What could be more fun than to travel to the town of Santa Claus, Indiana? Besides the novelty of the name, the trip from Dover to Santa Claus travels through the states of Delaware, Maryland, West Virginia, Kentucky, and Indiana. On your way to your destination, you will be pleased to know that the trip offers a diverse landscape of possibilities. From the Atlantic states to the Midwest, your route will guide you through forests, valleys, mountain ranges, lakes, and prairies.
This road trip from Dover to Santa Claus will take at least a day or more. Fortunately, you will have many chances to explore some of the more interesting national parks along the way.
Cuyahoga Valley National Park
Cuyahoga Valley National Park is a natural oasis near Cleveland that offers a quiet interlude from the road. The park is part of the Cuyahoga Valley and preserves the natural and historical features of this important area of Ohio such as the original towpath of the Erie Canal. On several other nature paths, you will be able to appreciate the beauty of the restored Cuyahoga River. Besides the trails, there are other areas to see, including the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad, Brandywine Falls, and the Canal Exploration Center.
Independence National Historical Park
The city of Philadelphia is the birthplace of the independence of the United States, and Independence National Historical Park serves to commemorate this important historical event. The Declaration of Independence was signed at Independence Hall, and the park contains many other historical buildings and artifacts, such as the Liberty Bell.
You will naturally want to stop along the way and take some side excursions, see local attractions, and explore the outdoors. Fortunately, there is a multitude of great state parks that you can add to your road trip itinerary from Dover to Santa Claus.
Carter Caves State Resort Park
Carter Caves State Resort Park in Kentucky is a remarkable park that contains two systems of caves known as the Carter Caves and the Cascade Caves. The park preserves 146 acres of forest, caves, and creeks. Of these areas, Bat Cave and Cascade Caverns contain and protect the Indiana bat, the Canada yew, and the mountain maple. There are more than 20 caverns in the cave systems, and Cascade Cave has a 30-foot underground waterfall. You will marvel at the luminescent stone fans, spirals, and pipes in the X Cave of Carter Caves. Above the caves, visitors can ride horses, mountain bike, hike, canoe, and play a round of golf. There are 20 miles of multi-use trails, including the Three Bridges Trail and the Box Canyon Trail.
Blackwater Falls State Park
Blackwater Falls State Park is located in the Allegheny Mountains of West Virginia and is home to Blackwater Falls, a cascade of 62 feet of falling water from the Blackwater River. The River runs through Canaan Valley into Blackwater Canyon and gets its name from the tannic-tinted waters of the river and the falls. You can view these falls and the other smaller falls from the trails and viewing platforms. There are 20 miles of hiking trails and the longest sledding trail on the East Coast.
Seneca Creek State Park
Seneca Creek State Park, located in Gaithersburg, Maryland, meanders beside Seneca Creek for 14 miles as it makes its way to the Potomac River. Out on Clopper Lake, you are able to spend the afternoon boating. If you feel like taking a dip, you can wade in Seneca Creek if you'd like. There are more than 50 miles of multi-use trails inside the park, and you can even explore a restored 19th-century cabin.
You will have your pick of any number of natural, historical, and cultural sites of interest that you can visit on your Dover to Santa Claus RV road trip. The start of your journey will take you directly past the city of Washington, and the Smithsonian is an experience you do not want to miss.
The Smithsonian Institution is a conglomerate of museums, galleries, and a zoo. Collectively, the Smithsonian contains more than 150 million objects to discover and explore in around 17 locations. Some of the noteworthy and popular museums include the Natural History Museum, American History Museum, Air and Space Museum, and National Gallery of Art.
The Natural History Museum
The Natural History Museum is the most-visited museum of natural history in the world and has an amazing rotating collection of 127 million objects that include the Hope Diamond, mummies, dinosaur bones, and more. At the American History Museum, you will find Dorothy's ruby slippers, Julia Child's kitchen, and the original flag that inspired the "Star-Spangled Banner." The Air and Space Museum contains Charles Lindbergh's Spirit of St. Louis, the Wright Flyer, astronaut suits, and lunar rocks, and you can contemplate works from Degas, da Vinci, and Calder at the National Gallery of Art.
The Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers converge in the small town of Harpers Ferry in West Virginia. The site of John Brown's raid in 1859, Harpers Ferry National Historical Park houses museums, exhibits, and programs, and there are 20 miles of nature trails. While in the park, you can walk on the rocks where the rivers meet all the way to St. Peter's Roman Catholic Church and the conjoining cemetery. The Appalachian Trail Visitors Center in Harpers Ferry is an access point for the Appalachian Trail, and you can see great views of the town and the rivers.
Kentucky Horse Park
The Kentucky Horse Park is both an educational theme park and a working ranch with a horse competition facility. The park has more than 1,200 acres in the Kentucky Bluegrass regions of the state, and visitors will get to see many different breeds of horses. The horses take their paces at work and play, and all ages can see presentations, take horse rides, and attend competitions. The International Museum of the Horse is a Smithsonian Affiliate and is the largest equestrian museum in the world. While you're here, you will definitely want to tour the American Saddlebred Museum as well.
For a trip of this length, you will undoubtedly be stopping for refueling and for rest breaks along the way. There are several cities that you will drive through, including the following urban areas.
Baltimore is a large city in Maryland that is next to the nation's capital of Washington, DC. It is home to Fort McHenry, the birthplace of the "Star-Spangled Banner," and it is located next to the harbors, inlets, and bays of the Atlantic Ocean. The USS Constellation is here, and you can spend hours viewing the exhibits at the National Aquarium. Cherry Hill Park is family owned and operated and a Good Sam's Park that is conveniently located near the cities of Baltimore and Washington. You can also find multiple sites with dump stations.
Huntington is the largest city in the Huntington-Ashland region of WV-KY-OH, which is often called the Tri-State Area. The city features a wide range of museums covering everything from nature and history to radios and technology. You can also rest and relax at one of the many city parks or visit one of the cultural venues. Statts Mills RV Park is located next to Lake O'Brien and the Appalachian Mountains and is a beautiful place to visit. If you need a dump station, you have several choices of sites.
The city of Louisville is the largest city in Kentucky, and it is located alongside the Ohio River on the Indiana state border. The Kentucky Derby runs here every year, and you can visit the Kentucky Derby Museum for an informative and interesting tour of the history of this storied race. Baseball is king here, and the Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory is where Major League bats are manufactured. Louisville South KOA Holiday is just south of Louisville and is family oriented. You can easily find various dump stations in the nearby areas.
When you follow this road trip itinerary from Dover to Santa Claus, 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 Dover to Santa Claus.