Adventure seekers will be thrilled by the sites they discover on a Des Moines to Savannah road trip. You'll have the opportunity to visit St. Louis' Gateway Arch, the Great Smoky Mountains, and Congaree National Parks. There are fantastic state parks to see along the way where you can go hiking, biking, and fishing. You can also find at least three outstanding theme parks during your journey.
Gateway Arch National Park
The Gateway Arch in St. Louis is the world's largest arch. Workers had to be very meticulous when constructing this 630-foot arch as two teams built the two arms separately. If they had been off by even 0.25 inch, the arch would never have met at the top. The federal government held a national design competition to choose the monument's design. Eero Saarinen and his dad both entered the competition, and the overseeing committee originally called the father to tell him that he had won. Following a congratulatory dinner, the committee had to call both Saarimens again and tell them that they had made a mistake and the son won the competition to build the arch at Gateway Arch National Park.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park covers more than 522,427 acres. A great way to make sure that you see the best sites in this park is on a scenic drive. Consider driving along the Roaring Forks Motor Nature Trail early in the morning or at sunset as that will increase your chances of seeing this park's wildlife, especially near the low-water crossings. The 11-mile Cades Cove Loop runs by several historical structures that you'll want to stop and explore. Newfound Gap Road is the lowest drivable pass through the park, and you'll love seeing the forests along this route. Drive the road up to Clingmans Dome and climb the observation tower to see stunning views.
Congaree National Park
Be sure to include a stop at Congaree National Park near Hopkins, South Carolina, on your road trip itinerary from Des Moines to Savannah. This park's location was once popular with logging companies, but you can get a sense of what the area looked like before that by following the Bates Ferry Trail, as it follows an unlogged 1920s ferry road. If you love birdwatching, follow the Kingsnake Trail along Cedar Creek or the Weston Lake Trail to see some of this park's 191 reported species. When hiking along the Weston Lake Trail, you can often see otters building their dams along the creek. You can also go canoeing and fishing at this park. Consider spending the night in one of the park's campgrounds as it will give you easy access to the ranger's astronomy programs.
Rock Creek State Park
The third-largest state-operated lake in Iowa is Rock Creek State Park near Kellogg, Iowa. The swimming beach is a fantastic place to play in the summer. Rent a boat at the park's store to explore this lake that is an average of 9 feet deep. Anglers love to fish from the lake or its shoreline for bass, bluegill, and catfish.
St. Francois State Park
Follow the hiking trails at St. Francois State Park near Bonne Terre, Missouri, that run over wooded hills and through glades near Coonville Creek. Visitors have spotted over 160 species of birds here at this park. Three miles of the Big River running through this park are a fantastic place to go fishing for smallmouth bass and catfish, so be sure to put your favorite fish seasonings in the RV before leaving on your road trip from Des Moines to Savannah. Both Coonville Creek and Big River are known to be more shallow rivers, making them perfect places to go wading. When water levels are higher, launch your canoe near the picnic area to enjoy this park's scenic beauty.
Harpeth River State Park
There are nine separate areas to Harpeth River State Park, located along 40 river miles in Kingdom Springs, Tennessee. This Class I and Class II Harpeth River is a great place to go on a canoeing trip with easy access at most of this park's sites. Many come to this Western Highland Rim to go fishing for bass. The Mound Bottom and the Pack Site contain Native American burial mounds from the Mississippian era.
Harrison Bay State Park
Make sure to stop at Harrison Bay State Park near Harrison, Tennessee, on your Des Moines to Savannah RV road trip. This state park contains over 40 miles of Lake Chickamagua's shoreline, and it was the last Tennessee campground used by the Cherokee Native Americans. Stop at the park's marina to enjoy an outstanding meal and rent a boat to play on the water. Launch your vessel to play and fish on the 35,000-acre Chickamauga Lake. This park features a swimming pool. Challenge your friends to a game of golf on the 18-hole Bear Trace Golf Club. Jack Nicklaus designed this course so that the water and the woods would both come into play if you're not careful. You can see a variety of wildlife and birds along this park's hiking and biking trails.
General Coffee State Park
Find General Coffee State Park near Nicholls, Georgia. Interact with a variety of farm animals at the Heritage Farm while visiting this park. Stroll along the boardwalk running through the swampland near 17 Mile River. Practice your archery skills at the six-target range. Rent a bike from the park's office to enjoy riding along the paved roads and trails at this location. Park rangers and volunteers often lead groups in performing primitive activities like basket-making and spinning. They may also be available to lead guided nature walks or canoeing adventures.
Stop and play at Adventureland when starting your Des Moines to Savannah RV road trip. This location is particularly a fun theme park if you have young children as they're likely to adore the playground, Junior Jockey rides, and other activities set up just for them. It's also a great place for teens and adults as they'll love the traditional thrill rides.
Do not pass through St. Louis on your road trip from Des Moines to Savanah without visiting Grant's Farm in St. Louis. Interact with over 900 animals from 100 different species at this 281-acre farm. Start your visit with the 15-minute narrated tram ride past deer, bison, and zebras to get to the central part of this park. Watch an educational elephant show and stroll past kangaroos and lemurs on your way to see the Budweiser Clydesdales in their special stalls. This park offers many seasonal activities throughout the year, and it even has a beer garden.
Lake Winnepesaukah Amusement Park
Stop in Rossville, Georgia, to explore the Lake Winnepesaukah Amusement Park. This park opened in 1925, and it has the oldest mill chute water ride in the United States. This park is also home to a 1916 carousel made by the Philadelphia Toboggan Company. Seasonally, it has a waterpark.
Six Flags Over Georgia
If you love amusement parks, then check out Six Flags Over Georgia in Austell. This theme park is the second-oldest Six Flag-constructed park. Take your choice of 11 roller coasters or ride them all to see which is your favorite. The carousel at this park is one of the few remaining five-abreast carousels in the world.
St. Louis, Missouri
Sports fans will find plenty to love in St. Louis with opportunities to catch the Blues or Cardinals in action. There's also a thriving music scene in the area, so a live show is never too far away. You can often find recreational activities, such as cornhole or shuffleboard, when staying at St. Louis campgrounds like Pine Oak Creek RV Park, 370 Lakeside RV Park, or Sundermeier RV Park. This city also offers outstanding RV dump stations at Dr. Edmund A. Babler Memorial State Park, Cuivre River State Park, and Horseshoe Lake State Park, but check ahead because some are only open seasonally.
Nashville is a city with no shortage of sights to pursue. From Broadway in the heart of downtown to Music Row just a few miles up, this city is sure to leave a lasting impression. You'll find many campgrounds with a long history behind them in Nashville, like Natchez Trace RV Campground and Grand Ole RV Resort. Check out the dump stations at Nashville I-24 Campground, Nashville North KOA, and Shutes Branch Recreation Area before driving across the Great Smoky Mountains on your Des Moines to Savannah road trip.
You can be close to attractions while enjoying a scenic view at many Atlanta campgrounds, like Sweetwater Creek RV Reserve, Stone Mountain Park Campground, and Atlanta Marietta RV Resort. There are many Atlanta RV dump stations to choose from, including those at Jones RV Park, Love's Travel Stop, and Cabela's.
When you follow this road trip itinerary from Des Moines to Savannah, 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 Des Moines or Savannah.