While we’ve all been out there RVing, the Fantasy staff has been extra busy planning three brand new Fantasy tours! We’ve got the scoop on the plans for these exciting destinations. Now’s your chance to join these inaugural Fantasy adventures in 2020.
Heart of Texas
The Lone Star State earned its nickname because it was originally an independent republic following its struggles to gain independence from Mexico. Thus, the “Lone Star”. It’s still a land unto itself, and our Fantasy inaugural Heart of Texas Tour will explore some of its highlights. We begin in Dallas with a traditional welcome dinner and a guided bus tour followed by a VIP guided tour of the famous Dallas Cowboys Stadium, the world’s largest domed structure.
We relive the life, times, legacy and tragic assassination of President John Kennedy when we visit the Texas School Book Depository and Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza. There’s so much to do in the “Big D” that Fantasy has left plenty of free time during our three days there so we can explore on our own.
It’s a short drive to our next stop – Waco. Our WagonMasters will be hosting a campground social, and we’ll visit the Magnolia Market at the Silos – a shopping complex created by Chip and Joanna Gaines, stars of HGTV’s Fixer Upper.
Another short drive brings us to College Station, where we’ll enjoy a campground cookout and tour the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library, chronicling the life of our 41st President. Displays include a World War II Avenger Torpedo Bomber, a 1947 Studebaker and a slab from the Berlin Wall. Next, it’s on to Galveston…but on route we stop in Houston for lunch and a special behind-the-scenes tram tour of NASA’s Johnson Space Center.
Galveston, oh Galveston! This delightful city offers 32 miles of relaxing beaches, superb restaurants, top resort hotels, marvelous downtown shopping, numerous antique stores, incredible art galleries, fabulous entertainment and one of the largest and well-preserved concentrations of Victorian architecture in the country. Fantasy gives us a free day to explore, and then provides a guided bus tour of the city followed by a sunset cruise.
We journey down the Texas gulf coast to Port Aransas (aka “Port A”) on Mustang Island, offering wide sandy beaches and 18 miles of shoreline – this just might be the spot to book a fishing trip! Fantasy is keeping us busy with a dolphin watching cruise, a visit to the Port Aransas museum and dinner at the historic Tarpon Inn – where the lobby is adorned with more than 7,000 tarpon scales, each signed by the angler who caught the fish, including President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who fished here in 1937.
Next, we’re off to Austin. During our two nights in the state’s capitol city, we will enjoy a campground dinner, a city bus tour and a guided tour of the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center – with stunning gardens and unique architecture and boasting Texas’ largest collection of native plants.
As we depart Austin, we stop at another presidential library – this one commemorating the life of President Lyndon Johnson. Exhibits include that historic day in November 1963 when LBJ assumed the presidency after the death of President Kennedy.
We then take an African safari (Texas-style) at the Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch, where we see more than 500 animals roaming the rolling hills. We travel on through the beautiful Texas Hill Country (during peak Bluebonnet season!), stopping in the German community of Fredericksburg. That evening, we enjoy the delicious flavors of a genuine Texas BBQ dinner. And yes, there is wine growing in Texas – this area has more than 30 vineyards and wineries, many with long horn steers wandering between the vines. Only in Texas. We enjoy a tour and tastings.
Yahoo! Our next stop, Bandera, claims to be the “Cowboy Capital of the World”. We live the cowboy lifestyle exploring the town, visiting the Frontier Times Museum and enjoying dinner, hayride and campfire at the rustic Silver Spur Ranch. We move on to our final stop, the “River City” – San Antonio.
What’s old is new again in San Antonio. Its rich history, spectacular parks and gardens, diverse neighborhoods and different cultures abound. We enjoy a city tour, take some time to explore the shops and restaurants and on our final evening, join together for the traditional Fantasy Farewell Dinner. The next morning, we bid our goodbyes at Fantasy’s continental breakfast and continue our travels through the Lone Star State.
Fantasy’s brand new 2020 Heart of Texas tour departs on March 24 and in 2021, the tour will depart on March 23. There’s no better time to enjoy the wildflowers, communities, Presidential libraries and of course the BBQ which make up the Lone Star State.
Santa Barbara Rally
Breathtaking beaches meet soaring mountains on the beautiful central California coast. Here lies the city known as the American Riviera, Santa Barbara. Fantasy’s all-new Santa Barbara Rally welcomes you to this charming coastal enclave for five nights and six days.
Spanish settlers introduced Santa Barbara’s distinct Spanish style of architecture when they built the original Mission and what is now the county courthouse. Although much of the infrastructure was destroyed in an earthquake in 1925, local visionaries rebuilt and retained the style, and we find meandering paseos, red tiled roofs and Mission-style buildings throughout town.
Together we’ll celebrate Santa Barbara’s colorful history which has established the city as a world-class destination. It all begins at our luxury RV resort with tons of on-site amenities including a swimming pool, hot tubs, a resort playground and complimentary Wi-Fi. We’ll meet our Fantasy staff and fellow guests to enjoy a Get Acquainted Party and a Welcome Dinner.
The next morning, we’re on a guided city tour and lunch in Santa Barbara, visiting the Old Mission, which was built in 1786, making it the 10th of California’s 21 missions. We stop at the Courthouse and Sunken Botanical Gardens, considered to be one of the most beautiful public buildings in the country, exemplifying the Spanish Colonial Revival style synonymous with Santa Barbara architecture.
