Arches National Park

Arches National Park

Arches National Park enchants visitors through its beautiful arches, stunning sunsets, family-friendly hiking trails, and more. When visiting this national park be sure to take the scenic route, and drive down the beautiful Arches Scenic Drive. Need to get off the beaten path? Check out a guided 4×4 tour where you can look forward to seeing beautiful rock formations that seem to be defying gravity from a different new view. Arches is the perfect road trip destination for families and individuals of any age. If you are looking for travel inspiration on where to take your camper next, Arches National Park is an excellent choice!

Fast Facts

Arches Entrance Passes:

  • For non-commercial, private vehicles, a 7-day pass costs $30 per vehicle with a 15-passenger capacity or less. Motorcycle passes are $25 for 7 days and if you are a bicyclist, hiker, or pedestrian you can purchase a per-person pass for $15.
  • Visitors can also choose to purchase an annual pass for parks in southeast Utah for $55, which admits one private, non-commercial vehicle or the pass holder to Arches and Canyonlands National Parks, as well as Natural Bridges National Monument.

Best Time to Visit:

  • The best time to plan a visit to Arches National Park is in the Spring from March to May, or in the Fall from September to October. This is primarily due to the desert weather of the park and visiting during the mildest temperatures.

How Many Days To Plan For:

  • Planning to spend two days in Arches is ideal and gives you enough time to explore the Fiery Furnace and do a few more of the longer hikes. If you are sticking to shorter hiking trails and scenic overlooks, then one day is all you really need.

Where to Stay:

Pet Policy:

  • The activities allowed with pets are very limited at Arches National Park. Pets are not permitted on any hiking trailers and cannot be left unattended. However, you may have your pet with you in your campground and at pullouts along the paved scenic drives. Pets must also be leashed at all times whenever they are outside of your vehicle.

Park History

Arches National Park expands over 73,000 acres, roughly 114 square miles, and has more than 2,000 arches within its boundaries. This national park in southeastern Utah was originally designated a national monument in 1929 by President Herbert Hoover. In 1938 President Franklin Roosevelt expanded the grounds of the monument from 4,500 acres to nearly 34,000 acres. Although the number of tourists visiting the monument kept gradually increasing, the first paved road wasn’t added until 1958. In 1971 President Richard Nixon signed a law that changed Arches into a national park and set its size to the current 73,000 acres. The natural beauty of this national park is due to extreme climate changes that occurred millions of years ago, such as floods and excess debris sweeping the salt beds. Although this park is mainly desert, there is so much to see and so many amazing hiking trails to follow.

Park Highlights

  1. Take the scenic route. If you are just planning on traveling through the park, and not spending the night, be sure to check out the outstanding Arches Scenic Drive. There is one road that goes through Arches National Park and it is 19 miles long, from Highway 191 to the Devils Garden trailhead.
  2. View the natural wonder of sandstone arches. Arches National Park has over 2,000 natural sandstone arches, and the most famous one is Delicate Arch. This arch can be seen from several parts of the park, but the trail to the arch starts at Wolfe Ranch, through Slick-rock, and up to the arch itself. You can also choose to drive up to the viewpoint of the arch if you are unable to make the hike.
  3. Take a peek through the windows at the landscape. This 1-mile round trip hike at the Windows will bring you close to three different arches, Turret Arch, South Window, and North Window. When seen together, the North and South Windows look like a giant pair of glasses that were left laying in the desert. The Turret Arch has a portion of rock that reaches for the sky like it is at the top of a tower.
  4. It’s all a balancing act. Arches National Park is full of beautiful rock formations, but did you know that it is also well-known for one that is not an arch? To the eye, Balanced Rock looks like a large boulder delicately balancing on the top of a rock pillar. It really is just one big rock formation, but it leads our minds to wonder if it actually is balancing there!
  5. Take the road less traveled. If you are looking for a new way to explore Arches National Park, go off the beaten path on a guided 4×4 tour! This highly-rated tour is 4 hours long and takes you to incredible locations throughout the park that tourists rarely get to see. There is also a tour that combines two national parks in one day, Arches National Park and Canyonlands National Park.

Things To Do

Devil’s Garden
Devil’s Garden is one of the premier locations in Arches National Park and has a large concentration of narrow rock walls, arches, spires, and more. These narrow rock walls, also known as fins, eventually erode and create arches like Landscape Arch, which is the crown jewel of Devil’s Garden. Devil’s Garden offers visitors breathtaking views, backpacking, stargazing, camping, and hiking trails for all skill levels. This wondrous place is located at the very end of the park’s main road, about 18 miles north of the Arches National Park Visitor Center. The Devils Garden Campground is also available by reservation from March through October, and open on a first-come, first-served basis throughout the winter months.

