Hey there, welcome back to Grand
Adventure I’m your host Marc Guido and in this episode, we’re going to search
back on our travel year in 2019 and share with you our top favorite spots
for RV travel in our second full season a Grand Adventure, so stay tuned! Now at the end of our 2018 travel season
we did a “Top 10” episode that proved to be very popular with you our viewers, and
if you haven’t yet had a chance to check that out we’ll put a link right up here
on the screen so you can go do so. However, what you need to understand is
that our top 10 episodes, or our top 8 in this case, are not your typical
top 10 episode. We’re not going to share our top 10 places that we went camping. I
mean, that’s just really not fair if you’re boondocking one week and you’re
in an RV park the next week, or if you’re in the mountains one week and you’re on
the ocean the next week. It’s really not fair to directly compare those, so
instead we look at our runner-up and our winner in our top eight categories for
RV travel, and that’s exactly what we’re going to do this time. Now if you want
more information on any of the destinations that we share briefly in
this episode, down below in the video description you’ll find links to each
individual video that each of these places first appeared in, so you can go
get a more in-depth, under-the-surface look at each place we’re just going to
kind of topsheet through on this episode. So without any further ado, let’s travel
up to far northwestern Wyoming for our first category: Best Boondocking. And
easily, the runner up in this category … it was darn close to putting it the winner …
however, I can’t think of a more picturesque, more beautiful, more peaceful
spot then right here on the side of the mighty Green River, just downstream from
the gorgeous Green River Lakes in the Wind River Mountains of northwestern
Wyoming, just southeast of Jackson from our episode 108. Now if the winner somehow beats out the
Wind River Mountains, you know it’s spectacular, and that was camping right
on the beach, boondocking right on the beach on the Texas Gulf Coast in the
Padre Island National Seashore from our episode 122. Think about it. You’re right
on the sand, the waves almost lapping up to the trailer’s wheels, right up against
the sand dunes, and falling asleep each night to the sound of the crashing waves
just outside the RV window. Now for our second category, which is the
Best Public Campground, we’re going to go just a little bit further down the Texas
coast to far South Texas on South Padre Island, for Isla Blanca County Park. Now
just to clarify, when we’re talking about Best Public Campground we’re not talking
about private RV parks. We’re talking about RV campgrounds that are operated
by federal, state, county, or local municipalities — all government entities —
and Isla Blanca part is one of the better ones that we’ve encountered. It’s
massive! There are over 600 sites and all but a handful have full hookups. But it
is at the far southern tip of South Padre Island, which itself is a vibrant
resort town, but because you’re on the tip of the island you’re nicely
separated from the bustle of South Padre and you are right on the beach. Again, if
you’re not going to be boondocking right on the beach like you were in episode
122, the next best thing is camping in a campground like Isla Blanca County Park
like we did in episode 121. Now as beautiful as Isla Blanca County
Park was, we’re going to travel a little bit further north to Central Texas for the
winner in our Best Public Campground category. And it was a it was a close
call, but we did give a slight edge to Cranes Mill Park on Canyon Lake, just
outside of the town of New Braunfels in the Texas Hill Country from our episode
125. Now this is a US Army Corps of Engineers Park. It’s the COE
park that we’ve stayed in, and we found that the reputation for COE parks is
very well deserved. The sites, there was an incredible amount of space between
each adjacent campsite. The sites are water & electric, as we understand most
if not all COE parks are. The sites were meticulously maintained, perfectly level,
plenty of room for the largest of rigs, and easy access right down to the water
right from our campsite. Now for our third category — yes, we are
going to turn to our favorite Private RV Parks. These are those full-hookup parks
that I know a lot of you folks are always looking for. And for our runner-up
in this category we’re going to head way out to the Big Bend area of West Texas
to the Maverick Ranch RV Park at Lajitas Golf Resort. Now this is in the
tiny border town of Lajitas, right on the Rio Grande River, and it’s
perfectly situated right between Big Bend National Park on one side, and Big
Bend Ranch State Park on the other side. It’s an absolutely perfect location.
