It’s All About the People at Riverside RV Resort in Arcadia, FL

IMG_0072_cropped

When you find an RV park with the right mix of people, it’s hard to leave. That’s the sentiment at Riverside RV Resort and Campground in Arcadia, Florida. With 602 sites, this pet-friendly, close-knit community is a popular destination amongst RVers, especially Canadian snowbirds, many of whom have been wintering in the park since it first opened twenty years ago.

“We feel like we have found a small slice of ‘heaven’ at the Riverside RV Resort,” say Ben and Sandy Milburn, who are spending their tenth year at Riverside. “The most wonderful thing about this resort is the wonderful group of people that we have met here, who have become our snowbird family.”

Why do people come back to Riverside RV year after year? According to Sue Spalding, Riverside’s manager, the breathtaking scenery, beautiful landscape, top-notch amenities and fun activities help, but it’s really the strong sense of community that keeps people coming back. “The campers have really developed a winter community here. There is a camaraderie and helpfulness amongst our guests that you just won’t find elsewhere,” she says.

Enjoy Peace and Quiet in the Country

If you’re looking for peace and quiet, you’ll find it here. Riverside RV Resort and IMG_0232Campground is located directly on the Peace River, which flows past the west side of Arcadia and southwest towards the tidewater at Punta Gorda.

Located northwest of DeSoto County and 44 miles (71 km) west of South Sarasota, Arcadia is a great spot to dig for fossilized shark teeth. In addition to shark tooth hunting, locals love to canoe, boat and fish on the Peace River.

Arcadia offers the low-key, slow pace of the country, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t lots to do during the winter months. The small town of about 8,000 hosts DeSoto County’s annual fair in January, which boasts a carnival-like atmosphere as well as livestock shows presented by local 4-H and FFA members, and in March the local rodeo association puts on a charity rodeo enjoyed by park and community members alike.

A Hidden Antique Town

Do you love antiquing? Arcadia has one of the largest groupings of antique dealers in the state of Florida, and they’re all conveniently located in the downtown area. Campers at Riverside RV look forward to the 4th Saturday Antique Fair, which is held each month from 8 am to 3 pm. Find the perfect treasures and knick knacks as gifts, for your RV, or to take back home.

A Community That’s Driven by Fun

Arcadia has lots to offer, but there’s lots going on in Riverside RV Resort and Campground too. With a large proportion of Canadian guests, particularly from Ontario and IMG_0078Nova Scotia, the campground hosts a Canadian party as well as a number of estate parties throughout the season.  Of course, in this close-knit community everyone is welcome and intermingles, and the name of the game is fun. That’s why, at Riverside all the Canadian regulars who were able to come back this year have made the trip. At a time when other RV parks are losing some of their Canadian bookings because of the politicized climate and Canadian dollar, Riverside’s Canadian community remains vibrant, Spalding says.

And with plenty of swimming pools, a picnic grove, and an activity centre, games room, table tennis, shuffleboard, horseshoes and pickle ball courts why wouldn’t you come back? At Riverside RV there is never a dull moment – you can choose to enjoy the weekly entertainment, or take it easy at your own pace with a leisurely walk, relaxing boat ride or a day fishing on the water.

Breathtaking Views for All

Because Riverside RV is located directly on the Peace River, there’s a calm, relaxing vibe aIMG_0408t the park that keeps people coming back. It’s the pristine landscape and beautiful views that make Riverside special, Spalding says. In addition to the lull of river life, guests enjoy ponds with waterfalls and palm trees that host a wide variety of bird species, all located throughout the park, so that all guests can enjoy an amazing view, no matter which site they reserve.

A Fisherman’s Paradise

If you love fishing, then there’s no better way to spend your winter. Riverside offers fishing ponds (where you can try your luck with the bass), and direct access to the Peace River with brackish water (a mix of fresh water and salt water). The Peace River is home to snook, red fish, pike and blue gill. The park’s boat ramp offers direct access on and off the water, making it easy to spend the day fishing.

Riverside RV Resort and Campground in Arcadia, Florida has all the activities and amenities that you could ask for. But, the most surprising part of this park is that you may find a second home and a community that feels like family. It’s this close-knit community that keeps guests coming back year, after year to spend the winters with their snowbird family.

Interested in visiting Arcadia, Florida? Want to stay at Riverside RV Resort? Let us know in the comments below!

Meet Steven from Forest lake Village RV Resort in Zephyrhills, FL

stevenBagiardi

Profile:

  • Name: Steven Bagiardi
  • In position since: June of 2016
  • Title: Resort Manager
  • Work Location: Forest Lake Village RV Resort
  • Favorite Activities: Spending time with family and friends, golfing, scuba diving and much more!

