5 Things to Do In/Around Amboy, Illinois

Of course, if you’re planning to stay at O’Connell’s RV Campground in one of their great glamping accommodations (choose a cabin or cottage), there is plenty to do there without even leaving “home.” From sports courts that include horseshoes, volleyball and basketball to the mini-golf course and plentiful lake activities, you can spend days at the campground doing something different every day. But if the urge strikes and you want to explore the nearby heart of Illinois attractions, we have some ideas:

Cabin at O'Connell's RV Campground
Cabin at O’Connell’s RV Campground

1. Starved Rock State Park: Less than 40 miles from O’Connell’s, Starved Rock State Park is a great place to visit if you want to explore picturesque waterfalls, sandstone canyons and miles of hiking trails at one of Illinois’ main attractions. The Park offers all kinds of guided tours and water cruises while visitors can also explore over 13 miles of well-marked trails on their own. The Lodge was built in the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Lodge features a cafe, lounge and a gift shop. The Park is open daily from 7:00 a.m. to sunset.

2. Dixon: The town of Dixon may be small, but it has plenty of history. For instance, not only was it the spot where Abraham Lincoln joined the militia to fight in the Black Hawk War in 1832, but it’s also the location of the boyhood home of our 40th president, Ronald Reagan. Public tours of Reagan’s former home are available Thursday through Saturday from April through December (yaf.org/reagan-boyhood-home). The Lincoln Monument State Memorial depicts a bronze statue of Lincoln as a 23-year-old captain during the Black Hawk War. Every Wednesday and Saturday through October, the Farmers Market is held in town’s Haymarket Square. Also, the Riverfront Plaza, which is dog-friendly, is a nice place to view the Rock River and check out the nearby stores.

Cabin Rentals at O'Connell's RV Campground
Cabin Rentals at O’Connell’s RV Campground

3. Ottawa Road Trip: Another charming small town within a short drive from O’Connell’s is the city of Ottawa. Here you can find The Ottawa Historical and Scouting Heritage Museum which is dedicated to preserving the history of scouting in America and the start of the Boy Scouts of America (now known as Scouting America) and The Reddick Mansion (reddickmansion.org), an example of 19th century Italianate architecture and possibly the most expensive and ornate private home built in Illinois before the Civil War. After touring the mansion, make sure to visit Washington Square Park, which is across the street from the mansion. The park features bronze statues of Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas to commemorate the site of the first senatorial debate between these two gentlemen in 1858. Another interesting statue in Ottawa is the Radium Dial Girl, which pays homage to the women who were subjected to dangerous radium-laced, glow-in-the-dark paint while working at the Radium Dial Company that was operated in Ottawa in the early part of the 20th century.

Waterfall at Anderson Japanese Gardens
Waterfall at Anderson Japanese Gardens

4. Anderson Japanese Gardens: These beautiful gardens lie about 50 miles from Amboy and are set among 12 acres that include winding pathways, koi ponds, and waterfalls. Tranquility and peace await at this oasis which highlights the three elements of a true Japanese garden – stone, water and plants. Docent-led tours are offered twice daily but visitors are free to also enjoy the gardens on their own. For information visit andersongardens.org.

5. Amboy Marsh Nature Preserve: A great place to hike, bird-watch and get some great nature shots, the Amboy Marsh Nature Preserve offers plenty of trails, plus wetlands and oak savanna. Shorter loop trails or longer hiking trails are both available here and provide the opportunity to see wildlife including sandhill cranes, turtles, and deer. Prairie flowers, butterflies and dragonflies add to this beautiful mix of nature. For details visit amboymarsh.wixsite.com/amboymarsh.

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5 Things to Do on Mt. Desert Island

Rugged! That may be the adjective that comes to mind when describing Mt. Desert Island, the Maine-based island that is home to Acadia National Park as well as the charming resort town of Bar Harbor. Why rugged – maybe it’s the soaring granite cliffs and the crashing waves of the Atlantic against the rocky shore. But for all the ruggedness, there is also gentle nature here including the tide pools and marine life found in Acadia, the rolling lawn of the Village Green and the amazing sunsets. If you’re planning a Maine glamping getaway, definitely consider a visit to Mt. Desert Island and a stay at a glamping cabin at Mt. Desert Narrows Camping Resort or Narrows Too Camping Resort. Here are five great ways to explore this New England destination.

