The Perfect California Desert Road Trip
California's vast desert region is a land of hidden oases and canyons, towering snow-capped mountains, and sweeping panoramas that conjure visions of early California and the Old West. Unlike anywhere else in the world, the California Deserts feel like one giant natural theme park—connected by scenic open roads and a network of character-rich lodging properties.
From colorful, otherworldly rock formations, expansive dunes, and natural mineral hot springs to old mines, hidden ghost towns, and outdoor art installations, the desert has no shortage of sights to behold. Travel from elevations that are thousands of feet high to lower depths of 280 feet/85 m below sea level. Discover a region that is vibrant yet remote, colorful and camouflaged, and rustic but luxurious. Whether you power through in a week's time or linger longer in each destination, this itinerary promises to be unforgettable and truly inspiring.
Leg 1: LAX to Ridgecrest
Driving Distance & Time: 163 miles/262 km (3.5 hours)
Stops & Attractions: Red Rock Canyon State Park, Lone Ridge Trail, Petroglyph Park
Dining & Drinking: Ale's Steakhouse, Bangkok House, Tokyo House
Accommodations: SpringHill Suites by Marriott Ridgecrest
Fresh off a flight, you'll want to use this first leg of the trip to position yourself closer to Death Valley, while keeping the driving time manageable. Nestled at the crossroads of three major highways and less than three hours from several of Southern California's major attractions, Ridgecrest is the perfect base camp to start a desert adventure. The surrounding California high desert is popular for off-roading, rock climbing, and hiking. With the largest concentration of Native American petroglyphs in the western hemisphere, a living ghost town, and several geological attractions, it's no surprise that Ridgecrest has also captured Hollywood's attention as a desirable filming location.
Leg 2: Ridgecrest to Death Valley National Park
Driving Distance & Time: 72 miles/115 km (1.5 hours to enter the National Park, which is 100 miles/160 km long)
Stops & Attractions: Trona Pinnacles, Panamint Springs, Mosaic Canyon, Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes, Badwater Basin, Devil's Golf Course, Zabriskie Point, The Racetrack, Artist's Palette, Dante's View
Dining & Drinking: Desert Brew, Toll Road Restaurant, Last Kind Words Saloon & Steakhouse,
Accommodations: Cottages at Death Valley
The largest national park south of Alaska at 3.73 million acres, Death Valley is defined by extremes. It's North America's driest and hottest spot, with fewer than two inches/five cm of rainfall annually and a record high of 134°F (56°C). It also boasts the lowest elevation on the continent at Badwater Basin, which sits 282 feet/86 m below sea level. You could easily spend a few days exploring all sides of the expansive park, which abounds with hiking opportunities, fascinating landscapes, and dark night skies. Given the sheer size, it's best to plan your journey around three or five main stops a day. It's also well worth rising early to capture the sunrise from a scenic lookout such as Zabriskie Point.
Leg 3: Death Valley to Joshua Tree via Baker
Driving Distance & Time: 246 miles/396 km (4 hours)
Stops & Attractions: World's Tallest Thermometer, Mojave National Preserve, Roy's Motel & Café, Amboy Crater
Dining & Drinking: The Ranch 1849 Restaurant, Los Dos Toritos, Kitchen in the Desert
Accommodations: AutoCamp Joshua Tree
This longer day of driving features many photogenic stops, starting with the quirky town of Baker, home to the World's Largest Thermometer and funky shops. After lunch and filling your gas tank in Baker, carry on driving through to Mojave National Preserve where the sea of yucca trees calls for photo ops. You'll get on historic Route 66 to arrive in Amboy, home to its own quirky roadside sites including the midcentury relic, Roy's Motel & Café. The town of Joshua Tree will be one hour's drive from Amboy. After dinner in Twentynine Palms, leave room for s'mores by the fire back at AutoCamp.
