The Best RV Destinations in the United States

Travel Inspiration

What makes for an ideal RV destination? With so much gorgeous scenery, stunning landmarks and activity-filled cities, it can be hard to narrow it down. But the perfect RV trip takes several things into account: accessibility in a larger rig, on-site or nearby camping, and great access to the outdoors or major events. Find inspiration for your next RV trip, from some of the most beloved national parks, to historic roads like Route 66, to budget-friendly and family-friendly ideas, the perfect vacation is just a few clicks away.

List of National Parks to Visit

Some of the best places to take an RV or camper van in the US are the incredible national parks. Our country has some seriously amazing landscapes, and many of these landscapes are found preserved in our national parks. We recommend visiting as many of these as possible.

Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park

The oldest national park in the country—and one of the most popular RV destinations in the world—Yellowstone National Park is one everyone should see at least once in their life. While primarily located in Wyoming, the park extends to parts of Idaho and Montana as well. 

This park is unique thanks to a collection of hydrothermal wonders. These hot waters allow life to continue to thrive even under a thick layer of snow in the middle of winter. The mountainous landscapes, lush pine forests, and crystal clear alpine lakes are absolutely breathtaking, and the variety of animals found in the park is seriously impressive. From hundreds of bird species to wild moose and bison, there is so much to see at Yellowstone. 

The park offers several RV-friendly campgrounds, and there are plenty to choose from in surrounding towns as well. 

For seasoned RVers looking for the ultimate scenic drive, take the Beartooth Highway which will bring you to Yellowstone’s Northeast entrance. This roadway has been previously dubbed “The most beautiful in America” and is also known as the “Highway in the Sky.” (Keep reading for more scenic drives!)

Zion National Park, Utah

Like Yellowstone, Zion National Park is one of those incredibly popular parks that you need to see at least once. The pretty cream, pink, and red canyon has been slowly carved by the Virgin River over the course of millions of years. Zion is perfect for hikers of all skill levels, offering everything from small paved hikes to adrenaline-rushers like Observation Point, the Narrows, and Angel’s Landing (the park’s most famous hike). 

We highly recommend exploring the otherworldly slot canyons during your time here. Taking a kayak river trip is a great use of time as well. You’ll find a handful of RV campgrounds in and around Zion National Park, but since this too is a wildly popular destination, be sure to make your reservations well ahead of time.

Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona

If you’ve never seen Grand Canyon National Park, it’s high time you did! This national park is easily one of the most notable of them all, and the vastness and beauty of the canyon simply cannot be put into words.

The south rim is the most popular point of interest at the Grand Canyon, with dozens of viewpoints and many that offer views of the canyon’s heart: the Colorado River. Those looking for a more rugged experience will enjoy visiting the West Rim where visitors will find a more desert landscape, along with opportunities for helicopter tours and views from the famous glass “Skywalk” bridge. 

You will definitely want to enjoy at least one hike while checking out the Grand Canyon! We also recommend checking out the ranger-led activities, especially if you have kids in tow. The park has many places for RV camping including campgrounds with full hookups.

Sequoia National Park, California

Another one of those awe-inspiring parks that just can’t be described in text is Sequoia National Park. The views here are incredible, and the sequoia trees are mind-blowingly big. Imagine a tree that is big enough around to serve as a small cabin, and you’ll have a good idea of the size of these giant beauties.

We especially love that for a large chunk of the year, there is snow on the top of the mountains in this park, meaning snow play can happen even in the late spring and early fall. There are six campgrounds within the park that offer RV camping.

For even more nature fun during your visit to Sequoia National Park, be sure to visit Kings Canyon National Park next door.

Acadia National Park, Maine

Heading northeast, you’ll eventually come to Acadia National Park. Located primarily on Maine’s Mount Desert Island—the largest island off the coast of Maine, this park is sometimes referred to as the “Crown Jewel of the North Atlantic Coast.” It’s also one of the most popular RV destinations out there, and as soon as you see it, you’ll understand why.

