Especially if you are a history lover, Franklin, Tennessee, makes a great vacation destination because you can shop in the historic buildings at Leiper’s Fork, explore the Carter House, and see the beautiful historic home and museum at Carnton. Before you get to Franklin, you will want to explore other attractions along your road trip itinerary from Milwaukee to Franklin, including Indiana Sand Dunes National Park and White River State Park, so be sure to give yourself plenty of time. Since this trip goes right by Chicago attractions like the Field Museum and the Art Institute of Chicago, you will want to stop and explore what that city has to offer too.
Indiana Dunes National Park
Indiana Dunes National Park near Porter, Indiana, is located on the south end of Lake Michigan. This park contains at least eight different beaches, with each one offering a unique experience. West Beach is one of the most popular, and it has lifeguards on duty from Memorial Day to Labor Day. It is also the starting point for the Dunes Succession Trail, which offers stunning views of the dunes. The Portage Lakefront and Riverwalk has group picnic facilities and an accessible fishing pier. Porter Beach sits in a residential neighborhood, and you can swim at your own risk. Kemil Beach and Dunbar Beach adjoin each other, and they are quieter without any concessions. Lake View Beach is one of the only locations where you can sit at picnic tables overlooking the beach at this national park.
Harrington Beach State Park
Before you head south from Milwaukee, consider going about 40 minutes north to visit Harrington Beach State Park near Belgium, Wisconsin. You can have a great time playing on the mile-long Lake Michigan beach. This park is home to the Jim and Gwen Plunkett Observatory. The observatory has a specially designed roof that enables you to see in every direction. There are also fantastic trails to follow through a white cedar and pine forest. Follow the path leading to the quarry to see unique limestone rock formations.
Lakeshore State Park
Relax at Lakeshore State Park while enjoying its stunning views of downtown Milwaukee. Play on the small beach. If you have a boat, there is a slip available for docking. Beach bonfires and parties, nature hikes, children’s fishing clinics, family nights, and art-in-the-park events frequently occur. Paved trails lead to other nearby parks, and you can use this as a starting point to hike the 14-mile Hank Aaron State Trail.
Aztalan State Park
Stop and see the reconstructed stockade and the burial mounds at Aztalan State Park, which is located on the Crawfish River one mile east of Lake Mills, Wisconsin. A Late Woodland village was located here before 1050 A.D. The area blossomed between 1050 and 1200. This is a terrific place to go hiking through the woods and open meadows. Get a self-guided hiking brochure to understand more about what you are seeing.
Big Foot Beach State Park
Located on Lake Geneva’s shores, Big Foot Beach State Park in Walworth County is a great place to stop and play on the beach. This is a terrific place to take a selfie, and a special stand is available so that you can easily get in just the right spot to capture the lake in the background. The clean, deep waters of the lake draw many migratory birds to this location. Settle down at one of the picnic tables overlooking the lake and watch for them during your road trip from Milwaukee to Franklin. There are 6.5 miles of trails, with some running around the lake while others run through a wooded area.
Indiana Dunes State Park
Indiana Dunes State Park is located very near the national park. The beach has lifeguards on duty from Memorial Day through Labor Day. There are two parking lots near the beach, making it an excellent option for families with young children who cannot walk very far. The Three Dune Challenge begins at this location, so if you love hiking, be sure to try this course as the trail will lead you up the three tallest dunes in the area. Head to the Nature Center as the naturalist may be giving special presentations on the local ecosystem that you can explore on your Milwaukee to Franklin RV road trip.
Cave of the Mounds
Stop and explore the Cave of the Mounds near Blue Mounds, Wisconsin, on a self-guided tour. You will not want to miss seeing the many major mineral formations called speleothems in this limestone cave. You will also want to hike along the above-ground trail to see how the Wisconsin landscape has changed over thousands of years. A brochure is available to help you understand those changes and their causes.
Old World Wisconsin
Learn about daily life in Wisconsin by stopping at Old World Wisconsin. At this open-air museum near Eagle, costumed interpreters perform the same chores that were necessary to live in rural Wisconsin during the 19th and early 20th centuries. There are themed villages that explore the experiences of African American, Danish, Finnish, German, and other groups of people. Numerous historical structures have been moved to this site, including Scandinavian homesteads.
National Mustard Museum
While you will have to drive about 80 miles west to visit the National Mustard Museum at Middleton, Wisconsin, you will not want to miss this one-of-a-kind opportunity to learn more about one of America’s favorite condiments. See over 5,500 mustards from over 70 countries, and learn a little about many of them. View one of the largest collections of mustard jars and bottles in the world. During your visit to this free museum, you will also have the chance to taste many of the mustards.
National Dairy Shrine
Drive about an hour west of Milwaukee to visit the National Dairy Shrine in Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin. See how farmers milked cows by hand during the pioneer days. Then, learn about the development of different machines that helped make milking easier. Learn more about the journey milk takes from the farm to your dinner table and about the various products made from milk.
The Tempel Farms
Learn about the training of Tempel Lipizzan horses by visiting the Temple Farms in Old Mill Creek, Illinois. Shows that give you the opportunity to learn how these unique horses are trained are performed twice daily. The performances are very similar to those put on by the Spanish Riding School in Vienna, Austria.
Put some big city fun into your Milwaukee to Franklin road trip by visiting Chicago. You can find many great places to visit, including the Lincoln Park Zoo, Millennium Park, and the Field Museum. Camp Ground Road Woods is an excellent Chicago campground if you love to go hiking, but if you love to climb, then stay at Camp Sullivan, where you will find a terrific climbing wall. Chicago RV dump stations are available at Burnidge & Paul Wolff Forest Preserve, Vacationland, and 83RV Inc.
You may want to spend time exploring fun things to do on Purdue University’s campus when passing through Lafayette, Indiana. With its two art galleries, Pao Hall is a great stop for art lovers. Others may want to check out performances at the Purdue Theater. When selecting Lafayette campgrounds, consider cooling off in the swimming pool at AOK Campground or fishing in the three stocked ponds at Big Fish’n Campground. Lafayette RV dump station choices include Lafayette Travel Trailer Sales and Heartland Storage Lafayette.
You will want to check out excellent country music venues in Nashville, including the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, CMA Theater, and the Grand Ole Opry when visiting Nashville. There are many great Nashville campgrounds, including Fall Hollow RV Park, where the scenery is spectacular, and the centrally located Nashville KOA resort. Shutes Branch Recreation Area, Edgar Evins State Park, and Anderson Road Campground offer user-friendly RV dump stations in the Nashville area.
When you follow this road trip itinerary from Milwaukee to Franklin, 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 Milwaukee or Franklin.