Park of the Month: Tropical Palms RV Resort

A Quiet Hideaway

Come and experience an oasis tucked within the vibrant and energetic area of central Florida at Tropical Palms RV Resort in Kissimmee, FL. The relaxing atmosphere, delightful amenities, and friendly community makes it a favorite place for guests.

“Our guests love how relaxing it is at Tropical Palms,” said park manager, Karla Hettinger. “We have 69 acres tucked away from the hustle and bustle surrounding the park. After a day of exploring you can enjoy time with other colorful guests by playing mini-golf, bocce ball, horseshoes, or just kick back and relax. We have 122 cottages for rent so you don’t need an RV to stay here. If you do bring your own RV, your friends and family can come visit and stay in the cottages.”

Tropical Palms has undergone some major upgrades and overhauls for 2018. “We have renovated many of our rental cottages with new floors, walls, furniture, deck furniture, beds, the works,” said Hettinger. “And, most of our cottages have new efficient AC units.”

 

The landscaping has been recently refreshed as well as the bocce ball court, horseshoe area, and mini-golf sections.

The bathrooms have all received a facelift as well. “Each of our five bathrooms has shower stalls on one side and toilets on the other with a great vanity space in between for getting ready. We’ve updated them with new granite counter tops, and new tile floors and walls,” said Hettinger. “They are just beautiful.”

Other improvements include electric meters so you only get charged for what you use and upgraded WiFi and cable.

Places to Go… Things to Do

“One of the great things about being where we are, is that we have two amusement parks right next door, and they don’t charge admission,” said Hettinger. “Old Town is one of Florida’s oldest amusement parks. Next to that is Fun Spot, which is a great place to take your guests, without having to drive to the larger theme parks.”

Old Town is a unique blend of shops, dining, attractions, rides, and weekly events. Stroll the streets and take in the historic architecture and browse unique stores. There are 18 acres here to explore as you walk down tree-lined brick streets and enjoy their family-friendly attractions. Old Town is home to the longest-running weekly car show and cruise.

Right next to Old Town is the Fun Spot theme park. You and your guests can ride the world’s tallest Sky Coaster or one of the other dozens of rides. There is a great arcade and a classic midway with games and fun prizes.

When you’re ready to extend your adventure a bit further, there are dozens of theme parks nearby.

At Walt Disney World® check out Living With the Land, a leisurely boat ride through a greenhouse that gives visitors the opportunity to see various plants that might eventually become part of their meal! Over at Epcot, there’s the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival (until the end of May), the Epcot International Festival of the Holidays, and the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival (Aug. 30 to Nov. 12, 2018).

Over at Universal StudiosTM, you can experience Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville®. Enjoy the leisurely pace, laid-back lyrics, and island-themed eats, including grilled fish tacos and key lime pie. There’s also the opportunity to party with a rock star! Velvet Sessions at The Hard Rock Hotel offers guests two different levels of interaction with legendary performers, with each level offered either monthly or a few times a year.

Visit the Kennedy Space Center where you can get the Astronaut Training Experience. At Busch Gardens, you’ll find more than 300 species of animals, ranging from the slow-moving sloth to the lightning fast cheetah, the world’s fastest land animal. Come and see why this park was recently recognized as one of the best theme parks in the world.

Meanwhile… Back at the Park

Once you’ve had your fill of what lies outside Tropical Palms, you can return and relax at your RV or cottage, or take part in one of the many programs. There are wine and paint nights and dances with live music. There are lots of parties too; appreciation parties, block parties, bean bag pizza parties, casino nights, ice cream socials, and yard sales!

And if that’s all too much, then kick back, relax, and enjoy the peace and quiet of Tropical Palms RV Resort.

Park of the Month: Monte Vista Village RV Resort

Monte Vista RV Resort

With sweeping vistas, warm weather, and welcoming hospitality, the historic city of Mesa, Arizona is yours to discover. From world-class museums, unique desert expeditions, and scenic lakes and canyons to explore, Mesa has what you want in a vacation destination! Add to that a great RV resort known for its hometown friendliness and cruise ship style fun and you’ve got the makings of a perfect get-away.

Rest Awhile

Monte Vista RV Resort is the perfect place to relax and rejuvenate. Located at the base of the Superstition Mountains on 80 beautiful acres with 832 sites, Monte Vista is the home away from home you’ve been looking for.

Mix and mingle with the residents and take part in some of their fun activities. There are plenty of great amenities here including a spa/whirlpool/hot tub and a restaurant. The tennis courts are very popular, with eight courts for you to play to your heart’s content. There’s softball, pickleball, shuffleboard, and lawn bowling too! Try your hand at pottery or woodworking, take in a dance or two or play a game of pool.

Adventure awaits!

When you decide to leave the park, adventure awaits. There’s a Monte Vista bus to take you out on some great explorations. You can also head out on your own and explore all the wonder of this area.

A short drive from Mesa you will find the Apache Trail. This scenic excursion will lead you on a journey into history, as you’ll follow in the footsteps of Native Americans and treasure seeking prospectors who traveled through the area over a century ago.

While on this tour, you’ll be watched over by the haunting volcanic Superstition cliffs which rise an impressive 609 m (2,000 ft). These secretive cliffs hide the Lost Dutchman Mine, which is one of the most famous mines of the west.

For those who want a view from the water, climb aboard the Dolly Steamboat! Get your camera ready to capture bighorn sheep wandering on the shore, bald eagles soaring above, or a myriad other wildlife and waterfowl. Your captain will also regale you with the legend of Superstition Mountains.

