It might seem a little nuts to take off in your RV during the winter holidays but this can actually be the perfect time to go. Many destinations that are crowded the rest of the year will be empty, and with school and work holiday breaks, you’ll have even longer to dedicate to your trip. Here are some four festive holiday destinations to head to with the family this year in your RV!
1. Santa Claus, Indiana
It doesn’t get more holiday than a town named Santa Claus. This town of 2,500 stays true to its name by providing tons of holiday-themed attractions like Santa’s Candy Castle, the Santa Claus Museum, Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari, Frosty’s Fun Center, Christmas Lake Golf Course, and Santa’s Stables.
The Santa Claus post office, due to its name, receives thousands of letters to Santa each year which are each replied to by a group of volunteers called Santa’s Elves. In addition to holiday attractions, there are a variety of events like Christmas dinner with Santa, the Festival of Lights, Christmas Caroling, and more.
Park your RV at the appropriately named Lake Rudolph Campground & RV Resort. With 270 full hook-up sites, this park has amenities like a welcome center, Holiday World shuttle, five air-conditioned bathhouses with restrooms, showers and hot water, a camp store with a public kitchen, a meeting space, outdoor pavilion, laundromat, and Prancer’s Activity Center, which includes recreation rentals, game room, and more.
2. McAdenville, North Carolina
The self-proclaimed “Christmas Town USA”, McAdenville has been a Christmas attraction since 1956 when they began their annual Christmas light displays. Located 15 miles outside of Charlotte, this small town of less than 700 deck their town in thousands of lights while celebrating Christmas cheer.
More than 600,000 people visit each year so things might get a little crowded, but it’s worth it to see more than 375 trees and almost all the homes in town lit with lights. Many events help make this “Christmas Town” like a Christmas Town 5K, tree lighting ceremony, and Yule Log Parade.
While the town of McAdenville is too small to have its own RV park, there are several located within 20 miles or so to stay at. The closest of these is Rhyne Road RV Park, located 12 miles from McAdenville. The park has 44 lots fully equipped with utilities, WiFi, Dish satellite TV, and on-site laundry.
3. Yosemite National Park
While Yosemite is usually crowded year-round, the park is a great holiday locale when there’s snow on the ground and beautiful views. In addition to viewing natural splendor, enjoy the Ahwahnee Lodge’s annual Christmas Bracebridge Dinner. This throwback to the 18th century has taken place every year since 1927. Enjoy a full, seven-course dinner and entertainment from the jester for a four-hour night to remember. Traditional foods include items like peacock pie and plum pudding.
A cast of over 100 people work together to recreate the Christmas day festivities at Bracebridge Hall in Yorkshire, England from Washington Irving’s story The Sketch Book. Families can also ski and snowboard in the Yosemite park and ice skate at Curry Village.
There is plenty of RV camping with nine campgrounds in Yosemite that can accommodate RVs and trailers (including 5thwheels) of varying lengths. Some campgrounds require reservations which can be made at Recreation.gov. Electrical, water, and sewer hookups are not available in Yosemite although there are dump stations with fresh water at the Upper Pines Campground all year.
The maximum RV/trailer lengths in the park are 40 feet and trailer length 35 feet, but there are only eight sites to accommodate this size. Campgrounds that allow RVs are Upper Pines, Lower Pines, North Pines, Wawona, Bridalveil Creek, Hodgdon Meadow, Crane Flat, White Wolf, and Tuolumne Meadows.
4. Graceland, Tennessee
Memphis may seem like a surprising choice but the real destination is Elvis Presley’s Graceland in the city which celebrates a very special Christmas. The King loved Christmas and his traditions of celebrating and decorating continue with Graceland staff decorating the place inside and out, setting up hundreds of blue lights along the driveway and a life-size Nativity scene, and hanging red holiday draperies.
The holidays started in November with the annual Graceland lighting ceremony. Enjoy live holiday concerts with members of the Memphis Symphony Orchestra and events like a Jingle Bell Brunch, special evening tours of Graceland, and the Graceland Poinsettia Campaign which supports the Elvis Presley Charitable Foundation. The red poinsettias line the staircase at Graceland during holiday visits from guests.