Best Places To Visit In Southern Arizona For RVers: Patagonia, Arizona

Located in Southern Arizona between Sonoita and Rio Rico on Route 82, the small town of Patagonia is one of Arizona’s best-kept secrets.

Patagonia sits along the Sonoita Creek and is surrounded by the Santa Rita and Patagonia mountain ranges of the Coronado National Forest.

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San Raphael Grassland and the Santa Rita Mountains (Photo by Magnus Manske)

Mountain peaks rise nearly 2,000 feet from the desert floor, creating Sky Islands, and provide incredibly diverse geographic environments to host amazing biodiversity.  In a short time, you can explore creeks, canyons, deserts, plateaus, mountains and one of the only remaining high desert short-grass prairies in America, the San Rafael Valley.

The town of Patagonia was originally founded in the early 1900s as a mining town.  Many of the old mining districts are now ghost towns like Mowry, Harshaw, and Duquesne.

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The Patagonia Railroad Depot station, built circa 1900 (Photo by Old Pueblo/Wikipedia)

If you have a vehicle that can drive on the narrow, dirt mining roads, it is worth a drive through these old mining camps.  Modern Patagonia is home to around 900 residents and is a thriving community of artists, botanists, weavers, authors, and cowboys.

  • The Patagonia Museum is located in the old grammar school building (1914) and offers opportunities to help preserve the history and culture of the area with community events and activities.
  • The Creative Spirit Artists Gallery is a collective of local artists and authors work.  You will find everything from spiritual to whimsical for every taste.

This diversity of the area also provides world-class birding.  With over 300 bird species (including several rare species) migrating through the area each year, the months of March through September are known as some of the prime birding opportunities.  Hummingbirds, warblers, vireos, orioles, tanagers, songbirds, raptors, finches, and longspurs are just a few of the birds that pass through the area.

For those looking to connect with the natural environment, the Patagonia area offers wide open spaces for hiking, fishing, horseback riding, and exploring.  Patagonia is a gateway community for hiking or biking along the Arizona National Scenic Trail, which spans over 800 miles from Mexico to Utah.

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The Arizona National Scenic Trail with Picketpost Mountain in the distance (Photo by Sonoradocent/Wikipedia)

The surrounding Coronado National Forest is a great place to camp, with both campgrounds and dispersed locations available.  There are also great biking and hiking trails, horse-friendly areas, and lake recreational areas, such as Parker Canyon Lake and Peña Blanca Lake.

Patagonia and the surrounding area offers a wonderful array of activities and interests.  A trip through the area is well worth your time if you are in the Tucson area.

See also: 8 Scenic Lakes For Camping In The Southwest



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Best Places To Visit For St. Patrick’s Day: Dublin, Ohio

Celebrate a little Erin go Bragh (Ireland till the end of time) this weekend in Dublin—Dublin, Ohio, that is. Full of Irish pubs and Irish traditions, Dublin’s tagline says it all: Irish is an attitude!

A great place to hang your hat while exploring Dublin is Cross Creek Camping Resort, located a few miles north of the city center. The pet-friendly resort features 200 sites and plenty of amenities like pull-throughs, full hookups, and Wi-Fi access.

Other services include 30/50 amp electrical, water, sewer, restrooms, showers, laundry facilities, a camp store, playground, swimming pool, a rec room, and nearby recreational trails.

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Beautiful spring views at Cross Creek Camping Resort – Photo via Facebook

The Golf Club of Dublin will make you think you’re teeing it up on the Emerald Isle. One of the Midwest’s true links golf experiences, the Golf Club of Dublin includes a Tudor-style clubhouse that sets the tone for this Irish-themed gem.

The 18-hole, par 72 course measures 7,021 yards from the tips. Each hole on the scorecard keeps with the Irish theme and includes names like Leprechaun, Blarney, and Pot of Gold. After a round, grab a pint of your favorite refreshment in Mulligan’s Pub, which is open year-round.

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Golf Club of Dublin. Photo via Facebook

Though you don’t need a passport to visit Dublin, Ohio, the Irish experience is still plentiful. Since 1988, the year after Dublin became a city, the Dublin Irish Festival was christened.