Just north of Santa Barbara, the Santa Ynez Valley is definitely wine country, and it’s where we head the next day, marveling at vineyards, tasting different wines, followed by a delicious lunch. We leave the Spanish Colonial architecture behind and venture to a hidden gem – the Danish village of Solvang, complete with windmills and old-world Danish architecture. It’s also home to delicious Danish bakeries, boutique shopping and more wine-tasting. We cap the day off with a tour and dinner at the Mendenhall Museum – home to a large collection of historic gasoline pumps, gas, oil and road signs, antique race cars and racing memorabilia.
Giddy up! Day 4 is spent out at the ranch – first stop is Flag is Up Farm, a beautiful equestrian training center in the Santa Ynez Valley and owned by the “Man Who Listens to Horses”, Monty Roberts. He’s an award-winning trainer of championship horses and has even trained some of Queen Elizabeth’s equestrian team in England. He’s a best-selling author, a former Hollywood stunt man and creator of Join-Up, a groundbreaking equine training program. We then head back to the campground for a delicious dinner prepared by the Fantasy ambassadors, and naturally some additional wine and beer tasting.
We take to the sea on Day 5, beginning with a whale watching cruise in the Santa Barbara Channel, home to more than 27 different species of whales and dolphins. Back on land, we walk along Stearn’s Wharf, the oldest working wharf in California, built in 1872 by John Peck Stearns. Today it is home to a variety of shops and restaurants. At the end of the wharf, we visit the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History Sea Center, offering us close encounters with the locals – marine animals from the Santa Barbara Channel. We can (gently) touch sharks, rays, sea stars, sea urchins and sea anemones, and then on the wet deck learn about oceanographic tools used to sample marine life.
It’s our last full day of the Santa Barbara Rally, and it culminates with Fantasy’s traditional Farewell Dinner. The next morning, we bid goodbye at our continental breakfast, sadly leaving the sparkling shorelines, Spanish architecture and brilliant Santa Barbara sunsets behind.
Fantasy’s inaugural Santa Barbara Rally takes place September 30 through October 5, 2020.
Branson Christmas Rally
Sleigh bells ring as we kick off the joy of the holiday season in famous Branson, Missouri! This all new Fantasy Christmas Rally allows you to enjoy some fine entertainment in the heart of the Ozarks as we begin to celebrate this special time of year. Branson begins celebrating the holidays a bit earlier than most of us, and by Rally time decorations are out, trees are up and holiday music is echoing in every theater. All you need is a one-horse open sleigh!
Our tour actually begins on Halloween, and you’ll want to don your costume and dance the night away at Fantasy’s Welcome Dinner! The next morning, it’s all aboard the Branson Belle as we cruise Table Rock Lake. A cruise aboard this famous showboat isn’t just a sail on the water – there’s great entertainment aboard, and this is their first Christmas show of the season! We’ll hear music from the 1960s to today, with Christmas favorites sprinkled throughout, all performed by five-star entertainers with powerhouse vocals and tight harmonies backed by a four-piece band. There are toe-tapping dancers, not to mention a delicious three-course lunch. It’s first class entertainment – all on beautiful Table Rock Lake.
We enjoy dinner among the fine restaurants and shops at Branson Landing, then head for the evening entertainment – Presley’s Country Jubilee Christmas show! The Presley’s built their first live music theatre in Branson in 1967 and today it’s a Branson landmark. Presley family members are still here entertaining audiences with a mix of country, gospel and bluegrass music.
On Day 3, we travel to the College of the Ozarks for a farm to table lunch, prepared by students using delicious products all grown on campus. Known as “Hard Work U”, the college’s culinary program puts students to work as wait staff and cashiers as well as working behind the scenes in the kitchen. We’ll learn more about the programs at their Culinary and Craft School Demonstrations.
We truly appreciate the spirit of the holiday season when we head to Shepherd of the Hills that evening for a delicious turkey dinner and show, A Shepherd’s Christmas Carol, a true Christmas classic. We take a glass elevator up to the observation deck of Inspiration Tower -- at 230 feet tall, it’s the highest point in southern Missouri. The evening culminates when we travel through the Trail of Lights which winds its way through 160 acres of millions of twinkling colorful Christmas lights with animated displays. Merry Christmas, everyone!
The following day, we see not one, not two, but three Christmas shows. Clay Cooper’s Ozark Mountain Christmas is filled with high energy dancing, singing and comedy. Three generations make up the Dutton Family, and their Christmas With the Duttons has been broadcast nationwide on public television. Finally, the Haygoods’ Christmas Show combines tight harmonies, energetic choreography and amazing performances on more than 20 different instruments. That evening, we enjoy a delicious down-home country-style dinner at our campground.
The entertainment just can’t get better the following day when we attend The SIX Show, featuring six brothers who perform acappella, taking vocal music to a whole new level. And then it’s on to Dolly Parton’s Stampede Dinner and Show – featuring magnificent riders on beautiful horses, live buffalo and a delicious dinner – definitely an amazing mountain ruckus!
Our Branson Christmas Rally culminates the following day when we go to Christmas Wonderland, one of Branson’s largest holiday productions celebrating Christmas in all its glory. Christmas music, elaborate costumes, beautiful scenery and the highest-kicking chorus girls all come together to just add to your Christmas spirit. Quality entertainment continues at the Grammy Award winning Blackwood Morning Variety Show, with even more holiday music and fun. Then award-winning opera and Broadway star George Dyer takes us on an inspiring musical Christmas journey.
We’re jingling all the way as we join together for our traditional Farewell Dinner at our campground that evening. And after a Farewell Breakfast the following morning, we leave Branson and its Christmas spirit behind as we venture out to celebrate our own holidays.
The holiday spirit at our brand new 7-day Branson Christmas Rally begins on October 31, 2020. Join us and make merry!
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