How does a typical day at Forest Lake Village look like?  What is your favorite moment of the day?

Well first off, it starts off with a whole lot of sunshine and beautiful weather. But there is no such thing as a “typical day” on the operations part of this business. There are so many different facets to what we do every day and that makes it fun. My favorite moments of the days are when I get out 2-3 times a day and ride in the golf cart. I just take a ride, enjoy the weather, and see the beautiful community and the amazing guests that are here in the park.

You are working, while people at the resort are enjoying their vacation. How do you handle that?

This is an easy one. I simply love making people happy. My guests are an extension of my family. After all, I am at work more hours than I am at home. Seeing my guests having fun and helping to make their stay the best it can possibly be is what I love.

When people ask you what the best experiences are in the surrounding areas, what would you recommend?

We are so fortunate to be located centrally between Tampa and Orlando. I would send people to Tampa for the amazing sports teams we have like the University of South Florida Bulls and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Tampa Bay Rays, and Tampa Bay Lightning! Can’t forget Busch Gardens, Tarpon Springs, and the gorgeous beaches! Towards Orlando, I would send people to Disney and all of the other great attractions they have.

What’s your favorite story to tell about your time at Forest Lake?

I tell people how happy my residents are when I do something for them or the park. No matter how small or simple, the guests here are so appreciative.

What’s your best accomplishment so far at the resort?

I have made it a point to get out in the community and to get to know my guests and spend time with them. This is something that they never had with previous ownership. I want to change that.  I want people to get to know me and feel extremely comfortable with me as the manager. I am a people person!

If you had to describe your RV park to someone who thinks about coming to Forest Lake Village, what would you say?

Forest Lake Village RV Resort is a stunning oasis where you can relax and enjoy all of the great activities that we have to offer every day. It is also close enough to Tampa and Orlando so that you can enjoy all that they have to offer as well.


What brought you to Forest Lake Village?

I wanted to manage a top-quality RV park just outside of the busy downtown Tampa area. When Forest Lake Village came into the company’s portfolio, I knew I wanted to come here.

Any last words for your current and future guests?

Forest Lake Village is a phenomenal resort with so much to offer onsite, or nearby. My staff and I do everything possible to make our guests happy and we would love the opportunity to show you how much we truly love what we do. Welcome to Forest Lake Village RV Resort!

Tips & Tricks: RV Refrigerator Maintenance Checklist

ThinkstockPhotos-dv1435029

You’ve made the investment in a quality refrigerator for your RV. Now you need to learn what you can do to keep it running for the life of your RV. Some maintenance can be done yourself, but others require a service technician.

Maintenance Checklist For the Do It Yourselfer

1.Be sure to check the burner flame for proper appearance. The flame should be light blue. If it has a yellow tip, this means it is burning incorrectly and should be serviced by a qualified technician. Check to be sure there is no spider web, insect next, soot or rust on or around the burner. If there is, knock it off with a small screwdriver and clean the area with compressed air or by blowing through a soda straw.

2.For proper ventilation, keep the area behind your refrigerator clear. Check the upper and lower vents and the area between those openings for any obstructions such as a bird nest.

3.Check all connections in the LP gas system (at the back of your refrigerator) for gas leaks by applying a non-corrosive commercial leak detector solution to all connections. Do not use a flame to check for leaks. The appearance of bubbles indicates a leak and should be repaired immediately by a qualified service technician familiar with LP gas.

Maintenance Checklist to Be Performed By a Qualified Service Person at Least Once a Year

1.Check the 12-volt battery system and wiring. Battery problems can adversely affect your refrigerator causing intermittent operation or dim interior lighting. The technician should look at the battery terminals, electrolyte level, amount of charge, etc. A normal operating voltage is 10.5 to 13.5 volts DC.

2.Finally, be sure the technician takes a look at the gas pressure, checks for gas leaks, cleans the flue tube and burner jet and checks the LP gas safety shutoff.

Let us know if you have any other tips we may not have mentioned in the comments below!

Story courtesy of Snowbirds & RV Travelers Magazine

Explore Fort Myers From the Comfort of Pioneer Village

Pioneer-Village-Pool

Close to the Most Beautiful Beaches

The west coast of Florida, with its white sand beaches lapped by the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico, has been attracting a growing number of Canadian tourists in the past few years. The Fort Myers area, located in the southern part of the state and blessed with a lush subtropical vegetation, is no exception to this trend.

