Most people have some sort of bucket list.
Be it a hand written, novel-length list of things you absolutely must do before you die, or a more informal list that exists solely in your head and consists of things such as seeing your kids grow up to be well adjusted adults or having a long and happy marriage.
Whatever’s on the list, you probably have one.
But what about an RV bucket list? RVers tend to make lofty, far-reaching bucket lists.
Goals such as spending the night in all 50 states, visiting all the national parks, and traveling X amount of days per year top the list for many.
Long before my husband and I set off on our full-timing RV adventure, we started our RV bucket list.
By the time we had purchased and renovated our RV, downsized our possessions, sold our house, and set off on the road, we had a pretty exhaustive list of places we wanted to go, experiences we wanted to have, and food we wanted to eat.
Nearly two and half years of travel later we’re still adding new things to the list. But we’ve also checked a ton of things off our bucket list.
Here’s an abbreviated version of my RV bucket list. I’ve included both the things I’ve already checked off the list and the things that remain.
How about you? What’s on your RV bucket list?
1.) Explore the pristine beaches of the Oregon Coast
For many years I dreamed of visiting the Oregon coast. I wanted to stroll along the miles and miles of unspoiled, wild coastline with not a soul in sight.
I wanted to watch the waves roll in while collecting sand dollars and interesting bits of driftwood. And I wanted to stay at those wonderful Oregon State Parks I had read so much about.
In the fall of 2012 my dream came true.
We spent six glorious weeks slowly making our way down the Oregon coast, hopping from state park to state park. The beaches were just as wild and wonderful as I had dreamed.
And we had a blast visiting the many small, coastal towns.
2.) Discover the stunning peaks and lakes of the Canadian Rockies
After visiting Colorado, Wyoming and Montana I thought we had experienced the grandeur of the Rocky Mountains. But then we went to Canada.
I was blown away by the craggy mountain peaks and stunning turquoise glacial waters.
Our visit was far too short, and in only a single week we took a quick tour through Glacier National National Park (the Canadian version) and Banff National Park, and also drove up the Icefields Parkway.
It wasn’t nearly enough time to explore and see everything, but it doesn’t take long to fall in love with the majestic beauty of the Canadian Rockies.
3.) Marvel at the deep blue waters of Crater Lake, OR
I’m checking this one off the list even though the conditions during our visit weren’t ideal.
Despite the fact that it was only the end of September, the recent snowfall caused the closure of the east side of the Lake Loop Road.
Combine the snow with two days of freezing cold rain and thick clouds, and the result was a lake that looked more gray than blue.
It was still a stunning and magical place. This one might go back on the list for a return visit. 🙂
4.) Watch a hot air balloon show like no other at the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta
This one got added to the list only after we had been on the road for awhile.
We knew some fellow RVers who attended the Fiesta in 2013, and after seeing their pictures and hearing their stories we knew we had to go.
As luck would have it, our schedule worked out in such a way that we were able to attend the very next year. We choose to join a group of 200 other Airstreams in a super primo parking spot right next to the balloon launching field.
It was the one of the most amazing experiences of my life.
Every morning we awoke to hundreds of balloons floating overhead, and every evening we ended the day with the spectacular glow from their illuminated shapes.
A truly bucket list-worthy event.
5.) Hike until our legs give out at Zion National Park
Zion has long been at the top of my national park wish list. One year my mom had a Zion calendar with every month depicting a different iconic scene form the park.
I remember gazing at those pictures and thinking that one day I would see all that beauty in person.
And then one day I did!
In the spring of 2013 we went to Zion for what we thought would be a few days visit, and ended up staying for more than a week.
At the end of those ten days our legs were exhausted and our hearts bursting with joy over what we had just experienced.
6.) Travel to the depths of the Earth at Carlsbad Caverns
I’ll admit that this one wasn’t a high priority. I figured, it’s just a big hole in the ground, how cool could that be?
The answer is very, very cool.
The caverns are much more than gigantic holes in the Earth, they’re filled with the most amazing rock formations both sprouting from the cave floor and dangling from the ceiling.
We walked down the natural entrance and spent hours wandering through an underground world like no other.
7.) Witness the bubbling cauldrons and geysers at Yellowstone National Park
Yellowstone is one of the most popular national parks – and for good reason.
Where else can you see bubbling pools, gushing geysers, massive waterfalls, and wildlife of all kinds?
The park is massive and covers 3,468 square miles.
Due to the lack of Internet connectivity (RVing is not a vacation for us and we need Internet access to work) we only had a few short days to explore the park.
We toured the stinky bubbling pools and geysers, spotted some neat wildlife, and discovered Mammoth Hot Springs where calcified rock forms a unique landscape of frozen-in-time terraces and sculptures.
8.) Camp among the giant saguaro cacti in Southern AZ
When you grow up in the Northeast like I did, the idea of a giant 50’ tall cactus is pretty crazy. And the idea of of a forest of them all pointing their spiny arms in different directions is downright mind-blowing.
Which is why our week-long stay in Ajo, AZ surrounded by these prickly beasts was the stuff dreams are made of.
We bypassed the campgrounds in town and made our way to a known boondocking spot among our friends – the saguaros.
Since then we have spent a lot of time in Arizona, but Ajo still remains one of our favorite spots.
9.) Experience wildflower mania in Crested Butte, CO
What could be better than a picturesque mountain town, tons of hiking and biking trails, and some of the most beautiful mountains Colorado has to offer?
How about all that plus the most stunning wildflower display you have ever seen? That’s exactly what we found in Crested Butte during the month of July.
They don’t call this place the Wildflower Capital of Colorado for nothing.
10.) Play in the giant sandbox at White Sands National Monument
White Sands was such a cool place that we went back twice during our three-month tour through New Mexico.
Sand dunes in general are pretty amazing, but White Sands, with its glistening pure-white gypsum sand sculpted into ridges and waves, definitely tops them all.
And here are some things still on my bucket list…
- Camp among the gators and take a ride on an airboat in the Florida Everglades
- Channel our inner ski bunnies for a month of Winter RVing in Colorado or Idaho
- Frolic on the sugar sand beaches of the Florida Panhandle
- Hike a portion of the southern section of the Appalachian Trail
- Voyage our way through Voyagers National Park in Minnesota
- Get acquainted with the wild horses on the Outer Banks of North Carolina
- Stuff myself with BBQ in Austin, TX
- Travel to Alaska with an RV caravan
- Venture far north and east to Nova Scotia
- Take a boozy tour on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail
- View the largest ocean of volcanic lava flows in the continental US at Craters of the Moon National Monument
- Go Island hoping in the San Juan Islands in Washington state
- Experience the first rays of sun before anyone else in America at Acadia National Park
- Go on a whale watching expedition off Cape Cod
- Drive a section of the Blue Ridge Parkway
- Get spooked on a Haunted Ghost Tour in Savannah, Georgia
- Watch a movie on the big screen, from our RV, at the Corral Drive-in and RV Park in Guymon, Oklahoma
- Get lucky in Kentucky. Bet on a horse at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky
What’s on your bucket list?
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