If you are planning on driving across the heart of the U.S. for a trip that will leave you wonderful memories, then a Salt Lake City to Nashville road trip may be in your future. Mountains, caves, and even a man-made wonder await you in some of America’s great national parks. There are also plenty of excellent state parks and tourist attractions along the way. Since you’ll go through some fun cities on your road trip from Salt Lake City to Nashville, you’ll have plenty of urban environments to explore.
Rocky Mountain National Park
If visiting the Rocky Mountains is on your bucket list, then there isn’t a better place to do so than Rocky Mountain National Park. With more than 300 miles of hiking trails available in the park, you won’t have any problem finding an amazing trail that suits your skill level and desire for adventure. Whether you want to take a leisurely stroll to the headwaters of the Colorado River or hike all the way to the summit of the Twin Sisters, you can find gorgeous mountain vistas at this national park.
Wind Cave National Park
Wind Cave National Park is three hours and 15 minutes north of Sidney, Nebraska. The extra bit of travel will be worthwhile, however, since you’ll get to explore part of one of the world’s longest and most complex caves. When you’re not touring this underground wonder, you’ll be able to experience the beauty of America’s largest remaining natural mixed-grass prairie as well as a beautiful ponderosa forest. Bison, mountain lions, elk, prairie dogs, and more call this gorgeous national park home.
Badlands National Park
Badlands National Park is an hour and 15 minutes east of Wind Cave National Park and three hours and 25 minutes north of Sidney, Nebraska. The rugged, distinctive landscape is the main attraction here, but you’ll also find a surprising amount of hardy flora and fauna to draw your gaze. This park attracts many adventurers due to its policy of allowing visitors to explore its features on foot regardless of marked trails. If you’d prefer to walk on a less strenuous path, you’ll be able to tour this amazing park via multiple easy and moderate trails.
Gateway Arch National Park
Considering that Gateway Arch National Park is only five minutes from Downtown St. Louis, adding it to your road trip itinerary from Salt Lake City to Nashville is a must. This man-made marvel may be known as the “Gateway to West,” but you can check it out before you head east across the Mississippi River. In addition to touring the Arch itself, you can also visit the Old St. Louis Courthouse, which is where the Dred Scott Case was tried. Since the park is so close to downtown St. Louis, you’ll have plenty of interesting places to explore before continuing your journey.
Mammoth Cave National Park
You can reach Mammoth Cave National Park by traveling roughly two hours northeast of Clarksville, Tennessee. This park contains the world’s longest known cave system, so there are plenty of fascinating areas to explore. Once you’ve had your fill of stone features and cascading flowstone formations, you’ll be able to hike, bike, or ride on some great trails, as well as fish in some nearby rivers.
Rockport State Park
In order to reach Rockport State Park, all you have to do is travel two minutes south of Wanship, Utah. Rockport Reservoir is a great place for fishing, swimming, boating, and water sports. Winter is an excellent time to visit since you can go snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, and ice fishing.
Curt Gowdy State Park
Curt Gowdy State Park is located only 15 minutes east of Buford, Wyoming. This park features granite outcroppings, rolling hills, and several reservoirs. More than 35 miles of trails are ideal for hiking, biking, horseback riding, and cross-country skiing. Archery hunting is allowed while in season, so this is a great place to take your bow.
Babler Memorial State Park
Before you reach St. Louis, you’ll have the chance to drive half an hour south of St. Peters, Missouri, to visit Babler Memorial State Park. This park is known for its relaxing peacefulness, so it’s a wonderful place to picnic and enjoy the tranquil woods. Multiple hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding trails crisscross the park.
Giant City State Park
Twenty minutes west of Pulleys Mill, Illinois, you’ll find Giant City State Park. This park takes its name from the huge sandstone bluffs that hikers love exploring. Rock climbing, rappelling, hunting, horseback riding, boating, and fishing are all popular activities at Giant City State Park.
Lake Barkley State Resort Park
Twenty minutes from the outskirts of Cadiz, Kentucky, is Lake Barkley State Resort Park. As its name implies, this is a top-notch place to visit on your Salt Lake City to Nashville RV road trip if you want to go camping at a location with some nice amenities. In addition to getting to spend time fishing and boating on Lovely Lake Barkley, you can go swimming in the indoor pool and golfing on the championship golf course, and you can dine at the Windows on the Water restaurant.
Cheyenne Botanic Gardens
Cheyenne Botanic Gardens is only seven minutes from Interstate 80, so why wouldn’t you visit this gorgeous garden on your road trip from Salt Lake City to Nashville? Garden areas like Bedont Rose Garden, Sensory Garden and Gazebo, and Perennial Walk await. You can also visit the Paul Smith Children’s Village and the Shane Smith Grand Conservatory.
Golden Spike Tower
A few minutes northwest of North Platte, Nebraska, you’ll find Golden Spike Tower. The Union Pacific Railroad profoundly impacted American life in its heyday, so visiting the world’s largest classification railyard on your Salt Lake City to Nashville RV road trip makes sense. You can view Bailey Yard from the seventh and eighth floors; you can also stop by the gift shop, the Brick Pavilion, the Flag Courtyard, and the lobby.
SEA LIFE Kansas City
If you want to add a quality aquarium to your road trip itinerary from Salt Lake City to Nashville, then SEA LIFE Kansas City is a great option. This 260,000-gallon aquarium has an ocean tunnel, creature encounter exhibits, and touch pools. You’ll be able to view exhibits like Bay of Rays, Doodle Reef, and Shipwreck.
Saint Louis Zoo
The Saint Louis Zoo is about 15 minutes south of Interstate 70 as it travels through St. Louis, Missouri. More than 12,000 animals representing 500 species call this Missouri zoo home. This 90-acre zoo is actually free, so you’ll be able to save your money for the quality shopping and dining options available at the zoo.
Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area
Another free attraction on your road trip from Salt Lake City to Nashville is Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area. Its entrance is only five minutes from Grand Rivers, Kentucky. This peninsula between Lake Kentucky and Lake Barkley is an excellent place to hike, bike, swim, fish, boat, and more.
When you’re visiting Cheyenne, you’ll be able to stop by fun attractions like the Wyoming State Museum, Cheyenne Frontier Days, and the Cheyenne Depot Museum. If you need to clean your camper, there are plenty of quality dump stations nearby. There are also a plethora of campgrounds you can stay at while on your journey.
Nebraska’s capital is home to such interesting places as the Museum of American Speed, Sunken Gardens, and the Nebraska State Capitol. You’ll easily be able to find multiple dump stations and campgrounds in the Lincoln area.
Kansas City, Missouri
St. Louis, Missouri
The Gateway Arch, the Mississippi River, and the Missouri Botanical Garden are just a few of the interesting places you can visit in St. Louis. There are also many great dump stations and campgrounds in the area that you can use.
In lovely Clarksville, be sure to stop by Old Glory Distilling Co., Beachaven Vineyards & Winery, and Fort Defiance Civil War Park & Interpretive Center. You’ll be able to choose from a variety of beautiful campgrounds for parking your trailer.
When you follow this road trip itinerary from Salt Lake City to Nashville, 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 Salt Lake City or Nashville.