Skip to Content

23 Incredible RV Vacations: Scenic RV Road Trips You Need to Take

If you’re seeking the perfect blend of adventure and comfort, an RV road trip may be the perfect getaway! From awe-inspiring national parks to quaint coastal towns and everything in between, the USA offers an incredible array of destinations to explore from the comfort of your home on wheels. Here are the best RV vacations in the USA!

RV vacations in the US view of motorhome near road with dramatic canyon landscape in background
Dramatic landscapes while on the best RV vacations 😍(see #18)

This post may contain affiliate links. For more info, see my disclosures.

Start packing up the RV (and the family) now! You’re going to love these RV trips all across the country. Whether you’re looking for a route that’s in your home state, or you’re traveling and then renting an RV, this list has something for everyone!

This list goes beyond somewhere to sit your RV – each destination in this guide is an RV road trip with beautiful landscapes, fun national parks to explore, vibrant cities or wide open spaces.

👉Don’t have time to read the whole article? Get the complete Organize Your RV Like a Pro Guide for brilliant organization RV hacks before you go!

Many of these RV routes are best one in the summer months when the weather is (typically) most predictable and reasonable in the USA. But each of these RV vacations below share the best time of year for that particular adventure.

Whether this is your first RV road trip or you’ve been packing up your motorhome or travel trailer for years, these epic destinations are going to blow you away!

Must-see video: RV vacations

RV road trips map

This list covers the best RV trips in the west, east and a bunch of amazing routes in between. Each pin on this map marks a stop on one of the very best RV routes in the US.

Because I haven’t’ been everywhere in the US in my RV (yet), I’ve asked some of my fellow travel writers to help compile this list of the best RV travel USA ideas! Enjoy!

Epic RV vacations

Get ready to hit the open road and discover some truly unbelievable RV road trips that will leave you with memories to cherish for a lifetime.

Let’s dive in!

1. Great Smoky Mountains: Asheville to Gatlinburg

mountains near Asheville at dusk with purple sky best RV road trips in America
Smoky Mountains near Asheville, North Carolina
  • Distance: 85 miles
  • Recommended time: 2-3 days
  • Best time of year: Spring or Fall

If you’re looking for a fun getaway in your RV, then look no further than the mountains of North Carolina and Tennessee! One of the best RV vacations in the US, the drive from Asheville North Carolina to Gatlinburg, Tennessee is simply gorgeous.

The Smoky Mountains are stunning year-round, though it’s best to avoid this road trip in winter. The National Park Service often closes the road through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee.

This route can technically be done in an afternoon, but you’ll want to spend a day or two on either side of the road trip, at minimum!

While in Asheville, be sure to visit the botanical gardens and the River Arts District. And of course, one of the best attractions in town is the Biltmore Estate. Visit the estate to see the massive 175,000+ square feet of space on 8,000 acres. It’s spectacular!

The drive west towards Tennessee is beautiful, and the Smoky Mountains make their presence known with the hazy-looking views. Stay on Highway 19 until you get to Cherokee, North Carolina. It’s a great spot to grab lunch, a souvenir and check out the cornmeal and grits mill – Saunooke’s Mill.

Next, get ready for an incredibly scenic drive through US Highway 441 (AKA Newfound Gap Road) in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. This scenic road is RV-friendly, although it does have some steep grades so be prepared as you drive through the mountains.

You’ll want to stop at Clingmans Dome for 360-degree views of the Smokies. It requires a 0.5 mile (paved) hike with a steep incline, but is well worth it.

Pro tip: don’t miss the turn to Clingman’s Dome! There’s RV-friendly parking at the parking lot, but turning around on 441 will be difficult in an RV if you miss the turn.

Gap Overlook and Ben Morton Overlook are other stops worth the view, if the parking situation isn’t too full when you’re driving through. Of course, there’s various hiking trails along the scenic route as well.

Gatlinburg is the official end of this RV road trip. It’s quite the touristy town, and parking is not RV-friendly at all. Instead, you can stay at Elkmont Campground inside the national park or Greenbrier Campground just outside of Gatlinburg. As with most national park campgrounds, be sure to book it well in advance to reserve your spot.

If you have a day or two to explore the park, you’ll want to check out the fabulous waterfalls, which are most impressive in the springtime. Laurel Falls Trail, Grotto Falls and Abrams Falls Trail are really popular hikes, although if you have a vehicle you’re towing it’s easier to access Grotto Falls and Abrams Falls as they’re located on narrow roads.

This is one of the best RV vacations that’s great for beginner RVers or those based in the Eastern USA and looking for a quicker weekend adventure.

Recommended by me – Nikki of Inspired Routes

2. Alaska RV road trip

RV vacations view of purple flowers with mountains in distance in Alaska
Stunning scenes in Alaska😍
  • Distance: 1,200 miles
  • Recommended time: 10 days
  • Best time of year: June, July and August

Alaska is a fantastic state for a scenic and remote RV vacation. An RV road trip through the rugged 49th state allows you to see mountains, glaciers, forests, panoramic coastline, wildflowers, and plentiful wildlife.

Although driving your RV to Alaska is possible, another popular option is to fly into Anchorage and rent an RV. Either way, you should book your campsites as early as possible. Summer is the busy season in Alaska and the good campsites are often booked out months in advance.

The best 10-day Alaska road trip itinerary will take you to see the diverse beauty of the inland mountains as well as the coastline. But, make sure to plan for at least 10 days to complete this 1,200-mile RV road trip. Alaska is a huge state and you will need to do a lot of driving to see the highlights.

Starting in the city of Anchorage, head north to Denali National Park for a few nights. After Denali, return south to Anchorage for a night and then keep going south to Seward. 

After spending several nights in Seward, drive to the Kenai River Region for a night or two, and then to Homer for your last few nights. You’ll end your trip by returning north back to Anchorage.

Highlights of the route include Denali National Park and Kenai Fjords National Park, as well as some epic scenic overlooks and state parks along the way.

Two of the best campsites in Alaska for RV camping are Denali Grizzly Bear Resort near Denali National Park and Miller’s Landing in Seward. 

An RV road trip through Alaska will be an incredible and memorable experience!

