Jesse and Rachael are a married couple from Boston, MA. In 2018 they ditched their city apartment, became digital nomads, and hit the road to go on an adventure. Now, they travel full-time in their Keystone Cougar fifth wheel, tasting local food & beer everywhere they go.
Window to Hillsborough River State Park, Florida
Jesse & Rachel Lyons
Window to the World Location:
Hillsborough River State Park, just outside of Tampa, Florida. It’s a beautiful campground with hiking trails, stunning vegetation, and a short drive from the city’s attractions.
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☀️🌴 We’ve traveled over 10,000 miles in our home on wheels, but one of our favorite campsites is just a few miles from where Rachael lived as a teen: Hillsborough River State Park near Tampa. When @thorindustries asked us to share our #windowtotheworld as a #thorpartner, we were so excited for the opportunity to share a beautiful slice of real Florida. . This was our first spot when we returned to the sunshine state for the winter, and it made our hearts so happy. It’s a stunning state park campground, with private sites that feel like a personal jungle, walking trails, a river to kayak on, and even a pool! Once we parked and saw the view outside our door, for some reason, for the first time ever, Florida really felt like a home. It’s funny how traveling and seeing the country can make you appreciate what’s special about places that are familiar. Of course, the 70 degree winter weather helped, but the sun streaming through palms and spanish moss really worked its magic on us. Is there a view from your RV that has been particularly memorable?
A post shared by Jesse + Rachael | RV Travelers (@thetasteforadventure) on
What noteworthy places are nearby?
Tampa Bay has a little bit of everything. Busch Gardens Tampa Bay is one of the best theme parks in the world with truly thrilling coasters and amazing animals. Ybor City is the hippest neighborhood in town, featuring rum bars, classic Spanish and Cuban restaurants, and great nightlife. Take a stroll along the Riverwalk downtown and see if you can spot dolphins or manatees, then end at Armature Works, a collection of hip eateries. If you want more Florida nature, see wildlife at Lettuce Lake Park or take a road trip to one of Florida’s teal-colored springs.
How do you decide where to go next?
We both survived 30 years of New England snow, so during winter we stay in the warm south. We choose our destinations based on weather, local cuisine, bucket list sights, and visiting family and friends. After this view, we went to Orlando to enjoy Disney World, visited the Everglades to check off a National Park, then headed back to the Tampa area to spend time with Rachael’s family.
Which views are on your bucket list & why?
Being from New England, the desert is so new and unique for us. We couldn’t fit Utah into our last trip West and we want to see the dramatic red stone Monument Valley, Arches and Zion. We’ve also never been to one of our county’s most iconic National Parks, Yellowstone. We hope in the future we can spend extended time in both these places to really take them in. We often laugh about not having seen Horseshoe Bend––for some reason we thought it was in Big Bend National Park and didn’t realize until we were headed there that Horseshoe Bend is in Arizona.
What’s one piece of advice you have for RVers?
Slow down. We feel like everyone says this after the first year, but it’s true. We flew across the country, checking off places on our list but there’s something special about stopping in a new place and getting absorbed in the local culture. This lifestyle feels the most unique when the owner of a barbecue joint in the middle of Texas sits down to tell you about her potato salad recipe, or you’re waiting in line at a coffee shack on the Olympic Peninsula with the local loggers.
Who do you wish you could share this view with & why?
As much as we love traveling, being away from family can be hard. Our niece and nephew were born after we hit the road, and every time we see them, they’ve doubled in size. Any opportunity to see them, regardless of the view, is meaningful.