Explore Tucson from the comfort of the Voyager RV Resort

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Snowbirds who have dreamed of spending time in the Tucson, Arizona, area will appreciate a chance to visit the Voyager RV Resort, part of the friendly network of Encore RV Resorts. When you first drive into the park you will be struck by the towering palms, and the profusion of cacti gardens that edge the buildings and RV sites. In the distance is the calming view of the jagged mountains rearing their peaks above the city.

The Southwestern states have unique scenery. No matter where you drive there are purple mountains on the horizons begging you to explore more closely. In the evening and
_15A7164 (1)early morning, the sun paints them with stunning ever-changing colours. However, when a desert sunset flames the clouds with brilliant reds, yellows, and finally fades to lighter pastels, you know this is the place for you.

Tucson’s attractions include drives through Saguaro National Park. Forests of saguaro cacti will amaze you as they stand as sentinels over the desert. They are home to numerous singing birds, cactus wrens, Gila woodpeckers and owls. Nearby is the site of Old Tucson Studio where many top notch western movies were filmed. To visit here is to re-live history. To the west you can visit the Kitt Peak Visitor Centre and learn about the huge array of optical and radio telescopes on the mountain. The twisting drive up to the top is a wonderful drive full of long vistas across the Arizona deserts. The Desert Museum provides two miles of paths and a wide variety of plants and animals. A favourite with many people is the short drive to Picacho Peak State Park.

The Voyager RV Resort isn’t just about the scenery. It’s all about having a great time, whether you just want to sit and relax, or join into some of the many activities offered.  The lately upgraded pool and spa will provide the relaxation. Soak a few of the aches away in the spa before heading over to do a few laps in the pool, or just laze away in the pool before settling into one of the deck chairs.

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The five volleyball courts can provide some room for fast and furious exercise and you can top it all off with a visit to the fitness centre. There’s no lack of things to do. There are twelve pickleball courts, four new bocce ball courts, and the long paved roads are perfect for bicycle riding. The nine hole par three course, backdropped by the purple mountains can provide some walking exercise.

Craft workers will look forward to spending time in the well outfitted wood shop, or perhaps the silver shop. Are you good at acrylic painting, creating fired ceramic objects, or making decorative jewellery from stones, minerals, or gems? Opportunities abound to show your creativity in this RV resort. The library is available for quiet reads before, perhaps heading to one of the card rooms to show off your skills.


_15A6930 (1)The Voyager Bar & Grill is available for filling that hungry spot whether you had a hard day of exercise, or you’ve just wakened and want a special breakfast. If you are thinking of a big party, the 5700 sq. ft. Ballroom can host your meetings or your weddings. Then there is the smaller Catalina Room, stage, dance floor,
and 125 seats, or the Arizona Room, just right for smaller parties, or meetings.

There is a Health Centre clinic to provide high quality health care so important for seniors, such as foot care, injections, and several other important services. A Physical Therapy clinic is also there for rehabilitation services and balance and fall prevention programmes. The Therapeutic Massage centre also uses acupuncture and other wellness programmes.

The park has a mixture of homes, park models and RV sites. The 600 full hookup RV sites will fit any RV and still give you room to sit outside under your awning in comfort.

In the words of Pam Stone, a resident since 2005, “I enjoy the beauty of a well maintained and attractively landscaped park. We share a “small town” community environment close to the conveniences of the City of Tucson.  There is a closeness among all of our residents…positive attitudes, friendliness and sincere caring for everyone. Golf-new

You can be busy from morning to night doing things like learning Spanish or memoir writing to creating works of art in our silver shop or stained glass shop. We have over 300 activities ranging from sporting events like pickleball, tennis and shuffleboard to card
games, quilting and exercise groups.  There is also a wide range of entertainment including potlucks dinners, a variety of dances, dinner shows and outside musical entertainers.”

Now is a good time to make arrangements with the park. Until August 31, they are offering US$75 off a stay of 3 months or more. Just mention promo code EVOY16. Valid until March 31, 2017. Call 877-570-2267 to book now. Also, for Thousand Trails members they are offering a US$499 month plus tax and utilities, which is 10% off the retail rate through August 31, 2016. Don’t know about the Thousand Trails Camping Pass? Visit www.thousandtrails.com to learn more.

Here’s Why Everyone in Winnipeg is Flocking to South Texas to “Winter Differently” This Year!

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Waking up slow to the rising sun. Drinking a cup of coffee on your porch or in the recreation hall with friends. Swimming in the resort pool or a morning of fishing. An afternoon of bike riding or trail hiking to spot rare bird species. Playing a game of bocce ball or pickleball. Enjoying a show or dancing the night away with your friends. This isn’t just vacation. This is a lifestyle for many “Winter Texans” who head to South Texas from all over Canada and the U.S. to spend the winter months. South Texas is also known as the “Rio Grande Valley”. South Texas is an increasingly popular destination and is known for its weather, food & culture, citrus orchards, world class birding, top notch hospitals, and friendly people. South Texas is not only beautiful but it is a lively and affordable place to spend one’s golden years. South Texas has been consistently rated as one of the least expensive places to live in the U.S.