Fiery Furnace
The Fiery Furnace is a collection of narrow sandstone canyons, natural arches, and fins near the center of Arches National Park. This area of the park was given its name due to the reddish hue it has during sunset. This hike is best done with a ranger leading the way. You can get an individual permit, but those are limited on a first-come, first-served basis. Reservations for this hike are required and the tickets are in high demand, so be sure to check online frequently for your best chance at getting a reservation to hike the Fiery Furnace. This hike has challenging terrain, and once you enter the Fiery Furnace, you must complete the hike due to the maze-like terrain. For more information on the Fiery Furnace Hike and ranger-led tours, please visit the Arches National Park website today.

Garden of Eden
The Garden of Eden in Arches National Park is located near Moab, Utah, and has no designated trailheads. This means that visitors can explore this open hiking area and discover the various geological structures within like Serpentine Arch and Owl Rock. From the parking area, you can see the gap between Adam and Eve and the Devil’s Golf Ball. The gentle climb up to this area gives you the opportunity to explore the central area of the garden. Once you are in the center, you can see Serpentine Arch, which is the arch with the largest opening in the garden. If you want to see the Garden of Eden for yourself, all you have to do is climb out of the car and take a hike!


Garden of Eden Arches National Park

Hiking Trails
Although several of the hiking trails are short at Arches National Parks, it means that you and your family can enjoy exploring together. From viewing beautiful landscapes to watching magnificent sunsets through the arches, these hiking trails can lead you to several wonderful places. Before heading out on the trails, be sure to check if you need any permits as you do for the Fiery Furnace Hike!

Best Hikes in Arches National Park:

  • Park Avenue (2 miles)
  • Delicate Arch (3 miles)
  • Windows Viewpoint Trail (1.2 miles)
  • Double Arch (0.6 miles)
  • Fiery Furnace Overlook & Hike (2.3 miles)
  • Devil’s Garden Hike & Landscape Arch (7.2 miles)
  • Balanced Rock Hike (0.3 miles)
  • Sand Dune Arch (0.4 miles)

Other Notable Arches
This national park is full of beautiful and notable arches, including Double Arch, Landscape Arch, and Sand Dune Arch. Double Arch is a pair of arches that are closely set together and is one of the most well-known features of Arches National Park. These arches lie within the Windows area of the park, which is where the largest concentration of natural arches occurs. Landscape Arch is located in Devil’s Garden and is the longest arch in North America with an opening of 306 feet. This arch is also only 6 feet in diameter at its narrowest point, which means it is extremely delicate and holding on by a thread. To get to Sand Dune Arch, you have to hike through deep sand and find it hidden between tall sandstone walls. This 0.4-mile hike will take you through narrow canals and sandstone fins to a small area with a magnificent hidden arch.

Landscape Arch

Stay tuned for more National Park Travel Guides from the ROUTE 66 RV Network!

Travel Links & Resources For RVers

From digital navigation to campground data, the amount of information available at our fingertips is nearly limitless with the use of mobile phones. The ROUTE 66 RV Network has stifled through the search results and pulled together a list of helpful travel resources available. Check out our list of online resources for RVers below!

Road Trip Navigation

The days of paper maps are over and it’s important to have the proper resources at the ready when out on the road. Take a look at these different online maps and driving direction websites to assist you during your next road trip.

Health & Wellness

Unexpected health emergencies can happen while out camping or on the road, and sometimes you don’t always know where the nearest hospital or urgent care is located. Check out these directories and locators the next time you need to find medical help near you!

Campgrounds & Parks

An RV trip allows you and your family to explore the great outdoors! From coast-to-coast, in the woods or by the ocean, the scenic views are breathtaking. Check out these resources for information on national parks, state parks, dog-friendly campgrounds, and more.

Travel Guides & Trip Planning

Are you setting off on a spontaneous road trip? Have you been planning for your family vacation all year, but are still looking for some trip ideas? Take a look at these guides to different places to travel to and visit with your whole family on your next road trip!

States Along Route 66

If you are planning to travel along the historic U.S. Route 66, check out the eight amazing states along the way and what they have to offer. You will find that each state has one-of-a-kind roadside attractions that are sure to pique the interest of your adventure crew.

For more RV travel inspiration, tips, and tricks, check out our complete lineup of recent blogs!

Yosemite National Park

Yosemite National Park is known for more than just the impressive granite rock formations. Visitors revel in pristine lakes, flowing waterfalls, dome rock formations, magnificent canyons, and so much more. The most iconic feature of Yosemite is Half Dome, one of the most challenging and treacherous hikes in the United States. Visitors to this park can look forward to encountering a variety of animals including bighorn sheep, black bears, grizzly bears, and peregrine falcons. If you and your family are looking for your next RV adventure, check out Yosemite National Park in California’s Sierra Nevada mountains!

Fast Facts

Yosemite Entrance Passes:

  • For non-commercial, private vehicles, a 7-day pass costs $35 per vehicle and a motorcycle pass is $30 for seven days.
  • Visitors can also purchase an annual park pass for $70 per vehicle or an ‘America the Beautiful – Annual Pass’ which is $80 and is honored at all federally-managed land units such as national parks, national forests, national monuments, and more. For more information on Yosemite entrance fees, reference the National Park Service.

