The Ultimate Roadmap For Your 30 Days in Texas

The Lone Star State is the biggest in the contiguous United States, with an even bigger personality. Texans are proud, (sometimes loud), and among the friendliest people you will ever meet.

30 days may not seem like enough time to visit the second largest state in the union (after Alaska) but if you follow this guide and apply some Texan gumption then it is more than enough time.

Lake Texoma (Days 1 – 7)

Texas may be big, but most of its major cities lie in a narrow corridor from north to south (with the exception of El Paso in the far west), so this is the route that our trip will take. We’ll start in the far north, right on the border with Oklahoma at Lake Texoma.

Attractions

Lake Texoma is one of the largest man made lakes in the country, turning the dry grasslands that surround it into some of the most fertile farming land in the country. The area has two wildlife refuges, two state parks, fifty four USACE-managed parks, twelve marinas, twenty-six resorts, hundreds of campgrounds and a variety of excellent golf courses.” Popular pastimes include, camping, fishing, powerboating, sailing (Lake Texoma has some of the best inland sailing anywhere in the country), water skiing, windsurfing, swimming, and more. Suffice to say there is a lot to do.

Anglers should be aware, however, that you may need to obtain a fishing license from both Texas and Oklahoma to fish in this area.

Where to Stay

Lake Texoma RV Campground is the best choice for RVers looking to enjoy all this area has to offer. Located right on the shores of Lake Texoma, the resort offers RV and open air camping along with all the amenities that you need to make the most of your time in this amazing part of northern Texas.

Lake Whitney (Days 8 – 14)

Just a short drive south from Lake Texoma is the less famous, but equally beautiful Lake Whitney. Whereas Lake Texoma is 223 square miles, Lake Whitney is just 32. Still, people flock from across the state to golf, swim, fish, hunt, powerboat, sail, and relax on Lake Whitney. In 2005 the Texas state legislature even named the area Texas’s “Getaway Capital”. More importantly, it is close to the Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington area.

If you love sports, then this is the area for you. Comprised of, well, Dallas, Fort Worth, and Arlington, the area is home to over 7 million people and MLB, NFL, NHL, and MLS teams as well as 4 college football teams.

Then there is the Dallas World Aquarium, the unmistakable Reunion Tower, the Dallas Museum of Art, the Sixth Floor Museum in the book depository building from which Lee Harvey Oswald assassinated President Kennedy, the Dallas Zoo, the botanical gardens, and the Meadows Museum (home to more Spanish art than almost anywhere outside of spain).

Where to Stay

Lake Whitney RV Campground is right on the shores of Lake Whitney, and only a short drive from Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, so whether you want to spend more time on the water, or explore one of the country’s largest metropolitan areas, Lake Whitney RV campground is in the perfect location.

Lake Conroe (Days 15 – 21)

Just over 3 hours south of Lake Whitney is Lake Conroe. Like both Lake Whitney and Lake Texoma, Lake Conroe is a reservoir and while it is smaller than Lake Texoma it is more than double the size of Lake Whitney. Unlike both its northern counterparts however, Lake Conroe is surrounded by the beautiful east Texas landscape full of rich pine wood forests.

Lake Conroe is just an hour north of Houston, making it the perfect distance for a day trip (or two) into the city. Houston is home to just over 2 million people, making it less than ⅓ the size of the Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington area, but there is no shortage of things to do and see. The city is home to an MLB, NFL, MLS, and NBA team as well as the Grand Prix of Houston, the Houston Open golf tournament, and the Houston College Classic and Texas Bowl.

Of course we couldn’t mention Houston with out talking about NASA. Houston is home to the Johnson Space Center which has a huge visitors center that really is a must-see. Learn about the illustrious history of the Space Center and the bright future of NASA focusing on future missions to Mars. Show up on a Friday between 11 and 1 and you might even meet an astronaut! There is also the museum district, Zoo, Buffalo Bayou Park, great restaurants, and much, much more.

Where to Stay

Lake Conroe RV Camping Resort is right on the shores of Lake Conroe and includes a boat ramp on site so you can get boating as soon as you arrive! With an expanded marina and new beach, this is the perfect resort to relax and catch some rays. In fact, Lake Conroe RV Camping Resort is all about fun on the water, and if you don’t have a boat you don’t have to miss out on the fun. You can rent jon boats, paddle boats, kayaks or canoes.  

Medina Lake (Days 21 – 25)

At just over 9 square miles Medina Lake is by far the smallest of the lakes that you’ll visit, but it still is great for relaxing. Interestingly the dam which forms the reservoir was privately financed in order to improve irrigation to the surrounding farmland, and at the time was the largest concrete dam in the country. It is now a historical site.

