Top 10 North American Summer Destinations for RV Adventurers
These top summer holiday ideas will have keen RV travelers inspired for years to come.
A summer holiday allows you to go big when it comes to travel plans - no need to squeeze a trip into a measly three day weekend, this is the time to embark on a dream vacation. The massive expanse of North America provides myriad opportunities for unforgettable road trips, especially for those traveling in an RV. With the extra level of freedom afforded by having your accommodation and transportation rolled into one, the opportunities for adventure multiply. How to make use of this freedom is another matter entirely - with so many options afforded to you by the wondrous North American continent, it can be difficult to know where go. So to help set you on the path to an amazing summer vacation, we’d like to point out a handful of North America’s most tempting summer events and destinations for RV holidaymakers.
Yosemite National Park
This is one summer destination that you’ll want to book both your campground and RV rental well ahead for. In fact, camping spots in Yosemite are so highly coveted that they sell out within mere minutes of going on sale each year. This is a trip you’ll have to plan well ahead of time but the good news is, it’s well worth the effort. Megafauna like black bears and mule deer are a huge draw for many visitors, but the real glory of Yosemite lies in the landscapes themselves. Yosemite Falls, Half Dome, Glacier Point - each of these natural features are legendary, and only scrape the surface of what this park has to offer.
Image: Peter Helm
A gargantuan ten-day event which attracts more than a million visitors every year, the Calgary Stampede isn’t just a big deal for its host city - this is one of the biggest events in Canada. Billed as The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth, the Stampede is far more than just a rodeo - live music, First Nations exhibits, and a mix of deliciously traditional and bizarrely adventurous food is all part of the experience. Picking up a Calgary RV rental after the event will put you in the perfect place to explore stunning parks like Banff National Park to the north, or Glacier National Park, across the border to the south.
Glacier National Park
Speaking of Glacier… if you’re looking for a wilderness setting for your vacation that’s not as crowded as go-to holiday spots like Yosemite and Yellowstone, then Glacier National Park might be just what you’re seeking. Driving the Going to the Sun Road will treat motorhome adventurers to vista after magnificent vista, and traveling in summer will ensure that the weather is as view-friendly as possible. There are a number of campgrounds along the way, so you can take your time appreciating the spectacular scenery along the way - just make sure your RV rental isn’t too large for some of the narrower sections.
Music lovers will already be familiar with the Lollapalooza music festival, but if you’ve never actually attended before, now is the time to start planning. A weekend event that over the years has featured some of the most well loved names in modern music, Lollapalooza has expanded over the years to encompass international events, but its cornerstone fest is held annually in Grant Park, Chicago. Once you’ve been awed and entertained by the weekend’s musical offerings, picking up a Chicago RV rental will give you the chance to embark on some epic cross-country style road trips - such as a journey along the legendary Route 66.
For a truly larger than life road trip, it’s hard to go past the Alaska Highway. This far northern odyssey will take you from Fairbanks, Alaska all the way to Dawson Creek in British Columbia - and of course, you can choose to head from south to north as well. This route carves its way through a massive swathe of remote wilderness and will give you more than just a taste of what this continent was like long before the arrival of humanity. There are many different campgrounds and RV parks along way, so finding a place to park up for the night won’t be a problem. One of the main considerations when driving the Alaska Highway is gas, due to the huge distances involved. Make sure to keep your tank in the top half, fueling up whenever you can.
For an entirely different kind of road trip, head to the coast of Northern California. The Big Sur is renowned as one of the most beautiful coastal routes on earth, running from just south of Monterey Bay to just north of San Simeon. The clifftop views from the seaside Santa Lucia Mountains are expansive and dramatic, while on the the other side travelers are treated to vistas of forest blanketed hills. Many travelers choose to extend their trip on either side, starting out in the cutting edge city of San Francisco and finishing up in San Luis Obispo or even Los Angeles.
Montreal Jazz Festival
Lovers of jazz aren’t the only ones who will appreciate a summer vacation featuring Montreal, but it certainly doesn’t hurt to have an appreciation for the smoothest of all musical genres. The Festival International de Jazz de Montréal is the largest jazz festival in the world and takes over the city to the extent that a large part of Montreal’s downtown center is closed to traffic for ten days. Shows are held throughout the city, from diminutive clubs to the concert halls of Place des Arts, with attendance at some shows reaching into the hundreds of thousands. From Montreal, an RV vacationer is perfectly situated to strike east or west: east toward the charming seaside villages of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, or west to discover the cosmopolitan city of Toronto.
Image: City of Boston Archives
The 4th of July is going to be a big deal pretty much anywhere in the United States but Boston’s Harborfest takes things to a whole new level. Harborfest expands Independence Day celebrations to five days of parades, music, reenactments, and masses of delicious seafood. History buffs will be delighted by the strong emphasis on remembering the past, but even if you prefer to live in the now, there’s enough food, fireworks and general revelry to satisfy the most apathetic of souls. Carrying on from Boston, a seaside RV vacation through the picturesque towns of New England will give you time to relax after all the 4th of July excitement.
Yellowstone National Park
Yellowstone isn’t just America’s first national park - it was the first national park in the world. Those who visit will quickly begin to understand what motivated a group of men, more than a hundred years ago, to ensure the preservation of this remarkable place. The park’s geothermal features (including the Old Faithful Geyser) are among its most well known attributes, but many also come to see the large mammals which roam Yellowstone in numbers unheard of elsewhere. Grizzly bears, bison, wolves and elk all call Yellowstone home, and with care and a little planning visitors can see most if not all of these magnificent creatures over the course of their time here.
This is an event unlike any other on earth. Every year thousands gather at Black Rock City, a temporary city in the Nevada desert, for a giant experiment in community and art. Artistic expression runs free, gifting is the only form of commerce and leaving no trace is an essential credo. For those who have never been to Burning Man, the scope of the experience is impossible to imagine; for those who have been, it’s impossible to forget. An RV is the ideal form of accommodation for this event - not only is there no set up time, you’ll also be safe from the sandstorms that occasionally sweep across Black Rock City. Make sure to let your RV rental supplier know that you’re headed for Burning Man as there are special conditions for RVs headed to this event.