Down here, the folks that come to live in South Texas are called, Winter Texans, which is not to be confused with the Snowbirds of Florida, Arizona, and Southern California. Many of them come down for the warm climate because the warmth eases joint pain, there’s no snow to shovel, and the outdoor activities are abound.  There are many things to do and reasons to stay in SouparadiseParkth Texas to escape the cold.  Many Winter Texans, approx 10,000, choose to stay at a Encore Resort.  There are ten age-qualified Encore RV Resorts to choose from in South Texas.  All are gated communities and most offer amenities and activities like pools & spas, fitness centers, shuffleboard, pickle ball courts, woodworking clubs, and much more.

Winter Texans are also trailblazers who love living their life on the road with the freedom to go anywhere and see anything whenever they want behind the wheels of their RVs!  After retiring early, Kathy and her husband, who have been coming to an Encore Resort in South Texas since 2003, bought a new rig and headed out to see the country.  Kathy and her husband found that having the freedom to go wherever you wanted was the best way to spend their winters.  “The lifestyle of an RVer, you just cannot imagine the freedom that you experience to see things that are out there that other people don’t see when you stay in a hotel,” she says.

South Texas has lots of tourism to offer.  A favorite among residents and visitors is South Padre Island which has popular landmarks and destinations like the Port Isabel lighthouse and the Sea Turtle Rescue center.  The Sea Turtle Rescue is a non profit organization whose mission is to “rescue, rehabilitate, and release injured sea sunshineRVturtles, educate the public, and assist with conservation efforts for all marine turtle species.”  It is a great place to bring the grandkids who will surely love the live interaction with sea turtles.  Be sure to check seaturtleinc.org for more information on hatchlings, releases, and onsite activities.  Other landmarks in South Texas include the Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge, Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge, and the Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park.

Named one of the Top 10 sport fishing destinations in 2014 by Sport Fishing Magazine, Port Mansfield is a popular place for fishermen to visit.  Whether you head out on your own fishing boat or embark on a chartered fishing trip, fishing in the Gulf of Mexico is a treat for fishermen where there are multiple large fish species waiting to be caught!  Nearby at Port Isabel, there are hundreds of activities for visitors, but fishing is also a popular one.  Port Isabel is home to Pirate’s Landing the longest fishing pier in Texas.  Pirate’s Landing extends out into the Queen Isabella Causeway that leads to South Padre Island and fishing poles and tackle are always available to rent here.

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South Texas is a popular and world renowned location for birders.  The region has more than 500 species of birds & butterflies and is also home to the World Birding Center, which has 9 locations in South Texas, with each location offering unique birding trails and excursions throughout the area.

It is also the site of the Rio Grande Valley Birding Festival which draws world class birders for speaking engagements, field trips, and special events every year.  The 23rd Annual Rio Grande Valley Birding Festival will take place on November 2, 2016 and will feature speaking engagements by world class wildlife photographers and prominent birders, plus field trips to places like South Padre Island and the Upper Rio Grande.  Visit rgbvf.org for more information about field trips and tickets.

Winnipeggers – ready to join the ranks of the Winter Texans? Trek south to this laid back area with a low cost of living and big city amenities. Take advantage of some of our new customer specials offered by Encore.  Rates are $1,433 for a 3 month stay on a standard RV site at Sunshine RV and $1,338 for a 3 month stay on a standard RV site at Paradise Park. Valid until April 30, 2017. No RV, no problem, Park Model rentals are also available! Visit RVontheGO.com or RVSouthTexas.com to find out more information or call (877) 957-2778.

Getaway Destination: Harbor Lakes RV in Port Charlotte, Fl

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For years, snowbirds have been heading south to Florida for the winter in search of tropical breezes, year-round sunshine, and the leisurely lifestyle of the south. Port Charlotte, a beautiful coastal destination for ecotourism, restaurants, and boating, is a popular harbor community for snowbirds from all over. Whether they come here for the abundant fishing, the world class golfing, or outstanding birdwatching, Port Charlotte is a snowbird’s top choice for a vacation, a seasonal stay, or a permanent move to paradise. Dreaming of a tropical wonderland away from it all? Consider the lively Encore community, Harbor Lakes RV Resort, located on Florida’s Gulf Coast.

Sail, Golf, Fish, and Play in Port Charlotte!

Port Charlotte enjoys over 260 days of sunlight per year. The mild winter climate is a well-received relief for Canadians as the region experiences an average low of around 20℃. The winter months are typically dry compared to high rate of snowfall in Canada in the winter. All the great weather gives Port Charlotte visitors and residents endless opportunities to experience their favorite outdoor activities.

Port Charlotte is also a very popular sailing destination. Boating enthusiasts from all over the world come here to dock their boats in the Charlotte Harbor. Port Charlotte has previously been featured in SAIL magazine as one of 10 “Greatest Places to Sail.” Port Charlotte’s proximity provides access to more than 165 miles of waterways, giving way to Charlotte Harbor, the Gulf of Mexico, and plenty of miles of natural shoreline on the Charlotte Harbor and the Peace and Myakka rivers. Not only is Port Charlotte known for it’s pristine beauty along the Charlotte Harbor, this community boasts seven out of the 21 golf courses that are located in Charlotte County. In the springtime, the Tampa Bay Rays visit the Charlotte Sports Park for two weeks of spring training and baseball fans flock to the city as well.