Nearby San Antonio is smaller than Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington and Houston, but it is home to the most iconic location in all of Texas: the Alamo. In the center of the city is the historic battleground where the Republic of Texas defenders fought to the last man against General Santa Anna’s invading army. Although they died and the Alamo was lost, ultimately the Mexican forces were forced out of Texas. Visiting the Alamo is free and will likely be the highlight of your trip

Where to stay

Medina Lake RV Campground is a tranquil escape from the big city life of San Antonio, complete with beautiful lake views, and whitetail deer that roam the grounds. With a junior Olympic sized pool, you’ll be able to sit poolside with a refreshing beverage while enjoying the beautiful scenery and wildlife that this campground is known for.

Harlingen, Texas (Days 26– 30)

Just four hours south of Medina Lake is Harlingen, Texas, a great last-stop for RV’ers who are on route to Mexico. Harlingen is a premium shopping destination and has several epic golf courses and nature hotspots. With year-round tropical weather, visitors can enjoy surfing, horseback riding, and kayaking. Outdoorsman (or woman) will enjoy the plentiful fishing and hunting opportunities.

This area is part of the Rio Grande Valley, which is known to have the best birding opportunities in the country. That’s because the Rio Grande Valley is home to beaches, wetlands and lakes. Be sure to check out the Lower Rio Grand Valley National Wildlife Refuge System, and South Padre Island, where you may be lucky enough to see a sea turtle (or two).

Where to stay

Lakewood RV Resort in Harlingen is minutes from the Padre Island National Seashore, which offers amazing views and glimpses of protected wildlife like the Kemp’s ridley sea turtle, and over 380 bird species. The Padre Island National Seashore is a protected park with 70 miles of coastline and dunes, and is one of the few hypersaline lagoons remaining in the world.

Fun-N-Sun RV Resort and Sunshine RV Resort are both right in the heart of the Rio Grande Valley.  With beautiful sandy beaches, these RV resorts live up to their names —you’ll enjoy lots of sunshine here.  

Where to Next?

By following this itinerary you’ll see everything that Texas has to offer, but RVing is all about freedom, so go ahead and create your own path if you choose! Our customer service team is happy to help you build a customized vacation itinerary. Give them a call at 1-877-570-2267 or visit RVonthego.com to plan your own trip.    

 

Top 8 RV Resorts for Sports & Recreation

For sports and recreation lovers, RVing is about living an active lifestyle, which is why so many of our RV resorts have focused on developing strong sports and recreation facilities.

Fitness centers, pickle ball, cycling, biking, exercise classes, swimming pools, water aerobics, baseball, lawn bowling, bocce ball and golf are just a few examples of the activities and facilities that can be found at several of our RV resorts.

Check out a few of our recommendations for the best sports and recreation RV resorts across the United States.

Voyager RV Resort and Hotel – Tucson, Arizona

Voyager is the top-rated RV resort in Arizona. It offers a feeling of community and friendship as well as an endless list of neat activities to participate in. Opportunities abound for horseshoes, pickleball, swimming, volleyball, tennis and hiking and these are just a few of the sports that can be found at Voyager resort. The Voyager even offers boxcar racing! If you can think it, it’s probably offered here.

ViewPoint RV and Golf Resort – Mesa, Arizona

The ViewPoint is the perfect RV resort for golf lovers. It has beautiful views and an engaging community dedicated to active seniors. Right on the resort there is an 18-hole championship golf course and a 9-hole executive course where many guests enjoy spending the morning hours playing a round of golf with fellow campers.

If you love sports, but not golf, then check out their fitness centre and basketball, volleyball, tennis, pickleball and shuffleboard courts. You’ll stay busy here, and you can also count on avoiding crowded pools during your swim – this resort has four swimming pools on site!

If you love nature, then you’ll love ViewPoint’s great trails for biking and hiking. Many of the walking trails wind through nearby parks (and a dry riverbed) and offer unique opportunities to view nature at its finest.

Paradise RV Resort – Sun City, Arizona

If you are looking for something unique, Paradise RV Resort is one of a few that offers lawn bowling. In fact, it even hosts and sponsors large international leagues from places such as Japan, Germany and Switzerland! Paradise RV resort takes the love for sports and recreation very seriously. In addition to lawn bowling, it offers other unique amenities such as seven spring training baseball and hockey facilities.

It’s no wonder this resort won the distinct honor of being the 2017 Mega Park of the Year. Here, RVers can enjoy hiking, tennis, swimming, volleyball and shuffleboard while in Paradise!  