Leg 4: Joshua Tree to Anza Borrego
Driving Distance & Time: 100+ miles/160 km (2.5 hours)
Stops & Attractions: Hidden Valley Trail, Key's View, Skull Rock Trail, Arch Rock, Cholla Cactus Garden, Anza Borrego State Park, Badlands Adventure with California Overland Desert Excursions
Dining & Drinking: AutoCamp Joshua Tree, TKB Bakery & Deli, Arches Restaurant, The Fox Bistro
Accommodations: Borrego Springs Resort & Spa, La Casa Del Zorro Resort & Spa
With nearly 800,000 acres of mystical beauty, Joshua Tree National Park is undoubtedly one of the world's most incredible natural desert treasures. Sweeping, grand in scale, and populated by granite monoliths and voluptuous rock and boulder formations, the park offers wonder to eco-travelers, outdoor adventurists, and naturalists. Evidence of many diverse forms of plant life from creosote and ocotillo are found everywhere, but none as unique or prevalent as the park's namesake: the Joshua tree, standing majestically across the vast topography. Plan your route to enter the park from the town of Joshua Tree's West Entrance and exit from Cottonwood Entrance, dropping you onto the interstate. Stop in Indio for lunch and then head to Anza Borrego State Park for a tour of the famed Badlands.
Leg 5: Anza Borrego to Palm Springs
Driving Distance & Time: 66 miles/106 km (1.5 hours)
Stops & Attractions: Anza Borrego Metal Sculptures, Salton Sea, Desert Adventures Red Jeep Tours, Downtown Palm Springs Public Art, Uptown Design District
Dining & Drinking: Kendall's Café, EIGHT4NINE Restaurant, Workshop Kitchen+Bar, Ernest Coffee, Norma's
Accommodations: Azure Sky Hotel, Hilton Palm Springs, Sparrow's Lodge
Start the day in Anza Borrego exploring the charming downtown and walking among the giant metal sculptures created by Ricardo Breceda. Stop to see the Salton Sea en route to Indio, where you can stop for a pre-booked guided naturalist jeep tour of the San Andreas Fault and learn more about the plants, animals, geology, seismology, and history of the California desert. End the day in Palm Springs, where you can check into a resort and relax for a few days of sunbathing, art and architecture, shopping, and fine dining. After all that hiking and adventuring on the open road, you'll have earned a spa treatment or two!
Discover Myrtle Beach's Best Breweries Along this New Trail
Popularly known as the Grand Strand, Myrtle Beach is one destination made up of 14 unique communities that stretch 60 miles along the northeast coast of South Carolina. Families, couples and those in search of a warm welcome will find more than just a day at The Beach when they come together to connect and enjoy vibrant entertainment and family attractions, including world-class golf, shopping and fresh coastal Carolina cuisine. Now, The Beach's vibrant craft beer scene can be experienced through Visit Myrtle Beach's newly released Myrtle Beach Beer Trail, a comprehensive multimedia guide featuring 10 breweries and several beer-themed attractions. “The Myrtle Beach area is emerging as a destination filled with unique culinary and cultural experiences that include diverse microbreweries serving locally inspired, artisanal beers but also provide flavorful menus, trendy atmospheres and lively entertainment that welcome the entire family. We're very pleased to partner with our community's brewmasters and showcase their diverse talents and venues within the new Myrtle Beach Beer Trail,” said Karen Riordan, Visit Myrtle Beach President and CEO. The trail is designed to take locals and visitors on a captivating journey to the Grand Strand's finest local brewpubs. Along with a printed guide, the digital passport allows participants to “check-in” at featured locations using their mobile devices to unlock exciting prize opportunities. Stretching across 60 miles of breathtaking beaches and beyond, the Myrtle Beach Beer Trail encompasses must-visit stops from the northern shores of Ocean Isle Beach, N.C., to the historical charm of Georgetown in the south.Beach chairs on North Myrtle Beach, SC by Josh Collesano - Unsplash Crooked Hammock Brewery – North Myrtle Beach (Barefoot Landing) On sheer size alone, Crooked Hammock is surely the most impressive beer facility at The Beach. Located at Barefoot Landing, this massive complex features a full-scale restaurant, a great backyard area with dining and tons of family fun games, the waterfront Tortuga Island gazebo bar and