An Orlando to Birmingham road trip is a great opportunity for you and your family to get to know the country's deep south. You'll start from the middle of the great state of Florida, work your way through Georgia, and finally end your trip in one of the most integral cities in the fight for civil rights. Along the way, you'll pass through several state parks, have a chance for some truly inspiring sightseeing, and you'll also get to know some of the friendliest people around. You may even have the chance to experience a theme park or two while you make your way northward in your RV.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Unfortunately, this specific road trip doesn't have a national park along the way. That being said, the closest to this route is Great Smoky Mountains National Park. This park is located in Tennessee, so you'll have to travel a bit further north of Atlanta, which is one of the cities you'll be going through.
In total, the park is about 167 miles away, but when you get there, you'll have opportunities for picture-taking and hundreds of trails to enjoy. This is also a good option year-round since temperatures tend to be very moderate. In total, the park is over 500,000 acres, so set aside some time to really explore the beautiful landscapes. While here, enjoy some fishing, horseback riding, or check out one of the famous landmarks like Chimney Tops, Laurel Falls, or Clingmans Dome.
Lake Louisa State Park
The allure of Lake Louisa State Park is its wild, untouched environments. While here, it's not uncommon to see a variety of wildlife, including the famous Florida gator. The state park is on the edge of the Green Swamp. This should be your first stop on your road trip from Orlando to Birmingham because it's only about 28 miles away from your starting location.
While here, you'll be surrounded by lush cypress swamps and pines and have access to 20 miles of trails to explore. You may also encounter some orange trees during your hikes, and since these are abandoned groves, feel free to grab some fruit. This park is also unique because it has horseback riding, making it one of the few Florida state parks to offer this kind of activity. While this is a park that's best situated for hikers, there are also a few paved roads that traverse the area, so feel free to bring a smaller RV.
Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park
Found in Micanopy, FL, Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park is a beautiful 21,000-acre savanna. Named after King Payne, a chief of the Seminole tribe, the park offers numerous wildlife viewing opportunities. Do you want to see bison in the wild? Paynes has these and animals like horses, birds, deer, and alligators.
The park is open from 8 a.m. to sundown, and you can visit all year. Feel free to explore each of the eight trails here, and if you want to do things on the water, both fishing and canoeing opportunities are available. As far as camping, you can find primitive camping, standard camping, and equestrian camping within the state park grounds.
Big Shoals State Park
Big Shoals is another Florida state park that is famous for its expansive vistas and untouched atmosphere. At this park, you'll experience whitewater rafting, canoeing, fishing, and trail hiking year-round. For the hikers, there are 33 miles of trails here, so bring some comfortable hiking shoes. The big shoals in Big Shoals State Park are a reference to the whitewater rapids that snake through this area. In fact, this park is home to the largest of these in the entire state.
Florida Museum of Natural History
Dedicated to preserving Florida's natural biodiversity, this museum has numerous exhibits that chronicle the specific wildlife that can be found both in- and out-of-state. The museum is part of the University of Florida system, and there are also multiple events throughout the year that are designed for both kids and adults. For example, you can see a series on the Florida Springs biodiversity or the Herpetology at Paynes Prairie. There are also various limited-time exhibits that you can check out throughout the year.
Museum of Aviation
To access the Museum of Aviation, you'll be traveling to Robins Air Force Base, which itself is a great point of interest during your Orlando to Birmingham RV road trip. Georgia has a long history of supporting avionics, and you get some of that experience here. While you visit, you can check out exhibits of vintage aircraft and some of the more modern planes that dot the aerial landscape. There are even fighter jets here to check out. The museum also has a dedicated education center so that the younger generation can learn about some of aviation's history.
Noah’s Ark Animal Sanctuary
Located in Locust Grove, Georgia, Noah's Ark Animal Sanctuary has been in operation since 1978 and is dedicated to animal conservation. Here, you will find animals like mountain lions, bears, foxes, wolves, tigers, and several primate species. They also host several drives throughout the year and ask visitors for help with their conservation efforts. Their efforts don't just extend to the exotic; they have over 181 recently acquired Chihuahuas at the park that visitors can sometimes adopt.
As the largest city in Alachua County, Gainesville is a north-central Florida city with a population of 132,127 people. The city is always warm and inviting; in fact, it has a subtropical climate. Gainesville is where Gatorade was developed by Robert Cade, a University of Florida professor. Gainesville is also home to the Florida Museum of Natural History, Devil's Millhopper Geological State Park, and the Kika Silva Pla Planetarium.
While there isn't a campground directly in Gainesville, there are several Gainesville-area campgrounds in towns like Starke and Fort McCoy. Fort McCoy/Lake Oklawaha KOA is pet-friendly, has good cell reception, and has Wi-Fi. Additionally, places like Starke N.E. KOA has a pool that you and your family can use to cool off. Don’t forget to use one of Florida’s numerous dump stations to offload your wastewater.
Macon is part of the Macon-Warner Robins Metro area and is rich in culture and the arts. If you love festivals and plan to visit a few during your road trip itinerary from Orlando to Birmingham, consider Macon since it's home to the Ocmulgee Indian Celebration, the Central Georgia Creek Festival, and the International Cherry Blossom Festival in March. Additionally, Macon's 97,000-plus residents are known for their southern hospitality, and as a result, the city has gained the nickname "The Heart of Georgia."
There are numerous campgrounds throughout the Macon area. Some of note include Fair Harbor RV Park, Ponderosa Campgrounds, and Twin Oaks RV Camping. Each has its share of amenities, and some are even pet-friendly. When you need to dump your gray and black water, there are also several Macon-area RV dump stations to select.
With a population of over 500,000, Atlanta is one of the jewels of the south and serves as the capital of the state of Georgia. While its population might seem slightly meager, consider that the entire Atlanta, Georgia, metropolitan area, which encompasses Sandy Springs and Alpharetta, has over six million residents. With such a bustling population, you'll find thousands of things to do in town. This is also one of the points during the road trip where you can opt to visit the nearest national park.
Regarding RV parks, you'll find that the majority of them are positioned in areas surrounding the city. A good example of this is Scenic Mountain RV Park, positioned on a large scenic area. While here, enjoy one of the 70 full hook-up sites that will work for most RVs. There is also an on-premise bathhouse, a swimming pool, and a whirlpool where you can relax. There's even cable TV and free Wi-Fi. When it’s time to dump your waste, consider one of the numerous dump stations in Atlanta.
When you follow this road trip itinerary from Orlando to Birmingham, 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 Orlando or Birmingham.