RVing is an adventure. Yet, in time, RVing becomes second nature. What once took you five hours (like setting up your first campsite, perhaps), may eventually only take 15 minutes.
You may also find yourself leaving some wiggle room in your schedule, rather than planning every minute. So, on your next trip, why not put all that extra time and added confidence toward adventuring along the way to your destination.
Simply search for these seven things to do along your route for some bonus fun:
1. Classes & Tours
When you hear the word “adventure” do you think “outdoors?” Don’t worry if you don’t mountain climb, ski, or swim with sharks. You can still have an “outdoorsy” adventure through classes and tours.
Outfitters and local companies are ready to provide an introductory taste of that really outdoorsy adventure you’ve always wanted to try. Many activities, like horseback riding, can be done nearly anywhere in the country. Often, tours vary by duration to accommodate everyone, no matter the level of experience.
Whitewater rafting is another example of a fun activity offered at different difficulty levels. You can sign up for a half day through Class 4 rapids, just as easily as a two-hour tour through water that is as gentle as the jets in a hot tub.
If you’re driving through an urban area, consider trying indoor rock climbing, yoga, a city walking tour, or food tour.
2. Wineries, Breweries & Tastings
Every state has a winery or a brewery waiting for you to explore. Search for options around you on your Google Maps app. Or, open your web browser and google “wineries,” “best breweries,” or “wine tasting” to find options along your way.
If beer and wine are not your thing, no worries! Are you driving through a region with orchards? Try visiting cideries or the orchard or farm itself. They may offer warm apple pie and other goodies for visitors to taste. Same goes for cheese, chocolate, coffee or just about any other food item you can think of.
3. Foodie Finds
This is one of our favorites. If there is a food item you love, discover how that food item is prepared in different regions by trying variations of it along the way.
We personally stop for tacos as much as we can. Some of our favorite tacos (and guac!) have been in places that were along the way to our destinations. On the way to San Francisco, we found that El Roy’s in Petaluma has amazing street tacos. La Rancherita in Apex, NC, has the freshest guac. And, believe us, we could go on…
If you feel your route won’t have many local options, try discovering a new chain. We love burgers too, yet we had never tried In-N-Out burgers until our route took us through one of their locations.
You do you! So, try this with any food you like from doughnuts to salads.
4. Go Off-Road
If you tow a jeep or pull your towable with a truck, look for off-road trails along your route. Check to see what trails are available by stopping into the nearest U.S. Forest Ranger Station. They’ll provide maps, tips, and guidance on where you can go.
Don’t forget you can do the same near BLM (Bureau of Land Management) land and National Parks.
5. Admire Art
Try something new by exploring an area through its art. During your travels, look for small towns that are havens for artists, writers, and musicians. Along our travels, we discovered the town of Tubac in Southern Arizona. We found a Shakespeare Festival in a small city in Ontario. And, we found music festivals pop up nearly everywhere during the summer season.
6. Visitors Centers
Stop into Visitors Centers along your route for the best local information. Many small cities and towns along the highway have hidden gems, historic sites, campgrounds, and unique attractions that you would never know about if you didn’t stop in.
You’ll catch festivals, discover touching memorials and stories, and explore state parks and attractions you would’ve missed. So many places have great stories and experiences to share with visitors, and visitors centers lead you to these discoveries.
If you’re trying to plan ahead of time, try googling the name of an area followed by the words “visitor center” or “tourism board.”
7. National Park Service Sites
Often, when we think of our National Park Service, we think of the 61 National Parks (Indiana Dunes was just added this winter, bringing the total up to 61). But there’s more! The National Park System actually contains 421 units. With so many, you’re almost always sure to find a new site to visit along your route.
The 421 units include national monuments, preserves, lakeshores, seashores, rivers, riverways, scenic trails, historic trails, historic sites, memorials, recreation areas, and parkways. Visit https://www.nps.gov/findapark/index.htm to learn more about what each type of site offers and where to find an NPS site near you.
As an RVer, you’re already going on great adventures and learning new things. You likely have many plans for when you reach your destination. Make the journey part of the experience by adding adventure along your way!