Steep yourself in U.S. history during an NYC to Atlanta road trip. The I-95/I-85 route makes it easy to stop at Independence National Historical Park to see the Liberty Bell, visit numerous sites in Washington, DC, and explore the former Confederate capital of Richmond, Virginia. Along the way, you can also reconnect with nature at many beautiful national and state parks. Recreational opportunities such as hiking, boating, and climbing abound in the southeastern states.
Independence National Historical Park
The United States Constitution and the Declaration of Independence were both signed at this site in Philadelphia. Today, the area is known as Independence National Historical Park. Visitors can see the rooms where the founding fathers signed these important documents, and can also see the Liberty Bell here. When you're done with the main attractions, visit Franklin Court to learn more about Benjamin Franklin. Stroll through the presidential portrait gallery in the Second Bank, and head to Washington Square to pay your respects at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier of the American Revolution. Some attractions at this park require that tickets be purchased in advance, so be sure to plan accordingly.
Shenandoah National Park
Shenandoah National Park near Luray, Virginia, is the perfect place to reconnect with nature. Consider heading to the Dickey Ridge Visitors Center first, where you can attend ranger programs that change daily, watch an orientation film, and see exhibits. Then, head on down the only road running through this park to get to Old Rag Mountain, which is a terrific spot to go hiking. You'll also find many opportunities in this area to go climbing and bouldering. There are several different well-marked trails through this area that contains the highest point in the park. For even more hiking, head to the Big Meadow. This section of the park is near the horse stables, so you may want to take a ride. Another area of this park that you'll want to visit is Rapidan Camp, which President Hoover used as a getaway during his time in the White House. Go on the 2.5-hour tour to see the historical buildings and learn more about his Depression-era policies. Some of the best fishing in the park is in the streams near this location. Since this park is also a fantastic place to go stargazing, consider staying at one of the campgrounds.
Cheesequake State Park
Cheesequake State Park near Matawan, New Jersey, is a fascinating place to go hiking because of the diversity of ecosystems. You can hike through open fields, along fresh-and-saltwater marshes, and through a northeastern hardwood forest. To learn more about the plants and animals that live here, stop at the on-site visitor's center. If you brought your fishing gear, dip a line in the water at Hooks Creek Lake and try to catch your supper. This lake is also a fantastic place to go swimming during the warmer months. You can canoe and kayak here too.
Elk Neck State Park
Elk Neck State Park is on a peninsula near North East, Maryland. This 2,370-acre park is divided into four sections with unique activities in each part. Start at the Turkey Point Lighthouse area to see a historic structure near the Chesapeake Bay and view the birds of prey in the Raptor Viewing Field. Then, head to the North East Beach Area and Picnic Shelters. Launch your canoe or kayak to play in the bay, or swim and play on the beach. The picnic shelters make a great spot to eat lunch. You can put larger vessels into the water at the Rogues Harbor Boat Launch Facility. There are also fishing piers in this area of the park.
Pocahontas State Park
You'll find over 90 miles of hiking trails at Pocahontas State Park, which is located about 20 miles from Richmond, Virginia. In the summer months, play at the Aquatic Center, which offers different swimming areas for different ability levels. Thrill-seekers will love the waterslides. Rent a boat and explore the 255-acre Swift Lake. Do not leave without visiting the Civilian Conservation Corps Museum to learn more about the depression-era program that built this park and many others across the United States.
Lake Norman State Park
Stop at Lake Norman State Park on your road trip from NYC to Atlanta. With 30 miles of mixed-use trails, this park near Troutman, North Carolina, is a fantastic place to go mountain biking. Many of the trails connect to others in the area, allowing you to enjoy longer rides if desired. Lake Norman is also a terrific place to go boating. Pedal boats, canoes, kayaks, and paddleboards are available to rent. Fish for bass, crappie, bluegill, and catfish in the two lakes. An accessible fishing pier is available near the swimming beach. During the summer, play on the 125-yard-long beach.
The White House
An NYC to Atlanta RV road trip is the perfect time to stop and see the most famous house in the District of Columbia. White House tours usually happen on Fridays and Saturdays. Be sure to make your arrangements at least 21 days ahead of time. The main public tour allows you to see the East Wing of the White House.
National Mall and Memorial Parks
The National Mall and Memorial Parks cover over 150 sites in Washington, DC, including the Lincoln and Washington monuments. While these famous presidents have monuments, many other people do too, including Dr. Martin Luther King and George Mason. You can also visit several memorials set up to commemorate soldiers from different periods, including the African American Civil War Memorial, Korean War Memorial and World War II Memorial. Check with the park rangers about the specific days you're there because they often plan special activities.
Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
The Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History features plenty of great exhibits. Stand under the African bush elephant and learn about the diverse cultural groups that live in Africa. Nearby, discover how researchers believe the world was formed. When you go to the second floor, you may think you're in Australia as you learn more about the diverse animals and plants that live in the Land Down Under. This floor is also a great place to see fossils from dinosaurs and explore ancient Egypt. There is plenty more to see and learn at this museum.
Smithsonian Zoological Park
You can visit the Smithsonian National Zoological Park in Washington, DC, for free. While strolling along the paths at this zoo, you can see over 1,500 animals. Elephants, pandas, lions, cheetahs, monkeys, chimpanzees, and more are available for viewing with lots of staff on hand to answer your questions. The zoo often hosts special events near holidays and workshops with world-class speakers for adults.
In addition to Independence National Historical Park, there are many other patriotic sites you may want to visit in Philly, including the Betsy Ross House, the Museum of the American Revolution and the Independence Seaport Museum. Consider spending a night or two at Philadelphia campgrounds, like Little Red Barn Campground or Quakerwoods Campground. Philadelphia RV dump stations can be found at Indian Head Campground and Blue Rocks Family Campground.
Once the home of the Confederate Capital of the United States, Richmond is now home to many historical sites. This city's history dates to before the American Revolution, and you can learn more by visiting Hanover Courthouse, Hanover Tavern, and Henricus Historical Park. Campground options in Richmond include Picture Lake Campground, Camptown Campground, and South Forty RV Campground. You'll find local RV dump stations at Azalea Flea Market and Richmond Elks Lodge.
Greensboro, North Carolina
Lots of important events surrounding the Civil Rights Movement happened in Greensboro. You can learn more about it all at the Charlotte Hawkins Brown Museum at Palmer Institute. Then, go downtown to visit the International Civil Rights Center & Museum. There are plenty of other places to visit, so stay in a Greensboro campground. Good options include Deep River Campground & RV Park, Oak Hollow Campground, and Cane Creek Campground & RV Park. Greensboro dump stations include Camping World, Greensboro Campground, and other North Carolina locations.
When you follow this road trip itinerary from NYC to Atlanta, 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 NYC or Atlanta.