A weekly podcast from the writers of rvfamilytravelatlas.com, focusing on topics that relate to RV family travel. We review campgrounds, discuss tips and tricks for traveling with kids, and answer our readers' most common questions. We also chat about food, gear, and those times when everything doesn't quite go as planned.
Stephanie’s Holiday Gift Picks: Gear, Gadgets, and Practical Gifts for RVers
This holiday gift guide is bursting with Stephanie's favorite picks from THREE different gift guides that she helped create this year!
First, she shares her favorite picks from Togo RV's 2021 Holiday Gift Guide. Click on the link to find out more about all of her picks!
In the second segment of the show she talks about her favorite picks from the Roadtrippers 2021 Holiday Gift Guide! Click on the link to find out more about her favorites!
In segment three she picks some more practical gifts from Campendium's super-nifty 2021 holiday gift guide!
Coming up next!! Jeremy's picks!! Happy holidays everyone!!
3 Days in Grand Teton National Park With Kids
Grand Tetons National Park is defined by its breathtaking mountains, pristine lakes, and scenic trails. It's also a great place for families. If you want to explore Grand Teton National Park with kids, we have some great tips for you.
Our First Time at the Rodeo! Two Nights at the Cody KOA
Should you go to Cody, Wyoming, if you are short on time and debating how to spend it in the greater Yellowstone area? YES! Cody is a great place to take a break from hiking and exploring Yellowstone. Natural beauty is great, but sometimes we need a change of pace, especially our three boys. Cody did not disappoint. It's full of entertainment opportunities for the whole family.
This episode is part of a series about our adventures in Wyoming. Be sure to check out the episodes about our stay at Under Canvas Yellowstone and our three days in Yellowstone National Park with kids.
To hear about our stay at the Cody KOA, click play on the media player above or look for The RV Atlas wherever you find your favorite podcasts.
Lamar Valley and the Chief Joseph Scenic Highway
The drive through Lamar Valley and out of the park past Silver Gate, and Cook City, and onto Chief Joseph Scenic Byway was astounding for a few reasons.
Chief Joseph Scenic Byway is astonishingly beautiful and an easy drive. I think it is just as beautiful as anything in the park. Taking that drive into Cody is a pretty impressive part of the trip!
The drive was amazing for another reason entirely--and this gets into a core recommendation that we have been making on The RV Atlas for years. We both really believe that reading books about places, before or during a trip--and maybe less so after a trip---is an amazing way to enrich the journey.
Jeremy bought American Wolf by Nate Blakeslee at a gift shop in Yellowstone and started reading it during the trip. The book is largely set in Lamar Valley, Silver Gate, Cook City, Crandall, and a bit in Cody.
American Wolf is about the reintroduction of wolves into Yellowstone National Park in 1995. It documents the decades-long controversy that followed. Some of the people are pro wolf because the wolves balance the ecosystem. Others are against wolves and want carte blanch to hunt them because they can kill cattle and for a variety of other reasons. It's a controversial topic in the region.
As we drove through Lamar Valley and out of the park on Chief Joseph Scenic Byway, the entire region leaped to life as we drove past places that are in the book.
The Cody KOA Holiday Campground
We stayed in a deluxe cabin at the Cody KOA Holiday. It wasn't the kind of cabin you might have at a resort, but it was fine. The fridge was noisy and the linens were shrink wrapped and not on the beds. That doesn’t seem right at the price that is charged. Showing up after a long drive and having to unwrap your linens is a bit disappointing. However, we were comfortable and close to everything we wanted to do.
The pool and hot tub were awesome. We needed those after all the hiking at Yellowstone. Max really liked the hot tub and we made some great memories relaxing in the warm water before bed each night.
We took a look at the RV sites. There were some good ones and some that were pretty tight. Maybe that doesn’t matter too much if this is just a base camp and a place to stay--which it was for us!
The camp store was well stocked. There was a free pancake breakfast. It was good and you only paid for the extras like juice and coffee. If you want full hook ups in a convenient location, we think this is a very good choice.
If you want to stay somewhere drop-dead gorgeous and have a more natural experience without full hook-ups then try Buffalo Bill State Park. There's also Lake Shore Campground which has 37 RV and tent sites and North Fork Campground which has 60 RV and tent sites.
The KOA is near the airport but there is not a problem with noise. There is actually a very cool independent coffee shop called Cody Coffee Roasters at the airport, and you do not need to go inside the airport building to get coffee.
3 Days in Yellowstone National Park With Kids
Is it possible to see Yellowstone in just three days with three kids along for the journey? We found out! Though it might take a lifetime to see all of this truly massive national park, you can see a lot of it in three days.
Glamping at Under Canvas Yellowstone
Under Canvas Yellowstone provides a full-on glamping experience right outside of Yellowstone National Park, but how does it compare to the RV camping our family loves? Though we originally weren't sure about "glamping" as a trend, this ended up being one of the most magical camping experiences we have ever had. We have lots of great details to share after our three-day stay in August.