It has since grown into what is now the largest three-day Irish festival on the planet. More than 100,000 guests are expected to attend this year’s event during the first weekend of August.

Two things are certain when you come to Dublin, Ohio: You don’t have to be Irish to enjoy the city, and you don’t have to wait until St. Patrick’s Day to visit! For more information about Dublin, Ohio, check out www.visitdublinohio.com.

See also: Here’s Where You Can Camp For Free In Ohio



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Lubbock, Texas Attractions – Best Places To Visit In Lubbock, TX

Lubbock, Texas is one of the most diverse and interesting cities you will ever visit. The birthplace of legendary musician Buddy Holly, Lubbock is also home to some exceptional wineries, more than a dozen quality golf courses, several unique museums, and plenty of RV options, like Lubbock RV Park.

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Lubbock RV Park. Photo via Facebook

Lubbock RV Park features 88 sites and full hookups. Amenities include showers, restrooms, laundry facilities, Wi-Fi, recreational trails, an outdoor swimming pool, a recreational room with a well-stocked library and reading room. Also, the kid-friendly Adventure World playground is open year-round.

A few miles south of Lubbock RV Park is the multiuse Mackenzie Park, home to Meadowbrook Golf Course that features two quality 18-hole courses. The par-72, 6,522-yard Canyon Course is the Original Meadowbrook track. It features rolling tree-lined fairways and undulating, well-maintained greens, with multiple tees providing golfers of all ages and abilities an enjoyable challenge.

The Creek Course is a picturesque par-70, 6,329-yard layout featuring an abundance of trees framing tight fairways and lots of water. Meadowbrook Golf Course is a full-service golf facility open to the public year-round, seven days a week for golf, dining, tournaments, and special events.

The spacious 248-acre Mackenzie Park also offers Joyland Amusement Park and Prairie Dog Town. Joyland Amusement Park has been entertaining kids of all ages since 1948 and features plenty of thrill rides. Prairie Dog Town is another popular attraction in Lubbock.

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Prairie Dog Town at Mackenzie Park – Photo via TripAdvisor

Open to the public and free of charge, visitors can enjoy watching prairie dogs play and frolic in their environment. Just to be clear, the black-tailed prairie dog is not a dog, but a stout, burrowing ground squirrel named for its barking call. They are fun to watch!

Lubbock has long been nicknamed the “Hub City.” This moniker is derived from it being the economic, educational, and health care hub of the multi-county region, north of the Permian Basin and south of the Texas Panhandle, commonly called the South Plains. But no matter what you call it, Lubbock is a great place to hang your hat!

For more information about the city, click on www.visitlubbock.org. You can also learn more about Lubbock RV Park on Campground Reviews.

See also: 7 Reasons Why You Should Go RVing In Texas



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Best Places To Visit In Jackson, Mississippi: Museums, Campgrounds

Jackson is the capital of Mississippi and also known as the ‘City with Soul’ thanks to the numerous musicians prominent in blues, gospel, folk, and jazz.

Mississippi offers 25 state parks and four state-run golf courses, two of which are located in Jackson. LeFleur’s Bluff State Park and LeFleur’s Bluff Golf Course are both conveniently located a few miles north of downtown Jackson.

The park is named after the late 18th-century explorer Louis LeFleur. The City of Jackson was initially called LeFleur’s Bluff but was later changed to Jackson in honor of Major General Andrew Jackson who would later become the seventh President of the United States.

The 305-acre LeFleur’s Bluff State Park has numerous outdoor activities, including camping, fishing, hiking trails, disc golf, and the picturesque golf course. The 28 campsites include water, 30/50 amp electrical hookups, along with restrooms, showers, and laundry facilities.

LeFleur’s Bluff State Park. Photo by Geoff Alexander

LeFleur’s Bluff Golf Course is nine holes of excellence! The par 35, 2,931-yard course features rolling terrain and abundant plants and wildlife that makes this popular track a favorite. Course amenities also include a practice area, pro shop, putting green, rental clubs, and a snack area.

Attractions in Jackson

Located right in the heart of LeFleur’s Bluff State Park is the Museum of Natural Science. The museum’s vast expanses of glass overlook a 300-acre natural landscape, an open-air amphitheater, and 2.5 miles of nature trails.