Acadia National Park is home to the highest rocky headlands along the Atlantic coastline of the US, providing guests with the most tranquil views. Additionally, the park has a number of different habitats, meaning plenty of plants and animals to see. Visitors can spend a day at the beach, hike along trails overlooking the ocean, or enjoy one of the best sunrises or sunsets in the country at Cadillac Mountain.  

Of course, the rich heritage of the park (and its surrounding areas) adds another layer of beauty to the place, making it even more intriguing. Acadia offers four campgrounds within the park, three of which are RV-friendly.

Glacier National Park, Montana

The final national park on our list of the best RV vacation destinations is Glacier National Park. This park is so far north that it’s even chilly in the summer months! The mountains in this park are topped with snow year-round, making for some awesome photo opportunities.

We love the pristine waters fed by the surrounding glaciers, and completely love the pretty drive down the Going-to-the-Sun road (though there is an RV length restriction of 21 feet). Of course, the 734 miles of hiking trails are also lovely and we highly recommend going for at least one hike while you’re there! The park offers a variety of campgrounds, so there’s sure to be one that suits your needs.

Route 66 in the Mojave Desert

Best Scenic Drives

If you’re looking for a true road trip, this next list is for you. In addition to the ones briefly mentioned above, here are our top picks for the best scenic drives the US has to offer. These are perfect when done in small motorhomes or camper vans. 

Blue Ridge Parkway

An absolutely gorgeous 469-mile drive that connects Shenandoah National Park in Virginia to Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina, the Blue Ridge Parkway is the perfect opportunity to take the road trip of a lifetime.

During your drive, you’ll snake through miles of Appalachia surrounded by a huge array of plants and gorgeous, sweeping mountain views—plus some serious fall foliage when the weather starts cooling down! Black bears and other local animals are often spotted along the parkway. The Blue Ridge Music Center even hosts free “Music on the Parkway” concerts in the summertime at different mileposts!

And of course, the fact that the parkway has plenty of campgrounds available makes this one of the best places to go in an RV. The route features extensive RV support infrastructure as well, making it a great choice for new RVers. 

Big Sur, California

Big Sur is one of the best drives you can take in the US, stretching 90 miles along the coastline of Highway 1 (also known as the Pacific Coast Highway) from San Simeon to Carmel-by-the-Sea. The drive is a true gem for those looking to experience expansive ocean vistas, redwood forests, and seaside cliffs.

Big Sur isn’t a town, nor is it a city, but rather one beautiful, sunny stretch of southern California. There’s not a whole lot of civilization along this route, but trust us, the majestic views are totally worth disconnecting for! Though there’s not much around in terms of restaurants or shops, there are several RV campgrounds along Big Sur.

Columbia River Highway, Oregon

The Columbia River Highway makes for an excellent RV road trip in the Pacific Northwest region. The historic route begins near Portland, Oregon and continues approximately 75 miles alongside the renowned Columbia River Gorge.

It was built in the early 1900s in conjunction with multiple structures and sites to bring travelers to the most scenic sites in the gorge, and many consider it America’s first scenic highway.

Throughout the trip you’ll find plenty of RV campgrounds and scenic points of interest, from dense forests to rocky waterfalls. 

Route 66

Route 66 is the penultimate cross-country road trip route, stretching all the way from Illinois to Southern California. In a way, Route 66 has become larger than life. It has featured heavily in popular Folk Americana fiction for over 60 years, from movies to novels to music.

While Route 66 does still exist, it’s no longer one single road. Fortunately, more than 80% of the original route can still be driven in sections. You’ll encounter plenty of cultural landmarks, quirky shops, and diners along the way—plus countless campgrounds, of course.

If you’re interested in tackling the drive in an RV, make sure to plan ahead—it’s a LONG trip (8 states to be exact!). There are several updated Route 66 guides available out there to help with planning.

Governor's Mansion Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia

Best RV Trips for Beginners

Are you a total RV beginner? Choosing a destination is likely even more overwhelming for you. The good news? We’ve picked out some of the very best RV trips for beginners and listed them below. Choose from this list and you really can’t go wrong.

