Are you new to the RV Life? Are you looking for a drive that is challenging? Or maybe you just want to mix things up and try something you’ve never done. Whatever your motivation is, trying a new route can be a rewarding way to enjoy your RV. Here are 4 of the best routes for RV trips.
Let’s start this list of the best routes for RV trips with one of the most iconic drives you could make: Route 66.
A journey along Route 66 promises a nostalgic adventure through the heart of America, and all the history, culture, and scenic beauty that comes with it. Stretching 2,448 miles from Chicago to Santa Monica, this historic highway is sometimes called the Main Street of America.
One of the most interesting aspects of a Route 66 road trip is the opportunity to step back in time and witness the charm of a bygone era. The highway is lined with vintage motels, diners, and gas stations, each telling a story of the 1950s and 1960s. Exploring these retro establishments provides a glimpse into mid-20th century America, complete with neon signs and classic architecture creating a vibrant and nostalgic atmosphere.
Buildings aren’t the only things that Route 66 has to offer. From the rolling hills of the Midwest to the vast deserts of the Southwest, RV owners will encounter a wide range of scenery. Each stretch of the highway brings new awesome sights of the ever-changing landscapes. The Grand Canyon, Meteor Crater, and the Painted Desert are just a few of the natural wonders that you can explore along the route.
Route 66 is also a cultural melting pot, with roadside attractions and quirky landmarks that make the journey truly unique. The Cadillac Ranch in Texas, a public art installation featuring a row of buried Cadillacs, and the Blue Whale of Catoosa in Oklahoma are just a couple of examples that add a touch of whimsy to the adventure. These offbeat attractions can make memorable photo opportunities for years to come.
Other sites you will see on this route include the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Petrified Forest National Park, and the Blue Hole in Santa Rosa, NM. End the trip by walking on the famous Santa Monica Pier.
We recommend you drive the route from east to west. Whether taking a nostalgic journey or discovering this iconic highway for the first time, Route 66 promises a road trip like no other.
Bangor, Maine to Seattle, Washington
Another long and unique road trip that you can take in your RV is a cross-country trip along US Highway 2. The route, sometimes referred to as Great Northern, crosses the continent through the northern US and, at times, Canada. The total route is approximately 3,600 miles. It may be long, but it’s one of the best routes for RV trips you can choose.
Starting in Maine, you can visit the Acadia National Park. There are many good campgrounds around the 47,000-acre park so you can be well rested when you hit the road. Kids and kids at heart will love Santa's Village, a Christmas-themed amusement park located in Jefferson, New Hampshire.
In Washington State, experience the 876,669-acre Olympic National Park and the Olympic Mountains. Or visit the North Cascades National Park to enjoy the Cascade Mountains. Finish your trip at the Space Needle in Seattle.
Pro tip: After you are done in Seattle, take a drive to Victoria, BC, just a 4-hour drive north. Victoria is a charming town filled with Victorian architecture that shows the city's British colonial past. Visit the Victoria tourism website for more information.
The Great River Road
Now that we’ve talked about traveling the country from East to West, let’s look at North to South. The Great River Road is a scenic route that winds along the Mississippi River. Similar to Route 66, this trip is a diverse mix of rich history, natural beauty, and unique experiences. Stretching over 3,000 miles through 10 states, from Minnesota to Louisiana, the Great River Road serves up landscapes and cultural treasures that keep the journey interesting.
From the headwaters in Lake Itasca, Minnesota, to the expansive delta in Louisiana, travelers encounter an array of landscapes that include rolling hills, charming river towns, lush forests, and expansive marshlands. The changes in scenery just never stop. The changing seasons bring their own unique charm, with vibrant fall foliage, winter snowscapes, and the blossoming of spring creating a dynamic backdrop for the journey, so even if you’ve made the trip once, it can still feel different.
The historic and cultural richness along the Great River Road adds to the trip. From the historic architecture of river towns like St. Louis and Natchez to the Civil War battlefields and Native American heritage sites, the route is a living history book. Numerous heritage sites, museums, and interpretive centers dot the map and tell the story of the river's role in American history. RV owners can explore Mark Twain's Hannibal or the musical heritage of Memphis (including Graceland). The French Quarter in New Orleans is unlike virtually any place else in the country.
The Great River Road also boasts a wealth of outdoor recreational opportunities. Scenic overlooks provide stunning views of the river, and hiking and biking trails offer a more intimate connection with the natural surroundings. If birdwatching is one of your hobbies, this trip can be particularly rewarding. The Mississippi Flyway serves as a migratory route for many bird species.
Of course, engaging with the local communities that line the route is another highlight. There are plenty of opportunities, ranging from farmers' markets to riverfront festivals. Sampling regional cuisine, such as catfish in Mississippi or Cajun specialties in Louisiana, adds another layer to the route.
Not all of the best routes for RV trips are in the north. Traveling from the Everglades to the Keys is a shorter trip and a departure from the other routes, but it is filled with unique opportunities for RV travelers.
Start in the Naples, FL area and head into Everglades National Park. This park is the largest tropical wilderness in the United States and the largest wilderness of any kind east of the Mississippi River. Its over 2,300 square miles is home to 350 species of birds, 300 species of fresh and saltwater fish, 40 species of mammals, and 50 species of reptiles. Among those are 36 threatened or protected species, including the Florida panther, the American crocodile, and the West Indian manatee. There are opportunities to explore the Everglades yourself or to take airboat rides into the heart of it.
Before starting the drive to the Florida Keys, RV owners can visit the Miami area and experience the rich culture of the area. Driving down US 1 is an experience of its own. The road itself is an engineering marvel, connecting a chain of islands and keys with a series of bridges and causeways. The most famous of these is the Seven Mile Bridge. The drive to Key West involves passing through various keys, each with its own unique charm. From Key Largo to Islamorada and Marathon, each key offers distinct attractions and opportunities to dine on amazing seafood dishes.
Once in Key West, travelers can visit local restaurants or historical sites like the home of Ernest Hemingway. Or get your picture taken at the iconic Southernmost Point Buoy, marking the southernmost point in the continental United States.
A day trip to Dry Tortugas National Park is a must-do activity. The island is home to Fort Jefferson, the largest brick masonry structure in the Western Hemisphere, and is accessible only by boat or seaplane. The park, located about 70 miles from Key West, is noted for abundant sea life, tropical bird breeding grounds, colorful coral reefs, and shipwrecks and sunken treasures.
Pick a Route or Make Your Own
These are just a few of the best routes for RV trips that can help you enjoy all the beauty, culture, and history that the US has to offer. The advantage you have as RV owners is that you can just plan out your own route and tailor it to your specific interests. Or use these as starting points. Your rig gives you the freedom to make your next trip as unique as you are. Safe Travels!
Ready to take these trips in your own RV?
If you’re looking for the perfect RV for your next big adventure, look no further than your local Transwest dealer. Our friendly and knowledgeable staff is available to help you make the best choice to meet your travel needs. Check out our available inventory and visit us today to help make your next RV dream road trip a reality.