RV Information from Kampgrounds of America, Inc.

RV Bliss

Kampgrounds of America

Everyone loves a road trip. Escape for a few days, a winter or a summer vacation. KOA is with you all the way.

The weekend beckons. Make the most of your free time-go camping! Log on to koa.com to find a convenient KOA for a weekend RV trip. You won't have to go far to find a KOA nearby.

Mike Oxborrow of Ely, Nevada, is done with weekends revolving around yard work. "I live within 500 miles of some of the most beautiful country in the world, and I want to see it," he says from an RV site overlooking sage-covered foothills at the Ely, Nevada KOA. "It's just awesome to sit here in this little RV and look out at these beautiful mountains. From now on, my idea of landscaping is checking the air in the tires."

German and Elizabeth Rodriguez of Homestead, Florida, use their RV to escape the busy Miami area on weekends. "Our daughters and grandchildren enjoy the weekends away from the house," says German of his trips to the Clewiston/Lake Okeechobee and West Palm Beach/Lion Country Safari KOAs. "Sometimes we end up staying for four or five nights because we're so conveniently located."

Got a weekend? TAKE OFF

CITY SIGHTS. Many KOAs offer guided tours, so you can park your rig at the campground and enjoy big-city attractions. Visit the Newburgh/New York City North KOA and take a guided tour of the Big Apple that leaves right from the campground.

THEME WEEKENDS. Dive into a luau at the Pine Grove, Pennsylvania and Niagara Falls, Ontario KOAs. Dig into the August Brat and Corn Boil at the Lena, Illinois KOA. In Maryland, bop at the Hagerstown/Antietam Battlefield KOA's annual '50s Sock Hop. Go to koa.com for more ideas and places for theme weekend getaways (and Hot Deals!).

BASE CAMPS. At the Knoxville East, Tennessee KOA, you don't even have to leave the campground to catch baseball action. Special RV ballpark sites overlook Smokies Park, home to a Class AA team!

REFRESHING SCENERY. Recharge at a beach, fishing lake or woodsy retreat. The Owen Sound, Ontario KOA provides all three options, with nature trails leading from your campsite into the beautiful forest bordering Lake Huron's Georgian Bay.

STARRY NIGHTS. At KOAs, the sky often takes center stage. Stargaze with the campground's astronomer at the 1000 Islands/Kingston KOA in Ontario.

TALL TREES AND WINE. At the Crescent City/Redwoods, California KOA, you don't have to travel far to experience majestic redwood forests-you're surrounded by them! Toast California's wine country at the Cloverdale KOA, overlooking the grapevines striping the Alexander Valley. Tour and taste at dozens of nearby wineries.

SnowbirdsFLOCK TO KOA

Snowbirds spend months living out of their RVs, usually escaping cold Northern winters and often pursuing a hobby (like bird-watching in the desert) or sightseeing in a new part of the country. In short, they've become camping pros!

That's why experienced snowbirds choose KOA. Bruce and Gwyneth Palmer are train buffs, slowly working their way from Arizona to Vancouver, Washington, volunteering at train museums along the way. Bruce sizes up a campground before he checks in. He starts by checking out the "pedestal," or electric hookup. "I look at the sewer and the water, too, and see that the ground is level," he says.

Gwyneth gives high marks to campgrounds with hot tubs and high-speed Internet. "But I judge everything first by the bathroom," she says. "KOA is consistently clean."

SOCIAL TIME. "There always seems to be something going on at KOA," notes Jim Nance of Boise, Idaho, who takes to the road with his wife, Sandy. "We've enjoyed buffalo burger cookouts, hotcake breakfasts, Indian dances and talent shows. It's such an enjoyable, welcoming environment."

Activities. Get together with your camping neighbors for organized card games and theme potlucks at the Clearwater/Tarpon Springs, Florida KOA.

Rally time. Celebrate the mild southern Georgia climate with other RV enthusiasts at the Valdosta/Lake Park KOA-it hosts RV rallies with live entertainment.

