Your Guide to Summer on Fire Island

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One of New York’s premier summer destinations is Fire Island. The 32-mile long, quarter-mile wide island is the longest of the four barrier islands that protect Long Island from the Atlantic. With miles of sandy beaches, several state parks and wilderness preserves, and quaint communities, it’s no wonder why. If you’re planning on heading to Fire Island this summer, check out this guide to learn about the various attractions available.

The Communities

The island is home to about 400 residents year round, but this number can swell to upwards of 20,000 during peak tourist season in the summer. There are a total of 17 communities that are located in the center of the island, all of them car-free and accessible by ferry only. Without vehicles available, the primary means of travel are bicycles, private boats, water taxis, golf carts, and wagons. The absence of cars makes for a small town feel to each community and the pace of life feels slower and more relaxed. Spending time in town offers tourists great dining and shopping options. Ocean Beach is the largest of these small villages and has the biggest downtown area, making it the unofficial capital of Fire Island.

The Beaches and Parks

The island features park facilities spanning most of the island’s length, from the Fire Island Lighthouse to the federal wilderness preserve at the opposite side. The Fire Island National Seashore maintains four main parks on the island; of these, Otis Pike Fire Island High Dune Wilderness is probably the best, encompassing 8 miles of natural untouched beach. Another is Sunken Forest, an extremely rare 300-year-old maritime holly forest. All the beaches under the purview of FINS are lifeguarded.

There are numerous wildlife parks on the island, many of which offer swimming, fishing, marinas, picnicking, surfing, and camping opportunities.

Visit Jim’s RV Center

Stop by Jim’s RV Center this summer before you hit the road for any destination. Whether your RV needs a tune-up before braving the highway or you need to shop for a new RV, Jim’s RV Center is ready to help.

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Visit Watkins Glen State Park

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Watkins Glen State Park is a lesser known park located in New York’s Finger Lakes region outside of the village of Watkins Glen, just south of Seneca Lake in Schuyler County.

The lower area of the park is near the village while the upper area is open forest.

In operation to the public since 1863, it operated as a resort under private ownership until 1906, at which time it was purchased by the state and managed by the Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation.

Only 1.2 square miles in size, the park is known for its centerpiece attraction, the Rainbow Gorge. The narrow gorge is 400 feet deep and is cut through by Glen Creek, which feeds the gorgeous Rainbow Falls. The gorge offers a wholly unique and beautiful site. A geological wonder, Rainbow Gorge is worth the drive alone.

This is not to minimize the rest of the park, however, as Watkins Glen State Park packs a lot into a small package. There are also three trails, which are open from mid-May to early November. There are also numerous camping sites that offer picnic tables, pavilions, playgrounds, dump stations, and showers. There’s also a gift shop located onsite. Fishing and hiking are popular activities at the park.

Visit Jim’s RV Center in Nichols, NY

Visit Jim’s RV Center in Nichols, NY, before you hit the road on your next RV road trip, whether to Watkins Glen State Park or anywhere else. Jim’s RV Center is your go-to store for RV sales, service, parts, and accessories.

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Visit the 3 Oldest Roadside Attractions in the U.S.

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Roadside attractions have been integral parts of American road trips for decades, and it’s unknown which ones are actually the oldest. Although, these three must-see roadside attractions are considered some of the oldest and most iconic in the country.

Fire up your RV and start cruising throughout the country to these three unbelievable attractions today.

Lucy the Elephant — Atlantic City, N.J.

Lucy the Elephant is widely considered America’s oldest roadside attraction, and at 129-years-old most experts find it hard to disagree. Lucy is regarded as the mascot of Margate, N.J., because she has been standing in the same place since 1881. Visit Lucy the Elephant and even go inside her in Margate, just a four-mile-long drive south of Atlantic City.

Plymouth Rock — Plymouth, Mass.

Plymouth Rock isn’t just one of America’s oldest roadside attractions, it’s often considered our country’s first tourist attraction. It’s known as the place where the pilgrims first stepped onto American soil in 1620. Although, the tale of the historic rock wasn’t actually reported until more than a century later in 1741. Visit Plymouth Rock at Pilgrim Memorial State Park in Plymouth, Mass.

Randy’s Giant Donut — Inglewood, Calif.

The giant donut at Randy’s Donuts in Inglewood, Calif., may not be the country’s oldest attraction, but it has been standing in the same place since 1952 and has earned celebrity status. The giant donut atop the donut shop — where you should undoubtedly grab a bite to eat — has appeared in I Love L.A., Mars Attacks!, and countless other Hollywood flicks. Don’t miss a visit to this colossal donut on your next trip to the City of Angels.