Araby Acres RV Resort – Yuma, Arizona

With a full calendar of activities each month, sports lovers will never run out of things to do at Araby Acres. But what makes this resort unique is its floor curling court. With so many northern guests, the staff at Araby wanted to give their curling-loving Canadian visitors a piece of home away from home! Without the ice rink, converting one of the resort’s shuffleboard courts made this dream a reality. With rocks made especially for this awesome floor curling court, guests here can curl while enjoying Yuma’s beautiful, warm weather.

Victoria Palms RV Resort – Donna, Texas

Victoria Palms, located in the tropical Rio Grande Valley in Southern Texas, offers a restaurant, pool, outdoor spa and fitness centre. Additionally, the resort offers amenities for sports and recreation lovers such as shuffleboard, a tennis court, bocce ball, bike trails, horseshoes and pickleball. Those who like to keep busy will thoroughly enjoy their stay at Victoria Palms as there is always something active to do. With an average yearly temperature of 73° Fahrenheit, outdoor activities are on the top of everyone’s to do list here!

Fun-N-Sun RV Resort – San Benito, Texas

Fun-N-Sun RV resort offers exactly what its name suggests – fun in the sun! Keep yourself busy working out, swimming or playing games of volleyball, basketball, billiards, bocce ball, pickleball or horseshoes. This resort even has a large R/C car track for enthusiasts from all over! When you need a break from all the sports and recreation, enjoy citrus fruits from the Rio Grande Valley, sit and relax on a sandy beach, or bird watch in the warm, clear climate.

Goose Creek RV & Camping Resort – Newport, North Carolina

Goose Creek is slightly off the beaten path making it a unique gem among RV resorts. It is located on Bogue Sound along the Intracoastal Waterway and is only a few minutes away from the ocean by land or water! The resort offers several undisturbed beach vacation spots that are hard to come by anymore. As well, because of its location, Goose Creek borders waters that offer some of the best saltwater fishing.

Tropical Palms RV Resort – Kissimmee, Florida

Interested in making sure you catch some sun? Tropical Palms is a fantastic spot for swimming and biking. This pet-friendly resort offers bocce ball, volleyball, fishing, and a top-notch fitness centre; everything active guests need to make the most of the RV lifestyle.

Want to make the most of your vacation? Visit some of these fantastic RV resorts. With so many activities to pass the time, you’ll wish you could stay longer. So, what are you waiting for? Book your stay today! Interested in what other activities our resorts have to offer? Visit RVontheGo.com for more info.

6 Benefits of RVing for Adults +55

Have you always loved camping, sightseeing and the great outdoors? Are you looking for a fun and convenient way to see more of the US? If so, RV’ing may be for you. With your kids grown up and retirement fast approaching, taking to the road in an RV has many benefits.

Time

With kids and limited time off work for vacationing, in the past you may have planned trips that minimized travel time. Now you have time to spend travelling, which means you can take your time planning an extended vacation, enjoy getting to your destination and see more things along the way through a relaxing road trip.

A Second Home

With an RV that is your own, you have the freedom to customize it to your liking. Most RVs are quite spacious and have room for you to make it your second home. Your RV can become the backdrop for many memories and will feel more personal and convenient than a hotel room or a bed and breakfast.

Community

Although campgrounds are not the only option of places to stay in your RV, they are a popular one. Many RV parks are known for their welcoming and inclusive culture and their strong community.

You’ll find your fellow RVers share your sense of adventure and are keen to get to know you, share a meal, or sit around a campfire. Likewise, many campgrounds and RV resorts offer activities, programs, sports and recreational facilities to help you fill your time and enjoy your stay to the fullest.  

Affordability

For seniors who want to travel, but must budget carefully in their retirement, RVing offers many affordable options. Compared to a cruise or all-inclusive resort, the RV lifestyle is much more affordable.

For anyone who is contemplating RVing, consider renting an RV first to ensure that it’s for you. Then, when it’s time to purchase your own RV, explore your options. If a new RV is not in your budget, consider purchasing a used one. Many of them are in near perfect condition and this route can save you a lot of money.

While you will need to consider maintenance and operational costs, being able to stay in your vehicle means eliminating the rising costs associated with staying in a hotel. You can also save money on food since you can cook in your vehicle rather than eating out for every meal (which is also much better for your health).

Convenience

If you have always enjoyed camping but do not have the energy or man power to do all the work involved with setting up and taking down your tent and campsite, then try an RV. You’ll enjoy the same benefits that camping provides (like communing with nature, relaxing under the stars, and seeing new places). One of the greatest aspects of RVs is that everything is ready to go, just hop in the driver’s seat and head out on your next adventure whenever you feel like it!

