Those who wish to travel from the heart of Arkansas to the coast of New Jersey should pack up their bags and take a road trip from Little Rock to Cape May. Two urban national parks, two mountainous national parks, and one largely underground national park await you on your journey. There are also plenty of fascinating state parks and cities along this route, so filling up your road trip itinerary from Little Rock to Cape May with great tourist attractions will be simple.
Hot Springs National Park
Hot Springs National Park may be located only a couple of minutes from downtown Hot Springs and an hour from Little Rock, but city life will be the last thing on your mind as you sink down into these comforting Arkansas hot springs. Most travelers don't expect to be pampered at a national park, but between the springs themselves and the on-site spa, visitors can relax in style. If you want to explore the area, there are plenty of great trails on which to hike. Be sure to check out the tufa deposits; these distinctive calcium carbonate formations are all around the park.
Gateway Arch National Park
Few national parks are urban, but you get to visit two of them on this road trip from Little Rock to Cape May. Gateway Arch National Park is a little over four hours north of Memphis, but since you can drive on Interstate 55, the trip is easy. Once you get there, you'll be able to tour this famous St. Louis landmark and its surrounding grounds. Historical buildings, museums, and the Mississippi River are all big attractions here. Once you're done exploring the park, you can head out into St. Louis itself for a great time.
Mammoth Cave National Park
Mammoth Cave National Park is definitely a change of pace from the previous two national parks since it's much more remote and is mostly located underground. It's only an hour and a half north of Nashville, so you won't have to drive too far. This is the world's longest known cave system, so how could you resist stopping by on your Little Rock to Cape May RV road trip? Cascading flowstones, magnificent chambers, and even a host of Gothic-era signatures await you here. Those in search of a good hike can find one above-ground thanks to the multiple trails that meander through the Kentucky countryside.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Great Smoky Mountains National Park is only about 45 minutes southeast of Knoxville, so you should definitely add America's most popular national park to your road trip itinerary from Little Rock to Cape May. Forests, ridges, mountains, streams, and more are contained in this gorgeous park of more than 500,000 acres. You can explore the wonders of this park on foot, on a bike, on horseback, or even from your vehicle. The Appalachian Trail also goes through this park, so you can hike on that well-known trail as well.
Shenandoah National Park
Shenandoah National Park is 20 minutes east of Staunton, Virginia. If you developed a taste for hiking on the Appalachian Trail at Great Smoky Mountains National Park, then you'll likely want to check out the more than 100 miles of Appalachian Trail in this park. Numerous other trails throughout this beautiful mountain retreat take you up mountains, by rock formations, past waterfalls, and much more. Fishing, rock climbing, and mountain biking are popular here.
Village Creek State Park
If you had "play a round on a 27-hole championship golf course" on your to-do list for your road trip from Little Rock to Cape May, then visiting Village Creek State Park is a must. The course was designed by Andy Dye and sits atop a unique geological formation called Crowley's Ridge. If you'd rather fish or swim, two lakes and multiple streams in the park give you that option. Horseback riders can ride on the trails or even take advantage of the park's equestrian camp.
Cumberland Mountain State Park
Cumberland Mountain State Park is 25 minutes southeast of Crossville, Tennessee. Scenic Lake Byrd is a great place to go fishing, swimming, and boating. The park also has a full-sized golf course and an Olympic-sized pool, so there are plenty of recreation options. You can use the 14 miles of trails for hiking and biking.
Hungry Mother State Park
Since Hungry Mother State Park is only 10 minutes from Marion, Virginia, it's a logical addition to your Little Rock to Cape May RV road trip. If you're hungry for adventure, then the large lake, forest trails, and quality restaurant have you covered. The lake is ideal for swimming, boating, and fishing while the 17 miles of trails satisfy hikers and bikers alike.
Elk Neck State Park
You only need to travel 15 minutes south of North East, Maryland, in order to reach lovely Elk Neck State Park. This gorgeous park is on the Elk Neck Peninsula and the Elk River, so there are plenty of amazing places to fish, swim, canoe, and kayak. Be sure to check out the historic Turkey Point Lighthouse and to keep your eyes peeled for a hawk or eagle.
Parvin State Park
About 10 minutes west of Vineland, New Jersey, is Parvin State Park. This park has some historical buildings and areas that comprised a former POW camp in the 40s. It's also an excellent place for birding thanks to the multiple habitats in the park. Parvin Lake itself is a great location for fishing, swimming, and boating.
How could you pass up the opportunity to visit the home of The King on your road trip from Little Rock to Cape May? Graceland is only 10 minutes from Downtown Memphis, so there are plenty of other great attractions nearby. At Graceland, you can explore Elvis Presley's mansion, garden, and airplane. There's also a museum on the premises.
Country Music Hall of Fame
The Country Music Hall of Fame is four minutes from the heart of Nashville. As its name implies, this is a facility dedicated to superstars of the country music genre. Interactive exhibits, a museum store, a print store, and a food kiosk all make the Country Music Hall of Fame a great stop on your Little Rock to Cape May RV road trip.
Knoxville Botanical Garden and Arboretum
Ten minutes from Downtown Knoxville, you'll find the Knoxville Botanical Garden and Arboretum. This public garden is 47 acres large, so there's plenty of space to walk around on the trails here. Multiple gardens, historic horticulture and architecture, stone walls, and more are on display.
George Washington Memorial Parkway
The entrance to George Washington Memorial Parkway is right off your route, and you can be in the heart of the nation's capital in 20 minutes. This historic scenic route to the capital winds its way past multiple monuments and buildings. You'll also get a great look at the Potomac Gorge's cliffs and woods.
The Maryland Zoo
You can find the Maryland Zoo 10 minutes from the heart of Baltimore. This zoo contains more than 135 acres and is America's third-oldest zoo. You'll be able to see more than 130 species of animals at this lovely Baltimore zoo.
Memphis is known for its music history and bustling nightlife, so be sure to check out Beale Street, Graceland, and Sun Studio when you visit. There are plenty of dump stations and campgrounds in the area for your camper.
Nashville is another city steeped in rich musical tradition, so don't miss out on great places like the Grand Ole Opry, the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, and the Johnny Cash Museum. You won’t have to look far for quality dump stations and campgrounds nearby.
Knoxville is the home of the University of Tennessee, so there are numerous dump stations and campgrounds close by to cater to visiting alumni and sports fans. Be sure to check out Market Square and Zoo Knoxville during your visit.
The Smithsonian. The U.S. Capitol. The Lincoln Memorial. The White House. All of these iconic locations and more are on proud display in the District of Columbia. Unsurprisingly, there are many local dump stations and campgrounds to serve those visiting America’s capital.
When you follow this road trip itinerary from Little Rock to Cape May, 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 Little Rock or Cape May.