Recommended by Diane of Travels with Eli

3. Milwaukee to Ludington (an underrated RV vacation idea in the USA)

Ludington State Park lighthouse at dusk with white and black lighthouse sand dunes and tall grass
Big Sable Lighthouse at Ludington State Park
  • Distance: 148 miles by car ferry or 341 miles driving
  • Recommended time: 3-4 days
  • Best time of year: Mid-May to October, and this small beach town offers amazing outdoor activities. Hence, you want to visit during sunny spring and summer weather to truly enjoy this natural landscape.

Traveling from Wisconsin to Michigan is a unique road trip with an RV, as you can take the S.S. Badger Car Ferry (even for RVs) and enjoy the ride! 

While onboard, you can shop, watch a movie in the movie theater or simply lounge inside. They also have an outside deck with live music, where you can stroll along the deck, play a board game, or even test your luck at the famous Badger Bingo. Kids will enjoy the toddler play area or the kid’s port play area.

If you do not want to take the ferry, you can also easily drive to Ludington. The drive time varies based on traffic, but it is about 4 hours from Chicago, 4 hours from Detroit, and 5.5 hours from Milwaukee.

There are plenty of things to do in Ludington, including exploring the natural beauty of the region at Ludington State Park. It’s an outdoor enthusiasts paradise with natural beauty from lakes and rivers, forests, and unique sand dunes.

Visitors can enjoy outdoor activities such as hiking, cycling, camping, and even bird-watching in Ludington State Park. Located on Hamlin Lake, RVers will enjoy boating, fishing, kayaking and paddle boarding.

Lastly, don’t forget to climb and explore the unique Hamlin Lake Sand dunes that give you a scenic view of Lake Michigan, Hamlin Lake, and Big Sable Point Lighthouse.

This is one of the best and most unique RV road trips in the US, and one worth adding to your must-do list!

Recommended by Hannah of Getting Stamped

4. Phoenix, Sedona, Grand Canyon and Page Arizona (one of the most scenic RV road trips)

sunrise in sedona with red rocky mountains best rv vacation ideas
Classic Sedona sunrise
  • Distance: 478 miles (one way)
  • Recommended time: 5-6 Days
  • Best time of year: Spring or Fall

There are so many amazing places to visit within driving distance from Phoenix. On this RV road trip, you will visit 3 of the most iconic destinations in Arizona, Sedona, the Grand Canyon and Page, Arizona.

Start in Phoenix and make your way to Sedona, one of the prettiest places in the world. There are a ton of places in Sedona to see incredible views or go on a Sedona sunrise hike to see the gorgeous red rocks illuminated in bright orange and red colors.

One of the best campgrounds to stay at in Sedona is Pine Flat Campground located on the scenic byway 89a. You’ll combine scenic accommodations with tone of the most gorgeous RV vacations in the USA!

After spending 1-2 days exploring Sedona, it’s time to head to the Grand Canyon, which is only 110 miles north. The Grand Canyon is one of the most iconic national parks in the United States, and it’s easy to see why.

Rent some electric bikes and bike along the rim to Hermits Rest and enjoy stopping off and seeing all the incredible views of the canyon.

The best place to stay near the Grand Canyon is at Mather Campground located inside the park. Advanced reservations are required to get a spot at this campground as it’s super popular.

After spending a day exploring the Grand Canyon, head 132 miles north to Page, Arizona. Once in Page, make a reservation to visit the incredible Antelope Canyon which is one of the prettiest slot canyons in the world.

You can also do the 1.5 mile round trip hike to Horseshoe Bend.

The best campground to stay at in Page is The Canyons, which is located only 10 minutes to Antelope Canyon and 10 minutes to Horseshoe Bend.

As one of the best RV vacation ideas, consider taking this road trip in either the spring or fall as the summer in Arizona can get really hot and be super crowded. 

Recommended by Jessica of Unearth the Voyage

5. San Francisco to Lake Tahoe

RV vacations to California view of red bridge and hillside with bay and mountains in distance
San Francisco Bay Bridge, just before driving across it in an RV
  • Distance: 200 miles
  • Recommended time: 3+ days
  • Best time of year: summer or early fall

Hands down, one of the best RV vacations is a road trip from San Francisco to Lake Tahoe. With so much to do at the starting point, stopping point and in between, you could easily spend a week or more exploring this route. You’ll want a minimum of 3 days to see the highlights!

Starting in San Francisco, this is a great road trip for those based in northern California or southern Oregon. While driving an RV in San Francisco isn’t the most fun thing in the world, I can say it’s pretty spectacular driving across the Golden Gate Bridge in a motorhome (or travel trailer)!

You can spend a day (or more) exploring the sights in San Francisco; visit Lombard Street, Fisherman’s Wharf, Alcatraz Island, Exploratorium and more. If you’re towing a vehicle, I’d recommend to leave your RV at your campsite and get a ride share around San Francisco.

From there, make your way northeast to Sacramento. Make a quick gas or food stop, or spend a day or more in the fun city. Highlights include the Capitol Building, Old Sacramento Waterfront, the Old Sugar Mill or do a wine tour.

Next, Lake Tahoe is big! So deciding whether to see (and camp) on the north or south side is important, as you’ll take 2 different routes out of Sacramento. Both areas are wonderful for RV travel, and each has unique experiences.

In north Lake Tahoe, see the incredible views of the lake at Sand Harbor State Park, go swimming, mountain biking or hiking. Furthermore, this dog-friendly destination is great for summertime swimming for your furry friends, too.

In South Lake Tahoe, a must-do is a sightseeing cruise of Emerald Bay. Of course there’s more hiking, paddleboarding and kayaking opportunities, not to mention Van Sickle Bi-State Park.

For camping in North Tahoe, try the Tahoe State Recreation Area or the Alpine Meadow Campground. In South Tahoe, consider the Campground by the Lake or Fallen Leaf Campground. As with most other RV vacations on this list, be sure to book your campground far in advance to ensure a spot.

While Lake Tahoe is a year-round destination, the winter driving in an RV (not to mention freezing temperatures) can create challenges. Summer is the best time for this road trip!