Cottages at Narrows Too Camping Resort
Cottages at Narrows Too Camping Resort

1. Get in the Garden: There are plenty of beautiful gardens to explore here. The Charlotte Rhoades Park & Butterfly Garden is perfect for a short stroll among beautiful flowers and butterflies while the Asticou Azalea Garden is set among 2.3 acres of historic natural lands, gardens and trails and features something in bloom every month (summer blooms include azaleas and rhododendrons in June, Japanese irises in July and blooming water lilies in August). The Wild Gardens of Acadia can be found within the national park and include more than 300 native species set among the hiking trails.

2. Learn about the Lumberjacks: Maine has a rich history of logging and even carries the nickname of “The Pine Tree State” so of course a lumberjack show should be on the agenda when visiting. To do that, a trip to Timber Tina’s Great Maine Lumberjack Show is a must. The roughly 75-minute show features events such as log rolling, axe throwing and pole climbing. For more information and tickets visit mainelumberjack.com. BTW, Timber Tina is a world-champion log roller, among other titles!

Photo Captured from Mount Desert Narrows Camping Resort
Photo Captured from Mount Desert Narrows Camping Resort

3. Acadia Must-Sees: At nearly 50,000 acres, there is a lot to see in Acadia National Park. A few things not to miss include Thunder Hole, where a thunderous sound explodes when waves rush into the small cavern; the Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse; Jordan Pond House for tea and popovers and Cadillac Mountain (catch the sunrise here or just boast that you made it to the top of the tallest peak on the eastern coast.

4. Visit the Museums: Exhibits at the Mt. Desert Oceanarium include a 29-foot authentic lobster boat, rare lobsters including the Cotton Candy and Blue lobster and a touch pool. The Bar Harbor Historical Society is housed in the La Rochelle Mansion, a 1903 estate, and explores the history of the area, including its part in the Gilded Age. The Abbe Museum, a Smithsonian affiliate, explores the history and culture of the Wabanaki people, native to Maine.

Cabins at Narrows Too Camping Resort
Cabins at Narrows Too Camping Resort

5. Take the Land Bridge: For roughly 3 hours a day, a land bridge is available for visitors to cross over the water to Bar Island. The land bridge, technically a sandbar, is only available during low tide so it is a unique experience when visiting here as this is the “bar” in Bar Harbor. Once you’ve crossed over and reached Bar Island, check out the spectacular views of Mt. Desert Island or hike around the island which has about a mile of trails. Make sure to check tide hours so you know when you can go and return via the land bridge.

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What is…the Best Places to Glamp?

Since 1964, the game show Jeopardy has been a television viewer favorite and has maintained popularity 60 years later with more than 8000 episodes, 39 Daytime Emmy Awards and a Peabody Award. The category topics remain relevant and cover history, art, television, music, science and more with answers ranging from Actinium (the first chemical element) to Zendaya (Spiderman’s girlfriend and so much more.) We thought we’d have some fun with our own clues, à la Jeopardy, and see if you can guess which glamping location we’re talking about.

Clue: This Oregon location is home to a tiny house village that makes the perfect glamping spot to explore this part of the Pacific Northwest.

If you said “What is Mt. Hood Tiny House Village” you’re on the board. Indoors or outdoors, you’re a winner here. Take a ride and enjoy all 105 miles of the Mt. Hood Scenic Byway (roughly 3–4-hour drive, not including stops). Scenery includes of course the mountains, but also vineyards, farms, and orchards. Be sure to see the historic Timberline Lodge. Or choose to bike, hike, and look for Bigfoot. Yes, that Bigfoot – check out the North American Bigfoot Center in Boring (yes, that’s the town name!). The Center includes Bigfoot evidence and historic artifacts as well as all kinds of Bigfoot-themed merch. The Old Salmon River Trail is great for a short hike and, weather permitting, a dip in the water at the sandy beaches along the trail. Another interesting way to explore the area is the East Gorge Food Trail, which is an interesting mix of orchards, vineyards, farmers markets, eateries, cideries and breweries (eastgorgefoodtrail.com).

Clue: Nestled in New York’s Adirondacks, this glamping location offers outdoor adventure on the Queen of American Lakes.

