Campgrounds Near Smaller Cities Big On Local Flavor

One of the great things about America, beyond its natural beauty, is the cultural diversity one can find within its borders. Every town has its own unique blend of music, art, literature and food that reflects that town and region’s history. Better yet, many of these towns are nestled amidst some of America’s most stunning scenery, giving campers a chance to explore the great outdoors and some local flavor at the same time.

Take, for instance, Taos, New Mexico. Originally home to the Taos Pueblo Native Americans and Spanish settlers, this laid-back community, located at the base of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, is infused with history and known for local New Mexican cuisine like tamales, enchiladas, burritos, and chile rellenos. The town, now home to a variety of artists, has 80 art galleries and three art museums and hosts numerous art, film, poetry and music festivals--including the Solar Music Festival, a two-day concert with a roster of popular national and regional artists. Stay at Taos Monte Bello RV Park or Golden Eagle RV Park & Cabins where you’ll also be close to the Enchanted Circle scenic byway.

Looking for something further north? Cruise on over to Eugene, Oregon whose very slogan is “A great city for the arts and outdoors.” Taste scrumptious seafood like Dungeness crab, rainbow trout, wild salmon, oysters and clams. Then wash it down with one of Oregon’s famous microbrews or award-winning wines from one of the dozen wineries minutes away. Home of the University of Oregon, Eugene was once voted one of the top 10 college music towns by Rolling Stone. It has many local galleries, the Hult Center for the Performing Arts, and festivals year-round, including the Bach music festival that takes place on three stages. Best of all, the town is located smack dab between the Cascade Mountains and the Oregon Coast. Stay at Premier RV Resort-Eugene and use it as a home base.

If it’s home-style cooking you’ve a hankering for, head to Knoxville, Tennessee, y’all. (Sorry, couldn’t resist.) They’ve got comfort food like cornbread, country ham, and biscuits as well as a plethora of BBQ joints. Tennessee is known for being the birthplace of country music, but you also won’t have to go far to hear the sounds of bluegrass or contemporary rock floating in the warm air. When you stay at Volunteer Park Family Campground, Misty River Cabins & RV Resort, or Clinton/Knoxville North KOA, you’ll be close to town, Dollywood, and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park where you can hike the Appalachian Trail, fish, or have a picnic next to a tumbling waterfall.

Sound a little tame for you? If it’s a party you’re looking for, then head deeper south to Lafayette, Louisiana where there’s dancing in the streets, Mardi Gras celebrations, and a Zydeco Music Festival that celebrates the spicy Creole culture. And oh how that Louisiana Creole and Cajun cooking will kick start your heart! We’re talking gumbo, smoked sausage, crawfish, po-boys, and jambalaya. Stay at Pioneer Acadian Village RV Park and Campground or KOA Kampground of Lafayette. You’ll not only be close to the action but just minutes from the Atchafalay Basin, the largest wetland in the United States with bayous and backwater lakes where you can go paddling, hunting, fishing or on a swamp tour adventure.

There’s so much culture to explore right here in America’s backyard. So pick a direction, take a tent, take the camper, or take a fifth wheel--then take your time and enjoy some local flavor.