We are approaching what I think is the best time of year for RVing! I’m sure I’m not the only one that thinks this and I might even be stating the obvious but just in case I’ll tell ya why.
I spend most of my time in the West and Pacific Northwest and I’m NOT a planner, both things that add to why I’m a lover of this time of year….here are a few others.
Less People - As soon as the Labor Day holiday is over I feel I can breathe! The kids are back in school and the summer vacation season is winding down. When I was traveling down the Oregon Coast I could tell a difference between the middle of August and the beginning of September in terms of the number of people and RVs on the road.
As a cool bonus, seems September and October is time for folks from other counties are traveling in the USA, great opportunity to meet some cool people and hear stories of living in other parts of the word.
Beautiful Weather - This is really the case for Oregon, Washington and California. The hot summer days are on their way out but the sunny skies are still around. You get the bonus of nice days and in a lot of places the changing of the leaves....Like the Colorado Rockies!
Less Planning - Because there are less people, there is less need to plan. Again, being on the Oregon Coast finding a camping spot in July is almost impossible the day before, most of the time one must plan months ahead, but not in September and October. Most of the time you can breeze into a city make a call or two and be good to go! And you have the chance to stay in places that would be hard to get into the summer. One of my favorite State Park Campgrounds is called Humbug Mountain Campground outside Port Orford, OR. I rolled right in and stayed 3 days. The campground had wild berries to eat, hiking and pretty much a private beach.
Cheaper - Alot of times the off season starts after the holiday weekend, so RV Park prices might be a bit cheaper than summer, Every penny counts!! Be sure to ask RV parks and attractions what their off-season rates are. And of course keep using your Good Sams, Passport of America and National Parks Passes.
Wildlife - Maybe this is a stretch but as fall hits the wildlife in certain places starts to come out in the open more. In Colorado the moose come to lower elevations and in Rocky Mountain National Park the elk are down and very active. Fun stuff to watch, I can imagine being in Yellowstone or Glacier in the fall would be just awesome!!
Anyone have any tips for off season travel? Please share
I’ve had the pleasure of traveling up and down the Oregon Coast a few times now, I do really love it and highly recommend taking the time if you are able…Here are a few observations or tips I acquired while traveling on the wonderful coastal 101.
PICK A DIRECTION IF YOU NEED - I feel the North and South are vastly different!….The North is more touristy town, good for shopping and eating, nice beaches to bring a chair and hang out all day….The South is more rugged beaches, smaller towns with not a lot going on and more scenery and parks…Both are fun, but if you don’t have time to do the entire coast, this might help decide.
TAKE ADVANTAGE OF DEALS / MEMBERSHIPS / PASSES - The coast can be expensive, the restaurants, supermarkets and campgrounds are all pricey so be sure to take advantage, here are a few examples:
Good Sam - Get discounts on RV Parks.
Oregon State Parks Pass - if you don't camp at state parks but like to see the beaches and hike a parks pass is a must so you are not paying at every turnoff or hike you want to take.
Senior National Parks Pass - There are no National Parks along the coast but if you have the Senior Pass you get half off Federal campgrounds.
** If you have a standard National Parks Pass you get free access to any Federal fee locations for hiking ect.
Casino Camping - there are a few along the coast, they are not totally free always, but still a great deal…plus you can usually get a cheap (and pretty good) meal at one as well….not to mention free coffee.
SEA FOOD, EAT FOOD - Anytime you are on a coast you must take advantage of the awesome fresh seafood the coast provides, does not always need to be at a pricy restaurants, do your homework and find the little local spots with great eats. And pass along your knowledge, I ate wonderful fish and chips at a place called The Crazy Norwegians Fish and Chips in Port Orford because a friend recommended it….and this leads to my next point...
ASK FRIENDS AND SOCIAL MEDIA FOR HELP - The 101 is popular and well traveled, and there is SO much to see and explore. Ask your friends of places to stop and check out, ask questions over Facebook, Facebook Groups and Instagram to help plan and make the best adventure you possibly can. Plus you can search Instagram at your location and get insight of cool places to explore.
PORTS - For those who travel simply and might not always have a shower opportunity every morning, cities which have ports will have showers to use…..bring quarters!!
TAKE YOUR TIME - Sometimes easier said than done, but if you have the chance don't rush your experience, take things in, get to know the communities and be in the moment!
GET OFF THE BEATEN PATH - This does not mean go wonder into the abyss but some people tend NOT to get off the 101….there is a lot to see that right off the 101…..a few of my favorites:
Pacific City - The 101 does not go through this small ocean town….the beach is beautiful and you can have a beer while your feet are in the sand at The Pelican Brewery.
Manzanita - Another small town off the 101….South of Canon Beach, Manzanita makes for a nice stop to check out the beach and grab a coffee
Cape Blanco State Park - I just love the Port Orford area, some of the best coastal views in my mind, about 5 miles off the 101 Cape Blanco offers amazing ocean views, beach, hiking and a lighthouse.
Cape Arago / Shore Arches / Sunset Bay State Park - Another personal favorite, 25 or so minute drive from Coos Bay these parks offer cliff views, hiking, beach time and even seal viewing….wonderful experience.
Enjoy the Oregon Coast!
And Happy RVing