Airfare is expensive and complicated for an entire family. Most families end up packing themselves into a minivan like sardines and sloughing through the transit portion of any family trip. Of course, driving in a minivan means sleeping in hotel rooms, unpacking and repacking, eating whatever fast food is available on the road, not to mention, being exposed to germs.
RVs, on the other hand, are the perfect travel method for families. The cost is far less than flying. Gas and the nightly rate of the campground of your choosing are the two main expenses. And who wouldn’t rather end a long day of travel in a quiet place where you have your own fridge and kitchen, your own beds and bathroom, and the space to spread out? That sounds much more appealing than a cramped, funky-smelling hotel room.
So when you’re looking for a great family getaway, step one is having a great RV (cough cough, a Tiffin), step two is picking the perfect destination! And boy, do we have some great spots lined up for you to consider.
Just a friendly reminder, due to COVID-19 restrictions, you’ll want to check with any national park’s website and call these destinations before making the trek.
1. Charleston, South Carolina
If you’ve never been to James Island in Charleston, South Carolina, you don’t know what you’ve been missing. Your kids will be able to enjoy splashing in the waves of the Atlantic ocean and frolicking through open meadows on the same enchanting, mossy island. Located on James Island is a true gem – Folly Beach. Along the beach, you’ll find miles of paved walking, biking, and skating trails with bike rentals nearby.
Explore one of the many, nearby campgrounds around Folly Beach, many of which have amenities like volleyball courts, horseshoe pits, dog parks, kayak rentals, and even an outdoor kid’s spray fountain to cool off on the really hot days. With so many entertainment options available, you may have to stay longer than just the weekend. Take an afternoon to cross the bridge into Charleston and embark on a walking tour of downtown’s historic charm and foodie culture that draws people from around the world to visit year-round.
2. Pigeon Forge, Tennessee
Spitting distance from popular Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge is a forgotten gem of Tennessee. The city is built to entertain kids. Within a five-mile radius, you’ll find Dollywood, the Great Smoky Mountain National Park, mini-golf, go-carts, a trampoline arena, and much much more.
Yogi Bear's Camp Resort is a campsite worth checking out for a visit. It's only one mile from Dollywood and Dollywood Splash Country and convenient to a slew of amenities and restaurants. They offer cabins, premium RV sites, glamping tents, two pools, and a fishing pond! Plus, full hook-ups, picnic tables, fire pits, 30 & 50 amp service, cable, WiFi, and best of all, privacy. The campsite also has a park for your furry friends and a general store in case you forgot something.
3. Redwood National and State Parks, California
Because the Redwoods are a serious tourist attraction, when you start looking into what family-friendly options there are available, you’ll find more guided tours and organized activities in the Redwoods than a typical state park would offer. Take a guided kayak tour of the Smith River, explore designated park trails by horseback, or observe rare wildlife in their natural habitat. You can even sign your kids up for one of the ranger-led kids’ programs from mid-May to mid-September.
If you want to camp inside the Redwood Forest on one of the developed campgrounds, you’ll have to reserve a spot early. And there are no hook-ups available, so it might be a bit more primitive than your family is accustomed to. The views, however, will be incredible. With over 200 miles of hiking trails, your kids won’t run out of directions to explore.
4. Galveston, Texas
Two words: lazy river. The Galveston Island Beach Resort is an awesome, family-friendly RV resort with tons of amenities, including a pool, lazy river, and private crabbing and fishing pond just a short walk to Galveston beaches. If you aren’t towing a car along, the resort offers shuttle rides to all the best local spots and golf carts on-site that are available to rent.
Galveston’s ocean coast has a beautiful historic downtown with ornate buildings that date back to the 1800s and many attractions across its four downtown districts: Pier 21, the Strand, West Market, and Postoffice Street. There’s something for everyone downtown including museums, restaurants, boat and historical tours, waterparks, amusement rides, and more.
5. Erie, Pennsylvania
Erie is home to the fourth-largest lake in the country. So, naturally, there are several incredible options near the lake in the Erie area when it comes to family-friendly campsites to visit in your RV. One of the best-rated is Sara’s Campground on the beach.
On-site, they have a pizza restaurant, a basketball court, a game room, a general store, and more. Offsite in the surrounding Erie area, explore the local zoo and a children’s museum. But best of all, the campground sits between the Presque Isle State Park and Waldameer Amusement and Water World, and there are over 12 miles of public freshwater beaches, bike paths, and nature trails.
Whether you decide to hit the refreshing beaches along Erie Lake or the mystical Redwood Forest, wherever you decide to go, the memories you’ll make with your family in the RV are priceless. Travel safe, stay healthy, and remember to take pictures and tag us in your Tiffin on Facebook and Instagram!