2020 Camping Guide Highlights Shopping Venues
The 2020 RV Travel & Camping Guide to Texas is now being provided to consumers at RV shows, visitors’ bureaus and campgrounds in Texas and across the country, according to officials from the Texas Association of Campground Owners (TACO).
“Our theme this year is SHOPALOOZA! It features everything from the quirky road-side stands to fairs and festivals to big box venues and all points between. There is still great flavoring for all outdoor activities, like hiking, biking, fishing, kayaking, bird watching and hunting; but the watch word is ‘shopping,’” said Brian Schaeffer, executive director and CEO of TACO, which publishes the travel and camping directory.
“You could call our 2020 guide our soothe-the-soul-with-a-great-sale issue,” Schaeffer continued, “because you can’t fully enjoy the activities we describe in the guide if you’re staring into a cellphone or computer screen, trying to shop online.”
Although TACO’s camping directory is available in a mobile friendly format at www.TexasCampgrounds.com, Schaeffer said printed directories remain in high demand, largely because they can be faster and easier to use than online directories and don’t require precious cellphone data.
“In fact, several locations ran out of our printed guides earlier than we expected in 2019 and were asking when our 2020 guide would be available,” Schaeffer said.
TACO’s printing covers over a half million users of the 2020 RV Travel & Camping Guide to Texas and is distributed at many RV shows across Texas, including the Winter Texan Expo & Health Fair, Jan. 14-15 in McAllen, the Houston RV Show, Feb. 12-16, and the Austin RV Expo, Feb. 13-16. Anderson’s Brochure Distribution Service also distributes the guide at 30 RV shows across the country.
“Our biggest sources of distribution are the Texas Information Centers, the Points of Entry into Texas,” Schaeffer said.
The 2020 RV Travel & Camping Guide to Texas not only includes detailed information on campgrounds, but lots of information about places to visit and things to do in Texas. The guide also includes a two-page section with information on parks and attractions in Oklahoma.
The guide highlights shopping venues across the Lone Star State, such as the San Marcos Outlet Mall, Katy Mills Outlet Mall, Traders Village in DFW & Houston, the new Magnolia Market at the Silos, the shops at the Quarry in San Antonio and tons of antique malls in towns small and large.
The guide still references regional festivals/fairs and their unique shopping venues, such as:
— Cajun Catfish Festival in Conroe: This annual event, scheduled for Oct. 9-11, includes Cajun and Texas music on three stages all weekend, plus a unique variety of food including catfish, boudain, gator, etouffe, jambalaya and crawfish pie. The event also includes arts and crafts vendors and a kid-zone area with activities for children and a special performance stage for local dance teams. www.conroecajuncatfishfestival.com
— General Sam Houston Folk Festival in Huntsville: The 15-acre Sam Houston Memorial Museum is transformed into a frontier setting for this May 15-17 event, which includes educational reenactments, music and crafts. www.samhoustonfolkfestival.blogspot.com
— Great Texas Balloon Race in Longview: This event, set for July 19-21, includes a 5K run, evening balloon glow events, live music and ring toss competitions. Of course, the event also includes balloon race competitions, including a “Young Guns” balloon race competition created for young pilots who are 29 and under, have a balloon pilot’s license, and a minimum of 25 hours flying experience prior to July 25. www.greattexasballoonrace.com
— Lamesa’s Original Chicken Fried Steak Festival & Balloon Rally: This event, which typically takes place in April at Forrest Park in Lamesa, features a chicken fried steak cooking competition, food booths, and decorative hot air balloons that take off each morning at sunrise. www.ci.lamesa.tx.us
— National Cowboy Symposium & Celebration in Lubbock: This annual event, held in September, features Western entertainers, storytelling, poetry as well as film and movie seminars, horse handling demonstrations, a horse themed parade, a youth Wild West Day and a national championship chuck wagon cook off. The event also includes Native American presentations and exhibits of Western artwork and merchandise. www.cowboy.org
— National Polka Festival in Ennis: This event, typically held in May, celebrates Czech heritage with polka music and dancing, traditional costumes, Czech food, a parade and family fun. www.nationalpolkafestival.com
— Polish Festival Days in Bremond: This June event in the “Polish Capital of Texas” includes Polish food, music and dancing. www.bremondtexas.org/polish_day.html
— Shrimporee in Aransas Pass: This annual event, scheduled for June 12-14 at Johnson Community Park, includes live entertainment, dancing and plenty of shrimp, as well as a parade, an outhouse race, carnival games, arts and crafts and a Miss Shrimporee Pageant. www.aransaspass.org/shrimporee/
— Terlingua Chili Cook-off in Terlingua: The town of Terlingua is the site of two major chili cookoffs, including the CASI Terlingua International Chili Championship, which takes place the first weekend of November. For more information, visit www.visitbigbend.com and www.casichili.net/terlingua-273604-982679.html.
— Texas Onion Fest in Weslaco: This March event celebrates the development of the Texas 1015 Onion in Weslaco. Activities include an onion eating contest, arts and crafts, food vendors, cooking demonstrations, live entertainment and a Miss Texas Onion Fest Pageant. www.weslaco.com
— Texas State Festival of Ethnic Cultures in Ballinger: This April event includes a parade, a bike fest, handmade arts and crafts, live entertainment, music and food. www.fairsandfestivals.net/events/details/2019-texas-festival-of-ethnic-cultures
— Tri-State Festival & Rodeo in Amarillo: This annual event, set for Sept. 18-26, includes activities for all ages, including carnival rides, games and activities, a parade, live music and thrilling rodeo action. www.tristatefair.com
— Winter Texan Expo & Health Fair in McAllen: This free event, slated for Jan. 14-15 at the McAllen Community Center, includes free health screenings, vendors, giveaways and entertainment. www.wintertexanexpo.com
Locator maps are provided at the beginning of each regional section of the guide, with numbered listings of the campgrounds for each region. Campgrounds are also alpha-indexed by city and park name.
Each campground listing includes a grid that lists the park’s facilities, services and amenities as well as driving directions, a miniature locator map and many parks have panoramic photos showing off what campers can experience. The directory also features a Texas Saver Card, which provides a 10% discount at participating parks and an entire page is used to highlight the winners of TACO’s park awards competition.
The guide, which was designed by Texas Advertising, also features display ads from every major campground chain, including Equity LifeStyle Properties; Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park Camp-Resorts; Kampgrounds of America Inc. (KOA); Northgate Resorts, Wilder Resorts and Quality RV Resorts, to name a few.
The guide is supported by advertising from prominent campgrounds, RV resorts and RV dealers in Texas, such as RV Station, Ancira, Channelview and PPL Motorhomes, the largest RV consignment dealer in the country. Even major insurance companies like Progressive and GEICO are sharing their messages in the Texas guide with RV enthusiasts.
The guide also has a section devoted to parks with rental cabins and cottages and features ads from several park model RV manufacturers in Texas, including Athens/Champion Homes, Diamond Park Homes and Platinum Cottages.
RV and camping enthusiasts can order the directory online by visiting www.texascampgrounds.com. The 2020 RV Travel & Camping Guide to Texas is also posted on the website in digital page-turning format.