The winning answer here is “What is Lake George Escape Campground”. Pick your favorite glamping cottage or cabin and take on the Adirondacks and all there is to explore here. For some history, check out Fort William Henry to experience life in a British fort, circa 1755, for kitschy, visit the House of Frankenstein Wax Museum with plenty to spook you from waxy monsters to the animatronic ones too! Cruise Lake George, which is known as the “Queen of American Lakes,” on a cruise offered by the Lake George Steamboat Company or hike to Shelving Rock Falls and see the beautiful waterfall. Relax waterside at Million Dollar Beach which is great for swimming and scenic views.

Cabin at Lake George Escape Campground
Cabin at Lake George Escape Campground

Clue: Located in the Granite State, this tiny house village is less than an hour from Boston and less than 30 minutes to Salsbury-Hampton beaches.

Call yourself a winner if you answered, “What is Tuxbury Tiny House Village” and keep up the good luck streak by taking a ride into Boston. Walk the 2.5-mile Freedom Trail, enjoy some cannoli and the other delicious Italian foods available in the city’s North End (Mike’s Pastry is often said to be the best cannoli in town!), take in a Red Sox game at historic Fenway Park or experience the vast and varied art collection at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. Cider Hill Farm in Amesbury, Massachusetts has plenty of events going on during the summer including the Strawberry Festival set for June 15-16, the Blueberry & Flower Festival scheduled for July 20-21 and July 27-28 and in August plan for the Peach & Sunflower Festival running for two weekends, August 10-11 and August 17-18. And, of course, you can never go wrong with a day at the beach and when you stay at Tuxbury Tiny House Village you’re less than 30 minutes from the beach!

Tuxbury Tiny House Village
Tuxbury Tiny House Village

Clue: Awash with southern charm, these six tiny houses provide the perfect Tennessee glamping getaway with access to city and country attractions alike.

“What is Natchez Trace Tiny House Village?” is what you want to ring in with here. Once you’ve booked the tiny house that best suits you, consider all the options for fun you have here. Those options include the hour drive into Nashville to explore Music City with its lively entertainment scene, great food and plenty of museums; leisurely drives to the charming towns that surround the area, or outdoor adventures on the nearby trails and waterways. For trails near Natchez Trace Tiny House Village consider the Meriwether Lewis Loop, where you can see the grave of famed explorer Meriwether Lewis, or the Fall Hollow Falls Trail to glimpse a 20-foot waterfall. In Nashville, consider a skyline paddle, available through cumberlandkayakadventure.com or visit Harpeth River State Park for canoe and kayak opportunities. Small town visits can include Franklin (don’t miss the Carter House and Carnton Plantation here for Civil War history) and Leiper’s Fork with its distillery, winery, antique stores and shops and the unique Leiper’s Fork Market.

Natchez Trace Tiny House Village
Natchez Trace Tiny House Village

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5 Things to Do in Lake Tahoe

Want to do a mountain glamping getaway that includes a sparkling alpine lake, sunny beaches and lots of fun indoor and outdoor things to do? First book a glamping cabin or cottage at Tahoe Valley Campground and then check out our list of five things to do when visiting this great destination nestled in California’s Sierra Nevada mountains.

1. Find Hidden Beach: Considered one of the best beaches in Lake Tahoe, Hidden Beach can be found just south of Incline Village. A newly installed paved trail is great for hiking and biking while the beach is great for swimming, sunning and water-side picnics. Consider stand-up paddling or kayaking the crystal-clear waters here.

Kayaking on Lake Tahoe
Kayaking on Lake Tahoe

2. Day Trip to Reno: Less than 70 miles from Lake Tahoe, this city is worth a little day trip. Of course, Reno, Nevada is known for its casinos, but there is a lot more than gambling to do in the “Biggest Little City in the World.” One of the reasons Reno has that moniker is because there is so much to do in such a small area. Two museums of note here are the National Automobile Museum where there are historic cars and cars that belonged to the stars (automuseum.org) and the Nevada Museum of Art (nevadaart.org) whose collections range from landscape to contemporary to art of the Great West. Reno’s Riverwalk District is great for walking the boardwalk, shopping and dining.

3. Donner Memorial State Park and Emigrant Trail Museum: While the Donner story is not one of the most pleasant in the history of westward expansion, the tale is still one to be told. The museum documents the story of the ill-fated Donner Party through detailed dioramas as well as other details about the history of the area. Pioneer Monument, located in the State Park, honors all of those who made the trek across the harsh plains to reach California in the 1840s.

