While neither is better than the other, the east and west cultures are very different. Sometimes clichés are based on truth and that certainly seems to be the case when comparing the two regions of the country. The west tends to be more athletic and health-minded while the east seems to be more interested in its cosmopolitan lifestyle. Art, theater and history can be enjoyed on both coasts, but for sheer quality and numerous opportunities for a metropolitan experience, the east is far superior.
A couple of differences stand out when comparing camping and resorts. In the east, there are many more seasonal vacationers, whether camping or having property, than in the west. Every eastern lake and many coastal roads are lined with summer homes, and the zones of seasonal campers in east coast resorts are many times larger than campgrounds out west. To be fair, there are huge seasonal groupings in Arizona, Southern California and Florida, but the balance of the west coast is mostly devoid of these camping subdivisions. The issue is that seasonal neighborhood residents often view us interlopers as vagabonds or street rats. There are friendly people everywhere, but the large number of seasonal inhabitants makes it much more likely for this view to be shown.
Second, it seems like western campers love dark, serene nights and the abundance of stars, while their eastern counterparts would rather bring the big city with them when they camp. East coast campsites are often adorned with enough lights to compete in a Christmas light contest, with flashing strobe lights, rotating spotlights, electronic lamps shining colorful shapes up into the trees and enough solar lighting to blaze a trail from one end of a resort to the other. These campers are also much more likely to build and man private taverns and public bars, complete with tiki torches and thatched roofs.
Sunrise vs. Sunset
Purely a personal preference, but sunsets seem grander and more vibrant than sunrises over oceans or other bodies of water. I did cross off a bucket list item in the east, however, when I photographed a sunrise from Acadia National Park in Maine.
The takeaway is this: Knowing these differences can help maximize your enjoyment in each region of the country. You can plan on more state-run parks and attractions and extra visits to historical locales in the east and more self-guided tours and longer drives in the west. You can enjoy your solitude in the west and party like rock stars in the east -- savor the differences and revel in the RV lifestyle.
Jack Huber is a novelist with 7 mysteries published, along with several books of poetry and photography. Now retired, he and his wife, Nadyne, are free to travel the country in their 32' 5th wheel and 1-ton Ford pickup.