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Roadtrip with RVshare Louisville to Tulsa

Taking a Louisville to Tulsa road trip will lead you through five states of the Midwest: Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri and Oklahoma. The Gateway Arch, which is right on the route of your road trip from Louisville to Tulsa, was built in St. Louis as a tribute to intrepid explorers who struck out across the prairies, and the view from the top is stunning. As you move south, you can visit the horse farms of Kentucky and go boating on gigantic Lake Thunderbird before you take in the sights of Tulsa.

Louisville to Tulsa Road Trip Itinerary

  • Trip Length: 9.5 hours
  • Mileage: 650 miles
  • Fun Fact: Louisville is home to the oldest Mississippi-style steamboat in existence, the Belle of Louisville, which turned 100 years old in 2014.

Nearby National Parks

Cumberland Gap National Historical Park

Cumberland Gap National Historical Park contains the passageway of the Cumberland Gap, a natural path through the Cumberland Mountains of the southeastern Appalachian Mountains. The gap allowed European colonists to pass through from the southeast into the interior of Kentucky in the second half of the 1770s. You can see many natural sites of interest inside the park, such as the limestone cavern Gap Cave and the Pinnacle, which is a rocky outcropping that sits at an elevation of 2,444 feet on the northern edge of the gap and is accessed by the only paved road inside the park. Sand Cave, a large overhang of rock with a sandy floor, is reached by ascending a 4-mile hiking trail. There are many other trails to explore, and you will have lots of opportunities to see species of wildlife like deer, fox, rabbits, turkey, squirrels, black bears, raccoons, and more. 

Gateway Arch National Park

Your road trip will take you through St. Louis, giving you the opportunity to visit Gateway Arch National Park. The centerpiece of the park is the 630-foot-high Gateway Arch, which is the tallest arch in the world, the tallest man-made monument in the Western Hemisphere, and the tallest accessible building in Missouri. Visitors can enjoy a unique view of the Mississippi River and the park below the viewing platform when they ascend to the top of the arch. The Gateway Arch serves as a monument to all the original inhabitants and explorers who were an integral part of the westward expansion across the U.S. during the 1800s. Of course, the most famous of those were Meriwether Lewis, William Clark, and Sacagawea, their Shoshone guide. In 2018, the park received a renovation that included a 46,000-square-foot museum, a cafe, and general improvements across the park.

Nearby State Parks

Meramec State Park  

Meramec State Park is located in Sullivan, MO, close to St. Louis on the Meramec River. Inside the park, there is a large cave system that has more than 40 caves of varying sizes with dolomite and limestone formations. The Meramec River is a stream-fed river that has several waterfalls and flows through a heavily forested area of pines and hardwoods. There are more than 13 miles of hiking trails, and visitors can fish, swim and boat on the river. 

Ha Ha Tonka State Park

Ha Ha Tonka State Park is located between St. Louis and Springfield. The park features caves, sinkholes, a large natural bridge, steep bluffs, and the Ha Ha Tonka Spring. You can visit the ruins of an early 20th-century stone mansion that was decimated by fire in the 1940s, and many visitors walk along the extensive series of trails and boardwalks.

Lake Thunderbird State Park

There is no shortage of water-based activities for you to enjoy while you are at Lake Thunderbird State Park. The park has the Little River Marina, the Calypso Cove Marina, nine boat ramps, and two swimming beaches. The large campground has 200 RV sites, playgrounds, an archery range, and 10 group picnic shelters. The Discovery Cove Nature Center at the state park features small displays of preserved wildlife and informational plaques. There are 4 miles of equestrian trails that feature obstacle courses and a system of hiking, nature, and mountain biking trails throughout the park. Visitors can hunt in designated areas during the appropriate seasons.

Along the Way

Kentucky Horse Park

The Kentucky Horse Park does an excellent job of presenting a close-up view of the equestrian world to the public. The park centers around horse racing, and it is also a working horse farm. The "Horses of the World" horse show occurs twice daily and features breeds of horses from different countries, complete with authentic costumes. Visitors can take riding horse tours, and multiple shows and events take place throughout the year. The park is also home to the International Museum of the Horse, a Smithsonian affiliate that has a historical permanent display and revolving displays. The grave of Man o' War, the famous racehorse, is in the park as well.

Philbrook Museum of Art

The Philbrook Museum of Art is the 72-room former mansion of the oil tycoon Waite Phillips in Tulsa, OK. The house features permanent collections of European, African, American, and Asian art, and the antiquities gallery houses an exhibit of Egyptian mummification. There are also rotating exhibits throughout the year. The Philbrook Gardens outside the mansion cover 23 acres and feature many different types of gardens. Along the nature trails, you can see various sculptures.

City Museum

The City Museum is a must-see site on your Louisville to Tulsa RV road trip. This unique museum is located inside a hundred-year-old warehouse in the downtown area of St. Louis and features a labyrinth of slides, bridges, tunnels, climbing areas, and mini-castles that are built from repurposed pieces of architecture from around the world. While in the museum, visitors can explore secret passages, ride a Ferris wheel, enjoy a circus and view a school bus suspended from the roof. Finally, do not miss sliding down the 10-story Spiral Slide, which requires quite a walk up but is a thrilling ride down.

Main Cities You Will Pass Through

St. Louis, Missouri

St. Louis is known as an important partner in the westward expansion of the U.S. by colonists and explorers. It was a starting point for many expeditions west, most notably the first official U.S. westward survey undertaken by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark. The city is located on the Mississippi River and is home to the Gateway Arch National Monument. The St. Louis RV Park is conveniently located in downtown St. Louis, so you will be able to walk to various sites of interest. If you are in need of a dump station for your RV, there are several options in the area.

Springfield, Missouri

Springfield is located in southwestern Missouri and is about two-thirds of the way on your Louisville to Tulsa road trip. If you take the time to stop here, the Discovery Center has many interesting exhibits that the entire family will enjoy. Everyone will also have a great time at Dickerson Park Zoo where there are exhibits of various animals from around the world and a train as well. For a restful time, visit the Nathanael Greene/Close Memorial Park for a nice stroll through botanical gardens. The Springfield/Route 66 KOA has fun activities like basketball and tetherball, and you can have ice and firewood delivered to your site. Springfield and the surrounding areas have various dump stations available for your RV. 

Joplin, Missouri

Joplin is in southwest Missouri and is located on historic Route 66. The city is almost at the end of your road trip, so you can stop and take in the local sites before hitting your destination city of Tulsa. The Joplin Museum Complex has plenty of exhibits on mining and also about the famous Depression-era robbers Bonnie and Clyde, who hid out in the city in 1933. You can view the cascading waters of Shoal Creek at Grand Falls, and the Wildcat Glades are unique in the region. You will enjoy staying at the Joplin KOA, which is a big rig-friendly RV park with plenty of shady sites and helpful amenities like bike rentals, a laundromat, a pool, and more. Conveniently, there are many available dump stations for your use.

Find Adventure from Louisville to Tulsa

Rent an RV

When you follow this road trip itinerary from Louisville to Tulsa, 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 Louisville or Tulsa.

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