destination

Destinations

53 Best Places to Visit

Some have a bucket list, some just a desire to travel.

“Everybody dies, but not everybody really lives.”

These are the places I’d like to visit and trips I’d like to take, when my van conversion has progressed far enough to go out on a road trip.
I visited many of them before, yet are worth revisiting in a different season or with more time to spend.

If you would like to add to this list, just send me an email with a picture(s) and a short description.

*The criteria for publishing will be primarily the uniqueness of the location.

anza-borrego-desert-state-park-caAnza Borrego Desert State Park, CA
Early March is the time when the wildflowers start to bloom and whole valleys are filled with colors. Great free camping too.
arches-np-utArches National Park, UT
Sit at your campfire and watch the nightlife; lots of wildlife appears after the sun sets. Despite the great number of visitors, many hiking trails offer solitude and magnificent views.
beartooth-hwy-wyBeartooth Highway, WY MT
big-bend-national-park-txBig Bend National Park, TX
bonaventure-island-qcBonaventure Island, QC
Bonaventure Island in the Gaspésie, Quebec is a far and out of the way place, unique for its breeding colony of Northern Gannets. The island boat trip and walking among these elegant birds is a once in your life experience.
bristlecone-nf-caBristlecone National Forest, CA
bryce-canyon-np-utBryce Canyon National Park, UT
calico-ca
Calico, CA
canyonlands-national-park-utCanyonlands National Park, UT
capitol-reef-national-park-utCapitol Reef National Park, UT
parks, gates and benchesCharleston, SC
Big cities are never easy for van owners, and this little city is not an exception. Parking is very limited, yet its Historic City Center is not to be missed. Great shopping, outdoor cafes and beautiful architecture. Read more →
craters-of-the-moon-national-monument-idCraters of the Moon Nat. Mon., ID
Desolate landscape, but a great cooling off place, when you are traveling from California to Yellowstone NP. Visit the surface caves on a hot summer afternoon and cool down in these ice chambers.
death-valley-np-caDeath Valley National Park, CA
devils-postpile-caDevils Postpile National Monument, CA
devils-tower-wyDevil’s Tower, WY
florida-keys-slFlorida Keys, FL
gila-cliff-dwellings-nmGila Cliff Dwellings, NM
Undiscovered region of southwestern New Mexico with pretty cliff dwellings and a stopover on your way to the Navajo & Hopi Nations and the Grand Canyon. Backcountry hiking and numerous hot springs.
glacier-national-park-mtGlacier National Park, MT
goblin-valley-state-park-utGoblin Valley State Park, UT
goosenecks-state-park-utGoosenecks State Park, UT
grand-cayon-az-winterGrand Canyon National Park, AZ
grand-gulch-utGrand Gulch Primitive Area, UT
My all-time favorite destination. Fairly remote backcountry hiking area on BLM land; hiking trailheads are easily accessible by car, about 30 mi. either from Blanding or Mexican Hat. Read more →
grand-teton-national-park-wyGrand Teton National Park, WY
hearst-castle-caHearst Castle, CA
icefield-parkway-abIcefield Parkway, AB
Between Banff and Jasper, Alberta lies a breathtaking alpine landscape, unique for North America. Visit during the summer months, hike the mountains and watch the snowgoats.
kinderdijk-nlKinderdijk, NL
kodachrome-basin-state-park-utKodachrome Basin State Park, UT
mesa-verde-np-coMesa Verde National Park, CO
moki-dugway-utMoki Dugway, UT
monument-valley-azMonument Valley, AZ
mt-rainier-national-park-waMt. Rainier National Park, WA
mt-rushmore-national-park-sdMt. Rushmore National Park, SD
mt-st-helens-national-volcanic-monument-waMt. St. Helen’s National Volcanic Monument, WA
navajo-national-monument-azNavajo National Monument, AZ
Great little free park with free camping. Leave the crowds at Mesa Verde NP, and get an ‘all but private tour’ of Betatakin cliff dwelling or do an overnight hike to Keet Seel.
olympic-peninsula-loop-waOlympic Peninsula Loop, WA
pacific-hwy-caPacific Hwy 101, CA
peggys--cove-lighthouse-nsPeggy’s Cove Lighthouse, NS
redwoods-national-park-caRedwoods National Park, CA
route-66-nmRoute 66, AZ NM
saguaro-np-azSaguaro National Park, AZ
san-francisco-caSan Francisco, CA
san-juan-mountains-coSan Juan Mountains, CO
sequoia-npSequoia National Park, CA
sierra-nevada-mountains-caSierra Nevada Mountains, CA
utah-scenic-backway-utUtah Scenic Backway, UT
valley-of-the-gods-utValley of the Gods, UT
vancouver-island-bcVancouver Island, BC
The only area to comfortably spend the winter in Canada, with Victoria as the west coast Cherry Blossom capital. The wet, but temperate climate allows for all-year enjoyment of the island’s natural beauty.
washington-dcWashington, DC
Big cities are never easy for van owners, but DC should be a top priority. Exceptional museums, the Library of Congress, the Capitol Building and the White House and much more. Close to New York or Shenandoah NP. Read more →
wupatki-nm-azWupatki National Monument, AZ
yellowstone-national-park-wyYellowstone National Park, WY
yosemity-np-ca-02Yosemite National Park, CA
yucatan-mxYucatan, MX
zion-np-02Zion National Park, UT

