If you want to explore the interesting part of the U.S. found between the Great Lakes and the southeast coast, you might want to pack your bags and take a Detroit to Charleston road trip. Swamps, mountains, rivers, valleys, waterfalls, and more are waiting for you at some of America's great national parks. You'll also be able to visit some excellent state parks full of islands, reservoirs, nature trails, and wildlife. State capitals and big cities await; they're packed with many fascinating attractions you can put on your road trip itinerary from Detroit to Charleston.
Cuyahoga Valley National Park
A hundred waterfalls and a hundred miles of the Cuyahoga River await you at lovely Cuyahoga Valley National Park. This park is an easy interstate drive of an hour and 45 minutes from Rossford, Ohio, so it's simple to find. Kayaking, canoeing, and fishing are all popular here thanks to the Cuyahoga River; you can also go horseback riding, hiking, and biking on more than 125 miles of trails.
New River Gorge National Park
The entrance to New River Gorge National Park is a paltry 10 minutes off of your route as it goes through Mt. Hope, West Virginia, so you'll likely want to visit America's newest national park on your road trip from Detroit to Charleston. This park is a prime destination for river rafting thanks to the New River; the gorge itself also provides excellent climbing opportunities. Other fun activities at this gorgeous park include hiking, biking, scenic driving, hunting, and fishing.
Shenandoah National Park
Roughly two and a half hours west of Beaver, West Virginia, is the stunning mountain retreat of Shenandoah National Park. Visitors flock to this 300-square-mile part of the Blue Ridge Mountains in order to enjoy activities like cruising on Skyline Drive and hiking on the Appalachian Trail. There are plenty of other park trails as well that you can explore on foot, on horseback, by bike, or even with your pet.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Before you head down into North Carolina, you should drive two hours and 45 minutes southwest of Wytheville, Virginia, to visit Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Since this is the most visited national park in America, it's a worthy stop on your Detroit to Charleston RV road trip. More than half a million acres of the Great Smoky Mountains include beautiful hiking trails, plenty of rivers and streams for fishing, and some stunning mountain panoramas.
Congaree National Park
Congaree National Park is only 15 minutes outside of Columbia, South Carolina, but you'd never guess this swamp, hardwood forest, and river are so close to South Carolina's capital. Some of the trees that make their home here are believed to be over a thousand years old; maybe you'll be able to spot these ancient trees while walking along the fairly flat and easy trails found here. Another popular way to experience this park is to boat down the Congaree River; you can even take a wilderness tour in order to learn about the other plants and animals found here.
Kelleys Island State Park
Kelleys Island State Park is roughly an hour and a half from Rossford, Ohio. Maybe you'll visit this island in Lake Erie and decide you never want to leave it. Lake Erie itself is an awesome place to go fishing and boating; the park also boasts a 100-foot swimming beach that's ideal for soaking up some sun. Crystal caverns, glacier grooves, nature preserves, and more also call this park home.
Pipestem Resort State Park
You can reach Pipestem Resort State Park by traveling 22 minutes from Camp Creek, West Virginia. Some of the loveliest parts of the Blue Stone River Gorge are on display at this park of more than 4,000 acres. There are some great opportunities for adventure here also; mountain biking, ziplining, kayaking, sledding, and skiing are all popular. Multiple places to swim are available as well, thanks to the park's indoor swimming pool, splash park, and adventure lake.
Claytor Lake State Park
The big draw of Claytor Lake State Park is that it gives you access to beautiful Claytor Lake, which is 4,500 acres large. Unsurprisingly, boating, fishing, and swimming are some of the most popular things to do here. If you want to do some hiking, there are some nice trails in the park. You can also stop by the visitor center for more information about this park that's just 20 minutes east of Fort Chiswell, Virginia.
Lake Norman State Park
If you want to add a lake that's more than 32,500 acres large to your road trip itinerary from Detroit to Charleston, then you'll want to pay a visit to Lake Norman State Park. The entrance to this state park is only about 10 minutes from your route as it goes through Barringer Township, North Carolina, so it's easy to reach. You can, of course, spend all your time on or in Lake Norman as you fish, swim, boat, and more. Since there are nearly 40 miles of trails in the park, you can also have your pick of great environments for hiking and biking.
Sesquicentennial State Park
Sesquicentennial State Park is a nice place to park your camper while you're exploring the park and Columbia. It's only eight minutes from Dentsville, South Carolina, so it's just outside of Columbia. At this park, you can rent multiple types of boats at the camp store that you can take out on the pair of lakes in the park. There are also 12 miles of lovely hiking and biking trails that take you through some of South Carolina's Sand Hills region.
Toledo Museum of Art
Since the Toledo Museum of Art is only two minutes off of Interstate 75 as it goes through Toledo, Ohio, it's a great stop to make on your Detroit to Charleston RV road trip. This outstanding museum is home to more than 30,000 pieces of art from some of the world's most legendary artists; it's also free to visit, so you won't have to pay a thing to see some of the works of Rembrandt, van Gogh, Monet, Picasso, and more.
Otherworld is aptly named as it is an art installation a dozen minutes from your route in Columbus, Ohio, that transports you to multiple different science fiction worlds. Mixed reality, interactive art, and sci-fi scenarios combine to produce more than 40 rooms that take you through multiple realms of science fiction and fantasy.
Exhibition Coal Mine
Since coal is so important to West Virginia, visiting a coal mine on your road trip from Detroit to Charleston is a must. Exhibition Coal Mine is just eight minutes from your route as it goes through Bleckley, West Virginia, so you should definitely stop by for a tour of this fascinating facility. At this mine, you'll be able to ride through a vintage coal mine and walk through a recreated coal camp.
This fantastic Carolina theme park straddles the North Carolina/South Carolina border and is just a minute off of your route as you leave Charlotte and enter Fort Mill, so experiencing the thrills of this park is a no-brainer. Awesome attractions like Afterburn, Copperhead Strike, and Fury 325 are ready for you to ride here.
Riverbanks Zoo & Garden
Riverbanks Zoo & Garden contains more than 2,000 animals from all around the world, so you'll get the chance to see representatives of over 350 species here. In addition to viewing these animals, you can check out attractions like the Spots & Stripes Railroad and the Endangered Species Carousel.
The Toledo Zoo, the National Museum of the Great Lakes, and more await you at this Ohio city on the banks of Lake Erie. There are some nice campgrounds here to park your RV.
Charleston, West Virginia
Charlotte, North Carolina
Charlotte is a city with many different charms, and is home to both the Billy Graham Library and the NASCAR Hall of Fame. If you want to spend some time here, you can choose from a bevy of great dump stations and campgrounds.
Columbia, South Carolina
Whether you want to watch a sporting event at the University of South Carolina or stroll through the Columbia Canal and River Park, you'll find a variety of things to do in South Carolina's capital. Many dump stations and campgrounds are close by.
When you follow this road trip itinerary from Detroit to Charleston, 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 Detroit or Charleston.