<p>When you go RVing, the world is your road map and there's no destination too remote, too exotic, or too adventurous to take on. Backpacking across Europe might be on your ultimate outdoors bucketlist, but you can start training to conquer the Scottish Highlands or the Swiss Alps from the comfort of your RV.</p>
Unique campgrounds abound in your own backyard. These off the beaten path destinations for RVing are waiting to be explored. From stunning glaciers to endless tulip fields, there’s a spot on our close to home travel list for every adventurer. So pack up your gear, grab some snacks for the road, and set your cruise controls to vacation mode. Avalon RV Center has the ultimate guide to exploring Camping Destinations in the United States That Feel Like Europe.
1.) Aspen, Colorado
The Swiss Alps have nothing on the Aspen Mountain range in breathtaking Aspen, Colorado. Known for its world-famous skiing, Aspen is a great year round destination that’s less populated during the summer months. Incredible wildflowers abound the slopes of this mountainous region. Seventy-three amazing trails run throughout the Aspen Range with activities from mountain biking to trail running to fishing and wildlife watching.
The best way to enjoy Aspen? Pack a European style picnic complete with wine and cheese pairings, then head over to Crater Lake for an unforgettable view. For places to stay in Aspen, check out the Little Nell. Located at the heart of the mountains, you’ll find a welcoming KOA and Gateway RV Park ready with all the necessities and hook ups.
Tag your #RVLife moments as Switzerland. We won’t tell.
2.) Glacier National Park, Montana
Skip the long layover and trade Norwegian Fjords for glacial forests a few hours from Yellowstone territory. This lesser known Montana state park features some of the most unique geology in the American Northwest. Picturesque glacier carved peaks and valleys soar over the Canadian border featuring over 700 miles of trails. Grizzlies, bighorn sheep, and bald eagles all call this region home.
Going-to-the-Sun Road is a must for RV adventurers. This scenic drive crosses straight through the mountains. Don’t forget to take a trip to Hidden Lake. Lush alpine meadows, pristine water, and year round glaciers will make you feel like you’ve landed in Svalbard, Norway. Much like its European doppelganger, Glacier is a great spot for stargazing. If you’re lucky enough, you may even be able to catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights.
As a national park, RV campsites abound throughout Glacier and the surrounding regions. With plenty of free campsites, dog friendly campgrounds, amenities and services, a luxury European vacation is just a drive away.
3.) Calistoga, California
Calistoga, California is a little known region that resembles the quaint Czech Republic town of Karlovy Vary. Just like its sister city, Calistoga is famous for its natural hot springs. This indulgent resort destination is perfect for a luxurious roadtrip or a honeymoon getaway. Relax at a soothing mud bath, unwind with a massage at the famous MoonAcre Spa, and take a tour of the local wineries. This pit stop is the perfect rest between backpacking adventures, but if you find yourself in need of some more active ways to spend your stay, a bike ride through old town is the best way to escape the roads and stretch your legs.
Check out the Calistoga RV Park and nearby Calistoga Motor Lodge.
4.) Acadia National Park, Maine
This moderately trafficked gem is located on Mount Desert Island and well worth the trip in getting there. At 17 million acres of lush forest featuring 6,000 lakes and ponds, and 32,000 miles of rivers and streams, Acadia National Park has often been compared to Loch Lomond situated in the Scottish Highlands. Fall is the best time to visit this incredible area. The weather is temperate to breezy and the brilliant colors make for a once-in-a-lifetime photo opportunity. We can’t promise you’ll spot the Loch Ness Monster in Acadia’s waters, but you will enjoy some of the best fishing, hiking, and floating around.
If you’re packing a tent, check out the three central campgrounds around the park: Blackwoods (close to Bar Harbor), Seawall (less touristy), and Schoodic Woods (on the Schoodic Peninsula). Several KOA campsites also feature RV hook ups nearby.
5.) Mohican State Park, Ohio
Close to home and even closer to our hearts, Mohican State Park is just a short drive from Colombus, Ohio. The towering hemlock groves and old growth white pines give visitors the illusion of walking through some of the ancients forests surrounding Ireland and Holland. Wild flowers abound during the springtime, capturing a wealth of color against a verdant backdrop. Glacial melt and subsequent erosion gave rise to the unique landscape of the area. With ample cliffs and hiking trails for experienced backpackers looking for a challenge, Mohican is a great park to hone your skills and train your warrior spirit before trekking across Ireland’s hill country.
Start your adventure at Clear Fork Gorge. Determined hikers will be able to navigate the entire park in one long weekend. If you’re visiting during the colder months, be sure to pack plenty of layers. Cold winds truly mimic a harsh European climate! And, of course, don’t forget to stock up on your favorite campfire snacks for the long road ahead.
Campsites feature a variety of options from cabins to full hook up campsites and pet friendly accommodations. The price per night for a campsite with full electricity runs about $30 in peak season, but budget savvy travelers can easily catch a deal (and less crowds) during the winter months.
Roadtripping is the best way to skip the layover and get straight to your destination. With so many amazing places to discover in your own backyard, it’s no wonder more and more travelers are taking to the wide open roads, forests, and plains. Share your adventures with us and let us know what your favorite North American camping, hiking, road tripping, and backpacking destinations are.