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Posts Tagged ‘road trip’

California Wine Road Trips

Thursday, October 15th, 2015

We’re incredibly lucky to have one of the top locations in the world for wine tasting right in our own backyard. When people think of the best vineyards, they think of California. And why not? California boasts cozy caverns, scenic vineyards and more then 50 types of grapes. What better way to tour the top California wine regions then in an RV. Your home away from home is ready and waiting.

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA.
When most people think of So-Cal they think of Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Malibu. For the wine lover, winemaking has been taking place in these wine regions since the late 1700s. Grab some lunch and road trip up to the high elevation wineries in Malibu. Elevations range from sea level to 3,111 feet at Sandstone Peak. The newly granted Malibu Coast AVA is mainly in the Santa Monica Mountains and is about 46 miles long and 8 miles wide and includes 198 acres of vines for 52 grape growers. The high elevation in this region’s climate, soils and unique aspects affect the taste of the wine produced. Why does this matter? It matters because the combination produces the delicious wine we know and love in Malibu.

Malibu Wine Road Trip

While driving along the coast, don’t forget to stop by Mission San Diego de Alcala, as they are home to the oldest grapes in California. About an hour northeast of San Diego, off the beaten path, you can stumble upon Temecula. Best known for their Italian and Rhône varietals and the annual Balloon and Wine Festival. The Cucamonga Valley should also be on your hit list. Famous for preserving the past with historic vineyards and ranches and their old-vine Zinfandel and Portstyle wines.

Hot air balloon being filled with flames to create heat. Man on the left operating the hot air dispenser. Image is in full colour.
HIGHWAY 1 – THE CENTRAL COAST.
If you’re doing a California road trip, how can you not drive highway 1? The coastal ocean views, the winding road, the wine along the way. Starting in LA, a quick two hour drive north make sure to stop downtown Santa Barbara for lunch and visit beautiful State Street and sample some of the regional wines at one of the street’s many tasting rooms. From there head inland. The Paso Robles wine region is unique as the day/night temperature swings create bold red wines that are a must. Paso Robles is about half way between LA and San Fran.

Paso Robles VIneyards

Continue heading north towards Monterey and stop by A Taste of Monterey, the regions official wine visitors center. You can learn all about Monterey Bay’s unique landscape and how it effects the vineyards, sample the regions wine, and maybe spot the whales migrating.

SAN FRANCISCO.
Next stop, San Fran. Home of amazing restaurants, fresh local foods and the urban wine movement. During the day, wine and dine on Fisherman’s Wharf, then head to Jackson Square and sample wines at the various wine bars downtown. Fisherman's Wharf San Francisco

NAPA VALLEY.
Any road trip that’s centered around wine tasting isn’t complete without stopping in Napa Valley. Just an hour northeast of San Francisco, start the day wandering downtown Napa and enjoy some local wines at the Oxbow Public Market. Head up Highway 29 to fill your sights with what Napa Valley has to offer, stopping at renowned wineries for tastings. Keep an eye out for the landmark sign “Wine is bottled poetry” as quoted by Robert Louis Stevenson after a visit to Napa Valley in the 1880s. Known for its life-change Cabernet, Napa Valley boasts tiered hillsides, wine caverns and illustrious estates, making for stellar scenery every wine lover will swoon over.

Napa Valley Wine Country Road Trip
SONOMA COUNTRY. 
Sonoma Valley, also know as Valley of the Moon, offers a bit more laid back atmosphere in comparison to Napa Valley. However, there are still more than 400 wineries with some of the best being: Chateau St. Jean, Simi, Sebastiani, Rodney Strong, Marcassin, Paul Hobbs, La Crema, and Kistler. The Somona Valley is known for its cool-climate Pinot Noirs. Be sure to taste a variety. While in the valley, Sonoma Plaza lies in the heart and offers a historic view of the country.

Sonoma Valley Wine Country Road Trip

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Best Fall Road Trips

Monday, September 21st, 2015

Fall is my favorite time of year. Don’t get me wrong, I love every season for its own uniqueness, but there’s just something about the fall. The temperature allows for outdoor activities like biking without getting overheated, fire bans are lifted, everyone gets together for dinner parties and the colors of the changing leaves… oh the colors!

So you’ve decided that you want to set out and take a road trip. It’s harvest time, wine tours are at their peak, as is the fall foliage. But no matter where you are, or where you go, the way to cover the most ground—and take in the biggest eyeful of color—is behind the wheel. So the ultimate question is: where to go? Take a look at our top 5 spots across the country that can’t be missed!