Inside, meet more than 200 living species in the 100,000-gallon aquarium. You can also explore the many offerings within the 73,000 square feet of permanent and temporary exhibits. Some of those include deer, waterfowl, fossils, and Mississippi’s endangered species.

If it’s a museum you’re looking for, there are several worthwhile candidates in Jackson. Consider these popular options: The Mississippi Museum of Art, Children’s Museum, Agricultural & Forestry Museum, Sports Hall of Fame and Museum, and the Civil Rights Museum.

Mississippi
Eudora Welty House. Photo via TripAdvisor

For the literary at heart, the Eudora Welty House and Garden is one of the main attractions in Jackson. Born and raised in Jackson, Welty won the Pulitzer Prize in 1973 for her novel, “The Optimist’s Daughter.” She is best known for her novels and short stories.

For 76 years, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author lived and wrote in her Jackson home at 1119 Pinehurst Street. The Eudora Welty House and Garden offer a comprehensive overview of this amazing American writer and her passion for gardens, which were featured in some of her writings. Spring and summer are great times to visit with the many flowers in bloom.

Mississippi played an important role in the Civil Rights movement in the 1960s. To gain an understanding of that era, visitors can explore the Civil Rights Driving Tour. This is a self-guided driving tour showcasing key buildings, churches, and other sites significant to the Civil Rights Movement in Mississippi. The tour is divided into four sections of the city and takes about an hour for each section.

If you’re looking for a dose of southern hospitality, you have got to try Brent’s Soda Fountain. Technically called Brent’s Drugs, this classic soda fountain has been in operation since 1946. This throwback Thursday iconic lunch counter has the look and feel of being caught in a time warp, thanks to its turquoise and chrome décor.

At Brent’s, it’s all about the burger. Tried and true, the Brent’s Burger comes topped with American cheese, lettuce, tomato, pickles, along with bacon or a fried egg for an extra few bucks.

Brent’s Soda Fountain, in operation since 1946

A short drive from the soda fountain is Bully’s Restaurant, who has served fabulous soul food to the public for more than 35 years. This iconic restaurant was named number 4 on the Food Network’s list of Top 5 Soul Food Restaurants in the country for its tender and flavorful barbecue ribs.

Bully’s Restaurant also received the 2016 James Beard Award for America’s Classic Food. Though the restaurant’s outside appearance is low-key and humble, on the inside it doles out some of the best soul food in the South!

While exploring the downtown Jackson area, take a half-hour and tour the Mississippi Governor’s Mansion. First occupied in 1842, this stately mansion is designated a National Historic Landmark and is well worth the free half-hour tour.

For more information on the Mississippi capital, click on VisitJackson.com. You can also learn more about LeFleurs Bluff State Park on Campground Reviews.

Rick Stedman is an avid golfer, RVer, and writer who lives in Olympia, Washington. Rick writes a weekly golf blog, The 19th Hole, for RV LIFE. You can reach him at rstedman@gmail.com.



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4 Best Places To Visit In Great Falls, Montana For RVers

Great Falls sits along the Upper Missouri River and has been inhabited since about 10,000 years ago when the area was used as hunting grounds by the Salish and Blackfeet tribes.

The infamous Lewis and Clark Expedition brought the first white people to visit the area in 1805.  The town developed and was founded in 1883 as an industrial city that could be reached by steamboat and powered by hydroelectricity provided by the series of five waterfalls in close proximity.  Today, each of these waterfalls supports a hydroelectric dam that helps provide power to the city.

Great Falls is known for its diverse landscape, historical significance, and emerging art and cultural scene.  Ranchers, artists, students, and outdoor enthusiasts intermingle creating a unique cultural fabric in Montana’s third largest city.  If you are visiting or traveling through Great Falls, there are some fantastic parks that you should visit.

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The duck ponds at Gibson Park in Great Falls, MT (Photo by Montanabw/Wikipedia)
1. Take a Walking the Dead Tour.

A great way to explore some of the local history of the Great Falls area is to hear the stories of the past residents.  Great Falls hosts an annual Walking the Dead tour at the Highland Cemetery.