Best Time to Visit:

  • The best time to visit Yosemite National Park is May through September. Choosing to plan your visit during this time allows you and your family to avoid the majority of the year’s rain in Yosemite.

How Many Days To Plan For:

  • Plan to stay around 3 to 4 days if you want to ensure you get the chance to see everything you want. Yosemite is close to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks so you may also choose to extend your trip to visit these nearby parks.

Where to Stay:

  • Lodging options within the park are managed by Yosemite Hospitality and range from deluxe hotel rooms to simple tent cabins. Reservations are available 366 days in advance and are strongly encouraged, especially from spring through fall and on holidays. Popular places to stay include The Ahwahnee, Yosemite Valley Lodge, Wawona Hotel, Curry Village, High Sierra Camps, and more.
    Yosemite has 10 campgrounds that can accommodate RVs and trailers of various lengths. At Yosemite Valley, the maximum RV length is 40 feet and the maximum trailer length is 35 feet. For more information on Yosemite National Park’s RV Campgrounds, please check out the National Park Service website.

Pet Policy:

  • If you choose to bring your pet to Yosemite, you must stay in developed areas and keep to paved roads and sidewalks. Pets are allowed in all campgrounds excluding walk-in campgrounds and group sites. Your pet must stay on a leash that is no longer than six feet and be accompanied at all times. To learn more about Yosemite’s pet policy, reference the National Park Service.

Park History

Located in the Sierra Nevada range in California, you will find Yosemite National Park. The beautiful landscape and distinct rock formations of this park result from interactions between glaciers and rock dating back to several million years ago. These formations throughout the park are some of the most recognizable national phenomena in the world. Although many of these features are made up of granite, the most abundant type of rock is igneous rock from past lava flows. The National Park Service was created in 1916 to ensure that Yosemite was being properly preserved, and by 1920 the campgrounds along the lakes and Wawona Tunnel had been completed to make travel to the park easier and accommodate larger numbers of visitors. When the Wilderness Act of 1964 was passed, parts of the park were elevated to a “highly protected” status to allow nature to flourish. Yosemite National Park is now over 125 years old and is the third oldest National Park in the United States.

Park Highlights

  1. Walk, or even bike, through a giant sequoia tree! When visiting Yosemite National Park, be sure to check out Tuolumne Grove. When this Sequoia tree first fell it stood 275 feet high and 21 feet in diameter at the base. The tree’s exact age is unknown but the estimated age is over 2,000 years old.
  2. Yosemite’s large granite rock formations glow like a fire during sunset. Sunlight plays amazing tricks along the rocks within Yosemite including illuminating El Capitan and Half Dome in gorgeous shades of yellow and orange. Horsetail Fall is famous for how it appears to be on fire when it reflects the glow of a sunset in mid-February.
  3. Yosemite National Park is home to one of the tallest waterfalls on the planet. Standing at 2,425 feet, Yosemite Falls is one of the tallest waterfalls in the world and is made up of three separate waterfalls: upper fall, middle cascades, and lower fall. This magnificent waterfall can be seen from several places throughout Yosemite Valley.
  4. There are over 400 species of animals. While visiting Yosemite National Park you might notice one of the many birds, mammals, reptiles, and amphibians that call this place home. The Sierra Nevada Red Fox was spotted for the first time in nearly 100 years roaming the high mountain elevations on a wildlife camera.
  5. Yosemite is the only National Park that has bid to host the Winter Olympics. Back in the early days of the park, visitors flocked to the area as a summer resort but many stayed away during the winter. This began to change in the 1920s when a new highway was finished and toboggan runs, an ice skating rink, and a sky jump were built. In the end, Lake Placid won the bid for the 1932 Winter Olympics, but winter sports remain popular at Yosemite still today.
Sierra Nevada Red Fox

Things To Do

Half Dome
Rising nearly 5,000 feet above Yosemite Valley, Half Dome stands. This 14-16 mile hike is not for the weak as you hike through the heavy wilderness and gain 4,800 feet of elevation. Taking roughly 10-12 hours to complete on average, it is important you prepare beforehand to reduce your risk of danger and plan for a safe hike. A non-negotiable turnaround time is important to ensure that if you don’t reach the top by then, you turn around for safety. One of the most famous parts of this hike is the ascent up the cables. These cables allow hikers to climb the final 400 feet to the summit.

El Capitan
El Capitan’s granite walls dominate the view of Yosemite Valley’s west end. Standing at over 3,000 feet above the valley’s floor, this summit is more than twice the height of the Empire State Building. El Capitan is an amazing sight for visitors, a photographer’s muse, and one of the world’s ultimate challenges for climbers. This rock structure was recently brought into the limelight through a few films including Alex Honnold’s Freesolo. If you are looking to create your own stories like Alex Honnold, be sure to check out the Yosemite Mountaineering School which can give you a guide to help you.