Recommended by me – Nikki of Inspired Routes

6. Santa Fe to White Sands National Park (one of the most underrated RV trips on this list)

kids walking on white sand dunes with white clouds in sky during rv travel usa
Fun RV vacations to explore: White Sands National Park
  • Distance: 397 miles
  • Recommended time: 1 week
  • Best time of year: late spring

Travel through the heart of New Mexico on an unforgettable Santa Fe to White Sands RV road trip. It’s a perfect route for RVs as the roads are largely flat with incredible views. Even in the areas where the roads turn hilly, it’s nothing that the average rig can’t handle!

Start your adventures in historic Santa Fe, the nation’s oldest capital city. Explore the Plaza and the oldest church in America before settling into your RV spot at the welcoming Santa Fe KOA.

Next, head over to Albuquerque, where you can tour the Old Town, hike in nearby Petroglyph National Monument, or experience the awe-inspiring Albuquerque Balloon Festival. 

Head south to the quirky Roswell, New Mexico, to uncover what happened in this town in 1947. Even if you don’t believe in alien encounters, the town’s extraterrestrial theming is out of this world.

Finally, complete the last leg of your New Mexico RV road trip by heading over the Sacramento Mountains into Alamogordo.

Camp at the Alamogordo/White Sands KOA, which offers free coffee in the morning, pedal bike rentals, a pool, a big game room, and a playground. You can also rent saucers for your White Sands National Park sledding from the front desk.

In Alamogordo, you can take a photo with the world’s largest pistachio at McGinn’s Pistachioland–don’t miss out on their homemade pistachio ice cream!

The New Mexico Museum of Space History is also an excellent way to spend several hours in Alamogordo. You can even visit the grave of the Ham, the famed monkey who flew to space and back in 1961.

The real gem in Alamogordo is White Sands National Park, which is about 15 minutes west of Alamogordo. Plan to spend at least one day in White Sands in order to get the most of the sledding, Dunes Drive, Junior Ranger program and more.

Recommended by Natalie of Camping Kiddos

7. Las Vegas to Zion plus the Grand Canyon

sunrise over mountains with stream and trees in foreground best rv vacations
Golden hour in Zion National Park
  • Distance: 425 miles
  • Recommended time: 5-10 days
  • Best time of year: Spring or Fall

Ready to go on one of the most scenic RV road trips in the USA? Start your adventure by flying (or driving) into Las Vegas and picking up your RV.

After your RV is ready to go, set out from Las Vegas making your way to Springdale, Utah – the gateway to Zion National Park.

Springdale is the closest town to Zion with plenty of restaurants and RV parks. Watchman Campground, with both campsites and RV hookups, is one of the best places to stay in the area.

Along the way to Zion, there are several different stops along I15 for more sightseeing and breaks from the road, including Valley of Fire State Park and Red Rock Canyon.

Zion is one of the most scenic national parks, home to the red cliffs of Zion Canyon, forested trails, waterfalls, and the Emerald Pools. There are lots of hiking trails, including the famous Angel’s Landing.

Next, hit the road towards Grand Canyon National Park. You can stop at Antelope Canyon, Lake Powell, or the town of Page along the way.

After exploring the Grand Canyon, start making your way back to Vegas. Along the way, visit the Route 66 Museum in Kingman, visit the “living ghost town” of Chloride, or make a pitstop at the Hoover Dam before arriving back in Las Vegas.

Once your road trip is over, spend a few days in Las Vegas unwinding at the pool and exploring one of the USA’s most fun cities.

Recommended by Sydney of A World in Reach

Best RV trips in the west

The west coast of the USA is full of dramatic landscapes, curvy roads and scenic views that honestly just seem impossible. Some of my favorite RV trips have been along the west coast.

Let’s keep this list going…

8. Sequoia National Park to Monterey via Big Sur (a personal favorite on this RV vacations list!)

view of Big Sur bridge with cliff to ocean and arched bridge
Best RV road trips: driving over Bixby Bay Bridge in Big Sur
  • Distance: 300+ miles
  • Recommended time: 3-5 days
  • Best time of year: Spring, summer or fall

If you’re looking for the best RV vacations, then this incredibly scenic drive is it! You’ll see the giant Sequoia trees, California’s stunning coastline through Big Sur and the charming town of Monterey.

You’ll want to spend 1-2 days visiting Sequoia National Park, where you can see the General Sherman Tree – the world’s largest tree by volume! Fun hikes like Congress Trail and Moro Rock will help you fall in love with this fun park.

Note: some roads in the park are quite narrow and depending on the size of your RV, you’ll need – or maybe want – to take the park shuttle.

At Sequoia, there’s the Dorst Creek Campground, perfect for RVs inside the park. Alternatively, the Sequoia Resort and RV Park is near the park entrance.

From Sequoia National Park, you’ll actually head southwest, even though Monterey is slightly north.

Drive through Visalia (a great spot to grab gas) and continue southwest to the small town of Cambria, California. Stretch your legs on the boardwalk trail along the beach or shop and dine in the charming downtown.

North of Cambria, you’ll take the incredibly scenic California Highway 1, or the Pacific Coast Highway. While there are too many things to do in Big Sur to mention here, a few RV-friendly highlights include the Sand Dollar Beach, McWay Falls and the Bixby Creek Bridge.

If you’re looking to stay in Big Sur and enjoy a few days exploring the area, Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park is a great spot for RV camping in the heart of Big Sur.

Ending your trip in Monterey, you’ll want to check out the Monterey Bay Coastal Recreation Trail, the famous Monterey Bay Aquarium, Old Fisherman’s Wharf and Cannery Row. It’s such a fun city, I’d recommend spending 1-2 days exploring the sights.

Recommended by me – Nikki of Inspired Routes

9. Glacier to Yellowstone National Park

sunset at glacier national park Montana view of lake with colorful sky, mountains and reflection during best rv trips
Glacier National Park at sunset 😍
  • Distance: 420 miles
  • Recommended time: 7.5-hour drive
  • Best time of year: Summer and Fall

There’s just something about the American West that is freeing and magical. It feels like home when you’re out on the open road without a care in the world. 

This is what you get as you road trip between Glacier National Park and Yellowstone National Park. But, thankfully, there’s much more to do in this road trip than just gazing out at the vast landscapes. It’s one of the best RV road trips in the west!

You can start your trip in either direction, but for this one, we’ll begin in Glacier and head south to Yellowstone.