You can walk or take a hayride to visit the featured graves and hear from storytellers who have delved into the authentic history of each person’s legacy to tell their story as accurately and respectfully as possible.  Often it is a family member telling the story.

Proceeds from the tour go to the People’s Park and Recreation Foundation to be used for civic improvements like planting trees at the cemetery and painting the bandshell in Gibson Park.

2. Visit the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center.

Another great way to explore Great Falls history is to visit the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center, where you can visit the largest collection of artifacts, information, and exhibits of the Lewis and Clark trail around the Great Falls area.

The expedition spent more than a month exploring the area, encountering hardship and danger as they trekked 18 miles, carrying their canoes, equipment, and supplies to bypass the five waterfalls along the Missouri River.

3. Stroll around Giant Springs State Park.

Located next to the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center, this beautiful area includes one of the largest freshwater springs in the United States.  The spring is formed by an opening in the Madison Aquifer that discharges about 240 cubic feet of water per second.

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The Giant Springs next to the Missouri River near Great Falls (Photo by Montanabw/Wikipedia)

Some of the water is bottled for human consumption and is also used for a trout hatchery.  The park stretches along the banks of the Missouri River and includes several hiking trails and fishing areas.

4. Unwind at the Sip ‘N Dip Lounge at the O’Hare Motor Inn.

The Sip ‘N Dip takes you back to the era of tiki theme bars.  It opened in 1962 and has become a bit of a cultural destination in recent years thanks to being mentioned in GQ magazine as the “#1 bar worth flying for”, on the CBS Sunday Morning show, and the New York Times as the “Campiest Place on Earth”.

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Tiki mermaids swim at the Sip N Dip Lounge (Photo by VSmoothe/Wikipedia)

As strange as it may seem to have a northern land-locked area known for a tiki bar, the Sip ‘N Dip features attractions like swimming mermaids and mermen that can be viewed through a window from the bar to the pool, and “Piano Pat”, the octogenarian jazz piano player that has been playing at the bar since 1963.

There are several RV parks in and around Great Falls, including Dick’s RV Park, the Malstrom AFB FamCamp, as well as boondocking sites in the Little Belt Mountains a short drive away.

See also: Golfing In Great Falls, Montana



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Best Camping And Places To Visit In Topeka, Kansas

Topeka, Kansas is best known for the landmark 1954 Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court case that ended segregation in public schools. Today, the state capital and fifth largest city in the Jayhawk State is a vibrant and spirited community with lots to see and do.

One of the main attractions in Topeka is Lake Shawnee, which offers fishing, boating, sailing, and swimming. The 141-site Lake Shawnee Campgrounds is also a popular destination for visiting RVers. The pet-friendly campground features 30/50 amp electrical, water, a dump station, showers, and laundry facilities.

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Camping by Lake Shawnee. Photo via TripAdvisor

Within the 1,100-acre park surrounding the lake are trails, a marina, tennis courts, shelter houses, ball diamonds, an arboretum, 9 ½ acres devoted to beautiful gardens, and a well-manicured golf course.

Lake Shawnee Golf Course is a year-round track that stretches to 6,357 yards from the back tees. The 18-hole par 70 course opened in 1972 and is still one of the top courses in Topeka. Many holes of the golf course bring together breathtaking views and the challenges of playing alongside Lake Shawnee.

Another popular Topeka attraction is the Evel Knievel Thrill Show and Museum. Robert Craig Knievel gained famed in the 1960s and 1970s by attempting more than 75 daredevil stunt jumps on a motorcycle.

Topeka

Knievel’s most daring jump took place on New Year’s Eve 1967 in Las Vegas as he attempted to jump 141 feet across the Caesars Palace Fountains using a Triumph Bonneville T120. He crashed on landing and spent the next 29 days in a hospital with various broken bones. Less than six months later, he was jumping again, which only fueled his legacy as the world’s best stunt man.

The Great Overland Station should be on your must-visit list while in Kansas. This elegant building formerly housed the Union Pacific Station. Today, it serves as a museum and education center that brings Topeka’s railroad heritage to life through photographs, special exhibits, and costumed docents.

There is much more to see and do in Topeka. For more details, check out www.visittopeka.com. You can also learn more about Lake Shawnee Campground on Campground Reviews.

