circumstances that create geysers, while watching Old Faithful erupt.

Winchester Mystery House, San Jose

The Winchester Mystery House has to be one of California's most unique destinations, probably one of the most unique location in the country. This house was built by Sarah Winchester with the legacy of the Winchester rifle. After the deaths of her child and husband Sarah Winchester started adding all manner of unique architectural features to her home. Some speculate that she created the house to ward of ghosts. Visitors will see twisting hallways, secret passageways, and even doors that lead to nowhere.

Museum of Pez Memorabilia, Burlingame
This fun and unique little museum is located in a small storefront that only has two rooms open to the public. These rooms are filled with Pez dispensers. The museum's collection includes all 550 characters that Pez ever made. Visitors to the museum can be treated to a tour of the collection, the owners show visitors their favorite Pez characters as well as learn all about the history of Pez. The Museum of Pez Memorabilia is certainly a Pez lovers dream, and it is a lot of fun for those who don't know much about Pez.

Route 66 Museum, Barstow
Travelers in California should stop at the Route 66 Museum in Barstow, California. The museum is located in a former Harvey House, Casa Del Desierto. The Harvey Houses were run by the Fred Harvey Company and built by the Atchinson, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad Company. The museum has lots of information about Route 66, including photos and artifacts. As well as learning about the interesting history of the Harvey Houses.



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Campground Spotlight | California

Yosemite Pines RV Resort and High Sierra RV Park and Campground

yosemite campgrounds


The Yosemite Valley is filled with wonderful destinations, and in order to enjoy these destinations there are many equally wonderful RV Parks and Campgrounds. Yosemite Pines RV Resort and the High Sierra RV Park and Campground are two of these RV parks. Visitors to the Yosemite Valley region can spend a wonderful vacation at either or both of these resorts.

Campground Spotlight | Catalina Island Campgrounds

Campground Spotlight | Catalina Island Campgrounds

Two Harbors Campground | Catalina island
Catalina Island is located right off the coast of southern California and has some beautiful options for spring and summer camping. The island has wonderful access to water, which is great for boating and other water sports. Catalina Island is one of the eight islands in the Channel Islands archipelago. It is the only island in the archipelago with a significant permanent population. Visitors can enjoy all sorts of recreation, including hiking, biking, boating, snorkeling and much more.

Colorado Camping | Quick Facts

factsColorado Quick Facts

Uniquely Colorado: Climbing a “14-er” (mountain that’s 14,000 feet or higher)
Must-See: Rocky Mountain National Park
Most Unusual: Black Canyon of the Gunnison
Highest Point: Mt. Elbert, 14,433
Food to Try: Denver Omelettes

What to Do

1 Ski!

2 Look for columbines (the state flower)

3 See a sheep-dog herding trial

4 Go mountain biking

5 Get to know Boulder and the mile high city

6 See the quaking aspen trees

7 Take a ski lift ride in Telluride or Vail

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Colorado Camping | Off The Beaten Path

Off The Beaten Path | Colorado

With its phenomenal natural splendor and historical sites, Colorado is an amazing state. If you are looking for a state where you can enjoy some of the country's lesser known, amazing natural wonders, then Colorado is a great choice. This edition of Off The Beaten Path features a combination of some of Colorado's great (and more unusual) attractions.

Sheep Dog Trails

Every year the town of Meeker holds the Meeker Classic Sheepdog Trials. This is a great way to learn all about the really interesting sport of sheepherding. At the annual international competition, sheepdogs and their handlers compete on a closed course, performing complex sheepherding maneuvers. The sheepdogs and handlers are competing for a $20,000 purse. If you should decide to visit these Trials, you should know that they are held each year in September over Labor Day weekend. Visitors will also have the opportunity to enjoy the art contest, food booths and dog exhibitions.

Black Canyon of the Gunnison

The magnificent canyon at Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park was formed by the waters of the Gunnison River. This amazing canyon is deep, with a narrow opening and almost vertical canyon walls, making the canyon a very unique landscape. Experienced rock climbers may want to try climbing the difficult vertical walls of the canyon. The rock is known for being crumbly, which makes it appropriate for only the most experienced rock climbers. If you visit this park and are not an experienced rock climber, you can also hike, fish, kayak, raft and even take a scenic drive.

Pagosa Springs
This picturesque town of Pagosa Springs averages 300 days of sunshine every year, making it a great recreational destination year round. Pagosa Springs is surrounded by wilderness areas and has great recreational opportunities. Colorado is known as a fabulous ski destination, with its sunshine and amazing powder. Visitors can also enjoy winter camping, sledding, snowshoeing, ice climbing and even hot air ballooning. Pagosa Springs is also a gateway to the area's rich Native American history, including the nearby Chimney Rock Archeological Area. Pagosa Springs is known for its amazing hot springs, and throughout the town there are many places where visitors can enjoy the water's high mineral content.

