#NEVERIDLE JOURNAL   //   Roadtrip Travel  //  Staff Picks

Soak Up The Sun: Where To Go If You Can’t Get To The Beach

Have you got a craving to head to the beach, but find you’re landlocked? No worries! Here are three destinations that will give you that “warm vacation” feeling without the price tag or the long drive! Soak up the sun in:

South Texas

Texas is a BIG state. And with that size comes all kinds of topography and weather! You can be in the piney woods of East Texas or the West Texas desert within a day. Or follow the lake dwellers of North Texas as they head south to the sands along the Gulf Coast when winter takes hold. Why not pack up the RV and head to the beaches of South Padre Island or Port Aransas?

Photo Tripping America - Soak Up the Sun - Outdoorsy

You’ll be welcomed with open arms, as South Texas is an RVer’s wonderland. There are numerous campgrounds, ranging from those with minimal amenities to full tilt resorts that cater to your every whim. You will even find a few beaches that allow boondocking – just keep an eye on the tides!

If you’d prefer to pamper yourself a bit, rent a house or condo on the beach. South Padre has high rises on the shore, and Port Aransas boasts a variety of Airbnb rentals. Whatever you choose will be close to the water for extended fun in the sun.

Photo Tripping America - Soak Up the Sun - Outdoorsy

South Padre Island is a family-friendly location close to the Mexican border. Water lovers spend their days kitesurfing and jet skiing in the surf, while bird lovers enjoy Laguna Madre Nature Trail. Spend some time at Sea Turtle, Inc. discovering these curious creatures, or take the entire family to Gravity Park for some go-kart racing and miniature golfing.

Port Aransas is up the coast a bit and not far from Corpus Christie. Not quite as well known as the South Padre beaches, this 6-mile stretch is great for snorkeling and swimming, and hosts an annual sand castle competition. Once the coastal hideout for pirates, Port Aransas offers present-day fishing and sailing charters, and nearby Aransas National Wildlife Refuge harbors whooping cranes, sea turtles, egrets, and alligators.

Photo Tripping America - Soak Up the Sun - Outdoorsy

Southern New Mexico

New Mexico is a state of extremes, from the forested Sangre de Cristo Mountains of the north to the arid canyons of the west and the lonely volcanic fields in the east. Southern New Mexico is full of rocky topography that has held man’s interest for hundreds of years. Prospectors discovered gold, silver, and copper while Native Americas unearthed turquoise and jasper.

Today those who venture here find hot springs, lakes and plenty of locations filled with warmth to escape from winter’s blustery temperatures. Places like Truth or Consequences and Las Cruces provide perfect launch pads to Elephant Butte Lake, the Organ Mountains and even outer space with Spaceport America.

Photo Tripping America - Soak Up the Sun - Outdoorsy

This vast land, part of the Chihuahua Desert, also welcomes RVers with campsites that come equipped with stunning desert sunsets, plus all the usual amenities.

Visit White Sands National Monument for a day playing on immense sand dunes, or cast your line at any number of lakes throughout Southern New Mexico. Enjoy real Mexican food or venture into the land of chili peppers at Hatch. Go back in time for a day at the old mining town of Silver City, or luxuriate in any one of 12 hot springs in T or C (that’s local speak for Truth or Consequences).

Photo Tripping America - Soak Up the Sun - Outdoorsy

You won’t find surf here, but you will definitely be able to run barefoot through the sand!


Utah is one of the most fascinating states if you like geology. With five national parks highlighting rock formations, canyons, rivers, and mountains, it is a virtual playground for rock hounds. Moab lies within throwing distance to two of those parks.

If exploring canyons, mazes, buttes, and chasms sounds appealing, get ready to have your socks knocked off at Canyonlands National Park. With four distinct regions, this stunning example of erosion is enormous in size and character. See how the Colorado and Green Rivers have carved vast layers of rock into intricate patterns and detours, making the land almost unexplorable. But you can venture along the edge of White Rim on a mountain bike or raft the Colorado River through Desolation Canyon. Get lost hiking in The Maze or backpack up Salt Creek to view petroglyphs.

Photo Tripping America - Soak Up the Sun - Outdoorsy


If you like your rocks on a smaller scale, hop across the street to Arches National Park, where these architectural wonders populate the landscape for miles. Hike up to world-famous Delicate Arch or run out from under Double Arch like Indiana Jones once did. Take a walk through the Devil’s Garden or along Park Avenue, then watch the sunset low in the sky as its last light heats up the Fiery Furnace.

Moab is the central hub for these parks and all the red rock region that lies around it. There are numerous campgrounds, hotels and dude ranches and it appears that the entire mountain biking industry is headquartered here. You’ll find plenty of sun, incredible 2 wheel and 4 wheel drive adventures, and enough peace and quiet to calm your soul in this incredible destination.

Photo Tripping America - Soak Up the Sun - Outdoorsy

Check out Outdoorsy’s Never Idle Journal for more great winter locations!

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