You don’t buy an RV simply for what’s in it; you buy one because of where it can take you. There are plenty of sights waiting for you to see out of your RV’s windshield. Whether you’re planning a road trip with multiple stops or wanting to enjoy a single location, there’s a world of possibilities.
For beach and water sports lovers, a trip to either U.S. coast is a must this summer. Depending on your starting location and preferences, you can make stops at scenic and tourist hot spots along the way or head directly to a coastal destination.
The drive through the Florida Keys involves a trip down the Florida Overseas Highway with an ocean view for miles. Once you get to your destination you can enjoy swimming, snorkeling, relaxing or day trips to nearby state parks or museums. Key West is also home to Boyd’s Key West Campground, a popular RV stop.
If you want to a road trip full of major U.S. cities, beaches and access to beautiful parks and hiking then the Pacific Coast Highway is for you. It runs from Los Angeles, Calif., to Olympia, Wash., and includes beautiful sights from the ocean to forests and mountains.
A trip through New England can be a relaxing experience with small New England towns and plenty of historic sites. You can enjoy lighthouses and lobster in Maine before heading down to Massachusetts to check out the Salem Witch Museum in Salem or any number of historic sites in Boston. There’s even the Ben and Jerry’s factory tour in Waterbury, Vt., for those with a sweet tooth. If you prefer a longer road trip, just head down I-95, which stretches from Maine to Florida, passing through New York, N.Y., Philadelphia, Pa., Baltimore, Md., Savannah, Ga., all the way to Miami, Fla.
The U.S. is home to hundreds of breathtaking national parks that are accessible easily through your RV. While you might not be able to see all 419 this summer, you can cross a few off your list.
Yellowstone National Park, in the Northwest corner of Wyoming, features geothermal wonders such as Old Faithful geyser. There are also mountains and waterfalls for those who enjoy spending time outdoors. If you want to squeeze two parks into one trip you can head north to Glacier National Park in Montana where you can see gorgeous mountains reflecting in blue lakes.
If you’re interested in mountains closer to the Pacific then Mount Rainier National Park is a good option. It features Mount Rainier, a volcano just outside of Seattle, Wash., with waterfalls, glaciers, valleys and meadows. Many people come here to hike and enjoy the views. North Cascades National Park is also nearby, only 260 miles north near the Canadian border. It’s a great camping spot.
Death Valley in California has the lowest point in North America and the hottest temperatures. It’s a great place to visit if you want to experience all that the American landscape has to offer. While it may not be comfortable for a long-term visit, it is near Las Vegas, Nev., and Los Angeles. If you make your way toward Las Vegas, you can plan a stop at the Hoover Dam on the Colorado River. And if you decide to stay in California, Sequoia National Park is only 320 miles away. It contains Mount Whitney, the highest point in the contiguous United States, as well as its famous giant sequoia trees.
Yosemite is not far from Death Valley and Sequoia National Park in California. It also has giant, ancient sequoia trees, beautiful mountains and waterfalls. You can stay at the family-friendly Yosemite Pines RV Park, which features a place for kids to pan for gold and a petting farm with alpacas.
A visit to Zion National Park in Utah includes views of Zion Canyon’s steep red sandstone cliffs. A scenic byway runs for 54 miles through the park to forest trails by the Virgin River. You can see the Emerald Pools with its waterfalls and hanging garden. Zion River Resort is a popular RV stop at this park with great amenities.
The Grand Canyon needs no introduction. It’s layered red rocks and immensity make this a must-see destination. While you’re there, you can visit the Grand Canyon Skywalk, a horseshoe-shaped bridge with a glass walkway that allows you to feel like you’re floating above the canyon.
Hiking and beaches aren’t for everyone. If you want to see some relaxed tourist sites with the family, there are plenty of options.
The Blue Ridge Parkway is a 469-mile scenic drive through the northwestern corner of North Carolina through Virginia, linking the Shenandoah National Park to Great Smoky Mountains National Park. If you’re driving north you’ll end up near Richmond, Va. From there you can stop in Washington, D.C., where there are plenty of free museums courtesy of the Smithsonian Institution and famous sites such as the Washington Monument and Lincoln Memorial. If you head southeast from Richmond instead you can plan to visit Colonial Williamsburg or the historic Jamestown settlement.
Straddling the border between Tennessee and North Carolina is Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It offers forests, wildflowers, and waterfalls along hiking routes, which include part of the Appalachian Trail. Gatlinburg, Tenn., is just outside of the park and allows you to see sweeping views of the landscape. It’s home to a 407-foot observation tower and a popular ski resort. Kids would likely enjoy a visit to Dollywood, a theme park owned by Dolly Parton in nearby Pigeon Forge, Tenn.
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