a large taproom that offers tastings and tours. Oh, and we didn't even mention the outdoor fireplace, the "Happy Camper" beer/food truck and Barefoot Landing's kids playground area and carousel which are next door. Safe to say there's plenty of fun to be had here, which is the perfect accompaniment to brews like the coconut-tinged South to Somewhere Ale, the sweet Myrtle Peach seasonal or Beach Escape Session IPA. Tidal Creek Brewhouse – Myrtle Beach (The Market Common Area) If you're looking for somewhere that does everything well, Tidal Creek Brewhouse is the stop for you. Not only do they have more than a dozen taps filled with handcrafted brews spanning every style from Pilsners, Ales and Lagers to Porters, Stouts and Sours — they even brew their own house Seltzer — they also have amazing food all day, great coffee and tons of things going on. The facility itself is uniquely placed in a building that was once part of the Myrtle Beach Air Force Base and now includes in indoor bar area, a taproom, plenty of patio space, a dog run for your furry friends and a big backyard beer garden with a separate bar, fireplaces and live music. With plenty of space to enjoy and something happening all the time, this is a place you won't want to miss. New South Brewing – Myrtle Beach As the original "Beer From Here" New South Brewing has been brewing at the beach since 1998. If you're looking for authenticity, look no further than this hidden gem stashed in a warehouse about a mile from the beach in the heart of downtown. These folks have been doing it really well for a long time, helping grow our beer scene into what it is today. They remain on top of their game, with a great selection of popular options like their White Ale, Dark Star Porter and Dirty Myrtle Double IPA as well as lots of small batch, experimental options only served at the brewery itself. Grand Strand Brewing Company – Myrtle Beach Grand Strand Brewing Company — known to most locals as simply GSB — is like the perfect neighborhood brewery, if your neighborhood just so happened to be a newly revitalized downtown area with a view of the ocean. It's friendly and homey and feels a bit like an urban escape from the nearby boardwalk and downtown strip, while also being just a stone's throw from the beach itself. They're known for a great selection of brews and fun, cheeky can art with popular selections like Wingtip Pilsner, Airbrush Hazy and Sandy Cheeks IPA. There's a small, but solid menu of food (try the Smashburger) and plenty of games to play, both indoors and outside in the awesome Nance Plaza area surrounding the brewery. Other craft breweries featured along the trail include: Makai Brewing Company – Ocean Isle Beach, NCWinyah Bay Brewing Company – Georgetown, SCGordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant – Myrtle Beach, SCIndependent Republic Brewing Company – Myrtle Beach, SCQuigley's Pint & Plate – Locations in Pawleys Island & Murrells Inlet, SCSouthern Hops Brewing Company – Murrells Inlet, SC Other Attractions Beyond the Local Pubs A boat in Georgetown, South Carolina by Garrett Butler - Unsplash In addition, the trail guide highlights beer-themed attractions, wineries and distilleries. There's HOP ON Shuttle and Brewery Adventures in Myrtle Beach, which takes guests on fun tours to local breweries in an open-air vehicle. Rides include opportunities to play games and win prizes, and offer multiple ways to explore the local pubs—like their unique "Putt & Pint" Tour, where you stop for a round of mini golf between each brewery. There's also Baxter's Brewhouse Inn Bed & Brew in Georgetown, SC. Owned by a pair of avid homebrewers, this 3-room B&B offers visitors a chance to stay in a well-kept historic home from the Antebellum period and enjoy a free-flowing supply of great brews during your stay. Other attractions on the trail include: Inlet BrewBoat – Murrells Inlet, SCDuplin Winery – North Myrtle Beach, SCLa Belle Amie Vineyard – Little River, SCTwelve 33 Distillery – Little River, SC “Both the printed and digital guides provide in-depth insight such as featured brews and bites to try as well as special offerings like outdoor seating or lawns that can accommodate kids and pets. While exploring the breweries, participants will also be inspired by their vibrant locations enhanced with local art, culture and history,” said Visit Myrtle Beach's Associate Creative Director Chris Mowder.
