If you are a Chicagoan looking for a vacation idea, consider a Chicago to Boston RV road trip. There are many exciting places to enjoy along the way, including national parks and state parks. Get the RV packed up and start as soon as possible to follow this road trip itinerary from Chicago to Boston!
Indiana Sand Dunes National Park
Indiana Sand Dunes National Park covers over 15,000 acres and has 15 miles of shoreline along the southern shore of Lake Michigan. While swimming is a popular summer activity, consider going biking on the Calumet and Porter Brickyard Bike Trails. The summer steelhead run is a popular time to go fishing in the Little Calumet River. There are 60 historical sites at this park, including some buildings from the 1933 Chicago World’s Fair.
Cuyahoga Valley National Park
Cuyahoga Valley National Park follows the path of the historic Ohio and Erie Canals and protects native plants and animals found very few other places on Earth. You can spy many of them as you hike along the 125 miles of hiking paths or take a ride on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad. Stroll along a wooden boardwalk to view a 65-foot tall waterfall. Most of Towpath Trail is paved, making it a marvelous place for a bike ride. You will find several towns inside this national park, and some of them have outstanding seasonal farmers’ markets.
Saint-Gaudens National Historical Park
Sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens lived seasonally at this property for many years and spent the last seven years of his life living here year-round. He is best known for creating statues of leaders from America’s Civil War period. Hike on short trails at this park with many following the Blow-Me-Up Brook. At this national historical park, you can experience several of his statues in a garden-like setting. You can also watch the artist in residence create new sculptures.
There are many beautiful state parks along the route of your Chicago to Boston road trip. Here are some of the standouts.
Pokagon State Park
You can find Indiana’s Pokagon State Park on the shores of Lake James, and it offers fun throughout the year. This state park, one of the oldest in the state, offers splendid fishing fun for largemouth bass, walleye, bluegill, sunfish, yellow perch, and northern pike. You can also get a sumptuous meal at this park’s restaurant in the same building as their hotel. Hiking and biking are popular in the fall when the trees start to change color. Many people head here to ride down the toboggan hill in the winter. Many also enjoy cross-country skiing and ice fishing.
Lake Milton State Park
If you love to play on a sandy beach, then stop at Lake Milton State Park for this park's 600-foot beach. You can also have lots of fun standup paddleboarding, canoeing, kayaking, and riding on a pontoon boat on the 1,685-acre lake. You can access this lake using the two boat ramps in the park. The lake is regularly stocked with walleye and muskellunge, and you can also catch largemouth and smallmouth bass, bluegill, crappie, and channel catfish. You can also go hunting in certain areas of this park.
Niagara Falls State Park
Niagara Falls State Park is the oldest in the United States, and it is home to American Falls, the Bridal Veil Falls, and part of Horseshoe Falls. You will want to leave plenty of time to see all three falls, but there are many other activities available at this state park. Splurge on the Cave of the Wind attraction, allowing you to stand on a wooden platform next to the iconic Bridal Veil Falls. Take a boat ride and view the falls from the water, watch the fireworks show over the falls on summer nights. Watch the movie on a 45-foot-tall screen at the Niagara Adventure Theater to learn more about the history of the area. Stroll through the Niagara Gorge Discovery Center to learn about the area’s geology. Get around this park designed by Frederick Law Olmstead, who also designed Central Park, on the Niagara Scenic Trolly.
Saratoga Spa State Park
Everyone can find something that they want to do at Saratoga Spa State Park. The park is home to two public golf courses. Live performances often occur at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center and the Spa Little Theater. Besides live performances, you will want to visit the National Museum of Dance’s Hall of Fame to learn the story of many dancers and see famous dance costumes. View many racing cars, participate in weekly car shows, or bid at the weekly car auctions at the Saratoga Automobile Museum. After a full day of activities, enjoy swimming at the Peerless Pool Complex or the Historic Victoria Pool.
Quaddick State Park
Since the time of the Nipmuck Indians, Quaddick State Park has been the perfect spot for reflection. Use the boat dock to launch a fishing boat on the Quaddick Reservoir. Play on the beach and swim in the reservoir’s water at this Connecticut park.
Studebaker National Museum
See the largest collection of U.S. presidential carriages, an impressive collection of Studebaker vehicles, military vehicles made by Studebaker from 1857 to 1975, and more at this South Bend, Indiana, museum.
Rock & Roll Hall of Fame
Follow the evolution of rock and roll at this Cleveland museum designed by I. M. Pei. The building’s hall of fame wing juts out over Lake Erie. Permanent exhibits, spread across seven floors, start with the early roots from different musical genres and continue through the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix, and more. It also contains a performance hall, so check their schedule.
The Buffalo Zoo
This zoo is the second-most visited tourist attraction in New York, and it is the third oldest zoo in the United States. As you stroll through the zoo, notice the over 300 species of plants that grow there. Stop at the heritage farm designed to look like a wetlands area and see a replica of an Erie Canal lock. You can see many types of heritage animals in this part of the zoo.
Griffin Museum of Photography
This museum’s four galleries were designed to help you learn about photography as a medium for providing news and to show you how photography can impact society. This Winchester, Massachusetts, museum hosts frequent short-term exhibits and lectures.
Cornish-Windsor Covered Bridge
The Cornish-Windsor Covered Bridge, constructed in 1866, connects Windsor, Vermont, and Cornish, New Hampshire. It is one of the oldest U.S. bridges still in use, one of the few two-lane covered bridges and until 2008 was the longest covered bridge in the United States.
South Bend, Indiana
Many people come to South Bend, Indiana, to see Notre Dame, but there are plenty of great museums and things to do in this community. There are terrific campgrounds where you can stay like Lakeside RV Resort, where you can fish from their dock, or at Fireside Resort at Kruse Park next to the Kruse Museum. Consider using area RV dump stations at Elkhart Campground or Gallahan Travel Plaza.
The Cuyahoga River and Lake Erie converge near this culturally enlightened city. Consider camping at Willow Lake Park, where you can fish and swim from the campground, or at Kenisee Grand River Campground with its four lakes. You can use the dump station at the Streetsboro/Cleveland SE KOA Campground or Woodside Lake Park.
Buffalo, New York
Home to Niagara Falls, you can find many things to do in Buffalo, New York. Think about camping at the Branches of Niagara Campground & Resort where you can use the dump station and heated pool or at AA Royal Motel & Campground where you can ride tour buses leaving right from this location.
This community offers many opportunities to connect with nature. Consider Medford campgrounds at Wompatuck State Park with its many bike paths or at Beach Rose RV Park that offers many daily activities make great camping options. Dump stations are available at M&L Boston Fuel & Wash or at Hanscom AFB FamCamp.
A Chicago to Boston road trip offers many unique opportunities. The Great Lakes region offers chances to play on sandy beaches, swim, and fish. As you get further east, automotive history comes alive. Finally, enter beautiful rural communities on the Eastern Seaboard. Start a Chicago to Boston RV road trip today when you rent one in Chicago or Boston on RVshare.com.