Setting out on a road trip from Peoria to Houston will lead you through the states of Illinois, Missouri, Arkansas, and Texas and will take about two days of driving. Your route begins in the Midwest regions of the Great Lakes and travels south to the city of Houston on the Gulf of Mexico in Texas. Along your way, you will experience landscapes that feature cultivated farms, forests, rolling hills, and plenty of rivers and lakes. The Illinois and Mississippi rivers dominate the northern part of your route, and there are many lakes along your path as well. Houston is located close to the city of Galveston on the Gulf of Mexico and contains a variety of recreational and cultural opportunities for every taste.
Indiana Dunes National Park
Indiana Dunes National Park is one of the more recent parks to be added to the national park system. This preserve was previously a national seashore and was subsequently named a national park in 2019, making it the 61st national park. Indiana Dunes National Park is located on Lake Michigan and contains 15 miles of shoreline. Visitors can not only enjoy the distinctive sand dunes for which the park is named, but they can also experience one of the most diverse ecosystems in the U.S. The park is home to rivers, lakeshores, bogs, marshes, forests, and prairie grasses. There are 14 trail systems within the park that feature both boardwalks and natural trails that wind through the dunes and other habitats. During the winter, Tolleston Dunes is a prime place for cross country skiing.
Hot Springs National Park
Hot Springs National Park was first established in 1832 before the National Park system existed, making it a contender for being the oldest existing park currently in the National Park system. The city of Hot Springs, AK, was a popular spa and health resort in the 19th and 20th centuries and today continues to delight visitors with its original bathhouses and springs. The setting is beautifully framed by mountain views, and everyone can enjoy using the springs and walking along the many nature trails.
Meramec State Park
Meramec State Park is located a short distance south of St. Louis, and it is a great park to add to your Peoria to Houston road trip itinerary. There is an extensive cave system of more than 40 caves, and you can also enjoy viewing numerous waterfalls, thick forests, and the Meramec River. Much of these areas can be reached from hiking along the more than 13 miles of nature trails, and the river provides activities like fishing, swimming, and boating.
Petit Jean State Park
Petit Jean State Park has the distinction of being the first state park in the Arkansas State Park System. Petit Jean Mountain is the crown jewel of the park, and visitors will also appreciate partaking of the various water-based activities available on Cedar Creek and Lake Bailey. The park is home to many original structures built by the Civilian Conservation Corps, and you will especially appreciate visiting the CCC-constructed Mather Lodge, which has a lobby with a fireplace, 24 rooms, a restaurant, and meeting rooms. The lodge also provides excellent views of Cedar Creek Canyon. Visitors can rent boats from the boathouse and purchase snacks and supplies. The amenities include playgrounds, two swimming pools, sports courts, and a boat ramp. If you like to hike, there are several nature trails within the park that will take you past various unique rock formations.
Brazos Bend State Park
Brazos Bend State Park is a large preserve of 4,897 acres that is home to many different species of wildlife, including deer, raccoons, armadillos, otters, and alligators. There are also more than 30 species of migratory birds and waterfowl. The ecosystems are diverse, and they contain habitats consisting of coastal prairies, wetlands, forests, and lakes. The entirety of this runs along the Brazos River. The park is a hiker's delight, with more than 37 miles of nature and mixed-use trails. The George Observatory, a satellite facility of the Houston Museum of Natural Sciences, allows visitors to view the skies using one of the three domed telescopes at the observatory.
Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum
The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum is comprised of two museums that are connected by a skywalk. The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library possesses a large collection of manuscripts, pictures, maps, books, Illinois newspapers, and Civil War materials. You can also view the more than 1,500 signed Lincoln documents in the Lincoln Collection. The twin museum across the skywalk contains a full-sized replica of a log cabin and also a recreation of Ford's Theater. There are multiple displays that present important moments in President Lincoln's life.
The Gateway Arch
Passing through St. Louis on your road trip from Peoria to Houston will afford you the chance to see the Gateway Arch, a truly American symbol of exploration and curiosity. The Lewis and Clark expedition set out from this area on its mission to investigate a passage to the Pacific Ocean and explore the land acquired in the Louisiana Purchase. The Gateway Arch commemorates Meriwether Lewis, William Clark, and Sacagawea, their young Shoshone guide. It also honors the multitudes of Native Americans, explorers, and settlers who helped form the present-day U.S. Situated in the Gateway Arch National Park, the arch is 630 feet high and is the tallest arch in the world. You can ascend to the top viewing platform for a unique view of the park and the Mississippi River, and you will thoroughly enjoy the many displays and exhibits in the museum near the arch.
Perot Museum of Nature and Science
The Perot Museum of Nature and Science is a discovery center that almost defies description. This huge facility has 11 halls of permanent exhibits that are contained on five floors of the museum, the whole of which is a large cube that is suspended over a water garden. Many of the exhibits and displays are interactive, and visitors can build a robot, compose music in the sound room, experience an earthquake, test their skills against athletes, and take a trip around a miniature replica of Dallas. If you are a fan of dinosaurs, you can see many huge skeletons and fossils in the Life, Then and Now Hall.
As you leave Peoria on your Peoria to Houston RV road trip, you will soon arrive at the city of Springfield, IL. You will find many interesting sites to visit, such as the Illinois State Capital, the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library, Lincoln's Tomb, and the Dana-Thomas House, which was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. The Double J Campground is a Good Sam RV park that provides close proximity to the activities in Springfield from a quiet and intimate setting. There are several options for nearby dump stations while in the area as well.
St. Louis, Missouri
St. Louis is located on the Mississippi River and played a decisive part in American history. The city was a starting point for explorers and subsequent settlers traveling west and, in earlier times, was an important region inhabited by several Native American nations. There are many things to check out, including the iconic Gateway Arch, which is in the Gateway Arch National Park on the banks of the Mississippi River. St. Louis RV Park is located in downtown St. Louis and is within walking distance of many of the city's attractions, and you can easily find a dump station if you need one for your RV while in the St. Louis area.
Dallas is part of the Dallas-Fort Worth urban area and is a large and modern city that serves as a vibrant commercial and cultural district for North Texas. You can visit the museum at Dealey Plaza that memorializes the site of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, and the Arts District has several museums, each with distinctive collections of art. The Dallas Zoo is the oldest and largest zoo in Texas, and it has more than 2,000 animals that represent 400 species. There are numerous dump stations all around the Dallas Fort Worth metropolitan areas, and you can enjoy the shade of the oak trees at the Treetops RV Resort while you participate in planned activities with the family.
When you follow this road trip itinerary from Peoria to Houston, 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 Peoria or Houston.