Visit these Equine Attractions in Kentucky Horse Country
Feeling inspired after watching the Kentucky Derby last month? Head to horse country, where you can stop at the latest equine-themed attractions and learn a little about the history and culture of the horse racing industry, see incredible sculptures and artwork, tour a horse farm, and even try out the "Downward Horse" pose at a unique yoga retreat. Visit the Spendthrift Farm Spendthrift Farm unveiled its B. Wayne Hughes Visitors Center in November. Named in honor of the farm's late founder, the 7,000 square-foot, two story facility will serve as the home for Spendthrift's tourism. The building is located between the farm's stallion complex and main office and features a trophy room, which showcases Spendthrift's collection of trophies, artifacts and racing memorabilia, as well as a gift shop. Explore the history of the Kentucky Derby Horses racing by Jeff Griffith - Unsplash The Kentucky Derby Museum in Louisville has two new exhibits focusing on the elite Kentucky Derby event. The newest permanent exhibit, “This is the Kentucky Derby!” opened in late April and is located on the first floor of the museum. It takes visitors through five main facets of the event: history, culture, spectacle, economic impact and tradition. The museum also has a new 'Derbyville' exhibit, featuring the wild stories and unique culture of the Kentucky Derby. The exhibit is located on the second floor in the museum's Matt Winn Theatre. The focus of the exhibit is how on Derby Day, Churchill Downs transforms into a city within a city, creating a remarkable cultural experience for its temporary residents. Get a glimpse into the extravagant Derby parties of the past The Kentucky Horse Park's International Museum of the Horse recently unveiled a new exhibit that focuses on Derby eve parties hosted by Ashland native Anita Madden. She and her husband hosted extravagant Derby eve parties for more than 40 years in Lexington. The exhibit showcases some of the iconic outfits from those parties, on loan from the Madden family and in partnership with the Highlands Museum and Discovery Center in Ashland. Catch an exhibit on female jockeys at the Derby museum A horse farm in rural Kentucky by Jeff Arnold - Unsplash Also this year, The Kentucky Derby Museum is honoring women's contributions to the horse industry with its new “Right to Ride” exhibit opening October 16. Some exhibit highlights include a main 29-minute documentary and three oral history video stations featuring interviews with female jockeys, artifacts and ephemera tracing the tory of the first American female jockeys, treasures from personal collections of Derby-riding women, and more. Learn about black pioneers in the industry at Keeneland Library The Heart of the Turf: Racing's Black Pioneers, an exhibit highlighting the lives and careers of 80 African-American horsemen and women from the mid-1800s to the present, opened to the public at the Keeneland Library in February. The exhibit employs an engaging mix of interpretive panels, rare photographs, never-before-displayed artifacts, original artwork and video interviews to chronicle and bring to life the involvement of African Americans in the racing industry. Expand your horizons with "horse yoga" Palomino horse in Kentucky by Joshua Woroniecki - Unsplash Hallway Feeds in Lexington is offering a new horse-centric experience – “The Horse Yoga Retreat.” The horse feed mill has created this upscale experience for horse and yoga enthusiasts, with a full day celebrating horses and the local area. A one-hour yoga session is led by horses Swampy, Vanilla Ice and Applejack and includes master poses such as Downward Horse. The experience also includes a tour of the feed mill. Visitors can also book separate one-hour tours of the mill. Spot the Horse Mania "Hero Horse" sculpture in Somerset "A Hero Horse Returns Home" is the title of Dr. Sylvia Cerel-Suhl's work, one of more than 160 full-size horses created for the LexArts public art initiative Horse Mania. The horse now sits in the lobby of the Somerset Energy Center. The horse represents Lake Cumberland, Somerset-Pulaski County, the Appalachian region of Kentucky, the bourbon and horse racing industries, as well as SPEDA's effort to utilize the arts to promote community collaboration and bridge the urban-rural divide. See giant art honoring Triple Crown-winner Secretariat A three-story mural of Secretariat winning the Kentucky Derby was unveiled in Paris, Kentucky in November. The mural, on the side of the historic Baldwin Hotel, was painted by equine artist Jaime Corum. It's the first phase of the Secretariat Park Project, which will open in November 2023 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Secretariat's Triple Crown run. Also in honor of Secretariat's historic run, a steel sculpture, named “God's Boy” is now on display at the International Museum of the Horse at the Kentucky Horse Park through the end of 2023.