If you consider yourself to be a foodie, Mesa is known for its year-round fresh produce offerings Imagine treating your taste buds to citrus in January, peaches in May, or olives in October. Take a tour of the Fresh Foodie Trail® and enjoy chef-directed dinners in some of Arizona’s most romantic settings.

For the horticulturist, stop and smell some of the nearly 9,000 rose bushes growing in the desert. The Rose Garden at Mesa Community College is where you’ll find the vibrant colors, different forms, and various growth habits of these beautiful flowers. They are truly a sight to behold!

History Comes Alive

If historical aircraft gets your propeller spinning, be sure to visit the Commemorative Air Force Air Base of Arizona. Get up close and personal with some of the rarest and most unique military combat planes in the world. Be sure to bring your camera to snap some photos of amazingly preserved authentic war artifacts.

For historical artifacts of a paleontological nature, the Arizona Museum of Natural History offers a glimpse into life millions of years ago. There are also more recent civilizations, such as the Navajo, Apache, and the Ancestral Pueblo peoples.

Cultural Discoveries

The state of Arizona has an incredible array of world-class live theatre. From Broadway-style shows to classical music performances to comedy, there is something here you are sure to enjoy.

The Arizona Broadway Theatre has several excellent shows planned, which you won’t want to miss. For those who wish to engage in an amazing auditory experience, the Mesa Arts Center offer several inspiring classical music performances.

Back at the Resort

After a day out exploring this fascinating area, you’ll be happy to see smiling faces back at Monte Vista Village. Take in a live show, meet up for cocktails, or simply relax in your RV and plan your next day’s adventures.

From RV sites to new homes, learn more about all that Monte Vista RV Resort has to offer!

The Friendliest RV Park in the Valley

They call themselves, “the friendliest park in the valley,” and the people who stay here agree! It’s as if the majestic Rio Grande Valley welcomed you with open arms. Imagine waking each morning to the invigorating scent of nearby citrus groves. Some days you may detect a waft of enticing Gulf of Mexico air to tickle your olfactory senses.

Add to that plenty of activities, free coffee, dancehalls and dozens of groups to join. You’ll love this winter home away from home.

Park Your Wagon

Alamo Palms RV Resort makes for an excellent hitching post. The perfect place to park your wagon while you’re out exploring the Rio Grande Valley and the beautiful South Padre Island. When you want to stick closer to the comforts of your RV, this resort offers numerous choices in recreation, fun, and entertainment.

Get moving with pickleball, tennis, swimming, and shuffleboard. Keep your swing in top shape at the large golf driving net. For those traveling with four-legged canine friends, there are two spacious dog parks so your furry buddy can run free.

Many have made lifelong friendships with their fellow snowbirds here. There are several active and fun social experiences, such as regular potluck suppers and bingo games. When you’re in the mood to cut a rug, head over to one of the two large dance halls. Don your best duds, shine up your cowboy or cowgirl boots and get ready to do-si-do the night away.

Go Exploring!

When you head out to explore the area, you’ll find plenty to do. The City of Alamo, nicknamed the “Land of Two Summers”, is known for being the doorway to the Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge. This popular 845-hectare (2088-acre) refuge is home to a large percentage of all North American butterfly species. There approximately 400 species of birds, and rare creatures such as the Indigo Snake and the endangered Ocelot living here. If you’re visiting the refuge during the winter months, take the tram that meanders throughout the refuge three times a day.

For something a little different, visit the Alamo Angels Museum for a divine exhibit. The Angels in Alamo display is a heavenly host to over 1,500 angels. Shirl Pfeiffer began collecting angels as a young child and donated them to the museum.  

If outdoor fun is more your speed, just a short drive away from Alamo Palms Resort lies the warm sandy beaches of beautiful South Padre Island. Once you arrive, you’ll have many wonderful activities to choose from. Kick off your shoes, run your toes through the warm sand, enjoy a leisurely swim, then let the sun warm your soul while lying on the beach. Maybe you’d like to try your luck on the water by boarding a boat and going shrimping or deep-sea fishing.

For a unique water experience, consider joining a group and searching for dolphins with The Original Dolphin Watch. These amazing mammals often put on a show for spectators aboard The Double Sunshine. Be sure to have your camera ready and your ears tuned to listen for the many clicks, whistles, squeaks, and squawks these playful and intelligent creatures make.

After a busy day of outdoor adventure, imagine how good your body will feel after a relaxing massage. The Massage and Healing Arts Center has many different services to offer, such as deep tissue and Swedish massage, manicures, pedicures, and rejuvenating facials. Be sure and set some time aside to pamper yourself!

For history and culture buffs, the International Museum of Art and Science is a must see. Located in the City of McAllen, just a short drive from Alamo, this world-class museum is sure to amaze you with its wide variety of exhibits. Take your time and discover the fascinating feature of the ceiling being reflected as you look through the front door of the museum. Hint: there is a mirror involved.

Local Cuisine

Before heading out on a full day of excitement and adventure, enjoy a delicious Mexican inspired breakfast at Alamo Tortilleria and Bakery. This eatery was given a 5-star rating on Tripadvisor.

Several mouth-watering options await you at this quaint little restaurant, such as homemade corn and flour tortillas, freshly made Mexican sauces, cheeses, as well as boiled beans. With so many delicious items to choose from, the hard part will be deciding which to try first.