Visiting family and friends

For people with friends, family, or kids who live across the country, an RV is an affordable option for visiting. If you have the time, then you can save on the cost of a plane ride and get more visits in throughout the year. You can park the RV in their driveway or stay at a nearby RV resort. This gives you some personal space, doesn’t put your hosts out and still allows you to spend lots of time together.

Having an RV is like having a mobile cottage. By purchasing an RV later in life, you are making an investment in the quality of your retirement, opening doors to travel and trying new things, while forming and maintaining relationships. What better time to hit the open road than after 55?

Any other benefits we may have missed? Let us know in the comments below!

Stay & Play Differently at Victoria Palms RV Resort in Donna, TX

When the northern winds are hurling snowdrifts across the roads, it’s nice to be soaking in an outdoor spa at one of the south’s most luxurious RV resorts, Victoria Palms.

The Rio Grande Valley in South Texas has long been known for its moderate winter temperatures, abundant palms, and warm gulf breezes. The developers of the Victoria Palms RV Resort took advantage of these natural advantages and built one of South Texas’ premier RV resorts in Donna, TX.

Not only does it have ideal facilities for a long winter’s stay, but it is close to a large number of amenities such as shopping, medical facilities and it’s within a hour’s drive to the ocean beaches. You can buy your fresh produce such as onions, lettuce, melons of many types, and strawberries on one of your drives into the country, where the mild climate permits several crops per year. There is also a weekly farmers market inside the resort offering all of the fresh produce you can eat.

vp_streetviewFirst appearances are usually lasting ones, and nowhere is this more true than when you, for the first time, drive into the resort. The entrance is separated into two roads with twin rows of tall, graceful palm trees, lining each one. Between these is a grassy lawn with a winding walkway. Neatly manicured RV sites line the road on one side, and wide lanes take you to your site with ease. Citrus trees grow throughout the park, providing exquisite aromas when in flower, and excellent fruit when ripe. It’s really nice to go over to a tree and come back with your hands full of grapefruit, oranges, lemons, limes, tangerines or even bananas. This resort definitely exudes the feeling of comfort and relaxation.

This is a gated community for the ages 55 and up and provides a wide variety of accommodations. They have over 1200 concrete pull-through, and back-in RV sites with full hook-ups and WiFi. Some visitors will opt for one of the 100 suites with kitchen and separate bedrooms, or perhaps one of the 20 hotel rooms. They can even book into one of the 14 cottages.

vp_poolOnce you are established in your winter home site, it’s time to amble over to the huge heated pool or sit back and relax in one of the three outdoor spas. If you are too relaxed maybe it’s time to move onto one of the tennis or pickleball courts, lighted for your pleasure if you would rather play at night. You might be also wish to visit the shuffleboard courts. Over at the billiard hall someone is likely waiting for a challenger.

Several winter visitors wish to continue with a hobby or sport they left back in the cold and chances are they can do so here. The wood shop is always popular, as is the wood carving area. The craft centre offers such diverse activities as painting, ceramics, stained glass making, and quilting. Imagine taking home a beautiful old fashioned multi-patterned quilt for your bed, or for a gift to one of your children. There are also organized bike rides on the trails. Bikes are loaded on a trailer and everyone heads for a trailhead where they can join bike trail networks.

jpage-encorerv-rgv-victoriapalmsinterior-61-1Musical entertainment is presented by a variety of bands and there is a large grand piano lounge and an oversized dance room. Square, round, and ballroom dances are offered. To top it all off, there will be dinner theatre, potlucks for those who love to sample a variety of great dishes, and everyone seems ready for the ice cream socials. Looking for a more formal setting? The on site restaurant is sure to please even the most concerning palate.

The Rio Grande Valley abounds in opportunities to explore. South of the resort is the meandering Rio Grande which over the years has left behind many oxbow lakes (locally called Resacas) and marshes. The oxbow lakes form when a loop of the river is cut off and left behind. These quiet areas attract countless species of birds especially during fall and spring migrations. The Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge is positioned along two such routes. There are 12 miles of walking trails, a canopy walk on a rope bridge, and a tower climb which provides excellent views of the surrounding area. This is a great place to photograph amazingly beautiful coloured birds, and butterflies are a hit with many visitors.

The visitor may opt for a longer drive east to South Padre Island. As you pass through vp_shufflePort Isabel you may want to take advantage of the restaurants offering fresh seafood. Fishermen can use the long fishing pier at Port Isabel where they can even rent some fishing gear locally.