Start Your Road Trip at Jim’s RV Center

There’s no better way to travel to all of America’s roadside attractions than in the comfort and convenience of your dream RV. Our lot here at Jim’s RV Center is fully stocked with all of the highest quality new and used RVs, so you can start your new life of adventure today.

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Visit Niagara Falls State Park

Touristic boat on Niagara falls. Horseshoe waterfall Canada side

If you’ve never visited Niagara Falls, one of the world’s most famous natural attractions, now is the time to go. Beat the busy summer crowds and experience the best waterfalls in the country during the more mellow spring months. Niagara’s show is best when the snow and ice begins to melt and temperatures are more pleasing for visitors. Don’t forget to allow yourself plenty of time to take advantage of the activities available at the waterfalls and in the surrounding town of Niagara Falls, N.Y.

Take a Ferry Out to the Falls

The oldest and most popular way to experience Niagara Falls is by taking the ferry ride up to the bottom of the falls. The Maid of the Mist tour has been a highlight of any trip to Niagara Falls for generations. For over 150 years, the park has offered a boat tour that embarks from the Observation Tower and proceeds past the American Falls to the basin of Horseshoe Falls.

Explore the Cave of the Winds

Take a guided tour down into the gorge for a breathtaking close-up view of the falls. You’ll be outfitted in a souvenir rain poncho and sandals to help keep you dry. You’ll follow wooden walkways to the viewing deck, which is just a few feet away from the waterfall itself. The proximity to the falls will allow you to experience tropical storm-like conditions.

Dine at the Top of the Falls Restaurant

The only restaurant in the park with a view overlooking the falls, the Top of the Falls Restaurant is the place to dine when you visit. Their menu offers modern American cuisine alongside classic dishes. While you dine, enjoy your one-of-a-kind view through floor to ceiling windows overlooking Terrapin Point.

Learn About Old Fort Niagara

Located about 20 minutes north of the park, tour the grounds of the original Fort Niagara, where American, British, French, and Native Americans lived and worked from the 18th to 20th centuries. The fort was a strategic point in many conflicts, especially the French & Indian War.

Visit Jim’s RV Center

Before you embark on your next RV journey, don’t forget to pay Jim’s RV Center a visit. The service department at Jim’s RV Center is standing by with certified technicians to ensure that your RV is in good shape for any trip you have planned. If it’s time to upgrade your RV, Jim’s RV Center has a large inventory that’s sure to include the perfect RV for you. Come tour some models today!

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Bucket List Spring Break Destinations

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When you get that much-needed break from school and work every spring, you want to spend it wisely. Fortunately, there are tons of unbelievable spring break destinations right here in the United States that you can visit in the comfort of your RV. So forget about pricey plane tickets and hotel stays, and visit some of these awesome bucket list destinations right here in the U.S.

Key Largo, Florida

The RV lifestyle is celebrated in the Florida Keys, where relaxing and having fun is the goal of every day. See breathtaking landscapes, venture out on paddleboards, go fishing, take scuba lessons or just relax in a hammock at your campsite in gorgeous Key Largo. Stay at the Key Largo Kampground and Marina and enjoy easy access to the Atlantic Ocean as well as all of the tropical outdoor activities the Keys have to offer.

Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona

Escape the freezing temperatures of Minnesota and see our country’s 15th oldest national park. Grand Canyon National Park is a must-visit spring break destination for any RV enthusiasts, and with easy access to cities like Flagstaff and Williams, you can also enjoy other activities like adventure tours, golfing, nightlife and luxurious accommodations. If you don’t want to camp at the Grand Canyon, opt for the Flagstaff KOA or the J and H RV Park to be closer to the action of Flagstaff.

Lake Tahoe, California

Lake Tahoe is known for its stunning scenery in all seasons, but spring is one of the best times of year to enjoy warmer weather on the mountain. Tahoe is home to a number of world-famous ski resorts, including Northstar California, Squaw Valley, Heavenly and Sierra at Tahoe, and nearly all of them stay open until late April. Off the mountain, visitors can enjoy the abundance of eateries, shops and pubs in North Tahoe and Tahoe South.

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Myrtle Beach is one of the best places in the U.S. to enjoy an affordable, family-friendly getaway. This coastal South Carolina town offers affordable accommodations, a beachfront RV park (among others) and plenty of downtown fun for kids and adults. Whether you’re hoping to relax with a swim-up bar, see some live music or enjoy fun-filled days with the little ones on roller coasters and water slides, Myrtle Beach offers all of the makings of an unforgettable spring break.

Start Your Spring Break at Jim’s RV Center

Make this spring break the best one ever by shopping for a new or used RV from Jim’s RV Center before you go. Our qualified staff members can help you find the upgraded RV of your dreams for a price you won’t believe. Stop in and see us or log online to view our extensive selection of affordable and luxurious RVs for sale.