At the end of a day of exploration, your tummy may be grumbling. It’s the perfect time to check out Willie B’s Barbeque who has, according to one reviewer, “the best barbecue in the Rio Grande Valley!” When it’s time to satisfy your sweet tooth, be sure to stop in at Manjar Bakery for some delicious Mexican pastries, such as their delicious sweet bread.

When you’ve done all you want to do for the day, return to your RV knowing tomorrow is another day filled with as little or as much to do as your heart desires.

ViewPoint RV & Golf Resort – Your Arizona Getaway

Stay in the heart of Arizona at ViewPoint RV & Golf Resort. There are so many great things to do here, you many never want to leave. If you do, there’s no shortage of places to go and explore. Take in the gorgeous views of the Superstition Mountains or spend the day exploring Tonto National Forest, or the surrounding cities.

Located on the edge of Mesa, Arizona, off Arizona State 202, this thriving community is the perfect place to relax, or be as busy as you want.

Activities Galore

There is such a wide variety of activities here, you may have to stay the entire season to do them all. The creative side of you will love the arts and crafts groups and classes here. Try your hand at creating a ceramic masterpiece, or carving the perfect bowl.

Put on your dancing shoes and spend some time at the dance hall. Come out for Square, Line, Round and Ballroom dances. Can’t dance? They have Line, Country Western and Swing dance lessons at the resort.

There are men’s and women’s exercise classes and co-ed water aerobics where you can have fun as you keep fit. For those who just want to relax, ViewPoint has a sauna, three swimming pools, and six hot tubs.

You don’t have to leave the resort to be entertained either. ViewPoint has weekly dinner shows, a live concert series and Live Music on the Green.

Get out and enjoy a game of tennis on one of their 10 tennis courts. If softball is more to your liking, then you’ve come to the right place. Softball is a major activity here and they usually have ten men’s and one women’s team for league and tournament play. There’s a billiard room, shuffleboard, volleyball and basketball courts here too. If that isn’t enough, there’s also pickle ball, bingo, cards and a chipping, putting green.

Golf is Steps Away

Golfers love to stay at ViewPoint. There are two golf courses here; an 18-hole championship golf course and a 9-hole executive course.

Their par-71, 6,374-yard Championship Course opened in 1996. Imagine spending the day on their generous tree-lined traditional fairways and immaculate greens with panoramic views of the Superstition mountain range. Challenge yourself on the 40 bunkers with lots of water hazards. There are four sets of tees to accommodate all levels of players.

Should you conquer these courses, there are dozens more within a 45 minute drive of ViewPoint.

Onsite ProShop

The Viewpoint ProShop has pretty much everything you’ll need for golf and tennis. They have a full line of equipment, clubs, accessories and golf apparel. You’ll find brand names like Adidas, Footjoy, En Fuego, SportHaley, Bette & Court, and Fairway Outfitters here. They are also the authorized custom club fitters for PING and Tour Edge.

You can also find hundreds of gifts and knick knacks here. How about cookie jars that look like stacks of golf balls, wall plaques with clever sayings, or lamps trimmed with nostalgic miniature balls and clubs.

No RV – No Problem

ViewPoint has stylish park models ready for you to move right in. Sleep on a comfortable queen size bed in your new bedroom with dresser and a flat screen TV. There’s a three piece ensuite bath with a sit in shower and a washer and dryer.

The galley kitchen has all the comforts of home including a full-sized fridge, stove, microwave, dishwasher, coffee maker, toaster and dinnerware for four. The dining table seats four comfortably. Relax on the love seat or full size sleeper sofa. There a TV and a DVD player for those times you just want to stay indoors. Outside is a covered patio with a gas grill so you can barbeque and eat outside if you wish.

All rentals come with linen, towels, toiletries, paper products, basic cable, Wi-Fi and an outside faucet. While this is a pet friendly park, pets are not allowed in the rentals.

Explore Mesa, AZ

You won’t have to go far to stock your kitchen, with several shopping centers nearby. When you don’t feel like cooking, there are dozens of restaurants within a 10-minute drive and even more within a 20-minute drive.

For some major shopping, head over to Superstition Springs Center where you’ll find everything from shoes to couches, bubble bath to potting soil, and so much more at this two level shopping center.

Treat yourself to a night out at the Mesa Arts Center. They have classical music, ballet, jazz, special speakers, live theatre, comedy and more!

Take a public-art walking tour through downtown Mesa. You can get a map online that will show you about 40 pieces including Humpty Dumpty on a wall and a Flowering Stiletto, a giant heel paired with an orange flower. Nearby is the Wind Cave Trail at Usery Mountain Regional Park. A great way to explore the area on easy walking trails.

Take a Day Trip

Tempe, is a short 30-minute drive from the resort. Once there, stroll the brick lined sidewalks to shopping, restaurants, and attractions. Visit Sea Life Arizona, and get a close-up view of clownfish, turtles, sharks, rays, seahorses and many other sea creatures. At the Tempe Marketplace, you’ll find over 1.3 million square feet of shopping heaven with water features, light and laser elements and fireplaces.

Phoenix is just a few minutes west of Tempe, home to high-end spas, more golf courses, and the Desert Botanical Garden. There’s also the Phoenix Zoo and interactive museums. Walk the canals or rent a grid bike and tour Phoenix’s arts and culture scene

Since you’re in Arizona you might as well take a day trip to the Grand Canyon. It’s about 3.5 hours from ViewPoint RV. Get a copy of their self-guided tour and explore away! You can also head south for 3.5 hours to the Mexican border.

There’s so much to explore from your home away from home at ViewPoint RV and Golf Resort.