See also: Our Favorite Places To Visit In Wichita, Kansas



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4 Best Geological Sites To Visit In Colorado For RV Campers

The Centennial State of Colorado has some incredibly diverse and road-accessible geology contained within its borders.

Partially due to its altitude, dry climate, and geographic location straddling the Great Plains, the Rocky Mountains, and Plateau belt of the midwestern U.S., numerous opportunities to explore the Earth’s history recorded in its rocks and fossils are available.

1. Dinosaur National Monument

Located in the northwest corner of Colorado on the Utah border, Dinosaur National Monument holds preserved fossil records of over 1,500 of the dinosaurs that roamed the continent.

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View from Overlook near Plug Hat Butte. Photo by Dinosaur National Monument

The fossils are preserved in the red beds of the Morrison Formation—known to be the most prolific source of Jurassic-age dinosaur fossils in North America.  This formation of large mudstones, sandstones, and siltstones was deposited by rivers and flood events about 155 to 145 million years ago.

Throughout time, these deposits formed into rocks, uplifted when the Rocky Mountains were formed, and subsequently cut into canyons and mesas by rivers and streams, exposing the rocks and fossil records they hold.

The Centerpiece of the Dinosaur National Monument visitor center houses research facilities, a bookstore, and excavation center.  Guided tours and evening talks are available as well.

There are five RV-friendly campgrounds within the Dinosaur National Monument with reservations available at the Green River campground and Split Mountain campground in Utah (the others are first-come spots).

2. Dotsero Volcano

The Dotsero Volcano sits just north of the Colorado River and Interstate 70 between the towns of Gypsum and the Glenwood Canyon.  Dotsero Volcano is the youngest volcano in Colorado and although it appears dormant, it is still considered by USGS to be an active volcano with a moderate threat potential.

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Dotsero Volcano. Photo via Wikipedia

The crater is about half-mile wide and 600-feet deep, set in the sandstones of Western Colorado.  A hike of about 3 miles each way with a significant elevation gain of just under 2,000 feet on the Dotsero-Ute Trail will get you to the crater.

3. Argo Gold Mine, Mill, and Museum

The Argo mine tunnel in Idaho Springs was completed in 1910 and extends over 4 miles into the heart of the Colorado Mineral Belt.  This tunnel provided drainage to many of the other mines in the area until 1943, and the chemical-laden discharge now requires the ongoing treatment and monitoring of the water before it enters Clear Creek.

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The Argo Gold Mine and Mill (Photo by Greverod/Wikipedia)

The mill was built at the entrance of the tunnel and was used to process mined gold ore.  The mill is part of the National Register of Historic Places and is open for tours year-round.

4. Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve

At the head of the San Luis Valley in south-central Colorado sit the Great Sand Dunes.  This 30-square mile dune field contains over 5 billion tons of sand and the tallest dunes in North America (750 feet).

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Dunescape by Michael Rael

Great Sand Dunes is framed by the backdrop of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains with the Crestone Needle (14,197 ft) to the north and Blanca Peak (14,345 ft) and Mt. Lindsey (14,042 ft) to the south.  The Sand Dunes provide both hiking and four-wheel driving routes, as well as on-site camping at the Piñon Flats Campground.

For those interested in additional places of geologic interest in Colorado, visit the Colorado Geological Survey’s POGI map and articles for more ideas!

See also: Visit The Crown Jewel Of Colorado’s National Parks



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Places To Visit, RV Camping And Golfing Near Ajo, Arizona

The small town of Ajo in Southern Arizona is surrounded by 12 million acres of public and tribal land waiting to be explored.

Featuring a warm, dry climate, Ajo is located in the heart of the unique Sonoran Desert. Given that setting, it’s no wonder that Shadow Ridge RV Park is a favorite of those visiting the area.

The pet-friendly Shadow Ridge offers 125 sites with full hook-ups and lots of amenities. These include free cable TV and Wi-Fi, restrooms and showers, laundry facilities, a camp store, and nearby nature trails.

Within a short distance of the RV park are Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument and the Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge.

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Ajo Country Club’s 9th hole

Also close to Shadow Ridge RV Park is the Ajo Country Club. Their golf course is built on naturally flat terrain and features elevated greens. Open year-round, the par 36, nine-hole course measures 3,093 yards.