Take Part in Hawaii's Regenerative Tourism Movement
In the Hawaiian culture, caring for the ʻāina (land) is not just a responsibility for all who live on it, but is expected of guests to our islands. It is an act that connects to life itself, as the 'āina and people are connected. As visitors plan their travel to the Islands, participating in opportunities to mālama (care for, protect and preserve) Hawaiʻi while traveling and visiting Hawai'i will provide a profound connection to our natural world, culture and communities. Try a Hands-on Experience Volunteer organizations and travel partners statewide are offering a range of experiences for visitors to engage in mindful travel. Visitors can respect our island home by giving back and enjoying experiences that will stay with them for a lifetime. Stewardship at the Summit is helping remove invasive plants from Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park's tropical rainforests. Loppers and gloves are provided. Work to the sweet melodies of native honeycreepers. The hike is around 1 mile, a moderate round trip, leaving from the Kīlauea Visitor Center. This unique volunteer opportunity usually takes place twice a month. Keep Puakō Beautiful reminds all that marine debris affects all. In Hawaiʻi, we share our ocean with more than 7,000 species of marine life. Of these species, almost 25 percent are found nowhere else in the world. Coral reefs are the rainforests of the ocean. They are living animals that eat, grow, reproduce, and provide food and shelter for fish and other marine life. 'Āina Hoʻōla Initiative helps to restore the wetland habitat for endemic waterbirds that are endangered or threatened art Lokowaka, Kiʻonakapahu, and ʻAkahi fishponds in Hilo. Weekly community workdays involve removing invasive non-native plants and replacing the area with native ones. Waikoloa Dry Forest Initiative hosts volunteer opportunities throughout the year on the second and fourth Saturdays of each month. The Waikoloa Dry Forest Preserve encompasses 275 acres of lowland dry forest and protects some of the last remaining native trees in the region. With an average annual rainfall of only 12 inches, Waikoloa is one of the driest places in Hawaiʻi. Keālia Pond National Wildlife Refuge is looking for interested individuals to join their volunteer team. They offer hands-on learning opportunities, meaningful outdoor experiences, and a unique wetland environment teeming with birds, insects, and plants. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service mission is to work with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. Kaʻehu is a nonprofit organization with the goal to restore the land and perpetuate traditional Hawaiian culture using a community-based, inclusive, family-oriented approach to environmental stewardship and sustainable agriculture. That relationship between people and place grows stronger every time you mālama (give back). When you give back to the land, the ocean, the wildlife, the forest, the fishpond, the community, you're part of a virtuous circle that enriches everything and everyone. Including your experience as a visitor. Celebrate Native Birds on the Big Island A laysan albatross nesting in Hawaii by Jake Bergen - Unsplash Hawaiʻi Island Festival of Birds (on October 21 this year) is a celebration of native birds presented by the Hawaiʻi Wildlife Center and Conservation Council for Hawaiʻi. The 2023 Festival will be a full-day event focused on community, culture, and conservation efforts to save Hawaiʻiʻs native birds and include a hōʻike, expert guest speakers, and a bird fair. Proceeds