It’s the dunes and beaches that attract tourists to the island. The pristine white sand beaches are great for enjoying a day at the sea coast. It is the sand blowing inland that creates the huge dunes that help protect the mainland from storms. When plants grow in this sand it stabilizes the dune, but careless climbing up the dunes can destroy the protective plants, and damage the dune.

Long time snowbird resident Janet Bussier says it’s a terrific park.

“There are so many activities that there is no reason for anyone being bored,” says Janet.
She loves the beauty of the park’s entrance, and the fabulous flowers and palm trees in the park. Janet credits the beauty of the park, its cleanliness, and it’s friendly feeling to the manager, Terry Goss, who listens to your problems and takes action on remediating them.

Victoria Palms RV Resort is a perfect snowbird resort. The destination provides rest, entertainment, and abundant areas for you to discover at your own speed.

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.

Winter Texans Stay in South Texas, Play in Nuevo Progreso, Mexico

There’s a great little town just 45 minutes from Fun and Sun RV Resort in San Benito, Texas that has everyone spreading the news.

Nuevo Progreso is a town located across the Mexican border that offers up spectacular shopping and fun things to do. They call themselves the friendliest folks on the border, and if you ask any Winter Texan, they’ll probably agree.

“The people in Nuevo Progresso really look after the visitors,” said long time Fun and Sun resident, Canadian, Gary Scott. “We get a lot of people from Ontario, Winnipeg, Saskatchewan and BC come down to Fun and Sun. They are great people, and we all head over to Nuevo Progreso.”

Walk Across the Border

Gary is a true-blue Winter Texan. He loves the town, the people and all there is to do there.

“It’s right across the border from Progresso, Texas, and it’s so easy to get to,” he said. “My wife and I usually just walk right across the border. There’s a bridge across the Rio Grande River from the US to Mexico. The river isn’t very wide at that point so most people park their cars in the States and walk over.”

Gary and his wife love the fact that it’s only a half hour drive from Fun and Sun in San Benito, and that they feel safe and very welcome in Nuevo Progreso.

Dentists and Shopping

Many Winter Texans, snowbirds and Americans head over to Nuevo Progreso for dental services. Some of the country’s highest rated dental experts practice here, over 40 offices in all. “A lot of people go over there to get the medication and to go to the dentists,” explained Gary. “It’s cheaper than in the USA. You can go across and get your teeth cleaned for $20! A lot of Canadians and Americans that don’t have dental plans just cross the border and get their work done.”

“We like to go over there for a fun day. We do some shopping and have something to eat,” he said. “We might go over a few times a week. It’s one of the safer places in Mexico and it is typically a town that caters to tourists.”

“The department stores here are great,” said Gary. “They have one called the El Disco Super Center. It’s the largest department store in town and has everything from rustic furniture to music, piñatas and cowboy hats. At El Disco, they even have a bar. It’s called Panchos. It’s quite the place for Winter Texans. We come here to eat, drink and dance. The bartenders are friendly and they all know your name after a while.”

They have other stores in town as well that carry everything a Winter Texan would need for the season, even hair salons and barbers. “I can get my hair cut for $4 here!” he said with a smile.

Festivals, Food and Fun

Twice a year they hold festivals that celebrate the tourists who help keep the town’s economy alive. “They have this one in January called Welcome Back Winter Texan Day. All the vendors have all their goods out on the street,” said Gary. “There’s free tequila and free beer too! It’s a really good hoot. Then in March, they have Winter Texan appreciation day. There are mariachi bands playing and they give away little goodies. There are thousands of people that go over there for that.”

Nuevo Progreso is also known for its food. Ttry some authentic Mexican food prepared by the people who know it best. There’s also seafood restaurants, Italian and great steaks. Most restaurants are family friendly, and have live music. For more music, just step outside and listen to the street entertainers.

Gary and his wife will be back next year so they can enjoy the diversity, safety and rich culture of Progreso Nuevo.

Canada 150: See How We Celebrated!

2017 marked the 150th anniversary of Canada! Encore RV Resorts celebrated Canada 150 by throwing several appreciation days across the Sunbelt to celebrate this major milestone!

All of our Canadian guests and US friends were invited to join us for a fun-filled day of activities, including bocce ball, petanque, shuffleboard tournaments, dancing, jam sessions and so much more.

Check out the recap video and let us know what you think!

Top 16 Achievements in 2016 – Texas RV Resorts

In order to ensure an amazing customer experience for the region’s Winter Texans, Team Texas worked diligently to improve all aspects of its RV resorts in 2016.

To express our appreciation of such hard work, we’ve compiled a list of the top 16 Texas achievements that made us proud. These successes ranged from property upgrades to the annual Encore Inter Resort Games, while even witnessing the rise in popularity of RC cars! 