It was built by locals and opened just after World War II in 1946. The signature hole is No. 9, a 123-yard, par 3, featuring water and tall palm trees protecting the front of the green. Golfers routinely share the course with roadrunners, coyotes, and deer. Another unique aspect of the golf course is the small airport runway adjacent to the course.

In addition to club and cart rentals, Ajo Country Club officials offer three days of free RV dry camping with use of the facilities. For details, call 520-387-5011.

Ajo residents are quite proud of their recent accolade, being named a Certified Wildlife Habitat, compliments of the National Wildlife Federation.

This town of 4,000 is the second Arizona Community (along with Mesa Community College’s Red Mountain Campus), and only the 65th in the nation to earn this distinct certification. The area is home to more than 1,000 species of plants and animals, many unique to the Southern Arizona region.

Organ Pipe Cactus. Photo by Burley Packwood on Wikipedia

The area’s unpolluted skies have attracted countless astronomy buffs and stargazers. Kitt Peak National Observatory allows visitors to peer through massive telescopes and also enjoy educational programs and Native American exhibits.

See also: 8 Southwest Towns You Need To Visit This Winter



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Best Places To Visit In Pensacola, FL

Pensacola, located in the panhandle of Florida, offers a rich history that dates back 450 years. Its 18 miles of sugar-white sand beaches bordered by the emerald-green waters of the Gulf of Mexico have lured visitors from all parts of the globe annually to its pristine shores.

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The white sandy beach in Pensacola, Florida. Photo by Tobin on Flickr

Where to stay in Pensacola

For RVers visiting the area, the family owned and operated Pensacola RV Park is a great choice. This pet-friendly facility offers 67 sites with 23 large pull-through spaces and full hookups.

Amenities include 30/50 amp electrical, sewer, water, showers, a laundromat, kitchen facilities, Wi-Fi throughout the park, cable TV at each site, and a peaceful park setting with no road noise. In addition to nearby beaches, a quality golf course is just down the road.

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Pensacola RV Park. Photo via TripAdvisor

Golfing in Pensacola

Dubbed by many as the best golf course in the Florida Panhandle, A.C. Read Golf Club is also a member of the Florida Historic Golf Trail. Located at the Naval Air Station Pensacola in Escambia County, this venerable course offers terrific views along Bayou Grande.

Naval Air Station Pensacola is known as the “Cradle of Naval Aviation” and occupies more than 5,000 acres. In 1942, NAS Pensacola constructed an 18-hole golf course to provide recreational activity for the soldiers stationed there.

The golf course is named in honor of Albert Cushing Read, an avid golfer and graduate of the first aviator class at Naval Air Station Pensacola in 1915.

Today, the A.C. Read Golf Club is still a challenging golf course in a beautiful setting. The public 27-hole golf complex features three 9-hole tracks—Bayou, Lakeview, and Bayview, which are played in 18-hole combinations.

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A. C. Read Golf Club

Each 9-hole course features three sets of tees playing from 2,600 to 3,200 yards and the 18-hole combinations play from 5,400 to 6,600 yards.

The A.C. Read Golf Club also includes an 18-hole, par-60 executive golf course featuring three sets of tees playing from 4,000 to 4,300 yards. The original 18-hole golf course has been incorporated into portions of the entire golf complex.

Attractions in Pensacola

After a round of golf or walk on the beach, explore the National Naval Aviation Museum, also on the grounds of the NAS Pensacola. Set on 37-acres, the National Naval Aviation Museum is the world’s largest naval aviation museum.

You can experience hands-on history, and see more than 4,000 artifacts and 150 beautifully-restored aircraft representing Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard aviation. Visitors can experience the thrill that pilots do by strapping into a flight simulator.

The Giant Screen Digital Theater provides amazing life-like thrills. The National Naval Aviation Museum also offers a café and Flight Deck Store for souvenirs.

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National Naval Aviation Museum. Photo via Facebook

Admission is free to the museum, which offers 350,000 square feet of indoor exhibition space. For civilians wishing to visit the museum, proper identification is required to gain access. Details are available on the National Naval Aviation Museum website.