Beach and Ocean Fun in Fort De Soto Park, Florida

When you are looking for a bit of get-away-from-it-all, Fort De Soto Park is the place to go. Water lovers, history buffs, animal lovers, hikers, bird watchers, and others, will find more than enough here to enjoy. Come for a day, or visit every week, the Fort De Soto Park is waiting for you to discover all its wonders.

Beaches and a Bombing Range

Once you arrive at Fort De Soto Park you’ll notice there’s not much here, except miles and miles of beaches, a concession stand, a pier and an historical fort. Take a peaceful stroll along the beach collecting shells. Look out into the water at sunrise or sunset, and you’ll probably spot dolphins playing in the surf. You can bring your four-legged friend with you as there is a dog park here and dog beaches. You don’t have to walk far to find some solitude. The park is quite large. There’s 1,136 acres containing five interconnected keys. It is estimated there are over seven miles of waterfront here, with three miles being nothing but white sandy beaches.

Pack a picnic lunch and relax in one of their picnic pavilions. Should you prefer, hike and bike the surrounding area. There are seven miles of paved trail connecting North Beach, East Beach, the boat ramp and the camping area. Or just spend the day lazing about on the beach. This is also a great place to take out your kayak and explore along the shore. There is natural beauty for as far as the eye can see.

This park is also chock full of history. Once inhabited solely by the Tocobaga Indians, that changed in the 1500s when Spanish explorers landed on their shores. In 1940, it became a bombing range, but Fort De Soto was never the site of any major battle and their weapons were never fired in combat. You can take a walking tour of the fort and imagine what it must have been like all those years ago.

Park Flora and Fauna

The keys of Fort De Soto Park are home to palm hammocks, mangroves, hardwoods and a variety of native plants. This amazing ecosystem is home to more than 328 species of birds. These have been documented by ornithologist over the past 60 years, and they are still adding more.

Like turtles? Look closely and you may find a loggerhead sea turtle taking refuge here. They nest between April and September.

Fishing is great in this area and there is a boat launch here with plenty of docks, should you happen to bring your boat. If not, there are dozens of boat rental facilities, and tour operators who would love to take you out for a day of saltwater fishing. Fish from your kayak, from shore, or off the pier if you prefer. There are two fishing piers here, each with a food and bait concession.

There are many places to stay in the area, our favorites are the Terra Ceia Village RV Resort and the Winter Quarters Manatee RV Resort. Both are between 35 and 45 minutes from Fort De Soto Park.

Terra Ceia Village RV Resort

Located south of Tampa, in Palmetto, FL, when you stay here you’ll also be close to some great attractions within about a 50 to 90-minute drive.

Walt Disney World, Epcot Center, and Sea World are great for day trips and are about 1.5 hours from the resort. In Tampa, 50 minutes away, there’s also the Seminole Hard Rock Casino, the Adventure Island water park and Busch Gardens.

You won’t be disappointed by the variety of restaurants and shopping nearby. At last count, there were about 160 restaurants in the Palmetto area. Choose from seafood, pizza, steakhouse, Italian, Greek, Thai, Mexican, or Chinese. As for shopping, there’s everything from outlet malls, to antique shops, to clothing and jewelry stores.

When you just want to stay close to home, there are still plenty of things to do at the Terra Ceia Village RV Resort. Try your hand at arts and crafts or take an exercise class. There’s bingo, cards, sightseeing tours, as well as weekly potlucks.

Winter Quarters Manatee RV Resort

Twenty minutes SE of Terra Ceia is Winter Quarters Manatee RV Resort in Bradenton, FL. It’s a great location to get you to other Florida must-see places like Anna Maria Island. Its main avenue is lined with places to eat, galleries and shops. You’re also a short drive away from Siesta Key and their glorious beaches. Sink your toes in as you walk over eight miles of the finest, whitest sand on the Gulf of Mexico.

The city of Bradenton has a perfect mix of museums, parks, a vibrant downtown, and a working artists’ community. Check out the South Florida Museum which contains the Parker Manatee Aquarium and the Bishop Planetarium. When you meet the manatees, you may understand why sailors once mistook them for mermaids. There’s also the Manatee Village Historical Park where you can step back in time to days before paved roads and electricity.

Have a need for speed? Then spend some time at the DeSoto Super Speedway. The front gates open at 4:30 and the racing starts at 7 p.m.

Meanwhile, back at the RV park, there’s dozens of things for you to do. Sign up for the Men’s or Women’s Golf League and enjoy some of Florida’s finest golf courses. Put on your dancing shoes and head over to the dancehall. Choose from ballroom, line, country western, swing, and square dancing. They’ll even teach you if you don’t know how. Try your hand at woodcarving or one of their arts and crafts. One thing’s for certain, you won’t be bored here.

When you’re thinking of spending your winter near white sandy beaches, tons of history and among fun and friendly people, these are the places to stay.

Toby’s RV Resort in Arcadia, Florida is More Home Than Not

When you find a place that feels as comfortable and enjoyable as being at home, chances are you’re going to want to stay there, especially if the weather is great! Toby’s RV Resort in Arcadia, Florida is extremely popular, in part due to its great value among Florida RV resorts and its location off the beaten path.

Meet Bill

They say if you want to know something about a place, you ask a local. While most RV resorts have a fairly transient population, Toby’s RV Resort in Arcadia, FL, has residents who park their RVs here year-round and stay for more than a season. Bill Payne and his wife Ruth are two of those residents. They like living here so much here, they came down early!

