Browsing the archives for the travel and leisure category.


A Historical Experience on a Road Trip to California National Parks

american history, National Park, National Parks, Travel, travel and history, travel and leisure

A Historical Experience on a Road Trip to California National Parks

 Joe Laing, El Monte RV

What a perfect way to spend a vacation – traveling in an RV on a tour of California’s National Parks! This is truly a unique way to experience California and U.S. history as well as amazing people from our past. Explorers, adventurers, artists and Native Americans – all sorts of folks savored the beauty and also some of the adversity of California as they arrived year after year, century after century. Many stories are told within California National Parks.

Let’s start in Southern California and work our way up to the northern reaches near the Oregon border. We will move not only through the deserts of the southwest where archeologists find historical treasures, but also through wild lands of rugged mountains and tall trees where American Indians hunted and gathered for their families. We’ll visit Gold Rush Country where miners laid down their lives for riches beyond measure. As you travel in an RV you will never lack for a place to stay, as there is an abundance of RV parks everywhere you go.

At Channel Islands National Park, off the coast in Southern California, you will be visiting five amazing islands that have been the subject of many years of research by scientists and historians. Each island has its own story. The Chumash inhabited the islands for thousands of years, yet were decimated when traders and explorers brought in disease. These same traders exploited resources as they hunted seals and otters. Because the islands are so isolated, they have a wealth of unique plant and animal life which creates in itself a wonderful reason to visit.

Heading east now, you will want to visit Joshua Tree National Park next. This desert park offers views into a rich history, with a fascinating story set in an almost surreal environment. There are numerous archeological and historic sites to explore. It is imperative you stop at the museum to see the Campbell Collection which consists of numerous artifacts, notes and photos which tell the story of early cultures.

On north now to Death Valley National Park! You simply cannot visit California without stopping here. You may not believe how much history this park can contain. However, you can’t deny that the Twenty Mule Team wagons have made an impression on young and old ever since they entered the history books. You have the opportunity to visit a long list of ghost towns such as Chloride City, Greenwater or Harrisberry. And to get a look into the life in this desert area in the 20s and 30s, be sure to stop at Scotty’s Castle.

Again heading northward, you will come to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks where the breathtaking beauty of the giant trees and rugged mountains will encourage you to get out in the fresh air and get some recreation time in. These side-by-side parks lie in the San Joaquin Valley and have a six thousand year history at least, with hunters and gatherers living in this Southern Sierra wonderland. More came in later years – the trappers and miners, the sheepherders and the loggers. Learn the story of Walter Fry, who arrived as a logger, but after counting the growth rings on one of the trees he cut, decided he wanted no part of ending over 3,000 years of growth.

Don’t miss Yosemite National Park and learn all about our well-known John Muir and all he did to have this area protected as a national park. Experience the views as did Ansel Adams through his camera lens. This park is filled with history and you should allow many days to take it all in. There is so much about this park that can be said, that we’ll leave it at – GO!

Finally you will come to your last two stops, very different from each other – Lassen Volcanic National Park in north central California and Redwood National Park on the coast. Lassen is filed with meadows, lakes and, of course, volcanoes. More than one! Discover the wild stories of the Native Americans who lived and raised their families in the Lassen area. Find out all about the effect that American Indians and the loggers had on Redwood National Park. The wildlife and beautiful coastline at Redwood National Park are some of the main attractions here. As you explore either park, you will learn so much about this region of California and how natives and European explorers came and forged out a living. Although your tour is now at an end, the memories will last forever!

About the Author

Joe Laing is the Marketing Director for El Monte RV, your nationwide source for RV rentals. El Monte RV also sells used motorhomes through eight different locations across the United States. For more information on purchasing a used motorhome see http://www.elmontervsales.com/.

Booking Europe with TripAdvisor and Venere

train travel, Travel, travel and history, travel and leisure, travel blogs, travel guides, travel websites, tripadvisor

As I wrap up our hotel bookings for the Europe adventure I’m very pleased with the many reviews I’m finding at TripAdvisor.com and the booking services at Venere.com, though I think Venere is best for the major cities where TripAdvisor is very helpful even for smaller city destinations like Vernazza in the Cinque Terre.

For Paris, Rome, and Venice I was very pleased with Venere’s ability to sort through thousands of listings and give me high rated properties at lower cost.    Most importantly I was able to reserve them with my credit card with very reasonable  cancellation policies – in one case better than that at the hotel website.     Plans can change in Europe and I’m concerned about the fact that some areas – like the Cinque Terre – are not at all cancellation friendly.     Although my understanding is that you can usually find a nice place in the Cinque Terre without a reservation I’m not risking that with a family in tow and the area surging in popularity pretty much every time a Rick Steves show, book, or magazine extolls the beauty and charm of the area.

Although it’s time consuming, a good approach for smaller destinations is to review the TripAdvisor listings for your destination and then use Google search to find the specific hotel website.   From there I’m finding friendly hotel folks who seem genuinely apologetic when they can’t find me the right room.

Thanks again to Eurail Pass, for helping to sponsor our European Rail Adventure

World’s Strangest Restaurants from Travel and Leisure Magazine

restaurants, travel and leisure

You may not care to dine at any of these places but you’ll enjoy the creativity in architecture and interior design that led Travel and Leisure Magazine to name these the “World’s Strangest Restaurants”

http://www.travelandleisure.com/articles/worlds-strangest-restaurants



  • Online Highways Travel

    US History and Travel

    Airports Blog

    China Highlights Travel

  • RSS History on Twitter