RV Spots for the Holidays
sshepard/istockphoto

Festive RV Destinations for the Holidays

View Slideshow
RV Spots for the Holidays
sshepard/istockphoto

Holiday Escapes

While wintertime RV travel might not be the norm in most parts of the country, it doesn't mean it's not happening. In fact, many RVers pull the rig out in late December in search of a campground that offers holiday cheer in the form of twinkling lights, carolers, a campground Santa, and the like — but finding an RV park that's not only open, but celebrating the holidays can feel like finding a needle in a haystack. We talked to full-time RVers and scoured review sites to find 13 resorts and parks across the country offering a bit of campground cheer. Looking for more charming and festive destinations for the holidays? Check out the 50 Best Small Towns to Visit in Winter.

The Campsites at Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort, Lake Buena Vista, Florida
©TripAdvisor

The Campsites at Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort

Lake Buena Vista, Florida
Jason Miller of the RV travel blog Getaway Couple says that he and his wife Rae like this RV park during the holidays because, "They go all-out in traditional Disney fashion to completely immerse you in the holidays." It's not just the campsite that gets festive. "The campers in Fort Wilderness decorate their spots, too," Miller adds. "You can even explore the campground and its many decorations via horse-drawn sleigh ride." 

Related: 17 Tips for RVers Riding Out the Coronavirus Pandemic

Flying Flags RV Resort & Campground
©TripAdvisor

Flying Flags RV Resort & Campground

Buellton, California
Located northwest of Santa Barbara, this very modern resort features lounges, a café, a general store, a playground, and lots more. It gets tons of great reviews on Tripadvisor, including those from visitors who drop in around the holidays, when one camper noted that resort employees got his family a Christmas tree and set it up for them. It's also really close to the town of Solvang, known for its Danish-style architecture, which has a  Christmas-y feel year-round and really goes all out for the holidays with Julefest, which the website notes "will be happening in some capacity this holiday season."

Good Sam Club members get 10% off at this campground and more than 2,400 others.

Wales West RV Park & Light Railway
Jarred A./Yelp

Wales West RV Park & Light Railway

Silverhill, Alabama
This RV park has 77 sites, a catch-and-release pond, a playground, shops, a barn, and, best of all, a train station from which The Arctic Express departs during the holidays for a journey to "The North Pole" and Santa. Wales West even has snow machines at the ready in case the weather doesn't cooperate. As if that's not enough, there are over a million twinkling lights in the trees and elsewhere in the park. The park confirmed that the show will go on this year, starting Thanksgiving weekend — visit the website for more details and to buy tickets. 

Related: Dazzling Christmas Light Displays to Visit in All 50 States

Pioneer RV Resort
©TripAdvisor

Pioneer RV Resort

Phoenix
Ingrid Hubbard of Live Laugh RV notes that she and husband Al spend their winters, including the holidays, at this desert, 55+ community. "They decorate and schedule social functions for those staying in the park without any family or friends nearby. So no one need spend the holidays alone — unless of course, they choose to," Hubbard notes, adding that the majority of RV parks located in the Phoenix Valley, including Mesa and Apache Junction, do the same. "The Pioneer RV Park is just one of many."

Related: Fabulous RV Vacation Spots Where Only Seniors Are Allowed

James Island County Park Campground & Cottages
©TripAdvisor

James Island County Park Campground & Cottages

Charleston, South Carolina 
Located in the same park where this South Carolina city holds its annual lights festival, this campground features miles of trails, a climbing wall, freshwater lakes, playground, an off-leash dog park, and more. From Nov. 13-Dec. 31, the nearby Holiday Festival of Lights offers s'mores, train rides, a carousel, and visits with Santa. Tripadvisor reviewers love staying here during the holidays. "The best drive/walk-through light display I have ever seen," raved one.

Related: 16 RV Parks Your Pooch Will Love As Much As You

Lake Rudolph Campground and RV Resort, Santa Claus, Indiana
©TripAdvisor

Lake Rudolph Campground and RV Resort

Santa Claus, Indiana
While this resort only rents Christmas cabins in December — RV sites are not available — it is the surrounding area that's the campground's real draw. This little town in southwest Indiana has a Christmas store, Santa Claus Land of Lights, Santa's Stables, Santa Claus Museum and Village, a Santa-themed castle, and more. Note that masks will be required in indoor facilities in 2020 and also at outdoor events where participants are not able to stay 6 feet apart. The town is also home to Abraham Lincoln's childhood home, so if you get your holiday fill, you can always shift to American history.