Understand that the entire West Texas area, and particularly the Big Bend area,
is one giant dead zone for cell service, so you also get the benefit of workable
internet while staying at Maverick Ranch. And as a matter of fact they’re
upgrading that to fiber-optic even as we speak. The thing that made Maverick Ranch
extra special for us was the warmth and the friendliness of both the staff and
the fellow guests. We made new friendships while we were there, and
everybody seemed to be determined to share what made Maverick Ranch and
staying in Big Bend area a special experience for them. This will always
have a special spot in our hearts. Now you can find out more about Maverick
Ranch RV Park in our episodes 119 and 120. But for the winner in this category
we’re going to skip ahead to our episode 124, and skip ahead a little further up
the Central Texas Gulf Coast to the city of Rockport and Drifters Resort. Now I am
not exaggerating when I tell you that this is probably the most meticulously
maintained RV park that we have ever stayed in. The crooked oak trees that are
scattered across the entire property are absolutely spectacular, and the lawns are
beautifully maintained. There’s a gorgeous pool on the premises. Drifters
Resort, really was no contest, easily got our nod of our Favorite RV Park for
2019. Now the fourth category we’re going to take
a look at is Best Value, and for that we’re going to travel to the State of New
Mexico, which is known far and wide among RV travelers as providing a great value
for RV camping, and no exception is our runner up which is Bottomless Lakes
State Park. It’s right outside of the city of
Roswell in far southeastern New Mexico. As a matter of fact it is the first
State Park in the New Mexico State Park system. It’s $18 per night for full
hookups and the sites are incredibly spacious, there’s a ton of room between
them right on the banks of Lea Lake, which is a perfect place to go for a
little kayak paddle or maybe even a little bit of fishing. If you have a New
Mexico State Parks Pass, that takes another $10 off per night and that
brings it to $8 per night for full hookups. You sure can’t beat that!
This is from our episode 127. But as inexpensive as Bottomless Lakes
State Park was, for value it’s kind of hard to beat free, and for that we’re
going to travel to the far northwestern corner of New Mexico to the city of
Farmington, to the Brown Springs Campground which is a brand-new BLM
campground right outside of the city of Farmington. Now we used this as a
stopping-off point on our way from our home in Salt Lake City to Cloudcroft, New
Mexico in episode 118. However, it sure beats the alternative, which was asphalt
docking at the local Wally World. That said, you’re right outside of town so
you’re still incredibly close to the town shopping in case you need to pick
up supplies if you’re en route to somewhere else like we were. Or if you’re
an OHV enthusiast there’s a huge network of ATV trails that begins right at the
entrance of the campground. So next up …hey, can you talk for a minute?
We’re sitting in the editing room working on this right now, and I’ve got
to tell you this is turning out to be really long, longer than I expected. We’re
already over 23 minutes, so what we’re going to do — I know, I promised you eight
categories — so what we’re going to do is we’re going to split this into two episodes.
This week’s episode covered the camping, so we covered Best Boondocking, we
covered Best Public Campgrounds, Best Private RV Parks and Best Value. Next
week we’re going to cover the other four categories, which all address fun things
to do while you’re camping. We’ll talk about our Favorite National Parks that
we visited in 2019. We’ll talk about our Favorite Hikes, our Favorite Kayaking and
our Favorite Towns, so we hope you’ll join us next week, next Wednesday night,
for the second part of this Top 8 episode. If you’re not yet a Grand
Adventurer, make sure that you hit that little red “Subscribe” button and ring
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media. If you like this video, please give us a big “thumbs up” down below. Also down
below you’ll find the comment section where we always love to hear from you,
and don’t forget down below in the description you’ll find additional
information on each of the eight destinations we talked about in
tonight’s episode. (Yeah that’s eight, it’s the runners-up and the winners.) So until next week please remember, life is nothing but a Grand
Adventure (including in the editing room)! We’ll see you soon!