Campground Review! Four Mile Creek Near Niagara Falls, NY
Gretchen Holcombe from Boxy Colonial On The Road is back on The RV Atlas podcast this week and she is our guest blogger here as well! Check out her recent post and interview on the podcast to hear about her stop in Burlington, Vermont. And to hear about her awesome stop at Four Mile Creek State Park and Niagara Falls click on the media player above, or read here guest post below!
Guest Post by Gretchen Holcombe
**All photos by Gretchen Holcombe
Niagara Falls is one of the world’s most spectacular sights…and it’s also one of its most crowded. Niagara Falls State Park welcomes more than 8 million visitors a year, and on a busy summer day it can feel like they’re all there at the same time. My husband and I had seen the falls before, but we were excited to make our first trip there with our kids this summer and more than willing to brave the crowds and to shell out money for quintessential tourist experiences like the Maid of the Mist boat ride.
Four Mile Creek State Park
But we were also eager to get a break from the nonstop action in the evenings, and we found the under appreciated Four Mile Creek State Park, just 20 minutes down the road from Niagara Falls, to be an excellent retreat.
Four Mile Creek offers up 250 spacious tent and RV sites on the shores of Lake Ontario, about half primitive sites and half with electric hookups (potable water and dump stations are available). In addition to the big sites and quiet setting, we appreciated the bargain pricing: sites are just $24/night for electric, and $18 for dry camping. There are a lot of excellent sites to choose from here, but the ones in the 200 loop that overlook Lake Ontario are the pick of the campground, with enormous “backyards” and great views; look for the even numbered sites between 222 and 240. If you don’t have an RV with you, the park is popular with tent campers and also has six yurts available for rent.
Niagara Falls State Park
It’s an easy drive from Four Mile Creek to Niagara Falls State Park, and we spent lots of time there checking out the falls from all different vantage points. We parked on Goat Island (we were able to save the $10 fee by showing our pass from Four Mile Creek) and walked all around the area; there are several great places to admire the view, including Terrapin Point and Luna Island. You can walk or take the trolley from Goat Island over to the visitor center and to all the shopping and restaurants in town. The Maid of the Mist leaves from this area and takes you on a very wet trip out to the bottom of the falls; it’s a splurge at around $25 per person for a 20 minute boat ride, but it’s worth it for a view and experience you can’t get any other way.
Some of our Niagara Falls plans were derailed both by the fact that the Canadian border was still closed to Americans thanks to COVID and by the very wet weather we had while we were in the area. But the silver lining was that this led us to find some great off-the-beaten-path destinations that we likely wouldn’t have seen otherwise.
We spent one rainy morning at Niagara Power Vista’s visitor center, an excellent museum all about the history of and science behind using the falls to produce power. There are lots of hands on activities, a movie, and one particularly charming exhibit where Nikola Tesla and Thomas Edison debate the merits of AC vs. DC power.
The Niagara Falls Underground Railroad Heritage Center is another excellent rainy day (or any day) stop. Niagara Falls’ proximity to Canada made it a natural Underground Railroad hub, and this small museum tells the stories of some of the enslaved people who passed through here on their way to freedom in engaging and creative ways.
Our family never passes up a good fort, so we made a trip to Old Fort Niagara to dive deeper into the history of...
My sentimental fave
This was the very first podcast I started listening to when we bought our travel trailer years ago. Stephanie and Jeremy were out providing high-quality content years before it was cool or hip or trendy. They are trailblazers. I’ve even met and listened to Jeremy speak in person at an RV show. Things have changed a bit as their careers have morphed but they are still my #1 source for info when I am planning or dreaming about a trip. I never miss an episode and frequently dive back into their show catalogue to listen to old ones. I wish they would put out as many episodes as other RV podcasters but I understand why they don’t. Their 2 most recent books are fantastic and I would recommend “See You at the Campground” for any newbie and “Where Should We Camp Next?” as a great resource for all who dream of or plan trips. Last thing—I appreciate that they are family friendly and have often played them for my little family to get us excited about a destination. We’ve been to loads of their recommended campgrounds and restaurants and obtained plenty of their recommended gear. They have never steered us wrong!
Excellent podcast for those with wanderlust!
Loving this podcast! It does make me wish I had done more camping and traveling around when my kids were younger. They are in their 20s now and we all love to camp! I’m saving up for a small travel trailer, possibly as small as a teardrop for ease of use and getting out there! Just picked up your book from my local bookstore in Memphis and can’t wait to dive in and make some plans!!! P.S. I too have a camping gear addiction....2nd place to actually being in the woods and nature is being in an REI!
Love the Podcast
This has been my consistent go to podcast for planning trips and learning about all things camping. My only wish is that sometimes I wish Stephanie would be kinder to Jeremy.