Related: From Santa Claus to Mistletoe: 20 Towns With Festive Names

San Carlos RV Resort & Marina, Fort Myers Beach, Florida
©TripAdvisor

San Carlos RV Resort & Marina

Fort Myers Beach, Florida
Located on Hurricane Bay, this is a well-rated RV park year-round, but those who've stayed here over Christmas note carolers stopping by their rigs as well as being invited to neighboring campers' holiday parties. "During my stay, a very large, lighted, decorative tree was installed in the front of the park," wrote one reviewer, "which added to an already festive look for the Christmas season." Another San Carlos camper wrote: "Within two hours of being there we were invited to a Christmas party." Other winter amenities include shuffleboard, horseshoes, kayaking trips, and live music.

Related: 26 Vacation Spots to Visit in an RV and Save

Viewpoint RV & Golf Resort
©TripAdvisor

Viewpoint RV & Golf Resort

Mesa, Arizona
This resort, located at the base of the Superstition Mountains, is part of a larger, modern residential community of mobile homes. Mark and Emily Fagan, of the RV travel blog Road Less Traveled, stayed there a few years ago and noted on their blog that there were "Christmas lights decorating every row of RVs," and that many of the mobile homes within the permanent community were also "lovingly decorated to the hilt." In addition to warm Arizona weather and Christmas cheer, Viewpoint features a pool, fitness center, restaurant, hiking trail access, and more. Note that for 2020, the park is offering online check-ins and cleaning common areas more frequently using industrial hygiene protocols. 

River Country Campground, Gadsden, Alabama
©TripAdvisor

River Rocks Landing Resort and Venue

Gadsden, Alabama
Loaded with sites and amenities along the Coosa River and Black Creek, River Rocks Landing is a popular summertime destination, but campers say that, with its "beautiful lights and lovely rustic clubhouses," it's also a great destination for the holidays. One Tripadvisor review noted that the park "is decorated like a winter wonderland." over the holidays, and another RVer noted that her family had stayed "twice during the Christmas period, and the experience both times was magical."

Yosemite Lakes RV Resort, Groveland, California
©TripAdvisor

Yosemite Lakes RV Resort

Groveland, California
Located just five miles from Yosemite National Park's west entrance, this resort rents RV sites, cabins, and yurts. In addition to plenty of hiking, fishing, and other outdoor activities, Yosemite Lakes is a festive place to park your rig over the holidays. One reviewer noted that staff allowed him to decorate his rented cabin with lights, and that the lodge offered a cookie decorating activity on Christmas Eve. Other reviewers noted the park's incredibly friendly staff, and, with low average December temps in the 20s at night, it's possible RVers could get a white Christmas here, too. For 2020, the park has enacted enhanced health and safety measures, including contactless online check-in.

Related: 31 Bucket-List Experiences in America's National Parks

Sunshine Key RV Resort & Marina
©TripAdvisor

Sunshine Key RV Resort & Marina

Big Pine Key, Florida
It might be tough to get into the holiday spirit in the Florida Keys, but this resort does what it can to fix that. One Tripadvisor reviewer who stayed at Sunshine Key last year noted that Santa toured the resort on Christmas, handing out presents to those around the pool. Another recent review noted that the resort staff are "a great example of team enthusiasm, coordination, communication and friendliness! They all make you feel you are part of their family!"

Parkers Crossroads RV Park and Campground, Yuma, Tennessee
©TripAdvisor

Parkers Crossroads RV Park and Campground

Yuma, Tennessee
This former-KOA park between Jackson and Nashville is located in a bucolic setting featuring a pond, garden, and gorgeous sunrises and sunsets. Unlike some other parks that rely on nearby light festivals for their holiday cheer, Parkers Crossroads does its own decorations each year, which Tripadvisor reviewers commented were "fantastic," and "looked great at night." The owners note that spots are often booked, so reservations are recommended. This year the park is offering a limited-contact check-in but does not require staff or guests to wear masks.  

Related: RV With a View: Scenic Spots to Park Across America

Palm Canyon Hotel & RV Resort
©TripAdvisor

Palm Canyon Hotel & RV Resort

Borrego Springs, California
This luxury RV resort located about an hour east of San Diego made Drivin' and Vibin's list last year of the best RV parks for Christmas due in no small part to its proximity to Julian, California. The town hosts multiple Christmas events each year and, if you get your fill of holiday lights there, you can head back to Palm Canyon to take in twinkles of the more naturally occurring variety — the area is a certified Dark Sky Community. The resort also has a restaurant and saloon, pools and hot tubs, live music, an espresso bar, and more.

Related: Roadschooling: Meet the Parents Turning Their RVs Into Classrooms