Walt Disney World Resort

Every family should visit Walt Disney World Resort at least once, and choosing to stay in an RV in Disney’s Fort Wilderness Campground will make your getaway even more magical. Yes, this is one of the most expensive RV destinations in this article. However, it is also one of the most beginner friendly. This is because the folks at Disney go out of their way to make guests comfortable and happy. 

The sites in Fort Wilderness are paved and level, making parking the camper a breeze. Full hookups mean you don’t need to worry about leaving your site to dump tanks or conserving electricity or water, and the amazingly clean bathhouses make staying clean easy. 

There is a communal campfire each night, so you don’t have to build your own—a great perk for those who’ve never been camping before—and the onsite transportation around the resort and to all the parks means you don’t even have to drive. There is even onsite entertainment, shopping, and dining.

Honestly, we can’t think of a single place that makes RVing easier!

Williamsburg, VA

History buffs will adore Williamsburg, VA, and if they happen to be beginner RVers, they might just love it even more. This little town is so full of historical sites and attractions that one could easily spend a week here and still not see it all. On top of that, Williamsburg is relatively easy to navigate and offers all of the amenities RVers need for a comfortable stay. 

The Colonial Williamsburg Living History Museum is there, as are counterparts like Jamestown Settlement, Historic Jamestowne, the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown, and Yorktown Battlefield. All of them are fascinating and well worth seeing. 

Of course, you’ll also appreciate that the abundance of nearby campgrounds makes it easy to stay in the area. We especially love the campground in nearby Machicomoco State Park. This camping spot features 27 campsites, many with electric and water hookups. We appreciate that sites are so well spaced, making it easier for first-timers to back in. 

New Orleans, Louisiana 

With a melting pot of cultures and rich history, New Orleans is a top RV destination for many good reasons. While the obvious might be for the renowned Mardi Gras celebration or Jazz Fest, traffic jams can create an issue for beginner RVers. Instead, consider going in the spring when the weather is just right and you have room to navigate. 

While there, be sure to visit the famous French Quarter for all the food and music your heart desires, or spend a day at the iconic City Park. Don’t forget to go to the New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park as well as some of the dozens of museums scattered throughout the city. 

In addition to numerous great attractions and some rich history and culture, you’ll also find several RV campgrounds in the area for your convenience. Our favorite is Bayou Segnette State Park. Here you’ll find large, relatively level campsites with water and electricity. Bathhouses are available, as are laundry facilities, and cool little trails running through the park. 

Niagara Falls

The perfect place for your first ever RV trip, Niagara Falls offers the excitement of an amazing adventure without the hassle that can come along with many equally exciting destinations. We love that Niagara Falls has so many things to see and do, and we appreciate that there is an affordable place to camp nearby. 

While in the area, make sure to ride the Maid of the Mist tour boat into the falls, and check out Cave of the Winds for a splashing good time. If you can, consider walking across the US-Canada border to get a look at the falls from the other side, and whatever you do, don’t miss the amazing nighttime light show on the falls, during which fireworks are sometimes included.

The best place to park an RV while visiting Niagara Falls? Without a doubt, that would be Four Mile Creek State Park. Like so many other state parks, this campground offers large sites that are relatively easy to back into. Most sites are level and most include water and electricity.

One of the best perks of staying in this state park? You get access to all other area state parks for the entirety of your stay. This means you can park at Goat Island State Park (right by the falls) without paying a dime.

The Florida Keys

Last but not least, we couldn’t finish this list without mentioning the Florida Keys. The Keys are the place to be during the winter months. This is one of the few places in the country that offers warmth and sunshine year-round, and the tropical beauty of the place certainly doesn’t escape us.

The Keys give guests opportunities to snorkel, boat, swim, and kayak. There are also countless attractions in the area, and a few national parks—namely, Everglades National Park, Dry Tortugas National Park, and Biscayne National Park—are all nearby.