benefit native bird hospital care and conservation efforts. Other upcoming events include the 61st Annual Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament (August 5-13), Queen Liliʻuokalani Long Distance Canoe Race (August 31 – September 4), Women's VinFast IRONMAN World Championship (October 14), and Kona Coffee Cultural Festival (Hawaiʻi's Oldest Food Festival, November 3-12). Take a Farm Tour on Maui Bird of paradise flowers in Maui by Dennise Leon - Unsplash Maui has a wide variety of farm tours that offer visitors an opportunity to not only support local but see where their meals are sourced. On the Westside: Maui Ku'ia Estate Chocolate Farm, Dragon Fruit FarmIn the Upcountry: O'o Farms, Kula Country Farm, Surfing Goat Dairy, Malolo Protea Farm, Aliʻi Kula Lavender Farm, Maui Tea FarmOn the Eastside: Ono Organic Farm, Hāna Tropicals Buy Local, Support Local Buying local and buying from local businesses is a sustainable and responsible way of traveling by supporting communities, local industries, agritourism, and cultural artisans. Support local and Hawaiian businesses which are dedicated to creating economic diversification, high-quality jobs, givebacks, investment, and a regenerative culture of entrepreneurship. There's no better way to experience the amazing diversity of Hawaii products than to visit one of the many farmers' markets that take place. You'll not only find fresh produce and fruits and prepared foods, but crafts, fresh flowers, and more.Take a day trip to Lānaʻi City, Lānaʻi Cat Sanctuary on the island of Maui.Kapa Curious is an innovative Hawai'i-based company that incorporates traditional teachings with modern techniques to create unique and original pieces that educate their customers in the Hawaiian culture.Sunny Savage offers guided plant hikes to responsibly harvest invasive edibles.Besides taking a farm tour, Coconut Information provides cooking classes that teach visitors how to make delicious meals with the incredible coconut. Plan Accordingly Sea turtle in Kona, Hawaii by Logan Hansen - Unsplash Local plans and initiatives are also in place on the islands to protect the natural habitat, many of which can influence the way visitors coordinate travel plans. Advance Reservation Systems – As part of a statewide effort to promote regenerative tourism, counties, and state agencies in Hawaiʻi are actively managing hotspot attractions by implementing advance reservation systems. These systems are instrumental in managing visitor capacity, protecting Hawai'i's natural environment and cultural sites, improving experiences and allowing us to better steward the Hawaiian Islands. Visitors should understand the importance of making advance reservations so they can better enjoy and mālama (care for, protect and preserve) Hawai'i.Maui “Rises Above Plastics on Vacation” – Maui Visitors & Convention Bureau (MVCB) is a partner with this Surfrider Foundation Maui Chapter campaign to provide alternatives to single-use plastic water bottles as a filtered form of water for those vacationing on Maui. MVCB is supporting by providing co-branded reusable water bottles. MVCB is also recognizing existing partners and is inviting vacation rental units and condominium complexes to join in on the program.Maui's Mineral-only Sunscreen Initiative – Travelers are encouraged to purchase the mineral-only sunscreen on-island at local retailers instead of bringing their own sunscreen. This ensures that mineral-only sunscreens are used. Visitors can also enjoy free mineral-only sunscreen from dispensers at 19 popular beaches throughout Maui and one beach on Lānaʻi.