Cabin at Tahoe Valley Campground
Cabin at Tahoe Valley Campground

4. Olympic Museum: With the Olympics set for this summer in Paris, it might be interesting to take a look at the history of the 1960 Winter Olympic Games which were held in Squaw Valley. There is a collection of memorabilia, videos and photographs that exhibit the history and highlights of the events. For details and directions, go to palisadestahoe.com/events-and-activities/activity-finder/olympic-museum.

5. Explore a different trail: Yes, there are plenty of trails to walk here in Lake Tahoe, but what about exploring the Craft Beer Trail. For a listing go to visitlaketahoe.com/things-to-do/beer-trail. The Hangar offers 30 rotating taps while Cold Water Brewery & Grill brews their all-grain beer right on site. The annual Lake Tahoe Brewfest is scheduled this year for August 24 and will feature beer, cider, spirits and kombucha brewers!

Lake Tahoe
Lake Tahoe

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The Best Ways to Spend Your Summer Days

Want to have the best summer ever? Of course, start off with some great glamping plans and then see what other uniquely summer activities you can enjoy.

Cottages at Fiesta Key Resort
Cottages at Fiesta Key Resort

Go to the Islands: If you’re looking to spend your summer vacation on an island in the sun, check out the Channel Islands. This chain of five islands, known as the “Galapagos Islands of North America,” can be reached via ferry from Santa Barbara and offer hiking, kayaking, scuba diving, wildlife watching and more. If you’re glamping at Thousand Trails Thunderbird, there is plenty of island hopping to be done just off this area of the Washington coast. Bainbridge Island offers the Bloedel Reserve, a 140-acre nature reserve with gardens and walking trails. The charming town of Anacortes can be found on Fidalgo Island – check out the historic waterfront, the plentiful hiking trails and enjoy shopping and delicious seafood at the restaurants here. Of course, a trip to the Florida Keys is like a tropical getaway and there are plenty of islands to explore here from funky Key West to laid-back Key Largo (stay at Encore Sunshine Key or Encore Fiesta Key). Keys highlights include Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park, John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, and Bahia Honda State Park.

Ride a Roller Coaster: Looking for some thrills this summer? Check out some of these top roller coasters on your next glamping trip: The Giant Dipper on California’s Santa Cruz Boardwalk is not only one of the oldest roller operating rollers coasters in the world but also appeared in several movies, including Lost Boys and Sudden Impact (book a stay at Marina Dunes RV Resort); one of the newer kids when it comes to the roller coaster block is the Jurassic World VelociCoaster. Opened in 2021 at Universal Islands of Adventure in Orlando, this newbie reaches top speeds of 70-mph and has four inversions (book a stay at Encore Tropical Palms in Kissimmee); New Jersey’s Six Flags Great Adventure offers El Toro with its 19-story climb only to then descend 176 feet! (book a glamping cottage at Thousand Trails Chestnut Lake).

Marina Dunes RV Resort Cottage
Marina Dunes RV Resort Cottage

By the Shore: Long days at the shore make for great summer memories. Some of the best beaches in the US are near our campgrounds and include Coronado Beach in San Diego, noted for its sparkling sand thanks to the mica found here (book at stay at Thousand Trails Pio Pico); Pope Beach in Lake Tahoe with towering pine trees, mountain views and plenty of sand (book a stay at Tahoe Valley Campground); Alki Beach with great views of the Olympic Mountains, the Seattle skyline, plus a 2.5 mile path along the beach for running, walking and roller-blading (book a stay at Thousand Trails Thunderbird); a classic New England beach with rocky shores and crashing waves, check out New Hampshire’s Hampton Beach complete with boardwalk and arcade (book a stay at Tuxbury Tiny House Village).

Cabin at Thousand Trails Pio Pico
Cabin at Thousand Trails Pio Pico

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5 Things to Do in the Wisconsin Dells

The Wisconsin Dells provide the perfect mix of fun, activity, history and nature. It’s no wonder this Wisconsin wonderland has been a favorite vacation destination for more than 150 years. Let’s see what we can mix up for the perfect getaway. Before you dive into all the fun found here, make sure to book a stay at the Yukon Trails Tiny House Container Village in Lyndon Station. The fun starts here with these unique container accommodations.