“I heard about Toby’s from some friends that were down here,” explained Bill. “They loved it here so we came down to see what it was like. That was in January 2010 and we’ve been coming here ever since. We usually come down here for six or seven months. This year it will probably be eight or nine months.”

Bill is one of the 800 or so people who come to stay at Toby’s RV every year. There are a handful that live there year-round. “We get a lot of people here from Michigan, Ohio, New York, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Connecticut and quite a few come down from all over Canada. We even have people come down here from Alaska,” he said.

Keeping Busy in the Resort

Bill knows how to keep himself and others busy. In fact, he arranges some of the activities. He sits on the activity board and is in charge of the Ice Cream Social, hall rentals, and helps with bringing in entertainment.

“There’s so much to do here!” he exclaimed. “We have something pretty much every day and night. We have the Unknown DJ, a park resident from Canada, who DJs 50s to 90s music, and there’s live music a few times a month. We have Christmas parties and New Years’ Eve parties, Valentine’s parties…”

Suffice it to say there are over 80 activities a month. Yes, that’s right, a month, that you can take part in. From pickleball to Pétanque, you’re bound to find a thing or two to keep you busy here.

“Our Ice Cream Socials are every Sunday,” said Bill as he looked for his activities list. “We have regular Bingo on Monday and Friday nights and Card Bingo, that you play with a deck of cards, on Wednesday nights.”

Bill finds his list and then the information really started flowing. “Our most popular activities are shuffleboard, bocce ball, and horseshoes. We have a live music jam every Tuesday night and every other Thursday there’s a pot luck supper. There are dances twice a month on Saturday and shows twice a month too. About 100 – 200 people will show up to each of these events. The hall here holds 300 people.”

With all these activities, you might think it would be expensive, but the activity committee has that all figured out. “We sell activity cards for $12.50 for six months from November to end of March. That will get you into the dances and the shows for free. If you don’t have a card – it’s $10 each to get into the dance or a show. Coming up in March we even have Dion Pride, Charlie Pride’s son, coming to perform for us.”

There’s more on Bill’s list. About once a month they have someone come in to cook up a lunch. The last few years they’ve had someone come in and smoke up ribs for their rib dinner. There’s coffee and donuts every Friday morning where the coffee is free and donuts are 50 cents.

Keep on Learning

There are classes here as well. And not just one or two, there are a dozen or so, with more being thought up every year. “You can take just about any kind of class here,” Bill said with a touch of pride in his voice. You can really tell he loves it here. “We have painting classes and if you want something different there are stained glass classes. There’s quilting and needlework and crocheting too, and beading classes every Friday morning.”

He pauses for a moment. “Oh, there’s line dancing classes too, that’s always fun. Then we have a younger gal from Canada who comes here and teaches Yoga and other movement exercises. You can even take tennis lesson here.”

Should you want to learn something else, they have someone at the resort who teaches computer classes, and woodcarving and basket weaving. “There’s something going on here every day,” said Bill. “We’re pretty busy here. We just keep goin’.”

Kick Back and Relax

For those who just want to sit back and relax a bit, there’s time and places for that too. There’s a park with a large pond on the property. “The pond has alligators in it,” Bill said matter of factly. “You don’t have to worry about them. You can just sit on the deck by the pond and watch them. They never come into the resort, and if the odd one does, we get rid of it quickly. You can fish here too. It’s all catch and release. If you want to go further out, Lake Okeechobee is only an hour east of here. You can go fishing and boating there.”

Many residents just like to relax in the pool or have a soak in the hot tub. There’s an exercise room, a weight room and pool tables and even a well-stocked library on site.

Happy Trails

The land around Toby’s is fairly flat, making it easy to bike around the RV resort and into the town of Arcadia. “The only hills around here are man-made,” said Bill. “It’s fairly flat countryside so you can go quite a ways.”

It’s about a 20-minute bike ride, or a 10-minute car ride to Morgan Park which has some nice easy hiking trails. There’s large open grassy areas for games and picnics. The park is located on the banks of the Peace River, which is reportedly a great spot for swimming and fishing. You may even see the odd armadillo, deer or squirrel as you walk the trails.

“There’s a bike and hike trail near Toby’s too and you can go up as far as the Winn Dixie and the hardware store,” said Bill. “You can even ride your golf cart up there!”

From Village to Cities

The cozy town of Arcadia, FL is just a few minutes away from Toby’s RV Resort. It has all the major amenities you’ll need including a Walmart Superstore, “There are some small restaurants as well as fast food joints,” explained Bill. “There’s a couple good Italian and Mexican restaurants too. And the town even has a walk-in clinic and a Goodwill store.”

One of the bigger draws to Arcadia are the antique shops. “There are over a dozen shops here,” said Bill. “Then every third Saturday of the month they have an antique show and people come from all over.”

As this is the middle of cow country, it’s a given that there’s an agriculture centre. The Turner Agri-Civic Center, has horse pulls, dog shows, beef sales and car shows, all within minutes of the RV resort. “They have a rodeo here in Arcadia too,” said Bill proudly. “They’re building a brand new rodeo station here. It will be the biggest rodeo east of the Mississippi and will have riders from all over the world come here just for the rodeo in February.”

For those who miss what the city has to offer, you can find all the theatres, live music, shopping and fine dining you need in the surrounding areas. “Port Charlotte is just 35 minutes south of the resort, with Fort Myers about an hour and a bit south,” said Bill. “Then there’s Sarasota, about an hour away to the west. Fort Myers and Fort Charlotte have some great theatres. Pretty much everywhere you want to go is about an hour, hour and a half from here.”