Just across the Caloosahatchee River from Fort Myers, you will find one of the places where visitors from up north are best represented in the vicinity: Pioneer Village RV Resort. This popularity should come as no surprise, since at only 25 minutes from the renowned beaches of Sanibel and Captiva, guests of this vast resort can unwind in a relaxed and friendly venue – which comprises over 500 RV sites and is home to more than 200 permanent residents. Any time of the year, fun is always there!

Two Islands Where Nature Prevails

Hands down the real stars of the area, the islands of Sanibel and Captiva are famous not only for their stunning beaches, wild and pristine, but also for the amazing variety of seashells covering their shores. This abundance is particularly striking along the 15 miles of beaches of Sanibel, a barrier island that runs east-west, unlike most coastal islands of its kind, which run north-south. As a result, currents from both the north and south drop shells by the millions, and seekers come from around the world to find the rarest specimens!

Seashells are not your cup of tea? It won’t be an issue, because Sanibel offers much more than this. While strolling around this narrow stretch of land, which only has 7,000 resort pictures 013 (1)residents and is separated from the mainland by a 3-mile bridge, you will be able to contemplate its unique wildlife. The J. N. “Ding” Darling Wildlife National Refuge covers a quarter of the surface area of Sanibel, making it a true paradise for nature lovers and bird watchers. Over 220 species of birds nest in this large mangrove ecosystem, which you can explore on foot, by bike or even by kayak.

Plenty of Action in Town

If the islands are well worth a visit, there is no shortage of highlights on the mainland too. Know as the “City of Palms” due to the thousands of trees that line its streets, Fort Myers has a wide range of great restaurants, along with numerous art galleries, antiques shops, and a variety of entertainment on its banks.

It’s also worth noting that the shopping options, in the heart of the city as in the suburbs, cater to all tastes – from the small stores along the beach to the giant malls near Highway 75. Here are three places that are especially popular and interesting: the huge DSC00709Fleamasters Flea Market, with its 900 stores; the Ortiz Avenue Flea Market, an outdoor market with an emphasis on locally grown produce and Mexican food; and Miromar Outlets, the largest outlet mall in the area, located a few miles south of the city.

Finally, a holiday in Fort Myers would not be complete without a visit to the winter homes of two famous American inventors, Thomas Edison and Henry Ford, who both played a crucial role in the city’s history. The Edison and Ford Winter Estates contain a historical museum and a 21-acre botanical garden featuring more than a thousand varieties of plants. A number of tours and activities are offered to explore this magnificent tropical site.

A Day Trip to Sarasota

For those who wish to venture a little further and discover a neighboring region, the city of Sarasota, approximately one hour from Pioneer Village RV Resort, is the perfect choice. Regarded as Florida’s cultural hub, Sarasota was greatly influenced by its most prominent citizen, circus magnate John Ringling, who built his residence there in the early 1920s. He wiled to the city what has become its chief attraction: the John & Mable Ringling Museum of Art, which includes 21 galleries of European paintings and contemporary art, as well as a circus museum and one of the largest historical mansion in North America.

An RV Resort with a Wide Array of Activities

With so many things going on at Pioneer Village, chances are you will wish to spend quite a lot of time on site, even if it means putting off a few outings! The resort has its own Social Committee, formed to manage various activities and to make sure that guests will always find something interesting to do. Without having to worry about the planning, DSC00899visitors can simply focus on their next activity!

Furthermore, the RV park features spacious campgrounds, hiking trails, and unparalleled sports and recreational facilities, such as a pool, a spa, a fitness center, two tennis courts, and multiple shuffleboard courts. Not to mention the dog park and pet stations – so no need to board anyone before visiting!

And if you plan on traveling “light”, so to speak, and leave your RV behind, Pioneer Village is the ideal place to do so, with many park models and travel trailers available at all times.

No matter the type of lodging you choose, you can rest assured that the very best of Florida is waiting for you at Pioneer Village RV Resort!

Want to visit Pioneer Village RV Resort in Fort Myers? Let us know in the comments below. 

Take a Winter Break in Orlando – Kissimmee, Florida!

ThinkstockPhotos-148492141

There’s so much to do in the Orlando – Kissimmee area. There are hundreds of amazing things to see and do including the big name theme parks. Make your next winter getaway to Orlando – Kissimmee and you’ll be glad you did.

Golfers’ Paradise

The weather here is perfect for golfing year round. Courses range from easy 9-hole to challenging 18-hole. Golfers will love staying at the Clerbrook Golf and RV Resort. This
clerbrookfull-service RV resort and the golf course is located in lush Lake County. They have a challenging 18-hole golf course with rolling fairways and rippling greens. They have a pro shop too!