Tiny House Container Village at Yukon Trails
Tiny House Container Village at Yukon Trails

1. Spring Green Day Trip: About an hour’s drive from Lyndon Station, Spring Green has a lot to see including Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin, the House on the Rock and the seasonal American Players Theatre. House on the Rock is one of Wisconsin’s most famous attractions and it all started as somebody’s idea of a dream house. In 1960, Alex Jordan began construction of his dream home atop a chimney rock here and continued to expand it through the years. The house itself and the exhibits including the amazing Infinity Room, the 200+ animal carousel and over 200 ship model displays, are a must see. Taliesin served as architect Frank Lloyd Wright’s home, studio and school on this rolling 200-acre estate and visitors have plenty of tour options. The American Players Theater offers both indoor and seasonal outdoor events devoted to performances of the classics.

Frank Lloyd Wright's Home in Wisconsin, Taliesin
Frank Lloyd Wright’s Home in Wisconsin, Taliesin

2. Viroqua Day Trip: Another trip worth the scenic drive is the 60 some miles to Viroqua, a charming town which some consider a “foodie destination.” Check out the Driftless Cafe, where the menu changes seasonally and at the chef’s whim, or Wonderstate Coffee, whose nearby roastery is 100% solar-powered. There’s also Magpie Gelato with homemade, artisan gelato or the Noble Rind Cheese Company with small plate offerings, cheese boards and charcuterie. One of Wisconsin’s largest used bookstores, Driftless Music and Books, can be found here too!

3. If you want to explore closer to home, check out Downtown Dells which is a mix of all kinds of fun – from history to treats and more. The Dells Fudge Company was the town’s first fudge shop and prides themselves on using Wisconsin butter and whipping cream in their deliciously sweet treats that include brittle, toffee and a variety of fudge flavors. A neat way to see the history of the Dells is a visit to the H.H. Bennett Studio, a Wisconsin historic site where photographer H.H. Benett began snapping pics of the Dells and its residents and visitors in 1875. There’s also the Museum of Root Beer and Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Museum, plus countless gift shops and eateries.

4. Of course, the 20 different waterparks are the main attraction in the “Waterpark Capital of the World,” but there is adventure to be found outside the waterparks as well. From March through November, visitors can ride the historic Wisconsin Ducks, which uses a World War II-era amphibious vehicle to tour the area on land and water. For an interactive experience, check out the Tommy Bartlett Interactive Science Center which offers over 175 mind-boggling experiences. And then there is Land of Natura, the recently opened outdoor “natural” waterpark that has a snorkeling cavern and an inflatable waterpark, among other outdoor activities.

Barrett Tiny House at Yukon Trails Tiny House Container Village
Barrett Tiny House

5. Devil’s Lake State Park: This is a destination you can visit every day and find something different to do. Activities available here include swimming, hiking, biking, rock climbing, bouldering, fishing and swimming. For details on all the how to’s on any of these activities, visit dnr.wisconsin.gov/topic/parks/devilslake/recreation. There are 29 miles of hiking trails, two sandy beaches and the lake is stocked with brown trout, walleye and Northern pike. One popular hike is the hike to the rock formation known as Devil’s Doorway, which is a moderate, looped hike.

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5 Things to Do in San Diego

Weather, water, and wildlife are three big reasons to visit San Diego but that’s just the beginning. The weather in San Diego is never too hot, never too cold with an average daytime temperature of 70 degrees year-round! Water can be found easily since the Pacific Ocean is basically the backyard here; need we say more. And wildlife is a cinch with the world renowned San Diego Zoo, plus with the San Diego Safari Park and SeaWorld San Diego there are plenty of places to hear the call of the wild in San Diego. Book a stay at Thousand Trails Pio Pico and choose from cabin and cottage glamping accommodations and get ready to explore the city that is considered the “birthplace of California.”