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Warm Southern Destinations

Blue sky with white sand and palm beach in Key West, USA

When winter seems like its never going to go away, your only choice is to go away from it. Fire up your RV and head to one of these southern winter escapes. The warm weather, endless sightseeing, and sandy beaches will help you forget about snow and ice in no time.

Key West, Florida

Most travelers think of high-rise resorts and expensive cocktails on the beach when they think of Key West, but this tropical paradise doesn’t have to eat up your savings. Stay at Leo’s Campground — the most affordable RV park in the Florida Keys — and you’ll enjoy that upscale resort feel for a reasonably monthly rate.

Wilmington, North Carolina

Located just a few hours north of Charleston, Wilmington, N.C., is the Holy City’s mellow cousin. Relax on the uncrowded beaches, explore a more mild downtown scene or just kick back at the campsite and enjoy the warm winter temperatures. The North Carolina coast offers breathtaking views and outdoor fun all year long.

New Orleans, Louisiana

Whether you’re in the mood to party, dance, sightsee, eat or shop, few cities are as vibrant as New Orleans. Stay right in the French Quarter at French Quarter RV Resort or relax on the waterfront away from the action at Pontchartrain Landing RV Park. And whatever you do, don’t miss Mardi Gras.

Visit Jim’s RV Center

Before you put on your flip flops and hit the road, stop by Jim’s RV Center, your New York RV dealer. Our RV service department is here to handle all of your RV lifestyle needs, like preparing your vehicle for the long haul down south.

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The Best Hiking Trails in NY

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If you are looking for something to do this winter, pack up your RV and head out to some of the best hiking trails in New York. Choose from single- and multi-day trails; and trails that range from easy to difficult. If you are new to hiking, be sure you have the appropriate footwear – preferably hiking boots if you decide to try your hand at the trails that are more challenging.

Giant Mountain and Rocky Peak Ridge

This difficult trail is only 11 miles but will take a full day. The trail is a shuttled-car loop hike takes you over two 4,000-foot peaks, over smaller peaks and features great views. You’ll also pass several ponds where you can filter water for drinking and take some great pictures. This trail is located in Saint Huberts, New York.

Mt. Marshall

This trail is located in Tahawus, New York and takes a full day. This 13-mile hike is a difficult hike that runs from Upper Works and crosses the southernmost peak of the MacIntyre Range. The trails to the summit are not maintained; and the clearest herdpath starts at Herbert Brook between the Flowed Lands and Lake Golden. The difficult climb is worth it as you’ll get some of the best views you can find in the state.

Mt. Colden

This 14-mile hike take a full day and is a difficult trail. This loop hike travels through Avalanche Pass and returns via Lake Arnold. The peak is 4,715 feet and gives you excellent views of the MacIntyre Range, Mt. Marcy and the Great Range. The trail down from the lake is steep to don’t forget your hiking sticks.

Big Slide and Yard

For a moderate trail, head over to Keene Valley for this 11-mile trek up Big Slide and Yard. The descent over the Brothers in the High Peaks of NY is an easy descent. The trail creates a loop from the Garden Parking Lot just outside of Keene Valley and returns to the same place. You’ll find tons of open views of the Great Range. Plus, you’ll get to see the historic Johns Brook Lodge.

Visit Jim’s RV Center

Before you head out on your hiking trips this winter or spring, be sure to stop by Jim’s RV Center to have your RV checked or serviced; or to pick up any accessories or parts you may need for this trip.

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Winter Camping in New York State

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While New York is most well-known around the world for the city that never sleeps, the incredible camping in our beautiful state often goes unnoticed. Check out some of these amazing winter RV destinations, and you’ll see why camping in New York is some of the best in the country.

Old Forge Camping Resort

If you haven’t been to Old Forge yet, it’s time to go. The Old Forge Camping Resort is not only open in the winter, it’s one of the best places in the state to enjoy all of your favorite outdoor activities like snowmobiling, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, alpine skiing and tons more. Buckle down and spend the entire winter season (from Nov. 1 to April 15) in Old Forge for one low winter rate and have easy access to all of the incredible snowmobile trails the area has to offer.

Frost Ridge Campground

Looking for a winter destination that gives you access to tons of family fun? Look no further than the Frost Ridge Campground – a campground known for its ideal location and exciting activities for the entire family. Located right at the base of the Frost Ridge Ski Area Snow Park and just off of I-90, you’ll never get bored in this area.

Bright Lights Big City

Although New York City isn’t all our state has to offer, it’s definitely worth a visit during the holidays. Park at Liberty Harbor RV Park and catch a tour bus straight into Manhattan to see the gorgeous holiday decorations, ice skate at Rockefeller Center or watch the ball drop on New Year’s Eve.