Hiking Trails
From thundering waterfalls to the iconic Half Dome, one of the best ways to see and take in the beauty of Yosemite National Park is to step onto the trails and start a hike. Before heading out on the trail, be sure you pack the necessary supplies, wear comfortable shoes and dress in layers. Don’t forget to keep an eye out for wildlife!

Best Hikes in Yosemite National Park

  • The Mist Trail (3 miles)
  • Lower Yosemite Falls Trail (1 mile)
  • Upper Yosemite Falls Trail (7.6 miles)
  • Sentinel Dome Trail and Taft Point Loop (5.5 miles)
  • Four Mile Trail (4.8 miles)
  • May Lake Trail and Mount Hoffmann (2.4 miles)
  • Mirror Lake/Meadow (2 miles)

Sequoia Trees
Within three groves in Yosemite National Park, you can find ancient giant sequoia trees. The most accessible grove throughout the spring and fall months is the Mariposa Grove which is near the park’s southern entrance, off Highway 41 (Wawona Road). The two smaller, less-visited groves are Tuolumne Groves and Merced Groves which can be found near Crane Flat. Tuolumne Grove is where visitors can look forward to walking through a giant, fallen sequoia tree estimated to be over 2,000 years old!

When the snowy mountain peaks begin to melt, icy waters come rushing downstream bringing breathtaking waterfalls to life that thunder across the valley. April through June is usually the peak season for the park’s waterfalls. The Mist Trail is Yosemite’s signature waterfall hike featuring several amazing views along the way. and leads to Vernal Falls and Nevada Falls. The trail begins at a bridge overlook and progresses to two waterfalls, Vernal Fall and Nevada Fall, that combine a total of 900 feet.

Stay tuned for more National Park Travel Guides from the ROUTE 66 RV Network!

Traveling Route 66 in New Mexico

10 Stops on Route 66 in New Mexico

New Mexico is known for its famous chiles, stunning landscapes, and diverse selection of attractions. You won’t want to miss out on the first atomic bomb test site or the beautiful caves. The next time you are driving through the Land of Enchantment, be sure to plan for these interesting and unique stops along U.S. Highway 66 in New Mexico.

Blue Swallow Motel

The Blue Swallow Motel takes you back in time to the height of Route 66’s popularity and the days of sock hops and poodle skirts. This traditional motor court has been perfectly preserved and is fit with period-appropriate amenities.

Route 66 Neon Drive-Thru Sign

If you are looking for a cool photo location to mark your trip, be sure to check out the Route 66 neon drive-thru sign in Grants, New Mexico. This sign is shaped like a giant Route 66 highway shield sign and has a drive-thru portal that is big enough to fit RVs. This location is best to visit after dusk when the sign is fully illuminated.

El Rancho Hotel

R.E. Griffith opened El Rancho Hotel in 1937 as a base for movie operations. It offered excellent service and was in close proximity to several iconic Wild West locations and towns. The hotel also hosted many Hollywood stars like Errol Flynn, Katherine Hepburn, Humphrey Bogart, and John Wayne. The hotel started to slowly decline when people began to travel I-40 instead of Route 66. It was bound to face a wrecking ball in the 1980s, but a businessman bought the hotel and restored it to its original glory.

Richardson’s Trading Company

Richardson’s Trading Company is one of the oldest and most respected old-school trading companies around. You will find a bit of everything here: kachina dolls, headdresses, and Navajo wool rugs. This also makes for a good place to pick up decade-old treasures from the long-standing pawn shop.

Whiting Brothers

Way back when in New Mexico, the Whiting Brothers had gas stations and hotels dotted all along the U.S. Route 66 in Gallup, Tucumcari, Moriarty, and between McCartys and San Fidel. The Moriarty station is the last operating location amidst the iconic chain. Today, people know it as Sal & Inez’s Service Station which features the refurbished red and yellow Whiting Brothers sign.

Kelly’s Brew Pub

If you choose to dine on the patio of Kelly’s Brew Pub, you will have the opportunity to look right out over the historic Route 66. This pub is also the former home of an old service station and dealership, Jones Motor Company. The Route 66-era garage was designed to attract customers and was one of the first westbound icons along the highway.

KiMo Theatre

KiMo Theatre has been a landmark in Albuquerque since it opened its doors in 1927. It has an oddly ornate Pueblo Deco style that is distinguishable from the street, but the true treat is the interior. The interior features various significant Pueblo symbols including rain clouds, buffalo skulls, and birds. The name is said to be a combination of the two Tewa words meaning “mountain lion” or “king of its kind”.

San Miguel Church

Prior to 1938, when the highway was realigned, Route 66 went through Santa Fe, NM. Along the original route was the San Miguel Church, which is America’s oldest church dating back to 1610. The original adobe walls and altar were constructed by the Tlaxcalan Indians who accompanied Don Juan Onate from Mexico.

Comet II

A poll from Route 66 enthusiasts voted this throw-back diner as one of the top 20 places to eat along the “Mother Road”. Comet opened in 1929 and has been in the same family for several generations. It is well-known for its made-from-scratch Mexican fare such as dishes featuring the famous “PDL green chile” from Puerto del Luna. This diner was originally a drive-in, but it hasn’t had any carhops since 1994 when the original Comet burned down, hence the name Comet II.