1/ Victoria Palms RV Resort (City: Donna, TX). Received the prestigious “Official Best of Texas” award as the Best Age-Qualified RV Resort in the state. The RV property recently replaced its 11,000 sq. ft. ballroom floor with new maple wood flooring, and will be ready to host activities and concerts throughout the winter season.

VicPalms

2/ Sunshine RV Resort (City: Harlingen, TX). Added three new indoor pickleball courts to its portfolio of amenities, as well as a two petanque courts.

Sunshine Pickleball

3/ Lake Conroe RV & Camping Resort (City: Willis, TX).  Added 33 new homes – a mix of 2-3 bedrooms. Also, this beautiful property underwent several property improvements, including upgrading its swimming pool.

Lake COnroe 2

4/ Encore Inter Resort Games. All ten Encore RV resorts in South Texas created and participated in an Olympic style competition amongst one another. 500+ residents competed in 15 games including pickleball, shuffleboard, darts, swimming, billiards, bridge, and bocce ball just to name a few. This annual competition has been going on for about eight years, with Fun-N-Sun RV Resort taking home the trophy last season.

20170301_170121

5/ RC Cars are Getting Very Popular. Added four more remote controlled car tracks in the region, growing from one track to five now. Tropic Winds, Fun-N-Sun, Victoria Palms, Country Sunshine, and Alamo Palms all have tracks for RC car enthusiasts to enjoy and compete.

rc2

6/ Rallies, Festival and Trade Shows in the US & Canada. During 2016, our team attended over 50 events all over Canada and the US in order to promote South Texas and other Sunbelt destinations. If you attended a major RV show, you might have met our very friendly and resourceful colleagues.

Shows

7/ More Canadian guests flocked to South Texas. Throughout 2016, we are extremely pleased to notice a growing number of Canadians who choose to spend their vacation in South Texas. 21% more Canadians stayed with us than the prior year, and we love it!

Canadians More flocking

8/ Medina Lake RV Campground (City: Lakehills, TX). Built 2 boat docks for guests to enjoy a variety of water activities such as fishing, boating and kayaking.

9/ Conferences & Seminars in Canada. During 2016, our very own Team Canada promoted our South Texas properties at 22 conferences and seminars across Canada such as Montreal, Quebec City, Hamilton, Calgary, Winnipeg and Vancouver.

Seminars

10/ Fun-N-Sun RV Resort (City: San Benito, TX). Added two great amenities, including four indoor pickleball courts and by popular demand, an RC track and RC airplane field.

Fun N Sun Rc Plane

11/ Tropic Winds & Fun-N-Sun RV Resorts (Cities: Harlingen & San Benito, TX). Very proud to share that the TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence has been Awarded for 2016 to these two amazing South Texas RV resorts.

12/ Lakewood RV Resort (City: Harlingen, TX). Replaced its 8,000 sq. ft. ballroom floor with new maple wood flooring, perfect for our square dancing and line dancing enthusiasts. The new ballroom floor also hosts two indoor pickleball courts.

Lakewood Floor2

13/ Paradise Park & Tropic Winds RV Resorts (City: Harlingen, TX). Paradise Park added a new 800 sq. ft. craft shop as well as two bocce ball courts for all to enjoy. Tropic Winds also resurfaced its interior roadways so that guests are greeted by smooth streets when they pull in.

Paradise Park Bocce

14/ Southern Comfort RV Resort (City: Weslaco, TX). Re-plastered its pool, giving it a new, vibrant look.

15/ Paradise South RV Resort (City: Mercedes, TX). Replaced the popular bingo system at the resort with a new system, ensuring games for the whole season.

16/ Winter Concert Series (Rio Grande Valley, TX).  Guests were able to enjoy a concert series at five South Texas RV Resorts, including Victoria Palms, Fun-N-Sun, Sunshine RV, Southern Comfort, and Country Sunshine. Performers included Dec 63, Jersey Boys, Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons, Rhinestone Country, The Three International Tenors, Motown Magic, and The Orbison Years.

Meet Terry from Victoria Palms RV Resort in Donna, TX

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Profile:
Name: Terry Goss
In position since: December 2014
Title: Resort Manager
Work Location: Victoria Palms RV Resort
Favorite Activities: Sitting around a campfire (yes it’s true)


1. How does a typical day at Victoria Palms look like?  What is your favorite moment of the day?

Believe it or not, we start the day by baking cookies. We have become known for having warm, fresh baked cookies waiting for our guests as they arrive. It’s a small token of our appreciation for our customers when they arrive, often after a long time behind the wheel. From there it’s off to tour the property to make sure everything is ship shape and everyone is ready for the day. That’s the fun part. After that I move into running the daily reports, reading and responding to emails, and digesting our online presence and reviews. All that being said, my favorite time of the day is when I get to socialize with guests, old and new, and hear about their travels, their family and what their “other” home is like. It’s really a pretty good gig.

