Host Highlight: Barberville Pioneer Settlement, Barberville, FL
Good day to thee my friends. I am coming to you from a pioneer village in Barberville, Florida, and couldn’t figure out a better way to say hello from this place. This Pioneer Settlement is a truly unique experience. If you haven’t had the opportunity to check out this Host location, you might want to make it a stop on your journey from here to there. It is located an hour north of Orland and 45 minutes west of Daytona Beach.
(Photo Courtesy of PioneerSettlement.org)
If you choose to make this a stop, you will be greeted with a charming historical village with both guide and self-guided tours of what Florida was like before Disney World. Experiencing this Host location is great! They have a lot to see and do from boiling cane sugar to blacksmiths in action to live peacocks and donkeys on site. They’ll also have folk music festivals and other events worth checking out. Here is a little more information from the Barberville Pioneer Settlement to you.
The purpose of this Host Location is to educate and entrust the public and future generations with the knowledge of the pioneer lifestyle. And when you choose to stop here, you’ll get those experiences firsthand—and then return to your 21st century RV. A perfect combination!
(Photo Courtesy of Florida State Parks)
Destinations: Blue Spring State Park
If you do make your way to the Barberville Pioneer Settlement—or one of the other amazing Florida Host locations—you can make a short 22-mile drive to Blue Spring State Park. With all the excitement of the beaches and amusement parks in Florida, little gems like this tend to get overlooked.
Blue Spring State Park attracts 700+ manatees—often referred to as sea cows—each winter. Besides these gentle, giant sea cows, you’ll see kingfishers, ospreys, eagles, and many other birds wintering here. This state park consists of 2,600 acres of land and has some hiking, paddleboarding, kayaking, and canoeing available. The water stays a consistent 72 degrees most of the year—making it a great place to cool off! There are plenty of places to go in 2023, but catching a glimpse of a sea cow seems pretty amazing.
If you do choose to check out this beautiful state park, you might want to plan ahead. This park does get to capacity at times—and occasionally closes activities to protect manatee migration patterns.
Blue Spring State Park is open from 8 AM until sundown 365 days a year. There is a six dollar fee per vehicle, or you can opt for an annual Florida State Park pass. This pass costs $60 and gets you into all of the Florida State Parks without the daily fee. If you plan on being in Florida for an extended period of time, this is definitely worth the money!
(Photo Courtesy of Motor1.com)
A Highlighted Coach: 2022 Winnebago Ekko
If you aren’t sure whether you want a motorhome or a camper, can we entice you with this new rig? The Winnebago Ekko has been out for a while now, but there aren’t a ton on the road. If you are someone looking for the van lifestyle—but you want some more space this—could be a nice combination for you. Let’s look at some features it possesses that make it an attractive option for a lot of RVers.
This RV is an AWD (all wheel drive) model that gets 16-17 MPG. It has heated pass-through storage that can fit bicycles, iSUPs (inflatable standup paddleboards), and plenty of other outdoor gear. It comes with an off-grid ready system including solar panels, a second alternator, lithium batteries, and 50 gallons of fresh water. If you combine all of that with the comfort of home inside, you’ll be ready for any of the 7,000+ locations that come with the All-Access Memberships through Harvest Hosts.
Noteworthy News: Is There Such A Thing As The Perfect Forest?
Access to green space has become increasingly important for cities across the globe. Our friends across the pond in the United Kingdom are taking things to a new level. Not only are they seeing green spaces as a very important part of a healthy life for humans, they are trying to design forests today for humans flourishing 50 years into the future.
Through the Go Jauntly app, volunteers are recording their feelings before and after eight different walks. The hope is the results of this investigation will help design the most effective types of forests for a thriving human population.
Previous studies have implied the more diverse the environment, the more beneficial it has been to human beings’ physiological and psychological health. The diversity in wildlife, trees, and even landscape has impacted our overall health for the better! But can mankind recreate what nature has mastered? Perhaps time will tell.
HaRVey’s RV Hack from the Harvest Hosts Community
While in Georgia, I ran into Jacqueline who told me about this month’s HarRVey’s RV hack. This isn’t a hack for your RV as much as it is a hack for you. As you set up and go more and more, it is easy for your brain to play tricks on you—or go foggy. Which makes it hard to remember what you have or have not done to prepare for travels. This hack helps you remember everything you need to do before you hit the road.
RVminders are similar to those slap bracelets kids used to wear in the 80s and 90s. But these allow you to write your own list of things you need to complete before hitting the road. It can help you remember to put up the stairs, lock the basement, make sure everything is latched, and so much more. They are super simple, and incredibly helpful.
Until Next Time, Harvest Hosts Members!
Each month I will be giving you an update with my travels, some RV news and destinations, and of course, highlighting some of the best farms, wineries, breweries, golf courses, and more around North America—all available through your Harvest Hosts Membership! In the meantime, you can stay in touch with me through our Harvest Hosts chat system at HarvestHosts.com. Talk to you soon!