New Mexico ChilesTucumcari Ranch Supply

Amongst all the hardware and feed at this ranch supply store, you will find a unique array of trailer parts, tourist gear, western wear, and rusty treasures. One of the biggest surprises you will find is the bakery, which has an extensive donut menu and features Watson’s BBQ.

Snowbirding 101 Featured Image

Snowbirding With Your RV

What does it mean to call someone a snowbird?

The term “snowbird” is used to describe travelers that like to migrate to a warmer climate for the winter months. Often, snowbirds consist of active adults and pairs of retirees who tend to start their travels between November and January. Several well-established snowbirds will stay up to three months at their desired destination, but newer snowbirds might only stay one to two months. Knowing what to pack and where the best snowbird destination and campgrounds are are just two of the many things that go into making your winter getaway a success.

Check out our list of tips and tricks on how to be the best snowbird you can be!

Getting Started Out As A Snowbird

Many successful snowbirds, especially those who choose to stay long-term, learn to fall in love with their adoptive state. When you visit the same location year after year, you create a social network and become integrated into the community. This is how several snowbirds start their progress toward an official permanent relocation. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and say hello to fellow travelers! The RV community is a friendly one and as you first start out in the lifestyle, you will be grateful for all the new connections and friendships formed.

Wondering if snowbirding is a good lifestyle for you? Start out slow! Beginners will often rent first or stay with friends or family to test out the ways before deciding to purchase a camper equipped for extended stays or full-time living. Contact a local real estate agent who will be happy to assist you in finding a short-term rental to test out the area with a condo, apartment or home rental before setting roots. You may also have luck looking into long-term RV rentals allowing you to still enjoy the flexibility of RV travel.

Popular Snowbird Destinations

One of the most popular snowbird destinations is the Sunshine State. Florida has been a retirement destination for years which is reflected by the number of active adult communities spread across the state. Several people choose to travel to Florida for the beaches, affordable housing options, and comfortable coastal climate. Florida’s east coast has the highest concentration of long-stay properties and is decorated with several miles of gorgeous beaches. You are also relatively close to Miami and Orlando which means there is an abundance of activities to do and places to see. Florida’s west coast is also known as the “Nature Coast” and is full of wetlands and bayous. The central part of the state has over 37 golf courses but remains one of the most popular vacation destinations due to its proximity to Walt Disney World.

Another popular destination is Arizona which allows travelers to enjoy the resort-style golf courses and unique scenic landscapes. Phoenix offers snowbirds access to fantastic restaurants and entertainment and is positioned perfectly for quick trips to California, Nevada, or New Mexico. Scottsdale is one of the biggest resort areas in the USA and has championship golf courses, upscale restaurants, and relaxing spas. Glendale, AZ is home to Camelback Ranch, the Chicago White Sox, and Los Angeles Dodgers spring training facilities making it a dream destination for any sports enthusiast.

A few other states that rank amongst the most popular snowbird destinations and campgrounds include California, Nevada, South Carolina, and North Carolina. Before you embark on your journey be sure to research the best places to stay and make reservations early!

Snowbird Checklist

Are you ready to say goodbye to your winter coat and hello to warm, beautiful weather? Whether it is your first trip as a snowbird or your 100th, knowing what to pack can be overwhelming.

What should I pack?

  • Important documents such as your passport, ID, health insurance, and car insurance policy information
  • Necessary medical information such as your prescriptions.
    Tip: If you have medications you take daily, be sure you find a pharmacy at your travel destination to be able to get them filled.
  • Clothing layers in case the weather shifts and becomes cold or rainy
  • Pet supplies such as food, medications, and leashes if traveling with furry friends
  • Outdoor gear specific to your destination such as hiking and sporting equipment
  • Electronics and any work/office supplies for individuals who may work remote
    Tip: Don’t forget chargers and adapters!

If you are renting an RV or property, be sure to double-check beforehand that all your desired food prep and bathroom appliances, toiletries, and accommodations such as sheets, towels and blankets are provided.

For more RV travel tips and road trip resources, read more from the ROUTE 66 RV Network Blog now!

10 Stops on Route 66 in Oklahoma

If you’re planning a trip through the Midwest down U.S. Highway 66, be sure to add stops in Oklahoma to your list. From the large Buck Atom statue to vintage motorcycles, there is so much to see and do. Take a look at our list of the 10 best stops along Route 66 in the Sooner State!

Route 66 Vintage Iron Motorcycle Museum

You can enter Vintage Iron at no cost, but they do gratefully accept donations. This museum features vintage motorcycles from Harley, Ducati and Indian. Bike enthusiasts are sure to be impressed by an original 1917 Harley Davidson, and don’t forget to check out the X-rays from Evel Knievel. Consider purchasing a vintage motorcycle t-shirt or a piece of Route 66 memorabilia from the gift shop during your visit!