Do as You Please

With so much to see and do you may feel obligated to get out there and see and do as much as possible. Remember, this is your get-away, your time. Do as you please, knowing that at any time, on any day, there’s always something else to do at Toby’s RV Resort.

Have you visited toby’s RV Resort before? Let us know about your experience!

Life’s a Beach at Vero Beach, Florida on the Treasure Coast

Imagine beginning your day with a walk along a beautiful sun-kissed beach. Or grabbing a coffee while heading out to witness the nesting site of majestic loggerhead sea turtles. Or even donning your explorer’s hat to search for centuries old shipwreck treasure. You can do all of this at beautiful Vero Beach, Florida on the Treasure Coast!

Hang Your Hat

Find a place to hang your hat and your fishing rod before you head out to explore what Vero Beach on the Treasure Coast has to offer. Sunshine Travel RV Resort has some great amenities such as a billiards/game room, horseshoes, swimming pool, and fitness centre. Meet fellow travellers – who knows, you might make new lifelong friends! There are several fresh and saltwater game fishing opportunities within a short distance from your home base. Maybe you’ll catch a big one!

There are a multitude of beaches within exploring distance of the RV resort. Be sure to make time to visit Santa Lucea Beach on Hutchinson Island. This beach offers jungle like paths to meander down. You’ll discover wildflowers and butterflies, both leading towards the almost technicolor blue-green waters.

Golden Sands beach is the place to go and observe the incredible loggerhead sea turtle and the green turtle. The turtles that come here to reproduce, represent over a quarter of all the loggerhead and green sea turtle nests in the US. You can find this beach at the starting point of the Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge. Come and enjoy a peaceful day at this protected nesting habitat for these turtle species.

Be sure to include Seagrape Trail Beach on your must-visit beach list. This serene, secluded beach is known for having silver coins from the 1715 sunken Spanish Fleet scattered throughout the warm sand. Maybe you’ll get lucky and find one!

Adventure

There’s plenty of adventure here with several exciting and historic places to explore. Take in a live performance at the Riverside Theatre in Vero Beach. You’ll find everything from comedy shows, to concerts, to a series of informative lecturers. It’s all here for you to enjoy at this non-profit professional theatre.

If your interest lies more in extreme adventure, Vero Beach offers exciting skydiving opportunities. Ever feel the urge to jump out of a perfectly good plane? Then this is for you! Imagine the feeling of free falling over beautiful Florida skies. Feel the wind lift and move you. Then it’s time to pull your chute and float safely back to each. Before you know it you’re back on solid ground.

There are also several boat tour companies willing to show you Vero Beach from an ocean vantage point. One such company is Gator Bait Airboat Adventures. Gator sightings are guaranteed. Be sure and have your camera ready!

For the golf lover, the semi-private Vista Plantation Golf Club offers a full driving range to get your muscles warmed up for a round of 18 hole, par 62 golf. There is also the beautiful Sandridge Golf Club, which has built a reputation as being one of the finest golf destinations in the state of Florida.

Get out into nature and tour the area on horseback. Angel’s Appy Acres provides well trained and patient horses, great for novice and experienced riders alike. The tour takes you trail riding through the beautiful St. Sebastian River Preserve State Park, home to over 50 protected species. Again, make sure you have your camera ready for this adventure.

For a unique experience that is not for the faint of heart, take a walking tour with Indian River Hauntings. Tour the haunted historical sights and sounds of Vero Beach. Bring a small flashlight for this hour and a half walking tour that is sure to get your heart beating a little faster.

If a little retail therapy is on your agenda, plan to include Vero Beach Outlets on your shopping excursion. With major savings on more than 50 brand name stores, there are deals to be found here on clothing, travel, tours and more!

Local Culinary Treasures

When your tummy is grumbling and it’s time to eat, Vero Beach has some incredible culinary choices. If you’re in the mood for a leisurely lunch, be sure to stop in to The Lemon Tree. This restaurant is a favourite among travelers and it’s right near the beach. They vegetarian and vegan options as well as regular fare. Come and see why it’s been given 4.5 stars on Tripadvisor!

For a fine dining experience that is second to none, plan to visit The Tides. They are known for great service, excellent seafood, and succulent duck. The Tides is the place to go when you’re in the mood to dress up for a romantic sunset meal.

If a quick drink is more what you’re looking for, wet your whistle at the Kilted Mermaid. The eclectic atmosphere offers such dishes as Duck Empanadas and Crab Gorgonzola Fondue. They have over 25 local and global wines on the menu as well as over 80 craft and imported beers.

Pamper Yourself

It’s your holiday, make sure you make the time to pamper yourself. Vero Beach offers several relaxing spa amenities.

The White Orchid Spa offers their guests the full spa experience with massages, facials, manicure and pedicures for men and women. You can book a couple’s massage or choose from their menu for whatever level of relaxation you’re looking for.

For something a little different, try a massage on the beach! This massage offers a specific technique that is choreographed to synchronize with the rhythmic sounds of waves crashing. This takes relaxing to a whole new level!

Whatever you choose to do, you’ll never be far from beach at Vero Beach on the Treasure Coast!

Let us know if you’ve ever visited Vero Beach and what other fun things there are to do in the area!

