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Top 5 Wine Country RV Resorts

What are some of the best wine locations to visit in an RV?
Paul Sutherland/Digital Vision/Getty Images

The rugged, mobile comfort of RVing has appealed to Americans practically since the advent of the automobile. With more convenience and flexibility than outdoor camping, traveling in an RV (recreational vehicle) makes for a great way to explore new places on road trips. Incidentally, over the past few decades, alongside with the enduring popularity of the RV, the popularity of wine tourism has risen in the United States. The phenomenon of wine tourism simply involves wine enthusiasts traveling to wineries, where wine is made, to sample and purchase the product.

Although you may be thinking that RVs and wineries typically attract very different types of tourists, more and more people have come to realize that the two pastimes go together perfectly. After all, the combination is a great way to experience a particular region.

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We've researched professional and user ratings to gather a list of some of the best RV resorts meant for experiencing wine country across the United States. Keep reading to find out which ones make the list.

The Tri-Cities area of Washington state, which includes Kennewick, Pasco and Richland, is in the heart of the state's Columbia Valley wine country. And although it does not have a long history of producing wine, Columbia Valley has gained significant recognition in the past decade or so. The Tri-Cities' tourism site claims that floods at the end of the Ice Age deposited sandy, loamy soil with a high mineral content that's perfect for their wine grapes. Summer in the area also brings long, sunny days and evening breezes that are ideal for vineyards.

The Horn Rapids RV Resort, located in Richland, Wash., has nearly 50 wineries and vineyards within 100 miles (160.9 kilometers). The resort is also situated near the Columbia, Snake and Yakima rivers, allowing ample opportunity for water activities. In addition, the Tri-Cities area is home to about a dozen golf courses.

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Woodall's gave Horn Rapids RV Resort a top rating, and users praise its well-maintained sites, large concrete patios and amenities.

Although not quite as famous as the Napa Valley wine country, the Central Coast wine region of California is growing in the esteem of wine enthusiasts. Paso Robles is situated in the heart of the Central Coast wine country, which reaps its wine grapes from limestone soil and long, hot summers with cool evenings. The area is known for producing excellent cabernets, zinfandels and Rhone varietals in particular.

With about 40 varieties of wine grapes and 170 winery tasting rooms in the area, you'll need more than a day to explore everything this wine country has to offer. And one of the most popular places to hook up your RV for a few nights is the Wine Country RV Resort in Paso Robles.

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Besides wine tasting, you can fill your time with fine dining, shopping, golf, or visiting the historic library and mission. The resort is also situated about a half hour from the beach, and it boasts a top rating from Woodall's.

When most people think of Colorado, wine-making doesn't come to mind. However, the Grand Valley region, which has long been known for its peach, apple and cherry orchards, also provides a wonderful climate for vineyards. Grand Junction is located in Colorado's Grand Valley, and its tourism Web site credits the terrain, which averages 4,700 feet (1,432.6 meters) above sea level, for the intense sun exposure to grapes. The region also has warm, dry summers with cool evenings.

The Grand Junction KOA is one of only five RV resorts in Colorado to get a top rating from Woodall's. One of the best times of year to visit is in late summer, when you can take a harvest tour as the grapes are being picked. When you're not wine tasting, the owners of the resort boasts that you can take advantage of nearby hiking, ATV and bike trails, as well as moose, deer and elk hunting. User reviews praise the friendly staff and clean facilities.

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New York's Finger Lakes region, including the main lakes of Keuka, Seneca and Cayuga, helps provide a surrounding climate that is well suited for wine-making. The slate and limestone glacial soils, along with the warm summer days and cool breezes, help the region produce a variety of wines. The area is perhaps best known for its Riesling.

To enjoy the area's nearly 100 wineries, a great place to hook up your RV is Hickory Hill Family Camping Resort in Bath, N.Y. Besides wineries, also check out the breweries and distilleries in the Finger Lakes area, the numerous farmers' markets, the Rockwell Museum of Western Art, or even Watkins Glen International (nicknamed "the Glen") for road races during racing season.

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Hickory Hill offers various activities itself, with wagon rides, laser tag, game room, mini-golf and even spa services. It also boasts a top rating from Woodall's and good user reviews.

Santa Ynez, the largest of Santa Barbara County's certified American Viticultural Areas (AVAs), runs generally east-west, allowing for a variety of wines in the different soil types and climates it encompasses. The cooler western end is best for delicate grapes, while the eastern end is well suited for full-bodied grapes.

Not far from Solvang, a quaint Danish village, sits Flying Flags RV Resort & Campground. The resort is in the perfect location for wine touring and even offers a special wine getaway package. In addition to great concentration of wineries in the valley, you can visit the nearby Firestone Brewery. Claiming to be the only award-winning RV resort in the central coast area of California (as well as boasting a top rating from Woodall's), Flying Flags is also close to golf courses, the Chumash Casino Resort, hiking trails and water activities in Lake Cachuma.

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For lots more information on wine tasting, see the links on the next page.

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Sources

  • Calwineries, Inc. "Santa Ynez Wineries & Wine Country." Calwineries.com. (July 8, 2011) http://www.calwineries.com/explore/regions/santa-barbara-county/santa-ynez-valley
  • Flying Flags RV Resort & Campground. "Activities." FlyingFlags.com. (July 8, 2011) http://www.flyingflags.com/activities/
  • Grand Junction Visitor & Convention Bureau. "Wine Country." VisitGrandJunction.com. (July 8, 2011) http://www.visitgrandjunction.com/wine_country/
  • Hardin, Debbie K. "Explorer's Guide: Southern California." The Countryman Press, 2011. (July 8, 2011) http://books.google.com/books?id=kfMx0nD9i-kC
  • Hickory Hill Family Camping Resort. "Welcome." HickoryHillCampResort.com. (July 8, 2011) http://www.hickoryhillcampresort.com/
  • Horn Rapids RV Resort. "Recreation." HornRapidsRVResort.com. (July 8, 2011) http://www.hornrapidsrvresort.com/recreation.html
  • KOA. "Grand Junction KOA." Kampgrounds of America. KOA.com. (July 8, 2011) http://koa.com/campgrounds/grand-junction/
  • Morrison, Jim. "Commemorating 100 Years of the RV." SmithsonianMag.com. Aug. 25, 2010. (July 8, 2011) http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history-archaeology/Commemorating-100-Years-of-the-RV.html?c=y&page=1
  • Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance. "Paso Robles." PasoWine.com. (July 8, 2011) http://www.pasowine.com/pasorobles/
  • RV Park Reviews. RVParkReviews.com. (July 8, 2011) http://www.rvparkreviews.com/
  • Santa Ynez Wine Country Association. "Welcome!" SantaYnezWineCountry.com. (July 8, 2011)
  • Tri-Cities Visitor & Convention Bureau. "Wine." VisitTri-Cities.com. (July 8, 2011)
  • Wine Country RV Resort. WineCountryRVResort.com. (July 8, 2011)
  • Watkins Glen Area Chamber of Commerce. "Finger Lakes Wine Country: Wine Tasting." FingerLakesWineCountry.com. (July 8, 2011)
  • Woodall's. "Woodall's Announces 2011 Top-Rated RV Parks and Campgrounds." Woodalls.com. Jan. 4, 2011. (July 8, 2011)

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