If you want to see some of the best sights that the Eastern Seaboard has to offer, then you should fire up your camper and take a nice, long New York to Orlando road trip. On this journey of more than 1,000 miles, you’ll be able to visit numerous excellent national and state parks. Plenty of interesting cities and tourist attractions are within easy driving distance of your route, so you’ll have a large selection of options for your road trip itinerary from New York to Orlando.
Shenandoah National Park
The first national park on your road trip from New York to Orlando is five hours into your journey. Shenandoah National Park is right off your route, so you won’t have to go too far in order to explore this Virginia paradise. You’ll be able to hike, bike, and ride over 300 miles of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Peaks, valleys, waterfalls, forests, and even the legendary Appalachian Trail await you at Shenandoah National Park.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Great Smoky Mountains National Park is about two and a half hours west of Charlotte. This 500,000-acre park is America’s most popular park because of its diversity and accessibility. Mountains, hardwood forests, rivers, and streams are all on display here courtesy of 800 miles of trails. As with Shenandoah, you can also walk a stretch of the Appalachian Trail here. Other great trails include the Rainbow Falls Trail, the Laurel Falls Trail, and the Kephart Prong Trail.
Congaree National Park
Right outside of South Carolina’s capital is Congaree National Park. Some of the trees in this old-growth forest in a swampy floodplain are over 1,000 years old. The park has 10 trails, most of which feature fairly flat terrain. Another great way to explore part of this park is to take a canoe down the Congaree River. Once you’re finished touring Congaree National Park, you can head back to Columbia for some great shopping, dining, and sightseeing.
Everglades National Park
Everglades National Park is one of two outstanding national parks roughly four hours south of Orlando in the Miami area. This park preserves 1.5 million acres of tropical wilderness that’s home to multiple ecosystems and animals. Marshes, wetlands, pine flatwoods, and more give visitors numerous opportunities for exploration. Manatees, crocodiles, alligators, panthers, and many other species populate this large national park.
Biscayne National Park
Biscayne National Park is the second national park in the Miami area. This park is likely the type of environment that you envision when you imagine what a national park in Florida would look like. Pristine beaches, crystal blue oceans, and a picturesque lighthouse make this park a must-see. Diving and snorkeling are especially popular here as are fishing and swimming. Most of this park’s best attractions are on or under the water, but you can still walk along some coastal and island trails.
French Creek State Park
French Creek State Park is about an hour south of Allentown, Pennsylvania, so it’s an early stop on your New York to Orlando RV road trip. More than 7,500 acres house a variety of flora and fauna as well as two lovely lakes; more than 40 miles of trails open up this park for hikers, bikers, and horseback riders. Hunters can hunt on over 6,000 acres of this park; deer, pheasants, turkeys, and more abound.
Hickory Run State Park
Hickory Run State Park is an hour north of Allentown, so it’s not far from your route. It’s known for Boulder Field, which is a large area strewn with a variety of rocks and boulders. You’ll find more than rocks here, however, since this park is also home to trout streams, mountains, lakes, and even a disc golf course. Ice skating, cross-country skiing, and snowmobiling are popular winter pastimes in the park.
Douthat State Park
Douthat State Park is about 40 minutes west of Lexington, Virginia. Shenandoah National Park is roughly an hour and a half to the east. Mountaintops, lakefronts, waterfalls, and rolling hills await you at this lovely gem tucked away in the Allegheny Mountains. Bikers, riders, and hikers enjoy exploring the more than 40 miles of trails here, and fishers love catching bass and trout from their kayaks and canoes.
Lake Norman State Park
Roughly an hour before you get to Charlotte on your New York to Orlando road trip, you’ll go right by Lake Norman State Park. Nearly 2,000 acres of gorgeous North Carolina mountains include part of Lake Norman itself as well as almost 40 miles of trails perfect for biking and hiking. Lake Norman encompasses over 32,000 acres, so you’ll have plenty of room for swimming, fishing, and boating.
Anastasia State Park
Anastasia State Park is only about two hours from the end of your road trip from New York to Orlando. It contains more than 1,600 acres of coastline, dunes, and marshes, so you’ll have plenty of opportunities for swimming, surfing, and exploring. Birding is also popular here thanks to the diversity of the birds that call this park home. Other fun activities include geocaching, paddling, and visiting the old Spanish quarries on the park's property.
No road trip itinerary from New York to Orlando is complete without stopping by Hersheypark in lovely Hershey, Pennsylvania. This large complex has grown from the relatively small leisure park William Hershey designed for his employees into a sprawling attraction that includes a theme park, a water park, and a zoo. Whether you’re a chocolate fan or a theme park aficionado, you’ll find plenty of fun at Hersheypark.
Luray Caverns is close to Shenandoah National Park, so you’ll have no shortage of awesome places to explore in this area. You’ll be able to tour some of the largest caverns in the eastern U.S. as well as the Car & Carriage Caravan Museum, the Shenandoah Heritage Village, and Toy Town Junction. You can also purchase tickets for the rope adventure park and the garden maze on the premises.
NASCAR Hall of Fame
If you’re looking for some fun right in the heart of downtown Charlotte, then you’ll want to stop by the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Whether you’re a passionate NASCAR fan or a curious tourist interested in learning more about the sport, you’ll enjoy looking at the various race cars and racing memorabilia from yesteryear. Popular exhibits include the Hall of Honor, Haulin’: 25 Years of NASCAR Trucks, and Dale Jr.: Glory Road Champions.
Magnolia Plantation and Gardens
You’re going to be so close to Charleston on this RV road trip from New York to Orlando that you can’t miss the chance to drop in for some fine Southern hospitality. One great place to do this is Magnolia Plantation and Gardens, which is Charleston’s most visited plantation for multiple reasons. You can tour the romantic-style garden, the plantation house, the rice field, the Zoo and Nature Center, and more.
Just like you can’t leave Charleston off your road trip itinerary from New York to Orlando, you also can’t leave Savannah, Georgia, off your list. You can’t go wrong with just about anywhere you choose to visit in Savannah, but you should definitely check out Chippewa Square. It’s centrally located near a large array of attractions in Savannah, and it includes a museum and a theater for you to visit.
Allentown is the home of Lehigh University, Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom, and a host of local parks, so there’s plenty to do while you’re in town. You’ll be able to take your pick of lovely campgrounds while you're exploring the area.
You only pass through a corner of Maryland, but you’ll get to make the most of it by stopping by Hagerstown. There are dump stations in nearby Frederick, and there are some nice campgrounds in the area. Places to visit include the Pennsylvania Dutch Market and Washington County Museum of Fine Arts.
Charlotte is home to attractions like Carowinds, the Billy Graham Library, and the NASCAR Hall of Fame, so you’ll have plenty of places to visit here. Numerous dump stations and campgrounds will give you a variety of options when you’re in the area.
There’s plenty to do in South Carolina’s capital, so you might want to stay awhile and take advantage of the area’s dump stations and campgrounds. Places to go include Riverbanks Zoo and Botanical Garden, the University of South Carolina, and Columbia Canal and Riverfront Park.
Jacksonville is near the end of your road trip from New York to Orlando, so you may want to spend a day or two visiting locations like the Jacksonville Zoo & Gardens and Catty Shack Ranch Wildlife Sanctuary. Plenty of campgrounds are available, so you’ll easily be able to find a nice place to park your camper.