Discover the FUN at Forest Lake Village in Zephyrhills, FL

Your Winter Home

When you’re looking for a place to call home for the winter, head to Forest Lake Village. It’s a peaceful oasis away from noisy cities, nestled in the countryside around Zephyrhills. Nearby are some well-known springs and it’s near here where Crystal Springs bottled water comes from. With clean air and crystal clear streams, it’s no wonder so many Snowbirds call this place home in the colder months.

Canuckville

This is Floridian lifestyle at its finest. It’s home to over 100 Canadians every winter, and they keep coming back time and time again. Stephen Bagiardi, manager of Forest Lake Village, knows why they keep coming back. “We have 274 sites in this RV park and I would say we have about 100 Canadian guests each year. They love that they have so many friends here from all over Canada. It’s their central meeting spot. When newcomers arrive, the first thing they notice is the comradery. There’s a strong family like atmosphere here.”

It also helps that Forest Lake Village is 30 minutes from Tampa, 45-50 minutes to the Gulf Beaches and 45 minutes to Orlando.

Great Activities and Amenities

Guests at Forest Lake can be as relaxed or as active as they choose. “We have lots of events for our guests,” said Bagiardi. “We have Bingo and card nights multiple times a week. There’s water aerobics, line dancing, shuffleboard clubs and tournaments. People get together to shoot pool three nights a week. There are ping pong games and a library.”

Around the holiday season they have Christmas, Valentine’s and Thanksgiving dinners and dances. Also at Christmas, they have a parade that goes throughout the park and for those who want to work off some of those pesky seasonal calories, there are runs. Come join in the fun with the Turkey Trot and a Reindeer Run throughout the park. “You don’t have to run,” said Bagiardi. “Many of our guests prefer to walk, and some use it as a fundraiser.”

The RV resort comes complete with a clubhouse, swimming pool, laundry, horseshoes, library, shuffleboard, hot tub, a billiards/games room and a picnic and barbeque area. You can even get your own private mailbox, and yes, you can bring your furry friends with you.

For those who just want to relax, there’s a lake right on the property. Thirty of the sites back onto the small lake. There are no boats allowed, but you can cast or fly fish from shore into this fish filled lake.

Get Out and Explore

The biggest draw in this area is golf. There are six golf courses within 15-20 minutes of Forest Lake Village, and a dozen more about 30 minutes away. “There’s always a group heading out to one of the nearby courses every day,” said Bagiardi. And with this many great golf courses, why not!

As the RV resort is located between Tampa and Orlando there are plenty of sporting events to go to as well. Then there are the 20 theme parks in the area including Knott’s Berry Farm, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Busch Gardens.

Head out shopping to one of the outlet malls in the area and find something unique at one of the local specialty stores. When you’re done exploring for the day, there are dozens and dozens of restaurants within 15 minutes of Forest Lake Village.

Parks at the Gulf

Hop in the car and head west to Gulf. Fred Howard Park in Tarpon Springs has 155 acres on the Gulf of Mexico. Walk the white sandy beaches or go for a swim. You’ll see nesting ospreys and eagles above you and dolphins and manatees in the gulf. Bring your kayak or canoe (or rent one locally) and spend the day on the water.

Walls Springs Park is south of Tarpon Springs and is a great place to take a hike in nature. The park is 210 acres with a natural spring, with water temperatures at a nearly constant 23C (74F). There’s a 10 m (35 ft) observation tower that you can climb for some amazing views of the Gulf of Mexico. Bring your bike, or pack a picnic and spend the day exploring.

At the end of the day, head back to the Forest Lake Village, your winter home away from home.

Sights, Sounds & Sunshine in Sedona, Arizona

There’s something about Sedona sunshine that attracts people to this area. It’s the perfect place to stop along I-17 whether you are heading south to the sunbelt or driving home. Temperatures range from 8C (46F) to 26C (78F) from early fall through to late spring. There’s plenty of sunshine and warm weather here to go around.

Your Stop Along the Way

Verde Valley RV Camping is the perfect place to stop on your journey north or south. Wake up in the morning and gaze out at expansive desert and mountain backdrops. Verde Valley RV is on 300 acres in the high desert. To the north are the majestic Red Rocks; to the west, the Mingus Mountains and to the south are the Hackberry Mountains. If that isn’t enough, the RV resort is located next to the Alcantara Vineyards and Winery!

From Verde Valley RV, you are two hours north of Phoenix, and one hour south of Flagstaff. For a great day trip, take the two-and-a-half-hour drive to the Grand Canyon. Best of all, downtown Sedona is less than 30 minutes away.

Don’t have an RV? No worries, you can pitch your tent or rent one of their cabins or new cottages that sleep up to six people! Get settled in and then get out and explore the neighborhood.

Sedona by Foot

Explore Sedona with your feet and discover some exceptional finds. The internationally renowned Tlaquepaque (pronounced Tla-keh-pah-keh), Arts & Crafts Village is a must visit. Enjoy an extraordinary assortment of shops and art galleries surrounded by restaurants and a microbrewery.

Sedona by Air

Look down at Sedona from your hot air balloon and you’ll realize how amazing this land really is. Should you prefer your air adventures to have a bit more manoeuvrability, then a helicopter tour is the way to go. Rise above it all and see a Sedona in a way like no other.

Sedona by Rail

You’ll feel transported back in time the moment you set foot on these fastidiously restored train cars. Enjoy a leisurely train ride where you connect with people by simply saying hello. Sit back, relax, order a beverage and then drink in the scenery along on a 32 km (20 mi) journey through 100 years of history. All this in climate controlled comfort.

