There are many great drives to explore across the United States, but if you always wanted to travel from one end of the coast to another, a road trip from Charleston to Los Angeles might be the perfect road trip for you. It extends from the East Coast through 10 gorgeous states to the West Coast and takes about five days to complete, but why not stop at the amazing places along the route? Along the way, you'll pass by historical landmarks, amazing arts, and vibrant entertainment as well as enriched culture, theaters, and more. You'll also encounter several national and state parks along the route that are great for exploring. With all the places you'll come across along the way, it could extend your traveling time to your destination a few days or weeks.
Gateway Arch National Park
Consider stopping at Gateway Arch National Park in St. Louis, Missouri, if you want to catch sight of the 630-foot stainless-steel arch monument. This park has a grand staircase that leads from the St. Louis levee to the Gateway Arch's base, allowing you to view it up close and personal. History buffs will definitely want to stop here as they can learn about the historical structure of the arch and the old courthouse.
Petrified Forest National Park
Petrified Forest National Park, located a few miles from I-40, makes for an adventurous side stop. This park offers over 200,000 acres to explore with the environment being short-grass prairie or intermountain-basin, semi-arid grassland. You can study the petrified logs, Native American artifacts, and natural environments along the well-maintained hiking trails. Bicyclists with strong stamina and endurance will love taking the 28-mile stretch on the main park road where spurs and various viewpoints can be seen. This stretch can also be driven.
Grand Canyon National Park
Grand Canyon National Park is a great option to explore if you don't mind heading 57 minutes north from your original Charleston to Los Angeles RV road trip route. This slight detour will place you right along the Colorado River where much of the enormous Grand Canyon resides. You can even stay at the North Rim Campground for the night to give you plenty of time to explore this area in more depth.
Lincoln State Park
Lincoln State Park is a must-see on your Charleston to Los Angeles road trip. This park is where the 16th president of the United States lived as a young boy. There are two scenic lakes, 10 miles of hiking trails, and a center to teach you about the early life of settlers in southern Indiana. This place is a perfect option for parking your RV for the night while exploring the Lincoln City area.
Santa Rosa Lake State Park
Santa Rosa Lake State Park is one of the most amazing recreational places found in Santa Rosa, New Mexico. This park has a 3,500-acre lake on the Pecos River, making it the perfect place for swimming, waterskiing, scuba diving, and other water sport activities. You can also take a stroll or go horseback riding on the 5.5-mile trail to view wildlife and their habitats.
Slide Rock State Park
Consider stopping at Slide Rock State Park, originally the Pendley Homestead. This park is the perfect place for walking out those kinks after a long-distance drive. With Slide Rock being in the midst of Oak Creek Canyon, it offers the most wonderful scenic views of sandstone bluffs, a massive amount of flora and fauna, and the water of Oak Creek.
If you're interested in exploring caves, Indiana Caverns is a must-see. You can take a tour into the deep darkness to learn about cave formations and cave creatures as well as to go on the zip-lining coaster or to find your way out of the escape rooms.
Wonderland Amusement Park
Stretch your stiff legs and let the kids get burn off their energy by stopping at the Wonderland Amusement Park in Amarillo, Texas. There are many rides for the little ones, like the frog hopper, umbrella cars, and a merry-go-round. Adults can ride too! Some of the rides will have you high above the ground, such as the double-looped Texas Tornado, Drop of Fear, Cyclone, Hornet, and Texas Intimidator.
Bearizona Wildlife Park
Before leaving Arizona and heading to your final destination of Los Angeles, consider stopping at the Bearizona Wildlife Park. You can drive through the Arizona wilderness and view North American animals up close and personal ranging from stealthy wolves to majestic bison, black bears, and more. In another section of the park, you can see nocturnal animals and creepy, crawly critters on this self-guided walking tour.
Hinkle Family Fun Center
Hinkle Family Fun Center offers good old-fashioned fun. Enjoy unlimited play on go-karts, bumper boats, laser tag, bumper cars, and so much more. You can also immerse yourself in a 7-D interactive ride experience during which you'll battle against zombies and more. There are a total of two game rooms featuring over 125 carnival and video games.
Louisville doesn't disappoint when it comes to amazing arts and vibrant entertainment. There is a remarkable number of art galleries, theaters, and museums, and the city hosts lots of music festivals that are sporadically spread throughout the year. This city was named after King Louis XVI of France to honor him in his involvement during the Revolutionary War, and, by 1830, Louisville secured its place as the largest city in Kentucky.
There are plenty of campgrounds nearby to park your RV for the night, and some include a dump station for your convenience. Just make sure to book a reservation online before embarking on your Charleston to Los Angeles TV road trip. Since this area is so popular, the camping areas do fill up rather quickly.
St. Louis, Missouri
St. Louis, recognized as the "Gateway to the West," is filled with many enriched immigrant communities preserving art, food, and architecture. This city offers a wide variety of traditions, dance clubs, and dining establishments. You can also entertain the whole family at the amusement park or have an animal encounter at the zoo. With St. Louis' supply of vibrant gardens, museums, and parks, you'll find plenty of reason to stick around for a few days.
The nearby St. Louis campgrounds provide you with all the provisions to make your stay comfortable. Pilot Flying J Travel Plaza in East St. Louis offers a dump station to keep your RV sanitary and travel-ready for a small fee. It also has gas pumps conveniently on site to refill your RV's gas tank before heading out.
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Oklahoma City is the capital of Oklahoma, and it's filled with plenty of fun family enjoyment, including Blue Zoo Aquarium and Riversport Rapids & Adventures. Lots of museums and outdoor recreation are perfect for exploring. In the summertime, the Bricktown Water Taxi is an excellent way to view the downtown Oklahoma City area. Loads of shopping places can be found at the Oklahoma City Outlets.
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Albuquerque is one of the largest cities in New Mexico and is home to an educational Indian Pueblo Cultural Center and New Mexico Fine Art Museum. It's one of the most culturally diverse cities in the country with countless customs and traditions blending together and truly embodying the melting pot of America. You can enjoy blue skies and sunshine 310 days out of the year in the city, making it an outdoor enthusiast's paradise.
Campgrounds in Albuquerque are mostly centrally located near many of the highlighted attractions, including Isleta Gaming Casino. Drain your tanks at RV dump stations in Albuquerque at places such as Giant Service Station and Pilot Flying J Travel Plaza.
When you follow this road trip itinerary from Charleston to Los Angeles, 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 Charleston or Los Angeles.