Cabin at Thousand Trails Pio Pico RV Campground
Cabin at Thousand Trails Pio Pico RV Campground

1. Day Trip to Dana Point: Wait, we just got here, you say? Well, this roughly 65-mile drive will be worth it, especially if you’re traveling between now and mid-May. Why? Because it’s the best time for whale watching here and after all, Dana Point is considered the “Dolphin and Whale Watching Capital of the World.” There are plenty of excursions to book for a whale watching cruise but it is not uncommon to see them right from the beach. Additionally, the Dana Point Headlands Conservation Area has three miles of public trails and the viewpoints are perfect for catching a glimpse. Other sightings here can include dolphins, harbor seals, and sea lions.


2. Old Town San Diego: In addition to the more than 30 historic sites found here (Old Town is the oldest neighborhood in San Diego), there is also shopping, museums, art galleries, and eateries. Whaley House, which was completed in 1857, not only provides a glimpse into the history of the area but also provides a “spirited” adventure as it is considered one of the most haunted houses in the U.S. Day tours of the home area are available as well as the spookier evening tours (whaleyhousesandiego.com). Old Town also hosts several annual events including Taste of Old Town, Old Town Cinco De Mayo, and a Day of the Dead event (oldtownsandiegoguide.com).

Hotel Del Coronado


3. “Star” Destinations: Big screen and small screen enthusiasts will be delighted to know that there are several areas in and around San Diego that were the backdrop for many a scene or two. For example, Kansas City Barbeque was “the bar” from Top Gun and the piano that saw Goose and Mav belting out Great Balls of Fire is still there (sadly, a fire destroyed most of the original building) along with plenty of other Top Gun memorabilia. The iconic Hotel Del Coronado is almost as beautiful as Marilyn Monroe and was also featured in the classic Some Like it Hot, starring Monroe, Jack Lemmon, and Tony Curtis. “Stay Classy San Diego” and check out Balboa Park and the San Diego Zoo which were featured in Anchorman, the Will Ferrell funny film. And, small-screen shows like Veronica Mars and Animal Kingdom were actually filmed in Ocean Beach versus the fictional town setting portrayed in these shows.

Thousand Trails Pio Pico
Thousand Trails Pio Pico


4. Anzo Borrego: Springtime in Anzo Borrego Desert State Park is a blooming good time with wildflowers everywhere (note the drought has affected blooms in the past years and there is a Wildflower Hotline to call with questions (760) 767-4684). Hikers can enjoy the many trails here and a portion of the Pacific Crest Trail is within the Park – an easy trail is the 3.5-mile Palm Canyon Trail near the Visitors Center. There are also plenty of canyon and rock formations and the evening sky here is an event in itself.


5. Take a Tour: There are plenty of tours to take to get to know San Diego including the Gaslamp Quarter Food Tour (sidewalkfoodtours.com), the San Diego Highlights Tour (anothersideofsandiegotours.com), or a whale watching cruise (viator.com). If you want to DIY, check out the self-guided tours from GPSmyCity that include tours of Old Town San Diego and Coronado Island (gpsmycity.com/gps-tour-guides/san-diego-1033).

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5 Things to Do in the Mt. Hood Area

If you’re heading to Oregon’s Mt. Hood area in the next month or so, your agenda most likely involves skiing or winter trail hiking. But this area has something to offer any season you visit and we’re taking a look. Of course, your visit here won’t be perfect unless you book one of the amazing accommodations at Mt. Hood Village in Welches – from yurts to cabins, cottages and tiny houses, there are plenty of choices for your glamping getaway here.


1. Winter Activities: How about five different ski areas with 4,500 miles of skiable terrain for the ultimate ski trip? That’s what you’ll find in this region. From the legendary Mt. Hood Ski Bowl to the historic Timberline Lodge, there’s lots of powder to schuss in here. Mt. Hood is also great for sledding, tubing, and snowboarding. Cross-country skiing and snowshoe trails are another option. Trillium Lake has a great trail with views of Mt. Hood and beginner cross-country skiers should definitely check out Mt. Hood Meadows Nordic Center which offers lessons and rentals.

Interior of Anderson Tiny Home at Mt. Hood Tiny House Village
Anderson Tiny Home at Mt. Hood Tiny House Village

2. Timberline Lodge: Speaking of the historic Timberline Lodge, whether you plan to enjoy the snow sports, or not, this is a destination worth a visit. The Lodge was built in 1937 by the Works Progress Administration (WPA) and was dedicated by President Franklin Roosevelt in September of that year. The Lodge is open for public viewing daily and there are several restaurants open to the public. Another fun fact – the exterior shots of The Shining were actually shot here!