At Glacier, you’ll be home to arguably the best views of any National Park in America. With towering peaks cut by glaciers, turquoise waters with glacier silt, and wildlife galore, it’s a mesmerizing experience. 

Do note that you need reservations to enter most of Glacier’s top spots, such as Many Glacier or Going to the Sun Road, or be willing to wake up before 6 am to beat the crowds. 

I suggest spending at least five days in Glacier to see both sides. Your best places to visit are Grinnell Glacier, Iceberg, Hidden and Two Medicine Lakes. 

If you’re curious how long you should allocate for each destination, I’d recommend spending 67% of your time in Glacier – it’s that good!

As for the specific driving portion of it, there’s little to see between the two famous national parks. I suggest cruising through the heartland and getting to Yellowstone quickly. 

Once in Yellowstone, make sure to hit the classics: Old Faithful, Grand Prismatic, Morning Glory, and the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. You can see a lot of the park in just two days, allowing you to keep this epic road trip to a reasonable length. 

Recommended by Alec of Explore with Alec

10. Joshua Tree and Death Valley National Park (one of the most interesting RV routes in the US)

rv vacation ideas pretty view of cacti at dusk with mountains in distance
Cholla Cacti at Joshua Tree National Park

Distance: 577 miles (if starting and ending in Los Angeles)
Recommended time: 5 Days
Best time of year: Fall to Spring

Joshua Tree and Death Valley road trip is the ultimate Southern California experience! Los Angeles makes for an easy starting point, but you can also choose to start in Las Vegas. This whole RV road trip is around 600 miles and you will want to plan a minimum of 5 days.

Spend at least one full day in Joshua Tree, visiting all of the best hikes including the Cholla Cactus Garden, Arch Rock, Barker Dam and Hidden Valley. Joshua Tree is also an amazing spot to stargaze if the weather is clear.

Staying in the park will allow you to make the most of your trip, so reserve your campground in advance!

After having your fill of Joshua Tree, drive up to Death Valley National Park to continue on with one of the best RV vacations.

There are a few reservable campsites in Death Valley, but if you do not get one, there is also a large first-come, first-served campground near Furnace Creek.

In Death Valley, you do not want to miss spots like the Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes, Zabriskie Point, and Gold Canyon.

Make sure to stop at the lowest point in North America- Badwater Basin Salt Flats!

Keep in mind some side roads are restricted to vehicles under 25 feet long like Artist Palette Drive, but the majority of the popular spots are accessible.

Plan this trip when it is not too hot out, as Death Valley has the hottest recorded temperature on Earth! Fall and Spring are the best time to visit.

The desert temperatures can drop at night and it can get very windy, so this makes a perfect RV road trip, as you can shelter from the elements.

Recommended by Val of Voyages with Val

11. Ashland to Crater Lake National Park

rv trip west coast view of bright blue lake between trees with mountains in distance
The stunning Crater Lake😍
  • Distance: 92 miles
  • Recommended time: 1-2 days
  • Best time of year: July – September (These are often the only months the roads are not closed due to snow!)

Oregon is a state full of beautiful scenery, and makes for one of the best RV trips west coast. Perhaps one of the most beautiful spots is Crater Lake.

This natural lake is the deepest in the United States and one of the most pure. From the blue water to the fresh, clean air, an RV vacation from Ashland to Crater Lake National Park will not disappoint.

Visitors can explore the rim of the lake on a variety of hiking trails. Boats even take visitors to Wizard Island to get a unique view of the stunning scenery. 

The RV road trip from Ashland to Crater Lake is beautiful in its own right. Highway 62 often travels along the Rogue River. You’ll pass through little towns with charming names like Shady Cove and Prospect. 

As you get closer to the lake, watch for bald eagles flying overhead or nesting on top of trees. But the highlight of the day will be cresting the final ridge and getting your first glimpse of the lake. It’s truly breathtaking.

There is one campground nearby that allows RVs. Mazuma Campground is seven miles from the Rim Village Visitor Center.

It’s a beautifully maintained campground and very popular. Be sure to make reservations in advance to secure your spot.

The road trip from Ashland to Crater Lake is short enough for a day trip, but one day may not be long enough to get your fill of the astounding beauty.

Recommended by Sherry of Digital Nomad and a Dog

12. Highway 395, California (another stunning route on the RV vacations list)

camper through the trees with mountains in distance
Perfectly situated RV in the mountains
  • Distance: 201 miles
  • Recommended time: 7 days
  • Best time of year: Spring or fall

The entire length of Highway 395 is gorgeous, but its southern portion, from Bridgeport, California to Death Valley National Park is next-level epic. It’ll surely be one of your most memorable RV trips on the West Coast (maybe even the whole USA!)

You can even drive along this route as part of a longer trip, such as from Yosemite National Park, whose Tioga Pass entrance is right by Bridgeport (note that this is only accessible from mid-summer through mid-fall).

You’ll drive along the stunning Sierra Nevada mountains the entire time—not only is the scenery breathtaking, but the drive is an RVer’s paradise, with tons of campgrounds and dispersed camping along the way.

Start in the charming town of Bridgeport, where you’ll find the under-the-radar Buckeye Hot Springs and Travertine Hot Springs. As an added bonus, there’s lots of dispersed camping spots right by Buckeye in Stanislaus National Forest!

Continue on to Mono Lake, one of the oldest in the United States at over one million years old. The lake is famous for its tufas, unique spires that are a byproduct of calcium carbonate. 

The ski town of Mammoth Lakes is your next stop on one of the best RV road trips in the US. If you visit in the spring, there’s a good chance you’ll still be able to enjoy the fresh powder on Mammoth Mountain, one of the best ski resorts in the country. This area is actually one of the best snowy winter vacations in USA!

During the spring, there’s plenty of natural hot springs to enjoy in Mammoth Lakes as well. 

Next up is Alabama Hills, which looks like something from another planet, with enormous monzogranite boulders scattered across the desert floor and the towering peaks of the Sierras in the background.

Score a spot at the Tuttle Creek Campground to have this scenery as your backyard for a night.

Finally, Death Valley National Park will be the endpoint of your visit. This park is one of the most dynamic in the national park system, offering colorful badlands, sand dunes, salt flats and towering mountains.

If you’re interested in doing more than quickly driving through the park, plan your road trip in either early spring or late fall—it’s famously sweltering in the summer months!