Steamboat Springs
During the winter you can enjoy great skiing, snowboarding and many other winter sports. In the summer you can hike, bike, horseback ride, fish and camp. Steamboat Springs also has an alpine slide, gondola rides and even hot air ballooning. Like Pagosa Springs, Steamboat Springs also has many natural hot springs. These hot springs are relaxing and many believe the minerals in the warm waters of the hot springs have medicinal properties. Steamboat Sprigs is the ultimate year-round alpine destination.

Dinosaur National Monument
Dinosaur National Monument is an amazing place to learn about the natural history of this region of Colorado. In fact, this area has many significant fossils. Combine the natural history of the National Monument with the incredible recreational opportunities of Colorado, and you have a truly memorable destination. You can see fossils, hike, and river raft through the river canyons. One great option during a visit to the National Monument is the Tour of the Tilted Rocks. Another great option is the Fossil Discovery Trail.

Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad

Colorado has lots of great railroad trips and options -- one of these is the Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad and Museum. The historic train runs along the Animas River. During the winter the steam locomotive doesn't travel the entire route to Silverton and back; instead the trip stops at the Cascade Station, which is about half of the regular route. Even in the winter the trip is beautiful and you can still learn all about the historic steam locomotives and the narrow gauge track at the museum. During the winter this train also provides a Polar Express ride, during which you and your family can drink hot chocolate and listen to the classic story.

Mesa Verde National Park
This park celebrates the history of the Pueblo people in the southwestern United States. You will find over 4000 archeological sites at Mesa Verde, including the 600 cliff dwellings. Some of the best cliff dwellings, including Cliff Palace, Balcony House, and Long House, require the purchase of tickets for guided tours. The Mesa Top Loop Road is a great scenic drive in the park. You can also enjoy a wide range of amazing hikes, some of which culminate in cliff dwelling overlooks.

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Colorado Camping | Things to Do

Fun and Funky Things to Do | Colorado

The state of Colorado is full of beautiful sights and opportunities for adventure. For those visitors looking for a quirky adventure, different than the usual tourist destinations, you will find many places that fit the bill. Here are just a few of Colorado's fun and funky destinations.

Four Corners
Located in southwest Colorado, Four Corners Monument is the only spot where you can stand in four states at one time. At the Four Corners marker you can stand in Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Arizona at one time. This is a great spot to take quirky pictures that you will always remember.

Manitou Cliff Dwellings
These beautiful cliff dwellings can be found right off Route 24. The dwellings were built over 700 years ago, into the red rock at the foot of Pikes Peak. Visitors can explore these ancient dwellings built by the Anasazi people. After exploring the cliff dwellings visitors can stop at the Anasazi Museum and the gift shop.

Ghost Town Museum
Visitors to Colorado Springs should stop at the Ghost Town Museum to learn about a very interesting aspect of Colorado's history. The Ghost Town Museum was created to preserve a piece of the old west. During the Old West, and the Gold Rush era, many small towns were built up and died again because of gold. Visitors can see many artifacts from this period of Colorado's history and in the summer visitors can even pan for gold.

Bishop Castle
This castle can be found in the Wet Mountains, on State Highway 165, and on the Frontier Pathways Scenic and Historic Byway. Bishop Castle is named after the one man who built the castle. Jim Bishop started building the castle in 1969. Visitors can come to the castle throughout the week and after a tour of the unique stone castle, visitors can stop in at the gift shop.

Royal Gorge Bridge and Park
Visitors to Colorado looking for a bit of fun and adventure should stop at the Royal Gorge Bridge and Park. The Royal Gorge is one of the largest gorges in the world, formed by the Arkansas River, which still flows through the gorge. Visitors to the park can walk across the country's highest suspension bridge. Or visitors can ride on the Aerial Tram, which is the world's longest single span aerial tram, which runs over 1000 feet above the floor of the Royal Gorge. There are many more exciting and fun things to do.

Mount Evans Scenic Byway & Wilderness
Mount Evans is the road into the sky. Drive from 8,700 feet at Idaho Spring where you turn off Interstate 70 to 14,240 feet to the summit, and you will pass through 3 life zones, passing ancient trees, lakes and forest to the land above timberline. It can be 90 degrees in Denver and 40 degrees at the top of Mount Evans. Mountain Goats and Bighorn Sheep will greet you as you climb to the top of the world.

