Some people get the winter blues or February blahs, I always get itchy spring feet. I can’t wait to go camping and yet it’s still a bit cold in the north for me to brave the cool winter-moving-into-spring weather. Perhaps investing in some warmer winter sleep gear is needed, but sometimes heading out on the road for an adventure to warm weather camping is what’s on the menu.
Understandably, warm-winter camping is found mainly In the southern states. So treat yourself to some warm-winter camping and give yourself a thaw.
Beaches, sunshine, and fun times all along the 1100-mile-long coast of California. With so many options to camp where do you start? The first stop would be a book store to pick up this little gem: California Coastal Commission’s California Coastal Access Guide. “With up-to-date maps and information, it is an invaluable travel guide for all coastal visitors—beachgoers, hikers, campers, swimmers, divers, surfers, anglers, and boaters—detailing where to go, how to get there, and what facilities and environment to expect.” If you miss picking up the book, here are a few sites not to be missed:
Channel Islands National Park or there are seven state parks between Gaviota and Point Mugu all just offshore from the glamour and glitz of Santa Barbara. The climate is mild year-round and in the winter as many as 50,000 seals and sea lions can be viewed at protected breeding grounds. For more information: nps.gov/chis.
Leo Carillo State Beach is 25 miles up the coast from Santa Monica along highway 1 and offers 1.5 miles of beach, tide pools, caves, and reefs to explore. Giant Sycamore trees line the stream-bottomed canyon and provide shade for the campground. For more information: https://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=616.
San Elijo State Beach is located 40 minutes north of San Diego right on the coast. San Elijo has beautiful views from the bluff overlooking the ocean with stairs down to the beach. This state park offers camping, swimming, showers, and day picnicking spots. If you are into snorkeling or diving you will like the nearby reef. This campground is perfect for dog lovers as dogs have their own private beach. Please make sure that dogs are on a leash outside of the dog beach area. San Diego, with its Mediterranean-type weather, will make it so you do not miss traveling quite so much this year. For surfers, there is a world-famous surf break near the campground. There are also dozens of great restaurants within walking distance of San Elijo State Beach.
SOUTHERN GEMS FOR WARM WINTER CAMPING
Cumberland Island National Seashore, Georgia is only accessible by ferry but offers 17 miles of clean sand beaches, nearly 20,000 acres for exploring, and features saltwater marshes, freshwater ponds, moss-covered forests, and massive dunes. RV’s and motorhomes are not permitted on the island. You must walk on and walk off of the ferry. Reservations must be made in advance. For more information: www.nps.gov/cuis.
The Natchez Trace, Mississippi/Tennessee whose ancient game trail originally connected southern portions of the Mississippi River to central Tennessee salt licks. There are more than 400 miles of protected trail. There are no reservations and no fees to camp here. For more information: https://www.nps.gov/natr/index.htm
Florida, the King of Warm Weather Camping
If you are heading south for warm weather camping the obvious destination is Florida. Anywhere in Florida will do, with the weather always being warm and pristine beaches that go on forever there is no lack of sun and sand. Coastline RV Resort and Campground is located on the panhandle of Florida. This resort offers the unique unobstructed view of the St. George Sound, St. George Island, Dog Island, and the spectacular sunrises and sunsets for which the panhandle is known. Coastline RV Resort is located close enough to three coastal communities allowing you to enjoy the conveniences they provide.
Looking for an island holiday? We may not be able to travel to Cuba or Tahiti right now but if you are itching for an island getaway why not look at St George Island State Park. Located off of the coast of northwestern Florida, the 4 miles long bridge will take you to these nine miles of untouched beaches, dunes, forest bays, and marches. On the gulf side of this island you will find the crystal clear waters of the Caribbean. You will also find the fine sugary sands that we all love from our island holidays. You many even see a pod of dolphins swim by.
On the bay side of the island you will find marshes, home to blue heron, bald eagles, osprey, owls and saltwater fish. There is so much to do on this small island and there is something for everyone. You can go birdwatching, fishing, kayaking, and shell collecting. At night you will be able to see every star in the sky like never before. There is a reason that many celebraties have their second homes on this beautiful island.
Snow Canyon State Park named for pioneer Erastus Snow is a bit off the beaten path but well worth the travel to see the views. For more information: https://stateparks.utah.gov/parks/snow-canyon/.
Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park is a bit higher in elevation, however, it is well worth the cooler weather if you are a 4WD or ATV fanatic. And of course, the pink sand. For more information: https://stateparks.utah.gov/parks/coral-pink/.
Lake Mead National Recreation Area, Arizona/Nevada. There are just so many options to choose from between Lake Mead and Lake Mohave but a favorite is Boulder Bay. Three of America’s four desert ecosystems — the Mojave, the Great Basin, and the Sonoran Desert — meet here. For more information: https://www.nps.gov/lake/index.htm.
Big Bend National Park, Texas is on the Mexican border, where the Rio Grande makes its “big bend” and is well worth the effort to travel here to experience 800,000 acres to explore. For more information: https://www.nps.gov/bibe/index.htm.
So get out there and explore the adventures of winter camping in an RV today. For more on warm weathered camping, check out an article on California National Parks.
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Chicago, A Little Something for Everyone