Top 7 Destinations in the Southeastern USA
You don’t have to head south for just the winter to enjoy the Southeastern USA! This unique part of the United States has many exciting and beautiful destinations for RV enthusiasts to enjoy, any time of the year.
1. Okefenokee Swamp, Georgia
Located in southeastern Georgia, the Okefenokee Swamp, or the “land of the trembling Earth,” is one of the largest intact freshwater ecosystems in the world and home to many wild and wonderful critters found nowhere else. As you drift through cypress trees draped in Spanish moss, you may spot alligators, snakes, turtles, a variety of bird species, or even a black bear!
Park your RV at the convenient Stephen C. Foster state park, which includes campsites with RV hookups, and observe the local wildlife in their natural habitat. For outdoor enthusiasts, the swamp boasts a range of activities from fishing and boating to camping and hiking. You can rent boats or bikes or enjoy an extended excursion with or without a tour guide to maximize your swamp experience.
Additionally, the Okefenokee Swamp has a storied cultural history dating back over 12,000 years. You can learn more about the region and its people at the Okefenokee Heritage Center where you can also take a 90 minute guided history tour.
2. Florida Keys, Florida
A popular RV destination located south of Miami on the southern tip of Florida, the Keys attract over 2 million annual visitors with good reason. Whether you visit to fish, kayak, scuba dive, snorkel, or simply soak up the sun with a drink in your hand, this 137 square-mile archipelago has everything you need for a dream vacation.
You can park at one of many RV resorts located throughout the Florida Keys, including Fiesta Key RV Resort, Bahia Honda State Park, Sunshine Key RV Resort, and others. Many of these locations offer pools, exercise classes, nature trails, and private adventure tours in addition to miles of some of the most beautiful beaches on Earth.
The John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park in Key Largo is the first underwater state park in the US, built around about 70 nautical square miles of breathtaking coral reef in the Atlantic Ocean. Renowned for its diving and boasting 42 coveted RV sites, glass-bottom boat tours, a 30,000-gallon saltwater aquarium, and more, this is truly an explorer’s bucket list attraction.
Because the Florida Keys are such a popular RV destination, you’ll need to plan ahead accordingly. Make sure to book your campsites well in advance, and you may also consider a tow vehicle for easy day tripping around the islands.
3. Gulf Shores, Alabama
With its immaculate white sand beaches, fishing piers, and abundant water activities, the Gulf Shores is a popular RV destination. Explore Gulf State Park for swimming, sunbathing, beachcombing, and more along the Alabama coast. The State Park also has a number of RV campsites and its own supply store!
The Gulf Shores is home to the only true waterfront KOA in the Gulf Coast, which has hosted campers for over 20 years on the Perdido Bay. Featuring a pool and a hot tub, you can watch breathtaking sunrises and appreciate the sounds of nature all around in comfort and style. Other RV resorts include Sugar Sands, Lake Osprey, Fort Morgan, Doc’s, Bay Breeze, and many others, each with their own extensive and unique amenities.
For adventure lovers, check out local hiking and biking or guided fishing and birding tours. And make sure to take a day to explore the Gulf Coast Zoo, Gulf Shores Museum, and Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge to round out your Gulf Shores experience for the whole family.
4. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
Named for the local evergreen shrub, Myrtle Beach is most famous for its 60 miles of seaside, nicknamed the “Grand Strand stretch of sand.” A longtime vacation destination for families, bikers, and RVers, Myrtle Beach has something for everyone. Its powder-soft, sprawling beaches offer plenty of space for sunbathing, beachcombing, and other seaside activities.
Myrtle Beach is one of the easiest-to-book RV destinations on our list, with over a dozen campgrounds and two state parks totalling more than 7,000 campsites, ranging from full RV hookups to tent pads. Beyond the beach, nearby golfing, live music, theaters, shopping, and amusement parks present opportunities for the whole family.
A family-friendly and fun campervan vacation, Myrtle Beach is also one of the most affordable beach destinations in the US. For a fraction of the cost of many other beach RV trips, you can fall asleep to the dulcet sound of ocean waves and the scent of the Atlantic breeze from the comfort of your motorhome.
5. Kentucky Bourbon Trail
Sponsored by the Kentucky Distillers’ Association, the Kentucky Bourbon Trail is the RV quest designed with bourbon lovers in mind. Featuring 42 distilleries nestled in picturesque rural Kentucky, tourists can tap into guided tours and tastings at each location on the program. You’ll recognize Maker’s Mark, Jim Beam, Bulleit, Wild Turkey, and many other distinguished brands on this world-class tour of Kentucky’s distilleries.
Wind through rolling hills, meadows, and charming country towns as you appreciate the flavors and cultural significance of bourbon in the bluegrass state. Take advantage of local attractions like horse farms, historic inns, and live bluegrass bands, or visit the Kentucky Horse Park, the Mary Todd Lincoln House, and the Red River Gorge.
To ensure that you have plenty of time to visit each distillery responsibly, remember to plan ahead. There are many RV campsites and resorts along the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, and the association encourages responsible enjoyment of their spirits by partnering with Lyft and local tour groups to keep visitors safe.
6. Blue Ridge Parkway
The scenic Blue Ridge Parkway stretches along 469 miles through the Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina and Virginia. It is most popular for RV tourists during the fall, but the beauty of this byway transcends seasons, and it can be enjoyed nearly year-round.
While you’re on the parkway, make sure to take in the charming mountain towns along the way, like Asheville and Boone in North Carolina and Roanoke in Virginia. There are hiking and bike trails on the many parkway overlooks with plenty of opportunities for waterfall pictures and basking in the natural wonder.
Visitors should plan ahead for the Blue Ridge Parkway, especially if you go during the fall, as campsites fill up fast. You should also make sure that your RV can clear the height of any of the 26 tunnels built into the Parkway that you intend to traverse. Many RVers skip the segment between Waynesville and Cherokee or take a tow vehicle, as this section includes the lowest tunnel heights.
Although it does not include hairpin turns typical on other scenic routes in the US, you should still be comfortable with sharp turns and inclines when taking a coach on the iconic Blue Ridge Parkway.
7. The Outer Banks, North Carolina
One of the most unique seashores in the US, the Outer Banks is a quaint, beautiful destination for enterprising RVers. There are three National Parks Services (NPS) parks in the Cape Hatteras National Seashore of Dare County as well as several private options for RV camping. Cape Hatteras National Seashore includes the land around the Cape Hatteras, Bodie Island, and Ocracoke Lighthouses, all of which are open to the public. Neither the Ocracoke nor Cape Hatteras Lighthouses are available to climb, though visitors are invited to walk the grounds and appreciate the impressive 19th century details in the beautiful lighthouses that continue to warn ships in what is known as “the graveyard of the Atlantic.”
Further north, Outer Banks visitors can tour the Wright Brothers Monument at Kitty Hawk, fly a kite on Jockey’s Ridge near Nags Head, and climb the understated brick Currituck Lighthouse. Beyond Corolla, you can access the 4x4 beach areas with a 4x4 vehicle, available for rent in nearby towns (or you can tow your own). You’ll find some of the best surf fishing, beachcombing, and even wild horses on these isolated 4x4 beaches.
In short, the Southeastern USA offers so many options for campervan tours, it is difficult to include them all in a short blog post! So, y’all go on and load up your RV with all the essentials and head southeast to the land of sweet tea, pulled pork, and longleaf pines.
Ready to explore the Southeastern USA from your own RV?
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