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

Here at Victoria Palms I am both a manager and a cheer leader. Of course I can’t be everywhere, all the time, but I try my best to be a vibrant part of the community. Even when I can’t stay for an entire event, I am very likely to stop by and cheer on the contestants. I love being around fun loving, happy people, and this position gives me lots of opportunity. I am the first one on the dance floor, love anything where there is food, and was the runner up in last year’s belly flop contest. You just can’t be at a place like Victoria Palms and not have fun.


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

The area around Victoria Palms has something for everyone. We are less than an hour away from the best beach in Texas with lots of entertainment and great eats. We are on the migratory path for both birds and butterflies and are one of the premier places to see them in the entire United States. We have some truly incredible shopping with an international flair. For even more fun, we can cross into Mexico for great shopping, food, drinks and services. Of course we have a zoo, museums, theaters, and every restaurant chain known to man. But my absolute favorite thing here in the valley, as we call it, are the little mom and pop restaurants. Not only is the food incredible (and very reasonably priced), but when was the last time the owner came to sit with you on your second visit, and actually remembered your name and what you like to eat. Just incredible!


4. What’s your favorite story to tell about your time at Victoria Palms?

I believe that all of the employees at Victoria Palm are a team and each has a significant role in delivering guest satisfaction. I expect that everyone will pick up whatever task is required, even if it is not considered in their job description. That goes for me as well. Last year we were getting ready to do some street repairs. We were using fresh, hot asphalt which has a very limited time on a truck before it cools off and is no longer usable. The day our asphalt arrived we had one of our maintenance team get hurt and another go home sick. So I jumped into some old jeans, slipped on a pair of work boots and some gloves, and jumped in the truck to help pick up the slack. What makes this special is not what I did, rather it was the looks I received from residents and guests as they saw me working in that truck. I have to say I had more pictures taken that day than any time in my life. It was almost like being a rock star followed by paparazzi. It was hard work but we got the job done and I gained a story to recount.


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

I would like to believe that I have had an impact at Victoria Palms in a lot of areas, but I think the most significant is in communications. Not everyone is comfortable being in front of people or starting conversations with strangers. That can leave some people feeling like they aren’t appreciated or respected. I have always made it a point to make the operation of the resort an open book. I don’t dodge questions and do my best to always provide an honest answer. Sometimes that answer is “no”, but when that’s the truth, anything less is misleading. As well I have expanded the modes of communication here at Victoria Palms. We had a great newsletter here when I arrived, but I thought we could do more. We now have a new website dedicated to events and activities (www.vpractivities.com), I do monthly “Town Hall” meetings which I record and post to YouTube. This enables our residents who are not here at the time of a meeting to still get all the information and not miss anything. I believe strongly in open and honest communications and think our residents and guests really appreciate that.


6. If had to describe your RV park to someone who thinks about coming to Victoria Palms, what would you say?

Picture a fine resort with every conceivable amenity, or a cruise ship where the activities seem to never stop. If you are an RV’er, picture wide, paved and lighted streets where maneuvering your rig is easy and the sites are all concrete with full hook-ups. If you are looking for a permanent winter or year around home picture well manicured yards, lush plantings, beautiful flowers and grass. Envision neat homes (each unique) which exude a feeling of community and safety. If you like to dance, dream about multiple live bands every week, where you can dance the night away on one of the largest and most beautiful dance floors in the valley. Or join in some of our dance lessons; line, ballroom, country, round. If you are a crafter then this must be paradise. Woodworking in our supersized woodshop, firing your pottery in one of our 5 kilns, stained glass, painting, sewing and quilting, wood carving, and the list goes on and on. If you are of the sports type we can keep you pretty busy there too. From racing remote control trucks to bocce ball, petanque, horseshoes, shuffleboard, pickle ball, tennis, cycling, swimming, water volleyball, etc. Are you starting to get the picture? Victoria Palms is incredible and you can do as much or as little as you desire.

7. What brought you to Victoria Palms?

Truthfully I came to Victoria Palms quite by accident. I had previously managed large resorts and honestly was looking for something with a little slower pace. I actually applied for a position at a smaller Thousand Trails park that was somewhat off the beaten path and very rustic. Remember one of my favorite pastimes is sitting by a campfire. As I was being interviewed the question I kept being asked was why I wanted that position, and was I really sure I could be happy there. In the end the interviewer convinced me to come see Victoria Palms. When I visited it completely knocked my socks off. I was instantly in love. As a resort manager I get to live in the resort, and I knew this was a place I could really feel at home. I was hired to manage it and have never looked back. It has been a complete labor of love.