This is easily one of the best RV vacations for those based in or near California.

Recommended by Jessica of Uprooted Traveler

13. Los Angeles to San Diego

best rv trips view of California coast from above palm trees rocky shore and buildings
Southern California coastline
  • Distance: 120 miles
  • Recommended time: 3 days
  • Best time of year: Late spring or early fall

A RV road trip from Los Angeles to San Diego is magical. The 110 mile-drive is filled with scenic sights, beaches, and parks.

If driving straight through, expect it to take right around 2 hours, but I highly recommend at least 3 days to ensure you have time to see everything.

The most popular route (and the most scenic of them all) is the Pacific Coast Highway (PCH). It is also known as Highway 1. It offers the stunning views of the California coastline.

While driving, make sure to take the exit 62 to Las Pulgas Road because it offers an oceanic panoramic view that can take your breath away.

After continuing down Highway 1 on one of the best RV trips west coast, you will pass by Huntington Beach and Laguna Beach. They are some of the most popular beach towns in California. If you have time, they would be a good place to stop for brunch, swimming, or just to soak up the sun.

It’s no secret that California is home to some busy roads! The best time of the day to start this road trip is before morning rush hour to avoid the congestion. If you do not make stops along the way, you could even make it all the way to San Diego without any traffic issues!

Finally, after arriving in San Diego you can check out the exciting theme parks such as Seaworld, Disneyland, or Legoland. There’s so many things to do in San Diego with kids, it makes for a great family RV vacation for the whole family!

No matter how you choose to spend your time in California, it will surely be one of your most beloved RV vacations!

Recommended by Ossama of Awesome Traveler

RV road trips in the east

Traditionally the western part of the USA is known for its outdoor adventure, and a great spot for RVers. However, the eastern part of the US has some pretty spectacular RV vacation ideas too. Check these out!

14. Florida’s A1A

Bridge of Lions, St Augustine view of white teal and red bridge with arches on sunny day over water
Bridge of Lions, St. Augustine, Florida
  • Distance: 338.7 miles
  • Recommended time: 6-8 days
  • Best time of year: Winter

Hop in the RV and fire up the AC for a scenic trip along Florida’s A1A. This State Road runs from Fernandina Beach, just south of Georgia on Amelia Island, to the lively Key West, south of the Sunshine State. It’s one of the very best RV vacation ideas in the USA.

While the drive is pretty, there’s plenty of opportunity to get off the route to see Florida’s coastal cities.

Visit some of the “oldest” streets and buildings in the country at St. Augustine, spend the day at the beach in Flagler, or watch the fast cars of Daytona.

Continue along the road and be sure to climb the stairs at Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse in New Smyrna, go shopping at West Palm Beach and admire the Art Deco in Miami Beach.

Finally, you’ll get to drive over the famous Seven Miles Bridge to the Florida Keys.

According to Google Maps, doing the route with no stops would take just over nine hours. However, many locations featured in the trip are notorious for traffic, so factor this time in. 

Obviously, you’ll want to make stops at attractions, how many will be dictated by your set vacation time! 

There are plenty of options for RVs to camp along the route, such as the Beverly Beach Camptown RV Resort, which has Atlantic Ocean views. Bliss. 

The best time to visit the East Coast of Florida depends on hurricane patterns, with the season running from June until November.

Also, the summer months might be too humid for out-of-staters. While winter is too cold for locals, visitors enjoy the warm temperatures, relatively crowd-free beaches, and the chance to see manatees! 

Recommended by Amanda of Hey! East Coast USA

15. Skyline Drive, Shenandoah National Park (a great RV vacation for fall colors!)

road through colorful fall trees in Virginia
Skyline Drive during the fall😍
  • Distance: Skyline Drive is 105 miles from Waynesboro to Front Royal, Virginia. 
  • Recommended time: 3 hours to drive this 35-mph road, but you’ll want to stop and stay in one or two of the campgrounds. 
  • Best time of year: October is the perfect time to take in the fall colors and enjoy cooler weather. 

If you’re looking for one of the most beautiful RV routes in the United States, then Skyline Drive is a must-do! Spanning 105 miles of gorgeous mountain scenery in Shenandoah National Park, this picturesque roadway is perfect for RV travelers.

It traverses the entire length of the park and offers easy access to all the amenities and activities the park has to offer.

Although you can drive the entire length of Skyline Drive in just a few hours, you won’t want to leave that soon. And with four campgrounds in Shenandoah National Park, you don’t have to either!

All of the campgrounds have plenty of pull-thru and back-in sites for all sizes of RVs. There aren’t any hookups (water, power, or sewer), but they do have bathrooms, showers, and dump stations. They are seasonal with a range of operation between March and November each year. 

The drive is home to 61 overlooks allowing your ample opportunity to stop and take in the views of the Shenandoah Valley and the Massunutten mountains.

If you want to experience more of the park on foot, be sure to enjoy some of its 500 miles of trails, including some of the most beautiful waterfalls you’ll experience on the east coast. 

One caution for RVers is the low clearance Mary’s Rock Tunnel near Thorton Gap at mile 32. The clearance is only 12’8”, but there are four entrances to Skyline Drive so if your RV is higher than that, you can access it via one of the other points. 

This fun drive is by far one of the best RV trips in the US, and one worthy of putting on your bucket list!

Recommended by Julie of Chickery’s Travels 

16. Boston to Portland

view of Boston skyline and statue during fall on rv road trip
Boson, Massachusetts in the fall
  • Distance: 110 miles
  • Recommended time: 2-5 days
  • Best time of year: Summer or Fall

Making a trip from Boston, MA to Portland, ME can be a fun and easy road trip for those who are looking for a short but beautiful RV route.

Normally the drive is just two hours long (110 miles) on I-95, but if you can spare some extra time there are plenty of scenic stops and charming seaside towns to extend your drive. 

Start your journey in Boston, Massachusetts which is a fun city to explore in itself. If you have a day or two, be sure to check out these date ideas in Boston if you’re on this road trip as a duo!

Don’t forget to stop at world-famous Fenway Park (Go Sox!). Check out the Freedom Trail and join a guided walking tour of some of the city’s most iconic historic sites.