3. View Mt. Hood: Of course, this 11,239 foot peak is visible if you just look up, but how about checking out the highest point in Oregon from some of the best viewpoints around? The Timberline Trail at the aforementioned Timberline Lodge is one place to get a great view. Come summer, Elk Meadows is not only a great place to see Mt. Hood, but also a spot to get your fill of the wildflowers that bloom, among them lupines and asters. If you want to take an easy route, drive to Trillium Lake where views of the mountain across the picturesque lake are really incredible.

4. Explore local wineries: While Welches is less than 90 miles from the Oregon wine country known as the Willamette Valley, there are some great wineries to be found right in the area. To learn about the Mt. Hood Wine Trail, which is actually in the northeast corner of the Willamette Valley, and the more than a dozen wineries that can be found along the way, check out mthoodterritory.com/winetrail.

Portland, Oregon at sunset
Portland, Oregon

5. Keep it weird in Portland: Day-trippin’ to Portland is a real possibility when you’re glamping at Mt. Hood Village. Oregon’s largest city is just under 90 miles from the Mt. Hood area and much of the drive can be done via the scenic byway. If you want to make this scenic drive just once during your stay, then consider these must-do’s for a day in Portland: the Portland Japanese Garden, the Portland Rose Garden, Powell’s Books (which spans an entire block), and the historic Pittock Mansion. If you’re hungry, definitely have a cup of coffee from an indie roaster (Portland is one of the top coffee cities in the country according to wallethub.com) and partake in some of the best donuts in the country (for some reason Portland is also known for their donuts). Voodoo Doughnuts, which also offers vegan options, is one hot spot while Blue Star is known for its boutique, and unique, flavors like creme brulee and blueberry bourbon basil.

Mt. Hood Tiny House Village
Mt. Hood Tiny House Village

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Baby, Just Say “Yes!”

Sadly, the Disney parks have banned proposals as of 2023, but there are plenty of great locations to ask that big question if the new year or the upcoming Valentine’s Day holiday has you thinking of making things permanent with your S.O. Take advantage of these great proposal locations near your next glamping trip.

Las Vegas: Because no one can get engaged these days with making it a photo op, Las Vegas is a great place to consider when question-popping time nears. Why Vegas? There are so many photo-worthy backdrops like the fountain at Bellagio, or the “Eiffel Tower” at Paris Las Vegas or perhaps on a romantic gondola ride at the Venetian. And, if you want a really short engagement, there are a multitude of wedding chapels ready to make it official. Book a cozy cabin at Thousand Trails Las Vegas for this romantic getaway.

Yurts at Marina Dunes RV Resort
Yurts at Marina Dunes RV Resort

Big Sur: Does your love take your breath away just like a Big Sur hike might? Big Sur’s Pfeiffer Beach at sunset is a very popular proposal spot. Maybe the beach’s Keyhole Rock formation signifies this person has the key to your heart forever? Does your love take you to soaring heights? Consider the Bixby Bridge Vista Point. This iconic bridge is famous and your proposal will be, too! You may have to share the trail with others, but the proposal will be all your own. Pick a glamping accommodation at Marina Dunes to get set for the big day.

Cabins at Narrows Too Camping Resort
Cabins at Narrows Too Camping Resort

Bar Harbor: If you’re heading to a romantic getaway in quaint Bar Harbor, Maine, just google “where can I get engaged in Bar Harbor” and a bunch of places here will pop up. One location that makes the lists is Acadia National Park, and more specifically, atop the park’s Cadillac Mountain at sunrise. Another hot spot is Jordan Pond, under a blanket of stars, which are very visible from this spot in the park. The Village Green in town is another great spot with a beautiful landscape and a charming gazebo ala your favorite rom-com. We have two great Bar Harbor resorts with adorable cottages and cabins, Mount Desert Narrows and Narrows Too, for your memorable glamping trip.


