Birmingham is an amazing city with a rich history that includes a pivotal role in the Civil Rights Movement. This north Alabama city also makes a good starting point if you’re going to explore the American South in an RV. A Birmingham to Charlotte road trip is one such trip that will expose you to some of the South’s deep history as well as its beautiful environments in both state and national parks. This road trip will also help you get to know the people of places like Atlanta and South Carolina’s capital, Columbia. A trip like this will take you about a day in most kinds of RVs, and along the way, you’ll find multiple campgrounds that you can use if you want to break up your trip a little and see the sights.
Congaree National Park
Congaree National Park is the only national park that you’ll be visiting during your Birmingham to Charlotte RV road trip. It's an expansive park; in total, it’s over 26,000 acres, so bring some good walking shoes if you plan to hike. There are numerous tours throughout the park, and while visiting, make sure to bring a camera because there are several species of wildlife that call the park home.
Hard Labor Creek State Park
Hard Labor Creek State Park covers more than 6,000 acres. The park is so large that it’s in both Morgan and Walton counties. While in the park, it’s relatively easy to find a beginner-friendly hiking trail, so feel free to bring the kids. They also offer several tours; a few are on horseback, so be prepared to ride for miles and see some of the beautiful sights.
Panola Mountain State Park
This Georgia state park is known for its granite outcroppings and rocky peaks. Most people who come to Panola Mountain come for the adventure; it’s quite a geocaching hotspot. While hiking through the park, you may feel like you’re further out west thanks to the stony nature of Panola Mountain, so bring lots of water and be ready to do a little climbing.
Mistletoe State Park
Mistletoe State Park sounds festive, but it actually gets its name from the plant species that grows freely in the forest. Mistletoe State Park is also a good place to visit if you like lakeside activities; there are opportunities to boat, fish, or paddle on the central lake. This lake, which is called Clarks Hill Lake, is also stocked frequently, so this is a worthwhile location to visit if you’re an angler.
Poinsett State Park
As a state park in South Carolina, Poinsett State Park is fairly exceptional. The water here is very still, so if you’re a kayaker looking to fish, this could be your park. Outside of activities on the water, there are thousands of acres to explore, and there are hiking paths along the low country forest; just be sure to bring a camera.
Crowder’s Mountain State Park
Toward the end of your trip, you’ll come across Crowder’s Mountain State Park, which is part of the North Carolina State Parks System. Crowder’s Mountain is a heavily forested state park that culminates in a large mountain in the center. This is a place for a challenging hike; there are 11 trails to explore and about 25 miles of land to experience. Some trails link to other nearby parks like Kings Mountain and Kings Mountain National Military Park in South Carolina
Talladega National Forest
Before leaving Alabama, check out Talladega National Forest. This forest is massive; in total, it covers over 392,000 acres. The forest rests at the southern edge of the Appalachian Mountains in Brent, Alabama. In the forest, hunting is allowed, so be ready to bag game like deer. For the best game, the area around Horse Creek Cemetery tends to bring lots of bucks throughout the seasons. Additionally, there are opportunities for fishing in the forest lakes and streams.
You’ll be passing through Atlanta as you make your way to Charlotte, NC, so while you’re in town, take some time to make a trip to the Georgia Aquarium with the kids. At the aquarium, there are thousands of exotic species of fish, including whale sharks. You can also see other aquatic animals like crocodiles and dolphins. This facility is here to educate and conserve; it has several programs throughout the year to teach children and adults, and the staff members also do research that can help preserve some of the ocean species they have on view.
The Old Gaol
The Old Gaol is one of the oldest prisons in the country. Located in Greensboro, GA, the Gaol is a stone prison that was used by the state for its worst offenders. The prison has long been out of use, but current tours will show you around the property. While there, you can see where prisoners have engraved their names, and you can also check out the gallows where many lost their lives. Since the prison is in ruins, inside tours are very limited, but on most visits, you’ll be able to see the interior from outside.
Phinizy Swamp Nature Park
There are more than 1,100 acres of wetland to explore in this Augusta, GA, nature park. While visiting Phinizy, check out the nature trails that will expose you to some of the waterfowl that call the swamp home. For example, it’s easy to find various species of duck, heron, and ibis here. This is also a fishing-friendly area, so make sure you’re packing your gear for this part of your road trip from Birmingham to Charlotte.
Known to residents as “The Big Peach,” Atlanta has a lot to offer visitors who want to experience a Southern metropolis. Atlanta is experiencing a major boom, with tech companies and the arts experiencing steady growth in the area. Atlanta is home to the world’s largest drive-in restaurant, a rich and beautiful tree canopy that virtually covers the city in some places, and several yearly events, including the Atlanta Film Festival and Dragon Con. There’s a ton to do in the city, so set aside a day or two to take it all in.
As for Atlanta campgrounds, there are quite a few in the metro area. Some include places in Marietta, like the Atlanta Marietta RV Resort, and others can be found in places like Macon, such as Safe Haven RV Park. There are also Atlanta-area dump stations for the offloading of your wastewater.
Athens is one of the first cities in Georgia; it was established in the mid-1700s and is home to such oddities as the double-barreled cannon, which was never used in combat. While visiting the city, you can also see the Confederate Constitution, which would be in use today had the South successfully seceded from the Union. There are multiple places to relax in the city. A good example of this is the University of Georgia’s campus, home to a truly beautiful botanical garden.
The Athens area also has several RV parks and campgrounds to consider. Riverside Estates RV Park has more than 200 RV sites that you can choose from when making your road trip itinerary from Birmingham to Charlotte. Places like Sunset Ridge Campground also have a few extra amenities, like a pool and playgrounds for the kids.
As you may have noticed, Congaree National Park is toward the end of this sprawling RVing adventure, and since it’s so large, you may want a place to visit between adventures. Congaree happens to be very close to the state capital of South Carolina, which is Columbia. You’ll only have to drive about 17 miles from the park. Columbia is known as "The Soda City," and it has a population of over 133,000 people. Currently, it’s experiencing something of a renaissance, and young professionals are flocking there.
Columbia-area campgrounds are situated mostly out of the city. A good example of an amenity-rich establishment is Magnolia RV Park and Campground, which has both back-in and pull-through RV sites. You can also find a few dump stations in the Columbia area that you can use to offload your gray and black water.
When you follow this road trip itinerary from Birmingham to Charlotte, 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 Birmingham or Charlotte.