Founded as Ross's Landing in 1839, Chattanooga, Tennessee, is a charming Southern city that has a number of things to offer visitors. Chatanooga is full of interesting historical sites like The Read House, National Medal of Honor Heritage Center, and the Bessie Smith Cultural Center. There are also fantastic attractions to visit, like Rock City Gardens, Tennessee Aquarium, and Ruby Falls. Before you get to Chattanooga, however, you will want to stop and explore many other things along the way.
Hot Springs National Park
When you get to Shreveport, turn north and go for about three hours to arrive at Hot Springs National Park. Let the stress of daily life in Houston roll off you by soaking in the hot tubs at the Quapaw Baths & Spa at this national park in Hot Springs, Arkansas. Then, head to get a drink at the only brewery located within a U.S. national park. Relax at the sauna located in the Hale Bathhouse before getting a massage in the Superior Bathhouse. Explore the other buildings by taking the cellphone tour.
Galveston Island State Park
Start your Houston to Chatanooga road trip by going southeast about 50 miles to visit Galveston Island State Park, on Galveston Island. Stroll and fish on the beach bordering the Gulf of Mexico. Bring your canoe or kayak along so that you can follow the paddling trail. Then, explore the four miles of hiking and biking trails. This area is a barrier island, so the scenery frequently changes on the trails and the beach.
Sea Rim State Park
Head east of Houston about 110 miles to explore Sea Rim State Park near Sabine Pass, Texas. While you will need to bring your own horse, you can go horseback riding on the three-mile beach. Then, paddle along the two paddling trails. Go fishing from the pier, or use the boat ramp to launch your vessel. This park is an excellent place to capture Gulf of Mexico landscape photos or images of the local wildlife and birds.
Martin Dies, Jr. State Park
Take the back roads north from Houston so that you can explore Martin Dies, Jr. State Park near Jasper, Texas. The Neches and Angelina rivers meet within this park, making it a fantastic place to go fishing and paddling. You will also want to fish in the Steinhagen Reservoir. This park often hosts special walks for toddlers and storytime for preschoolers. Follow trails through the sloughs and forest.
Cloudland Canyon State Park
Stop at Cloudland Canyon State Park near Rising Fawn, Georgia, to take a hike. The short Overlook Trail is the perfect place for those who cannot get around well or have small children. Other trails at this park allow you to see sandstone cliffs, wild caves, waterfalls, and cascading creeks. Many of the trails are open for horseback riding. Challenge your friends to a game of disc golf. Sink a line in the water at the fishing pond while you settle back on the grassy knolls.
Booker T. Washington State Park
Take a swim in the pool at Booker T. Washington State Park near Chatanooga, Tennessee. The 35,000-acre impoundment is a great place to go boating. Use the day-only boat ramp to launch your vessel. Anglers regularly catch 10-pound largemouth bass, and there are many other species in this lake. Over 120 species of birds, including herons, can be seen at this park. The fishing pier is a great place to watch for them during your road trip from Houston to Chatanooga.
Birmingham Museum of Art
See one of the finest collections of Southeast American art by stopping at the Birmingham Museum of Art. This museum also features a tremendous Asian art collection, including sculptures, prints, drawings, and decorative arts. They have a special play area for children, so everyone will enjoy seeing this facility.
Do not be in such a hurry to finish your Houston to Chatanooga RV road trip that you miss stopping at Rock City near Lookout Mountain. Stand at Lover’s Leap, and you can see seven states on a clear day. Stroll along the 4,100-foot Enchanted Trail to see the unique rock formations. This trail is gorgeous in the spring when the wildflowers are in bloom. Stroll through the Fairyland Caverns to see scenes from your favorite fairy tales. Thrill-seekers can hike across the suspension bridge.
National Medal of Honor Heritage Center
Learn the history behind many of the Medal of Honor recipients by visiting Chatanooga’s National Medal of Honor Heritage Center. The exhibits range from the Civil War to recent military battles, like Desert Storm. You can walk in a recreated World War I trench and see over 700 military uniforms at this museum. Many of the items on display have special ties to the state.
Bessie Smith Cultural Center
Explore the history of African Americans in Tennessee by stopping at the Bessie Smith Cultural Center. This museum in Chatanooga offers a special children’s corner, where kids can engage with historical toys. Everyone will enjoy seeing the exhibits on top African American entertainers, including The Impressions and Samuel L. Jackson, and their ties to this community.
See over 12,000 animals from over 800 different species at Chatanooga’s Tennessee Aquarium. This aquarium is divided into two separate facilities, with one featuring river animals and the other featuring ocean life. Watch a show at the IMAX theater. This facility also offers a 65-foot catamaran tour of the Tennessee River, which makes a great addition to your road trip itinerary from Houston to Chatanooga.
Shreveport is a terrific place to go gambling. You can also visit the 3,000 animals at The Shreveport Aquarium, explore plants from over 15 different Asian countries at The Asian Gardens, and view African American art at the Southern University Museum of Art. There are fantastic campgrounds in Shreveport, like the Shreveport/ Bossier City KOA Journey, which has a spacious swimming pool; Southern Living RV Park LLC, where the Duncan family has operated the campground for more than 40 years; or God’s Country Mountain View Campground, which overlooks the Soda Lake Wildlife Management Area. Shreveport RV dump stations are available at Pilot Flying J Travel Plaza, Campers RV Center, and Cash Point Landing.
Vicksburg is a fun historical city to explore. Learn about history at the USS Cairo Museum, and pay tribute to the men and women who gave us freedom at the Vicksburg National Military Park. Learn more about life along the Mississippi River at the Jesse Brent Lower Mississippi River Museum and Interpretive Center. There are terrific Vicksburg campgrounds, including Rivertown Rose Campground, where there are outdoor recreational facilities and hiking trails, or let your dog run in their park at Magnolia RV Park Resort. There are Vicksburg RV dump stations at the Love’s Travel Stop and the Big Campground and Stables.
Your children will love learning at the Mississippi Children’s Museum and riding the Dentzel Antique Carousel in Meridian. Everyone will adore exploring the Mississippi Arts and Entertainment Experience, where you will learn about artists and entertainers from Mississippi. There are fantastic Meridian campgrounds, like the Bonita Lakes RV Park, where you will love the spacious pull-through sites, or the Benchman RV Park with its dog park. RV dump stations in Meridian are available at both of these campgrounds and the Speedway Truck Plaza.
Regardless of your interests, you can find a related venue in Birmingham, Alabama, to explore. Racecar fans will want to tour the Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum while sports fans will want to head to the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame. Everyone will love a trip to the zoo. There are fantastic Birmingham campgrounds, like the Oak Mountain State Park Campground, located at the largest state park in Alabama, and Birmingham South RV Park, with its playground and swimming pool. Birmingham RV dump stations are available at Hoover Met Complex RV Park, Hidden Cove Resort, and Tannehill Ironworks Historical State Park.
When you follow this road trip itinerary from Houston to Chatanooga, 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 Houston or Chatanooga.