Adjacent to the museum is the historic Pensacola Lighthouse, which was built in 1859. Take all 177 steps to the top for one of the Gulf Coast’s most dramatic views.

Also located on the Naval Air Station Pensacola is Fort Barrancas. Part of the Gulf Islands National Seashore, Fort Barrancas is a beautifully preserved brick fort that overlooks Florida’s Pensacola Bay.

Naval Live Oaks is also part of the Gulf Islands National Seashore This reservation is the first and only federal tree farm designed to reserve the valuable live oaks desired by shipbuilders in the 1800s.

Annual activities

If visiting Pensacola in July or November, be sure to look skyward as the famous Blue Angles will be practicing and performing.

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Blue Angels performing. Photo via Facebook

An estimated 15 million spectators view the squadron during air shows each year as the F/A-18 fighter jets reach speeds of nearly Mach 2, almost twice the speed of sound, or about 1,400 mph. The Blue Angels official title is the United States Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron.

During spring and summer, minor league baseball can be experienced at the Blue Wahoos Ballpark, home of the Pensacola Blue Wahoos.

Santa Rosa Island is a must-visit any time of year. This stretch of sugary, white sand beach is peaceful beyond comprehension. You will feel yourself relaxing with every step in the warm sand. This uncrowded sliver of an island stretches 35 miles along the Gulf of Mexico, and it’s waiting for you!

For a comprehensive overview of the greater Pensacola area, check out www.visitpensacola.com.

Rick Stedman is an avid golfer, RVer, and writer who lives in Olympia, Washington. Rick writes a weekly golf blog, The 19th Hole, for RV LIFE. You can reach him at rstedman@gmail.com.

See also: 15 Scenic Places To Camp Along The Gulf Coast



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Best Places To Visit In Bethlehem, Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley offers the holiday spirit throughout the year. Known the world over as Christmas City, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania has embraced that moniker since 1937.

A few years ago, the USPS reported that more than 250,000 pieces of Christmas mail from around the country flowed through Bethlehem to be blessed with the coveted cancellation stamp.

No matter when you visit Bethlehem, you will always be greeted by the Star of Bethlehem, which shines brightly atop of South Mountain.

Christmas City
Star in Bethlehem. Photo by A. Strakey/Flickr

Representing the star that led the Magi to Jesus in the manger, the 81-foot star has been illuminated year-round since first lit in 1935. It was upgraded to LED lighting in 2010.

A few miles north of Bethlehem is Evergreen Lakes Campground in Bath. Highlights of the campground include a miniature golf course and free WiFi in the main office. They have 250 sites, many with full hookups, as well as showers, laundry facilities, a store, propane, and fishing.

In addition to the town of Bethlehem, several other local boroughs and towns in Northampton County offer a Biblical connection. Nazareth Borough is named for the town in Israel where Jesus Christ resided during his youth. Allentown’s Jordan Creek is a nod to the Jordan River.

Christmas City
Bethlehem Golf Club

Weather permitting, Bethlehem Golf Club is open year-round. Established in 1956, Bethlehem’s Monocacy course is a Par 71 that stretches to 7,017 yards and offers five sets of tees. It’s one of the top courses to play in the Philadelphia area; the City of Brotherly Love sits less than 70 miles to the south.

Bethlehem’s colonial history dates back more than 250 years and is well worth exploring. A good place to start is the website www.bethlehempa.org. For nearly a century, the Bethlehem Steel plant served as the economic lifeblood of the community, but it closed in 1995.

Christmas City
Browse the local shops in Bethlehem. Photo via Discover Lehigh Valley/Flickr

Rather than demolish the historic mill or walk away and let it fall apart, the community rallied around the iconic plant. Today, SteelStacks is a 10-acre campus dedicated to arts, culture, family events, community celebrations, education, and fun.

The site offers more than 1,000 concerts and eight different festivals annually. There are a lot of things to see and do at SteelStacks.

Whether it’s Christmastime or summertime, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania offers a wealth of holiday spirit throughout the year. You can learn more about the city on www.bethleham-pa.gov; for more information on Evergreen Lakes Campground, check out their reviews.

See also: 6 Gifts For RVers That Keep On Giving All Year Long



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