Afton Station and Route 66 Packards

The Afton Station is a small, private antique car and Route 66 memorabilia museum that is located in a 30s-era restored filling station. This car museum holds up to 14 vintage automobiles and unique, interesting memorabilia.

The Coleman Theatre

The Coleman Theater was donated to the City of Miami by the Coleman family in 1989 and has been beautifully restored to its former glory. It originally opened in 1929 as a theatre and movie palace and was designed to bring a touch of glamour to the city. The theatre is now open for tours and is packed with stories regarding its supernatural history and past glories.

The Round Barn

Originally built in 1898, this barn is 60’ in diameter and 45’ in height, and the town of Arcadia, Oklahoma claims it to be the only “true” round barn. Since then, it has been restored to its previous glory and the loft space can be rented for events. The Round Barn is a unique stop along Route 66!

Cyrus Avery Centennial Plaza

The Cyrus Avery Centennial Plaza aims to celebrate the achievements of Cyrus Avery, who is often credited as the “Father of Route 66”. The plaza features the flags of the eight states along Route 66, bronze statues including an old automobile featuring Will Rogers, and additional conveniences such as the Route 66 Skywalk, a park, and a pedestrian walkway.

Blue Whale

This whale was built in the early ‘70s as an anniversary gift from Hugh Davis to his wife, Zelta. The Blue Whale of Catoosa used to serve locals and Route 66 travelers as a place to swim, fish and picnic. Although swimming is no longer permitted, this whale has been given a new coat of paint and the picnic area has been restored in recent years. This smiling attraction welcomes all visitors driving down Route 66 in Oklahoma – stop to say hello!

National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum

The National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum has over 28,000 exhibits that celebrate Western and American Indian culture. It also holds a huge collection of artworks and historical artifacts including the American Cowboy Gallery, the American Rodeo Gallery, the Native American Gallery, and the Weitzenhoffer Gallery of Fine American Firearms. You can also visit Prosperity Junction, a 14,000-square-foot authentic Western prairie town.

Route 66 Museum

The Route 66 Museum covers over 60 years of the U.S. Highway 66’s history. This museum showcases vehicles, artifacts, photographs, and an audio tour narrated by Michael Wallis, the author of Route 66: The Mother Road. This is a fun stop for you and your family and several efforts have been made to ensure that the exhibits are both eye-catching and informative.

Sandhills Curiosity Shop

The Sandhills Curiosity Shop is located in the City Meat Market, Erick, Oklahoma’s oldest building. It contains a crazy assortment of Route 66 memorabilia and became well-known thanks to its owners, Harley and Annabelle, who spontaneously burst into song and provide performances for all visitors.

Lucille’s Gas Stationbuck-atom

From 1941 to 2000, Lucille Hamon operated this tiny gas station and was often referred to as the “Mother of the Mother Road,” thanks to her hospitality to Route 66 travelers. Since then, it has been restored including a marker that tells the story of Lucille and her family. This stop is also a great photo opportunity along U.S. Route 66!

Camping Essentials For Beginners

Being equipped with camping essentials can make your trip and time in the great outdoors a lot less stressful and more enjoyable. Whether you are a seasoned camper or a first-timer, make sure to not leave your home without these essential camping items.

Water Bottle

Having a water bottle while camping, or being outdoors in general, is super important. Check out this list of the best water bottles for the outdoors to keep you from longing for a sip of water when heat or exhaustion hits. Having water purification tablets or a filter with you when exploring is also smart in case you run out of fresh water and need to drink from an open water source.

First Aid Kit

It is always important to bring a first aid kit along while camping to tend to any minor bumps or cuts. Long days of hiking can lead to blisters. Climbing through brush and nature can leave you scraped up. Your first aid kit should include scissors, gauze, bandages, a CPR mouth barrier, and a whistle. Bringing a flare or flare gun is another smart item to bring along in case you become lost. Need help finding the best kit for your camping supplies? These are a few of the best first aid kits on the market!

Pocket Knife

A pocket knife is the ultimate tool to have with you in the outdoors. They can be used to cut rope or fishing line, open sealed packages and even assist in meal preparation. A small knife comes in handy when you least expect it, and be your savior in many unpredictable situations. Check out this list of some of the best pocket knives for sale that you should carry with you.


Even if you are traveling in an RV, having a tent is always handy because you never know when adventure may strike. Tent camping is often a cherished memory amongst families with small kids. Be sure to bring along the necessary tent accessories such as poles, ropes, and stakes. To protect yourself from exposure to low temperatures and pesky bugs, you might also benefit from a sleeping bag. Take a look at these top-selling camping tents and high-quality sleeping bags.

All-Weather Clothing

When you’re camping or on a short, weekend outdoors trip, you might only have a few pairs of clothes to wear. Clothing that is equipped for several weather conditions is smart, preparing you for rain, heat, snow or any other condition that may get thrown at you while in the great outdoors. When choosing a rain jacket to pack, make sure it is lightweight because wet gear can be very heavy to carry in a backpack. Need help finding the best all-weather clothing? Here is the best all-weather clothing for your next camping trip.