Continue your journey in Salem, Massachusetts and explore the history of the Salem Witch Trials of 1692. If you’re visiting in October, there are specialized tours like Hocus Pocus and ghost tours that will help you get in spooky mood!

Head north to the charming seaside town of Ogunquit, Maine for a quintessential New England beach town. This picturesque town is only four miles long and boasts stunning ocean views as well as a quaint town center. Dont forget to grab a lobster roll!

Cape Elizabeth Maine is a perfect stop to see some quintessential New England lighthouses. There are three main lighthouses – Portland Head Light, Spring Point Ledge Lighthouse, and Bug Light. 

Finally, end your trip in the city of Portland. It is a hub for art and culture, with plenty of food and drink spots to explore. It’s a fun town to explore, and a perfect stopping point for one of the best RV vacations routes in America.

Visit local breweries like Allagash or Moon Dog Craft Brewery, or take a ferry out to Peaks Island to explore the seashore. 

Optional: you could even take the road trip a step farther and go north to Acadia National Park or Bar Harbor. Maine has so many destinations to offer visitors but a Portland RV road trip is a must!

Recommended by Sierra of Your Guide to Wandering

17. Miami to Islamorada (top routes for RV travel USA)

Islamorada Florida pier with boats and buildings along strip of land
Islamorada, Florida

Distance: 90 miles
Recommended time: 2 – 3 days
Best time of year: Winter and Spring

Traveling to the Florida Keys with your family or friends is an exciting RV road trip. While Key West is the most well-known island to visit, traveling to Islamorada is even better.

Islamorada’s waters are famous for their clarity and rich marine life, earning the title of “Sport Fishing Capital of the World.” Legends like Zane Grey and Ernest Hemingway used to frequent the area to catch big game fish.

It’s situated about 80 miles southwest of Miami, and the driving distance between the two destinations typically covers around 90 miles, depending on the route. Depending on traffic and route selection, it usually takes between 1 hour and 45 minutes to 2 hours to reach Islamorada. However, you’ll want to spend time in Miami and Islamorada to enjoy the destination.

The best time of year to visit Islamorada is during the winter and spring months, specifically from December to April. This period is characterized by warm and pleasant weather, making it ideal for outdoor activities and water sports. 

The average temperatures range from the mid-70s to the mid-80s Fahrenheit (24-29 degrees Celsius), providing comfortable conditions for exploring the area.

Additionally, visiting during this time allows you to avoid the peak tourist season, which occurs during the summer months when temperatures are hotter and the area can be more crowded.

You’ll definitely want to stay at least 2 days in Islamorada if not 3. This is a great, relaxing drive allows you to get in touch with marine life and nature, and is by far one of the best RV road trips.

While in Islamorada, be sure to visit Olive Morada, which is a local shop that has delicious olive oil and balsamic vinegar, which you can do a free tasting. Plus, it’s a great shop if you are in need of souvenirs that are not cheesy.

A stay at Tavernier Elks Lodge makes this one of the best RV vacations in the USA. Just be sure to reserve your campsite early as space is limited!

Islamorada is a great RV road trip because it is gorgeous, relaxing, and allows you to reconnect with nature and loved ones.

Recommended by Fuse of Fuse Travels

More RV vacations in the US

Rounding out this list are a few of my personal favorites. From the incredible dramatic landscapes of Utah, the underrated Midwest and the beachy coasts, let’s finish out this guide to the best RV routes in the US!

18. Utah’s Mighty 5 (another favorite on this list of RV road trips)

the windows arches national park view of large arch from rock with trees and blue sky
Arches National Park, Utah
  • Distance: 362 miles
  • Recommended time: 6-10 days
  • Best time of year: spring or fall

This is it! One of the very best RV vacations in the United States, and it’s sooo good! This Utah national parks road trip covers a lot of ground, and some truly spectacular sights.

Starting in Moab, Utah, you’ll discover two nearby national parks. There are many things to do in Moab and you’ll want to spend at least two days there. A great RV campground between Arches and Canyonlands is Sun Outdoors Canyonlands Gateway.

Spend a day exploring Arches National Park. Hike to the famous Delicate Arch and see The Windows area, where there’s several arches within a few minutes walk from the parking lot.

In Canyonlands National Park, be sure to visit the Grand View Point Overlook, Green River Overlook and Mesa Arch. The canyon is beyond impressive! And with fewer visitors than Arches, you may even get a break from the crowds!

Between Moab and Capitol Reef National Park, enjoy the incredible Utah Scenic Byway 24 in your RV. In Capitol Reef, visit the Fruita Historic District and the orchards, and hike the Hickman Bridge Trail. On your way to the next park, stay in Wonderland RV Park.

A personal favorite along this incredible RV road trip is the Scenic Byway 12 between Capitol Reef and Bryce Canyon. The views are out of this world – and just continue as you see the famous hoodoos in Bryce Canyon National Park.

Bryce Point and Inspriration Point offer amazing views of the park. And if you’re up for a hike, check out the popular Queens Garden Trail and Navajo Loop to hike down into the canyon through the funky rock formations. So fun!

Your last stop on this RV vacation is Zion National Park. Home to an amazing canyon, this park is often a bucket list check for travelers. The Zion Canyon Campground just outside the park or Watchman Campground inside the park are both great for RVs.

Hike the Canyon Overlook Trail or The Narrows for incredible views of Zion. And regardless of whether you’re traveling to Zion with kids in the RV or not, this will be a highlight of your trip!

Pro tip: When you’re driving through Zion, the Zion-Mount Carmel Tunnel is tricky to navigate. You’ll pay a separate fee to drive an RV through the tunnel, and you’ll want to time it right to arrive during business hours because the NPS will actually block off traffic to allow your RV to drive down the center of the road. It’s quite the experience!

When you’re thinking about RV travel USA, the Mighty 5 in Utah is the perfect adventure!

Recommended by me – Nikki of Inspired Routes

19. Lake Erie Coastal Ohio Scenic Byway Trail

amusement park along sandy beach near Lake Erie Coastal Ohio Scenic Byway Trail
  • Distance: 293 miles
  • Recommended time: 2+ days
  • Best time of year: summer

This is truly a hidden gem in the US, and one of the best RV vacation ideas if you live in the Midwest. It connects Toledo with Conneaut, hitting major towns like Sandusky and Cleveland. It’s RV-friendly and offers a ton of outdoor recreation along the way.

