As the country begins to open up for domestic travel again, tons of Americans are hitting the road in an RV or with a camper in tow. While camping is a great way to safely get out and explore the United States in a self-contained way, many people are already running into a common issue. Many of the country’s RV campgrounds were sold out by mid-February. Fortunately, there are plenty of alternative or non-traditional campgrounds where RVs are welcome to hook up and overnight.
While there are places that are open to the general public, one of the best resources for finding alternative campgrounds is Harvest Hosts. This subscription service costs just $99 for the year. You don’t, however, pay to stay at any of the campgrounds within their extensive roster which means it will more than pay for itself after just a few stays. From museums to wineries, the service offers a comprehensive map of all its partners that can host RV campers. These alternative sites are a few of our favorites.
Location: Springfield, Illinois
The Rail golf course is a wonderful stay for camping. The course was once a 240-acre dairy farm that was transformed by architect Robert Trent Jones Sr. The 18-hole golf course was even used as championship grounds for 30 years. Stay among beautifully kept grounds and take the opportunity to book a daily tee time while you stay at this amazing campground alternative.
Location: Acampo, California
Heritage Oak Winery offers RV camping and tons of ways to pass the time in the lush wine region near Lodi. With a charming bar and a spacious outdoor patio, there is plenty of seating for guests to try the winery’s flights or order wine by the bottle. The property also hosts bird-watching walks and offers activities like hiking and kayaking. You can even enjoy a vineyard picnic if you prefer.
Location: Hutchinson, Kansas
The Kansas Underground Salt Museum offers RV camping to Harvest Host members who can also stop by the incredibly interesting museum. The tours require guests to don hard helmets and venture underground to see the salt mines. Though the salt was discovered in 1887, the purest part of the salt some 650 feet underground is still mined today. Take a shuttle ride through the mine and don’t forget to stop by the gift shop.
Location: Excelsior Springs, Missouri
Opened in 1915, Excelsior Springs Golf Club is an 18-hole championship course. Guests can camp with their RVs on the property and play round after round of golf without paying a tee reservation fee. The stunning course was designed by notable Tom Bendelow who also designed courses used for both U.S. Opens and PGA championships. This is a scenic stay that offers a great opportunity to play an impressive course.
Location: Hotchkiss, Colorado
Nestled between the orchards and the North Fork Gunnison River, Big B’s Fruit Company offers RV camping and an interactive stay. Guests can tour the orchard, pick produce, and see how some of the products are made. The company sells juice, hard cider, and vinegar among other things, so you’ll have plenty to choose from if you want to support the business by sampling the goods. Unwind after a day in the countryside with a hard cider in the taproom accompanied by live music.
Location: San Pierre, Indiana
This farm is a great stop during the summer months when its primary crop, blueberries, are at their peak. Guests can camp with their RVs and spend time in the orchards relaxing or picking their own buckets of the antioxidant-rich fruit. There’s even a food truck on-site that offers blueberry-infused fare like pulled pork sandwiches or a panini sandwich with ham, gouda, and blueberry-basil jam. You can also shop their products like jams, pancake mix, and even a mouthwatering blueberry pie. Biting into a slice of freshly baked pie would be the best way to end your day among the fruit trees.
Location: Peck, Kansas
Located just off interstate 35, the Kansas Turnpike, Wyldewood Cellars is a very convenient stop for RV travelers. The winery has been around for 25 years and began by making elderberry wine. Today, there are wines made from a range of fruits, berries, and grapes too. There are over 40 bottles you can choose to try. The wide-open spaces of Kansas and the winery’s neatly tended vineyard provide a beautiful backdrop to a stay at this campground alternative.
Location: Haymarket, Virginia
The Greenville Farm Family Campground is just one facet of the Greenville Farm. Just 35 miles outside of Washington, D.C., and very near the Manassas Battlefield, this RV-friendly lodging has a lot to offer. The 200-acre active farm includes a pool, stocked ponds for fishing, and plenty of animals guests can pet and see. Not to mention, guests will likely see what the farm is currently working on no matter the time of year. This is a perfect stay for those looking to escape the city for something closer to nature.
Location: Driggs, Idaho
Grand Teton Distillery must be an RV campground alternative with one of the best views in the country. Located just outside of Jackson Hole, Wyoming, the distillery offers an amazing glimpse of its namesake mountain range. Guests can park their vehicles and saunter into the cozy bar to try their own vodka as well as other liquors like bourbon and whiskey. The distillery also offers some interesting flavors of liquors such as huckleberry vodka and raspberry moonshine. You’ll definitely want to pick up a bottle of something to remember the scenic grounds.
Location: Traverse City, Michigan
Set in a crisp, clean farmhouse, this winery is a perfect fall destination. Though it is wonderful any time of the year, an explosion of fall foliage stands behind the vineyards highlighting the immaculate rows of grapes. The winery also hosts events and chefs which makes it a lively spot to stop. You’ll also be able to choose from a wide range of varietals should you want to sample a bottle or two. From Chenin Blanc and Viognier to Pinot Noir and a Left Bank Bordeaux Blend, you won’t be disappointed by the selection.
Location: Hastings, Nebraska
This natural and cultural museum offers so much to the guests who choose to camp in association with it. Visitors can tour a wide range of Americana exhibits or opt to watch educational or Hollywood movies in the museum’s theater. Make the most of your time in Nebraska by learning about the local landscape and enjoying the alternative campground. Don’t forget to check the museum’s calendar. There are always ongoing events you can plan your trip around.
Location: Fargo, North Dakota
Fargo is one of the most unexpected yet trendiest cities in the midwest. The eclectic town offers great dining and shopping, but a stay at the Fargo Air Museum is an experience unto itself. The well-organized exhibits are very informative and picture-perfect. You won’t want to skip the gift shop either. This unique way to visit Fargo offers RVers a glimpse into aircrafts both vintage and current before retiring to their vehicles to relax and unwind.
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