Jim’s RV Center

When you’re traveling around our beautiful state this winter, don’t forget to stop by Jim’s RV Center to tell us about your New York camping adventures. We’ve got a huge selection of discounted new and used RVs for sale this holiday season, and if you run into any problems with your existing vehicle, our RVIA certified technicians can have you back on the road quickly and safely.

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New York Roadside Attractions

Autumn road, New England, USA

Every state in the union has its share of wacky roadside attractions. In fact, America’s highways have somewhat of a reputation worldwide for the oddities strewn along their lengths. New York is no exception to this tradition and plays host to some of the, dare we say, oddest roadside attractions you could hope to see anywhere.

Hop in your RV and head out… and while you’re heading there, stop in and see some of New York’s best roadside attractions, like…

Magic Forest – Lake George, New York

A fairy tale themed park, Magic Forest brings the world of children’s fairy tales to life with vivid displays, statues, and dioramas. The park winds through forested paths and leads to such characters as the World’s Largest Uncle Sam (38 feet tall), Pecos Bill, Paul Bunyan, Smokey the Bear, the Statue of Liberty, the Three Little Pigs, Jack Sprat, Hansel & Gretel, and other displays, about 20 in all. There are also rides, multi-colored cottages, and even a diving horse.

The forest combines a strange and oddly charming mix of woodsy allure and creepiness.

Address: Highway 9 N, Lake George, NY. I-87 exit 21 to Highway 9 North. Just south of Lake George on the east side of the road.

House of Frankenstein Wax Museum – Lake George, New York

This grisly wax museum, also located in Lake George, is full of strange and disturbing dioramas, such as “Strange Planet” where you walk through a blacklit room across wrestling mats while Pink Floyd plays, “Your Host” where a strange and deformed statue babbles dialogue, and the “Megalopolis, Man of the Future”  who looks like the Colossus of New York with glowing red eyes.

Parental discretion is advised, though most of the displays are more bizarre and hokey than frightening.

Address: 213 Canada St., Lake George, New York.

Cardiff Giant – Cooperstown, New York

The Cardiff Giant isn’t just a roadside attraction, but a roadside attraction with history. This might be one of the oldest, if not the oldest, roadside attraction in New York.

Created by George Hull, a cigar manufacturer and atheist, the giant was inspired by a conversation he had with a minister. Remembering a bible passage about “giants in the earth,” he wondered if he could fool people that he’d found a petrified giant. He spent $2600 to create a 10-foot tall stone statue, modeled after himself, then washed it with sulfuric acid and abused it to make it look ancient and had it buried at a friend’s farm before he “discovered” it.

People bought it. So well, in fact, that he was able to accrue $30,000 in admissions at just 50 cents a peek.

It’s now on display again and, even though you know it’s fake, the history behind it is quite intriguing.

Address: 100 Lake St., Cooperstown, New York.

Visit Jim’s RV Center

Okay, we’re not really a roadside oddity, but Jim’s RV Center is an attraction in and of itself. Stop by and see us in Nichols, New York, to tour any of our RV models or to schedule some service for your current RV if you’re touring New York’s roadside attractions and need to make sure that your RV is in good enough shape to reach them all!

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November Events in New York

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Looking for somewhere to go and something to do this month? Check out these fun-filled events and festivals happening across New York this November.

Christkindl Market – November 11-13 in Canandaigua

The annual Christkindl Market is held on the lawn of the historic Granger Homestead and Carriage Museum. Market-goers can enjoy the market in decorated and heated tents. The market attracts over 100 regional artisans and food vendors. The market is heavily influenced by German culture, so expect German cuisine, music, and other German-themed festivities.

The market will be located at 295 North Main Street, Canandaigua, New York.

11th Annual Syracuse Wine and Chocolate Festival – November 26 in Syracuse

Wineries and wine enthusiasts from across the region will gather on November 26 for an unlimited sampling of dozens of award-winning wines of all styles and tastes. Buy bottles of your favorites and feel good about doing it: $1 from each bottle sold will benefit the Carol M. Baldwin Breast Cancer Research Fund. Chocolate will also be prominently featured, with master chocolatiers showcasing their best and tastiest work. Other vendors, such as crafts and decor, will also be selling their wares.

Set your course for 581 State Fair Blvd., Syracuse, New York. The festival will run between 2-9pm.

Visit Jim’s RV Center

Have more fun in your own RV from Jim’s RV Center. No matter your travel plans, they’re sure to be more comfortable and convenient with an RV at your command. Shop today at Jim’s RV Center; tour the models that interest you and get your questions answered by knowledgeable associates.

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