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Ah, summer! Time for lazy days spent lounging by the pool, backyard barbeques, fireflies at dusk, and everyone’s favorite—summer vacation. Pent-up pandemic travel demand is still in full force, with 73% of Americans planning to take a vacation this summer. Although 15% of travelers reconsidered their plans due to high gas prices, 79% of people who plan on taking a summer vacation will drive to at least one of their destinations.
And, why not? The United States is an epic country to drive across filled with endless geographical wonders and sweeping landscape views. Traveling by RV is one of the most exciting and rewarding ways to check items off your travel bucket list. Here’s a curated list of the top RV routes by region to help you plan an unforgettable road trip:
Route #1: California Loop
- Distance: 2,226 miles
- Number of Destinations: 11
- Time Needed: 14 days
California boasts a wonderous array of natural beauty, from sweeping desert views to ancient redwood forests to some of the most impressive shoreline scenes in the country. This RV road trip route includes 10 destinations that will take travelers around the entire state. You can begin the journey anywhere you choose.
This route starts in the far southwest corner of the state in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. From there, you can travel up the coast to Big Basin Redwoods State Park, continuing north to Point Reyes National Seashore. You’ll round out your trip through Northern California in Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park and Klamath National Forest before heading back down south to visit Shasta National Forest, Lake Tahoe, and Grover Hot Springs State Park. You can take a quick detour toward the interior of the state to visit Yosemite National Park, travel farther south to Death Valley National Park, and finish your trip close to where it began at Joshua Tree National Park.
Route #2: The Rockies
- Distance: 2,820 miles
- Number of Destinations: 10
- Time Needed: 12 days
The Rocky Mountains provide some of the most breathtaking views in the country. This route will take you to some of the world’s most popular camping, hiking, and wildlife viewing destinations. While we recommend at least 12 days for this trip, you could easily take your time and spend a month in the mountains. Our locations are ordered clockwise starting in southern Idaho, but you can begin your RV trip at the most convenient destination.
The route starts out at Sawtooth National Forest in Idaho. From here, you’ll head east to Wyoming to check out the Grand Teton National Park and North again to Yellowstone National Park. I would carve out time to spend at least one night in this amazing location.
After seeing bears and Old Faithful, continue heading north to Glacier National Park in Montana. You’ll then travel south through Montana to Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado. This park is known for its snowcapped mountain peaks and scenery.
Once in Colorado, you’ll keep heading south to the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve, west to see desert landscapes and cultural artifacts at Mesa Verde National Park, and back north again to wrap up your road trip at Gunnison National Park.
Route #3: New England
- Distance: 1,515 miles
- Number of Destinations: 12
- Time Needed: 14 days
An RV road trip around New England provides travelers with a nice combination of lush forests, picturesque seascapes, early American history, and quaint seaside towns.
This route begins in upstate New York at Adirondack State Park, heading east to Green Mountain National Forest in Vermont and north to White Mountain National Forest in New Hampshire and Allagash Wilderness Waterway State Park in Maine. From here, you’ll travel back south to the Arcadia National Park.
Following Arcadia, head south along the coast for spectacular ocean views. Visit a collection of historical New England towns as you travel south, including Salem, Boston, and Cape Cod in Massachusetts and Jamestown, Rhode Island. You’ll round out this route in Connecticut, visiting Mystic Seaport and Fort Hale Park before heading back north to Ferris Lake, New York.
Route #4: The Deep South
- Distance: 1,239
- Number of Destinations: 9
- Time Needed: 14 days
The Southern region of the United States is so huge, you almost have to see it by taking an extended road trip through the area. This road trip winds through four southern states and will take you by lovely parks, lakes, and rivers on a tour of historical sites and some of the best local cuisines in the country.
The route begins in New Orleans, where you can party on Bourbon Street and sample Cajun dishes. From there, head east along the Mississippi coastline to Ocean Springs, continuing to Mobile, Alabama to take a tour of the USS Alabama and stay on the beach at Gulf Shores. From Gulf Shores, continue east to spend some time in historic Birmingham, where you can visit the Rosa Parks Museum.
From Alabama, travel straight north until you hit one of the best cities in the country to check out live music—Nashville, TN. Next, head west to historic Memphis where you can visit the Civil War memorial for the Battle of Shiloh.
Enjoy the Mississippi landscape as you make your way back south, stopping by Vicksburg to visit the Vicksburg National Military Park, a significant historical site. From here, you can follow the gorgeous Natchez Trace Highway along the Mississippi River to the city of Natchez to tour wonderfully preserved antebellum homes.
We hope these summer travel tips help you stay safe while enjoying time outside this year. Wherever your travel plans take you, make sure your RV is well protected with an RV insurance policy. Since recreational vehicles and campers come in all shapes and sizes, we will make sure you’re properly covered with the protection that’s right for you.
A graduate of the Plan II Honors program at UT Austin, Amanda Harr is the Content Manager for SWBC. A clever wordsmith who appreciates artful persuasion and authenticity in writing, Amanda uses a structured creative process to craft marketing strategies, develop communications solutions, and deliver top-notch content.