Route 112, New Hampshire
The ‘Kanc’ (Kancamagus Highway) is always worth a drive. Taking route 112 west is a special treat. Be sure to keep an eye out for fun off-shoot roads that can provide stunning views and fun side adventures.

Best time to go: mid-September with peak times the first two weeks of October.

Fall Foliage Road Trips Kancamagus Highway

Skyline Drive, Virgina
It’s easy to fall in love with the Blue Ridge Mountains. Especially with its 105-mile-long Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park. A special mention has to be made for route 211, around it’s 32 mile marker, there are plenty of overlooks to snap photos. And don’t forget to stop at the host of vineyards for some wine tasting.

Best time to go: 2nd to 3rd week in October.

Best Fall Foliage Drives Skyline Drive

Aspen, Colorado
When searching for the perfect fall foliage drive, how can you go wrong when the world-famous town is named after an extraordinary tree. Aspen leaves turn a rich yellow hue in the fall making a picture perfect contrast with the evergreens and gorgeous mountain peaks.

Best time to go: mid September to first week of October.

Aspen Colorado landscape photo in full colour during the fall. Image has mountains and a blue sky in the background.

Great Smoky Mountains, North Carolina and Tennessee
Great Smoky Mountains National Park is one of the most visited national parks in the US with 800 miles of roads and hiking trails. There are more than 100 species of native tress, including maples, scarlet oaks, hickories and sweet gums providing a jaw-dropping display of fall foliage in golds, oranges, crimsons, and purples.

Best time to go: early October through early November.

Distance shot of the Great Smokey Mountains covered in red coloured trees. Image is in full colour and has a blue sky background.

Upper Peninsula, Michigan
With nearly 4 million acres, Michigan’s state forest system is the largest in the eastern U.S.. The U.P. offers more then twenty forested state parks, all with a variety of ash, aspen, beech, birch, maple, oak sycamore, tamarack and many more. Not to mention the state is sandwich between three of the Great Lakes providing the perfect mirror to the rich fall colors.

Best time to go: mid-September to mid-October, with the peak happening in October.

Upper Peninsula Michigan ocean view with cliffs covered in trees on the left side. Image is in full colour.

10 Tips to Survive Disneyland in an RV

Friday, August 14th, 2015

As you’re sitting around your kitchen table discussing with the family where the next big trip to go, the kids always chant… Disneyland, Disneyland! And why not! There’s so much to see and do. Why not make it an adventure like no other and make it a road trip?

Disneyland
Here are our top 10 tips to surviving Disneyland in an RV:

  1. Where to stay? Are there RV Resorts close by? Sure there are! Check out this link for the top resorts with the best reviews.
  2. Enjoy the view. Don’t forget to enjoy the views during your drive. No matter where you are coming from, California has some amazing sights that shouldn’t be missed. Especially if you’re driving along the coast!
  3. How long are the lines? If you’re wondering how long am I going to wait in this line for, there’s this handy little app called  MouseWait that will tell you all you need to know!
  4. But where do I park when I get there?! Check out this link on where to park if you don’t have a shuttle service at your RV resort (some resorts offer shuttle service to and from Disneyland. Be sure to check that out before taking parking.)
  5. When to visit. If you’re wondering when is the least busy time to visit, there is a formula for that! Whenever school is in and during the week. That’s your best chance at missing the huge crowds.
  6. Preplan.  Since you’ve decided to travel all that way to get to Disneyland, make sure to do some pre-planning and buy your tickets online and book your resort before hand. Purchasing tickets at the front gate is the most expensive spot. Check out this site for some great deals.
  7. Food and drinks. There are so many fun and amazing foods you can cook in an RV (stay tuned for our next blog post on all kinds of fun ideas) but can you bring outside food into the park? You sure CAN! As much as you want. Just don’t try to bring in a cooler or anything bigger then 24″x15″x18″. And no alcohol.
  8. Home away from home. One of the best things about bringing an RV is that you can lounge and nap at your leisure. No need to leave the room during mousekeeping. And no need to pack and unpack during your trip!
  9. Where to stay along the drive.  If you are going to a number of National Parks and State Parks then look at getting the Interagency Annual Pass for USD $80 rather than having to pay $20 or $30 per park. This all depends on how long your drive is, obviously.
  10. Enjoy the drive. Don’t forget about all of the other fun stops to make during your journey. Check out these fun roadside attractions and historic sites.

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