June is the perfect time to get outdoors, and for many dads, classic summer activities like boating, fishing, hiking, and camping are a favorite. Celebrate this Father's Day with an epic summer trip to the mountains, lake, or river. With lodging options from cabins and glamping, to RVs and backwoods tent campsites—there's something to suit the comfort level of everyone in the family. Family Fun in the Rocky Mountains For families and groups looking for the ultimate Colorado adventures this summer, YMCA of the Rockies announced programming highlights at both of its locations at Estes Park Center and Snow Mountain Ranch in Granby, Colorado. The popular mountain vacation destinations, both recently named as Good Housekeeping’s 2023 Family Travel award winners, are located at gateways to the state’s treasured Rocky Mountain National Park, offering stunning alpine views, affordable cabin and lodge room accommodations, and a nostalgic, unplugged vacation experience with camp-like activities for all ages. “Whether it’s capture the flag and kick-ball games on the open fields, daily educational sessions with our trained staff on topics like wildlife ecology and stargazing, or campfire singalongs, we create summer experiences for our guests to unplug and connect with nature, and each other, in a meaningful way,” said Kellen Toulouse, Marketing Director, YMCA of the Rockies. This summer, guests will enjoy activities such as pickleball, archery lessons, creating keepsake projects in the craft centers, playing miniature golf, roller skating, swimming, rock climbing with skilled instructors, family-friendly hikes to waterfalls, and of course the summer tubing hill at Snow Mountain Ranch. For the adventurous, there are also fly-fishing lessons, mountain biking trails, whitewater rafting and guided hikes through the national park. Accommodations range from affordable hotel-style lodge rooms with common areas perfect for groups traveling together, and pet-friendly multi-bedroom private cabins featuring wrap-around porches, full kitchens, and a variety of sleeping options including bunk beds. Snow Mountain Ranch also features yurts and campsites in the summer months. Most lodge rooms and cabins do not have televisions, providing a truly unplugged experience for everyone involved. Favorite activities include: The Enger Family Nature Trail - A new pet-friendly hiking and walking loop that winds along Glacier Creek located on the property’s 860 acres bordering Rocky Mountain National Park.Master Naturalist Classes - For the first time, these popular classes will be offered during the summer months, featuring multi-day workshops focused on birding, geology, plants, wildflowers, and the history of Rocky Mountain National Park.Hanging with Huskies - Meet some of the members of the Snow Mountain Ranch dogsled team and play with them in the dog park – free for overnight guests and day pass holders.Glamping in the Colorado Rockies - Yurt Village is a popular option for camping-light with each yurt sleeping up to six people.Kids Camp - Day Camps will be available at both Estes Park and Snow Mountain Ranch for children ages 3 -17 Monday through Friday from early June through mid-August. Guests may register for one day, a few days or weeks at a time. Rates start at $47/day at Estes Park Center and $140/week at Snow Mountain Ranch. Go Fishing in Tennessee Tellico Lake by Susanne Alexander - Unsplash Thousands of acres of lakes and streams make Loudon County a favorite for serious anglers, casual fishermen and recreational boaters. The waters of the Tennessee River feed lakes, streams and coves that create a haven for those who love to be on the water. Fort Loudoun Lake is known among anglers for its quality largemouth and smallmouth bass and is also a top location for crappie, catfish and bluegill. Tellico Lake is a 15,500-acre reservoir with cooler waters that make it a top spot for rainbow and brown trout in addition to walleye and bass. Located on the Tennessee River, Watts Bar Lake is popular for boating, swimming and fishing. A scenic overlook near the dam gives visitors a panoramic view of the lake and the surrounding landscape. Before heading out on your trip, though, stock up on the essentials at one of these great BBQ spots—be sure to ask about the by-the-pound options. Smokin' F BBQ & Barn (1821 Lynn Road, Philadelphia, Tennessee 37846; 979-436-3482) brings new options for food and fun. The lunch menu is available from the Smokin’ F Food Truck during the week. The Barn is open Fridays and Saturdays and serves up live music and a barn dance atmosphere with the meal.Sons of Smoke (304 Cedar Street, Loudon, Tennessee 37774; 865-657-3332) has specialties like the fried pork tenderloin sandwich, smoked meatloaf and pork stuffed baked potato, as