markdb67
Let me define what I mean by "sweet spots".
For example, I'm currently doing the part-time vanaboding in Greenville, SC. There is a 7 level parking garage where I can park in stealth. There's a public library 2 blocks away. A 24 hour fitness one block away and a great selection of restaurants all along the main street downtown on the same block as the garage. There is also free wi-fi provided by downtown along with most of the restaurants.
With all of these basic amenities so close together (parking, library, showers, food)....this is what I consider a "sweet spot".
If anyone reading this from anywhere in the US could share any "sweet spots" that you've encountered, I'd greatly appreciate it. This spring I will be starting my vanaboding full time and it would be great to know some places that have already been discovered that have all the necessities nearby.
THANKS!

-Mark
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jasonodom
I agree that having free internet access, showers, free Vanabode style acceptable overnight parking, and prepared food locations all within walking distance of each other is VERY NICE. However keep in mind that with the proper food storage, cooking techniques, shower strategies, and Internet access via a cell phone wireless plan, one can go virtually EVERYWHERE and it will still feel very sweet.

Meantime if you want what you describe in your question I recommend virtually any large casino in Vegas, California, Reno, etc. where they usually give free non hassle 24 hour a day parking, cheap food inside, internet access in hotel lobbies and casino lobbies, and often in the summers many give the PUBLIC (not only those with a room key) access to the giant awesome swimming pools (showers included). They do this in hopes you will buy a drink or lunch, but you don't have to.

Ron Jon's Surf shop in Cocoa Beach has free 24 hour a day access to the store and showers and is one block from the ocean and 6-8 food joints. They have free parking too.

Don't forget to reacquaint yourself with the Vanabode Destinations Guide too.

red-rock-resort-pool-picture-450.jpg
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markdb67
Great information, thank you.
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markdb67
As far as parking in Las Vegas at a major casino, did you find one that was less noisy than others? Considering that Vegas has a lot of people partying all hours, I was wondering which would be the best as far as getting maybe 7 or 8 hours of at least a relative quiet time.
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jrporter
One can camp anywhere for free on US National Forests unless there is a sign that says that one can't camp in that particular spot. Forbidden places in the US National Forest are few and far between, at least in my neck of the woods in Virginia. You can find any number of beautiful spots next to streams with grand vistas, but I strongly recommend not camping during deer season here in Virginia (and probably most other places) when things get a little crazy...
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markdb67
Thanks JR!
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jrporter
Some folks confuse the myriad combinations of state and national forests and parks, and so I'd like to emphasize that the free camping I mentioned is in US National Forests. Each is a completely different entity with its own separate governance and set of policies. Here in Virginia that means the George Washington and Thomas Jefferson National Forest http://www.fs.usda.gov/gwj/. As the author of several outdoor guides, Mountain Bike: Virginia! and the The Best in Tent Camping: Virginia, I got to explore the best of what Virginia has to offer. I'm looking forward to refurbishing a van, giving up my cabin, and exploring the rest of the US...
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jasonodom
Vanabode links contains access to dozens of other free and cheap camping resources.
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