The beauty of this area is there are a dozen quality golf courses within a 15-minute drive of Clerbrook, and dozens more within a half hour drive. Surrounded by lakes, friendly people and great weather truly make this area a golfers’ paradise.

Amuse Yourself

Let the kid in you out to play. With Disney Magic Kingdom, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Epcot, Sea World, Ripley’s Believe it or Not and Universal all nearby, you’ll have plenty of places to amuse yourself.

Both Sherwood Forest RV and Tropical Palms RV Resort are minutes away from dozens of theme parks and entertainment venues. At Sherwood Forest you’ll find yourself surrounded by lush trees, excellent landscaping, and clear water lakes. It’s a natural andsherwoodForest peaceful setting that seems miles away from fantasy worlds around you. Up the road is Tropical Palms RV. Get to know your fellow guests and take part in the many on site activities. Invite your family to join you as there are plenty of cottages for rent here and they sleep up to eight people.

Once you’ve rested up, why not head over to Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Come face to face with a Yeti, find Nemo, go on an African Safari, step back in time to Dinoland or get wet on a wild water rafting trip through Asia. Daytona Beach, Kennedy Space Center, Busch Gardens, and Old Town are all here
for you to enjoy.

Right in the Middle

With so much to see and do in the Orlando – Kissimmee area, it can be hard to decide tropicalPalmswhere to stay. Winter Garden RV Resort is right in the middle of everything, literally. It’s 145 km (90 mi) to either of the Florida coasts. And, it’s minutes away from Lake Apopka, Florida’s third largest lake. Pick an activity, a lake, a theme park, a shopping centre. It’s all nearby.

Shopping

The Orlando – Kissimmee area is a shoppers’ paradise. From budget to blow your budget, there are boutiques, outlet malls and shopping centres for you to find that perfect something. When you stay at Lake Magic RV Resort you’ll be near almost everything. That way you’ll have a short trip home.

Down in Kissimmee there’s the Lake Buena Vista Factory Stores just south of I-4. You’ll find factory-direct top quality items at up to 75% off. When you’re looking for something lakeMagicunique check out Celebration Town Centre. Walk along tree lined streets and enjoy your day exploring charming boutique and specialty shops. You’ll find many of the shops located on a promenade that circles a lake.

Looking for vintage? They have that too! Discover the historic downtown areas of Kissimmee and St. Cloud. Art Galleries, doll shops, antiques and collectibles are all waiting for you.

Dinner and a Show

The range of food available in this area is nothing short of diverse. Mix that in with a show and you’ve got a night out to remember. Travel back in time to the days when mobsters’ ran prohibition era Chicago. Make sure you knock three times to get into the Capone’s Dinner and Show.

There are magic shows, Aloha shows, pirate shows, detective and mystery shows, and comedy shows. All are served up with a delicious meal. Toss aside your table manners and step into a fairy tale dinner with sweeping musical scores. The Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament puts on a show of brave Knights on horses and nail biting sword fights.

Hang Out at the Lake

A winter getaway doesn’t have to be jam packed with things to do. Relax a little. You deserve it!

Imagine waking up in the heart of orange grove country and taking a short stroll to a spring fed lake. When you get tired of exploring the area, you can always relax on the beach, orlandoread a book, have a picnic and soak up some rays. And yes, the lake does have fish, so get a rod and go catch your next meal. Hancock Lake is on the edge of Thousand Trails Orlando RV Camping and is a great place to just kick back and relax.

Should you feel like exploring other lakes, you won’t have far to go! Just 10 minutes up US Highway 27 is Lake Louisa State Park. Come explore over 4,500 acres known for its beautiful lakes, stunning landscapes and rolling hills. Lake Louisa, is the largest of 13 lakes which include Hammond Lake and Dixie Lake, where you can spend the day fishing, canoeing and kayaking.

Wherever you stay, whatever you do, you are sure to go home with some great tales to tell when you spend your winter in Orlando – Kissimmee.

Share what else you can do in Orlando-Kissimmee in the comments below!

The Key to Your Winter Getaway is no other than the Florida Keys

thinkstockphotos-177706990-1

This 120 mile stretch of island chains is home to North America’s only living coral barrier reef. It’s a great place to spend your winters, stay active, have fun and meet wonderful people!

Finding the Fabulous Florida Keys
The Florida Keys are located off the southern coast of Florida. While we may think of them as a series of islands, they are actually exposed portions of an ancient coral reef. The southern part of Key West is only 140 km (90 mi) from Cuba. Many of the islands are connected by an astounding 42 bridges! Getting here is easy. Take US 1 Florida City (south of Miami) to Key Largo and you’re on your way. You can also fly into Miami International Airport and rent a vehicle there.

