The route on your road trip adventure is filled with one amazing destination after another. As you traverse the highways from the South up through the Midwest, you'll experience the wild beauty of Great Smoky Mountains National Park along with Indiana Sand Dunes and Cuyahoga Valley National Parks. Visits to the spectacular cities of Chattanooga, Cincinnati, and Detroit are also on your agenda, as well as stops at a few fun and interesting destinations such as Dollywood and the Louisville Mega Cavern.
National parks are excellent additions to your Atlanta to Mackinaw City road trip. You'll find some of the most spectacular and historic land along your route.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Visit Great Smoky Mountains National Park to experience the beauty and rich history of this iconic area that includes 101 miles of the famous Appalachian Trail. Some of the hidden gems you'll want to explore are the Ober Gatlinburg, where you'll find scenic aerial tramway rides, stellar ski and snowboard runs, and thrilling amusement park rides, and Ole Smoky Moonshine, where you can sip on the region's finest batch of "white lightning." Hike to a few of the most popular natural attractions at Clingmans Dome, the park's tallest summit, Chimney Tops, the Sinks, and Charlies Bunion for magnificent views of the Appalachian Wilderness. There's a ton to see and do here, so plan on staying for at least two to three days.
Cuyahoga Valley National Park
Cuyahoga Valley National Park offers breathtaking scenery, excellent hiking and biking trails, and jaunts through some historic territory. Start your time in Ohio's only national park at the Boston Mill Visitor Center for park information and lovely nature trails; then, hop aboard the Cuyahoga Scenic Railroad for an unforgettable journey through the Cuyahoga Valley. Some of the most popular spots you'll want to explore are Brandywine Falls, the Ledges Overlook, Sarah's Vineyard, and the Ohio and Erie Canal Towpath Trail. You'll find this national park one hour and 50 minutes east of Toledo on the southside of Cleveland.
Indiana Sand Dunes National Park
Indiana Sand Dunes National Park is just three hours and 15 minutes west of Toledo, located on the relaxing shores of Lake Michigan. Enjoy several fantastic beaches where you can spend time sunbathing, swimming, and exploring a few historic sights at the Michigan City Lighthouse, Barker Mansion, and the Old Lighthouse Museum. The Friendship Botanic Gardens offers a peaceful place to unwind as you stroll through forested woodlands, lush flora, and open meadows. While you're here, be sure to check out the House of Tomorrow and Chesterton's European Market to grab some locally grown produce and keepsakes.
Camping at a couple of beautiful state parks is a great way to turn your road trip from Atlanta to Mackinaw City into the outdoor adventure of a lifetime.
Big Ridge State Park
Big Ridge State Park is nestled in the Appalachian Ridge on the wooded shores of Norris Lake. At this Tennessee state park, you can camp, fish, swim, and boat. You can also trek 15 miles of hiking trails that take you to scenic locations along the lakeshore and through diverse terrain with some backcountry access. Kayaking and canoeing are more fantastic ways to experience the lake.
Indian Lake State Park
At Indian Lake State Park, you'll have tons of fun splish-splashing in the 5100-acre lake where you can launch your watercraft from five different marinas. On land, you'll find a challenging disc golf course, hiking and biking trails, and an archery range that features shooting distances up to 50 yards. Camping, fishing, and seasonal hunting are also available in addition to winter activities that include ice fishing, cross country skiing, snowmobiling, and ice skating.
Hartwick Pines State Park
Hartwick Pines State Park offers majestic scenery on 49 acres of old-growth pine forests with sprawling hills that overlook the AuSable River. One of the coolest features of this park is the Logging Museum that tells the history of the park from within a 19th-century cabin located deep within the woods. Activities permitted at this park are mountain biking, hiking the park's 21-miles of trails, paddling, and fishing. There's also an on-site store, visitor center, boat launch, and fishing pier.
A visit to the exciting land of Dollywood is a must on your Atlanta to Mackinaw City RV road trip. Enjoy heart-pounding thrills on wild rides such as the Tennessee Tornado, Lightning Rod, and Barnstormer; then, take a rest at one of Dollywood's famous musical shows. If you're in the mood for some authentic Southern cuisine, head to Aunt Granny's Restaurant for an all-you-can-eat buffet. You'll find classic sugary treats at Crossroads Funnel Cakes and Blue Ribbon Cones.
Louisville Mega Cavern
The Louisville Mega Cavern requires a slight detour of one hour and 20 minutes west from Lexington that you won't regret a bit. This ultra-unique subterranean attraction brings new meaning to the word "spelunking" as you zoom through the caverns on zip-line tours and shred at the underground mountain bike park. Mega Tram tours about the man-made cave's history and geology are also available.
Mary Todd Lincoln House
The Mary Todd Lincoln House is a historic gem that features self-guided tours of the former first lady's family home in Lexington. Inside, you can go on a self-guided tour of the impressive house where knowledgeable staff is on hand to answer your questions. Artifacts from Mary Todd's childhood are available for viewing as well. A history of the years she spent as the first lady to America's 16th president is another key focal point of the museum.
Chattanooga is packed with amazing things to see and do turf-side and underground. Step into a world of mystery as you go on a tour of Ruby Falls, a 145-foot subterrestrial waterfall located in Lookout Mountain. At Raccoon Mountain Caverns, you can keep the subsurface vibes going on guided Wild Cave expeditions and Crystal Palace Walking Tours. Outside, you can climb aboard the Lookout Mountain Incline Railway to view historical sights and grab a few souvenirs at the gift shop on one of your stops. Have some more fun at these incredible places before you hit the road: Lake Winnepesaukah Amusement Park, the Chattanooga Choo Choo, and the Bluff View Art District.
Let Cincinnati steal your heart on fun-filled adventures to a few of the city's coolest destinations. Get lost in the sauce at the swanky, hidden speakeasy The Video Archive located inside an actual video rental store where you'll be told which tape to pull to grant you entrée into the bar. You can also scarf down a few coney dogs at Skyline, get taken out to the ball game at the Great American Ballpark, and check out the Spring Grove Cemetery's ornate headstones in one of the most haunted historic sites in the state.
If you want to extend your time in this ultra-cool city, consider staying at a lovely campground. Many parks in and around Cincinnati feature on-site dump stations, but they can also be found throughout the town.
Get ready for Motor City to blow your mind at some quintessential Detroit hotspots. Cruise up to the Ford Drive-In for an unforgettably nostalgic night that features five huge movie screens and tasty concessions at the largest outdoor theater in the state. Enjoy a nightcap while listening to the best jazz in the city at Baker's Keyboard Lounge, a historic club that's hosted legends such as Louis Armstrong, Nat King Cole, and Ella Fitzgerald. If you're famished, Buddy's has got you covered with a Detroit-style pizza that'll give Chicago a run for its money. You should also check out the Henry Ford Museum, Belle Isle Island, and the Motown Museum. Enjoy fantastic amenities at campgrounds in Detroit that may include dump stations.
When you follow this road trip itinerary from Atlanta to Mackinaw City, you will enjoy historic locations and beautiful scenery along the way. If you want to travel in comfort and style, consider an RV rental from RVshare. From large motorhomes to compact campervans, there is a rig that will meet your travel and budget needs. Once you hit the road, you are protected by our renter guarantee and 24/7 roadside assistance. Find the perfect vehicle for your travel needs in Atlanta or Mackinaw City.