Harbor Lakes RV Resort – A Tropical Paradise on the Gulf

Harbor Lakes RV Resort offers a peaceful retreat for anyone looking for a relaxed getaway on the beach. This Encore property offers a variety of accommodations including spacious lots and hook ups for your RV that provide ample space for privacy. The wide, smoothly paved roads will make backing your RV into a spot a breeze. One and two bedroom park models here are equipped with all of the creature comforts that you would expect in a well-stocked home, as most units have queen-sized bedrooms, pull-out sofas, microwaves, utensils, coffee makers, televisions, wifi access, and fresh linens. The on-site laundry room and mail service make living here even easier. Don’t hesitate to ask about pet-friendly vacancies! Your pooch can enjoy a tropical vacation too at Harbor Lakes RV Resort. The Harbor Lakes staff is a friendly bunch and also organizes fun community activities like member appreciation social hours with coffee and treats, or karaoke in the evenings where you can bond with your fellow neighbors. Guests can play tennis on one of our pristine courts, take a dip in our pool, bike along palm-tree lined roads or join in on a shuffleboard tournament. Harbor Lakes RV Resort is just a short drive to the beach and to the Port Charlotte Town Center for shopping, restaurants, and entertainment.

If you’re dreaming of an awesome vacation or packing up the RV for a new start, stop dreaming and make a reservation today! For a limited time, returning seasonal guests of Harbor Lakes RV Resort will receive $175 off their 3-6 month stay on all standard RV sites! Book by 8/31/16 and valid until 4/30/17. 

Be sure to visit rvonthego.com or call 877-570-2267 (Parlez-vous Français? 888-450-6885) to book your stay today!

“We are called ‘Winter Texans’ as opposed to the “Snowbirds” in Florida & Arizona


For the past ten years, my husband Jack and I have been wintering in the Rio Grande Valley (RGV) of south Texas. We are called “Winter Texans” as opposed to the “Snowbirds” in Florida & Arizona.

As new retirees, we first visited many southern states, wandering the roads with our motor home, from Florida to California. When we found Texas, it immediately felt like home. We are now two of the thousands of retired Canadians who make the trip to the RGV each winter – some RV parks / Mobile home resorts here are 60 or more percent Canadian residents.

The prices of food, accommodation and entertainment are generally much lower in Texas than other southern states, it is less crowded, the weather is usually wonderful (mid-seventies warm and windy but with little to no humidity in the winter) – and the people are very friendly and relaxed. They LOVE Winter Texans and advertise it everywhere with “welcome back” on billboards and store signs. There is even a “Welcome Back Winter Texans” regular newsmagazine.

Another real positive for us is the proximity to Mexico, where we thoroughly enjoy the Latino culture. The Mexican people – contrary to what we read in the mass media about the drug cartels – are warm, fun loving, and God-fearing. They offer tasty food in their many restaurants, lively entertainment and colourful hand-made crafts – all at very low prices. Many Winter Texans volunteer across the border, building homes and staffing the free medical clinic in the small town just south of us – a town that we feel quite safe visiting on a regular basis.

We also are happy to have access to the Gulf beaches of South Padre Island and enjoy the fresh-caught seafood from that area. Of course, Texas is world-renowned for chilli cook-offs and BBQ contests (smoked, not grilled) – so there is always a lot to eat.

Our Resort has many citrus trees so you can pick fresh grapefruit, limes, lemons and oranges right out of your own backyard. And the Valley grows many other vegetables and fruits (onions, cabbages, cauliflower, lettuce, melons, watermelon, strawberries) – often three crops a year – which are fresh and inexpensive to buy.

If you like rodeos and stock shows, and bloodless bull fighting, south Texas can entertain you. But, by far, Texas is a place for music – from country-western to Mariachi – you’ll find live music almost everywhere in the numerous cafes and bars where you can dance, and enjoy inexpensive beer, margaritas, tequila and wine. If you play a guitar, bring it along, as there are jam sessions all over the Valley every week. Karaoke is also a popular musical activity.

Gated-communities like ours (Victoria Palms Resort) offer an almost unlimited number of activities (pickle ball, bocce ball, aqua-fit, bike clubs, car racing, stained glass, wood carving, ceramics, Spanish classes, book club, golf leagues, art classes, line dancing, country-western dancing, ballroom dancing, sewing, quilting, computer classes, tennis, poker, too many card games to mention, jam sessions, live entertainment in our ballroom, darts, bingo, wood working, karaoke, billiards, shuffle board, horse shoes – and so on). Add the ever-present happy hours, ice-cream socials, pool parties and potluck suppers, and you can fill up your calendar very quickly.

Those are some of the many reasons why we have invested in a mobile home, western boots and hats – and why we keep coming back to Texas.

Wilma Jacobs