The Lake Erie Coastal Ohio Scenic Byway Trail is located along Lake Erie, one of the Great Lakes in the northern US. Although you could technically drive this in one day in an RV, it’s much more exciting to stop at the many adventures along the way.

Starting at the west end of the trail in Toledo, check out the botanical gardens, museums, zoo and restaurants. Just near Toledo is a fun Ohio pumpkin farm, Fleitz Pumpkin Farm. In Port Clinton, be sure to enjoy a meal in the adorable downtown. Afterwards, head to the beach at Waterworks Park and the Port Clinton Lighthouse.

One of my favorite stops along this route is the Marblehead Lighthouse. This free attraction is also the most photographed spot on Lake Erie. It just screams summer on the lake vibes!

There’s also so many things to do in Sandusky Ohio, nearby. Get your thrills at Cedar Point, the 2nd oldest amusement park in America. And bonus: it has RV-friendly parking.

Further along the Lake Erie Coastal Ohio Scenic Byway Trail is Cleveland, the home of rock and roll. Enjoy the North Coast Harbor, the Great Lakes Science Center and of course, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

The next stop in your RV should be Headlands Beach State Park in Mentor. This gem includes a natural, mile-long beach perfect for relaxing. A perfect addition to one of the best RV trips in the Midwest!

Lastly, Conneaut Township Park is a fun spot to see on the far eastern end of the scenic trail. If you’re a history buff, you won’t want to miss the D-Day reenactment at the park each year.

Other outdoor adventures along the route include hiking, biking and a plethora of water sports. There’s also so much wildlife to be seen, especially in the active summer months. This underrated and scenic RV vacation is one of the best in the Midwest!

Recommended by me – Nikki of Inspired Routes

20. Denver to Santa Fe (another underrated spot on this list of RV vacation ideas)

RV trips best road trip ideas while viewing mountains and field in the American west
RV travel USA: scenes on the drive from Denver to Santa Fe
  • Distance: The easiest and quickest route from Denver, CO to Santa Fe, NM is 392 miles.
  • Recommended time: This drive could easily be done in one day or could be drawn out over 3-4 days.
  • Best time of year: Fall is one of the best times to take this road trip because of the moderate temperatures and fall foliage that you get to experience along the way.

A road trip from Denver to Santa Fe must be on your bucket list as one of the best RV vacations to embark on throughout the United States. This trip takes about 6 hours in length, making it the perfect road trip to take in one day or to spread out over 3-4 days! 

As you make your way from Denver towards Santa Fe, you will pass through an abundance of beautiful terrain and popular towns. 

About an hour and a half into the drive, you will pass through the marvelous town of Colorado Springs!

For those looking to catch some tremendous views of the surrounding mountains and red rock formations, be sure to stop by the Garden of the Gods. This is the perfect stop for those looking to stretch their legs for a bit and take in the beautiful Colorado landscape. The Siamese Twins Garden of the Gods hike is perfect for a quick adventure!

For those looking to extend their stay in the area, the Garden of the Gods RV Resort is the perfect destination to stop for a night or two along the way. 

After visiting Colorado Springs, we recommend continuing your drive one of the best RV road trips, south through several smaller towns and along I-25 until you arrive at the charming city of Santa Fe so that you can spend as much time exploring this marvelous town as possible. 

We recommend staying for a minimum of 72 hours in Santa Fe so that you can take in the immense history, culture, and cuisine that this delightful city has to offer!

Recommended by Abby of Trekking Price’s

Related read: Denver to Albuquerque Drive: 10 Scenic Stops You Can’t Miss

21. Austin to Corpus Christi

rv vacation ideas view of sandy beach with vehicles on it and sand dunes with ocean waves
Drive-on beach near Port Aransas
  • Distance: 217 miles
  • Recommended time: 1-2 days
  • Best time of year: December – May

This fun and unique RV vacation idea for those located in or near Texas! Because of the extreme heat in Texas, this road trip would be best done in the winter or spring. Just make sure your RV is set up for freezing temperatures as that can sometimes in the deep of winter too.

Start this adventure in the lively town of Austin. With a plethora of street art, live music, good food and entertainment, spend a day (or 2) in Austin.

For outdoor adventures, go hiking in McKinney Falls State Park or check out the views from the top of Mount Bonnell. There are plenty of Austin campgrounds for RVs, too.

From Austin, drive southwest to San Antonio. Visit the famous San Antonio River Walk for entertainment and restaurants. For some thrilling entertainment, visit Six Flags Fiesta Texas, which is open year-round.

Check out The Alamo and the Historic Market Square to round out your time in San Antonio. The KOA in San Antonio puts you in a good position for hopping on and off the main roads while putting you close to the action.

After leaving San Antonio, head south to Corpus Christi. This Texas town has some fun things to do including museums, shopping and restaurants. But the star of the area is the beach-camping in your RV!

Just southeast of Corpus Christi are a few RV parks where you can camp on the beach. Wake up to the sound of the ocean from your RV – so fun! The Port Aransas area is lots of fun, and is home to On the Beach RV Park, which offers a great stay. Book in advance to get a good spot!

For an off-the-grid adventure, you can camp, hike and enjoy water activities at Padre Island National Seashore. There’s no RV hook-ups, but there is water and a dump station in the park.

If you’re looking for the best RV travel USA, this road trip is certainly a fun one, and unique because of beach camping.

Recommended by me – Nikki of Inspired Routes

22. New Orleans to Panama City (another gorgeous route on this list of best RV vacations)

Panama City beach view of emerald ocean water with pier best rv travel usa
Views of the Emerald Coast!
  • Distance: New Orleans to Panama City: 327 miles (via I-10 E), 386 miles (via I-10 E and US-98 E)
  • Recommended time: 1-2 days  
  • Best time of year: May – October 

An RV road trip is one of the best ways to explore a new part of the country. With the freedom to pull off or take a detour on a whim, road trips always make for memorable adventures. The stretch of road between New Orleans to Panama City offers a great RV vacation experience. 

Travelers should begin their road trip in New Orleans, home of jazz, voodoo history, riverboat adventures, and so much more. Make sure to take a New Orleans food tour or cemetery tour before continuing on toward Panama City. 

