Since Austin is the capital of Texas, you will want to spend some time exploring the area before starting on your Austin to Panama City road trip. There is a live music scene in this city, so check to see what is playing while you are in the area. For the majority of this road trip, you will be traveling east on I-10. Along the way, you will pass several state parks and a few major cities that you will want to explore as you head toward Florida. Cities like Baton Rouge and New Orleans will help make your trip a memorable one that your entire family will love. Take some time to enjoy the Gulf Coast by taking a fishing trip or enjoying a day at one of the many beaches you will pass.
Hot Springs National Park
On this road trip from Austin to Panama City, you won’t be able to find a national park to explore unless you travel north to Arkansas to Hot Springs National Park. This adds nearly 400 miles to the trip, but if you have the extra time to enjoy the park, the detour is well worth it. At the park, you can relax in warm thermal waters and rejuvenate your body. There are also several hiking trails in the park that you can explore to see a view of the area.
Bastrop State Park
Bastrop State Park is only about 30 miles from Austin, so it is going to be one of the first stops that you make on this RV road trip. The park opened in 1937, but in 2011, a wildfire destroyed parts of it. During your visit, you can enjoy fishing and swimming in the lake that can be found in the park. There are also several hiking and biking trails that you can explore. A 12-mile hiking path connects this state park to Buescher State Park.
Sam Houston Jones State Park
The first state park in Louisiana that you will want to explore is Sam Houston Jones State Park. The park is 1,087 acres, and since it is a bayou, there are several species of birds that you can spot in the area. There are five trails that you can hike in the park, and if you prefer to enjoy some time in the water, canoeing and kayaking adventures can fill your day.
Tickfaw State Park
Tickfaw State Park is another Louisiana treasure that you will want to stop and explore between Baton Rouge and New Orleans. You can enjoy hiking one of the many trails in the park, and since there is so much wildlife in the area, bring your binoculars and enjoy some bird-watching. There is a water playground in the park that the kids will have a blast enjoying. If you prefer an afternoon on the river, canoes and other boats are available for rental at the park.
If you are looking for a unique experience on this Austin to Panama City RV road trip, stop by Seismique. The art exhibits you will see at this location are interactive to give you a fully immersive experience. Each room is a galaxy., a gallery designed to transport visitors to a new dimension of art. In total, there are 40 galaxies to explore at Seismique.
San Jacinto Battleground State Historic Site
San Jacinto Battleground State Historic Site is a great place to stop if you want to learn more about the history of Texas. This is the location of a decisive battle that won Texas its freedom from Mexico. The historic site is 1,200 acres, and you can walk the battlefield and travel to the top of the monument for a fantastic view of the area. There is also a museum that you can explore during your visit.
Gulf World is a marine park that houses various animals that you might see in the Gulf and other bodies of water in North America. There are interactive shows featuring different animals that you can see. For example, there are stingray feedings, dolphin shows, sea lion shows, and more. In addition, there are dolphin encounters that allow you to swim with the dolphins, and "meet 'n' greets" that allow you to see the animals up close.
Houston is the fourth-largest city in the country, so you can imagine that there are a lot of things to see and explore in the city. If you are interested in space travel, make sure to visit the Space Center in Houston, where you can walk through and explore replicas of space shuttles, see the first space station, and find out more about upcoming missions. In addition, there are also 19 museums in the downtown area of Houston, so there is a lot to explore if you are interested in culture, history, and art. If you are in the city during February or March, take the time to visit Houston’s Livestock Show and Rodeo. The rodeo is held annually and lasts for 19 days. You can see cowboys showing off their skills, listen to live music, or enjoy carnival rides and games.
With so much to entertain you in Houston, finding a campground or an RV park to stay at for a few days will allow you to explore more of the city. There are several options right in Houston to consider, as well as campgrounds that are in nearby towns. Places like Lakeview RV Resort, All Star RV Resort, and KOA – Houston Central KOA Campground all offer free use of their dump stations to registered guests.
While you are in Lafayette, you will want to explore more than just the Cajun food that is offered there. However, don’t miss the opportunity to try some authentic Cajun gumbo and other Louisiana treats. The city has a French culture that is evident in its music, landscape, and food. While visiting the area, make sure to visit Avery Island, a salt dome located about eight miles beneath the earth's surface. Tabasco hot sauce was invented here, and you can tour the factory and the museum to find out how the different varieties are made and taste a sample yourself. There is also a 170-acre botanical garden on Avery Island that you can explore. Since this city is on the bayou, taking an airboat ride through the swamp can be a fun way to enjoy an afternoon.
While you are in the area, find a campground to stay at so that you don’t need to rush to see everything that you would like to see. Arcadia Park Campground is close to downtown and has very spacious sites. There are also several other campgrounds in the area that have bodies of water that anglers can fish in and enjoy. There are several Lafayette dump stations nearby that offer free or low-cost dumping. Lafayette KOA, La Boulaie RV Park, and Bayou Wilderness RV Resort all offer free use of their dump stations to registered guests staying at the location.
One of the last major cities to include on your road trip itinerary from Austin to Panama City is Mobile. This port city has many attractions to visit, and one of the main ones that you will want to explore is USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park. The USS Alabama is a battleship that was decommissioned after WWII, and it has become the centerpiece of the park, with most of the ship being open for tours. Other military craft can be seen in the park as well. If you enjoy looking at architecture, check out the Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception, which is built in a classic Roman basilica style with vaulted ceilings, Roman Doric columns, and stained-glass windows that depict Mary’s life.
There are several campgrounds that have activities for children and fishing opportunities for adults to enjoy. Shady Acres Campground is also a great place to enjoy some bird-watching. The area has several dump stations that registered guests can use free of charge as well.
When you follow this road trip itinerary from Austin to Panama 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 Austin or Panama City.