Leave the cold behind ROAD TRIPS

GRAND CANYON. Several KOAs in northern Arizona guide you toward the showpiece of the Grand Canyon: Flagstaff, Grand Canyon/Williams, Holbrook/Petrified Forest, Kingman, Seligman/Route 66 and Williams/Exit 167/Circle Pines. Stay the winter or continue north to the red-rock deserts of southern Utah.

MONUMENTS AND NATIONAL PARKS. Visit Grand Staircase-Escalante, Bryce Canyon, Zion and lesser-known Capital Reef, named for a colorful cliff face that reminded pioneers of an ocean reef. The Panguitch, Glendale, Cannonville/Bryce Valley and Cedar City, Utah KOAs can give you locals' tips on how to best explore the area.

DESERT DRAMA. From Nevada's Las Vegas KOA at Circus Circus, head to the Lake Mead National Recreation Area or the Lake Mohave area for spectacular views, along with fishing, boating and hiking.

GREAT LAKES. Retreating glaciers forged a freshwater oasis along Michigan and Ontario, Canada, perfect for swimming, boating, fishing and relaxing.

Beautiful Beaches. Sun worshippers rave about Lake Michigan's golden sand and clear-blue water. Sample them both from these KOAs: Coloma/St. Joseph, Muskegon, Traverse City and Petoskey. On Michigan's Sunrise Side, enjoy Lake Huron with a stay at the Oscoda and Port Huron KOAs. In Ontario, the Owen Sound KOA is close to Lake Huron's popular Sauble Beach.

Mackinac Island. KOAs in Mackinaw City and St. Ignace provide shuttles to the ferry that transports you to this storied Lake Huron retreat, where cars have never been allowed.

Sault Ste. Marie. Join some of the world's largest ships on a two-hour boat tour through the Soo Locks. Camp at the Sault Ste. Marie KOA in Ontario. Continue to the Spragge KOA to enjoy Lake Huron's breathtaking North Channel.

Family FUN SPOTS

COLORADO GHOST TOWNS. Cripple Creek is one of Colorado's most famous abandoned mining towns, now reborn as a boomtown with renovated historic buildings, a narrow-gauge train ride and tours into a real gold mine.

Historic stay. Unlike the miners, you can camp in comfort at the Cripple Creek/Colorado Springs West KOA.

Durango & Silverton. Stay at the Durango North or Durango East KOA, and you have a great base camp for a trip on the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad.

Old mines. Gunnison KOA is in the heart of another rich mining area. In Irwin, at the top of Kebler Pass, you can stop and view the abandoned mine site and intriguing gravestones.

TEXAS TIME. Kids will have a smile as wide as Texas with a vacation to the Lone Star State.

Hill Country. Near the Fredericksburg KOA in the heart of Texas Hill Country, you'll find plenty of the Old West. Nearby Bandera claims its place as the "cowboy capital of the world" and as the birthplace of the dude ranch.

Theme parks and more. The San Antonio KOA puts you close to the action of one of the country's finest zoos, along with theme parks like SeaWorld and Six Flags.

Space Center Houston. From the Houston area KOAs, head to nearby Clear Lake for an out-of-this-world experience at the space center. Kids will love the hands-on exhibits where they can land the shuttle or take a simulated space walk.

Summer VACATION

What could be better than summer? A summer vacation with KOA, of course! You'll find KOAs near family attractions, from zoos to theme parks. KOAs keep kids entertained with activities at the campgrounds as well.

At the Willits/Ukiah, California KOA, families can hop aboard the Skunk Train at KOA's own depot for a ride through the redwood forest. The "Old West" campground delights families with a petting zoo, hayrides, go-cart rentals and theme weekends. "Every time we visit family in the San Francisco Bay area, we plan a visit to the Willits KOA," Wendy Stevens of Port Townsend, Washington, says. "Our grandson, Robert, wouldn't let us stay anywhere else!"

Marion and Chris Wenciker of McPherson, Kansas, camped with their daughter two decades ago. Now they head for KOAs with their granddaughter, Kaylea. "The playground is always nice-and there's plenty of room to take walks," Chris says.

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