well as all the standard fare.Taste-O-Texas (1562 Highway 72 N, Loudon, Tennessee 37774; 865-657-9684) proudly serves their version of authentic Central Texas style barbecue. The specialties include beef brisket and smoked sausage, cooked over a wood fire. For those who want sauce, their Sassy and Smokin’ versions offer variety. There is plenty of public access at numerous public boat ramps and marinas in the area. For those who just want to enjoy a fun day on the water, boat rentals are available, too. Tennessee National Marina (8301 Tennessee National Drive, Loudon, Tennessee 37774; 865-657-3617) has pontoon boats for rent as well as kayaks and stand-up paddleboards. Fort Loudon Marina (5200 City Park Drive Lenoir City, Tennessee 37772; 865-986-5536) has pontoon rentals, also. To make the most of a visit to this outdoor paradise, many choose to stay in one of the beautiful campgrounds in the region: Yarberry Campground (4825 Yarberry Road, Lenoir City, Tennessee 37771; 865-986-3993) is located on the shores ofFort Loudoun Lake and has beautiful views. Its large sites accommodate the largest of RVs but tents are also welcome. The property includes a boat ramp and a day use area with a sandy beach, picnic tables and grills. A variety of watercraft are available for rental, from pontoons to paddleboards.Soaring Eagle Campground (3152 Buttermilk Road W., Lenoir City, Tennessee 37771;865-376-9017) is situated with sites on the Clinch River and Watts Bar Lake. It has both large RV sites and secluded primitive tent sites. There is a bathhouse and general store onsite, as well as a dock and boat ramp, picnic area and swimming pool. Kayaks, stand-up paddleboards and canoes are available for rent.Tellico Lake has Lotterdale Cove (17177 East Coast Tellico Parkway, Greenback, Tennessee 37742; 865-856-3832), with 90 RV sites and three tent sites, has amenities that include boat docks and easy access boat ramp, beach with designated swimming area and an on-site convenience store. Pitch a Tent, Pack Up the RV, or Go Glamping Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park by Aaron Burden - Unsplash Spacious Skies Campgrounds, owner and operator of 15 campgrounds from Maine to Georgia, is kicking the fun up a notch this year by introducing common themed weekends. Weekends throughout the year will cover topics such as “Mother’s Day,” “Father’s Day,” “Farm Life,” “Outer Space,” “Hollywood” and more. Prospective guests should check the specific campground pages on the Spacious Skies website for opening and closing dates to confirm the weekends each campground will be available to participate. “Regardless of which campground our guests are visiting, the theme will be the same fun with a little local flair,” said Kate Thompson, director of communications of Spacious Skies Campgrounds. “I think we had almost as much fun coming up with the ideas as the people will have participating in these weekends. Not only will our teams have fun planned for our campers, we hope our guests embrace each theme by decorating their RV or their sites as well, so the whole campground feels festive.” The various campsites, located up and down the eastern region of the US, offer up several different camping options depending on what your family's interest is: RV, glamping, yurts, tent rentals, cabins, and primitive campsites. Set within the mountainous Appalachian region of central Maine, dotted with lakes both small and massive, Spacious Skies Balsam Woods gives you and your family and friends the best that nature has to offer—the serenity of the wilderness, and the adrenaline-pumping excitement adventurers seek. See your campsite as home base for a variety of nearby adventures in the Moosehead Lake/Mt. Katahdin region, hike or bike to any number of lakes and waterfalls in the region, or simply take in the peace and quiet of the grounds, no road noise to be heard, and gaze dreamily up at the stars above by the warmth of your campfire.Spacious Skies Adirondack Peaks is the perfect spot for family fun or peaceful quality time, tucked away in the piney setting of North Hudson, New York, yet conveniently located right off I-87. With countless activities and opportunities for adventure on the grounds, you won’t need to roam, but with desirable destinations like Lake George and Lake Placid less than an hour away, you may want to take advantage of this prime location.Spacious Skies Shenandoah Views sits up on an evergreen hill in the Shenandoah Valley with views that span for miles off the Blue Ridge Mountains. The famous Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park is a short drive away, as are the Luray Caverns for spelunking, the Shenandoah River for rafting and tubing, and a number of historic Civil War sites for your educational pleasure.