There are many awesome places to go and things to see between the Great Lakes and the Gulf Coast, so why not take a Detroit to Galveston road trip in order to visit some of them? Great Lakes, hot springs, big caves, and more await you at some fabulous national parks. You’ll find fantastic places to swim, boat, fish, hike, or even mine for diamonds at the state parks along your route. There are also plenty of fun cities on the way, so you’ll have a bevy of excellent points of interest to put on your road trip itinerary from Detroit to Galveston.
Cuyahoga Valley National Park
Cuyahoga Valley National Park is about an hour and 45 minutes east of Toledo, Ohio. Anglers and boaters flock here to take advantage of the 100 miles of the Cuyahoga River present in the park. Hikers, bikers, and horseback riders love visiting as well thanks to the 125 miles of trails here. Another popular activity in the area is waterfall viewing since there are a hundred waterfalls in the park. Cuyahoga Valley National Park also has a scenic railroad, a golf course, and some great places for stargazing and bird-watching.
Indiana Sand Dunes National Park
You can reach Indiana Sand Dunes National Park by traveling two hours and 20 minutes west of Jefferson Township, Indiana. The southern shores of Lake Michigan await you at this park. The park’s 15 miles of lakefront provide excellent places for swimming, fishing, and water sports. An additional 20 miles of countryside contain over 50 miles of trails suitable for hiking, biking, and riding.
Gateway Arch National Park
If you drive a little more than an hour west of Mt. Vernon, Illinois, you can reach St. Louis and Gateway Arch National Park. This 630-foot arch has long served as a “Gateway to the West” for travelers; the same is true today even if the pioneer days are long gone. When you visit this park, you’ll also get to see another iconic American attraction: the Mississippi River. You can also tour multiple historic buildings in the park. When you’re done walking around, you can explore the many awesome attractions in St. Louis.
Mammoth Cave National Park
Three hours east of Marion, Illinois, is fascinating Mammoth Cave National Park. This park is home to the longest cave system in the world, so you should explore part of this interesting cave network on your road trip from Detroit to Galveston. Flowstone formations, grand stone chambers, and long, shadowy tunnels await you at this subterranean national park. If you prefer to stay above the ground, you can spend time on the park’s multiple trails and rivers.
Hot Springs National Park
Hot Springs National Park is just half an hour west of Fairplay Township, Arkansas, so you should definitely stop by on your Detroit to Galveston RV road trip. Some call this park “The American Spa” thanks to the lovely hot springs here; you should sample the thermal baths for yourself to experience their soothing comfort. This site was popular among gangsters during the Roaring Twenties, so you’ll want to learn more about the history of the area as well. If you desire to get active here, you can hike some of the trails that take you into the mountains around the park.
Eldon Hazlet State Park
Eldon Hazlet State Park is 40 minutes west of Salem, Illinois, and an hour east of St. Louis. It’s known for its stellar camping facilities, and it’s an awesome place to camp if you want to experience the wonders of Lake Carlyle and to be able to drive to St. Louis in a single hour. Between Lake Carlyle and a swimming pool, there are plenty of places to swim here. Fishing, boating, and sailing are all popular as well; you can even go hunting on 50 designated acres of land.
Reelfoot Lake State Park
If you want to add a lake that was formed 200 years ago when an earthquake caused the Mississippi River to flow backward to your road trip itinerary from Detroit to Galveston, then you’ll want to check out Reelfoot Lake State Park, which is 40 minutes from Hayti, Missouri. The ends of the Mississippi retreated from this lake long ago, but you can still see the submerged trees that once grew on dry land by walking on an elevated boardwalk or kayaking through this odd forest.
Village Creek State Park
If playing a 27-hole golf course on your road trip from Detroit to Galveston sounds fun, then you’ll want to pay a visit to Village Creek State Park, which is just 15 minutes from Forrest City, Arkansas. Hiking and horseback riding are popular here thanks to the multiple trails and the equestrian campground in the park. You can go boating and swimming in the multiple lakes in the park; you can rent everything from a motorized boat to a water bike here.
Crater of Diamonds State Park
Should you desire to add diamond mining to your road trip itinerary from Detroit to Galveston, then you’ll want to place Crater of Diamonds State Park on your list. At the end of a 35-minute drive from Prescott, Arkansas is a state park that encourages its visitors to search for diamonds on the property. When you’re not hunting for diamonds, you can cool off at the water park, take a hike on a lovely trail, or go fishing on the Little Missouri River.
Caddo Lake State Park
Caddo Lake State Park is just a 20-minute drive from Jefferson, Texas. Caddo Lake is almost 27,000 acres large, so it’s perfect for fishing and boating. If you like paddling, you can canoe or kayak on 50 miles of paddling trails. Photography, hiking, and picnicking are other favorite pastimes here.
National Museum of the Great Lakes
The National Museum of the Great Lakes is about 10 minutes from your route as it goes through Toledo, Ohio. If you want to learn more about the Great Lakes, then this museum is the right place to go as it’s full of entertaining exhibits designed to educate visitors about these important bodies of water.
Foellinger-Freimann Botanical Conservatory
You can find the Foellinger-Freimann Botanical Conservatory 15 minutes from Marion Township, Indiana. Multiple indoor and outdoor gardens are on display here. The Tropical Garden, the Showcase Garden, and the Desert Garden are arrayed in 24,500 square feet of indoor displays; the Terrace Garden, Beverforden Garden, Exploration Garden, and Streetside Garden await you outdoors.
Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum
The home of one of America’s most iconic races is just five minutes off of your route in Indianapolis, so you should tour the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum on your road trip from Detroit to Galveston. At this museum, you can tour the Speedway itself, the museum, and the Basement Collection of rare vehicles and race cars.
William J. Clinton Presidential Library and Museum
Your route takes you within two minutes of the William J. Clinton Presidential Library and Museum in Little Rock, Arkansas. In addition to housing the Clinton Presidential Library, this facility features a museum that uses more than 100,000 items and artworks to tell the story of the personal and professional lives of America’s 42nd president.
Downtown Aquarium – Houston
Downtown Aquarium – Houston is only a handful of minutes off of your route as it travels through Houston, Texas. Multiple fascinating exhibits like Sunken Temple, Shipwreck, Underwater Rig, and Tigers of the Maharaja’s Temple are on display. Don’t forget to experience rides like the Aquatic Carousel, the Diving Bell Ferris Wheel, and the Lighthouse Dive.
The Toledo Zoo, the Toledo Museum of Art, and more await you in this Ohio city on the west side of Lake Erie. There are some comfy RV campgrounds in the area, so you’ll easily be able to pick a great place to park your camper. You can also find some dump stations in the Toledo area.
Fort Wayne, Indiana
In this Indiana city, you can visit Historic Fort Wayne itself as well as other attractions like the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo and the Fort Wayne Firefighters Museum. Plenty of quality dump stations and campgrounds are close by.
This sprawling big city in Indiana is home to fabulous locations like Central Canal, Lucas Oil Stadium, and the Eiteljorg Museum. No matter how much time you spend exploring this interesting city, you’ll be able to use some nice local dump stations and campgrounds.
Little Rock, Arkansas
When visiting Little Rock, be sure to pay a visit to places like Big Dam Bridge and Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site. You’ll have no problem finding a bevy of top-notch dump stations and campgrounds nearby.
When you follow this road trip itinerary from Detroit to Galveston, 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 Galveston.