 

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Connecticut Camping | Quick Facts

factsConnecticut Quick Facts

Uniquely Connecticut: Submarine Force Museum, the Official Submarine Museum of the US     Navy in Groton

Must See: Stonington Harbor Light

Most Unusual: Barnum Museum, Bridgeport

Highest Point: Mount Frissell, 2,380 feet

Food to Try: Hasty Pudding

What to Do in Connecticut:

1 Visit a sugar house to see how maple syrup is created

2 Explore Gillette Castle State Park

3 Learn about the life of P.T. Barnum at the Barnum Museum

4 Hike the Appalachian Trail in Connecticut

5 Explore the 19th Century maritime village of Mystic Seaport

6 Enjoy some tubing and snow sports at Woodbury Ski Area



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Connecticut Camping | Off The Beaten Path

Off The Beaten Path | Connecticut

Connecticut is a state filled with historic and exciting sights. Throughout the Constitution State, visitors will be able to find plenty of outdoor adventure, not to mention the historical sights and activities.

Gillette Castle State Park, East Haddam

Located on 184 acres in the southern region of the state. The estate is located along the Connecticut River and visitors will be delighted with the amazing medieval castle on the estate. The castle was built by the notable actor William Hooker Gillette, best known for his performance as the original Sherlock Holmes. The mansion, which on the outside resembles a medieval castle, was built from the local stone. The interior is filled with unique and amazing woodwork created by the local craftsmen. Visitors will find that none of the many doors throughout the mansion are exactly alike, and there are even built in couches, a movable table on tracks and more.

Mystic

Mystic is a delightful town with many attractions to delight. The Aquarium and Institute for Exploration is a great spot to enjoy a close look at aquatic life, including rays, sea lions and even penguins. Another of Mystic's real treasures is the Mystic Seaport -- The Museum of America and the Sea. This is one of the nation's leading maritime museums. Visitors to the museum can explore historic ships, view stars in the planetarium, watch demonstrations of maritime trades and even see the working preservation shipyard.

Dinosaur State Park, Rocky Hill

The largest dinosaur track site in North America was discovered at this location. Visitors can see the displays of early Jurassic fossil tracks made 200 million years ago within the geodesic dome. After viewing the dinosaur tracks, visitors can enjoy over 200 miles of trails as well as a fantastic arboretum. The Dinosaur State Arboretum has more than 250 species of plants, including some living representatives of plant families that existed during the time of the dinosaurs.

Hartford Region

The Hartford region of Connecticut has beautiful art and architecture. You can view windows created by Louis Tiffany at the Center Church. For a little more history combined with architecture you can take a tour of Mark Twain's home in Hartford. Samuel Clemens, also known as Mark Twain lived in Hartford from 1874 to 1891, and the Mark Twain House is the location where Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer were created. For a little more excitement, or if you're just a car lover visit the Stafford Motor Speedway in Stafford Springs and watch the NASCAR auto racing on Fridays.

Litchfield

Visitors to the Litchfield region of Connecticut will find plenty of history and activities. For visitors in search of some outdoor recreation should be sure not to miss the Connecticut section of the Appalachian trail. There are over 51 miles of the trail that pass through the state. Hikers can also climb up Bear Mountain, near Salisbury, which is the tallest peak in Connecticut, where there are amazing panoramic views of the area.

Music Mountain

Fans of Chamber music should be sure to visit the Music Mountain festival during the summer. This is the oldest continuing summer chamber music festival in the country. Music Mountain was founded in 1930 and is now in its 8th decade. Notable musicians come from around the world to participate in the festival. Music Mountain brings together professionals and amateurs to enjoy and educate on chamber music. Each season, the festival has a series of 16 concerts for everyone to enjoy. Visitors will also find that the property and buildings at Music Mountain are listed on the National Register of HIstoric Places. The centerpiece of Music Mountain is Gordon Hall, which is one of the best chamber music facilities in the country.

Essex Steam Train and Riverboat

For the visitors to Connecticut that want to enjoy the scenery, the Essex Steam Train and Riverboat is a great way to see the country in Connecticut. It is the only steam train and riverboat connection in the country. Passengers start their journey at the Essex Station, and board the vintage cars and authentic steam locomotive and enjoy a narrated trip to the Connecticut River. At Deep River Landing, passengers are taken to the Becky Thatcher Riverboat. Passengers on the riverboat enjoy a cruise along the Connecticut River, where they can see Gillette Castle and the Goodspeed Opera House. The riverboat then returns to Deep River Landing where passengers return to the train for their trip back to Essex Station.


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