Travelers who want to travel efficiently and stick to the shortest route won’t run into any exceptionally fun cities or attractions, except for Mobile, Alabama. But, those who have a bit more time to work with might enjoy slight detours to Biloxi, Mississippi, and Pensacola, Florida. 

There are some amazing beaches to explore along this route if schedules allow for a detour to the coast. Fort Walton Beach, Pensacola Beach, and Santa Rosa Beach are just some of the picturesque places travelers can visit along their way to Panama City.   

Travelers who avoid the coastal detour will also be able to enjoy the beach upon arrival in Panama City. Panama City Beach is a wonderful place to spend some time in the sun as well as St. Andrews State Park. 

Spring through early Fall is the best time of year to take this road trip. Here’s to wonderful RV adventures! 

Recommended by Candice of Exploring the Gulf

23. Badlands to Theodore Roosevelt National Park (get ready for beautiful landscapes on this RV road trip)

RV road trips with scenic views of multicolored rocky spires up close and into distance
Badlands National Park, South Dakota
  • Distance: 338 miles
  • Recommended time: 3 – 4 days
  • Best time of year: spring, summer or fall

An all-American road trip, this scenic route has surprisingly dramatic landscapes! This is one of the most underrated RV vacations on this list, but is sure to be a fun one.

Starting in Rapid City or Wall, South Dakota, head to Badlands National Park. You’ll want to spend a full day here to see the highlights. Drive the scenic loop, with 16 overlooks in just 39 miles, it’s RV-friendly. The Notch Trail is a must-do if you love hiking, and Pinnacles Overlook is one of the best with ample parking.

From there, take a slight detour before heading to North Dakota to see Mount Rushmore, one of the most famous South Dakota landmarks.

An American classic, this presidential tribute is a fun attraction for all ages to visit. Completed in 1941, Mount Rushmore welcomes over 3 million visitors – almost 3x the amount of the nearby national park!

Rapid City is a great spot to set up camp for the night. Or, there’s plenty of campgrounds near Sturgis, South Dakota as well. And if you’re in the off-season, stop in town and pick up a souvenir on your road trip!

Pro tip: summer is a great time for this RV road trip, but I’d suggest avoiding late July and early August. This region in South Dakota is extremely congested with the annual Sturgis event, making it extremely difficult to find a campground and a dramatic increase in traffic to the area.

From Sturgis, it’s about 3.5 hours north to Theodore Roosevelt National Park. To see the highlights of this park, you’ll want 2 full days. There are 3 distinct areas of the park: South Unit, North Unit, and Elkhorn Ranch. The Elkhorn Ranch Unit is partially unpaved, and not very RV-friendly so we’ll skip that in this guide.

The South Unit of Theodore Roosevelt National Park is by far the most visited area. Drive the Wildlife Loop Road, where visitors can often see bison, elk, bighorn sheep and pronghorn. Hike the 1-mile Painted Canyon Nature Trail or Buck Hill, which is barely more than a walk to an overlook rather than a hike.

The North Unit feels much more deserted versus the southern area of the park, yet offers expansive views. Take the scenic drive in hopes of seeing mule deer, coyote, pronghorn and even beavers! The Little Mo Trail is a crowd favorite, coming in at less than a mile and paved.

If you want to get campground reservations for your RV, plan your trip in advance as they sell out quickly, especially in the summer months.

So the next time you think about RV travel USA, consider the Dakotas a great spot for a vacation!

Recommended by me – Nikki of Inspired Routes

RV vacations recap

RV routes view of two bridges from the air with island and water surrounding it
Seven Mile Bridge, Florida Keys (see #14)

What an epic list of RV vacations to take in the United States! From fan-favorites, to underrate gems, the options are truly endless! Where will your home on wheels take you next?

Here’s a quick recap of the best RV trips from the above list!

Best RV routes

  1. Great Smoky Mountains: Asheville to Gatlinburg
  2. Alaska RV road trip
  3. Milwaukee to Ludington
  4. Phoenix to Page, Arizona
  5. San Francisco to Lake Tahoe
  6. Santa Fe to White Sands National Park
  7. Las Vegas to Zion plus the Grand Canyon
  8. Sequoia National Park to Monterey via Big Sur
  9. Glacier to Yellowstone National Park
  10. Joshua Tree and Death Valley National Park
  11. Ashland to Crater Lake National Park
  12. Highway 395, California
  13. Los Angeles to San Diego
  14. Florida’s A1A
  15. Skyline Drive, Shenandoah National Park
  16. Boston to Portland
  17. Miami to Islamorada
  18. Utah’s Mighty 5
  19. Lake Erie Coastal Ohio Scenic Byway Trail
  20. Denver to Santa Fe
  21. Austin to Corpus Christi
  22. New Orleans to Panama City
  23. Badlands to Theodore Roosevelt National Park

Related content to read next:
30 Gorgeous West Coast Road Trip Routes You Gotta See to Believe
29 Amazing Road Trips USA: Scenic (& Underrated) Routes You’ll Love
26 Absolute Best (and Underrated) Fall Drives in the US You’ve Gotta See to Believe

Find this post helpful? Save it for later or share it on social media!

text that reads 23 incredible routes rv vacations best rv road trips in the USA with images of roads with rv through canyon near beach and over the water bridge

Josy A

Sunday 9th of July 2023

Yeeees Nikki!

You choose the best trips as you are so good at including gorgeous natural sights and hikes along the way! The Alaska trip looks like a dream! I am also looking forward to your post after your next Canadian Rockies trip. :)


Monday 10th of July 2023

Thanks so much Josy! Your comment was so nice! Yes, I can't wait for new adventures taking the RV into Canada, too!💙

Anna Schaeffer

Saturday 8th of July 2023

I'm hoping to get a five wheeler in the next year or two! Pinning this for later. Great post!


Monday 10th of July 2023

Oh yay Anna! This would be great inspiration for a new RV!!


Saturday 8th of July 2023

I don’t own a RV but this article makes me want to rent one and try these trips! Great roundup.


Monday 10th of July 2023

Oh Terri that's a fabulous idea! You could literally go anywhere on this list too - just fly into the nearest airport, rent an RV and hit the road!