8. Any last words for your current and future guests?

If this hasn’t given you a vision of what life is like at Victoria Palms, then you simply need to come see it for yourself. Come spend a week with us and I will personally make sure you see it all. I promise you won’t be disappointed. Come join me in paradise under the palms.

South Padre Island: A Taste of the Tropics off the Texas Coast

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Take a Tropical Holiday

Take a holiday on a tropical island that is known for its captivating fireworks for six months of the year. It’s a place where you can walk 55 km (34 mi) of the widest and cleanest beaches anywhere. Try your hand at windsurfing or go dolphin watching. You don’t have to go that far to find this year-round paradise. It’s right off the coast of Texas in Cameron County and it’s called South Padre Island. Even in January you’ll find the temperatures here around 20C (68F).

Stay with Us, Visit the Island

There are about 10 Encore RV Resorts near South Padre Island. Many are under an hour’s drive away. South Padre Island is easily accessible from the Queen Isabella Causeway in Port Isabel. Take State Park Road 100 and head over for some island fun.

We’ve put together a few things together that you might enjoy for your day trips to South Padre Island.

Nature Lovers Rejoice

thinkstockphotos-177884449The South Padre Island Birding and Nature Centre is a bird watcher’s mecca. Bring your binoculars and hunker down in one of the five bird blinds. There are over 3,300 linear feet of boardwalk here and a five-story tower where you can take in the beautiful land and ocean views.

Head over to Sea Turtle, Inc., and learn about their mission to rescue, rehabilitate and release sea turtles. The turtles are housed here until they can return to their natural habitat.

For something more out in the open, how about a whale and/or dolphin watching tour. Head out on an ocean cruise designed with dolphin watching in mind. There are several dolphin pods that live in the waters here year round.

Life’s a Beach

The beaches of South Padre Island were made for relaxing. As the island is only .8 of a km wide (.5 mi) you’re always just steps away from the ocean. Mild temperatures, calm warm water and sunshine are the perfect mixture for your day away on the beach. You can even take lessons on how to build the best sandcastles!

Get your cowboy on and saddle up for a ride on the beach or try watersports like thinkstockphotos-147286721parasailing, kiteboarding, and jet skiing. Test your balance with Stand Up Paddleboard (SUP) or fly boarding. This is a water babies’ playground with several service providers ready to rent and/or teach you.

When it comes to fishing, you can take your pick of onshore, offshore or even deep sea fishing. Bring your own boat, or rent one here. If you prefer, cast from the shoreline and see what’s biting. There are restaurants in the area that will be happy to cook up whatever you catch.

Above and Below the Waves

Put on your life jacket, grab a paddle and head out on an adventure in a kayak or canoe. Perhaps you’d prefer to strap on a helmet and head out on a jet ski! There are 1.5-hour jet ski water tours for those of you that want a fast ride through the waves while sightseeing. For something a bit slower, hop aboard a six-person inflatable banana boat! There are several providers in the area that will rent you whatever you need for your above the water fun.

Dive beneath the waves and explore a world seldom seen by others. Many vendors here will teach you how to do basic open water dives. For those of you with experience, try a dive down to the sunken Texas Clipper. Get up close and personal to the sea life as you explore their world. You can rent equipment here, or bring your own. Either way it’s an thinkstockphotos-479607710experience you won’t’ soon forget.

Not ready for diving? How about snorkeling! Explore the Laguna Madre Estuary where the water is only one to two meters (three to six feet) deep, making in perfect for all experience levels from beginner to advanced.

Pamper, Relax, Repeat

For a small island, South Padre has some great shopping. You’ll find some great gifts for yourself and for friends back home. Once you’ve had your fill of shopping it’s time to step into one of their many spas and pamper yourself. Feel your cares melt away with a massage from one of their relaxation specialists.

Once your outsides have been taken care of, it’s time to treat your insides to some delicious treats. There are over 50 restaurants, bars and nightclubs on South Padre Island. There’re burgers and beachside grills and lots of places for seafood. There are several ethnic eateries on the island too as well as well-known fast food joints.

Once you’ve taken care of your body, it’s time to go out dancing, sing some Karaoke, or settle back for some nighttime fireworks displays.

Whatever you choose to do, whatever time of day, or season, you’re sure to have warm memories of your time at South Padre Island.

Comment below and let us know if you’re interested in visiting South Padre Island!