The campfire might be bright but doesn’t allow you to illuminate your paths and surroundings. A flashlight not only keeps you safe while moving through the dark but also can be handy for other occasions. Your best flashlight option for camping should be battery-powered with a bright wide beam of light. You can also bring a headlamp with you for hands-free convenience and functionality. Check out this list of some of the best quality and affordable flashlights.

As you gear up for your next camping trip, consider bringing one or all of these items with you. You never know what will get thrown your way while out on the road. It is always better to be safe than sorry when being out in nature with your friends and family. Happy camping!

10 Stops on Route 66 in Illinois

The state of Illinois is known for many things like the city of Chicago and turning the river green for Saint Patrick’s Day, but did you know they also have a ton of cool Route 66 stops? Next time you are driving through the Prairie State, be sure to check out one or all of these awesome stops along the Mother Road. 

360 Chicago

360 ChicagoFormerly The John Hancock Observatory, 360 Chicago is a 100-floor skyscraper in Chicago’s commercial district. Head up to their 94th-floor observation deck to see exhibits on the city of Chicago and look at the maps that explain the view in each direction. There is also a special meshed-in area that allows visitors to feel the winds of the city 1,030 feet above ground level. If you are feeling brave, experience TILT which is an exhilarating downward view of Chicago.

Country Classic Cars

This stop on Route 66 started as a weekend hobby for a Midwest farmer. However, that changed when a piece of land on I-55, just off of Route 66, became available and Country Classic Cars was born. This is not only a large display of classic cars and trucks but is also a service area, showroom and historic gift shop.

Illinois State Capitol Building

Springfield, Illinois is a pilgrimage site for people who want to celebrate the life of Abraham Lincoln. This city is the location of Lincoln’s home and tomb as well as the location of the State Capitol building. This building is beautiful and is found in the heart of Springfield with free entry to visitors.

Lincoln’s Home

In 1844, Lincoln and his wife Mary Todd Lincoln purchased a home, and it was the only home that Lincoln ever owned. While living in the home, he was elected to the House of Representatives in 1846 and then President in 1860. The home, located in downtown Springfield, Illinois, has been restored to look just as it did in the mid-1800s and is open to the public for viewing. Tickets to the house are free on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Odell Station

This Odell Station opened in 1932 as a gas station but stopped serving gas in the mid-1960s. Serving a short period as a body shop in the ‘70s, the station has been restored by the Illinois Route 66 Association and their Preservation Committee as a popular stop along the famed highway welcoming all Route 66 travelers.

Henry’s Rabbit Ranch

Henry’s Rabbit Ranch is a tourist center on U.S. Highway 66, located in a replica of an old gas station featuring rusted gas pumps and over a dozen Volkswagen Rabbits. While visiting the center, you can check out Route 66 memorabilia and play with rabbits – the furry kind!

Route 66 Association Hall of Fame & Museum

The Route 66 Association Hall of Fame & Museum features thousands of artifacts and pieces of memorabilia including the bus and van of Route 66 artist and icon, Bob Waldmire. Stop in to learn the history of one of the most important highways in the U.S. and snap a picture in front of the largest Route 66 Shield mural painted on the back wall of the museum.

Navy Pier

Navy Pier is a 1000m long pier located along the Chicago shoreline of Lake Michigan. It has various attractions including sightseeing tours, dinner cruises, restaurants, shops, and fairground rides like the Centennial Wheel. The pier features a firework display on Wednesday and Sunday nights throughout the summer, and Friday and Saturday nights during the fall season.

Ambler’s Texaco Gas Station

This gas station has been identified as the longest operating gas station along U.S. Highway 66 dispensing fuel up until 1999 – 66 years of service! Ambler’s was the focal point of major restoration work from 2005-2007 and reopened as a Route 66 visitor’s center in May 2007. The community has done a fantastic job in restoring this gas station to its original glory and is staffed with knowledgeable volunteers.

The Muffler Men

The Muffler Men, previously used by businesses for promotional purposes, tower 14 to 25 feet tall alongside U.S. Highway 66 throughout Illinois. The Paul Bunyon Statue can’t be missed when driving past Atlanta, IL. The Gemini Giant stands alongside the Launching Pad Drive-In in Wilmington, IL. The Lauterbach Tire Man is found right outside Lauterbach Tires on Wabash Ave in Springfield. Keep an eye out for these 3 Route 66 icons!

7 Stops Along Route 66 in Kansas

The Sunflower State features several amazing Route 66 attractions to see with a unique story at each stop. Did you know that a service station in Kansas inspired a character in a famous Pixar movie? If you love all things history, be sure to check out these historic locations next time you drive U.S. Route 66 through Kansas!

Cars on the Route

At the end of Main Street in Galena, KS you will find the old Kan-O-Tex service station that is now known as, Cars on the Route. This service station is home to Tow Tater, who was the inspiration for the character Tow Mater in the movie Cars. This stop celebrates the connection between Route 66 and the movie Cars. They sell sandwiches, snacks, antiques, and memorabilia.

