If you want to experience the wonders of the Motor City, the Big Apple, and everything in between, then you should hit the open road for a Detroit to New York RV road trip. There are multiple great national and state parks within driving distance of your route, so you'll have plenty of excellent places to explore. You’ll also be able to tour some awesome American cities that are home to many fun points of interest. Once your bags are packed and your camper’s hitched, then it will be time to get started on your road trip from Detroit to New York.
Indiana Sand Dunes National Park
If you’re willing to drive three hours west from Toledo, you’ll be able to visit Indiana Sand Dunes National Park. Located on the shores of Lake Michigan, this national park boasts 15 miles of lakefront that's perfect for fishing, swimming, and more. You can explore 20 miles of Indiana countryside by walking, riding, or biking. Multiple ecosystems are present; you can trek through dunes, wetlands, forests, and other environments here.
Mammoth Cave National Park
Mammoth Cave National Park is a little over five and a half hours south of Toledo, but it’s well worth the extra driving. The world’s longest known cave system rests under the rolling hills of Kentucky. You’ll be able to view such popular features as Gothic Avenue, the Rotunda, and Frozen Niagara. Once you’re done exploring underground, you can take in some of those rolling hills for yourself aboveground. Several trails are accessible by bike, via horseback, or on foot; you can also go fishing and boating on the Green River and the Nolin River.
Cuyahoga Valley National Park
Cuyahoga Valley National Park is just south of Cleveland, Ohio, but you won’t be thinking about big cities while you’re exploring its wonders. You’ll be enchanted by this park’s 100 waterfalls, 100 miles of river, and more than 125 miles of hiking trails. Over 2 million people visit Cuyahoga Valley National Park each year, so you should stop by and see why this park is so popular with natives and travelers alike.
Shenandoah National Park
Shenandoah National Park is approximately two hours off your route, but you won’t be disappointed by the beauty found at this lovely mountain retreat in Virginia. The park itself covers roughly 300 square miles, so there are plenty of mountains, forests, and waterfalls to explore. You don’t even have to leave the comfort of your camper in order to experience the loveliness of Skyline Drive, which spans 100 miles of the park. Hikers can walk on part of the Appalachian Trail as well as multiple other trails throughout Shenandoah National Park.
Independence National Historical Park
Deep in the heart of Philadelphia, you’ll find Independence National Historical Park. Powerful symbols of freedom and democracy like the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall are located at this urban historic site. You’ll also be able to visit the Signer’s Garden, the President’s House Site, and the National Constitution Center. There are multiple other historical places to visit in Philly, so you can explore them when you’re finished with your visit to Independence National Historical Park.
Maumee Bay State Park
Close to the Michigan-Ohio border and on the shore of Lake Erie is Maumee Bay State Park. Within this park’s 1,336 acres, you’ll find sandy beaches, an 18-hole golf course, an inland lake, and beautiful hiking trails. You’ll be able to see plenty of local flora and fauna in the wetlands of Maumee Bay. If you visit during the winter, you’ll be able to go sledding, skiing, ice skating, and ice fishing.
East Harbor State Park
Not too far down the Lake Erie coast is East Harbor State Park. Boating, fishing, swimming, and bird-watching are all favorite pastimes here. More than 10 miles of multi-use trails provide multiple places to hike, bike, and ride. You can also hunt waterfowl and play your way through the park’s 18-hole disc golf course.
Keystone State Park
If you want to visit a nice state park once you’ve left Pittsburgh, then you should add Keystone State Park to your road trip itinerary from Detroit to New York. Keystone Lake is nearly 80 acres large, so it’s perfect for fishing, swimming, and boating. Hiking, running, biking, and hunting are some other popular activities that you can do at Keystone State Park.
French Creek State Park
Before you reach Philadelphia on your road trip from Detroit to New York, you’ll want to spend some time relaxing at French Creek State Park. It covers more than 7,500 acres, so there’s plenty of room for exploration and recreation. Two lakes provide ample opportunities for fishing, boating, and swimming. The park has nearly 40 miles of trails, so you can hike, bike, and ride until your heart’s content. Disc golf and orienteering are other fun activities you can do here.
Cheesequake State Park
Cheesequake State Park is lovely enough to remind you that New Jersey is known as the Garden State in spite of its generally urban nature. The merging of two different ecosystems gives visitors the ability to explore saltwater and freshwater marshes, fields, a swamp, a forest, and more. Multiple trails are available for hiking, mountain biking, and running.
Once you’ve finished exploring East Harbor State Park, you may want to travel south a bit and spend a few hours at the Seneca Caverns in Bellevue, Ohio. You can take a guided tour of the cave, go mining for gems, buy a souvenir at the gift shop, and have a bite to eat in the shaded picnic area. This cave is largely in its natural state, so you’ll be able to appreciate its wild beauty.
A Christmas Story House
You don’t have to be on the receiving end of a triple dog dare to decide to visit A Christmas Story House in Cleveland. This house from the movie "A Christmas Story" that became a cult classic is open for tours and even overnight stays. You’ll also be able to visit the A Christmas Story Museum across the street that features memorabilia like Randy’s snowsuit, the Christmas display from Higbee’s, and the family car. You won’t need to wait until Christmas to visit here since it’s open all year.
Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens
There are many great places to visit in Pittsburgh, but if you find yourself wanting to escape from the urban landscape for a while, then you should stop by Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens. The glasshouse was constructed in 1893, so it’s a lovely historical building. Everything from orchids to desert plants can be seen here in this vibrant oasis in Pittsburgh.
New Jersey may be a small state, but it’s packed with great places to have adventures. Adventure Aquarium in Camden is home to a large collection of sharks; they also have hippos, little blue penguins, and other distinctive animals. You can cross the Shark Bridge, walk through the Shark Tunnel, and stop by the touch tanks for some personal animal encounters.
Six Flags Great Adventure
Another exciting place to find adventure in New Jersey is Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson. This is New Jersey’s most popular theme park for good reason, so you won’t have to look too hard to find a ton of fun here. Exciting rides like Batman the Ride, Green Lantern, Kingda Ka, and Nitro are ready to take your breath away.
On the shores of Lake Erie just across the Michigan-Ohio border is the city of Toledo. If you want to explore this city and its coastline, you’ll be able to have your pick of great local campgrounds. Places to check out include the Toledo Museum of Art, the Toledo Zoo & Aquarium, and the National Museum of the Great Lakes.
About two hours to the east on Interstate 90 is the big city of Cleveland. There are plenty of dump stations and campgrounds nearby where you can service and park your camper. Be sure to visit the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, the Cleveland Museum of Art, and West Side Market.
Pittsburgh is the first big city you’ll go through in Pennsylvania. There’s plenty to do there, so you may want to take advantage of the many dump stations and campgrounds nearby. The Strip District, the Andy Warhol Museum, and the Carnegie Museum of Natural History are all fun places to visit.
If you head east from Pittsburgh for a few more hours, you’ll come to Harrisburg. You won’t have any problem finding great dump stations and campgrounds to use. Places to visit include the National Civil War Museum, the Pennsylvania State Capitol, and the State Museum of Pennsylvania.
The City of Brotherly Love has so many attractions in it that you may want to stay there for a while. If you choose to do so, you’ll have plenty of dump stations and campgrounds from which to choose. Don’t forget to stop by the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Reading Terminal Market, and the Franklin Institute.
When you follow this road trip itinerary from Detroit to New York, 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 New York.