You won’t have trouble finding a campground you like in the Keys, but you might have trouble getting in—what can we say, it’s a popular place!—so be sure to make reservations well in advance. Our recommendation? Try to get into the Bahia Honda State Park campground starting a full 11 months in advance. If you can’t get Bahia Honda, try other state parks in the Keys. 

Colorful sunrise in Mesa Arch, Canyonlands National Park near Moab, Utah, USA

Cheap Travel Destinations

One of the greatest things about traveling via RV is that you have the ability to see amazing things without spending much money. Choosing cheap travel destinations can help tremendously if you’re trying to save money. Below are some of the best budget-friendly RV travel spots in the US. Pick one of these awesome places and you’ll be able to save some dough while having an amazing time. 

Galveston, Texas

Texas is chock-full of great, cheap RV destinations. Our favorite? Galveston Island. This adorable little seaside town has all the quaint shops and eateries you might expect from a beach town, giving major vacation vibes. That said, you’ll find Galveston is significantly less expensive than many other beach destinations. 

One of the things that makes this place most affordable is the fact that the island plays host to Galveston Island State Park, a gorgeous park that offers relatively affordable partial-hookup RV campsites. This means you can camp right on the beach without spending an arm and a leg! If you plan on exploring Texas for a while, you might also consider getting a Texas State Parks pass to save even more. 

Obviously, playing on the beach is the thing to do while in Galveston, and this is 100% free. We also recommend riding the free Galveston – Port Bolivar ferry, checking out the free museum in the local library, and eating at the surprisingly affordable and delicious Shrimp ‘n Stuff restaurant.

For more cheap fun, head into Houston on Thursday evening for free admission to Children’s Museum of Houston, Houston Health Museum, Houston Museum of Natural Science, and more. You can also check out the Houston Zoo for free on the first Tuesday of each month.  

St. Louis, Missouri 

St. Louis is always at the top of our list when it comes to inexpensive travel destinations. Why? Because the place is chock-full of amazing things to see and do without paying a single cent. On top of that, there is a lovely little campground right outside of the city that only asks for a very small camping fee. 

Free things to do include the St. Louis Art Museum and the Missouri History Museum (which was actually really great, even for kids). The St. Louis Zoo is one of our favorite zoos in the entire country, and also boasts free admission. The St. Louis Science Museum is decent and free to visit (though you will have to pay for parking), and both the Ulysses S. Grant National Historic Site and Gateway Arch National Park fall into the category of free attractions. We also love the Magic House Children’s Museum, which offers $3 admission after 3:00 PM. 

Wondering where to park your camper so you can rest up between fun outings? Horseshoe Lake State Recreation Area is an awesome little campground right outside of the city that only charges $8 a night. Unfortunately, the campsites at Horseshoe Lake do not offer hookups—only access to potable water and dump station. If you require hookups, we recommend the sites at Dr. Edmund Babler Memorial State Park, which include electric hookups and are only $25 a night. 

Madison, Wisconsin

We found a surprising number of free things to do in Madison—so many in fact that we think it deserves a place on our list of cheap RV camping destinations. Not only will you find lots of fun ways to pass the time, but there is also affordable camping nearby, so you really shouldn’t have to spend much at all to visit this wonderful place. 

Our favorite free thing to see in Madison is the Henry Vilas Zoo. We saw all sorts of animals there and the playground outside of the zoo made it the ideal destination for kids. Adding a visit to the super-close-by and totally free Henry Vilas Beach would make the day extra special.

For a quirky stop that won’t cost anything, consider the National Mustard Museum (yes, as in the condiment). Have a plant enthusiast with you? The Olbrich Botanical Gardens is also free and super cool to explore, even if plants aren’t your favorite thing. Other free attractions in Madison include the Wisconsin Geology Museum and the Wisconsin Veterans Museum. 

For lodging, we recommend one of the nearby Dane County Parks where you can camp with electric hookups for about $30 a night. 