Eisler Brothers Old Riverton Store

The Eisler Brothers Old Riverton Store has been in operation since 1925. It is well-known around the world as one of the most authentic, working 75-year-old stores of its kind along U.S. Highway 66. Inside, the old-time deli that serves sandwiches is a must-stop for lunch! They also carry a selection of groceries, products, Route 66 memorabilia, and locally handmade items.

Sugar Creek Diner & Bakery

The owners of the Sugar Creek Diner & Bakery originally were the operators of the now-closed Angels on the Route restaurant in Baxter Springs, KS. This new restaurant is also on Route 66 in Galena, KS. Sugar Creek offers a full menu, catering, baked goods, and gourmet coffee. Make sure to stop by for lunch or to grab some delicious bakery items!

Brush Creek Bridge

The Brush Creek Bridge in Baxter Springs is the sole surviving bridge of its type on the entire length of Route 66. It was built in 1923 and has been repainted multiple times in a beautiful shade of white. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1983 which ensures that it will always be preserved and enjoyed by many motorists and pedestrians.

Baxter Springs Independent Oil and Gas Service Station

After the Great Depression, many surviving oil companies rebranded their properties to make them more identifiable to customers. One of the strategies was to make their properties blend in with the local community to give them a homey feel. The Baxter Springs Independent Oil and Gas Service Station was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2003 and is now used as the Kansas Route 66 Visitors Center.

Galena Mining & Historical Museum

As you leave Gelena heading west, keep your eyes peeled to the right and notice an old Missouri-Kansas-Texas railroad station. You wouldn’t know it from the outside, but this building is home to the Galena Mining & Historical Museum. It is full of mineral samples, mining equipment, and oil paintings.

Baxter Springs Heritage Center & Museum

The Baxter Springs Heritage Center and Museum is built up of 20,000 square feet of exhibits celebrating the history of the city. The exhibits include Native American, The Civil War, 1870s Boardwalk, World War I, World War II, Historic Route 66, and more.

Best Guides to Buy on Amazon for RVers

The days of complicated adventure planning are over. Check out these RV travel guides we found on Amazon that are sure to make your next trip a breeze. From the best routes through national parks to tips on how to cook in your RV, you will be ready to add these helpful RVing resources to your cart today.

1. Guide to National Parks of the United States

The National Parks are some of the biggest inspirations for people to hop into their RVs. Road trips are the perfect way to see North America’s beautiful landscapes including the various National Parks. This guide has over 200 photos and several colorful maps of each of the 59 national parks in North America. The content within this guide is useful for planning trips, itineraries, tips for the parks, and more. 

2. National Geographic Road Atlas

Sometimes technology fails us and our GPS stops functioning perfectly. Whether it fails from bad phone service, dead batteries, or just an overall malfunction, you need a backup plan. Every person who owns an RV should also own a quality Atlas they keep on board. This atlas has detailed maps and recommendations like you would find in a typical tourist guide. Don’t get lost, buy an atlas!

3. Where Should We Camp Next?

If you are planning a family-friendly and budget-conscious trip for this year’s camping season then this guide is the one for you. More than 300 of the best camping locations in each of the 50 states. This guide is the best resource for finding different glamping and camping sites near your travel destination.

4. 50 States, 5,000 Ideas

This book is also written by National Geographic and is a must-have for all adventurers. This guide is perfect for creating a loose or heavily detailed itinerary. Many details are included within the pages including where to go, when to leave, what to do, and what you should see. The suggestions range from dude ranches, far-out museums, national parks, beaches, and even the oldest street in New York City.

5. Fodor's Best Road Trips in the USA

Do you need road trip inspiration? Check out Fodor’s Best Road Trips in the USA guidebook! This guide is packed full of curated recommendations for different states, maps, and everything you might need to better plan your dream road trip. It’s time to hit the road and explore a new state or several! 

6. Fodor's Bucket List USA

The USA has several amazing sights that might be on your bucket list. Whether you want to eat an authentic Philly cheesesteak or twirl in a field of sunflowers in the heart of Kansas, Fodor’s Bucket List USA will give you inspiration! This guidebook is full of perfectly curated must-sees across the 50 states. What destination is next on your bucket list? 


7. the Next EXIT 2022

Sometimes you are driving through an area that has little to no cell service or signal and you need to find the nearest exit for gas, food, or the restroom. The Next EXIT is the most complete USA Interstate Highway directory you can find! This guide lists exits for lodging, food, shopping, gas and so much more. The days of worrying about finding the nearest exit are over!

8. RV Camping

The freedom that comes with owning an RV is nearly indescribable but sometimes you don’t know where to start. The RV Camping guide is geared towards both beginners who want to introduce themselves to the world of RVing and experts who want to improve their outdoor experience. Whether you are a full-time RVer or just want to go on a weekend getaway, this guide is for you!