Sedona by Water

Yes, Sedona is in the desert, but there’s also plenty of water here. The Verde River offers up a myriad of fun things to do. Guided and self-guided tours are available. From the river, you’ll see limestone hills with pre-historic caves. There are gorgeous mountain views and the river is lined with Sycamore, Cottonwood and Willow trees as well as cattails, reeds, flowers and grasses. Make sure you pack what you need for the day, as there are no stores or restaurants on these river tours.

Sedona by Trolley

If you like the train, you’re sure to love the Red Rock Magic Trolley experience. There are several tours you can take. Enjoy a trip out to the Chapel of the Holy Cross, which takes you by the Tlaquepaque shopping centre and beautiful desert scenery. Or take a tour that teaches you about western movies and Native American history. Another tour takes you out for some postcard worthy photo ops.

Ghost Towns and Ranches

There’s a real ghost town about a 30-minute drive NW of Verde Valley RV. Jerome, AZ is both America’s most vertical city and its largest ghost town. Once a thriving mining town, the place is now busy with visitors keen on seeing how folks lived back in the mining hey days. Not much has changed in 100 years, except now it houses artists, musicians, writers and fallen-down building landlords.

The Blazin’ M Ranch is one of those Sedona attractions that should be on your bucket list. Locals love it and visitors return time and time again. Step into the old west and try your hand at pitching horseshoes and shooting a Colt .45. When you’ve had enough fun, belly up to the bar in their western saloon for traditional salon beverages and some ranch style eats.

Get Your ‘Om’ On

Most people know of Sedona as the place where spiritual seekers come to gather. And it’s true. It’s here where you’ll find the most eclectic, unique culture in the USA. Come for a massage or a healing, get a psychic reading or experience the rush of an energy vortex where it is said you will experience heightened spiritual and metaphysical energies.

There are so many things to see, do and experience in Sedona, you’ll come back time and time again.

Tropical Weather at Tropic Winds RV Resort in South Texas

You don’t have to fly to an island to enjoy tropical weather. Texas has a gem of a place for delicious tropical breezes in Harlingen, Texas. Friendly staff and dozens and dozens of Winter Texans will make your stay here one to remember. Tropic Winds RV Resort is just 48 km (30 mi) from the coast of the Gulf of Mexico. Located in the heart of the Rio Grande Valley, the resort offers a wide variety of fun filled activities.

Home Away from Home

Melissa Cortez, the Tropic Winds RV Resort manager makes sure there are plenty of things to do for her guests. “Here at Tropic Winds we have a variety of activities for our Winter Texans. The activities they like the most are pickleball, our remote-control race track, arts and crafts, and the entertainment we provide.” Other activities include shuffleboard, horseshoes, bocce ball and the ever-popular line, square and ballroom dancing.

Most Winter Texans think of Tropic Winds as their home away from home. It’s the perfect place to sit back, relax, pour yourself a cold drink, read a book or have a friendly chat with your neighbor. Then when the mood strikes, there are plenty of adventures just outside the RV resort to fill you with wonder and get your heart pumping.

Water Fun, Golf and Birding

When you’re ready to explore the area, the warm, sandy beaches of South Padre Island await. Nestled between Laguna Madre and the Gulf of Mexico, the warm embrace of the water entices you to come and swim or sail.

The area surrounding the resort also offers world class golf at various local public golf courses. There are over a dozen golf courses near Harlingen. Just a golf swing away you’ll find two 18-hole championship courses at Rancho Viejo Resort and a scenic 18-hole course at the South Padre Island Golf Club.

If exploring nature and wildlife captivates your interests more, Harlingen is home to the World Birding Center and two of the most unique wildlife refuges in the country. The city is also home to Bass Pro Shops, a new and exciting attraction.

Hunting and Fishing

This area is akin to a hunter’s paradise. Texas is home to a variety of wildlife, including white-tailed deer, nilgai (antelope), javelin (similar to a wild boar), wild pig, dove, quail, ducks, wild turkey and more. The landscape and year-round greenery gives the area a unique advantage, as it encourages the growth and development of some of the largest animals found in the state.

Excellent fishing opportunities abound, whether you want to try and catch a big one off the pier or do some deep-sea exploration. Harlingen offers excellent fishing opportunities because of its location at the southernmost tip of Texas. Anglers can enjoy some of the best sport fish available year-round. Some fish species you may find include redfish, speckled trout, flounder, tarpon and many more. Offshore anglers can target marlin, sailfish, Dorado, snapper, grouper, amberjack, and others.

Museums, Theatre, and Shopping

There are several local museums that provide an excellent opportunity to explore the history of Harlingen. Be sure to plan a visit to the Iwo Jima Monument, Harlingen Arts and Heritage Museum, and historic Jackson Street.

There’s great live entertainment here too. You can take in a variety of events such as community theatre, sporting events, and world famous musical acts. If retail therapy is on your mind, the Rio Grande Valley Premium Outlets are a short drive away and feature over 140 name brand stores.

Family Fun

For family friendly fun, schedule some time to discover the 1,600 exotic and native animals at Gladys Porter Zoo. This dynamic zoo is organized into four distinct zones: Africa, Asia, Tropical America, and Indo-Australia. Within these zones, you will see such creatures as Galapagos Tortoises, Caribbean flamingos, tree kangaroos, kookaburras, and Bactrian camels.

And Relax

Once you get back to Tropic Winds, make sure you check the activity board. There could be a card tournament, live entertainment or a dance to close out the day. Tomorrow is another day; perfect for wherever you want to explore or just relaxing.