Moab, Utah

Many people have never even heard of Moab (pronounced MOH-ab), Utah. That said, this little town is easily one of the best yet least expensive places to visit in an RV.

The area offers numerous boondocking opportunities, meaning you won’t have to pay any camping fees as long as you’re prepared for dry camping. Additionally, the town is very accommodating to RVers, with businesses going so far as to offer free drinking water and even free dump stations, making boondocking pretty easy to do even if you’re a beginner. 

As is the case with many of the places we’ve listed here, the views in Moab are incredible. Additionally, the town is home to the fabulous Arches National Park and is very near Canyonlands National Park, both of which are free if you have an “America the Beautiful” Pass. RVers will also appreciate the many hiking trails, biking opportunities, and rock climbing opportunities right outside of town. Lastly, the free performances and other artsy events found in town are pretty fabulous as well.

Out-of-the-Box RV Road Trip Ideas

Not all RV road trips have to be focused on camping, hiking, and other outdoor activities. More than ever before, RVers are making use of their vehicles to go on nontraditional road trips. Consider the following out-of-the-box road trip ideas:

  • Plan a trip to different historical battlefields across the country.
  • Plan a trip to a multi-day festival.
  • Plan an “urban exploration” RV trip—just park in a campground outside the city and commute in! (Check out our guides on urban camping in each state when planning this trip.)
  • Plan a culinary road trip. Make a list of the best restaurants across the country (or in certain regions of the country) and travel to each restaurant on the list.

The RVing community has become increasingly diverse in terms of its interests. The next time you’re at an RV campground or convention, ask around and see what unique trips others have taken!

RV Vacations for the Whole Family

An RV trip is a great way to bring the whole family together for a memorable trip while enjoying a living space that is reminiscent of the comforts of home. As you plan your next family RV trip, consider the following vacation ideas:

  • Plan a trip to an amusement park, water park, or zoo.
  • Plan a trip to the beach and rent out water sports equipment.
  • Plan a trip to a national park in a region of the country that your family is relatively unfamiliar with.
  • If your children have a particular interest they’re very passionate about, plan a trip to a convention relating to that interest.

Making sure your trip keeps the whole family entertained and happy is the best way to create amazing memories and ensure your kids and spouse want to tag along on every RV getaway. 

Why Take an RV Trip?

RVs are ideal for a range of different road trips. As you travel across the country (or even just a small section of the country), you can enjoy a personalized, targeted, and comfortable overnight experience, all while in the midst of the outdoors. Further, the portability of RVs provides users full access to places where an overnight stay would otherwise be too expensive or too complicated.

Suppose that you and your friends are interested in going on a trip to a large outdoor music festival like Burning Man. If you embark on a road trip to Burning Man, you’ll find that there are few overnight options available near the festival. You will likely have to camp out with a tent and some sleeping bags, and have to share public restrooms and shower facilities with other festival goers.

If you set off on your road trip in an RV however, you can retreat from an exhausting day at the festival to climate-controlled, well-furnished living quarters—and depending on the model of the vehicle, you may even have access to a private toilet, kitchen, and shower facilities!

With an RV, you don’t have to worry about the risk of a poor-quality hotel room or suffer from lack of privacy at a hostel, no matter which RV destinations you choose. And because you’re not altering your living quarters as you shift from location to location, the experience of traveling in an RV feels much more grounded and consistent. 

Hopefully this guide helps you decide where to take your next RV adventure. If you’re still not sure, consider checking out our bucket lists for even more amazing inspiration. 

If you’re looking to rent an RV for your next road trip, consider a peer-to-peer rental marketplace like RVshare instead of a traditional rental dealership. At RVshare, we directly connect RV owners with potential renters on our online platform and app. Renters can use the platform to explore owner listings, filter according to their preferences, and compare.

Thousands of owners post new RV rental listings every day, so as a renter, you’re almost certain to find an RV configuration that suits your needs! Further, because owners are forced to compete on the open marketplace, the rental rates tend to be much lower than the rates offered at a traditional rental dealership.

We’re here to help you plan if you need it.