Miami: This city has so many options at which to stage a proposal from romantic to eclectic. If your true love is your beacon, consider the backdrop of the Cape Florida Lighthouse at Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park. The Italian Renaissance gardens found at Vizcaya Museum and Gardens is another great spot – romantic with an old world feel and the Tea House on the grounds is a perfect spot. Choose a cabin, lodge, or bunkhouse at our Encore Miami Everglades location for this once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Cabin at Thousand Trails Russian River
Cabin at Thousand Trails Russian River

Wine Country: Whisk your love to wine country and take advantage of the beautiful natural settings. We’ve got great glamping near California’s Sonoma County and Oregon’s Willamette Valley – both romantic wine country locations. Book a cabin or cottage at Thousand Trails Russian River in Cloverdale to do a Cali proposal or a tiny house at Mt. Hood Tiny House Village in Welches to pop the question in Oregon. Maybe the grounds of the Korbel Champagne Cellars in Guerneville, California, are appropriate since the bubbly’s already there! In Oregon, consider popping the questions, and the bubbly, at Domaine Willamette, Oregon’s first sparkling wine facility.

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5 Things to Do in Yosemite

Yosemite National Park is, in and of itself, a destination where you don’t really need an agenda other than to see the Park. Most travel guides will say two to four days should be dedicated to your visit here to see all of the magnificent features of the Park. And yes, by all means explore all the soaring highs and valley lows of this jewel in the crown of the U.S. National Park System. What else is there to do in the area? We’ve got a few ideas when you want to take a break from YNP. But, before you plan your trip, make sure you book your glamping accommodation in a cozy cabin or yurt at Thousand Trails Yosemite Lakes.

1. Hit the Small Towns #1: All around the area in this part of California, you can find many small towns that were established during the Gold Rush. One is Twain Harte – named for authors Mark Twain and Bret Harte, who happened to be favorite authors of the wife of one of the mining camp founders. Today, it is a charming mountain town with shops and eateries dotting the streets. The gourmet chef in your glamping group will enjoy browsing The Harte of the Kitchen for specialty cooking items while those looking for unique jewelry and gifts, essential oils, and crystals will enjoy Earthy Essentials. Those looking for unique Instagram shots should take note of the giant root beer mug next to the Rock of Twain Harte pub. With this as the backdrop, followers will know you’re in the “Heart of the Sierras,” as the giant mug denotes.

2. Hit the Small Towns #2: Considered one of the most picturesque historic towns in Gold Country, Angels Camp was founded in 1849 when George Angel established a mining camp here. Today it is known for its charm and the annual Jumping Frog Jubilee (held the third weekend in May to commemorate the short story that launched Mark Twain’s career – The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County). The Angels Camp Museum and Carriage House has one of the largest collections of carriages and wagons in the U.S. as well as a Mark Twain exhibit. Viator.com has a fun, and inexpensive, way to get to see the sights of the historic mining town – a self-led scavenger hunt using your iPhone as the guide (to download the map, visit viator.com/tours/California/Lets-Roams-Calaveras-County-Scavenger-Hunt-UnFROGettable-Angels-Camp/d272-104204P78).

2 Llamas


3. Love on Some Llamas: A truly once-in-a-lifetime experience can be had with a visit to Llamas of Circle Home where you can meet 31 llamas at this community and “learn all about the llama universe and their way of living.” Please note reservations are required, so go to experiencellamas.com to reserve a time for your visit. Visitors have said that the brushing, feeding, petting, and just being close to these amazing animals allowed them to realize how kind, gentle, and intelligent llamas are.

Aerial view of cabins at Thousand Trails Yosemite Lakes


4. Moaning Caverns Adventure Park: This attraction in nearby Vallecito is built around the Moaning Caverns, which were discovered by miners back in 1840, but after cave exploration, it is believed the cave existed, and was used, for thousands of years. It is named because of the moaning sound that came from it. Visitors can take the Spiral Tour down into the cavern via a 144-stair spiral staircase that has 7 ½ spiral turns while descending. Other activities here include a half-day Expedition Crawling and Spelunking Tour of the cavern, plus panning for gems and axe throwing. For more information, visit moaningcaverns.com.

Rock formation


5. Out of the Ordinary: A few not the run-of-the-mill experiences here could include Devil’s Postpile National Monument and the Coursegold Tarantula Exhibit. Devil’s Postpile, which was once part of Yosemite National Park, is an unusual rock formation considered one of the world’s finest examples of columnar basalt. Located in historic Coursegold Village is the Coursegold Tarantula Exhibit which is dedicated to teaching people about the world’s most hairy spider with plenty of creepy displays.

Cabin Interior at Thousand Trails Yosemite Lakes


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