Pack Your Swim Fins
Novice or expert, you are going to love snorkeling or diving in the reefs. The Florida Keys are located between the Atlantic ocean and the Gulf of Mexico and are packed with amazing underwater explorations. There’s Indian Key Historic State Park, 10 minutes from Encore’s Fiesta Key RV Resort, where you can view the remains of a shipwreck. You can also take an eco-tour and snorkel out on the reef. Underwater adventures are as limited as your time here, so pace yourself and enjoy life under the sea.

thinkstockphotos-185251753Fishing Paradise

The Florida Bay is in the upper Florida Keys and contains more species of fish than anywhere else in the Atlantic Ocean. There is a warm gulf stream that runs off the coast and creates a migration path for the fish. The variety of game fish and fishing grounds here is like nowhere else in the world.

Big Pine Key is 10 minutes from Sunshine Key RV Resort, and has dozens of fishing charters to choose from. Depending on the time of year your catch could be sailfish, wahoo, kingfish, cero mackerel, blue or white marlin, snapper, grouper, barracuda, amberjack, sharks, tuna or bonito. And it’s all within a 45-minute boat ride.

Boats, Canoes and Kayaks
Bring your own or rent one from one of the many suppliers in the Keys. Boating is the number one attraction in this area. The Fiesta Key RV Resort & Marina and the Sunshine Key RV Resort & Marina have their own marina where you can dock your boat when you’re not out exploring. For something a little more laid back, rent a canoe or kayak and explore the area. The Summerland and Big Pine Key have fewer people and great bays

and lagoons.

Explore and Learn
Come explore the area and learn what makes the Florida Keys so special. The National Key Deer Refuge is 84,824-acres created to protect the falling population of Key deer. It is just one of over 20 animals and plants classified as endangered or threatened, including five that are found nowhere else on Earth. There’s also the Blue Hole, the largest body of freshwater in the Keys. Take a stroll on the walking trail or gaze out from the observation platform. You’ll probably catch sight the resident alligator, turtles, and other wildlife.

The Dolphin Research Centre lies between Sunshine Key and Fiesta Key on the Gulf of Mexico. It’s wheelchair accessible and pet friendly too! While you’re here you can watch actual research, and observe animal behavior. Trainers are available to talk to you about the facility and the mammals in their care. You can also meet with the dolphins as they love to people watch as much as we love to watch them. There’s live presentations in the education theatre and signage

Arts, Culture and Shopping

The Florida Keys are a hub of arts and culture and there’s great shopping here too. From Key Largo to Key West you’ll find a vast assortment of talented theatre companies. Visual treats abound with galleries, art and art walks. Step into the past and visit one of the many museums in the Keys. Of particular note, is the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum in Key West. There are festivals up and down the Keys year round including art, music, Celtic and fantasy fests.

Shopping in the Keys is an adventure like no other. There’s the Lobster Trap Art Gallery, Little Switzerland, and places like the Latitude 25 Clothing company. There’s even outlet malls in Key Largo and Key West. Don’t be surprised by the number of places that sell key lime products!

Just Relax

Some days all you want to do is kick off your flip flops, put on your sunglasses and relax. There’s plenty of places to do that here. At Sunshine Key RV Resort, you can walk on warm sand directly into the ocean. Watch the sunrise and take a stroll down the beach as
_mg_0093-1-1you watch the sea birds frolic above the waves.

At the Bahia Honda State Park you can picnic at the beach and watch the wading and shore birds. The park has 500 acres where you can have a quiet day beachcombing, or simply enjoying the award-winning beach. There’s a concession on site too.

Where to Stay

Choosing where to stay could be a difficult task; as this area is filled with all types of accommodations. Sunshine Key RV Resort & Marina is a great place to relax and the perfect jumping off point for all things adventurous. You can bring your RV (there’s even beach sites) or rent a place to rest your head. Rentals include camping trailers, cabanas, and cottages.

Over at Fiesta Key RV Resort there are even more choices. Bring your own RV or rent one of their varied accommodations. How about a one bedroom waterfront cottage? There are villas that sleep up to four people, and they also have one and two-bedroom travel 3-2trailers. Some units are pet friendly.

Both locations are near tons of fun adventures and have swimming pools and activities for those days when you don’t feel like going too far.

Whatever your taste, a Florida Keys winter getaway has something for you.

Let us know what your favorite part of the Florida Keys is in the comments below, or let us know if you’d like to visit!