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4 thoughts on “Destinations”

  1. Enjoyed your website. Noticed in your destinations list you’ve done Washington DC. I have a quite old ‘camper-conversion’ conversion van (hi-top E-150, 279k miles!, fitted as rough camper) and I live 20 miles west of Washington DC, so if you wish to visit in stealth camper/RV again, I could help with informtation.

    The easiest way is likely paying for using the Cherry Hill RV campground. I’ve never used it (I live here…) but it has good ratings and a good location that allows usage of the public transportation network, thru a Metro bus stop right at the campground, and that takes you to a Metro train station (Cherry Hill, or Greenbelt on Sundays) that can get you to most of the attractions in DC without pulling up camp or needing to look for parking. One of the major attractions not so easy (might be easier to drive there) is Mount Vernon.

    If you are cheap like me, then you might select to do urban stealth camping. I’ve ferreted out legal street parking (good for max of 10 days between moves) at a couple Metro train stations near my hometown.

    for Dunn Loring Station on the Orange Line: park at Hilltop Road (you’ll see several trailers and trucks there), 7 minute bus ride (every 60 min) or 1.3 mile, 22 minute walk to Metro Station.

    for Greensboro Station on the new Silver Line: park at Boone Ave near Bed Bath and Beyond (again, you’ll likely see some work trucks there). 7 minute walk to Greensboro Station.

    As usual for urban stealth camping, you’ll want to ‘only discretely sleep and park’ at your nighttime parking spot. If you plan to hang out at your vehicle, or cook a meal there, you’d be advised to drive a short distance to a park for such. For the Boone Ave – Greensboro location, a likely small park is Freedom Hill Park, a few minutes drive away. Likewise, for Dunn Loring Metro – Hilltop Road location, the Dunn Loring Park only a few minutes away has parking and first-come first-served picnic areas.

    I’ve been surfing European style cargo van (Sprinter, NV, Promaster, Transit) stealth camper-RV sites for ideas, as I am within a couple years of 2nd retirement and might select to sell off my beater van and start anew with a high top Euro van self-conversion (sort of minimalist, with gravity water, compost toilet, 2nd battery, fold down beds to enable motorcycle transport sort of job), a bit more expensive and more comfortable version of what I use now (which cost me total <$2000).

    I've also been searching for the sort of information shown above for Washington DC, except for New York City. I have one likely site, on Staten Island and then taking the Staten Island (free) ferry to Manhattan, but it's a bit of a long tourist-commute, and I'd like to find something right on Long Island transit system to cut the commute time in half.

    Regards,

    Mike

    1. Hi Ed,
      My apologies for my late answer; I lost your comment.
      Unfortunately, I don’t take orders for work, products or materials. I’m just a blogger, who writes about his experiences in converting a cargo van into an RV.
      As you can see from my blog and videos, insulation is fairly easy and can be done by most people. Electricity, 12V, Solar and 120V is an other story. If there is any doubt, you should always use a licensed professional.
      I wish you success with your project!
      Van Williams

  2. Hi Van,

    I’m new to “vanlife” and am considering buying a Ford Transit (medium height) to do my own conversion. I’m early in the research process, and I just found your site today and am excited to see that it’s a wealth of information, with a focus on converting the same model of Ford Transit! Thanks for putting these resources together. Much appreciated.

    I was reviewing the BEMM guide and was wondering if you’ve ever had any issues with any custom wiring interfering with the factory EMC? Any tips for mitigating that? Thanks!

    Sincerely,

    Bryan

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